Tokyo 24th Ward: Akagi Ran’s DoRed Organization Declares War

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tokyo 24th Ward Episode 10, "Confession From a Mask," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Tokyo's 24th ward is still mired in bitter controversy and conflict over the use of state surveillance systems such as Hazard Cast and, more recently, the KANAE system as well. The referendum draws near and everyone in the ward takes sides, with swing voters becoming the center of attention as the battle lines are drawn.

Shuta Aoi and his friends Koki and Ran have since been split up, as the three boys have different viewpoints and stakes on the political conflict taking place around them. While Shuta fights to keep everyone happy, the hacker activist Akagi Ran sides with his DoRed organization, which spearheads the resistance movement. There may be no coming back from this.

ran on youtube

In Episode 10 of Tokyo 24th Ward, the grassroots resistance to the ward government's tyrannical ways reaches a boiling point as the dissenters come together to create a mob. For months now, the DoRed group had used graffiti and activism to resist the use of Hazard Cast in the 24th ward, with Ran being a key member of that group. No matter the risks, Ran remains loyal to that group and its mission, even at the cost of his friendship with Koki, and now is his moment to shine. Ran and his original DoRed crew welcomes dozens of new members to the fold, and DoRed spearheads the formal resistance movement to the ward's oppressive ways.

Despite his intense passion for DoRed and his political stance, Ran cannot bring himself to hate his friends Shuta and Koki, even if those two friends don't join DoRed or condone its methods. Ran also dislikes the idea of working alongside Howard Win's associates to fight Mayor Suido Gori, even if 0th, Ran's beloved mentor, has no objections to that strategy. Ran wants to win this cyberpunk street war, but as a true shonen protagonist, he wants to win in the most humane way possible and not take sides with cold-blooded murderers and schemers.

Ran is desperate to topple the ward's government, but not that desperate, and if the DoRed rebellion goes too far, Ran just might quit the cause and fight for freedom on his own terms. For now, he and the other DoRed member are united, but that may not last, and Ran's true loyalty may soon be tested. After all, Ran knows the truth of the KANAE system while the cyberpunk mob does not, and that means Ran may undertake a mission entirely separate from what the mob is doing.

kozue shuta talking

Ran wants to take down the ward government and demolish its state surveillance systems, and that may or may not put him at odds with Shuta and Koki. Earlier in the series, the three friends were split up due to their differing politics and the brutal murder of Ran's friend Kunai, and it seems that Ran and Koki will never mend ties after that. Not even Shuta, who loses faith in his heroic mission once again, may have what it takes to reunite the RGB team. However, these three shonen heroes all share the same goal of rescuing Asumi from her digital prison in the KANAE system, and this may be the key to saving the RBG team.

For now, Ran is in no mood to reconcile with Koki, while Shuta tries in vain to keep the peace in the face of the DoRed mob. In so doing, Shuta learns a hard lesson about his role in the ward. Despite being a wannabe hero, Shuta cannot keep the peace across the entire ward, nor is that his responsibility anyway. Kozue, a DoRed sympathizer, urges her friend Shuta to focus on what he can actually accomplish, and as Episode 10 later shows, Shuta's best bet is to rescue Asumi -- a goal he shares with Ran and Koki.

It's possible that this shared mission will help the three friends reunite at last, but there's still the outstanding issue of Ran's devotion to the DoRed cause, which may cause further friction with Koki, even if they both want to save Asumi. For Shuta, the goal of saving the 24th ward is a personal one between himself, his friends and Asumi, but that won't make it any easier.

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