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The Catharsis Effect is a primary element in The Caligula Effect

Overview

Named after "catharsis", or the purge of strong emotions such as fear and anger, the Catharsis Effect is a sudden outpouring of raw emotion caused by a great upheaval or an intense situation. Normally, these out of control emotions would turn a person into a Digihead, but with assistance from Aria (and their own resolve to face their pain), the output can be managed to allow the person to exhibit supernatural abilities while still maintaining their sanity. The result is that the person spawns a specific weapon and additional accessories such as masks. Catharsis Effect aesthetics are unique to each individual, but some similarities exist, such as a thorn surrounded by flowers erupting from the person's chest

The Game

In the game, the Protagonist is the first to awaken their Catharsis Effect, by confessing to Aria the pain that drove them to Mobius and releasing it in a violent burst. Everyone else gradually awakens their powers as the game progresses.

In Overdose, Aria is capable of "Catharsis Effect Overdose", which supposedly acts as a limiter release on the Catharsis Effect's output, but the actual effect is currently unknown

The Anime

In the anime, Shogo is the first to be shown with a Catharsis Effect, while everyone else awakens their power in episode 6. Strangely, Ritsu is capable of awakening a Catharsis Effect without Aria's assistance.