aikokanzaki
Monday night I spent my evening watching the hilarious Toei Hero Next. It’s like the third of it’s installment, at least for the gekidan heroes series:


Original Movie here
First Stage here

Official Website here
Official Twitter here
Official FaceBook here
Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
DVD PreOrder here

CAST and CHARACTERS

Suzuki Shougo as Suito
Saito Shunsuke as Kuroda Ken
Baba Ryoma as Mizuno Satoshi
Moritaka Ai as Momose Niina
Nakajima Kaito as Kirijima Reito
Kinjyou Yamato as Aoki Junzou
Maruyama Atsushi as Kinbara Toshiro
Soutarou as Hara
Matsumoto Hiroya as Mysterious Guy
Kubodera Akira as Kiseki Yuji
Hiramaki Jin as Ruri
Hayashi Tsuyoshi as Ran
Tomita Sho as Sou
Miyuki
Fujisawa Reika
Iwasaki Nami
Hata Mizuho

AfterTalk Guests: Watanabe Tsurugi and Ise Daiki.

STORY

Kinbara is in a writing slump which means Gekidan Bazooka are without scripts and things to perform until then, so they decide to try out being hosts at Club Jewel, but soon they get caught up in an attempted murder, but with no script to guide them, they have to improv. their way to figure out what really happened.

NON SPOILER

This was so fun. I laughter so hard for 2 hours straight. The scripted comedy, the improvised parts, the accidental mistakes and the aftertalk was ALL hilarious. I very much enjoyed myself and it was very refreshing to watch - I expected to be super tired after doing 3 stages and 2 events the week prior - but this was so easy to watch and so easy to be entertained and is a lot of fun! Baba Ryoma is just the king of being over-energetic and funny in an ugly way, Sho-san definitely controlled the AfterTalk and everyone was definitely onboard with whatever crazy requests and daily challenges (higawari) and improvs that came their way. I really hope they do a next install me. And it’s so freaking cool seeing the entire cast and going ‘holy moly they ALL did sentai!’ it’s badass having that realisation in the middle of the play.

Rating: 8/10


SPOILER

The first few parts won’t be spoilerly, so you can read up to the ‘read more’ line without worrying ^_^

When I first walked in, I realised I had an aisle seat... and THEN I realised it was a host set up on the stage... AND THEN I realised there were stairs leading up to the stage, and I was just like ‘oh shit please do not come my way and approach me’ ... my heart was racing anytime they came down the stairs or towards me o_O


( Shinpainaisa! ) )

---

And that’s all! I hope you enjoyed the review ^_^

 
 
aikokanzaki
22 February 2017 @ 04:38 pm

I watched this last Thursday and I went because of one the guys (Tanaka Hiroki) from Onigiri (review) who I really fell for in that, was doing this and while at first I bought tickets without knowing what it was about, I soon learnt it was abut mutants and kind of dystonia and that my guy would be doing a BL character so NATURALLY I ended up being super excited for it!

Official Website here
Official Twitter here
Official Hashtag here
PV here
Music here
Press 1, 2

CAST and CHARACTERS

Kuryu Mina as Kiko/Mashiro
Ukai Mondou as Sagami
Sugie Masahiro as Kurosawa Kouji
Tamagawa Ramu as Eva
Akiba Yusuke as Maruko / Mark
Oguri Ryo as Sid
Maniwa Ryosuke as Alberto
Maikawa Miyako as Kokoro
Mitsuki Saori as Uzumi
Kojima Kotori as Sarubado-ru
Kinoshita Aya as Kimura Chanel
Araki Miyu as Yamashiro Myura
Yuuno as Murayama Elmes
Hiroya as Kaosu
Tanaka Hiroki as Agape
Matsushita Takashi as Filia
Mitani Remi as Sheila
Aino Eri as Risa
Hanai Madoka as Aniesu
Hagiwara Naruya as Zenelgef
Maruyama Raiden as Khan
Akaishi Nobu as Zoid
Akiyoshi Aya as Young Kiko
Ogura Erika as Shimamura
Oba Saki as Sally
Hanaoka as Dory
Ensemble: Hikita Chiharu, Takami Sakiko, Watai Ryuya
Tanaka Hyoga as Joker

As you can see the cast is huge! xD The stage again (like Onigiri) was small so having such a huge cast was kinda scary. ANYWAY!

Also as soon as the stage started I was SHOCKED to realise it wasn’t just Tanaka Hiroki from Onigiri in this, but two others from Onigiri were ALSO doing this and it made me very happy ^_^

STORY

SOUL FLOWER takes place in world quite like a dystopian where the rich and privileged live in the Three Hills, whereas the rest live in the slums. We follow a community of people who live in one of these slums, and it's called Sector 6, but even they call it 'Trash Town' (gomi no machi) because all the old and broke electronics and stuff the rich society want to throw away ends up being in their area, but it's their home and they love it. Well almost all of them: some would kill and hurt others in order to get a chance to have their barcodes changed (which every person is imprinted on them so the government know who belongs where in society) and be able to move to the Hills. Unfortunately also in this world, we have mutants who are feared and hated by most humans; Sagami is one of them and in order to keep the sector safe, he's locked up. One day, a famous idol singer from the Hills is kidnapped live on a music tv show, who then wakes up in Sector 6 with no memory of who she is.

NON-SPOILER

This was SOOOO good! Oh my! I loved the story, all the characters were (while a lot of them) individual and great! This very much gave me Onigiri feels; not very known actors, doing a very unique and interesting and simple-to-understand story BUT it hits a lot of feels and it’s entertaining in both actor and comedy, there’s never a dull moment, you even want to route for the bad guys! The improvisation was great, the higawari (daily changes to the script) was absolutely hilarious. I enjoyed this so much! And the aftertalk too was a lot of fun! The singing was beautiful too! I literally cannot, I was so impressed and so happy with this stage! And my baby boy Tanaka Hiroki in his cute BL role had all the kisses and stuff so that made me happy ^_^ He’s so cute... Basically, this is a lot of fun and a great world and I enjoyed it a lot!

Rating: 8/10

SPOILER

( Give me more!! ) )

---

I am definitely buying this DVD! Such a good story, world, characters and very touching and very funny <3

Unfortunately LJ is beging gay and won't let me have all my pics here so check the review in tumblr for the full picspams.

 
 
aikokanzaki
21 February 2017 @ 09:02 pm
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?


image


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.

image

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!
 


( Give me the soundtrack! ) )
---

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

Hope you enjoyed it!
 
 
aikokanzaki
I watched D-Stage 20th: Jyuudou Shounen (Judo Boys) Monday night and it was a LOT of fun with so many things going wrong throughout which added to the hilarity.
image


Official Website here
Official Twitter here
Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

CAST
Miyazaki Shuuto
Miyazaki’s Parents (played by Mitsuya - mother and Ikeoka - father)
Mitsuya Mitchell Ryo
Ikeoka Ryousuke
Arai Atsushi
Shison Jun (played by Mitsuya Ryo)
Negishi Takuya (played by Arai Atsushi)
Nishi Yukito (played by Ikeoka)
Voices of Shiramata Atsushi and Maeyama Takahisa
Sakurai Minami
Kobayashi Masahiro


NON-SPOILER

This was so funny! I didn’t stop laughing! Some parts were obviously planned and were supposed to be funny but quite a few things went wrong when I went and even the actors couldn’t not laugh which added to the hilarity. It’s a simple story and the comedy is definitely the selling point here. Seeing their close interactions is great too!


Rating: 9/10 << might be in the race to be my favourite D-Stage! But I’ll have to rewatch it to decide that finally.


---

First I will talk about the story:

Basically Miyazaki Shuuto* has always been told to aim for the Olympics but he doesn’t see the point; he’s on a losing streak, he doesn’t want to go to the Olympics, he doesn’t even think he likes it anymore. Then thanks to a trip to Tokyo with his Judo buddies, he has his first love, finds a rival and discovers what he really wanted to do and what Judo means to him.

*They’re using their own names for the characters.

image

Simple enough story right? Which is great because it left a LOT of room for the BIG theme of the play: the comedy. This was absolutely hilarious! A lot of it was planned comedy but unfortunately the day I went, a LOT of things went wrong or happened without the other actors knowing it was going to happen so not only were the audience laughing hard but also the actors were laughing insanely hard too that they had to stop the play a little so both actor and audience could calm down xD Which means it as a lot of great fun!

To be honest, when I first got my ticket and it was Row Z and the site said row Z is actually row 3 and a bench seat I kind of panicked because I imagined the type of benches we have to sit on in primary school in England and they are not comfortable! SO I was super worried I’d have to put up with one of those types of benches for a 2 hour plus show BUT when I got there they weren’t really benches; just normal chairs without the back and with a cushion! And my bad didn’t hurt at all! I was comfortable the entire time! Also I was super lucky that the person in front and the person next to me didn’t show up SO I was technically on my own and second row! Which made it SUPER easy for the actors to spot us; seriously the first row could TOUCH the stage without even stretching their arm out! And Mitsuya definitely spotted me and I think Ikeoka looked over a few times -- but being me I kept looking away from IkeP if he so much as seemed to see me, cos I’m a shy girl with my bias’ xD


SPOILERS


Anyway! Now to the parts of the play I wanna focus and talk about! First let’s talk about the PLANNED comedy okay?


( let the hilarity ensue ) )

---

Final note:

This stage was a godsend in terms of reconfirming and reaffirming my love for IkeP. He did amazing in Yuhiden and Litche Hikari Club at the end of 2015 and that’s where I fell for him so I went into 2016 super hopeful for him but he only ended up doing like ONE play and ONE dorama and that was April and September, so I was super worried for his career and worried I wouldn’t be able to see more of him BUT we’re only in February and already he’s got a dorama airing, he’s doing a stage now and he’s definitely got Dansui stage in May! So he’s already doing more this year which makes me a super happy bunny and seeing him (finally!, again!) in this on Monday really helped me remember ‘ah yes I love this idiot’ xD he really is hilarious and cute!!

---

That’s all I got to say really. I am very much looking forward to the DVD! It’s a thoroughly enjoyable play! Seriously, a lot of fun and I didn’t stop laughing for over 2 hours!
 
 
aikokanzaki
06 February 2017 @ 07:42 pm
I saw this one last Monday and it’s supposed to be a historical/comedy.


Official Site here.
Trailer here. << I normally don’t watch trailers and I usually hate how spoilery trailers are these days but this one manipulates what to expect very well xD
Teaser here. In case you wanna no real explanation

Synopsis:

This is a historical comedy where Ayase Haruka’s character goes to Kyoto to meet her boyfriend’s family, but the hotel she booked at says she’s booked in for the month after and that they’re completely full for the duration of her stay, leaving her with no where to stay. So she wanders the streets of Kyoto until she comes upon the hotel ‘Honnouji Hotel’ which has a room available for her. And thus shenanigans ensure where when she takes the elevator she ends up in Honnouji Temple 1582 June 21st (the day before Honnouji no Hen), rather than the 6th floor of the hotel.

NON SPOILER:

This was actually genuinely funny. I know Japan sometimes labels stuff as comedy but no one ends up laughing because it tends to be really off beat comedy but this movie was ACTUALLY funny. We were all wetting ourselves in the cinema and in fact I was laughing to most (which says a lot if a foreigner is finding the comedy more enjoyable and totally understandable compared to the rest of the Japanese population in the cinema xD that or they laugh a LOT quieter than I do xD) I do admit, I’m a BIG laughter when a joke gets to me which this movie did on several occasions. I really enjoyed the story too and how the time traveling worked. The characters were all amusing and had their traits and when you take the comedy away, the story itself holds up very well. Also, if you know anything about Honnouji no Hen (which this is centered around) then you’ll completely understand me when I say; from the mid-point I did nothing but cry. I was in such streams of tears! I think I was the only one to be honest but for some reason I have this HUGE emotional connection to Oda Nobunaga and just his story and history at this point in time; I was so heartbroken for the rest of the film. I was a crying wreck but not in a bad way. I highly recommend this film; it’s historical, it’s fun, it’s funny and (if you’re like me) sweet, emotional and touching. Bittersweet almost actually.

Rating: 8/10

--

SPOILERS:


( Honnouji no Hen ) )

---

And that’s my review! Hope you enjoyed it!! ^_^
 
 
aikokanzaki

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:

CAST

Yanagishita Tomo / Ota Motohiro (Double Cast) as Takashima Naoki (Younger Brother)
Yoshihara Mitsuo as Takeshima Kouji (Older Brother)
Fujita Rei as Terao Yuusuke
Kato Ryousuke
Kawaguchi Tatsuya
Someya Kouta
GOH IRIS WATANABE
Igarashi Kae
Wada Kiyoka
Okonogo Mari
Yamamoto Sayaka

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.

ANYWAY!!

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?

NON-SPOILER:

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.

Rating: 7/10

SPOILERS:

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!

 
 
aikokanzaki
30 January 2017 @ 11:07 pm

*Todoufuken means ‘Prefectures of Japan’ So basically: The Prefecture Puzzle which is rather fitting.

I went to see my first play of the year about two weeks ago! (Technically my first play cos Touken Ranbu LV doesn’t count because I wasn’t in the theatre in person xD)

Official Website here
Stage Details here
Official Twitter here

NON SPOILER:

Overall: It was nice and enjoyable with a serious over-tone and random comedy moments that hit really well - oh did I mention it was short?! Only 70mins!! I'm not used to that xD It was a quick interesting, thoughtful stage and I cannot wait to see JP’s next work obviously xD

Rating: 6/10

---

SPOILERS:

It was Yasukawa Junpei’s play and I went into it knowing nothing except, judging on the ticket price, it was a small production. And I was right; the audience was practically all kankeishas except like me and 8 other people xD There was probably a total of 40 or 50 people in the audience so yeah, SUPER intimate and the staff were nice and it wasn’t even seat coded! So I chose second row and to the side which was luckily the side JP usually stayed on! Let’s get on with the story:

 

( JP and Ikemen! ) )

 

---

I doubt there's a DVD of this so just assume this is the best English review of this stage you're ever gunna get.

---

PS. Apologies if this feels rushed or there’s lots of mispellings. I did have a perfectly nice review but then my pc crashed and I lost it all so out of stress and anger you’re getting the shittier version.

 
 
aikokanzaki
18 January 2017 @ 01:18 pm

FINALLY! FUCKING FINALLY!! FAN FRIDGING-TASTIC FINALLY!!! I FINALLY FUCKING WATCHED TOUSTAGE (somewhat) IN PERSON LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GIVE ME A MINUITE TO CALM!!!


I have been waiting months....


Months....



MONTHS!!!!


ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR IN FACT!




I fought in ticket battles every BLOODY time and didn't hit.



I even used two different email accounts in order to try and get tickets! I still didn't hit!



I tried Toujitsuken (on the day ticket) and DIDN'T HIT....


I followed FAN REPORTS every PERFORMANCE!!



THERE WERE 37 PERFORMANCES IN TOTAL THIS TIME!!




I EVENTUALLY HIT FOR THE LIVE VIEWING SENKOU!




SHIT SEAT






DID NOT MATTER!!!





BECAUSE IT WAS FOUR (YES FOUR!!!!) GLORIOUS FUCKING HOURS WHERE I LAUGHED AND CRIED!




AND NOT ONLY THAT!!!

AT THE END THEY FUCKING ANNOUNCED THEY'RE DOING A SECOND ONE IN JUNE AND JULY!!!!

MAKICHAN IS BACK!!!!! (more details later)

I AM IN SWORD HELL AND I DO NOT CARE!!!






I FUCKING LOVE TOUSTAGE!!!!!




Lets get onto the review now that I've calmed down....


Now I'm not gunna write everything out; we all know Toustage, we all know the story of it; we've all seen the first DVD multiple times. So I'm just going to write down everything that was different this time including the gungi scene, the curtain call etc. Ready?! Okay!


Oh Official Website here.

( man I love toustage ) )

 
 
aikokanzaki
17 January 2017 @ 01:32 am


I've literally just come back from the cinema after watching this! I saw it was on the schedule list yesterday and thought 'I must watch this asap!!' So I did! So first things first is the official stuff and credits:

Official Site here
Press Release and Coverage 1, 2, 3 (*also photo credit)
Trailer / Teaser 1, 2


CAST/CHARACTERS

Sato Ryuji = Shinji
Sato Hisanori = Nao
Akazawa Tomoru = Aoi
Nogawa Taichi = Dai
Takano Kenji = KenKen
Kuroba Mario = Kiyoshi

There are more but... shhh...

---

PS. I'm gunna change the format up again so let me know which you prefer: non-spoiler / overall comments first or last ^_^

PPS.. Apparently it's Sato Ryuuji's fucking birthday today! So it was the perfect time to watch this movie!! HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY!!! <3 some pic spam xD


( Compulsory Birthday PicSpam ) )


OKAY! Back to the actual review! ....

This was a film I was anticipating anyway and so I jumped at the chance of seeing it asap!

Non-Spoiler/Overall:

Went into it without knowing what the hell was going to happen and I'm so glad I did! It's not a movie I usually watch because it was very indie or at least had the feel to it as it was a perfect production; it definitely had some sound troubles and some of the shots (like camera looking up to the actors) were too artistic to be coming from one of the (two) big film companies in Japan.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story even though it mentally broke me and my heart was crying at the end (a few real tears did slip out); it's definitely dark, realistic and bittersweet but there's those realistic moments of laughing even in the crappiest times which really warmed my heart <3 I was thoroughly impressed by Kuroba Mario's performance and saw a side of his acting I hadn't seen before. Also Sato Ryuji's smile is one of the most pure things ever!

(HOLY SHIT I DO HAVE RYUJI'S SINGLE FOR THIS MOVIE ON MY LAPTOP!!! OMG!! *LISTENS*)

If you get chance and want to see something a bit indie-esque, watch this! I am impress by it that much! My only complaint is Akazawa Tomoru's acting when he did the angry scene at the beginning; I don't think he's cut out for angry/horrible characters because his yelling just fell flat for me personally; least he tried xD

Rating: 9/10

Now onto ALL the spoilers and story telling!!


SPOILER REVIEW:

To be honest I'd only seen the teaser trailer from MONTHS ago and had no idea what it was about!


( Very detailed! ) )

--

I did it!!! So let me know which format you prefer ^_^

I should REALLY go to sleep now (almost 2am I think)


Let me know in the comments below!
 
 
aikokanzaki
30 December 2016 @ 07:31 pm
And here we are at the final entry post for this series for the year! So first I wanna post all the dorama/anime that I watched in the Autumn season:


October
Shitamachi Rocket 8/10
YowaMushi Pedal 8.5/10
Angel Heart 6/10
Diabolik Lovers 8/10
Donten ni Warau 7/10
HatsuKoi Monster 7/10

November
Free Enternal Summer 7/10
YowaMushi Pedal 10/10
YowaMushi Pedal: Grande Road 9/10
Death Note: Light Up The New World 8/10
Renai Aru Aru 7/10

December
Yowamushi Spare Bike 8/10
Prince of Stride (ReWatch) 8/10
Minna, Esper Da Yo SP 1/10
Medical Team: Lady Da Vinci no Shindan 7/10
Touken Ranbu Hanamaru 9/10
Show by Rock 2/10
Vancouver no Asahi 8/10
64 Part One 7/10
64 Part Two 7/10
Kodaike no Hitobito 8/10
Cain to Abel 3/10
Yuri on Ice 10/10

Some of these have already been reviewed so you can check those out here. And now for those that didn't air this season but I did watch and have yet to review! << Did that make sense?


lastthingiwatchfinale20161

Donten in Warau [7/10]
( 1 ) )



lastthingiwatchfinale20162

HatsuKoi Monster [7/10]
( 2 ) )




Free Eternal Summer 7/10

( Edit 1 ) )


lastthingiwatchfinale20163lastthingiwatchfinale20164lastthingiwatchfinale20167

Yowamushi Pedal Season 1, Season 2 (Grande Road) and Spare Bike [10/10, 9/10, 8/10]

( 3 ) )




Prince of Stride (ReWatch) 8/10
( Edit 2 ) )




lastthingiwatchfinale20166

Renai Aru Aru SP 7/10
( 4 ) )



lastthingiwatchfinale20168

Minna, Esper Da Yo SP 1/10
( 5 ) )



Vancouver no Asahi

Vancouver no Asahi 8/10


( 6 ) )



--


These last three movies are ones I watched on the plane to England! ^_^

--

lastthingiwatchfinale20169

64 Part 1 and Part 2 [Both 7/10]


( 7 ) )


lastthingiwatchfinale201610

The Kodai Family [8/10]


( 8 ) )


Okay I'm done xD

----


I really don't think I'll finish anything else dorama or movie related between now and tomorrow which is the last day of 2016 xD but I do I'll try and 'edit' it in here xD



Have you seen any of these? Any you want to see? Lets discuss below!! ^_^
 
 
aikokanzaki
29 December 2016 @ 10:02 pm
You can see the list of those I intended to read here. I completely stuck to my list this time and didn't watch anymore nor anything else! (<< as in 2016 Autumn releases) Some were absolutely amazing, but there were a few disappointments.

I shall do the doramas first:

akidorama1


1. Lady DaVinchi [7/10]

( 1 ) )




2. Cain and Abel [3/10]

This bored the crap out of me. I watched it because my friend loves Yamada and she wanted to watch it together with me. But I ended up missing weeks and had to marathon like episodes 3 to 8 in one go so I never actually live tweeted her about it at all. Luckily she enjoyed it because of Yamada but unfortunately he was not enough to keep my interest. This plot is so stupid. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be a business focused dorama or a romance focused dorama; it kept flipflopping between the two. And while the romance started off good and I was still onboard about episode 7; the end result was so stupid. Can I spoil you? Okay here:

( 2 ) )


I hated this show. I was gunna write more but my rant has put me in a super bad mood for this.

Theme song was good.


summerseason1yowamushi

3. YowaMushi Pedal [8.5/10]

( 3 ) )





4. Doubutsu Sentai Zyuogher

This is still on going but I'm about 36 episodes in and this is enjoyable. It's simple, it's cute, it's definitely a step up from the previous season, the plot development is decent too but it's nothing amazing but it's definitely good to watch. The Halloween episode was great preciated xD This series might finish before the winter season is over (it normally runs like Feb to Jan every year).

akidorama4

5. Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

This is also still on-going and this is a lot of fun! I really like the plot and I like the characters and the budget for this show is huge compared to the previous series because of the amount of CGI they use every episode! Also; all the boys are so cute!!! I'm definitely (and surprisingly) loving Snipe and Laser (<< oh jesus they're all younger than me including these two!!) so much! They're great and I swear to go if they kill them off; I'm rioting! xD I say this because in (about) episode 11 we already got out first character loss so I'm glad this Kamen Rider also isn't being kind as usual and isn't being child proof which is always appreciated. I have to say the weakest out of them all is Emu! Once again we have a Kamen Rider where the main character is the weakest part of the series! I really like him BUT I feel the personality switch he's supposed to have when he starts playing games just isn't prominant enough and it's not obvious enough. Finally, surprisingly Hiiro is growing on me and it all started because he likes cakes and sweets <3 his backstory really helped me understand him also. So yes, enjoying it and having a good time with the characters!


I'm done with the doramas! What did you watch and enjoy? And now for the anime:

akianime2

6. Show by Rock Season Two [2/10]

( 6 ) )

akianime3

7. Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru [9/10]

( 7 ) )


akianime4

8. Yuri no Ice [10/10]


( 8 ) )

I watched a lot of other things this season that didn't come out this season so I'll so a separate post about those! But those have been my Autumn 2016 doramas and anime!
 
 
aikokanzaki
I am heading to the airport in like 3 hours so hopefully I can get this written and done in that time, so apolgise in advance if this is a much shorter and crapper version than what I usually give.



Official Website


The Postives:
- My seat was SUPER close to a sticky out part of the stage and the stage would lift up so it was great seeing them so close while they performed.
- Shunya and Saeki are too adorable and I am convinced they're actually dating. They would hug and piggyback and lift up and everything whenever they were on stage! It can't just be because of their characters xD
- Everyone can dance really well!
- The choreography is so good! It's very impressive to watch! Some of the moves were awesome!
- I like how it started with them requesting that everyone turn off their penlights and such so it could be this impactful opening.
- The spinning stage is gold, such a good idea!
- The balls of light that dropped down from the cieling were magical and pretty too.
- I don't mind seeing Arizawa in those performance live pants xD
- Ogotan oh my god.... he's such a fire cracker seriously... any dance move he put 10000% into and you could tell he was working MUCH hard than the other and it completely made him stick out from the other guys. His performance, as usual, was full throttle and amazing! He was jumping around as well and his interactions with Kane-san was great too!
- Hachitsuka surprised me. He acted very much like a gentleman and it made me like him just a tad. Shhh...
- I'm SO happy Shinsengumi performed Tsume to Kiba
- I'm SUPER SUPER happy that Yoshitsune(&)Co sang Shouri no Hata!!! Everyone was freaking out when they came on stage!!
- I am VERY happy with the fact that Yoshitsune&Co and the Shinsengumi got to perform a song!! << these parts were probably my favourite.
- I was surprised at how many PURPLE lights (for both Iwatooshi and Hachitsuka) there were!
- Also surprised at how many Kane-san bags I saw!
- Also Nagasone could ACTUALLY sing this time! First time I saw him at Aiia his singing was terrible! But at this he was really good! He can actually belt out some good notes!
- I loved that they did an extended drum performance BUT there was one point where I got really concerned for Benkei's act. He looked absolutely knackered and everytime he got a breather he's just hold his head back and breathe! =S I know he's old so like my alarms in my head where going mental! I was so concerned.
- Mario's voice was a huge surprise. When he tried to sing deep or quietly he sounded AWFUL, but when he really blasted out those notes he sounded amazing!
- Also I am convinced Mario and Suzuki are exactly the same person just born in different years because holy crap Mario's performance of Jiji yesterday was SPOT ON with how Suzuki plays him! With the whole, 'I'm gunna murder you' face and the wide eyes of craziness and everything. It was chilling and creepy and I loved it! <<<< I MUCH prefer the stage/musical versions of Jiji cos I hate Jiji in the game/in general << just getting that out there xD
- I managed to pull the random badge I wanted and got a hold of a streamer at the end of the show.


The Negatives:

- The sound quality was ATROCIOUS! It completely ruined the experience. Saeki's mic was awful! It didn't pick him up at all! So his singing parts were just music and they NEVER fixed it the entire two hours! Also the mics would start really quiet, as if the tech guys were confused as to who's mic they were supposed to turn on next! I am SO pissed and angry about this. It completely ruined my experience and I honestly did contemplate to LEAVE half way through just so I could scream and complain to the staff. The mics didn't probably pick up anyone voices either! It's like wave in and out as to whether their singing came out loud enough or too quiet. And the music itself was WAY too bass-y and AGAIN such bad quality and SO quiet that I could hear people around me talking rather than the music and the voices itself! Oh my god. I can't with this. AND ALSO! When they came out in the naibu outfits, everyone was screaming and (this proves how bad the sound quality and levels were!) I couldn't hear WHAT they were talking about at all! I have no fucking idea what they said because I couldn't hear a sound out of the speakers! All I could hear was fangirl screaming.
- I dislike how simple they made the dance choreography in Kashuu's solo song.
- Still don't like Torigoe or Yasusada.
- I dislike how they went serious at the end with this 'Kashuu you must choose; us or them' it's a game where the owner can keep like 100 swords at once! This conversation is totally illogical and unnecessary!
- This one is super sensitive and I know I really shouldn't complain about it and I understand how rude it is for me to say this ruined my experience but; I'm tiny both in weight and height BUT I was sat next to two girls who were definitely at least twice my size. So not only were they sitting on their chair AND part of mine, but it also meant I couldn't really move my arms to swing my pen lights to the music cos of how cornered they made me. So yeah, I couldn't go all out and have fun. I would say anyone who has a first floor ticket and who's taller than average and is over 60kilo will have a hard time with the seats because of how tightly packed it all is.
- People couldn't decide if they were allowed to stand or if they should stay sat. Everyone in the arena were stood up from the moment it started. Second floor looked like they were almost all standing too BUT the first floor standings area was half sat, half stood and it was super weird. When I was stood up, I felt weird cos no one else around me was, but when I was sat down I totally wasn't into the concert. And then AFTER the show, SO many tweets were like (from the audience) 'Caution: please don't stand! I couldn't see!' and I'm like 'why the fuck didn't you stand then?!'
- My friend told me I'd need a towel for one of their songs but.... I was like the only person swinging it! And the song is like 2 minutes long! So no, I didn't need it... tis a nice towel though.
- I'm also SO pissed that Shinsengumi and YoshitsuneCo only got ONE song. ONE SONG! Yes they got to perform a super extended drum session which I highly appreciated but ONE SONG?!?!?!?!!? As I said, everyone LOST THEIR SHIT when the guys came out to sing so it's like 'MISTER DIRECTOR! THEY'RE POPULAR! Give them more songs and raise their wages!'
- Another thing I really shouldn't complain about BUT, the girl in front; Kashuu came over and conincidently waved our way (we all know Ryuji is blind and probs didn't put contacts in) and the girl screamed so hard! She screamed like she'd found a dead body and then proceeded to fall to the floor from lack of oxygen in her brain and (maybe it's my age, although I've never been this way) I was just utterly disgusted by her reaction. She's definitely like 19/20 years old but just.... that's the reaction of a 14 year old. I found it laughably ridiculous. The girl next to me too, she was defo older than me and everytime Iwa and Hachi were on the screen or came on stage she was (how do I describe this...) whining (yeah like dog whining) and the only thing I could think was 'these poor actors....'
- Leading in from that point; about half way through I strongly came to the conlusion of 'these guys are actors, not idols. This isn't their job! They shouldn't be doing this type of shit!' and while it's mostlikely the actors are getting confidence and huge ego boosts from doing things like this, I can't help but think, 'your job is as an actor, go and perform on stage and give me good performance, you shouldn't be doing these things like singing in concerts as a made up character... if you wanna sing, go and be a singer. If you wanna be an idol; go be an idol'.... I dunno... is something wrong with me to think this way?!?!
- The first floor seating was very strange. Because it's in a sumowrestling venue, the first floor seats are arranged in those kabuki/sumo audience boxes. So they ended up putting three chairs in each audience box. Is this making sense? It's like this:



BUT because the arena and second floor were just normal seats with none of these boxes, the actors could easily running around the audiences during songs so first floor COMPLETELY missed out which sucks!
- Also they throw balls at one point; Ishigirimaru was on our side but only threw to the second floor. He completely ignored arena and first floor which I think is very rude and unfair.
- I was personally very underwhelmed by the whole thing. Normally something has my full attention but I found myself drifting off in thought a few times and, as I already said, sometimes I even thought of leaving completely. Especially cos I think the tickets were more expensive than a usual Touken musical ticket, you would've thought they'd wanna really make everything... amazing. But to be honest... I rather see them at AiiA; it's a better venue, it automatically makes you close to the actors and you defo get the chance for the actors to ACTUALLY go past you and see you at AiiA. So thanks but no thanks.


---

I do contribute a lot of my lack of enjoyment to the awful sound system; if it doesn't sound good then it really does ruin the entire thing. Also I think just personally I don't think actors should be doing this type of thing and I don't think I'll go to one of these again... I want to see my actors actually perform. Not be surrounded by like 5000 fans who mindlessly scream just because they've come out in their naibu outfits (seriously, was there any need for all that screaming?) and screaming the name of a made-up character. I figured I'm very much a 'support the actor' not 'support the character' type of person unlike everyone else...

Anyways, everyone enjoy your day!
 
 
aikokanzaki
16 December 2016 @ 10:50 am

As you all know I got the 10th Anniversary DVD Box Set of D-Stage for Christmas last year and now I've FINALLY gotten around to reviewing them all even though I watched them all almost a year ago and I feel like I should rewatch them at the beginning of January... So I think I'll do all my reviews here anyway BUT if I wanna add something or talk about a stage in more detail once I've rewatched them during the new year, I'll do another post then, sound good? Okay lets get on with these FOURTEEN stages! *dead already*


**Btw all their stages info can be found here. Cannot believe we're on Stage 20 next February!

ds1-kanbaionrei1

D-Stage 1: Konbai Onrei [2007] 6/10
Starring: Endo Yuya, Yanagi Kotarou, Nakamura Yuichi, Kaji Masaki, Kumai Kouhei, Seto Koji, Nakagawa Shingo, Yanagishita Tomo, and Daily-Change Cast of; Shirota Yu, Wada Masato, Igarashi Shunji and Araki Hirofumi

( DS1 ) )



---

And that's stage one done!

**(For some reason I thought either the website or the booklet had stated how many people went to watch each stage, but I can't find that info in either of them! I know I didn't imagine it... where the hell did I see that info... it's gunna drive me mad not knowing...)

---

ds2

D-Stage 2: Last Game [2008] 7/10
Starring: Yanagi Kotarou, Shirota yu, Wada Masato, Suzuki Hiroki, Araki Hirofumi, Kaji Masaki, Nakagawa Shingo, Yanagishita Tomo, Makita Tetsuya, Nakamura Masaya, Mikami Masashi, Adachi Osamu and W-Cast of: Endo Yuya and Nakamura Yuichi, OR Igarashi Shunji, Seto Koji and Usui Masahiro

( DS2 ) )



---

***I apologise for all the Tomo fangirling but this was bound to happen right? I just didn't expect it to start so soon into the stages xD

---

karausu405

D-Stage 3 and 4: Karasu 4 / Karasu 10 [2009] 8/10 and 7/10
Karasu 4 Starring: Suzuki Hiroki, Igarashi Shunji, Kaji Masaki, Yanagi Kotarou, Yanagishita Tomo, Adachi Osamu, Nakamura Masaya, Takahashi Ryuki, Hashimto Taito
Karasu 10 Starring: Endo Yuya, Araki Hirofumi Nakagawa Shingo, Wada Masato, Nakamura Yuichi, Seto Koji, Mikami Masashi, Usui Masahiro, Makita Tetsuya
Apparently Uncredited
(mainly pre-D2Boys): Jinnai Sho, Mitsuya Ryo, Yamaguchi Kenki, Yamada Yusuke,


I don't know why they called it 4 and 10, maybe they tried of 10 or more different combinations of the boys before they decided the two best groups? Also I don't know why they did it twice BUT I'm glad they did because even though the story is the exact same, each of the boys makes the character their own! This is basically a historical stage (as you can tell from the pictures) and I can't quite remember when it's set but it's like 1600s and basically the karasu (= crows) are against the main emperor army and it's about how they formed and they go against the army towards the end.

First let me talk about Karasu 4 which I preferred the most out of the two (but this could be simply down to seeing that version first or because I'm more Tomo biased than Seto biased xD):

( DS4 ) )



---

And my notes stop there. Did that make any sense?! I'm slowly starting to see a pattern with my notes. Because I was super new to stage at the time, I was more fixated on how everything looked but now that I've been watching and paying attention to stages for over a year now, I now focus more on the story and pace and other aesthetics like the staging etc. which at the time of writing these notes I didn't know much about hence why it's so 'this moment was good!' and appearance based.

---

Now for Karasu 10! The rating for this one is a little lower because, as stated, I prefer the Vol.4 one.

karasu1012

( DS5 ) )



---

**In 2010, D-Stage tried something different; they split the boys into three groups and produced three very different plays between them.

---

nowloading1

D-Stage 5: NOW LOADING [2010] 6/10
Starring: Endo Yuya, Igarashi Shunji, Wada Masato, Yamada Yusuke, Jinnai Sho / Ookuma Shaka, Imaizumi Minoru, Fujita Hideyo

( DS5 ) )



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ds3

D-Stage 6: Last Game [ReRun- 2010] 7/10
Starring: Seto Koji, Araki Hirofumi, Yanagi Kotarou, Adachi Osamu, Nakamura Masaya, Takahashi Ryuki, Mikami Masashi, Mikata Tetsuya, Hashimoto Taito, Nakagawa Shingo, Usui Masahiro, Yamaguchi Kenki, Kamitsuru Toru, and Special Appearances: Yamazaki Ikusaburo, Arai Atsushi

It's safe to assume that Last Game was super popular the first time and that's why they wanted to redo it and retry it. Naturally the mains have changed over the 2 years since it was last performed and Seto is now the main lead. I won't need to go into too much detail this time, only mention the differences.

( DS6 ) )



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ds4

D-Stage 7: America [2010] 8/10
Starring: Yanagishita Tomo, Kaji Masaki, Suzuki Hiroki / Uematsu Shunsuke, Yamada Yusuke, Kuroda Taishi, Osada Nao, Takizawa Megumi, Bu Fujiwara, Hirokawa Mitsunori / Araki Hirofumi.

Now this one I actually watched for the first time YEARS ago. Just after Merchant of Venice came out on DVD (late-2012), this was the second ever D-Stage I eer watched and even though at the time my Japanese was piss-poor, I still ended up crying at the end... watching it this time and actually understanding it - and I NEVER have forgotten how I felt the first time I ever watched this - I was a wreck. I never want to watch this again but oh my this is one hell of a good stage!

( DS7 ) )



---

merchantofvenice1

D-Stage 8: Merchant of Venice [2011] 8-9/10
Starring: Usui Masahiro, Wada Masato, Kaji Masaki, Suzuki Hiroki, Yanagi Kotarou / Mikami Masashi, Adachi Osamu, Takahashi Ryuki, Makita Tetsuya, Yamaguchi Kenki, Yukimasa Natori, Toshiya Sakai

This was the first D-Stage I ever saw! I first watched it.... over 4 years ago and loved it straight away! Rewatching it this time gave me so many feels and nostalgia and it made me remember how much I love Kaji and how great Usui is as an actor and I love how they did the modern/historical theme mix! This is the first Shakespeare play D-Stage ever did and their Shakespeare series is probably one of their strongest production series that they've ever done.

( DS8 ) )



---

ds5

D-Stage 9: The Witness for the Prosecution [2011]
Starring: Seto Koji, Igarashi Shunji, Yanagishita Tomo, Araki Hirofumi, Hashimoto Taito, Arata Horii, Hirata Atsuko, Arifuku Masashi, Wakasugi Kouji, Takahashi Aimi, Mabuchi Erika

( DS9 ) )



---

ds6 ds7


D-Stage 10: Sabishii Magnet [2011] 8.5/10 for both.
Red Team Starring: Yanagishita Tomo, Seto Koji, Endo Yuya, Araki Hirofumi
Blue Team Starring: Jinnai Sho, Usui Masahiro, Hashimoto Taito, Akutsu Shintarou

There was actually four teams; Red, White, Blue and (I think) Green, so they shuffled the 8 main actors about a bit. I was lucky enough, and crazy enough, to go and see this the first time I went to Japan. I kinda bought the ticket on a whim, bought my flight and went to Japan and watched this and omg it's still one of the best moments of my life and I remember Kaji Masaki came the day I went and he was like 2 rows behind me! I wonder if I wrote a review for that time... *searches* Holy crap I did write a review for that time! =O I'm so surprised at how well I understood that play all those years ago! I saw the White team which was Seto, Tomo, Usui and Taito! Now onto the Red and Blue versions:

( DS10 ) )



---

ds8

D-Stage 11: Cool no Tanjyou [2012] 5/10
Starring: Yanagi Kotarou, Suzuki Hiroki, Kaji Masaki, Makita Tetsuya, Mikami Masashi, Yamada Yusuke, Horii Arata, Tawaragi Touta, Mikamo Eriko, Hironaka Maki, Nagai Hideki

( DS11 ) )



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ds9 ds10

D-Stage 12: TRUMP Truth and Reverse [2012] 8.5 for Truth and 7 for Reverse
Starring: Nishi Yukito, Mitsuya Ryo, Jinnai Sho, Yamada Yuki, Yamaguchi Kenki, Omi Youichirou, Akutsu Shintarou, Shison Jun, Tsuchiya Shion, Ikeoke Ryousuke, Arai Atsushi, Shiramata Atsushi, Negishi Takuya, Okubo Shoutarou, Maeyama Takahisa, Kamitsuru Toru

This was the first D-Stage the D2Boys did officially as D2Boys and at the time it got a LOT of hate but also a LOT of support. It still goes on now but there is/were this HUGE divide between D-Boys fans and D2Boys fans and D-Boys fans wouldn't recognise the fans or the D2Boys as D-Boys and stuff. It was a crazy time and it still sometimes happens. ESPECIALLY because yesterday (yesterday now being December 13th) I learnt that when Tomo did the after talk for this stage, apparently (I'm hearing two types of stories) he only commented on how visually good it looked and/or he only had criticisms for the boys. Looking and searching for past tweets, it's clear he did mention that the set looked really good but also he talks about Claus and how he'd like to do that role and IkeP mentioned that he thinks he'd suit Petro's role and stuff. SO I'm not really sure what went down but according to me friend 'because of his comments, it became a blood bath' so I can only really rely on my friend's recaption. Unless anyone can point me to fan blogs and fan reviews from that time. It doesn't change my opinion of Tomo if he was a dick and did just sit there criticsing the boys because I'm in it for the long run with Tomo; the good and the bad so I'm not going to just abandon him because of some dick move he possibly pulled - that's just not how a relationship works right? xD

Anyway I've reviewed these two before so check these out TRUTH and Reverse << holy crap it's been like exactly a month since I first watched this!! WAAAH?!?! xD

I love Trump, we all know this xD and I have actually watched the 2015 re-produced (not D-Boys) version and I much prefer the D-Stage version.

---

ds11

D-Stage 13: Chonganne [2012] 8/10
Starring: Wada Masato, Makita Tetsuya, Hashimoto Taito, Mitsuya Ryo, Omi Yuichirou, Maihane Mimi, Kurosaki Junko and Niira Etsuko

This is the first musical D-Stage did! This was originally a Korean dorama and they took the script, translated it and made it into a stage so that's why the title is so strange and I'm pretty sure they keep all the korean names too. This is about ikemen in a vegetable shop pretty much. I honestly do no remember much else xD

( DS13 ) )



---

We are finally at the last one!!! This took me like two days to write xD

---

twelfth night

D-Stage 14: Twelth Night [2013] 8-9/10
Starring: Arai Atsushi, Mikami Tetsuya, Ikeoke Ryousuke, Arai Atsushi, Kaji Masaki, Suzuki Hiroki, Jinnai Sho, Yamada Yusuke, Omi Youichiro, Yamaguchi Kenki, Tsubokura Yoshiyuki and Mickey Kachisu

This is their second Shakespeare play and just like the first one it was hilarious, enjoyable, did not disappoint and I could easily watch it over and over. It's very similar to the first one too, but that could just be Shakespeare uses the same elements over and over again such as 'male actors crossdressing as females who then pretend to be males' as well as 'love at first sight' and hyperbole.

( DS14 ) )



---

Holy moly I did it!! I hope you enjoyed the reviews that you did read and I'll be thoroughly surprised if you sat and read every single one of them!

**Seriously take a shot everytime I say enjoy, enjoyable, hilarious, also, and funny in these reviews. I need to expand my vocabulary right?!

Like I said I wanna rewatch them all and hopefully be a bit more analytical and more coherent with everything except how great they all look xD

It might be obvious from the ratings BUT if you would like to see a D-Stage ranking from me then please let me know below! I'm off to eat lunch now.

 
 
aikokanzaki
15 December 2016 @ 07:19 pm
I watched this yesterday! And I was very apprehensive going into it because my friends Tina and Josie had watched it the weekend before and told me that they do so many stunts and that my anxiety is going to go haywire. They were in fact 100% right. I was in anxiety hell the entire time BUT I also super enjoyed myself and (unfortunately for the actor's health) I wanted to see them do more of the sport. But we're already jumped ahead so let's go back to the very beginning which is the story.


Official Website
Official Twitter
News Coverage 1, 2, 3


Story

Prince of Stride is a game but also an anime (only 12 episodes) that aired in 2015. The first Episode/Stage leans more towards the game's story BUT you can still follow it if you only watched the anime like I did.

I really liked the story in this Episode and I enjoyed how much comedy they added into this compared to the anime! It was very funny and I was laughing hard a lot of time and even giggling quietly during other parts because something would amuse me. I paid a lot of attention to characters in the background rather than whoever was taking the main stage at the time because it was far more interesting and you saw more character development that way in my opinion.

Episode One of the stage covers character introductions, reviving the Stride club, their trial race at their school, and versus Mihashi, we also got the whole idol performance and Saisei meeting too. There were a few new scenes I think but now I can't remember exactly.

Theatre

I was super lucky to get 5th row and I was smack in the middle so I missed out on the boys running byside me -- they used the entire spare space in the theatre as their spaces to run. BUT then again I had no one to the right of me at all and there was a big gap between me and the two girls on the left so technically they DID run past me xD I was shocked though that 5th row was that empty yet everything behind me was full! What happened to the people who got such good seats at the front?! Moving on...

OH! AND I went on filming day!

Music and Opening

The music leading up to the show starting was really good! Totally got me in the mood for running and in the mood to watch this epic sports show. FYI Stride is not a real sport but I so wish it was! It's a combination of relay running and parkour << how amazing does that sound! And the actors have been training and learning Parkour for over 9 months in preparation to not fuck up or hurt themselves during these shows, which I'm very thankful for but it didn't ease my anxiety!

IMG_3820

Also speaking of the music they used the anime song for the opening and the ending - check it out here! << who doesn't feel like running at full speed when they hear this?! It's so pumpy and great! Which made me flail inside so hard! The opening scene itself is impressive because they're ALL running around the stage doing parkour during the opening (with that song!) and it's more fascinating and mezmerising than it is worrying in a way. There's SO many of them and so much going on that you just want them to keep doing the opening scene over and over so you can see what each actor/character does xD and I cried okay! I cried at the freaking opening! Just the whole using this song and I really like the anime and seeing this hectic but entertaining opening and seeing Izaki as Riku, it was all a bit too much for me and I cried - I have no shame! xD

Staging and Functions

The stage itself by the way is CRAZY. They have three BIG apparatuses at the back of the stage which have a gap between them so they can jump between them. Then we have some smaller and different types apparatuses that come on and off the stage throughout the play such as steps and ones with slanted handrails as well as a few pummel horses (gymnastic apparatus).

I want to give HUGE props to all the POS (Prince of Stride) team who were constantly shifting the apparatuses every few seconds so it looked like the boys really were traveling over the city to the different locations. They had to move so fast and so in time or else the boys, who would be running AROUND the theatre to give the staff time to change it around in seconds, wouldn't be able to slow down or edit the choreography really. And once they had finished moving the apparatus they would have to hide under them and hold them in place! That's absolutely crazy and takes talent, power and perfect timing to pull such a thing off! Amazing.

The Sport

I really really really do wish Stride was a real sport! It looks so epic! Can you imagine them doing this at the olympics or something! I understand it's difficult to close roads and stuff, especially in Japan for sports events and it probably has a high injury risk than most sports but omg this would be epic! And I want to be a part of it!!

Even when I saw the anime for the first time I was like: I WANT THIS TO BE REAL!!! And I want to do it!! << I think this mindset is what helped my anxiety while watching it; it was impressive and I was too busy thinking 'damn why isn't this real and why can't I do it' to be worried about them hurting themselves but I was pretty shook up after that one guy fell << explained later.

Also I feel like, because the Epsiode 4 final venue hasn't been announced yet, they should do what they did for Tenimyu Sport Events and finish it off by doing an actual course around an arena. I know this would be very strenuous on their health and would probably mean they'd have to rev up their exercise scheme but like I want more! I want to see them really do stride! Not just running around a theatre. A proper course for them to run around is what I want. I don't need ANY dialogue or ANY story in episode 4, I just wanna see them do an actual stride race in an arena xD


Characters and Cast

The cast is too big to list in one go so I will just list the character and actor as I go through and comment on them, their performance and the characters:

( Honan > Saisei > Mihashi ) )

Goods



My Character Ranking

I vaguely mentioned 'ranking' in this review but basically; I originally had a ranking when I first watching the anime but after rewatching the anime and seeing the stage my ranking has changed completely and I want to share it with you all now, I'll just do top ten cos most of the characters are a blur and don't really care for:

Kuga
Takeru << this is HUGELY thanks to Jin's influence in the stage
Reiji
Kohinata << huge actor influence
Kaeda
Riku
Aoi Shima << actor influence
Heath
Ayumu << actor influence
Himemiya Yuuri*
Banchan
Natsunagi Toya*

*These are not in the stage yet.

SO I ended up with 12 so what! I'm sure this ranking is NOT set but currently I'm really feeling Kuga from the anime and I'm super all about Jin's Takeru in the stage. Riku used to be my first but after rewatching the anime and seeing the stage, he's now a bit too childish for my liking.


RANDOM PHOTO!!

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Sho-san from TokiEnta (the company MakiChan is part off and TokiEnta is like my LIFE atm. As a company I love them!) went and watched it the day before me!! He's in the same company as Kishimoto who plays Heath <3

Overall: This was super fun! I was a fan of the anime, I fangirled hard when it got announced as a stage and I was not disappointed! It was so much fun and the stunts were great and the coordination between staff, cast and timing was awesome! Naturally seeing them run acorss the stage and jumping over giant apparatuses my poor heart and anxiety was high BUT luckily it was more than impressive enough to make me even consider watching the second episode full of anxiety too xD Aoki Jin was the biggest surprise for me ^_^
Rating: 8.5/10
 
 
aikokanzaki
02 December 2016 @ 10:24 am
deathnote20163

I watched this on Monday and I'd held it off for ages because I just wasn't in the mood but I DID want to see it before they stopped showing it at the cinema so I took the opportunity on Monday afternoon.

---

Official Website
Trailers and Teasers 1, 2, 3, 4
And because Japan can't get enough of it: Ryuk doing PPAP

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Story

If you didn't know this is set 10 years after the original movies and 6 Death Notes have landed in the human world and naturally it causes mayhem and everyone in the world remembers the original Death Note outburst. The Japanese police are working with L's successor who goes by Ryuuzaki in order to find the new Kira and collect the 6 Death Notes.


Semi-to-Non-Spoiler

( Spoilers follow after the Non-Semi-Spoilers ) )

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Overall: This is very enjoyable and a high quality productions and I really loved Ikematsu and Suda's performances. I also love Misa's role in this story. However, the story was very predictable and used no new tricks and the ending got a little confusing. But I still say it's worth a watch and the entertainment value.
Rating: 7/10
 
 
aikokanzaki
30 November 2016 @ 12:57 pm
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I found it highly amusing that the theatre I went to on the Thursday was exactly NEXT to the the theatre I went to on the Friday:

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The theatre is like way underground-ish which was surprisng but the entrance looked TINY so I'm glad that once you went down the stairs and such that it opened up a little but it was still rather small. The seating area in the theare itself was only about 6 rows of 12 chairs! Luckily it was full too! I was luckily 3rd row and I didn't need my good glasses I was that close!! Also before the stage started three of the members came out to tell us the rules but told us in such a hilarious way that we couldn't stop laughing. Being thrid row naturally they ALL spotted my straight away! Kimura kept looking my way first out of shock and then more out of curiosity xD

Then the show started!

STORY

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*unfortunately there's no character names listed in the pamphlet so I'll be using actor's names.

One day it's Subaru's father's funeral and him and 7 other young people have been gathered together. Nomura reveals that they're all actually related and have the same father so it's all about finding proof that they are all actually related and if they realy do all have the same father. As it's turns out Subaru's father who died is gay and this super nice father so took in each of their mothers in times of need (sometimes to get away from their abusive soon-to-be-ex husbands or simply because they were poor single mothers almost having no place to stay etc) and would put his names on the birth certificates and marry the mothers until they got back on their feet. Not only did he help the mothers out but also it allowed him to fulfill his wish of being a father. How pure is that?!?! Oh jesus I'm starting to cry now thinking about it.

There's a lot of elements to this story including a lot of improvised comedy and emotions that just hit you right in the feels! There's also some very real topics of discussion such as DV, adoption, trying to be yourself, trying to hide yourself, homosexuality and being family even if you're not blood related. All these topics were handled VERY VERY well. I was especially impressed by how they handled the last two. Very quickly all the characters are like 'so what if he's gay or bi? He's our father no matter what! Even if he's not really our father by blood, even if we aren't really related, we're all now siblings thanks to our father helping our mothers.' << oh god I'm crying again...

This stage really did hit me right in the feels.

If you don't know about me. I have one mother, two fathers, and while none of them have sexuality or DV problems, just the whole 'my step father is my father no matter what, even if he's not blood related to me' and 'my dad will always be there even if he isn't physically and I know he'd do anything for me' just like their father in this, and it really does hit a range of emotions (obviously all positive) for me. Unfortunately I went on filming day (again xD two days in a row!) and I purchased the DVD SO I'll probably be able to hear my crying when it comes out xD


CAST/CHARACTERS

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There's actually about four casts: Shirakura Group, Kimura Group and Two Shuffle Groups

( Beware of excessive JP and Kimura praise xD ) )

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Overall: This was so funny! A lot of improvisation and a lot of great chemistry between the cast too! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I was lucky enough to go on filming day too and it was so enjoyable that I preordered the DVD right there! I was luckily enough to speak to the cast after the show too which was an amazing experience <3 I'm so glad I went! And this stage impressed me so much that I'm going to even keep an eye on not only Kimura but also the acting company itself and try the other shows it does in the future. This was also a very touching and close to home story so it had me in tears at the end but tears of happiness! I love how they handled topics like sexuality and non-blood-related family ties too.
Rating: 9/10
 
 
aikokanzaki
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I went to a play full of people I didn't know last Thursday for the first time in a long time, and it was really nice going in with no expectations, especially after Kuroshitsuji's disappointment (see here) and before Death Note's disappointment (review coming soon)! I really enjoyed myself at this play!! It was so nice just going in blank and enjoying it to it's fullest! I think I'm gunna start taking a step back from 2.5 (which is blowing up at a crazy rate) and start going to these more... niche(?) or at least with less known actors. Same thing happened last Friday but that review will come after this one xD Lets get started shall we!


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Useful Links
Official Website
News Coverage 1
Videos 1

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STORY

The story was actually very straight forward but first let me break down the groups we had in the stage:

Youkai Protectors: Jin, Sakura, Shizukagoen, Yoshitsune, Momotarou, Susanou, Valkrie, Ryuuko, Kaguya, Jikfrik, Amaterasu

Youkai Enemies: Oppenheimer, Veronika, Basara, Usume

Scientists/Youkai Changers: Doctor Shubalts, Jami, Tengu/Shisou

Youkai: Kizuke, Mitsumesumashi, Jinbee, Daruma

Jami is also a Youkai but you'll understand why he's not in this Youkai group. Also apparently Jin and possibly Momotarou are demons so there's that too. Anyways! Onto the story:

So apparently the Enemies and the Youkai Protectors are constantly coming to blows because naturally the Enemies want to destroy and kill all the Youkai while the protectors want to save the ones that really aren't a threat. But one day a youkai gets changed into a human and slowly more and more are getting turned into humans and it's all down to the work of Doctor Shubalts. The Protectors friend the Youkai, especially one they end up calling Kisuke BUT the human-turned-youkais begin to have outbursts of rage and attack anyone in their path, naturally Kisuke doesn't want to hurt her new friends so together her and the Portectors try to find the Doctor so they can turn her back into a Youkai. While this is going on the enemy are naturally taking advantaging of this situation and raging around killing all the new turned human-youkai. So the Protectors not only have to find the doctor for the sake of Kisuke but they also have to stop the enemy from attacking Kisuke and other human-turned-youkai as well as try to stop the Doctor from creating anymore youkai-humans that keep going on rampages.

I may have made this sound super confusing but it's actually REALLy simple and I love how simple the plot it yet it ends up being really touching and exciting! Also we get a lot of character backstory -- which really impressed me because it didn't feel like too much was getting thrown at us yet we not only got the main story, but also backstories for Yoshitsune, Tengu, Jami, Jin (a little), Miroku, Momotarou (a little) AND Basara!! How crazy it that! Yet it never felt like too much << that's impressive!

I'll go onto the backstories a little:

( A lot of pics below ) )



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Overall: It was so refreshing going into a play without any expectations, not knowing the story and the cast and just being simply entertained for two hours. It was so much fun! A lot of up and coming actors in this too that I'd like to keep an eye on. The story was simple but touching (I did cry!). I went on filming day luckily and I am DEFINITELY buying the DVD! But dammit I wish I'd had the balls to talk to the actors after the show -__-
Rating: 8/10
 
 
aikokanzaki
23 November 2016 @ 11:39 pm
news_xlarge_namahitsuji


I watched this yesterday! I funnily enough I've been following KuroMyu pretty much since it first came out on DVD by some random coincidence I came across the musicals and enjoyed them (obviously this was after I began reading the manga but... I think before I even started the anime!!). So I was SUPER pumped to see this! Especially because they were gunna be doing one of my favourite arcs in the world; the circus arc!! <3


Useful Links
Official Site
Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

PreShow


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I will admit the stage looked freaking amazing on standby and it had some many thngs going on and it loked super kool!
I was also somehow lucky enough to get an arena seat which I've never experienced at Tokyo Dome City Hall before!! So I felt super VIP because I know how hard it is to get a ticket for arena for like Tenimyu and I know KuroMyu is super popular too so I think myself miraculously lucky to get such a seat!

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The musical started with two comedic people coming on stage and doing tricks like juggling and playing with kendama and it was very funny, also some people walked in later while they were walking around the arena and they stalked them over to their seats and then asked another girl who she'd come for and such and if the tricks ever went wrong they were like 'It's cos I'm not taking it seriously yet' xD

I'm not going to discuss the plot, I'm sure you can find the summary of the circus arc here.

Okay let's do ALL the aesthetics first

( There are criticisms so you've been warned ) )

Okay I'm done! How many want to kill me?


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Overall: While I was super impressed with the entire look of it all and those kid actors were/are seriously amazing. I felt too much of what Kuroshitsuji is supposed to be was cut out for the sake of replacing it with the entertainment-factor, which is not what I want from my Kuroshitsuji's.
Rating: 6.5/10 << Yes I understand I said a lot of positives in this review but I already don't particularly feel anything for this musical so I can't really put it anything above a 7 or something.
 
 
aikokanzaki
08 November 2016 @ 01:07 pm
tonomonogatari

Last night I went and watched Tono Monogatari which is Seto's newest play. It actually has a rather long run and the theater has three floors! It was fully packed! I honestly had no idea what it was about and was under the impression that because it was starting at the end of October, that it was going to be a horror story. But on Sunday a student kindly informed me that Tono is an area in Japan that's famous for monsters, ghosts and yokai, so naturally my mind changed on as to what the story would be about.


*Important Links

Official Website here
Image credits and new article coverage here and here
Seto Video Comments here and here


tonomonogatari2

Thanks to the FC lottery I got a really good seat! Row F! So I was super close to the stage! Thank you Seto Koji! BUT I was surrounded by either couples (which is odd but they were much older so I can understand that) or girls who were obviously there because of Seto but more so the former. In fact 90% of the audience were much older (50s and 60s) and I'd say at least 40% were male! Clearly a crowd I'm not used to but have experienced now and again through the year. It's only naturally because the two main characters and actors are not only very famous, but also in their 50s-ish so it matches the audience.

tonomonogatari3
tonomonogatari4

The beginning starts off which the main actor (who also wrote the script) explaining how he'll be using a lot of different dialects (Tokyo, Tohoku etc.) in the story including his own which is kansai-ben. He also released tension in the room by cracking a few jokes which I wasn't expecting and surprisingly it continued on into the story too, but I'll explain that more later.

Cast

news_xlarge_tonomonogatari_image

Nakamura Tooru
Seto Koji
Yamauchi Takaya
Iketani Nobue
Yasui Junpei
Hamada Shinya
Ando Wakou
Ishiyama Renge
Ginpuncho

*PS. My kanji reading for names is getting so good! I hardly had to google how to read these! xD

( Story, Stage, Seto Fangirling and Accent Discussion ) )


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And there we have it! This review took longer than expected but it definitely didn't take a much time as it normally does. I hope it was coherent enough to be understood, especially in the parts where I try to explain the story dynamics.

Have a good day! ^_^

 
 
aikokanzaki
On Tuesday I finally went to my last two shows of the month - it's been an absolutely CRAZY month! And let me tell you, the craziness started BEFORE the show even began!

honoonomirage3


This play is the 3rd installment for the series and the basic plot is (this is gunna be so shitty, I understand the plot completely in my mind but explaining it is hard):

Kase and Naoya are reincarnations of past feudal war lords, and it is basically their job to live in through different reincarnations and different generations and times fighting against evil spirits that are tring to get revenge or are posessing other people. Every time our main characters die, they take on another's body and life.

Did that make enough sense? Does that sound interesting enough? Good!

Oh and one more small thing; every time they get reincarnated they have a decision between taking on this body's person's memories and possibly losing their own, or throwing away that person's life in order to keep on to who they are as a person. Complicated right? Sorry!

And they (Sho and MakiChan) had said on a stream that even first timers will understand the story and plot of this installment so I didn't have to worry about watching any of the others before seeing this ^_^

The PreShow

Well I just sold my soul. I came with 30,000 for the day and I was stood at the front of the counter trying to figure out how to save 400yen cos I'd gone over my budget. But in my defense the DVDs I bought are my Christmas presents -- but now I'm paying for it because I have no money to afford all my senkou tickets for this month =[ so I might have to cancel a few tickets (including my Seto one) if I hit...

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^^ Everything I bought... I regret nothing!!

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^^ The freebies <3

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^^ My christmas presents!


Now onto theseating. I got an aisle seat for the first one which is awesome! And my second seat wasn't too bad either which is nice ^_^ Got a good view whatever =]

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Also before the show, they announced that the play is 2hours and 30mins without a break which shocked me a little... also a girl next to me was writing a letter and was writing her address on the back of her letter envelope. I've never thought of doing that!! Most of my Japanese friends go 'why do you not write your line or your email in your letters'? and my only answer is 'Cos it's like a rule not to!' But the more people ask me why I don't, the more I think 'why the fuck not' because in reality if the actor has a brain, he ain't gunna contact a fan is he?! If he does... he's an idiot. In my opinion haha anyway...

ALSO! There was a specific announcement on the blog before the show performances even started which stated 'do not look at your pamphlet until after the show and if you do look, please do it somewhere where others won't see it,' yet some mother fucker sat next to me was flipping through the pamphlet wide open! I tried so hard not to look! But it really made me angry that they clearly hadn't seen the twitter OR blog announcement of it.... -_- respect the system!

Anyway! Now onto the show!!


The Show

**Quick note. I made 39 mental notes during my second viewing of this stage BUT I've forgotten at least 10 of the points so sorry! Wish I had the balls to sit with my notebook and quickly write notes as I watched plays...

CAST

Actual Main Characters:
Kase - Tamita Sho
Naoya - Aramaki Yoshihiko

Other Main Characters:
Mari - Tsukui Minami
Ryo - Fujimoto Ryo
Sasaki - Kasahra Shinji

Other Characters:
Kuchiki - Masuda Yuuki
James D Handou - Hayashi Shuji
Cain - Saikawa Koji
Ryanchi - Ando Ayaka
Kanezaki - Nishijo Yoshimasa
Mizutani Atsushi

Enemble:
Okamoto Ruri
Saiou Masako
Ikeuchi Risa
Sugawara Takeshi
Ogasawara Tatsuya
Kitamuta Kai
Yuasa Masayuki


First thing I noticed; the music and the projection mapping! The projection mapping is very good! I really like the opening graphics and it's so cool how they introduce everyone while using the projection mapping and the power spell things are super cool too! And the music is amazing! I really hope they put it on a soundtrack CD!! Seriously, it's so good and very empowering and very actiony. The theme music?! OMG give it to me now!! BUT in contrast to the music which is very empowering, the play itself is very slow and there's like no action in it. Which really surprised me because I was expecting a lot of action and fight scenes and a lot of powers being used etc. but it wasn't this at all! So that really shocked me the first time and disppointed and bored me a little the first time around. The second showing I knew what I was getting into so could enjoy it a little more.

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I really enjoyed how the stage worked too! First: not a lot of stairs! So naturally my anxiety wasn't playing up xD Also they would open sections and pull out whole settings which was cool and simply pull them back to change the scene and such. And of couse the projection mapping helped with setting the scene (the switches between the settings where they would have black and white shots of old Shanghai and in another Tokyo Tower being built etc. so beatiful!).

(Most of my negatives are mainly from my first viewing.) At the end of the first show I was also a little confused because I felt the first half didn't have anything to do with the actual main story of the play which took place in the second half of the stage! Also the main characters are literally non-existent in the first half of this show which again is a little disappointing. BUT turns out that it's true that it's not really suppose to relate to the main plot of the stage. The first half of the stage is just simply showing previous lives of three out of our five main characters. Seemingly, according to my friend who I spoke to after the stage, this whole first half is there to make up for the lack of backstory of the three-non-main-main characters we got in the previous two plays. So in a sense I get why this first half way needed but personally, I could do without those three MC's back stories. The only two people and characters that matter are the two actual main characters am I right?!?! xD

Also I was expecting it to be very action packed and that just didn't happen so I was a little disappointed there too... anyway! To the good stuff!

( Enjoy the historical adventure xD ) )



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This was a lot easier to write than Okimesu xD thank god!
Enjoy!!