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September 13th, 2007


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11:54 pm - Takarazuka and some gender-bending fun <3
Good lord I've got some extraordinary tastes.  I've been obsessively scrounging through youtube looking for various clips of Takarazuka performances/interviews/whatever else they've got.  For those that don't know, Takarazuka is a musical group in Japan that's all female, yes that means any male characters are also played by females.  They were founded in the 1920's I believe and are still running today, specializing in romance musicals like "The Rose of Versailles", "Elisabeth", "Phantom of the Opera", etc., etc.  They're divided into 5 troupes, Flower (Hanagumi), Snow (Yukigumi), Moon (Tsukigumi), Star (Hoshigumi), and Cosmos (Soragumi) and each troupe performs on their own resulting in star performers from each troupe (though I think for some special performances they bring performers from multiple troupes together).  Actresses that mainly play male roles are referred to as 'Otokoyaku' and female characters actresses are called 'Musumeyaku'.  For more information on the Takarazuka and biographies and photos of the star performers from each troupe check out this website:
- Takarazuka wikipedia
- Takarazuka Top Stars Chart

Hot damn some of those Otokoyaku are, for lack of a better word, sexy and hot.  Like for example:
1)   2)    3)    4)    5)

1- Wao Youka from Cosmos troupe
2- Aran Kei from Star troupe
3- Mizu Natsuki from Snow troupe
4- Sena Jun from Moon troupe
5- Haruno Sumire from Flower troupe
(Their make-up are all heavy since it's stage make-up)

It reminds me of when I watched Sailormoon and the first time I saw Haruka (Sailor Uranus) and thought to myself "Hot damn if girls can look/act like that who needs icky boys *_____* " (remember this was back in elementary school, boys were still in the 'icky' category).  Now it's more like "Well a boyfriend's nice and all but getting to go out with a chick like one of these, now wouldn't that be superly awesome :D"

*headdesk*

Waaaay~ too much UST...
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 14th, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
(Link)
If you would like, I have some full-length Takarazuka vids:

Yukigumi Elisabeth (1996, not the awesome Mizu version)
Hanagumi Elisabeth
Hangagumi Phantom
Soul of Shiva (don't know the troupe ^^;;)

Did you want me to upload any of them for you?
[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 14th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh would you?? I'd love to see a full show instead of little tid-bits *O* (it's like foreplay without the main course XD).

Oh which one...hmm...how about Yukigumi's Elisabeth and the Soul of Shiva one? Ooh I can't tell you how grateful I am for this (should've expected someone on my f-list should have some full performances lol. I'm such a nOOb to Takarazuka, still trying to get all the names and nicknames and troupes straightened out in my head, not to mention who's still there and who's retired and all that stuff XD).

Did you download these from somewhere? I tried doing a google for some downloads but couldn't find any ;___; And trying to browse through their products page on their website, on one hand I can't read Japanese and on the other hand, the only parts I can understand (the yen amount) makes me cry T__T But good lord...*makes grabby hands at photobooks*

I think maybe I haven't found the right sources? Like how with anime if you find animesuki.com or anime-source.com you've hit the motherload...but then again I don't know if the Takarazuka's as popular outside of Japan as anime is becoming to be.

Thank you soooo~ much for offering to upload some performances for me <3<3 Have you been into the Takarazuka for long? I really just started after watching that one episode of Japanorama that interviewed Aran Kei and Yuri Shirahane. They should come perform in Canada sometime *nodnod* of course don't ever expect them to return to Japan again after that XD *hides kidnapping plans*

Thanks again~
[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 14th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yep! I'll upload both of them for you. I just have to double check. . I might have Hoshigumi instead of Yukigumi (I wrote Hoshigumi on my file list 0_o). I'm 90% sure it's Yukigumi though. Do you still want it if it is Hoshi?

Takarazuka goods are notoriously expensive. I think the DVD's average around 120$ when you buy them in Japan.

As well, you are NOT missing the right sources. Takarazuka fans are notoriously anti-sharing. People will get yelled at on the livejournal group for uploading PICTURES that are too large! File-sharing is a definite no-no. Most Takarazuka fans have also publically complained about the videos on youtube. Too easy distribution, and too low quality are the main arguments against it.

I obtained my videos because I am heavily involved with the Vienna Elisabeth fandom and also the broadyway/musical trading communities. Occasionally, someone will offer to trade a Takarazuka vid for one of my Vienna Bootlegs and so forth. I REALLY hate the attitude that you can 'only get something if you trade for it'. It was really difficult for me to break into the trading stream, so I give all my videos to anybody who asks for them. Neverhteless, you'll find that there are VERY few other sources of Takarazuka Videos.

Complicated, eh? I hate hoarding >_<

As for Takarazuka, I've loved them for quite a long time! Rose of Versailles was my favorite show growing up, and it was what introduced me to Takarazuka. I was only a mild fan for a very long time, but thanks to Youtube and Trading, I've been able to see more complete videos. I love it so much! My favorite piece is Elisabeth, but I really like anything they you.

Kidnap away! I agree! Oh! And I was in Japan this summer, and bought a LOT of Takarazuka Magazines. Did you want me to scan any of them? One has a ton of pictures of Aran Kei. . .

*still depressed that Haruno Sumire is graduating* ;_;

Finally: what do you want me to upload them on. Megaupload? Sendspace? I'll have to chop them up either way, but they'll be in bigger pieces if I use Megaupload.
[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 14th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
PS. Someone on the broadwayshare and musicalshare community is planning to publically upload the 2007 DVD of Yukigumi's Elisabeth sometime at the end of the month.

As well, Takarazuka sountracks often pop up on those communities. Just a heads up!
[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 15th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ah thanks so much for those two comms, I'll go join right away :D. The only community I'm on that's related to Takarazuka is the takarazuka comm (duh~ XD) and all anyone generally posts are like, showtimes and stuff, which doesn't help when I'm on the other side of an ocean and a continent.

That's what I figured (and feared) the attitude would be like regarding sharing in this fandom, I understand the sentiment of fans that you should pay since the actresses need a salary but still, especially if their stuff are notoriously expensive, then some sharing wouldn't hurt D: That's one of the things I'm incredibly happy about in the anime fandom; the willingness to share, I mean we have our own little "rules" (like stop distribution once licensed), but people understand there's no other way for some to get their hands on some products outside of downloading. Well anyway, I'm super-grateful to you for offering to upload *O* Oh and yeah, if it's the Hoshigumi's version of Elisabeth I'd still love to add it to my almost non-existent yet collection XDD As for the server I think my computer prefers megaupload over sendspace (cuz my download manager works on MU but for some reason not on SS :X ).

You were in Japan this past summer?? LUCKY~!!! I sooooo~ wish I can go!! I was actually raving to my Japanese friend today about Takarazuka and he was like "Ok I'll be your travel manager once you get to Japan, gotta visit the anime stores, the yaoi stores, see a few Takarazuka shows, meet Kazuki, visit some host clubs, eat at a maid cafe, buy some lolita clothing, etc., etc., etc.," XDD

I'd love some scans of some of the actresses, waah I'd love to make some wallpapers and userpics with them *O* And one has lots of photos of Aran Kei you say? EEEEEEEeeeeee~!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3 She's so handsome!!! (Hmm...would that be an insult? Guess not since she's an otokoyaku XD)

I do find the graduations retirements a bit sad (too much tenimyu lol, referring to all 'moving-on' as graduation these days ^^;;). Even on the first night as I was checking through youtube I came across a few clips from Wao and Wataru's last shows or something and they were like, interviews or speeches at the end of shows and I was almost in tears even though at the time I had no idea who they were O_____o

Waah ok, super-long reply ^^;; Got a bit carried away, haven't felt this excited for a new fandom since the first time I got introduced to Tenimyu back in...2005 I think. From the sounds of things though it looks like I'll have to crack my knuckles and do some deep-internet probing for some good scans and downloads (another of the many times I wish I can fluently read and write Japanese).

Thanks again~
[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 15th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
The Takarazuka fandom has always interested me immensely. It is extremely isolated, and the Japanese Takarazuka fans resent foreign fans and male fans. Isn't that odd? Especially because many of the otokoyaku imitate a European asthetic.

There is a very famous book written about Takarazuka called 'Sexual Politics in Japan'. It traces the history of the revue and all of the controversy surrounding it.

Some of the more interesting controversies:

1) For many years males were barred from the Takarazuka fan clubs. I believe it was only within the last 10 years that they were finally allowed to join. The Japanese female fans seem to resent their presence however. This is important, because it meant males weren't able to attend the events or get tickets to the shows (Takarazuka tickets generally sell out during the fan-club run)

2) During WWII, Takarazuka was one of the theatre groups used to propagate pro-Nazi sentiments. I believe swastikas decorated many of their performances. This occurred a LONG time ago, so don't let it affect your current perception of the Review. They've changed a lot since then, as well. However, if you've seen the Vienna version of Elisabeth, there is one seen that chronicles the rise of the Nazi party in Germany (it's shown in a negative sense, as Prince Rudolph opposed the idea German domination). This scene has always been censored out of Takarazuka performances.

There are a LOT more controversies, but they all go to explain why the fandom is so closed. People don't not share the videos because they cost so much, but because there is a general desire amoung the Japanese fans and the devout American fans to keep it a secret.

In a way it annoys the hell out of me, but at the same time it keeps the fandom insanely interesting :p It's very historical and fun to try and find those little scraps of information on the internet.

Wah! There really is a lot to do in Japan. I didn't do HALF of what you mentioned. Now I want to go back >_<

I'll upload the vids for you, and try to get them up by Monday. It might take a bit longer if the uploads go slow, though. If there are any other Takarazuka vids that you were looking for, let me know. I'll try to trade for them ^^

I'll also scan some images for you. Oh! There was an entire magazine devoted to Elisabeth released while I was there (due to the Vienna Revival). Half of it is devoted to Takarazuka, and has interviews, pictures, and articles devoted to ALL the Elisabeth's that have been produced by the different troupes. I'll scan that, and the Stage Graphs, and the other Takarazuka magazines I have.

Finally, I found this was the best site for recent Takarazuka news:
http://bbkids.cocolog-nifty.com/takarazuka/
It's an OFFICIAL daily blog, and has lovely images. It has weekly interviews with the top stars as well, and previews what is in the Stage Graphs.

Re: Graduations. I remember the Tenimyu graduations were every 1.5 to 2 years right? At least with Takarazuka, we get 10 year runs for some of the cast members. Hasn't Haruno Sumire been there since the early 90s?

[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 15th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh wow, that does sound interesting indeed...almost makes me want to do like a research paper on the subject *headdesk* I think my methodology class is getting to me, and it's only the 2nd week of school XD I guess I can sort of understand...I mean when I first started liking Tenimyu and as it was getting to be more popular (same with anime) I was on the one hand happy that it was getting more accessible due to the growing popularity and also the very fact that it was growing in popularity, but on the other hand there was a part of me that wanted to snap at the newcomers to back-off out of our fandom, but to me that was generally just laughed off and I'd never even think to actually say it to someone O____o

But I would think the actors actresses would enjoy it if more people knew about them wouldn't they?? I mean we can't make plans to go see their shows and buy their stuff when we visit Japan if we don't even know their existence ^^;; Listing all the things I want to do in Japan makes me feel like doing my X-mas list when I was younger, it goes on and on and on for pages XDD

Take your time with the uploads, I know the internet isn't always at a stable speed and the servers themselves sometimes seem just determined not to cooperate D= So take all the time you need :D Right now I'm kind of in that first stage of fangirling, just spazzing over every little thing I can find lol, give me a few more weeks to settle down and actually get some deeper info on the topic and we can have a more mature conversation instead of just me going "AAAAH!!!! SO-AND-SO'S SO HANDSOOOOMME!!!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3".

Oh and I was wondering if you'd be able to clear up two terms for me. One is Stage Graph, what's a stage graph?? And two is a Revue, I saw on some people's list of what they own they say things like "This DVD includes the Revue at the end" or "This one doesn't have the revue at the end"...is it like an interview or something? I'm so nOOb ^^;;

Ooh thankies for the link, I'll have to drag my Japanese friend over and do some translating XD Poor guy, so used.
[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 16th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*laughs* That's the best part of the Takarazuka Fandom. There are tons of interesting, historical, and academic things about it. However, when you just want to fangirl, it's the perfect outlet for screaming "Ah! [insert Otokoyaku's name] is SO HOT!"

I think the actresses have been trying to promote Takarazuka a little bit. The girls went to China for a huge performance (which I'm currently downloading ^_^) and they've been to Berlin twice (have you seen the 'Sooran' clip on youtube? It's from one of those performances). It's just North America that's being neglected >_< Simultaneously, though, I don't think they need any more promotion than they already have. The tickets sell out SO quickly.

In a way, I often feel the same way that you did with Tenimyu. The fandoms that I'm part of are really really small. As a result, sometimes the newcomers can be quite annoying :p I think it's the huge amount of Tenimyu Fans that ruined it for me. I couldn't contribute anything, and there was so much fighting and so many KIDS entering the fandom, that I left.

I think finding my DVD's is the hardest part. I don't know where, for the life of me, I placed my copy of Soul of Shiva. I should find it by tonight, though, so don't worry! *laughs* I'm too disorganized. Not good!

Defining the terms:

Stage Graph - This is just a monthly magazine released for Takarazuka. Lots of pretty sparkly pictures, an 'Ask Mizu' section, etc. I love them~~

Revue - Too many meanings! The entirity of Takarazuka itself is called the 'Takarazuka Revue'. There is a monthly magazine (like stagegraph) called the 'Takarazuka Revue', and finally there is the 'Revue at the end of performances'

Usually when a musical ends, it ends. However, at the end of each Takarazuka musical there is an 'encore of sorts'. The entire musical is retold in a ballet/non-vocal format by the actors wearing different costumes (usually suits and evening dresses). Following this, all of the actors will descend a huge red staircase singing excerpts from their 'main song'. It's called a 'REVUE' and usually lasts 30 minutes. The revues is probably the most innovative/interesting part of Takarazuka performances.

Have you seen the Kitsch Can-Can dancers from Elisabeth? That's part of the Revue. Many Takarazuka performances also include Can-Can dancers in their revue. It's where many of the 'minor' actors become recognized.

[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 17th, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wah~ I haven't seen any of the clips you mentioned *frantically scours youtube*

Thanks for clearing up the terms! That certainly helps a lot XD.

Oh and before I forget, I found a blog that has a ton of Takarazuka scans, not super-big but enough to swoon over XD Don't know if you've already known about it, but I really want to contribute something back to you since you're helping this nOOb into this fandom so much XD

The main blog is at:
http://www.julynora.com/blogjuly/index.php

And then I found a page (rss feed page actually) that had a compilation of all the posts that included photos on that blog:
http://www.julynora.com/blogjuly/rss2.php?catid=19

The top few posts are all photos, and then if you scroll down there's video clips to download. But if you click to download them it takes you to a file-hosting service's page (like MU or SS) that says you need to be a paid member in order to download those videos (there's also a photobook that has I think 93 photos in it that I can't download because I'm not a paid member ;____;).

The owner of that blog also has a few albums of Takarazuka scans here:
http://norutouko.yupoo.com/albums/

If you click to open an album, right above the little thumbnail images near the top right corner there's a link that says "原图" and if you click on that it'll show you all the photos in that album at their original size :D

And it appears the owner moved her main blog recently to here:
http://www.takarazukaogs.com/blog/u/adele/index.html

[User Picture]
From:lilie_charlotte
Date:September 18th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
Firstly, thanks a lot for those links! I've never seen that blog before in my life and the pictures are uber-artistic.

And looking at the blog reminded me of two things:

I have this Stage Graph. I'll scan it for you.

I collected many (free) postcards with this image on it while I was in Japan. Did you want me to send you one?

As well, I've started uploading the video files for you. I'm doing Soul of Shiva first because it's only 750 megs. The quality is really bad though, but it has TONS of Otokoyaku shots ^_^

The Elisabeth video is 2.0 gigs, so it will take a bit longer. Any songs you wanted from it in particular, to hold you over until the end of the week?

Ah~~ I'm so glad I've finally met somebody else who likes Takarazuka. You're restoring my love for it :p
[User Picture]
From:suiseihime
Date:September 7th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hi, this might be a bit weird, but I was wondering if you ever uploaded the videos? I've been searching high and low for Takarazuka vids and now I'm getting a bit desperate!
From:kalen9
Date:October 24th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You friended me, so I popped over. ^_^;

I understand the sentiment of fans that you should pay since the actresses need a salary but still, especially if their stuff are notoriously expensive, then some sharing wouldn't hurt D:
I think the main impetus in keeping things restricted to people you know well is that no one wants Takarazuka fandom to turn into anime fandom, which is a mess of disrespectful people and rampant copyright violations, and no sense of history.
This really doesn't have to be an expensive hobby if you can't afford it - the vast majority of what I own is 1,000-3,000 yen tapes from local shops and Y!J. If you want something that came out yesterday, then yes, it's going to cost you a lot, but the older stuff is more fun half the time anyway.
Anyway, I don't mean to lecture, and you seem nice enough. ^_^; My best friend is/was a huge Tenimyu fan, so I'm a bit familiar with that. It's nice to meet you and I hope to see you around; I don't see a problem with adding you back. :)
[User Picture]
From:megakazul
Date:September 14th, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ko Minoru (star troupe) was my favorite otokoyaku. XD She's so cute.

Takarazuka is so awesome!! Unfortunately I can't find that many fans over here.
[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 15th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
(Link)
Of you're right! She's adorable!! *squees* Yeah it's really too bad, why oh why can't we have such awesome things over here?! ;_____; Grrr...of course the first question most people here'd ask is "so...they're lesbians?" -_____-
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 14th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I totally remember sailor Uranus!!!OMG...yeah, I was thinking the same thing! The first photo looks like a very handsome man. That's pretty amazing that this group has continued throughout the years.-James
[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 15th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Youka Wao!!! Isn't she amazing?!?!??!?!?! AHHhhh!!! God I even played around with the notion of cutting my hair like her's (until reality smacked me upside the head 2 seconds later and I realized I'd probably end up looking stupid since I can't pull off the handsome bishie look ;___;)
[User Picture]
From:angathol
Date:September 14th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
xD I finally get the "Zuka Club" reference from Ouran High School Host Club! Rofl~

P.S. Stop making me question my sexuality! ;_;
[User Picture]
From:koneko_desu
Date:September 15th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
(Link)
HAHA!!! You got it?! Isn't that awesome?!! That was actually where I first, first heard of the Takarazuka though I didn't search for the actual troupe after Host Club or anything (that was saved until after seeing Aran Kei in the interview for Japanorama). Once you've seen the Takarazuka it all makes sense XDD

P.P.S. Aw but that's where the fun is! *gets bricked* But I totally get what you mean, now I'm like "Ok, I like guys...I like guy x guy...I like girls that look like handsome guys...I honestly wouldn't mind going out with a girl that looks like and acts like a guy...so...am I...bi???? O______o" Makes for interesting monologues XD
[User Picture]
From:angathol
Date:September 15th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
I have more respect for Benio now. XD

P.P.P.S. Don't worry, I'm the same way! Hahaha. Not sure what my boyfriend will make of that, though. XP

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