Hello, fellow collectors! This post is definitely long-overdue, so I’m happy to finally be able to share it with all of you! 💕 In this post, we’ll be taking a close look at DRAMAtical Murder’s Aoba Seragaki in figure form, courtesy of Max Factory. DRAMAtical Murder is the most well-known BL game, and for a good reason too! From the character designs and how well the characters are written, to the game’s setting and unique music, along with all the attainable endings, DRAMAtical Murder is just oozing in style. The game takes place in the fictional island of Midorijima, which is under financial hold by Toue Corporation. Toue Corporation has been turning the island to the seemingly luxurious invite-only resort called Platinum Jail, while the island’s original residents were left behind in the slums, where the young entertain themselves by joining gangs and playing the popular cyber game named Rhyme. I’m sure you all know I have a lot of love for this game, since I talked about it A LOT last year in May as I played through both the first game and Re:Connect.
Without further delay, let’s talk about this amazing Aoba figure! ✨
Aoba was first released on April 24th, 2013. The figure also came with a Ren keychain, which is sadly absent from the second release of the figure, making it exclusive to the first release.
What’s interesting is that this was a figure that a lot of people wanted to see released again, since the second-hand prices for it were going through the roof. However, not many people thought that another release would happen…that is until Max Factory announced two different versions of their Ren figure. It was then when a second run of the Aoba figure was also announced, and fans rejoiced! Now with the existence of the fabulous Orange Rouge figure brand geared towards releasing male character figures and goods, perhaps we can hope for highly-detailed DRAMAtical Murder scaled figures of the remaining main cast, right? Let’s hope so! 🙏
The box housing Aoba is very colorful and stylish! The box design offers a little peek of the figure without giving out too much away until one finally opens the box to see what the figure is all about. The figure is sculpted by Nanako, who also sculpted the previously-mentioned Ren figures. Other works by Nanako: she sculpted the Kogitsunemaru figure that was released early last month, and she is also doing work on the Tsurumaru figure that will be released on June.
There’s a lot to work with once you open the box; you MUST put together the pieces included to have the result that’s pictured on the box. Worry not, there’s a list with all the pieces included along with assembly instructions. Yes, they’re in Japanese, but the pictures speak for themselves; just follow exactly as pictures and you’ll be able to put together the figure in very little time. I do have this disclaimer: there are pieces that are VERY DELICATE, so please handle with care! Do not use excessive force, otherwise some pieces may break.
The finished product looks FANTASTIC! Aoba is in 1/7 scale, which is pretty standard for figure scales, but the way the individual pieces hold him up makes him seem much taller. The base has little holes and pegs which you can connect with the individual pieces into. While it may look like it’s easy for the pieces to fall apart, once they’re in place, they won’t budge unless someone forces the pieces off. The way the pieces are made to be put together, to then have some of those pieces support the Aoba figure, it really does give the illusion that Aoba is actually flying around on his hover board in Rhyme!
The figure design was based on an illustration by Honyarara that was the cover of a C79-exclusive full-color booklet called “DRAMAtical Murder: Introduction.” The booklet had several images of the game and characters along with some comments from the game’s staff to serve as a sneak peek of the game. It’s really amazing how a detailed illustration like this can come to life by having it turned into a figure!
Taking a closer look at Aoba’s face, his playful expression is faithfully captured by Nanako! The colors on this figure pop out as well; it’s definitely eye-catching! There’s plenty of small details that makes this figure worth owning, like the buttons, pockets and folds on Aoba’s jacket to the detail of his studded belt and the halo above his head, which indicates that he’s currently in a game of Rhyme. Aoba also sports his trusty pink headphones, which he uses quite often in the game. But wait…it looks like there’s something written on the headphones. Could it be…?
It IS! ✨ Yes, the headphones indeed display the game’s main song title, just like it’s shown in the opening movie! This detail is incredibly tiny, but still visible if you know what to look for. This is probably one of my favorite pieces of detail on this figure.
Aoba’s jacket was faithfully recreated, branding and all! This “Jerry Blaine” design is by Aoba’s favorite clothing brand called Brain Nuts. This is attested by the shopping bag that you can find in his room with the clothing brand printed on it.
Even though the sleeve covers more than half of it, the Coil (kind of like an advanced smart watch) is still visibly worn. Also, Aoba’s fingernails are actually sculpted and have a glossy finish over them. These sorts of details just make the figure stand out even more!
Of course, Aoba’s strangely stylish shoes did not get ignored! I really dig the sculpted folds that make it seem like the material is soft to the touch.
Since the overall idea is that Aoba is in a game of Rhyme, he’s on a cool-looking hover board that allows him to get around while in-game. There’s a peg on Aoba’s foot that goes into the hole on the hover board, thus supporting it upright. For some reason the hover board is Brain Nuts-branded? That detail wasn’t in the illustration, so I’m guessing that’s a little something extra so that design on the other side of the board wasn’t as empty-looking.
Accompanying Aoba is the cute floofball, Ren! He looks so adorable with his little tongue sticking out! 💖 Having the tail sculpted so that it fluffs upwards is a nice attention to detail. Ren is shown wearing his signature spiked collar with his syringe charm dangling in front.
Ren’s cute little paw pads, a VERY IMPORTANT detail, are included in his figure form. Makes it ten times more adorable! 🐾
What makes this figure so special and stand out a lot is that it includes various motifs of the main cast and the game’s concept and plot.
To represent Noiz, several of his cube-shaped rabbit Allmates, Usagimodoki, are placed all around Aoba.
To represent Koujaku, red-colored birds are placed at the very top of the figure. The birds could represent his bird allmate, Beni, or the Kanji used in his name, “red sparrow.”
To represent Clear, there are two white-gloved hands holding a clear umbrellas, which are placed near the top of the figure. These are the most FRAGILE pieces out of the bunch, so please take care while placing the clear umbrella parts into their places!
To represent Mink, there are a couple of Mink’s long smoking pipes near the middle portion of the figure and near the base.
There are several other motifs included that hint at several other concepts of DRAMAtical Murder.
One of the three TVs near the base of the figure features the tag used by the Ribsteez team, Morphine. Ribsteez are gangs who often fight each other for new turf. Morphine is pretty significant to DRAMAtical Murder’s story, since when that Ribsteez team becomes active, all sorts of weird events, such as Mizuki’s disappearance, begin to happen.
The other TV displays a symbol seen in Rhyme. It’s mostly seen when an attack is being made, or it’s displayed at the bottom of where Usui is standing. Rhyme is another key element in DRAMAtical Murder’s plot, due to when it first appeared to the public, development to further Platinum Jail began to take shape.
The last TV displays the silhouette of Sei, Aoba’s fraternal twin brother. Sei is an important character, since he is the key of Platinum Jail. The truth behind him is revealed in Ren’s route.
This figure is not only masterfully sculpted, but also the colors are eye-catching, and the motifs to represent each main character, plot and concept of the game makes this a homage to DRAMAtical Murder. It’s a must-own for DRAMAtical Murder fans!
There is just so much to look at, that you can display it at different angles without really sacrificing the overall main view. This figure was incredibly fun to photograph for that same reason! 📷
Unfortunately, this figure is now hard to find, even in its second printing. It’s sold out on usual places like AmiAmi, HobbySearch, or even GoodSmile Company’s own webshop. However, not all hope is lost! You can buy Aoba brand-new or pre-owned from Solaris Japan! Solaris Japan specializes in finding older out-of-stock items in new and pre-owned condition from smaller suppliers all over Japan. Pre-owned products are always complete and generally in excellent shape. I can vouch for them, since I recently bought several pre-owned Quin Rose games from them, which are now pretty hard to find.
Until next time, happy collecting!