From Bondage to Freedom: DRAMAtical Murder- Mink Review

I was not looking forward to this route, in fact I was planning on skipping Mink’s route all together. But, in order to unlock Ren’s route, I had to complete the Good Ending for Koujaku, Noiz, Clear and Mink… So, I had no choice but to suffer through it. Mink is perhaps my least favorite route of the game, even before I played it, I wasn’t very interested in Mink as a “love interest”. Even now after playing through his entire story, I’m still not a fan.

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Mink is the leader of the prison Rhyme team Scratch, and to be honest that’s all that anyone really knows about him. He shares little with his fellow team members, and has a tendency to speak with his fists. But, beneath his stoic exterior lies a complex character whose emotions run much deeper than anyone around him could ever imagine. I was surprised by this route, I definitely got to see a different side of Mink than I expected.

**Disclaimer: I don’t own these images, they belong to Nitro+chiral…and this goes without saying, but there will be minor SPOILERS under the cut… For your sanity and my own, there will be none of the rapey or especially violent CGs in this post…You’re welcome!*

Living in the Past

2016-04-26 (28).pngOkay, so let me say how much I dislike it when, a game will present a character as being a complete and utter monster for 95% of the game, only to try and make his actions somehow noble for the last 5%… It does not work that way, I don’t care if he has a whole kitten farm in his back yard or that he poops rainbows and sunshine. If a character is an abusive dick, you’d be hard pressed to convince me otherwise. I am not so easily swayed by a sob story, no matter how convincing, especially when said character violently beats and rapes another character repeatedly. Now that that’s out, lets get this review out of the way so I can move on to more pleasant things.

2016-05-03 (6).pngMink is an escaped prisoner and leader of the all-prisoner Rhyme team, Scratch. He is the mature one of the group, with more rugged and masculine features than the other potential love interests. Mink is a man of few words and an imposing figure both within his team and outside of it. Despite having a commanding voice, he rarely says much, instead opting to communicate through intense glares and rudimentary grunts. He is a cold and heartless man who is quick to punish any instances of insubordination among his ranks. He disposes of anyone he doesn’t deem useful, never getting close to anyone. In the beginning he is nothing more than an emotionless brute, especially towards Aoba, who he beats and rapes multiple times throughout the story.

Like the other characters, Mink has a tragic past, except I find that his story is by far the most tragic of them all. Years before the start of the game, Mink and his family lived peacefully in a small village that had a deep rooted connection with nature. Their connection was so great, that they were able to cultivate a medicinal herb that could change one’s body odor, producing a calming effect on others. Toue learned of this herb and thinking it to be the missing link to their mind control research, set forth to claim it as their own. The tribe refused their offer, infuriating Toue who in turn ordered the mass genocide of Mink’s people. Mink was the only survivor of the massacre and in the aftermath he was taken to Midorijima where Toue subjected him to various experiments. The experience hardened Mink’s heart against Toue, such that he put his entire being into overthrowing Toue, so much so that he is willing to throw his life away for his mission.

Kiss with a Fist

2016-04-26 (30).pngIn the common route, after Tae is kidnapped by Morphine, Mink is waiting for Aoba inside of his home. Thinking he is responsible for the kidnapping, Aoba begins to unleash the Rage of One Thousand Ukes on Mink. However, Mink, being the impressive specimen that he is swiftly knocks our protagonist out and drags him off to his team’s base. Once there he orders his men to gang rape Aoba, but before it can get too far Aoba unleashes his inner Dark side, lets call him Sly Blue, on the men. Afterwards Mink presents Aoba with a proposition; assist him with any task he requires, and in return he will help Aoba locate his grandmother…and like a fool Aoba agrees.  The relationship between Aoba and Mink is one fraught with conflict.

Mink demands absolute obedience, by any means necessary, while Aoba constantly tries to break away from Mink’s hold. The character development in this route is so subtle, that if you blink you’d miss it. Couple that with the constant bombardment of forced sex and violence, and it seems almost non-existent. Mink seeks to use Aoba’s Scrap ability to overthrow Toue, but when Aoba is unable to put out, he attempts to force out the Sly Blue personality instead. He does this by beating the living daylights out of Aoba and forcing himself on him to the point that he loses himself to the pain and pleasure of it. I was sick to my stomach every time it happened and it happens often.

2016-05-04 (47).pngAfter the last time, Sly Blue takes over and the experience scares the living daylights out of Mink, who in turn becomes noticeably kinder to Aoba. But, like I said before, it’s one of those things that if you blink you’d miss it. Mink becomes softer to Aoba, more talkative, even going so far as to watch over a weakened Aoba after his most recent attack. He starts to reveal details of his plan to Aoba, even trusting him carry out key aspects of the plan alone. Mink even stops beating Aoba at this point, instead gently stroking Aoba’s hair while he sleeps. It’s explained that he was so “rough” on Aoba, in order to keep him from getting to close. However, the turn around is completely lost on me, as it comes too late in the story for me to change my opinion of him. In the end, Mink never meant to survive his encounter with Toue. Mink explains that he doesn’t fear death, because he’s already dead. He states that he died the day that his people died at the hands of Toue. So, in the end he is able to face Toue alone, unafraid of death.

2016-05-04 (67).pngUnlike the other routes, the conflict with Toue is more pertinent to the over arching plot of the route. In fact, we actually get to meet Toue and let me tell you he is one mean piece of work. In this route, Mink rams his motorcycle through the roof of the Oval Tower and he and Aoba confront Toue directly. However, Toue has been watching their movements within the Platinum Jail and he has his own counterattack planned. He forces Mink to relive the destruction of his home, causing a mental break. Aoba is forced to use his Scrap on Mink and relive the horrors of his past.

Endings List

Bad End –If while in Mink’s mind, you help any one, you will trigger the bad ending. After the failed Scrap, Aoba and Mink will seemingly return to the real world. The scene will then flash back to the burning village, from Mink’s memories and he will start rambling that he needs to save the only think that matters. Since his people believe that one’s soul resides in the head, he promptly rips off Aoba’s head to keep him safe from the devil.

Good End- Aoba successfully uses his Scrap on Mink, freeing his mind and allowing him to finally move on. However, some part of Mink still rejects Aoba, and he goes on alone to kill Toue. The tower collapses and it is assumed that Mink has died. Life goes on for the residents of Midorijima, but Aoba still feels like something is missing. So, he packs his bags and leaves the island to search for Mink, who he still thinks is alive.

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Do I Recommend His Route?

nuh uh

There is so much that didn’t make it into this post, and for that I highly suggest going over to my Tumblr by clicking HERE, you can see exactly what I had to put up with! I thought Toma from Amnesia was bad, but, Mink makes him look like a frickin saint. I have never been more disgusted playing a game in my life. I wanted to quit so many times, but I wouldn’t have been able to unlock Ren’s route without it. Ren was the only think keeping me on the hell route, and I swear his route better be worth it!

Yes Mink had a change of heart, and yes there was a reason behind all of his actions, but damnit, I don’t have to like it! This route is what I imagine people with Stockholm Syndrome experience. I could not for the life of me understand how Aoba could become so forgiving of Mink’s abuse. And then for him to actually desire it and experience pleasure from it too…that was just too much for my innocent heart! I felt like I was watching a battered wife in a Lifetime movie, the kind that keeps coming back to her abusive spouse even after he almost kills her… My opinon may seem harsh, but, remember this is the watered down version! I cringed playing this route. The only ray of light in this entire route was Ren, and Mink went and killed that too.

This route is not for the faint of heart, it’s definitely written for more mature tastes. As it turns all of the themes from the other routes up to eleven. I will admit that the reveal and the ending were a vast improvement on the overall story, serving to humanize Mink and his actions. But, the character revelation in this route was too little too late, maybe if it had come earlier, I may have been more sympathetic to Mink and his past trauma. But, it didn’t and I don’t. Do I understand why he did what he did? Yes. Do I care? Yeah, about as much as any decent human being would. Does it change how I feel about Mink? Hell no!

I hear that Mink gets better in Re:connect, we’ll have to see about that, but for the time being my opinion remains the same. So, Mink’s route, I don’t recommend it… he is abusive and cold. His earlier actions broke my heart and for that I cannot forgive him, but, I will say that after playing his route to the end I do understand his motivations better. So, if you can put up with his abuse towards Aoba, go ahead and play it, if not…I suggest using Nitro Skip!

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26 thoughts on “From Bondage to Freedom: DRAMAtical Murder- Mink Review

  1. Yaaaas, you slayed this review.
    Holy shit, so much nope. A pity because I really like the look of Mink, but that plot faaack 😵

      1. I can understand. If I’d done his route first I’m not sure I’d have kept going. Just jfc just holy shit in a holy stick 😱
        You know you’re bad when you make Toma look like a fluffy, harmless kitty 😱

      2. :/ :/
        It sounds like it was really traumatic, and Ren probably won’t be worth it, just like Ukyo wasn’t worth going through Toma for 😅
        Sigh, I hate rape and abuse so bad ugh

      3. I still say it wasn’t worth getting traumatised with Toma just to experience Ukyo 😂
        That’s good, after Mink you definitely need the laughs and feeling good! 😊
        I think if you’d played Mink first you’d never continued with the game 😱

  2. As expected, so much hate for Mink. lol

    IMO, Toma’s route is something you play then move on while Mink’s route is something to internalized. IIRC, Toma misunderstood the entire situation with the heroine. Meanwhile, Mink is the one being misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong, Mink’s not my fave. xD It’s just that his character makes me think and I find his interaction with the other Aoba interesting. It’s like they are kindred spirits so they’re attraction is more of the similar suffering than romantic love. ^^

    1. I never really thought of it that way, but what you’re saying makes sense… but I still don’t like Mink very much from what I’ve seen in DMMd, my opinion may change after I play re:connect…but I’m not sure if it’ll change very much…

      I will say that by the end of his route I definitely understood Mink and his motivations better. Everything made sense, but by the time the “reveal” came about, I just wanted the route to be over. Maybe if your later point had been addressed earlier in the route, I may have been more sympathetic towards Mink…

      I really enjoyed reading your comment, it definitely gave me some things to consider when I decide to play re:connect in the future

      1. Sorry for the late reply u_u

        I just thought about this, but I think Mink’s route is more on understanding his reasons more than asking for sympathy? I love his route in re:connect, not because it made him good (I was frustrated by him actually ww) but it has a lot more closure.

      2. Oh no you are perfectly fine! I really appreciated your comment, definitely gave me some things to consider for when I play re:connect! I definitely agree with you on the understanding Mink vs sympathy. I definitely have a better grasp of Mink and his motivations now, more so than I did at the beginning, but the journey to the truth was not enjoyable.

        I am definitely curious to see where his story goes from here…so I look forward to understanding him better in Re:connect.

      3. Yeah, it was a harsh and bitter journey. The more you see his reasons, the more you /don’t/ understand the guy. ;;;

        Word of advice before playing his route in re:connect: prepare to be frustrated for like half of his route. The ending was beautiful for me though. 😀

  3. DRAMAtical Murder needs to be continued! 12 episodes and 1 bonus isn’t enough. I’m so in love with this anime, I ended staying up all night to watch it all. I really want this to be ongoing, this is the best anime I’ve ever seen, and that says a lot since I watch a lot of anime. I really fell in love with everything it offered, the characters were amazing, the scenery was so on point, I loved the AllMate pet ren. I hate to see nothing more than 13 episodes!🙏🏼🙏🏼😭❤️

  4. Hi there i commented on your review on Clear before (cuz he is the love of my limited VN life) and i really like your reviews. Especially for characters that i didn’t invest as much to watch their whole route like Noiz and Mink; i gotta say while i did not end up appreciating Noiz as much as i initially felt about him, i enjoy reading people’s reviews of him because it helps me like him a bit better.
    As for Mink, i relate to what you said (though, have you played his R:C route, i would love to hear whether your opinion of him changed). With Mink what frustrated me was the fact that he only turned “kinder” towards Aoba after Sly Blue scared the living shit out of him… that didn’t amuse me much cuz if anything that turn on kindness was not out of love or affection… So as far as routes go i felt like their relationship banks on fear and sexual tension more than love, like some commenters have already said (although i think his R:C and drama CD made up for this by properly transitioning into more love, but i leave that to you and the players to judge for themselves).

    His route made me feel that N:C wants to explore different types of relationships but they do not want him to be hated too much so they make up for it by giving him a sexy design and interesting background, which unfortunately for me rank below character growth (i mean i love Clear for the life of me and he has 0 childhood and an empty sky for a mind and wears nothing but white). i don’t hate Mink but i can’t love him either. i know he does have considerable fans and it is totally fine to love him, but i totally feel N:C could have done a more properly paced route for him.

    Also Hello from 2020, sorry for popping out of nowhere hehehe

    1. Hi there!! I remember you (I always remember another Clear fan)! I had a blast with DMMD, Mink was legit the only character that I absolutely disliked.

      LOL you’re so right! Mink only changed his tune when Sly Blue came out to play. Mink was just a hot mess! When Jast Blue releases the localization, he is one route I am not looking forward to playing again.

      I keep meaning to go back and play R:C, but it keeps slipping through the cracks (I’ll have to play it soon).

      Nitro Chiral looooooooves pushing the envelope with their games… between Togainu no Chi, Sweet Pool, and DMMD… but there’s a way to do it that makes the character relatable. Mink just wasn’t relatable at all. He’s a jerk for 85% of the route and then BOOM he’s suddenly a “nice guy all along”

      1. Hey thanks so much for the reply!! i agree with you about relatability… i do admit i really admire N:C for their going all out on the characters and not shying away from giving them the flaws that make them all humans, the main cast all have their own issues to overcome and i really love it when writers give characters their share of imperfections. Just really i would be able to appreciate Mink’s first game part better if the route is more balanced (i personally feel his R:C is much better done but i don’t go there unless you want to). Unfortunately even if i like his R:C, the first route was already lost on me so it left a big hole which R:C only half-filled.
        i am really curious to see if another wave of fans will rise up when Jast Blue’s localisation is released. (There is also already a stage adaptation, in case you are into 2.5D) i will be glad to read even more reviews like yours 🙂

  5. I also hate Mink route (“is this killing stalking?” “ppl plz tell Mink stop watching school days”) and don’t understand how the heck Aoba can forgiven him (he aware that so he try to avoid Aoba in Re:Connect but Aoba like “don’t you dare do that to me”). But… god damn, his Re:Connect sprite make ma wanna call him daddy.

      1. I just got the localization of Togainu no Chi, so that is definitely in the works! ReConnect has been on my list for awhile now.

  6. I finished the anime when I found out this was originally an BL game. But as soon as I found out, I knew Minks route would be something like this, like rape or abuse. Honestly, I didn‘t liked him in the anime and I don‘t think I ever will. His actions have their reasons, but no.
    Thanks for telling me this about him, so I know for what I need to prepare myself when I play the game.

  7. I’m getting the feeling Mink’s route is actually meant to be failed from a logical perspective. After all, not saving anyone pretty much goes against Aoba’s entire character, but that’s exactly what you need to do to get Mink’s good ending, not to mention that despite being the most brutal route overall, Mink’s bad ending is actually the least brutal out of all the bad endings, which makes me think it’s intentional as this is what logically is supposed to be the outcome of Mink’s route.

Gush about cute otome boys~