Some time ago, the influential and powerful Toue Inc. bought the island of Midorijima, Japan, with the plans of building Platinum Jail—a luxurious utopian facility. Those who are lucky enough to call it home are the wealthiest citizens in the world. The original residents of the island, however, were forced to relocate to the Old Residential District; and after the completion of Platinum Jail, they were completely abandoned.
"Rib" and "Rhyme" are the most common games played on the island. Rib is an old school game in which gangs engage in turf wars against each other, while Rhyme is a technologically advanced game wherein participants fight in a virtual reality. To be able to play Rhyme, you must have an "All-Mate" (an AI that typically looks like a pet), and the match must be mediated by an "Usui."
Aoba Seragaki has no interest in playing either game; he prefers to live a peaceful life with his grandmother and All-Mate, Ren. However, after getting forcefully dragged into a dangerous Rhyme match and hearing rumors about disappearing Rib players, all of Aoba's hopes of living a normal life are completely abolished.
The story follows the Common Route of the first visual novel, as well as the individual character routes with slight differences. A new character, Takahashi, was also introduced as Toue's personal assistant. Despite its source material being of the BL genre, there is little to no romance between the male characters, as is common with TV-aired adaptions.
In the game you make choices as Aoba. In the anime you watch Aoba and Ren go through the choices possible in the game--I think.
The duo Trip and Virus in case you wanted a menage-trios say they aren't twins, if so I'm guessing lovers looking for a third.
Don't go near this anime if you are on any kind of shit. Or maybe if you are on something you're cognitive thought will not get in the way of trying to figure out what the hell is going on with jacked up story. DON'T get me wrong. It held my attention through to the entire season, but ho my god this was some seriously whacked shit. If I'd read a few of the blurbs beforehand I might have had the information I needed before venturing into this anime, but I've been skulking around YouTube for yaoi anime because if one penis is good, two is great!
All these character's backstory is tragic. Mink's tribe is burned before his eyes. Koujaku suffers from a mind altering tattoo that made him kill his mother. Clear is made to never show his face because he's a fugitive. Noiz--oh hell, he's a true sadist/masochist and I'm not sure I WANT to know his background if the other characters are any indication.
But while the story is messed up, it's unique, and I thought it was good entertainment. While you don't get to see sexual interactions like you do in the game, which I found hawt, the story kept me guessing and watching it a second time clears up all the confusion. I imagine it's like pizza. Fresh the second day but some people like it the morning after the second go around.
I Would Recommend This To Fans Of:
Steam-punk if it went electric (Ha! Ha! That's an oxymoron)
YAOI (Boys Love)
Those whose minds are as warped as mine
After letting go of trying to make sense of anything in the anime, I found it was a messed up version of an all male harem scenario. Now, I know I seem like I'm trashing this anime but I'm not. I just wish I knew that this story was based on a GAME. Then things might have made more sense. Maybe. I found in the game there were good and bad endings, all the characters wanted to have sex with our hero and there were hardly any girls in either format. This was meant to be a guy on guy romance story. If you like yaoi, watch this story twice. You will miss things the first time because you're trying to understand the world. It is a freaky kind of place where gamers are like gangs, guilds fight, people throw down on the street and enter this virtual reality as a means to prove themselves. It's illegal but these fights start up in back alleyways and other seedy places. It's... weird. Yet intriguing.
So our hero, Aoba, seems to have suffered from selective amnesia after an accident. He has "sensitive" hair--which means he has nerve endings down his long blue locks. He has special powers, a long lost twin brother, a corporation trying to control him and all the tropes. Put them in a blender and you have Dramatical Murder.
Clear & Aoba
My personal favorite is Clear and Aoba. Clear has child-like naiveté, a good heart and I find him the most attractive. I love his smile, the person Aoba is with him and his self-sacrifice. While Clear is an A.I. and defends Aoba from The Alphas (his two "brothers") and has a synthesized form of Aoba's voice-power, his simple pleasure of being by his masters side is contagious. I couldn't stop from falling in love with Clear and voted him the best candidate for Aoba. Who doesn't want devoted love like that...
Aoba & Ren
This combo makes sense as Ren spends most of his time with Aoba and they both know each other really well. Even Aoba's best friend, Koujaku doesn't know Aoba's secrets as Ren does. He is loving and because he's an A.I., doesn't feel he has a chance with Aoba and instead of burdening Aoba with his feelings stays silent and lets his master make his choices. He's a follower, dedicated, loyal and all things selfless--even more so than Clear, arguably. There's something about Ren's devotion to Aoba (and Aoba's devotion to Ren) that makes him my second candidate.
Koujaku & Aoba
This is the best friend trope, but it works (and is used for that reason by anime everywhere). Koujaku is protective, fierce, a bit of a hot-head and loyal to Aoba. All the wonderful things I love about the partner of main characters in my favorite stories. But there is something about the other two that made them higher in my eyes. Clear's child-like manner maybe a little clingy but I love it. Ren's self-sacrifice to see Aoba happy even if it's not with him melts my heart. But, seriously, IRL... this combo (Koujaku & Aoba) is the most healthy and what dream relationships are made of. Two partners that understand each other. Koujaku is one of those that cares too much but doesn't let it tear him apart. He's strong in body and mind and make a perfect best friend and would be a phenomenal lover. Attentive but not smothering. Protective but not possessive. Knows how to handle himself in a fight. Koujaku is probably the right match for Aoba. I *do* take note that my first two choices are A.I. That should say something about me. But perhaps the creators wanted it that way.
Noiz & Aoba
This odd couple could work and is believable because of Noiz's calm, bold, un-bais, no-nonsense attitude. The first go around I didn't like him so much, but he's grown on me. At first I took his bitchy-rest-face for a bad attitude, but after watching this again, I don't think he has a bad attitude at all! I think he's determined, realized his persistence in Aoba was more than just a Rhyme player and decided to go for him. I could totally see it. He's a bit of a masochist/sadist but it works for him in this case. He also cleans up nice and looks like a decent human being but conversely, I think he looks weird in a suit and tie. I love him as the bunny blitzer that wants to please Aoba. I thought on his bunny persona in-game and came to the conclusion he is actually an optimistic person and likes the high energy and cutness rabbits bring.
Mink & Aoba
Honestly, this is an option in the game but there would have to be a little more development for these two to work (for me). Mink's story is as tragic as Koujaku's and the biker, native tribesman actively seeks revenge. Mink will do anything to take down the man behind the corporation behind the destruction of his people. Aoba might be his means to an end, but I can see a spark of something if Mink and Aoba were involved a little more. Perhaps the bond of fighting together would be the start. He's the strong, manly-man type and would make a great lumber-jack (if that's what he wanted to do). But as the stranger of danger trope, Mink is a sexy beast.
There are other options for a "happy" ending like the twins for a menagé, the fraternal twin, the college friend and such but the above are the main five. Which at that time I'd lose my mind if I had that many choices in partners but they seemed to want to put in all the tropes and it's a game so to each their own (type of perverted sex). Amen.
Muzaki & Aoba
Virus & Trip & Aoba
Aoba & Sei
Despite the previous history we don't know about, I caught up quickly watching this the second time around. What I found fun was the "good" and "bad" ending in the game version. Just like a choose your own adventure type book. Only a PC game.
Pervert that I am, I've watched all of the game versions of all the endings :) or at least searched for as many as I could find. There are many choices to make to lead you down the good and bad endings. Because Aoba has the ability to influence people's subconscious minds I suppose the good/bad endings in the game are from the choices you direct Aoba to make based on that power.
All in all, the anime kept me interested even as I was saying... tha fawk?