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Visual Novel / DRAMAtical Murder

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"I will destroy you."
Clockwise from top left 

"You finally came...
I've been waiting for so long...
come quickly...
destroy me...
with your power"

The fourth Boys' Love Visual Novel created by Nitro+CHiRAL, DRAMAtical Murder, also known amongst fans as DMMD, features crisp, clean and fluid art style, Electronic Music soundtrack, various character expressions and elaborate CGs, a dark sci-fi story rendered bright and colorful, and of course, tons and tons of Boys' Love, with four main routes and one unlockable one. A first press edition was released on March 23, 2012, and a regular edition came out on the 27th of the following May. A sequel, DRAMAtical Murder re:connect was released on April 26, 2013. DRAMAtical Murder re:code, a Play Station Vita remake (with one more route) of the original game tailored for a younger audience, was released on October 30, 2014.

Some time ago, Midorijima, an island southwest of Japan, was purchased by the highly influential Toue Company. Their plan was to build a high-tech luxury amusement facility called Platinum Jail, for the exclusive perusal for all those rich enough around the world to afford it. Of course, the original inhabitants of the island got screwed in the process. What coexistence there once was between Midorijima's people and the lush natural environment prevalent throughout was abruptly cut off. All those who didn't leave the island at Toue Company's suggestion were eventually forced to move to a corner of the island called the Old Resident District. All those who have stayed cannot leave, unless they receive Toue's permission. The Toue Company won't give that permission anytime soon, as punishment from the head of the company who was highly annoyed at the more stubborn locals. Soon after development on Platinum Jail completed, Toue abandoned the former residents of the island outright.

Twenty years in the future, in Midorijima, an island southwest of Japan, a guy named Aoba lives with his tough-as-nails doctor granny, Tae, and his dog-type AllMatenote , Ren. Aoba's always found it odd how dropping his voice to a certain inflection could drive people to call up Heibon, the shop he's working at, to hear it again and again, buying Heibon's mechanical goods every time. But hey, it does its job, so why not make use of it? Sadly, said power can't really help him with that trio of rambunctious children that always show up at the store just to make a mess. He also has to contend with his unusual friends that are involved in gang activity that he's long since left behind. His life is an amicable one, although as with all who've been left to carry their lives out in the Old Resident District in the years of Toue's acquisition of Midorijima, it is by no means prosperous. In those ensuing years, a game called "Ribsteez" (also known as "Rib") rose in popularity, in which gangs of young men would go out of their way to engage in turf wars against one another. More recently, another competitor have been taking over people's interests; a game called "Rhyme," whose participants and their watchers scatter throughout the city to engage in fights that unfold on a virtual reality but are seen right before their eyes. Anyone can play "Rhyme" if they have an AllMate and the fights are mediated and started by Usui, a judge with a female appearance and a male voice who randomly appears to signal the start of a match. Recently, a trend of "drive-by" matches have started, where people can force others into a "Rhyme" match with no mediation by Usui and most dangerously, any injuries taken during the game can impact the player's health in real life.

Aoba just wants to keep the peaceful life he shares with Tae and Ren, but the accidental download of a mysterious 8-bit game called "Silent Oath" and getting caught in a drive-by "Rhyme" game leads to any real chance of normalcy in his life going out the window...

An English patch for the full game can be found online. In Anime Expo 2018, JAST USA announced an official English localization, which was released on April 6, 2021.

An anime was announced as part of the summer 2014 anime lineup, the PV can be watched here. A stageplay adaptation was announced in 2019 where it had successful runs in 2020.

DRAMAtical Murder provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Yoshie, the woman working at the delivery office, really likes Aoba. Her AllMate, Clara, seems to have the hots for Ren. Aoba and Ren, on the other hand, try to escape ASAP.
  • Affably Evil: Trip and Virus, once they reveal themselves as the leaders of Morphine.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Aoba and Ren would bump their foreheads together every now and then as a good luck charm. Even after Ren becomes human, they would still continue to do this.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: A number of characters comment on it in-universe. Aoba weaponizes it to make sales, and it also comes in use in other crucial situations.
  • Artificial Human: Aoba (and by extension Ren) and Sei were created by Toue for the purpose of researching the uses of their powers.
  • Artificial Intelligence: AllMate have programmable personalities to be set by the user, and have a good degree of AI involved. Clear and the Alphas count as well, since they're robots.
  • Art Shift: Toward the end of the common route, the art briefly switches to a comic-book style when Clear punches out some of the brainwashed mooks.
  • Attempted Rape: Done traumatically to Aoba, which brings his Superpowered Evil Side to surface and put a stop to.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Many of the main characters are gang leaders or whatnot, and very capable in combat. Koujaku, leader of Beni-shigure easily fends off many mooks with his sword. Mink, head of Scratch, knocks out three at once with one punch. Noiz, the leader of Ruff Rabbit, fought a bunch of Yakuza without much stress and claimed he would have won, if he hadn't been interrupted.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the bad endings, Aoba isn't able to succeed in using Scrap properly, and is thusly unable to both defeat Toue and save his love interest. In the bad ending epilogues, Toue's Evil Plan succeeding is usually acknowledged in passing.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • In the beginning of the game, Aoba and Ren get dragged into a Rhyme match with a person wearing a rabbit head who is later revealed to have been Noiz.
    • In the secret route, Aoba must face a berserk Ren in his mind.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Aoba when pushed into it; more-so when on the routes of those with a more active mentality.
    • Ren, who has the most brutal bad end of any of the love interests.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Ren is the one who executes Aoba's Rhyme commands, after all. Let's not forget his own bad end, either.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens on the true route when Aoba is about to pass out from being beaten up by Virus and Trip, and his friends all burst into the scene to rescue him.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Aoba loudly tells the rest of the group to cut it out when they start to engage in petty back-and-forths.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • On an overall scale, one of Aoba's potential love interests is going to get their happy ending, but at the expense of everyone else's, since their issues are left unresolved in the aftermath.
    • Clear's route is this, when taking the events from re:connect and the drama CD into account. While Clear was restored after he self-destructed at the end of the first game, in the sequel, both Aoba and Clear openly acknowledge that as a human and an android, Clear will be left alone once Aoba dies. But then the drama CD hints that it may actually be Clear who may expire first, since his systems could not be completely repaired and he's at risk of breaking or shutting down once again, or worse, rebooting and thus lose his memories. In the end, both Clear and Aoba promise to "rest together", but until the day comes when one of them will die (and the other will follow suit), they'll make the best of the time that they still have.
  • Brainwashing: Hoo boy. The basis of much drama.
    • Brainwashed and Crazy:
      • In Noiz's route, said character is hypnotized using Dye Music and is sent to defeat Aoba.
      • One of the main conflicts in the common route has Mizuki and Dry Juice being subjected to this, courtesy of Morphine.
      • Also happens to Akushima in Noiz and Mink's routes.
    • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Every character's route reveals their respective anxieties and weaknesses, which they either fail to acknowledge or cannot change. This leaves Aoba with no choice except to use Scrap to prevent them from going berserk.
      • Subverted with Clear, where the way to get his good ending is to not mind control him.
      • Inverted with Toue, a villain whose aim is to brainwash everyone on the island for the purposes of creating a utopia/dystopia.
  • Break the Cutie: Good God, there's plenty of this throughout the common route, individual routes, and most definitely the bad endings.
    • There's Mizuki, the leader of Dry Juice who's desperately trying to keep his team together and ultimately joins the mysterious Rib team Morphine, which leads to him and his team getting brainwashed and him kidnapping Aoba's grandmother. When Aoba tries to use Scrap on him, he fails and Mizuki all but breaks and ends up in a coma.
    • Koujaku grew up being abused by his father and watching his mother be abused, and he was forced to get tattoos by Ryuuhou as part of his training to become a yakuza boss. However, the tattoos fed his anger and led him to commit total genocide on the entire compound, including his own mother. In his drama CD, it's revealed that Koujaku's been suffering from depression for nearly twelve years.
    • Noiz can't feel any physical sensation, and rather than helping him, he was locked away by his parents. Even worse, they even said that he shouldn't have been born right within earshot. This has led to him engaging in Rhyme battles just to try and feel pain, even if it's simulated.
    • Poor, poor Aoba, especially in the bad endings.
      • Koujaku's Bad Ending: After failing with Scrap, which results in the tattoos taking over Koujaku's mind and turning him into a bloodthirsty monster, Aoba feels so horrible for failing and completely gives up, allowing Desire to take over completely. From then on, Aoba is now Shiroba: a masochistic, extremely messed-up version of Aoba who gets off on mentally breaking people and having extremely violent and bloody sex with Koujaku.
      • Noiz's Bad Ending: When he fails with Scrap, Aoba is trapped in Noiz's mind along with the latter. If that wasn't enough, every touch between them causes severely painful and horrifically bloody lacerations to cut across their bodies, which causes incredible agony. And despite Aoba's pleas for Noiz to stop and to snap out of it, Noiz refuses.
      • Mink's Bad Ending: Aoba not only makes the mistake in interfering with the events being shown in Scrap, but he ends up decapitated.
      • Clear's Bad Ending: After failing Scrap, Clear breaks down and both him and Aoba are taken away. While Aoba is constantly experimented on, Clear is repaired but reprogrammed into becoming less human and more robotic. Clear then proceeds to not only remove Aoba's eyes, but also his limbs to get rid of his free will. Aoba even gives up at this point, deciding that if turning into a doll is what will make Clear happy, then so be it.
      • Ren's Bad Ending: Dear God. When Aoba fails to avoid the literal blue screen of death, Ren loses all forms of reason and decides to "become one with Aoba". Aoba is then attacked and raped over and over again while being devoured alive, making for a truly painful scene in re:connect. But what really drives it home is that despite everything, Aoba still doesn't hate Ren, and even apologizes to him as he's dying.
  • Bullet Time: Clear has one and only one instance in which he assumes a deep and commanding voice, during the common route, and it may or may not be due to Bullet Time
    Clear: MAAAA-SUUUUU-TAAAA......
  • Call-Back: In his route, Clear remembers that umbrellas are used in the rain.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Duh. Granny is an important supporting cast member though, and her and Aoba's close familial bond provides a large number of early heartwarming moments.
    • And amongst the auxiliary cast, there are females, even if it's one of the Bratty Half-Pint trio and a gossipy and quite hammy forty-something-year-old woman that Aoba frequently delivers to and both he and Ren would like to avoid (for wearing of having to speak with her AllMate, who likes him and who the lady obviously ships with him).
  • Caught in the Rain: In Clear's route, it starts raining just before Clear confesses his feelings for Aoba and gives him a kiss.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In the April Fools' radio drama, Aoba says that he's a huge fan of GOATBED, which is the composer of this game's music. Mizuki is also a fan of them.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Noiz's route, both Aoba and Noiz are dragged into a Drive-By battle with another Rhymer. Noiz then checks up Ren later on, revealing to Aoba that the Drive-By resulted in Ren getting a bug that Noiz was able to remove in time before anything happened. Then in the secret route, the same scenario happens, but without Noiz, Aoba isn't able to have the bug removed, which ends up in Ren regaining his lost memories. As the bug begins to corrupt his mind, Ren is then thrown into further emotional turmoil.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Aoba's color being sky blue, Koujaku's red, Noiz' green, Clear's yellow and Mink's pink. Ren's respective color is deep blue.
  • Combat Referee: When Rhyme became popular, Usui was introduced as one to enforce rules during combat and limit the damage to players.
  • Compelling Voice: It turns out that Aoba can instill his will onto other people with his voice when he drops it to a certain tenor; when put in situations wherein his life may be in danger, however, an even greater power comes out and his consciousness begins to black out.
  • Confession Triggers Consummation: In Noiz and Koujaku's good endings, they'll confess their feelings to Aoba, which leads to either of them and Aoba having sex.
  • Conjoined Twins: When Aoba and Sei were born, they were connected by the hair. They were separated after Aoba appeared to be stillborn. Aoba opened his eyes after the separation, though.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: This trope is used more effectively than most, as in Clear's route he and Aoba eventually have a quiet conversation about the human perception on life and death, which fits in thematically with his predicament — and perhaps refreshingly, Aoba answers all his questions in a very honest manner, trying to offer the different kinds of views humans have on the matter, and why he thinks they might have them, without condescension.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Thanks to Toue, Midorijima is split in two areas: Platinum Jail, where only the rich and noteworthy can afford to enter and stay, and the Old Residential District, where the rest live and try their best to get by, even as Platinum Jail and Toue's company make things difficult for them.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • You didn't think Clear could kick ass, did you Aoba? Of course he did.
    • Inverted with Koujaku, he mostly appears badass, but his good ending has him being really dorky when confessing his feelings for Aoba; he even gets a bloody nose during their sex scene!
  • Cute Monster Boy: Deconstructed, while Oni Koujaku and Werewolf Ren are completely shirtless and still rather attractive, both of them only take these forms during their respective bad endings, are completely unintelligible in speech and have gone bloodthirsty berserk.
  • Cyberpunk/Post-Cyberpunk: While the setting has many of the trappings of the cyberpunk genre, it also portrays (most of) the cast being able to live normally until danger comes to the fore; that said, there's still hints of a Crapsack World beneath the surface of their idyllic, day-by-day lives.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno:
    • The original games has, save from some ending themes, Electronic Music soundtrack produced by Japanese Electronica duo GOATBED.
    • In the anime, the soundtrack is a mix of Techno/Trance and film-scorey sounds, a la TRON: Legacy. The opening theme and two of the ending themes are still electronica, done by the series' original composer mentioned above.
  • Defend Command: Applicable in Rhyme, which typically reduces the damage taken.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Near the climax of Clear's route, Aoba holds Clear in his arms as the latter begins to fully shut down after his hardware completely gives out.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Aoba's Coil ringtone is an 8-bit version of the opening theme of the visual novel ("AI CATCH").
  • Drop-In Character: Usually, Koujaku is the one who drops by civilly, being Aoba's childhood friend, but later, everyone gets in on it. Granny usually just makes dinner for them all as they sit awkwardly by one another.
  • Drum Roll, Please: Played for laughs in the April Fools' radio drama, where Clear imitates the sound of a drum roll when he announces whose house he will be breaking into for the segment.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sei, who isn't properly introduced until the final route of the game, and Ryuuhou, who appears only on Koujaku's route, appears in the second episode of the anime, when the story is still in the early stages of the common route.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia:
    • Aoba's headaches can almost be felt by the audience due to the abrupt assault of red cracks on a darkening scene, in conjunction with an eerie, pulsing ambiance.
    • In an emotionally-engaging use of this trope, Clear's "Jellyfish Song" is never directly sung to the player/viewer, with a soft, ethereal lullaby-like chorus taking its place every time he sings instead, which imparts the wonder and calming effect it has on Aoba on the player as well, whilst never having to bring up how and what he sings (although Aoba will mention that the lyrics are sweet at one point). Although the anime eventually reveals a portion of the actual lyrics, before the full version was released.
      In between the waves
      Shine, shine, shining
      Their voices drift far into the distance
  • Evolving Title Screen: Upon starting up, the title screen shows 8-bit sprites of Aoba and Ren walking together. Finishing one of the four boyfriend's routes on a good ending will have him follow. When the four of them are gathered, Ren goes missing until you obtain his good ending.
    • If all possible endings in the original are obtained in re:code, Mizuki appears before being kidnapped by a pair of cloaked figures. Obtaining his good ending will have him be greeted by the other main characters before they all walk together.
  • Everybody Lives: The Animated Adaptation has all of Aoba's love interests get their happy endings, even though none of them (except possibly Ren) romantically end up with Aoba. But given what's implied to happen to the others when only one love interest gets their happy ending in the visual novel, it's considered a fair trade.
  • Fight Unscene: The anime has Mizuki punch some guys out mere seconds after his introduction, but all that's shown is a close up of Bug Bomb's tag art and a few punching sound effects. Later, however, he's shown breaking someone's nose onscreen.
  • First-Person Perspective: Compared to Nitro+CHiRAL's other visual novels, DRAMAtical Murder is told through a first-person narration rather than a third-person one.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: The epilogue of Koujaku's good ending has him tickle Aoba awake when the latter repeatedly refuses to wake up.
  • Game Within a Game:
    • The first major event in the game is Aoba accidentally downloading a retro RPG on his Coil. This seemingly innocuous game turns out to have major plot repercussions, especially as events that take place within it begin mysteriously occurring in the real world.
    • This trope also takes effect in one of Noiz's two bad endings, where he and Aoba become trapped in an RPG-like simulation of the real world in his own mind due to his wish for them to be able to live out their lives normally. Forever.
  • Gayngster: Although the gang wars within and between Rib and Rhyme are not really the primary focus of the plot, the trope counts nonetheless given that two of Aoba's love interests are leaders of a Rib gang (Koujaku and Mink), and one other is a prominent player of Rhyme (Noiz).
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Clear and Aoba wind up doing it to each other in the anime; Clear, when Aoba asks who he means by "Master," and Aoba, when saying he's not.
  • Golden Ending: After completing the other routes, you can get the Secret Character's ending, a.k.a. the true one. Oddly enough, unlocking the true route also simultaneously unlocks another route that only has a bad end, no good end; although it's fairly obvious how to avoid this.
  • Gorn: There's a lot of this trope the bad endings. Noiz and Ren's take the cake, given that the former's bad ending involves Aoba and Noiz bleeding and getting new cuts nonstop in the latter's mindscape, and Ren's bad ending has him go insane and eat Aoba alive while violating him.
    • There is also a notable instance in Clear's route, altough it's not that bad since Clear is a robot.
    • Koujaku's tattooing process is very bloody. It doesn't help that Ryuuhou created the tattoos using the tebori method, an old form of tattooing that is far lengthier and more painful than the modern tattooing method.
  • G-Rated Drug: At least in the English patch, the way the characters phrase their playing their "games", Rhyme or Rib, comes off with this implication; they'll "do Rhyme," etc.
  • Gratuitous English: Everywhere, especially with regards to the soundtrack.
    • All of Clear's theme songs, which are sung by Kanako Itou, are purely in English.
    • Most of the themes sung by GOATBED are completely in English. This shows in the opening theme, and in Ren's and Virus and Trip's themes for their bad ending.
    • The lyrics of Noiz's bad ending theme ("feel your noise") is entirely in English.
    • Some of the (previously untitled) background music has been re-arranged and titled by the original composers. The new titles given to them are this trope in full effect (e.g 'Whodunit Howdunit Whydunit' and 'Tonight-Burn-Pledge-Trick').
  • Guardian Entity/Attack Animal: AllMates have the capacity to be these in Rhyme.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Noiz's good ending. It's probably the hardest to get, because some of the answers you must give him are very similar and if you fail once, you get the bad ending and you'll have to replay the sequence again to get to the good ending. Did we mention he's the only character with two bad endings?
    • There is a way that will allow the player to have all of Aoba's love interests available as an possible option on how to pair Aoba in a single playthrough, though it requires the player to keep a keen eye on which choice will increase each love interest's "points" (which is marked by a dot with each character's Color Motif in the menu screen).
  • Hard Light: Although most who do Rhyme are not supposed to feel the pain of combat, when Aoba's forcibly made to participate by a mysterious bunny mascot-headed man, he feels every blow.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: This forces Aoba to get dangerous after he gets pulled into Rhyme without his consent, although he doesn't have complete control over what he's doing due to his Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
  • Hot-Blooded: Koujaku. His specialty is riling up all the seemingly stoic people he meets as soon as he meets them because he thinks they're up to no good (he's, perhaps unsurprisingly, right about this). Which is basically every seemingly stoic character (there are a number of them).
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: During the common route, the incompetent Midorijima police repeatably miss their shots trying to arrest Aoba, Koujaku, Virus and Trip in an alleyway.
  • Interface Screw: In Noiz' route, as Aoba uses Scrap on him, he gets to see his memories with Aoba in the form of a visual novel, except with severe discolorations, pixelation and errors in text rendering. Some players thought this to be an actual error with their computer or program until they were told otherwise.
  • Kubrick Stare: Sly Blue, every time he manifests.
  • Large Ham:
    • The memorable seemingly-gangsta-lyfe-inspired introducer of each of Aoba's acquaintances is just about the hammiest character to ever grace sound systems for approximately two point five seconds at a time.
    • Akushima's popularity (amongst the audience) can be attributed to this exact reason as well.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • DRAMAtical Murder still features plenty of dark and disturbing themes, and doesn't hold back on the horror and gore factor in the bad endings. But in contrast to Nitro+CHiRAL's previous game which, simply put, is a blood-stained Utsuge to the core, DRAMAtical Murder has its moments of fluff and levity, and also has a bad ending and a good ending for each of Aoba's potential love interests.
    • Likewise, DRAMAtical Murder is the most vibrant and lively of Nitro+CHiRAL's works in terms of both art style and color scheme.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: In the common route, Aoba gives Clear the boot in the behind in an attempt to provoke him and see if he's the one who dragged him in Rhyme.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Toue plans to do this to the entirety of Midorijima.
  • Mental World: Aoba can enter other people's minds by touching them and looking into their eyes. These mindscapes tend to be... disturbing.
  • Mind Screw: It is a Nitro+CHiRAL game after all. Ren's route gets the lion's share though.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: When Mink first abducts Aoba, he inquires the latter about the specialized pills he carries with him. Aoba's defensive behavior makes Mink wonder out loud if Aoba is a junkie, and yes, he actually says the word as is.
  • Mob War: While some groups, like Mizuki's, are like a brotherhood and even take care of the people and shops in the area in the district that they make their own, most of the people who do Rib are notorious for their turf wars.
  • Multiple Endings: It's a visual novel, so of course there's more than one possible ending, with each love interest having their respective good and bad ending.
  • Mythology Gag: In the Animated Adaptation, a sign in Heibon reads "It's a daisuki shonen," essentially spelling out the series' Boys' Love roots.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Koujaku's gang and Mizuki's group take care of the areas under their control. They treat the residents kindly and are quite popular.
  • Never Trust a Title: The "Murder" half of the title doesn't really make sense, since there are no murders performed, not until you realize that the "murder" actually refers to Toue's brainwashing plans. Being brainwashed to the point of being brain-dead is the mental equivalent of a murder.
  • Non-Answer: In the April Fools' radio drama, when the group is asked if they have someone they like, both Noiz and Mink refuse to answer the question. Then when pressed further about it, they still refuse to give a direct answer and attempt to leave.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: The choices to achieve Mink and Clear's respective good endings can be a bit tricky.
    • For Mink’s good ending, Aoba must not save anyone as he traverses Mink's mindscape. The bad ending reveals why: Aoba is in Mink's memories, so what Aoba is seeing already happened in the past; so if he changes what happened, he will end up altering far much more in Mink's mind.
  • Only One Name: Everyone else is introduced only by a single name, except for the Seragaki family, and it doesn't take until Ren's drama CD to have another set of characters (namely the sibling trio who occasionally causes trouble at Heibon) to be given a surname.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Tae and Aoba, respectively.
  • Pixellation: Most CGs of the sex scenes have this. Justified since this is a normal rule in most Eroge. The official English release on the game, on the other hand, has an uncensored patch that allows the players to see the CGs in full, and yes, without the pixels getting in the way. However, the patch is only available at JAST's website.
  • Police Are Useless: The police aren't really thought of highly in Midorijima, given they are basically lazy and corrupt. Aoba even points this trope out.
  • Power Strain Black Out: Aoba frequently experiences this. The very first time occurs in-game when he's pulled into a Drive-By game in Rhyme.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The Animated Adaptation follows the overall plot of the secret route, but it makes time to involve the plotlines of the four main love interests and integrate it into the main story.
  • Put on a Bus: With the exception of Ren's route, the moment the player picks any of Aoba's main love interests, the rest will fade out from the story almost completely and are only mentioned in passing in the epilogue.
  • Questionable Consent: Aoba and Noiz's first encounter is rather murky where consent is concerned, given that while Aoba is the one who decided to give oral sex to Noiz, it also was only because the latter goaded him into doing so... all out of the misassumption that Aoba has an ulterior motive for looking out for him.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Mink and his pink bandana, Noiz and his cute cube AllMate and bunny-related everything, Koujaku and his flower theme.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Koujaku (Red) and Noiz (Blue), also the AllMates Beni (Red) and Tori (Blue).
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Clear is entirely indistinguishable from a human (being able to eat, have sex with humans, and contemplate the nature of human death) until he encounters the Alphas (to whom this trope also applies) and his body begins to break down. Even as he's dying, Aoba tells him he's the most human person he's ever known.
  • Rubber Face: Clear pulls on Aoba's cheeks when trying to figure out what's "different" about him than when he first saw him.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Koujaku loses control of his temper and his rationale after encountering Ryuuhou in his route.
    • Should the player make the wrong choices in his route, Ren becomes completely insane in his bad ending and is left with nothing but the desire to ravage and consume.
  • Scenery Porn: Not only there's actual porn in this game, but the backgrounds and locations are gorgeously drawn with vibrant and clean coloring.
  • Scratch Damage: Typically, in Rhyme, even attacks which have been defended against still inflict some damage.
  • Secret Character Route: Not so much of a secret at this point, but Ren's route can be unlocked after completing all the others'. It doubles as Sei's route as well, who is far more spoilery.
  • Self Cest: Aoba and Ren's relationship counts, since Ren is originally part of Aoba's subconscious before becoming his own being through unusual means. This later evolves into Twin Cest once Ren transfers his consciousness into Sei's body.
  • Separated at Birth: Aoba and Sei, since Aoba had the misfortune — or fortune — of being stillborn for a while before eventually coming to life.
  • Sequel:
    • re:connect shows what happens between Aoba and any of his love interests after the end of their good endings (while also expounding what happened in their bad endings).
    • The drama CDs covers what happens in each route after the events of re:connect.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: In re:connect, this trope applies for the good endings of two of Aoba's love interests:
    • Aoba and Noiz fly to Germany in the latter's route after they reveal their relationship to Tae.
    • In Mink's route, Aoba leaves Midorijima for an unspecified country in order to search for Mink and confirm whether he's alive or not.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man:
    • Virus wears a dark-blue suit and tie, while Trip sports a nice Waistcoat of Style.
    • Noiz discards his default outfit in favor of a sharp-looking suit at the end of his route and throughout re:connect.
  • Ship Tease: Noiz in particular, who kisses Aoba and says he doesn't get why it's so weird; Koujaku who acts like he's gay for Aoba (because he is) although they pass it off as bromance at first; Clear whose insistence that Aoba is his master and that he belongs to him is the reason Noiz and Koujaku start to get really pissed off, etc. It's everywhere until Aoba starts thinking about a particular man.
  • Shonen Hair: Trip and Virus have notably spiky hair, which stands out from the hairstyles of the rest of the cast.
  • Shout-Out: '2106 CR-L' is written in the Oval Tower's back entrance. 2106 can be read as 'Nitro' (ni-to-ro), while CR-L is (obviously) 'Chiral'.
  • Sick Episode: Half of Volume 3 of the drama CD has Aoba suffering from a cold that won't go away. The reason for this is revealed to be somewhat complicated, and Aoba only makes a full recovery once Mink resolves to tell Aoba everything about his past.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In the finale of the secret route, when Aoba finds who appears to be Sei, he realizes who "Sei" actually is when said person licks his cheek — something only Ren has done to him.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    • Is it Noise, Noiz, Noize? Rhyme or Lime? Rib or Lib? Or something else altogether?
    • For Trip's AllMate, is it Bertha or Welter?
    • The same can be said for Mink's AllMate after he finally gives him a name: Rurakan/Lulakan, Huracan, or Rulacane?
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Clear falls out of the sky. Aoba's reaction is priceless. He does this a lot, actually, since he doesn't seem to register the concept of a "door."
  • The Stinger: Once Ren's good ending is achieved, after the staff roll, Silent Oath's princess appears on-screen before transforming into Sei, who waves goodbye.
  • Straight Gay: Every one of Aoba's potential love interests, even with Mink's pink bandana and Koujaku's flowery kimono, which in Japan is something of a gangsterish thing to wear, for men.
  • Tamer and Chaster:
    • The anime adaptation lacks sexual content and overt BL aside from Noiz kissing Aoba in episode 3. This is not the case with the bad ending OVA, which is more explicit than the TV anime, although the explicitness is still toned down compared to the games.
    • re:code replaces the sex scenes with tamer content and tones down the violence and gore, but the sexual content was replaced with more homoromantic scenes. General nudity is also censored (e.g. Clear's naked apron scene now has him wearing boxers). Additionally, Mizuki has his own route in re:code.
  • Taste the Rainbow: Each and everyone of Aoba's interests have very distinct Color Motifs, personalities, appearances, overall aesthetics. Even the Central Themes of their respective routes are notably different from one another.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This trope occurs between Koujaku, Noiz, Mink and Clear when they're forced to work together to find Granny. Koujaku doesn't trust Noiz or Mink at all, Noiz isn't exactly a team player at the best of times, Mink isn't very cooperative either and Clear is Clear. Aoba is the lone voice of reason.
  • Title Drop: The title is completely nonsensical before and after it is revealed that it is based on a line said by Toue in the visual novel.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The fan translation, at least, gives a few... interesting examples to describe the male genitalia, such as "love meat", "love rocket", "stick and bags", and so on.
  • Vague Age: With the exception of Aoba (and Sei, by extension) and Noiz, the ages of the rest of the cast aren't confirmed. Judging by appearance, Mink would be in his mid or late thirties, and Mizuki would be between Aoba and Koujaku's age. Koujaku is estimated to be at least three years older than Aoba but no exact age is given; as an android, Clear's real age isn't specified; and the closest hint you get to Virus and Trip's ages is that they're six years apart, with Trip being the younger of the two.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • The proctor of Rhyme, Usui, has a woman's body, but her voice is deep and clearly that of a man's. This makes sense, given that Sei is controlling her.
    • For a cute, little dog AllMate, Ren has a really deep voice.
  • White Hair, Black Heart:
    • Averted with Clear, although he was supposed to be this. He does become this trope in his bad ending after being forcibly reprogrammed.
    • The Alphas, who are Clear's "brothers", are this to a T.
    • Aoba becomes this in Koujaku's bad ending when his Superpowered Evil Side completely takes over his weakened will.
  • Yakuza: Aside from the numerous gangs populating Midorijima, there are also a few mentions of the yakuza. Koujaku recognizes Virus and Trip as members of the yakuza. Not only that, Koujaku himself was born into a yakuza family. Some yakuza thugs also give Aoba and Clear trouble in the latter's route.
  • Yandere: The bad endings typically involve Aoba or his love interest becoming this and resorting to extreme and graphic measures to keep the other with them forever. Special mention goes to Clear, who cuts off Aoba's limbs and removes his eyes to take away his free will.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: This trope is prevalent in Drive-Bys and in Aoba's excursions into other characters' Mental Worlds.


Video Example(s):


Think of everyone you'd leave.

As Koujaku buckles under his guilt and depression, his childhood friend Aoba begs him to think about the people who need him... in his own way.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DontSaySuchStupidThings

Media sources: