DRAMAtical Murder visual novel cover
|Genre||BL game, Visual novel|
|Released||March 23, 2012|
|Illustrated by||Torao Asada|
|Original run||August 2012 – present|
|DRAMAtical Murder re:connect|
|Genre||BL game, Visual novel|
|Released||April 26, 2013|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kazuya Miura|
|Music by||Yuki Hayashi|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||July 6, 2014 – September 21, 2014|
|Episodes||12 + 1 OVA|
|DRAMAtical Murder re:code|
Dramatical Murder (ドラマティカル マーダー Doramatikaru Mādā, stylized as DRAMAtical Murder) is a Japanese BL visual novel developed and published by Nitro+chiral. It was originally released on March 23, 2012 for Windows PCs as a first press edition, with a regular edition released on April 27, 2012. It was re-released as Dramatical Murder re:connect also for Windows PCs on April 26, 2013, this time containing additional scenes, images and songs. A version of the visual novel aimed at ages 15 and above titled Dramatical Murder re:code was released for the PlayStation Vita which removed the sex scenes, toned down the violence, and included an additional route for the character Mizuki.
Dramatical Murder is a science fiction and romance visual novel in which players assume the role of Aoba Seragaki. Much of its gameplay is spent on reading the story's narrative and dialogue. Dramatical Murder follows a branching storyline with multiple endings and depending on the decisions the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in different directions.
The game initially features four main plot lines, one for each of Aoba's potential suitors. Following the completion of all four, a fifth one is unlocked. Throughout gameplay, the player is given multiple options to choose from, and text progression pauses at these points until a choice is made. Each decision awards one point to Koujaku, Noiz, Clear or Mink respectively. The suitor who has amassed the largest amount of points is the one whose plot line, "route", will be experienced and end up in a romantic relationship with Aoba.
Once a specific route has been entered, four more options are presented to the player at specific points in the story; depending on which options are picked, the story will end with either a good or bad ending.
Dramatical Murder is set in the near future on the fictional island of Midorijima (碧島), Japan. At some point in the game's recent history, the island was privatized by the powerful Toue Konzern (東江コンツェルン Tōe Kontserun) and turned into a resort called Platinum Jail (プラチナ・ジェイル Purachina Jeiru), with the island's original residents being forced to live in the Old Residential District (旧住民区 Kyū-Jūmin-ku). Protagonist Aoba Seragaki lives on the island and works at a store named Junk Shop Mediocrity (平凡 Heibon), hoping to live a simple life. However, after being forcefully dragged into the popular cyber game Rhyme (ライム Raimu) with its virtual world and its use of Allmates (オールメイト Ōru Meito), mobile devices that usually appear as if they are the owner's pets, and hearing rumors about disappearances involving Ribstiez (リブスティーズ Ribusutīzu), turf wars between groups, all semblance of a peaceful life for Aoba ends.
- Aoba Seragaki (瀬良垣 蒼葉 Seragaki Aoba) is the primary protagonist of the game. He works part-time at a junk shop called Mediocrity, and lives with his grandmother, Tae. Aoba has a special ability called SCRAP, which allows him to mix his consciousness with other people's through his voice and use it to control them, though he can also destroy them and leave the victims in a comatose-like state. Aoba has a caring, honest, and open-minded personality, but is noted by Ren to have a short temper. Inside of Aoba lies another persona that represents Scrap, who usually comes out whenever Aoba is emotionally distressed. The "other Aoba" desires chaos and destruction, and has shown to be sadistic and masochistic. He is voiced by Atsushi Kisaichi, and by Hiroko Miyamoto as a child. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Gabriel Regojo and by Cayla Coats as a child.
- Ren (蓮) is Aoba's Allmate, who resembles a dark blue Japanese Spitz. He takes a human form in Rhyme. Ren has a mature, patient, and pragmatic demeanor. Despite being an older Allmate model, Aoba considers Ren to be his important partner and cherishes him like family. Originally, Ren was a part of Aoba's consciousness that was created to keep the balance between Aoba and his other personality that wishes for destruction. He is voiced by Ryōta Takeuchi[ja]. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by David Wald.
- Koujaku (紅雀 Kōjaku) is Aoba's childhood friend, and the leader of a Ribstiez group named Benishigure. He has many tattoos and scars on his body, and works as a hairdresser. Koujaku is compassionate and strong-willed, and he cares deeply for his loved ones. He was the illegitimate son of a yakuza leader and was the only heir, causing him and his mother to leave Midorijima when he was young. After undergoing a painful tattooing process, Koujaku was taken over by his tattoos' special effects and mindlessly killed his family. Despite his dark past, he retains a positive and gentle personality. Koujaku is a bit of a womanizer, and is incredibly popular with girls. He is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi, and by Eiji Miyashita as a child. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by David Matranga.
- Noiz (ノイズ Noizu), real name Wilhelm (ウィルヘルム Uiruherumu), is an information broker for Rhyme, a skilled hacker, and the founder of his Rhyme group, Ruff Rabbit. Since he was a child, Noiz suffers from CIPA, causing him to accidentally hurt others. His wealthy parents regarded him as a disgrace and imprisoned him in his room for years until he ran away from his home in Germany. Due to this, Noiz is apathetic to the world around him and bases everything on cold logic, though he can be immature. His inability to feel pain also causes him to be reckless, and he eventually turns to playing Rhyme aggressively in order to feel the illusion of pain. His body is covered with many piercings. He is voiced by Satoshi Hino. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Corey Hartzog.
- Mink (ミンク Minku) is the leader of Scratch, a Ribstiez group of former prison inmates. Mink hails from a Native American tribe that grew special herbs that affect a human's body odor to give them a sense of peace. Toue, who mistook the purpose of the plant's effect as mind manipulation, slaughtered Mink's tribe in his attempts to obtain them, and Mink was captured and brought to Midorijima to be experimented on. Mink broke out and began plotting his revenge on Toue for his people's massacre. As a result, Mink hardened and distanced himself from personal attachments. He has a stoic, ruthless, controlling personality, constantly using violence as a means to reach his goal. Despite his rough exterior, he does have integrity and a gentle side he rarely shows. He is voiced by Kenichiro Matsuda[ja]. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Andrew Love.
- Clear (クリア Kuria) is an android that previously served under Toue as a prototype for Scrap before being discarded. Clear was saved by a man who was in charge of the disposal, who treated Clear like a son until he died. Clear addresses this man as his grandfather and speaks about him fondly to Aoba. He refers to Aoba as his "Master", whom he is always eager to please. Although cheerful, polite, and kind, Clear is childish and his eccentric antics cause others not to take him seriously and be annoyed by him. He is almost always seen holding his vinyl umbrella and owns two masks to hide his face, one is a black gas mask and the other is a mask depicting a traditional Japanese woman, though he wears it as a joke. Clear enjoys singing, and can often be heard singing a song called the "Jellyfish Song". He is voiced by Masatomo Nakazawa. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Greg Ayres.
- Mizuki (ミズキ) is the leader of the Ribstiez team Dry Juice and owner of a tattoo shop called Black Needle. Mizuki and Aoba met and became friends when Aoba was a teenager in high school. Mizuki has a cool and friendly personality, and he treats his team members as family. Despite being the leaders of different Ribstiez teams, he is also good friends with Koujaku; he also has an unknown Allmate who takes the form of a white stoat. He is voiced by Kenji Takahashi[ja]. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Adam Gibbs.
- Tae (タエ) is the grandmother of Aoba, whom she often scolds but deeply cares for. Years prior to the series, she worked as researcher for Toue, but quit upon learning that her research was being used for illegal experimentation. As a pharmacist, she prescribes medicine for Aoba to ease his headaches. She is voiced by Fuzuki Kun[ja]. In the English dub of the anime, she is voiced by Marcy Bannor.
- Nine (ナイン Nain) is Aoba's adopted father and Haruka's husband. Mysterious and quite whimsical, he was once Toue's experiment subject and apparently hears "voices" of things. He travels frequently as a result and came across Aoba during one of his journeys, and could sense Aoba was special. Nine and Haruka left Aoba with Tae to go on another journey when he was a child, and they have not been heard of since then. He is voiced by Reiji Hibiki.
- Haruka (ハルカ) is Aoba's adopted mother and Nine's wife. She and Tae are distant relatives; the latter took her in after she ran away from her abusive parents. Despite her terrible childhood, Haruka's love for Nine and her family makes her a cheerful and kind person. Nine and Haruka left Aoba with Tae to go on journey when he was a child, and they have not been heard of since then. She is voiced by Nana Nogami.
- Tatsuo Toue (東江 達夫 Tōe Tatsuo) is the owner of Platinum Jail, and the main antagonist of the game. Toue is loved by the citizens of Platinum Jail, but is despised by the citizens in the Old Residential District. Ostensibly, he is known as a calm and idealistic man who desires peace and happiness for mankind. However, he is truly a manipulative and self-righteous individual, justifying his horrendous crimes to achieve his goals by claiming it was for the greater good. He is also a fatalist, and merely sees life, including his own, as a game. He is voiced by Tadahisa Saizen. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by John Gremillion.
- Virus (ウイルス Uirusu) and Trip (トリップ Torippu) are acquaintances of Aoba who work for the yakuza and leaders of the group, Morphine. They are often mistaken for twins due to their similar appearances. They became Aoba's "fans" after witnessing him play Rhyme in the past and will occasionally act as allies to him. In actuality, they are two-faced, and are simply looking out for their own self-interests. They are voiced by Junji Majima and Tomoyuki Higuchi[ja], respectively. In the English dub of the anime, they are both voiced by Doug Hammond and Blake Shepard.
- Sei (セイ) is Aoba's older twin brother that is held captive by Toue. He also has the ability of Scrap, but the power lays in his eyes. Sei wishes for Aoba to kill him in order to be released from his suffering after years of being subjected to Toue's experiments, which resulted in Sei becoming sick and on the verge of death by the beginning of the series. Initially appearing as emotionless, Sei is soft-spoken and kind, and he cares deeply for his brother Aoba and Ren, wishing for their happiness. In spite of Toue's horrifying experiments to his being, Sei states that he does not resent Toue for all that he is done, but feels responsible to stop him from causing more harm. He is voiced by Yūichi Iguchi. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Clint Bickham.
- Takahashi (高橋) is an assistant of Toue. He is voiced by Kishio Daisuke.
- Yoshie (吉江) is the owner of Delivery Works, a local courier shop. She takes rumors very seriously, such as all the exaggerated talk about Scratch and the Northern District. When Aoba could not remember what TV drama Yoshie was ranting to him about, she got incredibly upset and began to fawn over one of the actors in it, much to Aoba's discomfort. Despite this, she is shown to be very kind but also unaware that she makes Aoba uncomfortable most of the time with her bantering. She also seems to be interested in younger men, as a poster is hung in her workplace, reading that only young men should apply, and she is overly-affectionate towards Aoba. She is voiced by Satosaki Ume. In the English dub version, she is voiced by Allison Sumrall.
- Haga (羽賀) is the owner of Junk Shop Heibon.
- Kio Kuniyashi (国芳 キオ Kuniyashi Kio) , Mio Kuniyashi (国芳 ミオ Kuniyashi Mio) , Nao Kuniyashi (国芳 ナオ Kuniyashi Nao) are three elementary school age kids that often seen hanging around at the junk shop that Aoba works at. Kio is voiced by Dani in the Japanese dub and Kalin Coates in the English dub. Mio is voiced by Emi Motoi in the Japanese dub and Jane Cash in the English dub. Nao is voiced by Shin Sayama in the Japanese dub and Cayla Coats in the English dub.
- Akushima (悪島) is the head of the corrupted Midorijima police-(primarily in the Old Resident District), and is usually seen giving orders to other officers. He has a very loud exterior, almost never lowering his voice and always yelling to get his point across. In addition, he has a habit of elongating his words for no apparent reason, much like Trip. He takes great pleasure in arresting people who participate in Rhyme or those he sees as terrorists in his eyes (i.e. Aoba and his friends). He enforces taking violent and drastic measures to capture criminals, usually not caring whether they are dead or alive. Trip and Virus seem to be familiar with Akushima and his police force due to being in the yakuza, hinting they may have had past encounters. He is voiced by Yasunori Masutani. In the English dub he is voiced by Mark Laskowski.
- Alphas are androids created by Toue to control people by playing the "Dye Music". They are usually seen wearing solid white masks. Two of them-(that where shown in the series), share the exact same appearance as their "brother" Clear. The two androids are voiced by Hiroshi Okamoto and Kaito Ishikawa respectively. In the English dub the two androids are both voiced by Greg Ayres.
- Beni (べに) is Koujaku's Allmate. Beni takes the form of a red sparrow. He wears a beaded necklace and a pair of getas on his feet-(despite being a bird). While initially the tiniest out of all the Allmates, has a large temper to make up for it. He has a no-nonsense policy and is shown to be quick to react to tough situations, similar to Koujaku. Despite that, Beni can be very relaxed and shows to care about other's well-beings. Girls particularly find him cute and will call him as such when they're around Koujaku (unlike his owner he'll simply takes the compliments instead of gloating about it). He is voiced by Keisuke Goto. In the English dub of the anime, he is voice by Kyle Jones.
- Tori/Huracan (トリ / ルラカン) is Mink's Allmate. Tori takes the form of a light pink Major Mitchell's Cockatoo. Tori wears an eyepatch that covers his left eye, Native-American jewelry-(like his owner) and is often shown to hold a cigar in his beak. Just like his owner Mink, Tori is usually very quiet and only speaks when he needs to inform someone of something or during an emergency. Tori often talks in a calm, formal, and collected manner, almost never raising his voice even in times of discord. Beni and Tori have been shown to not get along from the moment they both met. Tori often throws insults towards Beni and mocks his attitude and manner of speaking, causing Beni to fly into a rage and further prove Tori right by calling him rude names. Although Beni is hot-headed whenever Tori is around, the latter tends to be calm and collected. They are usually shown together in official group shots where Koujaku and Mink are present, both usually glaring or squaking at one another. He is voiced by Hitoshi Bifu. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by Stephen E. Moellering.
- Usagimodoki (ウサギモドキ) is Noiz's Allmate. In the real world, Usagimodoki takes the form of a pixelized cub shaped rabbit; but in the world of Rhyme---it has the appearance of a real white rabbit and wearing an outfit that is very similar to his owner's, while it's rabbit companions-(having an identical resemblance as Usagimodoki) are wearing huge red boxing gloves and matching tennis shoes. Usagimodoki's gender is unknown. Usagimoki is voiced by Hiroko Miyamoto. In the English dub of the anime series, Usagimodoki is voiced by Tiffany Grant.
- Usui (卯水) is Toue's Allmate and the judge for Rhyme. She is one of the Allmates that comes in a humanoid form. She has ten arms-(each in a different position) and a small body frame. She has long, light blue-green hair that is kept up by two pigtails in the back with fringes in the front. When hosting Rhyme, Usui wears a simple blue dress with white gloves and shoes. She also wears a blue transparent visor that covers her face and often carries a microphone. In her true form, her hair is much longer. She becomes heavily covered in extravagant jewelry on her arms, torso and lower body. Despite her feminine appearance, Usui's most noticeable asset is her surprisingly deep, masculine voice, which is also noted by Aoba. Usui doesn't show much emotion or personality throughout the game. While hosting Rhyme, she's straightforward and enjoys getting the crowd riled up for the matches. Her voice is usually calm yet powerful and her expression is soft. However, during her fight with Ren and Aoba, she is shown to be very malicious and powerful. Usui wears a smirk and her eyes are wide open, having a crazed-like spark to them as she takes little damage and attacks without mercy. She is voiced by Tsuguo Mogami.
- Hersha (ヘルシャ) is Virus's Allmate. Hersha takes the form of a black anaconda.
- Welter (ヴェルター) is Trip's Allmate. Welter takes the form of a giant black lion; his and Hersha's similarities in appearances are reminiscent of Virus and Trip's twin-like qualities.
- Clara (クララ) is Yoshie's Allmate. She takes the form of a Maltese breed of a dog. She has thick eyelashes, light brown fur, a white pearled necklace, and a frilly light purple hair bow on top of her head. She will often stop Aoba in his tracks just for a chance to see Ren and ask how he is doing. Yoshie finds her and Ren's "friendship" to be adorable while Aoba and Ren are often exhausted by the advances and turned off completely by them. She is voiced by Aya Kuyama.
- Bonjin (凡人君) is Haga's Allmate. It takes the form of a futuristic robot. Bonjin is voiced by Inchiki Echigoya. In the English dub, Bonjin is voiced by Christopher Ayres.
Dramatical Murder was originally released as an adult game on March 23, 2012, playable on Windows PCs as either a digital download or DVD. In April 26, 2013 a fan disc called Dramatical Murder re:connect was released; it included extra scenes, expanded upon the endings with scenes that take place before and after them, new CG images, songs and a minigame.
Numerous drama CDs have been released; each on focuses on Aoba's relationship with one of his potential boyfriends and takes place after the events of the visual novel.
A manga adaption illustrated by Torao Asada began serialization in the August 2012 issue of Enterbrain's B's-Log Comic magazine. The first tankōbon volume was released on April 1, 2013. An official anthology volume for the series was released on June 30, 2012.
Dramatical Murder ranked third in Rice Digital's list of "Top 10 English Yaoi Games" and the second highest Nitro+chiral visual novel, following Togainu no Chi. The review states: "everything about DRAMAtical Murder is bizarre, but it makes for a very interesting game".
- 2014-07-07, Dramatical Murder Re:code Japanese release date set, Gematsu
- "DRAMAtical Murder [>ドラマティカル マーダー(ドラマダ)] – ニトロプラス キラル". Nitro+chiral. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "俺たちの……「それから」。ドラマダのファンディスク発売決定！ – DRAMAtical Murder re:connect [ドラマティカルマーダー(ドラマダ) リコネクト]". Nitro+chiral. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "DRAMAtical Murder re:code". Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Dramatical Murder game announced for PS Vita". Gematsu. May 10, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Dramatical Murder Re:code Japanese release date set". Gematsu. July 7, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Boys-Love Game DRAMAtical Murder Gets TV Anime This Summer". Anime News Network. March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "『DRAMAtical Murder』2014年夏、TVアニメ化決定！". Nitro+chiral. March 23, 2014. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "Official DRAMAtical Murder English Cast List". Sentai Filmworks.com. 2015-10-26.
- DRAMAtical Murder Drama CD Vol. 4 – Noiz
- DRAMAtical Murder Drama CD Vol. 3 – Mink
- "DRAMAtical Murder". Nitro+chiral. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "DRAMAtical Murder re:connect". Nitro+chiral. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Tassi, Paul (23 January 2016). "Can You Guess Which 29 Games Are Banned From Twitch?". Forbes. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "DRAMAtical Murder". Enterbrain. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "DRAMAtical Murder 1". Enterbrain. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "DRAMAtical Murder アンソロジー". Enterbrain. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Williams, Holly (29 September 2016). "Top 10 English Yaoi Games". Rice Digital. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- Nitro+chiral DRAMAtical Murder visual novel website (in Japanese)
- Nitro+chiral DRAMAtical Murder re:connect website (in Japanese)
- Nitro+chiral DRAMAtical Murder re:code website (in Japanese)
- B's-Log Comic manga official site (in Japanese)
- Anime official site (in Japanese)
- Anime official Twitter (in Japanese)
- Embarrassing Character Essay: The Koujaku Bible by Coiffeur, 29. January 2013 12:09 PM. (English)