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Hoshikage no Hito (2007)
Sumire Stained-Glass
Tuesday, I discovered that I've had a copy of the Sky Stage broadcast of Hoshikage / Joyful!! II ... probably for a few months at least. *head->desk* This is what happens when life sucks and you get apathetic -- you miss the important things.

Man of Stardust
Snow Troupe, 2007 - Chunichi Theater

[ TakaWiki ] [ Takarazuka Precious ]

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

The debut show of my current favorite top combi. Mizu I've loved madly for... three years now. Tonami grew on me as I watched her with Wataru, though my first impression of her wasn't that great (I love Nagasaki to bits, but every repeat watching makes me want to strangle her character). And it's a Snow Troupe Nihonmono! Originally staring Migiwa Natsuko!! And.... Shinsengumi!!!♥♥♥ I've fallen into the trap of Shinsengumi love through exposure to Rurouni Kenshin at an impressionable age and the watching of too many period dramas on TV when it was too cold out to leave my apartment and kotatsu.

So, with all that said I guess you know what I'm going to say about this show. LOVED. IT.

Summary: Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. I'm not going to attempt to really cover most of the plot, or go in any sort of linear order.

This show follows the legend of Okita Souji, obviously. Okita was a renowned swordsman and captain of the first division of Shinsengumi, which was a special "police force" in Kyoto in the 1860s. They were supporters of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and worked to keep the Imperialist supporters (such as the Choshu Clan) out of the city. They were the first samurai group of their era to allow sons of merchants and such to join, which you can see in the eager recruits and the explaining of the rules in the opening scene, which included seppuku as the punishment for leaving. Because of the rash and violent actions of certain members, the Shinsengumi became feared and disliked in Kyoto, which we can see through the gossiping of the geisha and prostitutes throughout the show. Their leaders depicted here were Kondo Isami (Natori Rei), and vice-commanders Hijikata Toshizou (Ayabuki Mao) and Yamanami Keisuke (Ayana Oto).

There were several stories woven together into this show, including mainly the stories of Okita & Tamayuu, Okita & Hijikata, and that of Yamanami & Akari. It begins by introducing us to the Shinsengumi through the new recruits, follows to explain their enmity with the Choshu Clan (Imperialists) and their attempts to kill Katsura Kogorou (Ouki Kaname). Okita actually allows the wounded Katsura to escape several times, as he knew the man before when they were younger.

Okita actually contracted and died from tuberculosis at a young age (25-ish), and in this show we see the disease manifest and progress. He is told at one point that if he continues his current line of active work, and refuses to rest, he has no more than 2 or 3 years left to live. Okita meets Tamayuu (a geisha) in the rain, and she lends him an umbrella. (Sharing an umbrella was/is seen as very romantic in Japan, so although they don't go quite that far, this is a very symbolic scene.) After that he uses the excuse of returning it to find out how to see her again, and they fall in love. Later, when she is killed, she says that she's very happy to die before Okita, as she was terrified of having to live on without him.

Yamanami is in love with Akari, a prostitute. As vice-captain, he is very troubled by the way Shinsengumi is using its power. Eventually he decides to leave them, although he knows the punishment. Okita is sent to bring him back to Kyoto. (This scene takes place off-stage in this show, but it is in The Spirit of the Samurai, and I love it.) Yamanami returns and accepts the decision that he must commit seppuku. Before he does so, I think (I was getting kind of misty-eyed and not paying attention) he provides money to free Akari and sets Yamazaki Susumu to take care of her. Okita acts as his second.

The famous Ikedaya Incident is also mentioned, though as a voice-over (I think? Or maybe just in this TV broadcast?).

What I Thought:

Loved it. But I go weak in the knees for Shinsengumi haori♥ Still, the combination of Shinsengumi uniforms and the many geisha and maiko in flashy and gorgeous kimono made this a show complete with lovely costumes. I liked all of the music, including the musumeyaku songs -- strong singers in Yamashina Ai, Haruka Midori, etc. I liked that there were so many minor character storylines that all got a part to play. Mirai Yuuki's Yamazaki was love, as was Ouki Kaname's Katsura and Ayabuki Mao's Hijikata. Just... everyone was wonderful. It was Shinsengumi legends portrayed at their most romantic.

Yukigumi should do many, many, many more Edo- and Meiji-Era Nihonmono with Mizu and Tonami and Yumiko at the helm.

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But I go weak in the knees for Shinsengumi haori♥

Er... is there any other possible response?

Perhaps for the deluded.

You've got to come and save me from this show I'm watching.

Dinner. Then I'll come. :)

Yes, but by then I'll have finished my dinner and I'll be wanting to wash my hair. >complains< We need to synchronise our watches or something.

If you could escape the show that easily, you hardly need saving. ;)

I go weak in the knees for Shinsengumi haori♥
*snickers* <3 My Japanese civilization professor gave an impassioned (and utterly, utterly random) speech on how he did not understand the Japanese idolization of the Shinsengumi. (Maggy's mental theater: Kashige is prettier than Sakamoto Ryoma...) Now I can't look at Takarazuka without remembering that speech. ^_^; Have you seen that Juri no sorette dou na no where they all go to a Shinsengumi theme park?

Yeah... It's amusing considering how feared and disliked "Mibu's Wolves" were at the time.... Romanticizing the hopeless cases?

Have you seen that Juri no sorette dou na no where they all go to a Shinsengumi theme park?

NO! Do I have that one? Which one is it?

I checked your list and you don't have it, and the clips that were up on niconico douga were yanked. x_x I'm sorry! It's the Hanagumi one with RanTom and Mattsu, #12. Surely someone has it. ^_^;
Its a shame because the clip I saw was hilarious - they squeal over ponies and pretend to sword fight. And Tomu brings in her collection of rubber duckies. That was actually rather strange, nevermind.

*makes note and looks devious*

Which Juri would this be?

She's holding out on us!

Sorry sorry, I was dragged out against my will for ice cream. :X The clips that I'd seen were yanked, but it's the Juri no sorette #12 with Ranju Tomu and Misuzu Aki.

Bah. I have many Juris, but not that one!

*sighs happily*

And althought someone (or maybe, more than just one person) here might protest... for me they are the best combi of all Takarazuka history, the best combi that ever was, is and will be. <3

Ten comments within such a short time?
Jen, you reviews obviously have a strong audience success. :D

*laughs* But only four are other people!

I'm just searching for an excuse to use all my Tonamizu icons :D

Edited at 2008-07-04 08:00 am (UTC)

I seriously could go on with this for hours. :D

This was the show that made me an Ayana Oto fan. The scene before the suicide is stunning.

Between this and her performance in Akanesasu I can really see why she was transferred to Yukigumi!

Goodness, you know how to make me happy don't you, :D?

This beauty that is Yukigumi and the wonderful Mizu plus add it up with Shinsengumi is OTP in the making. Thanks for the revue, you made a Yukigumi fan pleased, :)!

Originally staring Migiwa Natsuko!!

This is a wonderful coincidence, both of your favs Junko and Mizu were in this show, the circle is now complete, ;D!

This is a wonderful coincidence, both of your favs Junko and Mizu were in this show, the circle is now complete,

Heee. <3

. . . this show have one of the best main-songs !!!!

I really liked the theme song too!

Yay. FINALLY. ^^

Needless to say I love, love, love Hiromi's Yamanami. The whole honorable, kind big brother taking care thing seems to suit her. :D

It has so many good points and people and costumes and scenes... I just love it. Even without understand a single word.

This show actually made me appreciate nihonmono. ^^

(Well, ok, I've seen and loved Sennen no Koi before this show, but that was more appreciating Yuri than anything else. :P)

And her deep, DEEP voice. XD

I've been meaning to watch this mainly for Mizu, Tonami, MIZU AND TONAMI, Shinsengumi, Yukigumi, Mizu, Costumes, and Tonami.

I watched Nagasaki a while back, and I also wasn't fond of Tonami's character. But every since I saw Elisabeth, I've been on the Tonami bandwagon of <3.

I think I've watched Elisabeth too many times; I couldn't really enjoy the new Yukigumi production as much as I'd hoped to. But I'm still so glad that having them do it meant that a lot of people were exposed to how awesome Mizu, Tonami, Hamako and the rest are. :)

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