Home > 1, reviews, talk cd > Ladies’ Training CD: Where Butlers Teach You Table Manners

Ladies’ Training CD: Where Butlers Teach You Table Manners

Lately, I’ve been stumbling upon the weirdest yet most amusing talk CDs. You might remember me talking about sheep-counting and diet CDs and you, just like me, might’ve wished that there were more surprises like them. Well, look no further. A few days ago, I got my hands on Shukujou Training CD ~Shitsuji ga Oshieru Seiyouryouri manner~ (淑女養成CD ~執事が教える西洋料理のマナー~).  I read it in English as “Training for Ladies ~Butlers’ Guide to Manners when Eating Western Food~”.

This Ladies’ Training CD is released by TEAM Entertainment for female listeners who have dreamt of becoming an aristocratic lady at one point in their lives. This CD, hosted by butlers, aims to help these ‘ojousama’ become the refined lady that they always wanted to be. These butlers, in six tracks, give tips and advice on how to behave during a Western-style party or dinner, from the moment of stepping off the car to the end of dinner. With the help of your loyal Stuart and Robert, you, my lady, will easily achieve those flawless table manners which will help you gain good impression as you expose yourself to high society XD;.



The characters for this CD are:

STUART

Voice Actor: Yusa Kouji

Position: butler (high rank steward)

Character: an elite steward who is calm, unhurried and not panicky.


ROBERT

Voice Actor: Kamiya Hiroshi

Position: footman (apprentice steward)

Character: bright, active and hyper boy
* because he’s still an apprentice, he tends to forget some things.

As I’ve done with Slim Naru, here is a list of the tracks with short descriptions. I dare not translate everything because 1) I didn’t understand some of the terms and 2) I was too busy giggling to pay attention to the entire CD ^^;.

01. Prologue
The CD starts with you arriving in your manor, welcomed by your butler Stuart. He reminds you of a party about to occur that night and in preparation, offers to teach you table manners which you will find useful as you attend the Western-style party. Robert, your footman, then appears and declares that he will also help with your learning but he also asks for your patience since he’s still a newbie. As the track ends, Stuart then announces that your training will start immediately. Prepare yourself but don’t be too worried. Relax :).

02. Kaijou ni Tsuita toki no Manner (Manners Upon Arriving at the Venue)
This track will give tips from getting out of the car to sitting down at the table (very detailed!). First, Stuart tells you to wait until the car stops in front of the hotel and until the attendant opens the car door before stepping out of the car. Robert reminds you NOT to open the car door and the venue door by yourself and that you must wait for them to open the doors for you. Stuart advises you to take a deep breath before stepping into the venue.

Then, they also give you tips about your outfut ^^;. Stuart reminds you to take care of your dress while in the car so that it will be in pristine condition when you reach the venue. Since there is no time to hire an instructor, they just advice you on what type of clothes would be great for the party. Robert prefers cocktail dresses, while Stuart prefers evening gowns. Stuart then continues to ramble about how wonderful ladies look when wearing evening dress…AHEM. Anyway, they give you other tips like not forgetting to remove your coat/cloak and retrieve it after the party, etc. Stuart then gives Robert a quiz on what should be done with cloaks/coats and where handkerchiefs should be placed.

Stuart then continues to give pointers when sitting down at a table. He says you must enter from the left side of the chair and then wait for the attendant to push your chair towards the table before fully sitting down. Your bag must be placed either behind you or at your side. Your napkin should then be gently placed on your lap. And that concludes your studying for your entrance :D.

03. Table Setting
Robert starts this track about silverware and things you will use at the table. Stuart reminds you to remember which silverware should be use for which course. You should use the farthest ones first, moving inwards as the courses are served. He also mentions something about wineglasses (missed it >>) and how they are used. Robert explains the progression of the courses: hors d’oeuvre, soup, fish entrée, meat entrée, dessert and coffee. Stuart reminds you that the knives used in the fish and meat entrées are different. When you happen to use the wrong silverware or accidentally dropped your silverware, have it replaced immediately.

4. Napkin no Shouhouhou (Rules in Napkin Usage)
I don’t know why there’s a whole 7 minute track for napkin usage. Anyway, Stuart reminds you that your napkin should be on your lap before you start eating. You should also periodically dab your mouth with a napkin as you eat. Wipe your mouth with the napkin before you speak. There are some more, but I really got bored with the napkin track ^^;. There is something about how you should place your napkin beside your plate when you leave the table and you SHOULDN’T bring the napkin home with you or else, as Robert said, you will be dubbed a poor partygoer o.o. Stuart also gives a small list of napkin designs that are used in dinners.

5. Oshoukuji Meshiagari kata (How to Eat Meals)
As a continuation of the silverware lesson, Stuart and Robert give you tips on how to eat your meal, from soup to dessert. Your soup should be sipped with a soup spoon only. You shouldn’t slurp and should scoop your soup away from yourself. When eating the main courses, your dinner knive and fork should be used. Use your knife gently, because the meat is not your enemy, according to Robert. You should also cut up the whole meat before eating it, rather, cut off a piece and eat it then cut off a piece again. When eating bread, do not bite or cut it but tear off a small piece, butter it and place in your mouth. There are more pointers I didn’t bother mentioning since they’re mostly common table manners, like how to eat rice (with a fork or if really needed, a spoon). But there’re also step-by-step instructions on how to slice fish and meat and eat them o.o;.

6. Oboete Okuto Yakunitatsu Koto (Tips to Remember)
Robert feels happy that study session is almost over, but Stuart has more to say o.o. Robert wonders what other things should be learned and Stuart gives him a quiz again. Stuart then gives tips about smoking and how you shouldn’t smoke at the table. You shouldn’t also shout or use a loud voice when asking for something or talking. Stuart also gives tips on how to replace silverware. Robert then gives advice on how to drink coffee: hold the saucer with your right hand and hold the cup with your left hand. Stuart then corrects him that the saucer can be left on the table as you hold the coffee cup. If you are to drink lemon tea, your lemon should be placed on the saucer after you use it. Stuart also reminds you not to leave immediately after dinner. Wait a little before leaving the party. Make sure not to offend the party host.

The clock then strucks an hour and they hurriedly usher you out of the room to help you prepare for the party~.

7. Itterasshaimase! Ojousama! (See you soon! Ojousama!)
Stuart and Robert gives parting messages as you leave for the party. Robert then thanks Stuart for teaching him, too. Stuart tells you that having fun and being yourself is important, too.

It’s about time, so they escort you out of the house and helps you into the car. They give you parting words of encouragement. Stuart leans in and whispers to you that everything will be fine. They bid you farewell and you’re off to the party~!

nikki says:

Again, another useless CD but something I really liked listening to. Yusa Kouji and Kamiya Hiroshi fit the roles well, especially Yusa Kouji <3. Some of the pointers they gave are a little too common sense for me, but I guess in the Japanese setting, they are things that should be pointed out. I like the interaction between Stuart and Robert, too, the teacher-student relationship is dynamic. But still, it still cannot be ignored that this is a CD that has no effect on me, again.

But then again, you wouldn’t lose anything by listening to handsome butlers giving lessons on table manners, right? Even though it might not work, it’s still worth the listen and auditory pleasure~.

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