The cast of Togainu no Chi – Lost Blood is made up of some of the most unforgettable characters in all of BL. Here’s a brief introduction to just some of them.
Akira is the protagonist of the game, the character that you’ll make decisions for as the player. This is always a tricky role in visual novels because the character has to maintain a consistent personality across often conflicting choice branches. Togainu no Chi – Lost Blood manages this trick extremely well with Akira, who feels like a wholly realized person whose personality and life experiences lead him down all the different paths the story can take.
Akira is the Bl@ster champion for Mikasa District, also known as Area Ray. He grew up in an orphanage before being assigned to a foster family, then struck out on his own as early as he could. Framed for murder, he joins Igra so he can defeat the elusive Il Re, leader of Vischio, and clear his name. Will he find what he needs in Toshima?
Shiki, a dark and vicious potential love interest for Akira, is easily the most iconic of the routes: still topping reader polls in BL magazines as the most popular couple to this day, and with merchandising such as scale figures and hug pillows bearing the image of the pair.
The pillow design above draws on one of three possible endings for Shiki; he is the only character in the game apart from Akira with more than one real ending (as opposed to brief sidebar bad endings, which are rife in this game!). This particular ending is also the reason that JAST Blue and Nitro+CHiRAL made the decision to include a new sensitivity warning for ideological imagery at the beginning of the game, as some players may find its content disturbing above and beyond the fantasy violence of the rest of Togainu no Chi – Lost Blood.
Shiki is a man feared throughout Toshima as the strongest of Igra’s fighters. A consummate narcissist and perfectionist, he cares only about proving his superiority and will cut down anyone who gets in his way. He sees strength as the greatest virtue and loathes those who fight for pleasure alone.
Keisuke is the character I often jokingly refer to as “if Makoto Tachibana and Yuno Gasai had a child,” but it’s only partially a joke — anyone familiar with Free! will see clear parallels between Keisuke’s anxious protective feelings towards Akira and those of Makoto towards Haru. So if you’ve ever wished for a story that’s got Free!’s ikemen archetypes but a grim dystopic setting, you’re in luck.
Keisuke and Akira grew up together in the orphanage and have remained close — as close as Akira ever gets to anyone, at least. Employed at a factory, Keisuke is a diligent worker who tries his best but has always struggled. He greatly admires Akira, seeing Akira as embodying everything he lacks. When Akira is sent to Toshima, Keisuke follows, hoping to help.
There hasn’t been a love interest quite like Rin in any of Nitro+CHiRAL’s subsequent games. DRAMAtical Murder’s Noiz was younger than Aoba, but still took the penetrative role in their sex scenes. While Togainu no Chi – Lost Blood doesn’t give a definitive timeline for the relative ages of characters, making it hard to say who is older than who, Rin is the smallest in stature of the cast and doesn’t take a penetrative role.
The closest match to Rin’s archetype among Nitroplus’s male characters created for a predominantly female audience would be the tantou class of characters in the wildly popular Touken Ranbu.
Rin is a surprisingly light-hearted Igra participant who shows Akira the ropes. His frivolous manner and delicate features hide unexpected strength and icy determination. He likes to take photographs.
Motomi is the perfect love interest for anyone who ever watched a film noir movie and thought the brooding detective was just their type. His secrets are dark and haunting, his life experience lending him a weary air.
He’s a rare Toshima resident who doesnʼt participate in Igra, instead of acting as an information broker. Though he appears easy-going, itʼs actually quite hard to get a handle on his real agenda. Still, he does seem sincere about wanting to help, and despite his quirks, he gives good advice.
These are only a few of the important characters Akira meets throughout Togainu no Chi – Lost Blood, but to go too deeply in-depth about any of the others would risk spoiling some of the twists and turns of the game, so I guess you’ll have to play it to find out who else is there on Toshima’s dangerous streets.