Just like he said he would, JJ goes down to the docks.
Interestingly enough, there actually is a Toyosu Docks in Japan, which used to be a shipyard, but was turned into a shopping centre complex in the 80s. We have something like that here called Docklands, where a former dock area was turned into a shopping centre and apartment complex, only unlike LalaPort, Docklands is a depressing and dull and looks vaguely threatening and like something out of a dystopian video game.
JJ is pissed off, and asks where the fuck Azusa is. Tachibana taunts him a little, telling him that he’s sold Azusa to Dragon Head, there’s some taunting and rage from both of them, and they both draw their weapons…
Interestingly enough, and this was something I wondered about last time he drew his gun: could this have been been the weapon that killed Azusa’s parents? JJ noted at the crime scene that the bullet holes were much larger than the ones his Beretta would have created, and in his following description it seems that the Walther P38 takes the same ammo as him… so however annoying and irksome and downright horrible this dude is, he’s probably not the Tono murderer. (Even though he’s just told JJ he’s sold Azusa to Dragon Head.)
There is a bit of a gun battle outside the warehouses at the docks, which then gets taken inside… more running around and shooting at each other, and we learn that Tachibana, irritating as he actually is, is also alarmingly competent.
When it looks like it’s all over, and only one is going to leave alive, we get a spanner in the works, in the form of a group of other dudes who rock up in search of Tachibana.
Turns out they’re former associates of his: Tachibana was working as a host and his buddies in the industry also had some raging drug problems, too. Shit hit the fan there, people wound up dead, and Tachibana was on the run and in some degree of hiding, like JJ, and he’s got these host dudes with heroin problems chasing him down, after having killed a whole lot of them, but having left their ring leader alive. Explains why Tachibana would rather have a hot knife plunged into him than to use smack, I guess… or not. I dunno. But what we do know is that Tachibana’s up to his neck in some seriously deep doo doo.
JJ feels a pang of sympathy for the dude: after all, he’s running from his past as well, and Tachibana shows a rare moment of remorse at getting JJ involved in the whole mess, and even apologises to him. And that is the pivotal moment where JJ realises that he no longer wants to kill Tachibana.
Tachibana then tells JJ that he’ll return Azusa to him, and is now weirdly coy about things with JJ, which suggests the blossoming of TRUE YAOI LOVE as every fangirl knows.
I wish I was more invested in Tachibana and JJ as a pairing, but I’m really not, though I’m curious to see what exactly happens.
They rock up at Epilogue, and Todo seems surprised that they’re there together. JJ seems surprised that Tachibana and Todo are familiar with one another (seriously, JJ, it’s not that much of a stretch) and it turns out that Todo helped out Tachibana in the past, too… something Tachibana wants to not talk about.
Tachibana asks where Azusa is, and Todo is evasive. JJ, meanwhile, is very much “WTF?” about Azusa being there, and, not, well., sold to Dragon Head, to which Tachibana admits that the whole thing with Azusa was a setup so JJ would want to fight him.
Turns out that Azusa has nicked off somewhere. Todo gave Azusa some connections and decided to allow him– something JJ never did– to choose his own fate, hoping he’s “returned to a respectable life.”
JJ has a moment of reflection about the whole thing, deciding that his time with Azusa has come to an end, and if Azusa decides to kill him later, well, he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Tachibana, meanwhile, decides that he’s going to take out his old former host buddy turned crazed drug addict. JJ decides, when he realises that Todo is converned about Tachibana, that he’ll help Tachibana kick some host/drug addict butt, too.
They kick said butt, and Tachibana is faced with dealing with the leader of the group, his former buddy now gone mad with paranoia. Tachibana does, and they return back to the hideout, and have a bit of a discussion, JJ realising that he actually cares about Tachibana and knows how he feels, to a degree, having had to kill people whom he knew back in the jungle.
Tachibana is a total touchy feely type, and JJ finds himself comforting him… which of course leads to NSFW imagery. A little clue with this game: you’ll get this sort of lead-in piano music that sounds vaguely reminiscent of the love theme, and guess what that signifies? Yaoi times. It’s sort of like in Hadaka Shitsuji where Tomoaki makes that smile, and you just know something really fucked up is going to happen.
Anyway, they have sexytimes, and then it’s the end of the chapter, which is marked with “receiving items”– ie, adding the Skorpion and the Walther p38 that Tachibana uses to the gallery of goodies which is accessible from the main menu.
When you return to the main menu and click on “Extra”, there are three menus: “Graphic” gives you random CGs you’ve unlocked from playing the game; “Scene” gives you the sex scenes when you unlock them, and “Item” is your collection of “unlocked items”– predominantly the firearms used by the various characters in the game, but also random other items, which leads me to another point: some of the characters– namely the leaders of the factions– need to have their “underlings” unlocked/played through before you can get to them. In the “lone wolf” example, you have to “unlock” the stuff in Tachibana’s route before you can play for Todo’s route. And each character you “unlock” teaches you a little more about the settings and the storyline over all.
There’s another screen worth pointing out, which doesn’t really do much until you’re on a particular route, under “Status.”
This is a nice lil tally of where you stand with the dudes: when they’re dead, they’re crossed out, when you are on their route, bullet holes will appear in their picture… and when you’ve gotten their good ending, the portrait changes to them smiling.
Anyway, onto the wrap-up of Tachibana’s route, I guess…