Collar x Malice – Kei Okazaki

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Kei (CV: Yuki Kaji) is a member of the Police SP Guarding Division (which is like a . He’s aloof and happy-go-lucky and kind of acts oblivious to everything even though he obviously has a clear understanding of things. He also has a really strange taste in food (ex. strawberry potato chips lol).

On Ichika’s way back from work she spots Kei sleeping in an alleyway. She tries waking him up but to no avail. Then his kouhai, Yoshinari Hideaki, appears and takes out his gun towards him and he immediately snaps awake and kicks him to the ground even though he knew it was him lmao. Anyway, apparently he already knew Ichika’s identity and says he’ll escort her to the detective office and when they arrive, Aiji says they have something important to discuss (they can’t reveal about the collar to him since he’s part of the police) and so he says he understands and leaves.

So they talk about the death of Satoru Tanaka, who was the game developer of the August incident game. They realize his death was different from any other typical Adonis incident and the video sent to the police was not released to the public. After their discussion, Aiji tells Ichika to be wary of Kei. And speak of the devil Kei appears and asks “what about me?” Aiji’s suspicious he reports their actions to the police but Kei says he’s just interested in them for his own self interest. They go on about their differing opinions on the July incident since that’s what Ichika decided on what to investigate.

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Next day, on Ichika’s way to work she’s harassed by some guys. Kei helps her out by kicking their asses though. He says he’s headed to the Shinjuku station as well so he holds hands with her just in case and walks with her there. On their way to the station, they find out another incident occurred in the park. They find a fire erupting at a public toilet so Ichika and Kei evacuate the civilians. Ichika finds a note thay says “I love you. I love you enough to kill.” Ichika explains what happened to Minegishi and as a witness of the situation.

As far as the July stalker incident happened, a man named Hiroto Shimizu was profusely stalking a woman named Rika Sugawara. He tried killing her and said something along the lines of “let’s die together” when pulling out a knife. That’s when the suspect passer-by, Ogata, came and killed the stalker in a scuffle. So Ichika decides to visit Rika since she’s a suspect in the fire incident. She acts weird as hell and says she found someone she loved after the incident and says something similar to the note Ichika found. So until Ichika experiences love like she has, she refuses to talk with the police. After that, Ichika retrieves July case files to investigate the matter further.

Unexpectedly, Kei appears and investigates the file with her. He comes to the same conclusion that the whole July stalker incident seems fabricated and the fact that Rika wasn’t harmed by the suspect and how Ogata coincidentally appeared (after being mistakenly arrest in previous cases) somehow managed to stab the stalker directly in the heart. So Kei suggests they go visit Ogata in prison to ask his opinion on the matter. On their way in the taxi, Kei exchanges numbers with Ichika and starts texting her things like “I want to see your smile” or asking if she can cook for him someday since she tells him she plans on making hamburgers for Kazuki.

So they visit Ogata and he goes on about his innocence and how he was trying to do justice and yet the police arrested him like before in a previous case where he was mistakenly arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Unfortunately, they don’t gather much info but speculate it was no coincidence that Ogata managed to kill the stalker in self-defense. The next day, the body that was burned in the fire incident was identified as Kiga Atsushi. So Ichika decides to visit Rika Sugawara again. When she does, she basically finds out Kiga, the victim in the fire, was actually a guy who harassed women in the past and Rika was one of them. This makes her a liable suspect in the crime.

As she walks her back home, Ichika decides to ask if Adonis threatened her and she flips her lid saying that she wasn’t threatened and that she was reborn and is able to love and be loved while performing her role. She grabs Ichika by the neck and undoes the button revealing the collar on her neck. This shocks her and she says things like how she’s an ally and that she doesn’t know why a police officer would participate in the countdown. She starts grovelling on the ground saying Zero should’ve chosen her. So she then tries to kill Ichika and that’s when Kei comes in and knocks her unconscious. Ichika is about to put Rika under arrest but then Kei suddenly aims his gun towards Ichika and tells her not to move.

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He asks what the collar on her neck is and that she heard what Rika said about her being an “ally” of Adonis. Obviously, Ichika had no idea of what Rika was talking about, but she can’t answer Kei since he’s part of the police. The collar then speaks for her saying that Ichika is an important human to them and that if he speaks of her collar to the police then she’ll die. Kei realizes she’s being threatened, but due to the fact she could be a spy, he doesn’t know if he can trust her so ends up not contacting her for a whole week. Meanwhile, Rika’s taken into custody but her whole memory on “Adonis” is wiped.

Ichika encounters Kei after a week and he tells her she’s better off not getting involved with Aiji and the others since his job is to report their actions and doesn’t want to risk her involvement. But regardless, she says she’s going to still involve herself for the sake of Shinjuku’s future and her own even if he ends up having to kill her in the end because she becomes a threat. So a couple days later Kei visits her to talk and says he’s finally found his thing to protect, aka Ichika. So from now on he’ll keep Ichika in his sights and she won’t run away. So they make a pinky promise promise together.

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So they decide to investigate the November incident when a truck collided with a police motorcycle. They search for one of the men who worked under one of the victims in the accident named Sanjou Keisuke. Apparently his boss was a dick and very strict and that’s why he quit the police cause he was sick of him and their way of “justice”. So he tells Ichika and Kei he’ll tell them what he knows about the X-Day incidents so as long as they play a game with him. He tells them a police officer will die on the 22nd of December and if they can figure out why and where to stop it, he’ll tell them what he knows.

So they manage to figure it out and go to the Shinjuku park. Sanjou then admits to killing everyone in the online game case in August. At this point he rambles on about how he took action for his own sake cause he didn’t the believe the police would even do shit about it or ever own up to their own mistakes they made about others. Anyway, soon Sanjou and Kei start to duke it out by shooting at each other. Sanjou manages to run off to hide in the woods while both Kei and Ichika are given a surprise gift of landmines blowing up in their faces. Thankfully for Ichika, Kei protects her from most of them while she wonders why the hell he’s so chill about all the injuries he’s taken thus far. They have no choice but to retreat though so Kei picks Ichika up and runs through the forest while trying to avoid as many landmines as possible. Thankfully they manage to escape though and Ichika calls for backup.

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So HQ starts getting riled up over the incidents and the head chief decides they will detain all suspects that may be involved with the incidents (regardless of their solid alibi or if their memory was erased) in order to put a cease the attacks. Meanwhile, Ichika visits Kei in the hospital and decides to have a serious talk with him about his reaction to his injuries and why he doesn’t bat an eye to protect Ichika even if he risks his own life doing so. He ends up telling her he’s willing to die to protect her because he believe his very life was for that purpose. Apparently he wants to die, but he at least wants to die a meaningful death. Its his own selfish reasons basically and he believes she’d get pass him and move on even if he dies sacrificing himself for her. But Ichika hates that idea and refuses to have someone protect her if their going to literally throw their life away in the process. So she leaves the hospital upset with a confused Kei.

So after a few days Ichika continues to avoid Kei. Every time he tries to apologize, she tells him she doesn’t want an apology cause it won’t change how he feels. So one day Ichika goes back to the detective office to talk about trying to remove her collar and Kei follows her back. They start bickering at each other in front of everyone and then Kei admits (unconsciously since he didn’t even realize it himself) he doesn’t want anyone else to protect her, nor does he want her to get hurt, because he loves her. Since they’re still an emotional mess and need to figure things out, Takeru tells them to go outside to get their shit together before they discuss business. So Kei and Ichika go to that same bench they sat at before.

Kei admits he wasn’t considering her feelings but before they can talk any further, Kei’s kouhai, Yoshinari, interrupts by bringing them Christmas make-up gifts. They then decide to go to Kei’s place to talk since Ichika’s bro is at her place. Kei then reveals 2 years ago there was a claim from “Adonis” that there would be an assassination attempt on the prime minister. So while Kei was still a rookie SP member, he and his colleague were in charge of protecting the prime minister. Suddenly a bomb exploded and the whole area was on fire. Kei saw a guy who he thought he could save, but his partner wanted him to retreat since they needed to get out if there. Unfortunately, the wall collapsed and almost hit Kei but his partner took the fall for him. And so he told him to die a meaningful death before he died.

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Kei felt survivor guilt over this, since he believes it was his own fault he died in the first place. He was demoted due to this and felt utterly useless as a SP since in the end he couldn’t protect the people he was required to protect. Apparently his partner was a spy for Adonis too so that made Kei question why the heck he’d protect him in the first place. So then Ichika tells him that regardless of how he feels, he can’t be so willing to just go die, especially not for her sake since she’s in love with him too. So he says that he’ll just have to die for someone else. Ichika gets pissed at this point since he’s not getting it.

So she points out that he won’t be able to watch a series of DVDs he has or eat cake (that she stuffs in his mouth) if he’s dead. But when he keeps putting himself down, Ichika literally slaps some sense to him. He finally realizes he doesn’t want to miss out on their lives together and that his own life is important too. So they end up cuddling while watching scary DVDs together (which Ichika is weak to) since Kei has a very limited selection lol. He kisses her on the cheek and says she’s cute when she’s scared. He also says he’s continue more than just a kiss but he’ll do so when she’s ready.

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So Ichika and Kei head back to the detective office. Ichika asks Takeru, as she initially planned, to investigate her collar so they can find the location of Adonis’ hideout. So a few days later with the help of the police they finally manage to find the hideout. So Adonis speaks to Ichika through the collar saying that she must come to the hideout alone before midnight or they’ll kill Kei. She then gets a call from him to come over and when he does, she tries to act as normal as possible given the circumstances.

So he ends up getting freaky with her since Kazuki isn’t home plus Ichika tells him he doesn’t need to hold back (obviously cause she thinks she’ll never see him again). So before they make love he tells the collar that he won’t hand Ichika over to them (must be awkward af if they really did it with Adonis listening through the collar lmao). Anyway, after that he leaves and Ichika tells Kazuki to follow his dreams before departing for Adonis’ hideout. But as she leaves she gets a call from Kei asking where she is. She lies and he immediately knows where she was headed and appears out of nowhere in front of her.

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He suddenly hugs her and tells her there’s no way he could deceive her like that and he’d rather die himself than have her die. She tries to deny it but he just keeps pushing and finally she admits defeat. He doesn’t care if they kill him though cause he’s coming with her to the hideout anyway. The collar doesn’t react and so they head to Adonis’ hideout within an underground tunnel. They meet Sanjou there who is basically betraying Adonis cause he don’t give a shit no more. And cause the wavelengths underground are interfering with the collar, there’s no connectivity and Adonis has no idea what he’s doing. So he challenges Kei to a gun showdown and if he wins, he’ll remove the collar from Ichika. And so they have their showdown and because Kei wins and knocks the gun out of his hand, Sanjou removes the collar from Ichika’s neck.

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A bomb is suddenly set off though since Sanjou intends to die there anyway so they run off together until they reach a cathedral. There, they find Mikuni Rei, the prime minister’s son who’s a higher ranking member of Adonis and pretty much “Zero’s” right hand man. He starts shooting at the two of them and Ichika makes a plan for them to shoot him at the right moment. Thankfully they’re able to shoot him and as he grovels on the ground, he calls out to Zero to run away. He shoots at Kei while they try to run and she takes the bullet for him. He cries out in agony but tells her he promises she won’t die and carries her out of the building (the very end makes it seem likes she dies for some reason though lmao).

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In the epilogue, the X-Day incident is stopped and Ichika survives her gunshot wound. Kei visits Ichika in the hospital after 8 days of recovering. He’s all upset because she took a bullet for him and nearly died trying. She tells him she won’t be reckless like that again and kisses him and they both tell say they love each other and vow to never leave each other’s sides.

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In the tragic love end, Ichika takes a bullet for Kei and ends up dying in his arms. He starts crying and says there’s no meaning for him to be alive if she’s dead so he just let’s Zero shoot him dead.

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Thoughts: Ngl, at first I thought Kei was the Adonis leader before I started playing. Maybe it’s because the opening spoils him aiming a gun at her lmao. Anyway, Kei’s route mainly picks up near the end because at first I can’t say I was all that invested in his story until they threw some suspense into it. Kei as a character though was really cute, he reminds me of a sleepy fluffy sheep (who’s actually a wolf in disguise cause he could beat the shit out of you if he wanted to lol). I’d like to see a FD with him because he definitely deserved some more romance scenes. ALSO EXTRA CG IS A TASTE OF WHAT HAPPENED IN BED!!

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