Kodoani.com – Kageki Shojo!! is the story of Sarasa Watanabe, a Kabuki theater fan who transfers to a prestigious school to join the Kouka troupe, inspired by the real-life all-girls musical company Takarazuka Revue. When the positive and ambitious Sarasa decides to audition for the role of Tybalt in a graduation ceremony performing a scene of Romeo and Juliet, she struggles to get into the character as she realizes that she has never had any hate or enmity. grudge against anyone. That is until she recalls being somewhat jealous of her childhood friend Akiya Shirakawa in inheriting the coveted Sukeroku role when Kabuki theater often excludes female performers.
Although Sarasa doesn’t hate Akiya, her frustration with him grows when she hears him agree to offer to be her boyfriend so that he and his Kabuki family can keep in touch with her. when she moved. Not only this, but Akiya agrees to this plan at the risk of not inheriting the Sukeroku role. Sarasa met Akiya at their agreed aquarium date and asked to be his girlfriend first. Remembering the injustice of losing her true passion for Kabuki, and possibly the outrage at being nearly asked for with ulterior motives, Sarasa uses memories of the aquarium to motivate her to transform into Tybalt is jealous, evil.
The aquarium scene itself is also full of detail. The scene begins in Episode 12 with a bubble popping followed by a swarm of jellyfish. Each is different, moves in different directions and has different levels of bioluminescence. What follows is a still shot of the eels emerging from the sand, each casting different sized shadows like trees in the forest.
At this point, Sarasa tells Akiya how the fish reminds her of the different Kouka roles. “Those shiny little fish are the populations, and those slow big fish are the stars that have the main roles.” There are so many scenes of different fish large and small with movements so realistic that those fish are probably shot or filtered footage. Either way the result is beautiful and the consistency of light and color as they move around the tank is impressively realized.
Akiya asks which fish represents the top star – for all his flaws, he really cares about Sarasa’s work. Sarasa said it was “Definitely a stingray. Its large fluttering wings are like the feathers that top stars wear.” The stingray is clearly traditional hand-drawn animation and the movement of its fins which Sarasa describes has a wonderful sense of slow but fluid motion. The way the tank’s light shines brighter through its slim fins is also an impressive detail.
Sarasa said, “Two years after I start at Kouka, I’ll be one of those little fish.” At this moment, such a fish was reflected in her eyes as it swam past. Not only is this another nice detail, but it also symbolizes how Sarasa identifies with the fish: it’s a mirror image, like a mirror. Sarasa tells Akiya that she is finally ready to move on from Kabuki and that she will “let” him be Sukeroku. Akiya was quietly lost in thought, perhaps because he believed that Sarasa was right that she would easily surpass him in this role if she was allowed.
Kageki Shojo!! Tybalt’s version, perhaps to the surprise of audiences unfamiliar with Takarazuka, is often said to be jealously in love with Juliet. In episode 13, Sarasa recalls the aquarium, drawing on personal experiences to bolster her audition. Akiya tearfully affirms that she will be Sukeroku. Soon after, Sarasa’s Tybalt said emphatically, “My life ended at the hands of Romeo,” and faded away. Perhaps Sarasa felt that her Kabuki aspirations were finally ended by Akiya’s determination to get the role.
What initially prompted Sarasa to use his frustration with Akiya as motivation was an interview in which he stated that “There were a lot of times when I didn’t want to be there” as a child. Perhaps her memories of him were finally starting to actually want the role to give her some relief as well. After all, Sarasa’s performance is successful because of the way she touches the emotions of the character. Perhaps one of them is forgiveness.
In a humorous yet important scene, instructor Ohgi explains to Tybalt’s colleague Sawa Sugimoto that Sarasa’s Tybalt is superior because Kouka fans who agree with Juliet will appreciate how “The boy just can showing his true feelings to Juliet” upon death. If Sarasa used her legitimate jealousy of Akiya to learn about Tybalt’s jealousy of Romeo, his sense of loss, and longing for Kabuki because of his affection for Juliet, Sarasa surprised the audience with her true feelings in this scene. The positive, upbeat character, who always encourages those around her like Ai Narata and the Sawada twins, has a secret rage that she only shares near the end of the series. The anime’s aquarium flashback reveals what Sarasa must have been thinking when she watched the fish, making her feelings easier to understand.