Aug 06 2008

The Big Questions

There comes a time in one’s life when one must to ask oneself: has the Takarazuka Revue ever done a production of Torikaebaya Monogatari? This time does not last very long, because obviously they have.

They have also done The Great Gatsby. And Gone With the Wind repeatedly. Moustache technology had not yet been perfected in the 80′s.

(And also Black Jack. Pompadour technology, however, was already quite advanced by the mid-90′s.)

These pictures are all so insanely awesome. I bet they have to glue new glitter on those period costumes after every show.

Edit A Minute Later: According to what appears to be one of the Revue’s official websites, the Torikaebaya one’s based on Kihara Toshie’s manga adaptation, rather than directly on the original book. This would explain the differing titles (Torikaebaya Ibun).


Dec 19 2006

MANGA VERSION OF TORIKAEBAYA MONOGATARI! (!!!)

Ohhh yes I knew this had to exist. I think I’m about to order it.

It looks like it’s just one volume. The artist’s name is Kihara Toshie – I’d never heard of her before, but when I googled the name I found some pages grouping her with the 49′ers. This manga will definitely be awesome.

Having been awake for 36 hours finishing a thirty-four-page research paper, what do I do? Do I… sleep twelve hours and eat a bunch of junk food? Or do I… sleep slightly less than six hours, then get up and read two more books on the same topic as the paper, and set about purchasing another?


Jul 15 2006

[sound effect]

I just read The Left Hand of Darkness. I think I was thirteen the last time I read it, and I still don’t really have anything to say about it. Maybe about forty years has changed stuff enough that it’s just not as big a thing for me as it is for The Old People?

I don’t know. Pronouns are very heavy to me – it feels like cheating that LeGuin calls her hermaphrodites “he.” It’s the same reason I feel uncomfortable with seeing slash as feminist-to-the-bone, and why I refuse to entertain the idea that Torikaebaya Monogatari could have been written by a woman*. Maybe some people can read a character explicitly described as male as androgynous or female, but I just can’t, and I have trouble buying the writers could, either. “He” probably is the default pronoun in my head, but that doesn’t render it genderless in the absence of explicit football and power tools.

I have written a paragraph criticizing The Left Hand of Darkness in my LiveJournal. I am unconventional and brilliant! You will offer me an awesome job in Japan at once.

Okay, two things.

1) The edition I’m reading – the one with the crazy ice-heads on the cover – has a lot of typos. One of the place names is spelled three different ways.

2) On the back cover there’s a blurb from Michael Moorcock calling it “as profuse and original in invention as The Lord of the Rings.” Isn’t Moorcock supposed to hate Tolkien?

-

* Though of course Torikaebaya doesn’t have pronouns, and I was going on about that before, and, yeah. But Sensei told me he was pretty sure that at least some of the titles would have to have been read as completely gender-bound, so I’m going to pretend it’s the same thing and just totally ignore all attempts to call me on it.


Jun 23 2006

Torikaebaya Monogatari

(This text was originally posted on LiveJournal. It has been reformatted (awkwardly) for use on WordPress.)

I finished Torikaebaya Monogatari/The Changelings/If Only I Could Exchange Them a while back. This is a book written during the Heian era about a brother and sister who are “by nature inclined to act as the opposite sex,” and just happen to look exactly alike.

Guess what they do.

They eventually switch back, after several years, a lot of angst, and no actual, physical gay sex.

The author is unknown, and there’s apparently a debate about his/her gender. I will now conclusively put an end to this debate through the application of my giant brain:

The author was a straight guy because the thwarted-buttsex was comedy and the lesbian stuff was completely serious.

You may now sit in silent awe of my brilliant and I’m sure completely original analysis. Tears may, if necessary, spring to your eyes; no sniffling.

( Slightly more serious analysis behind the cut. )

No one has ever heard of this book (Sensei hadn’t – he stood there flipping through it looking bemused for a while when I showed it to him), and it’s impossible to buy cheaply. My copy’s from the library. I probably shouldn’t put it to immoral internet purposes.

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