Heartwarming: DRAMAtical Murder
Compared to Nitro+Chiral's previous work, whose heartwarming moments are overshadowed by its tragic and bloody themes, this visual novel has just as much touching moments as much as it has its scary and sad moments, evenly balancing the fluff, tragedy, and horror throughout.
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- Aoba's relationship with Ren as a whole. Even if Ren's route is not taken, it's always made clear how much Ren means to Aoba. The most direct example is that Ren is an extremely old-model Allmate, yet Aoba refuses to replace him with another Allmate no matter what. To Aoba, Ren is more than just an Allmate; Ren is his friend as he is his family.
- Other examples that show how protective he is of Ren are his enraged reactions when one, he saw Noiz tampering with Ren and two, when Mink forced him to install a program in Ren that would deactivate the guard Allmates in Oval Tower, which Aoba feared would permanently damage Ren.
- Koujaku's very awkward confession to Aoba is really cute. Being The Charmer, Koujaku has an easy time attracting women, but once he realizes that he's in love with his best friend, words fail him. The CG with Koujaku and Aoba awkwardly holding hands and blushing while the former is confessing is funny and adorable.
- Noiz's entire route. Watching them slowly warm up to each other, going from tolerating each other to genuinely falling in love, all while Aoba picks his way through Noiz's world view, and emotional defence he'd had since he was a child is very touching, and Noiz regaining his ability to feel and the honest joy he has in tiny every day things like the warmth of another person's skin is lovely. Noiz's route is very character/emotion driven and it really shows.
- So much of Clear's route. Especially Aoba convincing him to take off his mask, promising that no matter what he wouldn't hate him, then assuring him over and over that he's perfectly normal. Clear is nearly in tears by the end of the scene. Really this whole damn route could be considered one.
- Also Clear's straightforward love confession, followed by a kiss. Aoba isn't yet sure how to respond, so he hugs Clear instead.
- Despite his route undeniably being the most violent and controversial, after the third time Mink assaulted Aoba, when Aoba wakes up, he sees Mink praying, but he wonders what for, before falling back asleep. Right after he did, we briefly see Mink gently holding strands of Aoba's hair. What it implies is left to the player, but considering how Aoba didn't respond even though his hair is very sensitive to pain, this is a subtle moment that shows how gentle Mink can be despite his usual demeanor. That, and after the many times he treated Aoba horribly, this is the very first time he showed him a sign of compassion.
- There is another moment in Mink's route, where Aoba stops him before he sets out to confront Toue. In this scene, Aoba makes one last plea with Mink to not kill himself, saying that he doesn't want him to die. When Mink rebuffs him by saying that he died along with his family, Aoba tells him otherwise, telling him that he's alive, since Aoba can touch him and he is still breathing.
- Putting it into perspective, Aoba has received nothing but pain and abuse from Mink, and he has every right to hate the man. But what does he choose to do? He does not wish death on the man, and encourages him to live on instead. That takes a lot of heart to do. What's even better is that his words got through to Mink, and he didn't even need to use Scrap for it.
- For this troper, Ren's good end CG may be the most heartwarming thing N+C has done.
Aoba: Welcome back.
Dramatical Murder RE:Connect
- In his route, we learn that Koujaku has a habit of holding onto Aoba's hand before he orgasms. The drama CD explains that he does this to, in a sense, reassure himself of Aoba's existence and that what he's sharing with Aoba is real. What makes this more significant is that he has only ever done this with Aoba.
- In Noiz's route, Noiz asking Tae's permission to take Aoba to Germany is very much like someone getting permission for marriage, and Aoba's hesitant, but truly honest admission to Tae that he loves Noiz and wants to be with him is incredibly sweet; especially given how unsure Aoba was about moving at the end of the last game.
- In Aoba's backstory (set in Ren's route), we learn more about the time when the young Aoba was adopted by Nine and Haruka, and seeing a glimpse of him with his new family is just so heartwarming◊.
- Also, back in the present time (near the end of the scenario), Tae mentioned about how she just received a postcard with no sender. But, when Aoba saw the postcard had a picture of the blue butterfly on it, he knows that it's from his parents (which reminded him of the promise his father made to him). This gave Aoba (and Tae) hope that they'll keep on waiting for their return.
- In this game, it's shown that Mizuki had somehow healed from the unfortunate mind rapes put upon him (though one of them was by accident). The CG in his route put a smile on this troper's face.
Dramatical Murder Drama CD
- In track 3 of the first disc, Aoba notices that Koujaku has been acting strangely since the mention of a festival that is celebrated to honor the deceased. Then he visits Koujaku's apartment and sees the latter in a sullen state. Instead of pressing for answers, Aoba tells Koujaku that he knows he isn't ready to talk yet, and that he should take as much time as he needs in clearing his thoughts, while assuring Koujaku that he is always there to listen. It's nice to know how sympathetic and understanding Aoba can be, and how he is more than willing to give Koujaku space, when most others would do the exact opposite to their respective love interests.
- In track 4 of the second disk, after Aoba learns the reason behind Koujaku's habit of holding his hand, he becomes insecure and asks whether Koujaku had done it with anyone else, but denies being jealous. Koujaku then tells him it's alright to get jealous, since regardless of gender, anyone can be apprehensive or self-conscious, and he won't hate Aoba for expressing what he really feels. Then he says this.
Koujaku: No matter what sort of person you are, Aoba, I’d love every part of you. If that makes you happy, then I’m happy too.
- The entirety of the third volume counts as this, especially the second disc. It's very touching to see how far Aoba and Mink have come, especially when you remember how they had started in the first game. The atmosphere between the two of them had completely turned from cold, tense, and violent to warm, kind, and loving. It's almost impossible to believe that the events in the first game had truly happened.
- One particular moment is when Aoba's fever grew worse. During that time, Mink tended to Aoba and is clearly worried about his health, even taking the day off from work the next day to watch over him. When Aoba begins to sleep, Mink goes into bed beside him, wrapping his arms around Aoba to provide the latter some comfort, with both of them gently bidding each other good night as they fall asleep together. When you remember Mink's normally stoic nature, seeing him act this tender to Aoba makes this scene all the more sweeter.
- What takes the cake, however, is the penultimate track. After Aoba thanks Mink for showing him his homeland, Mink embraces Aoba and states he forgot to tell him something important. What he tells him then afterwards, is essentially equal to a marriage vow, for what he said were words from his tribe that two people would exchange when they wish to spend the rest of their lives together.
- In the last few minutes of the track, Aoba asked Mink if they could go back to Midorijima soon; since Mink showed Aoba his home and his past, Aoba wants to do the same. Needless to say, Mink agrees, and Aoba is almost in tears once again out of pure joy. Definitely, their relationship had changed for the very better.
- Noiz's relationship with Theo, his younger brother, counts. When Noiz was locked in his room as a child, Theo tried to make contact with him numerous times, but was forbidden by his parents from ever talking to Noiz. This makes Theo the only other person (aside from Aoba)]that Noiz has a soft spot towards. Noiz even pointed out that Theo burst into tears when Noiz reappeared in front of in his family.
- How Theo deeply cares for Noiz is made obvious in the final track, where Theo visits Noiz and reveals that he snapped back at their parents in defense of Noiz, whom they constantly criticized for not having found a wife and for living with another man. Theo points out that they treat him as they did in the past, and apologizes to Noiz that he could have stood up to them long ago, when he was too afraid to do so. Noiz assures him that it isn't his fault. Just simply them interacting and clearly appearing to care for the other is touching.
- In the first track, Aoba decides to reveal Ren to everyone. Everyone present is understandably surprised and confused, and Aoba and Ren are clearly nervous on how they would react. But everyone warmly and kindly welcomes Ren, even expressing joy in seeing him as he is now.
- All of the short clips shown in the second Chiral Night concert (except for Virus and Trip's), which take place at some point after RE:Connect.
- In Koujaku's scene, Koujaku wondered whether he should be really happy now that he is with Aoba, and whether he deserves it. Aoba assures that no matter what, he has decided to be with Koujaku, and Koujaku's happiness equals his happiness, which causes Koujaku to smile and say that this is the happiest he could ever be.
- In Noiz's scene, Noiz and Aoba share a hilarious moment regarding Aoba wearing a suit. After Noiz abruptly kisses Aoba, a flustered Aoba starts to point out that Noiz is having too much fun, where Noiz then quietly mutters that it's because he's glad about going back to Germany with Aoba by his side. When Aoba asked if he said anything, Noiz naturally denies this, but this makes Aoba smile and they both head out together.
- In Mink's scene, Mink searched for Aoba, who had not returned for hours after leaving to go on a hike. After finding him at a cliff, Aoba apologized and wondered if Mink was angry, where Mink only states that Aoba is free to go as he pleases, but to not go anywhere where he can't find him. When pressed, he denies saying anything and urges Aoba to not mind him. After being pressed again as to whether he is angry, Mink answers that he's not; he's just worried about losing someone important again, but he won't restrain Aoba because of this. Aoba then assures he won't leave him, since he'll always be by his side. In response, Mink warmly smiles.
- In Clear's scene, Clear remarks that despite the negative emotions he feels, which surround the knowledge that he may outlive Aoba, he is still happy, and regards his time with Aoba as what is most important to him. And he notes that this feeling may equate to love, and tells Aoba just that. note Afterwards, Aoba offers that they walk back home while holding hands, which causes Clear to happily agree.
- In Ren's scene, Ren and Aoba share a sweet moment where Ren lifts up Aoba, since he never got to do that as an Allmate. In a while, Ren states that what he has now with Aoba is fun, and then begins to mention that despite Sei's death, he feels a faint presence of the latter inside him, surprising Aoba. Ren notes that all of them are now in harmony, with Sei's warmth existing inside him, and Aoba's alternate personality fully merged back with Aoba. Aoba reinforces his words by saying that from here on, they will all be living together.