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Visual Novel / Death Match Love Comedy

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Death Match Love Comedy, also known as DMLC, is a Visual Novel distributed by Kemco and first released on mobile phones on 2013, and later got a remaster on Steam by June 2020. Starting off as a seemingly classic Romance Game, it quickly takes a different direction with a ridiculous but original concept bordering on Black Comedy.

The story focuses on Ordinary High-School Student Kei, a freshman at Misasagi High School, enjoying his everyday life with his longtime friend Asuka. One evening, he's suddenly invited to a private talk from two girls of his class: Rumiko, the most popular girl of the school and famous as an ideal Japanese women, and Otoba, his (sort of) Childhood Friend from elementary school. As both of them confess their love for him, he suddenly explodes...Only to be revived shortly after. He then receives a warning from a mysterious creature: "Next time they'll confess, you'll explode for real."


Forced to adapt his life to his newfound curse (nicknamed "Death Match Love Comedy"), Kei seeks the help of six of his classmates who all saw him on the verge of death, while avoiding the numerous attempts of confession of his two Love Interests, who strangely go berserk in the evenings. As many mysteries and strange happenings unfold before him, Kei will need to form a strong bond with his classmates to discover the origin of his curse, in a strange but heartfelt story of love, suspicions, paranoia... And friendship.

See also Raging Loop, another visual novel set in the same universe as Death Match Love Comedy.


Death Match Love Comedy features the following tropes:

  • All Take and No Give: Turns out to be the case for Miya Tougo towards Otoba Shirotsume, who gave many things and affection towards them without any kind of compensation, something that bothers them a lot to the point they doesn't consider themselves as an actual friend.
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    • End 1. Kei is free of the barbed wire's dark influence, and becomes the confident of Rumiko and vows to stay at her side, with both willing to atone for their sins together with their friends. However, Kei still has the bomb on him, and at least two masterminds are still at large.
    • End 2. After striking a deal with "Super Kokkuri", Rumiko's suicide is entirely averted, and Kei suddenly moves out with Suzu in another city on the grounds of being diagnosed with a mental disease. Six months later, Shinoka finds him in a beach, and both discuss about their friends' future from now on. She then declares to Kei her intent to save him from his curse no matter what, with bits of Ship Tease as the story ends. However, Kei still has both the barbed wire and the bomb on him, and no mastermind was ever found out.
    • End 3. Kei manages to stop both Otoba and Miya from killing him, by mentioning the latter's blatant crush on her. Otoba eventually acccepts Miya's feelings but can't let go of Kei, so Miya decides the three of them to be together as a couple of sorts. After failing to restore Rumiko's memory, Miya and Kei decide to explore the world to find clues, taking Otoba along with them.
    • The True End. Kei sacrifices his life to save his friends from dying within the Braided Girl's Pocket Dimension. Due to Asuka's refusal to admit his best friend's death, the other six eventually find a way to bring him back through Sharpshooter Fallacy...Only for him to end up in a Heroic Fantasy anime, with the final scene showing them parting ways to fight off the Braided Girl, protect the city, and rescuing Kei.
  • Bittersweet Ending: End 4. Miya effectively rid Kei of his bomb, but Otoba loses her mind after hearing his confession and turns into a giant green goat, forcing Miya to use her Dangerous Forbidden Technique, Uzumi. While it does save them, Kei ends up in a comatose state and Otoba suffers a form of schizophrenia. Unable to heal them, Miya decides to leave the city alongside Shinoka, Asuka and Ryuuto, while Rumiko stays with the tragic couple in the hope of recovering her memories. After several years, the game end with a somewhat more positive tone, implying that Kei eventually wakes up and Otoba becomes sane again.
  • Black Comedy: The story is about Kei's struggle to stay alive despite everything, and his numerous attempts to escape death Played for Laughs.
  • Bookends: DMLC starts with Kei's two Love Interests confessing to him, and almost kill him by accident, while being oblivious about love in general. The story ends with Kei sacrificing his life in a gigantic explosion to save his friends from the Braided Girl out of platonic love for them, and willingly asks Rumiko and Otoba to confess to him.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: As the days go by, DMLC gradually drops the Black Comedy bits to become something akin to Personal Horror, along with supernatural happenings.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: DMLC tells the story of Kei Yagi about his quest for survival, and his growth as an individual who must learn about love.
  • Continuity Nod: Being in the same universe as Raging Loop, there are several instances of it.
    • Miya is actually an older Meiko, who kept her Black Goat power up to this day.
    • Several characters in the game are gifted with superpowers by the name of Jinx, something alluded in one of the Extras of Raging Loop.
    • Mitsuji Misamine also makes a small cameo appearance during Kei's trip in Miya's body. Her Sheep form also makes an appearance in the last Extra, invading Miya's dreams to ask for her help.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: The 12th Bad Ending has Kei investigating the school at night, only to be killed by a green spirit who proceeds to eat his head.
  • Death as Comedy: Fitting for the "Death Match Love Comedy", the sheer absurdity of Kei dying from incredibly contrived reasons is one of the main jokes throughout the game.
  • Deconstructive Parody: DMLC starts like a romantic Visual Novel, but with the protagonist actively avoiding his Love Interests, making the story leaning more towards Black Comedy and Horror Comedy.
  • Different for Girls: After switching bodies with Miya, Kei doesn't know how to do proper makeup, and avoids washing his body out of fear Miya would curse him for it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kei, while borrowing Miya's body, gets his way by using her large chest and abusing Gainaxing to distract men, though it doesn't work too well when confronted with women.
  • Dramedy: The story is at heart a good-hearted Romantic Comedy with a fair amount of drama and humor caused by Kei's curse, whom Shinoka aptly names "Death Match Love Comedy".
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The 11th Bad Ending has Kei exploding because of Miya's friend, a stalker by the name of Marie who confesses her love for him immediately...Which cause the entire Earth to explode.
  • Fission Mailed: Kei's first death is prevented thanks to outside intervention, with the textbox almost displaying "GAME OVER" before he's revived.
  • Formula with a Twist: DMLC is at heart a Romantic Comedy, but the explosive curse of Kei turns it into a Horror Comedy.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Miya's gambit to remove Kei's bomb requires her to swap bodies with Kei for a day. Without him knowing it beforehand.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Otoba does this to Rumiko by the end of the game to prevent her from confessing to Kei, especially since she lost her memories.
  • Funbag Airbag: If he chooses to go at school with his friends on the morning of April 20th, Kei acccidentally runs into Miya's cleavage, prompting Otoba to kill him on the spot out of blind rage.
  • Gambit Pileup: The events of DMLC are the consequence of multiple plans happening around the same time for the curse itself, and it also includes people unrelated to the DMLC case who ended up involved in it due to circumstances forcing them too.
    • Kei's explosive curse comes from his own fear of love combined with the wish of Rumiko to prevent him from becoming an item with either her or Otoba, on the grounds of preserving their friendship. However, the curse took into account that Kei's "weakness" was love, making him a bomb in the process, whereas Rumiko merely wanted the demon Detoneko to hinder Kei and Otoba, rather than killing him.
    • Rumiko and Otoba strange trance-like state at night originates from a second curse set up by Ryuuto, who was ordered by his family to kill the last members of the Tsuno and the Shirotsume. However, he doesn't actually want to kill them, instead using the curse with a very specific rule to get around his family's orders and allow his friends to effectively avoid it.
    • Miya Tougo, aka the "Black Goat", infiltrated Misasagi High School in order to approach and befriend Otoba, the last of the Shirotsume, to steal her fire Jinx. However, the DMLC forced her to postpone her plans as Otoba's life was at risk.
    • The entire plot is also observed from the sidelines by three supernatural beings, namely:
      • The lingering spirit of Kei's mother, who actively prevents him to have friends and gave him his fear of love, with the intent of "protecting" him from perceived threats to his loneliness.
      • "Super Kokkuri", the divine being residing in Shinoka's body, who merely wishes to protect his host and claims to act in her best interests. He also contributes to the investigations on the DMLC curse through his prophecies.
      • The Braided Girl, the originator of the curse in the present time, who lost her humanity to become a walking Jinx bent on devouring demons.
  • Hint System: For each Bad Ending of the game, the player is granted advice by a Super-Deformed version of Suzu Toro (nicknamed "Tororin") who sometimes mocks the player for dying in the first place.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Near the end of the game, Rumiko and Otoba eventually make amends for the terrible things they have done and became quite affectionate for each other, to the point Suzu mistook them for lesbians.
  • Lovecraft Lite: As supernatural happenings do exist in the setting, the most dangerous being in the story is ultimately a Humanoid Abomination with space-warping powers and devouring everything in its wake. Additionally, Miya Tougo, aka the "Black Goat" is a huge Shout-Out to the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The Many Deaths of You: The game features 21 Bad Endings, with the vast majority of them involving Kei blowing up because of a confession.
  • The Power of Love: The more love someone feels for Kei, the more powerful the explosion will be. Bad ends usually range from a small explosion killing a handful of people to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • The Reveal: The entire DMLC case which made Kei's life a living hell was ultimately caused by a combination of things outside of his control.
    • The pink cat was born from Rumiko Tsuno's wish, who choose to curse Kei to prevent both Otoba and herself to ever confess their love for him, out of fear it would tear their friendship apart.
    • The trance-like state of Rumiko and Otoba at night was caused by a second curse of Ryuuto Arisu's doing, who was tasked to kill both of them, but choose to limit its power to give his friends a chance to escape death.
    • Kei is also victim of a self-inflicted curse which makes him Allergic to Love and can potentially kill him by making him explode, something that Rumiko didn't take into account.
  • School Club Front: In order to investigate the strange happenings of the story, the seven classmates decide to create their own club of "Historical School Research" to be granted access to the entire school.
  • Shared Universe: Death Match Love Comedy shares some elements with Raging Loop, namely the presence of supernatural powers and Miya Tougo being an older Meiko.
  • Stairwell Chase: In the evening of the third day, Rumiko starts chasing Kei across the school over the multiple stairs.
  • Start to Corpse: The story starts with Kei exploding, and wondering how he ended up like this in the first place.
  • The Stinger: The last Extra, Night of the Black Goat, features several revelations about Miya's origins along with more information about the Four Organizations of the Jinx Users, ending with Miya getting in contact with the Sheep from Raging Loop and learning that the most dangerous "cattle" of the "Pastures" known as the "Sheepdog" is on the run.
  • Trapped in Another World: Thrice.
    • The first time, Kei stumbles in one during the school fire, where he finds Otoba hiding in a classroom after walking through an Endless Corridor.
    • The second time, when searching the the missing Rumiko, he finds himself in a destroyed temple with broken puppets with an uncanny ressemblance to Rumiko.
    • The true End has Kei being trapped in a fantasy anime thanks to his friends manipulating the circumstances of his disappearance.
  • Triang Relations: Type 3. Both Rumiko and Otoba are in love with Kei, but he doesn't return their feelings since he mostly think of them as friends and he'll die anyway. Miya also has a crush on Otoba, but she only has eyes for Kei.
    • In End 3, Miya suggests a triple date with both Otoba and Kei, possibly making them a Type 8.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Averted. When Kei and Miya found out about Otoba being an Hermaphrodite, they are surprised at first but don't mind at all. If Kei chooses to trust Miya, he loses his bomb and eventually accepts her feelings, although he quickly loses consciousness afterwards because of his barbed wire.
  • You Are Not Alone: The events of April 28th has Kei rejecting both of his Love Interests, resulting in Rumiko attempting suicide while Otoba becomes berserk. Then Shinoka finds him only for her help to be turned down, prompting her to be possessed by Super Kokkuri, the divine being possessing her...Who then talks him down, and simply reminds Kei he has a few friends that wouldn't leave him no matter what.