Collar x Malice

Hoshino Ichika is a new police officer working to hear the concerns of the people in the streets on Shinjuku, now dangerously quiet due to the ongoing X-Day incidents committed by the terrorist group Adonis. One day on her way home one night, she gets knocked out and wakes up to have a collar put on her by the same terrorist group, who demands her to investigate the X-Day incident along with a bunch of ex-policemen who are currently running a detective agency. What will happen to Ichika? More under the cut.

This time, I’m gonna be real brief with this review and write whatever I remember. I won’t really go out of my way to write every detail down, because I’m sure there’s more than enough reviews of this game on the internet already. Thanks to the localization, I’m pretty sure enough people reading this blog would have played the game! My review is based on the JP version of the game, where the experience will probably be the same other than translations, which I’m completely not affected by here. Which brings me to:

Everything here is a major spoiler! If you haven’t played the game and want to enjoy the story, turn back around and don’t read this. My final thoughts will have spoilers, since I seriously cannot make a good opinion without talking about spoilers. If you’re okay with reading spoilers, go past this line break.

Common Plot Points

There’s not much of a common route in the story, other than Ichika deciding who to partner up with to work on different cases in each route, but there is a common plot and points which are consistently established in every route no matter which guy you’re hooking up with. All X-Day incidents are committed by the different members of Adonis, with a different member committing the crime in place of the person who has a grudge so they don’t get found out. Whenever any of the culprits are caught, their memories of anything related to do with Adonis are deleted due to a chip in their brain. Every route will have Adonis incidents happening each day as the villian’s way of clueing Ichika in to Adonis’ true intentions. Each route will talk about 2 X-Day cases, with Aiji’s route rounding all the information up and finally revealing the leader of Adonis.

Other than X-Day incidents, the game will also tell us about Ichika’s relationship with her brother no matter what route you play. Ichika’s brother, Kazuki is a huge dickbag who is in that phase of his life where he hates his family & wants to hang out with his friends more. Ichika will always find out about her brother working together with vocalist Ishiki Yasuhiro. Kazuki has  dreams of wanting to have a music career, and doesn’t want to take over the family business in the countryside. No matter what, Ichika always wants to support his dreams, and supports him in whatever he does. Let’s get on with the routes!

Enomoto Mineo (CV: Saito Soma)

Mineo’s the moodmaker and pretty much the idiot of the detective agency, and often gets into fights with Takeru over the dumbest of things. An example of how stupid he is, is the fact that he’s a huge Japan History nerd and wears the eyepatch not because he’s a chunnibyou, but in respect of Date Masamune. He teachnically acts like a little kid a lot of the time because he’s easily embarrassed, hates his vegetables, and has a huge love for pudding. ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ A few examples of his embarrassments are when he accidentally uses Ichika as a body pillow, he goes and apologises to her by dogezaing at her house LMAO. He also rolls around like an idiot after cool-ly asking her to wait for him to come back, because he wants to confess his feelings to her. Mineo’s backstory and slump from the start come from him being in the police. Back when he was still in the police, he found out that his senior made a false arrest just because he was jealous of him, and that same senior died during the May X-Day incident and he couldn’t say anything. He thinks it’s his fault for causing his senior to die, so he ends up having trust issues. Thanks to Ichika’s persistence & trust in him, he warms up to her and is able to investigate the case with her.

The 2 Adonis members they arrest in this route are Kobayashi Hanako & Ogata Tomoki, both related to his senior in a way. Hana’s main reason for killing the senior is because the senior crushed Ishiki’s career, and she’s pissed at all the police in general & won’t hesitate to kill any that are around Ishiki. They manage to catch her since she openly admits to her crimes during Ishiki & Kazuki’s live and they arrest her. For Ishiki himself, he’s really fine with it & has moved on since the senior kept sending him apology letters. After Mineo apologises to him, he’s more relieved and says that he can trust the police a little bit more.

Ogata’s pissed cuz his peaceful life was ruined by the arrests, but he’s more spiteful & just wants to prove a point to the world by joining Adonis. His goal was to promote Adonis’ ideals. Mineo & Ichika end up cornering him with his moral alignment, in which he admits to his crimes & gets arrested. Adonis does announce that they’re going to kill everyone who has a collar, so Ichika’s the first test subject in removing it. The collar is removed in this route thanks to Takeru’s hacking into the Adonis system, and Adonis soon goes silent as the police start to help find people with collars and saving all of them. The route ends wiht Mineo proposing to Ichika at the church she was found at, and he gives her a 4 leaf clover hairpin. (✿◠‿◠)

Mineo’s a really sweet & childish baby, and honestly I thought he’d be an Impey but I THINK HE’S WORSE THAN IMPEY BECAUSE HE’S REALLY AN IDIOT HAHAHA. Soma was really good at doing his serious voices whenever he was saying something serious, I really got the dokis for a moment. I had expected to like him, but sometimes he really has some dumb remarks so I just think he’s a really adorable kid.

Sasazuka Takeru (CV: Namikawa Daisuke)

Takeru is the tsundere of all the guys, and spends all his time insulting Ichika with like 3 different nicknames for her, but mainly calling her “bakaneko”, or “idiot cat”. He’s got a sweet tooth, and eats all sweets except for wafu ones like red beans and matcha. He’s often gets pissy and gets Ichika to do things with him just because she can’t use her brains, but he’s tsun so we all know his truet intentions. He shows his deredere points though when he offers her one of his donuts as treats for his pet cat Ichika. Takeru’s backstory is that he used to live in America, until one day when he was 18, his mom got shot by a bunch of gangsters trying to protect him. Pissed off by the gun laws over there, he came back to Japan since there was none of that shit & joined the police because of his hacking skills. Unforunately, thanks to the X-Day incidents, all adults are allowed to carry guns and he’s pissed off by that.

Adonis offers him a chance to join them though since they tracked down the murder of Takeru’s mom, so he ends up wondering if he should take it. Takeru is truly, a very soft boy because he really doesn’t want to see Ichika cry, and gets threatened when she gets drunk saying that she’s going to, AND SHE CRIES ANYWAY. (ノ^∇^) Thanks to this though, he doesn’t accept the offer and instead wants to find out who Adonis is. He’s actually also very scared of guns, as he literally hugs Ichika after she has a confrontation with one of the Adonis members & he hugs her saying that he was so freaked she was going to die. Sadly his cocky attitude still remains though but he tries his best to protect Ichika in his own way.  ଘ(੭ˊ꒳ˋ)੭✧

The Adonis members they catch in this route are Sera Akito, Kazuki’s best friend and composer of the band, and Souda Manabu, a game addict who has a god complex. Akito’s younger sister committed suicide in middle school and he’s really upset that he didn’t reach out to her before she went and killed herself. Due to his guilt, he ended up wanting to get revenge by himself, so he joined Adonis and pretty much bombed the entire class with the kids who bullied his sister. Souda on the other hand, is overly addicted games, since he has a fear of real life and is happy in the virtual world being able to become “god” there. The dude pretty much babbles nonsense when not given his game, and they honestly never get out anything out of him about what cases he’s related to in the end. For Takeru’s route, he manages to hack into Adonis’ database as a whole and manages to find the code to remove the collar thanks to Akito leaving clues with Ishiki & Kazuki before disappearing. He also joins back the police and gives them all the information about Adonis’ base, and a full scale operation happens to catch Adonis, so Shinjuku becomes peaceful again.

I really like Takeru. His route had me grinning the whole time, either because he was burning everyone too hard or it was because of his interactions between Ichika and him. Ichika was super persistent in this route, and I really liked her guts against him especially when she was drunk and started saying that she’s gonna cry. In fact, one of the ways to avoid a bad ending is to text Takeru that she’s going to cry and then he replies. (୨୧ ❛ᴗ❛)✧ I never really like Namikawa characters so he’s a first, because he’s got a good balance of tsun and dere, and I really like both despite his really sharp tongue. I think I also enjoyed the route because of Ichika in this one, as well as the fact that they talk about Akito, who is in fact one of my favourite side characters in this game.

Okazaki Kei (CV: Kaji Yuki)

Kei’s the SP who’s tasked in guarding the detective agency, so he’s always hanging around the building and scaling up to the office whenever he likes. He’s always working together with his junior Yoshinari, who he likes to bully a lot and use as his errand boy lmao. Kei’s taste is really weird, from being interested in things with weird/strong flavours, as well as watching only horror movies just because. He also has a really really strong interest in sleeping, and amusingly is able to sleep anywhere thanks to his job, but would rather sleep 24 hours if he could. (⑅˘͈ ᵕ ˘͈ ) Kei seems pretty dazed abt 90% of the time, but ye his senses are really good & sharp, so Ichika gets really suspicious of him cuz he’s overly nice as well. Eitherway, he & Yoshinari’s job isnt actually to protect the detective agency, but to spy on them and transmit any important clues they find to HQ. He starts following her around a lot though since she decides to investigate the case alone.

The 2 members this route covers Sugawara Rika, a woman who has been pretty much stalked all her life and saved by the leader of Adonis, “Zero”, who gave her the ability to punish all the dudes who tortured her. Ichika’s run-in with her causes her to lose her shit when she finds out Ichika has a collar and “is special”, where Kei almost shoots her until “Zero” intervenes telling him to not kill his special guest. The other member is Sanjo Keisuke, an ex-traffic policeman who quit after receiving abuse from his superior, who got promotions with his & his colleagues hard work. Anyway Kei pretty much slowly cozies himself up with Ichika, and says that she’s someone worth protecting for his own feelings. Turns out the poor dude was involved in the case where the prime minister was almost assasinated, and his friend turned out to be a member of Adonis. The guy ended up dying protecting him & telling him not to die a meaningless death, so Kei decided he should die with good reason.

Ichika ain’t having any of this dying shit because she wants Kei to live, and tells him that she ain’t gonna be protected by someone who’s willing to throw his life away so easily. Of course, this happens after they both have feelings for each other, and Kei confesses them while bickering with Ichika, so Ichika tells him not to die. (๑`・ᴗ・´๑) The collar is removed in this route as Ichika’s threatened to join Adonis or they’ll kill Kei. However, Sanjo intervenes since he thinks he and Kei are alike, so challenges him to a gun duel if where Kei wins, he’ll give him the passcode to remove the collar. Kei wins, but they end up facing off with Mikuni Rei, but the police rushes in to raid the Adonis base.

Ichika once again is super badass in this route kicking all her pursuable men into shape. I honestly couldnt feel much for Kei, maybe just related to him in terms of his sleeping wants. He’s really cute with his bumbling attitude & kaomoji texts, but I ended up not finding him very appealing, so I just left with a neutral taste. Honestly the biggest thing which shocked me in this route was Ichika taking a shot to protect Kei – really showing how badass she is to let Kei live. I literally screamed at that moment cuz I seriously thought it was a bad end, but thank god it wasn’t.

Shiraishi Kageyuki (CV: Kimura Ryouhei)

Shiraishi’s the mysterious profiler of the police, who does things out of whim and only gives hints to Ichika if it interests him. He’s also very interested in observing people – especially Ichika. He has a huge love for cats, and literally has a whole list of stray cats he plays and feeds every now and then. ❀.(*´◡`*)❀. He’s very distant in many of the routes, and you only get to know him in his route. Shirashi only agrees to team up with Ichika because she can do the fieldwork for him instead, and if he can “observe” her the whole time. Ichika soon learns that he’s pretty much of a piece of shit half the time cuz he loves to fuck around with her, and realises he doesn’t really have much feelings when he tells her that using words to solve problems ain’t gonna help. Ichika tells him that he’s like a puppet with no emotions, and decides not to deal with him ever again.

You see, the problem with Shiraishi is that he’s a kid raised in Adonis to assist them in missions. He never knew who his real family was, or what his purpose in life is other than hiding in society while assisting Adonis in their motives & missions. Unfortunately he begins to have feels for Ichika where he starts exploding & has no clue what he’s feeling since he’s got no name – he’s called Number 14 by Rei, and the Shirashi Kageyuki personality was just given to him to blend into society. He tries to salvage his relations with Ichika, which makes her hella confused and ends up confronting him and asking he what he wants, and he literally admits he doesn’t know what he’s feeling!! Anyway, the members they interact with in this route are Uno Suzune & Uno Shion, a pair of twins who were “abandoned” by their parents. Their mother was driven insane by the bullying at the school she taught at, so one day decided to kill her husband and herself to save her sanity, which made them think they were worthless kids & had no purpose in life. After finding out why their mother died, they decided to get revenge through Adonis.

Ichika eventually falls in love with Shiraishi, after he starts being nicer and cooking for her after she works a few days straight & is fine with staying over at his place by accident. ◦°˚\(*❛‿❛)/˚°◦ Unfortunately, good shit doesn’t last long as Adonis demands she joins them, and will come to pick her up after a certain date. After making promises to overcome the deadline Adonis has given her & planning Shirashi’s first christmas, he suddenly goes MIA and is then spotted killing Rei. The rest of the detective agency tries to keep her safe during this period, but she’s kidnapped anyway and out of all the people – it’s Shirashi. This confirms the entire thing about him being a pawn, since the leader of Adonis, Zero can send some brainwashing noises to bend Shiraishi to his own will. Zero wants Ichika to shoot Shiraishi as revenge for killing her friends, and the guy even tells Ichika to shoot him so she can get the collar removed & become part of Adonis. Zero gets pissed he ain’t getting what he wants so he sends more noises or sth, but Shiraishi breaks free and runs off with Ichika.

Shiraishi pretty much confirms everything about himself, how he was involved in the Prime minister assasination case, and how he was just placed there to get into a relationship with Ichika in order to bring her to Adonis in the end. He’s a murderer, so no matter what he can’t go back outside or he’ll get arrested, although he didn’t kill anyone from the detective agency. Ichika ain’t having her man die on her, so she shoots Zero, who then activates the poison in her collar, almost killing her. Ichika ends up falling into a coma, and is only cured 3 months later. Shiraishi continues to take care of her until a year passes where she wake up without her memories – where Shirashi tells her he’s her doctor. (੭ ˃̣̣̥ ㅂ˂̣̣̥)੭ु

Just end me in my pool of tears pls. PLEASE. Shiraishi’s route was so fucking heavy I cried so much and the ending just killed me. I literally screamed when the ending song played while an newly awoken Ichika doesn’t remember anything. This is literally the only ending where in the good end, they don’t end up together because Shiraishi turns himself in. I’m literally crying and so desperate to get the FD while writing this because Shiraishi’s a good boy!! (੭ ˃̣̣̥ ㅂ˂̣̣̥)੭ु He pretty much acts like a child, which is honestly okay with me cuz that what I like abt him in the first place. There were so many moments which kinda made me want to protect him instead, but Ichika did it all so I love her for that. :”D I have so many things to say but I just can’t put it into words – just a lot of crying.

Yanagi Aiji (CV: Morita Masakazu)

Aiji’s the main guy of this game, and is pretty much the most ideal husband you’ll ever get because he’s caring, cooks, cleans, except for the fact that he smokes. Everyone pretty much thinks of him as a dad – literally because he’s so caring to everyone. Aiji’s route covers the whole incident, and the identity of Zero, as mentioned from Shiraishi’s route. Because there’s a lot of shit to cover, I will cut to the chase: Aiji’s backstory isn’t much, except for the fact that he once killed a guy. This is because he & Ichika met 10 years ago, where he saw her getting kidnapped by some rando, chased after them and tried to beat the guy up. Ichika got beaten instead, so Aiji’s justice side lost it and he beat the guy up so hard he turned into a vegetable. Because of the incident Ichika doesn’t remember much except that the guy who helped her was pretty scary, and that was Aiji. Ichika ain’t bothered by any of this though, she’s past fearing him and instead is thankful of him for saving her. (ღ′◡‵)

Anyway, in this route, Shirashi immediately spills that he’s part of Adonis, so he MIAs pretty fast. Aiji’s pretty much figured Adonis probably has some discord between the higher-ups, which is the reason why Shirashi didn’t seem to be involved at all this whole time. Since this is a compilation route, Takeru soon gets info about Adonis from Akito, who handed Ichika a USB drive. Rei soon calls them up to strike a deal with them, asking them to let Adonis retreat since Zero’s gone out of hand & he figures that their ideals were different from the start. Aiji agrees to this because Rei agrees to help get the collar off Ichika. The route comes to a point where they figure out who “Zero” is, and welp it’s Saeki Yuzuru, Ichika’s best friend in the police. He even confirms it by calling her after she figures it out, asking her to go out for drinks with him. Ichika panics though, and Aiji has to hug her to get her to calm down.

Pretty much after this Saeki doesn’t hold back on anything and literally kidnaps her in front of Kei at the police station just because he can. Ichika finds out that he’s the leader of Adonis and pretty much the centre of the cult. He doesn’t say anything about himself though, and tells her that he chose her because he believed they had the same ideals and wants to test her “justice” to see if they were the same. Rei soon pops up threatening to shoot Ichika since she made Saeki go crazy, when the entire detective agency gang minus Takeru shows up to save her. Saeki ends up escaping, so Rei gives them the code to remove the collar and turns himself in since it’s the end of Adonis.

Aiji literally has not much to him in terms of any relationship-changing scenes cuz he literally really likes Ichika from the start already and dotes on her a lot, so they both end up confessing on christmas eve. Aiji really thought he doesn’t deserve happiness, but Ichika’s gonna give it all to him. ლ(❛◡❛✿)ლ This is where he becomes extremely thirsty for her 90% of the time, all of which I don’t mind thought. :^) They end up having a christmas party with the rest of the detective agency, and preps themselves with the final confrontation with Saeki. Of course, they find him at the church where he put the collar on her. Ichika doesn’t agree with Saeki’s ideals, so she’s decided she will make sure he gets arrested & not kill him. She shoots the gun out of his hands & his legs, and the police soon busts in to arrest him ending the incident. They end up having a celebration party at the agency, where Aiji says he’ll just continue being a detective lmao. Shiraishi shows up to turn himself in, and Aiji gives Ichika an engagement ring and lets her cry in his arms since everything’s finally over. (◡‿◡✿)

Aiji’s a really sweet guy. I couldn’t help be scream PERFECT BOYFRIEND all the time with all his actions. I had on my eye on him from the start, and I’m glad that his route didn’t disappoint at all. Unfortunately, I felt Aiji’s route felt the most story to the point we didn’t really get to know him, know about his backstory – maybe cuz he didn’t have much of one other than being too nice to be in the police and his history with Ichika. Would have been nice to have more, but nevertheless, he’s still hella great I literally had dokis everytime he said something. Honestly I really have no more words for him other than the 2 in caps earlier, but I’m really glad I enjoyed his route.


Criminal is literally a full chapter of content talking about the members of Adonis, and a little bit more on their backstories and motivations. The most important part of this section though, was how Adonis was started. Rei didn’t really agree with his dad’s idealogy for leading Japan, so he decided it was a great idea to start a terrorist group to “revive” Japan. He then went to see Yuzuru, who is actually his half-brother. However, Yuzuru’s pretty much his dad’s bastard child and the dude didn’t want to be known for banging up several women, so Yuzuru was never registered. He’s an invisible kid and the name “Yuzuru” was given to him by his sick mom.

Yuzuru had a shit childhood because he was confined to a space with his sick mother cuz his dad didn’t want them around in public. The worse part – his mom started having delusions thinking Yuzuru was her ex-lover, and eventually died without having her feelings returned. Yuzuru didn’t know what his life purpose was, until he figured out that it was to absorb others’ sadness as a vessel since he’s so empty. He agreed to the terrorist plan because he wanted to wipe all the sadness from Japan, but honestly he was never on the same terms as Rei. Rei pretty much assumed that they were on the same terms lmao.  Yuzuru ended becoming the leader of the cult, someone who would absorb everyone’s pain. The prime minister assassination plan was literally just to get their name out, and all the members involved were all fake members, which would then finally lead to the X-Day incidents.

Overall Thoughts

I fell in love with Ichika the most. First game of my blogging year nad I’ve found my best heroine already.

I REGRET NOT PLAYING THE GAME EARLIER. I regret it so much. CxM is such a good game, I’m literally looking at myself wondering why I waited until AFTER the FD released to play it, and to realize its amazing. This game really hits home of many real topics happening right now – at how some crimes really go unpunished sometimes. Just at the moment I’m writing, there’s some hot news in SG about that which I can suddenly feel for from this game. Surprisingly I sided quite a bit with some of the characters in this game, esp the twins because of their lives. Unfortunately though, I’m gonna put this out there: I don’t feel anything for Saeki other than sad. His actions were pretty crazy if you ask me, and I just felt sad for his situation which led to him. Contrary to popular belief, I really think he doesn’t need a route at all, even though it was sad Ichika never got to understand him, because to me, it’s real that there will be people that you can’t save no matter what, and that character here is Saeki. This game’s themes are so realistic, I just can applaud it for that. I need to comment though – wasn’t killing off Saeki in Mineo’s route so risky that it would have been a major spoil for the final route? I mean, I know he was acting as Ichika’s friend, but if someone thought hard enough especially with the change in Adonis’ actions, it could have been a major spoiler from the start. I for one was spoiled by accident prior to playing the game, but overall the game was still great and shocking to me despite that.

The characters in this game were all great, much to the point that I really can’t decide if I have a best boy, it’s stuck between Takeru/Shirashi/Aiji, but for now I’ve settled for Shirashi seeing how much he made me cry. Over the guys though, I strongly believe I fell in love with Ichika over everyone else over how much spunk she has in her. She’s a good girl, doesn’t take all their dumb shit and moping and whips them into shape. There’s the part where she’s too nice and tries to help everyone is a major flaw, but it suits her. For the otome aspect of this game, it unforunately got the short end of the stick in terms of romance cuz it was all mystery mystery that I was more interested in finishing the case then seeing what romance was gonna happen in the routes. Gonna say though, the pacing at the start is pretty slow, but I finished the game in 2 weeks because after the 1st & 2nd routes, everything was speeding down really fast like a rollercoaster cuz I couldn’t put it down. There would be moments where you had to answer questions the guy throws at you to gain affection points, mystery style questions which were pretty straightforward but if your brain was turned off it would be annoying. The last thing is – please use a guide if you’re looking to get all the trophies because there’s no ending list and you’ll have to get all the endings for the trophy.

Since this game is in english already, I’m pretty sure many have played it already, since its highly accessible. If you haven’t, please dont be like me and just jump at it. This entire game was so good and I finally understand why the community loves it, and why I’m so late to the party. I pretty much will be getting the FD to find out more about Shiraishi, and get the good share of romance I needed. Apologies if this review was pretty messy – I was in a rush to get this done and figured many have played already, so I know my summary is pretty shabby, but at least the final thoughts are true to what I want to say so thanks for tolerating this mess!

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