Toby Tenma is a teenager who lives in the futuristic city-state Metro City, which floats above the polluted “Surface”. Toby’s father, Dr. Tenma, is a famous roboticist and head of the Ministry of Science, but has a distant relationship with his son. Dr. Tenma meets the city’s obstructive leader President Stone to demonstrate a new defensive robot called the Peacekeeper. To power it, Tenma’s friend Dr. Elefun unveils the Blue and Red Core, two energy spheres which have opposing positive and negative energy. Stone has the destructive Red Core placed into the Peacekeeper, causing it to go berserk, leading to Toby being disintegrated after sneaking into the room.
A distraught Tenma secretly constructs a robotic replica of Toby, complete with his memories, but has built-in defenses to protect him and is powered by the Blue Core. Toby’s replica is awakened, believing nothing has happened. While he has Toby’s mind, his personality is different in Tenma’s eyes, when in actuality it is quite similar. Toby discovers his robotic capabilities including rocket-powered flight and the ability to understand other robots. Toby flies home but learns from Tenma of his origins and is rejected by him, flying away much to the sadness of Dr. Elefun. Stone, desperate to win a re-election, has Toby pursued by his guards but the battle leads to Toby tumbling off the city edge onto the Surface. Tenma and Elefun are arrested.