I was looking up "Moto Hagio" in YouTube and came across this video. Inspired by "Tooma no Shinzou" by Moto Hagio, the story takes plance in an all-boys boarding schoool (their characters are played by young actresses). Now, I have no idea what this movie is about, but when I saw this clip, I felt a bit "hazukashii" (embarrassed). It is not really part of my culture that women play male roles. But this is part of the culture in Japan, and especially for Shojo Manga, because of the Takarazuka Revue - an all-female musical theater company they have a huge female fan base.
Osamu Tezuka grew up in Takarazuka City and went to see Takarazuka Revues when he was little. So when he started drawing Shojo Manga, he was said to have been inspired by his childhood memory of the revues to do "Princess Knight." So the Takarazuka Revue and Shojo Manga have a strong connection at the root.
So it may not be very strange for this movie to cast actresses in boys' roles, but it looks silly to me. In fact, "Tooma no Shinzou" was dramatized by an all-male theater company Studio Life (that's also popular with women). Personally, I would be more interested in that.
Japan has no shortage of "bishonen" or pretty boys, so why bother with an all-girls cast? If someone is planning to dramatize or cinematize "Poe no Ichizoku", please consider using real boys.
So I have two questions.
- I have never seen "Poe no Ichizoku" dramatized or cinematized (my husband heard a radio drama when he was young, but he said it was not good). Is "Tooma no Shinzou" more popular in Japan than Poe?
- If we could produce Poe movie, who would you cast (Japanese or westerner, but real men)? David Bowie could have done it when he was younger, but I am not very familiar with who is available today.