These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Awesome Music: The entire Lux Pain soundtrack. The final boss battle theme, Soul Requiem, deserves a special mention.
Complete Monster: Despite having a lot of despicable characters in the game, Edward tops them all. Let's see...manipulating a sixteen (now seventeen) year old into joining your group only planning to sacrifice him when he lost his usefulness, check. Almost killing another teenager when he figures out the secret toward your bank, check. Killing the lovable history teacher when he finds out who is the cause of all the suicides...double check. To add to that there are some hints in the game that Edward might have done worse things to Hibiki than he lets on.
Graham is one if you squint. Granted, most of his evil deeds are seen offscreen but he's definitely as corrupt as Edward. However, he's the one responsible for Kagami and Hidaka's deaths.
Yamato deserves a special mentioning. Taking your students hostage, shooting a certain someone in the shoulder for trying to defend his friend and then threaten to kill another character's little sister in the process. Yep...that's a monster.
Lt. Tanaka is clearly the most messed up of the bunch. For starters he's a serial killer that has been stalking Mika for a long time. He hurts the people around her just to screw with her and he almost succeeded in killing (and possibly raping) her had it not been for Akira, Atsuki and Nami coming to her rescue. Unfortunately, he's the only one that Atsuki can read and his mind is messed up. He's so despicable that even Yui tries to kill him to avenge Mako.
Draco in Leather Pants: You got to admit, what Liu Yee says and does could be construed as harsh or at least as morbidly humorous, like how he tells Hibiki that he wouldn't help him evacuate the patients because he didn't drop dead, yet he's still very popular with the fans.
Fridge Brilliance: On the discussion page, there was a debate on why Hibiki insisted that only humans killed their only kind. At first glance, it could be a huge case of research failure, but on further inspection, it could be a case of Foreshadowing and Fridge Brilliance, as quoted here.
"The entire point that Hibiki is trying to make is that the 'natural' world, without the artifices of Man, is superior to the world of violence that Man has created; this is patently ridiculous, as Man is really the only species that gives a damn about trying to maintain peace even when it's not advantageous, and that's thanks to the same parts of humanity that also give birth to sadness, anger, fear, and even hate (which are hardly petty reasons, and often spring from the fact that a person experienced things to make them sad, angry, afraid, or hateful). ... [It's possible that] Atsuki's suspicious outlook during that scene is plot-related, a way to foreshadow that Hibiki is wrong about other things and being influenced by Edward's beliefs. As we find out when Atsuki faces off with Edward, Atsuki's personal belief - for all that he seems apathetic - is the exact opposite of Hibiki's and Edward's, and why Atsuki's able to overcome the Big Bad at the end: He ultimately believes not in the power of fate but of flawed humans, the Mankind that Hibiki and Edward (and to some extent Graham) disdained, whether or not those humans have powers. That's sort of the point of a large part of the game, including the scenes during the rioting/attack where we see the non-psychic characters calming the rioters, evacuating people to safety, and so on even while the mob and the soldiers demonstrate the 'bad' parts of Mankind."
To add to that, Hibiki's statement and quote on his character page about not being so different from Atsuki has a deeper meaning. While the two had terrible lives growing up, losing everyone close to them and then choosing to live or not has left them both scarred in different ways. (Atsuki became the Broken Bird while Hibiki crossed the Despair Event Horizon, bounced back up thanks to Ryo and Honoka and but then went back down). While Hibiki was referring to this, what makes them different is how they see the world. Atsuki, despite his cold front, he still has faith in humanity while Hibiki thinks the exact opposite from the debate the two had. Only after you save Honoka and Hibiki wakes up does Hibiki realize that his way of thinking was wrong and thus when Atsuki writes that Hibiki wants to help people, they think the same way now hence they're Not So Different.
If someone is infected by Silent, chances are they're not going to be infected again. Why? Because Atsuki's powers are supposed to make people realize their faults and allows them to become a better person and face their fears and insecurities. Crosses with Fridge Horror when you realize that there are three people in the game that are infected at least twice by refusing to face themselves or for still acting the same way.
This makes sense when you look at the three people still infected. Akira's problems include not being able to save Mika from last year's incident the way he wanted to and then blaming his father for his mother's death. The first one is solved midway through the game even though Atsuki gets rid of the Silent as early as episode 4. The second problem isn't solved until episode 18 where he finally realizes that the nostalgia he wants is in the past. Sayuri's Silent was given to her from her near death experience by the hands of the Serial Killer, she recovers but gets infected. The trauma is so bad though that she constantly wishes to escape reality and her desperation to do that causes her to be infected a second time even after it was removed the first time. However, she nearly loses control and almost kills herself as a result. She even admits she had no idea what was going on with her when she lost herself. Katsuhisa is the most obvious of the three. He's the jerkassDumb Muscle that constantly wants to pick fights with people in public places. His violent nature allows him to get controlled and taken over by Silent over and over again without him realizing that he's a different person. As far as he's concerned, he's no different when he's infected and according to Atsuki, his mind was finished by his inability to change himself.
Fridge Horror: A bunch of it. Given the type of series this game is, you'll find creepy things one way or another...
There is an alternate route to getting to episode 21 despite killing Hibiki off and that is if you save the old lady from the movie theaters Sakai. However, if you don't save Hibiki from his fate, think about it this way. In the good ending during episode 20 when he wakes up in the hospital and Ryo and Honoka are visiting him, he's able to stop the Silent infection in the hospital until he requests for backup. Now, not saving him will have this scenario. Ryo will stay out of the whole witch hunt and lock himself inside his bookstore. Honoka is also dead when the Silent infectees go crazy in the hospital. This means that everyone that was in the hospital was killed and the casualties were MUCH higher than that if you did save Hibiki and the casualties were kept at a minimum.Nice going Atsuki!
Hibiki says that Edward was person that helped him out when he was studying aboard in America. He then tells Ryo that before he knew what had happened, it was too late. This could imply a lot of things...
Atsuki is generally horrified to find out that people can be infected by Silent multiple times as long as it's a different type. Nola is equally shocked that some people could be infected again after recently getting them removed. However, the game implies that the more psychologically messed up someone is, the more likely they'll be infected more than once. Despite Yayoi being suicidal, she decided that she would be open from now on thus Silent can no longer affect her. However Akira still can't seem to forget about the last year incident and even when you removed his Silent early on, he still freaks out about the whole event and Atsuki constantly worries that he'll get infected again with the same Silent. He ends up getting infected with the Dream Silent instead because of the past. What this ends up proving is that as long as someone faces their fear, they won't be infected again, but if they continue to slip back into despair or are forced infected like Mika and Hibiki, then Silent will be worse than before. Does this mean that Atsuki's efforts are wasted when he lives a city because the people he saved might be infected again.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: There are a lot moments in the game due to tragic events happening shortly a heartwarming or funny conversation. Many of them are invoked tropes.
The last time you talk to Mako, she'll complain to you before talking about Nami and how she compares Atsuki to a cat. Depending on how you respond to her, she'll offer you a tender conversation saying that Kisaragi is his own and how he can rely on her and anyone if he was willing to open up. She's even willing to buy a cup of ramen for him if he dropped by the police station. Shortly after this conversation though Mako is stabbed protecting Mika and dies in the hospital two days later.
And before talking to Mako, you overhear Yui and Mako arguing. Yui doesn't want Mako to get hurt and tells her to drop the serial killer case and Mako refuses because she's doing it for the people of Kisaragi. Frustrated, Yui gives off as Mako leaves. The next few hours, Mako gets stabbed and Yui is crying for Mako to wake up. As she waits for the good news from the hospital, Yui insists that everything will be okay before she trails off. When Mako dies, Yui changes for the worse. It's really bad when you realize that Yui never got to apologize.
An invoked example in episode 13. Hibiki finally comes back to Kisaragi and catches up with Ryo (and ended up having a debate with Atsuki that went over Ryo's head.) As Hibiki is about to leave the bookstore, Ryo tells him to, "Not to disappear on him again." Hibiki's response is a sad smile as he walks away. A few hours later, Yamato tries to gun students down at Kisaragi High School. Hibiki ends up killing him to save Rui and is then on the run because FORT wants him dead for being too dangerous. He ends up disappearing for a few days and depending on if you get the normal or good ending, Hibiki could turn up dead.
Rui is known for her accuracy in fortune tellings. Multiple times, she'll read people and then get a horrible image. Akira usually tells her that they're just visions and they can be changed. He tells her this after he explains about having a livid dream and Rui calls it lucid dreaming that will cause the person to go crazy. Akira laughs it off and tells her not to worry. Next episode, he's on the verge of another breakdown because Silent infected him again after his fight with Sayuri.
You know all those moments where Aoi and Takano are always fighting because Takano keeps researching on his OD machine? That gets him killed later on as Edward forces him to jump off the railing of Chitose Pond. Even Aoi acknowledges that she should have been nicer to him if it was going to turn out like this.
There's Atsuki. Pick any guy character and it would be considered Ho Yay. The two obvious ones are Akira and Liu Yee.
In fact, because of Atsuki, Akira has one of the biggest character developments in the series (besides Yayoi). He starts out as a typical punk but once the Silent is removed, he's calmer and is able to think on his own. You see him once per episode game wise and he's always thinking about Atsuki. Heck just say his pick up line is "You're so mysterious." Everyone else will say that to Atsuki once but Akira mentions that multiple times to the point where you got to wonder...
There's also the relationship between Kiryu and Ryo.
The archive scene that explains how Ryo and his manager have a good working relationship and why Hibiki left pretty much sums it up. Hibiki is obviously jealous of Ai going as far to call her cute and attractive. Ryo however takes this as Hibiki being a Casanova. However, if you pay attention to his overall expression, he is not the least bit happy when he compliments Ai. That entire archive, Hibiki feels like he lost to her as she was able to get Ryo to work with customers which is something Hibiki couldn't get him to do. It's to be noted that when Hibiki tells Ryo that he was worried about him, that Ai interrupted him saying how she was worried that Ryo would be locked out of the store. Ironically, she only knew him from the previous manager, so it's kind of weird how she would know about Ryo's habit if she hasn't met him in person.
The feelings might not be one sided. Ryo was worried sick for Kiryu who left without saying anything to him. Going as far to call him "too pure" to Atsuki kind of hints at something. And we all know Hibiki is far from being an angel...
Les Yay: Yui and Mako, as well as Yayoi, Mika and Rui.
Memetic Molester: Edward. Just Edward. Remember what happened to Shinji? How they found him curled in a ball and shaking? You got to wonder...
With Hibiki. "I didn't realize what I was getting myself into until it was too late." Was he referring to joining PHALANX or something else entirely?
Mind Game Ship: It's hinted Edward manipulated Hibiki into joining PHALANX and is implied to use many different methods to do so. He tried doing this to Atsuki, and let's just say, it wasn't a good thing...
Moral Event Horizon: Graham crosses it when he messes with Melody's mind to the point where she's no longer recognizable by Nami. Before that, he started a witch hunt to attack a high school girl and an elementary school girl.
Katsuhisa crossed it when he tried to kidnap Rui. He almost kills Kei as a result. Even Atsuki says this guy is finished.
Narm: Unfortunately, despite the dark themes of the story, the wonky translation job rendered several people unable to take any part of the game seriously.
Nightmare Fuel: Atsuki gets to read the thoughts of some very messed up people. The game treats this with atmosphere; eerie background sound effects, just the right music, and creepy text effects all help to create an unsettling mood. Especially when you have to read the lingering thoughts of, of all things, a corpse. Go ahead and use the Fix option during that SIGMA sequence. See what happens.
What happens when you select 'FIX' in the Shinen Reading of Reiji Takano's corpse.
The whole screen goes black, and you hear Natsuki scream.That disturbing growling sound from other parts of the game is the only thing you can hear.
When you read the residential Shinen of Lt. Tanaka the first time, you can hear him CUTTING SOMEONE TO PIECES, you can't help but be grossed out. And it's hinted that when Lt. Tanaka kidnapped Mika, he stripped her down. Akira's quote of "Why is your scent on Mika's clothes?" doesn't hint at it. Also, reading his jacked up mind is really creepy.
As Sayurigoes more insane with each day, she'll talk about the creepiest things. Then when you read her mind at times, she'll be crying AND laughing at the same time. And she usually has a smile on her face when you read her mind...
Player Punch: Given the type of game this is, it's inevitable to prevent the deaths of all the characters and even when you can prevent some characters from actually dying, the fact that you will get the normal ending on your first try is a huge Player Punch in itself.
The Scrappy: A lot of people don't like Enokida because they consider him crazy for talking to a doll and how he puts the doll before other people. There's also the fact that he really doesn't do anything in the plot that helps any of the main characters out.
Toy Ship: Toma and Nami are often paired together. In some time skip stories, the two are usually going out since Nami moves on from her Precocious Crush on Atsuki.
Unfortunate Implications: Graham is the only dark skinned character that turns out to be the villain of the series...and he ends up failing what he intended to do.
Viewer Gender Confusion: The translation is so sloppy that female characters sometimes get referred to as "he", and visa versa. Poor Mako gets the worst of it; although it's obvious from looking at her that she's a woman, she gets referred to as a guy so many times (especially on Yuzi's BBS) that some players have actually wondered if she was transgender.