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Reapers (死神 shinigami?, "death god" in the Japanese version) are a type of administrator in the Game. They are identified by the black wings on their back, which are a manifestation of their supernatural powers.
Reapers are recruited from Players who have survived previous runs of the game. Any such player, provided they are strong enough, may choose to become a Reaper if they wish.
Reapers are able to move between the Realground and the Underground without anybody really noticing. While on the RG, reapers do not possess their wings and cannot use their powers. Reapers are permitted to live normal lives on the RG within certain constraints, although they must report for duty in the UG whenever required. The lifespan of a Reaper is determined by the number of Players they successfully Erase (their "Score"). Reapers can also be Erased by players as part of the game. A new Reaper has around a 2 week lifespan in which to erase their first Player. The majority of Reapers are eventually erased before they can rise very high in the organization, either directly by Players or by their lifespan running out.
All Reapers have the power to create Noise. Reapers have their own pins which they use to create different forms of Noise; they must also make use of a resource called "Soul". Most Noise will not attack players who have a Pact. Taboo Noise, however, freely attack anybody, Player or Reaper. Reapers can instantly erase any Noise that they themselves created. Reapers can make Pacts and work together like players; they can also project their Shadow onto the alternate plane to fight Noise - or groups of players - alone, but they are less effective in this case.
All Reapers are forbidden from attacking players directly except in exceptional circumstances. One such exceptional circumstance is an Emergency Call (EC) - an alert to an event that affects the continued existence of the UG. In this case, all Reapers - even Support Reapers - may directly engage Players.
The symbol for the Reapers is a very stylized skull and crossbones, the crossbones showing up on two pins throughout the game. Reapers are subdivided into three broad categories: officers, harriers, and support.
Support Reapers are the lowest ranking Reapers. They create challenges within the game exactly as instructed by the Game Master. Usually, this involves maintaining special walls separating the different districts of Shibuya, informing players of the requirements to destroy certain walls, and lowering the walls when the requirements are met. Like all Reapers, they have the power to create Noise, but usually only as part of the challenges required to remove walls.
It appears that a large number of these Reapers have identical appearance, or they are able to exist simultaneously in more than one place on the RG. However, it is possible that low-ranking Reapers simply have a regulated uniform, as they would need to be easily identifiable to passing Players. This point is supported by the fact that 777, who is a support Reaper, wears the same type of black hoodie and green trousers worn by some other support Reapers seen.
As support Reapers were former Players, they do, in fact, have names, although the only ones known are 777's bandmates Tenho and BJ.
It is not clear which Reapers are able to create Walls. Tenho and Konishi demonstrate the ability to create Walls in the game; BJ guards numerous walls, but doesn't clearly create any. 777 and Uzuki both ask Tenho to create walls for them, implying that they are either unable to do so or choose not to (presumably because creating and maintaining a wall requires some expenditure of effort or energy).
Harrier reapers are mid-ranking reapers who are permitted to act independently (within a few constraints) in order to erase Players during the game. Usually, the Game Master will specify when and where Harriers may act. Due to the rule that Reapers may not normally attack players directly, Harriers must summon Noise to attack the players. The Harrier reapers in the game include Uzuki Yashiro and Kōki Kariya.
Under special conditions as decided by the Conductor, it is possible for a new Reaper to join directly as a Harrier (as in the case of Beat).
It is possible that this is determined by the player's score during his or her time as a player.
Beyond the ReapersEdit
The highest ranks involved in running the game are not normally considered to be Reapers as such, but they operate closely with that organization, and can be recruited from exceptional Reapers.
- The Composer defines the entire game. Every one of the rules above, including the supernatural abilities of the Reapers, is set by the Composer. The Composer also usually assists with overseeing the game, and rectifying any issues that the lower ranks cannot deal with. This includes restoring Players to life, which only the Composer is powerful enough to do; it also includes creating the fundamental Pins used by Players and Reapers. The Composer normally only dialogs directly with the Conductor; lesser Reapers generally do not contact him. An exceptionally skilled Reaper can rise to become Composer, although this requires the existing Composer to be defeated first, which is exceptionally difficult, but not impossible. The Composer has god-like powers in the UG, and significant power in the RG, also.
- The Producer has even greater power than the Composer; however, he is not permitted to use it freely. The Producer is an Angel, sent to ensure the fair and reasonable running of the Game. He is not permitted to directly intervene in the running of the game, although this does not guarantee that he does not do so. No Reaper, not even the Composer, can advance to the rank of Producer by normal means; instead, Angels are recruited directly from the exceptional Players who survive the game, and may then become Producer via a process within that plane.
As part of Reaper training, Reapers are introduced to at least four "sports" which appear to be games which Harriers (and above) are permitted to play with Players as part of the Game. These are:
- Reaper Sport 1: Russian Roulette. This is never seen in the game. This may also not be an actual Reaper Sport, due to the fact that Beat mentioned this while failing to try and remember Reaper Sport 4.
- Reaper Sport 2: Hide and Seek. Exactly as the real-life equivalent, although affected by the supernatural powers of Players and Reapers.
- Reaper Sport 3: Player Hunt. A simple contest between two Reapers to see who can erase the most Players in a given time.
- Reaper Sport 4: Tag. Again, exactly as the real-life equivalent. Beat incorrectly remembers Reaper Sport 4 as "Reaper Creeper".