4th play, first impressions

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Katinka
Katinka's picture
4th play, first impressions

Just a few quick words about the 4th play, so that you have an idea of what it was about and how it went, overall.

Story-wise it’s a compilation of vol.6, 7 and 8, and draws a picture of how Kagetora and Minako ended up having a relationship they have (which is not sexual, by the way), and what was Naoe’s reaction to that, and how he was dealing with his emotions. The plot is dense (they had to squeeze, well, 3 volumes into 2 hours), and very much about Naoe this time. This is why it is such a blessing that Aramaki left the show at this exact moment. There is no way he would have been able to convincingly play Naoe here.

Which brings me to my main point: I am beyond happy with Hiramaki. He is as close to perfection as anyone can possibly be, given the high pace of the show. Finally, we have our dream cast, complete. And I am so looking forward to the next installment (may there be the next installment, please, please, please).

 

imperfekti
imperfekti's picture
Thanks for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing these impressions! So nice to hear Hiramaki did well! I had my expectations based on the good job he has done in other plays, but had been getting a little worried after following his tweets and how rough it seemed to be to go through this project. He did sound very serious about the role all the time though, so that was reassuring. Now I'm really looking forward to the DVD.

Can I ask how the new Minako did? And the other new actors? 

Katinka
Katinka's picture
New cast

The new cast did well, in my opinion. Kosaka and Minako are very different from the first 3 plays, and not exactly how I was picturing them while reading, but each actor has created a believable character. Minako comes across a little bit more assertive than she is in the books, but it actually works well here (especially in the Naoe-Minako scene, intense and beautiful). Kosaka has lost in mysteriouseness, but gained in expressiveness – he looks more alive, so to speak, more engaged with the world and with Uesugi (plot-wise he is more engaged, and, again, this works well in his scenes with Naoe).

Nagahide’s character has changed very little. Same playing style, and if you don’t look too closely at the face, it feels like it’s the same actor. Which is good enough for me because I liked the previous Nagahide.

There’s one member of the regular cast who really surprised me in the 4th play: Hayashi Shuji. They did the amazing Kagetora-Ranmaru scene from vol. 7, and it almost blew my mind. I know Tomita can play, but I didn’t expect Hayashi to be able to play (because he didn’t have an opportunity to show it before, I guess). Anyways. Hayashi Shuji can play very damn well.

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quaint-twilight
quaint-twilight's picture
Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the play! Good to hear that Hiramaki did well. I noticed that they will be releasing this play on Blu-Ray as well, does this mean they're making a decent profit from the production? :)

Katinka
Katinka's picture
I'm not sure

I'm not sure how much money they are making. Hopefully it will be enough for the next (and most likely last) play. This time the ticket sales were not good, I'm afraid. The first time we saw the play (it was Sunday evening - prime time by all standards) the hall was only 2/3 full, even maybe closer to 1/2 full. The next time (Monday, afternoon performance with after-talk) the hall was full - because of the after-talk. And a friend of mine who went to see the very last performance by herself says the hall was full as well. So, I really hope the DVD, the Blu-Ray and everything else sells well, to compensate for what they didn't get from the tickets. 

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labingi
Thanks for this!

I'm glad you got to see it, and thanks for the lowdown on how it went and what it covers. I didn't know they were recasting Minako. That makes me sad, as I really grew attached to the first actress. But I am very happy to hear that they found someone who can play Naoe! I am looking forward to the DVD.

Katinka
Katinka's picture
Minako recast

Imade Mai got sick or something - at least that was the official reason they gave for the recast. It happened halfway through the rehearsals, so the new actress, Onogawa Aki, only had 2 weeks to get the whole thing down (considering this, she did a terrific job).

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labingi
Minako (Spoiler, yo)

It strikes me that if they are able to do a production all the way through the end of this arc, whoever ends up cast as Minako will end up playing Kagetora, which actually makes it quite a plum role! I'm glad both current candidates are strong actors.

Katinka
Katinka's picture
Right :)

Yes, I thought about that too :) After the very first play came out, looking at Imade Mai's Minako, I thought: would she be able to do this? I'm actually not convinced that she would. Visually, I like her better, her looks are a better fit for Minako, in my opinion. But I think it's Onogawa who can give us a real, raw and intense Kagetora (it will be a very intense moment when it comes to Minako-Kagetora switch). So I'm conflicted about who I want to see as Minako in the 5th play. 

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