2. Shibuya-8:45 p.m.
5. N.Y. Blooklyn-0:05 p.m.
7. Divine Red
Foreword: This is the first CD in the Aka no Shinmon series, based on the novels written by Kuwabara Mizuna (the author of Mirage of Blaze or Hoono no Mirajuu). The second one is Black Verge and the third one (just released this month) is Yellow Jealousy. Since the story is rather complicated (as it uses a lot of flashblack), in writing this synopsis, I do it from the focal point of the character, rather than the actual chronological order in the drama CD. Those interested can just listen to the CD for the actual story. Also, I find this story rather difficult to understand (especially for people who are unfamiliar with the novels as myself. Consequently, I would not recommend to beginners or people with poor Japanese skills, a.k.a. ME).
There is no better word to describe Renjou (CV: Takewaka Takuma), a young and relatively successful (?)novelist, than jealousy. This is because he lost to Haibara (CV: Seki Toshihiko) in every way – love and career. Haibara is an extremely successful playwright and theatrical director. His wonderful works have attracted many actors, including the young Kei (CV: Sakurai Takahiro). The series then revolves around the love and work of these three people. Red Divine focuses more on Renjou and it relates how Renjou came across the 18 year old Kei on the street. He heard Kei singing and when it’s over, Kei asked if he wanted to request a song. He wanted Kei to read a passage from a script instead of singing. The passage was from Aka no Shinmon, written by Haibara. Kei "acted" out the script very well and that impressed Renjou a lot but he couldn’t find Kei again until later. From that day, Renjou wanted Kei to be his actor and to act out his novels. Two years later, Renjou got an award for his book "Ken" or Sword, about a sculptor who killed his father when he was younger and when he grew up, he was haunted by guilt. This aggravated when he realized his own limits as he came across a cursed buddha sculpture). Although his book was successful in a way, people felt it was just a copy of Haibara’s work. This made Renjou very depressed because on the one hand, he admired Haibara, but on the other, he could not remove Haibar’s influence on him. In short, he could not kill the Haibara that lived within him. While Kei read and liked Renjou’s novels, he was more attracted by Haibara’s works (even before his meeting with Renjou). Consequently, when he met Haibara through Renjou, he was easily wooed over by Haibara and followed Haibara to New York, leaving the heartbroken Renjou in Japan. (The work Haibara was then very famous for was Medussa. It was a story about a young genius Hamille, the son of incestrous parents. He was confined underground for 15 years but he later used his own beauty and ability to seek revenge against his father, who murdered his mother Jessica). Renjou tried to talk Kei out of performing Haibara’s play (quite forcefully) because he wanted to possess Kei (he’s easily jealous and possessive). (This past was all related by Renjou while he was playing billiard with his friend from university – Okuda (CV: Onosaka Masaya). Okuda is also a theatrical director, actor, and friend of Renjou since university (it seems).