Archive for the Drama CD Category


Yuri Drama CD: Anoko ni Kiss to Shirayuri wo – Seiran School Festival (あの娘にキスと白百合を ドラマCD)

October 31st, 2017

Since yesterday we had a piece of Canno news, with Yen’s license announcement, I thought that made a nice lead-in to today’s review of one of the Anoko ni Kiss to Shirayuri wo Drama CDs (あの娘にキスと白百合を) . Specifically, the Drama CD that covers the goings on during the Seiran School Festival.

The school festival is a great scenario for highlighting all the couples we’ve seen so far in the Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl manga series. Of course we focus on the main couple, Kurozawa Yurine and Shiramine Ayaka. And they hit a small snag caused – as usual – by Ayaka’s inability to see their relationship for what it really is. She promises to watch Yurine in the track races, but then says she’ll be unable to, Yurine falls into a funk and is saved  – as usual – by Ayaka showing up to cheer her on after all.

Ultimately Ayaka and Yurine decide to have a one-on-one race to see who wins today. If you know the series, you know who wins. ^_^

Later in the rose garden, Yurine is able to explain to Ayaka that their relationship, which Ayaka still views as rivalry, she views as more like lovers. Then punctuates her point with a kiss.

Other scenarios include favorites like Mizuki ( who gets to be extra cool here, even winning her track race ) and Moe, Chiharu, Ai and of course Yurina and Towako. The voice actresses do such a good job of bringing the characters to life that I thought, “Well, obviously they sound just like that.”

It’s a long, crowded Drama CD, with a staggering 79 minutes of content. This “regular edition” of the drama CD includes a insert which has cast and staff info and messages, bonus art by fellow Yuri artists and a short comic by creator Canno.

Ratings:

Overall – 8

If you love the girls of Seiran and want to spend a more than an hour in their company – and work on your Japanese listening skills – this is a really good Drama CD with which to start.

There is also a deluxe edition which I was unable to have shipped to me. It includes a second disk with “to be announced” audio tracks. If you get it, let me know what they are!

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Drama CD: Grand Stage Special Performance (グラン・ステージ 特別公演)

September 14th, 2017

The Drama CD Grand Stage Special Performance (グラン・ステージ 特別公演) is technically the end of the first season of the series, but I had listened to the second group CD, Grand Stage Daiundokai , first, so I ended up listening to this one last of all the Grand Stage Drama CDs. And I have to tell you, it worked really well as a final CD for the series, so I don’t feel bad at all about it.

In the opening tracks, the established otokayaku of the Sora-gumi troupe, Suoh Yui, Hiou Akito, Subaru Ryoya and Kazmiya Eru meet the newest of their group – Minami Kohaku. Kohaku’s sister Kurea, is well known to all of them, so Kohaku, it turns out, has a reputation to live up to.

The bulk of the CD follows the otoyaku as a group. The leader of the Sora-gumi is planning a special performance and the otokoyaku are being asked to do a play – “Passive-Aggressive Red Riding Hood.” Frankly, I think Ryoya is a natural fit and I’m not the only one, but there’s a problem. The otokoyaku are not well-suited to play the female role. Hiou and Yui try to play the part together, but they both end up sounding like otokoyaku. Eru has a small crisis at the very idea of even attempting to play a female role, something that had this been in any way an LGBTQ series they could have made a plot point. But instead, they just circle around Eru’s insistence on being a cool guy on stage. They do the same for Ryoya’s inability to be in Kabuki. Lost opportunities to speak about gender roles and Japanese culture, but oh well. In the end, they play it for a comedy with Hiou in the role and then look forward to their musumeyaku doing their performance.

Ratings:

Overall – 9

It was a a fun end to what was a more amazing than I could have ever have expected series of Drama CDs. I’m gonna have to listen to them once more from the top. ^_^

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Yuri Drama CD: Grand Stage Romance Review #5 “Akabara no Kimi” Suoh Yui (グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第5幕「赤薔薇の君 蘇皇唯」)

July 16th, 2017

If you learn one thing from Grand Stage Romance Review #5 “Akabara no Kimi” Suoh Yui (グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第5幕「赤薔薇の君 蘇皇唯」), it’s that the sound of a nod and a head shaking back and forth as represented by the movement of material sound completely different. How fascinating.

It’s not the only thing we learn, obviously. We also learn that, under her cool, sophisticated exterior, the woman who goes by the name Suoh Yui, the senior otokoyaku of the Grand Stage Sora-gumi, has a very passionate and possessive heart.

She invites us over her apartment to discuss our partnership, but doesn’t hesitate to note she had a large bed. Classy, Yui, classy. But as we speak, she almost offhandedly points out that she lets us see part of her that no one else can ever see. She is, as one might expect, teasing and seductive, but, also as expected, it’s all a joke. After we leave for the night, Yui starts to fret.

The next day, Yui comes across Hiou Akito shopping at a home good store. It turns out that Akito and her partner are talking about moving in together and she’s finding herself looking for furniture. As Akito shares her concerns and doubts with Yui, Yui tells Akito that she reminds her a lot of herself. As Akito talks, she finds her her own unease growing and leaves. Akito says that this is the first time she’s seen Akabara like this. Yui starts to call us over and over. When we finally call back, she sounds desperately lonely…and a little frightening. She comes over to bring us back to her place.

When we get there, Yui tells us that we’re her’s…but when she sees us asleep, she realizes how much she’s fallen for us, watching us on stage. We’re awake and we hear everything she’s said. We embrace, as she asks us to be her Shirayuri-hime. We agree. Holding each other, we go to sleep, but not before she kisses us on the neck.

The next morning it’s all love-love banter between us. Again, Yui points out that we are the only one to see her like this. It’s obvious to us that her true self has been a well-kept secret.

Yui meets Akito once more, who asks about her relationship with her previous partner. Yui is glad to talk about it. Akito’s worried about asking her partner to move in, and is looking for a good time to ask. Yui’s advice is applicable to many situations – no one is like anyone else, every relationship and situation is unique. They both come out of the conversation relieved. Yui admits to being nervous about the announcement of the new Top Stars for the new year.

Yui comes home to find us cooking. She tells us that she kind of nervous and kind of relieved at the announcement, and offers us a “partner ring,” then embraces us and asks us to stay with her forever, her beloved Shirayuri.

The final track is a Spanish guitar-inspired song called “You’re mine.” Which you can hear in this Youtube clip:

As everyone had predicted this is a pretty darn Yuri CD. ^_^; And Saiga Mitsuki fans must have been downright swooning as she really pulls out all the stops her in her 10000x Yuri power up. A fine way to end the character CDs for this series.

Technically the Grand Stage Daiundokai is the final CD of the series, but I listened to the group CDs out of order, so I still have one left.

Ratings:

Overall – 10

The only thing I *don’t* know is who was announced in the stage play as the new Top Star! I can’t find any reviews of the play or spoilers. How vexing. I’m also a little bummed that this series is over and I’m not getting any more sexy-voiced Grand Stage Drama CDs, but I’m really glad to have gotten these. ^_^ And seriously we got two series, so I can’t complain too much. 

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Yuri Drama CD: Grand Stage Romance Review, Volume 4 (Kohaku Minami) / グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第4幕「美波琥珀」

March 23rd, 2017

All you lovely folks who wrote in to tell me that Grand Stage Romance Review, Volume 4 (Kohaku Minami) / グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第4幕「美波琥珀」was pretty goshdarn Yuri…you were so right! Although I’m always going to be partial to Hiou Akito’s second drama CD, Minami is pretty wonderful in this disk.

Minami, you may remember from her  first CD, is the second of two Grand Stage stars in her family. Her sister Kurea (Claire) is sort of overbearing in an “I only want you to be happy” kind of way. She’s annoying in her care and attention. She’s also voiced by Kitamura Eri, who voices Minami, who carries this duel role throughout the CD.

Minami has found genuine passion for the Grand Stage and pretty much credits the person she loves for that. It seems obvious that that person is us, her sempai and partner, but either we pretend to not know at first, or haven’t clued in. I was disappointed in us. 

But, eventually Minami comes clean and admits flat out that we are the person she loves. She doesn’t ask for an answer, per se, but confesses like a person who really wants to confess. 

We are, remember, older, wiser and a good friend of Kurea’s. It’s pretty clear that we’re not “in love” with Minami, even though we obvious care deeply about her. So even though we are not leaping into Minami’s arms, it’s both admirable and sweet that she comes right out and tells us her feelings.

The CD ends with Minami singing her song about happiness, “Sachi,” which you can hear on this Youtube preview.

Ratings:

Overall – 8 (A point off for Kurea, she’s just kind of annoying.)

You go, Minami. I bet you’ll win us over one day. ^_^

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Yuri Drama CD: Grand Stage Romance Review, Volume 3 (Kazamiya Eru) ( グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第3幕「風宮絵琉」)

February 2nd, 2017

Squee! Seriously, could  Inoue Marina get any cuter?  ^_^

In Grand Stage Romance Review, Volume 3 (Kazamiya Eru) ( グラン・ステージ ロマンスレビュー 第3幕「風宮絵琉」) the youngest of the Sora-gumi otokoyaku faces a crisis. It’s a good crisis, but…

The song “Hisshou  ~WE CAN FLY~” (飛翔~WE CAN FLY~), sung by all five principals opens the CD. It’s cute and sticky and you can easily imagine them singing it in boy-band style.  I wondered briefly if the lyrics were online, until I literally slapped myself upside the head and pulled out the little booklet with, DUH, the lyrics. I want to share two things about this song with you, both reliant on the quirks of translation and language, but please be assured I say this all with the utmost love and respect. On the CD track, the song was most unfortunately subject to the vagaries of the R/L issue in Japanese-English translation, with the resulting title “飛翔~WE CAN FRY~”. I chuckled, but I swear, not unkindly. The final line  of the lyrics has an interesting reverse quirk. “Hisshou, We Can Fly” and ” Hit Show, We Can Fight” sounded so similar as sung that had I not looked at the lyrics, I would not have known that was that the lyrics included both those lines.  ^_^ 

Eru, you may remember from the first series, is the Sora-gumi’s Peter Pan, youthful and prone to being adorably hyper. When she’s told by Ryoya that the head of the group has called for her to come to the office, she’s a little too green to realize that Ryoya’s teasing. Worried that she’s been cut from the team, she learns that instead, her greatest dream may have come true.

Having been scouted in New York, it has always been Eru’s dream to perform on Broadway and now, an offer to do that very thing has come up! She rushes to reassure us, her partner, that she won’t leave though, until we respond (with implied forcefulness) that she should go after her dream and not worry about us, we’ll be fine. Of course, we’d be more convincing if we weren’t crying when we said that. Eru reluctantly agrees.

We tearfully part. Eru’s crying voice was heartbreaking and you just know that we’re balls of sniffly mush as she heads off to New York to reach for her dream.

As the new track begins, we find Eru has returned. (Is anyone surprised?) But her reason for returning was uniquely Eru-esque. She’s become accustomed to and enjoys performing male roles. In fact, her goal is to achieve a “cool” guy reputation. But once she arrived in New York, she realized that she’d be performing as a woman. (And so the slightly strange cover image is explained at last.) Not that she objected; it just, she realized, wasn’t her. And so she’s back. AND she promises not to leave us again. In execrable English she tells us that she loves our teary face. Squee!

The final spoken track finds both us and Eru in New York (you can tell, because the BGM is saxophones…duh..) and Eru semi-accurately walks us through Times Square and Broadway. (I know for a fact that Ogata Megumi has been to NYC, because that’s where I met her, so she would have been able to regale the writers with stories of what it looked like 15 years ago. It’s changed a lot since.) And we promise to stay together forever.

I think Sakura speaks for us all here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the CD finishes with “2 be there” a new image song.

Ratings: 

Overall – 9

So, another squeezable Drama CD from the geniuses at  étriere, who clearly just want me to be happy. ^_^

Here is Inoue Marina as Kazamiya Eru singing “2 be there.” I thought it suited her.

 

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