Author Comment    

Aug 13, 05 - 2:50 AM
The Takarazuka Question

The Takarazuka Revue is probby the only place in Telluria that one can see blondes and brunettes behaving as - well - as blondes and brunettes should. You know what I mean, beautiful blondes in glorious gowns. Dashing brunettes in splendid uniforms. High adventure and high romance without people falling about over these odd-looking em-ee-en which call for such unwilling suspension of disbelief in even the most up-to-date films.

There is only one problem. The stories themselves are direct translations of Tellurian stories, so in theory the brunettes are supposed to represent em-ee-en. This hardly matters when one just watches the shows for the spectacle, enjoying the glamour and romance, and not understanding a word of the language.

The problem comes when one wants to understand the plot. There are two approaches here:

1. Know the actual, plot and find ways to Aristasianise it

2. Just watch it in sheer ignorance and make up the plot as it goes along.

(Did you know that the successful magic Roundabout programme in Infra was made in just that way - it is a French puppet-presentation and the wallah who wrote the Englsh version just watched it and made up the story with no idea of what it meant in French.)

I do rather favour Method 2 in theory - or perhaps some mixture of the two.

Other problems are that in some performances, some of the brunettes have - well - moustaches! Also there is a certain amount of war, revoluton and violence. Now in Aristasia violence against one's own kind is virtually unknown - at least on an organised scale (one gets the odd brunette-fight and the occasional - VERY rare - murder, but wars, except against the Outlander, and revolutions just don't happen).

So, we have to situate the Takarazuka world somewhere akin to Aristasia, but with more of the Vikhelic principle (of violence and discord) and perhaps also some interbreeding with Outlanders (really infra dig, but there you are) producing a few odd brunettes.

Thinking of all this in relation to Berusaiyu no Bara (the Rose of Versailles). One thought that the revoltionary element would have to be concerned with a legitimate versus an illegitimate royalty (since anti-monarchical revolution would be unthinkable even in a quasi-Aristasian world). Perhaps the (fortunately very rare) hirsutism in this production could be put down to the dubious ancestry of the illegitimate house, Thus the herione, Marie Antionette would be illegitimate - but tragically, romantically so - while the wonderful blonde captain Oscar would be a Loyalist.

Just some jottings, as it were, towards an Aristasian synopsis to help you all enjoy Berubara more completely.