It was an eventful Saturday on 16 April 2022 when I finally get to see the evening show of Takizawa Kabuki ZERO 2022 in person. Here’s my Takizawa Kabuki ZERO 2022 4/16 report. Those who do not want spoilers, please do not proceed!
Last year, part of the shows were cancelled due to COVID-19, so they switched to an online broadcast which I got a glimpse of what this performance will be like. The details of the 2022 shows can be found here.
My memories are fading rapidly but I believe it was not my first time in this theatre. I probably have watched Takizawa Enbujou in its first run back in 2006 when I was on an overseas exchange program as an undergraduate. Nevertheless, it feels like my first time stepping into this beautiful cozy theatre.
It was interesting to spot everyone taking photos of the entrance along with their tickets, pictures, or acrylic stands of their favourite Snow Man member. A quick search using #滝沢歌舞伎ZERO2022 on Twitter or Instagram will feature many such photos.
I thought the most I may see is fans wearing clothes of their favourite Snow Man in the same “member colour”, but I was really surprised to see a pair of fans doing a cosplay of Ren Meguro and Raul for their duet performance “Breezer”. The monotone combination was pretty easy to replicate but kudos for the efforts!
Because I was more used to Imperial Theatre rules, I was also surprised to know that the audience is allowed to take photos inside the theatre at our seats! I had to take a photo as a ceremonial act.
This theatre is really bright and cozy. The first and second floors are considered S seats (priced at 13,000 JPY) and the third floor consists of A seats (priced at 7,000 JPY). Standing ovation is only allowed on the first floor.
Takizawa Kabuki ZERO 2022 Act List
Opening ひらりと桜 (ALL)
Breezer (Me-me, Raul)
Into the sky (Fukka, Shoppi, Date-san)
変面 卒業 (Hikaru)
My Friend (Abe-chan, Koji, Sakuma)
Feel the light, Lovely (ALL)
The 2022 performances are largely different from the 2021 version, but ひらりと桜 remains the opening act. It was nice to hear Hikaru saying that famous line 春の踊りはよ〜いやさ〜 before starting this performance. It was really A LOT of cherry blossom petals they use, and it’s the first time I actually notice how they were picking up the petals and throwing them around as part of the choreography.
I was not aware of the next song ITSUKA, but apparently, Tackey used to perform this back in 2014. I was mind-blown when Me-me and Raul appeared in contrasting black and white costumes for the next number Breezer. True to the song title, they were using a lot of “wind” effects for this performance, and it made the 2 youngest members of the group look even more dreamy and super cool. I seriously hope that they do this performance on Shonen Club too so that other fans can enjoy it too!
As Takizawa Kabuki ZERO 2022 focuses on the Japanese element of entertainment, it was interesting to see a combination of Japanese samurai(?) warrior costumes and LED lights and swords for the next performance Into the Sky. I like how they interpret the slashing by showing the red LED light every time. Impeccable timing!
I was surprised to see My Friend being performed by a duet between Abe-chan and Koji and Sakuma was doing the “flying” this time. Until this year, it was always sung by Shoppi and Date-san was doing the “flying”.
Obviously, this is also one of the main highlights of Takizawa Kabuki ZERO 2022. It was funny how most fans were zooming in with their binoculars, including myself. I was most surprised to see Shoppi getting very buffed up. The muscles on his chest, shoulders, and arms are looking so fine! Hikaru’s muscles, as we already know, are in another dimension. It was not difficult to recognise Hikaru just by looking at his back, the inverted triangle sculptured figure.
The next performance, Feel the light, Lovely, is a new groovy song. I really adore the melody and dance and it made me naturally want to swing along with the tune. It reminds me of the recent V6 songs when they display the adult and sexy side. This is another performance that I wish they will perform on Shonen Club one day, like what they did Black Gold last year.
Before the start of Takizawa Kabuki 2022 performances, there is a make-up time live on stage, where we can witness how Snow Man members do their kabuki make-up. While they are doing this, there is also a Q&A corner where 2 representatives from IMPACTors are the emcees.
They touched on the topic of how IMPACTors have no chance to appear on radio shows, and Fukka suggested trying out immediately on stage, replicating the corner that listeners will send in their letters, asking for solutions to their problems. Fukka gave the example of a listener really likes Fukka that she couldn’t do her job, and asked one of the IMPACTors members to give the answer to resolve the problem. Me-me who was seated next to Fukka grinned and stared at Fukka, to which Fukka asked Me-me not to look at him. In the end, Fukka also directed this question to Koji for a “model” answer, and Koji simply imitated how the listener will react and said, “I will quit my job!” LOL!
IMPACTors then performed a new number Fighter, choreography by Hikaru, and costumes designed by Me-me. Hikaru and Me-me stayed on the stage until halfway through this performance before they retreated backstage to prepare.
The next performances were mainly kabuki-related performances, with the last highlight using 花鳥風月 as BGM, consisting of Snow Man appearing in 連獅子 costumes with super red long wigs worth 3kg in weight, and they have to swirl their heads multiple times. I seriously think it’s a big strain on their necks, but it was a dynamic scene.
In this act, it’s usually the Edo story of 鼠小僧. One of the highlights is usually to discover who is taking the role of the “pet”. This year, surprisingly, they “killed” Kin-no-suke (played by Sakuma), and let him play the dog as “Kin-chama” O.M.G. The funeral scene was so hilarious and ridiculous. Kin-no-suke appeared in the coffin, supposedly dead, but Omaru (played by Fukka) was saying things to make him laugh. It was so random and funny. After which was a comical exchange among Shin-kichi (played by Hikaru) x Omaru x Kin-chama. You can find a picture of Shin-kichi and the dog here.
Tons of water
In the last battle scene, they were using tons of water, apparently 9 tons of water were used per show! It seems dangerous for them to battle in such a slippery situation. I wish I have more pairs of eyes to spot the little anecdotes of each character. From the chaos, I notice Shoppi was in “energy-saving” mode, and how his enemies “died” without him raising a finger. This only happens because it’s adorable Shoppi…
The grand finale comes with the last performance of WITH LOVE. Because everyone was wet from the previous battle scene, you can enjoy seeing Snow Man members with wet hair and no fringe covering their faces.
It was a great entertainment show, and I think minimal Japanese ability is required here as you can really enjoy the show just looking at how they worked so hard for each performance. I feel fortunate to finally see these boys in person, and they look even better in person compared to on-screen. A big THANK YOU to all cast and staff involved, and I wish everyone can finish this run until 16 May 2022, without any injuries or issues.