Takarazuka Revue's New Flower Troupe Top Musumeyaku, Senna Ayase.
Photo taken by Kawahira Ai in Takarazuka City
It's finally her time to shine | Flower Troupe's New Top Musumeyaku - Senna Ayase
Senna is from Miyagi Prefecture. When she was creating her stage name, one kanji was taken from Sendai and Natori City. "Until entering the Takarazuka Music School, I hadn't ever seen Takarazuka live. I want Takarazuka to be more known in my hometown too." she said. While in the middle of returning home in 2011, she felt the Great East Japan Earthquake. She was unsure about whether she should immediately go to perform at the Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre. "Acquaintances who survived the earthquake said to me 'I want to see your performance', and I realized that if you can take time to dream, especially in times of suffering, then your heart can be put at ease. It's really striking when everyone stands on stage holding the same feelings in their heart." she said looking back on the experience.
After assuming her new position, Top Star Asumi Rio said to her, "Don't do it alone. Let's have fun making our roles together." "I think our fans are looking forward to our synergy. Using all my experiences up until now, I want to believe in Asumi-san and follow her" she said with sparkling eyes.
Written by Tanaka Hiroko. Mainichi Newspaper. Osaka Evening Edition. (Original article)
Takarazuka Revue Flower Troupe Star Serika Toa in Takarazuka city. Photo by Kawahira Ai
“Showing a new side of myself” Tackling the role of a Superhero | Flower Troupe - Serika Toa
The person considered to be the first to tackle the role of a superhero in Takarazuka history is Flower Troupe otokoyaku star, Serika Toa. She’s starring in My Hero in Osaka at the Umeda Arts Theatre Drama City April 2th through April 10th.
“This is a show unlike any other before. I want to receive strength from this role myself and show you a new side of Takarazuka” she said enthusiastically.
This is the story of a leading actor Noah, played by Serika. His life is rocked by scandal and he is given a fresh start playing a superhero in a special effects drama. As a masked hero, he’ll dare to be moved into action. “It feels good to unleash my special move and knock out my enemies,” she said laughing. It has lines that read like something from a manga, and ones that are a tad embarrassing. “With the magic of Takarazuka, if I can get a reaction from the audience, I'll be happy”.
This spring, Serika will be entering her 11th year in Takarazuka. “When I was an underclassmen, I was desperate to get the otokoyaku form down that my head and my body were stiff. Recently I've been able to relax onstage so I look forward to working with my partners and act with a real, raw feeling” she said.
Mainichi Newspaper. March 6th, 2017. Osaka Evening Edition (Original Article)
During the Bow Hall performance Victorian Jazz Sakura (Ichika) taught me how to make this style, and using that as a base I made this. Because my costumes were a chic black and deep red I thought about how I wanted to make it a little flashy since I was playing an actress, so I looked for flowers to match my character's image and thought about how to arrange it to make it gorgeous. When I saw how the hat matched with my costume I thought a choker would be the best, so I collected antique looking parts and made this.
This necklace I made for Forever Gershwin to matched my duet dance costume. Nonoguchi (director) said that the finale would be set to a club mix, so consider using unusual accessories such as transformed items, asymmetrical designs or things sewn with multicolored beads. I try to reuse accessories I have used in the past, reviving them into something new. But this has strong memories attached so I can't break it up.
First, the biggest news. Senna Ayase was announced as the next Top Musumeyaku of Flower Troupe. This was on nobody,and I mean nobody's radar. I mean, she is a 94th, she is classmates with Tamakichi, she never had a shinko lead, and she's well out of shinko. Talk about a shocker of an announcement. There is two ways this has played out. Either Mirio actually put her foot down on something and demanded somebody she wanted to work with, or Tom asserted her influence in favoring musumeyaku who she's had leads with.
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Best One Act Play: Snow's Hoshiai. It was a beautiful production, a beautiful plot and one of the best overall piece I've seen Snow Troupe do since I got here in 2012. I've even watched the DVD a couple of time, which says something since current Yukigumi is not my jam.
Best Two Act Play: Ahh. This one is actually really hard. I loved Aida because it was a fantastic piece for the top stars, however most everyone else got shafted in this show. It was a lot of "random background soldier number 16". However, it was gorgeous sounding and looking. The final tomb scene is heartbreaking. If anyone was debating getting the BluRay I highly recommend it. BUT, 1789 was also a really good show. 1789 was an ensemble piece that had amazing cast and allowed a lot of people to chance to shine and show their stuff. Which is good considering the hot mess that Moon Troupe has been. Chapi's duet with Fersen was gorgeous.
Best Small Theatre show: Top Hat. Easily. I thought briefly about answering Jirokichi. Both were good. But let's be real here... Top Hat is Asaka Manato playing Asaka Manato. It was glorious to watch. The entire cast was fantastic. The duet between Kai-chan and Chitose is still one of my favorite songs and I regularly listen to it when I need to get something out of my head or I want to smile.
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Overall: I was pleasanly surprised. I wouldn't say this was totally undeserving of the glowing praise that twitter was giving it. If you can stand Tom, and ignore the blackface then overall this wasn't so bad. ((This physically pains me to type... I just want you all to appreciate my honestly. I'm physically in pain to give you the truth)). If your actress is one of the ones I've mentioned then you might want to check it out... and by that I mean, "wait until it ends up on youtube or it aires on skystage.". It was decent, but let's not give them more money than they are going to get out of Japanese fans.
( thoughts under the cut... )
Can we talk about how I am delighted that Hankyu is being dragged kicking and screaming into the technological age by the new chairman of the board? It's beautiful. I've imbedded a totally legit youtube video uploaded by Hankyu. It's like we are living in an AU.
Edited for Clarity!
Summer Holiday's means that DT is off in Bow Hall again. This is the.. third summer I've spent watching her in Bow Hall if I remember correctly. ((I just checked, and it is in fact the third summer in a row. Geeze, no wonder she wanted to go to Taiwan. I too would want to be the one to get to leave sweaty Hyogo in the summer)).
This year's show is of course Stardom starring Houzuki An. This is her first lead, and her second show with hanagumi.
Overall: Watchable, but not particularly great in any one regard.