Toraware no Mi no Ue


Company: Koei
Based on: Manga
Released: 2001.11.22

Toraware no Mi no Ue is a manga by Matsuri Hino (Vampire Knight). The manga has been released in English under the name Captive Hearts. The story is about Kuroishi Megami, who lives a carefree life until he reunites with his gone-missing-in-china-and now-returned childhood friend Kogami Suzuka. Megumi discovers that his family has been is under a curse to serve the Kogami family for generations. So whether he wants to or not, he suddenly finds himself acting like the perfect servant to Suzuka,.

Megumi (CV: Narita Ken) is enjoying his little life of luxury when his father (CV: Tanaka Hideyuki) suddenly bursts into to room claiming that he has finally located the whereabouts of there long lost masters. Megumi is not pleased at all as this means that they will have to give up the wealth they inherited from the family. However when his father returns it turns out that the only one still alive is Kogami Suzuka (CV: Kawasumi Ayako) the daughter of the family.

When Megumi tries to talk to her he feels strange, and before he knows he suddenly acts as her servant. Megumi (nor Suzuka for that matter) has no idea what is going on, until his father explains about their curse. Long ago one of their ancestors was cursed, so now the Kuroishi family has to serve to Kogami family, they cannot deny any order given to them by the Kogami family. And because Megumi has never been around members of the Kogami family, his servant mode tends to run a little haywire.

As soon as Suzuka learns from the curse, she feels sorry for Megumi and returns to China. Megumi however, resolves to bring her back. Not just because of the curse, but because he truly likes her. What follows are a lot of scenes where Megumi his servant mode runs haywire (with often hilarious results) and Suzuka wondering whether Megumi really likes her or everything is just the curse at work.

The drama CD actually ends a good point; the moment where Megumi tells Suzuka his love is not just because of the curse but real, and asks her to be his girlfriend. This is somewhere near the end of the first vol in the manga. Unfortunately the manga continues on the "obstacle to their love appears, they need to overcome it, next obstacle appears" route for a few more volumes, which is where I lost interest. But the drama CD ends at a nice spot.

Megumi his butler mode is hilarious, especially because it comes with it's own bgm, Suzuka is pretty normal, but Megumi his father is brilliant. Whether it is due to the curse or not, he puts all his energy into serving to Kogami family, often getting over emotional over little things.

The CD follows the script of the manga pretty accurately, only differing in some scenes which are hard to enact without any pictures. Unfortunately this also means that it is slightly chaotic, just like the original. I really recommend listening to this either when you already know the manga, or while reading it, because some scenes are kind of vague if you don't have to accompanying visuals.

I actually like this better then the manga, simply because it end at a good point instead of dragging on forever. Narita Ken was an unexpected choice for Megumi (somehow I expected a different voice) but it works perfectly. If you're not into overly cute shoujo plots, I'd leave this alone though. It is amusing but nothing special.

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