Hump Day Husbandos: Minato Kageaki (Full Metal Daemon Muramasa)

Hump Day Husbandos

You can always count on Nitroplus to give you some fascinating characters. And they don’t come more fascinating than Minato Kageaki, protagonist of legendary visual novel Full Metal Daemon Muramasa.

While Kageaki doesn’t take the leading role in the story right from the game’s very outset, this only emphasises the burden he has to bear when we do finally step inside his mind for the majority of the rest of the game. He is, it’s fair to say, a troubled gentleman — but one who, despite his protestations, is fundamentally in a position to do some real good for the world.

Minato Kageaki

Who is Minato Kageaki?

“Minato” wasn’t Kageaki’s original family name; he was adopted. The Minato family was a strong, influential family in a small town, and the matriarch of the family played an important role as a priestess guarding the shrine in which the cursed Muramasa sets of spiritually infused powered armour known as “tsurugi” were kept.

Kageaki has a sister named Hikaru, but his father was exiled from the family not long after she was born, leaving Kageaki, Hikaru and mother Subaru to fend for themselves. They handled this pretty capably for quite some time — both Kageaki and Hikaru were talented youngsters, and Subaru also had plenty of knowledge and skills of their own — but their life came tumbling down when Hikaru became sick with heavy metal poisoning from contaminated water.

It was this event — and the local community’s insistence on tradition rather than getting Hikaru the help she needed immediately — which set Kageaki down the dark path he explores over the course of Full Metal Daemon Muramasa as a whole. This ultimately led him to become the master of the cursed tsurugi Muramasa the Third, and bound by the Law of Balance, which dictates for every enemy he kills, he must also take the life of a friend.

Minato Kageaki

Why we love Minato Kageaki

As you can probably ascertain from that setup, Kageaki is a complicated character. He struggles greatly with his responsibility to rid the world of the deadly musha (a tsurugi-pilot combo) known as Ginseigo, which has been driving people all across the country mad, causing them to obliterate their own settlements and communities. What should be a simple task is made all the more complicated by the Law of Balance, which prevents Kageaki from becoming a “hero” in the traditional sense.

Rather than simply shrugging his shoulders and getting on with things regardless, though, Kageaki always remains aware of the sins he has committed in the name of doing “the right thing”. Right from the outset, he insists on being fairly tried for the murders he has committed during his pursuit of Ginseigo, and desires nothing more than punishment — but not until he has fulfilled his mission.

For the most part, he’s a gloomy soul, but over the course of Full Metal Daemon Muramasa he also reveals himself to have a dark, dry sense of humour that is a consistent delight any time it happens to show his face. This helps keep Full Metal Daemon Muramasa from feeling too heavy all the way through — make no mistake, it’s a difficult read, but Kageaki plays a big part in helping make it all more palatable.

Why you’ll love Minato Kageaki

Broadly speaking, it’s pretty rare to see a hero in gaming who seems so utterly doomed right from the outset, so Kageaki is a fascinating protagonist to ride along inside the mind of. The fact that he doesn’t go full-on “anti-hero” and start killing indiscriminately “for the greater good” makes him all the more fascinating — and the way Full Metal Daemon Muramasa handles interpersonal relationships is enough to make you cheer any time he does manage to make any sort of connection with another human being.

Kageaki is the very definition of a character who embodies the concept of great power coming with great responsibility attached — and his desire to ensure that he balances his responsibilities in such a way to more good than harm makes him one of the most memorable troubled protagonists in any medium.

Just, uh, if you happen to end up in bed with him, be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride. That, it seems, is one area of his life where he’s more than happy to let the beast within take over to a certain extent!

Full Metal Daemon Muramasa is available now from JAST USAA “streamer-friendly” version is available on GOG.com.

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Pete Davison
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