Listening Practice 🎧 What do you listen to for Japanese practice?

Since the Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai book club is about to start tomorrow (!), I thought I’d do another BLCD review for those interested in giving the Drama CD-series a try for listening practice.

Content warning! This drama CD series has adult content as does the manga! If that’s not your thing, give this series a pass.

But if you don’t mind the themes of masochism, sex, yakuza, drug deals and physical violence, it’s in my opinion a great series that got a phenomenal audio drama adaption.

囀る鳥は羽ばたかない by Kou Yoneda

index

cover

Cast:
Yashiro: Tarusuke Shingaki
Chikara Doumeki: Wataru Hatano
Kanji Kageyama: Hiroki Yasumoto
Eishin Kuga: Yuki Ono
Takahito Misumi: Toru Okawa
Atsushi Ryuuzaki: Kenta Miyake
Kazuaki Hirata: Akimitsu Takase
Yuusuke Nanahara: Kazuyuki Okitsu
Hayato Sugimoto: Takahiro Miyake
Shizuma Amou: Takuya Sato

This adaption has got several big-name voice actors, such as Kenta Miyake (you might know him as All-Might from My Hero Academia), Toru Okawa (who played Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist, Saito in Ghost in the Shell, and a ton of other stuff), Wataru Hatano (played notable roles in animes such as Fairy Tail, Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation; Bungo Stray Dogs, My Hero Academia etc.).

The main character of Yashiro, played by Tarusuke Shingaki isn’t as well-known perhaps, though he’s also done voice acting in some pretty big anime series, like My Hero Academia (as Mirio Togata), Ghost in the Shell: Arise (as Togasa), Fate/Zero (as Kariya Matō and this role in particular is amazingly well done). He’s also doing voice acting on various video games and a ton of more anime and drama CDs.

This is a great cast for this BLCD adaption, with seiyuus who are all well suited to their roles.

Story:
Yashiro is the young leader of a yakuza group. When he’s not dealing with the shady business of money extortion in the money loan business, he seeks out sex partners to serve his deep masochistic side. Starting work as a bodyguard for him is Chikara Doumeki and although Yashiro has decided to never lay a hand on his own men, he finds there’s something about Doumeki that he can’t resist. A complicated relationship of sorts ensues while there is increasing turmoil within the yakuza group.

Review:
This is a wonderful adaption of the original manga. It diligently follows the original story and the characters have clearly been handled with great care. The sound production is well thought out and done. Suitable music, though they use a bit of classical music on CD1 (that does not reappear later on), probably because they just didn’t know the series would take off and having more music composed for the series is costly? But thankfully, Satie’s Gymnepedie (heard in 2 instances in the first CD) was dropped for original music moving forward. It certainly got a better composed soundtrack than some BLCDs, though it’s not particularly noteworthy perhaps. It just works.

It’s worth noting there’re several instances of karami (voice acting of sex scenes) and it’s full of the themes of masochism and sadism, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But Shinaki Taruske is pretty darn good at this type of voice acting. XD (karami is frankly hard to do well, for male and female seiyuus both!). I can only applaud him for his hard work. And yeah, you’ll also hear Miyake Kenta being all sadistic during sex! :sweat_smile: That might not be how something you wanna think about when you hear him in different roles, as there is always this cross-pollination going on when you start recognizing actors. I think he’s amazing as Ryuuzaki, very rough and yakuza-ish! :hocho:

In some ways I feel the BLCDs are easier to digest than the manga, because the language isn’t that hard to follow, but in the manga, dialect, slang and casual grammar might trip you up while reading. Listening makes those expression seem natural and less challenging, imo.

I highly recommend this as it is a quality BLCD production. It’s really about whether you like the themes, story and characters for this one, not quality issues that is not uncommon for other drama CDs.

Happy listening everyone! ^>^

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