All right, there’s no easy way to explain this…oh wait, yes there is. A floating island appears above the planet for the 88th time, with its denizens -- spiritual beings from another realm -- here to partake in a contest. Children from around the world are summoned by the spirits to compete in said contest. Competitors are split into two-man teams -- the child, and the spirit that summoned them. Whichever child/spirit duo wins the contest gets a two-fold prize: the child gets to have their wish granted, while the spirit comes one step closer to ascending to the highest strata of mystic lordship. So basically, it’s like The Hunger Games meets JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “You mean I’d get to go to an island full of magic and fight my way to my wildest dreams? Sign me up!” And to that I say, “Whoa, buckaroo.” First of all, just because they’re kids doesn’t mean that they’re always playing fair; children and spirits alike can get really nasty when it comes to winning. Whether it’s an engraved paradigm of bringing glory and a chance at world domination back to the home country, or betraying old friends and new allies for the sake of power, things could get messy.
Second of all, there’s a non-negotiable price of admission for both parties. The children have to offer up their most prized possession -- anything from a pair of old sparring gloves to a precious memory of a parent -- and if they’re eliminated from the tournament, they lose that item. The spirits, meanwhile, put their very lives on the line; if they lose, they run the risk of being absorbed by other spirits. Worse yet, their death makes their enemies that much stronger. The stakes are high, but that’s as big a motivation as any -- with so much on the line, the teams HAVE to fight their hardest.
In theory, at least.