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... )

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: (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: (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)
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: (play without words)
Adieu Marseille
Flower, 2007

Leads: Haruno Sumire & Sakurano Ayane

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

Summary on the Takarazuka Wikipedia.

What I Thought:

I am probably the last person on the planet to see this show, but here you go anyway.... ;)

LOVE.

It peddled to all of my weaknesses: Osa in pinstripe suits, gangsters in pinstripe suits, Hatchi in pinstripe suits, Un-chan in pinstripe suits (are we sensing a theme here?)... No, but seriously, the otokoyaku wardrobes? Deadly. The musumeyaku outfits were probably very pretty, but I- Wait, wait, I remember Lucia's repeated mention of little red... hats? No, no, that was Tuxedo Jazz. I definitely remember Sakurano in a little red dress, so it was a little red something. The sets blended in and don't stick out in my memory, except for the station, of course, and the sewers. Slightly subdued for a Grand Theater show. Music and lyrics were done in a safe, lovely style that suited Osa's gorgeous voice to a T.

Read more... )

Overall, this show is now my second-favorite Osa show (after Kurotokage). The plot might not be Tony-award wining material, and I felt the musumeyaku were in many ways after-thoughts, but the suits, and the otokoyaku, and the shoulder holsters, and Mattsu's mustache, and Hatchi's tattoo (yes, I have weird kinks, leave me alone)... Ngh. And Osa was as powerful as ever, making a grand ... adieu.



PS - Someone needs to add the staff to the TakaWiki page! >:/
ekusudei: (Default)
Marrakech: A Crimson Tombstone
Flower, 2005

Leads: Haruno Sumire & Fuzuki Miyo

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

Since there's such a nice summary up on the wiki, I can skip that bit. ;)

What I Thought:

I- I should have loved this show. I still can't understand why it couldn't hold my attention for more than a few minutes at a time. The music, I will say, is excellent. Very fun "Arabian" flavor to it. The suits are also excellent on Leon's swindlers. Leon is love. Chair-dancing be-suited otokoyaku are love. Suzukake Miyuki's Snake Dancer costume/makeup was awesome.

I think my main problem with this show is that I didn't really care much about the main characters. I realize this is scandalous of me, and I hope Lucia will be able to forgive me one day. ;) But Ludwig never appealed to me. I didn't feel sympathy for him and his tragic past, because it didn't strike me as tragic. spoilers )

As an Osa show I was, frankly, disappointed. But I think this was just a personal preference because I didn't care for the main characters / main story. If it were an option, I would recommend for people to buy the shinjinkoen instead, because the cast acted their little hearts out, and they were adorable. Asaka Manato has gown a lot between that show and where she is now, but I feel certain Sakurano Ayane sprang completely knowledgeable from the womb. She continues to amaze. Also, sleazy underling Hinata San is love. Someday I'll give them their own, proper review.
ekusudei: (Default)
Backstage Journal: Saezuki Luna
Kageki, June 2007

Hi everyone This is Saezuki Luna, making her first appearance in Backstage Journal! There's a little bit of material from backstage at the Flower Troupe Tokyo performance, and I'd like to pass it on.

Read more... )
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: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Request Lounge
Maya Miki → Natsumi You

GRAPH, July 1997


"Up until now we haven't had many chances to speak, but I heard her talking with the underclassmen and I thought she must be a warm person, so I requested her."



Natsumi: My first impression of Miki-chan (Maya) was from the rockette number of your hatsubutai¹. You probably don't remember, do you?

Maya: Eehhhh~?!

Natsumi: I told Miki-chan, "you smile very nicely", "you have a good smile."

Maya: Ah, really!?

Natsumi: I'm a fairly shy type, so I don't speak out to underclassmen, particularly hatsubutaisei², that I don't know, but I did speak out unexpectedly. I did that and you grinned and said: "Thank you." That was my very first impression. I think it's amazing that that child has gradually grown up, has not given up her individualism, and has come so far.

Read more... )
ekusudei: (play without words)
Excerpts from Kishi Kaori's "Takarazuka: The Fairies' Backstage". (Published by Mainichi Shinbunsha in 2002. ISBN4-620-31555-9) She cracks me up, with her irreverence and rambling from one topic to another in the middle of short two-page essays. Anyway, I thought Zunko fans might find the first one interesting.

Why, Zunko? )

Stage Accessories Are All at Your Own Expense )

Which Ear Does the Earring Go In? )

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.

Profile

ekusudei: (Default)
ekusudei

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  123 45
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:54 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios