I’m trying something new today…the picture on the left is linked to the Amazon.JP entry for this Drama CD, the title below is linked to the Amazon.com entry. (Yes, you can get Drama CDs from Japan through Amazon.com. Shipping from Japan is included in the price, which is why they seem so expensive. No, they have not been translated.)
If the Simoun manga that ran in Megami magazine felt like a fourth-rate cross-over rip-off fanfic, then the Simoun Drama CD: Ah, Lovely Temp Office Ladies (why are we doing this?) Simoun, Inc. feels like a not-too-bad post-series fanfic, with some funny moments.
Let’s talk about the title for second. It really is that long, with the first part being spoken (loudly) by everyone, the part in parentheses said (despairingly) by Parietta, and the last (matter-of-factly) by Neviriru.
The war is over, Aeru says at the beginning. What will we all do now? And in the flurry of discussion, Limone comments that she wants to go to Tokyo. So, go to Tokyo they do. Neviriru decides that they should form a company, which they also do. They decide to be a temp agency for “office ladies” (OLs).) The girls (everyone but Alti and Floe, that is – those actresses appear to be missing) all argue about where to live because, of course, they have no money. Neviriru wants to stay in Roppongi Hills and when everyone disagrees, she locks herself in a room and sulks. Rodreamon and Mamina (with a really scary cheerful voice) try to coax her out. Parietta does the same, but fails utterly to her chagrin.
(Somewhere in the middle of this, Rodo calls Neviriru “Nevi-chan”, and by the end just about all of them are using the nickname.)
When Aeru calls out to Neviriru, she comes right out, and when Aeru gets her to put her face out a bit more, so she can kiss Neviriru, Parietta starts on a series of depressed glosses of “I’m useless” which gains Kaimu’s sympathy, but not much more. To everyone’s discomfort Aeru and Neviriru continue to be exceedingly lovey-dovey, until Limone comments that they should take a company trip.
Company trip? Company trip! Neviriru agrees, and commands that they will leave…in the morning!
As second-in-command Parietta had taken upon herself to assign roles for everyone in the company. Aeru and Limone are the bottom rungs, so they are sent off to gather supplies. The second track consists of them bicycling to town to get stuff.
At the onsen, in the third track, the bulk of our time is spent in making Parietta look foolish. Aeru slams a door onto her accidentally pushing her into the water – that kind of thing. Parietta begins to yell, when the music changes and bizarrely from behind her, Onashia appears coming out of the onsen. It’s a walk-off cameo which I thought was simply brilliant. There’s some fanservice-y discussion of how beautiful various members’ skin is and the almost inevitable breast size conversation. They jump into the water to do “remersion practice” and follow it up with incredibly silly remersion names. When Aeur attempts to do a Suigyoku remersion, however, everyone screams “stop!” and yells at her.
This is followed by food, which they all think is disgusting, except Mamina, who thinks its wonderful. Her enjoyment helps the rest get over themselves, except Rodo, who passes.
They talk about getting entertainment, but as they have no money, they opt for a talent contest. This ends up with some marathon drinking by Parietta, who asks Neviriru to dance, only to find that Nevi-chan has fallen asleep against her. (Note the spiffy piece of fanart I found for this scene last night.)
The fourth track follows Mamina and Rodoreamon as they hit Harajuku. It’s a typical rich girl/poor girl scenario. Rodo is freaked by all the people, the idea of shopping in a 100-yen store and tries to buy a crepe with a credit card. Mamina, in turn, is utterly put off by Rodo’s choice of lunch – a ramen shop. She had hoped to eat somewhere elegant and expensive. They make up over little gifts and live happily ever after.
Track 5 includes the most inappropriate use *ever* of the Emerald remersion, as Aeru uses it to pop 30 minutes into the future so she can eat some flan.
The final track has Neviriru coming out and announcing, with many words – something that does not pass without comment – that she’s dissolving the company. Everyone is shocked, but as they come around to the idea, and discuss possible futures for themselves, Rodo mentions that she’s always wanted to be in Takarazuka. lol
After Neviriru complains that she’s running out of patience waiting for Aeru to make the first move already, the two of them finish the CD with another discomfiting bout of kissing, hugging and personal talk, this time of the slightly TMI variety.
Once again, I found the bonus track hysterical, as the actresses all discuss their enjoyment as they made the CD. The best line is right at the beginning when they are talking about Onashia’s bizarro cameo when, from the back comes Onashia’s voice saying, “don’t touch me” totally deadpan, which flattens everyone. Including me.
I have to mention the music. I’m not the only one who has mentioned how exceptional the music for this series is. Look around online, you’ll find others. It *is* exceptional. And all of the best bits are used, quite incongruously, for the Drama CD. So music that was used for battles and flying Simoun are here used for…eating flan and shopping. It adds a measure of complete wtf-ness to what is already a silly story.
Okay, so, this is NOT a serious look at the characters from Simoun. It’s also not entirely out of character, although Parietta gets beat on pretty badly throughout. But in return you get actual kissing noises done very poorly by the actresses for Aeru and Neviriru, which indicate that they are now actually a couple. (So badly its almost worth a soundbite…but I’m not gonna bother – just kiss the back of your hand once or twice loudly. Make it sound stupid. That should do it.)
Art – N/A
Story – 5
Characters – 6
Yuri – 7
Service – 7 (anyone pokes my breast in an onsen, they’re going to get their fingers broken…)
Overall – 6
If what you liked about Simoun was the depth, the complexity – avoid this DCD at all costs. If you can get the stick out of your butt long enough to see this as the goofball fanfic it is, you might enjoy it.