Haruno: We haven’t been able to have a real talk lately, have we? I thought this was perfect: “We have to talk!”
Sena: So passionately! Passionately!! You wanted to talk with me? (laughs)
Haruno: Yep (laughs). I can’t discuss with someone I don’t know well. There’s really nothing in particular to talk about (laughs).
Sena: I get it, I get it (laughs).
Haruno: It’s like, just sitting here like this face-to-face is enough (laughs).
Sena: Well then, it’ll be all “……” (the two burst out laughing) “……….” (the two burst out laughing) …. Like that (laughs).
Haruno: Creepy (laughs).
Haruno: When Asako (Sena), who I’d always done everything with, changed troupes…
Sena: Were you lonely?
Haruno: Don’t dismiss it like that (laughs). Asako, after doing the special appearance with Moon Troupe she went straight into Moon without returning to Flower Troupe, so that it was as if before I knew it this strong impression hit me. What’s on your mind now? That’s what I want to know most. Before even if we couldn’t talk we were by each other and I had an idea.
Sena: For me, changing troupes and finding myself in this position, I thought: I’m busier than ever, aren’t I? And more nervous?
Haruno: That’d be true.
Sena: But that was completely wrong. I think with the kumichou and fukkumichou and Ozora and Kiriyan around me they won’t let me get myself into that kind of a situation. I’ve been truly blessed. There’s only one Takarazuka, but the troupes are different and it’s a completely different world. Now after having left one, I feel as if I’m leading a completely different life. I changed troupes and immediately played the female role of Elisabeth, which may have increased that impression.
Haruno: While you were rehearsing for Elisabeth you didn’t come to Flower Troupe rehearsals often.
Sena: True. I wanted to look in more often, but I couldn’t.
Haruno: I’ve seen you wearing a skirt dozens of times, but it felt as if you were fighting yourself…
Sena: It really did. I was deadly serious in any case.
Haruno: You became very severe. It didn’t feel like you would be sweetly saying “Masa-chan” to me again.
Sena: I didn’t want to worry the people in Flower. I didn’t want them wondering: “Is she all right?” Probably my pride. But truthfully I wasn’t all right at all. “I’m fine. It’s fun,” came out of my mouth, but the honest truth of that time was that I was being defeated.
Haruno: But you know, she was wonderful, your Elisabeth.
Sena: The day Masa-chan (Haruno) came was the only day I wasn’t anxious, because you were there. But my heart was beating fast, since you know “Elis” so well, about asking you different questions, like: “After the last performance, what did you hear?” (laughs)
Haruno: (laughs). Actually, I was a little nervous when I went to see Moon’s performance.
Sena: Really? Why? Could it be because I was still in the Moon Troupe dressing room and you felt like a member of the audience?
Haruno: Yes, a bit.
Sena: I think that was it (laughs). For me, I felt the same way when you did a special performance (laughs). When I talked with you the atmosphere felt like: “Here, be my guest.”
Sena: And back then I told everyone, “I’m going to see Haruno-san today,” and they replied, “Please enjoy yourself today.” (laughs).
Haruno: (laughs). As if you’ve turned into something of mine? (laughs)
Sena: Yes, yes. I’m yours (laughs).
The Most Important Thing
Haruno: On opening night at the Daigekijou you were smiling eloquently in your blue suit – bravo, Asako. “Thank goodness! Thank goodness!” I thought.
Sena: You were crying (laughs).
Haruno: Somehow… I was so happy and emotional… that I cried. I knew that everyone in the troupe loved you, and I was so happy seeing you with your smiling face being cheered on. Previously, I had received so much love, but there were times when I couldn’t return the favor… Asako, you’re really something.
Sena: Ah, you’re just understanding this now? (laughs)
Haruno: Yep, just now….. I’m slow (laughs).
Sena: Didn’t you regret when I left Flower? (laughs)
Sena: Damn! (laughs)
Haruno: I didn’t! Because now you’re shining so much that I don’t regret it at all!!
Sena: I thought you’d say that (laughs).
Haruno: Since opening day you’ve become so capable and bright…
Sena: Now I’ve been thinking, “Back then there was so much more I could have done for Masa-chan”. Then is then, and there was a lot that we did, so I’m not regretting it, but there are things I wish now I had done. Now Kiriyan (Kiriya) and You-chan (Ozora) cheer me on day after day, and give me so much love. What everyone sees me able to do is actually because of the people around me. I think that there’s a lot more that I was capable of doing for you.
Haruno: As expected, you’ve got it all wrong in your head. Sena-san is simply the one who plays the heroes, isn’t that the feeling?
Sena: Not yet. And isn’t that true for you? You know it.
Haruno: That’s not so! (laughs) Earlier I said easily, “You were smiling eloquently” and such, but I think beneath the surface there must have been a lot of worries. Changing troupes, becoming a top star, there must have been many worries I know nothing about. Asako, you project an image of an “ore-sama character”†, but I know that part of you is very feminine and delicate, so I worry about you. But ultimately when I see you on stage able to return everyone’s smiles I think, “She’s continued on and worked hard in ways I don’t know.”
Sena: Masa-chan, after you came to see us on opening night, you sent me an e-mail.
Haruno: “Reach for the stars, like when you were a child.”
Sena: I’ve kept it. It’s from the lyrics I sang in “Revue Tanjou”. I recognized it right away.
Haruno: Ah, you did? I was so happy you sang that song.
Sena: Every time I sing that song I picture in my heart things like the time I went with you to Kawabara in the middle of the night to play with fireworks, and other memories of the two of us.
Haruno: I was dancing then, so I couldn’t see you singing, but I could feel that you smiled as you sang. And I understood the feelings you were conveying as you sang, so I’ll never forget it from now on, no matter what environment I’m blessed with, no matter what I’m given. How should I put it—? “A pure heart.” I’ll never forget this most important thing…
Sena: Wait!! I’m the most important!?
Haruno: (silence) …. “Asako is?” …. she said!? (laughs)
Sena: That’s how it feels (laughs).
Haruno: Right! For the two of us!
Sena: The two of us, like that, have come this far with a “keep trying!”
Haruno: Yes, yes, yes. For a long time. I’ll never forget that.
Sena: Sure! We can’t have any misunderstandings!
Haruno: That’s something I know I want you to understand, but though I hoped you felt that way, I used the song instead of daring words.
Sena: I understood that.
Sena: I think it’s presumptuous of me to say this, but I think these feelings you’ve conveyed are even bigger for me than for you.
Sena: Sorry (laughs).
Haruno: No, you see, I understand.
Sena: Seems like we both think that way.
Haruno: Yes. Asako loves more. Me, thinking about it, I really understand.
Sena: That’s why I said it, and I don’t think it’s something painful at all. Because Masa-chan always reacts perfectly. In the middle of all kinds of constraints, I feel like you returned my feelings.
Haruno: Not being able to make an equivalent acknowledgement is a huge dilemma.
Sena: That’s how I felt. Because you’re so kind. It feels as if more than doing what I can to make a difference I’m fighting against a feeling that I can’t repay you… although I know it’s not something that needs to be repaid.
A Star Reached…
Sena: I will truly always be, no matter what happens, your friend… Uhm… Tears… (cries).
Haruno: Oh now (laughs). Yes. You’re always my friend. I’ll never betray you.
Sena: … I’ve started crying…. (cries) I think a lot will happen from now on, but to have made it to where I am, and remembering you when you first heard about it…. Uhm… It doesn’t matter what time, if you ever want to reach for a star… please call me (cries).
Haruno: Of course.
Sena: Someday we’ll have to get your nephew and my niece married (laughs).
Haruno: Good idea (laughs).
Sena: That’s my new dream (laughs).
Haruno: Very like you (laughs). You don’t have to put up a front with me. I know you, so be yourself with me…
Haruno: I want you to be.
Sena: Even if I cry like this?
Haruno: Yep. That’s precious to me.
Sena: Masa-chan, when I was talking with a smile, you had this worried look on your face.
Haruno: Eh!? I was making a weird face?
Sena: A worried face. A look of “you don’t have to try so hard.” At that time, I thought, “Masa-chan, don’t look at me like that!” (laughs)
Haruno: (laughs) Taking it easy together like this… Catch a star… and let’s eat!
Sena: Eat it!? (laughs)
Haruno: Yes. Chomp chomp. (laughs)
Sena: Got it. Let’s eat! …. And, geeeez! Here I was going to so much trouble to have a good conversation~! (laughs)
After the Talk
Haruno: After Asako left Hanagumi, this space opened up where she had been and created a vacuum. Even now, I think. These times we don’t know about, and the feelings associated with those times, today we were able to learn through a thorough talk, which was a relief to me, personally. It was really wonderful to have had an opportunity like this. Asako’s good sense of course hasn’t changed… I really enjoyed myself.