Lovers Only 4 ~あなただけを見つめて~
Based on: Original
Lovers Only is a series that tells more mature love stories. Both in terms of being a bit more serious and not all fluff, and in that they tend to be more explicit. The fourth story is set in 18th century France (or something similar to it, the official description stated it was like 18th century France)
Richard du Barbier (? it is written as リシャール・ド・バルビア. CV: Inoue Kazuhiko) is a count who served in the army. After he came back home he started enjoying a free lifestyle: going out at night, flirting, and sleeping around. It has been 3 years since he married you, but the marriage was arranged and as a result his lifestyle hasn't changed at all. You never ask where he was when he returns late or didn't come home at all, and he just continues with his escapades.
Compared to the previous CDs, it took a little longer before you are introduced. Instead we first get a very good idea of the kind of life Richard is leading. We get to hear how he seduces women (including one who knows he has been sleeping with her sister) and the CD makes it very clear that he had a threesome somewhere in the beginning, he even boasts about it at a party the next evening.
You are finally introduced when Richard finally returns home in the morning after three days. He has just returned and his butler Alan is bathing him when you walk in. You ask him whether he wants breakfast but he just wants to sleep. You apparently had some plans for the day and head out. When Richard wakes up it is already night, but you are still not back. When you finally return somewhere past midnight he sees a man sitting in the coach you came back with and suddenly starts to suspect you are being unfaithful to him and he gets irritated (
He wonders about the man in the coach though, and orders Alan to follow you around and report what you are doing for a while. Being the loyal butler that he is, Alan does as he is told and according to his reports you occasionally meet with a young man. One day when Richard just returns home Alan reports that said young man just arrived and the two of you are walking in the gardens. Richard nearly snaps and walks straight to where you are to confront you about it. You try to tell him that it is just a misunderstanding, but the man you were with suddenly says that he loves you.
At that moment Richard really snaps, and by the sound of it he nearly punches the guy to death yelling at him that he won't hand you over to him, and he drags you back to the house. In fact he drags you straight to the bedroom and demands that you show him what you learned from sleeping with that guy. You finally break down crying, telling him that the guy (Maxime) was just a tutor. You continue with saying that becoming the wife of a noble was really hard due to all of the rules of society, and that all you were doing was trying to become a woman suitable to be Richard his wife, and that you have no idea why Maxime suddenly did what he did a few moments ago.
Richard realizes his own mistake, and tries to send you flowers and jewels and everything he can think of to regain your favour, but you are still down. Being completely out of ideas Richard asks his aunt for advice, who tells him that taking his wife to one of the many balls that he always attends would certainly cheer her up. And indeed you accept his invitation. Once there everyone is amazed by your grace (and the fact that Richard for once brought his wife, no doubt). At this point Richard finally realizes that he loves you, and takes you back home. The kissing already starts in the carriage back home, and by the time you arrive you are already in your underwear (which would btw still be covering your entire body considering the dress code of the day).
Richard carries you to the bedroom (walking past Alan who merely shows a faint smile but no surprise). The ero is.... on par with the last CD is suppose. (I can't... I just can't properly review scenes like this (/▽*＼)～♪ ｲﾔｧﾝ) Although... Richard outright asking you to show him how you touch yourself and eventually guiding your hands (accompanied by the squelchy sound effects) might actually make this one come out on top.
The morning after is probably the best scene in the entire CD: Alan comes into the bedroom like nothing happened, stating that he expected that you would prefer to eat breakfast here so he took the liberty of already bringing it. This makes Richard realize that everything that happened was probably a scheme planned by Alan and his aunt, but he doesn't care because they made him realize he loves you.
First thing: the entire CD the only thing I could think while listening was "I wish this was voiced by Suwabe-san". For those who don't know: Suwabe Junichi was originally announced as the seiyuu for this CD, but due to miscommunication issues he eventually declined (most people assume that this was because he no longer does anything that has explicit scenes). Don't get me wrong, Inoue-san does a wonderful job, but I think Suwabe-san his voice would have indeed suited the character better.
Secondly, the story may have a happy ending but the beginning just doesn't sit right with me. You are really playing the part of an ideal wife here, forgiving your husband his repeated unfaithfulness and still loving him. But oh well. As for his open unfaithfulness, I'll have to admit that I don't know that much about the lifestyles of nobles in the 18th century, but I do know that affairs were a common thing at the French court, so I assume that it would have been accepted among nobility as well, as long as the scandals didn't get to big.
Speaking of historical information and such, I keep wondering about the scene where you end up undressed inside that coach... Dress styles keep changing so pin-pointing exactly what kind of dress you would have been wearing would be difficult, but what is certain is that the French dress styles in that period were very elaborate. Whatever you may have been wearing would not have been as elaborate as the dresses worn at the court, but would still have included multiple dress layers, a corset, and various layers of petticoats and/or under dresses. Taking that off inside a coach would likely have proven... difficult at the very least.
In the free talk Inoue-san answers all of the question in a semi-serious way. Although it feel strange to hear someone of his age talk about love interests or fetishes.... The moment where he reaches the question about gap-moe and he first doesn't know what it is amused me. His answer to what kind of costume/clothing he likes on woman made me laugh: he doesn't care, if possible they should be naked.
It certainly lives up to the reputation of the series, although I think we've reached a sort of glass ceiling in terms of how far the ero can go by now (although I should be careful with what I say, or they might actually prove me wrong). Nothing wrong with this though, so far the series has managed to deliver very explicit content while maintaining a sense of intimacy, and I fear that if they would try to up the ero level even further this balance would break which would be a shame. But in the end, I guess I really whish it would have been Suwabe Junichi who voiced this CD.
Vol.5 comes out later this month and will be voiced by Okiayu Ryoutarou and I'll admit that I am curious about that one.