November 20, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Now With Less Giraffe

-Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight, Ep03
If you had told me that the director of this show had never worked with the director of Revolutionary Girl Utena, I would not have believed you.  And I would have been correct: the director of Revue Starlight, Tomohiro Furukawa, was assistant director on Yuri Kuma Arashi under Kunihiko Ikuhara.  And boy, does it show.

It's not quite as stylized and "out there" as Utena, but the ties are there.  The same fever-dream imagery, girls and swords, the same grand theatrical attitude towards itself.  Which is good, since Revue Starlight is ABOUT theatre.  Not surprising; the anime is based on a stage production that's half-musical, quarter-Cirque du Soleil, and quarter-Formula 1 Qualifying.  Which sounds weird, but trust me on this one... it is.  But in a good way!  If you've ever spent any serious amount of time in the theatre biz, this is a must-watch.  If you haven't, it's basically a sports series with a serious psychological aspect.  And singing.

A lot of singing.  In flat-out stage musical style.  These ain't pop songs, these aren't Idols, these are being sung by professional musical theatre actresses, many of whom have either been in or would join the stage productions.  And they're friggin' excellent.  It's been a long, long time since a series made me feel the way this one does.  I actually despise one of the characters... not because she's written poorly but because if you've spent any time in theatre, you know her attitude is... untenable.  That's good work from the writers.  But don't go into this expecting Idol happiness and fluff, you won't get it.  Does the possibility frighten you?

I understand.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 04:34 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 I started this one and wandered off, mainly because little miss ditzy genki-girl protag drove me up the ENTIRE wall. I'm told the show gets better, I just haven't gotten 'round to taking another run at it...

Posted by: GreyDuck at November 21, 2019 10:12 AM (yisPP)


I greatly enjoyed Revue Starlight, despite the show feeling like it was co-written with cocaine and LSD.  I am not sure why, though - maybe the sure absurdity of everything was what caused genuine enjoyment.

It certainly helped that the voices of the characters were done by their original actresses from the musical - only one of the seiyuus is a dubbing pro (Suzuko Mimori.).  There is at least one person on Twitter and Youtube who did a whole series explaining the background of the franchise and its' take on portraying the famous Takarazuka Revue.

Posted by: cxt217 at November 22, 2019 05:14 PM (LMsTt)

3 Wait. This is an anime about the 'zuka review?

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at November 23, 2019 03:01 AM (5iiQK)

4 Not really but it is modeled after the Revue and has a fair bit of subtle criticism of the latter.  Several members of the production staff for the Revue Starlight musical production had been part of the Takarazuka, so any similarities are not coincidental.

Posted by: cxt217 at November 23, 2019 11:33 AM (LMsTt)

5 Beastars also takes place in the theater club. But other than the Cast/Crew split, I don't get the same feeling.

Posted by: Mauser at November 23, 2019 06:08 PM (Ix1l6)

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