(no subject)
I should not leave writing about stuff I watched for too long a time - I start forgetting.

So. I was lucky to have the chance to watch Tsukigumi's shinko RomiJuri. I like all RomiJuri but I was naturally especially interested in Tsuki's because all those familiar faces.

Basically it was the same in structure as Yukigumi shinko - Love and Death's dance, then straight into the ball; I think maybe the camera angle was different because that dance looked a bit different to me.

After Yurika - still my favorite Death - I tend to have better luck with shinko Deaths than honkoen ones. I love both Sakina and Tamakichi a lot, but both of them, imho, make better Romeos than Deaths - they are too sunny and earthy for an anthropomorphic personification, even a fairly junior one (sorry, I firmly believe RomiJuri Death is an intern). Kiraha Reo in Yukigumi shinko was much better, for all that she clearly had Mizu in mind; and Chinatsu here in Tsuki also worked quite well, imho. And Hayami Sei made an interesting Love - somehow very ... sarcastic-looking one. Interesting dynamics between those two.

The Montague gang was a good gang, for all that they did not get the relevant song: Asami Jun was Mercutio, and Kizuki Yuuma, Benvolio - doukis working very well together. Aasa did not overdo the crazy for Mercutio, and was just the right kind of merry hell, and Mayupon was very solid towards the end, though raising hell with the best of them at the ball.

Tybalt, though... I don't know, maybe I am prejudiced. Yuuki is almost never clicking for me - I saw her shinko Alain in ScaPim, I saw her shinko Rudolf, and I am still "Okay, so what". And Tybalt did not work for me either though I can't say it was bad.

Hanahi Mira as Lady Capuletti, though, was awesome in her passionateness about, well, everything. I expected this, but I did not expect anything from Takasumi Hayato as Lord Capuletti - somehow she always slipped past my attention. She did good, though. The Montagues always have less to do, especially Lord Montague, which is a pity - I would have liked to see more of Joe.

I liked Harune Aki as Nurse - clearly having fun (that scene with Benvolio and Mercutio - I amused myself by remembering she's their douki too). Chinami Karan's baby face distracted me - it often does - but she still made a nice Laurence, loving Romeo (I always love their first scene together!) and worrying about him and Juliette.

But Romeo and Juliette were still the best. Tamakichi playing the sunshine boy, favored by life and stumbling into love, as Romeo ought to be, and Miyurin makes the loveliest Juliette, working very well with Tamakichi. All eyes very easily go towards them and their fate.

... and Toki gets a bonus mention, doing what she always does - dancing - only this time in blue and with a shaggy wig (or not wig), unlike her honkoen in red and with cornrows. ;) I just love being able to see her.

(no subject)
blue bird
I feel less and less like Tumblring - I guess a blog is still the best format for me, so here I am, to write about the news.

I have long dreamed about a MasaMiri Ernest, and my dream got half-fulfilled. Except I am worried, because for me the most important thing in Ernest is Jack and Algernon working as a duo. AsaKiri were flawless, and now we don't even know who's going to be Mirio's Algernon. When I first heard about Ernest, going slowly through the news, I said 'This should work quite well with Daimon', and then I saw that this was not to be. And then, against all reason, I imagined Chinatsu as Algernon - but even if they wanted to promote her that much (which I doubt. I don't know what they want with her...) this wouldn't work because she'd have like 10 days (including New Year) between the end of Puck and the beginning of Ernest.

Also, I'd like to know who's to be Cecily. I vote for Senna Ayase, but I don't know much about Hanagumi so have no idea whether it's real.

And I am sorry we're to lose Koma - she was my favorite Tsuki transfer.

And I wish I knew what they are doing with baby musumeyaku carousel.

I miss LJ

Apparently I bullied someone on Tumblr. Have I stumbled into a parallel universe?

... in other news, I am sad that Ayashiro Rea is leaving. Is it too stupid to write to someone you never wrote before, just to say "I loved watching you, sorry to see you go, have a nice life out there"?

(no subject)
laughing together
Okay, I am kind of surprised by the list of people who aren't either in Gone with the Wind or in New Wave:

Kagetsu Miyako
Kotone Kazuha
Arise Sou
Takasumi Hayato
Hoshina Yutaka
Tsuzuki Mia
Shoga Tsubaki
Kirami Ruise
Samomo Satsuki
Aose Yuuki
Asagiri Makoto
Kashiro Aoi

Will there be something else going on in January 2014, or are those just rotating vacations or something?

Found an old meme, decided to play
blue bird
Instructions: There's a list of top stars. Italicize the names of the stars you have ever seen in anything (including as an OG).  Bold the stars for whom you have seen a show with them as top
Read more...Collapse )

Ocean's 11, Hanagumi
Funny, but I went to see this show without having seen either the film or the Hoshigumi musical - I actually saw the film on my way back from Japan and a lot of things became much clearer.

Like a total lack of suitable musumeyaku roles in the original, so I suppose I can't blame Zuka for doing what they could - but the musumeyaku, even those with named roles, really had nothing to do. Well, Ichika did her nothing with a lot of style, pomp, costumes and backup dancers so it was rather fun, but Paula wasn't much of a role (even though I still regret not having seen Julia, there wasn't actually much to see in this instance).

Ranno Hana, though, really has grown up - I mean, I only have known her by her Tsukigumi roles and except for Ophelia wasn't that impressed, but she did a good Tess, I thought, as much as there was to do (I don't actually think Tess in the movie was that interesting a character).

I was really, really impressed by Daimon as Terry Benedict - very suave and with a lot of presence and charm.  With Micchan I knew already she's charming (watching the movie I kept imagining either her or Toyoko in Brad Pitt's place. Sorry, Brad)... I am not quite sure how I am about Ranju - I probably like her better in angsty things than in comedic/action ones, but Danny Ocean does kind of have his moments of angstiness (even though he works those into his tricks and plans).

With the rest of the gang, Livingston Dell's presentation befuddled me - I couldn't tell whether it was supposed to be a boy or a girl and who exactly it was (and I am not _that_ bad at Hanagumi - I think found and recognized Ayashiro Rea whom I liked on photos before; she was quite entertaining and cute); I liked the Malloy brothers (they really dyed their hair! I have later seen Yuzuka Rei and Minami Maito rather close because they went to see South Pacific) - they were fun. Takashou Mizuki made a better old man than Yuuma Rin, I think - Yuuma Rin's Saul was less comedic than Takashou Mizuki's character, and it was kinda noticeable to me that she's twenty years younger than Maya-san (I have seen bits of her Saul and thought she looked right in that role - but maybe I am not fair to Yuuma Rin here, I don't know. I actually like her).

But, well, this story isn't much for characters but rather good for fun - and they had fun with staging it. There was always something going on onstage, parts of stage moving, showing us new places, new action... And, well, even though I was impressed by some people more than the others, generally I had a lot of fun and I am glad I went to see this show.

Monte Cristo/Amour de 99
blue bird
... and then, for a change, I went to see a show where I did not have an especially beloved sienne.

Well, I like Chihiro. She is very handsome) And she kept being handsome in Monte Cristo, I am happy to say. But in general, I was watching this for pure entertainment. And also, as it happened, out of four shows I had the luck to watch live this was the only one with a revue. I knew I had to see at least one revue - they're like the most characteristic Zuka thing IMO (well, also Berubara is characteristic. I had a lucky trip).

So, Monte Cristo told in one act was entertaining but strange. I must admit frankly that the revenge machinations got a bit muddled for me, maybe because I don't understand Japanese - even though I know the book (they did obviously change the book, like with the lack of Benedetto). The most clear revenge thing to me was probably Danglars and the bandits - which turned into pirates here. And Kai-chan obviously had the most glorious time being chief pirate, with an eyepatch and all. A pleasure to see.

With Villefort, besides Chihiro looking good, the most notable thing to me was the active lifestyle of Papa Noirtier or whatever he is called, and whoever he is played by - I did not buy the program and I am a bit confused now - it all was a month ago. Did the old man really run away from his dutiful son to yell "Napoleon banzai!" in a tavern, or did I dream it up in horror? I think he did...

There was a lot of running away, by the way - the arrested Edmond Dantes managed to run away from jail only to be publicly betrayed again by his 'dear friends' (poor Edmond. The show also started with him being beaten up in jail. Presumably in the jail which was before the castle of If). By the way, the dreaded American students weren't just narrators - they were there participate and to be seen, like, they told the soldiers chasing Dantes he ran the other way, and stuff like this. I am not quite sure what Ishida Masaya wanted with this extraneous addition. But Urara looked pretty.

(This non-review is turning out to be extra confusing)

Another notable thing was the extra familial relations - like Mercedes being Morrel's daughter (which I can kinda understand by way of simplifying the plot) and spoiler spaceCollapse )

... I am not that pleased with casting, by the way. I mean, I am pleased with Villefort, but Tomochin doesn't feel banker-ly to me, and Maa-kun makes a good ladies' man, but not in a way I imagine Fernand to be. But, well.

Oh, and I am not sure whether Kitarou was  Monte Cristo's friend, servant or whatever, and what exactly she was doing on a pirate ship, but I am afraid that her chasing after Teru and yelling at her was practically the most memorable thing in this show for me. Well, this, and the song 'Capitan Dantes' which was in the beginning when Dantes got his own ship, and in the end when they all sailed happily away. Even though it stressed the wrong syllable, it was catchy.

... and I am obviously not to be allowed to write about shows I have seen less than three times.

Oh, the revue. The revue was very anniversary-ish and historical - they kept showing portraits of directors of old, and then someone said stuff about those directors, followed by a song-and-dance number. It mostly had a feel of a 'Parisian' revue, which I am okay with - I like Parisian revues. But then they kind of approached the present, by the way of Teru being Pineapple Queen (sorry, Teru, you won't be the Pineapple Queen of my heart, that place is already taken - but nice legs), and had Teru and Kitarou pair dance. Which was quite dramatic.

So, basically I went to Takarazuka, I had fun and I hope this post made at least some sense.

South Pacific
the aliens already conquered me
Now, South Pacific I have seen 4 times, so I probably have more coherent things to tell (just for your information: given time and money, I'd go again. And not just because of Tom. Though mostly because of her, of course).

Mind you, I knew this is an American musical but I haven't seen it and haven't heard any of the songs before - though this Takarazuka version might be fairly similar to the last American one - Wikipedia has a still of the final scene, and it's practically exactly what they do in Takarazuka. But. Well. I only knew what the TakaWiki summary says.

And I loved it. Of course, there was the seeing Tom on stage for the first time in my life (she made me shiver. Yes, really. Her voice...) But this show is not 'Tom and a crowd of people', this is very much an ensemble and a lot of people make this show what it is.

Though the musumeyaku crowd has far less to do than the otokoyaku crowd. This is, I think, my only gripe. The young-otokoyaku-who-are-not-Yurika (or Mishiro Ren, or Renta) are very much a crowd, but they nevertheless have space to show themselves. They are onstage a lot, their song and dance scenes let them go all over the space and even when they are not doing anything in particular, they're still there, reacting to things, like a proper chorus. Ooki Makoto was especially fine in reacting - but then I just like Ooki Makoto - and, well, Mikkii is always nice to watch.  The musumeyaku crowd, however, has a fairly limited time onstage, and are very tightly grouped - Kawai Mizuho was the only one I could distinguish in the crowd, and only just barely.

I am afraid that the star musumeyaku role besides Fuu-chan went to Junko-san, who ruled. As she usually does (I somehow kept wondering what kind of Nurse she would've made in RomiJuri). Kisaki Airi, playing her daughter Liat, did not have much to say, but looked lovely and danced very nicely.

Mishiro Ren! TakaWiki says I have seen her in stuff before, but apparently I never noticed: but here she was just great. Her Billis was this ridiculous-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold, from the face he made when Nellie kissed him on the cheek, to when he tried to parachute to help Emile and Joe, or whatever he tried to be. Renta played Billis's buddy, but her role was, I'm afraid, simpler and more clownish than that.

I am never quite fond of Itsuki Chihiro, but her Brackett was very much A Character (with a nice foil from Miki Chigusa).

Yurika looks good in uniform - as everyone knows by now. Her Joe Cable was a good Nice Guy with a proper dose of mental anguish, but I am not sure this was the most interesting of roles for her (though Junko-san's character announced loudly that he was very sexy, and I am sure the audience agreed). Also, I am a bit peeved she did not get to die onstage. Not fair!

Fuu-chan is yet another example of my theory that Tom has great taste in musumeyaku) I already knew that she's a good singer (and I was very, very happy that she was allowed to sing in her natural voice), but she's also a good actress who got an opportunity to shine. I thought she looked quite well next to Tom - noticeably younger, but the story requires her to be; but also charming, strong and conflicted. Also, the forties look (in the Zuka interpretation) is good on her, and I liked a lot the mini-revue in the beginning of the second act.

... and I am still not sure I have words for Tom. It's like with age she's becoming more and more finely expressive with her every gesture and every face she makes. She was so cute at times - like with children (those babies were really cute), and when Nellie said she liked Emile; and then often serious and distraught, and dramatic, and, well. All kinds of things. She was everything I expected, and then some more.

I liked what they did with the stage, too - the sometimes-appearing Brackett's office, and the scaffolding in the back which allowed Tom to be very dramatic and to report from the island where they went on a mission - simple things, but it all hung well together. Everyone worked well together. Lovely, lovely show - I miss it a little already. I will need the DVD.

So I went to see Berubara
... actually, that was not so simple, because Tsukigumi just _had_ to stage for my visit something which everybody and their granny wanted to see. So, presales gone in five minutes, sales gone in five minutes, you know how it goes.

That's why going to see Berubara involved getting up at an ungodly hour the next day after I arrived and sitting for four hours on a windy early morning Tokyo street. And _that's_ why this post is in no way and shape a review.

Because, well, you might know, or you might guess that your first time in Japan and your first time seeing Takarazuka live - especially your favourite troupe - is mostly "Wow, I am really here" and "Wow, everything looks just like I imagined/saw on photos and videos" with a side of "THIS IS REALLY FOR REAL".

Also, I was in the furthest back seat, the one that makes you think "at least I am not standing" - and there _were_ people standing. Though actually with opera glasses it mostly works well - except for parade - and actually it's kinda interesting to see everything from above: you look down and see Masao and Mirio walking towards each other along the bridge just below you (and think "THIS IS REALLY FOR REAL") - like a whole... panorama, maybe.

The pink prologue is very... pink, but I was happily occupied by trying to spot Toki-chan, and there she was, luckily on my side of the stage (though I am kind of disappointed she did not get a hoop skirt - the other places I found her were the city scenes with Bernard and co; but I guess the absence of Antoinette lowers the chances for hoop skirts. By the way, the absence of Antoinette also makes Fersen kind of even more pointless than he usually is in Oscar-hen - I mean, yes, I know he's there to show that Oscar is in love with him, but. Not interesting).

I got the Masao-as-Andre version and I am quite pleased that I did, because there will be time to see the other version on DVD. I liked Mirio's Oscar: she was, to my taste, a bit less headstrong and more reasonable than I usually feel Oscar to be, but there was inflexibility in this sweet reasonableness (also, Miyurin as baby Oscar was SO CUTE - and I really, really want to see at least something from shinko, b/c Toki-chan as baby Oscar!).

I actually rather liked Lulu: I never saw any Berubara with this character before, but that was Mira, and Mira is always good, even though she's a bit too adult for a little girl. She was clearly A Character, and kind of friends with Andre, I felt (let's hope I am not hopelessly muddling things up - I watched this quite a while ago). And Andre was... I usually like Masao more in tricksterish than in temperamental roles, but she was, I think, the first Andre with whom the poisoning scene kind of made general sense to me (Karincho's Andre feels like he should've had more sense).

The guards were, as I was afraid, more or less a crowd (yes, I kept Toshi-watching anyway, whenever I could): except for Magee. Magee really left the strongest impression on me: her Alain was just so full of life - and luckily this version gave her enough space to show it.

They did not really have enough for Chapi to do, though: though she had Antoinette dresses in prologue and in the end. Also, their pair dance with Masao was really, really adorable. I liked it more than the Oscar-Andre dance which was beautiful, but more like a collection of beautiful poses, while the top combi dance was full of movement and liveliness and just sparkled.

And vice-kumichou was etoile, and I am glad I caught her in her last show.

And then the show ended and I went to bother people because I had presents to give and no Japanese to speak of.

Next to follow: some more shows which I made more sense of.

This year I fail at Advent
the aliens already conquered me
So have my hurried entries with some pics, even.

Day 11:

Favourite otokoyaku dance:

I... really don't have one. I like most of the really classical black-tail ones.

Day 12:

Favourite costume from a show:

I could ponder on this for ages, and yet I keep returning to this dress of Marimo's:


Day 13: Favourite current musumeyaku:
I like lots of people, but I just have to mention Toki-chan: look at this serious Capulet person!


Day 14 – Favorite Stage Kiss
The one at the end of Algiers - sorry I don't have a nice pic.
Day 15 – Favorite Kageki Picture

I don't own any Kageki, and I usually can't remember which pic is from where, so I have to name that 'Talking to myself with photo' bit with pretty princess Tom.
Day 16 – Favorite Show

... can I ever choose? Okay, let's name Tsukigumi's ScaPim for all sorts of feelings it brings out in me.
Day 17 – Funniest/most embarrassing moment in your fan life

I don't really have one...

Day 18 – Favorite song from a non-stage CD release
Beni's Kiseki from 14 Covers.
Day 19 – Favorite Costume from a Musical

For some reason I really love this costume of Marimo's (she had a lot of nice ones, what can I say)
Day 20 – Favorite rehearsal picture 

... I don't even remember which rehearsal this is from, but.

Day 21 – Favorite current Otokoyaku

*points at icon* *it's not cheating - it's one of my favourite photos*

Day 22 – Favorite Song from a Revue

Les Bijoux Brilliants.

Day 23 – Favorite Golden Combi

Haven't you already guessed from the pics in this entry?

24 - Favorite OG



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