Company: Frontier works
Based on: Novel
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).