ふしぎ工房症候群 朗読CD EPISODE.11「闇」
Company: Cosmic Ray
Based on: Original
Official Site: http://www.cosmicray.co.jp/fks/
ふしぎ工房症候群 (fushigi koubou shoukougun) translates into something like 'mysterious workshop syndrome'. The mysterious workshop in the title is what binds all of the stories in this series together. The shop can only be found by someone who is lost and really needs it, and is run by an old man, who sells 'happiness'
Each story is told by a (high profile) voice actor who both tells the story and acts out certain characters. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, and mostly centres on that person his thoughts. In each story the main character is going through a troubled period or trauma, and the mysterious workshop becomes a turning point in their lives.
The eleventh story is told by Morita Masakazu and is about a drug addict. Out protagonist was expelled from high school, and left the countryside for to city to search for a job there. However he soon discovered that there are but a few jobs for someone with no education and no guardian. Eventually, he is introduced to the host business.
The story begins with the protagonist having a nightmare, which is at that point left unexplained. He tells his story about how he went to the city, and how he was eventually scouted by a host club. This marked a complete change in his life. While he had nothing before he was suddenly introduced into a world of glamour and if he worked hard had money in abundance. After a while he reached the number one position in the club, and gained a few patrons that would take care of him outside of the club as well.
One of his patrons introduced him to drugs, and he became addicted. After which his life went downwards again, but he couldn't really care. One day he is requested at a table where a very quiet girl is sitting. It turns out that she came there especially to meet him after seeing him in the streets, but he isn't very interested and doesn't treat her too well. She comes back a few times, and he warns her that her money will run out if she continues but leaves it at that.
One day she invites him to go on a date with her, and he somehow agrees. Their date is completely normal, they meet somewhere, go to a movie and have dinner afterwards. Just when he starts to think that 'normal' isn't too bad, his body starts to show symptoms of withdrawal and he rushes of to inject some new drugs. Unfortunately the girl sees this, and he scolds her and tells her to leave him alone. Which she actually does.
In the time after that his withdrawal symptoms become worse, and one day while he is going insane he stumbles into the fushigi koubou. He actually wishes for drugs (and writes that one the order form!) and the old man gives him an address. He goes there to find... the girl who came to the host club before. believing that she is a dealer he demands drugs and wrecks the entire place before he collapses.
When he wakes up she is still there beside him, and he resolves to try and come clean. The girl takes care of him the entire time that he goes to withdrawal. One day while she is out he finds another form from the fushigi koubou; she has been there too and wished for him to be cured. Once he has come clean he asks her whether she want to return to the country side with him.
The ending for this story is quite uneventful, but the scenes leading up to that are all the more intense. His entire history is told in a moving way, and you can feel his apathy through the rise and fall at the host club, the date is told in a very sweet way, but when he snaps due to withdrawal, oh my. That is some serious voice acting. I was almost cowering in a corner at his raging insanity.
You get the first glimpse at the end of their date, but this is still a relatively short scene. But when the withdrawal really begins there are almost 9minutes of rising insanity, and at least 5 minutes where he has really snapped. Those scenes are really some of the most intense I've heard in this series, and probably in any drama.
Despite the drama building up tension in a good way, the ending did feel slightly lacking. In most CDs in this series, the final tracks are the most emotional ones. All of the emotions from the story are turned into a new hope. But because the scenes before were so incredibly strong in this CD, the ending felt a bit lacking to me. That doesn't make it a bad CD though, it is just one tiny minus on an otherwise very strong drama.
While it doesn't start out that way, this really is a very intense drama. However they do a good job of letting the tension fade away and into hope in the final two tracks. Though that does make the ending feel a bit lacking in some ways.