It’s not often that I purchase or review drama albums. And, in the Atelier series, there are plenty of drama albums to go around. Marie had at least four, Elie has two other than this one, Judie had three, and Iris has a few out as well. For Japanese fans, these albums are certainly worthwhile, as they give further character development and feature the fine work of the characters’ seiyuu (voice actors).
But the Atelier Elie Voice Collection is a little different from your average drama album. Most drama albums are stories told in chapters with the characters interacting. This album does things differently. For what is the majority of the album, tracks 1-8 have the characters giving monologues in the form of letters, one-sided conversations with the listener, and other means. These nine tracks have music in the background, and I believe the music is slightly improved from their OST counterparts. It’s synth, but it’s synth without limitations. Take a listen to a few of the tracks to get an idea.
Tracks 10 through 25 are all short “message” tracks. Track 9 and the last two tracks, which we may consider bonuses, are quite lengthy. Track 9 is a traditional drama track: a fun shopping spree with Elie (her full name is “Elfir Traum”) and Luise. Track 26 is also traditional: Elie and Schia attempt to do some cooking, and the results are both disastrous and comical. Track 27 is an 11 minute track featuring some (perhaps all, I wouldn’t know) of the voice acting used within the game.
The artwork found on the pages of the insert include character bios and a lengthy written prologue to the story: similar to the OGS packaging. The characters (all female on this album) are very recognizable and easy to remember. I have not spent too much time listening to this album, but I can already discern whose voice belongs to which character just based on the tone.
If you’re beginning to fall in love with the Atelier series and its characters (like I am), or you are somewhat knowledgeable in Japanese (and are perhaps attempting to learn more by listening), this album would be a wonderful place to start, especially with its short and memorable phrases. The music is also decent, but it is meant to be background music for the cast of characters, who are the real stars of this album. Surprisingly, this album isn’t too terribly difficult to find, if you know where to look. I suggest Yahoo! Japan auctions.