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How an Unexpected Kageki Shojo!! Scene Leaves Its Lead – and Fans – Breathless

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WARNING: The next incorporates important spoilers for Season 1 of Kageki Shojo!!, at the moment out there on Funimation.

Kageki Shojo!! is the story of Sarasa Watanabe, a Kabuki theatre fan who strikes to a prestigious college to affix the Kouka theatre troupe, loosely impressed by the real-life all-female musical firm Takarazuka Revue. When the optimistic and bold Sarasa decides to audition for the position of Tybalt in a commencement ceremony efficiency of a scene from Romeo and Juliet, she struggles to get into character when she realizes that she has by no means hated or had a grudge in opposition to anybody. That’s till she remembers being considerably jealous of her childhood pal Akiya Shirakawa inheriting the coveted position of Sukeroku when Kabuki theatre typically excludes feminine performers.


Although Sarasa would not hate Akiya, her frustration with him grew when she overheard him agreeing to ask to be her boyfriend in order that he and his Kabuki household may keep up a correspondence along with her when she moved away. Not solely this, however Akiya agreed to this plan underneath menace of not inheriting the Sukeroku position. Sarasa met Akiya at their agreed aquarium date regardless and requested to be his girlfriend first. Remembering the injustice of shedding her true ardour for Kabuki, and certain the indignation of virtually being requested out with an ulterior motive, Sarasa makes use of the reminiscence of the aquarium to encourage her to embody a jealous, wistful Tybalt.


Sarasa and Akiya look at an aquarium tank in Kageki Shojo!!.

The aquarium scene itself is crammed with element. The scene begins in Episode 12 with a shot of rising bubbles adopted by a swarm of jellyfish. Every one is distinct, transferring in varied instructions and with totally different ranges of bioluminescence. That is adopted by a static shot of eels rising from the sand, every casting different-sized shadows like bushes in a forest.

At this level, Sarasa tells Akiya about how the fish remind her of varied Kouka roles. “Those little shiny fish are the ensemble, and those big slow fish are the stars with leading roles.” There are such a lot of colleges of varied huge and small fish with such reasonable actions that it could be potential that the fish are rotoscoped or filtered footage. Both manner, the result’s stunning, and the consistency of their lighting and colour as they transfer across the tank is impressively realized.


A stingray swims through an aquarium tank in Kageki Shojo!!.

Akiya asks which fish represents the high star – for all his flaws, he does care about Sarasa’s work. Sarasa says that it’s “Definitely the stingray. Its big fluttering wings are like the feathers the top stars wear.” The stingray is clearly conventional hand-drawn animation, and its fins’ actions which Sarasa describes have an important sense of sluggish however fluid motion. The way in which the sunshine of the tank shines extra strongly via its skinny fins can also be a powerful element.

Sarasa says, “Two years after I start at Kouka, I’ll be one of those little fish.” At this second, one such fish is mirrored in her eye because it swims previous. Not solely is that this one other stunning element, but it surely symbolizes how Sarasa identifies with the fish: it is a reflection, like trying in a mirror. Sarasa tells Akiya that she is lastly prepared to maneuver on from Kabuki and that she’s going to “let” him be Sukeroku. Akiya is quietly dismayed, maybe as a result of he believes that Sarasa is true that she would handily surpass him on the position if she had been allowed to.


A closeup of the reflection of a fish in Sarasa's eye in Kageki Shojo!!.

Kageki Shojo!!‘s model of Tybalt is, maybe surprisingly to audiences unfamiliar with Takarazuka, universally assumed to be jealously in love together with his cousin Juliet. In Episode 13, Sarasa remembers the aquarium once more, drawing on private expertise to strengthen her audition. A tearful Akiya asserts that he shall be Sukeroku. That is instantly adopted by Sarasa’s Tybalt grimly saying, “My life ends by the hand of Romeo,” and fading away. Maybe Sarasa feels that her Kabuki aspirations had been lastly ended by Akiya’s resolve to get the position.

What initially prompts Sarasa to make use of her frustration with Akiya for motivation is an interview wherein he claims that “There were plenty of times I didn’t want to be there” as a child. Maybe her reminiscence of him lastly starting to really need the position gave her some reduction as properly. In any case, Sarasa’s efficiency is profitable due to how she will get in contact with the character’s feelings. Maybe one in every of them is forgiveness.

In a humorous however essential scene, teacher Ohgi explains to fellow Tybalt auditionee Sawa Sugimoto that Sarasa’s Tybalt was superior as a result of Kouka followers who determine with Juliet will admire how “He only shows his true feelings to Juliet” as he dies. If Sarasa makes use of her justified envy of Akiya to study Tybalt’s envy of Romeo, and her sense of loss and want for Kabuki for his emotions for Juliet, then Sarasa too surprises the viewers along with her true emotions on this scene. The optimistic, upbeat character, who encourages these round her comparable to Ai Narata and the Sawada twins, has a secret fury that she shares solely close to the tip of the collection. The anime’s aquarium flashback reveals what Sarasa should have been considering as she watched the fish, making her feelings extra relatable.


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