Unfortunately it was several weeks ago I watched this DVD and I'm having trouble remembering things, but I wanted to write something down before I completely forgot.
I should start out with a confession: I'm really, REALLY bad at understanding nihonmono. I can sometimes swing the silly romantic comedy ones, but the serious/political ones? They tend to go straight over my head. I think it's because of all the esoteric terms they use. It's also significantly harder when there isn't an official summary (having a base idea of what's going on in a story helps so, SO much). For me, when I can't understand something, I just don't enjoy it as much. For those Zuka fans out there who don't speak any Japanese at all...I admire you *___________*
So with Yukariko...I went into it just accepting that I wasn't going to get a large portion of the plot, and I needed to just watch it for what it was. And you know what? For all that I was vague on the particulars of the plot, I really, really liked it.
I love seeing top otokoyaku playing female roles, as well as the kind of stories that come from these sorts of roles (as they tend to be about strong women). Don't get me wrong, I love musumeyaku, but there's something I really like about a tough tomboy who also has a vulnerable side. (I also have always liked "girl-dressed-as-a-boy stories. I blame it on Tamora Pierce ^_~) With the character of Yukariko, I felt like I got all of the good qualities of Oscar without having to actually sit through BeruBara ^^; Yukariko is especially intriguing because she started off being raised as a boy, then worked as a courtesan, and THEN was told that she had to take her dying brother's place politcally and in battle ^^;
Kiriyan deftly juggled Yukariko's lovable awkwardness in being a courtesan, her tenderness and insecurity in her relationship with Fubuki, and her determination when taking her brother's role. Needless to say the role suited her very well.
Morie (Aoki Izumi)...was something else *___________* When I first became a Takarazuka fan, I liked her liking her for her chubby cheeks and her dorky roles a la Osaka Samurai. The truth is though she's also incredibly good at serious roles. She and Kiriyan made a surprisingly good combi. She hasn't been getting big roles in Daigekijou shows lately, so I was really happy to see her get a chance in the spotlight.I've always thought Marimo (Aono Yuki) looks like Asuka, which makes me predisposed to like her. She's a so-so singer, but she was very elegant and had good stage presence. I liked her more here than in Heat On Beat as Kiriyan's partner. Her role is small, but I was impressed with how she really carried herself like a princess. I'm hopeful for her Marguerite *crosses fingers*
I'm not sure why Magee (Seijou Kaito)'s character was evil, but she was deliciously so <3 Kiryuu Sonoka made a very smexy ninja <3 Mirio (Asumi Rio) isn't really my type, but she's always a solid performer.
Some of the dance sequences in particular were very pretty. Even if nihonmono scripts are often over my head, I always love Japanese dance. The two that stand out in my mind are the opening sequence and Kiriyan's fantasy sequence where she angsts about Morie.
Anyway, I ended up really liking this show and recommend it for Kiriyan fans, tsukigumi fans, and nihonmono fans. I need to try watching it again in hopes of getting more of the plot.