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Tear Jerker / The Caligula Effect

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Everyone has a reason for entering the supposed virtual paradise called Mobius for one reason for another. And they're every bit as disheartening or tear worthy as you would expect.

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Story

  • The overall idea behind Mobius. It's a virtual space created for people who have suffered, in one way or another, in the real world. However, Mu wasn't fully satisfied with how things turned out despite many people thought it was a wonderful escape from reality. She saw that people eventually returned to the real world and would risk being hurt again. When Thorn enters the picture, Mu is at her most vulnerable, having seen countless people leave a world where she thought they could live happily in for the rest of their lives.
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  • Each of the potential backstories for our main lead, each as depressing as the last. They don't paint a full picture, but they do give a hint behind the suffering the protagonist endured. Some of the depressing ones include being ignored by their crush, not understanding the value of bonds or a past incident that scarred them horribly to the point of wanting to forget it ever happened or replace those memories with better ones.
  • After his defeat and defecting to the Go-Home Club, Kensuke sees that everyone who listened to his music has either completely forgotten about him or outright ignores him. Considering how insecure about he was of his own future, and that he had to use Mu's power to let him compose music, the rejection he faces is rather depressing.
  • The remnants of Mu's lingering feelings that you encounter during the story. The remnant Mu is excited, but she immediately becomes sad when she sees people wanting to leave Mobius after they've gone through a peaceful time, in spite of the fact that she feels they will suffer hardship again. She even pitifully asks the protagonist if they're so happy in Mobius they'd want to stay forever, despite already knowing the answer.
  • Shadow Knife's backstory. In real life, he was a student who was bullied relentlessly. When he entered Mobius and Mu approached him by offering to grant his wish, he chose to adopt the persona of the character of his favorite anime. Upon joining the Ostinato Musicians, he promptly took revenge on his bullies by having them go through the punishments he suffered at their hands and trap them in the Landmark Tower.
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    • Shadow Knife's death in the vanilla version of the game. Kotaro calls out to him as he backs away, wounded, not realizing he's about to fall over the edge. What happens next serves as a massive wake-up call for Kotaro, who had been in a debate of ideals of justice with Shadow Knife throughout the entire dungeon.
      • In the Forbidden Musician Route of Overdose, what happens to him regardless of whether or not Eiji's Character Scenario is completed is pretty sad. If Eiji is ousted, Shadow Knife does survive...but he also accidentally kills Eiji when the glass ceiling that broke his fall shatters and the shards slice Eiji up. The experience shakes him up so badly that he wants to leave Mobius, preferring to suffer in the real world than suffer in Mobius, where the threat of dying is very real. Sadly, Thorn isn't letting anyone leave by that point.
      • He suffers even worse if Kotaro sacrificed himself to save him. Accidentally killing someone is enough to freak him out, but someone dying to save him? And the friends of said person blaming, and the revelation that Kotaro was a 14-year-old child? He snaps and becomes a blind fanatic and devout follower of Thorn from that point forward.
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  • The tragedy between Thorn and Shogo. In the real world, the two of them used to be friends with a girl named Ichika Saotome, who's appearance Thorn based his avatar off of. For unexplained reasons, Ichika committed suicide and asked Shogo to join her, though the latter backed out at the last minute. The result? Asuka despising Shogo for chickening out and hating the world that took his friend and Shogo himself becoming so horrified by his own cowardice that he hasn't stepped outside of his house since.

Anime

  • The group's overall reaction when they reach the limits of Miyabi and realize that Mobius isn't the real world. Mu appears before them and asks them what they might wish for...all the while completely oblivious to the looks of horror, shock and despair on their faces.
    Ritsu: (thinking) This world is mad.
  • Ritsu's subsequent "graduation" after realizing Mobius isn't the real world. His former friends no longer see him as a person, but as a threat to Mobius' stability that must be either killed or brainwashed. Imagine how it must feel for Ritsu to see the people who used to be his best friends suddenly turn against him, just because he realizes the world is fake.
  • Mifue's own "graduation" is pretty gut-wrenching. Imagine that your mother in Mobius is all skin and bones and she barely eats anything. Worried about her condition, you end up meeting Mu who realizes that you're feeling down and asks what's wrong. All you want is for your mother to start eating. So what does Mu do? Replace Mifue's fake mother with a new one. It may not be her real mother, but Mifue's reaction is well justified.

Character Scenario

  • Mifue's backstory reveals why she despises fat people so much. Her mother was overweight and it gave her some serious problems to the point where she became anorexic and had to be admitted to a hospital. In Mobius, she can eat as much as she'd like without fear of losing her slim figure because she wished she didn't want to become like her mother. This is also reflected by her Catharsis Effect creating a mask over her lower face.
  • Why is Stork so terrified of being turned over to the police? Because in real life, he was a cop. To go into full detail, Stork created a disguise he dubbed "Peepman" to indulge in his perverted tendencies. In one of his escapades, he happened to see someone setting a house on fire, initially thinking he was another peeper intruding on his territory. Stork managed to snag a few pictures, meaning he could have the bastard arrested. The problem? He took the pictures while in his Peepman disguise. Worse, Stork is well-known in the neighborhood he was assigned to, meaning that if he turned over those pictures, everyone would know he was a peeping tom and effectively destroy the image he created as an upstanding citizen and keeper of the peace.
    • What hurts him more than the idea of his reputation being ruined all because he doesn't want to turn over the photos of an arsonist who, six years later, is still out on the streets? The fact that he knew the girl who died in said housefire. His training didn't cover handling a house being burned to the ground, so all he could do was scream "Fire!" through the streets.
  • Kuchinashi. Sweet merciful lord, Kuchinashi. Because of what happened to her in the past, she can't breathe properly unless she's wearing a respirator mask. If she sees someone holding a finger to their lips in a "shush" gesture or sees fire, she freaks out to the point where she might become unconscious.
    • Remember the house fire in Stork's backstory? The people who died in that fire were Kuchinashi's family. The only reason she's still alive was because she was away on a school trip. Is it any wonder she hates Eiji's guts?
  • Shonen-Doll. You can only begin interacting with him after Suzuna has promised him that they'd have a bento in the real world, and every single scenario after that has him stressing, panicking, and despairing over potentially offending Suzuna, making her think he's a pervert like Stork, or otherwise losing her as a friend. While most of the initial episodes are played for extremely dark laughs, it's hard not to feel sorry for him as the reason he's in Mobius in the first place is because every single friendship he's tried to strike in the real world has ended in tragedy or backstabbing. Suzuna is the first person who's ever been genuine about her intent and desire to be friends with him, and that he might lose her drives him back into isolation, unless Lucid pulls him back out.
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