ekusudei: (Star Troupe)
War and Peace
Star Troupe, 1988

Stars: Hyuuga Kaoru & Minakaze Mai

[ TakaWiki ]

Summary:

This arrangement of the War and Peace novel begins about half-way through book two, with the temporary truce brookered between Russia and France. Pierre has already married and become estranged from Hélène, and Prince Andrei's wife Lise has already passed away.

The action of the musical opens at Natasha's first grand ball, where through Pierre's kindness she meets and dances with Prince Andrei, and the two fall in love. In short time Prince Andrei returns to his father's home to talk with his father about marrying Natasha. His father urges caution, particularly when his many absences have already left the burden of raising Prince Andrei's son on his sister's shoulders. Prince Andrei and Natasha thus begin a secret (from society), year-long engagement, and Prince Andrei promises the young Natasha that if she changes her mind or falls in love with another man throughout that year, she is free to break the engagement.

Read more... )

What I Thought:

I had both a lot of high expectations going into this show, and low expectations.

Low, because I love War and Peace, the novel and the Russian epic film. It's hard to live up to something you imprinted on as a pre-teen. Low. also, because it's 80s Takarazuka. And, finally, because it was written and directed by Ueda Shinji.

High, because I love the story, because it was the last performance for Haruna Yuri and Tajima Kumi, and because Asaji Saki played Kuragin (I had such a crush on Kuragin as a teenager. I know, I'm weird.).

Read more... )

The costumes were meh, the ballroom dance scenes were epic.

All in all, bits of give and take, but over all I left feeling very happy about it. Surprisingly so, perhaps? In retrospect, it was the perfect vehicle to see off a top musumeyaku and a legend like Haruna Yuri, while still giving juicy scenes to the top star and her nibante.
ekusudei: (Star Troupe)
War and Peace
Star Troupe, 1988

Stars: Hyuuga Kaoru & Minakaze Mai

[ TakaWiki ]

Summary:

This arrangement of the War and Peace novel begins about half-way through book two, with the temporary truce brookered between Russia and France. Pierre has already married and become estranged from Hélène, and Prince Andrei's wife Lise has already passed away.

The action of the musical opens at Natasha's first grand ball, where through Pierre's kindness she meets and dances with Prince Andrei, and the two fall in love. In short time Prince Andrei returns to his father's home to talk with his father about marrying Natasha. His father urges caution, particularly when his many absences have already left the burden of raising Prince Andrei's son on his sister's shoulders. Prince Andrei and Natasha thus begin a secret (from society), year-long engagement, and Prince Andrei promises the young Natasha that if she changes her mind or falls in love with another man throughout that year, she is free to break the engagement.

Read more... )

What I Thought:

I had both a lot of high expectations going into this show, and low expectations.

Low, because I love War and Peace, the novel and the Russian epic film. It's hard to live up to something you imprinted on as a pre-teen. Low. also, because it's 80s Takarazuka. And, finally, because it was written and directed by Ueda Shinji.

High, because I love the story, because it was the last performance for Haruna Yuri and Tajima Kumi, and because Asaji Saki played Kuragin (I had such a crush on Kuragin as a teenager. I know, I'm weird.).

Read more... )

The costumes were meh, the ballroom dance scenes were epic.

All in all, bits of give and take, but over all I left feeling very happy about it. Surprisingly so, perhaps? In retrospect, it was the perfect vehicle to see off a top musumeyaku and a legend like Haruna Yuri, while still giving juicy scenes to the top star and her nibante.
ekusudei: (Masaki - sing)
HOME☆TALK

Natsumi Yō X Yūzumi Shun
GUNMA


From KAGEKI, September 2010


Read more... )
ekusudei: (Masaki - sing)
HOME☆TALK

Natsumi Yō X Yūzumi Shun
GUNMA


From KAGEKI, September 2010


Read more... )

Gu Bijin

Jun. 16th, 2010 11:26 pm
ekusudei: (play without words)
Gu Bijin
Flower Troupe, 2010
May 15th 16:00 & May 30th 16:00 shows


Stars: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Asahi Photo Gallery: Gu Bijin ]

I... I keep putting this off until I'll have a full day to work on it, but I've come to realize that's just not going to happen anytime soon. So I'll now attempt a two-hour version of why this is the best show that I've seen since Yume no Ukihashi or Kurotokage.

Here there be SPOILERS!

Summary: )

What I Thought: )

So, in conclusion: If you were saving up for any version of Legend because you like grand Asian costume spectacles, throw away such a thought and get Gu Bijin instead. You won't regret it! ♥

Translation to follow once Tsukigumi leaves Tokyo♥

Gu Bijin

Jun. 16th, 2010 11:26 pm
ekusudei: (play without words)
Gu Bijin
Flower Troupe, 2010
May 15th 16:00 & May 30th 16:00 shows


Stars: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Asahi Photo Gallery: Gu Bijin ]

I... I keep putting this off until I'll have a full day to work on it, but I've come to realize that's just not going to happen anytime soon. So I'll now attempt a two-hour version of why this is the best show that I've seen since Yume no Ukihashi or Kurotokage.

Here there be SPOILERS!

Summary: )

What I Thought: )

So, in conclusion: If you were saving up for any version of Legend because you like grand Asian costume spectacles, throw away such a thought and get Gu Bijin instead. You won't regret it! ♥

Translation to follow once Tsukigumi leaves Tokyo♥
ekusudei: (Shirahana Remi)
What the-? What? What? Really? :/


I am SO psyched about Gubijin, especially after reading the Kageki round-table. (OK, so the round-tables generally tend to have that affect on me, but still...)

Here's some bits and pieces, mostly copy-pasted from emails I've sent Lucia, so please don't mind the casualness. ;)


Read more... )
ekusudei: (Shirahana Remi)
What the-? What? What? Really? :/


I am SO psyched about Gubijin, especially after reading the Kageki round-table. (OK, so the round-tables generally tend to have that affect on me, but still...)

Here's some bits and pieces, mostly copy-pasted from emails I've sent Lucia, so please don't mind the casualness. ;)


Read more... )
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: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
WARNING: 99.999999999% of fandom thinks Jen is on crack.
WARNING: Jen has never liked Takarazuka BeruBara.
WARNING: Jen likes Hanagumi.

How do you make BeruBara appealing?

(1) Starve the subject of contact with live Takarazuka theater for two months
(2) Stuff show full of beloved seito
(3) Leave in subject's favorite lines
(4) Add lovely BGM
(5) Seat subject in optimal location for Hot Stare GET!!!
(6) Hinata San, Hinata San, Hinata San♥♥♥



[this official title translation cracks me up, must use]
A Spin-Off from the Rose of Versailles: André's Story
Flower Troupe, 2009
Tokyo Theater, Oct. 25th, 11 AM performance


Leads: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ SANSPO Stage Graph ]
[ Daily Sports Online, Set: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ]

The Rose of Versailles Side-Story: André

Maybe it was because I was expecting the worse. Maybe it was because I'm used to being diametrically opposed to 80% of the fandom. Maybe it was because I've simply slipped off the deep end, but... I really didn't think Andre-hen was that bad. Actually, er, I liked it more than Legend. *cough*

I think I begin to understand the appeal of BeruBara in Takarazuka. I've never paid a huge amount of attention to musumeyaku costumes, particularly the enormous hoop-skirts, but I think they lose something in the recordings. Also, I think the costuming department really went to town when they bought the fabric this time around (either that, or they were using the bottom of the barrel -- some of the pattern combinations were, er, very Japanese).

But let's do this systematically:

The Plot (by thread, not chronologically): )

What I Thought: )

~*~*~

Exciter!!

Read more... )

~*~*~

Overall, I liked both halves. I'm going to try to go and see it again next weekend. But I probably won't spend the money to buy the full-price DVD.
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
WARNING: 99.999999999% of fandom thinks Jen is on crack.
WARNING: Jen has never liked Takarazuka BeruBara.
WARNING: Jen likes Hanagumi.

How do you make BeruBara appealing?

(1) Starve the subject of contact with live Takarazuka theater for two months
(2) Stuff show full of beloved seito
(3) Leave in subject's favorite lines
(4) Add lovely BGM
(5) Seat subject in optimal location for Hot Stare GET!!!
(6) Hinata San, Hinata San, Hinata San♥♥♥



[this official title translation cracks me up, must use]
A Spin-Off from the Rose of Versailles: André's Story
Flower Troupe, 2009
Tokyo Theater, Oct. 25th, 11 AM performance


Leads: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ SANSPO Stage Graph ]
[ Daily Sports Online, Set: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ]

The Rose of Versailles Side-Story: André

Maybe it was because I was expecting the worse. Maybe it was because I'm used to being diametrically opposed to 80% of the fandom. Maybe it was because I've simply slipped off the deep end, but... I really didn't think Andre-hen was that bad. Actually, er, I liked it more than Legend. *cough*

I think I begin to understand the appeal of BeruBara in Takarazuka. I've never paid a huge amount of attention to musumeyaku costumes, particularly the enormous hoop-skirts, but I think they lose something in the recordings. Also, I think the costuming department really went to town when they bought the fabric this time around (either that, or they were using the bottom of the barrel -- some of the pattern combinations were, er, very Japanese).

But let's do this systematically:

The Plot (by thread, not chronologically): )

What I Thought: )

~*~*~

Exciter!!

Read more... )

~*~*~

Overall, I liked both halves. I'm going to try to go and see it again next weekend. But I probably won't spend the money to buy the full-price DVD.
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Tsuki no Hokage
Flower Troupe Bow Hall, 2002

Stars: Ayabuki Mao, Ranju Tomu, Sawaki Kurumi

[ TakaWiki ]


Summary:

Read more... )

What I Thought:

Read more... )
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Tsuki no Hokage
Flower Troupe Bow Hall, 2002

Stars: Ayabuki Mao, Ranju Tomu, Sawaki Kurumi

[ TakaWiki ]


Summary:

Read more... )

What I Thought:

Read more... )
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
The short, short version, because otherwise I'm never going to get laundry done and errands run today.

The Legend of the Great King and Four Gods
Flower Troupe (Tokyo) 2009

Top Stars: Matobu Sei and Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

I was sadly disappointed. I can't decide if I would recommend watching the Korean drama before seeing the show or not. On one hand, you may be rather lost over why they included such-and-such a moment. On the other hand, you might be sitting in your seat hitting your forehead with your palm every ten minutes.

I'll preface this by saying that I was not a huge fan of the drama. I rather hoped that the Takarazuka version would trim off the fat and smooth away some of the plot problems I had with it. Instead they took away all of the moments that I enjoyed from the series, and then ran over the character motivation with a bulldozer.

Drama vs Musical )

I am terribly, terribly biased, so I will admit that Ozora Yuuhi had the sparkles shining in my eyes. I didn't get goosebumps, but I certainly felt the power of her voice in her solos more that Matobu Sei's. This is just all wrong, because Matobu is a very strong singer too. I think what it boils down to is that the music was pretty weak. Lucia says that it grew on her. It might on me if I saw the the show again, but I found the songs unmemorable. They were typical Takarazuka songs for a typical Takarazuka show. And the last four shows that I've seen have been anything but typical, which I think has spoiled me rotten.

Okay, enough complaining. What I liked... I liked lots of Hinata San.♥ Everywhere.♥

I liked the revolving "cave" set, and particularly how they used it during the prologue.

I liked evil Sou. There wasn't enough of her.

I liked Ayane's dancing in her lovely Korean costumes.

I liked Shirahana Remi as baby Hogae.♥

I liked Hanagata Hikaru's wig a lot better than I was expecting.

I loved the choreography of all the battle/tournament scenes (Although I pined for the original tournament, that never would have been feasible on stage and would have looked silly, so I understand what they did there). ...I think a little underclassman may have fallen off the ginkyo at one point. But everyone else in the theater was so busy watching Yuuhi that they missed it. XD

I LOVED the costumes and the stage makeup. It was eerie how closely they resembled their Korean counterparts at times.

I ADORED AND DIED THROUGH EVERY MOMENT OF THE MINI-REVUE. Unrghhhhhhh. If I ever considered buying the DVD, it would be for the mini-revue. Hotness. Dancing. Love.

Hinata San.♥ Everywhere.♥ Including right in front of me during the parade.♥



Final conclusion: Thank you, Hankyu. You're going to save me a lot of money by putting on this show again in the fall. Normally Hoshigumi would have me at the theater every weekend, but......
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
The short, short version, because otherwise I'm never going to get laundry done and errands run today.

The Legend of the Great King and Four Gods
Flower Troupe (Tokyo) 2009

Top Stars: Matobu Sei and Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

I was sadly disappointed. I can't decide if I would recommend watching the Korean drama before seeing the show or not. On one hand, you may be rather lost over why they included such-and-such a moment. On the other hand, you might be sitting in your seat hitting your forehead with your palm every ten minutes.

I'll preface this by saying that I was not a huge fan of the drama. I rather hoped that the Takarazuka version would trim off the fat and smooth away some of the plot problems I had with it. Instead they took away all of the moments that I enjoyed from the series, and then ran over the character motivation with a bulldozer.

Drama vs Musical )

I am terribly, terribly biased, so I will admit that Ozora Yuuhi had the sparkles shining in my eyes. I didn't get goosebumps, but I certainly felt the power of her voice in her solos more that Matobu Sei's. This is just all wrong, because Matobu is a very strong singer too. I think what it boils down to is that the music was pretty weak. Lucia says that it grew on her. It might on me if I saw the the show again, but I found the songs unmemorable. They were typical Takarazuka songs for a typical Takarazuka show. And the last four shows that I've seen have been anything but typical, which I think has spoiled me rotten.

Okay, enough complaining. What I liked... I liked lots of Hinata San.♥ Everywhere.♥

I liked the revolving "cave" set, and particularly how they used it during the prologue.

I liked evil Sou. There wasn't enough of her.

I liked Ayane's dancing in her lovely Korean costumes.

I liked Shirahana Remi as baby Hogae.♥

I liked Hanagata Hikaru's wig a lot better than I was expecting.

I loved the choreography of all the battle/tournament scenes (Although I pined for the original tournament, that never would have been feasible on stage and would have looked silly, so I understand what they did there). ...I think a little underclassman may have fallen off the ginkyo at one point. But everyone else in the theater was so busy watching Yuuhi that they missed it. XD

I LOVED the costumes and the stage makeup. It was eerie how closely they resembled their Korean counterparts at times.

I ADORED AND DIED THROUGH EVERY MOMENT OF THE MINI-REVUE. Unrghhhhhhh. If I ever considered buying the DVD, it would be for the mini-revue. Hotness. Dancing. Love.

Hinata San.♥ Everywhere.♥ Including right in front of me during the parade.♥



Final conclusion: Thank you, Hankyu. You're going to save me a lot of money by putting on this show again in the fall. Normally Hoshigumi would have me at the theater every weekend, but......
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Love and Death in Arabia / Red Hot Sea
Flower Troupe, 2008

Stars: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

Okay, to be honest I haven't really read through any of the Summer Makes Sense crew's reviews yet, but I think I started to by accident once and there was a general consensus that it was dull!? Are you all on crack? I know people have differences of opinion, so I think this is either one of those moments where I'm at odds with 90% of the community, or perhaps I'll read your reviews properly and find out I was mistaken....

One other caveat before I start, which is that I spent my impressionable pre-teen years reading things like The Blue Sword. I have this ... thing for Arabia meets early 19th-century Britain.

Arabia - What I Thought: )

It wasn't until the intermission that I realized that I hadn't thought about Osa even once. It wasn't like there was this huge gapping hole there; Hanagumi is whole, and strong, and amazing. I honestly, honestly believe that it might be my favorite troupe right now (and I am NOT just saying this because Yuuhi transferred there). I know this sounds like sacrilege to a lot of people, but give them a chance. They might just knock your socks off.

Red Hot Sea - What I Thought: )

I always have a hard time reviewing revues, because they tend to either be ones I love, where I love every single mad detail, or ones I just found blah. This was one I loved, every bit of it.

(PS - I think a couple people might have missed it without meaning to, so in case you're wondering why there isn't any iride information, or anything like that, check this post.)
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Love and Death in Arabia / Red Hot Sea
Flower Troupe, 2008

Stars: Matobu Sei & Sakurano Ayane

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

Okay, to be honest I haven't really read through any of the Summer Makes Sense crew's reviews yet, but I think I started to by accident once and there was a general consensus that it was dull!? Are you all on crack? I know people have differences of opinion, so I think this is either one of those moments where I'm at odds with 90% of the community, or perhaps I'll read your reviews properly and find out I was mistaken....

One other caveat before I start, which is that I spent my impressionable pre-teen years reading things like The Blue Sword. I have this ... thing for Arabia meets early 19th-century Britain.

Arabia - What I Thought: )

It wasn't until the intermission that I realized that I hadn't thought about Osa even once. It wasn't like there was this huge gapping hole there; Hanagumi is whole, and strong, and amazing. I honestly, honestly believe that it might be my favorite troupe right now (and I am NOT just saying this because Yuuhi transferred there). I know this sounds like sacrilege to a lot of people, but give them a chance. They might just knock your socks off.

Red Hot Sea - What I Thought: )

I always have a hard time reviewing revues, because they tend to either be ones I love, where I love every single mad detail, or ones I just found blah. This was one I loved, every bit of it.

(PS - I think a couple people might have missed it without meaning to, so in case you're wondering why there isn't any iride information, or anything like that, check this post.)
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
With the usual warnings of sloppy translating, and odd-sounding English because I'm lazy (though Lucia helped me fix a couple of bits up). For Lucia, and for everyone who misses Osa and Tomomi♥

Kageki Round-Table Discussion: Adieu Marseille
October 2007


Participants: Takada Kenji, Koike Shuichiro, Haruno Sumire, Sakurano Ayane, Ritsu Tomomi, Hoshihara Misao, Rika Masumi, Natsumi You, Matobu Sei, Sou Kazuho, Aine Harei, and Misuzu Aki


Read more... )
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
With the usual warnings of sloppy translating, and odd-sounding English because I'm lazy (though Lucia helped me fix a couple of bits up). For Lucia, and for everyone who misses Osa and Tomomi♥

Kageki Round-Table Discussion: Adieu Marseille
October 2007


Participants: Takada Kenji, Koike Shuichiro, Haruno Sumire, Sakurano Ayane, Ritsu Tomomi, Hoshihara Misao, Rika Masumi, Natsumi You, Matobu Sei, Sou Kazuho, Aine Harei, and Misuzu Aki


Read more... )

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