Episode 1: Why do foreign fans enjoy Takarazuka?

In this episode:

  • Introductions
  • What’s making us happy about Takarazuka lately?
  • Why do foreign fans enjoy Takarazuka?

So, what do you think? Do you have any additional comments to add to our discussion? Please drop us a note below!

Also, we are desperately seeking folks with expertise on editing podcasts, either as advisers or to take over the work.

Links (things discussed in the podcast):

Glossary:

9 thoughts on “Episode 1: Why do foreign fans enjoy Takarazuka?”

  1. Great first show. I’ll be waiting to hear more. I would recommend avoiding nicknames because even after 6 years I still don’t know them all.

    Why I like Takarazuka?: I love musicals. I love women. I love women in tuxes. I hit the jackpot!

  2. Thank you girls for going for it despite the technical and time difficulties. It’s fun just to hear people laughing and cracking jokes about Zuka!

    I was glad someone brought up how Zuka makes male roles and songs feel more accessible. Even if it’s impossible for me to be a otokoyaku, their sheer existence allows me to imagine myself playing those roles and makes singing/acting/dancing along more enjoyable.

    There’s also the novelty factor! Zuka is something very unique and it’s exciting to find that you’ve stumbled into such a rich little world all it’s own. It’s also really fun and intriguing to see something familiar being done in a strikingly new way, which is likely another large reason Western adaptations often act as a gateway. We’re also seeing modern Japanese works become a gateway as foreigners are drawn in by anime and game adaptations. Hearing about Phantom was the first “pull” for me, but the show that lead me solidly into the fandom was Gyakuten Saiban, and it seems like we’re already seeing an influx from the Kenshin news.

    Speaking of prior interest in Japanese language and media, there is the added bonus that in most cases as a foreigner you will be improving your language skills, which can be used as a mental “excuse” to pour more of your time and money into it. That I can willingly write essays in Japanese in the form of a letter on a regular basis is still pretty mind blowing to me, and gives me a sense of achievement in addition to the awesome warm fuzzies.

    On that note, I just personally love being in love and pouring that out to people and Zuka gives me a very safe way to do that.

  3. I’m so glad the podcast was launched! I didn’t mind the intense fangirling at all… since my zuka friends are scattered all over the world it was nice to feel like they were in my car!

    To add another unique appeal that Takarazuka might have to foreign fans: I think that, at least in the vast majority of cases, Takarazuka tends to grab people who are very passionate about their hobbies and love things HARD. It’s still extremely obscure outside Japan, but if you can manage to gateway in from something (be it other aspects of Japanese media/culture, a general love of theater, a thirst for camp and glitter, whatever) I think it offers a VERY unique fan experience. As someone who tends to fall hooooopelessly in love with people/things related to my interests, I find the fan-star relationship kind of intoxicating. For me Takarazuka was preceded by a few fandoms that I loved just as much but sort of watched helplessly from afar, which could be maddening at times… but zuka provides an opportunity for legitimate participation. Even if it’s just a fraction of the amount, being able to give back some of the happiness and strength that you get from your favorite stars through sending letters and gifts, or through your physical presence outside the theater, at tea parties, etc., in an environment where fan support is pretty clearly appreciated, feels REALLY good. Like for all she makes you smile, if you can actually make her smile even once… it’s addictive haha.

    Granted a lot of this is possible because of the very specific demographic that zuka draws, but I don’t think anything else in the world offers quite the same fan/star experience.

    1. This times a thousand. It’s a huge double whammy to discover such an AMAZING THING that can make you happy beyond words just by existing but then to find out that you can be a part of it in some way… it’s hard to believe something so wonderful could get even better but it does.

  4. Great idea! Great show! I really enjoyed your podcast!

    I have some expirince with editing audio and can help if you need. But it was about 2 years ago and I should remind all things about it first 🙂

  5. That was such a fun listen! With Live Journal becoming much less popular, I’ve really missed having a forum to discuss Zuka. Listening to everyone fangirl reminded me of having that kind of forum.

  6. This is great. So happy to be making all these Christmas discoveries. Though I’ll be listening to the actual Christmas podcast at a later date. To answer the question I think I heard, it indeed is fun to listen to you talk about Zuka. It makes one feel much less isolated and reminds them how fun it is to be able to talk about a shared interest in something. Also, listening to people with pleasant voices fangirl is generally smile-inducing :).

  7. Okay, I am incredibly late to the party. But this, omg. You make me so happy.
    I am getting back into this fandom after 10 years and hearing you talk about it makes me realize how much I have missed the fandom in particular.
    Of this episode’s lineup I think I know only Jen in person but you all sound so lovely and sweet and ohmygosh I have missed you guys so much.

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