Sage is a self-taught artist and has an interest in different types of video games.
What Is Dramatical Murder?
If you think this will be about murder, you're wrong. This is a visual novel that follows the main character Aoba and takes place in the near future on the fictional island of Midorjima.
At some point, the island was privatized by a man named Toue Konzern, and turned into a resort called Platinum Jail. This new development has forced the original residents to live in the Old Residential District.
Also note, many of the characters have animal companions called Allmates. They are pretty much machines made to look like different animals and can talk. They can also work like a GPS and give insight to a character's health.
Time to meet the main characters of the novel.
The primary protagonist, he works at a junk shop and lives with his grandmother. He does possess an ability, called scrap, which allows him to mix his consciousness with others by using his voice and control them. He can also destroy them, leaving said person in a comatose-like state.
Aoba's allmate who resembles a dark blue Japanese Spitz. He does have a human form when in Rhyme, and has a mature, patient and pragmatic demeanor.
Aoba's childhood friend and leader of the group Benishigure. He is covered in scars and tattoos and works as a travelling hairdresser. Due to his polite, positive and gentle personality, he is quite popular with women. His allmate is a small, red sparrow named Beni.
A young information broker, he sells information about where Rhyme will take place. He is also a very skilled hacker and leader of a Rhyme group called Ruff Rabbit. He has many piercings and cannot feel any pain, which causes him to be reckless.
His allmate is Midori, which takes the form of multiple small rabbit cubes, which hang from his belt.
The stoic, ruthless leader of Scratch, a gang of former prison inmates. He constantly uses violence to reach his goal. He hails from a Native American tribe that grew special herbs that affect a human's body odor to give them a sense of peace.
His allmate is Huracan, which takes the form of a big pink Cockatoo.
An android that previously served under Tour, but was discarded. He was saved by a man who he refers to as grandfather, who treated Clear like a son until he died. Clear refers to Aoba as master and is very cheerful, polite and kind. At times he is childish and irritates those around him.
He enjoys singing and can be heard singing the Jellyfish Song.
These characters you will end up interacting with throughout the visual novel in one way or another.
- Tae: Aoba's grandmother. A very short, sassy woman.
- Toue: The owner of Platinum Jail and main antagonist, HIs allmate is Usui, which has the form of a young girl with 10 arms and a masculine voice.
- Sei: Toue's captive. He has the scrap ability as well, which lies in his eyes.
- Mizuki: One of Aoba's friends, and leader of Dry Juice. Has an allmate in the form of a white ferret.
- Trip/Virus: A pair of shady guys, who dress alike, but aren't twins. They mainly work for the Yakuza, and call themselves Aoba's biggest fans.
So What Is Rhyme?
Rhyme is mentioned several times throughout the novel. The easiest way to describe it would be that it's similar to a Virtual Reality game. The most popular cyber game, anyone can compete in Rhyme using their allmate. They can also alter the virtual world using their minds.
The main goal of Rhyme is to deplete the players' durability. Once the durability reaches 0, the game ends. Usui acts as the judge for the winner. The battle is done by ordering your allmate, in an Avatar Form, to attack or defend, depending on the situation. Players take considerable damage when attacked, but the sensation is limited mentally.
A forced Rhyme battle is called a Drive-By and can be done by anyone who knows what they are doing. There are no limitations and Usui is not involved to judge. The damages the player takes can also transfer to their real body as well.
As you go through the novel, it remembers certain decisions you make and sets you on a path. At one point you will figure out which of the characters that Aoba goes with. There are good endings and bad endings with each path.
Good endings usually end up with the fall of Platinum Jail, and Aoba being involved in a romantic situation with one of the other main characters. Bad endings usually involve Aoba being injured or killed by another character. There are a total of 12 endings in the game.
Final Thoughts and the Anime
Take note, this visual novel is not for children. There are pictures that are sexual in nature, even though certain parts are censored.
This novel did get an anime adaption, which followed the main story, and cut out all the sexual stuff. It pretty much merged all the different paths into one and took out all the bad routes. The bad routes were put into a special one-episode OVA.
All in all, I am a fan of the cyberpunk type feel and character designs. It does have a great story too, once you get around the sexual stuff.