黒子のバスケDRAMATHEATER 1st GAMES
Based on: Manga --> Anime
Kuroko no Basuke is a basketball manga serialized in the Weekly Shounen Jump, and follows Kuroko Tetsuya and his team mates at Seirin High. During middle school Kuroko was part of the "generation of miracles", 6 extremely talented regulars on the Teito Gakuen basketball team. All of these players went to different high schools, and of course Seirin will have to face them one by one. This summer an anime adaption started airing, and this drama CD is officially based on the anime, even though it features a completely original story.
In fact, the story has little to do with basketball this time. Seirin was supposed to have a practice match, but thanks to a miss by the other school the gym is already in use by the mama-san volleyball team (volleyball for middle aged women). Everyone concludes that there is no way they can win the gym from them, so they decide to give up on the match. But since they've already traveled all the way there, they decide to go to the nearby amusement park.
Once there everyone wants to do something different, and they split up. Kuroko (CV: Ono Kensho) and Kagami (CV: Ono Yuuki) end up going to the food court, where they run into Kise Ryouta (CV: Kimura Ryouhei) who just finished a modeling job there. They decide to hang out together a bit, and Kagami has just won a stuffed toy from a crane machine when they run into Midorima Shintarou (CV: Ono Daisuke) who is there looking for his lucky item of the day. As luck will have it the stuffed toy Kagami just won is what he is searching for, and thus they decide to have a match to decide who gets the toy.
All of the matches they hold have nothing to do with basketball though. The first one is a match to see who can make the best puns, Riko (CV: Saitou Chiwa), Hyuuga (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa) and Itsuki (CV: Nojima Hirofumi) are the ones that come up with this. The second match is telling scary stories, Koganei (CV: Eguchi Takuya), Tsuchida (CV: Inoue Gou) and Mitobe (who doesn't talk -ever- and isn't voiced by anyone) are the ones who thought of that. the first year members Furihata (CV: Mizutani Naoki), Kawahara (CV: Yoshimoto Yasuhiro) and Fukuda (CV: Sasaki Hiroo) miss their chance because they are in the ferris wheel and no one notices them. The final match is a sumo event that is held at the theme park, and eventually all four of them need to work together to beat an actual sumo wrestler.
First thing about this CD: if you don't know the series (manga or anime) it isn't going to be much fun to listen to. The CD assumes you know everyone and doesn't introduce anyone, and continues a couple of running jokes (Itsuki his puns, Mitobe not speaking, Kuroko being invisible, etc). If you do know the series though, this CD is pretty much gold. Only the characters introduced in the anime at the time of release are featured, but on the other hand it also uses the same background music, which makes certain scenes hilarious.
Midorima and Kise are two of my favourite characters, so this was gold for me to begin with. But the rest of the characters also get their funny moments. Two scenes with the other characters that I loved were the first years lamenting that no one knows who they are, and Koganei imagining everyone as hero's, which is followed by a short sentai parody.
Something else I loved is how they used a 'surround sound' effect. When the characters are talking in a group you can hear that they are standing in different positions, as if you are really there standing among them. I don't have an actual surround sound system to test whether this is actually surround sound or just very clever use of stereo sound, but it is interesting none the less.
In the free talk everyone is definitely having a lot of fun. Apparently they turned Kuroko his name into a verb ("kuroko-ru") with the meaning "to disappear", and Ono Kensho was very good at doing that during the recording. Kimura Ryouhei never mentions his name but simply does his freetalk as Kise, and Ono Daisuke uses a lot of the stock phrases for Midorima in his part. The rest switch between making semi-serious comments and absolute chaos, especially near the end (when they are running out of time) some of them stop in the middle of their talk and make way for the next person xD
If you know the anime this is definitely worth a listen. It doesn't deal with basketball, but the story is pretty fun and uses all of the lovable quirks of the cast. I hope they'll release more of these when more members of the generation of miracles are introduced, and although a serious drama CD might be interesting too, this is a perfect way to have some fun with the characters.