Company: Otomate, Aksys, Idea Factory
Purchase Collar x Malice
Synopsis: The X-Day countdown began in April with a broadcast on the screens in Shinjuku. What followed were a string of crimes, month after month, leading to the government to quarantine Shinjuku and repeal the weapon ban. Ichika Hoshina is a low ranking cop who spends her day listening to the complaints and concerns of the trapped Shinjuku residents. On December night, she responds to an emergency call from her superior and upon arriving at the scene is immediately rendered unconscious. She wakes up in a church with a poisoned collar around her neck. The X-Day perpetrators, Adonis, say that they will be observing Ichika’s justice and urge her to come to them by X-Day. When a group of detectives come to save her, Adonis claims that she is one of their sympathizers and urges them all to seek the truth behind the X-Day incidents.
MC: Ichika Hoshino, age 21, is a rookie cop who moved to Tokyo from her family’s inn in the countryside to pursue her dream of joining the police. She lives in her apartment with her younger brother, Kazuki, who is living with her while he attends high school in Tokyo; both of them are unable to meet with their family due to the quarantine and the relationship between them is stressed to say the least. At work Ichika is part of SRCPO, a division created since Shinjuku was quarantined with the purpose of listing to the concerns and complaints of the public in regards to X-Day, they also patrol. Ichika has been settling into her position and has been making strides towards her goal of becoming a good cop; she has even overcome her fear of using a gun to become a crack shot. Ichika is always happy to help others and wishes for the people of Shinjuku to be able to return to their peaceful lives. She has a knack for dealing with the elderly and children.
- Aiji Yanagi: The owner of the “detective agency” and a former police officer in Unit 1. He’s reassuring, calm, quiet, and never fails to step in when arguments get too heated. He’s basically the dad of the group. This role in the investigation is processing all the information collected by the others.
- Kageyuki Shiraishi: The director of the Field Support unit (basically CSI) and a talented criminal profile. He likes cats, and only bothers with things that interest him. He is in charge of the September and October cases.
- Kei Okazaki: A member of the SP unit (bodyguard) assigned to “protect” Yanagi’s group. Acts like a smiling airhead but is extremely stubborn, especially in regards to getting his job done. Even though he seems to always be around, Yanagi’s group considers him a nuisance and do their best to keep him out of the loop.
- Mineo Enomoto: A former officer in the Field Ops division. His boisterous and flamboyant attitude masks his awkwardness and pure nature. Enomoto is in charge of investigating the first X-Day cases from April and May.
- Takeru Sasazuka: A former officer of the Cyber Crime division. Sasazuka is a talented hacker with an abrasive attitude. He’s a returnee from America and love sweets so long as they are not traditional Japanese flavors. He is investigating the August incidents.
Impressions: Collar x Malice is the best otoge I’ve play in a long while. Ichika is an excellent MC. She might be inexperienced, but she is good at what she has been trained to do and she pushes herself to exceed; and honestly, how weird would it be if she was able to easily solve cases that the entirety of Japan’s police department is unable to crack. Ichika has a firm sense of justice and a high degree of empathy so she is able to understand the motives of criminals, but she never excuses the crimes they’ve done. The best thing is that Ichika is a very active participant, even though she can’t prevent things from happening to her she tries her best to do what she can do.
I found the love interests to be great as well. They’re interesting and diverse, each with their own reason for involving themselves with the X-Day cases that tie deep into their characters, much further than anything having to do with Ichika. They’re a rowdy bunch and that paired with the awesome cast of minor characters (A+ supporting cast, I love them) things get very loud and very fun. Although I wish they would all wear their jacket correctly (especially Okazaki because seriously how does his coat even stay on).
The plot has vibrant cast is key to offsetting the serious nature of the plot, and make no mistake, the plot is very serious, there’s murder, bullying, stalking, suicide, police corruption and basically all of Shinjuku is being held hostage. Nothing but murder is on screen, but it’s still heavy subject matter, and the MC takes her time considering what is happening around her and what she might have to do as a person who carries a gun.
There is a shooting mini-game which is not at all riveting but is at least intrusive. There are couple of extras, the best of which is the short story, but I also enjoyed the “Voice Recorder” which is a voiced profile and “Situation” which is a couple of scenarios throughout a day-long date between the MC and her love interest. There is thankfully a history function, for all your replaying needs, and, paired with the ease at which you can see how your answers are affecting the relationship meter, it is super easy to get the endings you want even without a guide (unless you are trying to get all the bad endings for the trophy)
In addition to the good endings, each route has about 5 bad endings throughout the route (one of them involving getting killed by one of the executors unimportant to the current route), and a Tragic Love Ending which happens at the end of the final chapter if the love meter isn’t high enough.
The order I played the routes while playing blind is:
Kei Okazaki > Takeru Sasazuka > Mineo Enomoto > Kageyuki Shiraishi > Aiji Yanagi
But the order I recommend is:
Takeru Sasazuka > Mineo Enomoto > Kei Okazaki > Kageyuki Shiraishi > Aiji Yanagi
I definitely, definitely recommend that you play Collar x Malice if you have a PS Vita, and if you haven’t yet bought it consider purchasing it through my affiliate link here or at the top of the page.
Favorite Guy: Kei and Mineo
Favorite Route: Yanagi
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