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Haikara-san ga Tōru Manga Gets Musical by Takarazuka Revue

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Manga also inspires 2-part anime film project debuting in November

The all-female Takarazuka Revue theater troupe announced on Friday that the group's Flower Troupe will perform a musical adaptation of Waki Yamato's Haikara-san ga Tooru manga.

The musical will run at Osaka's Umeda Arts Theater from October 7-15, and then at Tokyo's Nippon Seinenkan Hall from October 24-30. Rei Yuzuka will star in the production, and Naoko Koyanagi is writing and directing the play. Tickets for the Osaka performance go on sale on August 27, and for the Tokyo performance on September 17.

The manga's story is set in Tokyo in the Taishō era (1912-1926). The story follows Benio "Haikara-san" Hanamura, who lost her mother when she was very young and has been raised by her father, a high-ranking official in the Japanese army. As a result, she has grown into a tomboy -- contrary to traditional Japanese notions of femininity, she studies kendo, drinks sake, dresses in often outlandish-looking Western fashions instead of the traditional kimono, and is not as interested in housework as she is in literature. She also rejects the idea of arranged marriages and believes in a woman's right to a career and to marry for love.

Haikara-san's best friends are the beautiful Tamaki, who is much more feminine than Haikara-san but equally interested in women's rights, and Ranmaru, a young man who was raised to play female roles in the kabuki theater and as a result has acquired very effeminate mannerisms. Haikara-san's betrothed is Shinobu Ijūin, a second lieutenant in the army.

Yamato launched the manga in Kodansha's Shoujo Friend magazine in 1975. The series ended in 1977, and it earned the first Kodansha Manga Award for the shōjo category that year. Kodansha published eight compiled volumes of the manga.

The series previously inspired a 42-episode television anime that aired from 1978 to 1979 from Nippon Animation, a live-action film, a live-action television series, and two live-action television specials.

The manga is also inspiring a new two-part anime film project. The first film, titled Gekijōban Haikara-san ga Tōru Zenpen - Benio, Hana no 17-sai, will open in Japan on November 11. The second film, titled Gekijōban Haikara-san ga Tōru Kōhen - Tokyo Dai Roman, will open in 2018.

The Takarazuka Revue recently performed a musical for Rurouni Kenshin last year. The group has also previously performed stage versions of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Sengoku Basara, Jin, The Rose of Versailles, Lupin III, and more.

Source: Comic Natalie

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