"Moon Troupe: The new Tops are half-way through their debut tour"
"'Keen People' Both of them find it easy to work together."


Takarazuka Kagekidan Moon Troupe's new Top Conbination, Shibuki Jun and Emi Kurara, will start the Japan tour of their debut production "Great Pirates"/"Jazz Mania." Shibuki joined 16 years ago, Emi only 3, but despite the difference in years, both seem to be in synch. What was their first instinct when they were paired together? We asked them.

--What was your impression on the first day of your debut as a Top Star?

Shibuki Jun I was determined, so it was a kind of "I don't want her to see how nervous I am" situation. I've been blessed with the experience of taking the top role in Berlin. Ever since I graduated out of the school I've wanted to be Top, and I feel that all that came before was a step up, and maybe this as well?

Emi Kurara I wasn't going to let myself get nervous, but my hand was shaking so much when I held my lipstick that it smeared... I told myself: "You've practiced a lot, you'll be fine" and went out on stage.

--What's changed since you became a Top Star?

Shibuki I have to take a lot better care of my health than ever before. It's really important that I keep myself in peak physical condition. Refering to the play, my lines have increased, but the amount of preparation for acting the part hasn't changed.

Emi The things I do haven't changed from before, but the quantity is completely different. This is also my first time doing solo scenes, and concentration is very important. But I have more spirit than I ever thought before.

--We've talked before about how you want to be a combination that is able to project any color, but what color are you this time?

Shibuki Emilio is a pirate, so I suppose I'd be blue like the sea. The intensity of the color continues on, but I wonder if perhaps it feels more like the blue from a love scene?

Emi I think that Elaine's color seems different depending on the scene. White when she's become daring, peach when she's in the thick of things. I want to project that change so that people can see it.

--What's your impression of each other?

Shibuki You might say we resemble that phrase: "Keen People". I'm the really intense type, and I can really feel the same from her when we're doing the play.

Emi You get up on the stage and you enter that world.

Shibuki I'm hyper-conscious of my part on stage; that place is all that exists for me. Because of that, it's very easy for us to make a play together. We feel that the same things are important up on stage.

Emi Although Shibuki-san looks amazingly cool on stage, she's usually very feminine.

--How about Moon Troupe?

Shibuki There are a lot of girls there who hold onto an attitude that although they may just be passing through, they're going to make the most of this momentary opportunity. Rather than waste that disposition, I'd like them to appeal to their individuality.

Emi Moon Troupe feels like it's burning with energy. Rather than put down those with no experience, I'd like to teach them.

--And from now on?

Shibuki I want to do everything. And I want to bring to life as many people as I can. I think every time I find a new part of myself. And I want to wear a black tailcoat every time. That's because wearing a black tailcoat is something you can't do outside of Takarazuka. I want to try on some refined Japanese things as well.

Emi I want to try my best to make the duet dances as beautiful as I can.

Trans. Note: ARGH! "Keen" isn't really the word I want here. What they're implying is someone who's senses are all wrapped up in something, someone driven and intense.