Shout Out Loud! (aka: Sakande Yaruze!) Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, July 03, 2006
Release Date: Saturday, April 01, 2006
What They Say
Nakaya, a high school sophomore and ice hockey player, has just lost his mother and ends up moving in with Shino, his long-lost father. Shino's anime voice acting job recently ended, so he finds work on boys' love radio dramas to make ends meet. He gets paired up with the ever-cool Tenryuu and the two bond while yet another co-worker hits on Shino. Meanwhile, Nakaya finds out his girlfriend might be pregnant and is forced to consider dropping out of school, but pressure to get serious about ice-hockey is building up!
Shout Out Loud! never really achieves a shout, but rather a quiet whimper. Who knew sexual tension between yaoi voice actors could be so cold.
The cover is terribly plain, featuring black and white illustrations that possibly came from inside the book with a background that resembles bad 70s wallpaper from my grandmother's kitchen (No offense grandma!). The print reproduction is good with no major issues. No color plates are used with the opening pages. The only extras include a few pages of free-talk in manga format at the back of the back.
Atwork is very much unremarkable. There is a lack of background art for most of the volume, although a few times it did appear it did look quite nice. Character designs feel quite derivative or generic, as well as very flat.
SFX are not translated. The English script reads just fine, although I thought a couple translator's notes could have been added to help clarify a couple areas--like the "seme" and "uke" roles.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The phrase "shout out loud" immediately conjures up images of characters taking a stand and making sure their voice is heard. When life gets rough, just shout out your frustrations and maybe someone will be there to listen. At quick glance, Sakende Yaruzei's Shout Out Loud! seems to be the perfect premise to deliver a solid, angst-ridden, drama where characters do in fact "shout out loud".
Hisae Shino is a single, 33-year old voice actor who is now beginning a career in the yaoi CD drama business. His soft, delicate voice and personality makes him the ideal "uke"--the person who "receives". One day his life gets complicated when rebellious 17-year old Tsuzaka Nakaya shows up on his doorstep claiming to be his son from a teenage relationship Shino had with a young girl. The mother has died and now Nakaya has moved in, where he thinks he can live free.
Family crisis, relationship melodrama, hot and steamy yaoi voice acting; this title is just waiting for someone to Shout Out Loud! Unfortunately, Yaruzei-sensei never gives her characters that chance to let their voices be heard. It's almost as if she is afraid to really get deep with her characters and their situations. The family issues between Nakaya and Shino are skimmed over so briskly that there is no chance for anything to develop between them. Yaoi fans expecting their fetish dreams of yaoi voice actors getting hot and bothered with each other never come to fruition. Sure, there is plenty of sexual dialog while the actors are recording, but there is no action taking place outside of the studio. A little sexual tension perhaps, but it's all very cold and dry.
The manga also has a bad tendency to cop out at the last moment. For example, when Nakaya's girlfriend announces she is pregnant, the whole problem is soon resolved at the turn of a page when the girlfriend announces she was just late. All the discussion between Nakaya and Shino regarding this potential issue is rushed over in a very nonchalant, detached manner. In fact, the whole first volume feels very detached overall.
Shout Out Loud! never really achieves a shout, but rather a quiet whimper like a frightened student who is too shy to raise his/her hand during class. I just got this overall feeling that the manga-ka was too afraid to really get her hands dirty with the characters and their situations--both familial and sexual. The book gets points for an interesting premise; it's just do bad that it doesn't quite deliver with a shout.
Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Blu
Orientation: Right to Left