Sentimental Garden Lover
Pairings: Kondou Takashi x Kamiya Hiroshi, Nakamura Yuuichi x Kishio Daisuke
Kondou Takashi as Fuji
Kamiya Hiroshi as Hiro
Kishio Daisuke as Shima (cat)
Nakamura Yuuichi as Taki
Tachibana Shinnosuke as Shima (human)
Karami level: 0
Level of Understanding: 2
Well hey! It’s my first legitimate post in a while! Man, not listening to a BLCD for so long has really made my poker face rusty. It’s like its completely abandoned me now! I can’t help but giggle and smile at everything! Or maybe that’s just the quality of dramas I’ve been listening to …
Sentimental Garden Lover is a drama I told myself I had to listen to as soon as I saw the cast some few months before it was released. At the time, I don’t think I knew who Kondou was. Heck, I didn’t know all that well until really recently when I listened to Otona Keikenchi and Seikaiichi Hatsukoi. I watched Reborn until its latest episode about a week ago and imagine my surprise when I learned Kondou voiced Hibari. As things turn out, I really love the guy now. He has an extremely versatile voice. Serious Hibari to Unable-to-do-anything Fuji? I didn’t even recognize him!
Fuji, a cat, just LOVES Hiro, the human who named him and takes care of him. Fuji wants to always be with Hiro but it seems that his gentle crush has a pretty abusive lover. One day, the cat finally prays and wishes for a body he can’t protect and embrace Hiro with …
At the start, Fuji comes to visit Hiro as he usually does and it turns out there’s another cat there too (who Hiro named Shima). The first few minutes focuses of Fuji’s jealousy and want for Shima to go away but they end up getting along eventually. The track goes on and we end up learning about Hiro’s “lover” and Fuji’s desire to help him. Not long after, Fuji prays to God for him to give him a body with which he can protect Hiro and his wishes is granted. Hiro ends up finding human Fuji in his backyard where Fuji wakes up surprised, confused, naked and unable to speak. Fuji tries to communicate with Hiro who luckily understands him well and gives him some clothes. Later on, we find out that Fuji is only in human form during the night. Time goes on with Fuji visiting Hiro both as a human and cat. Eventually, Hiro’s “lover” shows up but Fuji scares him off and all is well because Hiro knew all along that Fuji had gained human form. So, happily ever after!
Towards the end of Fuji’s story, Shima leaves Hiro’s place and decides never to come back. The cat continues to walk around the town until he collapses out of hunger and fatigue. When Shima wakes up, he is in some guy’s place. The man gives him milk and allows Shima to stay over after a bath. Shima decides he’ll leave the next day but the next day, he ends up meeting the person Fuji loved. That person tells Shima that he got married but the person he loved the most was “Taki-san” after all. Shima couldn’t bring himself to leave after that. Eventually, Taki and that person ended up seeing each other face to face. Shima finds out that person is named “Shima” just like him. After their encounter, Taki tells Shima(human) to never come again making Shima(cat) desperately want to tell Taki that Shima(human) loves him. He ends up doing the same thing Fuji did before him; pray to God to give him “words” meaning, the ability to talk to humans. The next morning, Taki wakes up to Shima in human form. Luckily, with Shima’s ability to speak, there are no misconceptions and the two continue to live together happily but Shima still worries about if Taki still loves “Shima-san” … After Taki kisses him some time thereafter, Shima runs off believing that he’s a replacement for “Shima-san”. Not long after, Taki runs after him. Happily ever after!
Both stories, as you noticed, aren’t very realistic. But the mood is really light-hearted and warm, the typical slice-of-life feeling. Fuji’s story had a more platonic and innocent air to it while Shima’s story was more the stereotypical type. The characters were all extremely lovable. I especially loved hearing Kamiya in a gentle-type role and hearing Kondou voice such a cute Fuji gave me quite a few laughs when I imagined Hibari saying those lines. Shima’s change in character from cool princess to easily embarrassed was the most drastic change I’ve seen in a while but with Taki’s strong character I guess it makes sense. Overall, Sentimental Garden was a great listen. I recommend it to whoever needs something fluffy and cute … with cats.