Oscar & Hammerstein Present: kure-nai: The Musical

It’s the hot new off-off-off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway production! Guaranteed to win a Tony award, if things that are that off Broadway can actually win those things!

I literally have no idea what I just watched, but it wasawesome. Totally pure filler, but awesome pure filler. I have always said that life is better if you break out into song and dance numbers at the drop of a hat (and I can’t for the life of me figure out why people don’t do this spontaneously) and, while I don’t go to the theater very often (or watch a lot of musicals, partially due to the fact that I have trouble following sung lyrics unless I have a sheet in front of me) musicals are usually a lot of fun to watch. SDS has, of course, woefully only briefly touched on the concept of anime as theater, and while I haven’t really managed to find something else to add to his observation in the month or two I’ve had to think of somethin, I nevertheless agree fully, as when he mentioned it to me it was one of those things that’s so blatantly obvious that it never actually occured to me until it was pointed out. I suppose it has something to do with the high level of emotional intensity/pathos/melodrama/etc. that I’ve touched upon before, in addition to the device of internal monologue, but I really don’t know, and won’t know unless I go to the theater more often, but with my limited experience I agree wholeheartedly with his observation.

The actual episode was a perfectly timed, perfectly directed, perfectly acted comedy episode. By the time they got to the part where everyone busts out in song (and the animators struggle to keep up) I was essentially totally lost as to what was actually going on and was just sitting there watching the characters have a ball. And they definitely got carried away with the acting thing, as the people Benika hired to pretend to be the director and crew of the play were sitting in bafflement as the play segued from being a Japanese play to being something else entirely (word on the street points to a possible Red Garden reference/parody, but I cannot confirm as I have not seen Red Garden. Yet.), which just tells me that they totally got lost in the fun of it all. And Yuuno got her wish of a loving relationship with Shinkurou (never mind the fact that they were both acting at the time), which I heartily endorse (everything in the episode after she showed up and started singing badly was amazing). Tamaki and Yamie are awesome, as always (I really don’t know what they do for a living, or if they do, because they’re always around all day at the apartment complex to teach Murasaki things that she shouldn’t ought to be taught, such as the joys of following daytime soap operas) and doubly so dragging Yayoi into the whole mess against her will.

I think things like this need to happen a bit more often in anime. Plot and drama and so on is all well and good, but every once in a while it’s fun to kick back and relax and have fun. Some series do this in specials (SD Gundam, the SEED/Destiny DVD specials, Shakugan no Shana-tan, etc.) which often take self-conscious potshots at the series itself, pointing out flaws and twisting lines and scenes into out-of-context hilarity. In the case of kure-nai, it’s just fun to see the characters not stressing out or worrying overly much and just have a good time. I suspect that this episode is probably a small glimpse into the life of the characters when they aren’t on-screen and driving the plot, although I don’t think they bust into song very often. It’s like a window into the other side of the series.

Or something. Whatever it is, I need to obtain Nerima Daikon Brothers sometime to sate my need for anime musicals that has been engendered by this episode, although Nabeshin is slightly too…Nabeshin for me. But it’s worth a shot!

3 Responses to “Oscar & Hammerstein Present: kure-nai: The Musical”

  1. 1 otou-san 16 May 2008 at 1:15 pm

    can’t say that it really made me hanker for anime musicals, but this episode was certainly a lot of fun, plenty of surprisingly well-executed comedy.

  2. 2 coburn 16 May 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I would be bursting into song all the time, if it didn’t prompt small girls to shout abuse. And yeah, this was fine fine stuff.

  1. 1 Pretty Moving Pictures « Claiming Ground Trackback on 18 May 2008 at 6:24 pm

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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