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24 July 2010 @ 01:05 am
One hour later...  
I lied. *hollow laugh* I did read other people's LJs. Not as much outrage as I expected. I guess we're not at critical mass yet because some people in America are just barely waking up.

So.

I've had a post lying in wait for when the announcement came, but now I've had to rework some of it and don't like the flow as much.

Oh well, you get it anyway.

~

The concept of top musumeyaku has basically been ruined for me.

It should be easy for everyone to guess why. Because my girl didn't make it, and so many others didn't make it -- but let's start with Alice-chan.

All I ever wanted for her was the proverbial "gold star". The glory and honor; the prestige; the "win"; the shiny badge denoting that "Takarazuka thinks you are something extra special."

And what, after all, is wrong with wanting a gold star? Isn't that what the company teaches us to prize? Doesn't everyone wish for the success of the people they care about?

On the one hand I appreciate very much that people kept encouraging me to have hope even when I was past the point of consolation. I appreciate that people care about my emotional well-being and tell me to try to look on the bright side, think positively, remember the good times, etc.

On the other hand, in the end I am in control of my feelings and opinions. I'm nowhere near a ~My Life is Ruined~ sort of angst level. But there are certain things that I choose not to forgive. There's a degree to which I think I should be "allowed" to feel this way. If I continue to harbor grudges, then they are mine to deal with.

What I mean to say is, I feel I am justified in my disappointment at not getting the "gold star".

It's not like Alice-chan has "OMG so many opportunities" outside of Takarazuka. That is to say, she does, but they may be on stages even smaller than Bow Hall. They may be opportunities that won't result in lead roles, ever again.

Let's not kid ourselves, there really is no place like Takarazuka. When you leave it, you jump from an isolated circle where you're always guaranteed a part to the big scary world where there are no guarantees at all.

Is this what Takarazuka is becoming? A world with no guarantees, where the ranking system has become obsolete? How completely unfair is it to give multiple opportunities to musumeyaku in one troupe, but not anywhere else?

What are we meant to think when ken-5 musumeyaku are tops and ken-4s are nibante, and ken-1s are given leads in shinkos as well as honkouen?

Honestly one of the things that makes me the most sad is that with all of these shinko-aged top musumeyaku... Who do the girls actually in shinkos have to look up to? When the shinko lead is only a year younger, or the same year (or god forbid, older) than the top... How much are they really "learning" from the honyaku?

Plus it depresses me to think of the only musumeyaku club in a troupe being that of the top's. Because everyone else has left, and the ones they're promoting are too young / unknown to have clubs.

It didn't used to be this way. A little over a year ago we had Miwa Asahi, Shirosaki Ai, Koto Marie, Amase Izuru, Ootsuki Sayu, Hazakura Shizuku... They all had clubs, didn't they? Now I think of the ones still around maybe Sakura Ichika and Hanano Juria have clubs, but we all know they're not rising. (In the same category, Hisaki Seara? Possibly?)

Of The Three in Yukigumi, does even Mimi (the most promoted one) have the support of a proper club?

As of the 2010 Revue Mook our musumeyaku stars are Amasaki Chihana, Ayahoshi Rion, Manaka Ayu, Maihane Mimi, Shirahana Remi, Hanakage Arisu, Junya Chitose and Aihana Chisaki. Alice-chan is leaving, Seiko and Tara-chan are so NOT going to be tops, and I'm pretty doubtful about Remi and Ricchi as well.

Why do they even bother putting them in the book, the cynical part of me asks?

What is it all worth, to bring up talented musumeyaku and keep them long enough that they perfect their art... And then to snub them and make them leave because you chose a ken-4 to be top instead? Or didn't choose a top at all? What is the point of the whole system, if that is the result?

It makes me sick at heart that we've gotten used to this situation so quickly. It frightens me to think that people have already forgotten the many wonderful ladies we've lost. It makes me boggle, how young the promoted musumeyaku are now.

That, you see, is why top musumeyaku have been ruined for me. Individually there are girls I want to support, but collectively the concept of every top musumeyaku being younger than Alice-chan kind of makes me dislike all of them.

And the situation in Yukigumi, well, that's just horribly unfair.

It wouldn't have been this way if the company had treated certain people better. They ruined their own future by letting all the good ones go, which then left them scrambling. Ran-chan's sudden transfer, the lack of a Yuki top musumeyaku... It just screams "ack we didn't know what else to do".

You may or may not have expected me to end this rant with AND SO I'M LEAVING FANDOM HUMPH. I'm not -- yet -- but... gotta say I feel kind of broken right now. I keep thinking about my answer to the 100 Questions Meme...

98. What would cause you to stop being a Takarazuka fan?

If the company's decisions disgust and upset me enough that it hurts less to leave than to keep trying to love Takarazuka.


Yeah. It's approaching that.
 
 
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A fascination frantic in a ruin that's romantic: Shibi-san Shovelshirabyoshi on July 23rd, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
98  宝塚ファンをやめるとしたらどんなときですか?
 What would cause you to stop being a Takarazuka fan?

I used not to be able to answer this question, but I can now. If the top stars stay this young or get even younger, and if the upperclassmen keep dwindling, I might run out of favourite performers.
K: Are you thinking...happy_riceball on July 23rd, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
I honestly think you're the reason most people (at least on my friend's list) are not exploding in anger over Ami. Because you've seen her and know she has some talent, judgment is withheld a little, and instead of anger, there's just pity.

I have no idea what's going on. I'm disappointed in how things are turning out, and hoping they change, and that the system that's supposed to work, works. No more stupid jumping. :c

(In addition, I'm always going to wonder the Yumiko Top what-if's. If Yumiko had stayed, would this have been a problem? Or would it have be Nacchan Top, and no worries. Maybe Yumiko's leaving *wasn't* expected, and now we have this. But even if that's true, it only explains my troupe, and not Hankyu's increasing unfair treatment of musumeyaku...)
Julie: alice windowwao_wao on July 24th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I honestly hope it isn't just me, but people's sense of human decency that stops them from attacking Ami-chan. How could anyone think that any of this is her fault, her doing?

I mean, I would expect "she has talent" could be applied to everyone in Takarazuka. They don't get accepted into one of the most difficult-to-enter schools in the country on no talent.

I want people to be nice about Ami-chan because it's the right thing to do, not because "Julie said this girl can sing".

On Yumiko: Some think she left on her own Some think she was forced out to make way for Kimu and... this. I prefer not to think about it.
magenta07 on July 23rd, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
i'm fairly new to zuka, i've only started paying attention this year. but as the months go by, the more i realize that zuka is all about the otokoyaku.

*music speak up ahead*
for example, in elisabeth, parade solos go like this:
rudolph - 2 beats + 16 bars
lucheni - 1 beat + 16 bars
franz joseph - 3 beats + 14
(the beats are the pick up. meaning they don't start the song at the beginning of a bar)

meanwhile, elisabeth, who is the top/lead musumeyaku role, not to mention the character the title is named after, only gets *8 BARS*. for goodness sake, hankyu, just change the title to Der Tod or something.

but i find this is the case with most parades, isn't it? san/nibante + top otokoyaku get a full 16 and the top/lead musumeyaku get a measly 8. that's not even enough to please a casting agent on an audition. going back to elisabeth (specifically the 2009 production), there's also the fact that otokoyaku who played tertiary characters (at least i consider them tertiary) got to be in the parade while a solid secondary character (sophie - shirosaki ai) wasn't. it boggles the mind, i tell you! i wonder how the OG's feel about what's going on with the company now.

on another note: mind expounding on why you think seiko will never be top? i have this irrational fear that she'll be top with tomu and maybe your explanation will make me feel better :p.
*note: not that i don't want her to be top (or that she can't be), just not with tomu :p.
michiru42: Asako: Cake or Death?michiru42 on July 23rd, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is a truth that fans like myself, who love musuemayku above otokoyaku, have had to deal with. There are those parades where musumeyaku aren't allowed to sing at all, and those shows where even the top musumeyaku barely show up.

For me, I just don't watch stuff without heavy musumeyaku presence. *shrug* It's not worth the grief!
filante_saikoufilante_saikou on July 23rd, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
It didn't used to be this way. A little over a year ago we had Miwa Asahi, Shirosaki Ai, Koto Marie, Amase Izuru, Ootsuki Sayu, Hazakura Shizuku...
I love you for this. And your whole post. I simply don't like what's going on with the musumeyaku. Especially in Yukigumi, even though I think the circumstances are GREAT for Kimu, it still doesn't take away the fact that the musumeyaku are being left at the wayside. I know that otokoyaku are the main "stars" of Takarazuka, but there still used to be legendary musumeyaku, as well.
I didn't delve in to it in my original post (mainly because it was a Kimu squee), but yeah, the fact that the musumeyaku are so young and already going on the shelf disappoints me.
But again, thank you this whole post!
Julie: alice windowwao_wao on July 24th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you -- I'm a little chagrined, admittedly, to be thanked for this post but... At the same time it's at least somewhat comforting to feel that people understand.

Edited at 2010-07-24 05:18 pm (UTC)
Tellychan: omg yessailortelevator on July 24th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
*random*

Ok you're clearly a big Keichan fan and that means I just friended you. Keichan fans unite! :D :D :D

(I don't wanna comment on Julie's journal though, I'm too sad, sorry Juliedearie.)
Julie: wao hana pirate sirenwao_wao on July 24th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it's better just to not say anything, I understand. *hugs* ♥
anthy1306: listening?anthy1306 on July 23rd, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't write a word in my journal about the Yukigumi Topmusume situation, because in this case, Hankyu has already lost all my respect.

"It frightens me to think that people have already forgotten the many wonderful ladies we've lost."

I cannot imagine that and to speak for me: no. never.
Ms. Brittladybretagne on July 23rd, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
More than anything it just makes me sad, because I look at the kinds of people that they let go without really taking advantage of their talent and it seems like such a waste. When in Soragumi alone we've had Machami, Tacchin and now Alice-chan all retire as nibante/sanbante musumeyaku despite a wealth of talent and great chemistry with at least one star track otokoyaku, it's hard to put a whole lot of faith in the system anymore.