Based on: Original
Official site: http://www.ignote.net/operetta/aiyami/index.html
Sono Ai ha Yamai ni Itaru ("that love is like a sickness") is the second of Operetta's drama CDs. The story is about the heroine (meaning the listener) being loved a bit too much by her two childhood friends. 6 years ago she was kidnapped, but returned home safely after a while. But while the heroine seems to have overcome the trauma, this isn't true for everyone.
This is the longest situation CD I know off, spanning a total of three discs and over 2 hours in total. You are not meant to listen to all of it at once however, instead the first CD tells the beginning of the story, while the other two each have a good and a bad ending for one of the two guys. To understand the entire story however, you will have to listen to all of the endings, or you will be missing information. But ignorance can be bliss.....
Your two childhood friends are Mamiya Kanoe (CV: Noriyuki = Sugiyama Noriaki), and Shimano Haruto (CV:Sawa Mannaka= Nakazawa Masatomo). Both of them are your neighbours, and you've known them since you were little. Kanoe is the same age as you are, and you attend the same high school. Haruto is several years older and is like an older brother to both of you, although he flirts with you to the point of sexual harassment when you are alone, only to pass it off as a joke later.
6 years ago you were kidnapped while you were playing outside with Kanoe. After a while you returned safe and sound, without any real trauma due to the incident. Kanoe however has never stopped blaming himself for not being strong enough to protect you, and has sworn to become strong enough to protect you and be your knight in shining armour. This also leads to him being incredibly overprotective of you.
At the start of the actual story all three of you are living alone for the moment: Your own parents and those of Kanoe have moved because of their work. For the moment you still live here so that you can finish school, but when the year is over you will both move to where your parents live. Haruto his parents on the other hand, have died in a tragic incident several years ago (even before your kidnapping, actually).
The first disc mainly shows your current life. It starts with you waking up in Kanoe his bed (which had me wonder whether I had the wrong disc). Apparently you often crawl into his bed when you can't sleep, and being the knight in shining armour that he is Kanou doesn't lay a finger on you. You go to school together, receiving a bento made by Haruto just before you leave. At school the interactions with one of your friends show that Kanoe really is being over protective, but you just somehow accept it. You always eat dinner with Kanoe and Haruto. This seems to have been your life for a while now, but in the last couple of days Kanoe has started to be even more over protective than usually.
After this first part you need to choose which character to continue with, which 'route' to listen to so to say. Both characters have a good and a bad ending, and the bad ending branches off from the good one. This means that you will have to listen to the good one first, as there is no way to tell exactly where the bad ending branches off while listening to the good ending.
Personally I'd recommend listening to Haruto's Good ending --> Kanoe Good ending --> Kanoe Bad ending --> Haruto Bad ending. This way you start with the sweetest one, wile the others gradually reveal the darker parts of the story.
Haruto is good ending is the sweetest ending there is. He shows remarkable restraint during his entire story. He might flirt with you, but before it crosses the line he switches back to being so casual you almost start to wonder whether you were imagining things. Of course once he confirms that you love him as well he finally dares to kiss you and more, all while remaining very sweet. In is good ending Haruto never goes yandere, his bad ending however is the worst ending of all, and also the only one to tell certain crucial parts of the overall story (although they can be partly guessed from one of Kanoe's endings).
Kanoe goes slightly yandere in both his endings, although it is clear this mostly comes from his urge to protect you and not because he wants you all to himself. Since a few days he received weird warning notes saying things like "soon I'll be able to meet her" and counting down to a certain day. Because they count down to the day on which you were kidnapped he becomes paranoid. He did initially go to the police but because the message were written in a childlike handwriting and in crayon the police thought it was just a prank and wouldn't help him. So in the end, poor Kanoe sees locking you up in your own home as the only option. He also finally really confesses his love to you, and in the good ending you accept his feelings, while in the bad one you reject them.
The first CD felt really long -it actually is 50min so no surprise there- but it helps you get a really good idea of the setting. Operetta actually promotes their drama CDs as "otome games that you enjoy with your ears" and the entire thing really is closer to a short game than to your normal situation CD. The branching of the routes, first into two character routes and later into a good or bad ending, is also faithful to this idea.
Yume made a very good point in her review about Haruto and Kanoe their personalities being consistent in their good and bad endings. Which route you end up on is based entirely on your own actions.
Something else I liked is that there is another girl in the story - the classmate you and Kanoe are talking with at school. Most drama CDs don't have any other characters showing up, and it was refreshing to hear. She is actually pretty funny too, so bonus points for that.
Personally I liked Haruto's endings the best. The good one because it is so sweet, and the bad one because it has most of the background plot in it. It deserves the title 'bad ending' though, so be warned when you start on it. Kanoe his endings were less satisfying. They mainly made me feel sorry for the poor guy, even though you end op together in the good one. And last but not least: I liked Nakazawa-san his acting in the ero scenes a lot more (^-^;;)
One of the things I was wondering about is the fact that the heroine skipped gym class because she was having her period. This wouldn't be a big deal except that the story takes place in just two days, meaning that all the ero happens on the day after which would very likely mean she should still be having her period. Unless she lied about it as implied by one of her classmates.
Oh, and to get rid of any possible feelings of discomfort, there is a crack ending recorded after Haruto his bad ending, and it is... well, crack xD
I first listened to Kanoe his endings and thought the overall yandere level was pretty low, but then came Haruto his bad ending and all the yandere seems to have been stuffed into that route. So for those looking for the yandere parts in the CD, you now know where to find them. The overall story was good as well, although your parents being absent is very convenient indeed.