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
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November 2011

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