The original plan for today was to finish up the episode of Hozuki we were translating, and by then Gaston should have been here to go to Disneyland. We finished the episode, and he wasn't here, so we set up our new printer and did some paperwork things, and he still wasn't here, so we watched some of Hozuki season one, and then he still
wasn't here, so we called him. Apparently he had a lot of work come in all at once and was stuck at home; he didn't call to tell us because I guess he was still hoping it wasn't really true. I just have to laugh about it, because we know that situation all too well. But I am a little sad about not going to Disneyland. The funny thing about Tokyo Disneyland is that it makes us forget our bitterness toward California Disneyland.
But the good news is! now we can get back to reporting on our Japan trip!
And we were just about to talk about the Sailor Moon Musical!
Before I start, since I forgot to mention it last time, I should mention that Luna did manage to get a ticket, so she did get to see the show, which is a relief because it was the only reason she was even in Japan.
But now let's get to the show. I'm not sure I could summarize the whole thing even if I wanted to, but you all know the story of Sailor Stars, don't you? If this musical is anything to go by, this entire set followed the manga pretty closely, so if you don't remember the Sailor Stars story, that's okay, just wait for the Eternal Edition to come out.
Anyway, thanks to Luna, we also learned that you could buy special glasses that let you watch the show with subtitles. Our professional curiosity had us wanting to check it out, but we were fairly certain they would only distract us as we critiqued the translation. This theory was proven by the mother and daughter sitting next to us who had bought the glasses and were talking about Sailor Mini Moon. I'm actually not opposed to that as a translation, but I think the topic would just take too long to discuss, so it's for the best that we only thought about it briefly during intermission, instead of being constantly reminded throughout the show.
First of all, I think it's probably good that the show we saw was the one with the least amount of Tuxedo Mask. The actress was fantastic and very kakko ii, but I just wanted a hot guy to play him. He was
one of our first crushes after all. (Second, in fact. The first was Thomas from Pocahontas.) So the show started out with Usagi and Mamoru at the airport, and we were both like, "Eh..." (It's hard to spell that the way I want it to be pronounced. There's a bit of a glottal stop, and kind of an N sound in there, too...) And they spoke of their love to each other, and just as Mamoru was about to say, "When I get back [from America; he was leaving to go to Harvard], I want you to marry me," Galaxia killed him, and then we didn't have to worry too much about Tuxedo Mask for the rest of the show. And that way we got to ease into it, so if we decide we have enough money to buy DVDs of all the others from this set, it will be a little easier to get into.
The way they took people's star seeds was pretty cool. They had these moving pillars as part of the set, and suddenly the lights would go out! and then the target would be trapped in the pillar. Then they would say something by the way of famous last words, and then they would do a lighting effect on the pillar as the actor sank to the floor to make it look like that character was disintegrating. Meanwhile, they'd project an image of a star seed on the backest background to make it look like it floated up from them and into Galaxia's hand.
So Mamoru was killed and Usagi fainted and blocked it from her memory, making her late for the music festival she was supposed to be singing in. And a bunch of stuff happened and again, let's just discuss the highlights.
First, there was Iron Mouse. She was super adorable. It's interesting, because I didn't really get a "petite" vibe from her, but it doesn't matter; she was super cute. She was pretty good friends with Tin Nyanko in this one, and there was a fun bit where Tin Nyanko was helping her up after Galaxia was like, "DON'T fail me again," and zapped her. So Tin Nyanko was helping her up and her stomach grumbled and she was like, "I guess I'm hungry," and Tin Nyanko was like, "...You know, I get hungry looking at you."
The costumes were amazing. Like Galaxia's was like whoa. You'll just have to find pictures, because photography wasn't allowed during the show. I think Iron Mouse's was made of velvet, which makes me very happy for some reason. Our favorite was Aluminum Siren's, because her skirt was soooo sparkly. But it wasn't all sparkles all the time; the hem was full sparkles, and it had kind of a gradient sparkle-to-no-sparkle thing going. It was very very pretty.
The Three Lights and Starlights were really great. They came out for the music festival and did their pop star song, and the way they danced was very masculine, but then they came out as the Sailor Starlights and did their song and the way they moved was now very feminine.
And let's talk about the music! Oh my goodness, I don't know if I can even describe it. It was so good. We were a little worried, because they didn't use the same composer as the original musicals, but we weren't super
worried because we were familiar with the composer from Gundam Seed, and we really like his music. And he did not disappoint (although I think there may have been a narrower variety of musical styles than can be found in the original musicals). Chibi Chibi had a super cute song, and when Galaxia officially came on for the first time, I just got chills. They were like, "There's a new threat," and then there's some really heavy electric guitar music, and it was so ominous and cool.
But what really got me, which is why I thought of Iron Mouse first, is that when Iron Mouse attacked for the first time, all of the guardians transform a few at a time and take turns singing their introductions, which seems kind of a silly thing to do because hello? we're fighting, we don't exactly have time for this kind of nonsense, but if you study Japanese wars, like in the Tale of the Heike for example, you learn that that was just how they did it in Japan--all the warriors would give detailed introductions so you know exactly who you're fighting, how important they are, how strong they are, etc. At least, whether or not they did it in the actual battle, that's how the retellings go, and this was a theatrical representation, so naturally it should follow suit.
But! the important thing is that's when it really hit me that oh my goodness, after all these years, we're actually watching a Sailor Moon Musical. Live! And it wasn't disappointing, either, which is kind of an important thing for me right now, because there are so many movies and things that we go to and sit there like, "Okay, when is this going to get interesting?", and since there are so
many things I find to be less than interesting, I was starting to wonder if it was me. So, going back to the musical, first I started crying because it was a dream come true, and then I kept crying because it was proving to me that I do still have the ability to like stuff.
Then there was Aluminum Siren and Lead Crow's duet. It was just really really good. And then there was a really cool dual duet kind of thing. I think the title is "My Only Love," which makes us happy for many reasons (spoiler alert: we maaaaay have used the lyrics to the song from the original Sailor Moon dub (say what you want about the dub; the translations were better than you think and the songs weren't that bad, besides, it's what got us into Sailor Moon, so we have a soft spot for the songs anyway) in the new translation of the manga (don't worry; they were very appropriate for where they showed up; we didn't use them just for the sake of using them)), but it was super awesome for more than that. I think it started with Usagi, and it was...I don't know, because Mamoru was very dead at this point, but he joined in the song as kind of a "long distance I love you from Harvard" thing (which we seem to remember them doing in the other Stars musical), and then they sang together in harmony, and it was so pretty. Then Mamoru went away, and Seiya came on and started singing about how he wanted to help Usagi and stuff, and then Seiya and Usagi started singing in counterpoint! And it was so great the way the music was used symbolically, because Usagi and Mamoru are destined to be together; they're kind of "one," so to speak, so they sing in harmony. Meanwhile, Seiya wants to be with Usagi, but his/her destiny/purpose/goals/whathaveyou isn't really in sync with Usagi's, so they sing together but not together. It made me think of the annoying counterpoint in that ice movie, which, come to think of it, may have been deliberate to show that the sisters weren't thinking about each other yet, but doesn't make the sisters any less annoying.
And then! there was Princess Kakyu! Like oh my goodness! Whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa! That is a soprano, my goodness. Wow. She was so good, singing all operatically and stuff. It was incredible!
Oh, and speaking of things that also kind of happened in the other Stars musical! There was a scene with Usagi and the Three Lights on the school roof, and oh my goodness, we saw it start and we were like, "Hey, we saw this in the other musical!" And it was SO MUCH like the other musical, and you can kind of tell the writers thought so, too, because there's a joke in the first musical where Setsuna (who shows up later in the scene) says something encouraging to Usagi, and Usagi glomps her and says, "You're just like an okaa-san!" and Setsuna looks at the audience and says, "I'm just glad she didn't call me oba-san." So in this version, Setsuna is being all distrusting of the Three Lights, and I don't remember how the conversation went exactly, but Yaten (we think) says something to Usagi, and Setsuna replies, and Yaten goes, "I wasn't talking to you
, Oba-san!" And then Setsuna freaked out and called an emergency meeting to tell everyone how untrustworthy the Three Lights are. It was great, because of course Haruka hated them from the start because she doesn't trust anybody, but when Haruka was listing their crimes, she mentioned Yaten's comment on Michiru's lipstick, but Michiru was just like, "I'll remember you said that, thanks." Then when the meeting was over, she let Haruka know that their next order of business was to buy lipstick. Athena suggests that it really must be hard to find a color that complements her hair.
And all of that was in the first act...and also Sailor Cosmos! She showed up in the first act, too. We found out later (we haven't been following these musicals) that the actress who played Sailor Cosmos was actually the same actress who had played Sailor Moon in the first three of this set, so that was neat. Her costume was so pretty! And her legs were so skinny, oh my gosh.
The second act was a lot more fighting, because the majority of the cast was killed off in the first act. There was a lot of dreamworld-type surreal-ish stuff. They had a big set piece that Sailor Moon or Galaxia would stand on top of, and then they had two stage hands on the ground moving it around so it rotated. I was really impressed because I'm still bitter at California Disneyland where they seem to be doing their best to use as few people as possible, so a set piece like that would probably be mechanical and broken half the time. But in Japan, they're okay with hiring a couple of guys to do it, and it probably worked every time.
I think the second act must have been pretty short, what with the small cast, and that's why, after the finale, they had about five musical numbers that really had nothing to do with the story. But who cares? More singing and dancing! Two of the songs were Tuxedo Mask...okay, one was Tuxedo Mask and the other was Prince Endymion (which was a little extra disappointing, because the Endymion costume emphasized her feminine physique; but the way she winked at the audience was fun). Of course they had to give her some extra songs, because another thing we found out later is that this actress was a top star at Takarazuka. We could tell from the audience reaction that she was a big draw. And one of the songs was Moonlight Densetsu! Awww, nostalgia. Athena was hoping for La Soldier, but I guess you can't have everything.
Oh, and I forgot about the finale! They had the wedding! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! So Usagi and Mamoru were there getting married...and all of Usagi's friends were late because they were ALL changing into their own wedding dresses! Only at Usagi Tsukino's wedding could so many women show up in white and not offend the bride. (For the curious, Haruka's "dress" had some white pants with a sheer skirt over it. It was kind of odd, but maybe it worked? I don't really remember much except that I thought, "So that's how you get Haruka into a wedding dress and still have her wearing pants.") Of course they had to have Usagi throw the bouquet...and Setsuna caught it! We don't know if they choreographed that to make it the same every time or if they just left it to chance, or maybe they choreographed it to be different every time. I just don't know. But I was very happy for Setsuna...although her crush had just gotten married, so... So now she has hope of finding another great SO!
After the show, we decided we didn't want to make the long trek back to Shinjuku Station. Originally the plan was to leave from Harajuku Station, which was right at the south entrance to Yoyogi Park, but since we had spent more time wandering around Shibuya, we were just a tiiiiny bit more familiar with that area, so we decided to get on the train from there instead. We walked by the Disney Store again, and got to see how they light it up at night, which of course was lovely. But they were playing everyone's favorite power ballad of self-deception, so it kind of killed the mood a little bit. But the mood was saved! by a street band playing a cover of Uptown Funk. I admit, that was something I never expected to see in Tokyo, but maybe I should have.
We made it back to our hotel safely, posted on Facebook, and went to bed. ...We may have watched some TV first. Japanese TV is so addictive.
...And I just remembered, I should say a little more about Chibi Chibi. I have no idea how old this little girl was, but she couldn't have been older than, like, seven. She was so stinking adorable.
Aah, what a lovely night. We are definitely going to order the CD and DVD when we've replenished some of our funds. Today I'm thankful for oh my goodness we got to see a Sailor Moon Musical, all of the sparkly costumes, the great music, Chibi Chibi's song, and making it safely to and from the theater.