Episode 22: Snow Troupe (雪組)

Join Becca, Carly, and Jen for a discussion of Snow Troupe, past and present!

Correction: Jen refers to a “Junko in Hoshigumi,” by which she means Ema Naoki who is now in Senka, not Hoshigumi. XD Habit….

Links to things mentioned:

Scarlet Pimpernel cast comparison chart (via @cotoyumi_star on Twitter)
Otozuki Kei’s OG reunion Instagram pic (featuring Otozuki Kei, Renjou Makoto, Ayabuki Mao, Manaka Ayu, and Shirahana Remi)
Seijou Kaito’s Masquerade DS posters
The other all-female theater troupes in Kansai: OSK, Shochiku, Setsugetsuka Kagekidan
Jen’s Migiwa Natsuko comic (bottom of post)
Mori Keaki singing Ai
Maikaze Rira’s blog
Misuzu Aki’s blog

Select actresses mentioned:

Kasugano Yachiyo (not from Tokyo by the way!)
Maho Shibuki
Matsumoto Yuri
Migiwa Natsuko
Mori Keaki
Sou Kazuho
Haruka Kurara
Maikaze Rira
Shirahane Yuri
Mirai Yuuki
Amase Izuru
Maisaki Rin
Ayanagi Shou
Ootsuki Sayu
Misuzu Aki

Select performances mentioned:

Johnny on the Hill
Chuushingura
I Won’t Forget the Young Day’s Song
Shall We Dance
Wandering Requiem
Susano-o
The Brothers Karamazov
Je T’aime
In Quest of the Blue Bird
A Man Called Bacchus
The Count’s Daughter
Lupin III

Glossary:

Nihonmono
Ohirome kouen
Taiga drama

34 thoughts on “Episode 22: Snow Troupe (雪組)”

  1. This podcast was so fun to listen to, thanks you guys!

    I think a nihonmono episode would be great, especially because there’s going to be so many this year it seems like (Sekkasho just ended, Kai’s small theater show was a nihonmono, both Yuki and Hana are doing nihonmono grand theater one-acts back to back, Yuki is re-running Hoshiai now, and Coto’s small theater show is also one I believe). So that’s already six and we haven’t even gotten the rest of the year’s lineup announced (last year they did four including Sekkashou and if you count Kenshin ;).

    Oh also, I’ve been thinking lately it’d be fun to do an episode about planning travel to Japan to see Takarazuka, if there hasn’t been one done already. I love giving travel tips, so if that’s something that could be done I’d love to be on that one! XD (and also the nihonmono one if you guys want another person!)

    1. I’m definitely looking forward to the nihonmono episode, and I will add travel planning to our topic list, thanks! (and we’ll get in touch about those episodes)

  2. Thank you so much for this episode. I’m going to trying to find some of the older productions to catch up. Darn….more on the list.
    The two performances that I loved Sou in asTsukiyomi in Susano-o and Liu Bang in Gu Bijin. In fact, when I saw her in Gu Bijin I was wondering why she wasn’t a top star.
    Thank you Becca for talking about Misuzu’s relationship. I was wondering if that would come up. Lesbians in the revue and lesbians as fans is probably a whole other episode.

          1. I don’t! I owe myself a TIP order… when I get around to watching the 2 shows I bought like 3 years ago and never got around to watching ^^;

  3. Thank you always for your effort and time on the Podcast.

    As for Matsu story, I recalled the time her fans were so disappointed and upset by her partner, not Matsu at all. Her fans thought she was brainwashed by her partner. One terrible thing her partner did was… she often talked about her relationship with Matsu in her blog even though she was still in the company.
    Such as like this… ” Matsu rushed to come to my place after her Tea Party. She said she was so tired at the Ochakai..” with her pic in her blog. If she was OG, no problem, but we all know the rules that we can’t post anything private on public SNS about current actresses. Another thing she said in her blog ” Matsu says to me, as long as she has me, she doesn’t care what others say or feel about her” Her fans just genuinely liked her talent and performances. So her fans felt she chose her partner over them then. Kobayashi Ichizo sensei said, “Takarazuka is the place to sell Dreams to the audiences. タカラヅカは夢を売るところ” I myself was angry with what her partner did. No respect at all for 宝塚歌劇団 and 現役生.

    1. Thank you for clarifying! Even though Takarazuka is a world of dreams, I think it’s important for the fans to remember that their favorite star is a real person and respect whatever she does for her own happiness. But her partner disrespecting the Takarazuka rules is also disrespectful to Mattsu herself, and I understand why that would upset her fans.

      1. Matsu partner owns and runs a couple of beauty salon and jewelry business. That’s why she has her own blog.
        Some of Matsu fans even went to her salon or bought some jewelry at her store just for curious then. Good help for her partner’s business. …>_<…
        Oh, well… as long as Matsu is happy now, that all we care.

  4. Great episode and one of my favorite troupes! I really enjoyed the bits of trivia and learning more about the background of some of the stars I was familiar with. I think an episode about Tom would be a great idea and would love to hear that. She is just eternal.

    1. No kidding! I did a double-take when the poster for Shigure-zaka went up. I don’t think she’s aged at all in the 12 years since Takarazuka last put it on.

  5. Yukigumi is my troupe ;A;
    But I regret to say that I haven’t seen all the shows that you guys talked about. ‘In Quest for the Blue Bird’ is weird. I’ve only seen the shinko because Kimu and Teru are bros, but it’s still crazy, I love it.

    I’m also a fan of jidaigeki so I love that this troupe is the nihonmono troupe. Shou actually wore hakama for rehearsals for like 3 consecutive shows – Lupin III, Hoshikage no hito and Hoshiai no hitoyo. I think I like her more than Saki, but Saki is a better dancer. Saki said that a lot of the troupe members like learning about history and when they go on tour, they went around visiting castles and such. They also research about the era of the play that they were acting in so they can add-on realistic details to it, like obi tying style.

    I think Teru’s nickname came about because an upperclassmen said she looks like GLAY’s Teru. Now about Mattsu, someone did tell me that she’s gay but I didn’t know that she was open about it on her blog.

    Kimu is my all-time favourite. Some useless trivia. When she made a mistake on stage, she would slap her cheek. It’s ok if she slaps herself during practice but there was a time she absentmindedly slapped the mic that was attached to her cheek lol

    I’m quite sad that Reiko is transferring, I don’t know if I’ll like Aasa in Yuki. Someone is trying to convert me to Soragumi because I like Zun-Sora brOTP. I think I’ll stick with Yuki though, because Daimon.

    1. You are right about the origin of the nick name.
      And the one who said it was Takashiro Kei (who is huge a Glay fan). Reference is the Young Star Guide from 2008 – I know I’ve seen that somewhere else, too, but can’t remember where – if anyone wants to check. 🙂

  6. Loved this episode! So happy to hear all the Rira love (I loved Rira and Komu SO MUCH~~~ Both such great dancers and singers, and yes, Rira was such an epic support for Komu-Komu, morphing from the softest of delicate ladies to a prowling seductress that allowed Komu to show off her “adorable uke” side XD). I loved Shirahane Yuri too–so sad she only got to be Top Musumeyaku for such a short time. ;__; I loved her so much in Aoi Tori/Takarazuka Dream Kingdom (Jewelry Girl, lulz~). It was also great hearing the early history of Yukigumi and some of its first major top stars. But I’m with Carly, Komu is one of my all-time favorite top stars (she was just so freaking cute~~ While being super-hot at the same time?! “Witch magic!” XD) and I would honestly be happy hearing a whole episode hearing you guys go through all the shows in the Komu-Rira era of Snow Troupe~~ Her whole interesting relationship with Todoroki Yuu too–I feel like they were paired as “love interests” in some of those occasions when Komu and Rira weren’t love interests~~ ^^ <3)

    1. Also, Mirai Yuki’s epic voice–kyaaaaa!! XDDDDD She had so many good solos in the Komu era… And epic Miho Keiko!! XD What was that super-duper epic trio she, Mirai Yuki, and Komu sang together? (talk about some huge voices!) It’s like one of my favorite moments of Takarazuka music *ever*…

      Loved Maisaki Rin’s unforgettable “Vai de Amores” solo in Tarantella–Komu and Rira’s dance was so gorgeous in that too~~~ Ahh, I’m dying of nostalgia now…

  7. Totally off topic (except for the general topic of Takarazuka) will the podcast be speculating on the possibly otokuyaku?!? casting of top musumeyaku Manaki Reika in All For One? I’d love to hear what you guys think about that.

  8. Great episode! I can feel the Yukigumi love <3 Jen, I know exactly what you're talking about re: Junko-san's jump when she sings "Johnny on the Hill" 😉 Love it!! Also, dear god, if someone has the link, PLEASE show us Nene & Ayu's face-swap because that sounds wonderfully terrifying XD

    1. Also if I may ask, who is the former Hanagumisei who who is very vocal about LGBTQ+ stuff? I’m sad that I was so unaware of this; last I heard, Kashi being seen at gay bars was the big news… *so out of it* >.>;;;

      1. I, too, am curious about who else from the revue is very vocally pro-LGBT. Considering that Takarazuka-machi became the second municipality in Japan to recognize same-sex marriages, it seems to be an important topic going forward. ^^

  9. Thank you so so so much for this wonderful episode ♡♡♡
    I am kind of sad that I wasn’t able to be around for this episode, but you did such a perfect, perfect job ♡

    As for the Mattsu thing, I am happy that she was comfortable enough to out herself and I am very happy for her.

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