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09 August 2009 @ 11:53 pm
Half of Ooeyama  
In case you all didn't figure it out, I've been without my computer for the past 42 days.

But now it's back, and I'm back from Hakata, so I believe it is time to write about Ooeyama.

Only now that it is that time, I feel... nervous somehow.

I think writing about this performance is another step in admitting that Things Have Changed. In the past couple of days I've actually surprised myself by how "still not over it" I am.

I'm basically over the bitterness and the jealousy and the brooding. Because it just doesn't do any good to keep hating something that you can't change (<-- lesson learned from Ume-chan in BaraAme).

But there's still this big emptiness, this big hole in my heart that isn't filled by the new tops. This isn't me refusing to let it go in some kind of conscious way. It's just... not the same, and I discovered that I'm not over it.

And yet I found it in my heart to think charitably of Sumika's fans. It must feel great to be a Sumika fan right now. This thought occurred to me when I saw Sumika's club staff (president?) girl taking a spot in the center of the first row one of the times I saw the show.

I think Sumika can sing. I think she can dance. And I think she can probably act. But her talent is wasted on me. Watching her perform just doesn't fill me with anything. It doesn't make me happy. And her musumeyaku style is not a style that ever really appealed to me.

So there. I've said what I feel about my new top musumeyaku in the simplest and civilest way possible. I think that needed to be done before I got on to the actual performance.

Ooeyama Kaden -- A [Partial] Summary / Review (supplemented with pictures where possible)

The lights go down. Yuuhi introduces herself as "Soragumi no Oozora Yuuhi" and I think, this is going to take some getting used to.

The curtain comes up. Large strands of wisteria hang from the ceiling. Yuuhi stands on a high platform in a big costume and dances dramatically. It is, I admit, pretty cool.

Eventually Sumika and Micchan show up too. The three of them dance in a "look at us, we are the three main characters" sort of way. And I believe Yuuhi sings That Song That We Get to Hear About Five Times During the Show, otherwise known as "Usu-Murasaki no Koi".

Then it gets better. >:D

Everyone in town is enjoying peace and happiness and dancing with flower branches. "Everyone" in Julie Vision mostly means Monchi, and Kurumin when she was dancing right in front of me. But it also includes Ayumi-san, Ecchan, Tara-chan, Mayu-chan and Aiko-chan, aka the noble ladies. J-ko, Ebi-chan and Arisa-chan sing solos. Suddenly the mood changes -- the sky darkens, lightning flashes and the noble ladies twist and turn as if being pulled away by unseen forces. Monchi looks suitably confused and terrified, and voiceovers announce that demons have come and captured all of their ladies and "omg look, it's Shuten Douji!"

The stage opens up to reveal this impressive scene. Masako holds Maria (note: not actually one of the captured ladies) and is like "mwa-ha-ha, I am Shuten Douji and I have stolen your princesses!!" This declaration is accompanied by thunder and lightning.

It hardly needs to be said that I adore it. ^_______^ Other demons in the tableau are TamaTama and Ten-chan, Tomoe and Chii-chan, Sattsun and Juma-chan. I love love love them all. Go, Team Demon!!! X3

But the curtain closes on them and Team Good Guys rushes in, too late to catch the demons. They curse their hated enemies and their mysteriously strong powers. Team Good Guys = Dai-chan, Akkii, BonBon and Micchan (left to right). Susshii-san enters with her right-hand man Ouka and issuses the decree to exterminate the demons. "That reminds me," says BonBon, " didn't you just have an encounter with that demon Ibaragi Douji (Yuuhi) last month, Tsuna (Micchan)?"

Enter flashback mode. Micchan was patrolling with her underlings Mitsuki and Fuuma (not pictured) one night and encountered a strange woman on a bridge. She had her face hidden, but her two handmaidens (MONCHI AND RIKU IN DRAG WHY IS THIS NOT PICTURED) made invitations to Micchan in entrancing voices. However, all too soon it was revealed that the "woman" was demon!Yuuhi, out to make mischief. She and Micchan fought. Yuuhi used her demon powers to stop Micchan's hand, but when she turned her back to laugh, Micchan cut off her left arm. Yuuhi, swearing to recover it, disappeared.

Still in flashback mode. Sumika sings the first reprise of "Usu-Murasaki no Koi". While Micchan's servants are congratulating her on her trophy and laughing about how terrible it must be to be acquainted with demons, Sumika looks distressed. Susshii-san and co. also come to congratulate Micchan and to see the arm (it's in a box). But before they can, Yuuhi shows up again (ALONG WITH MONCHI AND RIKU SERIOUSLY WHY DOES MITSUKI GET A PICTURE AND NOT THEM) disguised as a holy man. She and her underlings do a ritualistic dance presumably to exorcise the box -- but it's actually to create a wind of confusion so Yuuhi can steal her arm back, which obviously she does. She taunts them triumphantly as the set pulls her offstage.

Back in the present. Team Good discusses what to do. Akkii expresses apprehension about demons and their magical powers. Dai-chan seems to be unafraid. Micchan, the least afraid, announces that she will sneak into Ooeyama (the demons' mountain home) alone as an advance scout. The rest of Team Good is not so sure about this but agrees before long. As they march purposefully offstage, Sumika rushes in and startles them. BonBon is teased. Sumika begs to be taken with, is refused, but somehow manages to invite herself along anyway.

Next, possibly the best scene ever. :D

Demons dance with big sake cups. TamaTama sings a lot (on the far right, Mappuu -- on the far left, Rena!!) Extra photos because I love TamaTama and Tomoe and Chii-chan and Ten-chaaaaannnnnnn♥♥♥♥♥

Demon dances are made of win and amazing.

Young raucous demon dancing is replaced with Old Ban-san and musumeyaku demon dancing (left to right Kuracchi, Kuu-chan, Tamami-chan and Sakurako). And because Daily Sports photographers are cruel, from here on there are a lot fewer pictures for the rest of my summary. :\ More pictures added!

Anyway, then Masako decides she wants their captive ladies to dance for them. Ayumi-san objects and is allowed to abstain because she's "an ugly old lady anyway". ^^;; Tara-chan agrees to sing and dance for the demons, but she sings a very sad song that makes the other ladies cry. This makes Masako angry, saying their tears make the alcohol taste bad, but Alice-chan stands up and says she'll dance instead. She calls her lackeys (Kurumin, Arisa-chan and Maria) to accompany her. (Before this Alice-chan was enjoying the demon dancing, clapping along, combing Kurumin's hair, etc. Monchi is in the back pouring drinks for Ban-san. Don't think I wouldn't notice. ;)

Alice-chan and co. dance beautifully with flower branches, and she sings a bit too. :) After little while, she invites Yuuhi to join the dance, and Yuuhi comes down WITH HER TWO LACKEYS AKA MONCHI and Riku. So Alice-chan dances with Yuuhi, AND Monchi dances in the background. It doesn't get much better that. :D :D :D

Once they've finished their dance, though, Yuuhi kills the party saying she wants to have a private conversation with Masako. Everyone complains and stumbles drunkenly offstage. Alice-chan lingers briefly to ask if Yuuhi is okay, and if her arm still hurts, etc. She helps Yuuhi out of her outer kimono and tells her not to make trouble with Masako before making her exit.

Masako and Yuuhi have a long conversation about whether or not it's a good idea to provoke the humans, and Masako says the humans started it by shunning the ancestors of the demons. And goes on to provide exposition (Yuuhi: "I've heard this all before" XD) about how Yuuhi's mother, a human woman, had fled for her life when their previous demon hideout was attacked, using up all her strength just to carry Yuuhi to a safe place before perishing. "It's the same as if she had been killed by humans!" But Yuuhi still doesn't like the demon way and doesn't think it's right, and Masako leaves, and Yuuhi angsts down the stairs a short way into the audience as she contemplates the wisteria branch in her hand. ("Usu-Murasaki no Koi" #3!)

The next morning (or something) Yuuhi is still angsting on a rock outside. Alice-chan finds her and says she'll catch a cold and dabs at her with a cloth and calls for Kurumin to bring Yuuhi's medicine. The other cute baby lackeys come too, and when Yuuhi only drinks some of the medicine Maria-chan scolds her for not finishing it all. Yuuhi marvels at how young demons are so sweet and un-demon-like, and Alice-chan asks if Yuuhi was remembering her younger days. She says she's been wanting to ask why, after running away countless times since she was brought back to Ooeyama at the age of 15, Yuuhi stopped running way about three years ago.

But Ban-san interrupts their conversation, and then Riku interrupts when she runs in announcing that two humans have been caught by the outer watch. Monchi follows with more information and asks if it's all right to bring them in. Micchan and Sumika are brought in and slapped around by TamaTama and Tomoe, etc. Yuuhi reveals Micchan's identity, and when Masako shows up she (randomly) reveals that Sumika is hiding an ugly burn on her face. Yuuhi asks to be allowed to dispose of the two of them, since she owes Micchan payback for the arm thing. There's some grumbling but her request is granted, and Micchan is conveniently hauled offstage as Yuuhi turns to talk to Sumika.

She asks what connection Sumika has to Micchan (a servant, she says) and is somewhat annoyed that Sumika seems completely unafraid of her. Sumika says she came to Ooeyama to die. Yuuhi makes as if to molest the girl until she notices the burn on her arm, which Sumika says was from the fire that burned her face three years ago. Internally, Yuuhi realizes that Sumika is her childhood sweetheart "Fujiko", and Sumika sighs in her mind, "Watashi no Ibaragi..."

The story of their youth is played out. Ebi-chan (Young Ibaragi) and J-ko (Young Fujiko) grew up together after Fujiko's father took Ibaragi in. They loved each other, and J-ko decided that to prove their love they should, er, brand themselves with her little "fuji" (wisteria) brand that she used for all of her personal things. So they do it and J-ko passes out from the pain but Ebi-chan looks really happy. Then one day Ibaragi disappeared, and was assumed stolen away by demons. Some years later, Fujiko (now Sumika again) lost her whole family and everything in a fire and was taken in by Micchan. (The fire and various dances are performed by musumeyaku in lavender. Ayumi-san, Kyanon, Sattsun and Ten-chan sing background solos.) Returning to the present, Yuuhi ponders alone.

...

You know what, guys, I just can't tell a short story to save my life. (For more examples, see: Chunichi Berubara summary.) And it takes at least twice as long to get this stuff typed out with Speech Recognition, and I'm tired.

But look forward to tomorrow, where we will continue with ALICE-CHAN WITH A BOW AND ARROWS!

And possibly I'll get to otokoyaku in drag, and Alice-chan in sexy dresses, and How Ten-chan Stole Julie's Heart Completely, and Chii-chan's shiny toenails, and Soragumi Baseball. (*rotten, evil tease* ;)
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
Our Heroine aka Jenn: [squee!]kyttenfae on August 9th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
You really are a tease! <3333 But you provided an illustrated story version of the show, and for that you are forgiven all. <3333 *Glomps!*
Ms. Britt: [soragumi]ladybretagne on August 9th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
I can definitely understand what you mean about the reality of how much has changed. We had a ceremonial "adding of the purple bow" to Jenn's Yuuhi!polarbear yesterday, because we had been putting it off as long as we could. Thank you so so so much for the report, as usual. You're an angel. ♥
utena1409: Wao/Mariutena1409 on August 9th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
But there's still this big emptiness, this big hole in my heart that isn't filled by the new tops. This isn't me refusing to let it go in some kind of conscious way. It's just... not the same, and I discovered that I'm not over it.

*sigh* I so know what you mean... I wish I could be more excited about it all, but even with a female lead role already lined up, I'd still rather have Tani back in Sora... T___T I just can't help it.

But your review also made me realize that Sora is not yet completely dead to me. ^^;

Masako trying to be evil is really adorable. *G*
And I think I vote for Team Demon to win, and if it is just for the sake dance! XD (Even though they need to make Dai-chan change sides, then it would be perfect ^^ )

...but her two handmaidens (MONCHI AND RIKU IN DRAG WHY IS THIS NOT PICTURED)
I second this question. WANT TO SEE! ;_;

Yuuhi realizes that Sumika is her childhood sweetheart
This is so...Zuka ^^;

Looking forward to the next part of this, and I definitely want to hear about Chii-chan's shiny toenails! XD
Juliewao_wao on August 10th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Masako trying to be evil is really adorable.

Masako trying to be evil is actually AWESOME. >:D

Sake dance is also awesome ♥ But Dai-chan gets so much to do that I wouldn't want her to change sides. ;P

I keep refreshing Daily Sports to see if there are more pictures largely because I'm offended that there's only one of Alice-chan so far... I want to add them to my summary!!
michiru42: Hanafusa Mari as Carmenmichiru42 on August 10th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Masako is awesome, period. She's a genius at comedy--she stole her scenes in "Boxman"--and I'm not at all surprised to hear she's a great villain, too. I'm more and more convinced that she's Susshi-san's successor.
michiru42: Hanafusa Mari as Carmenmichiru42 on August 9th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
First of all, I really understand how you feel. There are some things Zuka does that just disappoint us, and all fans have felt it at one time or another. I'm really glad for you, though, that you have so many wonderful things in this play to help you adjust, so it's not just painful for you. Those painful feelings are hard to deal with sometimes. :( *huggles*

Second of all, this play sounds so incredibly awesome I just wanted to squeal through the whole thing. I LOVE this type of play, where the leads are featured, but a lot of actresses get something to do in a scene or two. It's one of Soragumi's great strengths in particular, and the way you describe it, they're really shining here. Plus, the plot just sounds interesting--I want to see this as a play, not just as a Zuka fan. Awesome.

Third, YAY ALICE-CHAN! She has a part! A big part! An INTERESTING part! I'm so exited for her! I'm such a happy Alice fan right now!
Juliewao_wao on August 10th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
Watching this play as an Alice-chan fan, I'm beside myself with pride and joy. ♥ ♥ ♥ This is the kind of role I've been wanting to see her do for AGES. ^__________^

The parts are better than the whole of this story for me, but I love Soragumi, so basically whatever the show there's always enough and to keep me entertained. ;D
Our Heroine aka Jenn: [squee!]kyttenfae on August 12th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
It's so shiny to have Plot to go with the Pictures! <333 I am especially in love with GORGEOUS GROWN UP NIBANTE ALICE-CHAN and DELICIOUSLY EVIL MASAKO and FAR TOO HOT TOMOE and TRYING SO HARD TO BE AN EBIL DEMON SATTSUN. *dies a little at all of them with love* I need to be asleep, but I just finally got to re-read them when I wasn't /really/ asleep, so I thought I'd comment and say, "EEE LOVE WANT TO SEE SHOW!" and all. <33333 I'm just /so/ blown away, however, by your Angel. She is truly amazingly grown up. Oh, darling Alice-chan~!