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Visual Novel / Togainu no Chi

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What will these hands grasp?

Akira had envisioned Igra as a battlefield where one had to fend off constant attack, but now, he was beginning to realize the truth.

Igra was not a war, but a hunt, where predators lay in wait for prey to sate their hunger.

And once the battle started, the hunt became a duel. There was no stopping until one or the other had been reduced to a smear on the pavement.

Togainu no Chi (咎狗の血, "Blood of the Reprimanded Dog") is the first Boys' Love Visual Novel made by Nitro+CHiRAL, and is noteworthy for its violence and dark storyline. It was later ported to the Play Station 2 under the name Togainu no Chi: True Blood with the adult content taken out and some scenes censored, but containing more endings and a few new characters. One of the several manga adaptations (one which has no Boys' Love content) is available in English from Tokyopop. An official English translation of the original visual novel was released on February 25, 2020 by JAST BLUE.

Set in a Japan that has been divided by a third World War, Akira suddenly finds himself accused of a murder he never committed and is sent to jail. He is then approached by a mysterious one-armed woman named Emma, who offers him a deal: in exchange for his freedom, Akira will participate in a Blood Sport called Igra, which takes place in the city of Toshima, formerly known as Tokyo. The rules of Igra are simple; collect dog tags from other competitors by beating them in brawls. The one who collects the right tags gets to face off against Il-Re, the supposed undefeated champion of Igra.

However, things aren't going to be easy for Akira. The people participating in Igra are extremely brutal and not above murder and other underhanded means in order to get what they want. There are also rumors of a mysterious black-haired man who has been killing off Igra participants seemingly at random, a man who seems to be almost invincible. To top it all off, Akira's childhood friend Keisuke has followed him to Toshima out of worry, and Keisuke is nowhere near ready to take on the dangers of Igra...

An Animated Adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired during the Fall 2010 anime season, the trailer for which can be seen here.

Togainu no Chi provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • In the game, Akira had to travel to Toshima by foot, making it possible for Keisuke to follow him, but in the Animated Adaptation, it was changed to Akira being driven there. This was lampshaded in the next episode trailer with Akira asking Keisuke how he managed to get to the city and Keisuke replying that he was in a daze.
    • In the visual novel, a phone is given to Akira so that he can keep contact with Emma. It also serves as a transmitting device so he — and hopefully Nano — can be found. However, nothing like that is given to him in the Animated Adaptation, so how did Emma and Gwen manage to find him?
  • Alternate Character Reading: "Kiriwar" is pronounced "Kirio" and "n" is pronounced "Nano".
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Togainu no Chi establishes that it's one of Nitro+CHiRAL's darker stories by having certain characters die depending on the route taken, with the choices the player makes essentially determining how many of the characters are alive at the end. It's telling that in each of the endings, Motomi is the only love interest who never dies, or at least no proof is given of his death.
    • In the anime, Takeru bites the dust first via Keisuke and later, Gwen is killed by Emma, and Emma is subsequently killed by Nano. Keisuke seems to subvert this trope often despite having the lowest chance of surviving, although by Episode 11 he is killed by Shiki when he tries to protect Akira. As of Episode 12, Nano also dies. The only survivors are Akira, Rin, Motomi and Shiki. The fate of Arbitro and the Executioners are unknown as the last time they're seen, they were still stuck in Toshima.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Rein is a drug manufactured from an unknown source which can significantly (albeit temporarily) increase the physical and mental capabilities of the user.
  • Art Evolution: One can see how much the game's artist has polished their style based on how the CGs in the original visual novel are drawn compared to that of the PS2 port, which was released 3 years later.
  • Bad Guy Bar: Meal of Duty is a bar where most Igra participants would frequent when taking a breather, since the bar is one of the few neutral zones in Toshima.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Downplayed. While the Palace is already massive enough when looked at from the outside, Akira is still surprised at how it can still make room for the arena where any match with Il-Re would take place.
  • Bio-Augmentation: The Nicole Virus, is the result of augmenting a human to become the equivalent of a Super-Soldier. The virus is also present in Rein, the drug being distributed around Toshima.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In Shiki's good ending, he successfully defeats Nano without resorting to drinking the latter's blood, but then loses all motivation to live and ends up in a state of catatonia. Akira decides to stay with Shiki despite this and protects him from all the people who wants him dead. However, the end of the drama CD implies that Shiki is starting to regain consciousness.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: At first, the story appears to be no more than an Excuse Plot of Akira being sent to Igra to kill Il-Re, with violence and sex ensuing along the way. Later, it's soon revealed that the factions involved (such as the military, Vischio and other groups and individuals) are at battle with each other over Rein and its source, and every side has questionable motives which do not always take the protagonist or other individuals' ordeals into consideration.
  • Black Blood: Inverted with a vengeance. Since blood plays such an important role in the story, the Animated Adaptation emphasizes it by making it so bright red that it glows.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Akira gets splattered with Keisuke's blood in Episode 11.
  • Body Horror: Arbitro tends to make various grisly modifications on his slaves, from scars to piercings to implants and whatnot. If he wishes it, he can even take out an organ or two.
  • Boxed Crook: This is the proposal Emma offers to Akira, although it's later revealed that she was the one who planted the false evidence to send Akira to jail in the first place.
  • Boys' Love: This is only to be expected, since Nitro+CHiRAL is the branch of Nitroplus that focuses on this trope as its main genre, with Togainu no Chi being its first game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: This is Akira's fate in Arbitro's bad ending, where he becomes a second Kau.
  • Bridal Carry: Nano carries an unconscious Akira like this in his route after Keisuke dies.
  • But Not Too Gay: Hugs and hand-holding are as far as the anime will let anyone get. It's better than the manga by a little (if only in that regard) since volume 8 has a scene in the first chapter explicitly implying rape, but considering that this is a Boys' Love series and there's still subtext absolutely everywhere, you've gotta wonder what Aniplex was thinking.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: All Igra participants are male. All of them. In fact, the city of Toshima seems to have no female inhabitants. The only female characters who appear in the story are Yukari (who shows up only in flashbacks of Takeru's past), and Emma (who appears both in the start and near the climax of each route). Of course, this trope is to be expected, given the genre.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Akira's knife, in this case. While it may not seem that important besides being Akira's main weapon of choice, it plays a vital role in revealing the extent of his relationship with Nano if the latter's route is taken.
    • Before going into Toshima, Akira is given a phone so he can keep in contact with Emma. It turns out there's a tracking device in it, which is why Emma is able to show up right where Akira is by the climax of every route.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Unlucky Keisuke, usually. Of course, this is unless his route is taken, in which case he becomes a Victorious Childhood Friend.
  • Child Soldiers: Both Akira and Keisuke belong to a generation of children who were trained to be soldiers for the Third Division, though the war ended before any of them could be sent to fight.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Most fighters who take Rein become a lot more bloodthirsty and only get riled up when they get injured.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The anime ends up being this, what with trying to squish plot elements from multiple routes into twelve episodes, which rarely works out well.
  • Corrupt Cop: If only to prove early on that the government is corrupt and doesn't really have much regard for the welfare of its citizens, the police force are corrupt and will happily arrest and assault anyone they like, knowing full well that they can get away with it since anyone with an arrest charge is helpless and more than likely to face life imprisonment no matter what.
  • Crapsack World: Japan became a rather terrible place to live in, courtesy of the Third Division. due The children, who were drafted ad trained to participate in the war but never got to put their training to use before the war came to an end, were assigned to foster families instead of being sent back to their biological ones, causing most of them to feel out of place and isolated, which doesn't help their already limited knowledge about normalcy and morality due to their military upbringing. And where there's a world war, there's a corrupt government, especially with the country being divided into two factions that are at odds with each other to the extent that a civil war is only but an inevitability.
  • Credits Jukebox: The Animated Adaptation, which has 12 episodes in total, plays a different ending theme every episode.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Par for the course, as in most visual novels. And as with most visual novel-based adaptations, the anime did a little bit of cut-and-paste work. Then again, the way the anime adapted the plot of the game is pretty much shoddy, regardless of the fan's reactions to it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Oh boy, where to begin?
    • Akira was trained to be a Child Soldier.
    • Rin had his friends killed by his older half-brother, Shiki.
    • Motomi's son was one of the casualties when Nano escaped from ENED. When his wife was informed of her son's death, she fell into despair and got killed in a vehicular accident when she walked out whilst in a daze.
    • Nano was used as a test subject since childhood and was experimented in all kinds of ways to increase both his physical and mental capacities, and was also used as a Living Weapon for the government during the war.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Akira ends up with nobody at the end of the Animated Adaptation. Although, Akira's feelings for Keisuke are to be questioned, especially at the end.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: In Nano's route, Keisuke dies in Akira's arms after taking the hit of a bullet meant for Akira. The same thing happens to the character in the Animated Adaptation, though this time, it's because Shiki slashes him nearly in half.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Kishow Taniyama, who voices Gunji, sings the opening theme of the Animated Adaptation as well as one of its 12 ending themes... which just so happens to be a cover of the visual novel's theme song, "GRIND".
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Somewhere between volumes 4 and 5 of the Tokyopop edition of the manga, the translators noticed that the character they'd been calling "Nicole Prumier" was actually supposed to be "Nicole Premier". Since name holds significance to the plot, they had to change it mid-story.
  • During the War: The opening states that the Third Division is responsible for the Crapsack World the story currently takes place in. However, this isn't touched on again until very late in individual character routes, and isn't mentioned in some adaptations.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Subverted. Right before dying in Nano's route, Keisuke came close to confessing his feelings; but instead, he just tells Akira that he's sorry for all the trouble he caused.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Keisuke's route. Because there are multiple bad endings with him and choosing other routes will mean his death, the only Good Ending is when they escape Toshima and things go back to normal for them, except that this time the two are in a relationship.
    • Considering there is a ratio of seven official bad endings to five official good endings, this trope also applies to the entire game. Granted, three out of those five routes only have one ending (all of which are good endings, naturally).
  • Eroge: On top of the rife amount of violence featured in the story, Togainu no Chi also has a lot of sex scenes, whether the sex is consensual or not.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: In Shiki's ending, Akira goes out of his way to seduce men and let them have their way with him.
  • Fate Worse than Death: In the short story, Kawaita Mizu, and Shiki's drama CD, Akira tells Shiki to kill him when Shiki was having his way with him.
  • For Want Of A Nail: For whatever reason, the civil war between the CFC and Nikkouren will end much differently in Shiki's bad endings, especially in the ending where Akira doesn't try to temper the effects of Rein in Shiki's body, causing Shiki to turn completely bloodthirsty and insane.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Akira had one with Nano as a child. Him forgetting the event is justified by the reveal that Akira's childhood memories were erased by the scientists at ENED.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man:
    • When Rin comes to after the explosion at the Palace, he rages at Akira for getting in his way of revenge yet again, to which Akira slaps Rin across the face in an attempt to get him to calm down.
    • In Motomi's route, he does the same thing to Akira when the latter desperately tries to go after Keisuke and insists that he doesn't care what happens to himself.
  • Gone Horribly Right: ENED wanted to create the perfect supersoldier, which they got with Nano. Eventually, however, Nano eventually decided to break free and killed several people during his escape, and is now lurking in the streets of Toshima.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Keisuke, who had big puppy dog eyes for the first five episodes, gets narrower and more crazed eyes after he takes Rein. Both he and his eyes return to normal after Episode 9.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Nano does this to Shiki. In the game, whether Shiki accepts Nano's challenge or not — and conversely what kind of ending the player gets — depends on if Akira reminds him of his original goal. Near the end of the drama CD following the good ending, Shiki delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! to Nano.
  • Hemo Erotic: Some of the more deranged characters carry a strong sense of bloodlust, in both senses of the word.
  • Hidden Depths: Most of the characters appear to have a simple yet sound reason behind their actions. However, the motivations of individual characters are explored in more detail in their individual routes, including their pasts and previous experiences with Project Nicole and the war.
  • High-Pressure Blood: The Animated Adaptation is guilty for exercising this trope. For example, a small knife cut to the forehead results in the spraying of a large puddle of blood on the ground.
  • Ho Yay: Invoked in practically every episode of the anime. In fact, certain scenes in the anime are even more homoerotic than their R18 PC BL game counterpart, probably as compensation for not including certain other scenes.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Akira is fond of this, despite being stabbed in the shoulder, sliced on the wrist and severely malnourished.
  • I Choose to Stay: In Shiki's route, despite hating Shiki, Akira stays with him even when he had many chances to escape. Even Shiki lampshades this in his drama CD.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: While taking refuge in a church, Motomi teases Akira yet again about not having any experience. Eventually, Akira gets fed up and when he manages to get the upper hand, decides to get some revenge on Motomi by being handsy with him. While he only meant to mess with the older man, he quickly learns that Motomi has started to harbor feelings for Akira and was starting to genuinely get aroused by the experience, much to his surprise.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Akira falls victim to this in many a bad end and at least two actual routes. Generally, no one kicks down doors to save him, poor kid.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In their third confrontation, Akira and Keisuke finally engage in battle, with Keisuke going in for the kill and Akira trying his best to hold his ground. If Keisuke's route is taken, Akira has a chance of saving Keisuke and restoring his old self after accidentally having the latter drink some of his blood. Otherwise, Keisuke is a goner no matter what.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • No matter what choices the player makes, Keisuke will always take Rein and become violent, eventually leading to a decisive showdown with him and Akira fighting in the rain. The only thing that will change is the outcome of the fight, particularly whether Keisuke survives ingesting Akira's blood, or not.
    • In every single route, with no single exception, Takeru will meet a bloody demise at Keisuke's hands.
    • Near the climax of every route, the civil war between the CFC and Nikkouren will always come to a head, leading to their forces battling in Toshima, and Akira and his love interest have to flee the city to avoid the fallout.
  • Interface Spoiler: If the player decides to check the CG library after having gone through halfway of at least one route, they'll see that the CG of a faceless figure that Akira struggles to remember in one of his dreams is located in Nano's section, hinting long before the player gets to unlock Nano's route that Akira and Nano have met long ago.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • As long as Rin's route isn't the first one the player completes, the player won't be as surprised in a second playthrough whenever Akira learns that his blood has been genetically modified to counteract the effects of Rein, and that he and Keisuke were subjected to Bio-Augmentation experiments in the government's attempt to create soldiers with superhuman features, with Nano being the only fully successful result of said experiments.
    • Once the player begins Shiki's route, they already know from Rin's route (which needs to be completed first to unlock Shiki's route) that Shiki is Il-Re long before Akira finds that out himself through Emma later on.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Right from the get-go, the player is shown how much crime in Toshima is sexually-motivated when Akira happens to see an Igra participant raping his dead opponent, and all of Akira's relationships with the love interests directly involved in the game take various shades of this.
  • Ironic Echo: In Episode 10, Akira saves Rin after he is almost killed by Shiki and tells him that killing Shiki isn't worth it and he must continue living. Come Episode 12, Shiki kills Keisuke and Akira tries to kill him. Rin stops him and says that killing Shiki isn't worth it.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Every time someone meets their doom or at least comes close to death's door, there will always be rainfall.
    • Emma and Gwen get killed after they reveal the truth as to why they really wanted Akira to come to Toshima.
    • The trope is zigzagged in Keisuke's case. In his own route, the trope is averted as he manages to survive ingesting Akira's blood and returns to normal. While the same thing happens in Nano's route, Keisuke doesn't manage to survive until the very end, and it rains once more when he dies for good.
    • Rin and Shiki have their final showdown during a heavy rain, to which Rin finally manages to kill Shiki once and for all.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: When Rin first introduces himself to Akira, he eventually drags them both to the Palace in a way that he's pulling them both close by the arm.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: All the children subjected to experimentation during Project Nicole, including Akira and Keisuke, had their memories of the process forcibly removed.
  • Licking the Blade: A lot of Rein users tend to do this, which signifies their growing bloodlust and insanity.
  • Lighter and Softer: Some of the (albeit non-canon) drama CDs feature more comedic situations compared to the very dark and bleak nature of the original visual novel.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: If Motomi is the love interest, he and Akira get it on inside a church.
  • May–December Romance: This trope applies in Motomi's route, since while Akira and Motomi's exact ages are not specified, it's clear they are more or less twenty years apart.
  • Meaningful Name: Igra, the Blood Sport that everyone goes to Toshima to participate in, is basically Russian for the word "game" (игра).
  • Mercy Kill: Emma attempts to do this to Nano on the assumption that he will be forced to undergo painful experiments if he gets captured by the government. Instead, he kills her.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: In one of the Shiki's route finals, Akira seduces men when Shiki is out, and when he's back, Shiki kills them and doesn't blame Akira for his nymphomania.
  • Neck Lift: Nano calmly grabs a Rein-addled man by the neck to stop his attack, lifts him, and proceeds to crush his neck. All with only a single hand.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: One of the rules of Igra states that while participants can fight using bladed weapons, using any kind of firearm is forbidden.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Averted in Keisuke's route. Akira figures out his feelings because — for the first time — he is completely separated from Keisuke, and not because he was raped by a Rein-addled Keisuke. When Keisuke eventually regains himself and both he and Akira sort their feelings out, it becomes clear that Akira is still traumatized by what happened before.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In the game, Keisuke and Akira acknowledge that Nano, despite being emotionless and cruel to those around him, suffers from similar emotional burdens to their own due to all of them being involved in Project Nicole.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: At one point, Akira finds Nano sleeping by a tree, even though he's somewhere in the open streets of Toshima.
  • One Degree of Separation: Akira and Keisuke both came from the same orphanage because they were part of the same experiment that created Nano. Working on that experiment was Emma, who framed Akira and sent him to Toshima. Motomi and Arbitro were also hired as researchers for the organization that experimented on Nano. Arbitro pretty much runs Vischio, which distributes the drug Rein (which is made from Nano's blood), but the official boss, Il-Re, is actually Shiki, who is Rin's brother.
  • Only One Name: Everyone is introduced with only one name. Nicole Premier doesn't count as an exception, because it's not even Nano's real name in the first place.
  • Outlaw Couple: In the ending of Nano's route, he and Akira become fugitives as they're still pursued by the military even years after the end of Japan's civil war and eventual reformation, leaving them with no choice but to move from place to place to avoid getting captured.
  • Out with a Bang: Akira suffers this fate in one of Keisuke's bad endings, where he eventually dies as the latter continues to violate him.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: When taken in large doses, regardless of the concentration, Rein can kill its user.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: So as not to neglect any of the love interests, the anime mainly follows Keisuke's route with a few important scenes from Rin and Motomi's routes tossed in. The last few episodes also append a particular flashback from Nano's route and one of Shiki's bad endings, with an original epilogue that was (albeit poorly) derived from one of the newer endings introduced in True Blood.
  • The Promise: In Akira's First Forgotten Meeting with Nano, he vows to meet Nano again someday, to which Nano gives him a knife as a token of their promise. This is also the same knife that Akira wields throughout the story.
  • Psycho Serum: Rein is a drug which grants increased strength and speed to the user, but it also comes at the cost of the user getting consumed with raving homicidal insanity. It's self-limiting, however, as the higher the concentration percentage, the more likely it will kill the user.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A few are given throughout the visual novel.
    • In the common route, after Keisuke strains to congratulate Akira despite being clearly disturbed about the implications behind Akira's victory, Akira becomes incensed and calls out Keisuke for never being upfront. Though he's unable to rein in his temper and ends up going too far with his final statement.
      Akira: (coldly) If there's something you want to say, hurry up and say it.
      Keisuke: Wh-what are you saying—
      Akira: You want to ask me, don't you? About whether or not I killed my opponent. Then go ahead and ask. If you want to condemn me, go right ahead. Bring it on.
      Keisuke: ...I don't...
      Rin: Akira, give it a rest.
      Keisuke: (meekly) It's what you wanted, so I'm happy for you...
      Akira: (anger rising in his voice) It doesn't matter what I want. I'm asking how you feel. You've always been like that. You haven't changed one bit. If I told you to die, would you die? Would you die just because I wanted you to?! What's so fun about suppressing yourself like that? You think it makes me happy to have my opinion prioritized every damn time?!
      Rin: (more urgently) Akira, that's going too far...
      Akira: Give me a fucking break. I get pissed off just looking at you.
    • In Motomi's route, the man gives a short one to Arbitro about how vile he is. While it expectedly doesn't provoke an epiphany, Arbitro still gets worked up from the comment since everything about Motomi already pisses him off.
      Motomi: You seriously never change. I'm not telling you to start living on the straight and narrow. It'd be the pot calling the kettle black. But the stuff you do — all of it — is just too damn vile. Makes me sick to my stomach.
      Arbitro: You don't have the right to say that!
      Motomi: It was the same back then. You're not content with merely having creepy fetishes; you're greedy for money, too. It's downright nauseating. And don't get me started on that stupid mask of yours.
      Arbitro: Silence!! You don't understand anything!
      Motomi: (unfazed) I don't even want to understand.
    • In Shiki's route, Nano both eloquently, mockingly and bluntly sums up why Shiki can never hope to beat him, and it's enough to tempt Shiki into drinking Nano's blood.
      Nano: You're a fool to the bone. You can't beat me. You lose every time you fight me, and yet here you are again. Like a broken record. Why don't you learn your lesson? You'll never defeat me. Ever. And do you know why? Because I'm familiar with a feeling you've never once experienced— a feeling that downright terrifies you. You can't attain true strength without first knowing weakness. Maybe you've seen your own small share of suffering, but no matter what you've been through, I've been through — am still going through — torture a thousand times worse. You can't even imagine what it's like. That is what gives me strength. That's why my strength remains. I wonder what you would do... if you had a taste of how I suffered. Would you be able to stay strong even then?
  • Reflective Eyes: In the first episode of the Animated Adaptation, there are two separate shots where Shiki and Akira's eyes are reflected in the other's.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Once someone joins Igra, they are not allowed to back out under any circumstances under threat of death.
  • Rule of Three: Before the story fully branches out into the plot of any of the love interests, Akira will always get to witness the effect his blood has on other participants that have taken Rein. The first is an unnamed fighter that ambushed him, the second is Takeru, and the third is Keisuke.
  • Running Gag: The more humorous drama CDs always end badly for Akira and at least four of them end with him being molested by Shiki.
  • Sadistic Choice: If Akira lets go of Takeru's hand and goes right, he'll run into Kiriwar, get raped, and killed. Going left will result in a run-in with Gunji who will do the same thing. Pick your poison.
  • Scandalgate: Somehow, this series got caught up in "Oreimogate", as it was temporarily pulled off of ANN's servers as a result of the leakage of Episode 2 of Oreimo.
  • Scenery Gorn: Togainu no Chi takes place during a Japan that has yet to fully recover from a world war, so it's only to be expected that most of the background CGs will show how much of a hellscape the country has become, especially in the ruined city of Toshima.
  • Screw Destiny: Akira refuses to follow Nano's apathy due to the belief he can change what happens in the future.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Several underground passages and bunkers were constructed during the Third Division. Even after the war ended, some of the passages have remained intact, which eventually comes in handy during the climax of certain routes.
  • Self-Censored Release: The PS2 port keeps the Boys' Love content, but does away with the sex and the other notably graphic scenes from the original game.
  • Shout-Out: In the background CG of Meal of Duty, a film still of Death in Venice can be spotted on the wall.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Rin and his half-brother, Shiki, are practically polar opposites.
    • Rin wears bright and striking colors and has blonde hair and blue eyes. Shiki wears strictly black and also has black hair and red eyes.
    • Rin is upbeat and energetic, while Shiki is cold and reserved.
    • When it comes to their fighting style, Rin focuses more on speed and agility while Shiki (who is also quick on his feet) fights with strength and ferocity.
    • Both also seek to kill a certain someone, which they achieve in their good endings, but the aftermath of their personal journey completely contrasts the other's. Rin spent a long time attempting to kill Shiki or die trying because he feels that he has nothing left. However, his relationship with Akira gives him a reason to live once more. On the other hand, Shiki is hell-bent on killing Nano but never contemplated what he could do after that. As a result, after he finally puts down Nano, Shiki becomes an Empty Shell.
  • Single-Palette Town: Toshima is very, very gray during both day and nighttime.
  • Situational Sexuality: There are practically no women anywhere in Toshima. The only exceptions are Arbitro's "prizes", which he sells to Igra participants; although he prioritizes the grooming of male sex slaves over female ones. This aside, the men in the city have just learned to make do.
  • Snow Means Death: In the final episode of the Animated Adaptation, snow starts falling. Later, it shows all the dead bodies in Toshima, including Nano.
  • Spiteful Spit: During one of his encounters with Shiki, Akira shows his defiance by spitting on the side of the road. The act merely amuses Shiki.
  • Spoiler Opening: While the opening sequence of the visual novel is a lot more subtle, the Animated Adaptation leaves some big hints right from the get go.
    • In the chorus, Rin and Shiki are shown back-to-back, which pretty much suggests that they have a connection with each other.
    • Keisuke's reflection is seen on a Rein ampoule and the blade of a katana. He's also shown falling down on the same scene— which pretty much spells his final fate.
  • Tamer and Chaster:
    • The manga illustrated by Suguro Chayamachi is so thoroughly de-sexed that it's not identifiable as a Boys' Love work at all. One of the notable cases in the manga happens with Arbitro. While the anime at least showed his fetishes, the manga ignores this side of him so much that one has to wonder why everyone calls him a "pervert". He's also a bit of a comic relief in the manga.
    • Likewise, the Animated Adaptation doesn't really get to show the more disturbing scenes from the visual novel and heavily censors any of the scenes that does make it to the anime. While there's still violence, there's no rape depicted on-screen.
  • Taste the Rainbow: As with most BL games. Akira's the sane guy/audience surrogate, Keisuke's the nice guy, Rin's the young energetic guy, Motomi's the old sensible one, Shiki's the Fetishized Abuser, the Executioners are brutal, Arbitro is the villain with weird fetishes, and Nano's the quiet one with Hidden Depths.
  • Teach Him Anger: Akira just wanted to teach Keisuke just how much of a serious situation they were in, but he ends up going too far with his words, which leads to very unpleasant consequences.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The story takes place within Toshima, which was formerly known as Tokyo before the Third Division began.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: When Rein's effects wear off, the user experiences withdrawal symptoms, the severity of which is proportional to the amount they have had.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Emma contacts Akira in Shiki's route and asks about his whereabouts, she mentions that time is running out and that she and her organization has to "collect" Akira as soon as possible. She catches herself before she can say any more damning information and brushes it off as a figure of speech, but Akira's suspicions have already already aroused by then.
  • We Will Meet Again: The benevolent version of the trope is used in Akira and Nano's Forgotten First Meeting, where Akira encounters Nano by chance and offers to keep him company.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!:
    • Rin especially seems to like Akira's eyes, but he has also gotten comments from others.
    • Shiki likes Akira's eyes as well, but for completely different reasons.
  • Win Your Freedom: Akira agrees to join Igra and challenge the undefeated champion, Il-Re, in exchange for Emma's promise to drop his murder charge if he wins.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Akira and Keisuke are childhood friends who enter Toshima, and the following day, they meet Rin, who offers to help them get acquainted with the city and introduces them to Motomi.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Anyone who uses Rein will grant the person the strength they want, but with every time they ingest the drug, it wears at their sanity and heightens their aggression to near-animalistic levels. This is especially the case for those who take a high-concentration variant of the drug or are more compatible with Rein than most other users.
  • World War III: This occurs in the game, which causes Japan to be split into the eastern and the western zones (CFC and Nikkouren). The event is also known as the Third Division.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Animated Adaptation tends to pull the rug from under the cast every time something is just about to look up for them.
    • Right when Akira gets Keisuke back, Rin decides to go crazy on him.
    • Right after Keisuke saves Akira from getting shot to death, Shiki shows up and wants Akira, Keisuke tries to save Akira, but gets killed by Shiki.
    • Something similar to the above happens in the game. In Nano's route, instead of Shiki, it's a soldier who tries to shoot Akira while Keisuke — who has gone back to normal — takes the bullet for him instead.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Subverted. Nano, having experienced much pain due to him being Project Nicole's success, has become apathetic and feels this way. Then, Akira comes to disprove him.
  • You Need to Get Laid:
    • In the visual novel, Motomi teases Akira about never having a serious relationship, let alone any sexual experience whatsoever.
    • In the Animated Adaptation, after Shiki leaves Arbitro's room, Arbitro comments that Shiki needs to find some release.
  • Your Head Asplode: Keisuke crushes Takeru's skull with his bare hands after taking Rein.
  • Zipperiffic: Shiki, who has zip-off leather pants.