Tap Trap Love Vol. 01 - Stray Dog

 Tap Trap Love Vol. 01 - Stray Dog

Company: 5pb
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.02.22
Official Site: http://5pb.jp/ttl/index.html

Tap Trap Love is set in an semi-apocalyptic world. After World War III, Tokyo slowly transformed into a lawless district where the two largest groups -the SS and the Horde- are fighting for dominance. Dance is one of the things that still inspire the young people in these bleak days, and our heroine joins a tap dance group. The CD is a mix of story parts, and tap lessons by the other members of the group.

While I say heroine, Nico has lost her voice and memories so the other characters basically talk directly to you. When needed for the plot, Nico communicates either by tapping or by using her cellphone. The lesson parts are recorded with the dummy head mic, so those are really spoken directly to the listener.

At the beginning of the CD the mysterious stranger John Do (probably not his real name, CV: Ishida Akira) takes Nico to see the tap dance group "Euphoria". A little later you contact the group that you want to join. Opinions on whether you should be allowed to join differ though, so they agree to all give you lessons until they have decided on a final answer.

The doctor you are staying with, Dr.Ginger (CV: Itou Kentarou) as well as you friend and fellow part-time worker Lee (CV: Shimozaki Nobunaga) are surprised but encourage you to do what you want. Meanwhile you see John Do again, who seems that dancing is the way to get your memories back.

The main interest of this CD are of course the dance lessons. They are recorded with the dummy head mic, and actual tap sounds. The four members of the dance group are all supposed to give you a lesson, and the first is their leader Jackie (CV: Maeno Tomoaki), his lesson is mostly stretching though. The flirty Cap (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi) is the second to give you a lesson, and the DJ Joy (Fujiwara Yuuki) the third one.

Leo (CV: Nakai Kazuya)is supposed to give you a lesson as well, but being the only member of the group who doesn't approve he doesn't want to. His track isn't a dance lesson, but the two of you walking home after he saved you from some troublesome guys. After learning that you are the one that makes the Soy Yakisoba that he loves so much at the place where you work as a part timer, he opens up a little to you.

I was quite surprised by this CD. When the project was first announced I expected it to be a sweet romance with a dance theme, but when I then the official site was updated with the story and I discovered that it was going to be post-apocalyptic romance instead.

I think that have made a good mix of the story and the dance lessons. There is enough going on that makes you curious about the story, Nico her past, what her relation to 'John Do' is, why Leo is partly deaf on his left side, etc. Meanwhile the tap lessons are fun to listen to, and the music they use is good as well.

Because Nico can't talk anyway, she is an easy way to link the plot and the lessons together. I still really felt like they are giving the lessons to 'me' and the rest of the plot happens to the character Nico. That is exactly the point of course, Nico is just a walking puppet made for self-projection, but I'm actually curious about her story.

With everyone giving you lessons and explaining things about the world around you (you do have amnesia after all) this CD feels as an introduction. Now that we know everyone and the world around us the rest of the story can break loose. Or at least that is how I feel. Speaking of the rest of the story; vol.2 goes on sale today.


Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise- Story 01 -ENCOUNTER-

Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise- Story 01 -ENCOUNTER-

Company: Square Enix
Based on: Game -> Novel -> Drama CD
Released: 2010.01.27
Official Site: http://www.square-enix.co.jp/music/sem/page/fabula/ff13/drama/

Episode Zero is a series of lightnovels based on Final Fantasy XIII. This drama CD (that came with the first press limited edition of the OST for the game) is based on the first light novel. It depicts scenes from the 13 days leading up to FFXIII.

The CD starts with Lightning (CV: Sakamoto Maaya) on a mission hunting monsters, she is aided (against her will) by Lebreau (CV: Asakawa Yuu) and Yuj (CV: Hatano Wataru), two members of the vigilante group Nora. After returning from her mission she finds her superior Lieutenant Amodar (CV: Ueda Yuuji) and Nora leader Snow (CV: Ono Daisuke). This is the first time Lightning and Snow actually meet, and she warns him to stay away from her sister.

Doesn't seem to have much effect though, as Snow later meets up with Serah (CV: Kotobuki Minako) because they are planning to buy a present for Lightning her birthday. Serah want Snow to come so that she can properly introduce him to Lightning. Before they can go Snow is called away by fellow NORA members, but promises he'll return soon and tells Serah to wait.

Serah wanders off to the ruins nearby the city, and to her own surprise finds and entrance. As she walks further in the ruins start to move around her, leader her to the point where she is branded with her l'Cie mark. She wakes up a little later outside the ruins, despairing after seeing the mark.

Meanwhile, Lightning is walking through town preparing for her patrol shift during the upcoming fireworks. In the background we hear Zachs (CV: Ebara Masashi), Hope (CV: Kaji Yuuki) and his mother talk about chocobo's. The CD ends with Lightning talking to her commander whether she could get some time off to take a vacation with Serah.

If you don't know the game this CD probably isn't very interesting, you'll be wondering when something is finally going to happen. If you do know the game, this is one big all my tears. It depicts scenes from right before the start of the games, how everyone is just living their life before everything is thrown into chaos.

Despite it being very short (only 25minutes) it is a pretty emotional piece of work. Not because of what happens, but because of how normal things are in the CD. How everyone is dealing with their own daily business and (compared to the rest of the game) small problems.

Just this small drama isn't worth it to buy (and track down) a limited edition soundtrack, but as a bonus it is a very good one and if you've played the game it is worth it to download and listen to it. I'm wondering exactly how long the novels are, and whether I should give those a try at the moment.


Weekly News Post

Ojisama Senka
The love for ossan characters is really growing, and so the Ojisama Senka series continues! Three more volumes have been anounced, although vol.4 is the only one with a title as of yet: Family Business. You go undercover to investigate a certain organisation, but while you investigate you discover that three of the members are very charming; the broad minded head of the organisation (CV: Ginga Banjou), the distrustful manager (CV: Narita Ken), and the counsellor who seems to see through everything (CV: Uchida Yuuya). Vol.4 is planned for 2012.07.25.

Vol.5 and 6 are planned for 2012.08.29 and 2012.09.26, but no title or cast has been announced yet.

Koisuru Exorcist
EM2 (who are bringing us bathroom entertainment) are handling the dramatization of Koi suru Exorsist, a lightnovel written by the same author as the Hanaoni novels. Kuwashima Houkou, Horie Yui, Sakurai Takahiro, Kaji Yuuki, and Sugita Tomokazu are listed as cast members, and the release is planned for 2012.06.27.

Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD Vol.2 Noboribetsu

あなたがお風呂で のぼせるCD 第2弾「登別編」

Company: em2
Based on: Onsen
Released: 2012.03.28

Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD is a series that has personified various onsen from all over Japan. By using this CD (which stands for "Compact Dream") the personified spirit of an onsen appears in your bathroom, and takes a bath together with you. This second CD features Noboribetsu Onsen, voiced by Morikawa Toshiyuki.

The introduction by the Guide (CV: Fujiwara Keiji) is exactly the same as the in the first CD, so much in fact that I am wondering whether it is the same recording or not. So just like before you receive one CD, and are instructed to "pause and take a deep breath in case things become too much".

Noboribetsu makes an entirely different entry than Kusatsu in vol.1. In full host style he makes a grand entry, thanks you for requesting him and offers you a glass of champagne to celebrate. When you refuse the champagne he wonders whether you like beer more. Or maybe cocktails? or maybe you're weak with alcohol? Or maybe you are not of legal age yet? When he offers you a soda you actually hit him. And when he tries to kiss you to make it up to you you hit him again.

Of course you're still quite surprised thanks to the guide his explanation being a bit lacking, so Noboribetsu explains to you why he is here (help you relax). Turns out you are on a diet, and he says he can't really help you with that -he can give you a better body for as long he is there, but he thinks that is a bit unfair when the magic wears off.

Just like in the first CD you refuse to bathe naked together, so this time you are wearing a swimsuit. Noboribetsu immediately loses interest, but agrees to it anyway. When you enter the bath he says that soaking in it for 20min would be better, but since you don't have that kind of time he creates a magic bath that works in just a few minutes.... by emptying 3 champagne bottles in it in full host style.

The guide peeks on how things are going just like before, but Noboribetsu gives him the bill for his services (the fee for requesting him, champagne fee, service fee) and the Guide quickly leaves again to get away from the massive expenses.

Noboribetsu goes from full host mode to just slightly teasing during the CD, and eventually he even asks you if he can't take the place of the person you like "just for this moment". Of course by the time that he has grown to like you that much it is almost time to leave. He finishes the treatment (hair or face, I'm not entirely sure which one it was) he was giving to you and leaves, asking you to come look for him.

The Guide and Noboribetsu give you a tour of the onsen, although there is no money to eat any of the local foods thanks to the fact that the Guide had to pay the bill from before. They also talk a bit about the zoo and the bear park nearby. The guide thinks bears are quite scary, but noboribetsu warns you that you should be more careful around... the guys from Hokkaido (because they are said to famous for being so good looking).

Noboribetsu is certainly someone to liven up your bathroom. His entry was hilarious, and the rest of the CD is fun to listen to as well. I found his final personality change to almost desperate to be with you surprising but not OK. Of course there is still some suggestive phrasing to be found, but to my surprise actually less than in the first CD.

In the freetalk Morikawa-san talks about how he has never been to Noboribetsu, so he hopes that his acting suits the onsen. After that he also answers the questions everyone has; Whether there is an item he uses in his daily 'ofuro (bath) life' (No), Whether he washes his head or body first (the first thing he washes is the mirror, so that he can see what he is doing), Whether he likes his bath hot or more lukewarm (Neither, he likes it just the right temperature).

This entry definitely made me laugh a lot. Noboribetsu his host actions are just hilarious. Morikawa-san mentions that you should probably listen to this when you just come out of the bath, instead of in the bath. I'll have to agree (although I was listening to this while at work), because if you'd listen to this in the bath the water would probably be cold before the end of the CD, or in case you keep it hot you'll be as dizzy as the title implies.


O.To.Na Gentei oTogame CD Penalty III

オ・ト・ナ限定 お咎めCD Penalty III

Company: Colombia
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.03.21
Official Site: http://columbia.jp/otonagentei/

Otogame CD is a series in which the characters 'scold' you. That is, in a loving way. The kind of things you say to a person because you care about them, like "don't be out late at night, something could happen". Each CD has two characters, in the third vol we have a German count, and the owner of a French restaurant. The series is recorded with the dummy head mic, so at times the characters also whisper close to your ear.

Like I said, the characters scold you, but not in an angry kind of way. It is actually really cute to hear. Each character has 5 tracks, all of them depicting a different situation. Just like in the Kanbyou CD's, there is very little that could be considered 'adult only', despite the title.

The first character is Christoff Haruto von Königsberg (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya) a German count who for is in Japan from time to time for his work, whatever that may actually be. At first he seemed like your typical sweet obochama, but he does tease you a bit.

The first track is about you not being able to say no (which is immediately called typically Japanese, of course), the second one is about you gaining weight, and he teases you about drinking too much beer xD. The third track is about you being a wallflower, the fourth track about you not voicing your feelings, and the final one about you telling a (small) lie.

Throughout the tracks there is some German, which always makes me laugh but the pronunciation is actually very good. ( I kept being amazed by his German, until I did some research and discovered that Kakihara-san was born in Germany and lived there for 18years. It makes sense now, ahaha). The last track is quite amusing; you've come to Germany to meet his family, and he tells you he is going to introduce you as his fiancée. It is only after saying so, that he actually asks you to merry him (in German).

The second character Kinosaki Kakeru (?) (CV:Chiba Shigeru) came as a bit of a surprise for me. Of course the character description states that he is 53, but somehow I hadn't registered what that actually means. It means he sounds old too, and I discovered that that really isn't my thing.

Either way, Kakeru is the owner of a French restaurant. It seems like you know each longer than your business trip to Paris though, which is the stage for the first track. Kakeru thinks you are too serious about everything, and takes you for a boat trip on the Seine. The second track is about being naive, the third one about working too hard, the fourth one about not thinking things through and whether you should like him or not, and the final one about what happiness is.

I kind of liked the third one, he is in full waiter mode, which is a lot better than his normal flirty attitude. In the fourth one he is actually really mad at you, making him the only character in the series who is actually mad. After that the conversation changes to whether you should like him or not. At first he tries to discourage you (cue me celebrating) but eventually he does give in. But I don't want to date a 50year old geezer (T^T)

This is definitely the weirdest entry in the series, or at least the one where need the most tolerance against unlikely situations. I mean, the odds of meeting (and getting to date) a count and being taken on cruises and high class dinner parties are rather slim the last time I checked. The second half of the CD was a real turn off for me, and I had to force myself to listen to all of it.

Personally I definitely liked the first two CDs better. This one was getting a bit too strange for my tastes, and neither of the characters are really my type. The other CD's seemed plausible, the situations where things that could actually happen, this was a bit too far from reality for the concept.

This also made me realize I really don't like ossan characters. I was planning to listen to Ojisama Senka, but now that I have experienced this that has been moved down the list a bit...


Shimekiri CD ~Konya ha Nemurasenai~

〆切CD 今夜は眠らせない

Company: Sherry Topaz
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.03.28
Official site: http://www.sherry-topaz.com/new/2nd/index.html

Shimekiri  is a CD to keep you awake while you have to work an all-nighter to make a deadline. The concept is that there is an bureau called "Midnight Agency" that send people to help you stay awake. Oshikiri Mamoru and Shimeno Susumu are two such agents, and they are here to keep you awake tonight.

The CD is roughly divided into three parts; one part with Mamoru (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou), on part with Susumu (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki), and the epilogue where both of them try too keep you awake. In each part they are visiting a different client. One of the first things I noticed was the incredibly long tracklist (71 tracks!!) which as it turned out, is due to the CD consisting mostly of very short tracks.

The CD begins with a small prologue, just before both of them start their work day. Susumu is teasing Mamoru a bit about how he is actually very soft (because Mamoru sent a client that had failed her deadline a cake to cheer her up). After that Mamoru his oart starts.

Mamoru begins by explaining his work (helping you in keeping awake and working,) and also explains that during this time making sure you keep the deadline has priority so if necessary he might be very strict. So he also warns you that there is no point in crying xD

Throughout his tracks you really notice that Mamoru tries to be strict, but is actually very sweet. If you do something unexpected he doesn't know how to handle it and generally gives in. One of the cutest moments is when he finds a picture of your pet (I'm assuming a small dog) and he gets all flustered and offers to take care of it next time when you have a deadline. Somewhere near the end he suddenly acts out a power rangers scenario where he defeats the evil sleep-man so that you can continue working.

After Mamoru his part is finished, Susumu his part starts. He is visiting a client where he has been a couple of times. My guess is a managaka or doujinka, and judging from his reaction to your work possibly BL. Susumu is actually quite the opposite of Mamoru, he starts out very sweet, but if you keep refusing to work he becomes very strict. He also gets a parody track, where he becomes Shimekiri Knight, and needs to rescue the princess from the evil King Sleep.

This CD was quite different from what I expected. I somehow thought it would have some sort of a story part. Like on of them coming to your place to keep you awake, and eventually starting to like you, but that is not at all the case. Both of them have a long list of short tracks (34 of them) which are all short scenes or them doing something to keep you awake. None of these tracks are really connected, and some of them are really short (like 10 seconds or so).

In both cases you do notice some progress in the situation though. Both of them start with just watching you, then they comment on small things like leaving your cellphone alone or telling you to focus again, and eventually you really start to fall asleep/ don't want to continue anymore so they turn to more creative ways to keep you awake, and eventually you reach the parody track.

In the epilogue both of them are working on a case together. This is where Susumu really goes all cold on you when you refuse to work and just want to sleep, and Mamoru is almost panicking and trying to get you to work again so that Susumu calms down. It ends with all of you falling asleep together.

My favourite tracks are track 18, where Mamoru finds out about your pet. Track 25, where Mamoru starts singing softly, and then suddenly switches to saying "if you sleep you will die". Track 58, where Susumu tells a weird version of sleeping beauty. Track 59, where Susumu goes Bancho Sarayashiki on you. And the parody tracks (34 and 66)

The freetalk is done by Okiayu-san and Konishi-san together. Konishi-san begins by explaining his character his name, because the way it is written is apparently unusual (I really wouldn't know). Both of them talk a bit about whether people really have that many deadlines, because at first they can only think of people like mangaka or writers when it comes to deadlines.

After that they talk a bit about the theatrical group Konoshi-san is with, and how they used to practice until really really late (or all night). And how Seki Tomokazu would sometimes look really really pale when working night after night on a script. After that the conversation changes to gaming, and while they are talking about that they run out of time, so they hope that there will be another CD so that they can continue the talk xD

This CD was different from what I expected, but still a lot of fun to listen to. If you are going to use it to actually stay awake, I'd recommended ripping it and mixing the tracks with a playlist of other things, because listening to all of them at once might be a bit much.


Blood Alone 3

Blood Alone 3

Company: Marine Entertainment
Based on: Manga
Released: 2008.06.25

Blood Alone is based on the manga series of the same name. It is about the vampire girl Minato Misaki and the novelist/detective Kurose Kuroe who takes care of her. Each of the three drama CD's has three stories. Most of the time these stories are not directly connected but more like episodes from their life.

As always, this has three stories. The first one is about Kuroe and his sister. After solving a case involving two siblings, Kuroe is reminded of his sister. Misaki asks Sainome to tell her a little about Kuroe when he was younger.

The second story seems connected to both Kuroe and Misaki their past. Kuroe receives a request to guard a former assassin. He reclines at first, but after hearing that a certain party is involved he accepts. The man Kuroe needs to protect has become the target of an organisation called "Einseingrad Sparda" is imediately attacked by a girl named Maria (CV: Sawashiro Miyuki). Kuroe manages to deflect attack, but the girl escapes with heavy injuries.

As coincidence will have it, she is found by Misaki. Recognising the girl as a renfield (the servant of a vampire, red) she takes her home so she can recover. However the vampire that sired her soon arrives and kidnaps Misaki. He suspects that she is something special.

While handcuffing Misaki, the two of them make another attempt on the man his life. Misaki however manages to break free, and holds down Maria so that Kuroe can go after the vampire. We get a glimpse of the vampire hunter Kuroe here, it is clear that his fame as a vampire hunter was earned.

The final story revolves all around Misaki her fear of thunder. Kuroe is just about to go out for work, but on his way out remembers Misaki is afraid of lightning, and returns to stay at her side.

At first I though the first and second story were connected, but they are not. Well in a sense they are, Eisengrad Sparda is responsible for some events in Kuroe his past, but they are not directly connected. Both of them were very interesting though.

Both Kuroe and Higure (CV: Kobayashi Sanae) have taken several lessons in awesome for this CD. Higure only appears for a few moments, but proves himself as an ancient vampire. Kuroe shows us some of his vampire hunter skills, and as kind as he is to Misaki, he is cold to his enemies.

Personally this might be my favourite Blood Alone CD. Sadly it is also the last one that was released, while there are still some unresolved plot points. The manga however continues those. While keeping the atmosphere of the previous CDs, this one also delivers the most action packed story.


Kareshi Igai 3 ~Kouhai to no Ayamachi~


Company: Cineria
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.04.27
Official site: http://www.ike-men.net

Kareshi Igai is a series that gives you the strange experience of... cheating on your boyfriend. With a drama CD. Yeah. The concept here is that you already have a boyfriend, but that there is also someone else in your life. In the third CD you make the mistake with a kouhai from work.

Kanamori Tsubame (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko) is your kouhai at work. It looks like you are often working together on things, which is how you know each other. During one project you both need to work overtime together, which is when you get to know him a bit better. He talks about wanting to go to an all-you-can-eat cake buffet, but doesn't want to go alone and has no-one to go with. You promise him to go together some time. He asks your phone number that time, and invites you to a drink with him sometime later. You start drinking at an izakaya, but eventually end up at his place...

Tsubame often acts a bit childish,  a bit bratty, and is very straight forward. He isn't very good with Keigo (polite speech) which is something you point out several times. When he gets excited he starts to talk really fast, which is kind of cute. He likes sweets, games, and cats.

This CD seemed a it livelier than the previous instalments. Probably largely because of Tsubame his personality, but also because of Sato-chin (CV: Ishii Satoshi) who works at the Izakaya where you go for a drink together. He is much to energetic and much too talkative, but it is kind of fun to hear him and Tsubame interact.

Something else that made me smile is that all three characters from the series work at the same company. Tsubame talks about Takano (from vol.1) and Makabe (from vol.2). Sadly Tsubame isn't listed among the cast of the upcoming spin-off CD though...

Tsubame turns pretty assertive once he has you at his place, but he warned you about that. His reaction on the morning after ("ah, so it wasn't a dream") was gold. However, he does seem genuinely hurt when you tell him that you need to go back to your boyfriend.

Like before there are two endings, both taking place 6months later. In the 'bad' ending your relationship has turned into a 100% office affair, with you doing all kinds of things in the meeting room. In the good ending you are now properly dating, and Tsubame is always worried about you being alone with other guys.

In the free talk Okamoto-san talks about how he and Tsubame are alike (because they both like games and sweets) and eventually gets completely off track. It is absolutely cute how he urges us to never do anything like this in real life though (*^-^*)

Tsubame definitely isn't my type, but I did like his honesty (which is why I dislike the bad ending, you broke him!). The scenario itself was pretty realistic, just like in the first CD. Best be wary of these kinds of situations I suppose xD


Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD Vol.1 Kusatsu

あなたがお風呂で のぼせるCD  第1弾「草津編 」

Company: em2
Based on: Onsen
Released: 2012.02.29

Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD is a series that has personified various onsen from all over Japan. By using this CD (which stands for "Compact Dream") the personified spirit of an onsen appears in your bathroom, and takes a bath together with you. The first one to do so is Kusatsu Onsen, voiced by Sakurai Takahiro.

The CD begins with you talking to the guide (CV: Fujiwara Keiji) who offers you a CD to help you relax and relieve stress. That is as far as his explanations go, although he does recommend pausing the CD and taking a deep breath in case things become too much to handle.

In the next track you are in the bath when Kusatsu suddenly appears, you freak out and faint. He carries you to the bed, and when you wake up he is reading manga in your room. And still walking around naked. After changing into a Yukata, he explains that he is there to help you relax, and complains about the guide not doing his job properly.

Because you didn't know about him coming a says you should just "relax on your own or something" while he reads manga, but eventually you do end up taking a bath together. Although you refuse to go naked, instead you're both wearing a bath-towel (much to Kusatsu his dismay). Before you enter the bath you first need to wash, Kusatsu is washing your back, coming needlessly close at times.

Once you're in the bath he almost starts singing but you stop him. Instead, he starts counting to 100. With the same sloppy attitude as before, so at times he counts slow, then faster, then slow again, at 80 he's grown tired and wants you to count the rest, and when he eventually does count the rest he skips a few numbers.

After that he teases you a bit more, and washes your hair. During this time he becomes more and more 'dere' even saying that he doesn't want to go, and that you should come visit him before he has to leave. The guide also comments on things going smoothly somewhere in between, but Kusatsu throws something at him so that he leaves xD

Finally the Guide and Kusatsu give you a tour of the actual Kusatsu Onsen. At the start they both sing the song that Kusatsu wanted to sing before. They describe everything the onsen is supposed to heal (just about everything judging from that incredibly long list) and name the local food specialities (in Japan every place has it's own food specialities, and half of the travelling is about trying all of it).

I didn't know what to expect when I started on this CD, except that it would likely take place in my bathroom, but this was pretty hilarious. To be honest I already loved the CD when you fainted in the beginning, and Kusatsu was going all "yeah I saw everything, I had to carry you to the bed". He gradually warms up to you, which is kind of cute.

So a CD where you are in the bath together can't be all cute right? Well you're not mistaking there. There are some pretty suggestive lines throughout the entire CD ("I'll do something that wiol make you feel good all over" for example). And there was no mistaking the line "I guess you will have to wear a turtleneck for a while". Overal the level of suggestiveness was never too much though. A few lines here and there, but then again you are taking a bath together with someone so that is pretty much to be expected.

Kusatsu has a bit of a 'whatever' attitude, especially in the beginning. Maybe I feel like this because Sakurai will always be Alice? to me, but if you ask me this is exactly what it would be like if you took a bath with Alice. Minus the final dere maybe, but in the beginning their attitude is so similar it made me laugh. (Also, I love Alice, so for me this was a major like)

The cast comment is pretty funny. Sakurai talks a bit about Kusatsu, apparently he he has been there a few times himself. Then he answers a few questions that he was given: Whether he has an item that he often uses in his normal 'ofuro life' (a light that turns your bathroom into a sort of planetarium), Whether he washes his head or his body first, and in what order he washes his body (his head first, and his body starting at the 'vital points'), Whether he likes his both hot or lukewarm (hot at home, onsen a bit less so that you can enjoy them longer).

Onsen gijinka is probably another one of those things that are only possible in Japan, it is fun though. This CD made me want to go to the actual onsen to see whether it reminds of this CD, because I've mostly been wondering how you personify an onsen. Exactly how do you give it specific personality traits? Either way, this was a lot of fun. Even if you don't feel like listening to every entry in the series, listening to those by your favourite seiyuu is definitely worth it (but go listen to all of them anyway).


O.To.Na Gentei oTogame CD Penalty II

オ・ト・ナ限定 お咎めCD Penalty II

Company: Colombia
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.02.29
Official Site: http://columbia.jp/otonagentei/

Otogame CD is a series in which the characters 'scold' you. That is, in a loving way. The kind of things you say to a person because you care about them, like "don't be out late at night, something could happen". Each CD has two characters, in the second vol we have a employee of an advertising company, and a university student.

Like I said, the characters scold you, but not in an agry kind of way. It is actually really cute to hear. Each character has 5 tracks, all of them depicting a different situation. Just like in the Kanbyou CD's, there is very little that could be considered 'adult only', despite the title.

The first character, Touma (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou) seems to be your childhood friend. You're not dating, but he is obviously interested in you, and always there when you need him. In the first track he is telling you off for always immediately buying what you want (especially because he was planning to buy some of it for you).

The second story was the most hilarious one. You are drunk and he is bringing you home. Apparently you are so drunk you walk straight into a street lamp. Touma is real sweet to you though. In the other three tracks he talks to you about your work, comes to your aid when you were confessed to (he comes to an amusement park just because you called him!) and in the last track he is... checking on you in the bath (and things get awkward)

The second character, Keigo (CV:Toriumi Kousuke), is a university student and your actual boyfriend. Keigo seems to like teasing you. A lot. To be honest, I felt like his tracks were more about teasing than scolding you. Like how he is teasing you about how your diets never work. Not to mention that he has you acting like a dog for almost an entire track to too teach you something about being honest.

Where Touma is always there for you, Keigo seems to be more into teasing you. A bit too much if you ask me. Still, thanks to the dummy head mic having Toriumi Kousuke whisper certain things right next to your ear is still tempting enough.

I liked the first CD better, but especially Okiayu Ryoutarou his part is really nice. Keigo simply teases you a  bit too much. Just like before there isn't much 'otona gentei', though I am not sure whether being treated like a dog would fall under that.


Weekly News Post

Soine Hitsuji CD
a voice sample for Yasuomi is now up on the official site. The voice sample begins like a normal Shuukan Soine CD, but from what he says I'm assuming that he was already counting sheep for you. The way he takes of his glasses, saying that they are "in the way" is really cute too. Go listen to it!!

Fujoshi no Escort
After Fujoshi no Totsugikata and Fujoshi no Mikata we now  get Fujoshi no Escort In these CD's two of the butlers will escort you. Exactly what that means is still a bit unclear to me though. Except, of course, more hilarious references and so called 'solutions' to all your fujoshi problems. Three CD's are planned, the first one wil feature Midoriyama and Kurosaki and will be released on 2012.07.25, the second one will feature Goshirokawa and Kikawa and will be released on 2012.08.22, and the third one will feature Akagi and Aoi and will be released in September 2012 (no exact date yet). Buy all three CD's, and you can apply for the bonus CD: a fujoshi dictionary CD by all six butlers.


Fujoshi no Mikata


Company: Motto! Entertainment.
Based on: Fujoshi?
Released: 2012.03.21
Official Site: http://www.movic.co.jp/book/radio/fujoshi/index.html

Fujoshi no totsugu kata (How to marry when you're a fujoshi) was a CD is that you have been proposed to, but you hadn't told your boyfriend that you are a fujoshi yet. Just as you're were wondering what to do 5 butlers appear and claim that they want to help you. This time the situation is not that dire, but the fujoshi all over the world Japan are in trouble, and our 6 butlers are here to help again.

Unlike the first CD, where one butler was your main help in each track, they all try to help you this time. The butlers are still the same: The cool Aoi Ryuuji (CV: Toriumi Kousuke), The hotheaded Akagi Eichi (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) , the princely Midoriyama Shion (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou), the no-longer-trainee-but-now-novice Kikawa Miki (CV: Ishida Akira), the sadistic Kurosaki Goro (CV: Yusa Kouji), and -now actually there from the beginning- the legendary Goshirakawa (CV: Kondo Takashi).

They are holding a meeting on how to help fujoshi all over the country, when the emergency bell rings. Arriving on scene to find their client collapsed, a re-enactment of a highschool club scenario helps them to get our victim revived. The problem is the lack of Moe in the workplace, so our butlers come up with all kinds of strategies. From the subtle use of small fandom-items such a straps and catchphrases to carefully find out whether there are any other fujoshi in your office, to shipping your co-workers for personal moe.

The second problem is what to do when you want to confess to someone, so they practice various -and mostly unrealistic- confession scenes with you, and tell you not to worry in case your confession is refused. (if someone were to comfort me like that, I am almost hoping I'd get refused).

In the third track they think of all kinds of things that could be wrong, and of course their client has all of these problems (a deadline for a doujinshi, no more space to put things, no space on her harddrive, etc). The main problem however is the deadline. They come up with a nice little cardgame to decide pairing. There are cards that describe someone their job and age (student, salaryman, etc) and cards with personalities on them, you draw two of each to decide what your main characters are going to be. (How exactly you are going to make those pairings work is left in the middle).

In the fourth track their client has money problems, so they come up with all kinds of ways to save on money, and how to do a job interview. Still, you might not want to follow Kurosaki his instructions to answer "69" when asked what your favourite number is. The best part is probably when say raising vegetables on your balcony to save money, and eventually gijinka (personify) them, giving al of them fitting but hilarious personalities).

In the last case their client is having troubles studying for her exams. The idea here is to lock all your stuff away and seal it with something of your favourite fandom that you would have to break to reach your stuff, so that you really think twice before you open it again. After that they give some tips on how to make your studying more moe, and turn the arrival of Perry his ships and the opening of Japan INTO A BL SCENE. Ok, just really suggestive phrasing, but it is hilarious none the less. Also, they declare maths to be tsundere.

In the final track they all say some moe lines, go Power Rangers on us again, and say that they will always be there to help a fujoshi in need.

Just like before I've been laughing far too much thanks to this CD. Although I really did miss a lot of references this time. I knew when a reference was being made, but I just couldn't tell of what of who it was. Like in the first track they use a lot of catchphrases, and I know a lot of those, but I don't know who they belong to.

Our butlers have picked up a new little trick too; saying "Oui Monsieur" whenever they follow someone their instructions. It is a bit butchered and just made me giggle like an idiot, but it is funny none the less.

You might really have to be a bit of a fujoshi to really enjoy this. Then again, if you know enough of the lifestyle like myself it is still plenty of fun. The solutions they come up with are still hilarious (gijinka fruits and veggies, really? Someone make me this please xD) and you can't really go wrong with that many butlers in one CD to begin with.


Blood Alone 2

Blood Alone 2

Company: Marine Entertainment
Based on: Manga
Released: 2007.08.24

Blood Alone is based on the manga series of the same name. It is about the vampire girl Minato Misaki and the novelist/detective Kurose Kuroe who takes care of her. Each of the three drama CD's has three stories. Most of the time these stories are not directly connected but more like episodes from their life.

This time the CD starts with a cute valentine story. Misaki (CV: Nakahara Mai) has made Kuroe (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) chocolate for valentine. When she hands him his chocolate he already has a whole bag full of chocolates however (apparently he is popular with the ladies?). Continuing with his work, Kuroe notices her chocolate is missing after a while so he tries to find it, and even tracks back to every place he has been that day. When he returns home however, it turns out Misaki took the chocolate home with he so she could re-wrap it: another one of the chocolates in the bag had the same ribbon.

The second story is what you could call the main story of this CD. It starts with a serial killer on his death row and his lawyer talking just before his execution. Not too long afterwards however, the lawyer his assistant -and lover- Maki (CV: Kobayashi Sanae) is killed in the style of that serial killer.

Sainome (CV: Tanaka Rie) and Kuroe investigate this case together. Sainome discovered that similar killings have been occurring over a period far more than one lifespan, and suspects something supernatural is involved, which is why she asks Kuroe for his help. We also discover that Sainome has the ability to 'see' the memories of a dead person. This is also the first time we get to hear Misaki her vampire personality. Every vampire has a sort of 'vampire personality' or instinct, and it slowly replaces the human one. Misaki her personality is... chilling.

The last story is a more humorous one. Misaki has a nightmare about Kuroe and Sainome marrying (TV show style). When she wakes up Kuroe is gone, so goes to find him. First she kalls Higure (CV: Kobayashi Sanae), who seems to be in the middle of something. Then she goes to see Sly (CV: Miki Shinichirou) who mainly just teases her. The cat from the first episode of vol.1 also makes an appearance. Eventually, it just turns out Kuroe was working.

The first and third story are more humorous, the second one however is serious. And very good. You realize what is going on slightly before the characters do, creating just a little more tension. The atmosphere is still the same calm atmosphere from the first CD. Somehow they manage to both keep this, and create tensions as well.

The cast talk has some fun moments. Morikawa-san liked the third story (where he had several possible bride candidates) and Kobayashi-san (who voiced both Maki and Higure) laughs at both her scenes being bed scenes.

This vol heads more towards the direction of a supernatural mystery in the main story. It feels like there are still things being introduced for use in a later story, but this is a great CD on it's own. I'd recommend listening to all the stories separately though, or at least the second one separately, because they are so different.


Tiny×Machinegun FILE:1 THE KNOCKDOWN

Tiny×Machinegun FILE:1 THE KNOCKDOWN

Company: Rejet x IM Bullet
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.02.29
Official site: http://rejetweb.jp/txm/

The city of New York is being protected by it's police force "Captain VANEAST". Tiny McDaniel is a new police officer in the force, full of energy she wants to dive into the work, but at the moment the only mission she gets is helping kids cross the road safely...

The CD starts as a TV show. The Seventh TV has gotten wind of the News that Tiny (CV: Tamura Yukari) is joining the police force and is holding a special on it. McDaniel is a famous name in the police force thanks to Tiny her grandfather being a famous 'hero' in the force, and Tiny her brother Reigand (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) is treated like a hero by the half the city.

Reigand and Wolf (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) are trying to capture two criminals; Tom and Jerry (CV: Morikubo Shoutarou and Yonaga Tsubasa). The two of them aren't really dangerous, more a bunch of idiots, until Jerry flips. Tiny is close by and saves the day, all on live television.

Unhappy with the uninteresting small jobs she gets, and wanting to help her brother more than anything (Tiny seems to have a bit of a brother complex. Luckily Reigand spoils her as well) she sneaks out to catch herself some criminals. She finds a promising looking wanted note for Midou Zen (CV: Fujiwara Keiji) who is wanted for attempted murder. Of course this isn't as easy as it seems, especially because Midou turns out to be an ex cop, and her brothers mentor.

Meanwhile the rest of the force is deployed to watch over the presentation of one of Lian Jenkings (CV: Miki Shinichirou) his new inventions. After an incident involving Midou, Lian was gravely injured and is now in a wheel chair, and has devoted his life do developing machines that help people who cannot walk freely. Unfortunately many of them seem to be abused by criminals, creating a bit of a tension between him and Reigand.

His newest invention is a gigantic machine that will help clean the city. Unfortunately, someone has tampered with it, and in the middle of the presentation the thing runs wild. Wolf and Reigand try to stop the thing, Tom and Jerry get involved to create even more chaos, and in the end the day is saved by Midou, who has by now kidnapped Tiny...

TxM starts with a light hearted and funny scene, but quickly shows glimpses of a much more serious story underneath. If you know some of IM label there other works this should sound familiar, as this is how Ninomiya Ai writes her stories. Although this story has neither the amount of crack of for example Are you Alice, nor the really dark edge of any her other stories (as of yet at least).

Tiny is really cute, how she wants to try her best and help her brother the city and personality wise the complete opposite of the rather silent Reigand (which is a shame, I would have loved to hear him talk more *is shot*). The end of the story leaves Tiny in the hands of Midou, and her character description says she turned a lot of people against her after she started to work with him, so that makes me curious how this continues.

Tom and Jerry were credited as quest characters, which is a shame because I would love to see more of them. They are complete failures as criminals, but way too funny to listen too, so I secretly hope that they will have some sort of cameo later in the series. The reporter from Seventh TV, Patricia (CV: Shouji Umeka) is another hilarious character, only out for her scoop and always hanging around Tiny to report on how cute she is.

While being a good stand alone story, this CD really feels like it was just the introduction to the world of TxM, introducing us to all the characters and surroundings, opening a path to kick off the real story. Luckily there are at least two more CD's (and a game) in the works.


O.To.Na Gentei oTogame CD Penalty I

オ・ト・ナ限定 お咎めCD Penalty I

Company: Colombia
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.02.15
Official Site: http://columbia.jp/otonagentei/

Otogame CD is a series in which the characters 'scold' you. That is, in a loving way. The kind of things you say to a person because you care about them, like "don't be out late at night, something might happen". Each CD has two characters, in the first vol we have a high school student, and a model.

Like I said, the characters scold you, but not in an angry kind of way. It is actually really cute to hear. Each character has 5 tracks, all of them depicting a different situation. Just like in the Kanbyou CD's, there is very little that could be considered 'adult only', despite the title.

The first character, a high school student(CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko) is a bit of a tsundere. In his first track he comes to pick you up from the station because it's already late, but he insists that it is just because he wanted to go to the book store. On the way back you get told of for varying things; coming home this late, trying to take a short cut through a dark ally, etc.

His other tracks are really cute too; one where you are searching something in a high cupboard balancing on a chair to reach it, and he tries to help you. One where yo are walking around (half)naked after the bath, and he is incredibly flustered (cutest track in the whole CD). One where you had a fight with a friend (and he immediately worries yo might have started dating someone). And finally one where you had a bad fortune, so you both go to a shrine to draw a new fortune.

I am sort of wondering what the relationship between the two of you is though, because you don't seem to be dating, but he also says that you "always walk around like that after taking a bath", implying that he's seen you walk around in nothing but a bath-towel more often, yet you don't seem to think of him as a romantic interest, but you are used to him being there. I am confused.

The second character is a model (CV: Midoriwaka Hikaru) and your boyfriend. In the first track he comes to wake you up because you overslept, teasing that he might just come and lie with you. The second one has him scolding you because you don't want to watch a movie in the middle of the night, ignoring the fact that he is staying over.

The third one is more of a lovers quarrel, you saw him walking on a 'date' with a foreign woman. Of course it turns out you've got nothing to worry about, she is just a friend and he wanted her advice for buying you a ring. At the start of this one he is humming while cooking dinner, which is just too cute. In the fourth story you don't want to drink your medicine, and in the last on you are searching something in your room (and apparently your room is quite messy).

When I started listening I had no idea what to expect, but this was a really fun CD. Both characters are sweet, and I like the little scenes. The entire CD is recorded with the dummy head, and they made good use of it in my opinion. They are not always talking close to you, but when they are the effect changes between instant butterflies and instant nosebleed.

Just like in the previous series, there isn't much 'otona gentei' (adult only) but I think of that as a good thing. This CD was completely different from what I expected, but I'm glad I listened anyway, because this was one of the sweetest things I've listened to lately, without it being completely suger coated.


Weekly News Post

Oujisama (warai)
Now that the Oujisama (warai) radio show has officially started airing, they have also announced a Radio CD. This CD will have the first 5 episodes, in which Cinderella, Rapunzel, the Emperor, Genji, and (the princes from) the little mermaid appear as guests, as well as a zadankai like in the drama CD's. The CD is Planned for 20012.08.22.

Risou Kareshi
Finally a bit more info on Risou Kareshi, and an official site. The characters are based on the results of an survey hold at the Animate Ikebukero store. I have no idea how the actual enquete looked, but the results are three different characters and their job, hobbies, personality, and even seiyuu.

The three characters are a 'cool' type (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi), a passionate type (CV: Ono Daisuke) and an amaenbo type (sweet, slightly spoiled. CV: unknown). It is interesting to see that while they have different personalities, certain things overlap. Both the cool and the amaenbo boyfriend have cooking as an hobby for example, while both the passionate and cool types are prone to showing tears...


Shukujo Yousei ~Shitsuji ga Oshieru Seiyou Ryouri no Manner~

淑女養成CD ~執事が教える西洋料理のマナー~

Company: Team Entertainment
Based on: Table manners
Released: 2008.09.17
Official Site: http://www.team-e.co.jp/sp/archive/ladycd.html

In this CD your two butlers teach you the table manners for a formal party. Starting from arriving at the party, to the table manners, to writing a thank you note afterwards.

In the prologue you just arrive home and the butler Stuart (CV:Yusa Kouji) welcomes you home with tea. He explains that it was suddenly decided that you are to attend a party that evening, so your father has asked him and Robert (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi) to teach you the proper manners.

In five tracks the two of them explain different aspects of a dinner party: arriving at the party, the tableware, how to use a napkin, how to eat, and a few other things to remember.
Stuart explains most of the rules, while Robert acts as the less experienced one, asking things so that they can elaborate on some points.

Most of the things they explained were things I already knew, although there were a few small things that I missed. Then again, I like things like etiquette so I've been doing some reading on that before. Still, it is fun to hear them explaining the rules. The explanations are easy to understand, and despite that all they do is explain etiquette, it doesn't feel like someone is reading a rule book out loud.

Of course, much of the charm of this CD comes from the fact that the two of them are butlers, and thus address you as "ojou-sama" and use very polite speech.

It is a pity that there are not many chances to practice what they teach you in this CD, because it is an amazingly well written guide. (At least, at don't know how many white tie dinners you have attended as of yet, but unfortunately they don't feature heavily on my agenda).


Blood Alone

 Blood Alone

Company: Marine Entertainment
Based on: Manga
Released: 2006.07.21

Blood Alone is based on the manga series of the same name. It is about the vampire girl Minato Misaki and the novelist/detective Kurose Kuroe who takes care of her. Each of the three drama CD's has three stories. Most of the time these stories are not directly connected but more like episodes from their life.

The CD starts with Misaki (CV: Nakahara Mai) waking up and describing what her usual day (night?) looks like. Kuroe (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki)is working on a novel that needs to be finished the next day, so in order to help him she goes to search for a lost cat; a request Kuroe got for his detective job. Misaki isn't very succesful in finding the cat though. On the way we also meet the informant Sly (CV: Miki Shinichirou), and his cat side kick Larry.

The second story is a short story that starts with Misaki and Higure (CV: Kobayashi Sanae), who is a very old and influential vampire (but looks like a young boy) , talking about different vampire abilities. Higure teaches Misaki how to use Farumek (a form of hypnosis that can be used to control humans), and we learn what Renfields are (Humans that have drank the blood of a vampire, and therefore become devoted to their blood parent). When Misaki comes home later that night she tries to use farumek on Kuroe to see whether she can really use it.

The third story introduces Sainome Sayaka (CV: Tanaka Rie), a childhood friend of Kuroe. She works as the head of the police forencics department. Kuroe worries about Misaki going out at night often lately, and Sainome seems to know something about it but doesn't want to say. Meanwhile Higure visits Kuroe while Misaki is out to tell him that someone has been hunting (=killing) in his territory, and that he suspects Misaki. Kuroe decides to stalk tail Misaki when she goes out the next night. He loses sight of her, but finds the actual culprit. Through his conversation with Higure afterwards we learn that Kuroe was involved with vampires in his past... Misaki on the other hand, was just visiting Sainome to learn how to knit a muffler.

This series has a very calm, easygoing atmosphere. Some of the stories are more serious, others less serious. Misaki being a young girl and often acting like one also helps to keep the atmosphere light. This atmosphere might be this series greatest charm.

It is obvious that Misaki likes Kuroe, but his feelings are less transparent. He obviously cares for her, but what is exact feelings are is a bit vague. This creates an interesting relation between them. Higure and Sainome also seem interested in Kuroe, although their motives probably differ. Higure his love for male renfields is also... interesting.

The cast talk is fairly simple and cute. The change in Kobayashi-san her voice is quite amazing to hear..

I love the atmosphere in this work. At least for this vol there doesn't seem to be much vampire stuff going on, it is more about how Misaki and Kuroe are living their life, and their relationship.


Penguin Enishi

I didn't know what to start with after the hiatus (there is so much I need to catch up on!) so I eventually decided to go for the review that spent the most time as a pile of notes:


Company: Frillia Record
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.01.27
Official site: http://frillra.jp/pengin/

Penguin Enishi is a story about a small shrine in that is nicknamed 'Penguin Shrine'. The head priest recently died, leaving the shrine in the hands of his two sons, Miki and Tane. However neither of them is an official priest, and if the head office doesn't send a new priest, the shrine will be abandoned.

Miki (CV: Ono Daisuke), the oldest of the two, is trying to obtain his qualification as priest. But even though he gets the top score at the exam, he has no supernatural abilities and therefore fails the exam everytime. Meanwhile Tane (CV: Shimono Hiro), the younger one, does seem to have abilities, but he is still in high school and cannot become a priest yet. The two of them are actually half brothers, they have a different mother.

A little while ago a talking penguin calling himself Enishi (CV: Nakata Jouji) suddenly appeared at the temple, claiming that he is a god. Miki is sceptical, but Tane is overjoyed so the penguin gets to stay. Now all he does is eat a lot and cause trouble in the neighbourhood (although he does claim that he can be useful, stating excellent skills with word and excel among his strong points).

Meanwhile Hazumi Ten (CV: Sakurai Takahiro), who is Tane his halfbrother (although Tane refuses to see him as a brother) and works as a police officer, brings along the ghost of boy (CV: Suzumura Kenichi). The only thing the boy remembers is Miki his name. While trying to find out his identity, they discover that his name is Nishimaki Kento, and that he was a year under Miki and Ten while they were at high school, and slowly they start to discover why the only thing that he could remember was Miki his name...

Between all of this there are scenes with Chidou Nene (CV: Maeda Ai), Ten and Tane their mother. She left her first husband (Ten his father) and remarried Chidou Daiju (Miki and Tane their father) but left the house and has been living on her own for a while. Nene seems to have become the love interest of Ichikawa Tadamaki (CV: Koyasu Takehiro), although his motivations can be doubted, and neither does he seem to be entirely human...

I'm trying to summarize all this while trying to avoid spoilers, as this is an interesting story. Not all is as it seems in the beginning, and there are some interesting developments. There is a lot of humour as well; especially Enishi is a good comic relief. The pacing of the story was really good as well, and I'm interested in seeing how it will develop (especially with regards to Ichikawa his intentions).

In this review the relations between everyone may seem a bit hazy, but it is all very simple. When in doubt, just take a look at the character chart on the official site here.

A good story, not too much supernatural activity, the right amount of humour and penguin induced chaos, and lots of potential for the next part. Also Koyasu-sama and Sakurai, just saying.


Hiatus is over!

I stay away for a month and blogger changes it's interface... It is now all stylish and very confusing xD

Prepare for one LONG news post. It is not going to be everything that I missed in this month, only the most important bits, but even that is going to be one loooooong list. So one mixed plate of old and new News, coming right up!!

Shuukan Soine:
a special volume, but essentially vol.13 of the Shuukan Soine series will be released on 2012.05.25 and will be voiced by Morikawa Toshiyuki. His character is described as someone "embracing you with a lot of love and a big heart". More then anything though, the character design is gorgeous.

Toriai Kyoudai
the series is continuing, but under the name 'zoku toriai kyoudai' (zoku essentially means 'continued'). There isn't much info on the characters yet, but this time Tachibana Shinnosuke and Terashima Takuma will be fighting over our love. Apparently the atmosphere will be slightly different from the previous two CD's, but in what way is unknown.