Yasashikute Toge ga Aru ~ Nemurenu Yoru no Junjou
Suzumura Kenichi x Sakurai Takahiro (鈴村健一 x 櫻井孝宏)
Ookawa Toru x Sakurai Takahiro (大川透 x 櫻井孝宏)
Sakurai Takahiro x Suzumura Kenichi (櫻井孝宏 x 鈴村健一)
浅倉梁: Suzumura Kenichi 鈴村健一
宝生千裕: Sakurai Takahiro 櫻井孝宏
高階隼人: Ookawa Toru 大川透
神宮司雅臣: Chiba Susumu 千葉進歩
Rating: Recommended for angst and Sakupyon fans
Detailed Summary (spoilers galore):
Set during the period from Meiji, Taisho to Showa era, this drama tells of the romance between Houjo Chiro (Hojo Chiro) (Sakurai Takahiro), the son of a weathly family and Asakura Ryou (Suzumura Kenichi), his best friend and son of a servant in the family.
For as long as Chiro can remember, Ryou has always been by his side. They are of the same age and they have fun and grow up happily together.
Time flies and it is now Taisho-era. Due to the huge difference in their social standing, the people around them do not approve of their close friendship as they become older. However, Chiro does not care. The teenager is happy as long as he has Ryou’s company.
It is summer holidays and Chiro’s parents left for a vacation in one of their mansions in Karuizawa. Chiro has always chosen to stay at home during this period to spend time with Ryou.
One afternoon, Chiro joins Ryou at their favourite spot, a bright and beautiful open space covered with sunflowers during summer. Ryou is drawing on the sketchbook that his father gave him and Chiro discovers his best friend’s artistic talent. Ryou is modest but Chiro comments that nobody in school can draw as well as he does. Chiro is very excited about it and predicts that Ryou will be a famous artist in the future. He proposes to talk to his father about it so that Ryou can attend an art school to further his studies. However, Ryou becomes angry and declares firmly that his place in the future is to serve Chiro and be by his side. At that very moment, Chiro feels a sweet pain in his heart. That is the first time he realises his romantic feelings for Ryou and his love for him as a person and not just a best friend…
Years later, Chiro’s parents die in a car accident, leaving behind Chiro and his sister, Kaoruko. Although his parents did not leave behind a will, police investigations pointed to the possibility of suicide. The findings would have grave consequences on the family’s reputation and Chiro’s ability to protect his family assets. Ryou suggests putting the responsibility on his own father, Asakura Kippei who was the driver when the accident happened. Although Chiro protests and is unwilling to do so at first, in the end it is what they did. Chiro feels deep regret over the decision and is unable to forgive himself for taking advantage of his beloved. At the age of 25 years old, Chiro successfully secures his inheritance but he is doubtful of his own ability to protect his family and company.
Unfortunately for Chiro, his parents left him a huge debt which he has no way of paying off. Chiro tries his best to deal with the situation and his only comfort is having Ryou by his side. Out of the blue, Ryou wonders if Chiro would consider marriage as his wife can take better care of him. Shocked and hurt by Ryou’s suggestion, Chiro scolded him. He does not know that Ryou is also in love with him and does not truly want what Chiro to be married.
Half a year has passed since Chiro’s father passed away and Chiro has not yet found a solution to the mounting debts he has. Takashina Hayato (Ookawa Tohru), a young and successful businessman whom Chiro met a year ago enters the picture with an indecent proposition. In return for Chiro’s body, the man will support him financially. As a threat, Takashina also revealed that he got hold of information about his parents’ suicide and how they put the blame on Asakusa Kippei instead. Chiro naturally refuses him but he wonders how much longer he can hold the company together. If he accepts the proposal, he would probably not be able to face Ryou anymore. He decides to confess his love for Ryou before he steps over the edge. He wants to spend the night with Ryou at least once before he becomes Takashina’s lover.
When Ryou finds out about situation that Chiro is in, he also confesses his love for him. The couple consummate their love and Ryou encourages Chiro that they will be able to weather the storm together. He suggests seeking help from Jinguji (Chiba Susumu), Chiro’s good friend from their student days. Jinguji is heir to the most powerful and influential family in Japan but is currently away in a foreign country. Chiro is doubtful at first but is filled with hope again with Ryou’s encouragement.
That day, a massive earthquake struck Japan. Ryou did not return from an errand and is presumed dead. The damage to the country is severe and Chiro’s properties were also badly affected. Jinguji will not be returning to Japan so soon. In despair, he has no choice but to accept Takashina’s proposition. In order to ensure that Chiro would not back out from his decision, Takashina spikes his wine with an aphrodisiac and finally takes possession of his long awaited prize…
It has been two years since Chiro became Takashina’s lover. One day, Chiro hears a familiar voice during a party. It is Ryou and he is alive! Chiro cannot believe his eyes and calls out to him. Why didn’t Ryou contact him if he was alive? When they finally meet, Ryou explains that he has lost his memory except for the name “Asakura Ryou”. He was hit on the head by falling debris while trying to protect a woman during the earthquake. The woman is the wife of a foreign ambassador and to show their gratitude for saving her life, they decided to take Ryou in. They also discovered Ryou’s artistic talents and give their support to him in becoming an artist. Chiro decides to hide the truth of Ryou’s identity as a servant because he now has better future prospects as an artist instead. Chiro has sold his body to Takashina and cannot be Ryou’s master anymore. He lies that they were schoolmates and then bids farewell. However Ryou stops him and asks him to model for his portraits. After some persuasion, Chiro agrees.
The painting sessions with Ryou are short but precious to Chiro. During one of the sessions, Ryou reveals that he first started sketching a year and a half earlier after having a dream. He dreamed of himself when he was a teenager and there was a beautiful boy who said he will become an artist. He wanted to draw the boy but couldn’t make out his face clearly. Ryou says that when he saw Chiro, he thought that Chiro was the boy in his dreams and even confessed that if he was a woman, he would probably fall in love with Chiro. Chiro feels happy that Ryou may have lost his memory but still remembers him in his dreams.
That night, Chiro meets up with Takashina for their usual sexual exchange. Takashina comments that Chiro has become more beautiful but Chiro is unimpressed and brushes him off. However, Takashina feels that there is nothing wrong to compliment the person he is in love with. The man reveals that in the beginning he did not want to use such underhanded methods to take possession of Chiro. He also did not expect Chiro to be so stubborn because even after such a long time, Chiro has yet to submit to him. However, Chiro is not interested in small talk and only wants to get the sex over and done with. In agreement, Takashina takes out a bottle of aphrodisiac oil, something he had not used on Chiro ever since the first time they had sex.
Takashina pours and applies the aphrodisiac oil on Chiro’s lower body and uses a contraption on him to prevent him from climaxing. Takashina demands to be seduced. Chiro swallows his pride and goes on all fours. He raises his hips and begs for Takashina to give him release. Pleased with Chiro’s obedience, Takashina takes him.
Suddenly, Chiro hears a noise outside. He looks up and sees Ryou standing at the entrance. Shocked by what is before his eyes, Ryou apologies and runs away. It was all part of Takashina’s plan. He is long aware of Ryou’s love for Chiro and is glad he went missing during the earthquake. But when he finds out about Ryou’s return and how Chiro seems happier lately, he has finally understood that Chiro too is in love with Ryou. Angered by the discovery, Takashina does not want Chiro to ever get back in touch with Ryou again. Devastated by what transpired, Chiro has no intention of doing so either.
After that incident, Chiro tries his best to go on with his life and forget about what happened. Ryou too did not contact him again. His friend, Jinguji finally returns to Japan. The two men meet up and embark on a new business project together. Chiro keeps himself busy with his work but try as he might, he cannot help but feel the tightness in his chest whenever he thinks about Ryou.
One day, Jinguji brings Chiro good news. Chiro’s father owns some properties which can be developed into profitable assets. Excited, Chiro accidentally reveals the rope burn marks on his wrists. After Takashina discovered Chiro’s mutual love for Ryou, he became very violent in bed. He would tie him up and use all sorts of toys on him. Jinguji confronts Chiro about his relationship with Takashina because he felt there was a strange atmosphere between the two men when he saw them enter a hotel together. Chiro finally confessed about his sexual contract with Takashina for the last three years. Jinguji offers to help Chiro out of the situation and he succeeds. Chiro is finally free from Takashina’s clutches.
Ryou turns up at Chiro’s mansion to the shock of the other servants. The trauma of seeing Chiro with Takashina that night restored his memories. Ryou shows Chiro his winning artwork and it was the portrait he painted of Chiro. Ryou hopes they can finally be back together… but can Chiro overcome his own shame and allow Ryou into his life again?
Based on a novel by Arisugawa Kei (有栖川ケイ)
I had very high expectations for this title because it’s Sakupyon! It’s Taisho-Showa era! It’s ANGST! And the release date of this CD has been delayed TWICE (postponing my Nessa no Rakuen BL game which was on the same order OTL;;; but that’s for another post) and it was finally HERE!
However, after I listened to it for the first time when I got it in late October, I couldn’t help but feel let down by the main story. I listened to the drama before I slept, so I wrote a long rant about it the next day… I enjoyed the omake side-story track where the couple was in present times but the main story was quite disappointing and I couldn’t publish the review… because I had so wanted to enjoy this CD but I didn’t (T_T)
In the end, I canned the original review and listened to it again with my expectations adjusted. Then again, I may been overly critical of the drama CD because of the long wait… How do you feel about the drama after your listened to it?
Anyway, this drama cd has BL cliches and character stereotypes galore. Well, I don’t mind it very much but I went pfffttt a couple of times when those typical lines and scenarios came up.
Also, the whole CD felt like one big rush *_* Sakupyon was given a lot of monologue to explain the background of the story due to the Taisho setting as well as his character’s predicament. It is OK to have long monologues but it just didn’t translate well for the flow and pacing of the drama as a whole, especially since everything was crammed into just one CD. Because of this, everybody else had little audio time. Each character comes in, says a few lines and exits. Which means, I seriously didn’t care very much for any of them at the end of the Taisho story =_=;;
Also, I feel that the adapted story sounded incomplete and some parts didn’t make sense. I would have also liked to know what Jinguji did to make Takashina give up Chiro so quickly. No explanation. And because many details of the novel were omitted, I was left with the feeling that Chiro really sucked at running his business OTL and jumped into Takashina’s bed too easily. I found the answers from the novel in the end and have written those extra information from the novel into the summary so that it reads more coherently.
But that said, I feel that it could still be salvaged if the smex between the characters are good lol~ :D
Speaking of H-scenes, there are two Suzuken x Sakupyon, two Ookawa Tooru x Sakupyon and one omake track with Sakupyon x Suzuken H-scenes.
The Suzuken x Sakupyon H-scenes aren’t that short but somehow it felt like something was missing. It could be due to the problem with the pairing. Suzuken paired with low-voice Sakupyon didn’t sound right somehow. The chemistry just wasn’t there. Yeah, Sakupyon used a lower-pitched voice for his character Chiro who is usually the seme in the previous installments of this series. Their voices sounded very similar at some points during their climaxing scenes, so much so that I couldn’t tell whose cries they were in both H-scenes OTL;;; Maybe I should go back and listen to them again just for the sake of figuring it out.
Suzuken’s seme didn”t sound strong enough to take the lead in this drama cd. And gosh, he sounded so uke it was as if he was begging to be seme-ed instead OTL;;;
Both Sakupyon and Suzuken didn’t put across the angst and emotions I expected from a Servant x Master pairing either. SIGH.
However, the rhythm between the two in the second H-scene was good, even though it didn’t exactly fulfill my [high] expectations. The sound effects of squishy, wet smex were pretty good though.
On the other hand, since this is a BL universe, I’d forgive the lack of realistic love portrayal between the characters, -IF- the LUST was good lol~ Because Sakupyon definitely sounded yum when he was paired with Ookawa Tooru.
Ookawa Tooru has a deep manly voice of an older matured male. His seme character, Takashina was not very much older than Chiro, and was probably in his early 30s? He was another huge BL stereotype but it was delicious hear him dominate Sakupyon’s Chiro and force him into submission. The second H-scene where Chiro pleaded to be entered gave me butterflies in the stomach and Sakupyons moans when he was mounted was seriously nose-bleeding. Unfortunately, it’s a major pity we don’t get to hear full H-scenes between the two. Full as in the whole sexual act that leads to climaxing for both seme and uke.
Last track side story Sakupyon x Suzuken
Oh welly… but fortunately the last omake side story of Sakupyon x Suzuken was awesome. Fast forward the couple to the present time where Chiro is back as the master and Ryou the servant. The boys are now university students and there I felt the connection between the two again. You can so obviously feel that they are so much more comfortable with each other here. Sakupyon is awesome as a bullying but gentle seme and Suzuken such a cute, playful and pouty uke. Even the short H-scenes (just kissing and touching) sounded so much hotter!
Ookawa Tooru also takes the cake for his lively okama (tranny) character and he sure made me laugh :D I love this track a lot.
In the side story, the Taisho main story is all but a dream and it made Ryou appreciate that Chiro is with him right now. It was an amazing dream because Ryou dreamt of both Takashina and Kaoruko whom he has never met before. It is only then Chiro revealed that he did have a baby sister who had died. He also clarifies that Takashina, the okama pizza shop owner is only an acquaintance (who obviously likes Chiro a little too much lol~) The track ended with the boys reaffirming the love they have for each other…
Some of the music used in the drama cd were kinda… distracting at some points and didn’t feel like they gelled with the flow of the drama. However, a few pieces were very beautiful, especially the main love theme for the couple. Generally I think they would have sounded good on their own but maybe I’m nit-picking due to my high expectations for the drama cd as a whole. At certain parts of the drama, there were some incredibly jarring sound effects used to create a dramatic effect to much cheesy 80’s soap failure. Hated that.
SIGH. I’ve more or less recovered from the disappointment. Yeah. Time heals. ^^;;; Anyway, if you bought the drama cd from comi-comi, you get a lucky draw coupon. The prize is a special paper that will be autographed by the seiyuus. There will be 2 winners.
Please share what you think about this title… cos maybe I really am being too critical of it :P