Welcome to From the Mouths of Babes
For the 2019 Musical Utena ~ Blooming Rose of Deepest Black production, Yuka Yamauchi, who portrays Anthy, did a series of blog posts about various members of the cast during rehearsals. Nagumo was so kind as to translate several of these! They're a neat look into the cast members and what goes on behind the scenes.

Fuyuna Asakura [Shiori]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Whoooa, I'm so tired that I'm leaning on the wall to hold me up. Today's rehearsal ended early, so off to the gym! Ran lots! Anthy doesn't move at all, I use my head and heart but when I get I home I move. So refreshing. ♡

And now for today's cast intro. Today is... This person to my left. Asakura Fuyuna-chan, actress of Takatsuki Shiori!

There's only a 3 day difference between our birthdays! ~♡ (laugh) That and there's only a 5 day difference between Yuuta-kun and Fuyuna-chan too. (laugh) Everyone's age is all over the place. Fuyuna-chan is 5 years younger than me. So young!!

But she's so mature and experienced, with her amazing expressiveness, you could place her age wherever you want. There's lots I want to learn from Fuyuna-chan! She's a wonderful actress.

Speaking of experience and background, she was in the musical 'Annie'. Personally, I love watching the auditions for Annie, so it's possible I might have seen Fuyuna-chan's audition back then. When I learned my new castmates' name, I wondered, what sort of person are they? When I looked up their career history, I wasn't all that excited!

The day we were supposed to do the promotional shots, Fuyuna-chan came to the location site to prepare. It's the first time I met her, I thought I heard her go [Good morning.] Her voice was beautifully tempered, and I thought "what's this?" (laugh)

Then came to day where we were to practice Shiori's main scene together. While getting into character and her dialogue was done in the cutest, most beautiful, and most easiest to listen to voice ever. My attention was immediately drawn towards Shiori's direction.

Many of Utena cast's voices are beautiful, but Fuyuna-chan's is the most exemplary of all. She could be an announcer or reporter with it! Her introduction and greeting was so easy on the ears, and she was so mature. When I remember how I was at 20 years old, I can't help but shake my head in consternation. (laugh)

The women of Utena are mostly returning to their roles, while Marina-chan and Fuyuna-chan are completely new cast mates. I'm such a worrywart when adding people to my circle of friends. I'm the type who needlessly worries about everything even though I try not to think about it because it's so unnecessary. Fuyuna-chan is so mature and has a high tolerance so she will adapt to any environment! (laugh) And so I was to become friends straight from the beginning with her. ♡

Shiori-san and Juri-san's story is very complicated. It might be something that not everyone can relate to, but I believe it's something that lies sleeping in everyone's heart. Fuyuna-chan diligently acts to draw out and express the character, devoting everything to express the character.

The story of the two is very riveting, please take it in. Prepare yourself and let Fuyuna-chan and Riona's acting do their work. Go ahead and watch closely their singing, expression and evolving change in costume.

Wow this got long! I'll be doing my best tomorrow. ♡

p.t. Today I commented on a certain person's blog. Got a little nervous writing it. ^^ I'll speak about that person again someday. ♡

Yume Takeuchi [Wakaba]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Taken a few more steps forward today. And talked lots with the cast too, it was a short but packed day.

And for today's cast intro! It's this person! ♡ Such a cutie. My beloved little sister, Takeuchi Yume-chan, actress of Shinohara Wakaba.

Continuing from last time: She's really cheery, sweet and energetic, just like Wakaba. She's 19 years old fighting with all the weapons of youth.

But I just can't see her as 19 years old, she feels like an adult doing her job with her level-headed acting. When I last did intros, I felt that I wrote as if there something ominous was going to happen in the future, but that's not what I meant to write at the time. (laugh)

In the second production, the ominous threat has appeared. Last time we rehearsed Wakaba's main scene, as I was watching I unconsciously bit my lip to hold back tears. My eyes felt so hot.

When Yume wants to have a certain timbre and singing voice for Wakaba, she imagines it in her head over and over again so that the scene is just perfect. From the first production to this second one, she's been thinking the best way to present the scene until she's figured it all out without even stopping to think about it. I have nothing but respect for her.

When I get home, I can't help but remember how frustrated and envious I am. She is a friend who motivates me a lot. Usually, she’s just so cute I can't help but pet her head until her hair is messed up. I admire her greatly, an outstanding and beautiful actress.

She has a lot of work and is quite busy but she always memorizes her songs and practices them. She's very ambitious, and Yume's quite the rare sort that goes out of her way to 'master what she likes'. Armed with that belief, I feel that Yume just gets better and better.

And her singing is just beautiful. It's just great. It brings joy to the ear. The last production had a great Wakaba song and so does our current production. Every part of it is just so good. And of course, the reason it's great isn't only how good the song is but also because she's really good too.

Please listen to her carefully, and for those who like her singing please see her [Together with Father]. (laugh) (editor's note: it seems Yume is hosting a NHK BS children's show)

I'm thankful that a person like Yume, who pushes me onwards to do my best, exists.

And she's usually such a sweet baby who sits on my lap to get spoiled by me. The difference is really entertaining. She gets along with others so quickly, this girl's a shining example of positivity we can learn from. Yume's Wakaba.

Please watch her!

p.t. My body is sore everyday!

Riona Tatemichi [Juri]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Finished practice today!! Practiced the songs all day! There are lots of songs. ^^ It's back to back rehearsal since the number of days left can be counted on one hand. I keep on thinking to myself that I want to make sure I have a firm grasp on the song one last time.

And now, today I'd like to introduce this person: Actress of Arisugawa Juri, Tatemichi Riona-chan.

Though a lady I regularly see outside of work, it's been such a long time since I had last seen her in the same production. As expected, Riona's Juri-sempai is so cool. I've said it plenty of times before but those curls in her hair suit her way too much.

Riona has a beautiful and cool dance pose (editor's note: Standing posture) She's cultivated her dancing ability for years, and is able to easily express herself physically with posturing techniques at a high level of skill. So her poses, her bearing, her turns, all those little details to show off the movement of the body are all very accomplished and beautiful.

Though it seems contradictory, because of her long arms and legs, Riona's sword fighting is really dynamic! But her silhouette is so thin and so very sharp. She's so cool. Juri-san is a very strong at fencing, even though Riona's never done fencing before she convincingly comes off as very strong. It's so persuasive because of her high physical skills. I'm so impressed seeing her fighting all while leaping and turning and singing too.

She has a lot of cool scenes too. Riona's Juri-sempai is as cool as a guy but in the story she carries a deep but subtle anguish within.

I've introduced her before to you, but it involves Shiori, and it's a heart wrenching scene. During the fight, you get to clearly see the wavering human being beneath. The disparity is really good. She's usually so strong that the weakness really stands out.

Riona's appearance is really cool, so she's typically a mature type. When Juri-sempai clutches her chest without any words while looking so distressed, it's Riona's image overlapping. Since they're not separate, it's easy for her get into character for the story.

So far I've in my writing I've only given priority to her cool persona, but she an surprisingly fun loving side to her. (laugh)

Those who've seen the previous production's extras know all about Riona's terrible impersonation skills. Today we've heard her terrible impersonation for the first time after so long and it made everyone laugh. Her flair for impersonation is fatally lacking. (laugh)

Riona has these spontaneous playful moods when the moment strikes her. This miraculous picture of her taken today when she decided to prank me by getting in my way.

She sat on my lap!!

I was so happy at this was a totally rare turn of events that I ended up hugging her and asking Marina to [take a picture! Take it right now!] for me! ♡ And also Youzi-kun who was right by me took a picture from the side! I have such a happy smile on my face.

She's a bit younger than me, and she has these cute moments. I'm apt to have people sit on my lap. (laugh) Everyone is so precious.

p.t. While I still have space. Happy birthday best girl.

Marina Tanoue [Kozue]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Rehearsal today ended a bit earlier than usual. So I ate with Ami-san! ^^* The two of us are managing each other's anxieties every day. (laugh)

Now! For today's cast intro! Tanoue Marina-chan, actress of Kaoru Kozue!

You already know her from this blog already, but this time she will be costarring with a different relationship and our interaction will be more distant. Still, at rehearsals, we naturally drift towards each other. I feel so at ease by Marina's side. Our personality and mood jive, and also she's the senior actress (alt trans: sempai) so I feel very calm with her.

When we get to talk, we talk about silly and pointless conversations together. And the conversation just keeps expanding until the two of us end up laughing.

Is this what they mean by empathy? The proper grasp of closeness, knowing what's best for them or to comfort them. But as an actress, whenever she need to face her roles, her motivation is amazing.

Voice, expression, suddenly changes, when that happens, she truly becomes her role! And she's a very energetic woman, so very adult and feminine. A completely different vibe from her male roles.

Her ability to act both roles is amazing. I've been in two other productions with her before, but this is the first time I've seen her take such a different role and been up close to see it. It's a pleasure. We get along great, and I feel like we're friends, but I feel more like a student studying her! The way she acts her role with such emotions. I don't get to see others on stage that often, I only have the deepest respect, my precious partner. (※Please allow me to call you 'partner'. Laugh.)

Kozue's story is a key and emotional part of this production. Her fighting, her song, her lines are brimming with emotion. Depicting such emotions all at the same time is very difficult, but Marina is more than up to the challenge of portraying it!!

At rehearsal for each scene, we read and tweaked what sort of emotions to act out under Yoshitani-san's direction, changing the nuances to experiment as we rehearsed. When Marina tried experimenting with her lines, a subtle change in how it was said was all that was needed to utterly transform how it was presented. I was in awe to witness for the first time such a dramatic transformation that day!

I hope you admire the charm of her portrayal of Kozue's part. I also hope you enjoy how my Anthy interacts with Kozue. ♡

My lovely Marina. We look similar in pictures, but this lovely lady is Marina. She exudes the older sister vibe that I love. It's where I got mine from.

p.t. I'm so happy, I personally get to hear so many singing voices!

Arisa Suzuki [Nanami]

Link to the Original Blog Post

It's pitch black outside again today.

Yesterday and today, I was thinking what I needed to do for the future. For the most important things I cherish, the things I want to cherish, the things I love so much. That's what I thought about a lot. And in those two days, I managed to so much of what I love. So right now, I have a lot of strength in my heart. I've said that you should cherish something but I've forgotten to also say that you need to cherish yourself a bit. And so let's all try to cherish everyone. And yourself.

And now, for today's [Revolutionary Girl Utena] Cast Intro! ♪I am! Kiryuu Nanami-sama! Here's Suzuki Arisa-chan, actress for Kiryuu Nanami! Utena's singing princess.

Arisa is the same age as me! For some reason, I really want to call Arisa my comrade or battle buddy. When in a production, she's able to face it without comparison or complaint and battle it out.

Everyone is like this, but with Arisa you can't find the word 'compromise' or label her as someone who does things by halves, she does everything with her utmost effort. If you saw the first production, you know that her voice, appearance, mannerism, and knowledge of the anime was better than anyone's. She was aiming to constantly improve her performance right up to the end.

That thoroughness and obsession in the best meaning of the word are very important for a production. It's something I can learn from her. And I've mentioned it before but there's her absolutely brilliant singing voice.

She's the sort who can always get the song right. (laugh) Her voice is so beautiful, it seems like it can fly anywhere it wants. Sometimes her singing is soaring, other times its powering through. Whenever there's a note I didn't hit right, I just have to look at Arisa and look all puzzled, and then she just sings the notes I messed up on. ♪♪ ^^ In fact, whenever I think [I didn't sing this right], I just remember how Arisa sung it and try to imitate her to get it right.

But let's just keep that between ourselves. (laugh) It's as if she's my teacher. ♡

And whenever I burden myself over something that I don't have a reason to burden myself with, Arisa is there to lend a comforting hand. She's able to calmly see and analyse everything around her, she's like the brains of the Utena girls. (laugh)

It might be because so many of the Utena ladies are open to their emotions. Me as well!** So she's very helpful.

Nanami-sama is on the rampage this time too. If you want to know, I hope you'll get to enjoy it in person. Since the last time Arisa was able to rampage but things have changed drastically. This time her feelings aren't quite as juvenile.

She seems to be enjoying herself. Nanami-sama's scene is an importantly entertaining part. In the best sense. (laugh)

So please relax, unwind and enjoy. She's such a character. So being the substitute is super fun!! Though naturally I can't really hold a candle the real Nanami-sama. Please look forward and enjoy this powerful character's stormy scene. ♡ Today's 4 ladies.

p.t. Today was so much fun Got to talk lots with everyone! ♡ (laugh)

Yohdi Kondo [Mamiya]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Heading home right now, not caring if people see me. I'm crying so hard right now but these are happy tears. (editor's note: If you want to know why she's crying, I'll give a brief summary. In the Cast Intro 10 comments, an Italian Utena fan named Ari left a comment of thanks to Yamauchi Yuka about how much they enjoyed the musical and what it means to see their favorite anime made into a great musical. Really well written Japanese too, I'm envious. Goes on to encourage Yamauchi Yuka and says they look forward to buying the dvd when it's out because they can't see the musical live. So count your blessing if you managed to get to Japan folks.) I received this beautiful comment last night on my blog. I was a little down just then. My heart just ached and tears came out. I'm super happy. Thank you very much.

Now then, today's Cast Intro! Today's it this person! Kondou Yohdi-kun, actor of Chida Mamiya!

Continuing our second day. Introducing our head twirlingly cute boy. (editor's note: she uses kyurun kyurun which is the sound effect of twirling cutely... so...) I'd heard of Yohdi -kun back when I was still a student living in Kansai. Why you may ask? Because he's so 'stylish'! On social networks, Yohdi is famed as a very fashionable guy.

So when they revealed the cast for the production, I was very surprised. I don't know why, it's as if my youth and returned to me. I was so happy.

And when I finally got to meet him, he was cute! His skin is beautiful! So white! I wasn't able to talk to him much though, he seems to be quite shy. But one day we just happened to be heading home at the same time, we managed to break the ice and talk. I guess we closed the gap? ^^

When he does talk, he's very serious, elegant and very manly. He isn't just pretty/easy on the eyes, he has an inner virtue that just overflows with goodness! (;_;)

He watched the DVD of the first production and more, asking all sorts of questions on how we sang or how we moved in certain scenes. He is very attentive to the details and when practicing, he's always checking the anime to make sure he did the scene right. In any case, he is taking his role of Mamiya seriously, it's a real pleasure watching him fuss over his act. I'm happy to have someone like that in the new cast. Every day is a pleasure with Yohdi-kun.

Also, even though this is his first musical, his voice is very clear and the song for Yohdi-kun is just, what a song!, you just can't put it into words. It's the sort of song that stays with you. He conveys the story and song so clearly to you. He's able to give words such power and meaning.

When Mamiya is alive, Yohdi-kun is at rest, you just want to do everything to make sure he keeps on living. For this production it's a key element to the story!

The role is perfect for Yohdi-kun: the ephemeral and fleeting element that Yohdi-kun especially possesses as part of his personality. Mamiya plays a big part in my performance too, so we reviewed it and rehearsed together.

It's hard to walk in the dress, he's always ready to lend me a hand, a very caring person.

In our current production, you will get to experience a charming Yohdi-kun that you've never gotten to see before!! I really want everyone to enjoy it.

When I went to take the picture for the cast intro for Yohdi-kun, I really wanted to make sure we looked fashionable and make us look really cute together when it was taken. But I was too embarrassed to mention that, and what's more after rehearsal I had removed my makeup. My perfect photo turned out to be the opposite of what I really wanted but at least Yohdi-kun remained beautiful as always.

Now then, I'm heading to bed a bit early.

p.t. Rehearsal with my beloved cast mates will be over in a few days, and soon after that the production itself will be over before we know it. I feel lonely already.

Yu Yoshioka [Akio]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Today a cool wind blew, felt just like my favorite summer nights on the road home. When it's like that, I stop being silly and start getting serious about how I should treasure my embarassing emotions. I wonder why. (laugh)

I guess I'm just a bit more self aware of the deep love I have for other people. It's not something that's been pinned down to select people, but everyone. Before I thought, that's so embarrassing. It's as if I was the only one arbitrarily getting keyed up from it. But now I know that it's really important to cherish such emotions.

I think that those who read my blog every day will understand what I'm trying to say, I fully love everyone. That's why I really want to make sure we see it through to the end and create something wonderful!

It's been long in coming, but here is today's cast intro! It's this person! Yoshioka Yuu-kun, actor of Ohtori Akio!

The older brother of Anthy, and someone who's like an older brother to me. When I heard that Yuu-kun had been casted for Akio, I went [why him!] and was really surprised but strangely enough, I now think that the role is perfect for him. (laugh) In the previous production, my relationship with the my Utena cast mates, especially with my fellow female cast mates, was that of the older sister. Everyone was younger than me, so it was up to me to take care of them. So I became everyone's older sister and sort of wanted to stay that way even after it was all over. (laugh)

But now I'm pretty free to fool around and relax a lot more since Yuu-kun is here!! He really has that 'big brother' vibe to him. But that being said, even though Yuu-kun is so mature and steady, that doesn't mean he can't be silly and cackle with glee. (laugh) He puts everyone at ease!! Especially puts Tsubasa-kun (Saionji's actor) at ease. (laugh) They do silly things together, and laugh. Even when we do something weird, he watches out for us. ^^ (laugh)

This is the second time we've costarred but I think the distance between us has narrowed from last time. We're always rehearsing and working together on the challenging aspects of the story. How could I describe my impression of him. A placid man with a gentle and easy going personality but when we went acted together he was even more gentle. I can't help but respect him.

When I last worked with Yuu-kun, it wasn't a musical. And though he's an excellent at fighting, this time he's isn't fighting. His song is very graceful. Even a bit seductive, it's a role that watches all and sees all.

I've seen two different Yuu-kun's so far, which one is the most Yuu like is a mystery. He's very good at creating a haunting mood. When Anthy is involved with her older brother, Anthy's feelings and my feelings are very calm and at ease. Her anxiety and sense of security coexist together.

When we lock eyes on stage, we typically find ourselves corpsing and trying not to burst out laughing, we sometimes end up losing our composure so completely we can't get back to work. Last rehearsal though, we were quite natural and didn't smile one millimetre the entire time. When he's in front of me, I can only see him as Akio onii-san, so it was easy to get into character.

Yuu-kun's posture really makes the scene. His voice, smile, serenity and strength are all very vibrant. It's wonderful, I hope that you will enjoy it and be very satisfied!

Our second production acting together, the emotional distance is such that I hope that we can really act like brother and sister. And also because the relationship between the two is so important for the story, I want to do it well. I'm glad Yuu-kun is Akio!

p.t. I thought I'd have gales of laughs with Ami today. But for some reason, I ended having a very serious conversation with Ami, Riona and Marina, it was a somber day today.

Hidenori Tokuyama [Mikage]

Link to the Original Blog Post

Another entry in the Utena Rehearsal Diary today. We did our second full run rehearsal. I felt very confident during this rehearsal, I even got to take a look during it. Got to watch and enjoy other people’s scene.

But that being said, there’s lots of areas to tweak. I’ll reflect on today’s practice and continue to improve in the next! ♡

Now then, for today’s Cast Intro! It’s this person! Tokuyama Hidenori–san, actor of Mikage Souji!!

Oh boy, to be frank, I just don’t know what to write. Everything about him so wonderful. When I heard they were going to do a sequel to Utena, I wondered who was going to do Mikage, Mamiya, and Akio! I was particularly curious about it. When they finally announced the cast, I was surprised and went ‘are you joking!?’

I never imagined the day we perform together would arrive! I’ve seen him on screen so many times before. He was a popular subject back in my school days, IkePara’s 3rd dormitory’s leader! (laugh) (editor’s note: Ikemen Paradise is a Japanese drama based on the anime Hanakimi, he was Oscar M. Himejima)

To think that he’d leap into this world is a dream come true for me, and I’m living it. I’m not really shy around strangers but he’s such a star that I wasn’t able to make myself talk to him at all at first.(;_;) But Tokuyama-san is terribly afraid of preferential treatment. He’ll talk with you, teach you things and straightforwardly praise a person’s best aspects.

When I make a mistake, he’s there to gently correct it, and if my temper is about to go, he’s there’s with such calming words, [everything’s going to be all right]. After meeting Tokuyama-san, I think to myself, I’d like to be able clearly express the good points of people and be open minded to everyone around me while still being strict on myself too. I respect him as a person.

Tokuyama-san is always the first to arrive at the rehearsal site out of all the cast. And devotes himself completely to preparing and reviewing his part. Always checking it over, never raising his head until he’s done. Because of that, I thought he absolutely wouldn’t forgive any of my mistakes but he always gently forgives me. However the next time I mess up… is the sort of jokes he does, he’s like a lovely big brother.

And he looks wonderful when he gets into costume as Mikage-san. Tokuyama-san bears an unaging everlasting sort of beauty, when he dresses up as Mikage-san it’s quite different from his usual look. Also his beauty seems to have an added violent edge to it that makes your heart skip.

And his voice. Whenever he does dialogue or sings, his voice is just so amazing. To be able marry your voice and emotions into a single role, I almost want to ask how he does it. I got to hear a multitude of different shades of presence and tone with his voice. I’m sure our audience will experience it fully.

And in his scene where he sings, I just love Tokuyama-san’s voice so much. I’ve irresistibly rewinded the recording to listen to him again and again. (laugh) Everyone has their own favorite bits but I’m sure they’re exactly the same as my favorites. Please enjoy!

He’s a character at the heart of this story. A world which Mikage both manipulates and bears on his shoulders all hurts for his beloved. A meticulous man who is by turns violent, beautiful, doomed and vainly grasping at the impossible.

Tokuyama portrayed the character the way he wanted but it still remains recognizably Mikage, he draws out the deeply buried emotions beneath and lets them run riot.

That’s not the only highlight though, please pay close attention! Even if I hadn’t mentioned it, you’ll definitely see what I mean. Take in as much as you can of the charming Tokuyama-san’s portrayal of Mikage and slow unveiling of his world! Just like how Utena met her prince, the Utena ladies met a prince known as Tokuyama-san. (laugh)

p.t. Following the lead of someone I can respect, we charge towards the end!


Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) is © Kunihiko Ikuhara, Chiho Saito, Shogakukan and bePapas/TV Tokyo and/or their respective copyright holders. The US release of the Revolutionary Girl Utena series and movie was © Central Park Media and now belongs to Right Stuf. The US release of the Utena manga is © VIZ. The various sources used in this site are noted where their content is presented. Don't sue us, seriously. Blood. Stone.