GetBackers is a Japanese manga series written by Yuya Aoki and illustrated by Rando Ayamine. The series was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 until 2007, totaling 39 volumes. The plot follows the “GetBackers”, a group that retrieves anything that was lost. The team is primarily composed of Ban Mido, a man born with the illusionary technique “Evil Eye”, and Ginji Amano the former leader of a gang called “The VOLTS”, a powerful group in the dangerous territory called the Infinity Fortress in Shinjuku.
The GetBackers manga series is written by Yuya Aoki and illustrated by Rando Ayamine. The series was serialized and published by Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 in its 17th issue until its 12th issue from 2007, totaling twelve story arcs with the name of “Act” and a short number of side stories labelled as “Interlude” and “Birth”. The manga consists of 39 tankōbon with the first released on August 17, 1999, and the last one on April 17, 2007, while some of the last were also released in special editions. On February from 2009, Kodansha published a one-shot chapter from the series in their Magazine Special journal. An artbook of the manga titled G/B was released on March 15, 2005 by Kodansha. Additionally, a manga guidebook titled GetBackers The Last Piece was released on April 17, 2007 containing information about the series’ plot, characters, and popularity polls.
GetBackers is licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop, who first announced it in the Anime Expo 2004 in July 2003. Tokyopop divided the manga in two parts: GetBackers featuring the first twenty-five and GetBackers: Infinity Fortress the following ones. GetBackers was published from February 10, 2004, to July 7, 2008. However, only the first two volumes of Infinity Fortress were released. On August 31, 2009, Tokyopop announced that they would not be completing the series as their licenses with Kodansha expired and Kodansha required that they immediately stop publication of all previously licensed series, including GetBackers. Because of this, the series is now considered to be out-of-print.
The series tells the story of Ginji Amano and Ban Mido, a pair of super powered individuals known as the “GetBackers”. The duo operates a freelance repossession service out of one of the seedier areas of Shinjuku, Tokyo. For a fee, they will recover any lost or stolen item for a client with “an almost 100% success rate”. The GetBackers’ job often leads them into bizarre and dangerous situations in order to “get back what shouldn’t be gone”. Their targets range from lost video games to misplaced components of an atomic bomb. The plot mostly revolves around their adventures, often complicated by the pair’s convoluted, individual pasts and a mysterious place known as the Infinity Fortress.
A conglomeration of disused, condemned buildings clustered together to form a self-contained habitat, Limitless Fortress is subdivided into three specific tiers – Lower Town, the Beltline and Babylon City. Lower Town is the lowest in altitude, with several layers extending below ground level. The Beltline, the most dangerous area of The Limitless Fortress, is ruled by Der Kaiser, Ban’s father. Babylon City, the upper most level of the Limitless Fortress, is said to be where the Brain Trust resides, and is the home of Ginji’s mother. In actuality, Babylon City is what one might consider the real world, with everything else being a virtual reality creation. Only those who have won the Ogre Battle may enter Babylon City and when that happens, they can change the world as they see fit. Both Ban and Ginji go to the Fortress with Ban wishing to rescue a kidnapped Himiko from Kagami, and Ginji finding a possibility to meet his mother. Going to the Beltline, the GetBackers encounter various warriors taking orders from a being known as Voodoo King from Babylon City. The Voodoo King seeks to obtain three “keys” which will help him unlock the gates from Babylon City sealed by Ban’s grandmother several years ago. After finding the three keys: Shido’s chimera spirit, Himiko’s mirror and the GetBackers, the Voodoo King is faced by Ginji, Thunder Emperor alter-ego attacks him in a clash which destroys the Voodoo King and making Raitei disappear forever as he existed to balance the scales. With Voodoo King gone, Raitei’s purpose was fulfilled and he disappeared forever. Following this, both Ban and Ginji face each other in Ogre Battle with Ban giving up, impressed with Ginji’s will. Ginji goes to Babylon City where he meets his mother from a parallel universe, who explains how she created the Fortress and its surrounding world. Following a discussion between the two of them, the Fortress’ world remains unchanged except that the virtual people living become real beings. Ban and Ginji continue their retrieval job, ending the series when requested to go on a mission that will lead them to meet Ban’s mother.
The plot of the anime adaptation of GetBackers follows the manga’s closely until the first season’s ending. The second season features various stand alone episodes focused in the GetBackers’ missions, while also two story arcs, the second ending the anime series with an open ending.