SUMMONS,1 more commonly referred to as The App, is a mysterious smartphone application that can grant its users otherworldly, magical powers.1 It is also responsible for hosting the Game, a massive competition between the various guilds and Worlds within Tokyo.
The App is a central element to the story of Tokyo Afterschool Summoners. On its surface, it's an increasingly popular social networking phone application used primarily by students that has a variety of communication features. However, there exists a seemingly unspoken feature where it can grant its user magical powers,1 making them a player in the Game. Over the course of the story, the importance of the Game and the App continues to unveil itself, becoming something much more greater and dangerous than just a magical phone app.
Phenomena created by the App can only be seen through and intervened with by the App.14
The App's developer is a complete mystery as the company and building listed for the App are fake. The App icon is a magic circle.1
Fujimi Academy Experiments
Research and development on the App first started in Fujimi Academy as a series of experiments conducted on the students attending. The academy lauded itself as the ideal school, taking Tokyoites and Transients alike with different physical and psychological traits, educating them according to their individual needs. However, the professors and board of executives were all researchers, and all of the students were their test subjects. They would be referred to as a cult.
Eventually, word would get out about the inhumane tests being done on the students, and a group of vigilantes such as Suzuka would tear the whole building down. Unbeknownst to them, a small section of the researchers escaped to another facility, taking some students with them to continue their experiments.1
In the new facility, students were forced to take part in an archaic version of the Game. They were told to use their various backgrounds and specialties during the experiment to aid them, and that completing it would result in their graduation from the academy. The teachers told their students that the perspective they would gain from the class and the contributions they make would be used to help those in the outside world. Arc questions if the teachers were aware of the truth behind the experiment, if they simply lied to themselves, or if they were too unaware.
The students were imbued with special powers by mixing in the memories of other mythological and historical figures with the students. They found themselves participating in real life-or-death battles. Students of one facility would be pitted against students of another facility, slaughtering others to protect those they saw as family. In the end, the experiment would fall apart midway through because their battles would lead to the creation of an Exception, killing all of the students except for a select few.
The experiment carried out in Fujimi Academy's Otemachi branch was likely the prototype behind the App, with its original purpose being a battle royale death game designed to create an immortal, omniscient god.14 Leib describes how something as complex as the App could not appear out of nowhere, but would require numerous testing phases and experimentation. He theorizes that someone else took all of this data, finished constructing the App, and published it.15
After its release, the App would grow in popularity. A group of people which Toji belonged to would oppose the App, discovering the inherent danger within the Game.
A conference was held by the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office to ask for opinions regarding the safety of the App. The government asked The Wisemen about their opinions on the currently trending App, submitting their answers to a panel of experts. Due to their evaluation, the government would come to believe that the App was harmless and safe, despite Toji's warnings. While Shuichi claims that their own opinions held little weight due to them being simply a student think tank, Toji would later find out that the Wisemen were also entrusted with managing the government funding of those involved. Their influence went much higher than any of Toji's group could have imagined. By the time anyone realized how dangerous the App truly was, it was too late—The App had spread too far already.6
Toji's group would not stop their efforts to put a stop to the game despite their setbacks. However, the group members would be dealt with, leaving Toji as the last member remaining.6
Registration, App Users, and Pacts
There are two types of App users: those that summon Sacred Artifacts to fight, and those that can summon familiars to fight for them. The App acts as an in-between for App users to summon Sacred Artifacts and familiar when they normally could not in the real world. Those that summon Transients to fight have to be wary of the amount of familiars they form pacts with as they rely on the summoner's own limited power to sustain themselves.1 5 8 The Protagonist is the sole exception to this as they are a hybrid: they can both summon a Sacred Artifact as well as summon their own familiars to fight with them.2
App users battle each other in App Battles. App Battles occur in Battle Zones and cannot leave the boundaries of the established Battle Zone. All App Battles must be accepted; running away or leaving the Battle Zone without fighting will revoke the player of their status as an App user.1 The end of an App Battle is marked by the defeat of one party.
At the end of an App Battle, all injuries and effects done to the players and surrounding environment are reset. The sole exception to this are the memories of the App users, as the players have to remember who won or lost. For some, the memory of dying can be traumatizing enough for them to leave the Game.7 Memories are retained because of one's Summoning Emblem, which have formed a connection to Tokyo strong enough to retain memories of App Battles.11 This exception can be heavily exploited in numerous ways, as it effectively means that changes to one's memories are permanent. This includes inserting memories from alternate loops or mixing one's memories into others, even it had been the result of a power brought upon by someone's Rule.
Injuries and effects done during an App Battle within a collision of worlds do not reset once the App Battle is finished because collisions are a Battle Zone in itself. To revert everything to normal, the collision must be closed.17
Battle Zones are enclosed spaces that contain a majority of Transients and App users. In these areas, the powers of Sacred Artifacts, Rules, can be used. What constitutes as an "enclosed space" to the App is very broad. They can range from the inside of a Colosseum to the inside of a person's body, a thick cloud of moon dust, or even the entire city of Tokyo. As long as it is a definable enclosed space and meets the majority Transient and App user requirement, it is considered a Battle Zone.11
Battle Zones can be artificially created. If one is in an open public space that cannot be considered "closed", one can use the App to create an artificial Battle Zone. With this method, the App will create a wall of light around the two parties and disappear once a victor has been determined. Alternatively, one can create a Battle Zone without the need of the App as long as they follow the per-established rules of what constitutes an enclosed space. Michael was able to turn six wards into a Battle Zone by constructing walls around the area and then using his government influence to transfer new students into the schools within, new students who happened to be Transients or App users.2-3 24
Only App users can see inside Battle Zones. In addition, App users cannot influence anything within a Battle Zone from the outside, only being able to act as spectators.1
Battle Zones would later be revealed to be miniature time loops, functioning just like the same loop that affects Tokyo but on a much smaller scale.11
The App is responsible for determining the hierarchy within Tokyo, internally ranking some players as stronger than others and some as weaker than others.
If the App cannot determine the hierarchy between two individuals, such as the Rules of Resurrections and Rending, then it will cause the App's processor to freeze and create an Exception. A hierarchy can still be established at this point through one party submitting to the other while in physical contact with the Exception. This allows the App to function normally once again, the Exception disappearing soon after. The most effective way to create this new declaration is through a kiss, whether it be on the back of a hand, their body, or one's lips.13 14 16
Map, User Location, and User Information
When the App is running, players can see a nearby App user's location and affiliation. Opponents who an App user has never battled before will only be able to see limited information, but one's location is available to everyone at all times.1 User information can be accessed through the App's map, which displays the nearby area with any users shown as glowing dots. Each dot is linked to an infographic with data about the user, such as their affiliation. It is displayed as Affiliation: Summoners.2
These digital certificates can be compromised by hackers, falsifying one's guild affiliation as an infiltration tactic.2
During an App Battle, the participants' attributes can be seen. Attributes are likely assigned automatically by the App based on the user's nature, though connections may not be obvious or unclear so they should not always be taken literally and should be subject to heavy interpretation. It is unclear how someone that has different attributes for their in-game and / are shown in-universe. Some attributes are considered Rare.1
The first five attributes are likely seen as common attributes seen with many of the Game's players.
FIRE Given to those possibly associated with fire or heat of some sort.
WATER Given to those possibly associated with water or cleansing.
WOOD Given to those possibly associated with nature or plants.
AETHER Given to those that may represent "goodness" or a connection to the heavens.
NETHER Given to those that may represent "evil" or a connection to the underworld.
The next three attributes can be symbolic of the natural cycle of a world. According to Horkeu Kamui, the masses are felled by a Dark Lord, the Dark Lord is felled by a hero, and the hero is crushed by the masses in the end.17
INFERNAL Typically assigned to those that are connected to Shadows in some way, either because they are one or because they have control over them.12
VALIANT Typically assigned to those that are seen as a "hero", theorized to show that the person had inherited something from the world's exile.
WORLD Typically assigned to those that represent some aspect of a world's System, are a Worlds Representative, or hold a World Pillar.
The final three attributes represent those that cannot be confined by a System's framework.12
ALL-ROUND Represented by the mathematical symbol ∀, they are the omnipotent and omniscient, existing outside the world so that they can know everything about the world.
INFINITY Represented by the mathematical symbol ∞, they are those that are unaffected by the limits of the world's boundaries, believed to be bigger than the world itself.
NULL Represented by the mathematical symbol Φ, they are people that are believed to exist nowhere in the world or not exist at all, resulting in an existence outside of the world as a whole.
For more detailed information about the App features of guilds, see Guild.
The App allows for formations of guilds among groups of users which grants exclusive perks. One perk is that with guilds, several Rules can be enforced in an enclosed area for an indefinite period of time without the need of a Battle Zone. When part of a guild, players unlock several new features within the App. According to Shiro, they can power up other guild members and even detect when another guild member is engaged in battle.1
Additionally, guilds with Portals are able to see which guild members are within their territory through the App. This can be helpful to determine if an imposter has infiltrated their territory,1 though it's not perfect as user information can be falsified.2 When within their own territory, guild members receive similar benefits.
Members also gain access to My Guild and Guild Rank, though it is unclear what this means for in-universe characters as those features are gameplay elements unlocked for you, the Player themselves.16
As the App is still an SNS application on its surface, it features free calls, messaging, and chat rooms.1
Debuting during Seaside Fashionista, the App was updated to give its users the ability to use stickers. These stickers are used as a decorative feature on a user's guild page to add more charm to the pictures.11
- Chapter 3: Berserkers - Ikebukuro Colosseum
- Chapter 2: Clash of the Sacred Artifacts -Shinjuku Cataclysm-
- Chapter 8: Genociders - Beyond the Overlapping Ends
- Valentine Fantasy: An Eternal Fairyland
- Chapter 7: Genociders (Prelude) - Blood and Shadows
- Chapter 4: Missionaries - Dogma City, Aoyama
- "Tokyo Afterschool Summoners" Promotion Video Vol.2 (housamo, T.A.S.)
- Chapter 9: Crafters - Karmic Engine
- Black Snow on the Hot Spring Mountains
- Valentine's Extravaganza!
- Chapter 13: Invaders ~Undivine Destruction~
- Chapter 14: Entertainers & Rule Makers ~Prelude~ -Alibi of the Urban Legends-
- Oscar Research File 1
- Chapter 11: Warmongers - The Moonlit War
- Summer Pool Twilight
- Seaside Fashionista