DRAMAtical Murder – Episode 4 Review – “Data_04_Disappearence”
We were introduced to Noiz, a member of the “Ruff Rabbit” gang. He was the one who drew Aoba into the Rhyme ambush. We also learnt of an “improved society” named “Platinum Jail”, which the tall dark and silent man has something to do with. Grandma Tae also met secretly with one of Toue’s assistants. There’s obviously something that Tae is hiding from Aoba.
In an opening bit of exposition, it is revealed that Toue Tatsuo is indeed the Representative Director of Toue Konzern, the company that developed Platinum Jail. Aoba is skeptical of the Platinum Jail plan, being content as a part of the Old Residential District. As Toue is escorted from the public appearance, his driver/assistant informs him that Tae gave them the “usual” response. Not sure quite what that means, but I’m intrigued.
Next, Clear drops in on Aoba, watching over him while he sleeps. The two have an interesting conversation about life, death, happiness, and jellyfish. Suddenly, Aoba gets an urgent call from Koujaku – Mizuki and the Dry Juice gang have disappeared. Around town, all the Dry Juice tags have been spray painted over by tags for a group under the name of Morphine. When Aoba arrives on the scene, they notice blood on the stairs, but no other trace of the gang. Who should be nearby but Virus and Trip, who are revealed to be running with the Yakuza, much to the anger of Koujaku. Aoba plays moderator between the two, and asks Virus and Trip to relay any info to him.
Koujaku is already on edge when they run into Noiz in the alleyway. They begin to fight each other (physically, not in a Rhyme game) but Akushima (the police detective) interrupts them, and everyone beats a hasty retreat. Koujaku and Aoba split up, with Koujaku promising to meet up with him at home. He has something important to tell Aoba. Once on his own, Aoba continues to get messages about a kidnapped princess. The email opens an 8-bit video game called “Silent Oath.” Unfortunately at that very moment, Tae is getting kidnapped by an unseen group.
When Aoba gets home to check up on her, Morphine members surround him. The man with the pink bandana appears to be the leader of the group…
I have so many questions after this episode, but that’s a positive instead of a negative. I’m interested to see how they’ll turn out in the end. What is the deal with Tae, and her background/past? Was she really kidnapped? Who is Toue, and what is his aim with Platinum Jail? As he says “propaganda demands smiles and dreams.” But propaganda for what?
I’m quite enjoying this so far – much more than I thought I would be. I like the conscious choice to have the show be more about the characters and the mystery than the mechanics of the Rhyme game. While the characters aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I am interested to find out more about them. Who knows if we will *shrugs*.
While they are doing a good job of setting up the mystery, I also don’t want the show to take too long to give us any clues. There’s a fine line between waiting long enough to reveal the workings of the mystery, and doing it too late, so that people’s interest has been lost. We’ll see just how the show goes about it.