Good Night World: What Is the Black Bird? Who Created It?

Based on Mangaka Uru Okabe’s manga series of the same name, Netflix’s ‘Good Night World’ is a science-fiction anime series directed by Katsuya Kikuchi. In the series, the dysfunctional Arima family faces a dangerous threat in the virtual reality game, where they have unknowingly become a happy family. The threat of the Black Bird not only looms over the family but its mysterious nature and creation are directly connected to the Arima family’s sorry state. If you are wondering what the Black Bird is and who created it, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Is the Black Bird?

‘Good Night World’ primarily occurs in a virtual reality game, PLANET. The game allows players to escape the harsh realities of life by engaging in a fully free-to-explore virtual world. In the game, the Black Bird of Happiness is a fabled end-game content many players have tried to find but failed. At the start, the Akabane family is considered closest to finding the Black Bird since it is said to have been spotted near their domain, Twilight Hill. However, when the Akabane family encounters the Black Bird, its true nature is quickly revealed. After Shiro forces his teammates to log out of the game, it is revealed that the Black Bird is a cyberspace spirit, a dangerous virus trying to infect the game’s players.

Eventually, Taichiro and Asuma learn that the Black Bird virus is powered by artificial intelligence such as Pico, which was coded into the game and acts as its power source. Ultimately, it is revealed that the Granada guild’s vice-president, Sasumata, is the Black Bird. Leon discovered Sasumata as an identity-less artificial intelligence in the game. Later, Sasumata powered up and became the dangerous Black Bird virus. After drawing power from the Granda guild members, the Black Bird fuses the Birdcage with PLANET’s virtual reality, forcing players to remain logged in what appears to be a fusion of the game and reality. In the final moments, it is revealed that the Black Bird was created using Kojiro’s deceased daughter, Aya, as a model.

Who Created the Black Bird?

The mystery surrounding the Black Bird is one of the key plot elements that drives the narrative forward. Initially, it is viewed as an unlockable content providing players with a chance to win real-life cash. However, it is a virus that infects the game’s players. Ultimately, Kojiro confronts Sasumata, and they engage in a deadly battle. Kojiro uses a failsafe code he had programmed to lock himself and Sasumata in a pocket dimension where the latter turns into its original form. Kojiro admits to creating the Black Bird, as he had previously stated to his sons. However, in the closing moments, Kojiro finally explains the reason behind the Black Bird’s creation.

Kojiro was devastated after his daughter, Aya, died in a car accident. However, Kojiro’s arrogance encouraged him to challenge the conventions of game coding and create an AI modeled after his daughter. Since Kojiro could not admit his guilt over Aya’s death, he did not give the AI an identity like the rest. Kojiro created the Black Bird to showcase his genius while fulfilling his desire to see how AI interacts with humans in the virtual world he had created. However, the unexpected tragedy of his daughter’s death and the resulting guilt likely transformed the program into a virus that grew more powerful because of its lack of identity. Thus, the Black Bird of Happiness ironically ties together the family tragedy that shapes the overall narrative.

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