So what is this mysterious Takarazuka Revue?

It's a company in Japan that puts on musicals with an all-female cast. They started around 1914, and have continued for nearly a century. Teenage girls train for two years in a special school. Some train to be otoko-yaku (male players), and some train to be musume-yaku (female players). Otoko-yaku learn to walk, talk, and gesture like men, as well as how to sing in a lower range. Musume-yaku learn how to exagerate female mannerisms, in order to make the otoko-yaku appear more realistic in comparison.

They put on Western musicals adopted from original source material from the US and Europe, such as Guys and Dolls (US) or Elisabeth (Austria). They also adopt Western novels, movies, TV shows, and biographies into musicals, such as Gone with the Wind or Dean. Or they put on shows adopted from Japanese culture or comic books, such as Black Jack or Asaki Yume Mishi (Tale of Genji). Finally, they have some completely original productions, such as LUNA.

There are five troupes in Takarazuka: Cosmos, Star, Snow, Moon, and Flower. There is also a troupe called Senka (special course), where they move actresses training to be top stars or older actresses. Senka actresses move between different troupes during different productions.

Rika was an otoko-yaku, and between 2001-2004 she was the top star of Moon Troupe. Her opposite was musume-yaku Emi Kurara. Together, they were a Golden Combination. You can see Rika to the left from the 2002 Moon Troupe production of Guys and Dolls, where she played Sky Masterson.

If you're interested in learning more about Takarazuka Revue, check out the links page.