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The Takarazuka Experience: Rurouni Kenshin


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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 548
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:50 am Reply with quote
I've heard Takarazuka attendees are mainly local Japanese women, and that it's very uncommon to see men or your average foreigner going there. Is this true?
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 444
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:38 am Reply with quote
I can't speak from personal experience, but I'd say yes, considering you can find fairly creditable sources that say primarily their audiences are women, and because what foreigner has heard of Takarazuka? You want to grok Takarazuka, watch Ouran High School host club for Lobelia's Takarazuka club.
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Crystalyn
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 517
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:06 am Reply with quote
I wouldn't say it's that uncommon for foreigners to go. Both the times I've gone my friends and I were not the only foreigners there. The guidebook you can buy for 1000 yen at each show has an English page or two detailing the cast and main plot.

The main barrier for foreigners has previously been the tickets themselves; the ticket system is not foreigner-friendly and tickets do sell out insanely fast. You have to know exactly how and at what hour tickets sales start and be at a convenience store ticket computer area or online and registered for the site at that exact time, navigating Japanese menus either way. But once you've got the system down and as long as you're aiming for weekday tickets, it's very doable.

Just two years ago the English site for Takarazuka was limited to one page detailing the current show's plot, but now the website has been completely revamped, it has a lot of information and you can buy tickets in English now. I think the number of foreign attendees will go up now that it's more accessible.

Many foreigners in the Kansai area at least definitely know about Takarazuka; the advertisements are plastered over many stations and on all Hankyu train lines. It's hard to avoid here honestly.

I've also seen a decent number of men at the performances, though yes, the majority is definitely women.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Ah, Takarazuka Reuve.


An interesting theater troupe...
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1690
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:04 pm Reply with quote
I don't understand this sentence:

Quote:
As the popularity of the Revue grew, it was inevitable that the Takarazuka Grand Theater would open its doors to the public in 1924.


If it was growing in popularity, wasn't that due to a growing number of members of the public attending shows?

PS, near the Takarazuka Grand Theater in Takarazuka, Hyogo prefecture (an easy JR-East or Hankyu train ride from Osaka) is the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum.
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Knoepfchen



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 698
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:45 pm Reply with quote
I went to see a performance of Aida in the Takarazuka Grand Theater last year. It was absolutely brilliant. The theater itself was a sight to behold. I would pay very good money to see Rurouni Kenshin, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Rose of Versailles or Elisabeth. I don't remember seeing any other Westerners the day I went, and the audience was predominantly female, from school girls to older ladies. Fond, fond memories.
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Tempest
I Run this place.
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Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:11 pm Reply with quote
omiya wrote:
If it was growing in popularity, wasn't that due to a growing number of members of the public attending shows?


Prior to 1924 the troupe performed at other, pre-existing theaters and at a makeshift theater that had been converted from a swimming pool at the Takakarazuka New Spa.

Due to their popularity, they were able to open their own, proper theater in 1924.

-t
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 2918
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:25 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't mind seeing a show or two, it would be a little odd being the only male in there, but some of their interpretations look to be a serious improvement over their respective anime.
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SejinPK



Joined: 22 Dec 2013
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm Reply with quote
I'd heard of the Takarazuka Revue, but only in very broad strokes, so this article was very interesting and informative! Thank you Ken Iikura-Gross for writing it, and ANN for publishing it!
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2204
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 4:06 pm Reply with quote
This was a terrific article! I had been meaning to send in a question to Answerman, about all these adapted stage and theater shows of anime that I keep seeing mentioned. I was curious if these were small productions or large ones and if a significant number of people actually went to see these. It was great to get some background and history on the troupe. I really enjoyed reading this!
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1690
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 4:06 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Prior to 1924 the troupe performed at other, pre-existing theaters and at a makeshift theater that had been converted from a swimming pool at the Takakarazuka New Spa.

Due to their popularity, they were able to open their own, proper theater in 1924.

-t


Thanks, my mind was inserting "troupe" after "theater" instead of "building".
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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2242
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Really interesting article; have heard/read about Takarazuka in passing many times over the years, it's nice to get so many details.
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Sacto0562



Joined: 12 Jun 2010
Posts: 288
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Ichizou Koyabashi, the founder of the Takarazuka Troupe, not only founded the troupe to draw passengers on the Hankyu Takarazuka Main Line to the onsen resort of Takarazuka, but also as a way to drum up business for a Hankyu Railway scheme build higher-end housing along the line. And Koyabashi's scheme worked VERY well, even to this day--much of the residential homes you see along this passenger rail line today are among the most expensive in the Osaka region.

Indeed, Koyabashi's success inspired another famous Japanese industrialist, Keita Gotou, to do the same thing in the Tokyo area. The result is the Tokyu Corporation, where you see many high-end residential areas along Tokyu commuter rail lines in southwestern Tokyo.
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aquarius1311





PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:12 pm Reply with quote
Just as a clarification to the article, I want to note that the Cosmos Troupe does not actually perform exclusively in Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre, but rather in all the locations, just like the other troupes. In fact, its first performance was in Hong Kong, and they are currently performing in an outside theatre in Hakata! Wink
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 10041
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:07 am Reply with quote
Mayo Suzukaze, anime Kenshin's seiyuu, was herself a member of the Takarazuka Revue for 12 years, which is why I've know about them for a long time. Had this been done 20 years ago, it would have been fun to have her play Kenshin on stage as well (although I don't know what the practice of inviting guest performers is, once they're no longer part of the troupe - daydreaming the impossible in any case Wink).

As for the international performances, does anyone know how translation is handled for those? Or are they intended for Japanese-fluent ex-pats and other fans?
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