- For the boss, see Megumi Kitaniji (Enemy).
- "Oh, Neku... Don't you like music? Music requires many things. Melody, performers, instruments... But the key element in the most divine music is a Conductor, to hold it all together. The world is very much the same. Under one Conductor, one ideal, the world of men marches toward bliss."
- — Kitaniji to 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 is also an employee for Gatito in the Realground and uses the company to distribute his mind-controlling Red Skull pins. He could be considered the game's main antagonist.
Kitaniji wears sunglasses for unknown reasons and his eyes are never seen. He has long black hair and wears red headphones around his neck. He wears a black dress suit with a white shirt open underneath, revealing his chest which he wears a circular necklace on top. He wears white dress shoes. His style seems similar to the aesthetic of Hip Snake and it is implied he is fond of the brand, especially given he drops the brand's pin if he is defeated.
- "One of the highest-ranking Reapers. Though overly fastidious, he has a mind like a steel trap, and believes he is the best."
- — Game manual description
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 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.
If Neku tells Kitaniji he likes people, Kitaniji replies, "Why would you is beyond me" suggesting Kitaniji is a misanthrope. When Joshua supposedly dies, Kitaniji also says, "He was a fool, though. No partner merits that kind of sacrifice." Despite this, he also says, "I can save all of mankind from right here" suggesting that while he is a misanthrope, he still believes in the redemption and reformation of humanity through his methods.
Kitaniji expresses a great love for the city of Shibuya and takes drastic measures throughout the game to protect it from erasure, believing individuality is the source of all the ills in the world, the poison that makes people be cruel to each other, and that humanity will not be able to look past its differences to live in harmony. Kitaniji's solution is to brainwash everyone into being exactly the same, “tearing down the differences between us.” Since Shibuya is the heart of much of the world’s culture (“what starts on these streets will spread across the globe!”), Kitaniji thinks he “can save all of mankind from right here.”
It is implied his ultimate goal is simply to save Shibuya's streets and buildings, and that the only reason he wishes to reform humanity is due to it being the Composer's condition. This is evident when Kitaniji tells Joshua, "Then... the problem is the people? If they changed to something more suitable, You'd stay Your hand?" Before he dies, he laments "You're going to erase it... The streets I know and love, gone..." not mentioning the people that inhabit it.
Kitaniji can be seen as a foil to Neku, and be interpreted as what sort of man Neku might have became if Neku never experienced the Reapers' Game. They both adore music and wear headphones. Kitaniji's love of Shibuya's streets, architecture and buildings is similar to how Neku only admires Shibuya's graffiti in the beginning. However, Neku grows and sees the value in humanity's differences while Kitaniji does not.
In This Day Ends with You!
In This Day Ends with You!, 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.
Very little about Kitaniji's history is known, although the manga mentions Kitaniji was teased and bullied for having a more feminine name "Megumi", to the point that it is one of his unpleasant memories. It can be assumed that Kitaniji died at the young age of 26, survived the Reapers' Game, and climbed the ranks to the point he became Shibuya's Conductor. Because Reapers do not age, it is possible he may be decades older than he appears, evidenced by his 70s/80s fashion.
The Composer, Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu, wanted to destroy Shibuya, feeling that humanity was becoming increasingly clouded and corrupt and that Shibuya was a major origin point of its corruption. Kitaniji, as his conductor, wanted to find a way to avert that. He was given 30 days to defeat Joshua's pick and "save" Shibuya. Joshua also took an entry fee from him, but what was his fee is never revealed. The Composer then left Shibuya, leaving Kitaniji to follow through on his plan.
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. He begins trying to unify the consciousness of Shibuya by distributing the Red Skull pins and making them popular among Shibuya's residents.
Kitaniji spends most of the first week as Game Master but gives Higashizawa the Game Master privileges partway through. Neku, The Composer's proxy, first meets him at the end of the week when Kitaniji forces him to replay The Reapers' Game.
On the final day of the week, Kitaniji gives Neku and Joshua the mission to erase Minamimoto as he was becoming a danger to Shibuya. Afterward, he forces Neku to play The Game a third time.
Kitaniji spends most of the week trying to rid himself of Neku and finishing his plan to assimilate Shibuya. He does this by using Beat's decision to leave The Reapers as an excuse to do an emergency call and activating the Red Skull pins, imprinting his thoughts into all of Shibuya's residents. This included The Reapers. In their case, it made them more powerful which would aid his goal of defeating Neku.
Neku confronts Kitaniji three times on the final day. First, Kitaniji uses a possessed Shiki against him. 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 Kitaniji, while Shiki and Beat are captured. Neku is left to battle the resulting Draco Cantus alone. After being defeated by Neku, his game with the Composer, Joshua, is revealed. 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. Before being erased, he complimented Neku for his efforts and said "Neku... It's up to you now.", to Neku's confusion. This line suggests that he believed that Neku could save Shibuya even if he had failed.
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.
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 however, he is less than pleased).
Kitaniji bears respect for Higashizawa, who serves as the proxy game-master for Week 1. Higsashizawa holds him in high esteem as well.
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. He tells 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.
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).
The following is all the Kitaniji-related item the player can get in the game:
"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. The second character of his last name meanwhile shares its main radical with the commonly used character for snake (蛇).
- "I have a feeling that tomorrow's Game will be very entertaining."
- "Megumi Kitaniji. Conductor of the Game, and loyal servant to the Composer."
- "Out of the question. As I mentioned a moment ago. This was decided by the Composer Himself. Your wishes don't mean a damn."
- "Memories are the single greatest determinant of a person's identity. A worthy entry fee, wouldn't you say?"
- "Konishi, talking back? Has hell frozen over?"
- "Egotism-- disregard for others-- has caused Shibuya's downfall. And now the Composer must rebuild from scratch! None may stand in the way of that noble goal!"
- "Didn't you feel it in Shibuya? Rage. Hate. Misery. Envy. Fear. Self-deprecation. A cacophony of countless selfish wants. As that noise swells, it turns into crime, warfare... All the world's ills can be traced to individuality! By tearing down the differences between us, I can make the world a paradise!"
- "You see, the eyes of the world are on Shibuya. What starts on these streets will spread across the globe! I can save all of mankind from right here. Shibuya shall be my podium! I know you'll love what I do with it."
- "What have your dealings with other people brought you? Only hurt."
- "Join me. Help me build a new Shibuya."
- "Then let me ask you this... Do you like people?"
- "I owe you no more explanations! Only destruction!"
- "NOOOOOO!!! It can't end like this... Who else will protect Shibuya?"
- "You gave me a wonderful opportunity. Thank You, Sir." (possible last words)
- "Neku... It's up to you now." (other possible last words)
- "Try harder!"
- "Now Player, we play for keeps."
- "Game, set, match."
- "Such... such power!"
- "Let the light save you!"
- "I must not fail."
- "Now Shibuya will be saved."
- "The void awaits."
- "A noble try."
- "Time be still!"
- "A top-ranking Reaper with a strong sense of self-importance. Pursues his objectives strategically."
- — Kitaniji's description in The Animation's official website
Kitaniji's role is mainly the same as the game. His first appearance is in The Reapers' Game, where he holds a meeting in the Dead God's Pad with the officers introducing Higashizawa.
In Erased, he congratulates Neku and Shiki for winning the Game and announces that only one Player can be revived, being Shiki. As he explains to Neku he can play the Game for a second time, Shiki falls to the ground in pain, turning into static, crying out to Neku for help. Kitaniji announces that she's being taken as his entry fee for the second week. Compared to the game, Kitaniji is much more visibly amused and entertained by this, making him seem crueler in The Animation.
In CAT, he listens to Konishi's questions about Minamimoto and dismissively tells her he's performing well and not very social, so they shouldn't worry about his behavior.
In Joshua, Kitaniji greets Neku in the white void after the Game by clapping and congratulating him for collaborating with them. He explains he sent the final mission, defeating Minamimoto, himself to get rid of the rebel. He tells Neku that Joshua was erased trying to shield him from Minamimoto's attack . While Neku cries and mourns, he says Neku shouldn't be sympathetic because of Joshua's rule-breaking. He offers Neku a third Game with his entry fee of Shiki carried over, a new entry fee, and disqualification from any further games. The day ends before Neku can hear his new entry fee: all the other Players in the Game.
In Emergency Call, Konishi reports Beat's defection from the Reapers to him. She asks permission to punish him as a Reaper, but Kitaniji insists on treating Beat as a Player. He orders all Reapers to wear their Outlet Pins, and puts the UG on Emergency Call in order to erase Neku and Beat. After he leaves, Konishi is confused and starts scheming.
In The Hour of Reckoning, the white void Neku, Beat, and Shiki are in turns static before shattering to show the Room of Reckoning, Kitaniji waiting in the distance. He says Beat is too egotistical to face the Composer, who prioritizes humanity's happiness. He asks Neku if Shibuya should be reborn to fix its selfishness. He possesses Shiki, who falls to the ground and then rises up, reciting the message most of Red Skull-possessed Shibuya has been saying. Kitaniji transforms into his Noise form Anguis Cantus and directs Shiki to attack Neku and Beat. They defeat him with a Fusion, knocking Beat and Shiki unconscious. Kitaniji grabs Neku's shoulder, and he spots a timer on Kitaniji's hand with minutes left. Kitaniji's negativity begins attracting Noise, which he absorbs, making him sprout dragon heads. Kitaniji explains his belief of Shibuya's negativity stemming from individuality, and by using the Red Skull pins they will believe a single idea. In a disturbing transformation, Kitaniji's head starts growing reptilian before he turns gold, fully transformed into Draco Cantus.
The beginning of It's a Wonderful World is the Draco Cantus boss fight. He says he can't believe Neku was the chosen one and refuses to explain. Neku, Shiki, and Beat defeat him by working together and using two joint Fusions. After the battle, Kitaniji lays on the floor, staring at his timer with only a minute left. He wonders if he was unable to defend Shibuya before the timer fades and he is erased.
Later, Joshua explains the past month was a Game between him and Kitaniji for the fate of Shibuya and reveals himself to be Shibuya's Composer. A month before, Joshua wanted to end Shibuya due to its selfish desires. Kitaniji begged him to consider sparing it if he could reform Shibuya. At the end of the episode, after Shibuya is rescued, Joshua and Hanekoma discuss the aftermath. They see Kitaniji as someone who deeply loved Shibuya and wanted it to be saved, but had a poor plan misunderstanding the uniqueness of Shibuya. Joshua asks if Kitaniji's love and starting the game with him were necessary for Shibuya and Hanekoma agrees.
- In the DS version, Neku battles Kitaniji alone while Beat battles the possessed Shiki. In all other versions of the game, Shiki only sometimes appears, just like she works when Neku's partner.
- In the DS version, if playing on a chapter select, some additional dialog between Neku and Kitaniji appears. On a clean save, Kitaniji disappears after saying, "You gave me a wonderful opportunity. Thank You, Sir." On a replay, it is revealed Neku survived Kitaniji's imprinting due to having a second Player Pin. This dialog always appears in both Solo and Final Remix even on a clean save.
- His 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..." Moreover while Neku wears his headphones on his ears and ends up being able to hear the voices in Shibuya, Kitaniji always carries them hanging off his neck, as if he doesn't want to hear the voices of Shibuya.
- When the player defeats Kitaniji in Tin Pin during the This Day Ends with You! 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 Kitaniji's question near the end of the game determines some minor dialogue changes in the aftermath.
- When fighting Kitaniji, 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.
- Kitaniji's age was listed in a Shonen Jump magazine (top-right), as well as the now-defunct It's a Wonderful World website. However, with the addition of NEO clarifying that Reapers do not age like humans, it is unclear if this age refers to the age of his physical body or chronologically.
|Characters in The World Ends with You|
|Neku Sakuraba • Shiki Misaki • Beat • Joshua • Rhyme • Sota Honjo • Nao 777 • BJ • Coco Atarashi • Koki Kariya • Megumi Kitaniji • Mitsuki Konishi • Sho Minamimoto • Tenho • Uzuki Yashiro • Yodai Higashizawa Aily Ueno • Akira Yoshii • Anna Aoi • Ayu Hamaguchi • Banzai Ayanokoji • Fumi Gotoda • Fumiko Nishimura • Hideki Kikuchi • Hikaru Koike • HT Masuoka • Jun Odajima • Keiichi Okada • Ken Doi • Kyo • Makoto Miki • Masanori Ito • May Kurokawa • Mie Suzuki • Miki Kosaka • Nana Majima • Princess K • Rayca Hoshi • Rikako Toda • Sanae Hanekoma • Shigemi Konno • Shigemori Iwata • Shinta Iwata • Tadafumi Sato • Tak Kimura • Tatsuya Omura • Tsubasa • Yoji Iwata • Yosh Ishino • Yumi Sheena • Yuu Narumi Ai • CAT • Eiji Oji • Eri • Futoshi • Itaru Yokoyamada • Ken Doi • Makoto Miki • Mina • Mr. Mew • Neku's best friend • Pin Prof • Sanae Hanekoma • Shrimp • Shuto Dan • Tsugumi Matsunae • Wizard of Slam • Vice Wizard of Slam|