When I placed the order for this Drama CD, I noticed that the price was higher than the two previous Marimite Drama CDs. I wasn’t thrilled about that, but I wanted the thing, so I ordered it. Well, am I glad I did!
The first two Maria-sama ga Miteru Drama CDs came in DVD-style packaging, with inserts and a pair of stand-up plastic dolls (Yumi and Sachiko in Vol. 1 and Yoshino and Shimako in Vol. 2). Volume 3 includes all of the above – and *2* CDs – the entire Kibara Kakumei/Yellow Rose Revolution storyline. Hence the slightly higher price tag. But the price was only about $8 more, and it was a complete arc, so, along with the dolls (Rei and Eriko this time) and the inserts, I was pretty pleased all the way around. Even the packaging is an improvement – the plastic case is translucent, and the back/inside of the cover is a very cute picture of Yumi, Yoshino and Shimako, with, of course, the Kibara Kakumei novel cover on the front. (In fact, looking at the packaging from the first two volumes, I notice that while Vol. 1 has the first novel cover, Vol. 2 has a new piece of art by Hibiki Reine, the artist for the serialization of the story in Cobalt Shueisha.)
So, right off the top – kudos for good value and improved packaging!
All the way around, a vast improvement over pretty much any CD or DVD I’ve ever bought, ever. I hope that they continue this trend for all the Drama CD arcs. I’d be ever so happy if I didn’t have to buy every CD separately. And speaking of future CDs, this includes, not one, but *two* advertisements for the next arc, available in October. (And we all know what *that* will be, right? If you answered Ibara no Mori/Forest of Thorns and/or “Sei’s lesbian angst arc” you are right! Not just one, but *two* increasingly strident ads – “It’s coming in October, okay? Please stop writing us and asking! AAAAGGGGHH!!!!” With pre-order and everything. I bet it blows records for Drama CD sales through the roof. :-) You can be sure that I’ll be waiting for my copy with bated breath. And we’ll get Sei and Youko toys, which will only make it all even cooler and completing our Yamayurikai set.)
Now – onto the story.
Kibara Kakumei, aka Yellow Rose Revolution, is the story of Rei (Rosa Foetida en bouton) and her petite souer, Yoshino. (I’m going to recap quickly for those who may be less familiar with the series…):
While the head of the Yellow Rose hierarchy, Rosa Foetida, Eriko, is apparently AWOL, Yoshino sets the whole school in an uproar by returning Rei’s rosary and nullifying their souer relationship. This all after she and Rei have just been voted as “Best Souer Couple” by the students. Yoshino’s actions cause a backlash of annulled souer relationships.
Yumi is taken into Yoshino’s confidence and learns the reasons *why* Yoshino gave Rei her rosary back. Yumi is also there as Rei’s confidence crumbles and she wanders around half out of her mind with grief. Ultimately, Yoshino opts to have heart surgery on the same day that Rei has an important kendo match, forcing Rei to become more self-reliant. Of course, everything ends well.
The anime for this arc was a fast two episodes, and several conversations, explanations and occurences were cut out, or moved to a different episode. The drama CD restores them to their rightful place and gives us insight to all of the characters that was missing from the anime and even the manga.
Sei teasing Yumi (and through her, Sachiko) is funnier with the original conversations restored, especially Sachiko’s warning to Yumi, “Don’t do anything to make Rosa Gigantea happy.”
We also get to see much more of Rei and her inner thoughts, including a really touching scene when she breaks down in a teacher’s arms at the thought of losing Yoshino forever.
In the end, everyone lives happily ever after, Rosa Foetida returns and, interestly, pumps Yumi for information on her “cute little sisters.” (Why doesn’t she just ask Youko and Sei? Probably because Yumi is easier to get information from.)
For Yoshino x Rei fans, we get the satisfaction of actually *hearing* both of them tell each other that they love each other more than anyone one else in the world. ^_^
The Drama CD ends with a really strange bonus track of all the seiyuu speaking as their characters – starting with wishing us a good morning, they tell us a few lines about their day and end with wishing us a good night. It’s not as cool as the free talk from the seiyuu of Koi Shimai, but considering that the entire set is excellent, I’ll be generous about this one slack off from perfect. ^_^
Ratings: 9 across the board for character, story, Yuri, design etc.
This is a Drama CD that is *totally* worth having, whether you’re a Marimite fan, or just a fan of damn good drama. ^_^