- “I owe you no more explanations! Only destruction!”
- — Conversation with Neku Sakuraba
Megumi Kitaniji (北虹 寵 Kitaniji Megumi) is a character in The World Ends with You and the Conductor of Shibuya's Reapers' Game. He could also be considered the game's main antagonist.
Kitaniji is the Conductor of the Reaper's Game. He is the direct superior of Game Masters Yodai Higashizawa, Sho Minamimoto, and Mitsuki Konishi. In turn, he is the direct subordinate of the Composer. On the surface, his job is to ensure that the Game is played exactly to the Composer's specifics.
Never seen without his sunglasses or large red headphones, Megumi Kitaniji cuts a surprisingly imposing figure as the Conductor of the game. He's sinister without being over the top, and keeps a level head as his subordinates disobey him and attempt to break the rules of the Game. At the same time, his attitude toward the players is that "nothing is sacred." He typically takes a "wait-and-see" stance with the other Reapers, being more the type to lead from the shadows rather than take charge from the front lines, though he will do so if necessary. He has a general dislike and mistrust of people and seems to love the city of Shibuya more than anything else.
He has a very manipulative personality and tries to bend others to his will has shown many times throughout the game.
In Another DayEdit
In Another Day, Kitaniji is the Mayor of Shibuya. Judging Tin Pin before actually trying it, Tin Pin has now won him over. When you slam against him, he uses two pins at the same time, both with the same deck.
Kitaniji is the conductor of the reapers' game. But due to the absence of the Composer in the recent string of games, he has acted mostly as the prime authority. There is never any question of his loyalty to the Composer or his rules, however, and most everything is handled exactly by-the-book.
Neku meets Kitaniji face to face only at the end of each week and at the very end. The two fight three times. First, Kitaniji uses a possessed Shiki against him - while Neku fights Kitaniji personally, Beat is left to fight Shiki in the other zone. Just before the second fight, it is revealed to Neku that the red skull pin epidemic that has brainwashed Shibuya was his doing. In an attempt to "save" Shibuya, Kitaniji tried to remove the individuality from the people living there, hoping to erase all of Shibuya's "ills," according to the observations of Sanae Hanekoma. However, it is possible that he wishes rather to control individuality, based on his statement that human potential needs a Conductor like an orchestra, and based on the belief that an orchestra shouldn't play a single monotone sound.
In the second fight, Kitaniji assumes his Noise form, Anguis Cantus, to better battle Neku. After being defeated, Joshua appears. Joshua is apparently absorbed by Megumi, while Shiki and Beat are captured. Neku is left to battle the resulting Draco Cantus alone. After the battle, two key points are revealed: One, Joshua is the Composer. Two, Kitaniji has been involved in a "game" with Joshua the entire time. He was given a month (in the flashback, where he talks to Joshua about the Game for Shibuya, there's a 30:00:00:00 "clock" on his hand, meaning he was given 30 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes and 0 seconds initially) to defeat Joshua's pick and "save" Shibuya. He failed to do so, and after Joshua congratulates him for "one of his more enjoyable games", he is erased, commenting on how he has no regrets of the game he played with Joshua, nor of anything else he had done.
Kitaniji's only personal relationship described at length in the game is that of his friendship with the Composer. He has a great respect for Joshua, and chastises the players when they contradict the will of the Composer. He seems amused by Beat's plans to become the Composer, claiming that he is not worthy to stand in His presence. It is unknown how he became Joshua's Conductor, and the game offers no explanation as to how Conductors are selected.
Oddly, Kitaniji may not know the Composer's human identity (more specifically, his name). Although they are shown to meet before the beginning of their game, Joshua is in his angelic form. When Neku asks what happened to Joshua following Sho's final attack, Kitaniji states that it must have erased both boy and lion and that Joshua gave his life to save Neku. He never indicates that he recognized the name, and he states that the game is null and void due to Joshua having been a living player (not the Composer). At the end of the game, when Joshua appears in the Room of Reckoning, Kitaniji immediately recognizes him as the Composer.
Kitaniji and Minamimoto have at the very least an understanding. Kitaniji adopts a laissez-faire attitude, allowing Minamimoto to run the game without missions during Week 2. Also, Minamimoto calls Kitaniji "Megs," which Kitaniji shows no signs of anger to (in the manga, he is less than pleased).
Kitaniji bears respect for Higashizawa, who serves as the proxy game-master for Week 1.
He works closely with Konishi, using her reports to keep tabs on the activities of the Players and Reapers throughout the game. At first, it appears that Konishi is very loyal to Kitaniji, but this is later revealed to be just an act and that she is plotting his defeat so that she can become Conductor.
Neku is the only player that Kitaniji interacts extensively with. In their meetings, Kitaniji expresses a certain level of respect for Neku's talents (such as when he forces Neku into a second game following his week with Shiki, he remarks that Neku should make it an interesting one). Kitaniji suggests that he knows that Neku is the Composer's proxy when Konishi informs him that Neku has an outstanding score in the Game in Week 2. His response to this remark: "...Heh. Sakuraba, of course! Just when I thought I had Him figured out!" Because Kitaniji refers to the Composer using proper (capitalized) pronouns and titles (e.g. "He" and "Sir"), it's clear who he is referring to.
Furthermore, after being defeated by Neku and Beat, he makes it more obvious in saying, "I see now why He picked you..." Later, when he stops time to take Neku's Player Pin and use the Red Skull Pin to imprint his will on him, it fails to work due to Neku's second Player Pin (which fades out of memory after Week 1, Day 2). He responds to this by saying, "Of course He wouldn't allow me to harm His pick." This removes all doubt; he knows that Neku is Joshua's proxy.
Beat and Kitaniji first meet when Beat somehow survived the game without a partner. He agrees to become a reaper if he will restore his sister. Kitaniji seemed willing to promote him to harrier status most likely because of his connection to Neku. He sent him on a special mission to fight Neku and lifted the ban on attacking Players for him. However, he disobeyed his orders repeatedly, cutting his fights with Neku short even though he was winning. After Kitaniji pulls the stunt of claiming all of the Players as an entry fee he quits the Reapers and helps Neku fight against him. When Beat reveals his intention to become the Composer Kitaniji appears upset, telling him he is unfit to even look at the Composer.
Kitaniji does not pay much attention to Shiki on her own but sees her as a useful tool against Neku, using her as a hostage to force Neku to keep playing. Later, when he fights Neku and Beat, he brainwashes her with the O-Pin to fight for him.
Kitaniji expresses a great love for the city of Shibuya and takes drastic measures throughout the game to protect it from Erasure. This love seems to stem more from the beauty of the city's buildings than from its people or culture, as he tries to brainwash everyone in the city to make it conform to his view of perfection even though, as pointed out by Neku, the city would then no longer be Shibuya. Upon his death he mourns the loss of the streets he came to love, not mentioning anything about the people or culture.
As Conductor, Kitaniji has an array of attacks at his fingertips. When Neku battles him at Dead God's Pad, he fights similar to a Reaper, in that he will try and keep his distance from Neku and attack at range. However, his powers are far stronger. He can fire an immense spiral of energy projectiles similar to the ones Minamimoto uses, and can also create orbs with the Reaper emblem on them which can also fire on Neku. In addition, he traces out a red line across the stage which acts as a path for a small, but very powerful laser. If Neku attacks Kitaniji at close range, he yells "Submit!" and projects a bizarre red snake-like shape from his arm.
This attack is very powerful, and has a fairly long reach; Neku should avoid this attack by dashing behind Kitaniji. The Conductor's final, and most impressive skill is his ability to stop time- he says "Time be still." Once Neku is frozen in time, Kitaniji darts away to perform his ranged attacks, before coming in close to use his biting attack. Neku must quickly dash away once the time freeze ends.
Despite his impressive power, Kitaniji is lacking in the speed department. He cannot teleport like Minamimoto can and moves as fast as a regular Reaper.
As Anguis Cantus, he uses a snake's tongue to whip on the top screen, and fires a beam of light from his mouth. Once his head is on the bottom screen, he may either fire an array of multicolored projectiles or trap Neku in a bubble that draws him closer to his mouth before biting. In his final form, Draco Cantus, the heads on the bottom screen also fire energy, and repeat the bubble technique, but add one new ability; Kitaniji will say "Let the Light Save You," and a blade of energy will hit somewhere near Neku and explode.
The Conductor is revealed to be quite powerful within the UG outside of the boss battles (although whether he retains his powers in the RG, like the Composer, is unknown). He is capable of mass imprinting people who wear the O-pin, a power he uses to homogenize the thinking patterns in Shibuya throughout week 3. At the end of the week, he even attempts to imprint on Neku (who is not wearing the O-pin, unless the player puts it in a deck; Neku will have it in his inventory, however). Ultimately, he fails because of Neku's second player pin (obtained from Joshua). This imprinting power extends beyond simple thought control and extends to actions; he uses the O-pins to force all Reapers to attack Neku and Beat on sight, including 777, Uzuki and Kariya. He is even able to fully assume control over Shiki in one battle, taking her as a partner against Neku and Beat.
He is the only Reaper known to have two distinct Noise forms (Anguis Cantus and Draco Cantus, the latter of which seems to be only achievable if he absorbs the Composer). Mr. Hanekoma has two Noise previously encountered as bosses acting as partners (although he is an Angel).
"Megumi" is a unisex name, just like "Makoto," though the name "Megumi" is more typically used as a female's name than as a male's. Megumi is sometimes referred to as "Shades," thanks to his distinctive sunglasses, or "Megs," a shortened nickname for "Megumi." In the manga, when Minamimoto refers to Megumi as "Megs," Konishi snaps at him, saying that Megumi should not be addressed as "Megs" because it could bring back to him childhood memories of being teased for having a girl's name. Megumi verifies it by stating that Konishi's statement was "salt on wounds" and was correct.
If what she did say was true though, his traumatizing childhood memories of being picked on could offer some insight as to why he sees the people of Shibuya as its problem, and the fact that he was teased because of his being different from others in that he had a girl's name might explain why a world of absolute conformity appeals to him so. This means that all of his plans involving the O-pin might have a direct connection to his name. Note, however, that the manga is not canon to the game, as he doesn't seem to mind or notice when Sho refers to him as "Megs" during the first week. Of course, he could have simply gotten used to it.
The kanji for Kita-niji Megumi literally translates to: North, rainbow, love. His first name uses a rarely-seen character with the "dragon" radical in it, which may refer to his second Noise form.
- Megumi's red headphones may be meant as a contrast to Neku's purple ones. He also shares the mistrust of people that Neku possesses at the start of the game, as he asks Neku if he likes people; and if Neku responds, "Yup," he responds, "I can't fathom why you would..."
- When the player defeats Megumi in Tin Pin during the Another Day chapter, he repeats the same quote that he said after his defeat at the end of Week 3.
- The answer that Neku chooses in response to Megumi's question near the end of the game determines some minor dialogue changes in the aftermath.
- When fighting Megumi, in order to get the 200 PP bonus from defeating his Noise form, the player MUST land the killing blow on Megumi. Finishing the battle by landing the killing blow on Shiki will not allow the 200 PP gain. Likewise, when the player finishes the battle on Shiki, instead of 200 PP, the player will only gain 100 PP.
|Neku • Beat • Joshua • Rhyme • Shiki • Sota and Nao|