ekusudei: (Default)
The Brothers Karamazov
Snow Troupe - Akasaka ACT Theater
2009


Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ]

Good lord, has it been seven years since this show debuted? That is... a little depressing.

I didn't see it when it came to Tokyo, as I was deep in the middle of Yume no Ukihashi adoration and had no money or time to spare for anything else. And then it aired on Sky Stage, and I got a copy.... and it sat in a box of discs for a long time. Er, a very long time, apparently. I knew it must be something special, because everyone who saw it was singing its praises, but I think you have to be in the right mood for a Russian novel, and I was apparently never in the right mood. But Chung asked me for a copy and I figured I had better make sure the disc hadn't degraded, so...

Well, first, the plot. I haven't read the novel it is based on, but I did some quick internet research and it seems to follow the main plotline closely with the exception of the ending. (Which, really? Weird changes.) Um, no one has added a summary to the TakaWiki, so I threw together a quick one, but I've only seen it once. So if any of the fanatical fans want to replace it, or fix it, please be my guest!

What I Thought:

(This is going to be a very short review. Check out yukinojou's and michiru42's linked at the bottom the TakaWiki page for a much more thorough analysis!)

I am a huge fan of Tonami and Mizu, and most of the main cast of this musical. It was bitter-sweet to watch them all acting their hearts out here when so many have retired now. There were some really great scenes from Yumiko as Ivan and Hiromi as Pavel in particular, and Mayumi's dancing as the Hallucination was really fun to watch (and harkened back to that Zuka staple "Marlene Dietrich in a tux"). If you are a fan of any of the main cast, you will definitely want to see this show.

However, all that said... I wasn't a huge fan. The songs didn't really grab me. I felt like Tonami was directed to really over-play her attitude in the first act (Although I loved how throaty her speaking voice was as Grushenka). Hamako didn't get to sing enough. It really seemed to drag in places. I don't know, I guess it just wasn't for me. :(

I did enjoy the second act better than the first, though, and some of the scenes there, especially the final one between Yumiko and Hiromi, were intense in all the right ways. I'd probably give it 3 stars out of 5, with a Your Mileage May Vary warning.

(It's strange, but the more Saitou shows I see, the more iffy I get about him. Even though he was the genius who finally brought Takarazuka together with an Aoike work first and the fact that I have to love him for that. Psst, still waiting for Eroica, Saitou-S!)
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
♥_♥

Hamako & Mizu & Yumiko



ETA: I have to admit, the casting has me intrigued in spite of myself. I might have to go see it after all, if only to see beauuuutiful Cecil♥
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
♥_♥

Hamako & Mizu & Yumiko



ETA: I have to admit, the casting has me intrigued in spite of myself. I might have to go see it after all, if only to see beauuuutiful Cecil♥
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Mirai Yuuki blog!
[ http://ameblo.jp/hamarinko-mirai/ ]

Complete with video blog for her first post♥
She also lists a talent company and address to send fan letters to, and mentions in her vlog that she'll be posting info soon about a fan club.
Which all makes me very, very, VERY happy and sure the "Dream Trail" appearance isn't a one-off thing. ♥♥


And, the official page is up for the new series of personal books, along with whom the other four will be:
1. Hokushou Kairi (10/25)
2. Ouki Kaname (11/25)
3. Sagiri Seina (12/25)
4. Ryuu Masaki (1/25)
5. Asaka Manato (2/25)
6. Asumi Rio (3/25)

I'm now even more convinced that Asaka will be nibante in Flower sometime in the next year. Ah well.
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Mirai Yuuki blog!
[ http://ameblo.jp/hamarinko-mirai/ ]

Complete with video blog for her first post♥
She also lists a talent company and address to send fan letters to, and mentions in her vlog that she'll be posting info soon about a fan club.
Which all makes me very, very, VERY happy and sure the "Dream Trail" appearance isn't a one-off thing. ♥♥


And, the official page is up for the new series of personal books, along with whom the other four will be:
1. Hokushou Kairi (10/25)
2. Ouki Kaname (11/25)
3. Sagiri Seina (12/25)
4. Ryuu Masaki (1/25)
5. Asaka Manato (2/25)
6. Asumi Rio (3/25)

I'm now even more convinced that Asaka will be nibante in Flower sometime in the next year. Ah well.
ekusudei: (Default)
Pic of Mizu and some of her OG classmates who got together for her birthday last month. (Now that she's graduated, the blog's author has posted it.) Hamako♥ Son-chan♥ I think I see Miri, too, her chin is kind of unmistakable♥ And Taiju Maki, Ai Youko, and Asahina Kei, maybe? After that I'm afraid I don't know 79ths well....
ekusudei: (Default)
Pic of Mizu and some of her OG classmates who got together for her birthday last month. (Now that she's graduated, the blog's author has posted it.) Hamako♥ Son-chan♥ I think I see Miri, too, her chin is kind of unmistakable♥ And Taiju Maki, Ai Youko, and Asahina Kei, maybe? After that I'm afraid I don't know 79ths well....
ekusudei: (Default)
♥ According to Shii-chan, Yamashina Ai got married today, and Shii-chan and Hamako went to the wedding♥
ekusudei: (Default)
♥ According to Shii-chan, Yamashina Ai got married today, and Shii-chan and Hamako went to the wedding♥
ekusudei: (Mizu Natsuki)
One highly-biased review, coming up! ;)

The Dawn at Solferino / Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream
Snow Troupe 2010
Tokyo Theater, April 11th 11:30 AM

Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Aihara Mika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

The Dawn at Solferino

Overall I didn't care for the musical show, and I'll tell you why. I enjoy talky productions, but I enjoy them because the dialogue is snappy, and because there is some over-arching mystery or spy drama going on. I don't enjoy talky productions with stale, repetitive dialogue, where the same four characters rehash the same arguments over and over and over. There was no mystery -- there wasn't even really any worry of how the show would end, since we all know Dunant succeeds. I suppose the "growth" of Aihara's character is supposed to be where the dramatic tension is, but I found her annoying, and, again, thanks to typical Ueda-Sensei dialogue, every time she opened her mouth she was just saying the same thing again and again. Not caring at all what happened to her sucks the small seeds of engagement out of the show.

Read more... )

I think it's a show that will appeal to Yukigumi fans on account of how well Ueda-Sensei was at giving everyone stage time, and giving fair time to Yumiko in her last show.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream

LOVED THE REVUE SHOW!!!!

Mizu danced a lot, which made me very, very happy. Hamako sang a lot of hauntingly lovely songs, which made me ecstatic.

In fact, Hamako was on stage nearly the entire time, decorating the apron stages, so I'm afraid I missed a lot of the revue, except out of the corner of my eye. She grinned, she made faces, she passed out and collected hats and capes and, of course (being a Mask Seller), masks♥

Read more... )

Best of all? I checked the DVD/CD pages -- no music or scene cuts! Inaba-Sensei's first grade for a Grand Theater production = A+

In summary: LOVED it, want Inaba-S for Tsukigumi instead of Nakamura. *pout*
ekusudei: (Mizu Natsuki)
One highly-biased review, coming up! ;)

The Dawn at Solferino / Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream
Snow Troupe 2010
Tokyo Theater, April 11th 11:30 AM

Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Aihara Mika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

The Dawn at Solferino

Overall I didn't care for the musical show, and I'll tell you why. I enjoy talky productions, but I enjoy them because the dialogue is snappy, and because there is some over-arching mystery or spy drama going on. I don't enjoy talky productions with stale, repetitive dialogue, where the same four characters rehash the same arguments over and over and over. There was no mystery -- there wasn't even really any worry of how the show would end, since we all know Dunant succeeds. I suppose the "growth" of Aihara's character is supposed to be where the dramatic tension is, but I found her annoying, and, again, thanks to typical Ueda-Sensei dialogue, every time she opened her mouth she was just saying the same thing again and again. Not caring at all what happened to her sucks the small seeds of engagement out of the show.

Read more... )

I think it's a show that will appeal to Yukigumi fans on account of how well Ueda-Sensei was at giving everyone stage time, and giving fair time to Yumiko in her last show.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream

LOVED THE REVUE SHOW!!!!

Mizu danced a lot, which made me very, very happy. Hamako sang a lot of hauntingly lovely songs, which made me ecstatic.

In fact, Hamako was on stage nearly the entire time, decorating the apron stages, so I'm afraid I missed a lot of the revue, except out of the corner of my eye. She grinned, she made faces, she passed out and collected hats and capes and, of course (being a Mask Seller), masks♥

Read more... )

Best of all? I checked the DVD/CD pages -- no music or scene cuts! Inaba-Sensei's first grade for a Grand Theater production = A+

In summary: LOVED it, want Inaba-S for Tsukigumi instead of Nakamura. *pout*
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
I've been holding onto this show for three (four?) years now. Because once I watched it, that was it. No more Bun-chan & Mahiru top combi to look forward to. (I don't think I could sit through Junjou, even for them) Konno Mahiru I've adored in every shinko lead I've seen her in. She was an amazing musumeyaku; I can understand why she had seven! And Bun-chan, Bun-chan... So sweet♥ My fuzzy-sweater otokoyaku♥

It was well worth the wait! I'd totally forgotten that it was a Masatsuka-Sensei musical. Ahahahah, it all comes back to my love-affair with Masatsuka, doesn't it?

Memories of Barcelona / On the Fifth
Snow Troupe 2002, Tokyo Raku

Stars: Emao Yuu & Konno Mahiru

[ TakaWiki ] [ On the 5th Stage Graph ]

I shouldn't really call these reviews any more, when I can't be bothered to do more than ramble incoherently. Ah well. ;)

What I Thought of Barcelona: )

This one is a watch again and again and again kind of show.

What I Thought of On the Fifth: )

Emao Yuu Sayonara Show )
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
I've been holding onto this show for three (four?) years now. Because once I watched it, that was it. No more Bun-chan & Mahiru top combi to look forward to. (I don't think I could sit through Junjou, even for them) Konno Mahiru I've adored in every shinko lead I've seen her in. She was an amazing musumeyaku; I can understand why she had seven! And Bun-chan, Bun-chan... So sweet♥ My fuzzy-sweater otokoyaku♥

It was well worth the wait! I'd totally forgotten that it was a Masatsuka-Sensei musical. Ahahahah, it all comes back to my love-affair with Masatsuka, doesn't it?

Memories of Barcelona / On the Fifth
Snow Troupe 2002, Tokyo Raku

Stars: Emao Yuu & Konno Mahiru

[ TakaWiki ] [ On the 5th Stage Graph ]

I shouldn't really call these reviews any more, when I can't be bothered to do more than ramble incoherently. Ah well. ;)

What I Thought of Barcelona: )

This one is a watch again and again and again kind of show.

What I Thought of On the Fifth: )

Emao Yuu Sayonara Show )
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Kaze no Nishiki-e / Zorro
Snow Troupe, Tokyo Opening Night 2009

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Kaze no Nishiki

Okay, so, to be honest, this wasn't the kind of Nihonmono revue that really appeals to me. I love the ones where they do the folk dances and folk songs, and there was some of that in here, but it was on the whole too cracky for me. There are some songs that really shouldn't be mutilated like that. *grin* Some things weren't meant to be jazzy, and I include "Soran" and "Sakura" in that category.

That said, I adored the opening sequence, with mischievous detective Tonami out to get poor, defenseless, manly, thief Mizu. <3 And I stared really hard at Sagiri Seina, trying to see how the chemistry was between herself and Yukigumi this first time she performed with them. Nothing felt awkward.

Not so fond of the Tom, sadly, though the choreography between her and Ugly-Mustache-Wearing-Mizu was interesting. I don't know much about Uesugi Kenshin or Takeda Shingen, but I like choreographed dance-battles.<3

Matsumoto-sensei seemed a bit unlucky. She had a big piece of hair caught in her eyelashes during one number, and then nearly fumbled her faux-towel thing during the other (though she made a very graceful save in the end, and didn't miss a beat).

The monk and cat-girl line dance just freaked me out.

Yep. That's all I'm going to say about the revue, for my own safety. ;)

~*~*~

Zorro

If it had ended with Kaze no Nishiki-e, I would have been safe and content with my decision to only see this show once, but.... Aaaagh. Zorro. Zorro. ...Zorro.

Mizu, Mizu, I'm sorry I haven't paid you much attention since you became top star; I don't care much for top stars. But I'm reminded now of why you and Yuuhi were my co-favorites for three years. SO HOT. And dancing. Dancing Mizu is all I really need to make me happy.

And I got it. Yay for mini-revues before and after the musical. I think I may have stopped breathing a few times when Mizu was dancing around in her Zorro outfit on the staircase. Ngh.

So! Plot! (With many warnings that this is based on one viewing, and my head was kind of muddled, because my brain kept repeating: 'Oh my god, oh my god.' I completely missed the Hamako storyline.)

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Yes please. Again.

All right, in all seriousness. )


So, revue was meh for me, but the musical was a!ma!zing! adventure fun, and I'll count the opening and finale of the musical as my heart's revue. ;)
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Kaze no Nishiki-e / Zorro
Snow Troupe, Tokyo Opening Night 2009

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Kaze no Nishiki

Okay, so, to be honest, this wasn't the kind of Nihonmono revue that really appeals to me. I love the ones where they do the folk dances and folk songs, and there was some of that in here, but it was on the whole too cracky for me. There are some songs that really shouldn't be mutilated like that. *grin* Some things weren't meant to be jazzy, and I include "Soran" and "Sakura" in that category.

That said, I adored the opening sequence, with mischievous detective Tonami out to get poor, defenseless, manly, thief Mizu. <3 And I stared really hard at Sagiri Seina, trying to see how the chemistry was between herself and Yukigumi this first time she performed with them. Nothing felt awkward.

Not so fond of the Tom, sadly, though the choreography between her and Ugly-Mustache-Wearing-Mizu was interesting. I don't know much about Uesugi Kenshin or Takeda Shingen, but I like choreographed dance-battles.<3

Matsumoto-sensei seemed a bit unlucky. She had a big piece of hair caught in her eyelashes during one number, and then nearly fumbled her faux-towel thing during the other (though she made a very graceful save in the end, and didn't miss a beat).

The monk and cat-girl line dance just freaked me out.

Yep. That's all I'm going to say about the revue, for my own safety. ;)

~*~*~

Zorro

If it had ended with Kaze no Nishiki-e, I would have been safe and content with my decision to only see this show once, but.... Aaaagh. Zorro. Zorro. ...Zorro.

Mizu, Mizu, I'm sorry I haven't paid you much attention since you became top star; I don't care much for top stars. But I'm reminded now of why you and Yuuhi were my co-favorites for three years. SO HOT. And dancing. Dancing Mizu is all I really need to make me happy.

And I got it. Yay for mini-revues before and after the musical. I think I may have stopped breathing a few times when Mizu was dancing around in her Zorro outfit on the staircase. Ngh.

So! Plot! (With many warnings that this is based on one viewing, and my head was kind of muddled, because my brain kept repeating: 'Oh my god, oh my god.' I completely missed the Hamako storyline.)

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Yes please. Again.

All right, in all seriousness. )


So, revue was meh for me, but the musical was a!ma!zing! adventure fun, and I'll count the opening and finale of the musical as my heart's revue. ;)
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
King Solomon's Ring / La Mariposa
Snow Troupe, 2008

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

I went into this one cautious but full of hope, because I have one of two reactions to Masatsuka-Sensei's shows (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13) ... I either love them to pieces or I find them very dull. However, in general he's my favorite Takarazuka playwright/director. Strangely, the ones that I love are his talky, political ones, so when everyone started talking about how dull the play was, I perked up. And I wasn't disappointed in the least.

But that's jumping ahead, because first is King Solomon's Ring. Ogita Kouichi is another playwright/director that I enjoy. Babylon was the first revue show that I really fell in love with, and Romantica Takarazuka '04 is also beautiful and exotic-feeling. But Solomon... Solomon was like those two revues mixed together on speed.

King Solomon's Ring: )

La Mariposa: )

So, I think... Solomon might improve on DVD, but I didn't care for it. Mariposa is probably not going to have many fans among the foreign fan base, and will probably be boring if you don't speak Japanese. But it pushed all of my buttons and I simply adored it.♥

As an addendum, Snow Troupe seems to almost have too many big otokoyaku stars floating about at the moment. They'll need to keep doing original Takarazuka shows if they want to give them all a chance to shine....
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
King Solomon's Ring / La Mariposa
Snow Troupe, 2008

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

I went into this one cautious but full of hope, because I have one of two reactions to Masatsuka-Sensei's shows (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13) ... I either love them to pieces or I find them very dull. However, in general he's my favorite Takarazuka playwright/director. Strangely, the ones that I love are his talky, political ones, so when everyone started talking about how dull the play was, I perked up. And I wasn't disappointed in the least.

But that's jumping ahead, because first is King Solomon's Ring. Ogita Kouichi is another playwright/director that I enjoy. Babylon was the first revue show that I really fell in love with, and Romantica Takarazuka '04 is also beautiful and exotic-feeling. But Solomon... Solomon was like those two revues mixed together on speed.

King Solomon's Ring: )

La Mariposa: )

So, I think... Solomon might improve on DVD, but I didn't care for it. Mariposa is probably not going to have many fans among the foreign fan base, and will probably be boring if you don't speak Japanese. But it pushed all of my buttons and I simply adored it.♥

As an addendum, Snow Troupe seems to almost have too many big otokoyaku stars floating about at the moment. They'll need to keep doing original Takarazuka shows if they want to give them all a chance to shine....
ekusudei: (Default)
Tuesday, I discovered that I've had a copy of the Sky Stage broadcast of Hoshikage / Joyful!! II ... probably for a few months at least. *head->desk* This is what happens when life sucks and you get apathetic -- you miss the important things.

Man of Stardust
Snow Troupe, 2007 - Chunichi Theater

[ TakaWiki ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

The debut show of my current favorite top combi. Mizu I've loved madly for... three years now. Tonami grew on me as I watched her with Wataru, though my first impression of her wasn't that great (I love Nagasaki to bits, but every repeat watching makes me want to strangle her character). And it's a Snow Troupe Nihonmono! Originally staring Migiwa Natsuko!! And.... Shinsengumi!!!♥♥♥ I've fallen into the trap of Shinsengumi love through exposure to Rurouni Kenshin at an impressionable age and the watching of too many period dramas on TV when it was too cold out to leave my apartment and kotatsu.

So, with all that said I guess you know what I'm going to say about this show. LOVED. IT.

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Loved it. But I go weak in the knees for Shinsengumi haori♥ Still, the combination of Shinsengumi uniforms and the many geisha and maiko in flashy and gorgeous kimono made this a show complete with lovely costumes. I liked all of the music, including the musumeyaku songs -- strong singers in Yamashina Ai, Haruka Midori, etc. I liked that there were so many minor character storylines that all got a part to play. Mirai Yuuki's Yamazaki was love, as was Ouki Kaname's Katsura and Ayabuki Mao's Hijikata. Just... everyone was wonderful. It was Shinsengumi legends portrayed at their most romantic.

Yukigumi should do many, many, many more Edo- and Meiji-Era Nihonmono with Mizu and Tonami and Yumiko at the helm.
ekusudei: (Default)
Tuesday, I discovered that I've had a copy of the Sky Stage broadcast of Hoshikage / Joyful!! II ... probably for a few months at least. *head->desk* This is what happens when life sucks and you get apathetic -- you miss the important things.

Man of Stardust
Snow Troupe, 2007 - Chunichi Theater

[ TakaWiki ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

The debut show of my current favorite top combi. Mizu I've loved madly for... three years now. Tonami grew on me as I watched her with Wataru, though my first impression of her wasn't that great (I love Nagasaki to bits, but every repeat watching makes me want to strangle her character). And it's a Snow Troupe Nihonmono! Originally staring Migiwa Natsuko!! And.... Shinsengumi!!!♥♥♥ I've fallen into the trap of Shinsengumi love through exposure to Rurouni Kenshin at an impressionable age and the watching of too many period dramas on TV when it was too cold out to leave my apartment and kotatsu.

So, with all that said I guess you know what I'm going to say about this show. LOVED. IT.

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Loved it. But I go weak in the knees for Shinsengumi haori♥ Still, the combination of Shinsengumi uniforms and the many geisha and maiko in flashy and gorgeous kimono made this a show complete with lovely costumes. I liked all of the music, including the musumeyaku songs -- strong singers in Yamashina Ai, Haruka Midori, etc. I liked that there were so many minor character storylines that all got a part to play. Mirai Yuuki's Yamazaki was love, as was Ouki Kaname's Katsura and Ayabuki Mao's Hijikata. Just... everyone was wonderful. It was Shinsengumi legends portrayed at their most romantic.

Yukigumi should do many, many, many more Edo- and Meiji-Era Nihonmono with Mizu and Tonami and Yumiko at the helm.
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Elisabeth
2007 Snow Troupe

Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ TCA Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style GRAPH ]

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this show, at the same time that I was dying to see it. Since I first fell in love with Takarazuka, Mizu was one of my magic trio (Rika, Yuuhi, Mizu). It's been kind of hard watching everyone suddenly become a fan because she's a top star now and because she happened to get to play Death. I know, it's not rational, but that's the way it is. Because of that, the DVD has been kind of low on my priority list. I really wanted to see Hoshikage first, but I haven't been able to afford it yet. But Julie brought Elisabeth over with her, so of course I gave in to the temptation in .2 seconds flat. ;)

And of course, I was really worried. I wanted to like my top combi together, but I'd heard lukewarm things about Shirahane Yuri's Sissi.

So...

What I Thought )

Overall, I found the changes they made interesting. Often I couldn't say: "Oh, I liked the old way better", or "Oh, I like this way better". I think this new round of Elisabeths is going to be just different enough that they're not comparable with the first five productions.

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