Top Combi Talk: featuring Flower Troupe
(from Takarazuka Revue 2010)

Matobu Sei x Ranno Hana

First interview

Matobu: We haven’t really had time to talk together leisurely, before now.

Ranno: When I met with Yuu-san (Matobu) to learn by observing during rehearsals and the Grand Theater run of “Gu Bijin”, she always had warm words for me, and I was very happy.

Matobu: I also experienced changing troupes, so I understand how difficult it is. Moreover, Ran-chan (Ranno) transferred and then quickly became lead musumeyaku, so I think you have more things weighing on you than I did. In any case, as a fellow-transferee, I wanted to convey to you: “It’s all right.”

Ranno: Before I participated in Tokyo rehearsals, I was full of worries, but after the first meeting I felt like I understood everyone, and I became wrapped up whole-heartedly in the matter at hand, with all my heart. When it was decided that I would transfer, Yuu-san called me with formal greetings, and even then she told me, “Bring along all of your experiences and memories from Moon Troupe in your pack.”

Matobu: That’s true.

Ranno: On the morning of the final performance of "Hamlet!!" (my last show in Moon Troupe), you sent me the words “Enjoy yourself in Moon Troupe up until the very end, and welcome to Flower Troupe from tomorrow” by e-mail, and I had the moving impression that you were really turning to me with warmth.

Matobu: Because there are many emotions on your last day. At the time that I transferred from Star Troupe, as the clock struck 12 I thought with deep emotion of how I was becoming a member of Flower Troupe, as if I had done a countdown in my heart. At the time I was also uneasy about leaving the Star Troupe that I had been enrolled in for ten years, and in order to fit in to Flower Troupe quickly, I thought I had to erase all of my memories from Star Troupe. However, instead, I realized that everything to this point is a “treasure”, and that I am what I am now because of my experiences in Star Troupe. That’s why I hope that you also aren’t starting over again in Flower Troupe, Ran-chan, but will bring with you everything that you cultivated during your five years in Moon Troupe.

Ranno: I was so happy to hear you say that. I feel now that I must do my best in Flower Troupe, but I also want to bring out from time to time the things I learned in Moon Troupe.

What do you feel are your partner’s charms?

Matobu: My very first impression of Ran-chan was that she was, before all else, a Takarazuka-esque musumeyaku. She has a certain elegance and striking features, and when she stands on the stage she has a brilliance to her.

Ranno: Yuu-san has been a star since I first began watching Takarazuka, so….

Matobu: When we first met I was startled when you said, “I fear that I have a disproportionate knowledge about you.” (laughs)

Ranno: (laughs) When I looked at your photos in Kageki and Takarazuka Graph, I was thinking, “What a beautiful person!”

Matobu: You’re kidding (laughs).

Ranno: It’s true. To be speaking to that Yuu-san is a mysterious, exciting thing (laughs). On stage you are manly and cool, but to meet the real you, you have a gentle demeanor, and I think that gap is also wonderful.

Matobu: (laughs) From your classmates I heard that you were hard-working, reliable, and someone who put all of yourself into everything. After you transferred, you came countless times to rehearsals to study by observing, and even during the performances it seemed that you were always there. After you began performing with us in Tokyo, I suppose it was only natural, but I was so happy to see that the one who was going to be my partner was so proactive and hard-working. We haven’t yet performed together, but I’m the type who performs on stage as I’m feeling in my heart, so that it changes day by day. But I feel that you’re also the type who performs with her heart…. Though perhaps you like dance more than performing.

Ranno: No, I love performing.

Matobu: I really look forward to performing together.

Ranno: I’m honored that you feel that way.

About Flower Troupe

Ranno: My impression of Flower Troupe is that it is the “straightforward troupe”. I think it may be because Matobu-san is a straightforward person, but there is a strong sense of responsibility directed toward the various roles, even in the scenes where a great number of people are present, everyone performs so that you can see the personalities of the various roles. I think that kind of stoic point is wonderful.

Matobu: Because you spend more time with your troupe mates than you would with even your family, I think it is important to believe in each other and to have a stance of working together toward a goal. I won’t stop loving the troupe girls, and because I convey that feeling to them, I think they will give their most and follow after me. I also feel that everyone is watching over Ran-chan with warmth (laughs).

Ranno: They watched over me during the entertainment at the troupe party the other day (laughs).

Matobu: That’s right, the entertainment was Ran-chan’s Flower Troupe debut (laughs). I can’t really talk about the contents, but I felt, “She has a fine grasp of things!”

Ranno: Because my classmates are very severe about the entertainment (laughs).

Matobu: It was great (laughs).

About “Sabrina”

Matobu: It’s one of Audrey Hepburn’s masterpieces, and the costumes are very impressive, but I’m really looking forward to what kind of work a musical version will be.

Ranno: The story is very stylish.

Matobu: It’s romantic, but it also has comical moments. A story where an unsophisticated woman undergoes a beautiful transformation, which I think is a perfect fit for your top star debut. I think a debut is more difficult than can be imagined, but I think it’s better for someone who doesn’t get worked up and try too hard, which I think is where your good points will emerge, Ran-chan. You’re playing the role of Sabrina in a work called “Sabrina”, and if you think about what kind of person she is, I think you’ll be able to pass into it without any nervousness. Of course I also have heavy responsibilities as top, so every time I think of it in this way.

Ranno: To be allowed to succeed to the position of a musumeyaku I venerate as much as Sakurano (Ayane)-san, means that I feel a lot of pressure. However, I want to set forth a goal of being a musumeyaku who can be next to Matobu-san and make her look even more lovely, first by performing unflaggingly and with steadiness and sincerity.

Matobu: In Flower Troupe, whose image is that each person blooms beautifully with their own special something, I look forward to the addition of the large flower, Ran-chan. My goal is a performance without falseness, but when our hearts aren’t moved, I think the audience can sense that as well, so I want to always stand on stage honestly and with a straightforward heart, so that I can convey to everyone that I hope it is the same for them. Of course I think the most important of all is that they enjoy the performance put on by everyone in the troupe, who love Takarazuka, and that they love Flower Troupe.

Ranno: I have seen and felt from both the audience and in the rehearsal rooms, how everyone believes in each other when they stand on the stage. As a member of Flower Troupe myself, I want to believe in Yuu-san and everyone, and work with all my heart.

Created by caithion. Last Modification: Tuesday 07 of September, 2010 12:46:49 GMT-0000 by caithion.