Forty years after an unknown catastrophe stole the memories of everyone in Paradigm City, the past is still missing, but only the oldest citizens care any more. Everyone else continues their daily lives under the thumb of the Paradigm Company, which serves as "both God and state" to the city's residents.
When memories of the past do surface, they generally cause trouble, and veteran deal-broker Roger Smith, the self-styled "top negotiator of Paradigm City," usually ends up at the center of that trouble. As the series begins, he's called on to handle a ransom agreement, exchanging a briefcase full of money for the kidnapped daughter of a rich industrialist. But after he makes the trade, he finds out he's been stuck with an android instead of the missing daughter. Roger has no idea whether androids were commonplace before Paradigm became "the city of amnesia," and has no idea how the girl functions or what her true relationship is to the men who claim to be her father and grandfather. He even makes a point of not particularly caring, even after she attempts to hire him as a bodyguard, moves into his palatial manor, and starts blandly insulting his taste and manners.
But Dorothy the android isn't the only mystery on Roger's hands. The "real" Dorothy, the one Roger was supposed to retrieve, is still in the kidnappers' hands, and she quickly proves dangerous. Subsequent episodes offer other negotiation deals that lead to other mysteries that usually lead to Roger being attacked by gigantic monsters of various types. Fortunately, in addition to wealth, a vast collection of cool gadgets and a strong sense of panache, Roger has a giant robot called Big O, which he whips out of the abandoned subway tunnels (usually destroying half a city block in the process) whenever the opposition looms large.
Gloss, gears and familiar faces