ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Passion Blue
Star Troupe, 1996

Stars: Asaji Saki & Shiraki Ayaka

[ TakaWiki ] [ "Who Is Bad?" Review ]

It's been nearly three years since I reviewed "Who Is Bad?", and I knew from the show description, from the cast, and from clips I've seen on various Sky Stage programs that I'd love "Passion Blue", but.... I've never been able to find the VHS in Taka-An. Bad luck, hey? But they finally re-broadcast it last October, so-!

It reminds me thematically of revue shows like "La Bolero Rouge" (another of Miki-Sensei's) and "Blue Moon Blue", but with more primitive costumes. So, a few years before its time, I suppose? Anyway, let's just say that it is indeed in my top ten revue shows, ever. I can't resist Mariko, Rika, and Wataru all dancing together on one stage, and when you throw in my adored combi of Mariko/Ayaka, plus Emao Yuu, Ayaki Nao, Otowa Ryou, and all the other young stars it's impossible to resist. (I enjoy playing spot-the-MatobuSei and spot-the-AsazumiKei, and spot-the-KuonMaya.)

Especially when Rika and Wataru (ken-8! so cute!) are dance-fighting over Tomo Maika in suits and fedoras.

Or Mariko and Rika are dancing together as gypsies♥

Or SO MANY HOT MARIKO/AYAKA PAIR DANCES ngbrkilhbgrbkbj!!!

Let's just say it pushes all of my revue buttons. Even the line dance was entertaining. ;)
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Passion Blue
Star Troupe, 1996

Stars: Asaji Saki & Shiraki Ayaka

[ TakaWiki ] [ "Who Is Bad?" Review ]

It's been nearly three years since I reviewed "Who Is Bad?", and I knew from the show description, from the cast, and from clips I've seen on various Sky Stage programs that I'd love "Passion Blue", but.... I've never been able to find the VHS in Taka-An. Bad luck, hey? But they finally re-broadcast it last October, so-!

It reminds me thematically of revue shows like "La Bolero Rouge" (another of Miki-Sensei's) and "Blue Moon Blue", but with more primitive costumes. So, a few years before its time, I suppose? Anyway, let's just say that it is indeed in my top ten revue shows, ever. I can't resist Mariko, Rika, and Wataru all dancing together on one stage, and when you throw in my adored combi of Mariko/Ayaka, plus Emao Yuu, Ayaki Nao, Otowa Ryou, and all the other young stars it's impossible to resist. (I enjoy playing spot-the-MatobuSei and spot-the-AsazumiKei, and spot-the-KuonMaya.)

Especially when Rika and Wataru (ken-8! so cute!) are dance-fighting over Tomo Maika in suits and fedoras.

Or Mariko and Rika are dancing together as gypsies♥

Or SO MANY HOT MARIKO/AYAKA PAIR DANCES ngbrkilhbgrbkbj!!!

Let's just say it pushes all of my revue buttons. Even the line dance was entertaining. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
I'm procrastinating on writing thank you cards, so you get:

69th Class love.

Star Light Dinner Show
Hotel Hankyu International, 21st September 2009

Members:
Asaji Saki
Izumo Aya
Chiaki Shin


Set List:

"Brazil" - Asaji Saki
"New York, New York" - Chiaki Shin
"It's a Small World" - Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin
"Only Me" (Elisabeth) - Izumo Aya
"When You Wish Upon a Star" - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin

69th Class Takarazuka Medley
- various

"Longer Than Eternity" (Map Without Borders) - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki
"The Spirit of the Samurai" (The Spirit of the Samurai) - Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin
"Last Dance" (Elisabeth) - Asaji Saki

"Amazing Grace" - Izumo Aya
"The Winner Takes It All" - Chiaki Shin
"All By Myself" - Asaji Saki
"There's No Business Like Show Business" - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin


What I Thought: )
ekusudei: (Default)
I'm procrastinating on writing thank you cards, so you get:

69th Class love.

Star Light Dinner Show
Hotel Hankyu International, 21st September 2009

Members:
Asaji Saki
Izumo Aya
Chiaki Shin


Set List:

"Brazil" - Asaji Saki
"New York, New York" - Chiaki Shin
"It's a Small World" - Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin
"Only Me" (Elisabeth) - Izumo Aya
"When You Wish Upon a Star" - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin

69th Class Takarazuka Medley
- various

"Longer Than Eternity" (Map Without Borders) - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki
"The Spirit of the Samurai" (The Spirit of the Samurai) - Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin
"Last Dance" (Elisabeth) - Asaji Saki

"Amazing Grace" - Izumo Aya
"The Winner Takes It All" - Chiaki Shin
"All By Myself" - Asaji Saki
"There's No Business Like Show Business" - Izumo Aya & Asaji Saki & Chiaki Shin


What I Thought: )
ekusudei: (Default)
The line-up....

Jounetsu no Barcelona!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. YESTHANKYOU. In case anyone missed the caps I posted last year in the vintage comm for the Daichi Mao version in '82.... GNGH.

Another BeruBara. Just after I promised a co-worker's mother that they probably weren't going to do it for a few years, so she should settle for getting tickets to Elisabeth. :/ Another un-exciting role for Ayane-chan. ANGRY JEN.

Last Play for Tsukigumi, and no name beside Asako's in the announcement, so looks like if it is the retirement title it seems to be, she'll be leaving still without a partner. ...I'll admit I'm selfish and don't want to let go of Sena Jun yet, but there's still two more shows at least, so I'll enjoy them while we have them. And more slashy Asako/Kiriyan goodness is not to be sniffed at. ;)

I'm going to follow the policy of not saying anything at all on the subjects of Saikai/Soul of Shiva. Hm... yes, better stick with that regarding Tom's Hoshigumi show too.

Actually, on the subject of Sagiri Seina and Saou Kurama's double-lead getting a run in Tokyo as well as Bow, I'd better stay silent as well. ;)

YUUHI'S DAIGEKIJO SHOW TITLE NOW PLEASE.

~*~*~

Last night I watched the Now On Stage for the Tokyo run of MAHOROBA/Magician's Misfortunes.

THIS FACE. She had it the entire time. It was her serious, I-am-listening-to-my-upperclassmen face.

And then she finally broke out of her shell to rag on Izumo Aya about a mistake she made, and Taki was all "What? What? I do not know this thing of which you speak" and looking down her nose at her, but Masaki was laughing too hard to notice.

And I learned that (at that time, at least), Masaki was collecting rehearsal skirts from retiring musumeyaku. Yes. She wanted to do a female role that badly. She was all: This time, three skirts GET! ... Which led into a story from Asako about how Kanamin's mother made her rehearsal skirts when she played Elisabeth. And then Masaki was talking about how she'd miss being able to shadow Asako (MM was her last shinko), and she was all "This is embarrassing, but... blahblahblah" and Asako got all squirmy embarrassed and clutching at her (own) coat lapels, "This is embarrassing!" and Masaki was all, "It's embarrassing for me too!" and hiding her red face. But somehow they managed to have their manly emotional moment♥

And then they took a looong time to tell Yoshizuki Eri anecdotes, and she started sweating so hard. LOVE. I miss Eri-san♥
ekusudei: (Default)
The line-up....

Jounetsu no Barcelona!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. YESTHANKYOU. In case anyone missed the caps I posted last year in the vintage comm for the Daichi Mao version in '82.... GNGH.

Another BeruBara. Just after I promised a co-worker's mother that they probably weren't going to do it for a few years, so she should settle for getting tickets to Elisabeth. :/ Another un-exciting role for Ayane-chan. ANGRY JEN.

Last Play for Tsukigumi, and no name beside Asako's in the announcement, so looks like if it is the retirement title it seems to be, she'll be leaving still without a partner. ...I'll admit I'm selfish and don't want to let go of Sena Jun yet, but there's still two more shows at least, so I'll enjoy them while we have them. And more slashy Asako/Kiriyan goodness is not to be sniffed at. ;)

I'm going to follow the policy of not saying anything at all on the subjects of Saikai/Soul of Shiva. Hm... yes, better stick with that regarding Tom's Hoshigumi show too.

Actually, on the subject of Sagiri Seina and Saou Kurama's double-lead getting a run in Tokyo as well as Bow, I'd better stay silent as well. ;)

YUUHI'S DAIGEKIJO SHOW TITLE NOW PLEASE.

~*~*~

Last night I watched the Now On Stage for the Tokyo run of MAHOROBA/Magician's Misfortunes.

THIS FACE. She had it the entire time. It was her serious, I-am-listening-to-my-upperclassmen face.

And then she finally broke out of her shell to rag on Izumo Aya about a mistake she made, and Taki was all "What? What? I do not know this thing of which you speak" and looking down her nose at her, but Masaki was laughing too hard to notice.

And I learned that (at that time, at least), Masaki was collecting rehearsal skirts from retiring musumeyaku. Yes. She wanted to do a female role that badly. She was all: This time, three skirts GET! ... Which led into a story from Asako about how Kanamin's mother made her rehearsal skirts when she played Elisabeth. And then Masaki was talking about how she'd miss being able to shadow Asako (MM was her last shinko), and she was all "This is embarrassing, but... blahblahblah" and Asako got all squirmy embarrassed and clutching at her (own) coat lapels, "This is embarrassing!" and Masaki was all, "It's embarrassing for me too!" and hiding her red face. But somehow they managed to have their manly emotional moment♥

And then they took a looong time to tell Yoshizuki Eri anecdotes, and she started sweating so hard. LOVE. I miss Eri-san♥

A-"R"ex

Jun. 15th, 2008 09:24 am
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
Long delayed, loooong delayed, A-"R"ex review.

A-"R"ex
Moon Troupe Drama City, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TakaWiki ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

I was really, really looking forward to this show from the moment that I first heard about it -- my bachelor's degree is in archaeology and things like this make me purr. Then I heard that it would be a really small cast, and I love shows with small casts. Then I heard that Masaki would be playing Hephaestion, and deafened you all with it. <3

... And then people actually started to go see it and it seemed that hardly anyone liked it.

But I perservered.

And, boy, am I glad that I did.

First of all, to explain the circumstances, it's a show by Ogita Koichi, who is rather famous for his rather trippy revue shows. He's done a few actual musicals, but of them, even Orpheus in Spiral was pretty trippy. He likes that kind of cryptic, dreamlike, sometimes downright confusing plot and dialogue that some people would call clever and some would call a sham. ...I suppose I fall into the first category, which is why I enjoyed A-"R"ex.

You'll notice I left out a summary. That's because it's rather hard to summarize. The "plot" consists of the life of Alexander the Great, from his father's death to his own, but most of it is told in voice-overs or narration from Aristotle. What we, the audience, see is a rather psychadelic set of dialogues between Alexander and the gods (and also his mother and a few other characters). Lest you miss the implications, most of the ensemble cast is dressed like hippies. Things discussed include predestination, what the favor of the gods means, what the gods are, etc. etc. A reluctant, taciturn Alexander is persuaded to go to war, and then to march further, and further, and further....

This wasn't really a musical. There was dialogue, but no action. It was an artsy play with some songs. It doesn't hurt that the singers were some of the best that Takarazuka has to offer, including Yashiro Kou, Izumo Aya, and Ayano Kanami.

I heard a lot from people about this being another of Asako's angst shows, but to be honest, I didn't see it. Her Alexander was taciturn and a little sour, but he didn't whine, and we were mercifully free from the fish-mouth, wide-eyed, wild looks of "suffering" that Takarazuka lead otokoyaku tend to sport. Even more refreshing, there wasn't a lot of shouting, to make SURE WE KNEW THEY WERE SUFFERING INTERNALLY. The only time Alexander broke down was for a few minutes in India, and considering the circumstances, I forgive him. Actually, I really liked the interpretation, though I found it hard to believe that someone whom Hephaestion is always assuring us "doesn't hate women; he hates people" could have the kind of charisma that Alexander was famous for.

Another interesting aspect was the breaking down of the fourth wall. Izumo Aya's character Athena would wander in from time to time and scold others, telling them to hurry up and change their costumes or get to their places. All in all, it was very Oggy-like.

Well, I'll stop there. Over all I enjoyed it, and it's something that I know I'll be watching again and again to catch bits that I missed, but I don't think it's the kind of show that will appeal to most Takarazuka fans.

A-"R"ex

Jun. 15th, 2008 09:24 am
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
Long delayed, loooong delayed, A-"R"ex review.

A-"R"ex
Moon Troupe Drama City, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TakaWiki ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

I was really, really looking forward to this show from the moment that I first heard about it -- my bachelor's degree is in archaeology and things like this make me purr. Then I heard that it would be a really small cast, and I love shows with small casts. Then I heard that Masaki would be playing Hephaestion, and deafened you all with it. <3

... And then people actually started to go see it and it seemed that hardly anyone liked it.

But I perservered.

And, boy, am I glad that I did.

First of all, to explain the circumstances, it's a show by Ogita Koichi, who is rather famous for his rather trippy revue shows. He's done a few actual musicals, but of them, even Orpheus in Spiral was pretty trippy. He likes that kind of cryptic, dreamlike, sometimes downright confusing plot and dialogue that some people would call clever and some would call a sham. ...I suppose I fall into the first category, which is why I enjoyed A-"R"ex.

You'll notice I left out a summary. That's because it's rather hard to summarize. The "plot" consists of the life of Alexander the Great, from his father's death to his own, but most of it is told in voice-overs or narration from Aristotle. What we, the audience, see is a rather psychadelic set of dialogues between Alexander and the gods (and also his mother and a few other characters). Lest you miss the implications, most of the ensemble cast is dressed like hippies. Things discussed include predestination, what the favor of the gods means, what the gods are, etc. etc. A reluctant, taciturn Alexander is persuaded to go to war, and then to march further, and further, and further....

This wasn't really a musical. There was dialogue, but no action. It was an artsy play with some songs. It doesn't hurt that the singers were some of the best that Takarazuka has to offer, including Yashiro Kou, Izumo Aya, and Ayano Kanami.

I heard a lot from people about this being another of Asako's angst shows, but to be honest, I didn't see it. Her Alexander was taciturn and a little sour, but he didn't whine, and we were mercifully free from the fish-mouth, wide-eyed, wild looks of "suffering" that Takarazuka lead otokoyaku tend to sport. Even more refreshing, there wasn't a lot of shouting, to make SURE WE KNEW THEY WERE SUFFERING INTERNALLY. The only time Alexander broke down was for a few minutes in India, and considering the circumstances, I forgive him. Actually, I really liked the interpretation, though I found it hard to believe that someone whom Hephaestion is always assuring us "doesn't hate women; he hates people" could have the kind of charisma that Alexander was famous for.

Another interesting aspect was the breaking down of the fourth wall. Izumo Aya's character Athena would wander in from time to time and scold others, telling them to hurry up and change their costumes or get to their places. All in all, it was very Oggy-like.

Well, I'll stop there. Over all I enjoyed it, and it's something that I know I'll be watching again and again to catch bits that I missed, but I don't think it's the kind of show that will appeal to most Takarazuka fans.

Tsukigumi

Feb. 7th, 2008 12:44 am
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Holy... Not only is Mirio playing Jackie, her other role is Sofia!?!?!?!?

Okay, so... So.... Definitely switching to musumeyaku then? In the Takarazuka definition of "definitely", which means, "Haha, yeah right. Now we won't do it to spite you." Or will she still get the shinko lead? It's probably all just to keep things simple and keep Mirio in the named cast. Oh, Hankyu, how I love you and the guessing games you give us. <3


And Kitajima Mami is retiring! Which isn't a huge surprise, I guess, since she didn't make fukukumichou. But Shiki Erio is a bit of a surprise. I guess she didn't make the ken-8 cut? :/ And Izumo, too, which is going to make a lot of folks really upset, I know. :(

Tsukigumi

Feb. 7th, 2008 12:44 am
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Holy... Not only is Mirio playing Jackie, her other role is Sofia!?!?!?!?

Okay, so... So.... Definitely switching to musumeyaku then? In the Takarazuka definition of "definitely", which means, "Haha, yeah right. Now we won't do it to spite you." Or will she still get the shinko lead? It's probably all just to keep things simple and keep Mirio in the named cast. Oh, Hankyu, how I love you and the guessing games you give us. <3


And Kitajima Mami is retiring! Which isn't a huge surprise, I guess, since she didn't make fukukumichou. But Shiki Erio is a bit of a surprise. I guess she didn't make the ken-8 cut? :/ And Izumo, too, which is going to make a lot of folks really upset, I know. :(
ekusudei: (Default)
The Story of a Sword, Love, and a Rainbow / Jubilation!
Star Troupe, 1995-96

[ TakaWiki ]

Oota Tetsunori/Ishida Masaya

Leads: Asaji Saki & Shiraki Ayaka

The Story of a Sword, Love, and a Rainbow

Cast: )

Summary: )

What I Thought: )

Overall, I though it was a clever adaption, with some scenes in particular that really stood out. I had to watch it broken up over the course of a week because of time problems, so I don't know if it would have held my attention as well in one stretch.

Jubilation!

What I Thought:

I actually really liked this show. It's the kind of mid-90s show that I enjoy. Aside from a few bizarre background sets (Giant legs? Hands?), and one set of costumes, they got away nearly unscathed. The theme song was virally catchy, and I think more shows should have pompoms for their shanshan. Highlights include Mariko and Tsukikage Hitomi dancing on a huge, revolving roulette wheel, and the "Channel Wars" number with Maori Yuki and Emao Yuu as adorable kids, Hacchi-san as a rather lecherous host of a TV shopping network with Mari Yuzumi as his cat-suited side-kick, and Izumo Aya as Lucy on a cooking network. I also really liked a lot of the music in the Southpole numbers. There was also lots of Maori Yuki love again. <3
ekusudei: (Default)
The Story of a Sword, Love, and a Rainbow / Jubilation!
Star Troupe, 1995-96

[ TakaWiki ]

Oota Tetsunori/Ishida Masaya

Leads: Asaji Saki & Shiraki Ayaka

The Story of a Sword, Love, and a Rainbow

Cast: )

Summary: )

What I Thought: )

Overall, I though it was a clever adaption, with some scenes in particular that really stood out. I had to watch it broken up over the course of a week because of time problems, so I don't know if it would have held my attention as well in one stretch.

Jubilation!

What I Thought:

I actually really liked this show. It's the kind of mid-90s show that I enjoy. Aside from a few bizarre background sets (Giant legs? Hands?), and one set of costumes, they got away nearly unscathed. The theme song was virally catchy, and I think more shows should have pompoms for their shanshan. Highlights include Mariko and Tsukikage Hitomi dancing on a huge, revolving roulette wheel, and the "Channel Wars" number with Maori Yuki and Emao Yuu as adorable kids, Hacchi-san as a rather lecherous host of a TV shopping network with Mari Yuzumi as his cat-suited side-kick, and Izumo Aya as Lucy on a cooking network. I also really liked a lot of the music in the Southpole numbers. There was also lots of Maori Yuki love again. <3
ekusudei: (Default)
Magician no Yuutsu
Moon Troupe, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

Where to even begin? Well, I suppose I'll do this one a bit like I did MAHOROBA. This means it's going to be full of spoilers, so I'd avoid it if you want a surprise when you first watch it.

Read more... )

I know they say that original shows in Takarazuka are written with the cast in mind, but I think that's more apparent for some shows than for others, and probably some playwrights are better at it than others. This show was perfect for this cast, particularly for Asako, Mihoko, and Kiriyan. Mihoko! I didn't really go into her role much in the summary, but her voice was low and not hoarse exactly, but a little rough. And all of her songs tended to be in a lower range than usual as well, and I think it must have been her natural range because it was gorgeous. There weren't a lot of solos in this show, and when there were solos, they were often little scraps of them (for Kiriyan and Mihoko). There were several duets, though, and lots of really, really catchy group numbers. And all of the songs were actually right for the voices of the 'siennes singing them. Oh, I love when they do that.

The stage work was completely fun -- great lighting and lots of uses of all the mechanics (rotating stage, trap doors, etc.). I loved the sets, particularly what they did with the stairs.

The costumes weren't very elaborate, but I liked Asako's black velvet suit and Ai-chan's green dress in particular. And Eri's leather jacket outfit and Yuuhi's vest and combat boots and open-necked shirt and... yeah. .....Ahi's outfit needs to be seen to be believed.
ekusudei: (Default)
Magician no Yuutsu
Moon Troupe, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

Where to even begin? Well, I suppose I'll do this one a bit like I did MAHOROBA. This means it's going to be full of spoilers, so I'd avoid it if you want a surprise when you first watch it.

Read more... )

I know they say that original shows in Takarazuka are written with the cast in mind, but I think that's more apparent for some shows than for others, and probably some playwrights are better at it than others. This show was perfect for this cast, particularly for Asako, Mihoko, and Kiriyan. Mihoko! I didn't really go into her role much in the summary, but her voice was low and not hoarse exactly, but a little rough. And all of her songs tended to be in a lower range than usual as well, and I think it must have been her natural range because it was gorgeous. There weren't a lot of solos in this show, and when there were solos, they were often little scraps of them (for Kiriyan and Mihoko). There were several duets, though, and lots of really, really catchy group numbers. And all of the songs were actually right for the voices of the 'siennes singing them. Oh, I love when they do that.

The stage work was completely fun -- great lighting and lots of uses of all the mechanics (rotating stage, trap doors, etc.). I loved the sets, particularly what they did with the stairs.

The costumes weren't very elaborate, but I liked Asako's black velvet suit and Ai-chan's green dress in particular. And Eri's leather jacket outfit and Yuuhi's vest and combat boots and open-necked shirt and... yeah. .....Ahi's outfit needs to be seen to be believed.

MAHOROBA

Oct. 17th, 2007 10:22 am
ekusudei: (Default)
MAHOROBA
Moon Troupe, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

This here be a thorough summary, yo. Because the official summary fails in so many ways.

So. Take the gorgeous choreography of Sha Tamae, mix in gorgeous, moving music complete with shamisen written by a famous (and young, and cute) shamisen musician, the retelling of Japanese mythology, gorgeous, gorgeous costumes reminiscent of Susano-o, and Moon Troupe at its very best. And there you may have an inkling of MAHOROBA's greatness.

For me, its only major failure is that it is too short.

Summary -- And a warning, because I haven't brushed up on my Kojiki in a while. ;) )

I loved the choreography even more than I was expecting to, and the costumers did a great job with costumes that really showed off Sha-sensei's choreography -- lots of long, silky and billowy sleeves and pant legs for the slower numbers and the storm numbers, and just plain cool outfits for the faster battle scenes and warrior dances. The still photos don't really do them justice -- you have to see them in action! Lots of large group numbers, which is always fun. One scene blended into the next at a non-stop pace, and the music carried you along through it all. The music was also in a good range for all of the singers.

A show I could have gone back to see again and again and again.

For the DVD, I hope they give us a lot of wide-angle shots and save the tight close-ups for the alternate angles. Because as much as you want to see the face of your favorites, the impact of seeing it all in front of you is pretty amazing. I actually tended to not use my opera glasses so that I could see it all.

My only two complaints... Although Ban Akira had some nifty things to do, it seemed odd to pull her into this show for only this part. And Masaki and Yuuhi were almost always in the same scenes.... So I missed Yuuhi almost completely. ^^;; Okay, one more complaint: Why is the whole things so catchy!? I kept finding myself on the verge of bouncing in my seat. Very embarrassing.

Also, I'm trying to mention everyone's favorites in here, but let me know if I've missed someone you want to hear about. ;)

MAHOROBA

Oct. 17th, 2007 10:22 am
ekusudei: (Default)
MAHOROBA
Moon Troupe, 2007

Stars: Sena Jun & Ayano Kanami

[ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

This here be a thorough summary, yo. Because the official summary fails in so many ways.

So. Take the gorgeous choreography of Sha Tamae, mix in gorgeous, moving music complete with shamisen written by a famous (and young, and cute) shamisen musician, the retelling of Japanese mythology, gorgeous, gorgeous costumes reminiscent of Susano-o, and Moon Troupe at its very best. And there you may have an inkling of MAHOROBA's greatness.

For me, its only major failure is that it is too short.

Summary -- And a warning, because I haven't brushed up on my Kojiki in a while. ;) )

I loved the choreography even more than I was expecting to, and the costumers did a great job with costumes that really showed off Sha-sensei's choreography -- lots of long, silky and billowy sleeves and pant legs for the slower numbers and the storm numbers, and just plain cool outfits for the faster battle scenes and warrior dances. The still photos don't really do them justice -- you have to see them in action! Lots of large group numbers, which is always fun. One scene blended into the next at a non-stop pace, and the music carried you along through it all. The music was also in a good range for all of the singers.

A show I could have gone back to see again and again and again.

For the DVD, I hope they give us a lot of wide-angle shots and save the tight close-ups for the alternate angles. Because as much as you want to see the face of your favorites, the impact of seeing it all in front of you is pretty amazing. I actually tended to not use my opera glasses so that I could see it all.

My only two complaints... Although Ban Akira had some nifty things to do, it seemed odd to pull her into this show for only this part. And Masaki and Yuuhi were almost always in the same scenes.... So I missed Yuuhi almost completely. ^^;; Okay, one more complaint: Why is the whole things so catchy!? I kept finding myself on the verge of bouncing in my seat. Very embarrassing.

Also, I'm trying to mention everyone's favorites in here, but let me know if I've missed someone you want to hear about. ;)

Phantom

Sep. 8th, 2007 11:00 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Phantom
Flower Troupe, 2006

Leads: Haruno Sumire & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki Page ] [ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style Graph ]

Looong summary already on the Wiki, and I think most everyone is familiar with the plot, so I won't repost it here. ;)

So. I don't think it's very surprising that out of the two, I enjoyed Hanagumi's more than Soragumi's. As much as I enjoyed Soragumi's, the cast in Hanagumi's version just seemed to have much better chemistry with each other. It's been a long time since I watched the other, so I can't really compare them point-for-point.

Read more... )

Phantom

Sep. 8th, 2007 11:00 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Phantom
Flower Troupe, 2006

Leads: Haruno Sumire & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki Page ] [ TCA Pictures Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style Graph ]

Looong summary already on the Wiki, and I think most everyone is familiar with the plot, so I won't repost it here. ;)

So. I don't think it's very surprising that out of the two, I enjoyed Hanagumi's more than Soragumi's. As much as I enjoyed Soragumi's, the cast in Hanagumi's version just seemed to have much better chemistry with each other. It's been a long time since I watched the other, so I can't really compare them point-for-point.

Read more... )
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
I'm reading the little blurbs they have for the various troupes in August's Kageki, and am mightily amused.

They were asked to describe their troupe in a short phrase, and here are some examples:

Flower

Haruno: Brilliant flowers
Sakurano: Bright/cheerful/melodious
Sou: Fresh!
Mano: Brilliant and carefree
Natsumi: A fun flower garden
Mochizuki: A seven-colored rainbow!
Aine Harei: Happy flowers
Rika: Fresh!
Misuzu: A thoroughly warm place
Takashou: Bright
Asaka: Spring!
Sakura: A flower garden
Nono: Dokidoki no hanagumi (needs no translation)
Hanagata: Violet (colored)!
Matobu: Full of energy!

Moon

Izumo: A cosmic jewelry box (Aya-san, you do know you switched troupes, right?)
Yoshizuki: Les Bijoux Brilliant
Ozora: Spontaneous children
Sena: A big family
Koshino: The eternal troupe of the God of Laughs
Kiriya: ごちゃ煮 (not sure about this, but I think it's something like: a mixed pot)
Ryouga: A group of spontaneous children
Ayano: All kinds of colors
Kiryuu: Energetic
Aoki: Spirited
Shirosaki: A big family
Seito: Family
Shirahana: A full moon
Yumesaki: Powerful

And after all of these warm-hearted and sweet answers, how do you think Masaki answered? .... Ryuu: Jungle ..... (Oh, my adorable woman)

I haven't read the other three yet. I did read the kumichou and lead otokoyaku interviews for Hana and Tsuki. Hacchi and Osa talked mostly about her off-stage on-stage differences, and how when she goes into work-mode she's suddenly snapping with energy, but when the switch is flipped off she's very easy-going and spacey. Hacchi says the energy she puts into her work is a good example for the underclassmen, and how they're all very chatty together and informal of upperclassmen/underclassmen distinctions while in the break room. And they talked about how glad they were to have been able to work together as kumichou and top star. And they both cried a little. It was very sweet and I got a very gentle, warm impression of the troupe.

Aya and Asako, on the other hand, weren't quite as informal with each other, probably because Aya-san just moved to Tsukigumi. She mentioned how impressed she was by the way the members of Tsukigumi are very crisp and correct in how they speak and move (speaking about greetings and politeness-levels and things, I believe.) I found that very interesting, because that isn't the image I had had of them, and especially contrasted with the Hanagumi interview just before. They also both talked about the pressure of being a role model for their entire troupe, and yet how even they make mistakes, of course. Here they seemed to loosen up a bit, and Aya talked about how she loves to have underclassmen come to get her advice on anything they need it for. She sounds like she would be a very useful dai-sempai to have. They also talked about how all the new members who have recently transferred in (Ryouga & Kiryuu) have brought a new feel with them, and that everyone in the troupe is re-evaluating what exactly Tsukigumi is.

I read an interesting series of articles lately that described the troupes as currently best known for these things:

Hanagumi: Dancing
Tsukigumi: Acting
Yukigumi: Nihonmono (Japanese-style productions)
Hoshigumi: Costume performances
Soragumi: New and fresh

I never thought of Hoshigumi as the costume troupe, but then I sat back for a moment, and... yes. I can see it.
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
I'm reading the little blurbs they have for the various troupes in August's Kageki, and am mightily amused.

They were asked to describe their troupe in a short phrase, and here are some examples:

Flower

Haruno: Brilliant flowers
Sakurano: Bright/cheerful/melodious
Sou: Fresh!
Mano: Brilliant and carefree
Natsumi: A fun flower garden
Mochizuki: A seven-colored rainbow!
Aine Harei: Happy flowers
Rika: Fresh!
Misuzu: A thoroughly warm place
Takashou: Bright
Asaka: Spring!
Sakura: A flower garden
Nono: Dokidoki no hanagumi (needs no translation)
Hanagata: Violet (colored)!
Matobu: Full of energy!

Moon

Izumo: A cosmic jewelry box (Aya-san, you do know you switched troupes, right?)
Yoshizuki: Les Bijoux Brilliant
Ozora: Spontaneous children
Sena: A big family
Koshino: The eternal troupe of the God of Laughs
Kiriya: ごちゃ煮 (not sure about this, but I think it's something like: a mixed pot)
Ryouga: A group of spontaneous children
Ayano: All kinds of colors
Kiryuu: Energetic
Aoki: Spirited
Shirosaki: A big family
Seito: Family
Shirahana: A full moon
Yumesaki: Powerful

And after all of these warm-hearted and sweet answers, how do you think Masaki answered? .... Ryuu: Jungle ..... (Oh, my adorable woman)

I haven't read the other three yet. I did read the kumichou and lead otokoyaku interviews for Hana and Tsuki. Hacchi and Osa talked mostly about her off-stage on-stage differences, and how when she goes into work-mode she's suddenly snapping with energy, but when the switch is flipped off she's very easy-going and spacey. Hacchi says the energy she puts into her work is a good example for the underclassmen, and how they're all very chatty together and informal of upperclassmen/underclassmen distinctions while in the break room. And they talked about how glad they were to have been able to work together as kumichou and top star. And they both cried a little. It was very sweet and I got a very gentle, warm impression of the troupe.

Aya and Asako, on the other hand, weren't quite as informal with each other, probably because Aya-san just moved to Tsukigumi. She mentioned how impressed she was by the way the members of Tsukigumi are very crisp and correct in how they speak and move (speaking about greetings and politeness-levels and things, I believe.) I found that very interesting, because that isn't the image I had had of them, and especially contrasted with the Hanagumi interview just before. They also both talked about the pressure of being a role model for their entire troupe, and yet how even they make mistakes, of course. Here they seemed to loosen up a bit, and Aya talked about how she loves to have underclassmen come to get her advice on anything they need it for. She sounds like she would be a very useful dai-sempai to have. They also talked about how all the new members who have recently transferred in (Ryouga & Kiryuu) have brought a new feel with them, and that everyone in the troupe is re-evaluating what exactly Tsukigumi is.

I read an interesting series of articles lately that described the troupes as currently best known for these things:

Hanagumi: Dancing
Tsukigumi: Acting
Yukigumi: Nihonmono (Japanese-style productions)
Hoshigumi: Costume performances
Soragumi: New and fresh

I never thought of Hoshigumi as the costume troupe, but then I sat back for a moment, and... yes. I can see it.

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