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Goin’ Japanesque!

Takarazuka Revue to Perform Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) Musical

On October 20, 2015, the Takarazuka Revue announced officially that they would perform a musical of the popular manga Rurouni Kenshin. Rurouni Kenshin is a manga (or comic) that represents Japan. As the protagonist is a samurai in the late Edo period, it is a series that gives you a sense of Japanese culture.


What is the Takarazuka Revue?


Having had their first performance in 1914, the Revue is one of Japan’s greatest theater companies, boasting over 100 years of history as well as a huge number of passionate fans even now. It’s noted for being composed entirely of unmarried women, with even male parts being played by female actors. Of course, once she marries, a member loses her Revue qualifications and must retire— the regulations and vertical (senior/junior, etc.) relations are very strict here.

The company is formed of five troupes and a senka (“special course”) group, and there are male-role (otokoyaku) and female-role (musumeyaku) actresses in each. The best of each gender role are chosen as top stars or top ladies, respectively. Though the difficulty of the accomplishment goes without mention, rising to the top is the dream of every troupe member. An actress who makes it to the top receives a considerable bump in public recognition, and more than a few have become active as actresses or TV stars post-retirement.

The Five Troupes (“gumi”) and Senka

  1. Flower (“Hana”) Troupe 花組
  2. Moon (“Tsuki”) Troupe 月組
  3. Snow (“Yuki”) Troupe 雪組
  4. Star (“Hoshi”) Troupe 星組
  5. Cosmos (“Sora”) Troupe 宙組
    Plus the Senka group 専科


Past Musical Versions of Manga

The Rose of Versailles


Lupin III


Black Jack


Mei-chan no Shitsuji




Torikaebaya Ibun





Highlights from the Newest Adaptation, Rurouni Kenshin

With over 59 million units sold across the series, the massively popular manga Rurouni Kenshin tells the tale of the once-deadly swordsman Kenshin, who seeks to protect his vows never to kill again as he faces battle with a variety of foes. The musical version also includes the appearance of legendary Shinsengumi member Sozaburo Kano, a Takarazuka original character who will act as Kenshin’s love rival. Expectations are high for the Snow Troupe’s rendition of Rurouni Kenshin, as they are experts in the depiction of all things Japanese.

Related: Kyoto GEAR: A Moving Non-Verbal Performance

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