- "Ya don't hear the Noise - ya see it! And to do that, ya gotta focus. Close yer eyes. Quit thinkin' and just feel."
- — Susukichi explaining how to scan.
Scanning is a state of total concentration that lets Players see the unseeable, such as Thought Fragments or Noise. Scanning appears in The World Ends with You, The Animation, and NEO: The World Ends with You, and as a gameplay mechanic in The World Ends with You and NEO: The World Ends with You.
In The World Ends with You, scanning is done using a Player Pin. Neku scans for the first time when he first wakes up in the Underground, flipping his Player Pin into the air and hearing the voices of people around him. Reapers and wielders of Player Pins cannot be scanned: Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu during his time as a Player did not have a Player Pin, meaning he was the only Player in the game that could be scanned, in Joshua, Day 1, Joshua, Day 2, and Joshua, Day 4, revealing his memories of Neku's murder. During the third week, thought fragments start disappearing before every thought fragment becomes the "To right the countless wrongs of our days" message Megumi Kitaniji imprints onto the entirety of Shibuya.
In The Animation, scanning occurs when an RG person and a UG person would touch. Neku first realizes his scanning powers when RG people walk through him, but he can scan by touching people, even unintentionally - he first scans Joshua by grabbing his shoulder rather than using his Player Pin.
In NEO: The World Ends with You, Susukichi first teaches Rindo and Fret to scan when challenging them to fight Noise. Fret is a frequent scanner, discovering how to read thoughts using it and almost getting Wicked Twisters erased several times from powerful Noise, one time being rescued by Sho Minamimoto, who then forced himself into the team. Kaie Ono later explains it as being a state of total concentration that could awake a psychic power, such as Fret's Remind. He also explains Noise are drawn to scanning Players as they thirst for Soul, and the concentration of scanning elevates Soul to a higher state. Players are unable to be scanned - trying to scan a Player gives a thought fragment of gibberish.
The World Ends with You
Tapping the black Player Pin in the bottom right hand corner while on the field starts scanning. It allows the player to see thought fragments and start fights with Noise by tapping a Noise symbol. Usually they are not aggressive and will not attack automatically - however, Taboo Noise will automatically charge and try to start a battle with the player, and cannot be escaped from.
NEO: The World Ends with You
Scanning is done by pressing the R button on Switch, and the R1 button on PS4. Moving towards Noise symbols will provoke them and follow the player to initiate a fight.