It all started with sample voice tracks of Tatsuhisa Suzuki. Back then, while I knew that Drama CDs existed, I didn’t know that there were otherkinds — like ones that are supposed to talk to the listener.
And in this case, me.
It was a very jarring experience.
Hello to Otome CDs!
Granted, Suzuki’s performance in those particular clips was supposed to veer on the sexy side, which in itself lead to an effect (and reactions ( ///)a); but I have to say, I was just practically amazed at the technology used to do the recording — which, I found out later, was a Dummy Head Mic — which added to the overall experience. Recording in that manner allows for the listener to experience, literally, surround sound. While you can appreciate the voice acting, the mic’s sensitivity allows for an appreciation of other dynamics, such as distance and movement (such as the guy approaching from your left, or when he’s seductively whispering in your ear). It just becomes a tad awkward when kissing happens, because it feels as if he’s always kissing your ear ”’orz
As I mentioned in my brief tumblr post above, I sampled the tracks while I was at work, and it was probably a mistake X3;; but when I got home, I followed the suggestion of the original poster: lie down, turn the lights off, close my eyes, and use headphones…
— and OH-EM-GEE.
It certainly helped that I was imagining this one
Makoto Tachibana from Free! talking to me…
(;/ u\) kyaaa~
I really had to open my eyes at some point and make sure my room wasn’t freaking HAUNTED.
The experience didn’t scare me away from Suzuki’s sexy moving voice. Far from it! I ended up hunting around the internet for the entire album and its translation, and discovered the Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa series. And from there, there was no turning back from the rabbit hole. I jumped right in.
Spoiler: Souji has the best whispers AND breathing.
You’ll have to live with the coughing though.
As of today, I have collected the Wasurenagusa that have translations. Friends and I over plurk have taken to figuring out who has the most slobbery kisses, sexiest whisper and most convincing breaths. Yes. Those are our criteria for judging.
Spoiler: Saito wins The Most Slobbery Kisses award.
I have also welcomed another series called Shukan Soine (though I have yet to listen to an entire album; I have also checked out the equivalent apps for Android), where the guy is your “boyfriend” and he tries to get you to sleep. Sadly ineffective as, again, I have to read translations, so I can’t drift away X3;;
Masaya here’s just one of the 13 “boyfriends” offered by the series.
I also managed to check the third release of Kannou Jikan which was waaaaay creepy (and made me uncomfortable). Sadly, this was against the intention of Kannou Jikan, which was supposed to have a hypnotic effect and help the listener relax. There’s no way I’m relaxing if I feel like I want to smash a chair over the guy’s head.
I don’t care how sexy your voice is.
You’re a creeper and I don’t want you whispering in my ear X(!!
I realize that there are a whole lot of other series, and I hope to be able to sample them one day, following my favorite seiyuu. So far, I’m quite loyal to Wasurenagusa as it provides me with both a compelling narrative (playing within the seemingly well-loved history of the Shinsengumi), and giddy fan-myself-it’s-so-hot-in-here feelings.
My second-favorite installment in the series:
Yamazaki: medic and spy extraordinaire!
As an aside, if I were learning Japanese or teaching Japanese, I would recommend Drama CDs as learning and teaching materials — sticking to the SFW variety, of course!
Because you can rest assured that there’s
nothing sfw when Heisuke’s posing like that.
This is also my favorite Wasurenagusa installment.
My only quip with regards to the experience of Otome CDs is my nonexistent knowledge of the Japanese language. It helps that Saki provides time stamps in her translations as I am unable to follow with keywords alone. Some translations are way to the letter, and it waters down the already watered-down experience of listening due to the language barrier.
But there’s obviously no barrier between you,
and whatever’s under Hijikata’s, uh, hakama (??)
I like, however, that I can tune them out and just have the effect of “guys whispering sweet nothings in your ear”. It also helps that a lot of these CDs are recorded by well-known and well-loved seiyuu (a great source of bonus points, if I might say!) I don’t understand a word they say, but, since the intended effect on the listener is mostly to soothe and relax (when not trying to be seductive), the seiyuu do a great job at it, and regardless of the language barrier, they convey moods and emotions beautifully. I’m glad to have learned of this medium and I’ll be on the lookout for more.
… and how can I not? Not when Kondou here fulfills my
oyajicon — at least in terms of voice and I just imagine
him as Kondou from Hakuouki 😛