After all the years of hoping to go to a JE concert and/or seeing a JE boy, the first one I saw was Takki. (Luckily it was Takki and not some newbie small fry JE
kid boy.) I believe this is the first time any JE-related event is held in Singapore.
I’m talking about this — Takizawa Kabuki, which was held from 18 to 23 August 2015. I attended the 18 August show. While I was partly thrilled to see Takki in person for the first time, I was also curious about the performance itself. I am actually interested in Japanese culture ok… I’ve attended a Noh play and Bunraku before, but not Kabuki. I’ve heard that this show is different from the traditional kabuki as it includes modern elements, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for.
My parents, sister, sister’s two friends and I were seated in the fifth row from the stage, so we pretty much got a very good view of all the actors. Everyone was just gasping and chirping with excitement when Takki emerged. Oh yes, Takki may have looked like he aged a little but he is still as flawless as ever. Apart from Takki, I only recognised three other JE boys — Kitayama Hiromitsu, Kawai Fumito and Ishigaki Daisuke. Haha, it’s been some time since I last fangirled and kept up with the Johnny’s empire, so my recognition of JE boys stops at around Ya-Ya-Yah’s time. There was this one dude that looked like Ayukawa Taiyo, but nah it wasn’t him. Taiyo left JE a long time ago. (Every time I think of Taiyo, I am reminded of his aho face in Oni Gokko Revolutions…this face…)
Throughout the whole show, all I could think of was “this feels like I’m watching Shonen Club”. All the singing and dancing. There were short excerpts of actual stories being played out, but it really didn’t feel like I was watching a traditional Japanese stage play. What was most intriguing was how Takki demonstrated the whole make up process for kabuki actors. He also demonstrated his skill in bringing out the essence of the character he was playing, no matter if it was male or female. Yup, you gotta give it up to Takki…he proves through his hard work that he is not just some pretty boy.
I was however, left a little puzzled. Was the show supposed to be a kabuki play with modern elements? Or was it more of an introduction of Japanese stage plays to foreigners?
Of course, Takki also made it known through the show that Japan is interested in forging stronger ties with Singapore. He included a scene in the show where a congratulatory message was played (for Singapore’s 50th year of independence), and song/dance to folk song “Rasa Sayang”. Oh wow. I was half expecting the SG50 logo to appear on screen (as you know, simi sai also SG50) and maybe they’ll all break out in song to the latest NDP theme song written by Dick Lee, but no, it didn’t happen. Haha.
There was a lot of swinging around overhead the audience as common with JE concerts. I was just worried that dirt from Takki’s shoes would fall on us as we were sitting so close to the stage and he was swinging directly overhead us. It was an awesome show nonetheless, with impressive backdrops and props. God knows how much they spent on bringing this show to Singapore. All I can say is, the ticket wasn’t awfully expensive.