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18 April 2009 @ 12:30 am
BaraAme / Amour: An Initial Mess of Thoughts  
Disclaimer: Most of this was typed up by my speech recognition program, which is really time-consuming and can also be very frustrating. It goes all out of order, so the entire thing has a spoiler warning, and I ran out of steam toward the end.

I spent so long giving a rundown of BaraAme to Becca, and then a little bit to Tegan, that I don't really have the energy to give a plot synopsis.

Not that I'd be able to anyway, cause there's that big gaping section in the middle of I Totally Didn't Understand What Just Happened There. I only know that it has to do with Tomochin taking advantage of Masako and Tara-chan and their poor sick daughter, and Eriko coming to Tani for help, because she's the accountant employed by Susshii-san, aka Ume-chan's father, and Tomochin apparently ruined them financially too, secretly in some kind of roundabout manner, and it was all part of her elaborate scheme to make Ume-chan be forced to marry her.

That only takes up about a third of the story.

The beginning of the story is about the Beautiful Summer Tani and Ume-chan spent together when they were younger, and Tani had mostly convinced Ume-chan to forget her social debut, ditch her aristocratic parents and they could run away together... But Ume-chan made the mistake of telling a servant her plans, and that person told her mother, and they locked her away so she couldn't go.

And now it's seven years later and they've both tried to move on and forget what they lost, but they meet again and Tani at least is pretty ready to rekindle the flame.

"Spend the night with me," she says to Ume-chan.

Ume-chan is hesitant -- one could argue, not altogether willing -- but I assume in the end it was consensual, because what follows is the dance that represents "And Then They Spent a Night of Heated Passion Together".

Since the leads need that time to change their costumes, this dance is performed by Mii-chan and Ecchan.

It is a Dance of Sex. I can guarantee it will be the most notorious scene from the show, a dance that goes down in Takarazuka history.

Seriously. Forget about what you've seen in Dal Lake or Jose & Carmen.

It is Sex.

That's the biggest shocker of the show. Yes, Tani goes in to work the next day and gets teased by Tomu, but she's like anyway hey I've got this new idea for my business, and I want you to help me, and they sing a song and yes Tani lies on a table briefly. And Tomu is really cute because she's a reasonably intelligent and wealthy baron but doesn't actually know too much about Tani's business of gathering information and such. So Asu-chan has to coach her.

Then Eriko comes in being all plot-relevant and see previous paragraph, yada yada yada.

Micchan, by the way, is over there being the sulky but-only-sulky-because-she's-worried-about-Ume-chan younger brother. And Alice-chan, meanwhile, is being the present-in-three-scenes-but-only-speaking-in-one girlfriend.

I adore her pink dresses. I adore her facial expressions in the big party scene near the end. But it troubles me that Tara-chan has slightly more lines and is slightly more plot-relevant.

...This has absolutely no coherence. Let me sum up.

Ume-chan was going to be all self-sacrificing and adult and marry Tomochin for the money and save her family, but Tani exposes everything and Ume-chan's family gets their money back and Susshii-san, Ayumi-san, Eriko, Masako, Micchan and a bunch of servants sing about how they're all so happy and want to celebrate with alcohol.

But Ume-chan can't join in the celebration because she knows that Tani has a girlfriend to go back to.

Masami, however, isn't interested in moving to America to pursue Tani's true dream, which is building a revolutionary new car with a European body and an American engine.

So Tani leaves the business up to Tomu and thinks she's sailing off to America by herself...

...until Ume-chan walks up behind her on the ship.

"If you weren't alone, I wasn't going to follow you onboard," she says. "But I saw there was no one with you, and so..."

Tani takes her rose back into her arms. A soft rain begins to fall. But instead of going inside the cabin they just stand in the rain and kiss, and the sailor who came out with an umbrella (Kai-chan♥) gets to stand around being all awkward.

The End.

I know that made no sense, but that's what you're getting for now. Overall I give it a B+, I'm pretty satisfied, the ending is happy but subdued.

It is, indeed, an "adult romance". And it is indeed Masatsuka-sensei, with trademark suits, random dances / songs to change scenes, and foreign cars.

Very short version of Amour: It is, indeed, a "romantic revue". The Tristan & Isolde scene in particular has a very fairytale-like feel, and Alice-chan wears lovely lavender and has a very tiny moment with Tani (after Masami gets her turn).

She dances with Micchan once (in the prologue) and Tomochin twice. My prayers for one more Eriko x Alice-chan dance went unanswered. Eriko dances with Tara-chan in "Florida no Kaze", aka the You Can Wear Two Neon Colors Together But Three is Pushing It scene. Not quite as eye-blindy as "Carioca" in Passion, but getting there. Is possibly done to a Ricky Martin / Enrique Iglesias song.

Tomu doing (at least some) sign language in "She" is quite pretty, and Alice-chan is quite pretty too, despite wearing orange.

She sings a solo at one point. She opens the number "Ramona". Then Seiko sings too, but I have my priorities.

There is a sexy Spanish dance opened by Ume-chan, Micchan and other otokoyaku, but then Alice-chan comes in and again, priorities.

OKADA-SENSEI, HOWEVER, APPARENTLY DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH PRIORITIES when it comes to retiring 'siennes.

Yes, The Taidansha Bit was in the Spanish dance.

Tani, Ume-chan, Masami and Eriko.

THERE ARE SIX OTHER TAIDANSHA, OKADA-SENSEI.

FAIL.

*fumes*

Moving on.

The hatsubutai is the most upbeat and energetic part of the show. I just drink up the joy of the hatsubutaisei.

The pair dance ends with Ume-chan leaving and Tani going halfway up the stairs to start the otokoyaku dance.

Then the parade goes Masami etoile, then Ecchan x Alice-chan x Seiko (that's Alice-chan in the middle, yes), then Chii-chan x Dai-chan x Mii-chan x Masako, then Eriko x Tomochin, then the natural order of Micchan, Tomu, Ume-chan, Tani.

Yes, I cried during the stupid aisatsu and at random other points in both halves.

Revue also gets a B-ish.

Both, I have no doubt, contain PLENTY of bits to keep me entertained through multiple performances.

Ugh, that was the most unorganized thing ever. Hopefully after Sunday I'll be able to write a post that makes some kind of sense.
 
 
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
 
 
 
ceteranna: lauren bacallceteranna on April 17th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
.... I cannot believe the Dance of Sex goes to people other than Tani and Ume.

WHAT?

Once I finish sulking about that I'm sure I'll find oodles of things to be excited about, but for now I need to go off and have a pout. Excuse me.
michiru42: Maa-chan and Kashimichiru42 on April 17th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
That ending sure is Masatsuka-sensei...it sounds almost identical to the Boxman ending. @_@ Love the Dance of Sex, though. Never seen him do that. :)

On Alice...heck, just remember my Maikaze Rira. No attention AT ALL in the last two years before making top, or in the several years that went between her shinkou leads and her bow hall lead. Or Lucia's Ayane-chan, who got something like one line in the daigekijou play before being announced as top. Alice is just too good to pass up. And she's fairly popular as shin-musumeyaku go, isn't she? The audience loves adorable musumeyaku.
Juliewao_wao on April 18th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your supportive words about Alice-chan. Admittedly I go up and down a lot being optimistic and pessimistic... because a musumeyaku's future is SO dependent on circumstances unrelated to her own ability.

As for Masatsuka-sensei shows... The BaraAme ending doesn't remind me of Boxman, but the filler dances sure do... And there's something about the way Tomochin's character dresses that reminds me of Ahi's Leroy. ^^;;
michiru42michiru42 on April 19th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Heck, I'm a big Alice fan. Loved her since "Lightning in the Daytime". She makes for an adorable young boy. :) I'm totally pulling for her. (Unless, of course, she wants to grow old in Zuka? If she wants to become, say, a kumicho rather than a top star?)

This: <
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Heck, I'm a big Alice fan. Loved her since "Lightning in the Daytime". She makes for an adorable young boy. :) I'm totally pulling for her. (Unless, of course, she wants to grow old in Zuka? If she wants to become, say, a kumicho rather than a top star?)

This: <<Ume-chan was going to be all self-sacrificing and adult and marry Tomochin for the money and save her family, but Tani exposes everything and Ume-chan's family gets their money back>>

was the bit that reminded me of Boxman. How O-Hana was going to marry Susshi-san to save her mother, but then Wao showed up and exposed Susshi-san as a liar so O-Hana's family got to keep the money he'd "lent" her to try and force her to marry him.
Becca: Finch muffin_song on April 17th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
I may be actually awake now, but my brain is still NOT processing my little Watson-kun having sex on stage.

(I know she's about the same age as me in real life, but it still boggles my mind *whimpers*)
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: takarazuka - wao phantomdramaturgca on April 17th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Mii-chan has the sex dance?! My Mii-chan?! And it's going to be HOW LONG until I can have a clip?

*dies*
Tiger: Tomu has ideamuirin on April 17th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
That was one enlightening and detailed review, honestly now :D Thank you!

Maybe it's sound weird, but a baddie!Tomochin sounds really promising and I approve of a happy ending (with slight traces of melancholy), especially with such a show title. All in all seems like a good final show for the Tani/Ume Top Combi - maybe not so much for other Taidansha, but with so many of them :/

(Oh my God, that Sex!dance ♥ ♥)

Hope I can also see a hatsubutai some day n_n It sounds so.. fun ♥
Ms. Brittladybretagne on April 17th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
I am entirely distracted by the Mii-chan/Ecchan sexy dance and the 88ths and Masako in the parade together. 88ths! Parade! Eee!
lliri_blanclliri_blanc on April 17th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, BaraAme sounds awesome. :P Especially with Tomochin being evil and manipulative and Tomu being clueless.
Thanks for typing up the report <3
utena1409: Wao/Mariutena1409 on April 17th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this short summary, it's much better than knowing nothing!! ^^

Evil Tomocchin wanting to marry Ume somehow reminds me of A/L... *g*
And now I'm really curious about the "Sex dance"! XD
(Also just a tiny bit grumpy it didn't go to Tani and Ume :/ )
John: 1 Osa Fersen LOLtokugawa on April 17th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Forget about what you've seen in Dal Lake or Jose & Carmen.

It is Sex.


LOL!

I'm...not too sure what to say about all this, ^_^;;

At least the rest of the show sounds nice and thanks for the report, *adds this show to the ever growing wishlist while running out of paper...*
melikkamelikka on April 18th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this summary! It does give a good first impression of the show ;)
Me too... is kind of distracted by that "sex dance" thingie. Right now there are thousands of possible pictures of how it might or might not be spinning around in my head. @_@

But that Tristand and Isoode Part sounds promising, because I just love Tristan and Isolde <3 Always loved the story and any kind of interpretation of it!
cosmos14cosmos14 on April 20th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
It is a Dance of Sex. I can guarantee it will be the most notorious scene from the show, a dance that goes down in Takarazuka history.
O____O oh my.... i really need to see that.

"Spend the night with me," she says to Ume-chan.
=^^= doki doki...

nice report. ^_~