The Pleiades in the Blue
Picture Credit: yaomeis / Official Chirashi, from personal collection
English Title: The Pleiades in the Blue
Japanese Title: 蒼穹の昴
Romanized Title: Soukyuu no Subaru
Performances: Takarazuka Grand Theater, 10/01 - 11/07; Tokyo Takarazuka Theater, 11/26 - 12/25
Shinjin Kouen Performances: Takarazuka Grand Theater, 10/18; Tokyo Takarazuka Theater, 12/8
Based On: Asada Jirou's novel of the same name
Author/Director: Harada Ryou
Composer: Tama Shouichi
Choreographer: Hayama Kiyomi, Masaki Rino, AYAKO, Momoka Sari
Conductor (Takarazuka): Misaki Megumi
Shinjin Kouen Director: Tani Takaya
Available on Blu-Ray: Yes (release date 12/20/22)
Available on DVD: Yes (release date 12/20/22)
Scene/Music Cut: No
Other Cast: Mikage Kurara, Amane Kotoha, Yumehi Mari, Ayana Miki, Shiraki Hana, Mizuki Serena, Himena Tamaki, Konomi Yuki, Sakou Niina, Hoshizawa Arisa, Sakaki Ayumu, Kotoka Himawari, Kiyoha Mirei and Senno Arata.
WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
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"Liang Wenxiu, you will be allowed to enter the Forbidden City when you grow up and will eventually become the emperor’s trusted confidant in running the country. You are destined to engage in learning, spread knowledge, and support the emperor." ──
The story starts in Hebei, China, during the end of the Qing dynasty in the late 19th century.
Wenxiu, the second son of the landowner of Liangjiatun village, who has fallen asleep after drinking at a tavern at the edge of the village, is awakened by what he hears as he slumbers. It is the prophecy that was once given to him by an old Tartar fortune-teller Bai Tai Tai, and it has been stuck in his head ever since. Being teased by his friends for passing the entry-level exam for the imperial examination, Wenxiu decides to pass the final exam at any cost. At the very moment, a destitute boy Li Chun’er makes an appearance, whom Wenxiu once made a pledge of brotherhood with. Chun’er, too, believes the prophecy he received from Bai Tai Tai that he would gain treasure beyond his wildest dreams.
Not long after, Wenxiu passes the cutthroat final imperial examination with the top score, followed by Shungui and Wang Yi who come second and third respectively. They pay a courtesy call to Emperor Guangxu and his aunt Empress Dowager Cixi, the de facto ruler of the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City, where archaic customs are still practiced, immediately confronts Wenxiu with the current reality in the Qing dynasty. At this rate, the country will fall prey to the Western powers ──. Wenxiu and his capable colleagues vow to fulfill their missions. But would it be so easy to achieve the transfer of power to Emperor Guangxu? It is obvious that the emperor needs strong backing to match Empress Dowager Cixi. The great scholar Yang Xizhen, who is a teacher of Wenxiu and his colleagues, intends to entrust the role to General Li Hongzhang, the Governor-General of Tianjin.
Meanwhile, Chun’er, who came to Beijing to accompany Wenxiu for his examination but fell out with him after a quarrel, is wandering around the town at night, where he comes across a blind "erhu" fiddle player. The encounter with the man leads Chun’er to the conclusion that the only way for him to make a living is to become a eunuch.
Returning to his hometown, Wenxiu meets Lingling who is the younger sister of Chun’er. He learns from Lingling that her mother died and Chun’er has become a eunuch. Just when Wenxiu decides to bring her with him to Beijing, Bai Tai Tai appears to give him another mysterious prophecy: "You two are connected by a strange thread of fate." Then the fortune-teller disappears...
- Announced on 22/09/29: Kotohane Riri was out from 10/01 shonichi to 10/06. Arisu Himeka will play the role of Empress Dowager's court lady until her return on 10/07.
- Final performance for top musumeyaku Asazuki Kiwa as well as vice-kumichou Chikaze Karen, Haori Yuuka, and Hanataba Yume
- Final production for former director Harada Ryou, who was banned from Takarazuka premises (in Takarazuka City and Tokyo) in early December after admitting to sexual harassment of a junior colleague. Harada retired officially on the 26th of December.
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