Aran Tyrian is superb!
The day before yesterday, the first day of Takarazuka Star Troupe's "El Halcon", I went to see the show at the Takarazuka Grand Theater with editor-in-chief K-shima-san and U-ki-san †. How would my own work be adapted for the stage? — I was considerably nervous with anticipation and worry until the curtain went up.... I remove my hat for the perfection of the lead Aran Kei's acting and singing powers. She was a wonderful Tyrian Persimmon! The rich costumes suited her immensely, and along with the black hair, her figure draped in the beautiful mantle as she made her farewells was gorgeous, and more than anything the strength in her gaze was all Tyrian. It seems that she went to great effort not to break the manga image herself. She portrays perfectly the complex character of this passionate, cool, and stoic man, and fascinates just with her overwhelming presence. I'd really like other fans of the manga to go and see this Tyrian brought to life straight from the image.
Toono Asuka played Gilda sublimely, with a woman's heart which is half imposing female pirate and half ambivalent, and was lovely. Yuzuki Reon's Red was a handsome man with a conspicuous contrast between the slight sweetness which lingered from his naivety and the role of the villain. Nicholas was lovable and cute, and K-shima-san and U-ki-san were infatuated with Captain Black (laughs). All of the troupe members conveying their enthusiasm clearly through their many performances; the music overflowing with spectacular emotion and the moving theme songs; the stage equipment which must have cost a fortune — Through all this the world of "El Halcon" opened up before us. In the final moment of Tyrian dying from the bomb, I shed tears without noticing. How embarrassing for the author to be crying, but I was really moved. Then in the final scene with Tyrian and Gilda dressed all in white dancing together for a moment, the tears of gratitude I choked back exceeded all expectations.
When the opening show was over, the three of us said "I want to see it again", just like a bunch of middle-aged ladies following a new fad (laugh), and the next day we delayed our return to Tokyo to see the show on its second day. It was even better than on the first day, and I got the deep impression that a play is a living thing, and there I was with the tears streaming down again (laugh).
They accurately put a three-volume story into an hour and a half, so the play's development is very speedy and energized. It has its origins in Takarazuka conventions and so on, yet I appreciate very much the efforts Saitou Yoshimasa-sensei went to to dramatize it while being true to the image of the creator. I think it's a show which is fully loaded with the scenes that fans of the manga will want to see. I am deeply moved with thanks to the staff who underlie the production. Thank you for making such a wonderful production. Everyone, please do your best for the long stretch from now until December 15th. And from January 2nd in Tokyo. A lot of people who worked on publishing the manga are planning to go see it, and are waiting with anticipation now. You, the readers, too should definitely go and see the fascinating Aran Tyrian.
† Aoike shortens the names of these two to give them some anonynimity.