Tokyo 24th Ward embraces the cyberpunk genre in a slum

Tokyo 24th ward is an exciting but tense sci-fi adventure, and it’s finally embraced the cyberpunk genre in full in recent episodes.

Tokyo’s 24th Ward is a sci-fi anime series in the winter 2022 anime season, but it’s more than just an action show to kill time between The attack of the Titans episodes. Tokyo’s 24th Ward Not only does it feature a colorful cast of characters and intriguing political themes, it also embraces the sleek cyberpunk genre – a staple of sci-fi anime.

Over the years, classic anime such as ghost in the shell proved what sci-fi anime can really do, with themes such as resistance to authority, people power, the dangers of rampant technology, the essence of humanity and more explored in detail. Tokyo’s 24th Ward can’t beat GiTS at its own game, but it comfortably explores the cyberpunk genre in its own way.

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When people resist tyrannical technology

ran talking to Shuta

Anime fans should note that the cyberpunk genre means much more than “gritty sci-fi with an attitude”. Aesthetically it might be, but cyberpunk titles such as Tokyo’s 24th Ward are truly about politics and philosophy, with resonant themes that tie in seamlessly with real-world issues of authority, humanity, law, technology and more. It’s called cyberpunk because it’s about people power and what ordinary people do when creeping technology, greedy corporations and tyrannical governments take over the world.

The cyberpunk genre is about humanity’s resistance to threats in a bleak future, making it a stimulating and hopeful genre despite the violence, language, sexuality, and other disturbing content found in many cyberpunk works. . Tokyo’s 24th Ward understands that cyberpunk is about empowering people and warning them of the danger of cutting-edge technologies and mega-corporations, philosophically arming them to fight back in a world where technology and power mean everything.

From the very beginning, Tokyo’s 24th Ward explored these themes with SARG and the state surveillance system called Hazard Cast, as well as the Hazard Cast and SARG controversies in the 24th arrondissement. On the one hand, Hazard Cast and SARG can use surveillance and data to stop criminals with unusual speed and save people from natural disasters, but this comes at the cost of privacy. Hazard Cast’s mechanical eyes are everywhere, and no one can escape unless they are in the dangerous and criminal region of Shantytown. This controversy creates a tense atmosphere in the 24th Ward, and things get even more complicated when the terrorist Carneades arrives and only Shuta and his friends stand a chance against him.

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Next, Akagi Ran, the graffiti artist/hacker, explains to Shuta what the inhabitants of Shantytown think of the wealthier areas of Tokyo. There is a vicious circle in place, where SARG uses cold and emotionless data analysis algorithms to predict crime and suspects everyone in the slum to be a would-be criminal, which in turn leads to heavier policing in crime-prone areas. People resent this deeply, and if they are treated like criminals anyway, the desperate ones think they might as well to be criminals and try to get away with it because they see no other option.

Ran describes the situation as a “chicken and egg” paradox, with many desperate people in the slum looking up at Tokyo’s glittering skyscrapers across the bay and envying the people who live there. in wealth and comfort. Even though Hazard Cast has a weak presence in the slum, the people there are simmering with resentment, and SARG’s actions only make matters worse.

What it all means for Aoi Shuta

Tokyo 24th Ward: Meet the main cast of characters

Aoi Shuta lives in a decent neighborhood and has little to fear from cyberpunk drug dealers or creepy hackers, but again his friends Akagi Ran and Suido Koki are on opposite sides of the Hazard Cast controversy, which means Shuta can’t easily escape. cyberpunk themes hanging over Tokyo’s 24th Wardthe story. Shuta wants to focus on being a life-saving hero while leaving politics to the SARG and Mayor Suido, but if his friends turn against this controversy, Shuta must step in and decide if he will side. always vigilant. state or cyberpunks who aim to fight power.

Shuta’s friend Koki is by the rules and is Mayor Suido’s son, and he has ties to SARG. He insists that the police, Hazard Cast and the law can maintain order and create a stable society for all, even if it comes at the expense of privacy. Akagi Ran states otherwise, saying such pervasive security is a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to rebellion and crime. All of this cyberpunk-style paranoid state surveillance will incite the very kind of crimes it aims to prevent, and Ran urges Shuta to see it that way as well. All of this, along with seeing the future to avert disaster, means that Shuta has some tough decisions to make very soon in this troubled cyberpunk world.

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