Thursday, May 26, 2011


『33分探偵: ミュージカル演出家殺人事件』

- "Well? Excited now we're in our seats?"
- "Not at all... I just don't like musicals."
- "That's because you never tried it! You'll love it when you see it!"
- "They just have an normal conversation and then suddenly go around singing and stuff, right? I don't really..."
"33 Minutes Detective: The Musical Star Murder Case"

Books.... Check.
Movies.... Check.
TV shows.... Check
Games.... Check
Radio drama.... Check

Oh, I haven't done stage productions yet!

Takurazuka X Gyakuten Saiban ("Turnabout Trial"). When it was announced that a collaboration between the two would be performed in 2009, I was quite surprised. An all-female musical based on a mystery courtroom battle videogame?

What. Were. They. Thinking.

It wasn't like I had something against the Takurazuka Revue, but it just seemed so... unlikely a combination. Professor Layton VS Gyakuten Saiban is at least a fairly logical crossover, while a live action movie based on the Gyakuten franchise doesn't sound that strange either (I don't really like Miike as the director though). But Takarazuka X Gyakuten Saiban?

What. Were. They. Thinking.

In Gyakuten Saiban - Yomigaeru Shinjitsu ("Turnabout Trial - The Revived Truth"), everyone has become a bit more feminine and they all developed the tendency to suddenly dance and sing, but the premise here remains the same as in the Gyakuten games: a courtroom battle mystery. However, the setting of the story has been changed from Japan to California, with everybody going by their American names (because Takarazuka musicals are supposed to be 'make-believe' worlds for the viewers to escape to, so no musicals are set in modern Japanese society). Phoenix Wright (Nick for friends) is a young lawyer, who takes up the case to defend Leona Clyde, his old girlfriend. She has been arrested for the murder of a Diet member, but with photographs of the deed being done and Leona's own confession to the murder, it doesn't seem like there is much room for doubt. Nick however refuses to give up on Leona and swears to find out the hidden truth. In court! In America!

The musical is mostly based on Yomigaeru Gyakuten (US version: Rise from the Ashes), a chapter which was retroactively added to the original game in 2005. It was written by the creator of the original stories, Takumi Shuu  and a very lengthy addition too, which resulted in a somewhat convoluted story. But it had several interesting ideas too: the same man being murdered twice, at the same time, at completely different places! The Queen-esque double/triple/quadruple solutions piled on each other! The final ace up Nick's sleeve in court! The Blue Badger!

Too bad they cut out all those awesome parts for the musical adaption (so no double murder at two seperate places). I have no problems with the inserted love story (which is probably a must for a Takurazuka musical), but it's so bad to see that a pretty smart story has been dumbed down to this. I understand that much had to be cut to keep the length of the musical in check (so I have no problems with cutting away the middle part of the story), but but the final 'evidence' is nearing the absurd and basically just a very, very bad rewrite of what happened in the original story. A person watching this as a) a Takarazuka fan or b) a normal Gyakuten Saiban fan wouldn't be too disappointed, I think (ignoring people who are definitely going to whine about how the character relations have been changed), but looking at it as someone who not only likes Takumi Shuu's original characters and humor, but also his detective plots, I can't help myself being disappointed with the bad rewriting.

Everyone being played by females didn't feel strange at all actually and the random singing and dancing... was not that intrusive (although I guess calling singing and dancing in a musical intrusive would be kinda strange). I was kinda hoping they would sing and dance in the courtroom during testimonies or something (spoilers! they don't).  I have seen bits and pieces of the sequel musical and that one seemed to have an original story with seemingly more clever tricks, so maybe they improved on the mystery part in the sequel.

Original Japanese title(s): 『逆転裁判 蘇る真実』 (loosely based on 『蘇る逆転』

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