- “It's quickly evident Joshua is clever beyond his fifteen years—as sly as they come. Unfortunately, his insufferably snotty attitude only serves to widen the gulf between him and Neku...but his knowledge, especially about the Game, does earn him some points.”
- — Game manual description
- “Uh-huh. And here's me playing the world's tiniest violin. Did you think you were special?”
- — Joshua to Neku (Week 2, Day 2)
Joshua is extremely intelligent, boasting a refined taste in addition to vast knowledge of both the RG and the UG. Unfortunately, these traits are often overshadowed by his air of arrogance. He thinks and acts on his own, always keeping his intentions mysterious, and is difficult to predict. He also tends to tease when he is not sharing information. Joshua rarely gets truly worked up about anything, usually faking it even when he appears to be exerting effort. These snobby qualities often make him appear condescending and antagonistic—especially to Neku. However, he usually treats people other than Neku or Megumi Kitaniji with a degree of cordiality and is easily amused by the people of Shibuya.
While much wiser and more mature than his appearance suggests, Joshua's attitude masks his deep-seated misanthropy, as he was willing to eradicate all life in Shibuya and often passively encouraged Neku to give in to his own hatred of others to help justify that decision. He feels that Shibuya is filled with shallow, unchanging people, and states on several occasions that he would rather not interact with others at all. This attitude changes a bit over the course of the game.
Deep down, Joshua is simply lonely. Hanekoma reveals that Joshua had been alone most of his life without many friends. At the end of the game, Hanekoma notes Joshua's sadness while looking down at his friends (Neku, Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme) possibly because he is not able to attend the reunion. When Hanekoma asks about his feelings, Joshua remains silent and flees.
In Another Day Edit
"Another Day" Joshua's personality is much the same as "main" Joshua, unlike most characters, who have slight personality changes. He occasionally makes cryptic remarks, such as explaining that Shiki still appears in Eri's form because the player refuses to acknowledge Shiki's true form. It is implied that he has a similar position or powers to "main" Joshua, as evidenced by his remarks and knowledge. He is slightly more flamboyant than the "main" Joshua, but this may be simply acting to rile up his friends.
The two Joshuas meet in the Room of Reckoning. Unlike the rest of the group, neither Joshua is surprised by the other's existence.
According to Sanae Hanekoma, before becoming directly involved in the UG, Joshua had the ability to see the UG while residing in the RG. Joshua had been "alone his whole life," presumably because no one believed what he was seeing and isolated him as a result. He would often visit Hanekoma to learn more about the Reaper's Game.
By the beginning of the events in The World Ends With You, Joshua is already the Composer of Shibuya's Reaper Game. Roughly a week before Neku is sent to the UG, Joshua begins a game with Megumi Kitaniji, his Conductor, to decide whether or not to erase Shibuya. Kitaniji is given thirty days to save Shibuya from its corruption and impotence, but his Entry Fee is not explicitly revealed.
Later, while being chased through the RG by Sho Minamimoto, Joshua and Minamimoto end up in the Udagawa Back Streets, where Neku Sakuraba is admiring one of CAT's murals. Joshua shoots at Minamimoto, barely missing. Minamimoto retaliates with a repeated fire, but Joshua stops the bullets midair and drops them to the ground. After Minamimoto flees, Joshua shoots Neku, to use him as his Proxy against Kitaniji as Neku has a great amount of Soul and a vivid Imagination. Joshua finally drops a Player pin on Neku which accounts for Neku's second player pin (in addition to the one he received for playing the Reaper's Game).
Joshua's rise to the position of Composer or previous history is not discussed. One possible hint is the description on the Eden pins, stating the equal judgement of the five kings, or the five different sets of pins of Gatito, and the goddess blessing her light upon a single individual.
Joshua spends most of this week hiding from Kitaniji. Neku runs past Joshua as he is fleeing the Noise on the first day. Joshua also observes Neku and Shiki throughout the first week after they form a Pact and battle the Noise at the Statue of Hachiko. Joshua keeps in touch with the Producer, Sanae Hanekoma, and constantly requests items from him, including improved phone functionality for the following week.
Joshua waits for Neku at the Statue of Hachiko and when he finds Neku looking for a partner he "helps himself." Joshua becomes Neku's partner for three reasons; to confirm Kitaniji's strategy, to teach Neku, and to protect him. Right from Day One, Joshua's attitude and behavior both irritates Neku and strikes him as highly suspicious. Joshua makes and receives calls on his phone, which had proved impossible for Neku and company in the last week. Joshua raises further suspicions when he reveals that he has been watching Neku, and that he is participating in the Game voluntarily. These irritations and grounds for distrust prove to be a psychological strain for Neku, who only manages to stay in the Game motivated by his Entry Fee.
Throughout the week, Neku scans Joshua with his Player pin and is led to believe that Joshua shot him from the images seen in his mind. This is even more suspicious because Players are not capable of scanning other
Players or Pin holders, implying that Joshua does not have a Player Pin. Meanwhile, Joshua regularly nags Neku to visit Hanekoma's coffee shop to receive items and upgrades for their phones. One upgrade allows them to detect Kitaniji's Imagination, and another upgrade provides the phone cameras with inter-temporal picture recording capabilities. Towards the end of the Week, an attack by Taboo Noise forces Joshua to reveal a greater portion of his powers.
On the final Day, Joshua and Neku go to Pork City to fight Minamimoto. At this point, Neku reads another thought from Joshua which implies Joshua never killed Neku. The two gain the upper hand and defeat Minamimoto, therefore winning the Game. However, Minamimoto lets loose the level i flare. Joshua shields Neku from the nuke, pretending to sacrifice himself. In actuality, Joshua had teleported away to another dimension: the dimension of Another Day.
During most of the week, Joshua is in an alternate dimension until the final day of the third Week. When he arrives at the Shibuya River, he finds that Neku had defeated Kitaniji and reveals his identity of Composer to Neku. He is integrated by Kitaniji along with Shiki and Beat, and Neku is forced to defeat Kitaniji once and for all.
Having won the bet with Kitaniji, Joshua is free to destroy Shibuya, but instead wagers a game with Neku: both wielding a revolver, whoever shot each other first would decide the fate of Shibuya by becoming the Composer. Neku cannot bring himself to shoot Joshua, and so Joshua wins, but because Neku had changed and showed trust in Joshua, he decides to spare Shibuya, deciding that if the worst person in Shibuya can change, then so can Shibuya itself.
In a secret epilogue unlocked after collecting all Secret Reports, Joshua in his true form is seen observing Neku and his friends meet up at the Statue of Hachiko with Hanekoma.
There are two versions of Joshua in Another Day: one from the main universe that teleported to this one after the battle with Minamimoto, and one born in that universe. Joshua plays Tin Pin Slammer for a while, and hides in his base in the Shibuya River as well. It is implied Hanekoma eventually finds him and brings him back to the Underground, most likely after letting Neku play a "game" with him: Final Time Attack.
At first, Joshua shows no true relationships to anyone other than a mocking fondness towards Neku and a shared past with Mr. Hanekoma.
Joshua selected Neku to be his Proxy in the month-long game between himself and his Conductor, Kitaniji. His goal was to Erase Shibuya's UG, which he viewed as infected and incapable of growth and change, while Kitaniji aimed to prove it was worthy of saving. To do so, Joshua picked someone he viewed as similar to himself, in order to represent him in this game. He shot and killed Neku at the CAT mural in Udagawa, however, Neku does not remember these events until the final day.
It is unknown if the two knew each other before, though Neku did not recognize Joshua upon their first meeting (due to Joshua's ability to alter memories, and the existence of entry fees, it is not impossible that he forcibly forgot).
During Week 2, Joshua partners with Neku in order to protect his Proxy, and forces the pact, something only he has been shown as able to do.
Joshua is abrasive to everyone, but during his week with Neku Joshua plays into this side of his personality. He makes it his goal to antagonize Neku, oftentimes using flirtatious remarks to provoke him. Neku, still struggling to open up to others, is easily annoyed and frustrated by these antics. However, the two bond over their mutual hate of humanity, prefering to shut others out rather than risk getting hurt. By the end of Week 2, Neku has started to challenge his outlook, voicing this to Joshua. In turn, this makes Josh question his own views on people.
Throughout the week, Neku tries to scan Joshua, and sees partial visions of his own death. He slowly comes to the belief Joshua is the one who killed him, confronting him about this on Day 5. Joshua shrugs off the accusations, neither confirming nor denying them, and forces Neku to realize that if he wants to win the week, he still needs to work alongside his (suspected) murderer.
On Week 2 Day 7, Neku sees another vision of his death, which (incorrectly) leads him to assume that Sho Minamimoto is his killer instead. Thus, when Joshua sacrifices himself at the end of the day, Neku is consumed with guilt and views him as a martyr for protecting him from Minamimoto's final attack.
On the final day of the Game, Joshua returns from the parallel universe he had hidden away in, and reveals himself to be the Composer, returning the last bits of Neku's memory to him. At this point, Neku has been flirted with and antagonized by Josh for a week, never sure of anything during that time. This revelation following Joshua's supposed sacrifice is a betrayal, another (possibly unintentional) thing Joshua has used to make Neku hate him
It is after all of this that Joshua explains himself, and forces Neku into a duel for the fate of the city. Either Neku can shoot him--someone who has done everything in his power to make Neku hate him--and become Composer, or Joshua will destroy Shibuya.
In the end, Neku doesn't take the shot, and Joshua shoots him for a second time. Neku chooses to trust his partner, rather than shoot. Neku can't Erase him, and values him more than the rest of the city, even after all Joshua has done.
This trust, this belief and value in Josh, is what kept him from destroying Shibuya. Because Joshua has watched his misanthropic Proxy grow and change. Neku went from who would kill their partner on Day 2 of the game with very little prompting, into a person who had all the reason in the world to shoot Joshua, and yet he couldn't.
Neku is also the only one of the people Joshua knows by this point who chooses to value him more than Shibuya (Kitaniji instigated the Long Game rather than take a look at the deeper issues; Hanekoma gave Minamimoto Taboo Noise and helped assist him in his failed coup).
It is possible that Joshua's final goal of the Long Game was to have Neku Erase him and take his place. An UnderGround cannot exist without a Composer, and vice versa, so destroying the UG would Erase Joshua. If this is the case, Joshua's decision to spare Shibuya represents his choice to continue existing, and exemplifies the impact Neku has had on him. Neku forces Josh to stop hiding his loneliness behind misanthropy, and in the end his faith in Joshua gives him reason to carry on.
In the secret ending, Joshua is seen watching Neku meet up from afar, in his Composer form. It is implied that he wishes he could join them, but is incapable of doing so. Hanekoma remarks that he looks sad while they watch, unable to interact.
In Another Day, Joshua is much more overtly flirtatious with Neku, and acts less abrasive to him as well.
The Producer & Conductor Edit
It is established throughout several of the Secret Reports that Joshua may only have direct contact with Mr. Hanekoma and Kitaniji, both of whom share similar ideals and mutual respect. Although Kitaniji's relationship could be seen as a form of worship, his love of Shibuya outranks that for Joshua. Mr. Hanekoma's relationship could be seen as a mentor, or a guardian, but once again his love of Shibuya outranks Joshua.
When working as the Composer, Joshua only has contact with the Conductor and the Producer, and only may communicate directly with the Producer during games, and even then, he may only commission inventions. Further, he is idolized by the Conductor (all pronouns relating to Joshua, when said by Kitaniji, are capitalized in the biblical tradition; eg, He, Him), indicating that their relationship is not particularly personal. In spite of the idolization of Kitaniji, they imply that they've known each other at least for an amount of time, and not simply through their positions.
Despite all this, Hanekoma and Joshua are shown to have a close relationship. Joshua states that Hanekoma "has been in the business of saving [my] ass for a long time," indicating that they go far back, and that Hanekoma has been looking after him. While Joshua was alive he was presumably the only person who truly understood him.
The Other Players Edit
Joshua has no meaningful relationship with Shiki or Beat; he paralyzes the both of them at the end of the Game to duel Neku one-on-one for the fate of Shibuya. He apparently never met Rhyme, though prior to events in KHDDD, it is implied he has acknowledged her existence. It is possible that he resurrected Rhyme from the pin during the third Week, but was unable to return her entry fee, because she had lost the Game. Joshua knows Beat through their battles in the second Week; he jokingly states that if Beat is one of Neku's friends, he doesn't want to meet an enemy. Beat has low regard for him, referring to him as "that prissy kid [Neku] was partnered with."
During the epilogue, Joshua does not join the friends as they gather at Hachiko, instead observing them from the roof of the 104 building, despite Neku's desire for him to be there.
The Reapers Edit
Kariya believes that Joshua is an illegal entry after observing him, and confirms his extra power by baiting him into a situation where he would need to use those powers, though he incorrectly assumes that Joshua is alive.
Sho clearly recognizes Joshua as the Composer, and is aware of even his RG form, and attempts to kill him in the RG as Joshua searches for a Proxy to become the next Composer. Most Reapers have little to no contact with the Composer at all, though the Conductor may be the only exception, although he doesn't realize that the illegal player in Week 2 is Joshua; at the end of the game, he somehow instantly recognizes Joshua in his human form: therefore, it is unusual that Sho would know exactly who Joshua is, and his various appearances. The secret reports indicate that Sho likely learned of this due to the interference of a Fallen Angel. Sho, however, is quite pleased that Joshua is a Player in his game, and believes that he may have a chance against the handicapped Composer, especially given his expertise of Taboo Noise, though this ultimately fails.
Joshua attacks by typing in digits on a phone to summon random objects to bombard enemies from above. He has two ways of fighting: ground and levitation. When Neku first forms a pact with him, Joshua will only attack on the ground. Joshua does not block attacks but dodges them instead, and only at the end of a combo does he truly attack. However, after a specific event near the end of his week, Joshua will be able to levitate in combat. When Joshua is in the air, every input to his combo tree inflicts damage and is generally stronger, especially against groups of enemies.
While on the ground, as you progress through his combos he will target enemies. When he finishes the combo, things will fall on each enemy that was targeted, with more and larger larger objects falling on those that are targeted multiple times. Additionally, by locking onto at least three enemies a minimum of two times each, Joshua will drop a single car to attack all enemies on one side of the field for tremendous damage. Later on, he gets a camera on his phone that has a chance of bringing targeted enemies to the opposite side and immobilizes them, which can be used to gather and restrain enemies as a setup for this finisher.
- Left/Y while attacking Right/A or vice verse (During a combo): Phone Camera- stuns/switches the position of Noise
- Down/B (When idle): Sidestep- momentary invulnerability
- Up/X (When idle): Levitate
- Any button (When knocked in the air): Safe Landing- prevents knockdown damage
During Joshua's Levitation, he is immune to almost all ground attacks. However, if he is hit while levitating, he will be knocked down, then returned to the ground (if an attack does no damage, unless it has a knockback effect, it will not knock Joshua back down). When progressing through his combos, each button press causes a beam to attack an enemy. At the end of the combo, a larger beam comes down on one side and hit all enemies on that side twice. However, if you go through enough steps in Joshua's Combo Map (specifically, enough so that a single enemy is hit at least six times), then the finisher will change from his basic air finisher to a massively more powerful one, in which two colossal beams will fire down on either side of Joshua. This advanced finisher damages all enemies on the top screen three times. It is recommended that a Combo Map Upgrade II effect be used, such as Pi-Face's Jeans, to help guarantee the effect.
- Down/B (When levitating): Return to ground
His abilities outside of combat are not truly seen. As the Composer, it can be inferred Joshua also has several incredibly powerful abilities, such as the ability to move between dimensions and the ability to erase the whole of Shibuya. He is also shown to be able to stop objects in mid-air, such as when Minamimoto tries to shoot him. The full scope of his abilities is not revealed; he is known to be suppressing himself during his week in the game, and Kitaniji admits that he would be no match for Joshua if the two were to fight against each other without handicaps. However, given that erasing the Composer is the only way to become the Composer, Joshua is most likely not immortal (he may live forever, but he can be dethroned). His power in relation to an Angel's is not fully understood, though it is clear that Angels have a higher Vibe than he. Because of his high amount of Imagination, only the Composer retains the ability to reincarnate Players at the end of a Game.
During the game, Joshua is revealed to be handicapping himself, not using his full powers, as stated during the dialogue between Kitaniji and Joshua as they decide to play a game. He is not bound by the rules of the Game, seeing how the Game is played in the UG, but he had lowered his Vibe in order to suppress himself, as well as change his appearance.
Fusion Stars Edit
The way Joshua gains Fusion Stars is through Highs and Lows. At the end of Joshua's combos, there is a number. That number goes up to the number at the top that the arrow is pointing to. The goal is to get the combo numbers less than, greater than or equal to the number at the top, depending on the symbol in the corner of the top numbers.
- Red arrow pointing up - greater than that number
- White equal sign - equal to that number, i.e, get that number
- Blue arrow pointing down - less than that number
Joshua gains a single fusion star when reaching a card at the end of the combo tree that fulfills the condition of his card. This is offset by the fact that his stars tend to be among the easiest to generate (he can see both the target number and the ones at the end of the combo tree; Shiki can see her combo finisher, but not the card to match it, and Beat must race against the fires to avoid getting his cards burned).
- Level 1: Neku and Joshua drop various street objects on enemies.
- Joshua: "Follow my lead!"
- Neku: "Screw that!"
- Level 2: Joshua attacks the field with ice and Neku attacks the field with fire.
- Joshua: "Work for you?"
- Neku: "What do you think?"
- Level 3: Crashes a meteor onto the surface of the Earth, inflicting massive damage to all enemies.
- Neku: "Another world awaits."
- Joshua: "And you're going."
The following is all of the Joshua-related items that the player can get in the game:
- Angel Feather
- (S) High & Low Cards
- (S) Fusion Boost Joshua
- (S) Safe Landing Joshua
- (S) ATK Boost Joshua
- (S) DEF Boost Joshua
- (S) Phone Camera
- (S) Sidestep
- (S) Levitate
There are also several Threads that give him bonuses when worn.
The kanji of Joshua's Japanese name (桐生 義弥, Kiryū Yoshiya) literally translate from left to right as paulownia, birth, justice. This may also refer to his role as creator of the Game and suggests impartiality within it (although this is not absolutely established by the plot).
- "Shut up and walk, dear."
- "But Neku, I thought you couldn't afford to lose. Give up on yourself, and you give up on the world."
- "Did you think you were special? Every Player had to give up something. Everybody makes sacrifices."
- "Only by allowing strangers in, can we find new ways to be ourselves."
- "Life's little crossroads are often as simple as the pull of a trigger."
- "Understanding people isn't hard, Neku. It's impossible."
- "By ourselves we're no one. It's when other people look at us and see someone... that's the moment we each start to exist."
Battle Quotes Edit
- Have fun, Neku. - Begin battle
- Don't make this worse for yourself. - Begin battle
- Why even bother? - Begin battle at low HP
- There! - Attacking
- You are done! Combo finisher
- Just die. Combo finisher
- Smile! - Phone Camera
- This is nothing. - Catching the puck
- Now we're talking. - Catching the puck at 5x power
- How's my aim? - Activating the partner pin in Solo or Final Remix
- Keep it up. - Neku erases a Noise
- Neku, do something! - Low HP
- What?! - Knocked down
- What's wrong? - Neku recovering from knockdown
- How could you, Neku? - Game Over
- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! - Game Over
- Heh. Predictable. - Noise erased
- That was quick. - Noise erased
- Neku... do you need a break? - Noise erased at low HP
- That was a nice distraction. - ★-rank victory
- You need to do better, Neku. - E-rank victory
- Joshua is the only partner character that Neku does not fight directly in a battle. However, Neku does fight him indirectly.
- Joshua shares his English voice actor with the Onion Knight in Dissidia and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, a video game also published by Square-Enix.
- In Week 1, Day 1, right before Shiki forms a pact with Neku, the player may look at the crowd in front of the Statue of Hachiko and Joshua will be standing right next to Neku. He is no longer present there after the pact is formed. He is also present in the same spot at the beginning of Week 2.
- Upon first meeting Neku on Week 2, Day 1 he calls Neku by his name twice before asking what it is, but Neku doesn't catch on to this.
- However, it should be noted that this is only present in the North American/European localization of the game; in the Japanese version, he never uses Neku's name until they are properly introduced. The English translation of The World Ends With You: Final Remix edits out these mentions, implying it was an error rather than a deliberate choice.
- Oddly enough, Joshua is the only Player among the main Players to not be wearing a wrist, neck, or head accessory, such as necklaces, bracelets, hats, and headphones.
- Joshua's third level Fusion is the only one in which Neku speaks first before attacking.
- Joshua was an illegal Player in his second week, notably lacking a Player Pin. Because of this, and his status as Composer, he may not have had to pay an Entry Fee to participate in Week 2.
- Of Neku's partners, Joshua is the most flippant with regards to battling the Noise; at the beginning of battles, he says "Have fun, Neku!" and "Don't make this worse for yourself." This may be understandable due to his position.
- Characters when defeated against Noise will cry out, either in anger (Beat) or despair (Shiki). Joshua of note will occasionally state, "How could you, Neku..." as an expression of disappointment in his Proxy.
Non-canon Appearances Edit
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Edit
- “By ourselves we're no one. It's when other people look at us and see someone... that's the moment we each start to exist.”
- — Joshua to Sora and Riku
Joshua appears in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, as Aaron Spann reprises the role. Prior to the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Joshua saved Neku and the others from the brink of obliteration by bringing the remnants of their dreams to Traverse Town when it appeared before him and uses Rhyme's dream to open the portal into it. However, Joshua did not expect the dreams to assume physical form in that world, and he decides to help in their restoration after learning that they have been separated from each other in what he believed to be two Traverse Towns existing in the same space. But through Rhyme's dreams, Joshua was able to exist in both versions at the same time.
When Joshua meets Riku in the Third District of Traverse Town, he tells him of the goings-on in town while offering his assistance. While Riku initially rejected his offer, he accepts once Joshua tells him that he knows Sora and that he is in the same world with them. The two are then confronted by Beat soon after, who challenges Joshua in the belief that he can return to his own world with Rhyme if he beats him. Joshua stands aside, watching with amusement as Riku fights and defeats Beat's Dream Eaters, and chuckles after Beat concedes the fight in frustration. Neither of them notice Riku passing out, and neither are there when he comes to. After Sora defeats the Hockomonkey in the Fifth District, Joshua appears before him and explains that he and Riku are in two separate versions of Traverse Town, as Sora sees an illusion of Riku and the unknown figure in the black coat. Riku sees a similar image of Joshua, Sora, and Rhyme after he defeats his side's version of the Hockomonkey.
Later, Joshua speaks to Sora and Riku simultaneously, revealing how he brought the others to Traverse Town and the world being splintered in two. He also tells them about how they are able to see each other is because of the strong bonds between, using Neku, Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme as examples. After answering Sora and Riku's shared question of "who he really is" with an ambiguous answer, Joshua sprouted wings and flew off.
On Sora and Riku's return trips to Traverse Town, Joshua coordinates between them in order to help Neku and the others defeat the Spellican. He leads Riku into the Third District to trap Spellican in the Traverse Town where Sora attempts to take it out. It was by that time, after Neku and Beat are reunited with their respective partners, that Joshua confided to Riku that his previous theory, of the two Traverse towns being parallel worlds was incorrect but more like the dreams of two different people. This leads Joshua to warn Riku to be on his guard as either version could be a trap.
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The World Ends with YouEdit
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceEdit
|Neku • Beat • Joshua • Rhyme • Shiki • Sota and Nao|