Sleep x2 II

Company: Cineria
Based on: Original
Released: 2012.06.29
Official Site: http://www.ike-men.net/ci_sleep2.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 second vol. is voiced by Miki Shinichirou.

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). It is also exactly the same as the first CD. Miki-san sounds a bit more gentle when explaining things but the script is exactly the same.

So just like before the first track is a short and simple explanation how the CD works, the second track is an introduction and breathing exercises, and the third track is the main track which is basically the sound of waves and Miki-san sleeping next to you.

Even the final wake up track is exactly the same. Of course the intonations are a bit different  because they each have their own interpretation, but the script is the same. Unfortunately I think Fukuyama Jun his voice was more suited for the type of character that the wake up track shows us. Miki-san should have had a more mature character...

This time I knew what to expect, so the sound of someone sleeping next to me didn't keep me awake. But I'll be honest and say that I was disappointed that the script was exactly the same. They should have at least changed the final wake up track to suit Mikishin his voice better.


Katekyo@ Okashikei Suugaku Kyoushi

Time to listen to some more Koyasu-sama! (Why is he in so few drama CDs? *weeps* )


Label: Natalis
Based on: Original
Released: 2009.12.17

Ketekyo@ is all about... a home tutor? There is really no other way to put it. Of course the personalities of both the teacher and student are weird enough to make this interesting. To avoid confusion: this has nothing to do with the Katekyo BL manga series.

In this CD we have Kamiryou Zen (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru) as the teacher, and Tachibana Kaito (CV: Koyasu Takehito) as student. Zen is described as a "sweets type maths teacher" (sweets as in candy) but a better description would be saying that he is an otome. He might have the body build of a sports type, but he likes making sweets and amigurumi, and acts and talks like a girl. He also manages to link just about everything to maths.

Kaito on the other hand looks much older than he is (Zen first mistakes him for an older brother, then for a father figure) and acts very mature. He is good in almost every subject, except for math. He doesn't really want to study it either. Zen his reactions amuse him, although he also finds him troublesome due to his otome personality.

While Zen is supposed to be teaching math, he first starts a conversation about tea (he has a passion for tea), and after that sweets and amigurumi. When Kaito is finally studying he nearly starts crying because he remembers an old unrequited love (which of course has something to do with maths). Their conversations are fun to listen to. Zen is being completely serious, while Kaito just vaguely goes along with the conversation.

In the final track Kaito is now also a university student and starts to work as a home teacher at the same agency that Zen was working for. They meet in the hallway there (Zen actually does a little otome scream), and Zen tells him that he is going to quit soon because he has started to run a cafe together with someone. He also teaches people amigurumi there, and seems to have found his calling. Kaito still thinks that Zen has a troublesome personality xD

This was fun to listen to. Especially because of Zen being a complete otome. Some of his reactions are exactly how you'd expect a teenage girl to react and it is just too priceless. Midorikawa-san does a brilliant job here. Especially the littly girly scream when he sees Kaito again after 5 years is just too adorable.

The entire CD I kept wondering whether this would cross into BL territory or not, but in the end it didn't. The entire setting is there, I just never makes the little extra step (although you could still interpret it as such I suppose).

While wondering where the story was going this was a lot of fun to listen to. I applaud Midorikawa-san his otome acting skills. This is balancing on the BL - non-BL line, but it is fun to listen to no matter which way you want to interpret it.


Weekly News Post

Hmmmm? The news posts always seem to be late again lately?? That is probably just your imagination, hahahaha orz.

Sasayaki Micchaku
The voice samples and cover for Sasayaki Micchaku have been uploaded tot the official site. The first sample has Tsukumo (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko) starting his fortune telling. As expected, Tsukumo sounds really cute. The second voice sample is one of the stories he tells you. You seem to be doing overwork together with a kouhai, who obviously likes you. The CD will be released on 2012.11.14.

Fujoshi / Otome no Mikata
This time the Fuoshi and Otome no Mikata CDs are combined into one: Fujoshi Shitsuji x Otome Shitsuji mixes the characters from both series into two groups. The first group consists of Akagi Eichi (CV: Sakurai Takahiro), Kikawa Miki (CV: Ishida Akira), Midoriyama Shion (CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou), Kagami Homura (CV: Namikawa Daisuke), Kinjoun Kira (? CV: Suzuki Tasuhisa), and Kino Makoto (?? CV: Maeno Tomoaki) are grouped together for a Christmas themed CD that will be released on 2012.11.30 and will be on presale at the animate girls festival.

Aoi Ryuuji (CV: Toriumi Kousuke), Kurosaki Gorou (CV: Yusa Kouji), Goshirakawa (CV: Kondo Takashi), Mizuki Jun (? Morita Masakaza), Toki Riku (? CV: Suwabe Junichi), Yukimura Sei (? Shimono Hiro) are grouped together for a valentine CD that is planned for 2013.01.25

If you buy both CDs at animate you can get a special CD in which all 12 butlers interact. Sounds like total chaos, but definitely worth it.

*I haven't listened to the Otome no Mikata CDs yet, and I can't find the official readings for the names of those characters so excuse any mistakes. Also, if Maeno his character is really called Kino Makoto I will never stop laughing, I just chose this reading because out of all the possibilities it is the one that amuses me most.


Chou Sekkingata Sasayaki Micchaku CD ~DJ Chakumitsu no Radio Haran Bang☆Joe~


Company: Marine Entertainment
Based on: Original
Released: 2011.12.29
Official site: http://www.marine-e.net/sp/mitchaku/

Sasayaki Micchiaku is a series based on stories of being really close to someone (physically). In this first CD, DJ Chakumitsu (CV: Ono Daisuke) hosts the fictional radio show "Haran BANG☆JOE" in which he answers letters from listeners. The theme for this weeks broadcast is 'micchaku' (being very close to something). Part of the CD is recorded with the dummy head mic, so you really get a of feeling 'being close'.

The CD begins with Chakumitsu complaining that women are aliens or monsters, apparently he just broke up with his girlfriend and kind of heartbroken. He is still complaining when the show starts, but he quickly switches over into his radio personality. Which is brilliant by the way. He talks with a very overdone fake accent which is probably supposed to be American but is simply way over the top. He throws in random English words and phrases as well.

He starts the show with introducing the topic of the week, realizing that he chose 'micchaku' as theme and regretting this because he is currently heartbroken. To top things off the listeners apparently sent three times as many submissions as normally. He starts reading out letters, which we get to hear as re-enacted scenes. Obviously these are the scenes that have been recorded with the dummy head mic.

The first one is a submission from a salaryman who ran into an old acquaintance (probably a kouhai?) in a rush hour train. Because the train is completely packed they end being squashed together, and of course he tries to protect her while being flustered himself as well.

The second and third stories are from high school girls. One about a piano teacher who tries to convey his feelings but fails because the girl doesn't get it (even though it was really obvious) and one about a classmate trying to confess his feelings during the school trip. Because they are out after hours they need to hide from a teacher together, and end up squashed together in a small room. Once again the girl is to naive to understand what was going on.

The final story is really sweet, about a guy trying to cheer up a 'room mate' who is down, saying that he will never leave her and so on. Eventually it turns out that he is talking to his dog though xD. This one has a short follow up in which the dog comes to wake him up in the morning.

Between these dummy head tracks Chakumitsu comments on the situations, either complaining about his own heartbreak or cheering on the listeners. After the final story he says that the submissions gave him new courage as well, and that he will report next week as to what he means. He also announces that the theme for next week will be 'revenge' (when used in Japanese リベンジ ribenji "revenge" means something like re-challenging or a rematch, so obviously this hints that he is going to try and get his girlfriend back).

I didn't expect the CD to start with Chakumitsu complaining about his break up, and his continued overdone self pity really amused me. Normally this kind of character voice really annoys me, but because it is so overdone it was fun to listen to. The different dummy head tracks show off his different voices (although all of them are within the nice guy / perfect boyfriend spectrum) which is always interesting to hear. The scenarios are slightly overdone but it is fun to listen to. If I had to choose I think I like the piano one the most.

Ono-san starts the free talk still in Chakumitsu mode, but quickly switches back to talking normally. He is very lively during the free talk, which makes it a lot of fun to listen. He says he doesn't have many 'micchaku' experiences, and eventually talks about sento (public baths). That there is usually a place where you can sit to cool down after taking a bath, but because everyone is naked that would that you would have to sit somewhere where someone else his 'important parts' just touched and that he feels uneasy about that xD (I am now really curious about what kind of free-talk he will do for the upcoming Ofuro de Noboseru CD xD). He evades the question what kind of micchaku story he would make if he was the producer, saying that it "would be to eroi".

Interesting detail: apparently they moved the dummy head mic around for several of the scenes. In the one where he was talking to the dog the mic was on the ground, and he was sitting next to it, and for the one where the dog wakes him up he was actually lying on a couch.

There is a final secret track in which Chakumitsu calls his girlfriend/ you to apologise and ask whether you can start over again. He turns up on your doorstep at the end of the call being all sweet. (apparently you broke up because you kept saying you like a certain idol a lot xD)

Chakumitsu his overdone radio personality is really lovable, if slightly annoying. The dummy head parts are extremely sweet but fun to listen to. But what I love most about these kind of CDs is that you can hear one seiyuu acting out several roles. Hearing them do all kinds of different voices is amazing no matter how many times I hear it.


Love Sweets Vol.3

ラブ★スイーツ Vol.3

Company: Livret
Based on: Cooking/baking
Released: 2010.12.29

Love Sweets is a series in which you cook / bake sweets together with your boyfriend. Each CD has two guys, and you make something different with each of them. The third CD has Inoue Kazuhiko and Midorikawa Hikaru. Surprisingly, the series really is more about telling you how to cook a recipe than acting all lovey-dovey.

First we have the owner of a cake shop or cafe voiced by Inoue Kazuhiko. A big difference with the previous instalments is that this time you are officially dating. The theme seems to be 'age difference' and Inoue-san clearly plays the part of an older boyfriend. You make a Swiss Roll together. It doesn't sound to difficult but I don't think I will be making it soon. During the baking you get teased a lot. Not to mention the obvious hinting at certain things it is agreed that you are staying over.

The second character is a high school student that is voiced by Midorikawa Hikaru (the setting is actually that you are his teacher...). You are making tiramisu together. What surprised me the most here is that you are using the oven. Apparently you made a sponge cake for the layering of the tiramisu (I usually use a certain type of cookies...). Just like in the first part the amount of lovey-dovey and teasing is way higher than before. Although this character also has a cute side.

The big difference with the previous instalments is of course that you are officially dating this time. As a result the amount of lovey-dovey has also tripled. It might be a bit overdone actually, as some of the things they say are so cliché it just makes me laugh.

Just like on the second CD there is a free talk done by both seiyuu. It starts with Inoue-san accidentally mispronouncing Midorikawa-san his name. After that they talk a bit about sweets, and after that about dating someone younger/older. Which is where the discussion gets pretty weird. Or am I the only one who thinks that Midorikawa-san saying that he could probably make it work even is the girl was in high school is slightly disturbing? Although I get the impression that the conversation somehow switches to being just friends at some point. After that they get side tracked by a discussion about games which is brilliant again.

The amount of lovey-dovey has seriously tripled with this CD, making it far too sweet for my tastes. It does have some funny moments though. And putting a certain weird statement aside, the free talk is really funny as well. I'll stick to my own recipe for tiramisu though.


Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa Vol.3 Kondo Isami

新撰組黙秘録 勿忘草 第参巻 近藤勇

Company: Rejet
Based on: Shinsengumi /original
Released: 2012.09.26
Official site: http://rejetweb.jp/wasurenagusa/

Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa (after this simply 'wasurenagusa') is a series based on several historically famous people within the shinsengumi. The concept of the CDs is "what if I could have been there (and fall in love with one of them)". So while they are based on historical people, the rest is all fiction. The series uses the dummy head mic for several scenes. The third CD features Kondo Isami (CV: Inoue Kazuhiko).

As always this story is long: although it is short for this series: 75min (and 3:22min freetalk).

Like before the story begins with the Ikedaya Incident. Kondo was taking the lead in the raid on the Ikedaya Inn, and we are treated to a very bloodthirsty Kondo cutting down several conspirators. If you'd hear only this you'd think he is a psychopath to be honest (^-^;;)

However immediately afterwards we get to see a completely different side. Just like in the previous CDs you were caught up in the events of the Ikedaya Incident and your parents were killed, so for now you are staying at the shinsengumi headquarters. Kondo apologises for not being able to take better care of you because the past few days were rather busy.

You seem down, so he offers you some sweets. It turns out that he has quite the sweet tooth, but that Hijikata always forbids him to eat sweets because it wouldn't suit his image as leader of the shinsengumi. So Kondo always tries to hide sweets, and Hijikata finds them and disposes of them. However lately Kondo started to hoard higashi (dried sweets, by the sound of it it seems he has something like this or this) which he has been able to hide from Hijikata. He offers you some sweets as well, along with the offer to stay at the headquarters and work there as a (kitchen) servant.

You start to work at the headquarters and occasionally talk with Kondo there. At some point you run into him in town while you are on an errand for Okita. Kondo thinks you should also enjoy yourself every once in a while, and the two of you end up shopping together while holding hands. Kondo wants to visit a sword shop, which is where you get to hear about his katana obsession. In the end the sword he wanted to see wasn't good enough so he doesn't buy it (in fact he mentions it is probably an imitation of a famous maker).

A little while later he comes to inform you that they are heading out on a raid that night again, and that you should stay inside. Of course you worry about his safety. The next day you go and check on him because he seems down, and he confesses to you that he feels guilty for the deaths of those who died in battle last night. To cheer him up you give him a flower, and promise to always make sure there are fresh flowers in his room. He also tells you that he has always seen you as a little sister (ouch) but that he just realized that you are a woman as well.

The next time you see him he is once again running away from his duties and taking a break in the garden. You were searching for a piece of laundry that got blown away in the wind, and you end up searching for it together. While you are searching Kondo happily tells you that he dreamt of you last night, and it seems it wasn't an innocent dream either. He also tells you that "he started wondering whether you would show the same erotic expressions if he were to actually hold you” Σ(´ω`*) He is certainly being straight forward there.

Of course all of this eventually escalates, and he sort of seduces you. Start of the awaited ero scenes, but his is where things get weird. Kondo somehow brings kotetsu (his katana) into this, and to be honest I have no idea what is going on. What I do get is that kotetsu turns him on just as much as your naked body, and that Inoue-san his voice next to your ear is very sexy, but I have no idea what he is doing with that sword.

In the final track he talks to you about the future of the shinsengumi, and that it won't all be easy. Compared to the first 2 CDs this one seems less emotional. Although he does talk about "being prepared for the end", and that he is trying to decide where to "use his life [and die]" and that this day might be close. While it is certainly depressing, it failed to move me to tears...

I didn't mention this before, but in the second CD I also had some problems with understanding what exactly is going on in the ero scenes. Not because I don't understand what is being said, but because the descriptions are rather vague. This time however, I had absolutely no clue about what was going on. In the end I was so pre-occupied with trying to find out what was happening exactly that the ero kind of failed.

I liked Kondo his normal personality though (when he is not in katana obsessed killing mode). The development in your relationship, where he first sees you as his little sister, then starts to realize that you are a 'woman', and eventually falls in love with you was good as well. Although I have to say I was surprised at his straight out telling you that he dreamt of you in certain ways. I expected Rejet to make some sort of reference to the fact that Kondo was already married at the time of this story, but they happily ignored this fact.

It is kind of hard to believe that the leader of the shinsengumi had a secret sweet tooth and regularly ditched his work, only to be scolded by Hijikata though. This does make me curious how Hijikata will be portrayed though.

The free talk is neither boring nor very special. Random fact: apparently Inoue-san did this recording barefooted.

I am increasingly starting to dislike the ero in this series. Whether it is just being too vague or plain weird, it simply doesn't match with the rest of the story. The pacing and writing of the rest of the story are very good -as always- but the ero just seems to be done half-heartedly. Either that or their writer really needs to work on improving  ero writing skills.


Weekly News Post

Mikkai -Secret Tryst-
The official site for Mikkai opened on Friday. As mentioned before, this series is about "a secret love that you can't mention to anyone". Now that the site is opened it further explains that there are time when even you love someone, you hide your feelings because of what the rest of the world might think. The Illustrations are done by 和田べこ (Wada Beko?), who also did the illustrations for Zoku Toriai Kyoudai. I was secretly hoping for the illustrator from Shuukan Soine.

Details for the first vol.1 are up as well. The subtitle is 不器用な口づけ (bukiyou na kuchizuke, akward/clumsy kisses) and the character is Niki Aoi (CV: Hino Satoshi), an 18year old high school student. His motto is taking it easy, and he hates rules. He likes teasing adults and making fun of them. There are no further detail on what the story will be like, but based on earlier rumours you likely take the role of his teacher. There are three button with a flower pattern that do nothing for now, but I'm guessing we'll see voice samples appear soon. As mentioned before the CD is planned for a 2012.12.21 release.

Soine Hitsuji CD      
The main visual for Soine Hitsuji CD Vol.4 has also been released. This time the illustration has a winter theme (I feel really silly for not realizing that the illustrations followed the seasons as a theme). No voice samples yet, but the CD is voiced by Shimono Hiro and is planned for a 2012.12.21 release as well.


Self Seiyuu Ranking

As a follow up to the last post:

Hibiki has a rather interesting self-ranking for either male or female seiyuu. You have to choose between two seiyuu at a time, and at the end it gives you a list of your top 50 seiyuu. It is pretty fun, although when you get further choosing between 2 seiyuu becomes more and more difficult, to the point where I just sat there for a whole minute trying to decide who I like the best (some of the matches are just too cruel to choose!)

My top 10 looks like this:

1    櫻井孝宏 Sakurai Takahiro
2    平川大輔 Hirakawa Daisuke
3.    置鮎龍太郎 Okiayu Ryoutarou
4.    子安武人 Koyasu Takehito
5    小西克幸 Konishi Katsuyuki
6    小野大輔 Ono Daisuke
7    宮野真守  Miyano Mamoru
8    諏訪部順一 Suwabe Junichi
9    岡本信彦  Okamoto Nobuhiko
10    杉田智和  Sugita Tomokazu

I'm really curious about other people their rankings, so if you like post your top 5 or 10 in the comments (just don't post all 50,  the comment section would become endless xD)


Special: Favourite Seiyuu

As requested by someone in the comments  a long time ago, here is a small write up on my favourite seiyuu. My preferences are probably quite personal, and often the only argument is "I just love his voice". Really, I don't think I have any sane arguments to defend any of my choices. But that doesn't stop me from loving them.

I'm just writing this list based on who's voice I love. Despite listening to a lot of drama CDs and being a seiyuu fan in that sense, I seldom actually look for info on seiyuu or watch events. In fact I actively try to avoid seeing pictures of them because if I know how they look that starts to clash with the character image in my mind. So I can't really say much about their personality and things like that. I know some people are also fan of certain seiyuu (or actors for that matter) because of who they are, I just love them for their voice or acting skills.

(I'm really sorry if this is all very boring and stuff, but I promised I would write this so I wanted to make a proper post out of it)

1. Sakurai Takahiro
Sakurai has been at the top of my list for years now, with the one and only argument that I simply love his voice. The cause for my incredible Sakurai bias is one series and one series only: Are you Alice?. Sakurai = Alice (and vice versa) in my head. My love of his voice has reached the point where I still want to see Twilight in Japanese just because he voiced Edward. (I'm... not much of a Twilight fan in case you didn't know).

If we are not talking about drama CD my favourite Sakurai roles are probably Asbel Lhant (Tales of Graces), Clause Faustus (Kuroshitsuji), and the Medicine Seller (Mononoke), though I tend to go into fangirl mode as soon as I hear his voice.

Favourite drama CDs: everything Are you Alice (but especially the tokuten or anything where Alice acts out of character), Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru CD Vol.1 Kusatsu, Fujoshi no Totsugikata / Fujoshi no Mikata, Fushihi Koubou Vol.3.

2. Hirakawa Daisuke
Second one without a valid argument. Hirakawa-san has a pretty interesting voice range, and I love both ends of it. When he plays hetare or clumsy characters, they are just so adorable that I cannot bring myself to dislike them no matter how clumsy they are. I prefer him using the lower ends of his range though, but sadly I don't know many examples. At either rate, I love it when he voices (slightly) dangerous characters.

I think I first really noticed him as Ace from Heart no Kuni no Alice, but what really sparked my fandom was Yandere Heavon vol.2. His yandere performance is -if you ask me- one of the best in the series, and the reason why I secretly keep hoping that almost every character he now voices has a hidden side... Going through his list of anime roles, I think I have literally seen none of the anime in which he voices a major role. So my love is solely based on what I mentioned above, haha.

Speaking of wanting to see Japanese dubs of movies; Hirakawa-san is the voice over for Orlando Bloom, and watching the Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean in Japanese is also still on my to do list.

While I said that I only like seiyuu's for their voice and know little about their personality, I do love how polite and gentle Hirakawa-san always sounds in cast talks and interviews.

Favourite drama CDs:  Shuukan Soine Vol.1, Yandere Heaven Vol.2, Hougen Renai Vol.3, Anata ga Ofuro de Noboseru Vol.3 Misasa, Double Score ~Narcissus~, and his story in Kannou Mukashi Banashi Vol.6.

3. Okiayu Ryoutarou
I think that Okiayu-san was the first time I actually became fan of a seiyuu (before that I would like certain characters, but not specifically their seiyuu). This bias developed out of a character crush: Tezuka Kunimitsu from Tennis no Oujisama. Okiayu-san is one of the few seiyuu who's singing voice I also like, and I have several of his singles and albums (most of them are from Tennis no Oujisama xD). After I stopped watching the show the crush slowly died out though, but at some point I re-discovered him. By this time my Sakurai bias was already formed, so he is no longer at the top of my list anymore, but still a long time favourite.

When we're not talking about drama CD's, my favourite Okiayu characters are Tezuka Kunimitsu (obviously),  Dark (D.N.Angel), Gaius (Tales of Xillia. So I am really really really excited that he becomes a playable character in Xillia 2).

Favourite drama CDs: Shimekiri CD, O.To.Na Gentei Otogame CD Vol.2, Oujisama (warai) series. While not technically a drama CD, the drama part from Sasayaka na Kono Negai is absolutely brilliant.

4. Koyasu Takehito
Probably the only seiyuu who's voice I can recognise with 100% accuracy even if he speaks only one line. (although there has been one incident where I  failed to recognise him). Despite not being my favourite seiyuu ever, I have a habit of calling him "Koyasu-sama".

Despite the fact that he is often cast for characters with a cold and distant personality I love him more when he does sarcastic or comical roles. Especially if you can combine those two.

 The first time I fell in love with his voice is probably when I was paying Tokimemo, where he voices your teacher, Himoru Reichi. Despite originally going after another character his voice won me over and I started going after Himuro halway through the game. When on another character his route it always hurt like hell when I had to reject his invitations (T-T).

I originally played Tales of the Abyss in English, so I first discovered that he voiced Jade when I watched the anime, but that role is basically my ideal role for Koyasu-sama. In Hakushaku no Yousei his role is far more comical, and I spent most of Persona -Trinity Soul- fangirling over Ryou because he was voiced by Koyasu-sama.

Favourite non-drama CD roles: Himoru Reiichi (Tokimemo Girls side), Jade (Tales of the Abyss), Julius (Heart no Kuni no Alice), Kelpie (Hakushaku to Yousei), Kanzato Ryou (Persona -Trinity Soul). His voice completely mismatches Aokiji (One Piece) his image in my mind, so I actually dislike the character because of that.

Favourite drama CDs: Are you Alice - Alice no Tea Party Vol.3 (I cannot express my love for this CD in words), Heartful Kareshi series (he voices a dove). Unfortunately he doesn't appear in that many drama CDs, but I am definitely going to track down more of them.

Honourable Mentions:
Fukuyama Jun and Takemoto Eiji. While I don't particularly like (or dislike) their voices, I've heard these two voice so many different types of characters that I just can't help but admire their skills.

For Fukuyama Jun it was the difference between Shimizu Keiichi and Lelouch Laperouge that first made me aware of this. Shimizu was the first character that I associated with Fukuyama, which is why that image is stuck in my head. After doing some research I discovered that I heard him in countless roles, without even recognising him. This video shows a some of those, although it is a lot easier to recognise when they are all put together. Lately I've been getting better at recognising his voice, although I often only recognise it but fail to pinpoint who it is.

As for Takemoto Eiji, just listening to the Oujisama (warai) series gives you an impression of all the different characters he can voice (he voices almost every side character in the series, this has also become somewhat of a running gag in the series).

After listing my favourite, I suppose it is only fair that I list my least favourite ones as well, although there are only two of them, and I think that they are quite obvious from various reviews that I have done (^-^;;)

Ishida Akira in situation CDs / otome games. I don't know why, but I cannot bring myself to like Ishida-san when he voices a boyfriend role. That being said, he can voice very convincing shota's, and I have less problems whenever he voices a normal role in any anime or game. It is just that I don't like boyfriend!Ishida...

Yoshino Hiroyuki whenever he uses that gyaruo/bratty voice, which is most of the time. He actually has a rather nice voice if he talks in a more serious tone, but unfortunately he is usually type cast for the former. My disappointment when I discovered that he voiced Debito in Arcana Famiglia was unending (although it is actually one of the more reasonable examples).


Shinrei Tantei Yakumo ~Akai Me ha Shitteiru~

心霊探偵八雲 ~赤い瞳は知っている~

Company: Frontier works
Based on: Novel
Released: 2009.11.26

Shinrei Tantei Yakumo (Psychic Detective Yakumo) is a novel series by Kaminaga Manabu about Saitou Yakumo, a university student who can see ghosts. The series has manga, anime, and live action adaptions, but sadly only 2 drama CDs. Akai Me ha Shitteiru ("de red eye knows") is the first novel, and this is a drama CD is an adaption of that novel. The two stories on this drama CD are "Akezu no Ma"(The closed room) and "Toneru no yami" (The darkness of the tunnel), although I am not entirely sure whether the second story was orriginally published in the first novel as well.

The story begins with Ozawa Haruka (CV: Hirano Aya) searching for Yakumo because she needs his help. Her friend Miki recently collapsed and Haruka thinks this is because Miki is possessed by something. She heard that Yakumo is supposed to be knowledgeable about ghosts and things, so she comes asking for his help. Yakumo explains that he can only see ghosts and can't exorcise them, but that he will try to help her in exchange for money. She doesn't believe that Yakumo can see ghosts at first, but when he tells her about the ghost of her dead twin sister she starts to believe it (after completely freaking out first).

They visit Miki at the hospital, and Yakumo comes to the conclusion that she is indeed possessed by a ghost. She is possessed by the ghost of a girl about their age, who seems to be really scared of being trapped somewhere. They decide to go to the place where Miki claimed to have seen something just before collapsing. There they are confronted by the killer, who became spooked because the police is investigating the area. With the help of the ghost of Haruka her sister they manage to evade his attacks and trap him, after which they call the police.

Haruka meets the police officer Gotou Kazutoshi (CV: Touichi Hiroki), who seems to be familiar with Yakumo. She also discovers that Yakumo his left eye is red, as the colour contact that he uses to hide it fell out during the fight with the killer. To Yakumo his surprise she says that it is beautiful; up to now he only met people who were scared of it or found it creepy. It is later revealed that his mother even tried to kill him because of it, and Gotou was the one who saved him at the time.

In the second story Haruka gets a ride home from a friend, who wants to show her the night view from a spot he knows instead of driving her straight home. On their way there they drive to a tunnel, and he suddenly hits the breaks claiming that there were kids on the road. Haruka steps out of the car to check whether they hit someone, but there s nothing there. The next morning however there is are red marks in the shape of a small hand on the bumper of the car that won't come off no matter what. Because of this Haruka decides to ask Yakumo for help again.

The animosity between Yakumo and Haruka her co-worker is brilliant. Yakumo says he doesn't care whether Haruka is dating anyone or not, although it is kind of obvious that Haruka is special to him because she was the first one to say that she liked the colour of his red eye. He warns the guy that he should properly perform a mizuko kuyo ritual. At first he pretends not to know what Yakumo is talking about, but it turns out several of the girls he was dating got pregnant and had to have an abortion. After ths he just storms out.

Eventually Yakumo does agree to go and check what is going on with the tunnel though, so he and Haruka borrow a car from Yakumo his uncle Isshin (CV: Narita Ken) and drive to the tunnel. It turns out that many many spirits of people who have died there are gathered in the tunnel, all waiting to cause the next accident and add another soul to the group. Yakumo says he can't to anything about this, and simply warns Haruka to never drive through here again.

When he meets her co-worker several days after that, there is a spirit of a small boy sitting on his car, which puzzles Yakumo. A little later Gotou visits Yakumo with a picture of the heavily maimed body of a small child that died in a traffic accident, hoping that Yakumo can identify him. Yakumo immediately concludes that the spirit sitting on the car is that same boy. Unfortunately, Haruka got tricked into going for another drive with her co-worker at the same moment, and the spirit is leading the car to the same tunnel from before. As soon as Yakumo and Gotou learn this, they rush of to save her.

That was a rather detailed summary... sorry about that. But the actual solutions are still unspoiled, and a detective story isn't complete without the solution so you can all still go and listen to it, haha. (^-^;;).

I admit that the cover was what got me interested in this CD. And I felt like listening to a scary story so that was perfect timing. In terms of scariness, I've heard scarier but this CD does a good job at slowly scaring you. There are no sudden scare moments, but more a slowly building feeling of uneasiness (although I have to admit that I hate that tunnel, especially because the story ends without anything being done about it).

I love Yakumo his personality. He is rather blunt and sarcastic, but does have a kind heart and in the end is always willing to help others. When he was younger he didn't realize that he was the only one that could see spirits, and untill he realized this he was always seen as weird or creepy. To make things worse people were also freaked out by his red eye, so he eventually grew up to be rather antisocial. After meeting Haruka he starts to change a bit, although this CD doesn't really show this.

Haruka is rather naive but very honest (to a fault really), which makes her almost the opposite of Yakumo. I like the two of them together. I'll have to admit that Hirano-san her voice sounded slightly boyish, so I spend a good portion of the first story wondering whether she is a girl or a really femine guy (the name Haruka can be used for both guys and girls) until it was finally confirmed somewhere in the story (^-^;;).

The free talk was a lot of fun. Hirano-san messed up the introduction, and Ono-san his save is really cool. Somehow the two of them seem really used to each other and their conversation is a lot of fun. I also love the theme music (the song that plays at the beginning of this track) it reminds me of a matsuri or something.

This story is not too scary, but just scary enough. I love sarcastic characters so Yakumo was a perfect lead character for me. It is too bad that there aren't many drama CDs for this series though, although I suppose that I could always watch the anime or live action to see more. I honestly have no idea when I started liking horror stories though, considering that I used to too scared to real/listen/watch them (still am, actually).


Love Sweets Vol.2

ラブ★スイーツ Vol.2

Company: Livret
Based on: Cooking/baking
Released: 2010.08.13

Love Sweets is a series in which you cook / bake sweets together with your boyfriend. It isn't explicitly stated that you are dating but it is kind of obvious. Each CD has two guys, and you make something different with each of them. The second CD has Miyano Mamoru and Hino Satoshi. Surprisingly, the series really is more about telling you how to cook a recipe than acting all lovey-dovey.

The first character to help you make something is your butler (CV: Miyano Mamoru). You don't feel like getting out of bed unless he makes you some sweets, and when he promises to do so you want to help. Thus you show up in the kitchen a few minutes later to make an almond Florentine. This side is so incredibly sweet it almost hurts. As you can guess your butler is head over heels in love with you and he worries about everything you do. When you've finally finished making the Florentine you ask him to sit with you to eat it he completely freaks out because there is no way that is allowed. Yet he does kiss you slightly after that, hmmmm.

In the second scenario the roles are reversed and you are now a maid, trying to wake up the young master (CV: Hino Satoshi). This time he doesn't want to get up until you promise to make him something, but he also offers to help. Just like in the first CD you are the one that knows the recipe in the second story. It is obvious that he likes you though, even having small conversations with himself on how to make your time together last longer.

Thanks to Miyano-san his extremely sweet butler story this CD is probably even sweeter than the first one, bordering on the too sweet line. The first character feels a little overdone though, so I didn't enjoy that one too much. In terms of recipes; I'd like to try and make the second one some time.

Whether this is a positive remark or not, I think I liked the free talk best. While they did their recordings separately Miyano-san and Hino-san recorded the free talk together. It begins very cryptically with Miyano-san saying thanks for something that happened a little while ago, but we never get to now what it was about. They talk a bit about their roles (partly explaining them to each other) and Hino-san says that he found his role (which he describes as "tsun-tsun dere-dere chu-chu") slightly embarrassing to do.

They continue to talk about sweets for a while, and amongst other things they about an Aomori prefecture speciality called サバップル (sabappuru) which is apparently an apple pie with mackarel in it (I kid you not, go and google it). Either way, they are obviously having a lot of fun in the free talk.

This was even sweeter than the first CD, and a bit too much for my taste. Even though it is still mostly about actually making the sweets and almost no lovey-dovey.


Weekly News Post

Oujisama (warai)
There are two preview tracks up for the upcoming Date CD Vol.1. The contents are largely the same as the scenarios that were revealed on the official site before. Actually hearing them is much better than just reading them though. Hearing Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel together again just makes me really happy. Two more preview tracks will be added on 2012.10.16 and 2012.10.18.

Kindan Kyuuketsuki
The preview for Kindan Kyuuketsuki Vol.4 is up. Friedrich (CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke) basically just walks up to you and declares that he owns you before dragging you off xD. He seems to like teasing you a lot.


Landscape ~ano natsu no negai~

Landscape ~あの夏の願い~

Company: Honey Bee
Based on: Original
Released: 2009.09.29
Official site: http://www.honeybee-cd.com/landscape/land_top.html

Landscape could be described as a bitter-sweet love story mixed with several kaidan (horror stories). You visit the village where you once spend a summer at your grandma's as a small child, and run into a childhood friend while at a festival.

At first you don't seem to remember Hiro (CV: Ishida Akira), but when he talks about how you used to play together every day during one summer vacation you get a feeling that you indeed know him. Now that you are back Hiro wants to show you the fireflies, he apparently knows a place where there are hundreds of them.

While walking there he talks about that summer you spend together as kids, and how you loved scary stories. He was always scared of them, but you never seemed to be afraid. He decides to try and scare you now, so while you are walking he tells several scary stories.

Between those stories Hiro talks about the summer that you spend together, and there are occasional hints that it wasn't all fun and games, such as Hiro mentioning "that there are some things that are better not remembered".

The first kaidan is about a few boys that go and play hide and seek in the school after it has closed. One of them hides in an out of use bathroom, and encounters something there...

The second kaidan is about a doll. A boy moves into the room of his grandmother after she has passed away. There he finds the doll she used to take care of all the time carefully packed away in a box. He moves it to the storage, but somehow it keeps returning to the room...

The final story is about a boy that drowned while trying to save a girl he liked. When he wakes up he is in a mysterious place, and continues to wander there. When he realizes that he seems to be going somewhere without return, he tries his best to return to where he came from.

This last story, together with all the hints that Hiro has been dropping and his saving you from falling make you remember that you went to see the fireflies together before but never got to see them, and why.

It is fairly obvious where the story is headed when you are listening. But even when it is so obvious, the ending is still very sad. I didn't expect this when I started to listen, but I nearly cried at the end. Part of this is probably because the hints give you an idea of what to expect, but you lack the details to known what exactly happened, when Hiro tells you those things in the end all the feels come rushing in.

The kaidan aren't too scary, which is probably because they are relatively short. They might raise a few goosebumps, but that is it. What I didn't realize until I saw it mentioned on the official site, is that they used the dummy head mic for some of the sound effects. After re-listening some of the tracks I did notice it, and it does explain why those sounds effects really creep me out (the sound of the doll's hair for example)

This CD is only moderately scary (if you'd compare it to something like Kurayamigatari it is almost cute). But the main point isn't the kaidan but the bitter sweet story about the summer that you and Hiro spend together as children. Despite being predictable it was really effective on that part. So all in all a slightly scary CD that drowns (see what I did there?) you in bitter-sweet feelings at the end.


Disney - Koe no Oujisama Vol.2

ディズニー 声の王子様第2章~Love Stories~

Company: DisneyBased on: Disney song covers
Released: 2012.09.19
Official site: http://www.disney.co.jp/records/DLS/

This CD is all about popular seiyuu singing various Disney songs. The theme this time is love stories, although only some of the songs fit that theme. Other.... not so much. There are two versions: a regular edition that has only one CD, but an extra track that isn't on the limited edition. The limited edition on the other hand, has a second CD with duet songs.

Normally I'm not that much of a fan of seiyuu songs (with some exceptions) but this was just too interesting to pass up on. I'll review the CD track-by-track.

01. 白雪姫 ―朗読― (Snow White -Reading-) / Ishida Akira
This is a reading of Snow White (Disney version) done by Ishida-san. They did a good job of condensing the entire movie into just 20min of talking, although sometimes the lines that Ishida-san voiced as one of the characters seemed a tiny bit random. What I absolutely loved though is that they seem to have used the actual music from the movie. My nostalgia meters went to the max hearing some of the BGMs, and I instantly remembered the scenes from the movie. So all in all, a very good reading.

02. ハイ・ホー (Heigh-Ho)(Snow White) / Kamiya Hiroshi.
This song is so addictive!! I had completely forgotten about the first part of the song, so I hardly recognised it in the beginning (not to mention that the lyrics are completely different than in the original English version xD). But this song is so cheerful an addictive. Really, when you listen to it you become all cheerful and you just to have to sing along. One of my favourite ones.

03. キス・ザ・ガール (Kiss the Girl) (Little Mermaid) / Shimono Hiro
I predicted that this would be one of the cutest things ever - and it is. The entire song becomes so cute, and I love the arrangement. But more than anything: it is so incredibly cuuuuttteeeeee. That is all that needs to be said.

04. ユール・ビー・イン・マイ・ハート(you'll be in my heart) / Seki Tomokazu.
Was Seki Tomokazu his voice this high? I feel like I'm mixing the images of the different Seki's in my head. This is a good song, but the original has been locked into my heart so deep that there is simply no way that it can compare to that. But it is still good.

05. ララルー (Lalalu)(Lady and the Tramp) / Sakurai Takahiro
In case you are wondering, this is the lullaby from Lady and the Tramp. No idea whether it was written for the movie or already existed though. As cute as this song is, and no matter how much I love Sakurai his voice, singing doesn't seem to be his forte. But this is Sakurai singing a lullaby, so all my arguments are invalid, even against myself xD

06. 愛のうたごえ (Love is a Song)(Bambi) / Midorikawa Hikaru
I'll have to admit that I only saw Bambi once when I was very little, and I have as good as no memories about it. So obviously I don't remember thing song either. As a result it has no nostalgia value what-so-ever, which has the end result that I don't really like it. Least favourite song on the CD.

07. ベラ・ノッテ (Bella Notte)(Lady and the Tramp) / Okiayu Ryoutarou
This song is perfection. Sue me, but it is. The arrangement is beautiful, but even more than that Okiayu-san his voice is perfect for this kind of song. Definitely my favourite song on the entire CD.

08. いつでも一緒 (Good Company)(Oliver&Co) / Okamoto Nobuhiko
Cuteness attack number two. What I love is that the music breaks into an semi-epic arrangement somewhere halfway though, and then returns to the simple piano tune to repeat the beginning again. But as can be expected from Okamoto: cuteness all over the place.

09. グレイト・スピリット (Great Spirit) / Yamadera Kouichi
Yamadera-san seems to be getting all the truly epic songs (he did The Circle of Life on the first Koe no Oujisama). He gets away with it though. He really has a good singing voice for these kind of songs, although my real surprise came on disc 2. I can't recall the original song (besides it being epic) but I love this one anyway.

10. 塔の上のラプンツェル ―朗読― (Tangled -reading-) / Yamadera Kouichi
As good as the first one was, this one felt far too hasty. I almost ran out of breath just listening to it. I'd also like to ask how much someone who hasn't seen the movie actually understands what is going on, because I don't think it is the most logical way of telling the story either. What really surprised me is that they used the original English version of the healing incantation ("Flower gleam and glow, let your power shine", etc). It sort of felt out of place, although it is a very pretty song. If they would have cut all the lines that Yamadera-san reads in character, I think they could have avoided the rushed feeling that the story has now.

Like I said, the second disc is full of duet songs. It has only four songs, but they are each featured three times: the first time it is a normal duet between two seiyuu, the other two are like karaoke versions in which you yourself can sing a duet with one of the seiyuu. I'll only review each song once though.

01. 美女と野獣 (Beauty and the Beast) / Seki Tomokazu & Okiayu Ryoutarou

They somehow managed to turn this song into a duet. Seki-san his part is amazing, he nearly makes a convincing woman here. Unfortunately their voices don't really seem to match... Okiayu-san his voice sounds far too low in the duet version, but in the version with him alone it doesn't feel unnatural at all.

02. ハクナ・マタタ (Hakuna Matata) / Shimono Hiro & Okamoto Nobuhiko
Cuteness overload here. One of them sings Timon and the other Pumba, and they switch roles and repeat the song halfway though. Unfortunately, neither of them makes a convincing Pumba xD. And they left out some of the jokes, which is a pity. The refrain is incredibly cute and catchy though. Trying to sing along in one of the karaoke versions is a bit tricky due to there not really being a melody.

03. 輝く未来 (I see the Light - Tangled) / Midorikawa Hikaru & Sakurai Takahiro
This time it is Midorikawa his turn to sing a female role. Which he does rather convincing. Maybe this is because I love the original too much, but Sakurai his voice seems a bit to high for his part. In this song it also more obvious that singing isn't really his thing. Also, in the duet version it doesn't stand out too much but in his solo version you can clearly hear him going "sekaIIII ga maru de..." xD As far as the love songs go, this is one of the better ones though.

04. みんなネコになりたいのさ (Everybody wants to be a cat) / Yamadera Kouichi x2
This is the song that completely blew my mind. Not just because it has an amazing arrangement and I love this kind of jazzy music, but because I would have never guessed that this is sang by one person (although I'm not sure about the voice of Marie -the little cat- in the end...). I swear, one of the singing voices could be a convincing imitation of Louis Armstrong, while the other one is completely normal. If you compare all the different tracks in which Yamadera-san speaks/sings they all seem so different it just amazes me.

I like most of the songs. I still think that most seiyuu -save for some exceptions- aren't the best singers, but the fact that these are all Disney songs, nice arrangements, and/or just incredibly cute makes up for that. Some of these songs are just so cute and addictive I can't help but to love them


Weekly News Post

The character page for the new character in Meganebu! Vol.3 is finally up. Suzuki Toru (CV: Inoue Gou) is a member of the science club and holds a grudge against Souma. His nickname is "number 3" because of the three people named Suzuki in the school, he was the one that placed lowest in the sports test. This is why Souma calls him "number 3" and also why Toru still holds a grudge against him after a year.

Hatoful Kareshi
The official blog confirms that they have sarted production on a new Hatoful Kareshi drama CD. The theme this time will be 'mamentine' (the in-game equivalent of valentine. On mamentine you give the pigeon you like beans instead of chocolate). No release date has been given yet, but the post states that more info will be released in the course of this month.


I have to apologise for the lack of posts, but I just can't find the time to write anything. I hope to get things back on track with the news post this Saturday though.

While I don't have the time to make reviews, the tumblr has a nice que full of scans so there will be some activity there.