Finally~~ *wipes sweat* Let’s hope I’ll have the stamina – and memory – to continue the other parts. Gomen, I’m usually quite detailed coz I’m afraid one day I’ll have amnesia and forget everything! Haha. When I read back X years later I’d still be able to re-live these moments~~ ^-^
Takizawa Enbujou 2007 (Part 1)
We went for 3 shows in all – the 2nd show of 25th July and both shows on 26th July. Our seats were the last 3 rows for the 3 shows. Row 19, 18 and 20 – in that order. But, no matter where you sit, you are considered “close” to the stage coz the theatre is really so small!! It looks smaller than on the DVD *lol* so no complains at all. I was happy just to be able to get in :) This was how the stage looked before the show, from row 18 or 19:
The first show was just… BREATHTAKING!!! Takkitsune-samaaaaaaaa~~!!! I can’t describe it well but if you have the chance to, go watch Enbujou LIVE!!! It’s really amazing ne!!!!!!!! Even from the last 3 rows, seeing Takki flying around, fighting, jumping, wet and *HADAKA*, running in and out of the hanamichi, all LIVE wa sugoi… Everything was well-timed — transitions between scenes, coordination between Takki, the juniors, backstage crew, lighting, sound, etc. It was the first butai I watched, and it was a very fulfilling experience indeed.
We were super high after the first show, and all I remember at the end was Ribi shouting “Saikou” and clapping furiously wahahahahaha… And I was surprisingly awake during the entire show although I did not sleep a wink on the plane the entire night before. As it was the first show, we din know what to expect, where he’d appear from suddenly or wat was gonna happen next. That was the thrill of it~ I had to refrain from watching too much of the news clips prior to this trip as I din want to spoil myself~ :)
The 2nd show – we were at Row 18. It was our nearest seat to the stage *lol* There were heads blocking in front, but when Ribi and I bent our heads towards each other, it was a clear view of Takki right in front. Yes, we were right smack in the MIDDLE!!!! Yoshitsune-sama bowing to us *sniggers*, Takki doing his Sadame *kakkoii* biceps-squeezing thing in front of us, and the Bunjee swing seems like it was straight towards us too hahahaha…
The 3rd (and last) show that we went for, we were at Row 20 aka last row. We were at the very left corner, seats 1 & 2. And 2 seats from the hanamichi. And ironically, this was the BEST seat/view we had! We din have to worry about blocking anyone behind, so we sat far out at the edges of our seats so there were NO HEADS blocking us at all!! It was a super clear view of the entire stage PLUS the hanamichi!!!! SUGGGEEE!!
So… our distance vs view vs satisfaction were evenly spaced out. i.e. the first show was the worst in terms of view but best in terms of enjoyment! And I STILL can’t really remember the sequence of events properly after 3 shows! I’m really really long-winded, so be warned before you read on fufufu~~~~
Similar to last yr’s shows, the violin player, a Jr running at the hanamichi, then ABC’s Kawai-kun dancing on the right. Followed by narration by Mori Mitsuko (who came to watch on our 3rd show). Curtains down. Takki appeared in a mask (like last yr), and juniors dropping down on ropes by the side of the stage (last yr they dropped down above the audience), red curtains dropping at the same time, revealing the set. The stage rotated, and the juniors pulled this huge folding pane apart (this yr’s pane was wider and nicer), red curtains covering, then Takki emerged and flew out from there ^^ There’s a huge dragon moving behind as part of the set. Sugoi~ And the costume he wore this year is nicer!! It’s a majestic red ^^ And he really flies with style~ and grace~
Then back to the stage, he sang and danced a bit, and disappeared (leaving only the VTR). Then Takki appeared at the 2nd floor and flew more from there. This year, he did not have to run down the stairs between the audiences. Instead he appeared via another “trapdoor” near the lights.
Takki appeared in white yukata, with a katana, and started fighting the bad guys. He looked really kakkoii in white!!!
Then with his back facing the audience, he put his hands through his yukata and pushed it outwards aka the top half of his yukata fell down to his waist *@_@* AKA HADAKA **@_@**!!!! During the first show, EVERYONE around us had the same reaction and went “WOAH” at the SAME TIME!! Hahahaha~~
Then there was this segment that was really really cool – the juniors held wooden planks, 2 or 3 planks lined up to form a ‘slide platform’ (from the stage itself to another elevated stage). Takki ran up this “slide” to reach the elevated stage. Then, the best part of it — Takki halfsquat samurai pose with katanas on a wooden horizontal plank and juniors on both sides held up that plank so that he’s raised up (plank parallel to the ground). They put 2 other planks vertically below that horizontal plank that Takki was on. Takki stood up holding 2 katanas in both hands. He was really high up, think at 3rd floor level?
Silence… Then they let go of the planks, first on the left, then on the right. And Takki, with the planks, went towards the left, straight down to the ground! The planks hit the stage *BANG* Music starts playing again. REALLY COOL!!!! I screamed when it hit the ground *lol* it looked so dangerous, yet so cool at the same time! I screamed every time for all the 3 shows. Don’t know why. Natural reaction heh~! xD
Then, he continued fighting, fighting, fighting… And finally “killed” Kazama.
Then I think he went backstage to change while the juniors introduced themselves one by one, and finally Kawai-kun introduced Takki, as zachou, who appeared from the hanamichi trap door to give his intro speech.
He removed the outer white layer to reveal one of my favourite images of the show. And this part is soooo cute! Ribi calls it “Happy Days”. Takki and the juniors started throwing and catching hats while standing in a row. Then a junior will say it’s Takki’s turn (to catch the hats I think), and he shouted “Ahhhhh” or “Haaaaa” *LOL*
Then the juniors lined up on the hanamichi and started throwing hats for Takki (on the stage) to catch. Takki managed to catch all the hats during the first show, but missed some during the other two shows kekeke… Then, the last junior will throw a hat towards Takki, but this hat has a string attached to it!! When Takki was about to catch it, the junior pulls the hat back! So obviously Takki would never be able to catch it *LOL* This was so hilarious coz of the sound effect (think “America’s funniest home videos”). Takki will then stamp his feet (while the junior laughs at him) haha. During the last show, Takki sorta tripped and threw ALL the hats in his hands on the floor! CHOU HILARIOUS!!
Similar to last yr’s but shorter in duration. And Takki was wearing greenish-grey-white (instead of last yr’s white-yellowish-beige). No fighting with long-purple-haired guy this yr. The Jrs started killing themselves one by one. The last was Hikaru. He asked his ani-ue Takki to kill him. Takki then lamented on why children must die and all that before killing himsef… One thing that’s really SUGE about this segment this year is the burning house! It looks REALLY REAL!! The fire was more intense and the red-orange-smoke was so real! Much better than last yr’s.
Mask-changing + Face-changing + Dance
House burns to the ground, then the white-face appears on the VTR (like last yr’s – go check the DVD) and started talking in this deep sexy voice *lol* I love this part in the DVD so was really happy it remained in 2007’s version. This is the start of the mask-changing segment, which is mostly similar to last yr’s. Takki appearing on a stand, doing the golden flowing thingie, and instead of pulling apart 3 maskheads, there were 5.
Music, costume changes, umbrellas, fans, etc etc were the same as last yr’s… until the ending part, instead of Takki doing the “magic mask floating upwards” trick, it was a “mask hiding behind cloth” trick. We kinda figured out how he did it by the 2nd show, but basically it’s Takki playing hide-and-seek with this little mask head that pops out and back into a red cloth.
The funniest thing was right after this. The music changed VERY abruptly to the chinese-wayang “chiang chiang toing chiang” hahahahahahaha… We laugh EVERYTIME we hear this! And Takki who had by then went under a cloth and changed really fast, appeared in the chinese opera wayang outfit (those with 2 “tails” behind his headgear kekeke). I love this bian4 lian3 (face-changing) segment alot – one of my favourite parts!! He would change his face (mask) with a flick of his hand. Can’t remember how many he changed, but there was a fierce one, a sad-looking one, a happy clown-looking one, etc etc, and finally he changed back to his own face ;)
Then was the dance that I like so much in last yr’s DVD. Last yr’s dance matched well after the mask-changing. This year, it doesn’t have that kind of ‘connection’. It’s like a dance on its own~ but it’s still cool. I don’t know what title this song is, but I love the starting moves of this dance. And this song was one of those that were stuck in my head the whole day lol~ This year, he wears a red top with black pants and vest – kira kira ones! Kakkoii!
Takki appeared in white kimono with a semi-transparent umbrella. This segment is similar to last year’s. His actions were very gentle and feminine, and coz we did not bring/have binocs, I couldn’t see his facial expression much *bad eyesight*… But his body movements were very feminine. And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE BGM DURING THIS SEGMENT. SO BEAUTIFUL~~~
Folding Fan Dance
Then a scene where Yabu refuses to dance for Kazuma (and a group of guys who were drinking) – I think. Onna!Takki comes to the rescue!! This is my favourite ONNA!Takki of all!!! OMG~~ He looks so pretty, so sweet, ESPECIALLY from the sideview!!!! He looks so pretty in person~~ Ahhhh~~~ Everytime this Onna!Takki ran in from the hanamichi, mich goes KYAAAAAAAAAAAA~~ He bowed and said something to Yabu, then he started the folding fan dance!!
And the dance looks so good LIVE!!! After a few moves, he takes off his wig and female clothes to reveal the black yukata with flower prints on it. This yukata is similar to last yr’s, but it looks sooooo nice LIVE!!! I din really like it when I watched the DVD but he looks so good wearing it live!!! AND.. and the fan dance was so nice too!!!!! He was dancing on an elevated platform… Ahhhhhhh~~~ Kakkkoooiiiii~~~
Ghost Scary Scenes
Can’t really remember much of this, coz it was freaking SCARY!!!!! We were like “eeeeeeekkss” when we saw an old lady walking past us slowly… There was a ‘lady’ in white with hair let down, walking perpendicular to the wall on the right!! and many ghosts “floating” around I think… But the scariest was this short ghost/human/girl/whatever (chibi in disguise I guess) with white-painted face that appeared from the hanamichi trap door. She It was wearing this red cheongsam dress thing, and you can’t really see the face, just very white, and the head looks oversized… SUDDENLY, she started MOVING (step by step really fast!) along the hanamichi – with this freakingly scary sound effect!!! Woah *freaks out*~ during the last show, coz we were sitting near the hanamichi, we were freaking out coz it was moving towards us… Eeeeeksss!!! *having goosebumps now just thinking about it*
Snake and fishermen
There’s also the huge green snake scene, like last yr’s, where Takki was at the end of the tail of the snake, while the head was biting the victim. The difference: this year’s victim is not a monk, but a fisherman (wearing straw hat). And the backdrop VTR shows very choppy sea… waves… lightning.. thunder. Also an improvement from last yr. During this flying segment, Takki doesn’t lift his legs up with grace. I think it’s intentional that he flies very “stiffly” while holding his red hair by the sides.
Flower-water + Kimono + Jesus Christ + Bouncing Neko + Old Man + Purple!Onna
This flower-water segment is similar to last yr’s, including the costume. There was a bridge and Takki was in the middle performing the water-coming-out-from-flowers thing.
Then this guy comes and chases all the girls off the bridge. And Takki slashes his wrist (I think *lol*). The only difference is the blood after he ‘slashes his wrist’. This yr’s version shows blood flowing down from the grilled-window pane thing. Like last year, he held on to the window pane thingie (sorry, I don’t know what that is called) while it moves up, then lets go of it and falls down to the darkness (Ahhhhhh~~~). This year, he’s facing the audience instead. But my guess: that guy is a double for Takki who just really looks like him – even from the front view – coz we’ll know later that he does have a double! The real Takki was probably already changing below to get ready?
After he falls into darkness, the bridge splits apart and Takki emerges in a totally different costume. He does this beautiful dance in this really pretty kimono that looks really good along with the dance! The way his hands move, and the legs, everything according to the beat~ One of my favourite dances ne (pic below, on the left) ^^ And the music is this famous song [mp3]. But very quickly the beat changed, and he was in this weird costume which reminds me of “jesus christ” *dunno why* Now, this 2nd dance was quite out of place and the costume looks weird (pic below on the right)! But the dance was quite catchy, moving according to the beat (of a weird tune lol~).
Then the juniors removed his pink outer coat, and hung it on strings. It floated across the stage… Then you see Takki appearing later and dancing across the stage (I think he might be wearing the other green/blue/black onna kimono from last yr? can’t remember haha), from the right to the left. On the left, there is a white-cat suit ready for him to fit into. He does something really cute before “fitting” into the white cat outfit, but I can’t remember what *lol* – I just knew it was really kawaii and we laughed (shaking his butt or something?)~ And I don’t think the person in the “white bouncing cat” outfit is Takki haha. In any case, this creature was bouncing around (like in last yr’s DVD). This is probably my least favourite part of the entire show. Aiya~ they should just remove this entire cat-thing la, since it’s quite obvious that it isn’t Takki at all ^o^
After the cat-thing, Takki appeared as the old man. He walks REALLY SLOWLY, wobbling and shivering on his walking stick keke… Really like an old man ne!! Meanwhile, the beat of the music changes to this really nice tune (slow but with a BEAT)!! [mp3] Really COOL to see an old man walking to that music!!! kekeke~~~ I like this part too ^_^ Ahh, then when old grandpa!Takki finally reached the front stage, he turns around, and some juniors helped him put on a wig, pulled down his sleeves etc, and TADA~~~ you get an Onna!Takki in purple kimono! The music has picked up a lot of pace by then too~~ but ahem, Purple-Onna!Takki looks PREGNANT fufufufufu~
Kawai-kun hitting the drums from the 2nd floor. Then one of the ABC guys came up from the trap door hung from a rope. He does some stunts, and more ABCs came and did loads of stunts. But once we saw an orange figure walking in from the right, our eyes immediately zoomed in there, and ignored the rest haha! The ABC guys did their stunts really well, twirling and spinning on ropes etc etc *pachi pachi* but our eyes were just fixed on Takki (even when the lights weren’t on him ^^).
His harness was hooked onto his pants, and he started swinging up, up, and onto this giant web which covers the face of the stage (where some stunt girls are on). He was swinging from left to right, grabbing the hands of each girl as he ‘lands’ back onto the web. Then I can’t really remember in detail, but somehow he was moved to the left, and he was preparing for his spins while the spotlight was on the ABC guys doing their stunts on the right. Then, the spotlight back to Takki. He did some jumps, front & back spins…. then he was moved horizontally to the right, where he did the same jumps, front & back spins too. Then finally, he was moved to the middle. He was always facing the audience this year (unlike last yr).
Then a “swing” was loaded down from the ceiling. Takki stands on that swing. He then started swinging (like at a playground, but he’s STANDING on the swing). Front, back, front, back (to gain momentum), front, back, front, then… he plunges off the swing and started his front layouts, jump, jump, back layouts, jump, jump, repeats and repeats…. then finally the multiple-front-spinning-at-super-high-speed-somersaults… and he stopped when the music stopped. I could see that his face looked flushed and his eyes a bit red. Pained my heart a bit but it was amazing at the same time.
During the first show, I was just WOW-ing at the whole thing, coz we’re so close to him! The 2nd show, I was also WOW-ing coz he was swinging right straight at us ma!! but the 3rd show… I was watching from the side, and I thought I saw the right rope quite loose. I was so afraid it’ll snap or something *sweats* And you know how fast the juniors hook on the harness to his pants? It’s like, they didn’t really have time to check if it was fastened properly. Takki’s life was really in their hands ne!
Ushiwaka battling in the Rain
Straight after the bunjee, Takki had to RUN backstage to change. The Juniors were attacked by baddies, then Takki aka Ushiwaka comes to the rescue! hehe~ He appeared from the hanamichi trap door. He was fighting his way out of the trapdoor!! Takki in white again!! CHOU KAKKOIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!
There was rain pouring down as he fought, jumped (he leaped over some bushes!), fought, and flew!!! Imagine a thoroughly soaked Takki flying above the audience!!! All the water, rain ~ plus hidejuice ~ splattering around hehehe~~~ though we didn’t manage to catch any of it due to where we were sitting. Like last year, there was a waterfall as well, and rain with lightning and thunder. The whole thing looks really amazing! Towards the end of the scene, it was just one Ushiwaka vs the bad guys. Then he gets struck by lightning and falls to the ground.
Shaonao vs Benkei Bridge Scene
Benkei was played by the KMF2 Jr (the same Benkei in Takkuricon 2005). He collected his opponents’ katanas, and was about to pursue his 1000th when he met Shanao at the bridge. It was such a beautiful set, with the full moon and falling sakura petals
Takki as Shanao was in pink/purple and had this red/pink scarf over his face. They walked past each other, and stopped, turned back to face each other. Somehow the scarf came off and we could see Takki’s wet hair fresh from the Ushiwaka rain battle scene. He covered his head with the scarf again.
They started fighting. Shanao jumped off the bridge, Benkei followed. Then they ran to the front of the bridge and fought there again. Shanao managed to snatch Benkei’s weapon. He ran up to the bridge again, and threw the weapon back to Benkei below, with scarf over his head. Then, I think, Benkei bowed to Shanao, and they froze there in that position. Shanao’s voice said something about his brother Yoritomo.
THEN, TAKKI AS YORITOMO EMERGED FROM THE HANAMICHI TRAP DOOR!!
EEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHH????? I blinked my eyes and looked closely at that Yoritomo. It IS Takki!!! No Mistake!! Then who is that Shanao up there on the bridge?? EEEEHHHHHHHHH??? Ribi and I looked at each other… *BLUR* When did they make the change? When Shanao and Benkei were fighting on the bridge earlier, it was definitely Takki there coz we all saw his face when his scarf was removed just now!). Ahhhh~~ The change must have been done when Shanao jumped off behind the bridge rite!! But it was so fast! And EVEN if there was a swap done, Takki must have changed at SUPER HIGH SPEED!!
Yoritomo turned to the stage, said something to Ushiwaka (Shanao), and went back down the trapdoor, while the stage curtains closed to conclude Part 1 of Takizawa Enbujou 2007. SUUGGEEEEE!!!!! *PACHI PACHI* When we left the theatre for the interval, I was still quite stunned by that very last scene there *LOL*
- Do not repost any of the above without permission. Thanks.
- When I was about to leave the theatre for the interval, I thought I saw Franz Harary (the illusionist whom Takki learns magic from in Las Vegas?)!! I saw him again the next day. He was sitting right behind, even behind Row 20. Sometimes he was standing against the wall. And I overheard him telling the other guy in english, that it was very good, it was better than he expected. I think he was referring to the last scene in Part 1, the Yoritomo-Shanao swop!? Anyway, there’ll be more on him later :)