21 February 2017 @ 09:02 pm
2017.02.14 Messiah: Akatsuki [Review]  
Yesterday I spent valentine’s day watching a stage series that I completely fell into last summer! While I was super pissed and skeptical of this installment of the stage - due to favourite characters (Amane, Misu, Shuuto’s) and actors NOT coming back (Tamaki, Nakamura, Shuuto, Hirose Daisuke, Naoya) this installment, and also some announcing that the next installment after this one would be their last (Amane/Takaki, Misu/Nakamura) - I went in with an open mind and was ready to accept whatever they were gunna send at me. And I did. Lets see how that went shall we?


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Official Site Here
Official Twitter Here
Dress Rehearsal Video Here
Press Coverage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


CAST/CHARACTERS

Akazawa Tomoru as Shirasaki Mamoru
Izawa Yuki as Ariga Ryou
Sugie Taishi as Kagami Itsuki
Nagae Ryouki as Miike Mayo
Yamaoki Yuki as Yugi Kotarou
Hashimoto Shinichi as Kugure Jun
Asato Yuya as Doctor Ten
Otsuka Kosuke as Doctor Three
Ito Kotaro as Amane Gwen Shougo
Yamada James Takeshi as Salut
Araki Kentaro as Kumoi Ren / Cheka
Kotani Yoshikazu kuroko / Momose Tatara
Nakahara Yuya as Ichijima Harumi
Osumi Kenya as Shikura Kazuhito
Ensemble: Hosokawa Akihiro, Kitamura Kai, Uraie Kenji, Hisada Yuki, Sugiura Yuichi, Ishigami Ryuya, Sakamoto Kazuki


STORY

Kaito Yuri has gone missing and it seems like he might have not only betrayed Sakura but also Mamoru. But Mamoru stays strong that Kaito isn't a bretrayer and that he's still alive, though many believe he's dead after 6 months with no contact from him have passed. Mamoru is sent on a solo Gradutaion (Sotsugyou) Mission to stop the AI hacker known as 'Necromancer' who had broken into Sakura's security system and caused havock. With the occassional help from Doctor Ten, Doctor Three, and the three new Sakura recruits, Mamoru embarks on his mission, alone.

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NON-SPOILER:
Maybe it's because this was my first time seeing Messiah live the flesh but I felt there was a massive step up in production and everything in this stage! The most impressive thing was the choreography for the action. Holy moly, the stunts and the timing was amazing! Also I really enjoyed the projection mapping this time around and how they used it. As usual the music was amazing and also super nostalgic and hearing the bell when the stage began! I cried at the ending to this but for a different meaning than everyone else. I really, really enjoyed this which I didn't expect to and I am definitely looking forward to the next installment. The negatives I have is this story has two plots and one of the plots I absolutely loved and the other plot I absolutely hated and don't want to remember. The second negative is; I really don't like the three new recruits. They're like carbon copies of Messiah character's we've already met and they're boring and I don't really want to get to know them, which is unfortunate because the actors themselves are adorable!

Rating: I don't think I've rated the Messiah series at all up to now... but I'll put it at a safe 8/10 for now.


SPOILERS!


You’ve been warned; all the spoilers ahead!
 


Strangely enough the spoilers are going to start with my giving a more detailed story plot, which will be ‘colour coded’ due to sections of the story that I personally want to remove from my memory is going to be crossed out because I hated those parts of the plot. Sound good? Okay!

Kaito Yuri has gone missing and after 6 months have passed everyone believes he's dead while Mamoru stays strong and believes he's alive and that he didn't betray Sakura. Mamoru is sent on a solo Gradutaion (Sotsugyou) Mission to stop the AI hacker known as 'Necromancer' who had broken into Sakura's security system and caused havock such as making satelites fall from the space and hijacking a plane and almost crashing it and in the end it locks onto the nuclear bombs across the world and threatens to set them all off. The rest of the Sakura crew (along with two sciencetists; Doctor Three and Docter Ten, and three new Sakura recruits; Yuge, Kugure and Miike, help Mamoru break into where Necromancer's main source is, but it turns out many people have been implanted with a chip meaning Necromancer can control and use their bodies, even after the person has been killed, which the AI does on several occassions and literally has an army of the undead under it's control. Not only that but turns out the creator of Necromancer is Kumoi Ren; Kagami's supposed-to-be-dead uncle, who long ago had implanted a chip even into Kagami's brain, and Kagami ends up being the HOST and being controlled by Necromancer, thus follows his uncle and leaves Ariga. So now Ariga is desperately trying to save Kagami and trying to find a way to bring him back in control of his body and brain without having to kill him (because we all know he has a streak of killing his Messiahs -__-). SO it turns out Kaito was working with them to help create the AI 'Necromancer' and it ended in them killing him because he protested to officially joining them, and they took and used his brain to fuse with the Necromancer AI software to create the ultimate AI. Meaning Kaito is well and truly dead much to Mamoru's ruined heart and feelings. However, Mamoru learns that because the AI is meshed with Kaito's brain, the AI actually understands emotions, and purposely chose Sakura as the security system to hack, and has a weak spot which is wanting to still protect Mamoru. Mamoru manages to gain control of the Kaito part of Necromancer and it decides to leave Kagami's body and the mission is completed without any nuclear bombs or anything going off. The final scene (as with all Messiah Graduations) is of Mamoru on his solo mission out of Sakura and in his spy uniform when he's surrounded by Necromancer controlled enemies but when one has his gun pointed squarely at Mamoru (who happens to have Kaito’s hairstyle and similar face structure to Hirose), Mamoru says 'let's go Kaito' and again the Kaito part of Necromance takes over that guys body and joins Mamoru's side to fight the rest of the gang. End.

Yeah I ain't even spoiled 80% of the whole story yet! Course I left some things out or else you wouldn't be surprised when you see the stage for yourself.

As you can see, I'm super not happy about the Kaito plot line and I'd like to erase that whole part from the plot. This story work perfectly swell with it just being about a super AI that has taken over Kagami’s body. << also this boy needs more character development so why not let him be the main story?! It really pissed me off how they've dealt Hirose Daisuke's exit from the series. Even just making a silly fucking short VTR of showing him dying would’ve been more satisfactory than a random line he speaks over a computer and better than just a projection mapping of his Sakura profile and at the bottom saying: Dead. and I’m also pissed at Hirose about going to the keikos and seeing the performance AND there’s clearly newly recorded recorded Yuri voice soundbytes for this stage too(!); so he obviously HAD THE TIME to do the fucking stage. Ugh, especially right at the end with the pretty much Hirose student double who LIP SYNCS Kaito’s lines at the end, oh my god I am so pissed about that! lets move on.

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Now let's get to some specifics in the play that I enjoyed!

I freaking cried! As soon as that bell rang to signal the start of the play an we get Mamoru kicking ass and almost being kicked and it being action packed right from the start? I was like "YES!! THIS IS MESSIAH!!!"
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I have such respect in this stage for Tomorun in this. His applause compared to everyone else was so much louder. While the applause at the end was solid anyway (it's the first time I've experienced applause not quieten a little between the bows and the actors getting in position) the sound got like 1000 times louder when Tomorun was stood on his own to bow, and he damn well deserves it! He had a LOT of weight to carry and he had a lot to hold up to in this stage and it really shows through and he was flawless and amazing in his role. He spends 70% of this stage crying his eyes out and/or being beaten to shit. I actually feel sorry for Tomorun for how much pressure he had this time around. We all know who to blame... anyway... One part I really love of Tomorun’s performance is (it’s really small but) when he gets captured and one of the bad guys kicks his leg and Shirasaki falls down on one knee and just the timing and the way he does it is SO good! And I was SUPER lucky the second show! I had a seat for row 13 which is THE row between the two sections which means there's a big enough gap for the actor to go running right past you and even fight in front of you, WHICH Tomorun did at least twice! Each time he stopped EXACTLY in front of me or what fighting RIGHT in front of me and so the wind caused by his punched were right in my face and his coat hits my legs a few times and I was just like 'oooooommmmmmmgggggggggoooooooddd' internally and everytime he exited away it always went quiet but I'm pretty sure people near me always heard me to exhale very deeply as I tried to calm down from the heart racing closeness I was to the action and Tomorun.... holy moly...

Ariga this time... I have a hate relationship with this guy because of what happened with Mamiya but (un)fortunately Izawa Yuki is such a freaking saint. He's so adorable and so nice and he's such an interesting person and this time around Ariga's character was given more room to group and kind of move away slightly from the Mamiya stigma, especially now that Kagami has fully accepted him as his Messiah. And also thanks to Izawa the higawari and improve scenes and lines are gold. He's so funny! So my opinion of Ariga has changed this stage but lets say that's more from Izawa and Kagami's influence rather than Ariga himself. But there's SUCH a good moment at the end when Ariga puts his gun against Shirasaki's chest and says 'See you again' and (I didn't notice the first time so I FREAKED the fuck out and cried hard the second time!) Shirasaki removes his gun and puts it against Ariga's and says 'definitely' SO THEY CHANGED GUNS!! THEY PROMISED TO MEET AGAIN!!! OMG I'M DEAD!! *dead*

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Anyway, I'm glad Ariga's still, in this stage, talking about and facing up and admitting what he did to Mamiya and he still mentions how he regrets it and everything and there's a scene towards the end where I was convinced 'Oh fuck it's Mamiya all over again!' --okay I seriously have to talk about this scene but can we go back a few more steps?

I need to talk about the Ariga x Kagami relationship before I can talk about that scene.

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I am so fucking onboard with this ship now! Holy shit this stage gave me ALL the (what're we calling them?) Karimi? Arimi? KaGa? Basically I am so in love with them as a pair! Holy moly! There's so many juicy scenes with them! Literally after the first mission for Necromancer fails they go on, Ariga and Kagami are talking and Kagami is like 'I'm really glad you accepted me as your Messiah... Mamoru still believes Kaito is alive... and you? ... Do you think Mamiya is alive?' *me with ALL the feels* 'omowanai....kono te de Mamiya wo koroshita. Soshite... ore no Messiah ha Kagami da. // no... I killed him with my own hands. Besides that... you're my Messiah. (I have to put this in the Japanese cos I loved his reply!)' and then the scene Kagami is like 'can you stop that? ... I'm your Messiah... stop calling me Kagami....'
'Then what should I call you?'
'Itsuki'

And we enter the two higawaris from the day where Ariga attempts to call Kagami by his first name:


14:00 Performance

Ariga: 'I....i....iiiii'
Sugie: 'Ariga are you okay?'
'I.....iiiiiiiii......iiiii'
'You don't have to force yourself!'
'Iiiiiiiiii!!!!! Renshuu shimasu! / I'll go and practise!' *storms off*

19:00 Performance
*Prior to this higawari Sugie actually fucked up his 'I'm your Messiah...' line

Ariga: 'Nnnnnntsuki'
Sugie: 'What?'
'Nnnnn...nnnntsuki!'
'Don't push yourself. Lets go slow okay?'
'Okay'
'I'
'I'
'Tsu'
'Tsu'
'Ki'
'Ki'
'Okay! All together'
'NNNNNTSUKI! Renshuu shimasu! / I'll go and practise!'
'Yeah you should,'
'also...don't mess up' / kamu na
As Izawa walks off , Sugie yells 'Sumimasen! / I'm sorry' and the whole audience were laughing.

Okay lets get to MORE Ariga x Kagami moments.

During their first mission to infiltrate Necromancer they obviously get surrounded and beaten to shit by the bad guys and the choreography is so GOOD. Ariga gets attacked and one of the kicks sends him flying into Mamoru who catchs him in his arms! And THEN Kagami get's attacked and flies into Ariga who catches him and then the guy goes to attack Kagami again and cos Ariga is holding him he turn him around so HE takes the blow instead of Kagami and Kagami is like 'Ariga!!' trying to keep and hold him up!!! Oh my the feels!!!!

Now lets get to the horrible moment... so Ariga finally finds Necromancer infested Kagami and Necromancer is like 'if you shot me hear *points to his head* you'll kill me. But you'll also kill Kagami,' and so the scene unfolds and I ALREADY was convinced someone was going to die this stage(!) before I even knew what the plot was to this stage so I'm watching scene unfold and everyone in the room was already crying and sniffling cos of Mamoru and Kaito's scene just before this one but THIS is where I grab my mouth in shock and I'm like 'oh shit... oh shit it's Mamiya all over again. Oh my god please don't kill Kagami' and I'm sat there and the tears start POURING out and I'm starting to make the most noise cos people haven't already gotten most of their crying out with Mamoru! and then wait for it.... Ariga SHOOTS his gun! BUT it goes PAST Kagami and so Necromancer turns and faces Ariga properly and he's like 'you missed! Right here *points to the center of his forehead' and Ariga SHOOTS again but hits Kagami's shoulder and then shoots another 4 times, three go flying past Kagami as he slowly moves forward towards Ariga and the other hits Kagami's leg, but because he's being controlled by Necromancer, he still keeps moving and ignores the pain and such. And then he TAKES Ariga's gun and SHOOTS him in the stomach and Ariga collaspes and I was FREAKING the fuck out. And of course (because it was so. obviously. set-up.) Ariga yells at him to try and bring Kagami's concious back, 'Kagami.... Kagami! ... KAGAMI!..... ITSUKI!!!!!!' and (I start crying even harder because he's finally called him Itsuki and) for a second Kagami comes back and stops the gun from shooting and killing Ariga. Oh my, I'm dead writing it now!!

The finally amazing shipping moment between these two is after Necromance leaves Kagami's body, Kagami falls unconcious to the floor and Ariga drags himself over to Kagami's side of the stage and sits with one leg under his butt and his other leg is kneeling and he rests Kagami's head on his thigh (almost at his crotch) of his kneed up leg (I hope this names sense) and has his hand on Kagami's shoulder. During this Mamoru is center stage doing the climax of the plot and everything and -- EVERYONE in the room is crying their eyes out at Mamoru and in the first performance I was crying from relief that Kagami didn't die and in second performance I was crying by how beautiful this scene unfolds -- eventually towards the end we see Kagami wake up from conciousness; he stays where he is but he opens his eyes half way and sees Ariga above him and slowly takes his right hand to grab Ariga's shoulder and Ariga sees him and SO STRONGELY grabbed onto Kagami's hand and holds it SO tightly and Kagami smiles and falls back into conciousness as Ariga smiles at him and -- oh my god I'm crying as I freaking right this!! I am so on board with this effing ship now! Oh my god...

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Okay I need to go and calm down...

Now to solely talk about Kagami: I freaking LOVE that half of this plot ws HIS story line! I've been dying for MORE Kagaminess because I still think he's very new and underdeveloped, also he's currently my favourite Messiah in the series since Mamiya. BUT to say he was a MAJOR plot in this Sugie defo had LESS stage time than he should've been given. I feel he and James got about the same amount. Just after the higawari with Ariga, Sugie is missing from the stage (but constantly spoken about) for a good 30/40minutes which I think is super weird (and lets blame the writers forcing Kaito into the story again shall we?) so I'm annoyed because Sugie/Kagami really does deserve MORE time on stage. Now that Mamoru has graduated it means Izawa and Sugie's last stage should be next which I fucking hope it isn't because of how UNDER developed both of them I feel still are. They've just got another 2 or 3 installments of development left and needed in my opinion. Especially when Matsuda/Ono did EIGHT stages and movies in Messiah before they graduated, and Kagami's only done 3 installments so far and in such small roles(!). So yeah, Sugie deserved more time on stage as Kagami, especially because he does become a major story plot. Also I freaking LOVE how we got his uncle as the bad guy this time! And seeing the HATE Kagami has for his uncle is wonderful! AND Sugie did these two super cool stunts! One is when two of the guys hold his arms and he does this backwards spin thanks to the momentum and then kicks the crap out of them! Another is the ending credits where a bad guy flips him over before he shoots him and it looked SO freaking cool (and a little dangerous) in the first show but unfortunately they messed up in the second performance but during the curtain call Sugie explained how they have a safe execution if he can't land it properly even though it'll look weird, which it did but good to know they have a back up plan and a safe way to finish it if it doesn't go perfectly ^_^ ALSO a main reason why Kagami is a favourite character of mine (besides his bratty attitude and lollypop eating) is his fighting style. It MUST be something back Sugie because I am in love with both his Kagami and Namazuou (from Touken Ranbu Stage) fighting choreography. He fights so cockily in both roles if I really think about it xD OHHH! Another scene which was SO gun is when he first finds Kumoi and he eventually beats him down and ends up straddling above Kumoi and has a gun to Kumoi's face and Araki's hands (both times) were pretty much AGAINST Sugie's crotch because Sugie sat that far up him! I enjoyed it (a bit too much) even if they're supposed to be uncle and nephew xD


Now lets get to the problem children; the three new Messiah recruits.

I don't like them... I don't like them IF they're going to be the new MAIN Messiahs. If they stay as SIDE characters then I'm happy with them. They aren't bad characters but they're no where near MAIN character material. When the 2nd gen Messiahs came in, they were instantly developed and very well introduced, unlike these three; they're bland and too boring to become mains. I will give them a little room to grow but just... ugh. No I don't want these three to be 3rd Messiah Mains!

Nagae.... Nagae... I don't like you. I liked you for about 5 seconds in HetaMyu but like... your attitude in both roles is just so bad! Also I really don't like your chin! He was alright during the aftertalk but just... I don't like you and your character, Miike, in Messiah is an insensitive cunt << I've been dying to call him this outloud for a good 24 hours. They have a meeting at Sakura and he's just like 'wonder if you'll just kill your Messiah again. It's easy for you to do right' to Ariga! And I (did?) HATE Ariga but that's going fucking too far. Insensitive, inconsiderate little shit. Kagami is a little shit but at least he's a playful one who actually has a freaking heart and cares about those that matter. Miike on the other hand can seriously go jump off a fucking cliff. And you can TELL they've started setting things up for the three new characters because there's a point after he's killed the bad guys and only he is left on stage with a dead body and he's like 'your face looks relax... was living that hard? ... same as me then' and it's like 'oh bitch please! You're a fucking child, fuck off' I really didn't appreciate this sob story for someone who's as motherfucking rude as him. And breathe...
Next is Yugi... he's... alright. He's sweet and wants to help Sakura and he's strong and he's sensitive and he super nice to everyone but his personality is very weak and very... normal? and .... he's just not got the face to be a MAIN cast. Sorry guy!! But your face is very 'side character' looking. I hate myself for being so judgey about his looks but, overall I don't think he (meaning the character) is main Messiah character material at all. And again they obviously set it up at the end where he yells at Miike 'I'll take anyone as my messiah, so long as it isn't you' ugh...

And the last problem child is Kugure who is a carbon copy of Hamao's character. He's got the glasses, he acts all stoic, he plays by the book and does his job as a Messiah. He only has two tiny parts that make him a little bit different to Hamao's character. The first is a higawari with Izawa so technically it's not even his character!

14:00 Performance:

Kugure: 'I read your file'
Ariga: 'What did you see?'
'Ariga Ryou's favourite food is... purin'
'Yes I love it... and?'
'The thing your particuar about... is how you eat it'
'Well... how do you eat it?'
'I just put it in my mouth'
'...lets go....'

19:00 Performance:

Kugure: 'I read your file'
Ariga: 'What did you see?'
'Ariga Ryou's favourite food is... purin'
'Yes I love it... and?'
'The thing your particuar about... is how you eat it.
'Of course I am! Kugure, do you know the Purin dance?'
*audience cracks up, Shinchan was clearly not expecting this answer and just doesn't reply* '.........what?'
'Try and do it'
'.....okay'
*Shinchan slowly moves into position to dance*
'lets go!' and Izawa walks off as Shinchan is still half amused and half embarrassed.

In the aftertalk Shinchan talks about how usually he and Izawa have set higawaris that they'll do but tonight Izawa just made one up on the spot and it really shocked him, and Sugie was like 'yep that's Izawa. He's very unpredictable' xD And at the end of this stage, Kugure goes to Ichijima's office and says 'I have something I want to talk to you about' and Ichijima removes his glasses and says 'follow me' to which Kugure slightly touches his glasses before following him and thinking about it now, Ichijima and Kugure's actors DO look very similar AND they both have glasses. Are they setting them up to be father and son?! That's the feeling I got! ALSO I didn't realise until the end of the second performance who Shinchan was!! Towards the end, I suddenly shot up in my seat and was like 'SHIT that's the guy I like from Owari no Seraph!!! ... Why did I think it was Hashimoto Shohei who did Owari.... OMG IT'S HIM!!!!! Oh he can sing nice....' so yeah I'm a slow dumbass xD

So you can see how they've started to set them up being the next gen and I'm not happy. The actors themselves are sweet and really nice (more in the aftertalk) but... no thank you!

Is it just me or does Asato have a lisp?! It definitely sounded like he had/has one and I found it so cute!!! I expected his role as Doctor Ten to be pretty small in this but as he ends up betraying Sakura and works with Hopporengo, I'm sure he'll be a bigger role in the future. Because I didn't know the first performance he was an undercover spy for the terrorists, I didn't notice the subtle hints BUT the second time around you can SEE what he gets up. You see he purposely gave Mamoru certain information and we see him mess with the computer system JUST before it gets seriously hacked and we see him whispering stuff to Kumoi when Sakura have him captured and stuff. So kudos to the writers and director for the subtleness of showing the audience through multiple viewings what his true nature is.

Doctor Three had a much smaller role than I thought he would especially when Asato is partnered with him but Asato naturally got more stage time. I’m still not really sure about his character but I did enjoy his personality and I really liked his performance during the hacking scene.

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Now we get to a character I have an issue with, only because of his name. His name is Amane... AMANE! I’m sorry but we already HAVE an Amane in Messiah so unless it turns out they’re related then why the hell do we have ANOTHER Amane! It’s just rubbing salt into the wounds because Amane is not in this installment and will be leaving the series! Okay, now for the character and actor himself, Amane was a very, very small role so he didn’t really leave an impression, but his uniform is nice and I assume he’s connected to the group of officers Shuuto’s character was apart of but without rewatching it or reading his bio, I can’t be sure if they’re the same unit (because the uniforms are different yet have the same boss). As for Ito himself, he’s so sweet and funny! During the Evening Performance’s curtain call, Nagae was like ‘please look forward to the AfterTalk because this guy at the back (of the stage) is very interesting’ and Nagae did not lie! More on that later. Main point is though: he acts SO cute and I was shocked to learn (after when I looked at the pamphlet) how old he is and everything! He’s totally adorable and needs to be protected like a son. Then I later learnt he’s gunna be the red haired character in Daiya no A stage and he looks amazing in that role! Almost tempted to go...

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James... James.... James, James, James... I’ve been following you on twitter for a good year and know how great you are of a person but this day I FINALLY saw you act in the flesh for the first time and it’s the first time I’ve seen you act in something since 7 Days which I saw over a year ago!! And I was not disappointed. Firstly that hairstyle is freaking gorgeous and looks so good on you. Secondly, you fighting with a knife and in those slightly tight, white pants? Hell yes! ALSO (as I knew) you’re playing a terrorist in this? Hell yes!! I was so happy with James in this!!! I am so ready for him to be our next main Terrorist villain ones the Cats are sorted (in the movie I assume). Also I was super surprised when he first started talking because A. I didn’t realise nor remember his voice being as high as it actually is and B. he sounds SO MUCH like Fujita Rei! (<< who also has done Messiah btw ;) ) so yeah I was little surprised at first but his voice IS nice too ^_^ Also also also also!!!!! We got a James vs Izawa fight which obviously made all the fangirls happy! It was short but satisfying!! I also love how his character betrayed his ‘contractor’ at the end and also how brutal and ruthless his character is. ALSO the fact that he throws his gun away a lot in favour of the thrill and risk of fighting JUST with a knife or two is amazing too! His such a good character! OMG!!! His fight with Kuroko too was amazing!! But I’ll talk about that more with Kotani! So yes... thank you James and cannot wait to see you in the movie (even if it is a prequel to this stage like I assume).

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I love Araki okay. I’ve loved him since he did TouMyu and played Yoshitsune(ko)! And his character in this is completely different. He is a cold ass, mean uncle in this! But I was so hyped when we learn he’s Kagami’s uncle and how manipulative he’s been and how much he did nothing but train and manipulate Kagami! Also the fact that he even had him getting captured by Sakurai and Kagami joining Sakurai pre-planned and everything was genius! I really enjoyed his final scene too! << mainly thanks to James’ character’s cruelty xD

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And now it's time to talk about the wonderful star of the comedy relief show; Kuroko aka Kotani!!!! He was fucking hilarious! So many funny moments I want to talk about! The first is when Mamoru is trying to look at Kaito's profile so see if he could get any hints as to what his last mission was and such and Kuroko comes bouncing in and lightens the mood and then asks the computer 'When will the perfect boy walk into my life?' '...No data could be found' xD 'Oh what?! I wanted valentine chocolate....' and soon after this he gets all happy about something, pulls out a slipper from under his coat and begins to sing but Shirasaki soon stops him. Another amazing moment is when he and Salut are having a knife fight and Salut cuts Kuroko ONCE and Kuroko goes MURDEROUS and unstopable. He turns into an absolute ANIMALS when he's fighting and thus that's why he's been kept more as a housekeeper than as a spy at Sakura Church. That and also because we learn he in fact (like Ariga) killed his own Messiah. But turns out his Messiah was an undercover spy for (a similar group to) Hopporengo. During the end credit, his hits Ichijima on the bum with his brush xD he's such a cheeky but funny guy who goes batshit crazy in the battlefield! Oh my!! Another batshit crazy is when Sakura infultrate the boat that Kagami and Kumoi and Salut are on and he and Shirasaki come BUSTING in and (jesus chrsit I can't believe it happened, I pissed myself the entire time) Kuroko storms onto the boat with TWO machine guns and laughing like a crazy man and spinning around as he spot all the bad guys. It was such an epic but hilarious scene!! There's another great scene where Ichijima is talking about past graduated Messiahs and as he mentioned Haku's name, Kuroko pulls a Nanny milk carton out of his pocket and tries to give it to Ichijima xD Anytime he hit someone on the head with the slipper, it always such a good sound that you couldn't help laugh xD Kuroko EASILY shot to pretty much the top of my 'Fav Messiah Characters Ever' in this stage. He's absolutely gold; both when he's doing comedy AND being a badass!


Lastly I'm going to put Ichijima and Shikura's actors together here; these two have been actors for a long time; they're pros, they're damn good at their job, they're very well known and this wasn't they first Messiah; they were flawless and performed as they should of. The most interesting parts about the actors were how they behaved in the curtain call. Usually older Japanese actors have this scary and serious aura about them BUT in the first curtain call Nagae was trying to be all cute like 'I'm bad at curtain calls. I'm only 18 tehe' and then Osumi straight away was like 'Oooooh I can't give speech. I'm only 18 tehe' and totally ridiculed Nagae and he got so embarrassed and Osumi got a HUGE applause from the audience and then as soon as it died down we could see Nakahara on the other side of the stage acting all childish and only the audience saw and when the members turned around to him he acted normal again xD They were real sports! xD At first I was upset Ichijima was back rather than Naoya's character (and I still haven't figured out Ichijimia and Naoya's chara's relationship and status balance) but after seeing the stage, Ichijima is actually a MAJOR part of the plot so it made sense for him to be back. ALSO everytime Ichijima gets serious about fighting and clicks his leg back into place and fights is always badass and epic to watch! He did not disappoint this time either! ^_^


Curtain Calls

I've pretty much already spoke about the two major points of the two curtain calls I saw so lets just go to the aftertalk; about Nagae being teased for trying to act cute and when Ito got pointed out as a very interesting person. Oh but there was another point; because Sugie failed his stunt during the end credits, he explained about the backup safety plan he and the student guy has in case it doesn't go well, and mentioned how difficult the amount of action is for everyone, but that Tomorun never complains about it but then Izawa is like 'yeah but he complains to me when no one else is around' xD


19:00 AfterTalk: Sugie, Nagae, Ito, Shinchan (guest starring Izawa and James)

The AfterTalk was an absolutely shambles but it was a hilarious and uncontrollably laughing shambles. All four of the boys are absolutely hopeless! Basically none of them could talk properly and Ito at one point (already mentioned) was asked about what he likes about this stage and he’s stands up and goes ‘look at this uniform’ *points to his sleeves* ‘they’re reversed! I didn’t realise until I put it on for our first day! Isn’t it cool. Also look how cool this front is where it extends!’ and everyone was just like ‘....’ >.<

And there was another point where he wanted to talk about a scene or character he liked and he’s like ‘you know when that happens and you know like it goes like that and’ and everyone looked at him like ‘what the fuck are you going on about?’ ‘you get me right?’ ‘.....’ to which Nagae suddenly yelled to the audience 'you see what I mean by he’s interesting!' xD We were all dying.

About 10 or 15 minutes into the non-stop random talking, Nagae looks at Sugie and goes 'don't you have a sheet of paper right there with topics for us to talk about?' and Sugie looks at him and went 'what's the point! None of this is interesting compared to the mess of a conversation we're having!' and threw the paper on the floor, killing the audience once again. Nagae went and picked it up for him, 'well if you don't wanna do those topics then why don't we get questions from the audience then?' the audience got super excited but (as predicted) they started going off on another random conversation between themselves. And then Sugie looks back and is like 'Izawa... why you taking pics of us from there?' and he replied 'you continue. I'll take pics!' and one of the guys was like 'you might as well come out here if you're gunna talk!' and he's like 'nah I'm good!' and then another of them went 'Oh look! It's Ariga and the guy that looks like him' xD to make the audience laugh EVEN more, Nagae commented: 'you know (the scene) when they're fighting? It's like a video where it's the same player (but in different clothes)' xD

The next topic was about what characters or side (Messiah / Police / Terrorist) they'd like to be on and it ended up (thanks to Ito, see above) becoming a 'what clothing do you like' topic and Sugie complained at how he's just all in black and it's boring and he'd like something like James' outfit with a little splash of white clothing. He complimented James' white pants and you just heard this 'thanks!!' from behind the curtain XD Sugie also spoke about when they all first got the script, his name just said ‘Sugie Taishi = Kagami Itsuki / N’ and then when they did the first read through THEN they realised N meant Necromancer and that at first he found it challenging to play N (because you basically how to act like a robot).

Another thing that was mentioned was suddenly Sugie started talking about ‘we didn’t know if this was going to be the last or not. And we didn’t know what was going to happen next’ which means there was a CHANCE Messiah wasn’t going to continue after THIS one or even get this one! But now that they’ve announced a new stage in Autumn and we’ve still got the movie to look forward to. Looks like they might be continuing it after all, especially when (starting with this play) it’s been labelled the New Messiah Series; so clearly they intend to continue the series under this new name.


By the way, Izawa really DID get takes from behind the curtain during the aftertalk:

image

You're welcome ;)

Extras

I think you're probably going to know all these already but lets have a quick run down of the non-actor things:

- The choreography is absolutely amazing! I've already said this but I really do feel like everything, including the choreography was stepped up massively this time! So many cool stunts and spins and swings and everything!
- I really really really really want and need a Messiah OTS seriously. I freaking love all the music!! Even in the new stage!! Seriously, I just want a CD of all the Messiah music they use EVERY stage including the bell at the beginning of EVERY stage! <3
- Linking to the choreography; the stunt men* were phenomenal!
- I really liked the staging and the stage design this time. Even with the scary SLOPE right at the front of the stage. But I loved the computer screen-like props they had at the top of the stage.
- The projection mapping was used very well! It definitely didn't feel distracting (hell sometimes I hadn't even realise it'd been pulled down because of how well they co-ordinated everything)
- The lighting was great too!


*I realise I've called them stunt me the entire review and that I should really call them ensemble but do you realise how long this review has taken me? I ain't going back and correcting it all. You all know who I mean anyway! xD

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Okay I'll stop here! Pretty sure I've spent like 4 hours making this review! I'm done!

Hope you enjoyed it!