} Hakanaki koto Kaze no Gotoku ni / Ripartire ~ Shidou {
(儚きこと風の如くに / Ripartire ~ 始動)
Ephemeral Like the Wind / Ripartire ~ Beginnings



Performance Date(s): Apr. 9th, 2004

Playwright: Akihito
Director/Choreographer: Seri Machika
Composer: Inoue Yasuhito
Choreographer: Nakano Eriko

'Ephemeral Like the Wind' Cast

Mizuki Ayano: Kan Ryuuhou (general, friend of Činkim)
Suzukaze Urara: Crown Prince Činkim (Khublai's son, in love with Mokuren)
Natsushiro Yuki: Khublai Khan
Hibiki Mika: Empress Cabui (Khublai's wife)
Takaho Mirai: Yülük (general, Qasar's younger brother)
Yuma Asato: Qasar (general, jealous of Ryuuhou)
Fujina Airi: Princess Kan Rei (Ryuuhou's mother)
Mimori Aika: Han Mokuren (lady of the court, in love with Ryuuhou)
Shirane Nobara: Rin-Li (lady-in-waiting, Qasar's supporter)
Marisa Minori: 春岷 ?-min (lady-in-waiting)
Iori Hayato: Batou
Haruhi Akane: Xiaobao (lady-in-waiting)

Summary

Ephemeral Like the Wind

In Khublai Khan's court, Qasar is jealous of Ryuuhou's popularity with the emperor. He plots with Yülük and Rin-Li to bring about Ryuuhou's disgrace. First he plants seeds of doubt in the emperor's mind about Ryuuhou's popularity with the people and his probable plans to sieze the throne. Meanwhile, Both Ryuuhou and Činkim are in love with Mokuren, but because Ryuuhou is loyal to his prince and friend he steps aside. Even when Mokuren attempts to confess her love to Ryuuhou, he tells her to be happy with Činkim.

Meanwhile, Yülük convinces Rin-Li to put poison in the empress's tea. The empress become very ill, and Činkim calls Ryuuhou in the middle of the night. Ryuuhou pours the empress some more medicinal tea, not knowing about the poison, and Činkim gives it to his mother. The empress dies, and Yülük and Rin-Li accuse Ryuuhou of poisoning her. Concerned for Činkim, Ryuuhou accepts responsibility and flees into the night. The emperor orders Qasar and Yülük to kill Ryuuhou, but Činkim refuses to abandon belief in his friend. Mokuren runs out in the chaos to beg Ryuuhou to take her with him, and while he is arguing with her, she is mortally wounded. She dies, and only then does Ryuuhou admit that he has always loved her, just as Yülük fires a fatal arrow....

Ripartire ~ Beginnings

Consists of song and dance numbers in typical revue style, along with a very amusing skit of a small-town man going to the big city on a train. Sequins, long gowns, tuxes, jazz numbers...

Review

The first time I started watching this show I had other things on my mind, lost interest, and turned it off barely a minute in. The second time I was more awake and appreciative and really enjoyed it. The music for Ephemeral is actually very lovely, with lots of strings and a definite "Asian" feel. The plot is fairly simple and easy to follow, though I had trouble with the sound on my copy and couldn't always make out the dialogue clearly. And forget trying to figure out the characters' names. I did my best, but forgive any mistakes.

I think of all the actresses, Hibiki Mika is the one who impressed me most, both vocally and with her acting. I think I'll need to watch it again before I have a real impression of the rest of the cast, although I did like Mizuki Ayano's final scene quite a lot.

So far as the revue show is concerned, the singing didn't really impress me, but the dancing was lovely as always. The train parody had me rather gape-mouthed in bemusement. I felt like I was on a train full of Japanese cliches.



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