Sunday, October 5, 2014

DRAMAtical Murder Review

DRAMAtical Murder Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you. 

Also, this is a review of the anime, NOT the game.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

My opinions on the whole idea of yaoi have been a bit conflicted. While I do enjoy yaoi shippings, and have read some fanfictions, I find it a bit odd that I like it, and am worried that people will judge me for it.

I have heard of some yaoi series that I wish to watch, and have seen some snippets of yaoi OVA's with the sound off as to not creep out my parents. But majority of the time, I just stick to fanfics and kisses. *sighs*

I first heard about the game via a friend from a group I'm in, and have seen some *coughs* interesting scenes from that game, once again muted. Well, except Mink's. Yet I didn't fully know the story. So, when an anime adaptation was announced, I was interested to see what the anime was going to do. Combine the game routes, include some of the steamy scenes, or take the common route's interesting story, and fuse it with development of the characters?

The anime managed to take the 3rd route. It got a slow start with some build-up, episodes 7-9 were epic, 10 wasn't as good, but the last two fleshed it out enough to make me really like this series. 

So, what do you say we get this thing started, shall we?


On the island of Midorijima in the near future, a wealthy businessman named Toue Konzern has purchased an area of the island, and has transformed it into a resort called Platinum Jail. Platinum Jail has been promised to be a area filled with the joys of life, and Toue says constantly to the press that it's a nice way to battle conflict in our modern day society.

In the mean time in the Old Residential District. Aoba Seragaki, our main protagonist, is living a nearly normal live. He happens to not belong to any of the groups known as Ribsitiez, and after being harassed by members of Bug Bomb, one of his friends Mizuki, lets Aoba know of several disappearances of groups due to the organization known as Morphine. Besides this, the cyber game known as Rhyme, has been expanding through-out the region, and Aoba has already sworn not to play it. Little does he know that his world is going to get a few more mind f**ks.

After being dragged into a Rhyme battle via a false delivery by a rabbit-headed doctor, later turning out to be a guy named Noiz, Aoba seems to inhabit a quite different personality. And when 2 more mysterious boys appear. (YAY! BOYS!) it isn't long before Dry Juice vanishes as well. As for Aoba, his past is only starting to be revealed. What more could his past contain to link his connection with everything happening around him?

Okay, doesn't anyone find this story engaging like I did? I was excited to find out about Aoba's past, and it so interesting to find out he actually played Rhyme when he was younger, when his personality was all dark and crap. He still has it though, and it comes back every once in a while during the first Rhyme battle, and when he uses his Scrap power for destroying. More on this Scrap power later.

All of the other guys each have different qualities about them, and their past were mainly adapted into the anime, though Mink's was sloppy. I liked the combination of routes to focus on backstories, and mostly all of them I felt were engaging to different people and fans of the show.

The first 6 episodes detail more about Aoba's past, and strange occurrences in the Old Residential District. When each guy gets an invitation to Platinum Jail, things really start taking off. After development, and meeting our male harem, we each get intel on a tragic event that happened in there past, or their past in general. All of the guys have at least something really cool about them, and I'm sure your going to gain respect if you tell yourself to stick with this series.

All in all, science fiction, and a interesting past make this story all come together. It's all done pretty well, with mostly proper build-up, and interesting backstories.


If you every played the game, your probably going to remember all of the main characters, as well as love interests. If you are one of those people who have no idea what this show is, and have only heard about it through mouths of friends, here's the main characters for ya. 

Let's start with the main protagonist, Aoba.

Aoba comes from a long line of other great yaoi inventions, in which it seems that the uke just always has to have at least some feminine features. However, the creators of this game decided besides giving him a somewhat feminine face. They decide to give him longer hair as well, which is actually quite unique in that regard.

Aoba is the primary protagonist of the game and series, and live in the Old Residential District with his grand-mother Tae. He also has a job in which he works at the local shop with all kinds of legendary gadgets and trinkets, otherwise known as Mediocrity. Also hidden is his past, he used to play Rhyme.

Back a couple years ago, Aoba used to have a totally different personality than to what he has now. He used to exhibit more violent tropes, often adding in a lot more violence and pain. This is known as the "other Aoba", in which is exactly Aoba, but is more masochistic, as well as sadistic. I think I've invented a character with those two traits before.

Aoba also has a ability known as Scrap. Scrap is an ability which can allow Aoba to enter other people's consciousness just by voice command. This can also be used for command the conscious to do something, and once during the series, almost destroyed one. So yeah, it's pretty harmful stuff.

Aoba is a different protagonist that what I'm used to in anime and in games, and it's actually refreshing. He's not flawless, he's not a pervert, and he isn't a stereotypical clueless guy in yaoi who is just gorgeous, and is immediately dubbed as f**kable. At least he has some unique abilities, and some interesting details to his past that flesh him out then the typical protagonists in paranormal romances.

Let's now go to Koujaku:

Koujaku x Aoba is the main pairing that I've seen fans gush over. Mainly like this:

I understand the shipping of course, but this isn't my main shipping. But anyways, moving on:

Koujaku is Aoba's childhood friend, who he met one day to stand up to some kids who were picking on Aoba just because of his hair. Since then, he and Aoba have maintained a very good friendship, even if Koujaku is 4 years older than Aoba is.

As well as being the leader of a Ribstiez group called Benishigure, Koujaku is also a hairdresser. This makes him really popular, mainly to girls of course. ;)

Due to knowing Aoba for so long. Koujaku shows compassion to him, and doesn't like seeing him in danger, a main example in episode 3, after Noiz randomly appears in Aoba's house, helped out later on by Clears's appearance. Mink isn't really present at this point in time.

I would explain on why he has so many tattoos and scars, and talk about how important his tattoos are to his past, but I would be spoiling the most entertaining back-story to you, so I'm keeping my lips sealed.

Okay, now on to my personal favorite, Noiz:

Don't worry, I'm not going ape on you guys and obsessively fangirl. Noiz may be on my favorite character list, but he's in the not-determined half, because Toshiro is clearly moving up. Oh Toshiro, *sighs* You just....

Oh geez. *puts paper bag on head*

Sorry, it's due to the fanfictions in all seriousness. This image will return sometime soon, possibly in my season 1 review of Bleach.

Back to Noiz, you may have noticed something about him. He looks like a bad-ass, doesn't he? It must be because of the piercings. Ding, ding, ding, ding!

The first thing about why I like Noiz is because of his piercings. They make him stand out as a character, and I like how his piercing can at least have some impact in the game. Since his tounge is pierced, and his *KAHFFKAHFF* is pierced as well.

I read a character like that in Replica, and his name is Kurt Bishop. I didn't know what hair color he had, so I just imagined him as Noiz. And it was only for the piercings.

Noiz originally came from Germany, in which he ran away from after being shut in his home for years, as his parents were to shameful of him. He is not able to feel any pain due to his defense, and often acts very cold because of this. The sole reasons that he plays Rhyme is just to feel a illusion of pain, because he can't feel it himself.

However, unlike cold people in anime who are only often there just to add another stereotype, Noiz is actually quite useful. He is a skilled hacker, and when Aoba goes off to rescue Mizuki, and goes to Platinum Jail with the others, Noiz offers assistance other than fighting, but at this point, at least it's unique.

I love Noiz. Not only is he a interesting character who easily steals the show and makes me lose it every single time he shows up on screen, but he also is such a good love interest. His romantic scenes in the game are just fawn worthy. (Yes I've seen them muted. I think I can at least fangirl to that. *sighs*)

Did I also forget to mention that Noiz is actually younger than Aoba himself? He's also the youngest love interest, as he's only 19. Meanwhile, Aoba's 23. Not that I mind, since the actors in Vampire Academy of the main love interests are 10 YEARS APART IN AGE! *vomits*

Let's go to Mink now:

Now, before episode 10 aired, people were discussing on how they were going to edit Mink for his past when Aoba went inside his mind. All they did was basically slap it on at 5 minutes toward the end of the episode rather than halfway through like the others, leaving it with a bitter taste in my mouth, much like How To Train Your Dragon 2.

They killed off a major character in that movie. I went from this:

Umm okay then?



P.S. The second movie's worse than the first, but that's my own opinion.

Mink kind of has this same problem. I understand that majority of his route is very dark, I think there's a bunch of inappropriate scenes just halfway through with Aoba alone. But the way they edited him just made him the generic cold character, and that was rather disappointing. Probably the only two things I like about him is that he has a softer personality inside of him, plus the fact that Aoba's words after he visited his mind took control over Toue's artificial crap of Scrap in episode 11.

His backstory also has several problems with it, as in the game, he grew up in a Native American tribe. In the anime, along this rubble when Toue invades, we also see the three kids who normally come into the junk store, plus Tae.


I think I made my point already.

Time for Clear:

Clear may creep you out by his submarine mask, but that's because he normally doesn't show his face a lot as he worries it's deformed. Don't worry fangirls, his face is beautiful.

Clear is actually an android that used to serve Toue, but was discarded for unknown reasons. Maybe because his Scrap system wasn't working or something. I wouldn't know because it isn't explained. He was taken in by a disposal man, who Clear referred to as his grandfather. He passed away before the events of the story though.

Clear first appears to Aoba out on the street, and spooks him out by calling him Master. Oh, not in Japanese, but in Engrish. Aoba later seems to warm up to him, and Clear's favorite to do is sit outside Aoba's home and sing The Jellyfish Song, a lullaby that his grandfather taught him.

In the meantime, all fangirls swoon.

I actually like Clear, and find him so adorable. His interactions with Aoba are so realistic, and I like due to the fact he's a android, and yet has so much emotion otherwise. I feel somewhat connected to him, and I think he is such a good character that other anime directors could look into, and somewhat adapt into their own.

Other characters include Aoba's allmate, who also plays a important role in the story, but it's in another route, other character's allmates, Mizuki, Aoba's grandmother, Toue, the main antagonist, his allmate, Toue's personal servant (anime only), a mystery character with black hair you'll find more about later on in the series, two of Aoba's friends from the yakuza who later turn out to be major douchebags, three siblings who love to come into Mediocrity to bother Aoba, and a tattoo artist linked to Koujaku's past.


The animation for this series was done by the studio NAZ, who are also most known for the series that is Hamatora, a series that was aired in the winter 2014 season.

My main applause for NAZ regards with the way they kept the character designs similar to the game, and how the world seemed to fit under it's finger tips. The character designer's efforts on the characters paid off, and they blend well with the scenery. None of the characters outfits or main part to their faces were changed, which is always a plus.

Now, I'm not stopping it here. I'm going to talk about the first airing of Episode 3. The time that it aired, the team accidentally released the beta version of the episode, which caused some viewers to turn heads, and Ren's awkward walking became a GIF right on the spot. Even the kiss couldn't save it.

When I watched it, I didn't know how many times I mainly noticed face inconsistencies, and hair mis-colorings. This was my reaction the entire time I noticed problems:

Thankfully, NAZ did manage to notice this, and later re-aired the episode with more polishing, and THANK GOD they did. Since it looks so much better with it. Here's a comparison video:

Meanwhile, fans are still upset over the new Fairy Tail series looking bad.

Besides that, the animation is rather good, and it's a treat to see.


The score for this series was composed by Yuuki Hayashi, who also composed the scores for Blood Lad and Diabolik Lovers.

Like his score for Blood Lad, Yuuki Hayashi manages to provide quite unique tracks, and not make it sound strikingly similar to his score for Blood Lad. He relies more on electronic elements, putting that in majority of the score. It's actually cool to listen to, as the tracks are often whimsical and dreamy.

The next episode preview music is perhaps my favorite out of all of the score. It just struck me in the heart on how pure this song was, and it made for great background music.

All of the voice actors return from the game as well, which is also a plus. Although fangirls, you won't get to hear Atsushi Kisaichi's beast moans though, as I've seen mentioned a lot via My Anime List comments.

Highlights include Ryota Takeuchi, Hiroki Takahashi, Satoshi Hino (WUVWUVWUVWUV), Masatomo Nakazawa, Kenji Takahashi, Fuzuki Kun, Junji Majima, Akira Sasanuma, and Yuichi Iguchi.


This anime series was a good choice for me to watch during the summer season. The game sounded interesting, and when the anime adaption was annouced, I was willing to give it a shot.

To the people who abandoned this at the disaster animation of the first airing of Episode 3, you should consider watching the rest of this series. it may be slow to start up, but once we get to the epicness of Platinum Jail, things really start heating up. I also think this fared better than another yaoi game adaptation of the same company, the game being Togainu No Chi.

I recommend this series to yaoi fangirls, fans of science fiction, or people who want something unique.

Score: 8.5/10


Unique story.

Interesting characters.

Mainly great animation.

Fantastic score.

Character designs and voices remain the same as in the game.


Takes a while for the show to fully grab your attention.

Awful first airing of Episode 3.


  1. Who is the girl with the bag on her head?

    1. That would be Gasper from Highschool DXD, who is actually a boy, but crossdresses.