- no.21, pp.231-240, 2019-03-31
The Takarazuka Revue is a popular Japanese theatrical company consisting solely of female performers. Since its establishment in 1914 Takarazuka has often been considered as part of shōjo culture but was its representation the same throughout its history? This paper examines how Takarazuka's representation has evolved after the staging of The Rose of Versailles in 1974 and attempts to localize its position in contemporary Japanese pop-culture. First, by reviewing Takarazuka's position as part of pre-war shōjo culture and through content analysis of The Rose of Versailles, I evaluate the effect the play's staging has had on the Revue. Then, by conducting a discourse analysis of Takarazuka's representation as seen in anime, manga, and variety TV programs, I localize Takarazuka within Japanese pop-culture and discuss the transition process of its representation. The paper distinguishes three primary themes surrounding Takarazuka's post-Rose of Versailles representation in the media: Takarazuka as a setting for girls' comics, Takarazuka as a parody, and Takarazuka's zealous fans. The results of the analysis show, although Takarazuka is still strongly associated with shōjo culture, it has since surpassed the genre and can be seen to have spread to other pop-culture genres such as fan culture and Japanese idol culture.