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09 July 2009 @ 01:52 pm
Come out and say it  
There are happy things I want to write, but something is really on my mind right now.


Everyone is muttering about Asako. Either that it was her time to leave, or "I'm so sad she's retiring and upset that other people are glad she's finally leaving."

And Yuuhi.

People are going to be talking about Yuuhi more and more. The day after Tani retires, and not everyone can conceal their joy of YAY YUUHI TOP.

Are these two things not similiar?

If I may ask,

Is there anyone in this fandom who loves every actress in Takarazuka?

I've been hanging around various Takarazuka fan circles for over 3 years. I've gotten used to the fact that largely, Takarazuka fans are an extremely nice and polite bunch of people.

But that does seem to be changing, yes.

Still, where is that line between "being polite" and "expressing how you feel"? What are the expected social niceties and when does it become censoring yourself for kindness' sake?

God knows I've kept my meaner opinions off of LiveJournal. I'll share them with my friends whom I trust, but I won't spread them all over the internet.

Back to the topic at hand, Yuuhi. I know some of my friends couldn't contain their feelings, but other people did for the sake of the hardcore Soragumi fans.

Which action is right? Should I be thankful, or should I feel guilty that people are suppressing their opinions for the sake of others?

And back to Asako. I dare people to deny that if they aren't muttering about Assko, they are muttering about *someone*. Some young otokoyaku they don't like to see promoted. Some transfer they never accepted. Some musumeyaku they don't want to see as a top star. Some casting choice. Someone, something.

No one likes every Takarasienne ever. That world just doesn't exist.

I do think it's important to be kind about the stars our friends like and to not get too nasty.

But more than that I think it's impoartant to be kind to *each other* -- we the fans should not be spreading too much negativity or saying hateful things on each other's journals. I remember the Yuuhi Issue two years ago when people were at each other's throats about using possessive language. I remember the Nene Debacle when people said very mean-spirited things in regard to Nene's transfer.

I think the reaction to Asako is light by comparison. Whether we wanted to see her go or not, many people seem to agree that she looked tired and unhappy.


I'm posting this to gather opinions, so please comment. Where is that line between rude and polite? Are we ever going to agree on what constitutes going too far?

(I'm still computer-less, by the way, but doing my best to keep up.)
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
palais: stock: leanpalais on July 9th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Speaking for my own comfort levels, I expect and encourage others to have opinions, one way or another; more often than not, I've found the reactions of other fans to various things, positive or negative, to be within the boundaries of politeness. I think whatever mean-spiritedness exists is there as a result of a particular fan's sense of personal connection to Takarazuka. We react to things that intrude upon our own unique Takarazuka "comfort level." It's inevitable that people will react to announcements in different ways, but what it boils down to is that, ultimately, we have no real control over things one way or the other, and our reactions are little more than just that. Echoing what you said, I think as long as the complaints about certain actresses do not escalate to personal attacks amongst fans, it's relatively harmless as long as one maintains a sense of perspective.
KyaniteD / 藍晶石-Dkyanited on July 9th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
I am a hardcore harmony addict. I could not say willingly something mean or mean-spirited about anyone who hasn't willingly done something to deserve it.

When I was new and people kept telling me not to have too high hopes for Hiromi and that Kaname is being promoted over her, I had a hard time liking Kaname.

I don't have the heart to hate anyone, and I knew there was absolutely no real reason to have ill-feelings toward Kaname or her fans. Some of my friends like and even love her ;) and I think I let them know that I am a little less enthusiastic about her, but I always listened to their squees and in turn they respected my feelings, too, and toned it down a bit around me.

I just didn't want to see her or acknowledge her presence, which was hard since I really started to love yukigumi. Silver Rose Chronicle, which didn't even have any Hiromi, changed that. I loved Christopher!Kaname. And it was this show and some talks and realizations I had that I realized that Hiromi and Kaname are in for different things. And I realized that we are only bystanders. Their fate, their path, their lives are their own and their success is mostly of their own making and decision. We can contribute here and there and support them and show them we care and appreciate and maybe give a collective fan-nudge here or there. But in the end it's all theirs and they share some of it with us and it's a gift, and I'm always put off when people start to get personal and mean toward each other or each other's favorite stars. I think in a community and especially among friends, some respect and also some self-restraint is required. Being kind to each other also means to respect each other's feelings, and while both are important, restraining anger takes in my eyes priority over restraining joy (as long as it's not mean-spirited, gloating or schadenfreude, of course).

Making someone feel bad about being happy is unfair (as is gloating about someone else's unhappiness) and while we do that sometimes in spite and to lash out, we tend to get over it.

All that said, I know that Soragumi is a difficult issue at the moment, and I dare not assume I truly understand the weight of your feelings and there may be no getting over them any time soon or at all.

There is a chinese proverb along the lines of embracing what you cannot change, which has helped me accept a lot of things, after some time, and be happy that at least my friends are happy.

Being happy that Asako is gone, that any takarasienne leaves, is per se a foreign concept to me. It seems spiteful and mean (if it's not happiness about the seito wanting to go on and achieve more in her life).

ETA: I do not have problems with honest opinions, delivered in a respectful and sensitive manner.

Edited at 2009-07-09 06:08 am (UTC)
lliri_blanclliri_blanc on July 9th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
I have never, to my knowledge, insulted a 'sienne on my journal.
And by that I mean, I have never personally attacked an actress or a fan. (The one time I think I came close, I was describing an actual event that happened, in which case they made themselves fair game.)
And I think that's all you can ask of anyone.

Have I torn apart performances? Absolutely. But to ask me to do anything differently would be intellectually dishonest. (And many times, I've toned down my wording to something way less than I used to write in school journals, out of consideration. But to not express the opinion is improper.)
Journals can't and shouldn't be unending squee and rainbows. Theater is an art form and I think the discussion should be well-aware of that. (And, I know, Takarazuka is closer to pop than art but I don't think that should significantly alter the terms of the discussion.)

On a personal side, it pissed me off to no end when people said I was being "too negative" about Elisabeth. As long as I'm not personally insulting a star or fan, which I know I never did, no one has any call to tell me not to be upset. My girl was demoted. Twice, and for no damned good reason. To avoid expressing my displeasure because some people are too emotionally delicate is just dumb.

There are so many things I haven't said over the years, and I don't regret that. I also don't regret not having told people to tone it down when they irritated me but aren't doing anything wrong, which is often. I expect people to treat me the same way.
kirakira_sora: Maki Aged Photokirakira_sora on July 9th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
We have probably talked about this ad nausem over the phone, but it never gets old does it?

I know I'm no innocent person and I was part of the Nene Debacle and probably in the heat of things insulted actresses for no good reason. Yet, I have tried very hard, VERY hard to not be insulting on my journal. Of course I don't claim that my journal is rainbows and sunshine and that maybe I slipped here and there. But, I try in the end to give things a chance.

With Eriko's taidan I've tried very hard to not let anything get to me because I don't want people to feel like they can't be happy about things around me. Those that love Yuuhi should be happy, those that love Sumika should be happy. Those that don't shouldn't have to stay quiet either.

Slowly, but surely I've started to form this sort of wall around me. I like whom I like, and dislike whom I dislike and frankly ... bollocks to everyone else. If you don't like my person ... fine and dandy. If you do ... well fine and dandy! Want to insult my person? Go ahead ... I have no reason or right to prove why she is the best and you are wrong. Just the same, I'm not going to go out of my way to prove to you that your person is the worst or whatever.

That being said, that is my way of thinking and of course not everyone will like it. I'm just tired of pandering to people's sensibilities.

Of course by no means do I think there should be any outright vulgar bashing of the girls. If you really have that strong of an opinion of someone then I think its not proper to voice it on a public forum. Plus, as much as someone may dislike a sienne, they are human beings and hard workers. I was guilty of bashing Nene and I'm ashamed of it.

In general though I'm tired of negativity.
+Elise+: victoire!faux_semblant on July 9th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
it's an interesting topic. I will try to tell what I think with my bad english ;p

First I think in our own journal (not in communities) we can tell and express what we want. A lj is to write his feelings (and we are all sensitive person orelse we wouldn't have a LJ ^^ )
I have sometimes read not so good stuff about Chie (but not terrible because it seems that almost everyone like her) and ? well it didn't kill me ; it was just the way of thinking of one person in my LJ , that's all, the most important is that I love Chie ! But I would be interested of course to know why they don't like her because I am curious.

If I take an exemple , I am not a big fan of Yumiko ... why? I don't really know , I don't feel anything special for her . So if tomorow Hankyu decided to put her Top of Hoshigumi , well you will all read on my LJ a big "OOOOOhhhh nooooooooooooooo ;;;_;;;;" it s not against Yumiko , it would be only my personal taste ^^;and after? well I guess I would be used to Yumiko , or I would only watch my fav. seito during the show or I would see more Soragumi show or I would become fan of Yumiko ? I don't know!lol
And if someone invite me to a Yumiko ochakai or a dinner show , I would go wih pleasure because before being one of my less beloved sienne , she is a takarasienne and I am Takarazuka fan !
And the most important is that Yumiko will never know that I don't especially like her !! Except if a silly person tells her ! But I doubt anyone is friend with Yumiko on my lj ^^:

During irimachi and demachi I heard some not very nice things about actresses (it was not "I don't like her so much" it was "she is so bad" )so I guess we gaijin are very cute and soft with our angsty/sensitive/lock lj entries ^^:
lliri_blanclliri_blanc on July 9th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
During irimachi and demachi I heard some not very nice things
Seriously? My Ahi-kai friends make me feel so guilty for even *thinking* bad things about other 'siennes sometimes... they're always so nice and understanding of other fans, and then I feel like a terrible person for being mad. ^_^;;;
But then Ahi-kai people are used to being insulted all the time... usually by other clubs who are not so nice... so I guess it's just a response to that.
+Elise+faux_semblant on July 10th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
yes especially when Hankyu annonced that Nene will be the next top .... my fanclub said she look silly , her way of acting were terrible and her voice bad ....it's funny because I first reacted very strongly on my LJ about Nene transfer but I never said a word in the fanclub so they always tease me when I say I like her ^^:: they say : "no way she is bad !!" but one minute after they say to me "Never ever tell to anyone that we don't love Nene chan !"

and of course I am not speaking here about fanclub members 'rivalry ...it's another topic who could be discussed for hours ^^:
utena1409: Wao/Mariutena1409 on July 9th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
At the moment I really don't know how to deal with all of this so I'm mostly keeping quiet about it.
I'm trying not to feel bitter when people post things like "Yay Yuuhi is top now" because I know it is not Contra-Tani but just Pro-Yuuhi, and every Yuuhi Fan has their right to be happy about it.
And as long as it is nothing insulting I can deal with it quite well, I think.

I don't think it is wrong to say your opinion on people as long as you try to keep it...impartial? Not personally insulting or something. (things like: "She is so ugly" because that's personal taste and can differ.)
There will always be people you simply don't like. You don't hate them, but actually you don't care much for them, and people should try to accept that. :/
Ms. Brittladybretagne on July 9th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
I think it comes down to sensitivity. Acknowledging that right this very second while people who love them are still mourning (so to speak) is probably not the best time to crow over that same person's successor and at the same time trying to realise, if you're on the other side of the fence, that it's not anything personal if people are excited while you're not. As long as things are presented in as balanced a way as possible, I don't see any reason for people to not be honest about their opinions and to keep it away from personal attacks.

I think the other thing is to aware of when an opinion is somewhat irrational and when it's not. I know there are plenty of people that I am somewhat irrationally sometimes not that fond of because they've gotten promoted over people I am emotionally attached to or whatever, but that is the kind of thing I would keep for private conversations because it's not necessarily based in anything other than a protectiveness of someone I love.
Fyrefyrie on July 9th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Having seen 4 of the 5 troupes in the last 3 weeks, my respect and adoration for all the Siennes has jumped. I think it's natural to have favourites and preferences, but I don't understand the people who rant about disliking performers :(
ceteranna: Calvin and Hobbes warceteranna on July 9th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
As someone who has not (knowingly) been involved in any of the named Debacles, Conflicts, Dramzors, etc., and who is usually somewhat mystified by the presence of drama on her flist... I think it comes down to maturity. We are all (technically) adults here, and should behave accordingly. Saying pouty, derisive, or insulting things about a performer or a fan is immature and petty. Getting all worked up because someone else said something you perceived as pouty, derisive, or insulting is also immature and petty.

Personally I think we (speaking of livejournal zuka fans collectively) often err a little too much on the side of "sensitivity" -- by which I mean that we are both far too easy to offend, and a bit too careful about what everyone else thinks. For my part, I would prefer it if someone could publicly say 'dude, I'm so pissed that So-and-so is being promoted, I don't like her at all' and So-and-so's die-hard fan could reply in a comment and say 'dude, So-and-so is the best, you're a fool!' and person #1 could shrug and person #2 could shrug and the next day they'd both squee together about how awesome Completely-other-sienne is. But given how emotionally involved in the fandom a lot of livejournal fans are, that's probably not possible... so the key is to take lots of deep breaths.

I've refrained for years from being honest, in public posts or in private chat conversations, about what I think of particular performers' voices, mostly out of the fear that fans of a given performer would get mad at me for not liking a particular voice. Partly I think this is rational, because my opinion about voices seems to be given (rather undue) weight around here -- since I've studied singing a lot, many people seem to think that when I say a particular singer has good or bad technique or that I like them or don't like them, it's an Objective Statement of Cosmic Truth, when really it's just my opinion, which may or may not be well-informed, and as such shouldn't have any influence on their enjoyment of the performer's voice. But in the last few months I realized that a) my assumption that people would get mad if I said I didn't like a particular performer's voice was presuming that those people were immature and couldn't deal with someone else having an opinion contrary to theirs and b) refraining from making statements about particular voices had been preventing me from saying anything about vocal technique at all, which is lame because a lot of people on my flist have expressed interest in hearing me talk about what I know. So I started being more honest. I hope that I will remember to use respectful wording, and always say "I don't care for (x)'s voice because of (y) reason" rather than "(x)'s voice sucks!!". But if I don't remember, well, oops. (x)'s fan is free to get mad at me... although I really hope she'll do it in a comment on my journal or in a private email, rather than in an AIM conversation with other fans or in a childish public post about how "people who hate (x)'s voice are rude and need to stop posting!" etc.
Jess (Ducky): Makotojust_keep_on on July 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
You know, this is part of the reason why I fangirl *you* because you write things like this <3

There's always going to be likes and dislikes - it's part of the fun, the variety of it all. One should never be afraid to share happiness because it can be infectious and thus create more love~

But at the same time, one should always be polite if they disagree. It's always interesting, going through the takarazuka f-list and seeing almost right after each other, two different view points on the same event (i.e. troupe transfer, etc.) That's something that's inevitable and a bit necessary.

What isn't necessary is lack of manners and politeness. For some reason, society in general seems to have gotten into their heads that being "rude" is synonymous with being "honest" and that if you don't like that "honesty," you're a wimp for not being able to handle the blunt truth. It's also a common thought that if you censor yourself for the sake of peace as a whole, you're a "coward" for not having the "courage" to speak your mind. I've seen a lot of it as I've been dabbling in the K-pop fandom, which is why I can't be involved with the fandom as a whole too much. Takarazuka fandom has been mostly polite and fun, but the feeling has changed recently, which saddens me.

Respect should always be first and foremost when dealing with other fans and simply the acceptance that yes, there will be opposing views. Someone will be happy that your 'sienne is not at the top because it benefits their 'sienne. Someone will be unhappy that your troupe got a certain show because they wanted it for their troupe. It happens.

We'll feel happy, sad, disappointed, extremely glad but we should never feel guilty for feeling whatever it is the feeling of the day is. This is fandom, and this is fandom for Takarazuka. It shouldn't be causing so much hardship among the fans.

... And this became way too long -_-; Apologies.
jess_in_japan: algernonjess_in_japan on July 9th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
A couple things, I guess. I want to reiterate the fact that happiness for a new top star does not imply a dislike for the previous top star. Those who are happy for Yuuhi are not necessarily people who didn't like Tani. (I for one am very happy for Yuuhi, especially after how long she stuck in there... and I'm a shameless Tani fan who can actually sit through Cinderella Rock multiple times).

I don't think it's fair to want people to hide their happiness... it certainly isn't mean-spirited.

I think that tensions tend to run high in this fandom for a number of reasons. While on one hand, I would say "people should not freak out so much", I also think that we have a responsibility to each other to be civil.

I would never say, "All these people are sad about this retirement. It's so stupid. I just don't care." (The fact that I would probably never think it either is another story...). I would also never criticize someone exceedingly harshly if I know that someone on my fl is a fan. And I don't mean only OTS, since we all have other favorites too... But on the other hand, not everything has to be entirely sugar-coated. I'm a huge Yuzurun fan, but I will be the first to joke about how ridiculous she looked in a mustache or how her skinny limbs made her dancing look funny as Karenin. But it comes from a place of love...

I dunno, I think that not saying malicious things publicly is a good place to start. But the other side of the coin is not being fast to get up in arms if someone says something you disagree with.

If I say that I didn't like X's performance in a show, why not engage it with discussion and find out what I didn't like? I mean, before I understood the unspoken rules of the fandom, I criticized Ahi as Gerald... it led to quite the talk with Maggy, but we became friends as a result.

On the Asako issue... I think that it has been handled pretty well. There's whispering, but nothing dirty/public. I think most people respect her for what she has accomplished during her career, whether or not they thought her stay on top should have been shorter.
♥ƹ̵̡ӝ̵̨̄ʒ♥°``'まりい'``°♥ƹ̵̡ӝ̵̨̄ʒ♥amami_yuki on July 9th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
I hope people aren't saying that I shouldn't be extremely happy about Yuuhi making top, just because other people might not be as happy that she made top? I mean, I purposely tried not to post anything about Yuuhi on the day of Tani's retirement out of consideration of her fans who I know love and adore her.
But I mean, the very next day was Yuuhi's first day as top, so of course I was going to be all excited and post excity things! And I shouldn't have to feel bad for doing that, either.
When Touko retired I didn't know much about her, but on the next day I did post a video that commemorated her, and also Chie... it was kinda like a "goodbye Touko, we'll miss you ~ welcome Chie to star troupe!" kind of a video. I think that was pretty nice.

I think the only thing to really be upset about is outright rudeness or insulting of the actresses for no good reason. Or... even insulting and rudeness FOR a reason. Like, "I hate this sienne she is a b**** and she should just leave... just because I don't like her... and/or because she stole my sienne's place as top". Even in that case, you can't really stop people from posting about what they think ~ they have that right ~ the only thing you can really do is just think less of them for doing so.
And I mean, of course we (the fans) should all be respectful of each other, too. And if someone isn't being respectful to you, then unfriend them. But it shouldn't have to come to that.

But I think in the future, if I want to post something critical of an actress ~ like how I might not personally like their voice or the way they portrayed a character or something ~ then I will do so. Not in a mean spirited way ~ just in a "I personally like this but not that" kind of way... it would just be personal opinion and taste. When it comes down to it I completely admire ALL of the actresses in the Takarazuka because I know how hard they work and how much talent you really need to have to be there in the first place. But there are siennes that just... sometimes irk me or something... and I've said so... but I've also stated that even that bothers me so I've actually started watching more of their shows because I hate it when I don't like things about people. So, I try to find the good in things. And if I can't, I'll just say "I don't really like this sienne" but I won't say horrible, nasty things about them. And it hasn't even come to that... so that's good.
So... if I'm ever critical of something/someone then it's most likely not out of spite ~ it's just an opinion. And opinions are OK.

Wow I have rambled quite a bit.
michiru42: Wao and Hana: Recuerdemichiru42 on July 9th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think part of polite fandom is as much what you ignore as what you say.

Recently, I wrote a rant about how angry I am at how musumeyaku are treated, and how much I hate it when otokoyaku get their parts. Most of the fandom I have on my f-list ignored the post, because, I imagine, most disagree. A lot of people like otokoyaku-as-musumeyaku, or aren't as interested in the musumeyaku as I am. Personally, I was very appreciative that they said nothing, rather than bashing me for an unpopular opinion.

Since then, I've seen at least half a dozen entries where people squeal about an otokoyaku-as-musumeyaku in a play, and for me, it always stings a little because it feels like an insult. But it's not an insult; it's just them showing love for stars they enjoy. So, to be polite, I say nothing. I know those who disagree with me have the right to their opinion, and I certainly owe them the respect of not being rude in their journals. And, for myself, I just don't look at those entries again. No point in hurting my own feelings.

I guess I'm saying I'm a big believer in, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." It's a big help in keeping peace.

But WaoWao, I think everyone's been doing great over the whole Tani to Yuuhi transfer. Obviously some people are happy and some are not, and everyone's been expressing their opinions without going overboard or insulting anyone else--at least, everyone on my f-list.
ceteranna: Ayano Kanami and Sena Junceteranna on July 10th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
I think part of polite fandom is as much what you ignore as what you say.

This is brilliantly put.

Incidentally, may I friend you? =) I've seen you posting here and there and always meant to. My fan account is bluerevue.
michiru42michiru42 on July 10th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Why thank you, that's a lovely thing to say. Sure, I'd love it if you friended me. :)
kugelfischli: ranjukugelfischli on July 9th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Hm... this topic really is hard to discuss, since I myself feel pretty touchy about the Siennes I love. I am trying to avoid to write about people I don't favour too much at all... And I certainly try hard not to mention things which I know will hurt people on my friendslist (and if I do, I'm not doing it knowingly). But... maybe that's not the best way to kkep it, but it's a good way for me, I think. I tend to mutter about things I read on my list if I don't like them, but seldomly tell the people so...
Es ist Zeit zu Leben.: Mizu // Aosetonaviolet_tango on July 18th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Wow! So many answers already, and so many long answers!

Actually, I wanted to comment on this from the beginning. Also because I wonder whether my most on Tani/Ume-Yuuhi/Sumika was the final reason to make you do this post.

I tried to type down a proper comment, but I fail in putting this stuff together into an lj comment.

Actually, I would love to discuss the topic, but rather directly than here.

And sometimes I think we might need a post every month or so with anonymous comments where everyone can say what bothers them.
That's a silly idea, and probably not a good one, but -as we are a fandom in which bad feelings only seldomly get spoken- it would maybe help getting some things out of ones mind, even if they are things one wouldn't write in her own journal.