- Genre: Science fiction, comedy, smut
- Playtime: Medium (10 – 30 hours)
- Developer: Nitro+Chiral
Oh Boy, this one is gonna be rough. So Aoba had an epic blue mullet and his hair feels things (it has nerve endings) this isn’t really important at all but I want you to understand what you’re getting yourselves into… He has been getting by, living with his boisterous grandmother, his faithful robot dog and his heart breaker best friend. Trying his best to stay out of the worst trouble while idling away his time with semi legal hobbies and working at the local pawn shop. But now it seems that trouble has found him as all sorts of eccentric and dangerous characters are suddenly very interested in Aoba. What secrets does his past hold that make him so important and why does everyone want a piece of him now. His quest for the truth will take him on a candy colored sci fi journey through the world of Platinum Jail, discovering danger around every corner and corruption at the highest level.
Well all of that description is technically right. There’s also a robot with a gas mask who likes jellyfish. And demon tattoos. Oh oh, and a virtual reality MMO that can leave people brain damaged and super voice powers like in Dune. I’m just saying, there’s a lot going on here. I mean we’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m working hard to avoid spoilers for some reason. I have zero clue what that reason is. If you’re wondering how all of that (plus the harem of super eccentric characters) can possibly get the development, it needs in the 10 – 30 hours of gameplay available. The answer is simple: it can’t!
Look, let’s not dance around it. DMMD is kinda dumb. The overall narrative is an overly ambitious plot hole with specs of scattered storyline throughout. The individual routes are contrived, often illogical held together with only the finest so bad it’s good dialogue. It’s called Dramatical Murders and there isn’t a single murder, and really not much drama.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, it’s also super fun. You have to understand that DMMD never takes itself seriously even for a second, and doesn’t ask you to either. Much like Black Butler, it’s a comedy parodying and mercilessly mocking standard drama tropes. If you’re looking for an emotional undertaking that explores the nature of human relationship and this insanity we call love… good luck to you.
If you want giggle at pretty boys being ridiculous and get some naughty CGs in the process, you have come to the right place.
The sarcasm is tongue in cheek and not too cutting, if you were looking for something to really eviscerate traditional harem type visual novels, this isn’t that either. Rather it’s a gleeful celebration of all the ridiculous and gaudy aspects of the medium.
It should be noted that it does have a particularly unpleasant route which is basically a depiction of Stockholm syndrome. I believe it was meant to be an indictment of the fetishizing of abusive relationships but I might be over generous. In any case I found it difficult to read and essentially skipped over the worst parts for the sake of completion. The bad ends are also pure nightmare fuel, but they are BAD ends after all.
Unfortunate route aside, I found the rest to be an enjoyable romp. Sort of the definition of a guilty pleasure. And strangely innocent in a way. There’s a certain lack of pretense and a sense of good fun that permeates the entire experience. There are no judgements here. It really is nothing but fluff, however it comes from a company that knows how to put a visual novel together and it shows. The story flows well, doesn’t get bogged down anywhere and is easy to follow along.
As for your eyecandy, you certainly have an assortment to choose from. I played them in this order. I like to keep what I think will be best for last… Let’s start with our main character though, because they are an important too, even though sometimes the game creators forget to give them faces, or personalities…
Reigning mullet king and personal fashion icon, Aoba is pretty much what you’d expect from a dating sim MC. He’s really nice. Considering that everything in this game is just a whirlpool of technicolor absurdities, I think he could have been a bit more eccentric, but his design is fantastic and he does get a couple of good one liners in which is more than I could say for some. I liked Aoba well enough and I loved Shiroba…
Nope, nope noppidity nope nope… Just walking, talking yuck and no amount of Freudian excuses is gonna change my mind. I am a lady and I want to be treated as such in my naughty visual novels, this guy just never got it. Too bad cause his gaudy clash of Prirate and Native American drugstore Halloween costume design was pretty fun.
I figured he would be the boring big bro type and although I did like his design I just wasn’t that interested in the character. He grew on me. A lot. He’s the boring big bro type, except super hot, very sweet and his route is batsh*t just like everything else…. He also doesn’t like shirts which I’m OK with.
Bad*ss emotionless rabbit boy. What more can you ask for? His route actually ended up being my favorite. There was a lot of character growth here. No really. I liked it for the emotional maturity. Why are you smiling that way???
A happy weirdo with white hair? I’m so there for it. I quite like Clear himself and he has been (and remains) the background of many of my electronic devices but I think the melodrama was a bit off in the route. It was a little too serious to ignore and not exaggerated enough to go into hilariously overdone category. This said, the last-minute payoff was great and left me smiling for days.
Ren is the true route and therefore needs to be unlocked, becoming only available once you finish all the other routes and let me tell you it’s just a whole clusterbunch of weird. I don’t even want to try and describe it again, it gives me a little throbbing pain right behind my right eye. I’m pretty sure you can use this narrative to make evil robots’ heads explode if needed. As soon as you get past the nasty habit of thinking about what you’re seeing, it’s a super fun route.
A special mention should go to all the supporting characters. Possibly with the exception of Sei and Toue, the rest are all splendidly wacky and quite rounded. I would gladly play routes devoted to any of them
Look, I know the anime was a train wreck and the game is… well a glorious mess. But it appears clear that the game is a controlled freefall. It didn’t accidentally end up this much fun, it just that the good stuff got lost in translation as soon as they tried to adapt it.
There is a follow up game Dramatical Murders Reconnect which is really only smut. You just choose your boy toy du jour (Virus and Trip have been added as options), and there’s one choice which more or less amounts to which position you’d like to see…My favorite route was Kojaku! It was downright adorable.
This is possibly the shortest visual novel review I’ve managed to do to date. That’s a good thing, it means I’m getting better at organizing my thoughts on these. I hope you guys got something out of it.
What this vn taught me: Pretty boys love a mullet (wait…)
Suggested drink: Jellyfish shot
- Every time Aoba mentions his past – take a sip
- Every time people make fun of Clear – take a sip
- Every time we see the Kojagirls (Kojaku fangirls) – take a sip
- Every time we see Sei – take a sip
- Every time Mink is a poohface – drink some water, it’s basically all the time
- Every time we see Trip and Virus – take a sip
- if they are apart – take a gulp
- Every time Tae is boss – take a sip
- Every time there’s consent – applaud
- Every time Noiz smies – Gasp