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28 January 2011 @ 12:26 am
エイジ・オブ・イノセンス  
This is what I was originally, actually going to post about before all the news.

I was in a funk this afternoon, and I needed to just lie down and not stress my wrists, so I did something I should have done a long time ago.

I watched The Age of Innocence.

I've put it off for so long because when I was eating up all of the old Sora shows and learning the whole troupe, I had less interest in a play led by the two "interlopers", Tsubaki Hiroka and Fuzuki Miyo. (Neither of them stayed in Soragumi for more than two years.)

How wrong I was to think that way.

Both of them impressed me in this show. Quite a feat for Fuu, who's never managed to make me like her in anything I've seen her do Hanagumi -- but she pulled off a sober, adult performance here. Still, she didn't move me a fraction as much as Masami (I will get to Masami) or Yuuka.

I remember a long time ago lliri_blanc talking about "the old ways" in which otokoyaku were trained, the old style that doesn't seem to be in fashion now. About what a shame it is that otokoyaku who studied under Wao aren't staying around or rising up to positions where they can carry on her legacy.

And even though Yuuka didn't spend much time in Soragumi, she was chock full of that good old fashioned charisma that made me love Wao Youka and Takarazuka. I watched Yuuka and thought, "this is the model that young otokoyaku should pattern themselves after. This is the ideal that otokoyaku should strive for."

And the part was so good for that, too. Typical "man meets woman but is already engaged to another woman" story, only this time I liked it; it was well-constructed and it ended right. Yuuka got to play a gentleman who suffers from love but also makes the right decision. It was beautiful. It was a little heartbreaking.

But do you know who was really heartbreaking?

MASAMI.

I pretty much cried buckets during every single one of her scenes. I don't think I've ever seen her in another role that's so sweet, so innocent, so tender, so musumeyakurashii -- and because it's Masami she could do it right and not make it too cute or cloying in any way. She was just perfect.

At one point Yuuka's character was moved enough to say, 「君の寛大さと正直さの前には、天使さえひざまずくよ。」 "Your graciousness and honesty would make even angels kneel before you."

If that isn't the musumeyaku ideal, I don't know what is.

In these kinds of stories the man is generally engaged to a well-meaning but innocent girl who ends up not being as interesting as the older, experienced woman who excites his fancies. That kind of happened in this show, also fueled by the pair's shared interests which the fiancée didn't have as much of... But because this was a two-act play there was enough time to develop Masami's character a little more too and show how gracious and understanding she is, without being a complete doormat. She wasn't just a tender young thing who almost had her heart broken; she was a young woman whose love was strong enough to endure.

I realized that despite the number of top / nibante musumeyaku who have had roles like this, Alice-chan never did. She was always too busy playing the "younger sister without enough stage time" / "child with some kind of illness" and then "mature woman with a strong inner core". Which are all fine, of course -- well, mostly the last one is good -- but as I said, there's something intrinsically musumeyakurashii about the young flower who's radiating with integrity and goodness and wears big, fancy dresses that I never did get my fill of. (Shinko!Christine was really the only one, and I didn't get to see that live ;__________;)

Also, I didn't watch this show before BaraAme and thus failed to tell Masami how completely amazing she was T__________T

Anyway. Age of Innocence. Those of you who've already watched it can tell me how stupid I was for not doing so sooner, and those who haven't I highly recommend it. Music is average for a Bow, but it's a solid story with good, deep acting and those Victorian costumes we all love...

And did I mention Riki, who plays a really sweet guy with a super amazing solo?

Did I mention TOMOE AS A BALLERINA as well as Yuuka's adorable son?

Special shout-outs to Suzuka Teru and Mariho Erina for being rock-solid upperclassmen of awesome??

Oh, how I could go on... But really, I should go to bed now. ^_^;;

To sum up, Age of Innocence. Is good. Masami. Is amazing. I bawled. The end.
 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
 
 
 
Mori Shimonu: pretty as a paintingflower_ballet on January 28th, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
As a lover of Fuuchan, I really, really, really need to watch this show. However, with all your praise of the other actresses, I really think I just need to watch it because it's a great show. Thanks for the input.
ruderal_speciesruderal_species on January 28th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
This is the show that made me a Fuu-chan AND a Masami fan. Also got chlils from the Riki solo. <3

I saw it live in the theater and all three of the above blew me away. Especially Masami in that scene at the theater.

I own almost no Takarazuka posters, but I bought this one.

Though, fair warning for the non-Japanese speakers who may be reading, it is VERY talk-heavy and the musical numbers are mostly rather bland. When I watched it on VHS I got kind of bored in places. :/