Weekly News Post

This weeks news post is a bit long, because it merged with the one from last week. I just couldn't find the time to properly write a news post last week, and by the time I was three days late I decided it would probably be better to merge the two (^-^;;)

Double Score
The sample tracks for camellia have been uploaded to the official site. Especially the first one between Yousuke (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) and Yuuya (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke) is priceless. The second sample track where you are alone with Yousuke is just very cute. Yousuke his wallpaper is also available for download, it will be up until 2012.07.12, when the next CD will be released.

Zoku Toriai Kyoudai
The main visual for Zoku Toriai Kyoudai has been released, and if I wouldn't have been sold on the fact that this CD has Hirakawa Daisuke voicing two roles, the visuals would have done the job. Well played Black Butterfly, not only are you using one of my favourite seiyuu, you also managed to make the characters 100% my type.

Soine Hitsuji CD
The release date and cast for the second Soine Hitsuji CD has been announced. The second character Yuuichi will be voiced by Fujiwara Keiji, and is planned for a 2012.08.31release. Like many people said, I didn't expect to see Fujiwara-san listed as cast after seeing the character design, but we'll see how things turn out!


Time of Licht

洗顔フォーム+ナビゲーションCDセット「Time of Licht」

Company: Fiarce
Based on: Facewash foam?
Released: 2010.??.??

Time of Licht is a set of a facewash foam and a navigational drama CD that teaches you how to use it, voiced by Hatano Wataru. It was sold on various events and eventually through several online retailers, but is hard to find now (not to mention you probably shouldn’t trust the foam anymore if you do find it).

This CD is mainly a guide by Licht (CV: Hatano Wataru) on how to wash your face. He describes it using the foam that the CD was coupled with, but a large part of it is applicable to any facewash. Where on earth he came from (or what he is) isn’t quite clear, although from the end of the CD I gather that he is some sort of fairy / spirit / personification of your facewash foam. Either that or a really cute stalker.

In the middle of the CD he calls you on your phone when you are out. (my facewash is making phone calls? now things are definitely getting weird). The conversation is pretty cute, especially because he is going all “no you hang up first”.

When you get back home he cooks dinner for you, and eventually even talks you to sleep. I’m starting to wish my facewash could do those things, especially if I get one that looks and sounds like Licht.

In the bonus track he is busy telling you that he will always be at your side, when you suddenly hear a strange sound and he says “what are you guys doing here”. As this was originally supposed to be a part one in a series, I am guessing the others are some sort of beauty product as well. Unfortunately, the series was never continued (I would have loved stuff like hand cream or nail polish)

It might be a bit weird, but it is a cute CD and and pretty short. If you like Hatano-san (or like me, like listening to CD’s with weird concepts) and find a download of it and listen for fun. Gah, now I really wish the series would have continued.


Tap Trap Love Vol.02 - Crown

Tap Trap Love Vol.02 - Crown

Company: 5pb
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.05.23
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. A character called “John Do” introduced her to the dance group Euphoria. 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.

You meet with John Doe (CV: Ishida Akira) a couple of times in this CD, and he seems to both want you to continue with dancing, and to stop. Just like he hopes that you will remember the things you forgot, but somehow hopes you don’t regain them. Either way your meeting remains mysterious.

Insert cool theme song at the beginning.

Everyone is practicing some new steps that Jackie (CV: Maeno Tomoaki) is teaching them. Joy (CV: Fujiwara Yuuki) and you are the only ones that haven’t remembered them yet, so Jackie shows you one more time, after which everyone tries it together. Jackie gives everyone a few more pointers, except for Joy who apparently still needs to practice more. But for now needs to head to Club Justice, where he is the DJ for the night.

While Joy Rushes out you get a lesson from Cap (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi) . He gives you a lesson on posture. Compared to his lesson in the first CD, he is unusually strict. Unfortunately the use of the dummy head mic is also less effective. After the lesson you go grab something to eat at Red Dogs (Nico her part time job, a hotdog stand)

At Justice you meet up with Leo (CV: Nakai Kazuya). While Cap is getting all of you drinks, you and Leo listen a bit to Joy his DJ-ing. When Leo remarks that Joy isn’t half bad someone called Anger (CV: Ookawa Genki) starts making fun of Joy. Leo almost makes a fight out of it, but Cap returns just in time to stop him. Leo hurt his hand though, so he visits dr.Ginger (CV: Itou Kentarou). Who also seems a bit different from last time, his interactions with Leo are quite comical. Also pun alert when dr.Ginger recommends ショウガ (shouga, ginger) for the wound to heal.

During the next lesson Jackie comes back with the list of participants for the next audition, and Joy suddenly says he won’t participate after seeing Anger his name on the list as a member of the group Edge. The rest tries to ask why, but Joy simply runs off. Turns out he goes to find Anger, as we discover that the two have some sort of past together that Joy ran away from.

After finishing the dance lessons with Leo and Jackie, you decide to try and find Joy at club Justice together with Jackie. You bump into Anger again, who makes fun of Nico but she retaliates by showing him some awesome dance moves. Joy finally shows up telling Anger to back off, and that he will participate in the audition. To make up for all the trouble he caused Joy takes you out for dinner, and on the way home he tells you about his past.

This CD seemed to focus mostly on Joy, which makes me wonder whether every CD will focus on one of the members of Euphoria. It would make sense, with everyone giving you lessons and each CD focussing on a different character you can choose your favourite on your own. (And then they can start releasing actual situation CD’s with only one character, haha). Except for John Do hinting that whatever it was Nico forgot really isn’t pleasant, we get to know little about Nico this time though.

Thanks to Joy his backstory there is also a little more background info on the city where they live. While divided by the wall it apparently isn’t impossible to cross it. The dance auditions are at the Atomic theatre in New Town (the ‘good’ side), and because Joy was born there it appears that it is at least possible to move from New Town to the other side, or maybe he really escaped over the wall, but either way he got from one side to the other.

Personally I thought the Dummy Head parts were executed better last time. Cap his lesson might have been a bit over the top last time, but this time all of the lessons somehow felt a bit lacking. We’ve got Joy giving Nico a hug at the end to make up for it though.

It looks like we will be focussing more on the individual members in any upcoming CD’s (although no Vol.3 has been announced as of yet). If they make the lessons a bit more interesting again I think that is a good way to go. I hope they’ll continue - and I still think that this would make a good game. Also, I kind of like the ending theme.


Samishinbo CD


Company: Honey Bee
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.05.25
Official Site: http://www.honeybee-cd.com/samishinbo/index.html

Samishinbo CD has been coined as a CD “for those time in which you might feel a bit lonely” and would like someone to talk with. The site mentions situations like on your way home, while eating, etc.

Your cousin Ayumu (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) is staying over at your place while he looks for a place to live. Ayumu will be going to university soon, so his mom asked you to let him stay at your place while he is looking for a place to live. You yourself are already an OL by the way. The CD is is presented like a story, with you going home together, eating dinner, watching a movie, before you go to bed, and the next morning.

It begins when you meet by coincidence after your work and Ayumu his house-hunt. You both get on the train. He actually wants to take one later because this one is too full, but you just go ahead and get aboard. In the train he tries to shield you from the crowd, which causes the two of you to get a bit close. He starts to get flustered, but of course you are blissfully oblivious to that.

At home he tries to make curry, but if fails and is more like soup. You still say it looks good and eat it anyway, and it turns out it actually is edible. After dinner you watch a movie on TV. Before it starts though he is trying to get you to eat some chips that have cucumber flavour, of all possible things.

When he gets out of the bath -and you have fallen asleep on the couch where he is supposed to sleep- he finally asks whether something happened today. Bringing a whole lot of snacks first. Despite the fact that you are on a diet. When you finally go to bed he remains at your side until you fall asleep (what am I? A little kid??). He does sound sweet when still talking when you’ve already fallen asleep though.

The next morning he walks you to the station, actually blatantly saying that he wants to spend as much time as possible together, but once again you are blissfully oblivious. He tries to cheer you up a bit before you leave for work (although you already seem revitalized by then)

In the bonus track you are playing the ‘pocky game’ (eating a pocky, or in this case pretzel, from both sides, the one who lets go first loses the game). Ayumu loses and has to massage your shoulders.

Yoshino is doing one of his usual loud (and annoying) characters here. I was already afraid of this when I saw that he would be voicing the CD, but unfortunately it came true. If you ask me this character and the one from Kareshi Recipe 2 could have been the same character. Or twins at the very least. Personally I don’t like this type of character, but if you do it is a hit for sure. I liked Ayumu better when he was talking more subdued (like in the track where he put you to bed).

The concept is interesting, and I get how they incorporated the idea into this story, but it doesn’t really feel different from any other drama/situation CD to be honest. Then again, if they would stress the feeling lonely part too much chances are it would get too... clingy? candy coated? who knows.

Still, I’m kind of happy that Honey Bee has released something that is not Starry Sky. As much as I love the series, Honey Bee had some really interesting shorter series before they started to focus completely on Starry Sky. Of course they are starting a new major project now (Seishun Hajimemashita!) but I hope that they will continue releasing other stuff as well.

Ayumu isn’t my type of character, and I seriously dislike Yoshino-san when he does this kind of voice, but the idea was interesting and I hope that they will release a similar CD voiced by someone who is more my type. If you ask me a more gentle character would suit the concept better.


Oujisama (warai) ~Oujisama to Niwa no Himegimi~

There won't be a newspost for last week because I simply can't find the time to write it, and I'm already 3 days late anyway, sorry about that. Meanwhile, I'm catching up on some older releases that still need to be reviewed.

王子様(笑)シリーズ ドラマCD ~王子様と二羽の姫君~

Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Fairytale
Released: 2012.04.19
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/princewww

The 'Oujisama (warai)' series re-imagines various well know fairy tales. The stories are told from the perspective of the prince and in a rather hilarious way. This time it is the story from the Swam Lake (the ballet, yes that one) that gets a re-make.

 We first hear the prince from the swan lake (henceforth Hakuchou, CV: Yusa Kouji) vow his eternal love to an unknown princess, after that we switch to Sleeping Beauty (CV: Onosaka Masaya), the Emperor (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou), and Rapunzel (CV: Ishida Akira) being summoned to a neighbouring country. None of them know why they are called, and the Emperor at first only complains about the situation. Turns out that Hakuchou his younger brother (henceforth: Otouto, CV: Takemoto Eiji) invited them because he needs their help with a problem.

ps: the main prince does have a name (Siegfried) but at the end Rapunzel declares he will be ‘Hakuchou’ (swan) from now on, so I’m using that name.

It just so happens that the princess Hakuchou claims is his ‘true love’ is not entirely human: she turns into a swan during the day. Otouto heard that the other princes have some experience in dealing with weird things and hopes that they can help him, none of them thinks that this is a problem at all, as long as they love each other.

Complications arise however, when two identical princesses show up soon after. To determine which one of them is the ‘real’ princess, Hakuchou decides to hold a contest. With quizzes, and weird tasks like limbo dancing. And this, as it turns out, has happened numerou times before. Hakuchou keeps getting engaged, and then holds a contest like this to test her love. Eventually Otouto can’t take it anymore, and drags one of the two princesses away (and promptly falls in love with her)...

Despite the title, I feel like the other princes feature more than the titular Hakuchou. The characters also comment on this in the zadankai track. Hakuchou is a pretty weak and character (both in physique and personality wise) so it is no wonder he is overshadowed by the other -more colourful- characters. I do think that he is an interesting addition to the mix though, as his actions give the rest the opportunity to create hilarious conversations.

As always, we have the Emperor lamenting the loss of his Kaguya-hime, and proclaiming that she is not an alien, Ibara explaining everything and everyone in RPG terms, and Rapunzel proclaiming that love and family are the most important things in the world. The princes from the other CD’s are referenced at different points in the story. Not to mention that at several points the fourth wall is smashed to pieces when various characters blatantly state that this is a drama CD series (with the most brilliant one being Rapunzel stating that this is the first time that he and the Emperor meet in ‘a proper drama CD’).

The zadankai track almost removes the fourth wall completely. In the beginning Otouto is incredibly happy about the fact that he is allowed to participate in the zadankai (because Takemoto-san always voices side characters he was never featured, except for the one time as Genie, when Aladdin orders him to get more drinks). After that however they switch to discussing how long the series will continue, whether there will be more reading CD’s and so on.

In the (long) freetalk everyone talks a bit about the recording, and the topic “something you can’t decide [on]”. It is pretty hilarious how almost everyone says they have problems deciding what to eat, or which restaurant to enter when they are with others. (Takemoto-san mentions not being able to choose whether he likes dogs or cats more, and Onosaka-san says he often can’t decide between two things while shopping and then ends up buying both). The best part was Onosaka-san complaining about having to record on his own again. His solution is that Takemoto-san should just be in every recording -because he has lots of free time anyway- so that the interaction with the other characters sounds better.

The titular prince was a bit overshadowed by the rest of the characters, but the series is as good and funny as always so it doesn’t really matter. I loved that Takemoto-san has a more proactive role in this CD, instead of just being ‘the servant’ (although I missed the running joke where people mistake him for different roles).


Akogare no Situation: Iyasaretai

憧れのシチュエーションCD vol.4 癒されたい

Company: Gakken
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.04.28 (?)

The Akogare no Situation CD series is based on the concept of placing you in a certain situation that you long for/want. (憧れる (akogareru) means "to long for" or "to admire"). That can be being praised, being scolded, and in this case; being 'healed'.*

* 癒される (iyasareru) remains one of the most annoying words that I know to translate. It means 'being cured' or 'being healed' or maybe 'soothing' but more in a mental way. Just imagine the effect that a nest of cute kittens or puppies usually have on people. That kind of happy feeling. I don't know how to describe it otherwise.

The CD beging with you waiting on your boyfriend , Natsuki Kyousuke (CV: Hatano Wataru) in a restaurant somewhere. When he arrives you order something to drink and eat and talk a bit. Because you've both been busy lately he suggests going on a vacation. And so the two of you go somewhere tropical.

Cue a funny scene at the airport, where you are carrying enormous amounts of baggage. Among all of the clothes and beauty stuff you've also packed "Merry-chan", your body pillow in the shape of a cute sheep, because you can't sleep without it. Which causes Kyousuke to be depressed because he can't compare to Merry-chan.

Kyousuke works at a travel company, so he used his contacts to get you a small cottage near the sea. So you've got a small cottage with a living room, a bedroom, and a spacious bathroom and everything. Kyousuke explains about the cottage in some sort of elderly butler voice, which is pretty amusing. Your vacation is exactly like you imagine it, swimming in the ocean, drinking tropical juice, going on boat trips, luxury dinners at the hotel, etc.

Just like before the main drama is followed by a few extra tracks with single sentences from the drama and a few other ones.

The freetalk isn't quite as hilarious as last time, but still fun to listen to. Hatano-san talks about "iyasareru" and that it can be different for everyone. He talks a bit about onsen, and the food you eat after bathing, and how he thought the conversations from families going out for dinner around Christmas were soothing, and how he often cries over (children's) animated movies. With a small side step saying that he wouldn't cry in the theatre because you have to be silent there and that in foreign countries that apparently isn't the case and everyone reacts and laughs at funny moments.

That last part sort of amused me, because I was surprised the other way around. It is indeed completely silent when you watch a movie in Japan. And being used to (softly) making cynical remarks when watching movies with my friends it took quite some restraint to remain silent.

One again not that special, but OK. Listen if you're a fan of Hatano-san, otherwise it nice but nothing special.


Akogare no Situation: Mamoraretai

I usually like to start reviewing a series with the first CD that was released, unfortunately I don't have it (in any way, shape, or form. Meaning neither physically nor digitally) so I'll just start with the one I do have: number 3.

憧れのシチュエーションCD vol.3 守られたいっ

Company: Gakken
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.04.28 (?)

The Akogare no Situation CD series is based on the concept of placing you in a certain situation that you long for/want. (憧れる (akogareru) means "to long for" or "to admire"). That can be being praised, being scolded, and in this case; being protected.

The CD begins with you working overtime. One of your co-workers, Shimizu Souma (CV: Kishio Daisuke), comes back to the office to pick up some documents that he forgot and finds you burried in work that needs to be done by the next morning, so he decides to help you out.

When you've finished you walk to the station together, but thanks to you working too much lately you get unwell. He calls a taxi to bring you home, and eventually ends up taking care of you all night.

The CD is pretty cute. Souma takes good care of you, cooking you something to eat and getting medicine for you. He talks a bit about himself and his family while cooking as well. The most hilarious track in the CD suddenly turns him into the prince in Sleeping Beauty (the explanation is that you are dreaming about him). Especially the angel that explains everything to him, but refuses to speak and uses a whiteboard to communicate is pure gold.

Souma continues talking when you've already falling asleep, revealing that he liked you ever since you came to his department. You were supposed to hand him some documents, and even though he was very late you kept waiting for him. He fell in love with the smile you gave him when he finally showed up.

The actual story is only 5 tracks and about 30min. There are 7 short bonus tracks, which are mostly single sentences from the drama, and a few other ones that weren't used.

If you ask me they could have just as well named the CD 看病されたい(kanbyousaretai , "I want to be nursed") because it doesn't really give me a feeling of being protected. Sure, his words that if there is anything wrong you should just call him and he'll come running are touching, but somehow my image of 'being protected' was slightly different.

What makes this CD brilliant however, is the freetalk where Kishio-san gives the entire situation a different point of view. He thinks Souma is pretty pathetic falling in love with you over that incident, because he sees it completely different: You only waited for him because that was your job, and you probably had to give some explanations with the documents, and the reason you smiled so happily when Souma finally arrived is because you could finally go home (≧▽≦)

According to Kishio-san you probably didn't like Souma at all. Listening to entire CD again in that mindset makes it a completely different story (and makes you feel sorry for poor Souma).

A short, fairly cute, CD that is made twice as brilliant by the freetalk. Fans of Kishio-san should probably listen. For others: the freetalk does make it hilarious, so I do recommend it just for fun.


Weekly News Post

Late News Post is late as always. Also, all reviews from May have been added to the review page. We've reached over 200 reviews, yay!!

Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa
Rejet is working on something new: 新撰組黙秘録勿忘草 (Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurengusa, Shinesengumi Secret Files Forget-me-not, after this simply Wasurenagusa) is a series of situation CD's based on the Shinsengumi and the concept "what if I could have been there". The series will use the Dummy Head Mic.

6CD's have been planned for now: Saito Hajime (CV: Takahashi Naozumi) on 2012.07.25, Okita Souji (Image to the right, CV: Suzuku Tatsuhisa) on 2012.08.29, Kondou Isame (CV: Inoue Kazuhiko) on 2012.09.26, Toudou Heisuke (CV: Shimono Hiro) on 2012.10.31, Hijikata Toshizou (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa) on 2012.11.28, and finally Yamazki Susumu (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) on 2012.12.26.

With each CD comes a ticket, if you buy all 6 you can apply for a special drama CD which has all of the characters interacting with each other. So far this seems to be a drama CD only series, but you never know what Rejet has planned for us...

Ojisama Senka
The cast for Ojisama Senka vol. 5 and 6 have been announced. Vol.5 will have Genda Tesshou, Hamada Kenji, and Tobita Nobuo. Vol.6 will have Ishizuka Unshou, Ebara Masashi, and Touichi Hiroki. The titles for both vol aren't final yet, but for now they are titled "itsumo no tokoro de" and "escape".

When the cast for vol.5 was announced it first said that it would be Hayami Shou instead of Tobita Nobuo, but one day later an apology saying that this was false. Tobita Nobuo was announced as cast one day after that. The apology mentions "a confirmation mistake on behalf of [his] agency" as the reason why he can no longer participate.

A mobile game on Gree has also been released, but unfortunately I have no further info on that.


Touhou Youyuki ~Shounen Ou to no Dai Ichi no Meiyaku~

東方妖遊記 ~少年王と第一の盟約~

Company: Kadokawa Beans / Lantis
Based on: Light Novel
Released: 2011.09.21
Official site: http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/toho/

Touhou Youyuki is based on the light novel series by Murata Shiori. The drama CD covers the events of the first novel and tells how Kou met several of the characters that he travels with later on in the novels.

The story is about Kou (CV: Kaji Yuuki) who is a normal boy living somewhere in a village on the shores of the Yellow River (China) together with his -slightly overprotective- brother Shun (CV: Nakamura Yuichi) and his sister Riyuu (CV: Nakahara Mai) who hates men.

The story begins however with someone placing a small child on the river in a basket, and sacrificing himself so that the child will be carried downstream safely. Before we get to know who the child really is however, the story switches to Kou, Shun, and Riyuu as they get on a boat because they are moving to a nearby village. Kou does seem to have an irrational fear of water though...

When they arrive at their destination someone called Shou comes to greet them and while they are still exchanging greetings they see Fuuga (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa) the local landlord. Shou tells them that Fuuga is researching the cause for the recent heavy rain and high tide of the river. It is said that the monster "Kada" (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) is responsible for this, and that the only way to slay it is to use a sword called the "enshouka".

Fuuga and his servant Ruien (CV: Namikawa Daisuke) try to locate Kada by using fortune telling, but Ruien discovers that Kada is still sealed away. Meanwhile Kou and Riyuu caught off guard by a sudden rainstorm while gathering mushrooms, and hide in the same cave where Fuuga and Ruien were. And where, coincidently, Kada is supposed to be sealed. They discover that Kou can the spirits there, which apparently sounds like "the voice of a snake crying".

A few days later the cave collapses because of a landslide, releasing Kada -and lots of tiny look a likes. While Kada rampages the rain only becomes worse and the entire village needs to be evacuated. Fuuga attempts to use the enshouka to slay Kada, but is unable to wield the heave sword. Meanwhile Kou is convinced that Kada is only in pain and wants to save him...

When I started listening to this I was sceptical -adventures set in ancient china aren't really my thing- but I quickly came round. It is an interesting story and has both funny moments (especially Riyuu her dislike of all men except Kou and Shun) and enough suspense. Neither the plot nor the characters are ground breaking, but it is entertaining enough.

Because this only covers the first novel in the series there is hinted at a lot more plot than this CD actually covers, such as Fuuga being convinced that Kou is the lost master that he was supposed to serve, and Shun apparently being suspiciously skilled in handling anything that threats his siblings and especially Kou. These aren't really obstructive though, the story works well as a one shot. And if you reeeealy want to know how things continue you could always read the novels.

I hadn't really paid much attention to the cast, so Kada being voiced by Sakurai came as a pleasant surprise to me. His voice is heavily distorted while Kada is rampaging though, so maybe pleasant isn't really the right word.

A manga adaption of the series ran in the monthly Asuka, and I know there is at least 1 other short drama CD that came as a bonus with the magazine. The question is how to get my hands on that, because it is about Kou and Ouri (the name that Kou gave to Kada after he calmed down and became loyal to Kou) their life right after the events of this story. Which basically means more Sakurai for me.

As this covers only the first novel the story obviously continues after this, but we are not left with any cliffhangers or anything, which is good because this way it also works as a one shot drama CD. Like I said, it is nothing extraordinary but enjoyable none the less.


Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD Vol.4

あなたがお風呂でのぼせるCD 第4弾 「酸ケ湯編」

Company: em2
Based on: Onsen
Released: 2012.05.30

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 fourth CD features Sukayu Onsen and is voiced by Namikawa Daisuke.

The introduction is slightly different again, but the basics remain the same: just like in the first two CD's you receive one CD ("Compact Dream), and are instructed to "pause and take a deep breath in case things become too much".

I'm not entirely sure how I should review Sukayu though. Except that he is, well, strange. Very strange. Very very strange. It all starts relatively normal. Ok, Sukayu seems to be a little my paced and occasionally out of it. Until you punch him in the face and he falls over.

He seems to be a bit focussed on outer space, aliens, and the various "waves" (of distrust, disbelief, and so on) that he seems to catch from your direction. I can't really get a grip on his personality as it seems to change throughout the CD. He does mention near the end that he finally "became himself again", but in the omake his personality is all weird again.

I'm not going to give a summary of what happens because, I can't. Sukayu is just to weird, you need to listen to him yourself. All I can think after listening to it (twice) is "what on earth was this". Thanks to this weird personality the CD is, however, quite entertaining. You never know what is going to happen next.

Namikawa-san mentions in his own free-talk that he couldn't quite grasp the character himself either, and he is wondering whether we aren't "mad [at Sukayu] right now". After that he answers the regular questions: Whether there is an item he uses in his daily 'ofuro (bath) life' (shampoo, conditioner, body soap xD), Whether he washes his head or body first (Head first, washing his hair, applying conditioner and leaving that in while he washes his body -after which he wonders whether this comment could be considered sexual harassment), Whether he likes his bath hot or more lukewarm (hot).

His final comment is that he is really thankful that you listened to the end of this CD.

I'm sorry for writing such a useless review but... Sukayu really is a weird character and I can't describe him. The CD is interesting in terms of "what on earth is going to happen next" but otherwise simply weird. Personally my least favourite in the series as of yet.


Diabolik Lovers Vol.5 Reiji


Company: Rejet
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.04.25
Official site: http://rejetweb.jp/dialover/index.html

Diabolik Lovers is a series that leaves you at the mercy of sadistic vampires. The project features drama CD's, radio broadcasts on NicoNico Live, and a PSP game by Otomate. The drama CD's are the first to be released together with the radio broadcasts, and this is vol.5 featuring Reiji

 Reiji (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) is the second oldest brother in the household, and is described as being almost like a butler. He does look the part, but I wouldn't liken him to a butler. He does speak in a polite manner, but the things he actually says are usually very harsh.

The CD begins with you wandering around the house, accidentally meeting Reiji. Apparently you had a nightmare and couldn't sleep. Reiji is busy drinking tea, and admiring the tea cups and the sound the spoon makes while stirring etc, but he immediately notices you entering the room. He orders you to sit on the ground in seiza (probably to reflect on what a stupid idea it was to wander around the house).

You don't manage to sit like that for long, so he allows you to stand up again and drink tea with him (because the sound of you crying prevents him from enjoying his tea). You talk to him about having a nightmare, and he replies that it would be weirder if you didn't have any nightmares, considering the situation you are in. After that he reverts to talking about how wonderful cutlery is, showing you a teacup he especially likes. And then you break it. 

This is were I expected him to snap and do something horrible, but instead he actually shows concern for you because you cut your finger. He kisses you finger, saying that it is 'treatment'. He continues with saying that your blood is really tasty, and that tasty must be why the others always want to drink it. He pretends to be driven mad by it too for a little while, but shows restraint immediately after.

He tells you that if you want to seduce him you'll have to become a more refined woman. After ordering you to clean some tea that he spilled on purpose, he starts complaining about your bad posture. And the fact that you can't dance. And so he decides to teach you how to dance, but not before you've changed into a dress, including a corset. How on earth you got into that corset in such a short time I won't ask.. While dancing he teases you about drinking your blood again and you trip, spraining your ankle.

He carries you off to his room (enter dummy head mic). Interestingly enough, there isn't much blood sucking going on in Reiji his dummy head part. Instead he spends most of it looking down on you, shackling you, and humiliating you. The moment he really starts drinking your blood is when the CD ends. It also ends with the Diabolik Lovers theme music playing (the music from the official site) which never seemed more ominous to me.

They've taken a considerable step back from the course the series was taking, which is a good thing if you ask me. Of course Reiji is still an incredible sadist, but you are in less imminent danger than with say Raito or Kanato and he treats you a bit better. Only a bit though. Either way, the amount of S was getting a bit too much for me, so I am glad to took a little step back.

One of the things I am wondering though is: am I the only one that kept being distracted by the background music? From Beethovens Symphony No.7 right at the beginning, to the Waltz of the Flowers (from the Nutcracker) and finally the Moonlight Sonata during the Dummy Head Mic part, every single time a famous piece was playing in the background I got distracted by it. But that is probably just me. Whether it was distracting or not, it does suit Reiji his image.

This review is getting far too long as it is, but I just wanted to make one more remark: almost the entire CD Reiji tells you that you are not refined enough for his taste. Yet at the very end he does call you 淑女 (shukujo, a lady), making me wonder whether he actually considered you one all along.

I'm really glad they took a step back instead of making this CD even more S. It might be just my personal preference, but I kind of like Reiji. And despite me complaining about being distracted by it, I loved the classical music as bgm (I just get distracted by the pretty music). I'm also really curious about the last CD, as I've read many interesting stuff about it on tumblr...


Love me, I'm you pet darling

Or in other words: The Aishite Ageru iPhone App. The English title sounds a bit... weird but oh well. No complaining when they went to the trouble of properly localizing it for us!! The App is based on Aishite Ageru Vol.2. Just like in the CD the setting is that you are Okamura Kouhei (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) his pet sparrow "Yuki".

And I really mean localizing, because Visualworks has gone to the trouble of translating the app into English for us. All of the menu's, buttons, explanation, settings, and even subs for what Kouhei is saying. For the most part the translation is solid, too. The app itself is free, but you can buy extra voice packs in the in-app store.

When you start the app you are greeted by the starting screen. From there you can go into touch mode, the settings, in-app shop, the album with all of the phrases you've already heard, and a link to the animate online store. When you open the app for the first time a short explanation will pop up as well. Tap on the touch mode button to, well, go to touch mode.


When you tap on touch mode you first get another short explanation. Touch mode has two different modes, you get different scenes depending on which one you are in. The one you start in has more general lines, slide the screen to the left and you'll get some sweeter lines. I haven't listened to the CD yet, but I'm assuming all of them come from the CD. You can also view the character profile from here.

The settings are pretty straight forward. You can turn the alarm of or on, and set the alarm time and volume. Below that you can set the Alarm voice, but if you haven't bought any voice packs there will be only one option. Other than that there are the snooze and vibration options, and you can turn the subtitles on or off.

The alarm voice is a bit akward if you ask me. He thanks you for waking him up, but being thanked by my own alarm is a bit... It is supposed to wake me up, not the other way around xD

In the shop you can buy extra voice packs, there are three extra packs at the moment: a comfort pack, a lovey-dovey pack, and a Yuki prank pack. (I'm actually kind of curious about that last one)

I'm not sure how many lines come with each pack, if someone knows please tell me m(_ _)m


In the album screen you can view all the lines that you have unlocked up to now. Select them to listen to them. No matter how much I poked, I could only get Kouhei to say five different lines in each mode, so I'm afraid that the rest is only unlocked after you buy the voice packs (T-T)

I was really surprised when I saw that the App was fully translated. Until now most of the Apps like this are still in Japanese, even if they have an English summary in the iTunes store. The screen shots in the store were also mostly Japanese, so the actual app being in English when you open it really came as a surprise. (and then it turned out the Shuukan Soine App has also been translated by now, haha)

I really hope that this becomes the standard. (Honey Bee I'm looking at you and your Starry Sky Apps!!)

If I were to say one tiny complaint about this app, is this that we only get one visual. Granted, it is a pretty one, but it is exactly the same as the CD cover and it is the only one used in the entire app. You're not telling me they didn't have some sort of sketch or something lying around that they could have thrown in there.

Only one visual or not, I'm considering buying the voice packs just to show support, in the hope that Visualworks will translate more (upcoming) Apps.

Download the App here: Love me, I'm your pet darling  [JAP]


Special: Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru Bath explanations

While reviewing the Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru series and Diabolik Lovers Vol.2 and 4 (which also -partly- take place in the bathroom) I realized that there might be some extra explanations needed to how a Japanese bathroom actually looks and works, because otherwise some scenes might seem a bit illogical.

No need to read this if you already know how it works, but in case you don't, I hope this helps to explain certain scenes.

Taking a bath
Unlike many western countries where it is normal to wash yourself in the bathtub, the actual bath in Japan is only used for soaking, while you wash yourself before you enter the tub. This way multiple people can use the same bathwater.

The bathroom itself is usually split up into two parts; a place to undress/ change your clothes/ fiddle with beauty products, and an inner bathroom where the shower and bath are located. This is the same for public baths, although on a whole different scale of course.


Weekly News Post

Sasayaki Micchaku
A new Sasayaki Micchaku CD is being released on 2012.08.22. This time it is the bartender Kutsugi Mitsuru (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke) who shall be whispering into our ears. His character description stated that he looks like a flirt, but is actually a gentleman. He is a skilled bartender, and can determine what kind of drink or talk his customers want by just observing them.

Akogare no Situation
Another situations CD is on the way, this time the theme is "dakishimeraretai" ( [I] want to be hugged). This time you are working in a pharmaceutical company and have secret relation with one of your co-workers. However due to no-one knowing, his boss tries to talk him into an omiai (arranged marriage)... Exactly how this is going to combine with the theme isn't really clear yet. Also, I'm starting to think the title might refer to something more than just hugging. Or not. We'll see.

Lovers Only
MomoGre is releasing Lovers Only 3. The seiyuu this time will be Midorikawa Hikaru. The story is a love story between a musician and a fan. Due to following her idol for so long she knows that the way he is now heading was not his dream, and thanks to her pointing this out to him he starts to adjust his course. The release is planned for 2012.07.26.


Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD Vol.3 Misasa

 あなたがお風呂でのぼせるCD 第3弾 「三朝編」

Company: em2
Based on: Onsen
Released: 2012.04.25

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 third CD features Misasa Onsen, voiced by Hirakawa Daisuke

The introduction by the Guide (CV: Fujiwara Keiji) is slightly different from before. But just like in the first two CD's you receive one CD, and are instructed to "pause and take a deep breath in case things become too much".

When Misasa pops up in you bath he hasn't even finished introducing himself before you hit him. This causes his glasses to fall off and he panics. When you give him back his glasses he notices that you look quit angry. And that you are naked. And you react by simply closing the lid on you bathtub (some Japanese baths have a cover so that they don't lose to much heat) so he nearly drowns.

When he tries to explain that he is a Onsen spirit you almost call the police, and he desperately tries to convince you that he really is an onsen spirit. After he somehow managed to convince you he explains that he is here to help you relax and/or solve your problems, but you say you don't need anything. In the end he tries to summon onsen tamago for you, but ends up filling half of the room with them.

While Misasa cleans up the place you already enter the bath. Unfortunately you've already finished showering when he returns, so no bathing together this time. In fact, you hardly trust him with anything so he just ends up counting for you.

Misasa really is an adorable awkward klutz during the entire CD. If you don't like hetare characters you might want to stay away from this, but this is one of the character types Hirakawa-san is really good at and he acts out the role brilliantly. Especially the moment when he begs you not to abandon him because he is useless is just too adorable.

His sudden switch into liking you (and becoming a bit more assertive) felt a bit strange to me because up to that point he was too busy being clumsy and awkward. Not that I am really complaining about the kissing part. Or the fact that he is hugging you. Misasa also has the unfortunate habit of releasing steam from his body whenever he is really surprised or gets excited (apparently, the actual onsen is famous for the amount of steam that rises from it's baths?)

Like before the guide pops up in the intermission, but this time he only worries whether everything will be ok. And just like before he and the onsen spirit give you a short tour of the onsen and what it is famous for. It appears it is also famous for re-uniting people, and there are two shrines nearby that help with problems relating to love.

In the freetalk Hirakawa-san talks about how he never expected to voice and onsen and answers the regular questions: Whether there is an item he uses in his daily 'ofuro (bath) life' (a waterproof radio/dvd player), Whether he washes his head or body first (head first, and then his body starting at the neck and working down), Whether he likes his bath hot or more lukewarm (Neither, he always searching for just the right temperature). The most adorable part however is when he says that he would want you to actually take the CD (or at least the counting part) with you in the bath and would be slightly embarrassed but happy if you did.

I can't help but to love this series. Hirakawa-san his acting in this is amazing and I can't help but to finds Misasa endearing. I'm afraid not everyone will agree with me on that though, if you don't like this type of character this CD might no be for you. Going by this CD, the onsen sounds like a very -how should I put this- temperate? mild? bath. I wonder what it is actually like?


Sleep x2

 Sleep x2

Company: Cineria
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.05.25
Official Site: http://www.ike-men.net/ci_sleep1.html

Sleep x2 (pronounced "sleep sleep") is a CD that is designed to really make you fall asleep. It's sole purpose is making you fall asleep. This first vol. is voiced by Fukuyama Jun.

The CD itself is very short, only 15min. It is designed however, to loop the third track for as long as you want (or need).

In the first track Fukuyama-san explains how this CD works. The explanation is very simple, and he sounds very sweet while telling you everything. The second track is a sort of introduction part, he asks how your day was, tells you to snuggle into your bed, and helps you with some breathing exercises. Interestingly enough, not by telling you when to breath in or out, but by doing so himself.

The third track is basically just the sound of waves and Fukuyama-san his breathing as if he is sleeping next to you. This initially only backfired on me. My only thoughts were "Eeeeee! It really sounds like he is sleeping next to me!!". But after a short while I got used to it and it really did make me very very sleepy.

The final track is for wake-up use, and is really very sweet. He tries to wake you up, maybe a bit too enthusiastically when you don't immediately wake up, and after that talks to you a bit. It's really cute, and more than anything: seems like a scenario that is very realistic.

The best way to use this is probably by looping only the third track, or making a playlist that repeats that track several times. One loop is 5:30, which is a bit too short to make you fall asleep (unless you are really tired) but two or three times should be good. Of course, you can also choose to have him sleep besides you all night...


Hidamari no Pinyu


Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Manga
Released: 2008.08.27

Hidamari no Pinyuu is a series about the daily life of Pinuette Chipal Chipalulu (Nickname: Pinyu), the princess of the Chipalulu Kingdom. Except that she as ran away from home to go and live in Japan after hearing stories about it.

The CD starts with Hibina Minato (CV: Shiraishi Ryoko) and Kuji Shoubu (CV: Hatano Wataru) running to catch the bus. Minato sees a pretty girl and stops for a second, promptly missing the bus. The next few days rumours start within the school about a strange foreign girl doing weird stuff. Thinking it might be the girl she saw before, Minato attempts to find her.

After a short search Minato and Kuji find her in a park, tired and covered in dirt. Minato decides to take her home with her where she puts her in bath to get her clean. The girl introduces herself as Pinyu (CV: Noto Mamiko). Minato her mother (CV: Odaira Yuuki) tells Minato that her grandfather once visited the country where Pinyu comes from, and that that is probably how she knows stories about Japan. In the end, Pinyu becomes a transfer student at Minato her school.

Meanwhile at school they have just started a miss high school contest, and Pinyu becomes one of the favourites. This causes Maruo Shuuko (CV: Yajima Akiko) to see her as her rival. Maruo her faithful photographer Chouroku Chinatsu (CV: Yamamoto Maria) always sticks around her, but seems to care much less about the contest.

Mixing these characters with Maruo her classmate Toori (CV: Yonaga Tsubasa) who just happens to be from Chipalulu, Chinatsu (CV: Satou Akemi) who is the captain of the cheerleading club, and Oomori (CV: Hamada Kenji) the captain of the ouen-dan gives us a rather colourful cast for this very cute drama CD.

There might be a contest going on, but don't expect any harsh competition. This above all a very cute and fluffy story. The characters are all very cute and the entire atmosphere is just warm and fluffy. No evil going on in the background or anything like that either. Just full 100% fluff and sweetness.

The cast talk is quite long and is just as cute as the rest of the work. Like Noto-san saying that the Chipalulu language was very difficult to speak, and Yonaga-san saying that he first had to practice to say the full name of his own character. Or someone suddenly asking Hamada-san how long his legs are xD

The fluff is all  over the place in this work, which is what you should listen it for. The characters are cute and interesting, and it is a really cute story. I wished they would have made more drama CD's for this series, but unfortunately there is only one CD


Shiro Ari!!


Company: Frontierworks
Based on: Manga
Released: 2012.01.25
Official Site: http://www.fwinc.co.jp/shiroari/

Shiro Ari!! is based on the manga of the same name, and mixes the characters Snow White and Alice in one story that has little to do with the original stories but is rather hilarious.

Snow White (CV: Kugimiya Rie) is seen as a demon child in her own world due to her red eyes and white hair. The fact that the animals always defend her when she is bullied by other kids don't really make things better either. Despite this she continues to believe that there are people in this world that are purely good.

In the beginning of the story the Mirror (CV: Terashima Takuma) takes her to Wonderland. Where Alice almost falls off a cliff due to a waysign being mirrored. She is saved by Alice (CV: Suzumura Kenichi). Although saved, he almost immediately pulls a gun on her thinking she is in league with the White Rabbit. After some complications he decides to take home, by knocking her unconscious and dragging here off.

Snow White regains her consciousness in the cafe run by the Mad Hatter (CV: Onosaka Masaya) and the March Hare (CV: Yusa Kouji). While Alice is still trying to hear out Alice they are attacked by the Jack of Hearts (who looks like a girl but is actually a guy, CV: Yonaga Tsubasa). And Snow White learns that Alice and the Red King have been fighting over who rules the country since hundreds of years.

While staying at Alice his house Snow White runs into the Cheshire Cat (CV: Morikubou Shoutarou), Who pulls a vanishing act when they run into Alice. Turns out that the Cheshire Cat was coming to pick up the weapon that Jack left. He makes a few more remarks about the Red King and Blue King (Alice) fighting and leaves.

And that is about as far as we get with the plot. The part after that switches into a sweets making contest. The next day the Dormouse (CV: Kaneda Tomoko) comes dropping in. Turns out she has a huge crush on Alice (and one hell of an annoying voice). Snow White, Jack, and the Dormouse end up making a sweet in Alice his image. The end results are of course... interesting.

The drama keeps pretty close to the chaos of the manga, although some scenes are slightly shorter or in a different order (mainly Snow White her flashbacks). This also causes one weird moment: In the manga Snow White comes crashing out of the sky, lands on Alice and in the process they have an accidental kiss. In the CD they skip this part, yet they do talk about it a bit later on.

The CD only covers the first few chapters, so the plot isn't very deep yet, but it would have been nice if we would have seen a bit more of it. Instead the plot is literally abandoned halfway though for the sweets contest. I suppose it does show more of Snow White her mindset, but to use half of the CD for it might have been a bit much.

This is the second series I know with a male Alice, and his personality is just as bad as the first one. In front of everyone Alice is the perfect nice guy, but he actually has an incredibly bad attitude - causing Snow White to call him "sadist guy" (he calls her bitch so I suppose they are even). Snow White her naivety can be a bit annoying, but together they make a balanced combo.

The one character I found incredibly annoying was the Dormouse. Of course she is intended to be annoying, but her voice makes my ears bleed. And when you listen to the cast comment you discover that Kaneda-san her actual voice isn't that much better either. It just annoys me to no end.

I had just one glaring problem with the CD; The cast. Not that the cast is bad, on the contrary they are good if you ask me. But I have become so used the cast of Are you Alice? that hearing anyone else as Alice/Hatter/Jack/Cheshire Cat just doesn't feel right to me. (the March Hare and Dormouse I'm less used to so there were less problems there). Especially hearing Morikubou Shoutarou -who is the White Rabbit in Are you Alice?- voice the Cheshire Cat caused my brain to short-circuit. This is just a personal problem though.

The story seemed promising, until they just decided to shelve it for a sweets making contest. The characters are funny though (barring the annoying Dormouse) and the amount of hilarious chaos is what you would expect from a series set in wonderland. I do hope that they make another CD (with more plot) because in my opinion the CD is better than the manga: the manga is written slightly to chaotic for my taste.


Shoukoujo Sarah Monogatari


Company: Momo&Grapes
Based on: A Little Princess
Released: 2012.01.26

Shokoujo Sarah Monogatari is based on the novel "a Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a fairly well known story, and I think most of us will have heard of it in one way or another, whether someone told it or through the anime or one of it's film adaptions. This is part of Momo&Grapes their Men's Only series, meaning that all character are voiced by male seiyuu.

Sarah Crewe (CV: Okamoto Nobohiko) has crown up in India as the daughter of a wealthy English soldier stationed there. Wishing to give her a proper education, her father (CV: Yamauchi Kenji) sends her to a school in England. To make sure that she will be short of nothing he gives her lots of new clothes and things, and she gets one of the largest bedrooms in the entire school (at the time schools were often boarding schools at the time).

Sarah is well mannered and thanks to her kind attitude and wits quickly makes friends within the school, among them a classmate named Ermengarde (CV: Suganuma Hisayoshi) and the servant girl Becky (CV: Takeuchi Ken). On the other hand, the previous star of the school, Lavenia (CV: Kishio Daisuke) grow jealous of her, and the school principal Miss Minchin (CV: Miki Shinichirou) dislikes her from the start.

But Sarah her fun school days soon end: on her 16th birthday Miss Minchin informs her that her father has died from illness, and because he invested his entire fortune in a mine without profit Sarah is now penniless. Miss Minchin keeps her as a servant, and Sarah is moved from her luxurious room to a small and dark room in the attic.

Lavenia immediately grabs her chance to bully Sarah, but Sarah tries to remains positive. Seeing Sarah try so much Lavenia decides to frame her: she hides a broach she owns in Sarah her room and claims she stole it. Everyone in the school thinks Sarah really did steal it and starts to avoid her.

It is around this time that Sarah meets Ramdas (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki) a servant from the house next to the school. He owns a little monkey that escaped and found it's way into Sarah her room, and climbs after it to catch it, and the two become friends.

However the school board decides that Sarah must leave the school, and she is thrown out on the street. With no money, and no one to help her find a job Sarah has a hard time. When she finally obtains some money to buy herself some bread, she sees another hungry girl and gives her most of her bread. By coincidence Lamdas sees this and decides to help her....

As always MomoGre their adaption is very faithful to the original. The amount of male seiyuu acting out believable girls in CD is also amazing. Maybe it is partly because they also got to do some really girly talk, but it took me almost no time at all to get used to. Okamoto is usually cute, so the jump to a believable girl isn't too hard. Takeuchi Ken his Becky is so girly it is almost scary though.

Kishio Daisuke his Lavenia also makes my skin crawl. It makes you wonder where he learned to act like an evil bitch like that. Lavenia her tsundere moment in the ending is priceless though. Yoshino Hiroyuki surprised me in an entirely different way. I'm used to his type voice ranging from flirty to gyaruo to host, but not as a 100% perfect butler. I wish he did this more often.

The cast talk isn't too special. It is interesting to hear all those seiyuu that were convincing girls just a few seconds ago talk normally again though. Okamoto saying that it was hard to do the "kyaa!" because it is just to girly was cute though.

Sarah her life takes a 180% turn in this as she falls from school princess to servant, but luckily she remains positive or this might have become really annoying. Luckily they avoid all of that and it is a cute and (voice technically) amazing story to listing to. Momogre their works are usually good, and this is no exception.