At last, we have another chance to wallow in the company of the competely dysfunctional students of Tenchi Academy, in Hayate x Blade Drama CD, Volume 3.
And wallow we do, as amusing dysfunctions are paraded past our bemused ears, in this collection of 6 unrelated, original stories that showcase a remarkably large cast.
In the first track, Ayana’s room is filled to breaking point when pretty much every character ever mentioned in the manga shows up and crowds in….including all 80 of Akira’s fan club, the A-team.
We follow Mizuchi and Sou on a shopping trip to town, so Mizuchi can shed her old lady image – an objective that seems to be working until someone calls them mother and child.
Jun visits Yuho for the usual touching moments, then – wait for it – the Amachi conglomerate’s helicopter comes to pick her up. Yes! Tenchi Gakuen *also* has a private helicopter! Isn’t that wonderful? Now I have three helicopters in my Yuri army air division! LOL In return for the visit, Yuho sends Jun inedible cookies to give to everyone. Listening to Ayana trying to bite into the cookies was funny enough to make me laugh out loud.
Momoko has a weakness and in track 4 we learn what it is – she really, really, really, hates bamboo shoots. Kiji hypnotizes her into pretending that they are shiitake mushrooms, which she loves, but of course there are unintended consequences. And Kiji and Moka are renewed in their mutal hatred…and the awesome otokoyaku slash affair that doujinshi artists love so much gets new fodder.
The last track spends time with the remaining white-uniformed council members as they end up torturing Kureha, because they can. lol
For the cast credits, the theme picked by Tatewaki is ditched in favor for the theme chosen by the fans – who would you pick for your shinyuu? It will comes as no surprise that many of the actresses picked the cahracter that is their character’s shinyuu, but notably, several other actresses pick Akira – not just Sae’s seiyuu, Itou Shizuka (Rei, from Marimite, Nadie from El Cazador.)
Despite this, there is little Yuri in this volume, which is really okay, because all the couples are well-established in our heads now and it almost seems silly to beat the concept to death. Kiji and Moka’s hate/love thing was clearly fanservice of Yuri proportions.
This drama CD was significantly longer than most of the others I have – closer to an hour, than the usual 45 minutes. And it was all original stories, which was extra nice. You know how I love having more time to spend with the characters. And for physical extras, the insert booklet has an original short manga by Hayashiya-sensei, special for this Drama CD.
The *only* downside to the whole thing is something that you simply can’t really get past – the cast is now so HUGE, that there’s not enough time to spend with everyone, and although pretty much every character makes an appearance, that’s about all they do – make an appearance. The vignettes worked well to counteract this, because they each followed 2-8 characters (except the first, which quite literally shoved everyone in) so we got to spend at least that much time with those characters, semi-exclusively. lol
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 3
Service – 1
Overall – 9
A great addition to what is the most unique and interesting manga series, (while of course actually being completely generic and derivative, lol) currently running.
Oh, and I would definitely pick Ayana as my shinyuu – she’s competent, nasty *and* violent. She’s practically perfect. :-) How about you?