ekusudei: (Cosmos Troupe)
the WILD Meets the WILD
Cosmos Troupe Bow Hall, 2013

Stars: Hasumi Yuuya & Nanami Hiroki (double otokoyaku lead)

[ TakaWiki ] [ Daily Sports photos ] [ Kobe Newspaper photos] [ Asahi photos ]

First of all, after I watched the show I went back to the TakaWiki to see what the blurb had been that I translated, and I had to laugh. It was apparently one of those times where they completely changed the plot of the show between the time they first announced it and when it was finally performed, because the original summary had included things like the show being set in Dodge City (instead of Tombstone), and one of the cousins being driven out of town and things like that.

Now, Westerns! I ADORE Takarazuka Westerns. Wataru's and Saeko's in '97 and '98 were fabulous (and I recognized some of the costumes from those shows making reappearances here. Heh.). They need to do more, they really do, and this show proved it. Awesome, all around. It was my first exposure to young Ikuta Hirokazu as playwright, and I appreciated how much of the experimental spirit of Bow Hall he incorporated into his show. Lots of clever use of projections and really neat set design ideas. Fun songs which may not have had the best vocals, but were catchy and had impact. A fun story with all of the bizarre twists you would expect of a Takarazuka Bow Hall (I would be disappointed if the plot truly made sense). Most of all, it was a Mystery Western! The storyline (and thus character development) was explained in spaced out flashbacks over the course of the entire show.

Because of this "mystery" aspect to the plot, I'm giving a little intro plot blurb with minimal spoilers first, then the more extensive one for people who want the spoilers. And I'm including a warning that from that point on the entire review will be full of spoilers.

Summary Blurb:

Southwest America in the late 19th century, during the Gold Rush. An adventure story of two young men who grew up together and then followed different paths, set in Tombstone. David Northbrook, leader of the miners, is so caught up in the gold fever that he pays little heed to his younger sister Monica, who has fallen on hard times and become very ill. When she dies, her son Jeremy is taken up by a former miner turned priest, who sends him away to school. While away, Jeremy begins to receive strange letters that purport to come from his dead mother. At first they ask him to do small favors, but soon he finds himself acting as a vigilante (the masked cowboy "Killer Bee") with tragic consequences. Meanwhile, Benjamin is caught up by the darker side of the city and becomes an outlaw cowboy. Shortly after Jeremy returns to Tombstone, there is a shooting incident in the "Bird Cage" theater, and he takes up the role of sheriff to deal with it. But what he sees inside is Benjamin being brought down by the "Bird Cage" actress Emma, who is actually a bounty hunter.

Full Summary:

(As always, events may be out of order or misremembered, as I only watched the recording once.)

Read more... )

What I Thought: )

Overall, wish I could have seen this one live! And I hope it inspires Takarazuka to DO MORE WESTERNS.
ekusudei: (Cosmos Troupe)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Cosmos Troupe, 2011
Tokyo Theater - 1.15 (16:00) & 1.16 (16:00)


Stars: Ozora Yuuhi & Nono Sumika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Hmm. It lived up to all of my expectations, and yet.... Well, it's a bit complicated.

So far as the summary goes, well, actually, the one on the TakaWiki isn't 100% accurate to the 2010-11 performance. We should have updated it when the new English summary went up. Oops. I've never read the novel, so I can't say how much it differs. From my hazy memory....

Summary: )

What I Thought:

The bridge scene lived up to the stories! It was pretty amazing. And I liked how they staged the effects during the attack on El Soldo's camp, too. Overall, the rock sets were pretty cool.

Music was catchy. I kind of want the soundtrack when it comes out on iTunes. Kazari Jin's solo as El Soldo was really pretty and got huge applause both shows I saw.

Costumes were really fun for all of the guerrillas and gypsies. Kind of had to buy Tomochin's postcard so that I can look at that outfit whenever the mood strikes me. *laughs*

cast )

Overall, I'm glad that I saw it♥, and I liked it. The chemistry between Yuuhi & Sumika was as amazing as ever. But I guess I was hoping for a really visceral response to the drama that I never completely got, and so I ended up personally disappointed despite its being a very good show.
ekusudei: (Yuuhi - The Last Party)
Trafalgar / Funky Sunshine
Tokyo Theater -- July 18th 11:30

Stars: Ozora Yuuhi & Nono Sumika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

Although most of the fun in Takarazuka is in watching the younger girls, or rather, in taking in the chorus as a whole, that can cause problems when you want to actually focus on the top stars. And so I think I've come to be grateful that Yuuhi and Sumika were moved to Soragumi, a troupe where I don't really have any other favorites. Most of the time I can concentrate on them and not get distracted.

Which isn't to mean that I don't think there are very many talented people in Soragumi! But they're not really my focus right now. So, as usual, my Soragumi show report is going to be a bit light on people, which isn't meant with any disrespect. Only that I saw the show only once, so I focused on the two who were most important to me, and then on Alice, for obvious reasons. ... Okay, with a healthy dose of Tomochin. ;)

Read more... )


So, hm, final verdict: I enjoyed it and I'm glad I went to see it, but it's not one that I would rave about.

Casablanca

Jan. 18th, 2010 06:27 pm
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
I've managed to develop a nasty cold and get some bad news, so this isn't going to be as chirpy or as long as it would have been last night. *scowls at the world*

Casablanca
Cosmos Troupe, 2009-10
Tokyo, January 17th, 11AM performance


Leads: Ozora Yuuhi & Nono Sumika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sumire Style Stage Graph ]

In terms of movie vs musical, no, not going to compare them much. That would be entirely stupid, as they're entirely different mediums. But the dialogue is nearly word-for-word in most of the scenes corresponding to the movie, so if you have a favorite bit of dialogue, it's probably in there. But, in terms of fairness, I have to say Casablanca has been one of my favorite movies since I was a kid. If you don't enjoy Casablanca the movie (find it too boring or whatever), you probably won't be enamored of the musical. I very much enjoyed it.

Read more... )

Final vote: If you like the movie you'll probably enjoy the musical. If you like Yuuhi, Sumika, Tomu, or Micchan you'll probably enjoy the musical. If great set designs make you drool, you'll probably enjoy that, at least.
ekusudei: (play without words)
The Energy 8

Star - The Rose of Versailles: Matobu Sei & Koto Marie
Moon - Great Pirates: Yamato Yuuga & Kanou Chika
Snow - Burning Love: Sou Kazuho & Konno Mahiru
Cosmos - Castel Mirage: Tsubaki Hiroka & Ayano Kanami


The Rose of Versailles
[ TakaWiki ]

I can keep this short and sweet by saying... I didn't watch it. ^^; Really not in the mood for Berubara lately. But I did watch the speech at the end. Un-chan was as completely and terribly goofy as ever. Oh my god. She must be terribly, terribly shy. I hope her speeches are still as adorable, but I suspect she's gotten used to them by now.

Great Pirates )

Overall, a really fun show to see because of its nostalgia factor, but the surprise of this tape was actually...

Ai Moeru )

So, yeah. Wow. I think I need to go watch that again.

But first, a complaint! Why did no one tell me that...

Castel Mirage )

So, yes. Must hunt down full versions of Ai Moeru and Castel Mirage shinkos. ASAP.

[I'll come back and edit this post when I watch the Berubara.]
ekusudei: (Default)
Space Fantasista!
2007, Cosmos Troupe Revue

Stars: Yamato Yuuga & Hizuki Hana

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

[livejournal.com profile] wao_wao came over and brought her DVDs with her this weekend. <3 Operation "Indoctrinate Jen With Soragumi" continues.

We didn't watch "Valencia", just the revue. But it was a good one. Lots of fun numbers. I think the Venus scenes were my favorite, followed by Saturn. Ume was awesome in the Mars number. Micchan's singing was love, and the etoile duet was !!!!! I think I have a new second-favorite etoile now. The dancing was really fun too, and there was all kinds of crazy energy in the group numbers. And Tomu x Tani slash is never a bad thing, even if one's roommate enters the room and one must not squeal too loudly. And there was so much love for Alice, who was right behind Tani in the opening number. <3 And love for Kotobuki Tsukasa just being awesome in general. And Yuumi Hiro continues to be a giant.

Tani is still not top star material to me, I'm afraid. But, gosh, I can't even remember that she's, what, ken-13? She just looks and feels so young. Eheh. And Ume! Oh, god. My eyes were glued to her in a kind of fascinated horror. There's thin, and there's Takarazuka thin, and then there's annorexic thin. :/ It was truly, truly disturbing. I'm super-sensitive about these kinds of things now (someone in my family was hospitalized for almost a month because of annorexia, and is still suffering from it, everyday of the rest of their lives), and I really wish these women weren't worked so hard and under such pressure all the time. It's just not healthy at all.

And, sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant. I really liked this revue. <3
ekusudei: (Default)
The Energy 5

Cosmos - Black Rose of the Desert: Kuon Maya & Toono Asuka
Moon - LUNA: Yamato Yuuga & Hanase Mizuka
Flower - Asaki Yume Mishi: Ayabuki Mao & Fuzuki Miyo
Star - Golden Pharaoh: Asazumi Kei & Hisato Rie


Black Rose of the Desert )

LUNA )

Asaki Yume Mishi )

Golden Pharaoh )

Wow. Two shows I didn't really care for as honkoen that I enjoyed/loved as shinjinkoen.
ekusudei: (Default)
The Energy 7

Star - Revolt of a Gallant Poet: Matobu Sei & Emi Kurara
Snow - In Search of El Dorado: Otozuki Kei & Konno Mahiru
Cosmos - The Rose of Versailles: Tsukifune Sarara & Miwa Asahi
Flower - Michelangelo: Ranju Tomu & Sawaki Kurumi


My VCR mysteriously repaired itself! Quick, time to get my last bunch of videos onto DVD! ;) I thought this would be an interesting watch because it contained one show I'd never seen, one I liked quite a lot, and two I really didn't care for. Would the adorable younger casts change my impressions of the shows themselves?

One thing I did notice, and would like to complain about (What? Me? Complain about something? Heaven forbid.) was the fact that in general only the lead musumeyaku role made the cut to be included in the cast lists in the little booklet that came with the video, and generally 12-15 roles were listed for each show. No love, Hankyu, no love.

Revolt of a Gallant Poet )

In Search of El Dorado )

The Rose of Versailles )

Michelangelo )
ekusudei: (Default)
A Kiss To The Flames / Neo Voyage
Cosmos Troupe, 2005

Leads: Wao Youka & Hanafusa Mari

[ TakaWiki Page ] [ TCA Shop ]
[ Enak Sumire Style Stage Graph ]

A Kiss to the Flames:

I really liked this show. ....Hey, stop staggering around and clutching at your heart. Cynicism doesn't look well on you. Anyway, I really liked this show. [livejournal.com profile] wao_wao brought her copy over a couple of weekends ago, after patiently suffering through hoards of Tsukigumi shows for months. Both the story and the music were well done, and for a show with such a dark setting, there was something very bright and crisp about it. I think I spent about 15% of this show squealing over the return of villain Hatsukaze Midori. I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again: that woman plays villains better than anyone else I know. Due attention was also paid to the conscripting of musumeyaku into otokoyaku uniforms for large ensemble scenes. Wao Youka's character had two rather awesome wigs. I think I have a weak point for awesome wigs. Also, I think I'm coming to enjoy Wao better these days. Maybe the shock of Fersen is finally wearing off, two years later. Anyway, the costumes and wigs were all great. Even the roomie had to comment on Yamato Yuuga's cool dreds on one of his wanders into the kitchen. (Actually, as an aside, I don't think G has ever sat down and watched a sequence of Takarazuka for so long as he did for this show. It must have been Tani's dreds.) Itsuki Chihiro. Itsuki-san as a female gypsy. I- I didn't even recognize her. So many awesome bonus points to her. *hearts* The shadow effects they played with throughout this show were also incredibly awesome. They definitely had fun with them. I, ah, don't think anything needs to be said about the infamous Hanafusa Mari-in-a-blanket scene, right?

All in all, a really good show. The only problems I had with it were gypsies with forges? And Gaichi's floppy hat. ;) Ah, and perhaps not enough of those adorable gypsy boys. Yes, more gypsy boys is a must. :(

Neo Voyage:

A cool revue show. Anything with pirates has to be cool, of course! Although the Halloween scene was really... creepy. In a not good way. XD There is nothing quite so awesome as the combination of fedora, blues, gangsters, and angst. I'm still debating over the piano scenes. It was definitely pretty. Maybe not quite my style, although Piano Demon Gaichi was... cute. And to finish off this review: There's nothing quite like a Wao and Hana-chan pair dance, is there? I can definitely see why this revue is a favorite of a lot of my Soragumi fan friends!
ekusudei: (Default)
A very, very, very long lunch break. Aka: motivation = -30

Young Bloods!! -Cosmo∞-
Cosmos Bow, 2006

Star: Toki Irisu

[ TakaWiki ]

Julie brought over her copy of Soragumi's Young Bloods!! a couple of weeks ago. I was really impressed. :)

Beware! The bullet points!

* I am not allowed to use the "L" word as related to any particular Soragumi members, for my Cosmos Curse is that any Soragumi girls I like inevitably retire or get transfered. But I shall say that I was very much impressed by the young otokoyaku in this show.
* I see that the wordplay with the characters' names snuck over into the Soragumi YB as well. Mark Tensberg for Toki Irisu, The rather obvious Neo for Souma Neo.... :D

* The show itself was rather cute, and it's nice to have some shows without romance as the main focus. But what, exactly was the point of Mark and Juliet anyway? Blah.
* I liked the musical numbers. *g* Yes.
* The revue show made me terribly jealous. The theme was much cooler than Tsuki's. ;) More fedoras and suits and chair dances.

Err... Yes. I liked it a lot. *grins*
ekusudei: (Default)
*head->desk*

I've been wondering why the Sumire Style wasn't going up for Ryoma. ... Then I realized I was still looking at the 2006 ENAK.

So, yeah, it's up!

And... is Tomu wearing jeans as part of that outfit? Because that's... just.... Well, very like Kusano-S, actually. It looks like a very brain-damaging revue show. I approve.
ekusudei: (Default)
*head->desk*

I've been wondering why the Sumire Style wasn't going up for Ryoma. ... Then I realized I was still looking at the 2006 ENAK.

So, yeah, it's up!

And... is Tomu wearing jeans as part of that outfit? Because that's... just.... Well, very like Kusano-S, actually. It looks like a very brain-damaging revue show. I approve.
ekusudei: (Default)
Watch Yuuhi, watch Mizu. Can't say I'm unfair with my favs.

Satomi Hakkenden
Cosmos Bow Hall, 2003

[ Taka Wiki Page ]

Cast: )

Summary: )

What I Thought: )
ekusudei: (Default)
Ohhh... special stuff for the new Cosmos show! They have a bunch of tiny video clips up as well as info about the show and revue show. Click on the little box with the pic of Kashi in costume below the NOW ON STAGE bit. Press conference, visit to Sakamoto Ryoma stuff, promotion video, and more to come.
ekusudei: (Default)
Ohhh... special stuff for the new Cosmos show! They have a bunch of tiny video clips up as well as info about the show and revue show. Click on the little box with the pic of Kashi in costume below the NOW ON STAGE bit. Press conference, visit to Sakamoto Ryoma stuff, promotion video, and more to come.
ekusudei: (play without words)
[ TakaWiki Page ]

Shop Pages
[ TCA Pictures ] [ Takarazuka Video ]

Oh.My.God. So, I'm watching Immortal Lovers, and it's ... okay. Rui is a very strong George Sand, and I really like how much her singing has improved lately. Tani is ... excellently disollute, playing a young(ish), too-impulsive, and often-drunken Alfred. However, throughout much of the play I felt the two were trying too hard. I think you shouldn't be able to feel the effort an actress is putting into her role, and their movements were sometimes very stiff. BUT, on the other hand, when they clicked, they clicked marvelously. That scene where Tani is drunk on the floor with her head lolling as George's friend completely blasts her for being a selfish bastard... I LOVED it! And..... that scene. That infamous scene where Tani practically sticks her hand up Rui's skirt. There is.... rolling. And.... gropping of a very un-Takarazuka nature. o.0 They gave Zunko and Hana-chan's Carmen scene a run for its money and left it in the dust, I tell you what.

I probably shouldn't have spent more time adoringly watching Ebira Kaoru, Chiga Teruko, and Itsumine Aki, should I? But all three Senka ladies were very good, and slightly-evil Ebira-san is not to be missed!

Music and dancing didn't leave me wowed, for the most part. There were a few I liked, but some were also rather monotonous. However, there was a piece that I know I know. I could hear theoriginal Enlgish lyrics in my head, just on the far side of that wall of recognition. It's a song from another musical, but what is it?! The title in this show is "Dare mo Inai". I remember lines about trumpets... and siezing the day... damn, this is going to bug me until I can remember, and then I'm going to kick myself for not having remembered earlier.

Also, there was this one musumeyaku whose voice totally and completely blew me away. She's the one who sang "Ai no Yume". I have to look her up. Ah, Kazuno Miou.

This was actually filmed on the final night, so they included the speeches after the show on the DVD. *hearts always-dorky Tani*

ETA: Oh man! Got it! *indeed feels like an idiot* It's from 1776! "Is Anybody There?" *checks the credits* And there's not a SINGLE word about this little bit of borrowing, either. o.0
ekusudei: (Asako and Fuu-chan)
New Cosmos photos up! Now Moon is the only troupe without new photos.... ^^;

I can't decide whether I like Tani's or not. Wao's is cute! And Haruhi's is nice!


ETA: Interesting... apparently watching a troupe I don't know at all increases the fun of watching the main musical, because it's easier to suspend disbelief, but makes the revue a little boring....

... OMG, Takarazuka did "Love For Sale"!? Do they, uh, know what it's really about? *g*
ekusudei: (Asako and Fuu-chan)
New Cosmos photos up! Now Moon is the only troupe without new photos.... ^^;

I can't decide whether I like Tani's or not. Wao's is cute! And Haruhi's is nice!


ETA: Interesting... apparently watching a troupe I don't know at all increases the fun of watching the main musical, because it's easier to suspend disbelief, but makes the revue a little boring....

... OMG, Takarazuka did "Love For Sale"!? Do they, uh, know what it's really about? *g*
ekusudei: (Default)
Figaro!

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Main: Mizu Natsuki, Ayano Kanami

Summary: A comedic compilation of two of Beaumarchais's Figaro plays: "The Barber of Seville" and "The Marriage of Figaro." The usual liberties are taken, but they actually made an interesting play fitting the two together. Still... Argentina? The music seems to have been drawn from different sources, although I heard a high amount of Cole Porter's music with some interesting new, original lyrics. ^^;

Thoughts: Oh good heavens, I haven't laughed that hard since Ernest in Love. Harder, in some places. Takarazuka slapstick at its finest, and even if most of the puns went way over my head, just the tone and intonation had me giggling. I had no idea I knew so many Cosmos 'siennes.... But my, so many seemed so familiar. Plus, it features Mizu in not just one, but two roles! And those naughty, naughty nuns. I had to grin when they stripped down to their underwear and started dancing, even if I'm starting to feel that these corrupt nuns are a bit of a zuka cliche.

And... the birthmarks! The birthmarks crack me up whenever I think of them. "Shaped like a frog going..." *throws up hands* "...banzai!" and "A duck's kiss!"

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ekusudei

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