matataku_hoshi: (Kacha)
[personal profile] matataku_hoshi
Je Chante is *very* loosely based on the life of Charles Trenet.  And I say "very" because I find the idea of creating an entire heterosexual storyline for a man who was known to be gay a little, well, ridiculous ^^;  But I digress.

I was warned that "Je Chante" the production was pretty typical Zuka writing.  This is definitely true, but it was also really enjoyable.  The characters may have been nothing new, but they were well played by the cast and I got really invested in their stories.  The ending of the show really moved me.

In short: I love it when the soragumi ladies have an opportunity to perform roles they enjoy and excel at.  If it's not groundbreaking material...well, sometimes that's okay.

I'm not sure how much of the music was taken from actual Charles Trenet tunes.  The script moved along at a pretty quick pace, which I always appreciate.  The costumes, sets, etc. were pretty standard Bow Hall fare.

-------------------------

Nagina Ruumi: What I really love about Kacha is that it's easy to empathize with her characters.  She doesn't have the traditional "deadly sexy" sort of appeal, although she's *very* attractive in a fey sort of way.  Instead, I admire how her characters are always people whose stories I become deeply invested in.  I've always loved her acting, and her Charles was no exception.

But even if she doesn't have that "deadly-sexy" (think Chie) appeal, I thought Kacha had enough of her own brand of charisma to successfully lead the show.  Some of the lighthearted numbers were particularly fun.

I know there have been a lot of comments about Kacha's singing.  My opinion is that while she may not be one of the best singers in Zuka, when she sings in her range, she's fine.  Such was the case here.

Hanakage Arisu: I've liked Alice ever since I saw her plucky Kathy in "Singin' in the Rain" two years ago.  Back then I really liked her spunk.  Alice is still spunky, but she's also really matured as an actress.  Her singing has also only continued to improve.

I can see why she liked the character of Gigi so much.  Gigi is brave and full of spirit, but she also sometimes doubts her actions and is afraid for the future.  Alice did a really, really good job portraying how Gigi tried to reconcile this conflict.

Also, Kacha and Alice had really good chemistry with each other.  Given that they only have one significant meeting in the past, this chemistry is really, really important.

Harukaze Misato:   Mii-chan doesn't have an easy job given she only has one act to establish her character (she makes her first appearance at the very end of Act I).  Georg was also VERY different from the usual genki characters she played.

It took me a while to get into Mii-chan's character, and I thought she started off as a two-dimensional evil villain.  But by her character's final scene, she had me.  She was a Nazi and had all of the dark hearted qualities that come with that title, but she was also a man in love.  Mii-chan, congratulations on a very admiral job of stretching your abilities <3

(Also, *no one* should be able to look that good while wearing a swastika.  And don't get me started on the hotness in the finale...)

Houju Ichi: Dear God, I am increasingly convinced this woman is one of the most underrated (and underpromoted) siennes in the company.  She's an excellent actress and has oodles of charisma.  Her singing may be average, but not any worse than any number of other star-track actresses.  (I never know how to judge dancing).

BonBon's Johnny reminded me a lot of Ranju Tomu's Cosmo in "Singin' in the Rain."  In short, a really fun character with lots of energy who plays well off of the main character.  Her duet performances with Kacha were some of my very favorite moments in the show.  Really, there wasn't enough of her character in the show!  BonBon stole the show as far as I was concerned.

Sumireno Rei: I've always really liked how Rere can do the cutesy musumeyaku thing *without* making her characters annoying.  Nina wasn't new territory for Rere, but I do enjoy it when she plays these sorts of characters.

Miho Keiko: So often our senka ladies get stuck in mother roles.  I loved Mistinguett because the role allowed Keiko-san to be bitchy and act like a diva.  But even with those qualities, it's clear how much Mistinguett cares for Gigi.  Putting these two sides together made for a complex character, beautifully played by Keiko-san.

Both Isono Chihiro and Kotobuki Tsukasa had more typical senka roles, as the manager of a theater and Charles' agent respectively.  But they're such lovable actresses that it's hard not to find their characters endearing.

Mikaze Maira: Aoi-san is one of my favorite upperclassmen in soragumi, but unfortunately she didn't get a lot to do (other than reprise her Samanta glasses ^_~)  Ah well, I guess you can't win all the time.

Momochi Ito: Had a very cute scene as Young Charles, and then a pretty solo during Alice and Kacha's pair dance.  As much as I also love Nanase Ririko, I almost wish soragumi wasn't *quite* so overflowing with utahime.  It's hard to give them all a chance to shine, and soragumi has many ladies who deserve it.

Hoshibuki Ayato: I'm so used to only seeing Monchi in the background.  It was nice to see her get some lines!  She really is awfully cute.

Really, all of the ensemble cast was in top form.  Soragumi <3

Date: 2010-10-10 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michiru42.livejournal.com
Thanks for this! I so hope I can see this someday, in a SkyStage broadcast or something.

Date: 2010-10-11 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muffin-song.livejournal.com
I think you'd enjoy it. I thought both Gigi and Mistinguett were solid musumeyaku roles <3

Date: 2010-10-11 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faux-semblant.livejournal.com
It's a great show really. I think the realisator did a great job because writing about Charles Trenet sounds so boring and the show was not boring at all !
I usually don't like Kacha (I mean in the promoted star she is the one I really don't understand why she is promoted ..... much more than Asaka Manato....that I don't like that much too )but she was very good in that role I admit ! She can play a nice gay guy (and unfortunately I can't picture her in another otokoyaku part...)
And I think it's my fav. Arisu role .. she was just perfect ...
and Mii-chan....after watching the show I dreamt of her the 3 next nights -_-; so so HOT
The final otokoyaku dance is one my favourite ever .

And me too I don't understand about Bonbon...but it's like the company wants to keep her without promoting her really...selfish hankyu!!I guess if she stays and her fanclub grow up it could be change..... but in Soragumi it will be hard....There are too many actresses who could become top stars and wait because it's clog ....they should move some like Chigi ...

Date: 2010-10-11 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muffin-song.livejournal.com
There are too many actresses who could become top stars and wait because it's clog ....they should move some like Chigi ...

Soragumi is a bit full of people who are popular enough to have fan clubs, but who don't seem like they're on the top star track (Tomochin, Masako, the 88th trio, Kai-chan...)

I like it because it means that soragumi has a lot of talented people for me to watch, and a good balance of different ken years. And even if they're not top star track, the company usually does a decent job of utilizing these girls.

As for BonBon, I wonder if she just hasn't had luck finding someone to really push for her? I don't think she has a fan club, even though she's gotten some decent roles in shinkos.

Date: 2010-10-11 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dramaturgca.livejournal.com
I'm still so horribly divided about Je Chante. I mean, I want to see it, because Mii-chan, but she's playing a Nazi and I have long standing and very specific Nazi issues. But obviously either way I need to see the finale.

Date: 2010-10-11 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muffin-song.livejournal.com
I will say that while Georg is a Nazi, he's also human.

But ultimately you're the best judge of what you're comfortable with <3 (And I'll be honest, I was very grateful at the time of Casablanca casting that Micchan did not get Strasser, who is a Nazi).

Date: 2010-10-11 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faux-semblant.livejournal.com
I think if you love Mii-chan you MUST see that show! And as Becca said ... he is not a too bad nazi ^^; plus she has 2 wonderful solos *.* and the finale the finale.....

It's funny when I think that it is my fav. Mii-chan role with ... NSG shinkou Vincent where she played a torero ... all my family and I we are fighting against it for years in a anti-bull-fight association and bull-fighter are among the men on earth I hate the most !

Takarazuka is theater ! ^^:

Date: 2010-10-11 06:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cosmos14.livejournal.com
She was a Nazi and had all of the dark hearted qualities that come with that title, but she was also a man in love.
one of the reasons why i want to watch this. i saw her pictures... very striking in that uniform *_____*

Date: 2010-10-11 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muffin-song.livejournal.com
Oh, I agree, seito in military uniforms are generally striking. But a Nazi uniform... It's hard to explain why Nazis are such a testy subject in America, but I'll try.

For one thing, America has a decent population of Jews (this includes yours truly). Even if a Jewish person didn't lose someone in their family in the Holocaust, as a culture it was a traumatic experience. And even among non-Jews, a lot of people are uncomfortable with the Nazi Party's place in history. They represent this idea of some of the most horrible evil humanity can do.

Then again, this is theater. My belief is as long as it's done relatively tastefully, there's nothing wrong with Nazis being villains in Takarazuka stories. I think it's just hard for some of us to reconcile the idea of a much beloved and admired seito playing a Nazi role. It's hard to be doki-doki over someone when they're wearing the uniform of something so horrible.

Then again, it's up to each individual person to decide what they're comfortable with. Some people may be able to separate the two concepts. For others, that may be out of their comfort zone. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer.

As much as I love Mii-chan, she's not my One True Sienne. But as I said in another comment, I was very, very grateful that Micchan didn't get the Nazi role of Strasser in Casablanca.

/rambling

Date: 2010-10-11 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsuki-in-sora.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this!! I needed this so bad :D I knew this would be a good one <33333

Now, hope this airs again! I'll definitely not miss it this time >:)

Date: 2010-10-11 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fyrie.livejournal.com
Bwee! And I totally agree on Kacha - she reminds me of Mariko, in her ability to get so invested in her characters. Can't wait to see how she pulls of Joaquin in Bell :D

Date: 2010-10-11 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pizdushka.livejournal.com
Weren't you going to have me over at some point to introduce me to crazy world of Takarazuka?

Perhaps next time you come up for Hunter, we'll don cute PJs and stay in for a bit on Saturday? :-D

Date: 2010-10-12 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demoneyeskyo87.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for writing this <3

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