Let it be said and recognized that Inoue Marina is one of the best least-known voice actresses that you have ever heard. I first “heard” her as Lirio in El Cazador de la Bruja, (which is an irony, as Lirio almost never spoke) but she’s probably better known as Gurren Lagan‘s Yoko. We’ve encountered her many times as Cure March in PreCure, Eriol in Nanoha Strikers and my favorite, as Shouko from Maria-sama ga Miteru. Generally speaking, I adore her voice, and I was pleased as punch that she was included in this wackadoodle Yuri Drama CD series as Grand Stage’s “Peter Pan,” Kazamiya Eru.
In Grand Stage 3, “Kazamiya Eru (グラン・ステージ 第３幕「風宮絵琉」) she gets to stretch her voice a little and overplay a uniquely overplayable role…and be delightful doing it. ^_^
Kazmiya Eru, the third otokoyaku of the Grand Stage we meet, is playful and childish, with a boyish charm. She is about to play Peter Pan, which suits her personality, and so, of course, we will be her Wendy.
Eru-kun is disarmingly cheerful and energetic and we respond accordingly. But unlike Akito and Ryoya, she is also deeply concerned with the issue of gender. Having been scouted in New York, Eru maintains she wants to portray a “cool guy” even as she’s bouncing around the room, childlike.
The format of the story is settled now – we meet our potential partner, end up in their apartment, feed them, listen to their story, find ourselves charmed and end up together as the perfect partner. When Inoue-san says, as Eru-kun, “I love you – so much!” in English, with the emphasis almost, but not quite correct, it’s hard to not want to hug the stuffing out of her. ^_^
Then Eru-kun sings her image song, “Flying Boy,” which pretty much wore the Peter Pan analogy threadbare.
The Drama CD includes, as the other’s have, a “signed image” by the Grand Stage top star, images of her in tux and in “street clothes” and this time included a short SS “shousetsu”, i.e., an official fanfic, printed in the CD insert, which was absolutely delightful and ridiculous.
Concerned about our happiness, Eru-kun asks Akito and Ryoya for advice on a birthday date. A limo driven by Akito takes us to the zoo where a Ryoya panda leads us around. We end up the day in a romantic spot, with the other two listening in openly. We are – of course – moved by Eru-kun’s kindness and even more so when she asks us to call her by her real name, Hibiya Hikaru. We and Hi-kun (squee! we have a special nickname for her!) end the day happily, under the benevolent smiles of Akito and Ryoya.
Gosh we’re such softies. ^_^
And as I wrapped up this CD I thought, “I love this series. It’s so goshdarn tack-tastic and full of all the Yuri things, what’s not to love?”
Now I’m super motivated to listen to the others and get the new series asap. If this were an anime, I’d watch the hell out of it. In the meantime, this is, really, truly, the “Yuriest” thing coming out of Japan in ages.
Overall – 10