matataku_hoshi: (Tonami Princess)
[personal profile] matataku_hoshi
From some of the comments I had heard about this show, I was expecting it to be really bad.  Maybe it was the result of low expectations, but I enjoyed “Je t’aime” a lot.  It’s not Kimura Shinji’s best work, but at the same time it was a very fun hour and a half at the theater.


I’m afraid I have to agree with others who have said that Kimura-sensei is better at adapting than writing original scripts.  The script itself was nothing special, although I’ll admit that I’m always a sucker for a story about bohemians.  Unfortunately there were a few too many times when the show was almost Ueda Shinji-esque in going off on tangents and not advancing the plot.  The characters were also fairly stock (will get into that later).

All of that being said, Kimura-sensei is still very good at direction.  His shows always feel more intelligent than your standard Takarazuka fare.  Grand Theater shows by their nature always have a lot of the ensemble in the background, but Kimura-sensei manages per usual to find interesting and artsy things to do with them.  He really does seem to have a thing with using chairs, doesn’t he?

In the last year I’ve been lucky enough to see both Elisabeth and Silver Rose Chronicle.  Elisabeth is of course Elisabeth, and even the rather silly Silver Rose Chronicle had pretty interesting characters.  Therefore, I was disappointed when so many of the yukigumisei got stuck with such stock characters this time around.  Take Tonami’s role, for example.  I think I’ve been spoiled by getting to see her in such a wonderfully complex role as Elisabeth, because I couldn’t help but feel like she could do more if she had a better character.  (And yet sadly Marquise still falls above the “as interesting as a doorknob” category that characterizes most musumeyaku leads).  Tonami is obviously Tonami and was still wonderful (love for her repeatedly attacking Mizu with kitchen implements), but I felt cheated that she didn’t get a better role.

The same unfortunately goes for Kimu and Yumiko: I felt like I’ve seen them perform in more interesting roles and was a bit let down this time.  That being said, Kimu’s energetic Filantes was pretty fun. 

Kaname, on the other hand, was so adorably pouty that I didn’t care that she had a stock character.  I was also happy to see Otsuki Sayu get a noticeable role.  She’s not the best vocalist, but there’s something very striking about her.  Kitarou was also very cute.  Finally, a "yay" for Yamashina Ai getting more lines than she did in Elisabeth.

I have strangely not seen that much of Mizu.  I didn’t really like her Death.  I thought her acting was very skillful, but her abusive-boyfriend Death in the context of Takarazuka’s romantic take on Elisabeth didn’t sit well with me.  I liked her better in Je t’aime.  In Elisabeth she had the problem of having to be vocally compared to people like Zunko and Osa.  Since there’s no previous incarnation of Je t’aime, I didn’t have that comparison going on in my mind and enjoyed Mizu’s singing.  Georges is a fairly standard Takarazuka white hat, but I liked him anyway.  Besides, there were some pretty amusing flusetered-Mizu moments.  I don’t understand how Georges’s fashion can be so uncoordinated and yet look so good. 

Hiromi got to 1) attack Mizu with a fencing sword and 2) get accidentally hit over the head with a ladle by Tonami.  I can’t figure out where she falls on the star track these days.  In any case, you Hiromi fanatics out there will find plenty to squee about.  She really does look like a mini-Saeko.

Hamako has a really nice solo about halfway through.  The song itself is nothing special, but Hamako is such an amazing vocalist that it didn’t matter.  I hope Hankyu continues to find not-star-track-but-still-noticeable roles for her.  Miho Keiko’s role was kind of fun, and she got to show off her singing too.  It makes me sad that with Keiko’s move to senka that the two of them will be split up.

Whoops, I was talking about the score, right?  Mizu’s “Kimi wo Aishiteru: Je t’aime” was really pretty.  I’m adding it to my list of songs I want otokoyaku to sing to me when proposing XD  I also loved the “yay circus!” song.  It was definitely a highlight.


Miroirs was very sharp, pardon the pun.  The mirrors concept was used to good effect and I really liked the choreography.  One of the better revues I’ve seen recently.

A couple of comments: 

-I cringed when Yumiko came out after the opening number and started singing “Johnny Angel” (nothing against Yumiko, just the song -_-;).  However, all was forgiven when Kimu joined her and they began a really cool mirror sequence.  Other than staring at the pretty Yumiko and Kimu, I spent a lot of this number wondering if the song they were singing was “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray.

-I was really amused when "It Don't Mean a Thing If You Ain't Got That Swing" was used.  In my mind that song is completely associated with Jazzmania XD

-The Medusa number was really well executed.  Apparently my “siennes-in-glasses” fetish extends to sunglasses too.  I felt bad though for the siennes who got stuck in painful-to-hold poses when they were “frozen.”

-The Kaname/Hiromi Snow White and Cinderella number was what you would expect XD 

-Kimu had the etoile at the end.  She’s a decent enough singer, but I felt like either Hamako or Miho Keiko could have done better.  (Which er, isn’t an insult to Kimu.  Most siennes can’t do better than those two).  Then again, I’m totally blanking on who sang the etoile parts for Elisabeth and Tantarella, so maybe Hamako and Miho Keiko both had etoile parts recently? 

-Tonami needs to stay in Takarazuka for the next millennium or so.  Her material was more interesting in the revue half and she really shined as a result.  On a shallower note, in addition to various forms of glasses, I also have a thing for musumeyaku shoulder blades.  The duet dance at the end therefore made me very happy.  Speaking of which, Mizu and Tonami really do have good chemistry, don’t they?

-Generally speaking Kaname seems to be very hot right now.  Maybe it’s because I’m paying so much attention to her while fangirling her vicariously for Katharina, but she seems very highly promoted for a yonbante.  My pet theory is that either she or Kimu are going to be transferred to Tsuki, given that tsuki is losing/will lose a lot of people recently.  (Maybe Kimu, of the two she has more of the tsuki feel).  *braces herself for the yukigumi fans hitting her over the head with kitchen implements* 

Yukigumi fans will really enjoy Je t’aime/Miroirs when it comes out on DVD.  Je t’aime isn’t the best play ever, but it was much better than I thought it would be.  Miroirs is a really great revue that I recommend for everyone.  Regardless, both halves demonstrate how strong yukigumi is right now.  Now please look at the pretty mirrors while I go steal Kimu for tsuki.


Date: 2008-02-22 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OMG! You want to kill me with this review! I am a Yukigumi fan all the way and this is on my list of "Kyo's Must See".

Besides Mizu, Tonami and Yumiko, I am starting to love Kaname too, that woman is utterly talented.

Ohh Kaname and Hiromi as Snow White and Cinderella, I want to see, :_:...

Thank you so much for suppressing a Yukigumi fan, :D!

Date: 2008-02-22 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yukigumi fans will definitely like this one. And even as a non-yukigumi fanatic, I liked it a lot.

Date: 2008-02-22 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As much as I'd hate to admit it, but Kimu is sort of tsuki material...

(And just this comment obviously shows where my loyalities lie these days...)

And thank you for the review. XD I knew for MONTHS that I need the DVD, even with sort of not-so-favorable reviews, but you saying it's better than you thought and Miroirs being actually good I have an even better feeling shelling out the cash. XD
Edited Date: 2008-02-22 09:59 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-02-22 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, I've never thought of that, but she DOES fit the type, doesn't she...

Date: 2008-02-22 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mine is an evil laugh XD

Date: 2008-02-22 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Shall we plot to steal her? ^_^

Date: 2008-02-22 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, just be careful that we're not caught and stabbed Elisabeth-style by the yukigumi fans XD

Date: 2008-02-22 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can I help? I have Kimu-lust of late. It's those pouty lipped 'siennes, they do it to me every time...

Date: 2008-02-23 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hands Anna some kitchenware*

Date: 2008-02-22 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It has Hiromi in drag, of course you need it ^^

Date: 2008-02-22 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eh-eh-eh, don't you dare steal Kimu for Tsukigumi... XD

Date: 2008-02-22 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But if Kiriyan becomes top they could continue the tsukigumi tradition of having both the top and nibante having played Luceni <3 <3 <3 <3

Date: 2008-02-22 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
. . . *cries*

Date: 2008-02-22 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The show sounds pretty entertaining. Clearly Mizu needs to be wary of kitchens when Tonami is around. And omg yeees when I frist saw pictures from the show my first though was ..."My God Mizu's character needs help getting dressed..."

Hmmmm....Kimu in Tsuki...that could work.

Date: 2008-02-23 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing about Mizu's character though is despite how uncoordinated it is, it looks good Then again, Takarazuka was never really about coordination...

Date: 2008-02-22 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...her abusive-boyfriend Death in the context of Takarazuka’s romantic take on Elisabeth didn’t sit well with me.

Hahahaha. XDD I won't offer any rebuttal, I'll just say this amused me. X3

I spent a lot of this number wondering if the song they were singing was “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray.

Because it kind of sounded like it, or it really sounded like it? :S *fears the potentiality of no-sound numbers*

Then again, I’m totally blanking on who sang the etoile parts for Elisabeth and Tantarella...

I know Haruka Midori had the etoile for Elisabeth - she played Madame Wolf (and impressed me so much that I looked her up ^^). I don't know about Tarantella, having not seen it, but considering it was a sayonara show I would bet a) Maa-chan or b) Ai Youko, who also retired in that show.

Anyway, that is kind of weird that Kimu had the etoile in Miroirs. Bwuh? I thought they usually saved otokoyaku etoile for special occasions.

I won't stick my hand into the "someone could be transferred into Tsukigumi" can of worms. ;-P I feel that it is a possibility, but I won't speculate... for now. X3

Date: 2008-02-23 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When are the no-sound announcements usually made? I'm crossing my fingers that the deadline has already passed, but who knows.

*sigh* Given that DVD sales have to be a decent-sized chunk of their profits, I'm always amazed that so many things get cut.

Date: 2008-02-23 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ummm... when the DVD is announced, usually? And... oh, look...


;___________; I hate being right sometimes. That scene looks so cute...

Date: 2008-02-23 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do we know which scenes yet, though? It might be the "Night and Day" number, which wouldn't be quite as tragic.

Date: 2008-02-23 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...Are you kidding me? 'Zuka has performed "Night and Day" six billion jillion times. >____<;;;

But yeah, technically it doesn't say which number.

(See for yourself)

Date: 2008-02-22 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thou shall not steal the Kimu!

Thank you a lot for the review. Actually it's close to what I suspected, except the rather flat story (but as long as it's not as flat as PariSora :P)

Why is it still one month until the dvd will be published? *whine*

Date: 2008-02-23 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't worry, it's much better than PariSora in my opinion. It's not perfect, but it was an enjoyable hour and a half in the theater. PariSora, on the other hand, I think works better as a digest.

Date: 2008-02-22 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well I'm glad not everyone hated it. I've wanted to see it for ages but all the bad reviews kinda worried me. So thank you for the review. ^_^

And no, you can't have Kimu. XD

Date: 2008-02-23 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Still not the best play ever, but if you like yukigumi you'll probably still get some enjoyment out of it.

But...I want Kimu... XD


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