☆ anime/manga,  ☆ being a dork,  ☆ events/shows/concerts,  ☆ i heart japan

Living Tall in Japan, part 55 – Koori no Sekai

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here ☆

Although it seemed as if my little fangirl heart couldn’t have taken any more, the day after the Nagayan Fanclub event, I went to see the Hyoutei myu for the first time. Just in case you’re reading this and going Huh? What’s a Hyoutei myu??, I can summarize by saying that it’s one in a series of musicals based on The Prince of Tennis. Yes, the manga that I ended up working on a few years later. 😉 I was such a fangirl!

Before I copy/paste my report on that musical, I want to say that the reason that I’m making this public again (they’re long gone now, and a lot of it was written privately) is because I want to show how much of a “silly,” squealing fangirl I was. I went from fan to insider purely because, later on, I took crazy-sounding chances and worked hard. And I sincerely believe that you, whomever you are, can do the same!

By the way, all of this is eventually becoming fodder for an online comic that I’ve been formulating for a long time! No release date, though. I’m still working on Denkiki, this blog, my Youtube channel, and a few other things. And trying to put a new life together for myself. 😀 In the meantime, let’s get to it!


My friends and I ready for our dreams to come true, and our dreams were to see the Prince of Tennis musical!

August 11, 2005

Tenimyu ~ Imperial Match Hyoutei!!

This is the most detailed report on a musical that I’ve ever written. I’m going to do my best from now on to do the same each time!! (I did, for years)

As Seigaku said,
♪♪DO YOUR BEST DO YOUR BEST!!
DO YOUR BEST DO YOUR BEST!!♪♪

So far I’ve went to the opening performance of Hyoutei musical last night and to the second performance, which was tonight. ^^ I waited to write my report until seeing it a second time because I took very detailed notes the second time and added things and clarified things that the other people had seen afterwards! We had a tenimyu conference. =D (a tradition afterwards!!) It was a solid conclusion that cast improved a lot between the first and second performances. I can’t wait to see the last Tokyo performance, this Sunday. My bet is that they’re going to be VERY solid before then!! Oh wow. Deliciousness on a stick!!

My overall feelings can be summed up in the chant that Hyoutei led,
*clap clap*
“Katsu no wa – Hyoutei!
Makeru no Sei-gaku!!”

勝つのは氷帝!負けるの青学!!
(‘The winner will be Hyoutei! The loser will be Seigaku!’)

Well, let’s start at what happened today before the musical!! Being hungry and having little other choice in the area for food, we went to the convenience store down the block from the musical… first off, I stopped and stared at this guy who was about to cross the road– who looked a lot like Ishibashi! But I couldn’t tell for sure because he’s changed his hair recently according to his picture set. He stared back at me, but it might have been because I was a tall red-headed foreigner wearing a Hyoutei jersey and a short black skirt.. ? LOL I don’t know if it was him, but I think that it was! He turned and looked back, and I think that he recognized me? I think.. maybe.. hmm..! He definitely recognized me yesterday, but that story is at the end of this report~

In the convenience store, while we are browsing the food sections, who do I notice has walked up alongside our aisle, but quite a few of the cast members! From what I remember, it was Yuu (Tezuka), Aiba (Fuji), Adachi (Kikumaru), Konishi (Kawamura), and Araki (Inui). Araki was wearing a cute hat so it took a minute to recognize him, and while most of the boys wandered along next to me without trouble in the aisle that I was in, Adachi stayed well away by the magazines. He was wearing a mask– which likely means that he has a cold!! Poor boy!! I only talked to Yuu– because I feel most comfortable talking to Yuu out of that group… ^^;; err, sorta. I (stupidly) shouted too loudly, “Yuu!!” when he came into my aisle, and of course he couldn’t ignore something like that. ^^;;; I feel a little bad, because I think that he gave me one of those, ‘why are you talking to me?’ looks. It’s not normal for a fan to actually talk to an actor here if they see them. I said, “hisashiburi!!’ (“It’s been a while!”) thinking that it’s been a while since I talked to him at all, to which he replied, “kino mita….” (“I saw you yesterday”)… Oh yeah…….. he’d obviously seen me at demachi yesterday (more later), and I felt kind of stupid and like I’d been really fannish, so I smiled and left him to do his things with the other boys. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I should have wished him good luck. Ah well, next time!! Itte yosh~! I probably acted way too familar, since we aren’t friends or anything, but it’s the way that I’ve always been with anyone that I’m fond of, friends or acquaintences. So it naturally carries off to them, without me even thinking of it. ^^; Ah well… in any case, I wish them all good luck for the future and rest of the performances!!

On to the myu itself! (again! lol)

Tenimyu ~ Imperial Match Hyoutei!! KENN special guest star.

For both of these performances and for tomororw’s two shows also, KENN (Yuuta) is the special St. Rudolph guest star!! After that is Shiozawa for the next 3 days and Shinoda for the last day. I have tickets to shows with both of them (Thu and Sat for Shio, Sun of course for Shino), so I’m going to note the differences in separate posts. ^^ I can’t wait to see the differences!!

^____________________________^ This is my favorite~ I think that this is the best of all of the musicals. Hands down. Hyoutei was…. droolworthy. Hyoutei rocked the world, and they didn’t even show up for a little while. I’ll start at the beginning~

Tenimyu tenimyu tenimyu tenimyu tenimyu yaaay! <—— (me)

First, as in all of the musicals, the curtain wa down andthere were suddenly the sounds of sneakers hitting the pavement. Cue the excitement level to rise and everyone to quiet down suddenly. The lights went down, and the curtain raised silently. A spotlight appeared off to the side, and onto the stage walks Sengoku (Wada) from the right, who does a short introduction. “Welcome,” etc. From the other side, lit with another spotlight, Yuuta (Kenn) made his entrance. They noticed each other and started to walk towards the center, but Yuuta suddenly stops as his cell phone goes off — with his ringer being Ore wa ore no namae de!! XDXDXD Wada starts to interrupt him, but his own phone goes off — with his ringer being Oretachi Jimi-su from bukimyu!! ROFLOL!! So hilarious!! They both managed to get off the phones shortly and walk over to each other, and began to argue —

Sengoku asks Yuuta ‘So, who is the coolest player?’

Kenn begins right in saying that his buchou is the coolest, just look at him! And up above them on the screen appears a rather dorky shot of Akazawa and Kaneda from an earlier musical! Yuuta was embarrassed, saying, ‘ack!! I didn’t mean to put both of them up there!!’ Sengoku corrected him, saying, ‘My team is really cool’ — ‘Hey, who put that there?!’ Up on the screen had appeared a shot from Bukimyu of the Jimis mid-dance! Definitely NOT cool! XDXDXD In the end, they couldn’t decide who was the coolest, because music started up behind them…. Cue them to run off of stage and the second curtain to raise~

Starting with Fuji, all of Seigaku minus Ryoma took their places among the strong opening beats of the new Seigaku fight song, ♪Do Your Best! They did a long typical number for the kind of song- with lots of group singing and solos, the whole team going all out on their dancing just as they’d done for Bukimyu. Then they gathered in the center and Ryoma (Yanagi) was raised above! The crowd went noticeably more silent, this was the first time that Yanagi would be performing Ryoma on his own again!! How recovered WAS he? Yanagi didn’t move too much during this song, but he did do a bit of posing, and tried his very very best at singing. He still can’t sing well, but he’s obviously working on it. Hard. (So basically, he sounded terrible, but much better than he had at graduation myu!) Throughout the musical, Yanagi did very little dancing, and mostly posing. When he walked, he mostly walked without a limp, but there were a few times when it was noticeable, especially in the second performance. He could mostly manage it though, but he could not manage any kind of turns, as he stumbled slightly pretty much every time he tried. ;__;  Ganbarou Yanagi!! He’s improved a LOT!! Though there’s still a long road ahead, I think, he really seems to be trying hard. Everyone talked about it afterward and felt the same, very very respectful of what he must have to face and what he’s going through. What a strong boy~~

After Do Your Best, the lyrics consisting mostly of the team outlining their strengths and how they would try their hardest, Seigaku exited the stage and it all went dark. When the curtain raised again, the ichinen trio were sitting at desks on the left side of the stage, puzzling over the answers to their english test. Horio kept copying Kachiro, who shouted at him for it, and when they noticed us, they started in on another hilarious song, led by Horio, and beginning with english!! Horio belted out, “Hello, good day, how are you?” while Kachiro and Katsuo start chiming in. Kachiro seems to think that Horio is copying too much, so he stands up on the desk for his next refrain, and very very slashily (to me), Horio offers him a hand down. Then…….. they start a tap dance across stage that somehow incorporates the lyrics “A B C D”!! XDXD They have their usual display of awesome and hilarious dancing and suddenly rush off stage in the middle of the test when they realize that they’re about to miss the tennis team’s ranking tournament!!

Most of Seigaku’s ranking matches are glossed over quickly, with the actors coming in and out quickly, pretending to hit a few balls or so. They give special attention to Ryoma vs. Oishi, after which Ryoma is congratulated for becoming a regular again. Next is the most important match, however. Inui vs. Momo and Inui vs. Tezuka. They do both matches at once, by having Inui stand on the right in the background, and Momo on the left in the background, with Tezuka in the front center (like a triangle). There is scary data-like music playing in the background (hard to describe.. it sounds like data). Inui is hitting balls and every other time that he hits a ball either Tezuka or Momo hits it. He finishes the Momo match first, and lo and behold ~ he beats Momo, who is no longer a regular because of it. Momo can’t believe it and stalks off stage. Then the Inu-Tez match is stopped, and the stage is resituated for a proper viewing of the rest of the match. The entire team is talking about how scary data tennis is, and I agree after seeing that. Inui is powerful in the musical!

On to the real InuTez match. Inui tells Tezuka that he can break him with data tennis, because data doesn’t lie. In fact, after he counters Tezuka’s zero-shiki drop shot with data, he launches into his solo~

♪Data wa uso tsukanai yo~ Inui is creepy and scary and sings about how data is perfect because it doesn’t lie. With his data he can break everyone. The song has several parts where it slows down and he starts reciting Data about Tezuka, and during these parts, Inui comes to the front, and Tezuka continues playing in slow-motion in the background. Like in the anime, he gives Tezuka a hard time. But in the end, he loses to the feared Tezuka zone. I like how they do Tezuka Zone. It fits the data-theme of the match. Tezuka stans unmoving in front of a video screen, on which display huge circles that just keep closing in. It’s a lot like the anime, actually (without dinosaurs and meteorites though XD)

It is here, after he beats Inui, that Tezuka launches into what I think is the corniest song that I’ve ever heard in Tenimyu!! XD It’s like as if Ryoma sang a song titled “Mada Mada Dane”… Tezuka’s song is a ballad-ish inspirational song where he sort of croons ♪Yudan sezu ni ikou~ (his catch phrase).

♪♪ Yudan sezu ni ikou~
Matsu wa shite wo ikou~ ♪♪

While Tezuka directs the song, Seigaku follows his directions and become backup dancers. Then they join in for the last refrain, much to my amusement!  XDXDXD At the end of the song, they all leave, except for Momo, who lingers alone in the center of a darkening stage. He finally takes off his jacket and walks off stage in the opposite direction. Poor Momo..;__; I really felt for him.

Scene change: The ichinensei are talking in the locker room about Momo’s loss and Horio remarks about seeing Momo fold up his jersey, so it must be real. Then Ryoma walks in and they virtually attack him with questions about if Momo is okay and what they should do to make him feel better. Should they give him a letter? Ryoma more or less ignores them and leaves.

Scene change again: Momo and Yuuta are playing street tennis. Presumably so that Momo can work off some residual feelings here! Yuuta tries to leave after a while to go to practice, but Momo literally begs him for another game.

Momo: Onegaishimasu, Yuuta!! (please, Yuuta!)
Yuuta: Shoganeina~…  (it can’t be helped)

They play a little more but eventually Yuuta has to leave to get back to his buchou. This is where Momo starts his sad solo…. ♪Maketere na ore wo. He sings about how he’s strong, he’s not a loser and everything, trying to cheer himself up. It’s a really heartfelt song. But unnoticed to him, on the bleachers that are behind him, Hyouteihas finally approached in the blue fog. Momo launches into a solo talk, but Atobe interrupts him to talk about the upcoming tournament.

At this point, Ryoma interrupts, walking in and looking for Momo. Momo runs to him, and Hyoutei starts gossiping about how this must be the fascinating ichinensei Seigaku regular that they’ve heard so much about. Gakuto tries to start something and does a backflip off of the bench to land on the ground and approach. (Whoa…. first clue that Gakuto is GOOD!) But Atobe says that they should go, because they’ll see everyone at the tournament and have the real fight there. Hyoutei gets up and walks over and behind the bleachers, pausing a moment to give a group very strong ‘Look’ to Momo and Ryoma.

Ryoma: “Betsuni.” *leaves*
Momo follows.

Then to our surprise, the bleachers split in two and are pulled away to opposite sides of the stage and there is Hyoutei, draped in blue fog again!! Led by Atobe, they start their fight song, a very very creepy, slightly villianish ♪Hyoutei! Hyoutei! Koori no Emperor! (Koori = ice) It’s creepy and moody and VERY strong-sounding. It has a lot of strong beats, and reminds me a little bit of the way that St. Rudolph was handled. It’s REALLY good. Very very very appropriate!! Hyoutei ends their song by retreating into the background fog again and the lights go down.

Now it’s time for Seigaku’s after-school practice. It appears that everyone is in low spirits, and Oishi yells at the ichinensei for their bad form while practicing swings. Tezuka tells Momo that he should be out on the grounds doing something (cleaning? I couldn’t catch it..), and Momo retreats quickly, running down the steps and out into the crowd and through the back door!! (Uwaa!) Everyone went wild!! He ran down the center aisle, for those that are going to see the musical this week! So if you have a seat there– !! Seigaku leaves after this, and the ichinensei launch into the Kantou Taikai version of ♪Iyo iyo~! It’s very short, and like the previous versions, they give a report of who’s going to be playing whom in the tournament and what’s happened so far.

Tezuka walks on and the ichinensei run away sheepishly. He leaves also.

At this point, Sengoku pops out from behind a sign, and Dan runs on to join him. Dan is wearing the Yamabuki jersey!! So cute! I like this better on him!! (though in the official photos he’s still wearing the white shirt that he doesn’t wear at all in this musical! ;_;) They talk to each other about the Kantou taikai and Rokkaku and Ginka-chu. (Will they be the next musical? It’s likely!) The stage goes dark and Dan runs away, leaving Sengoku to chase around after him going “Doko ni icha no, Dan-kun! Dan-kun?!!”

Now, for something different…. back to Hyoutei, in a flashback. A long-haired Shishido is asking coach Sakaki (okay, now this is hilarious… ‘Coach Sakaki’ is really someone standing behind this backlit screen and casting a shadow. He never moves and never says a word! XDXD) to stay on the team. He’s begging to stay because he still wants to play! It’s at this point that he takes out a knife and cuts his hair off! He throws the hair away and Sakaki agrees finally, that he can stay. Fade to black..

Scene change: The stage becomes flooded with blue light, and there is a grassy hill in the background and the sounds of water. Kaidoh is standing in the stream practicing by swinging his racket in the ‘water’. Inui approaches on the ground behind him, wearing that HIDEOUS outfit from the manga!! That grey and blue coat and rolled-up greyish greenish pants. ^_^;;;;; Inui dear……….. In the pamphlet there’s a picture of the anime version, lol…. *dead* He starts counseling Kaidoh and gives him the towel….. fade to black.

Momo and Ryoma come in, riding doubles on Momo’s bike and have a heartfelt talk about Momo’s feelings. (yeah…) Ryoma asks Momo why he thought that he lost to Inui, and Momo’s reply is to pull out Inui’s glasses, puts them on (while riding bike still!) and does Inui’s classic gesture and phrase – “Rikutsu ja nai.” LOL!!!! (“It’s not logical”) They ride away. XDXD

Now this begins a series of montages with the very somber black background and low, heartwrenching music. The way that the characters are feeling stressed, frustrated, and upset now is very apparent.
-First is the golden pair practicing the Australian formation on the right. Taka comes in and comments on how talented they are to do it, and they leave. Then he approaches the crowd and holds up his hands helplessly, saying “Happy end?” in english!! LOL It was SO CUTE!!!
-Next is Tezuka having a conversation with coach Ryuuzaki. He faces the audience with a notebook in his hand and her voice is heard on the speakers. Fuji walks on in the middle and interrupts, asking Tezuka if he’ll really be okay to play, with his arm like that? It was very touching, and VERY Fuji-Tez! (first hint of several)
-Next is Kawamura coming on again on the right dressed in his sushi gear, and talking to his ‘dad’. He gives the same talk as in the anime, about how this year he’s going to give it his all, and it doesn’t matter if he gets hurt, because he won’t be playing tennis any more afterwards.
-Inui appears to give some more data and the upcoming match lineup.

Now back to the stream, where Inui tries to convince Kaidoh to play doubles with him in the tournament. He thinks that they’ll work really well together, and if they do, it’ll “level up” Kaidoh’s boomerang. (I snickered when I heard it… maybe because the non-english speakers didn’t get the innuendo, lol! Dirty we are!!!) When he leaves after Kaidoh agrees, Kaidoh launches into his solo, which leads into another rendition of ♪Yudan sezu ni ikou as Tezuka and Seigaku join him. (They’re all singing this time) It was VERY powerful! As the song ends, Atobe is raised up on stage from underneath and stands there with his arms crossed, and the screen comes down to cover them all.

Apparently it’s time for intermission, and Sengoku comes on stage, peering at a newspaper clipping on screen talking about Hyoutei. He and Yuuta have a brief conversation, cut short when Sengoku cries out that he has to leave to go to the toilet! Then to the audience as he’s leaving he says that we’d all better hurry and go too, since we only have 15 minutes! XDXD

-Intermission 1- (15 min)

During this time on the second showing, we spent the whole intermission looking for the special guests that we’d spotted earlier in the crowd — Tuti, Nagayan, Morieiji, Eiki Kitamura, and Sota! But no, they’d retreated backstage ;__;. It did turn out that the Dream Live 2 CD was being sold a day early here and I could get a special poster if I bought it now, so I happily procured a copy! Yay!! I was going to get it anyway! Then we had to run back to our seats when they began the announcement. ^^

Part 2 began with Momo dressed in blue and waving the HUGE Seigaku flag that he’d made and chanting “Seigaku– FIGHT-O!!!”  The ichinensei come on and he gives them battle headbands to help support the team. Then Seigaku enters from the left and Tezuka gets a phone call (no funny ringtone ;_;), and it’s from Oishi…. who says that he’s in the hospital because of an injured child. So he can’t make it….. Momo is sent off to get him, while the ichinensei think of a way to help — they put a hat and little black things in front on Katsuo and say that he’s Oishi! XDXD The rest of the team just walks away.

Scene change to Oishi in the hospital, sitting on a bench. Momo arrives, and tries to convince him to go. But Oishi says that he can’t play anyways, because he injured his right wrist while helping the little kid. So why don’t you go, Momo? And please tell Eiji that I’m sorry. He gives Momo his regular jacket and Momo runs off after agreeing.

After Momo leaves, Oishi has a sad solo (there are a lot of solos in this musical!!). ♪Ore no yume wa…

♪♪Ore no yume wa..
omae no yume sa..
onagi wa yume sou~ ♪♪
(My dream and your dream are the same dream..)

When Momo comes back, dressed in his jersey again, Ryoma tosses him his racket. The ichinensei notice finally on the list of players that Ryoma isn’t playing and make a small fuss about it.. during which Ryoma decides that it’s boring and leaves (to go sleep on the grass).

Now is time for the first match!!! Gakuto/Oshitari vs. Momo/Kikumaru. Hyoutei and Seigaku are in the stands on opp sides watching. Over the speakers you can hear the crowd cheering “Hyoutei! Hyoutei!!” Gakuto and Oshitari start to egg on the crowd (in our direction), but chanting louder and changing it, “Katsu no wa Hyoutei! Makeu no Seigaku!!” They turn it into a duet!!

This is the BEST duet in the musical! I love the power of it all!! KATSU NO WA HYOUTEI!! MAKERU NO SEIGAKU!! Gakuto and Oshitari at one point lean against each other in the center of the stage and Gakuto plays his racket like a guitar. XDXD It’s during this match that we see how talented Gakuto’s actor REALLY is!! Wow, and it’s TALENTED! He presses Eiji hard, and backflips, twists, turns, and everything all over the place!! :O

Ichinensei: ‘That pair is SCARY!!’

At this point, Oishi starts singing from the stands, ♪Oretachi no chikara wo shinjiro~, cheering his team on to victory.

I said it already, but Gakuto’s actor has major talent! Love!! During the second performance, though, he slipped and fell down at this point, causing the staff to come and ask if he was okay. Apparently he was, but he did take quite a fall. But like a good performer, he kept on going and didn’t let up on the flips and jumps after a short recovery!! He’s amazing.. seeing someone pull off Gakuto that well was just awesome! Jumping constantly with his racket between his legs JUST like in the anime.. ahh suteki!!

There’s a short interlude where the match goes on but Momo steps forward and looks at his arm, where all kinds of data about the other team is written down.. and as the match resumes, Oshitari ends it as he completes a higuma otoshi, much to everyone’s amazement. They lost the match, though.. ;_;

Next is the Inui/Kaidoh vs. Shishido/Ohtori match. I/K is losing until Inui takes off his wristbands during a short rest.  Cue Inui becoming awesomely scarily data-like again! During another lull in the match, Ohtori checks Shishido’s racket for damage, in a very very caring-like way! So cute! XDXD Then Kaidoh takes center stage, illustrating how at this point, he’s carrying most of the match himself. He runs from side to side pretending to hit shots, while the others are still in formation playing in the background. He even runs off the stage at one point, and then comes running back– straight into Hyoutei’s bleachers, who don’t seem to like that too much!! LOL They lose the match, despite Kaidoh’s perserverence. ;__;

I did notice that Ohtori was wearing a simple white t-shirt under his Hyoutei jacket, as opposed to a jersey. Does he do that in the anime/manga too? Well, and of course he was wearing the cross, nice and shiny and glinting brightly in the ultra-bright stage lights!!

After this, while the next match is being set up, Yuuta comes walking toward the court behind the bleachers, and trips………. it turns out that he’s tripped over a very sleeping Jiroh!! (Who doesn’t wake up!) Yuuta starts to nudge the sleeping boy, but suddenly Kabaji walks up behind him very stoic-like! This scares Yuuta, who runs away, and Kabaji easily picks up Jiroh and slings him over his shoulder and carries him away. While he crosses the back of the stage, he slaps Jiroh on the ass!!!! ROFLOL!! (Jiroh sleeps through it– much does he know Kaba’s molesting him!!) He eventually deposits Jiroh on Hyoutei’s bleachers, where he falls right asleep again.

Okay, now the court’s set up for the next match, which is..  Kabaji vs. Kawamura!! Oh man. Hilarious, I love the song that they burst into here. Or rather, Taka does. Fuji (?) hands him the giant flag that Oishi and Momo have been waving, and Taka breaks into song~ ♪Moeruze burning burning!!

♪♪Burning, buh buh burning~!!♪

Taka runs around crazily, doing a VERY hip and energetic burning song, and chasing down the various characters with the giant flag of doom(tm)!! First he scares off everyone from Seigaku and Hyoutei by running at them and swiping the flag at them, and then Sengoku and Dan have the lgood fortune to walk on– and beat it fast out of there when they’re attacked! Then Yuuta walks on and is chased off! Then Akutsu… LOL!! Akutsu ducks the flag and looks scared, but then everyone comes back out and dances along with a crazy Taka (Akutsu dances with his hands in his pockets the whole time!!!! ROFLOL!!) until Fuji takes the flag away again! Now it’s finally time for Taka and Kabaji’s match!!

Yuuta: ‘Taka’s good, but Kabaji’s even better.’ *awes*

The match starts with a rousing “Come on Baby!!” from Taka in english, and some gesturing to boot. TAKA IS LOVE!! They play for a while, following the general feel of the match in the anime. Kabaji is AWESOME, making the sounds and moves PERFECTLY, just like in the anime! Wow. I ♥ the casting director! During a short break, until which Taka has been losing, Inui (collecting data as always) explains that each time Kabaji makes a certain kind of strike, he makes a certain sound. As he talks, both the ichinensei on the top of the bleachers and Kabaji in the center of the court demonstrate the moves. XD

So now Taka knows what’s up and it’s time for business! Power Tennis!! It’s a strong match ending up with both of them being hurt and it being a draw. I like how they do the ‘power tennis’ burning effect. When the ‘ball’ is hit, the background lights flare up bright red. It’s a really neat visual and really seems as if the invisible ball is ‘burning’!! ^o^ At the end, Taka and Kabaji go off to the hospital with Oishi.

Next is the Jiroh vs. Fuji match! And of course, Jiroh’s just woken up, so he’s playing in white striped boxers! XDXD They dive right in, wasting no time.. but the first time that Fuji does a Higuma Otoshi, Jiroh stops it all and yells, “Sugee!!!! Ima mita?!!!?” (‘Wow, did you see that just now!?!!”) Very VERY fanboy!! Perfect Jiroh! XD They continue, and Fuji does more things that Jiroh finds awesome, so many so that he apparently needs to take time out to run to the edge of the stage and point out at us and then back to Fuji, asking if we’d seen that awesome play! Then he runs off to the side, scampering with obvious delight, and starts doing the robot dance in the corner, the biggest smile ever on his face!!!!!!! ROFLOL!! Then he runs around wildly, so excited, and is still so excited when he returns to the match that he hits Tezuka on the head with his racket!! XDXDXD Tezuka shakes his fist and Jiroh scampers back.

During this ‘time out’, Fuji walks to the coaching bench and talks to Ryoma, who has apparently assumed the coaching duties (like in the anime, though they didn’t say it here..) and says:

Fuji: ‘I’m going to show you my third triple-counter’
Ryoma: “Onegaishimaaaaaaasu~” (“pleeeeeeease”)

XD Ryoma’s so blase about it, it’s perfect. XDXD Sooooo~ from this point on, Fuji plays on a raised platform in the far court, where he demonstrates his ‘Hakugei’ (does that phrase sound dirty to you too? XD) to an overenthusiastic Jiroh. Jiroh is SO hilarious, though he seems kind of weak in the musical. As if he didn’t have a chance. But he definitely made an impression here! The hakugei was really neat, using the screen in back of the stage to put kind of starry effects in back of Fuji, so that it seemed that he was leaving behind a trail of sparks when he hit the ball. It was really neat. When he ‘caught’ the ball at the end of the attack, there was nothing in his hand… but it was, uh, round. XDXD Needless to say, Jiroh lost, and started crying off by himself in the corner of the stage. When Gakuto tries to comfort him, he grabs Gaku’s microphone and starts a happy (^^;) monologue about how awesome the tsubame gaeshi and hakugei are. He gets so excited that he runs up in the bleachers and starts tapping everyone and pointing to Fuji, even to an annoyed-looking Atobe standing on the top.

Jiroh: *tap tap on Atobe and points wildly in Fuji’s direction*
Atobe: *refuses to look but gives Jiroh a VERY annoyed glare XD*

At this, Taka and Kabaji come back from the hospital and Seigaku gathers around Taka askind if he’s alright. They all exclaim “yokatta ne” (what a relief) after he responds in the affirmative, and suddenly Kabaji, behind everyone, repeats it also in his deep voice. Everoyne (including the audience) jumped! XDXD

Dun dun duuuuuuun~~~ It’s now time for Atobe’s match– Atobe and Tezuka walk to the front of the stage at opposite ends while the curtain lowers behind them, and then start walking toward each other, or stalking is more like it. Heads held high, Tezuka stops in the center of the stage, and Atobe circles him twice, while the sound of his heart beating strongly is heard loudly. So. SO powerful.

-Intermission 2- (15 min)

Act three (final) started with a blank video screen on stage. Huh? Oh………….  we find out right away what it is!! A movie starts playing in black and white, and we can see a shadowy figure sitting in a chair, his feet up on the desk. It’s Sakaki!! Suddenly he gets up and we see him put on a record and start it playing. A few moments later, tango music starts playing and he starts dances. But oh~! There’s someone at the door!! Words appear on the screen, like a silent movie! (there are no spoken words, just the written ones!! It REALLY is a silent movie in black and white!! ROFLOL!!!!!!!!)

Atobe is at the door.

“Coach” he mouths and the words appear on a black screen.

But the coach isn’t listening. “Dance with me” (all this is in japanese) appears on the screen and… shadow Sakaki grabs Atobe by the hand and dips him down in a dance! ……..!!!!! ROFLOL!! He lets Atobe go just as suddenly, and the words, “Don’t lose to Seigaku” appear.

Atobe mouths “hai”, and leaves. After this, shadow Sakaki raises a shadowy hand and points, and the words “Itte yosh” (go forward with determination– his catch phrase) appear. XDXDXDXDXD My god, everyone cracked up SO much and there were MORE than a few fangirls who squealed when Atobe and Sakaki tangoed. XDXDXD

Now, here we go, back to the musical! The curtain raises, and Atobe starts singing solo their fight song. He’s joined quickly by the other members of Hyoutei and they encourage the audience to shout along with them~

“Katsu no wa – Hyoutei!
Makeru no Sei-gaku
Katsu no wa – Hyoutei!
Makeru no Sei-gaku
Shoshawa Atobe!!
Aishawa Tezuka!!
Shoshawa Atobe!!
Aishawa Tezuka!!”

Very, VERY awesome. They really get the crowd into it for a while! Suddenly, Atobe poses and snaps his fingers, and everyone falls silent. Mmmmm! He discards his jacket (fangirls faint) and throws it up into the air, RIGHT to Kabaji, or rather Kabaji was waiting for it, of course! ^^

And then, it’s the legendary Atobe vs. Tezuka match!! Sengoku and Dan come up and start to explain about the Jr. Senbatsu tournament coming up, and what’s going on with things while the two fight in the background.

Of course, it doesn’t take Atobe long to break out into a solo~ Right after he hits a shot that Tezuka misses, there’s a sound that sounded a lot to me like something out of Star Trek…… and he starts right in~ Maybe my favorite song in this musical, ♪Oresama no bigi ni!! (seriously!! He REALLY sings it! It’s HILARIOUS!!!!! and SO FULL OF HIMSELF! ♥)

♪Oresama no bigi ni~
ore no bigi ni
bigi ni! bigi ni! bigi ni!!!!!♪♪

During the solo, only Atobe sings, but Hyoutei acts as backup dancers! So while Atobe is strutting his stuff with his racket (and LOTS of trademark posing), the rest of Hyoutei is behind him, strutting around like lounge dancers! Even Kabaji, though he kinds of dances stiffly and doesn’t do the hand movements of course. XD At one point, Oshitari pushes a sleepy Jiroh over and Shishido rushes to his rescue, glaring at Oshitari. XD During another refrain, Atobe blows a kiss to the audience, and Kabaji, who is right behind him, falls straight over as if the kiss knocked him down!! AAAH!! Atobe x Kabaji = OTP!!!!!! ♥♥!! It’s SO hilarious! near the end of the song, Atobe approaches the front of the stage and SITS DOWN ON IT, his legs hanging over!!!! Hyoutei poses around him, the crowd going WILD!! I SO want to be one of the girls in the front row right there!!!!!!!!!! OoO

After this, before playing again, Atobe notices that Tezuka’s shoulder is hurt and advises him not to play. Cue Tezuka to also play on a raised stage in the background, having a hard time of it. Atobe’s worn him out. He falls over suddenly, crouched forlornly on stage, and all of Seigaku yells “Tezuka!!!!” and start to rush to help him. But he REALLY yells at them. Yuu puts ALL of his voice into it and shouts with rage, “YAMERO!!” (Stop!!) Inui gets up the courage to speak first after that, and advisese him to let Ryoma play instead. Then Yamato-buchou’s voice comes over the speakers, inside of Tezuka’s head, and pumps Tezuka full of advice.

Oishi breaks the mood by suddenly yelling, “Ganbare!!!” (You can do it!!) Taka then takes the giant flag and waves it atop the stands, yelling, “Seigaku~!!! FIGHT-O!!!!”

Tezuka: “Ore wa makenai.” (I won’t lose)
So much determination in those words.!! And back to the game.

This time, the center of the stage, where Atobe and Tezuka are playing, starts to rotate. Tezuka is playing the match, hitting ball after ball and having obvious troubles, but Atobe is standing there with his hands held loosely. Completely still. Instead, there’s a monologue going on over the speakers of Atobe’s inner thoughts. About Tezuka. About the match. About how he can’t let this continue. He ends is, beating Tezuka. After the match, things go back to normal, and Atobe walks to meet Tezuka at the net, and raises his hand in his instead of shaking it, declaring both of them the winners (you get the idea). The crowd starts shouting “Hyoutei!! Hyoutei!!” again and it fades out.

It’s now time for the tiebreaker– Hiyoshi vs. Ryoma. Ryoma takes this news in complete stride, as if he expected it all along. Tezuka stops him briefly before it begins and reminds him, “omae wa Seigaku no hashira ni nare.” (Become Seigaku’s pillar of strength)

Begin the match and Echizen’s fight song… or what I’d like to call “We want to have your babies, Ryoma!” song! But that’s just me. Because Yanagi is still recovering (as mentioned above), he can’t dance much.. so he and Hiyoshi get on raised platforms at the back of the stage and pretend to battle. The other characters come on one by one and sing about how Echizen is the best thing that’s ever happened to tennis. It’s actually a very very good song, I think (I am biased– I LOVE Ryoma and Yanagi both!), except for the engrish……

♪♪nani nani nani nani Echizen…
nani nani nani nani Echizen…♪
(nani nani nani nani are various phrases… too many different ones to write them down! ;_;)

When Yuuta comes on from the back of the stage, we finally have the song title and point….. He raises a hand lovingly in Ryoma’s direction and belts out in his beautiful flowing voice, ♪”You are the beeeeeest~! You are the Prince of Tenniiiiiis~!!!” (Only it sounds to me more like “You are the best! You are the Pince of teniiiis!” but yeah.. LOL)

Hiyoshi jumps down after this (Yanagi stays in the background), and sings about how cool he is instead of Ryoma. But the crowd doesn’t buy it because this is Echizen’s song. ^^ He goes back to the game that Ryoma’s beating him at.

Dan and Sengoku run in and repeat Kenn’s lines. “You are the best! You are the Pince of teniiiis!”

Then everyone joins in, with MORE engrish! OMGROFLOL. It builds up:

“Best Tension!!
Best Condition!!
You are the BEST!!
YOU ARE THE PINCE OF TENNIS!!”

(yes, ‘pince’…. they can’t sing “prince”, and I’m not sure if they’re even trying….. -_-;;)

Even Akutsu makes a few comments and decides to sing along. XDXDXD

Of course, Ryoma wins, but how could he not? He’s the Pince of Tennis after all!!

Somehow the crowd still thinks that it’s Hyoutei’s victory anyways, because they start chanting “Hyoutei! Hyoutei!” over the speakers.. Atobe is like, yeah yeah.. and he leads the others up to the stage and the snap of his fingers is their cue to bow. When he gets up, he sets a mean stare at Tezuka and leads the team away.

Now it’s just the winning Seigaku on stage, and they start up another rendition of ♪Omae no yume wa~ again. I was really impressed both times with how well Yanagi and Tezuka harmonized when they had a duet. Yuu’s strong voice carried Yanagi’s weak one really well, and they really complimented each other! No doubt about it!!

Segiaku continues to sing the song, as Tezuka leaves the stage and returns in his school uniform, about to leave on his plane to Germany for rehab. The crooning Seigaku follows him part of the way, but they have to let him go. *tear* Bai bai Tezuka….

After this, Seigaku leaves, and it’s up to the reappearing Sengoku and Dan to comment on the match rankings for the other schools. They comment on Rokkaku, Ginka-chu, and this scary sounding team, Rikkai. My guess is Rokkaku is the next musical.

After this, starting with Hyoutei as a group, they start the final song of the musical — the reply version of ♪Do Your Best! Eventually everyone joins in by team, and then the groups all as a whole! It’s the perfect way to end the musical!!

Imperial Match Hyoutei ~The End~!!

(sort of!!) Various things happened during the two curtain calls for the cast, and the bows. They were different each time, so I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow during Mizuki’s first match!! Here are the more hilarious of the curtain call acts:

-Kabaji carried Hiyoshi on his shoulders onto the stage!! When Hyoutei bowed, he couldn’t do it so he just stood there stoically. XD
-Curtain call 2 (last), Akutsu carried Sengoku in his arms onto stage, but dropped him partly when he stopped. So Sengoku bumped into Yuuta accidentally, who fell down! When Yuuta got up, he hit Sengoku on the shoulder, and Sengoku grabbed for the back of his wig, to stop it from coming off! LOL!! They were seen making apologetic smiles later. XDXDXDXDXD
-1st curtain call, Tezuka picked up Yanagi in his arms (KAWAII!!!!!) and fell over when he tried to kneel. XD So during the second curtain call, he carried him on from the start and knelt carefully in the beginning and stayed like that the whole time. XDXD
-Yuuta was humping Kaidoh’s side……. yeah. Seriously. O.o
-Yanagi blows the BIGGEST kiss to the audience, who erupts in squees! He gets a LOT of support, which is so awesome!!
-Oshitari/Gakuto and Ohtori/Shishido make their first bows by walking on stage holding hands! (FANSERVICE!!)
-Momo and Inui appear in the first curtain call both wearing Inui glasses. Then they look at each other, and exchange pairs and put them back on! LOL
-First curtain call of the first performance, Fuji was wearing Tezuka’s glasses. Oops! He gave them back. XD
-Gakuto and Jiroh (yeah… o.o) have a mini flip-a-thon. Who can outdo the other?
-And of course, everyone has to play the ‘who can crouch lower and wave to the audience the longest while the curtain is being lowered?’ game that everyone in Tenimyu plays! XD I think that Gakuto won!

Owari!! For real!! I took a long time to write it, both for you and for myself, so that I can look back on it and remember how it felt. ^^ I walked away from this musical the second time 100% sure that this was the best of all of the musicals. I stilll adore the new cast, the songs rocked, and Hyoutei did an awesome job, of course!


Oh, this is me from back then.

*ahem* Reading back through that, it’s kinda embarrassing. But I’m going to put it out there anyways. Oh, I’m not embarrassed about the videos, though. I was happy, and it shows. Plus, I’m not all *that* bad. Well, I could be worse.

Anyway, that girl ended up working for Konomi-sensei. The moral of this story is: Don’t be afraid to let your fangirl flag fly high! Burn bright and strong.

(1,968 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

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