Filling in the large gap of boys love titles in my spotlight series is Togainu no Chi, a Nitro+Chiral title with boys, blood and battles. When World War III divides Japan, splitting the country into places of order and chaos, a gruesome battle tournament emerges to pit young fighters against each other for gore and glory.
Akira is a young champion of a street fighting tournament called [email protected] When he’s falsely accused of a crime, his only choice at freedom is to enter an even more dangerous fighting tournament in the post-World War III ruins of Tokyo. There he participates in a game called Igura which combines street fighting with poker hands and complete anarchy. Thrust into a new world where murder, sex and drugs are rampant, Akira must fight to win under the rules of Igura to avoid his prison sentence. But he’s not alone, as his childhood friend and a strange shota in skirt-like pants accompany him on his journey.
Igura’s system of “you can do anything to the loser” is a large part of Togainu no Chi and should clue you in on what the bulk of the game handles (unless you already knew from the Nitro+Chiral mention). The game spaces the plot between dangerous and intimate scenes, letting you explore the mysteries of Tokyo’s ruins while getting to know eight characters. Though to get a good grasp of everything that’s going on, you need to play through certain routes to unlock others – especially where the more enigmatic characters are concerned. This limits your first playthough, but reaching an ending doesn’t take as long as in other titles.
Togainu no Chi is a visual novel that likes to keep the action rolling, never stopping too long before danger creeps in on Akira and his crew. Even in fighting downtime there are moments of fear and danger, keeping the game’s focus on things happening rather than stopping for an hour-long introspection about the setting’s larger implications or themes. Of course, there’s always a mystery just out of reach so you have something to think about while you progress through the story.
I’ll admit that I’m not the best person to seek for an opinion of characters in a boys love series (or for male characters in general, but don’t judge). The game’s draw is definitely a mix of plot and characters, and the cast has enough variety and surprises to be fairly interesting. The resident shota character can carry himself in bloddy battles while the childhood friend is more than just a friendly supporting character. With eight pursue-able characters and twelve possible endings, it’s interesting to see the world unfold for many different people with different reasons for joining in on the fighting fun. And, you know, those scenes are a pretty big draw to the game too.
Togainu no Chi is an action-oriented visual novel that deals with themes of drug use, violence, murder and anarchy while showing you CGs of cute boys being pushed down. While there is enough plot to satisfy those playing for a story, it’s carried equally by its characters and sex scenes. Multiple routes and endings give you many mysteries to explore and you know the visuals are going to be good. If you’ve been eager to play a boys love title, there’s no better start than the first game in Nitro+Chiral’s BL line of visual novels.
Togainu no Chi is an adult visual novel that serves you gritty themes with your graphic violence and graphic other-violence. The only translated version of the game is available for Windows PCs. While the game is hard to obtain at the moment, the opening of Nitro+’s English online store may provide western players with an opportunity to grab a copy.
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