31/08/2012

Kurayami Gatari ~Youen Ibun~


くらやみがたり~妖艶異聞~


Company: Team Entertainment
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.07.25
Official Site: http://www.team-e.co.jp/sp/krym/


In Kurayami Gatari you visit a particular story teller to get rid of something that is possessing you. By telling his stories whatever has possessed you will be dispelled. However these stories are no happy fairytales but talk about the darkness in people their hearts. The CD labels itself as an "horror situation CD" uses the dummy head mic for some truly scary effects.

The story takes place during the Taisho period (1912-1926), not that this really effects the story much. The first story could have just as well taken place in the present. The story teller you are visiting is Rokujou Yuuya (CV: Tsuda Kenjirou). His attitude is a bit disinterested, but he is very good at his job. But also a bit eccentric in some ways.

When you visit his shop he immediately knows that you are being possessed by something. You've been seeing strange things lately, ghostly people covered in blood or without heads walking the streets, those kind of things. He promises you to help you and initially asks a kiss as payment, although he says that it will be fine if he receives it afterwards.

He first tells your own story. You had a lover called Shinichi with whom things were going great. Unfortunately another woman called Sakura also liked him, and Shinichi his good-for-nothing half-brother Shingo fell in love with you. The two of them make an agreement: Shingo will rape you, hopefully causing Shinichi to break up with you and giving Sakura a chance to grab him.

Things don't end as they were planned though. Things turn ugly fast and all three of them end up dead. Rokujou tells you it is no wonder that you became possessed by something with all this happening to you.

He then switches to a second story. One that took place about 20years ago. It is the story about a young girl named Haru, who moved to the city. There she met a man named Souji and fell in love with him. Unfortunately his parents already arranged a marriage for him with a woman named Yae. To make things more complicated he also had an older brother, who had his eyes set on Yae for a while now. As you can guess this story follows an eerily similar path. At the end it is up to you to realize what has been possessing you, and I have to admit that they managed to surprise me there.

Rokujou 'tells' these stories to you, but several parts are acted out. Including both rape scenes, which aren't pleasant to listen to. It is not like everything is shown told but it is unpleasant enough. Especially the second one where I was already spooked by the events of the first story creeped me out. That aside, Tsuda-san acts out several very different characters in this CD, with remarkable skill. All of them sound completely different. and it left me in awe of his skill.

The use of the dummy head mic was very effective as well. It is used effectively during the storytelling as well, but probably the best (and scariest) effect is when you hear a certain ghost speak. The first time you hear it I almost wanted to scream. Hearing voices right.next.to.your.ear has one hell of a scare effect.

The free talk is very normal. Although Tsuda-san does play around with the mic a bit, and him blatantly stating that he doesn't believe in ghosts is kind of a nice change of pace after such a scary story.


Conclusion:
Considering how bad I am with horror stories it is kind of a miracle that I listened to this, but it sounded too interesting to pass up on. And it is a very good story, both overall and as a horror story. My only complaint is that -to put it blatantly- you get raped twice in this CD. Yes it serves the story and no the scenes weren't that bad, but they did make me feel very uncomfortable. But that was probably the idea anyway.

I posted some more details about the story on tumblr, in a post that is so long it nearly became a second review (^-^;;)

8 comments:

  1. Ahmagawd! Thank you for the review. I love this drama CD to bitz. Tsuda-san's voice-acting skill really shows in this drama. Btw, I find the rape-scenes a bit tolerable compared to the ghoulish voice parts. The first time I heard the ghoul's voice, it almost made me not want to continue. I was listening to this on my bed, at night & with the lights off mind you. I kid you not. The hair on my skin stood & I shut my eyes so tight 'cause I was half-expecting the ghoul to be right beside me on the bed, and I seriously wanted to run out of my own bedroom in that instant lol. Damn that dummy head mic effect but I loved it! As for the ending, I wasn't quite clear on it since my Japanese is very poor, but I remember Yuuya's funny comment and reaction which I'm also not quite sure if I understood it correctly too. Maybe I should make a short review about this, too. Hmm...

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    1. Hahaha. I was listening to this in the middle of night as well. The first time I heard that voice I froze, followed by an as-long-as-I'm-under-my-blanket-I-am-safe reaction xD

      Please let me know if you make a review, I'd like to read it!

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  2. Thank you for reviewing this! I wasn't interested in it before your review made me curious. I'm not the type to get easily scared (I really like horror stories) so the scary bits weren't a problem for me. I do have to say that the dummy-head mic was implemented very well, though. I really hope that someone comes out with a translation because this is a wonderful drama cd that deserves attention!

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  3. I was listening to this at night and then I realized it was kinda a bad choice? I threw my earphones at the scene where the ghost voices appeared. It was very scary indeed! Q_Q

    I love how the story took unexpected turns <3 Don't need to be said that the voice acting absolutely superb!

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  4. I've been waiting for this from you!~ Ah, I literally tore off my headphones and threw them across the room when the ghost part came up. Well played, well played. I must say, despite the tragic aspect of it, I really really enjoyed it and hope they make more (less-tragic-but-still-horror?) of these in the future. But as usual, your reviews are always something to look forward to. お疲れさん (*^▽^)/

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    1. I hop that they will make more as well! But next time I would at least like to live, hehe.

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  5. OMG I.AM.LISTENING.TO.THIS.RIGHT.NOW.AS.I.TYPE...so far so good...no ghost has popped up to scare my soul away...yet... Ah oops did I just hear someone being murdered?? ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ Oh no THE GHOST!!! *screams silently* Gehhh my heart almost stopped!!! (((( ;°Д°))))ノ あああ〜落ち着け落ち着け!!!
    *recovers* Ahhh the point is, thanks for this review! I'm really glad the ghost part was pointed out...else I think I'd die...from shock...( TДT)Yeah, I'm listening to this at night with the lights turned on and my family members nearby...and I'm still freaked out. TsudaKen's acting skills are really good! He's more than just Inui-san and Kazama-sama XD

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  6. Oh man. I am going to listen to this ASAP. I've been wanting to listen to something scary for a while now and you have written an irresistible review. Thank you!

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