I can’t think of a better place to wallow in the wonderful gender-bendiness of Takarazaka, than to enjoy the reimagining of it in our own image in the Grand Stage series of Drama CDs. Today, we’re looking at the 4th of the first series, Grand Stage, Volume 4 “Minami Kohaku“ (グラン・ステージ 第4幕「美波琥珀」).
In the previous CDs, we played the part of young musumeyaku (women playing female roles) who met and were paired with otokoyaku (women who play the male roles) who were charming, arrogant and boyish in turn. In Volume 4, we play an older, experienced musumeyaku who has been paired with a new otokoyaku in training and are taking her under our wing.
Minami Kohaku, the young, inexperienced lead, is played by Kitamuri Eri, who we best know as Miki Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Cure Berry from Fresh! Precure. She brings an earnest and passionate personality to Kohaku that we find absolutely irresistible.
The performance we’re working on is an adaptation of Camille by Alexandre Dumas fils; with several references to the famous opera based on the novel, La Traviata. Kohaku has come to us for special training before taking on Armand.
We learn that Kohaku has joined Grand Stage after her older sister…whom she is surprised to learn is rather famous among the leads. The two of us sneak into the theater and, as we are about to confess something about our fears, we are interrupted. We run away. Kohaku admits that she’s fallen in love a little bit with the stage, with us, with our voice. We are put out by this. Her explanation, and her sincerity turns us around. What follows is a slightly sexy scene as Kohaku realizes that it wasn’t her confession that bothered us, but her apology for it. We call her “pure” and imply something that sets her spluttering with embarrassment. She wasn’t thinking of that, she assures us! And adorably, she asks us out for a hamburger. And says she looks forward to our relationship changing as we get to know each other better. Clearly we are besotted by her adorableness.
When she vows to work hard to be worthy of us, you just know we squeed inside. Outside we were just cool and mature. ^_^ (For this CD, I think I would have liked to have our dialogue, too.) And we promise to wait until she graduates and becomes our partner.
The final track is Kohaku’s image song, predictably titled “La Traviata” which is a crappy tango-esque piece that Kitamura does a very decent job with.
Included with the CD is a “signed” picture which, this time, includes a note of thanks. With her dreamy amber eyes, and her kiss to our hand, Kohaku is clearly going to make a wonderful Armand to our Marguerite.
Overall – 10
I was 100% with the “me” of the storyline. Minami Kohaku was absolutely irresistible. ^_^