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YMMV / The Caligula Effect

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  • Adorkable: Shonen Doll's Character Episodes show his more awkward side, with him worrying and fretting over minute details that might potentially harm his friendship with Suzuna. He's so happy to have made a friend in her, he gets almost hysterical when he wonders if it was appropriate to respond to her WIRE message immediately.
  • Awesome Music: With Tsukasa Masuko at the helm, and real life Vocaloid producers working on the vocal tracks, it was pretty much inevitable that the game would have an amazing soundtrack.
  • Broken Base: Regarding the anime. One camp believes that it is a terrible adaptation and left out several important details, especially given the Loads and Loads of Characters the game was known for. Another camp thinks that, while the anime was by no means perfect, it was still fairly decent and gave the protagonist a fairly intriguing backstory.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Thorn's real-life identity. When Shogo mentions that Ichika is deceased and that he was part of a ¡Three Amigos! group, and Aria stating that people can only be invited to Mobius if they have a soul, made eagle-eyed fans instantly know that Thorn is the then unnamed third friend, Asuka Natsume, taking on Ichika's appearance.
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  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The story is met with much praise, but the game play and mechanics are considered lackluster at best.
  • Evil Is Cool: Eiji and Wicked are the more popular characters of their respective groups, but they're also the most diabolical.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the Persona series, specifically Persona 5. Though considering how obscure Caligula can be, this could be considered one-sided. Both games came out within the same year for both Japanese (2016) and English (2017) months between each other. Fans from the Persona series would call this game a "knock off" for daring to be a turn-based JRPG that takes place during a high school setting, while fans of this series would affectionately call this game "Anti-Persona" for pretty much being the exact opposite of its contemporary. Little to no high school shenanigans, most of the aforementioned high schoolers actually being adults or at least college aged, and no dating mechanics with only ship tease mentioned. It doesn't help that the scenario writer for Caligula is Tadashi Satomi, who also wrote Persona and 2, which were largely ignored by most of the Persona fanbase at the time.
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  • Game-Breaker: Easy Mode makes it very difficult for people who want a challenge, but at the same time want to enjoy the story of the game. The best example is at the start of the game, where players can access a late game dungeon at the get-go and fight the enemies there. While difficult, you gain a large pool of experience to the point where you'll be able to complete dungeons with only one character.
  • Goddamned Bats: Any of the Digiheads that spam their shield - if the player isn't paying attention, it can turn a battle that could be done in seconds into a minute long affair.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Wicked has locked the Go-Home Club inside the music room and toys with them, she says their is another traitor among them. Come Overdose's Forbidden Musician Route, and she's actually right. The hilarious part comes from that Wicked doesn't know that the President of the Go-Home Club is Lucid, one of the Ostinato Musicians — a fact shared by the other members as none of them know what Lucid really looks like.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A few scenes in Character Episodes are played for comedy and then become much less funny once you learn the context behind them. For example, Mifue's behavior around restaurants, likened by Aria to a wild animal, is because of her serious self-image and weight issues, not to mention her anorexia.
  • He Really Can Act: A lot of people agree that Reina Ueda really managed to nail the role as Mu. The Tír na nÓg segment of the anime especially is seen as her crowning achievement as she manages to convey Mu's flurry of emotions.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: The protagonist gets shipped with pretty much all of the major characters.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Thorn is the leader of the Ostinato Musicians overseeing Mobius. Originally Asuka Natsume, Thorn was unable to move on from the suicide of her best friend and took on her identity inside Mobius, where Thorn became the right-hand of the sentient AI μ after μ denied Thorn her wish. Creating the Ostinato Musicians, a group of emotionally damaged individuals seeking to preserve their ideal lives by composing songs for μ and manipulating them as well, Thorn uses their songs to amass negative energy and slowly corrupt μ to grant her own wish. While the Go-Home Club manages to defeat the Musicians, Thorn succeeds in corrupting μ while also taking revenge on her former friend Shogo Satake by triggering his past trauma. Hiding her real intentions from both friend and foe, Thorn was the real mastermind behind the current Mobius, all in her plan to ensure the destruction of the real world.
  • Narm: Some of the protagonist's responses in the Character Episodes can be rather quirky and odd for someone who sounds so stoic in battle.
  • Narm Charm: Love or hate Stork, you'll find his Gratuitous English to be quite amusing. Hallelujah!
  • One-Scene Wonder: When the Go-Home Club catches up to μ at the Landmark Tower, she is under the misconception that Aria, who helped her build Mobius and couldn't understand why she would want to help people leave Mobius, is actually brainwashed by the protagonist and attempts to eliminate them. What makes this scene so jarring is that, in the Forbidden Musician Route, μ knows for a damned fact that the protagonist and Lucid are one of the same. This could be chalked up to her being overwhelmed by the accumulated negative emotions at the moment, but still!
  • Periphery Demographic: The original game was actually aimed at people in their 30s, but there are many younger fans of the franchise.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Causality Link. While being able to befriend and recruit 500+ characters sounds very appealing, the characters are very cookie-cutter, and the sidequests you need to do for them to unlock their passive skills for the party range arbitrarily from effortless to near impossible. Most notably, any request that has you fighting either the Moral Fighter, the Nightmare, or the Hallucination, who are all way stronger than the final boss! Made slightly better in Overdose, as your Relationship Values go up much faster and each character only has one sidequest now as opposed to two.
  • That One Level: Kuchinashi's dungeon in Overdose. It's long and maze-like, and the higher floors have very tight corridors that make it next to impossible to avoid fighting enemies. Plus, there are riddles that you need to solve along the way, and getting them wrong means you get dropped down a floor and have to make your way back up, which the game at least illustrates by... having you get the first one wrong in a cutscene and forcing you to go back up to the second floor and try again.
  • The Un-Twist: The Reveal that Marie is Wicked. Given that she only appears once before the Wicked chapter starts, not to mention her taking an awfully long time to find the key to unlock the room you're trapped in, it's pretty obvious that it's her and not Naruko. However, the anime does a better job on this front, given Marie is much more involved with Ritsu.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: When The Caligula Effect was first released, many people noticed the similarities between it and the Persona series, which had the result of many writing off the game as a shallow Persona clone. This was in spite of the fact that the story was penned by Tadashi Satomi, who also penned the stories of the original Persona games prior to Persona 3.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Quite a few fans were let down by Overdose's Musician route simply adding dungeons and character episodes to the regular plot as opposed to it being its own disparate plot route. Its extreme Downer Ending route doesn't help matters, either.
    • There's a smaller camp that is disappointed about the relationship between Kuchinashi and Stork. As their Character Episodes reveal, Stork was a police officer stationed in the same neighborhood Kuchinashi's family was living in. Despite this fact, the two hardly interact with one another, nor do their Character Episodes intersect with each other following these revelations.
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