I finally managed to get Koujaku’s route in DRAMAtical Murder on my second attempt at trying to get onto his route. His route was the route I was most looking forward to playing through. I knew all about his bad end (I am looking at you, anime OVA) and I wanted to know how does his good end play out. How does Aoba’s childhood friend succeed?
Who is Koujaku?
One of the leading roles in “DRAMAtical Murder” is Koujaku. He is Aoba Seragaki’s childhood friend, the head of the Benishigure rib gang, and an independent hairdresser. He has a big heart, and is generally kind to anyone he meets, with the exception of Mink and Noiz. Although gentle, Koujaku harbours large amounts of anger and self-loathing towards himself. He is also shown to be quite the ladies’ man. Beni, his allmate, is a red sparrow.
At an astounding height of 1.86 metres, Koujaku is the second tallest main character, following just 3 centimetres behind Mink. He has pale skin and is of Japanese descent. People regard him as handsome. His strong form is clear to see since his bandages and kimono display his bare chest and stomach. His dark naval hair is cropped short and choppy at the top, long enough to graze his pecs, which is similar to Aoba’s hair. His right side is shielded by a dense, full fringe, while the rest of his hair is kept in a ponytail. The man’s eyes are bright red, which strikes terror in anybody who stares him in the face.
Koujaku wears a bright red kimono decorated with designs of blue leaves, blooms, and birds and has a golden sash to hold up the garment. His armbands and sandals are also black, and he wears white wristbands on each wrist. Although he is wearing a traditional kimono, the only Western clothes he has on underneath it is a pair of black trousers. He is covered in bandages, including those on his forearms and calves, and also his feet. He also has a huge black neck cover with a crimson tassel hanging off of it. He also has a hair accessory tying up his hair. The blade is never far from his side.
The Red Sparrow allmate, Beni, wears a bead necklace with a red tassel and getas (Japanese traditional sandals). His owner’s traditional Japanese fashion sense is enhanced by his red feathers.
- Tears (Game)
- By My Side (Anime)
Koujaku’s character is voiced by the same voice actors in both the game and in the anime.
- Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese)
- David Matranga (English Anime)
My Play-Through of Koujaku’s Route in DRAMAtical Murder
I have been a supporter of Koujaku and Aoba pairing up from my days of just watching the anime. Then as I played the game and finally landed on this route my support of the pair became even stronger.
I went through Koujaku’s route several times to acquire the good and bad endings in both the official version of the DRAMAtical Murder game on STEAM and the cracked version of the game. I went through both versions to get the official censored and original uncensored gameplay. However, the censoring does not really come into play until after the endings are reached.
The main gameplay of this route does not really have much smut other than a bite scene in the hotel. Instead, the route is more focused on the story. We really get to delve into Koujaku’s past with his father, mother and the ominous tattoo artist.
While we get the full backstory we also get tender moments between Aoba and Koujaku as they start to reconnect and Aoba learns more about his friend’s trauma. I do not blame Koujaku for wanting to keep his past buried and also for not letting others know about it. Especially Aoba.
My heart broke for Koujaku when Aoba dove into his mind and you can see how closed off, suffocated and how he views himself as a monster. Then the explanation of how he had killed the one family member that he cared about made me want to pull him into a hug and let him know it was not his fault.
I really appreciated the moment where one of the prompts had me spelling out a line from the pair’s childhood. It was a nice tie into their past and engaging and involved me as the reader/player. Plus it was a great way to see if I had actually been paying attention the whole time.
As mentioned before, the censoring for this route only really came in with the good ending. There had not really been anything to censor otherwise during the route and story. However, once the scenes for censoring came up there was a whole lot of cropped image after cropped image. With the cropping, there is not much variety and this results in one cropped image being on screen for a tad too long.
I found the nose bleed to be entertaining. The way they handled it was brilliant and I adore the way it has become an inside joke between them.
Koujaku and Aoba’s good end
The confession must have taken so much courage and strength. I think I got diabetes from the sweetness of this good end. Finally, the childhood friend wins in the romance department. Honestly, the good end for Koujaku and Aoba in the DRAMAtical Murder game was so wholesome to play through. Yes, there were finally some smutty scenes, but the sheer wholesome connection between them is what made those scenes so good. They really are worth the wait. Plus the end scene with them laughing, playing and chatting just brought it all together nicely.
The bad end
Was that it? I was expecting a rougher end, and while the bad end of Koujaku’s route is rough, we do not really get a full sense of it.
Koujaku’s route I patiently and then impatiently waited for the cough adult scenes. Then, once we eventually got them, I forgave the game.
For me, this game route is so rewarding as a character route. I really enjoyed the good ending. It was a proper good end. We saw them together as a couple. We got to see them be awkward together and figure it out. This good ending was nice and long and managed to feel real. Not everything was perfect in their world, but they were both working on making their relationship work. Koujaku still had his trauma and Aoba had his. However, they supported each other. I can not fully express how much hope the good ending gave me for the Yaoi genre.
While the bad end was a tad lacklustre and sad, I understand why it was so short. The effort paid off in the end. I could see the genuine bond between the pair through both endings, and to me, that is precious. Neither felt forced, unexpected, nor unnatural. So far, Koujaku’s route in DMMD is my favourite. I happily revisit it and play through it time and time again. My only real critique is that the pair could have had a little more chemistry between them before Aoba dived into Koujaku’s mind. However, due to their pasts and time apart, the mechanics of their relationship made sense.