coiffeur: (ooc ❚ tears of blood down my pallid face)
koujaku ( 紅雀 ) ([personal profile] coiffeur) wrote2013-01-29 12:09 pm
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Warning for massive spoilers for various Nitro+Chiral Games besides DMMD.


I think Nitro+Chiral always tries to take a unique spin on very cliche ideas and tropes within the BL genre. With TnC (togainu no chi), Rin was the example of the “cheery and shallow shota” type character who throughout various routes is revealed to totally break that stereotype, and let’s not forget about Keisuke who brought yandere into BL games when it was pretty rare at the time for visual novels/dating sims in general. There’s also Lamento, which took an extremely cheesy cliche of cat boys and spun it around and integrated it dark themes and cat and human mythology/religion. The cat people in Lamento are noted throughout the novel to not be overly sugary cutesy, but more on the “feral” side and don’t make the typical “nya~!” sounds found in anime and manga. Now lastly is Sweet Pool which turns a very cliche genre of BL series set in high schools and flips everything upside down with its heavily depressing and dark themes.


Koujaku “appears” to be the sort of character often found in BL. Yes, “appears” is in quotes because Nitro+Chiral sets up certain expectations only to integrate and delve deeper into them. I feel Nitro+Chiral does this with all the romance options in DMMD, but I think Koujaku’s is written off the quickest or assumed to be the “least serious” or “not as deep” as the others. I’m not saying he’s the deepest character — that’s probably Aoba or Clear in my opinion — but I think it just gets slightly overlooked because of the cliche stereotypes he’s initially embodied.


This is found in a lot of BL manga, visual novels, anime, etc. There’s always one character that attracts everyone around him and future love interest pulls a “tsundere” and denies their growing feelings towards the other until it’s painfully obvious. Sometimes it’s the love interest and the Casanova who are both in love with each other are are 1) unaware 2) in denial about it. With DMMD, it falls under unaware for at least Koujaku to make that clear. There are also the usual fangirls and or fanboys that are stupidly annoying to the love interest, and this happens in DMMD, yet the Casanova is still liked and admired by other men, but not all. He’s also shown very early on in the game to have an ideology on how women should be treated (like treasures, he says, and they can’t be refused!) and he “says” he sticks with it.

So yes, Koujaku falls into a lot of the cliches that come with the Casanova/Playboy type. Yet throughout the game evidence shows the contrary to what’s initially built up. Aoba alludes to it with his heartbreaker comments, but Koujaku doesn’t treat women as well as he says he does nor like treasures. Sure, he’s polite and kind to them, showing them a good time, but it’s unclear how much is an act and how much it’s real. He uses women to cope with what happened with his own mother who he killed. Koujaku has a massive guilt complex when it comes to those who are dear to him (all those apologies to Tae and Aoba). He uses women to deal with these unresolved issues, making them happy to cope with his past and what he perceives as failing to protect his mother and make her happy. This may sound like an asshole thing to do, and it is, and he knows it. That’s why he’s in that weird “limbo” of wanting to treat women properly and being the playboy type. He wants to be kind to women and treasure them, like how he wanted happiness for his mother, but instead he falls into the Casanova antics with these women, AKA not being able to have a healthy relationship with women since he has unresolved issues and guilt over his mother’s death.

That doesn’t mean I think he’s an awful man who is horrible to women and just uses them, as he also lets himself be used by them, too. Women want to use him to have fun? He seems fine with it in the common route and comfortable with the idea during his own route. There’s a lot of duality when it comes to Koujaku, which is alluded throughout the story by Aoba and the sharp contrast between his outside persona and the one he shows Aoba. While the whole “womanizer having unhealthy relationships with women/their mother” is not unheard of, what makes Koujaku’s interesting to me are the many dualities I mentioned above. I don’t want to make it sound too Freudian and make it seem like he sees every woman as his mother. It’s actually made obvious that the women he’s around are not like his mother. Aoba mentions Koujaku’s mother being very kind, but the women presented with Koujaku are anything but that. I think this is overlooked, but it’s important to note as it shows the contrast at what’s reality and what Koujaku says. Koujaku has to live in a certain level of denial and “fakeness” to live his life without letting his guilt overcome him. Aoba’s scrap showed this with that infamous IIYO scene.

Also, the infamous sex scene where he shows he’s a huge dork and tries super hard to make everything perfect and seem cool for Aoba. It’s even funny how so many seem to admire him, and the girls find him so cool, but deep down Koujaku is insecure about himself due to his guilt complex. I think self loathing is way too strong, but part of him needs to have a strong purpose (protecting Aoba) to help him focus on something else instead of being trapped in his past. I’ll probably talk about that area under the next topic(s) more.

So yes, tl;dr the playboy themes are deeper than IRRESISTIBLE HOTTIE but hey he’s a total hottie I ain’t denying that. If you have any comments, feel free to send me an ask. I also can see people not liking this sort of thing at all and hey, that’s cool, I find it super interesting.


I think I see this cliche as why people dislike Koujaku, his route, and Koujaku/Aoba the most. This is why I actually adore the pairing, but for more reasons beyond the surface layer. Nitro+Chiral has had several childhood friends as romance options or other side characters. For TnC (Togainu no Chi), Keisuke was the childhood friend, Tokino for Lamento (but he doesn’t have a route), and Sweet Pool roughly touches the cliche with Makoto as the pre-established friend. A lot of visual novels and dating sims have the childhood friend to a sickening degree to most, let alone other genres of Japanese media (tv shows, anime, manga, movies, novels, etc. etc. etc.!). It’s a very popular romance plot in Japan and throughout the world, but Nitro+Chiral takes a more interesting spin on it and makes it much more realistic than what’s usually presented.

It’s easy to get caught up in the cute overload and just see them as precious kids who were close together. I think it’s important to piece what we know before digging into the deeper meanings and whatnot. Not too much is revealed about the exact dynamics and what their friendship was like as children, but there are important details. Child Aoba, through extra source material, has mentioned looking up to Koujaku and listening to his advice earnestly. Even though he dislikes milk, he drinks it because Koujaku says it’ll help him get bigger. There is the obvious hero aspect that gets mentioned, but I’ll talk about that in another write up. He also can’t picture himself being bigger than Koujaku. Koujaku comforted Aoba and stayed with him while Tae was working late, and Tae and Koujaku’s mother knew each other as well if I’m remembering correctly. Aoba made a cake by himself for Koujaku’s birthday, too, and even if it ended up being disastrous, Kouajaku ate it all even when Aoba was worried that Koujaku would get sick from it. It’s also stated Aoba was picked on and didn’t have many friends, so Koujaku was probably one of Aoba’s only friends. It’s unclear of Koujaku had other friends, but it’s apparent he was closest to Aoba. It’s also noted he was alone a lot, too, since his mother was busy herself. It can be thought since his mother and him were on the run from his father and the yakuza, they didn’t stay in one place too long or make themselves too apparent within a community. It’s noted that Koujaku did move around as a child, too, at least three times.

Now onto what Aoba and Koujaku remember about their childhood friendship. Koujaku remembers being there for Aoba, but also being needed by someone. I personally think this ties back into the mother thing, because even as a boy he wanted to help and protect his mother from the yakuza, but was unable to so his mother’s side of the family had that burden. So protecting someone who was picked on, like Aoba, was something he thought was his duty if he wanted to become a strong and good person who could protect his mother when older. It’s obvious he came to care for Aoba since he saw the loneliness Aoba had within himself. Aoba expressed it more openly, but Koujaku kept it inside as a child. He probably had to since he didn’t want to burden his mother and make things harder for her since the yakuza was chasing after her and Koujaku. He was able to make Aoba happy, and that’s what Koujaku remembers when he’s about to commit suicide. He was able to make one person happy, he feels, and that was Aoba. This will get discussed more on the protective figure topic, too.

Now for what Aoba remembers, he remembers Koujaku caring for him and being there for him. This is why Aoba is so open and trusting to Koujaku during the common route. Aoba notes Koujaku would know if he was lying and could tell if something were off about him. I always thought during the common route, Aoba had much more trust in Koujaku than Koujaku had in Aoba. Aoba is willing to open up to Koujaku about what was going on, but Koujaku never reveals why he was worried about Mizuki (besides being friends, Koujaku knew Mizuki met Ryuuhou and wanted information on Ryuuhou). He’s the one that initiated Aoba to talk to Mizuki, but doesn’t reveal why. Why is this important to their childhood friendship? Remember what it revealed in Koujaku’s route. Aoba thought Koujaku looked the same as ever, but just bigger (He didn’t see Koujaku as different), but Koujaku saw Aoba had grown up (He saw Aoba differently and said he didn’t know him as the child he once knew).

This is interesting because Koujaku is often the one that is nostalgic and sentimental about his past with Aoba. This is probably because it was a time where he felt he had a purpose with another person outside his family/mother. Not only that, it was a time before he felt he became “tainted” and “marked” from his tattoos and his actions (killing his mother). He associates his “better self” with Aoba and strives to be a better and good person around the other. That’s why there’s such a contrast between the Koujaku Aoba knows and how Koujaku is around others. Aoba mentions Koujaku usually doesn’t get worked up or angered easily, but throughout the game we see him do the opposite. This could be for various reasons, and I can’t say for sure which one is better. 1) Koujaku presents himself a certain way in front of Aoba from what I mentioned before 2) Aoba actually doesn’t know Koujaku as well as he thought 3) Koujaku was just heavily irritated by all these new people and weirdos in Aoba’s life. For all we know, it could be a combination of all three.

So what makes the spin on the childhood romance more unique in this case is on how Nitro+Chiral actually addresses the issues, awkwardness, and trust issues in said relationships. Often in media childhood friendships turned lovers skip the awkward and somehow magically feel like they’ve known each other perfectly even with years of being separated. In this case with Koujaku and Aoba, it’s the opposite. As mentioned in great detail before, Aoba thinks he still knows Koujaku. In Koujaku’s route, he even mentions feeling naive, stupid, or clueless because it took him so long to realize he really didn’t know the present day Koujaku. Yet Koujaku knows Aoba is different (along with himself of course) so that’s why he’s worried Aoba no longer would be friends with him because of the things he’s done. Koujaku holds off telling Aoba what he did until Aoba pries into his mind using scrap. It’s not that he doesn’t trust Aoba, but he’s so worried he’d somehow taint Aoba with his past actions.

So onto cuter things on why them as childhood friend turned lovers is actually a unique, cute spin on things. Them getting to know each other through the common route and Koujaku’s route is usually something most people overlook. Aoba acts reckless in this route not because he’s dumb, but he’s desperate. Aoba is shown to be desperate in various routes — trying to fix Clear on his own, trying to get through Mink, trying to understand Noiz, etc. With Koujaku it’s him desperate to understand the other, but he becomes so frustrated by it as he feels he’s going nowhere. The more and more he tries to understand Koujaku, the less he understands the other. I’m not sure if any of you have gone through this, but it’s an agonizing experience. Aoba mentions him being selfish because he didn’t want to feel like this anymore and didn’t want to feel like a fool. Only later does he realize he has to give Koujaku a lot of faith and loaned trust that the other will one day open up to him. Aoba saying he’d wait for Koujaku until it was the right time no matter how long it would take, that is a huge statement. Aoba knows it’ll hurt him, but he knows Koujaku needs to come to him on his own in order for them to repair their friendship. Koujaku knows keeping Aoba in the dark is hurting him, but he still thinks it’s less than if Aoba knew the truth. It’s a bad call, yes. Koujaku is stupid there, yes. Yet sometimes people make bad calls when they’re scared to hurt the ones important to them. He later shows some regret, but it’s obvious he wouldn’t even know where to begin to explain his past. Aoba sees this during Koujaku’s scrap, and this is what finally brings the friendship into the future. With Aoba using scrap, they were finally able to trust each other again and be on the same level with each there — no more secrets to hide. This dedication is also what makes me really like them, too.

Okay, I promised cute things and I haven’t delivered it yet, but it’s coming very soon I swear. So I also like how they actually made their romance and their display of affection can be awkward at times. It’s stated over and over again that the both of them are unclear about what it means to be lovers and what it means to be friends at times. One minute they fall into their old habits of being really chill, fun friends, and then the next something more happens. That something “more” at first takes them a while. They both are trying to figure out how things between them are going to work out in their new relationship. This is why they act like such cute dorks, and this is also why Koujaku is the one who wants to hear Aoba give the “okay”. It’s not that Koujaku is boring or overly vanilla, he just is unsure initially at what’s okay with Aoba. Why? Well, remember, they’re still getting to know each other and notice all the difference between their childhood friendship and what they have now. In the summer side story for them, Aoba is shown to be very insecure. It’s not that he doesn’t trust Koujaku, but he loves the other so much but can’t always express himself the way he wants to because 1) Embarrassing 2) Feelings are confusing 3) Koujaku is “embarrassing”.

Let’s not forget one of the touching moments of Koujaku’s route that makes most Koujaku/Aoba fans heart thump a little faster. Koujaku mentions Aoba’s smile kept him a live and made him keep living. That sort of love, platonic or romantic, is so deep and not one that goes away. It stayed alive that Koujaku came back and decided his new purpose, besides revenge, would be to look after Aoba. Aoba’s smile represents hope, happiness, and a better time to him. Koujaku does admit to loving Aoba since they were kids, but romantic or not can be debatable. I personally see it as young love that is very innocent, and something beyond platonic and familial when it came to Koujaku. Aoba saw Koujaku as an older brother figure when younger as stated, but I’ll talk about that more in another part. The reason Aoba switches from seeing Koujaku as an older brother figure is due to him feeling he is on the same “level” as Koujaku — he’s able to help and protect the other.


Nitro+Chiral hasn’t done the older brother figure turned love interest in its other games. It has done older sibling or guardian admiration, but not the love interest route. There have been brothers in Nitro+Chiral games such as Rin and Shiki, and in Lamento, Bardo was a guardian figure for Rai. So I think it’s interesting they decided to do one for DMMD. I tried to draw more parallels from other Nitro+Chiral works, but there really aren’t any. On the other hand, Asato and Kagari from Lamento had an older sibling type relationship. Kagari looked after Asato and took care of him since Asato’s mother died. There are some similar elements as Asato was picked on and Kagari defended him. Yet there isn’t the same feeling between Asato and Kagari and Koujaku and Aoba. There are have been a lot of examples of other characters looking up to others in a hero like fashion. Rin looked up to Shiki before the events of Togainu no Chi began, thinking of him as a total badass. Rai used to think Bardo was pretty awesome, too. Asato looked up to both Kagari and Konoe, but in different ways. DMMD is actually filled with new character types for Nitro+Chiral, but there are familiar elements that make me personally go “yep that’s a Nitro+Chiral character.”

So now onto the tl;dr. I think it’s a good idea to read the childhood friends turned lovers before this one, but this can stand on its own. It’s a lot more friendship oriented in the first part since it does talk about Koujaku being a brother like figure.


Usually with this trope, the two characters actually aren’t related. Sometimes they are, but usually they are childhood friends and one happens to be older. It goes hand in hand with one of the characters protecting, defending, standing up for, etc. for the other. With Koujaku and Aoba, it’s mentioned as children Aoba was picked on because of his long hair — which carries over into adulthood, but I’ll get to that later. Koujaku thought he should help girls because I believe since his mother had issues with his father, she told him to always treat girls well and help them if he can. When he learned Aoba wasn’t a girl, he didn’t mind much. They’re both from single family homes (since Aoba doesn’t know at the time he has a twin brother.), and usually young children like to model various different familial relationship in real life. So it’s natural for children, especially older ones, to form an older sibling like relationship with their younger friends. I can also see Koujaku wanting to be a protective brother like figure because the older men in his life have not been positive in his life

So when Koujaku returns back, I think he realizes he can’t protect and help Aoba the way he used to be able to. That’s why in the game, an actual flag for his route his him helping Aoba when two women tease him about his hair. At first I thought the decision was kind of pointless, but once you think about it, it parallels their childhood. A lot of flags for Koujaku’s route parallel experiences they had as childhood friends. Koujaku needs to feel that he’s able to be that protective figure to Aoba in order to feel like Aoba needs him in his life. I’ve seen some people think Aoba has to “act weak” in order for Koujaku to love him, but that’s untrue. He just needs to be reminded of how things used to be between them. As mentioned in my previous write up, Koujaku sees Aoba as someone he doesn’t know as well as he used to, but he’s still attached to nostalgia; Koujaku needs for the past to be connected to the future. One of Koujaku’s reasons for living is to protect Aoba, and when he feels like he is, he’s able to open up more and live more.

Throughout the common route, we see the different ways Koujaku tries to protect Aoba. Initially, he’s curious and genuinely concerned. When Aoba brings up the drive by with Noiz, Koujaku cancels his plans to sleep over and probably goes to find information on what Aoba told him. He doesn’t tell Aoba this, but he genuinely wants to protect and keep him safe. He doesn’t do it to earn Aoba’s affection or praise, keeping it to himself. For me that’s super touching as it shows a sincereness to him that is extremely rare because of the defensive persona he puts on as mentioned briefly in my first write up. The conversation between Koujaku and Aoba after the “think of Koujaku” decision also shows a brother like role Koujaku plays. He can tell Aoba is still in shock and wants to help him emotional debrief from everything. He wants Aoba to know no one blames him for what happened to Mizuki. This is an important part because while Koujaku blames himself for his mother’s death the most, and I’m sure Koujaku knows how much Aoba is blaming himself for what happened. This conversation hits very close to his own experience, and while he gives good advice, he doesn’t take it and apply it to his own situation.

We also see Koujaku get very worked up, angry, and even concerned over all the new people Aoba has collected. It’s not that he’s outright jealous because everyone is stealing Aoba from him — he’s not possessive like that. Koujaku gives Aoba space and respects his decisions as he knows Aoba is an adult. He can’t help but worry or question Aoba, but he has never demanded Aoba to change his mind or took over a situation because he thinks he can do it better. If Aoba decides to listen to Mink, while Koujaku is worried about Aoba doing such a thing, he trusts and believes Aoba is doing what he thinks is best. If something happens, Koujaku isn’t the type go, “I told you so, Aoba, you should have listened to me!”No, instead Koujaku would help no matter what and not rub it in. This is how selfless Koujaku wants to help and protect Aoba. He respects Aoba’s boundaries even when he’s frustrated with the others. I can see him getting annoyed at the new people because of how sketchy he thinks they are, but it’s nothing to do with “stealing Aoba away” from him as he doesn’t think Aoba is his.

This is also why Koujaku is also a good brother like figure for Aoba. There is Mizuki, but they are best friends who mess around and get in trouble. Koujaku seems to be the one who makes if things get out of hand, he’ll be there to help and clean things up. If Aoba is in a relationship with the others, I think Koujaku would wish them the best even if he’s dubious at first. Once he sees how much Aoba is in love, I see him trusting Aoba. It’s also sad, but more bittersweet, as I see Koujaku eventually seeing Aoba’s boyfriend as someone Aoba can depend on, trust, and be protected by. Koujaku doesn’t feel he’s the only one that can help and protect Aoba, so I think he’d able to close that chapter in his life. Would it be easy? No, but he would do it because it’s what is best for Aoba and what Aoba wants. Koujaku doesn’t want to interfere in Aoba’s new life and tie in Aoba’s past with the future — Aoba has a bright future ahead of him, so why drag it down with the past? If anything did happen, Koujaku would be there for Aoba if he asked. I usually see people making Koujaku way too overly protective, but I think Koujaku respects Aoba to be that dominating and abrasive.


I think we all get caught up in how cute kid Aoba calls Koujaku his hero. I wanted to take a deeper look into what that meant throughout the game. I think it’s good to start off with the symbolism of Koujaku’s associated color. In Japan, if I’m correct, red is associated with heroes. Red in East Asian cultures if also associated with various other traits that are positive. There’s also a flip side as some Western influence has brought red meaning anger, love, and passion. So I think the merging of these two takes on the color red really show some depth to him. He has that element of being a hero like figure to Aoba, but then deep inside is a savage monster that is slowly eating at his own sanity. There are many different shades of red much like there are different shades and layers to Koujaku.

While Aoba thought of Koujaku as his hero, it’s actually Aoba who is Koujaku’s hero. Aoba kept Koujaku alive, saving him like a hero does. Koujaku thought it was cute, but when presented with being a hero like figure again, he’s very humble about it. He’s actually very touched by it rather than being overly proud and showing off. I believe Koujaku can’t really believe he can be a hero like figure, especially since he’s done so many things that have “tainted” his hands. He thought of it as mostly two things between kids, but with Aoba bringing it up again, it once again assures him that his purpose of living isn’t pointless and he’s actually doing something for the better. I really like the fact they actually both are each other’s heroes and it’s super touching. Being a hero doesn’t just mean protecting the other, but being there for a person when they need you the most.


I love this aspect about Koujaku and Aoba the most. I personally feel Aoba is actually the one who likes holding hands the most but he would never admit it. As children I can see Aoba the one holding hands because he was scared and lonely — Koujaku, even as an adult, remembers this. In the recent Nitro+Chiral concert, it’s actually Aoba who wants to hold hands with Clear, so thats’ another reason why I believe Aoba enjoys holdings hands. Anyway, back to Koujaku and holding hands is so important when it comes to them.When he confesses his feelings for Aoba, he reaches for the other’s hand. He wants to reassure Aoba he’s there for him and he knows this is kind of scary and awkward, but they’ll make it through. Also during sex it’s mentioned during reconnect Koujaku always holds Aoba’s hand before he orgasms. WOW CAN I JUST SAY THIS MAKES ME SWOON? I find it one of the most romantic little details in the game. It shows Koujaku wants to be connected with Aoba in all the ways he can be.

Holding hands represents the connection between childhood friends and lovers. It’s something the both of them have done as kids and now adults. Holding hands can mean never letting a person go or guiding each other through life. There are just so many deep meanings to why holding hands is utterly adorable and romantic. I think it’s Koujaku’s way of assuring Aoba he’s dedicated and wants to be with him. Aoba’s insecure side has shown a few times as he thinks Koujaku will go back to his womanizing ways and leave him. It takes some hand holding, cuddling, and simple words for Koujaku to reassure Aoba. He doesn’t mind reassuring Aoba, and he seems to enjoy it as it’s a way for him to express how much he loves the other. It's also mentioned during sex, Koujaku likes to hold Aoba's hand. LIKE THAT ISN'T PRECIOUS AS FUCK.


I didn’t initially want to write on the whole iiyo thing since to me it’s very obvious what iiyo means. I’m no Japanese expert and it’s not one of the East Asian languages I’m culturally knowledgeable about or familially know well. Iiyo or いいよ in Japanese is a slang word. I’ve seen different translations for it in English. It can be something like “all right” to “sure” and “that’s fine” as well. Basically it’s a passive way of allowing a person to do something or giving permission to someone. I don’t want to get too linguistics oriented on this because I’m not a linguistics person and I want to focus on my interpretations to the phrase. It’s obviously extremely important throughout the route and even stands out more than the “don’t give in!” line. The word alone has garnered many jokes within the fandom which has lead to fanworks surrounding the word itself. I love the jokes, but if people think it’s just a hilarious scene and don’t get the deeper meaning… that’s actually sad because it reveals the subtle deepness and complexity of Koujaku’s route. It actually reveals how before Aoba uses SCRAP on Koujaku, deep down he wants to live in a word of denial where he doesn’t have to deal with how things have changed.

The word itself is used plenty of times throughout the game and not just in Koujaku’s route itself. Of course the most notorious scene is during Koujaku’s SCRAP and iiyo goes on repeat. Yet what is the meaning of that? It has a deep significance much like the infamous glitchy and jarring SCRAP scene with Noiz. It’s good to recall what happens right before the iiyo scene to understand it. During Koujaku’s SCRAP, Aoba has to go through many, many doors — figurative and literally — to reach Koujaku. So when Aoba says he’s going to help Koujaku, it may not seem like it, but once again Koujaku can’t help but make one last attempt to avoid the issues that plague him so. He’s still unsure and insecure about how Aoba feels, so he creates one more barricade to protect his heart. That’s why the scene changes from the creepy room to Aoba and Koujaku looking like they were previously. Koujaku thinks Aoba has done enough for him and that he can never be fully redeemed, so he pushes Aoba initially. This creates the SCRAP scene that is creepy and obviously a projection of Koujaku’s desire to be accepted by Aoba and not worry about his past. Part of him just wants to live in the present with Aoba without being shackled in the past. This is important because I talked previously about Koujaku being almost in a limbo like state of being stuck between the past and the present throughout not only his route but the entire game itself.

During the scene, Koujaku is just glad things appeared to have worked out. Aoba goes along with it, not asking questions. Koujaku then reveals he’s alive because of Aoba and it what connects him to the world — reality. This is important because this is happening in Koujaku’s delusion — a trap in his brain that presnents Aoba from initially using SCRAP. Even though the Aoba in Koujaku’s delusion is basically saying he understands and accepts Koujaku, notice Koujaku still looks worried. This represents his struggle of wanting to be unconditionally accepted, but knowing it’s pretty much impossible. Aoba having no issues or strong feelings for what happened to Koujaku is not who Aoba is, and even Koujaku knows that. Aoba wouldn’t just be fine with it, but he even knows it’d hurt Aoba for just knowing about his past. Not only that, he knows Aoba would never see him or treat him the same after seeing all of that. So having the delusion of Aoba just being calm about this all is almost like a hyperbole of Koujaku’s desire to be accepted by Aoba. After all, Aoba has a good amount of sass, sarcasm, and is tsundere to Koujaku in reality. Yet it doesn’t take long for Koujaku to get over how strange this is in the delusion. He gives into the temptation of Aoba saying he’s fine with everything. He gives in because he can’t face reality just yet and can’t let Aoba in. Koujaku still needs the final push, and so Koujaku wants to experience what being unconditionally accepted by Aoba means and what it’s like. I’m not sure if he ever thought about it before, but with SCRAP, his brain and heart are opened up so new doors are opened up. That’s why he’s able to create this delusion in his head which gives into one of this deepest desires.

There’s an important line in the scene after Koujaku gives into the delusion. This line represents one of Koujaku’s deepest desires wrapped up in one little part. It involves denial, his desire for Aoba, and his escapism of reality. He wants to be romantically physical with him, but he hasn’t let himself think about that before because of his many issues and not wanting Aoba to get involved with them. So when Aoba keeps saying “it’s fine” and whatnot, he’s allowed to be selfish and indulge in his escapism and an impossible scenario. The reason the words keeps getting said over and over as time passes is because even Koujaku, while liking the delusion, knows it can’t be. So his insecurity starts to set, and the delusion!Aoba goes into hyperdrive with unconditional acceptance. Yet it’s a shallow form of it, as he’s just letting Koujaku do what he wants. Koujaku, even in his delusion, isn’t sure about Aoba’s true feelings and how reciprocated and mutual they actually are. So what appears as Koujaku asking Aoba if it’s truly fine, them being like this (kissing, cuddling, etc.), it’s a small crack for the real Aoba to surface and bring Koujaku out of the delusion. He’s not ready to give into the delusion fully just yet, because there is also a part of him that wants to work things out with Aoba and not just appease Aoba (which is different from making Aoba happy, as it’s one of the defense mechanisms Koujaku uses). If real!Aoba is able to pull Koujaku out of the delusion, the good end happens. If not, the bad end happens.

The bad end brings the delusion and how Koujaku views himself into reality. Aoba has turned into someone who accepts Koujaku no matter what on a shallow level. Shiroba, this bad end’s Aoba, doesn’t help Koujaku resolve his issues because this Aoba has unconditionally accepted Koujaku in his current (or well, previous, too) state. It goes to show unconditional acceptance can be a dangerous thing. He never helps Koujaku deal with his past, just accepting him how he is. And how he is, well, he’s turned into the monster he saw within himself. Koujaku saw himself as a monster whose heart was stained with anger and violent actions. The rage and violence has consumed him, something he’s feared and battled with throughout his life after having the tattoos forced onto him. Koujaku has turned into Shiroba’s escape from a monotonous world. This is important because it’s obvious and stated that Koujaku sees being alone with Aoba is almost his escape from the outside world. Without Aoba successfully using SCRAP on Koujaku, Shiroba becomes a demented version of what Koujaku thinks what he wants but never could get. Shiroba is able to accept Koujaku but he’s not able to accept himself.

On the other hand, if Aoba is able to SCRAP Koujaku and pull him out of the delusion, Koujaku is no longer able to escape — he has to face reality and Aoba is there to help him. He can no longer sweep his issues and feelings under the rug so Aoba cannot see them, but instead Aoba is the one leading Koujaku to change. He knows Koujaku needs to be pulled into the present and into the future. After all, much like Mink, Koujaku never really sees a clear future for himself. He knows eventually Aoba will have a life of his own, grow older, and not need him much like how Ren feels in his route. There’s also the element of feeling lonely, much like Noiz, even if he is surrounded by people. Koujaku isn’t able to connect with those people because of his past and knowing they will never know the “real” Koujaku and no one knows the real him. Only until after SCRAP does Aoba see the real Koujaku, and he does accept Koujaku. Yet it’s a different form of acceptance, as he acknowledges these things have happened to Koujaku, but they shouldn’t fully define who he is nor should Koujaku carry this burden by himself.