Aoba lives on Hekishima, a small island to the southwest of the main islands of Japan. He lives with his grandmother Tae while working part time at a junk shop. The popular pastimes on the island are the ongoing turf war called "Libstease" and an online game set in the virtual world of "Rhyme." Aoba isn't involved in either, preferring to live peacefully, until one day he is forced into a Rhyme battle.
The year was 1970s. Fascinated by the performance of rakugo master Yakumo the 8th at a philanthropic show in a prison, delinquent Kyoji visited Yakumo immediately after serving his term, begging Yakumo to take him in as an apprentice. To his surprise, master Yakumo agreed without much hesitation, yet things progressed not quite as Kyoji expected.
Kou is searching for his older brother Takumi, who left home and has gone missing in the city. Worried that he's in trouble, Kou decides not to go home until he's found him, only to find him all too easily. Takumi, it turns out, has become head of the Mikuni Detective Agency, and has no intention of going back home. Kou decides that if he can't make Takumi return, then he'll join the agency himself.