This is the THIRD Tegami stage, the first one in 2008, then the musical in 2016 and now this one is the rerun of the 2016 musical... Also it is originally a book written by Higashino Keigo (a hugely popular mystery/thriller/crime author here in Japan so explains why it’s gotten so many adaptations) in 2003 and there is movie adaptation of it too from 2006 (available on UK Netflix at least!). So safe to say this story is popular.
Official Site here.
Official Twitter here.
Dress Rehearsal Video here and here and here.
Press Coverage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
This was my first Tomo play since,
well his last one, September so it was great to see him again! I'll admit I was nervous because it's technically the first time I've heard him sing ( Tenimyu and the D-DATE CD doesn’t count!), and it's definitely the first time I've heard him sing in person and live. But more on that later! First let’s get the cast list out of the way:
Yanagishita Tomo / Ota Motohiro (Double Cast) as Takashima Naoki (Younger Brother)
Yoshihara Mitsuo as Takeshima Kouji (Older Brother)
Fujita Rei as Terao Yuusuke
GOH IRIS WATANABE
Some PreShow Stuff:
I was in the first row and my seat was the FIRST one!! I was Row A-1!!! How weird is that!! I still needed my glasses but not much. I was a little nervous when I first showed but because the first 30 minutes loads of kankeishas turned up and were picking up their tickets so I definitely felt out of place. And then the guy ROLLS into the theatre with this loud rolling suitcase and tight jeans and sunglasses and he takes them off and it was so actor-like that I almost laughed right in front of his face. I didn't think actors who acted like they're actors and all actually exist! It was hilarious to witness xD
Anyway, so there was I was in the front row and one of the first in and obviously everyone's looking but I've learnt to deal with it but this I felt like it was more than usual.
Ooooooh! Before I go on I must talk about the very angry moment I had before the play started. So I put all my stuff on my seat, grabbed my letter for Tomo and instead of looking around embarrassingly for the 'Present' section, I decided it was safe to just go to staff and ask 'where do we give stuff in for actors?' and he's like 'you want a blanket?' um... 'No, which staff person do I hand stuff into for the actors?' 'The goods are here' seriously... 'no! I WROTE a LETTER, WHO do I give this to?' 'Oh, over there' 'Thank you....' and so I made more of an embarrassment of myself that way anyway! Seriously though, my Japanese ISN’T that bad and I KNOW it. Maybe it's because I speak SUPER fast (even in English people can’t catch what I say sometimes) but like, it really was a blow to my confidence that I had to say the same thing about 4 times and in 3 different ways and even had to slow down to a ridiculous level and emphasis before he understood me. I get that you don't expect me to speak Japanese and at first hearing me speak Japanese when you expect English is jolting but come on!! It made me super pissed. I obviously bowed a thank you to him but the last 15 or so minutes before the stage started, I was just sat in my seat super pissed and embarrassed and filled with not nice feels.
Now to the set:
The stage is set out in sections thanks to the use of box platforms and they used these platforms to look either like rooms or like cages/cells, as well as there being a flight of stairs and then there's two high platforms at the top just under a cloudy sky backdrop. It's a good set up.
Now to THE STORY: I’m going to try and be as concise as possible because, as I said, this is like the 3rd/4th adaptation of this story so you can easily watch the movie (available with subs on the UK Netflix btw! So I assume other netflixs have access to it and I doubt the story has changed much.)
One day Naoki gets a call and it’s from the police; his older brother has killed someone will breaking and entering the victim’s house; he now faces life in prison. This affects Naoki’s life multiple times and in negative ways over the next 10 or so years, and the only thing that keeps Naoki and his brother, Kouji, connected is through writing letters to each other, that Kouji can only receive and send once a month.
Simple enough plot line right?
Overall: I cried my heart out. And it wasn’t just me. The entire crowd were balling tears from about 10 minutes into the stage until it finished. I could even hear whimpers some were crying that hard. This was a touching story and it hits you in the feels. I am very pleasantly happy with Tomo’s singing ability and I did enjoy myself. But I feel the first half was much more engaging, interesting and more enjoyable (enjoyable isn’t the right word when it’s something this sad but you get the jist). The second half I personally didn’t like because I’m personally very tired and bored of ‘Japanese salaryman having a hard time’ story lines. The story was very predictable too when it comes to the friendship and romance plotlines in this, and again I personally don’t like being able to predict stuff correctly. My only serious negative is the constant repetition of songs in the second half/part of this play. Nevertheless I enjoyed it, I cried my heart out completely, I’m definitely getting the DVD, and I feel bad not having the money to go and see it again for Tomo’s sake and so I could see it from further back.
Entering spoiler and all details territory so you’ve been warned.
( ( All the tears ) )
I DID promised Tomo I'd come and see it again this week but unfortunately I'm way too broke to spend 8000 yen on a ticket I don't necessarily need although I'd love to see it again but I financially can't. I'm defo preordering the DVD though!! Damn...
And I’m done! I hope you enjoyed that review and apologies if it’s long!