‘Good Night World’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: Is The Final World Real Or Fake?


The NAZ original adaptation of the manga series Good Night World gets a Netflix release. The animated series majorly revolves around the four members of a dysfunctional family. The story unfolds from the perspective of Taichiro Arima, a shut-in game addict and the eldest son of the Arima family. The real world frustrated Taichiro, and the sight of his perfect younger brother, Asuma, often made him feel worse about himself. Taichiro detested his genius father, Kojiro, and the only person he felt remotely attached to was his mother, but she had left the broken family a long time ago. Most of his days were spent in an online virtual reality videogame, ‘Planet.’ Unlike in the real world, he had a perfect family in the game called ‘The Akabane Family.’ Taichiro, as Ichi, was happy in the virtual world; he was a person of importance there, and he never felt disappointed in himself. Taichiro’s perfect world started to crumble when an online virus called the Black Bird attacked.

Spoiler Alert

How was the Black Bird affecting the real world?

In the course of the twelve episodes of Good Night World, we learn that the four members of the Arima family formed the Akabane family in the ‘Planet’ world. Other than Kojiro, the inventor of the game, the brothers and their mother were unaware that their perfect family was indeed their real family. They managed to become their best versions and overcame the differences that they could not in the real world. 

While fighting a monster in the virtual world, Asuma suffered an injury in the real world, and it was then that Taichiro figured he was A, his younger brother in the virtual game. Asuma joined Planet to feel closer to his brother. He always looked up to Taichiro, and when he saw his brother immerse himself in the virtual world, he did the same. Taichiro realized that Asuma never intended to belittle him, and the brothers ultimately united in the real world. But there was a problem at hand that their father was dealing with. 

Kojiro had built AIs who were also a part of the virtual world, but most of the AIs were unaware of their true identities. They believed they were human beings and were capable of making independent decisions. One such AI was Pico, and she was in love with Ichi. The AIs developed by Kojiro were the power sources of the ultimate destroyer of a virus called the Black Bird. The emotions experienced by the AIs were supposed to fuel the virus. It was important to destroy all the AIs to get rid of the Black Bird. Meanwhile, a gamer was determined to keep alive all the AIs, or at the very least his best friend in Planet, who happened to also be an AI. Leon and Sasumata were inseparable in the virtual world, and Leon, in the real world, was a little boy afraid of losing his best friend in the game.

How did Taichiro help Asuma?

We soon get to know that the players who came into contact with the Black Bird in virtual reality were also affected in the actual world. Kojiro had created the Black Bird as well, but it turned out to be completely evil and became the most powerful computer virus. The virus was capable of affecting the minds of the players, and it could also kill them. Since Asuma had come into contact with the Black Bird, his mind was also affected. Kojiro’s assistant, Kamuro, warned Asuma not to log into the Planet if he wanted to be alive, but he did not pay heed to her. Right after reaching home from the hospital, Asuma attempted to log in, and that turned out to be nearly fatal.

Taichiro was ready to do anything to revive his brother, and Kamuro started the process of introducing a replica of Taichiro (AI) to the Birdcage, a super-virtual world that was controlled by the Black Bird and replicated the real world. And it was also the place where Asuma’s mind was drawn. Once the mind was transported, it was believed that the body of the victim stopped functioning. Taichiro planned to protect his brother in the Birdcage, and he destroyed the black entities that dared to torment Asuma.

Taichiro’s replica helped Asuma return to the real world while he continued to be trapped in the Birdcage. In Good Night World, we get to know that the AI version of Taichiro was an exact replica of the original, but just like Pico, his replica was never supposed to know that he was an AI simply created to help Asuma, and once he served his purpose, he would eventually die. But at the end of Good Night World, we find out that the AI replica of Taichiro found Pico in the Birdcage. Once the AI figured that he and the world were fake, he planned on ending his life, and at the bridge, he met Pico as Hinako. She recognized Ichi in an instant, and this time, she confessed her love for him.

Who was the black bird?

Things started to slip out of control when the virtual world merged with reality. The monsters of the virtual world suddenly became a part of the real world, and a number of Planet features were introduced. But the catch was that reality was no longer reality; it was Black Bird’s virtual world that was not made to perfection. Kojiro and Kamuro realized that they had been thrown into cyberspace. Anyone close to any form of digital device was forcefully logged into this virtual world because the Black Bird had taken complete control of the internet. It indicated how AI had surpassed human intelligence.

Kojiro suffered an emotional breakdown because, deep down, he was aware that he had created a monster. He was a perfectionist who demanded the same perfection from his family, and when they failed, he expressed his disappointment openly. The family broke apart after they lost Aya. Kojiro always embarrassed his daughter whenever she failed to carry out a task. One day, when she left her notebook at school, Kojiro made her walk to her school late at night. Aya never returned, and Taichiro’s mother, Miyabi, could not cope with the loss, and she became delusional. Taichiro lost his respect for Kojiro, and he hated his father for being a self-centered human being. Kojiro never expressed remorse upon losing Aya, and that continued to bother Taichiro.

Kojiro and Kamuro hacked the world created by Black Bird to use the powers that they could in ‘Planet’. It gradually becomes clear that Sasumata was the Black Bird, and the reason it managed to take charge was because it was the only AI aware of its origin. Leon and Sasumata cursed the Arima family to remain trapped in the virtual world forever. They intended to kill everyone who created AI, and Kamuro became their victim.

Kojiro did not take the death of Kamuro well, and he spent days locked up in his house trying to revive her, but he ultimately failed. He realized death was final in the world of the Black Bird, and it made him and Asuma wonder what happened to their original bodies in the real world. They have been a part of the virtual world for days, and their actual selves might be starving or on the verge of dying. Leon did not realize that in his attempt to keep his best friend alive, he was killing millions of people in the real world and probably himself as well. All Asuma cared about was living and keeping alive his identity, but for Kojiro, going back to the real world was crucial. Kojiro had developed a device that he wanted Asuma to hand over to Taichiro. After finding out that his father was Shiro, Taichiro was completely broken. He was convinced that his father created Shiro just to deceive him without realizing that it was all just a coincidence and that Kojiro wanted to be the perfect father in the virtual world that he failed to become in reality. Kojiro knew he had broken Taichiro’s trust, but he hoped his son would turn on the device he had created once he saw his face.

How did Kojiro save the world from the infection?

Kojiro confronted Leon, and while Sasumata, aka the Black Bird, was incredibly powerful to defend, there was something that Sasumata felt insecure about, and that was his identity. He wanted to know who he was modeled on since he did not have a distinct face or body. Kojiro explained that Sasumata was a vessel to store more AIs, the emotions of the players who were involved with the AIs, and his memories of Leon. Sasumata was disappointed when he found out that he was simply an experiment and not the replica of another human being like the rest of the AIs. He felt belittled and was ready to destroy Shiro, aka Kojiro, once and for all. Kojiro pulled out his ultimate weapon—Good Night World, a program specially created by him and Kamuro to defeat the evil virus. The device Kojiro handed Taichiro was turned on, and the virtual world started to fall apart. Kojiro sacrificed himself to destroy the virus, and that was the entire idea of Good Night World. He gave Taichiro the power to kill him with the press of a button, but Taichiro refused to do so. He hated his father, and he refused to follow his orders.

When both Kojiro and Sasumata were about to be erased, Kojiro revealed that he created Sasumata when he was suffering emotionally. Sasumata admitted that he never felt close to the name Leon assigned him, and that was why he always wondered who he was meant to be. Kojiro confessed that he had secretly named the program Aya. After losing his daughter, Kojiro immersed himself in creating an AI without thinking about the consequences or risks. The AI agreed that they could relate to the name Aya. Even though Taichiro tried to pull his father out of death, Kojiro refused to leave the only memory of his daughter. He was glad that Taichiro came to see him, but he believed he deserved to die for all the mistakes he made and for the world to go back to normal. Kojiro apologized for being a terrible father, and tears rolled down Taichiro’s cheeks. Deep inside, all he wanted was for his father to see him and admit his faults. Taichiro felt devastated as he watched his father leave the world.

Is the final world real or fake?

During Good Night World‘s ending, we find out that after staying forcefully logged in to the virtual world for thirteen days, the world came back to normal. Strangely enough, there were barely any cases of severe physical damage after the incident. Gleam Corp. apologized to the public and blamed the incident on a few employees. The company continued with its business as usual. It had been eight years since Planet came to an end, and players visited the real places that inspired the game world. Asuma and Taichiro decided to visit the hilltop where the Akabane family used to live. We find out that Asuma worked at Gleam Corp., and Taichiro had started his own company, Link Ichi Company Limited. They arrived at Shinei no Oka View Park, and they realized how realistic the depiction of it was in the game. The brothers decided to build a home in the same spot since the place reminded them of the best days they had spent as a family together.

At the end of Good Night World, before leaving the park, Taichiro notices a red dragon flying in the sky; this clearly suggests that the world they are residing in is an artificial one. It was not the perfect world that was designed by his father, and glitches showed up at times. The human population logged out of the Birdcage, but they did not return to the real world; instead, their minds were transported to another virtual world that was considered the real world. It makes one wonder if Taichiro was the original creator of this world, since his reaction to the red dragon was nothing extreme. His sigh can be interpreted as his disappointment in not writing the perfect program like his father did. Maybe after the destruction of Birdcage, it was impossible to return to the real world; maybe the bodies of most people suffered and died. It is also possible that an alternate artificial world is the only option for people to remain hopeful and start afresh, but one day or another, the truth will possibly surface, and that will be the beginning of more chaos.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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