The DVD for the musical 「Lilium ~Girls' Purity Musical~」 starring selected members of idol groups Morning Musume '14 and S/mileage of Hello! Project has marked its entry on the Oricon DVD Weekly Rankings at 9th spot for the week of October 6th, 2014.
The Oricon Weekly Ranking takes the combined sales of various genres of DVDs ranging from movies, anime, TV shows and concerts, encompassing the whole market to reflect on the overall sales ranking. For Lilium to have entered the ranks of the top 10, it had had to contend with the likes of movies and anime to make the list.
"It's common for Johnny's related stageplay DVDs to enter the top 10 of the Oricon DVD charts, but it's rare for any other stage productions to even rank in. In the first place, most stage productions don't ever see a DVD release to begin with, but even taking that into account, Lilium has been the most unusual hit to emerge." (Source: Ongaku Rider)
Girls' Drama Club Musical 「Lilium ~Girls' Purity Musical~」stars a cast of 16 members drawn solely from Hello! Project, featuring 7 members from Morning Musume '14, all of S/mileage, and three members from the Hello! Project Trainees. The entire cast take the stage as vampires, in the setting of a quiet sanatorium located deep within the woods, as a dark fantasy of a tale of love and hate unfolds. This is the explanation Geinou Rider, who is familar with idol productions, gave us.
"While there are comical elements, as a whole a dark atmosphere permeates the entire work, and cruel elements are far from uncommon. For a musical starring idols, it can be considered extremely challenging content. During the musical's run in June, the reviews and opinions pouring in for places like Twitter led fans of theater who were not Hello!Project fans to attend the shows, leading to same-day ticket sales to sell fast. As a direct result, the prequel to Lilium, the D-Stage 12th DVD 「Trump」(whose scriptwriter was Suemitsu Kenichi, who also wrote Lilium) experienced a rapid surge in sales, leading to low stocks on Amazon Japan."
Lilium was quite the hot topic from when it first hit the stage. It seems quite a natural conclusion for its DVD to have been a hit if so, but it appears that a number of retailers sold out on their stock completely on release date, and there were many fans who couldn't even lay hands on a copy even if they wanted to.
"For Lilium to have received so many positive reviews beforehand, they had to have prepared greater numbers for first press release compared to other Hello! Project stage DVDs, but even then they must have underestimated the popularity as supply failed to meet the demand. If they had prepared more stock beforehand, it is entirely possible that their Oricon ranking would have been even higher, but even with this current situation, the company must find this a happy problem to be facing." (Source: Ongaku Rider)
After the DVD release, such views were seen on Twitter:
"Watching Lilium at the start of the day, the content's depressing but it feels great" "Watched Lilium. It was amazing. Really awesome." "I watched Lilium again. I love it so much I cried."
These are just some of the opinions expressed, with continual praise being posted regularly. It seems like the popularity for this will continue spreading at this rate.
In other news, the scriptwriter Suemitsu Kenichi (who wrote Lilium), is also involved in another musical starring S/mileage that begins October 4th -- Girls Drama Club, S/mileage's JUKEBOX MUSICAL 「SMILE FANTASY」at Zenrosai Hall Space Zero, until October 13th. Said to be a direct contrast to the darkness of Lilium, this musical promises to be a cute and pop-like musical.
The musical 『LILIUM-Shoujo Junketsu Kageki-』 starring members of Morning Musume '14 and S/mileage has ended its run in Tokyo on June 15th in a wave of positive reviews. This entirely un-idollike tale of love and hate has become a hot topic for delivering top-notch performance quality beyond all expectations. It will be playing at the Morinomiya Piloti Hall in Osaka starting from June 20th.
For 『LILIUM-Shoujo Junketsu Kageki-』, the cast is all-female, and is the 3rd project coming from the Girls' Drama Club that has idols acting in musicals. This time round it features members of Morning Musume '14, S/mileage and some of the Hello! Project Kenshuusei. Currently, Morning Musume has been regaining popularity with their focus on formation dance, which lends itself as a solid foundation for this musical, and also take note of S/mileage who are also challenging themselves with this formation dance in the musical.
While their acting skills were as perfect as to be expected, their singing has been especially praised. There were clear solo parts for each, and more than displaying just ordinary singing prowess, they were able to express the emotions of the musical in song, showcasing their strength in their usual profession as singers. That 「power of expression」 is so strong it sucks the audience in. The interaction between the two leads Sayashi Riho （Morning Musume '14） and Wada Ayaka （S/mileage） in particular were a faithful enactment of the pitiful and fragile bonds between these two girls.
This cruel tragedy of love and hate seems almost to betray the traditional image of idols. Before the show started, opinion seemed divided over the nature of the content, but after it began, opinions started coming in on the Internet: 「I thought it was just another idol production so I went in to watch without any expectations, but I was so moved that I couldn't even stand up from my seat afterwards」or 「It's enjoyable even for people who are not fans of Hello! Project. The singing and acting was really good.」. Such high praise has started to draw attention to this musical. The producer Niwa Tamon "Andrew"（BS-TBS） commented 「I wanted the world to know how good the girls from Hello! Project were at singing and dancing. By bringing their singing and dancing to the forefront, we want to change what society thinks of idols, in a good way "betraying" the traditional image of idols in the process」.
『LILIUM ─Shoujo Junketsu Kageki─』 will be showing on June 20th and 21st at Osaka's Morinomiya Piloti Hall.
Additionally, the 「Girls' Drama Club Project」 is currently carrying out auditions for cast members. Those who pass the audition will be able to participate in the musical in October with S/mileage, as well as be considered for future musicals with the same Project. The age range is girls from 8~20 years old. For further details please consult Gekkan DeView July edition or Web DeView.
The all girls idol musical 『ＬＩＬＩＵＭ－Shoujo Junketsu Kageki』 that began this year is the 3rd installment of the Girls' Drama Club project. Right now, on top of being able to see the formation dance Morning Musume '14 is famous for that is generating so much buzz, S/mileage too is challenged to be part of the same. The level of perfection there was to be expected of course, but the core of the musical, the singing, is also something to look out for.
Instead of having regular choral singing with the full cast, there were clear solo parts for each, and on top of displaying ordinary singing prowess, they were able to express the emotions of the lines in song, which is what makes a musical a musical. More than just as actors, but it is precisely because of their strength as singers that they were able to pull it off so admirably. In any case, their 「power of expression」 was simply amazing.
Even among those, the ones to look out for are the two leads, Sayashi Riho and Wada Ayaka. The interaction between the pair is painfully sweet and pitiful at the same time, and a loyal representation of the tenuous bonds between these fragile girls.
June 15th 2014(Sun) marked the end of the 10 days of the Tokyo showings, and on the final day the full cast came out to a standing ovation for the curtain call. With the end of the Tokyo shows, the musical 『LILIUM ─Shoujo Junketsu Kageki─』 is already receiving rave reviews on the Internet.
With a cast of currently popular idols like the selected members of Morning Musume '14 and all of S/mileage, even before the tickets formally went on sale to the public, it was entirely within expectations to see the fans themselves having trouble getting tickets. The Girls' Drama club that was newly formed in the spring of this year is basically a female-only theatrical cast launched to show off the strength of these idols in both song and dance in the form of musical productions. Amidst the storm of praise on Twitter and other web sources, there were also many opinions coming from theater professionals who have watched 『Lilium』, stating how they felt once more the true strength of Hello! Project.
Actress & Commentator Nakae Yuri says 「The last scene was shocking in of itself, but what was most shocking to me was how capably the girls of Morning Musume and S/mileage were able to pull off this dark fantasy.」
Actress Fukunaga Marika says 「The potential, hard work, charm, songs, dancing, acting, the cuteness, the coolness, the beauty, the dual forces of light and dark, positivity and negativity -- all these things combined to fill me to the bursting, and I almost felt like throwing up. This was how maddeningly wonderful it was.」
Such was the praise coming from them.
The scriptwriter is Suemitsu Kenichi from the Kansai region. 『LILIUM ─Shoujo Junketsu Kageki─』 is the 3rd project he has worked with them since last year's 『Warera Jeanne～Shoujo Seisen Kageki～』. It will be showing at Osaka's Morinomiya Piloti Hall on June 20th and 21st after this.
There are no flowers that bloom eternally, no matter how beautiful they were, they were wilt eventually ───────── The story of love and hate woven by these girls trapped within the garden of a thousand years. Morning Musume '14 selected members × S/mileage take on the roles of fragile, pitiful vampires, a gothic musical!
Oh flower that blooms eternally without wilting I fall asleep thinking of you The flower that resembles these eternal girls Surely it will appear beautiful forever
Oh flower that blossoms alone in the land of despair Be aloof instead of lonely, and bloom proudly Surely no one would pluck that flower So that fragile beauty can last unto eternity
The purity of these girls is etched upon your heart I'll follow you even unto death, and go forth on this eternal journey The purity of these girls is etched upon your heart Surely when I lie within the cradle of death, I shall dream of you The purity of these girls is etched upon your heart Girls' Purity Girls' Purity