|Title:||Akihabara Fall In Love (アキハバラフォーリンラブ)|
|Original work by:||Kashima Chiaki (Manga)|
|Cast:||Ono Yuuki x Hanae Natsuki (小野友樹 x 花江夏樹)|
|Drama translation:||None (scanlated manga available)|
|Synopsis:||Hasegawa, a man who hates everything related to otakus, met ultra-otaku Akiba Ayumu and the two kept running into each other day after day. What does fate have in store for the two of them?|
I was extremely excited about this drama, even though it didn’t sound like something fantastic from its title, but I was still anticipating it because it’s Hanae’s first work! Just in case you didn’t know, Hanae Natsuki was our flavour for the summer season and as our resident fujoshi, I was naturally all hyped up about his virgin role with Ono Yuuki!
Characters & Seiyuu
Of course we have Akiba Ayumu, the clumsy and ditzy 30-year-old NEET who survives in the tough society of Japan by winning lottery. With Hanae Natsuki‘s voice, I imagine Ayumu to be the typical clueless elder brother uke who looks like he stopped growing after high school. But Ayumu is really a lucky kid(?), fancy being able to sustain his NEET lifestyle by striking lottery so often that he doesn’t have to do anything else to earn money, why can’t I do that? Besides all that, Ayumu also helps his brother work with the doujin works by posing as a model (in suggestive poses). Things can’t get more unbelievable in this drama, but it’s the hilarity of the drama that kept me laughing and continuing. I loved it when Ayumu got all excited when he watched his anime and started talking about the minor change in the OP which just makes him sound like just a cute little fanboy. Hanae’s girly voice was also what made Ayumu so adorable and I think he did really well for his first drama. I understand that voicing drama cds is really different from voicing animes as there are no visual aids to guide the seiyuu along and they often have to rely on their imagination, so good job Hana-chan! With this drama, it feels like he’s taken one huge step towards adulthood doesn’t it? Although his H scenes were rather well done, his louder bits were a little painful for my ears. But keeping in mind that this was his first drama, I think he did a really good job! He must have done lots of research beforehand.
On the other hand, Hasegawa has always hated otakus or anything associated with otakus. When he was young, he had been associated by everyone with otakus and ostracised by virtue of the spectacles that he had to wear. When he finally started using contact lenses, his life started going smoothly and he bid goodbye to all otaku associations. Unfortunately, he just had to be stationed at the Akihabara branch for work. Thus begins his reluctant story with Ayumu, the otaku NEET. Despite his proclaimed hatred for otakus, Hasegawa is a kind person deep within and he couldn’t leave Ayumu alone when the latter needs his help. I love it when Hasegawa got all unsettled and flustered and I especially liked how Ono Yuuki executed this role. While I’ve previously heard him in roles where he was calmer and more matured, hearing him as a crazy tsun who easily gets lost in his own delusions is a refreshing and much welcomed change I’ve been looking for. Although I started on this drama for Hanae, I think Ono Yuuki was hands down the star of Akihabara Fall In Love.
Everything in this story is just so ridiculous yet silly and hilarious. Hasegawa rescued Ayumu from a bunch of hooligans, but was beaten up for his interference and Ayumu took him home to treat his wounds. Hasegawa’s reaction to Ayumu’s room when he first woke up was a mixture of disbelief and horror – to think that he has been sleeping in a room plastered with anime posters and figurines. The next thing he saw was Ayumu posing suggestively for another man, who seemed to be encouraging Ayumu. What?! Hasegawa escaped from the horrifyingly-otakuish room and on his way home, he found himself on the receiving end of jealous stares from a few otakus because he was wearing a pink limited edition “Kazu-nyan” shirt. Ono Yuuki did so well with all that exaggerated reactions!
After returning Ayumu his pink shirt, Hasegawa continues to bump into Ayumu all the time in situations where Ayumu would require his assistance – even when Hasegawa took a longer route just to deviate from the norm. Doesn’t it just seem like they’re fated to be together? We find out that the man who was doing questionable stuff with Ayumu in the first scene was actually Ayumu’s brother, Satoru and you would expect Hasegawa to go “oh, so that’s it” but no, Hasegawa thought that Ayumu was involved in an incestuous gay relationship with Satoru. Goodness, can things get more ridiculously misunderstood? It’s really hilarious though, that Hasegawa would believe that Ayumu is doing that with his own brother immediately, because isn’t taking it all as a misunderstanding the normal reaction? It turns out that Satoru is a fudanshi who draws doujinshi, and he has been getting Ayumu to pose as a model or inspiration for his works. Wait a minute, a guy drawing yaoi doujinshi? Hm… On top of that, Satoru works at an lingerie production company… How wild can these character designs get?
Just when we thought we had had enough craziness, Hasegawa discovers a paper bag of lingerie amongst Ayumu’s possessions. His wild imagination presented him with 3 possible explanations:
1) Presents for the girlfriend
2) Akiba Ayumu is a girl
3) Lingerie collection is Ayumu’s hobby
And I’m sure for us normal people with normal minds, all 3 are obviously wrong. Turns out that Ayumu was working as his friend’s replacement at a maid cafe where the waitresses are all cross-dressers, another crazy idea in this manga. Somehow, Hasegawa got involved unwittingly again and he was forced to help out at the cafe too! Seeing Ayumu dressed up as a girl really changed his perceptions of the ditzy 30-year-old and Hasegawa realised that he had turned gay for Ayumu, not to mention the fact that out of all 3 characters in this drama, he has become the only gay one despite initial suspicions cast on Ayumu and Satoru. Hilarious!
Hasegawa kissed Ayumu on impulse and things got awkward between the two, as we would have expected. Out of the blue, we switched over to Ayumu’s narration and for the first time we hear his thoughts; he was actually worried about the reason Hasegawa has been avoiding him lately and he even cried while thinking about Hasegawa. Finally, he realised that Hasegawa caught a cold and rushed over to take care of Hasegawa. Argh, I hate it when the boys start to masturbate randomly during the drama because I’m always so afraid that someone would walk in on them. Most of the time that happens and in this case, Ayumu visited Hasegawa at the worst possible moment. Hasegawa got into a panic, but all ended well when he was “forced” to confess his feelings for Ayumu and they realised that it was mutual.
Akihabara Fall In Love was crazy funny and will make a good listen when you’re in need of some cheer~