As I typed on my laptop, getting work done in time for the long weekend, I told my supervisor that I’m going to watch a movie on my day-off.
“What are you watching? I don’t think there’s any movies worth watching at the moment,” she said.
I glanced at her, thinking if I should just say it. To her, movies that are worth watching are superhero movies. I finally said without looking at her, “I wanna see La La Land.”
“Oh La La Land. What’s it about?”
“It’s a musical, I guess.”
“I see…so you like musicals?”
I nodded. “Kinda, I guess.”
But in fact, I kinda do!
Well, if you don’t count High School Musical, I would say that it started circa 2011. At that time, I was a fan of AKB48 and I’m actually quite ashamed to say that out loud sometimes.
AKB48 is an all-female idol group from Japan that has a million members. I was really into it, the little fan wars were awesome when they had their annual elections. The year before that, they produced a musical called AKB Kagekidan Infinity which had quite a ridiculous plot line. Regardless of that, I was interested and watched it. All of it. All the main characters, even the male lead character was played by girls. Well, it got even more interesting because there were kissing scenes between the two lead character, both of which were girls. Yeah I know, I sound creepy.
After that, some fans started to make references to a real all-female theatrical group, called the Takarazuka Revue. To satisfy my curiosity, I looked them up and I saw that they were playing Romeo and Juliette. And it was probably the most attractive Romeo I’ve ever seen. Not that I’ve seen many, but you know.
Eventually, I started to watch any videos that I could find online. “Phantom” was probably the first that I saw and loved. They caught my attention but I had other things to do then. Besides, my Japanese comprehension was really poor. It wasn’t until 2015, on a boring weekend, that I decided to give Romeo & Juliette a try. I was hooked, it was like watching magic happen. I don’t know what it was, maybe it’s the androgynous appeal, the sparkles, the weirdness, that pulled me in. All I know was that I couldn’t look away.
Slowly, I started to watch more shows, buying their expensive DVDs, and magazines. I bought programme books of shows I haven’t seen. I feel like Takarazuka is turning me into a more cultured person (I think). Their productions are sometimes adapted from books, movies, classics, foreign musicals and even opera. It’s opening up a whole new world for me. Because when I know that a certain show is adapted from such-and-such book, I would read that book just to get a better understanding of the whole thing.
I can’t say I’m fully embracing the fact that I’m a musical fan because I still haven’t seen a lot of other musicals which that is not Takarazuka. At times I feel like I like Takarazuka’s adaptations of books/classics or their original production more than their adaptations of Western musicals.
So yes, I’m looking forward to seeing more things. Musicals, that is.