} Shin Yami no Kikoushi {
(新・闇の貴公子)
The New 'Scion of Darkness'



Performance Date(s): Nov. 13, 2002

Playwright/Director: Kitabaya Sawako
Director/Choreographer: Isaya Mondori
Composer: Matsudake Kazuki
Choreographers: Otani Morio, Hayami Kou

Cast

Yoshizu Takashi: Yuima (spirit, sorcerer's familiar)
Natsuki Shun: Abe no Seimei * (sorcerer-in-training)
Chiso Takase: Ono no Komachi (messenger from the realm of the dead)
Wakaki Shiho: Takiyasha-hime (eldest daughter of Taira no Masakado)
Daiki Makoto: Myou Jinmaru (fox spirit, sorcerer's familiar)
Satsuki Rino: Omokage-hime (Takiyasha-hime's younger sister)
Kitahara Saori: Tsubomi (flower spirit) / Hanabira (flower spirit)
Yuki Kou: Taira no Masakado (lord)
Ouka Noboru: Hakamadare Yasusuke (warrior, protector of Takiyashi-hime)
Nozomi Natsuki: Ono no Takamura (messenger from the realm of the dead)
Osaki Serika: Tamayura (flower spirit)
Takase Mao: Kamo no Noriyuki (son of Tadayuki, sorcerer-in-training)
Yuma Asato: Kamo no Hitomaru (sorcerer) / Kamo no Tadayuki (Hitomaru's decendant)
Suzukaze Urara: Watanabe no Tsuna
Natsushiro Yuki: Military officer of the emperor
Asaka Sakurako: Miu (Noriyuki's lover)
Marika Yui: Nokachiko / Keiko
Tamaki Seika: Emperor Saga / Emperor Suzaku
Moegi Kawana: Mitsuharu
Morino Konoka: Agyoku
Tsukikawa Natsuo: Azami
Kiryuu Asaya: Kai (soldier)
Ayase Natsu: Chatona

Others: Mima Akio, Yukino Mirei, Kotose Tsugumi, Orihara Shio (Orihara Arisa), Harusaki Tomoka, Kotobuki Ichi, Mizuna Reo, Idezuki Mii, Makina Kotori, Hanano Moka, Kanato Miteki, Anji Hibari, Mizusawa Koyomi, Takami Youko

Summary

(This summary is rather iffy, due to the fact that I kept being distracted by the costumes. Also, my copy is a TV broadcast, and they decided to remove sections of dialogue and replace them with a sentence or two of summary.)

The show is a mystical story set during the years when Abe no Seimei was still young and learning to be an onmyouji.

A hundred years past, Ono no Takamura and his sister Ono no Komachi appeared and... did something to the capital? Claiming it for Enma, Lord of the Dead, for a hundred years? The court sorcerer sees an unclear future, and prophesizes the arrival of the "child of destiny" has been prophesied. He is a sorcerer who will come to fight Takamura, and the people will call him the "Scion of Darkness".

That child of destiny is Abe no Seimei. As a young child, he was placed into the care of the court sorcerers, to be raised as a prophet and sorcerer. Seimei's ability to see things that weren't there frightened his father, and Seimei's ability to see into the hearts of others hurt him terribly when he realized that his father thought he was a monster. Reluctantly, Seimei is learning to be a sorcerer. The other young men and women of the court mock him and his mysterious parentage, but he takes it good naturedly. Seimei spends his free hours with the spirits that have been with him since he was a child, and with the flower-fairies of his own creation.

In the west, the lord Taira no Masakado is trapped in hell, his soul stolen. His tortured ghost appears to his clan and daughters, egged on, they go to attack the emperor. It is only his younger daughter, Omokage-hime, who understands him clearly. He bids her to find the child of destiny. She finds Seimei, and realizes he must be the one, but although Seimei is instantly attracted to her, he tells her that he doesn't have the powers she needs to save her father.

Meanwhile, the emperor is suffering as Takamura and Komachi weave their spells around him. Noriyuki tries to help his lord, but fails. Seimei arrives in time to fight against Takamura's dark spells. In retribution, Takamura kidnaps Omokage-hime and drags her down with him into hell. Takiyasha-hime begs Seimei to come with her and her men. Yasusuke, unknown to everyone, has been bewitched by Takamura. He tells them that he can lead them down into hell, and they follow.

There are many victims of Takamura and Komachi in hell, soulless puppets frozen in space that the travellers stare at in horror. We learn that Takamura and Komachi are brother and sister, but Komachi fell in love with her brother and comitted suicide. Takamura called her soul from the land of the dead, but in return, Enma demanded that they help to bring about the destruction of the capital. It has been a hundred years that they have continued, sucking human souls to keep on until they can fulfill their promise to Enma. Soon it will be over, and they will get their promised release and eternal life. For that purpose, Takamura is searching for a soul for his sister. He thinks Omokage's will do very well.

Suddenly, Yasusuke's soulless state is revealed, as he attacks and kills all of his men. His love for Takiyasha-hime struggles against the commands of his new master. Seimei can momentarily free him, but that is all, and in that split second Yasusuke takes his own life. The other soulless puppets come against Seimei and his few remaining companions. One by one his flower friends and Jinmaru the kitsune sacrifice themselves to help take out parts of the mass of enemies. It is only when Seimei sees the soulless, lifeless Omokage-hime that he becomes truly furious and gathers enough power to fight back with strength. Still, Taira no Masakado almost defeats him before a mysterious singing voice joins Seimei's power and frees Masakado. Before disappearing, Masakado tells Seimei that he must fight with Omokage-hime.

It soon becomes apparent that although Omokage-hime's soul is in Komachi now, Omokage-hime is in control. A furious Takamura is defeated by the combined powers of Seimei and Omokage-hime.

Climbing free from hell, it is a bitter-sweet victory for the few survivors. However, the prophecied rainbow greets them when they arrive back on earth. Takiyashi-hime leaves to return to her father's lands and to rule her people. Noriyuki departs with Miu, determined to become a better sorcerer. Seimei creates another ephermeral flower spirit to keep him company, and departs with his companions, determined never to fall in love again.

Review

Another OSK show I admit I didn't make it all the way through the first time, despite really enjoying the fun, not at all serious costumes. I can't remember why I stopped it before... Probably got interrupted and somehow never got around to watching it again. I know a few more faces now than I did then, and I think knowing the cast tends to make a show more enjoyable as well.

In any case! I mentioned the costumes. They're excellent, like something out of a comic book or alternate reality. This is definitely a historical fantasy. Lots of random furs and spikes and scimitar-like swords mixed in with more recognizable elements of Japanese dress.

The music is fun as well. Lots of low, dissonent music, electronic and almost new age, instead of a more classic orchestral feel.

The cast is fun. Natsuki Shun is beautiful, despite seeming a little too old for the role of the "child of destiny" at times. I really enjoy her acting; there's definitely something sweet and almost simple that she brings to the character of Seimei. I loved the final scene and her tears. I suspect I paid more attention to Daiki Makoto than I should have, considering she was just the squeaky fox-spirit side-kick, but she cracked me up. She surprised me during her short "solo" as well, as her singing seemed stronger than what I'm used to from her.

I liked both Wakaki Shiho and Satsuki Rino as the two very different princesses. And, of course, I loved Ouka Noboru's character. Call me crazy, but I think her character and Omokage-hime would have made an interesting pair...

As I mentioned above my summary, I think I missed a lot of the fine points of the story itself. It was too bad Miu's story was almost entirely missing. It wasn't a bad plot, and the trip to hell was certainly entertaining....



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