Takarazuka: Casablanca

December 22nd, 2012

Imagine, if you will, a version of the classic movie Casablanca, executed by an all female cast, in Japanese, as a musical.

The Takarazuka Casablanca was pretty much exactly what you’d expect. ^_^

I’m not saying that Oozora Yuuhi was bad as Rick, or that Nono Sumihana was a bad Ilsa, just that if ever there was a story that really did not need to be turned into a Takarazuka musical, this was it. Okay, yes, I’m saying that Oozora and Nono had nothing at all on Bogart and Bergman. Sorry ladies, but you did not sell them as former lovers at all.

I picked this DVD up in 2010 or ’11 and have just had a chance to finish it. Interestingly, I had just recently re-watched the movie Casablanca, because it was on TV and I have crush on Claude Rains. Which is why I was most disappointed with Hokushou Kairi as Renault. She had none of his good-natured, resigned corruption and her body language was all wrong. I really wouldn’t mind, but Rains was genius in that role. Boo hoo…

So, yeah, this was not my fave Takarazuka musical ever. I did think the music was interestingly “western” sounding.


Overall – 5

Now I’m out of review material, I’ll have to get some new Takarazuka DVDs – any suggestions?

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7 Responses

  1. I would love to read your take on Takarazuka’s rendition of Phantom of the Opera. It’s the Takarazuka show I saw last time I was in Tokyo, which I got on Blu Ray from the Takarazuka theater shop as a memento. I can lend it to you by mail, if you’re up for watching it.

  2. Haven’t I reviewed that? I’m going to guess that enjoyment of Phantom is going to entirely depend on the leads. I’ll rewatch my version and do a post, eventually.

  3. Mara says:

    I remember two that were performed in this year; both are remakes of films.

    Firstly Oceans Eleven. It seemed to be on the right track because it was over the top enough and did not try to deeply imitate either the original film or the remake all that much.

    The other one I only saw a poster for was the King’s Speech. I don’t know if it was any good but I feel compelled to mention it as I saw the poster while out with two of my friends one of whom is a stanch royalist. So he spent the rest of the day shuddering over the idea of a Takarazuka depiction of the UK monarchy. From what I saw of the poster George VI and the late Queen Mother look more Rose of Versailles than 1939. Could be hilarious.

  4. @Erica- Great! =) I’m looking forward to reading your review of it, & seeing how it differs from the one I saw and bought. I saw the Flower troupe perform, with (kyaa!) Tomu Ranju as the Top Star.

  5. @Katherine – I can gurantee I didn’t squee over the version I have. It’s older, I have no idea who is in it. I thought it slow. I’ll have to rewatch it.

  6. Ashrie says:

    I actually have a particular fondness for 1995’s Me and My Girl. I have the DVD of it, and it really is one of my favourite Takarazuka shows :)

  7. Ashrie says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention before – Amami Yuuki, the top otokoyaku star in 1995’s Me and My Girl, was most likely Takeuchi Naoko’s favourite Takarazuka actress at the time. She made a reference once that basically said (parahprasing from memory) “Naoko’s Uranus is totally her” :D

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