Yuri Drama CD: Grand Stage Romance Review 2 Subaru Ryoya (グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第2幕「昴涼夜」)

November 25th, 2016

gsrrsrLesson learned. When one has a week-long migraine, one should not listen to Toyoguchi Megumi yelling at one for 40 minutes. 

Learned, because that is the bulk of the content of Grand Stage Romance Review 2, Subaru Ryoya (vラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第2幕「昴涼夜」) – Ryoya yelling at you. ^_^;

You may recall from Ryoya’s original Grand Stage Drama CD, that she is imperious and demanding and that we, as the Christine to her Phantom, have a lot to live up to. As the second series Drama CD opens, we have failed to live up to her standard and she is furious with us.

One of the many things I like about the Romance Review series is that the behavior “we” engage in (as narrated by the otokoyaku) all seem really sensible. “Our” behavior makes perfect sense in the context of what’s going on. So, as Ryoya is ragging endlessly at us, at some point I thought, “Good god, Ryoya are you jealous?” And, all of a sudden, we hear the rustle of cloth, Ryoya reacts as if she’s been slapped and I thought, “we” just said that exact same thing to her face. Good.

Ryoya follows us to the park, where we meet up with Akabara-no-kimi, presumably for advice on how to deal with Ryoya.  Ryoya’s jealousy hits 4th gear. What follows was a series of intriguing conversations around this straightforward plot.

First thing of note was the excruciatingly adorable shift in Toyoguchi-san’s voice when Ryoya calls home. The imperious, demanding Phantom sounds, instantly like a daughter talking to her mom. I squeed and laughed out loud simultaneously. 

Also extremely enjoyable was Akabara-no-kimi’s gentle guidance. She said something that has had me thinking for days. When Ryoya reluctantly admits to being jealous of Akabara-no-kimi, Yui says, “So am I.” “Akabara-no-kimi” Yui points out, is a construct, a work of fiction, that she is always running after. I though that was a genuinely insightful line.

The final scene is our and Ryoya’s reconciliation. She admits to be having been a jealous ass and we agree that she has indeed been a jealous ass. ^_^ Our speaking parts are indicated by much movement of cloth, indicating expressive physical movement, and I had a momentary vision of us speaking in Japanese Sign Language with flamboyant, angry arm motions. It made for a great imagined visual.

The final track is Ryoya’s new image song, “Sleepless Night” in which her jealousy plays a part in keeping her up.

Ratings: 

Overall – 8

I very much enjoyed this CD, despite the shouting. In several ways it served to humanize Ryoya and also give us a backbone that we were not permitted in the original Phantom/Christine scenario. 

Here is Toyoguchi-san singing “Sleepless Night”. Enjoy.

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10 Responses

  1. Tiffy says:

    Hello. I’ve been following your Grand Stage CD reviews for a while now, but I’ve been too shy to comment. I’m really happy you enjoyed Ryoya’s Romance Revue (though I’m in total agreement that listening to her yell at you with a headache probably isn’t the way to go XD).

    Ryoya is my absolute favorite Grand Stage character, so I’m going to try my best not to gush too much. My apologies if I get carried away (which I probably will).

    I really like how in this CD, we as Ryoya’s partner have obviously grown since the first CD; we stand up for ourself when Ryoya is being ridiculously critical. Refusing to be blamed for messing up the climax of the performance because the strap of our shoe broke, telling Ryoya she eats like an old man when she complains about our poor eating habits, calling her out on being jealous (as you mentioned), and even though it’s a very low blow, telling Ryoya that she’ll never make it to Akabara no Kimi with her attitude when she says we’re not qualified to be Shirayuri no Hime. Also also, the way she’s like “What are you grinning about?” after Yui takes her leave; I was definitely grinning like an idiot during that first meeting with Yui (It’s that Saiga charm!). And while you know the CD is going to have a happy ending, the way the first track ended was so tense.

    My heart melted listening to Ryoya talk to her mom; everything about her mannerisms completely transformed. Of course, Ryoya is respectful when addressing those above her, but the genuine fondness she feels toward her mother was so very endearing. I thought it was clever how they used her mother accidentally mixing up her father’s and brother’s belongings to lead into the next scene. Catching us talking to Yui outside of the theater where her brother’s kabuki performance is being held and having to excuse herself from the phone conversation because “Actually Mother, I’m going to stay and watch Brother’s performance after all.” (I also like how she uses the ‘-sama’ suffix for her family members. So polite.) And then how she approaches Yui after the performance; she’s trying to be so nonchalant and respectful without seeming too obvious. And I love that Yui is enjoying this for all it’s worth; she’s definitely playing with Ryoya, but not in a cruel way. I laughed a lot when Ryoya asks if Yui has become close to us and seems to relax when Yui denies it, but then becomes on edge when right after, Yui says she wants to get closer with us because she’s been looking for a new Shirayuri and we might be perfect for her partner. It was really refreshing how Yui patiently helped Ryoya sort through and understand her feelings (after she was done having a little fun at her expense). The contrast between their personalities and demeanors really served to highlight how young and inexperienced Ryoya really is when often times she presents herself as a confident (and arrogant) perfectionist. And oh my gosh, Toyoguchi-san did such an amazing job portraying Ryoya’s absolute bewilderment when she finds out that this was all a convenient setup because Yui ran into us at the kabuki performance. If Ryoya had paid attention, she would have seen that we didn’t even sit with Yui during the show. And the making up afterwards was very sweet. It was cute when she says she’ll take us to a theme park on our next day off and basically do whatever we want without complaining.

    And on the last track, we go on a date to a theme park that they can’t say is Disney, but you know it obviously is if the character ears and the ride that suspiciously has ‘Mountain’ in it are any indications. But just in case we didn’t catch on, they graciously throw in a Cinderella reference at the end. It was a very cute and fun track to end a rather emotionally-charged CD. From the game of ‘Couples Shiritori’ (I would still love to know what we said between wanting to travel together and wanting to live with each other; whatever it was though, it thoroughly shocked and embarrassed Ryoya) to having Ryoya ask if we want to play the pocky game after cramming a chocostick in her mouth when she starts lecturing us about dieting. We’re finally opening up, communicating and getting to know each other better. I couldn’t have asked for a better continuation to our story with Ryoya. (I’m honestly so thankful we even got the second set of CDs.
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the unlikely possibility we’ll get a third installment.)

    As it turns out, I did get carried away, and again, I’m so sorry for rambling on and on. I enjoy Grand Stage so much that I’d have no problem getting into deep discussions about almost any aspect of the series. I am really looking forward to your reviews for the next 3 CDs. I agree with the others who have said they’re anticipating your reaction to Yui’s CD. (:

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I agree completely with your comments. I can’t say I have a favorite Grand Stage otokoyaku, they are all so wonderful, but I definitely think this was a fantastic second CD for Ryoya. ^_^

    • Shiki says:

      completely agree!
      well, I DO love Ryoya, but sometimes she’s really make me want to give a nice punch on her with a “Just be honest already willya!?” on it ^^;;;a

      And don’t forget the after story SS, where she and the MC go to hanami together ^^

      • Tiffy says:

        Definitely! Rather than being stubborn about accepting the bite of dessert and getting mad because we call her out on being jealous, she could have let us feed her and spoil her, but noooo, we had to argue and say hurtful things to each other. (Thank goodness for Yui’s help.) I love the moments when Ryoya’s honest about her feelings; she feels very vulnerable in those scenes as she opens up to us. But I also don’t mind it when she’s scolding us or criticizing us. I think I might be just a bit M for her. XD

        Ah, I really love how they included SS in the LE copies of the CDs; it makes me happy we get more material with them. And it’s nice we get their partners’ sides of the conversations. I enjoy seeing them represented in a way that makes them feel more like characters who are separate from us as the listeners. I have fun imagining what sort of characters their partners would be. ^^

        Is Ryoya your favorite otokoyaku too? Or is there another one who has stolen your heart? <3

        • Shiki says:

          Well, Ryoya used to be all alone, therefore have a ‘dear’ friend and partner like now in Grand Stage is a completely new for her, so in some points, I can understand why she’s sooooo stubborn and cannot be honest…
          But I still want to give one nice punch for her ^^;;

          Oh, and the SS make me laugh very hard when ‘Look! Flying pizza!’ *LOL*

          Favorite otokoyaku, huh…?
          Well, Ryoya’s design is my favorite, that’s for sure.
          But TBH, I really can’t choose one. This series is just toooo good.

          • Tiffy says:

            Yes, knock some sense into her! (Though I don’t think she’d like it very much.) XD

            Hahaha omg, I should try to go through the SS (all of them) again to pick up on more of the content. ^^

            You and Erica are so good for equally loving the characters. Meanwhile, my bias for Ryoya is shamelessly strong. She made me love her most. XD But I’m attached to the other characters as well. I want to protect Kohaku because she’s too pure for this world. I want Yui to (mostly) take care of me because I’m weak to her charm. I love Eru because she’s so genuine and friendly and she reminds me of a really hyper dog. XD And Akito’s outgoing and playful personality is so fun and her teasing makes me blush, but I do struggle most with following her CD because of how quickly(?) she speaks. orz

  2. Red says:

    May I please ask who the artist for the covers are? They are very good.

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