|Title:||FLESH & BLOOD 1|
|Original work by:||Matsuoka Natsuki (Novel)|
|Cast:||Suwabe Junichi x Fukuyama Jun (諏訪部順一×福山潤)|
|Related drama(s):||FLESH & BLOOD Series|
|Drama translation:||Disc 1, Disc 2|
|Synopsis:||Since young, Kaito Tougou has been fascinated by pirates and he was deeply intrigued by the Elizabethan pirates after learning about them in school. He set off on a trip with close friend, Morisaki Kazuya, to Plymouth and upon encountering a mysterious time tunnel, was whisked away into the 16th century Plymouth. Although his wish of meeting the Elizabethan pirates in flesh came true, will Kaito be able to survive in the totally different environment?|
I’ve always thought that Flesh & Blood was a drama revolving around some sadistic SM storyline with a lot of spinoffs (currently at 18 dramas) and I wouldn’t have given it a second glance, if I hadn’t gotten a translation request for this. Thank you so much for telling me this Suwabe x JunJun drama, it’s a dream cast with quite an epic storyline and I should have picked this up earlier.
Flesh & Blood was so good that I stayed up listening to it all night; the story was very interesting and I don’t usually come across such a drama which was epic in various senses, especially one that involves time travel. For those of you who are interested in more *cough* action, F&B moves reeaally slowly so, don’t expect any of that any time soon.
The focus here is really on history and honestly, I didn’t quite get the historical references and names they used in this drama during the first time I listened to it. You can read my translation notes to gain a better understanding of the historical background this drama is set in, so that you can enjoy the drama better.
Characters & Seiyuu
Kaito is the son of a company director in the 21st century and having grown up in an environment where everyone gives in to him because of his social standing, he has developed a rather detached personality. Even though he’s detached from everyone else, Kaito still yearns to be needed and liked by others, as it became apparent during his time with the pirates. On a trip to Plymouth with Kazuya, he accidentally gets sucked into a time tunnel and lands in 16th century Plymouth. Through some sort of fate, he meets Geoffrey, the captain of Gloria, and starts his adventure amidst the Elizabethan pirates. The first drama of F&B gave us a glimpse of how clever Kaito is, as we hear him cooking up one tale after another to save his own hide. I’m not sure if I would be able to cook up a story about being a diviner on the spot, especially not when I’m being threatened with torture (from Suwabe, kya). Kaito really proved that he’s capable of thinking on his feet even under pressure.
Fukuyama Jun was certainly a great choice of voice actor to voice the honest and strong-spirited Kaito. Really, Junjun is always doing such characters that it’s becoming his norm and signature, I wonder if he ever gets tired of playing such characters. However, besides being frank and blunt with his opinions, Kaito does have his more emotional moments and I felt that Junjun captured those feelings Kaito had perfectly. As expected of Junjun!
Geoffrey, a privateer and captain of his own ship Gloria, is the one who takes care of Kaito in 16th century England. He first appears as a frivolous captain whose charm and good looks get him almost anyone he courts (but not Kaito, apparently), we slowly start to see him in a different light as the scene changes from that of the brothel to the ship. He’s a captain who has been held in high esteem by Francis Drake, with the abilities and skills to boot. Although he does appear to be heartless at some point in time (I really wondered what he would have done to Kaito if he really went through with the torture at Drake’s residence), he’s still a softie when it comes to Kaito.
Once again, I can’t find a better person than Suwabe Junichi to play the role of this charming and dashing captain. Yes, I might be speaking with heavy personal bias but I’m sure anyone who has heard Suwabe’s seduction voice would agree with me when I say that he’s probably one of the best when it comes to seducing people. But Junjun is also one of the best when it comes to playing snarky brats who don’t fall for handsome men’s seductions, we’ve got an equal match here. Oh my heart.
Geoffrey’s right-hand man, Nigel, is another good-looking and capable man on Gloria. Seriously, why is everyone in the BL world good-looking? Nigel is responsible for enforcing the rules on Gloria and he is rather harsh on Kaito, because he suspected the latter of being a spy for the Spaniards. It is already very evident during the first drama that Geoffrey has got a good friend and capable assistant in Nigel and I don’t find him hateful even though he wasn’t exactly very friendly towards Kaito. There’s no doubt about it, Nigel is going to play a key role in the developing (?) relationship between Geoffrey and Kaito.
Hearing Konishi Katsuyuki’s voice was both unexpected and a pleasant surprise because I don’t have the habit of finding out about the voice actors of people other than the main pairing. Did I mention that I’m a huge Konishi fan? Having Suwabe, Junjun and Konishi in one drama really made F&B a must-listen for me.
Other characters like Vicente and Drake aren’t important yet, but I’m sure they will become increasingly important as the drama progresses, with Vicente as the antagonist and Drake as a supporting character.
Even though nothing much happens in the first drama (and it goes at this pace for all the ones that I’ve listened to date), the key event would be Kaito falling into the time tunnel and going back in time to the 16th century. It’s rather cheesy and typical in the sense that, he gets pulled back in time just as he was on the topic of time travel and parallel universes with Kazuya, during a trip which was themed around the Elizabethan pirates.
Kaito falls through the time tunnel and meets Geoffrey, Nigel and the legendary Francis Drake. While he managed to secure his safety by lying about being a diviner and “predicting the future” for Drake, it doesn’t even need to be said that he’s still in a risky position. For one, the “future” that he’s predicting is only limited to the knowledge he gained in school and during his pre-trip research. What if they asked him to predict something which wasn’t written in history? What if the recorded history differs from what really happened? Also, the things he says and does during 16th century might have an impact on and change the future. What if he does something small which changes the fate of the entire world? I’m being melodramatic here, but you get my point.
Historical matters aside, there really wasn’t much development of the relationship between Geoffrey and Kaito during this drama. Although Geoffrey did force a few kisses on Kaito, he then promises not to do anything that will count as sexual harassment towards Kaito and Geoffrey is someone known to keep his promises (inner fujoshi sighs). I’ve always been one to focus more on plot and the other elements in drama CDs besides the H scenes but really, this is quite extreme. One of the things I was looking forward to (and I’m being rather unabashed about it) was hearing the interaction between two of my favourite voice actors during those *ahem* scenes and I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. Well, I’d just have to be patient.
One of the things I enjoyed more during the drama was its music. The music was so grand that it was really apt for this drama – I had in mind the image of a magnificent ship sailing out into the seas against the sunrise.
I love the sense of adventure this drama brings with it. With pirates, wars and a boy from the future, I can’t help but get excited about what the future brings. But 18 dramas (and growing)?! I hoping that the story doesn’t get old, draggy or overrun with filler arcs. Preparing to listen to this feels like I’m readying myself for a One Piece drama. But while listening, I can’t help wondering if I should read up on history just in case I get tunneled back into the past and find my own Suwabe. Well, since I’ve done some reading for the translations, I should be ready when the time comes, right?
F&B is one long epic journey that I’m more than ready to embark on. With Suwabe, Junjun and Konishi along with me on this adventure, what more can I ask for?