WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 9 of Tokyo 24th Ward, "Silver Salt," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
The troubled 24th ward of Tokyo needs heroes, and in the present day, the athletic Aoi Shuta takes on the role as a young superhero gifted with a sci-fi "Quirk" to help him save the day, along with his friends Akagi Ran and Suido Koki. With mayor Suido Gori spiraling out of control as a cyberpunk villain, heroes like Shuta are needed more than ever.
However, Shuta is not the 24th ward's first symbolic superhero. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Shuta's SARG friend Chikushi Wataru was a costumed crimefighter, as recent flashbacks show, and he helped his friends run the Takara food drive to give hope to Shantytown's children. Chikushi is Shuta's personal All Might.
Flashbacks in Episode 9 of Tokyo 24th Ward reveal the personal history of RBG's associates, including the SARG officer Chikushi, Koki's mother Kanae and even Mayor Suido himself, and the flashback paints them all as idealistic heroes seeking to defend the peace and happiness of the troubled 24th ward. In the flashback, set in 2004, a younger Chikushi plans on becoming a costumed hero, although his prototype costume doesn't impress Tsuzuragawa, who isn't in the mood for costumes.
Instead, Tsuzuragawa has a keen interest in Kanae and Gori's high-tech crime prediction system, which is still in development here in 2004. All the same, the 24th ward needs more than Minority Report technology to give the people hope and inspire them. The human element is essential, so Chikushi and Kanae prepare to put on a show.
Years later, in 2012, Chikushi and Kanae are the ward's true heroes, running the Takara food bank while also inspiring the ward's children with superhero-themed stage plays featuring the ward's very own hero, who must fight the villain Carneades. Kanae and Chikushi take great pride in their project, and the usually no-nonsense Suido Gori feels the same way.
These characters are wholesome cyberpunk heroes, but it all falls apart when Kanae gets stabbed to death when trying to help a shady-looking ward resident. Gori gives up on his heroic ways, and by 2013, Chikushi abandons his hero costume and begins working for SARG. However, he has already made an impression on a young Aoi Shuta, who watched the 2012 stage play with his friends, including Asumi.
Chikushi and Suido Kanae set the mold for the RGB boys in many ways. Both generations of characters seek to make the 24th ward a safer, happier and more just place in which to live, and they know that it takes more than heavy policing and the ruthless KANAE system to make that happen. In years past, Chikushi and Kanae used compassion and generosity to inspire the people of this ward, and even if Kanae died and Chikushi gave up his heroic ways, they left a flame of hope that will not die. Now, in the early 2020s, Shuta and his friends pick up where their predecessors left off and fight for a better future. So long as this ward still needs superheroes, those heroes will be there to save the day, no matter what.
This shines a hopeful ray of light on the story of Tokyo 24th Ward after tragedies such as the GourFes incident and the death of Ran's hacker friend Kunai, not to mention the Drug D epidemic. This ward is on the verge of catastrophe and tensions are running higher than ever, and the people need not an all-seeing state surveillance system but costumed heroes to save the day and restore faith in this ward and its future. After GourFes, Shuta had considered quitting the amateur hero business, but in light of Chikushi and Kanae's past efforts, it's clearer than ever that Shuta must don the cape and fight the forces of evil to the end.