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How do you introduce people to Takarazuka?

posts: 26
Hey Everyone,

Quick question: what do you show people that are curious about Takarazuka? I have some friends coming into town and after hyping Takarazuka for the past few months they are down to see some stuff. I'm considering showing them:

- Excalibur or LUNA for a one-act (for the subs, and the fun plots)
- Greatest Hits for a revue (I think it's just so fun, and still new so the video quality won't be too distracting)
- Clips from Phantom 2004 (one is a huge Broadway/Andrew Lloyd Weber and I want to show her a different approach to the same source material, and talk about Wao Youka/Frank Wildhorn from the other direction (aka she knows all about Wildhorn but not the true star of that pair))
- Clips from For The People (They've heard about this "Tom" person but are still like, "huh"? - they are also fully aware of the pros/cons of that show and want to have a discussion)
- Something with Micchan because she's so bubbly (suggestions??)
- Something with Daimon laughing maniacally (I can't narrow it down), because we're all trying to go to Japan in the next few years and I'm hoping she's still top then.

Anyway, does anyone have any stories of showing other people Zuka for the first time? How did they take it? (aka at what point did they also become huge fans XD)
posts: 6
My main advice is do not overload them on glitter or on takarazuka. For those who have yet to find the joy of Zuka, watching a full unsubtitled show is hard in a language they don't fully understand (even with spoken running subtitles from you and even if the plot really isn't that hard).

Having said that... my gateway drug was Scarlet Pimpernel 2008, followed closely by Phantom 2011. My best friend is all about Empress Elisabeth, so I showed her Elisabeth 2007 (because she appreciates acting above singing and singing above dancing). One of my other friends was interested, but likes dark things, so I ended up going for Black Mary Poppins (OG performance of Otozuki Kei's), and afterwards introduced her to Don Juan. I've also used Romeo & Juliette as a starter, but this causes problems because I have a hard time choosing (2010 because it's Original, but then Nene is having a bad voice day sadly... 2011 because the singing and acting is -great- but then I do miss Ouki Kaname and Suzumi Shio from the 2010, though nothing on Yukigumi mind you... 2012 has demi-top issues where Ryuu Masaki would have prefered Tybalt and Asumi Rio is almost more suited to Romeo... and then the 2013 again is a switch cast where it's excruciatingly hard to pick the best one to show to someone, in part because of the choice between Makaze Suzuho as Shi or as Tybalt, etc etc.).
Either way, the point is - make it suited to the person who is watching, and don't try to watch too much in any given amount of time. Spoonfeed them babyportions until they're ready for a full thing, and pull them in slowly ;)
posts: 26

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I low-key forgot about hanagumi Ocean's 11 (idk how honestly but I'm glad to have been reminded!) And honestly seeing all the possibilities now I think we'll have to do a separate Daimon Day. (Bummer? XD)
posts: 6
When I show friends Takarazuka for the first time, I try to gauge their individual interest and find a show / revue that's likely to hold their attention for the full duration. I also pick a show that either I know really well (ie Elisabeth) and can explain what's going on in the absence of subtitles, or one where the plot is easy enough to understand or well known (ie Guys and Dolls). OR if there's a particular thing they're interested in, like Kenshin, I'll use that (and can run that with the subtitle file thankfully!). That way they don't have to worry about not knowing what's going on and can focus on enjoying the performance itself.

For revues it also depends on how much outlandishness they can handle, haha.

I also super recommend Guys and Dolls or Koumori for Micchan, and for Daimon her Lucheni is a great time with her cackling (also includes Micchan as a flawless Franz. Honestly I think 2014 Elisabeth is flawless in its entirety but I'm hugely biased).
posts: 7
Daimon in Don Juan. She was made for that part. I also find that Elizabeth 2005 with subtitles is a great gateway drug. At least play the prologue. The prologue from Brother Karamazov is also great.
posts: 25 United States
Ocean's 11 gives you both micchan and daimon :D and it should be easy enough for anyone to follow if they've seen the film despite the musical plot being a lot different.
Excalibur is one of my obligatory shows for people who are new to zuka so you can't really go wrong there (or it could just be me because the other obligatory one is El Halcon so...)