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question regarding the theatre subtitles

posts: 1
Hi all,
Apologies if this question has been asked before - I am wondering why Takarazuka theatre cannot project real-time English subtitles beside the stage during the show/drama? There have been a huge number of foreign audiences, and it has been very difficult if one couldn't understand the language. It seems that Takarazuka company doesn't even bother to make the subtitles which puzzles me a bit - the translation of the drama scripts before the show is only needed and this can be good marketing strategy and custom service to attract more foreign audiences, right? I know Takarazuka Revue is mainly for locals but Takarazuka is a company and the aim for a company is to make more money, right?

I am planning to book a ticket of one of the upcoming show however it does put me off a little bit because I cannot understand the language and trust it will spoil a lot of joy :(

Any ideas?
posts: 708
Supertitles are also extremely distracting. I love opera, although I don't speak Italian, French, or German. Still, I try to ignore the supertitles when I go to live performances, which can sometimes be very difficult with them flashing right there. I'd rather enjoy the performance as the art it is. You'll be surprised how much you can get out of a show from gestures and facial expressions. I recommend going to a performance with a revue show, which definitely doesn't need any translation!

PS - Great discussion question, btw!
posts: 7
If you don't already have a specific show in mind (and maybe you do), I suggest you choose Elisabeth because there is an English script available on this site. I've seen different versions of Takarazuka Elisabeth (while looking at the script on my phone) so many times now I don't need it anymore because I know the musical so well. You might be able to do the same thing, and if not, you can at least print the script and bring it with you.
posts: 3 United States
If they hired a bilingualist fluent in japanese and english who knows how to subtitle, that would work. but for live shows, maf1201 is right. Translating is a lot of work and (coming from a subtitler) Live subbing shows is often buggy and not aesthetically pleasing. In that POV, it's another reason why the company wouldn't have livesubbing, along with all the other points mfa1201 brought up.

I think the most the company would do is make Japanese subtitles for the DVDs. Not even English translations. Perhaps, if the foreign fandom grows enough, they'll accomodate us, but we're still not the main marketing group.That 's still the native Japanese people.
posts: 23 Japan
I don't think it's cost effective for them to hire someone to translate all the scripts (and they do A LOT of shows a year) plus hire another person to actually create the subtitles. Then they'd have to pay to put the hardware into all three of their theaters (and I guess pay for additional sets that they would have to take on tour with them).

That's a lot of work and a lot of money and honestly, there aren't that many English speaking fans anyway (most of the time when I go to the theater there's only 2 or 3 westerners and maybe 5 - 10 Chinese fans in the audience on any given day, making up far less than 1% of the total audience) so it probably isn't worth the cost and effort on their part. Also, the DVDs are region locked and aren't sold outside of Japan, which renders English subtitles pretty pointless from a profit point of view.

Now if they did do that would it increase foreign viewership? Maybe. But again, what are the chances of enough English speaking foreigners actually making the trip overseas to see them regularly enough to make it worth it?