The Kouka Kageki Musical Drama Academy is a high school for talented dancers and singers who will go on to star in one of the Kouka all-female musical repertory troupes: Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Like the Takarazuka, the roles are split into parts for Otokoyaku, actresses that play male parts, and Musumeyaku, actresses that play female parts.
Narada Ai is a typical girl…not. Not even remotely. Actually, she’s an ex-pop idol with a super-group who has retired after a scandal.
Watanabe Sarasa is a country bumpkin with a dream.
These girls are about to meet in the unreal-est of unreal circumstances ever in Kageki Shoujo (かげきしょうじょ) by Saiki Kumiko.
Naracchi, as Ai was known as an idol, is hoping to shake off her past, in which she reacted very badly to her male fans, in this all-girl environment. Ai’s not completely dysfunctional when it comes to men – there are two male teachers at the school who appear to be her only friends.
Sarasa is hugely tall and a good singer, but a bad everything else-er. She aspires to the role of “Oscar-sama.” She’s good natured, loud and very doofus-y, so when she tells everyone that she has a boyfriend, the resulting scramble to violate her privacy is understandable. Only her reluctant roommate Ai figures out who the boyfriend might just be and she’s not telling.
There are, of course, rivals. Star ballet dancers and singers who don’t approve of Ai and Sarasa in *their* elite class. And there are scheming upperclassmen who try to bully and berate them in traditional hazing, only to be met with disinterest by Ai and a defeating adorable baby seal-like quality on Sarasa’s part.
By book’s end, of course we’re rooting for them to be the class’s Top Star team and shut everyone up, but we – well, I, at least – want the story to take its time. I really like Sarasa and want Ai to heal whatever’s broken inside her and THEN for the pair to become the class’s Top Stars. ^_^
Art – 9 Practiced shoujo stylings in a Young Jump comic
Character – 9
Story – 8
Yuri – 0
Service – 1
Overall – 8
Not “Yuri” in any way, but for those of us who like Takarazuka, this is too cute to miss.