王子様 (笑)シリーズ ドラマCD 第5巻 ～王子様と人魚の恋～
Company: Frontier Works
Based on: The Little Mermaid
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/princewww
The Oujisama (warai) series re-imagines various well known fairytales. This time 'the Little Mermaid' is completely changed. The focus is on the prince instead of the princess though, and as the 'warai' (laughter) in the title implies the story gains a lot of humour.
Several character from previous entries to the series make their appearance here as well: Cinderella her prince (CV: Suzumura Kenichi), Snow White her Prince (CV: Nakai Kazuya), and Hikaru Genji (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) are visiting Frederick (the main character this time; CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) because he is scheduled to marry the next day. On the way there Genji saves/picks up an unknown girl and her servant (CV: Takemoto Eiji) who wants to stop the marriage and marry the prince instead.
Frederick first complains about his life not being dramatic enough because his marriage is political, and that he wants to have a fateful encounter with someone so that he can fall in love and blow of the marriage. But when Genji brings in the unknown girl (who is obviously the little mermaid, they even named her 'Little') he claims he doesn't remember her and is not interested in marrying her at all.
Most of the CD is Frederick arguing with the servant (who speaks instead of 'princess Little') and the other three just generally make comments on the conversation and argue among themselves. But with everyone their weird personalities (Cinderella loves weapons a bit too much, Genji is an incredible player) that is exactly what makes this CD so hilarious.
Speaking of that, there is just too much hilarity in this CD. Cinderella and Snow White discovering that they are relatives, Genji constantly trying to win princess Little for himself, Frederick his obsession with sweets, the fact that Little is actually an incredible stalker, the references to earlier entries to the series xD Not to mention Cinderella and Snow White their constant tsukkomi and occasional breaking of the fourth wall alone is already hilarious. (they actually mention that this is a drama series a couple of time xD)
What I truly loved was how they managed to give the story a serious turn despite the fact that it is a complete parody. Of course, right after you feel the effect of the serious turn they go completely hilarious again xD
After the main story there is a zadankai as always. The fourth wall is completely torn down here xD Cinderella and Snow White explain the idea behind the series to Frederick and decide on a nickname for him as well (and thus, he is called 'Ningyo' (Mermaid) afterwards). Frederick also has a passionate rant against blood-type horoscopes (which is, given the popularity of those in Japan, rather hilarious)
I only realized after listening to this how much the style of these CDs has changed. The first two entries had sepparate stories for each prince, which were a sort of mix between reading the story to you and acting out part of it. From vol.3 on the cast from the first two entries appears along side of a new character allowing for lots of references and hilarious conversations between the characters. (This, btw, also places all of the fairytales in one world, as if each one takes place in a different country located on one large fairytale continent). Also, Frederick/Mermaid is the 9th character already... (o.O) It feels like the cast from the first two CDs is more popular though (especially Snow White and Genji)
You're missing out on a lot if you don't know at least the first two CDs of the rest of the series (3 and 4 aren't referenced that much) but if you do know those then you should definitely listen to it. This is my favourite entry to the series so far, and one of my absolute favourite drama CDs of all time. Also, I think the cover art is gorgeous.