Takizawa Akira, early 20s, stands in front of the White House, gun in hand, stark naked and a mysterious phone with the word Selecao imprinted on it. Memory gone, Akira regains his consciousness after, seemingly, erasing his own memories just a few seconds back. Why is he there? What reason would he have to brandish a gun in front of such a place? Why's his memory gone?
With all these important questions that should take precedent over anything else, his strange predicament takes a bow so that he can rescue a girl in front of him with a predicament of her own. That girl, Saki Morimi, for entirely different reasons, stands in front of the White House and creates a situation, drawing the attention of the police.
And with a simple step forward Akira goes to aid Saki, and a special relationship develops that gives meaning to this whole series. This bond between them is what drives us, the viewer, to keep watching amidst all the mystery that revolves Akira's past, and his connection to the Selecao, the "selector."
But, what's happening?
As it turns out, Akira has been chosen as part of a group of people selected to "save" the country of Japan. What he needs to save them from is not clear, but at his disposal is a mysterious phone and a bank account worth 10 billion Yen. He can do anything necessary by calling Juiz, the operator, who can accomplish any request he desires. And by anything, they mean anything. Want to clear a path through traffic? Done. Want to have the Prime Minister of Japan say "uncle" on national TV? Done. Want to murder someone?...yes, even that. No problem. But, there's a catch. Each request is a transaction that dwindles the 10 billion yen down to zero. Once that zero is reached a special Selecao, the Supporter, comes knocking at your door to snuff you out. And it's game over, lights out--adios.
The grand picture is revealed little by little, and in the end, it's a good story to follow. I won't divulge more of my opinion on the ending, but just know it's worth it. What really keeps you there is how the relationship between Akira and Saki develops. Akira has a charm, an easy spirit that isn't suited for the task given to him by the Selecao. Yet, in the state that he's in, he charges forward, uncovering the threads tangled within his past. Saki, also is in a tiffy of her own as she feels lost in the world, trying to find a place where she can start her life. With Akira beside her, and his problems, she becomes a sort of caretaker to him, something that she feels good about and finds meaning in. Slowly but surely, both become each other's confidant, in a situation where things aren't clear and danger lurks in every corner, they can only trust themselves.
Intriguing stuff, eh?
Away from the story, everything else is good. The show is a thing of beauty. The art style is top notch, with clean lines, bright colors and fluid animation. The soundtrack stands out and really fits the mood of the show, and the voice acting is great (I saw this with the Japanese voice track, so I can't comment on the quality of the English track). And with a serious undertone as this, the show does deliver moments of levity and comic relief which never feel out of place. It's a good mix of drama and comedy, which if it didn't exist, the show would be too overbearing--kudos to the writers for that blend.
So is this a show for you? I think everyone has a space for this type of anime, and truth be told, we need this kind of anime to do well. Shows like Monster, Moribito, Fighting Spirit, Rainbow and Eden of the East are rare gems that you need to uncover amongst all the teen angst that populate most of anime shelves these days. Anyone with a nose for mystery and suspense would do themselves a favor by picking this one up.
Just as an update, there are three other works out there past this DVD release. One is a movie that compiles the series into a two hour film, compressing what occurs during the series. The other two are feature length films that continue where the series left off.