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News and Discussions

So how did you get into Zuka?

posts: 113 Singapore
After seeing the amazing Seattle interview uploaded yesterday by the Zuka podcast peeps, I was chatting with a friend about this today:

How did you get into Zuka?

I did hear about Zuka in various Japanese media like as a parody in Anime (Ouran High School Host Club) or mentioned in a movie or a crossover performance with Zuka and AKB. My 90+ year old dad actually saw a Zuka performance back in the day when he was much younger and said it was amazing. But I never thought much of it, I suppose it seemed curious and odd.

If it wasn't for my best friend who took me to see 'Grand Hotel' at Grand Theater this year, I wouldn't have known anything about this at all.

What fascinates me most is the entire concept of the thing! I was from an all girl school right from elementary school to high school. We used to do school plays where girls did the male parts. Watching Zuka was like that kind of school play on steroids!

And as I watched in fascination, it was the performance that mattered, I didn't see gender at all. And my goodness! I have never seen technical and emotional prowess of that caliber before! I was truly blown away!

I just love everything about it now! The shows, the performance, the actresses, the fan culture, the merch. It's got me hook, line and sinker. I'll always be a Zuka fan even as generations move on! I love it!

Zuka has taught me to appreciate dance, theater, stage performance a whole lot more. I'm still a moving image person but I learned to like stage shows a lot more.

So what's your story?
posts: 113 Singapore
Hahahah RE: Ouran - I loved the Lobelia girls! I wish they got more screen time! But alas, they're not the focus of the show so, understood.
posts: 6
A friend of mine introduced me because I liked musicals, and evidently she was trying to share the zuka love. We watched Scarlet Pimpernel (2008 hoshi), and after that Phantom (2011 hana), and I never stopped watching since.

Later I realised that yes, Ouran had a full blown zuka reference, when I was rewatching the series - I'd seen it maybe 4 years ago and never looked up what this 'Takarazuka Revue' was. I DID however love the Lobelia girls XD

And even later (ahem, 2016), in rewatching one of my favourite anime of all time (Rurouni Kenshin), I realised I'd been fully indoctrinated. Suzukaze Mayo voiced Kenshin, and I'd always been low-key attracted to the way his voice worked. The way it goes from soft and gentle to tough (aka normal speaking voice versus otokoyaku voice, thank you Suzu). It also explains why I instantly liked the 1992 tsuki version of Puck, and in particular the takarasienne playing Puck (Suzukaze Mayo), and her VOICE was wonderful. It felt so familiar (no duh, but I didn't know that back then). Now I know just how indoctrinated I really was XD
posts: 5
I've always loved stageplays and musicals, but was more focused on the non-musical plays like the ones by the amazing Ninagawa Yukio (may he rip).

But I first got interested in Zuka through the handful of OGs; Maya Miki, Makoto Tsubasa (especially as she did butai with Johnny's boys like Tackey, etc), Kuroki Hitomi, and the first woman I fell in love with, Dan Rei. But It was *really hard* trying to find stuff about them, unlike the aforementioned Johnny's fandom, so for quite a while I couldn't get into the fandom, and then for a few years I kind of forgot about the kagekidan.

And then I saw (at the time current) top stars Chie, Teru and Tomu in SMAPxSMAP for the 100th year anniversary and I was reminded all over again that I've always been interested in them, additionally, I was a lot more well-connected fandom-wise,no longer have language issues, and have the means to actually consume their plays by then.