Classmate Talk: Shibuki Jun & Maori Yuki & Kouju Tatsuki
Kouju: The three of us were dorm students, but I actually met Rika at the exam. We had both come all alone, so we ended up talking together.
Shibuki: And then we ate together.
Kouju: That's right, but neither of us thought we would pass, so when the results were announced we clung together and cried.
Maori: A photo of that ended up in something, didn't it?
Kouju: We were inducted in the 70th anniversary year, and the picture of us crying was published in some magazine in relation to that.
Shibuki: That magazine was published just as we were yokasei, and we got scolded.
Maori: We were often getting scolded (laughs).
Shibuki: But Tartan (Kouju Tatsuki) and Minako (Maori Yuki) were always very steady.
Kouju: Minako was the steadiest. She was a leader and such too.
Maori: Speaking of Taa (Kouju), as soon as you had unpacked your bags, you wanted to go back to Hokkaido.
Shibuki: Who? You say that the reason you're here now is because someone stopped you back then (laughs).
Maori: Runpa-chan (Mayama Haru)!
Kouju: You say that a lot (laughs). When you total it up, I feel that you must have unpacked your bags about seven times.
Maori: I didn't think that you would become such a hard worker, Rika. You were really pampered and withdrawn, and in ballet and such you would always dance while looking down. But Taa always said about you: "That girl is going to make progress!"
Shibuki: Eh!? That's the first I've heard that!
Kouju: I did say it, in fact (laughs).
Shibuki: Among the three of us, Tartan is the older sister.
Kouju: I really don't think so. I'm told that I seem responsible, but I'm really not at all.
Maori: But you were a hard worker. Classes started at nine, but you were always there at school dancing by seven.
Kouju: In the beginning, my grades were awful.
Shibuki: Minako, you could do things like reading musical notation, but Tartan and I couldn't at all.
Kouju: We were terrible (laugh). We were bad at piano too. Somehow we all were goofing off.
Maori: In general, our class wasn't very serious, was it?
Shibuki: Even during ballet rehearsal, if the teacher was gone we'd just space-out......
Kouju: I'd doze off in chorus, and Minako, who was a class representative, would send me out of the classroom.
Maori: I sent you out?
Kouju: You did. You told the teacher to send me out.
Shibuki: In any case, we were all bad.
Maori: And we all rebelled against the honkasei (laughs).
Shibuki: And then when we got scolded the first target was almost always Tartan.
Maori: Runpa-chan and Oomai-chan (Oomai Kaori) were also usually targets, but in the distant future on stage the ones who stand out are the ones who seemed impertinent, don't you think?
Shibuki: As a rep, Minako was our representative and was often angry at us, but you weren't angry at us personally.
Kouju: How should I put it, a lot of our class has really changed, or perhaps I should say that they have overly-strong personalities.....
Maori: They called us terrible things, like The Black Hole and the Air Pocket. They said there weren't any stars, and we were the worst class.
Kouju: Everyone was deathly serious, but inside that we were always doing bad things.
Maori: Though with the benefit of hindsight we can laugh at it.
Kouju: There were a lot of moments when we laughed during the hatsubutai too.
Maori: We had a lot of chorus parts as hatsubutaisei, so we weren't much in the chorus box, right?
Kouju: That's right. And I'd nap a lot in the chorus box, and we got scolded for making noise in the theater basement.
Maori: A lot happened. Speaking of which, the three of us also went on the New York Tour.
Shibuki: We got yelled at then too.
Maori: I and Rika and Kirihara (Shouko) and Itsumine and Miyabi (Kei) were always together, and we were even late to catch the bus.
Shibuki: But that time we definitely checked the schedule with the sensei. And even so the bus had left, and there was a huge uproar......
Kouju: I was in charge of our yearmates, and I was backstage when the kumichou (Takara Junko) told me, and it was difficult. Because I was really worried.
Shibuki: That was three years ago now, and almost ten years have passed since we entered the Music School.
Maori: It's gone by so fast-!
Kouju: There's only one shinjin kouen left for us.
Maori: Me too, I only have the one in Tokyo left.╣
Shibuki: I've never been able to see your shinjin kouen, Minako; it's too bad. I've seen Tartan's.
Kouju: I switched troupes▓, so I've been in more shinjin kouen than everyone. But although I'm told, "I wondered how many leads you would be given", it was two: "The Rose of Versailles" and "This Love Until the Cloudy Horizon".│
Maori: Both big shows.
Kouju: For "This Love--" it had been two years since I had a lead, plus it was my first Nihonmono, so I was enormously nervous.
Maori: You seemed calm, though.
Shibuki: Watching from the audience you couldn't tell, but you were shaking like a leaf. You got nervous and the lines vanished from your head.
Kouju: The unforgettable "Romanov Jewelry" shinjin kouen!
Shibuki: Tartan had Ruko-san (Asaka Jun)'s role, so when her lines were gone there was a lot of blank time. My line when I came out after that was "I was scared!", and at the time I really was (laughs).
Maori: But because of that, nothing can scare you now, right?
Kouju: But as we advance, new worries will emerge.
Shibuki: But even long ago, you had a different quality about you, Tartan. That's why after you switched troupes, when I watched you objectively as a member of Snow Troupe, and when I thought, "Even now she dances with symmetrical positioning", it was a strange feeling. Right now you've become a great stimulus, and it's because you've been here that such a large part of me has kept striving. You've always been splendid.
Maori: You have an indescribable composure. And there's a nice kooky side to you, like when you get together with Runpa-chan to make a comedy duo; you're great.
Kouju: When we were in Music School, we did it every time we went on a trip.
Maori: You do it off the cuff, which is what makes it so amazing.
Shibuki: She had a rich sense for it. And also, she's stubborn.
Maori: That's true. Stubborn as a rock.
Shibuki: Absolutely immovable! "I think it's like this, so it's like this!!" (laughs)
Maori: Isn't that good though? For this job you have to have a strong personal policy, don't you? I definitely think it's better than being indecisive and having your opinion flow this way and that.
Kouju: I wonder...... From the beginning, you were always someone with vitality, Minako.
Shibuki: I'd say powerful or energetic... I want to follow that example.
Kouju: I haven't seen this show "PUCK"4, but I've heard that you're working hard, Minako, and even doing well with the adlibs, and I thought that was amazing. I'm particularly bad at adlibs, and just knowing that something like that is there raises my level of nervousness, so I really respect you. And then, you're a naturally sweet type. And yet you're determined to thwack at the stage, and I think that's amazing too.
Shibuki: Yes, it really feels like a 180 degree turn.
Maori: That's true for everyone, isn't it? Tartan and Rika, you're amazing on stage too.
Kouju: In your case, you really have a very sweet feel, so I think it's especially amazing.
Maori: My baby-face has caused me a lot of worry.
Shibuki: I've had the same problem.
Maori: You don't really seem to have that manner. You've grown up fast, though you have a meek and shy image.
Kouju: She really is shy, and long ago she'd mumble her lines while staring at the ground.
Shibuki: I didn't join because I really loved Takarazuka, so I didn't know what I should do.
Maori: You didn't know anything, so you absorbed it quickly.
Shibuki: And I didn't think that I'd be allowed a lead role in a shinjin kouen. But, you know, at that time Tartan and Minako really worried about me, and that was a great emotional support.
Kouju: That was a serious worry (laughs).
Maori: I knew it would be fine. But I was worried that you suddenly got a lead role without ever having played a nibante one. But you were cool.
Kouju: Yes, it was really good.
Maori: When Rika and Tartan try so hard, I'm proud and really happy. Because it's in spite of the terrible things they said about our class in Music School (laughs).
Shibuki: When I watch everyone's performances, they motivate me.
Maori: There are complete differences based on the colors of the troupe, and we've naturally acquired them, so it's a learning experience.
Kouju: I'd like to be able to go on as friends, motivating each other.
Maori: Don't leave me behind, okay? (laughs)
Shibuki: I'll do my best to not be left behind (laughs).
(1) Rika was in Flower Troupe at the time, while Tartan was in Snow, and Minako was in Moon.