DRAMAtical Murder is a BL visual novel centered around Aoba Seragaki, who initially lived a normal life in the Old Resident District of Midorijima. During the events of the game, Aoba can potentially learn more about his past, and also fall in love with one of five love interests along the way depending on which route he takes. There is also a twelve-episode anime adaptation of the game plus an OVA, where all five routes were combined.
Though there is debate over whether the game or anime is better, it’s clear that both the game and its anime adaptation have their strong and weak points. From portraying specific character routes in more detail to better explaining backstories, the anime and the game both have their fair share of highlights.
10 The Game Portrayed Mink’s Route Better Overall
Mink’s route in the game was portrayed better than in the anime. This anime itself cut out or altered many aspects of Mink’s route from the game, including the moments where Mink assaulted Aoba and when he dealt with Aoba’s Sly Blue personality appearing. Additionally, Mink and Aoba did not have as much time to build up a relationship with each other in the anime compared to the games. The game did a much better job of explaining Mink’s backstory during his route, as well as his eventual development from being cruel to caring for Aoba.
9 The Anime Did A Better Job With Clear’s Route
The anime did the best job of portraying Clear’s route when all the routes were intertwined. Some even argue that Clear’s route was executed better in the anime than in the game itself. This is due to the anime having to condense all of the game’s routes into shorter narratives to fit all of them into thirteen episodes. This forced the anime to get to the heart of each route rather than involve too many side bits. Clear’s story in the game is already fairly well-paced, so the anime’s ability to condense it and still make it as understandable as playing through the game’s route was extremely impressive.
8 The Game Better Incorporated All The Side Characters
The anime incorporated many of the side characters involved in each of the love interest’s routes. However, the game put much more attention into using all the side characters where they were actually needed.
Since the anime condensed all of the main characters’ routes into one or two episodes each, this gave the side characters less time to shine when compared to the game. The exception to this was for side characters that had a bigger impact on the main story such as Tae, Mizuki, Trip, and Virus.
7 The Anime Explains Tae’s Backstory Better
Both the game and anime explained Tae’s role in Aoba’s life, as well as her past with working for Toue. However, whether her backstory was revealed in the game heavily relied on which route Aoba took when playing – some routes explained more, while others barely touched on it. Since the anime combined all of the game’s routes, it automatically needed to tell Tae’s story. This gave her depth that might be missing otherwise when playing some of the game’s routes.
6 The Game Gave More Depth To Mizuki
Though the anime depicted what Mizuki went through with being mind-controlled by Morphine, the game gave Mizuki more time to gradually develop. This also meant that the sudden change from Mizuki being his normal self to being brainwashed and controlled by Morphine felt less random than when watching the anime. Additionally, in the follow-up game, Re: Connect, it was discussed that Mizuki later recovered from the failed Scrap Aoba gave him during the events of the first game. The anime doesn’t follow up on Mizuki as much by the finale.
5 The Anime Better-Portrayed Tatsuo Toue’s Role As A Villain
Both the anime adaptation and the game suffered from Tatsuo Toue being an underwhelming final villain, but the anime did a slightly better job with him. It more cohesively explained all of Toue’s actions and motivations, and he was introduced earlier on in the anime than in the game.
Some fans wish that Toue’s demise was at Mink’s hands rather than him offing himself after losing to Ren and Aoba in a last game of Rhyme in the finale. However, they were satisfied that he was thoroughly defeated in the end rather than fleeing as he does in some routes of the game.
4 The Game Gave More Expansion On Trip And Virus
Trip and Virus were revealed late in both the game and the anime to be the leaders of the mysterious Morphine group. However, they didn’t get as much of a chance to shine in the anime.
In the game, one of the bad endings in Ren’s route resulted in Aoba being imprisoned by Trip and Virus as their personal slave for months on end, with no sign of when it would ever stop. It was also revealed that Trip and Virus were deeply obsessed with Aoba and kept his past abilities a secret from Toue by removing Aoba’s memories. In comparison, Trip and Virus’ bad ending is saved for the anime adaptation’s OVA, and their obsession with Aoba is hardly touched on in the main anime.
3 The Anime Gave More Opportunities For All Of The Main Characters To Work Together
In the game, there is a common route before the player (as Aoba) ends up taking one of the other routes depending on which choices he made during the common route. This often resulted in the player working with mainly one of out a few of Aoba’s love interests, and the latter half of the game therefore largely depended on which route the player chose.
However, the anime’s route combining meant that the characters had more scenes where they worked together. For instance, everyone worked together to fight through Toue’s tower in the finale while Aoba confronted Toue himself. The increased group work in the anime led to the characters forming an odd but united friendship with each other.
2 The Game Expanded More On All Of The Characters’ Endings
The game made a point to expand on the characters’ endings more in each of their individual routes. The anime adaptation gave only a glimpse of what everyone was up to after finally defeating Toue, focusing instead on the game’s main story and doing little to follow up on what happened to the characters after Toue was defeated and Platinum Jail’s Oval Tower was destroyed. Aoba gave a bit of narration at the end, and nothing much more.
1 The Anime Gave Everyone A Happy Ending
No matter which route the player took in the game version, only one of the love interests would have a good ending – if the player got a good ending at all – but the anime gave everyone a happy ending. Mink got revenge for his lost village, Clear embraced his humanity, Ren accepted himself for who he was as part of Aoba, Sei died at Aoba’s hands as he wished for, Noiz learned to understand others, and Koujaku overcame his inner demons and let go of his past. The anime did compile all of the dark, bad endings into the separate OVA.
DRAMAtical Murder was a choice-based game before it was an anime. Here are the pros and cons of each version.