Jun’s stageplay “Aa, Kouya” Review

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Aa Kouya at Aoyama Theater

I’ve finally watched Jun’s stageplay “あゝ荒野” (Aa, Kouya) on 19 November 2011.
I’m going to write a full report on it, and there will be spoilers on the story and the ending, so if you hate spoilers or if you’re watching it in the upcoming shows, i would advise you to skip my review :p

“Aa Kouya” is a stageplay directed by Ninagawa Yukio, based on the novel of the same name written by Terayama Shuji. It’s a story about two young guys who know each other through boxing. Their character is totally different, one full of confidence, played by Matsumoto Jun and another who stams on his words and not good at communicating with others played by Koide Keisuke, but they end up to get along well with each other. The ending was quite shocking.

Besides the pictures from tv news which i captured them myself, others are online sources.

"Aa Kouya" from left, Ninagawa Director, Matsumoto Jun, Koide Keisuke

The stageplay starts at 5pm. It was raining extremely heavy on that day but when i reached the theater, there was already a long queue. I got into the theater and my seat was on the 6th row!!! It was so near the stage (the first row is just in front of the stage!) that i am sure that i can see Jun’s face and every of his expression!!! The other artist performers were already standby-ing or having their stretches on the stage.

At 5pm sharp, the stageplay begins.

Aa Kouya's stage

It started with a musical dance of all the artist.
Then the scene changed. It was a scene of Shinjuku of Showa Era, where we could see a lot of neon signboards. Jun appeared standing on top of a truck!!!

Story started with a group of ladies trying to attract the male passengers, yes, they’re prostitutes. The story has been very radical from the beginning. There are many bed scenes, sex talk…

Koide (his name in the story was not revealed at this time) was walking along the street and he was pulled by a prostitute and they entered the love hotel. When the prostitute tried to have sex with him, he rejected. Koide’s character is a bit timid, and he can’t speak well, often scatter on his words. He was some sort like trying to find a vision in his life, trying to find the reason to live on. The prostitute switched on the tv when Koide doesn’t want to have sex with her, she said “That’s alright, but you gotta spend 2 hours here. We can just watch the tv” , but when she turned on the tv, it’s all those erotic shows.. 😳
There’s a part where I don’t understand at all, Koide was talking on his long serifu, asking the prostitute why she chose this job, telling her he doesn’t understand this world, doesn’t know what he wants to do, doesn’t know how to communicate with other people and he feel that he’s dying.. The prostitute said “No, you’re living. The one who is dead since long ago is me… ” and suddenly Koide found the prostitute dead in front of him!! Hmm…. seems that the prostitute commit suicide but this part is not elaborated further on, so I dun really know what happened…. orz

Jun then entered the same love hotel with a gal he gets to know at cafe.
Of course, this is another sex deal 😳
Jun : 脱げよ (Take off your clothes!)
The gal said she doesn’t like to take off her clothes before the guy do so, so Jun took off his clothes hastily and “jumped” onto the gal… Both of them gets into the blanket and “did their business”, Jun took off his pants… 😳 He was now with only one boxer pants on him… 😳

The gal talked on how much she loves Jun and Jun believes her but when he woke up, he found that his wallet has been stolen by the gal. He swears to find her.

Alright, the story of this stageplay is not that shallow. This is only an opening, to let the audience get a rough image of situation in Showa era and also the character of both male leaders.

Koide decided to change himself, and he took up boxing.
Jun was fighting on the street before he was spotted by a boxing group producer.
They then joined the same boxing production group.

Jun gave himself a new name “Shinjuku Shinji”, he vowed to get famous so that he can have a lot of money, a lot of women.. 😳
Koide was called “Barikan” because his father is a barber (“Barikan” means barber).
Shinji & Barikan pratised boxing everyday together, stayed together in the same hostel and as time passed by, they became good friends.
To Barikan, Shinji is not only a good friend but sometimes he thinks he looks more like his father because Shinji has been taking good care of him.

Shinji was strong and he won in almost all his matches but Barikan only won once and he lost in the other matches. But deep in Shinji’s heart, he knows Barikan is not weak, Barikan lost because he can’t force himself to punch on his opponents, he is yasashi, and at the same time, he still can’t find the real motive or meaning for him taking up boxing.

One day, Barikan decided to leave the boxing group to another new group.
His reason is to fight with Shinji on the stage.
He said, Shinji is strong, maybe he can get to know something or find his own way of living after his sparring with Shinji. Shinji was sad but he somehow could understand Barikan’s feeling. He said if that’s what he wants, he will fight seriously against him. Shinji got the notice while on intimate business with the girl in a love hotel, his face turn serious after he gets to know Barikan’s decision and he’s going to fight with him on the stage soon. The girl asked him, “How’s your next opponent?” Shinji said “A strong opponent”. To Shinji, Barikan is a strong opponent.

By the way, Jun’s bedscene were all “thrilling”, he changes his clothes on the spot, and sleep with different pose.. 😳 and he smokes.., the Jun where you wont get to see elsewhere other than this stageplay.
Oh yeah, most of the character in the stageplay smokes, and they really smoke on the stage. This’s one thing i dislike because it’s smelly.. but at the same time, it’s so real. They even cook on the stage and the yakisoba’s smell filled the theater.. :p

The climax was the match between Shinji and Barikan.
The boxing scene was so real!!!! Although they didnt really punch each other, but it looks so real!!
Both were sweating and their sweats were dripping nonstop, their expression was so serious and it looks as if they’ve been sparring for a long time.
The boxing scene turned into slow motion after half of the match, Jun and Koide were acting “slow motion” on the ring, and this is the best part of the show. With the music, with the acting of both two guys, you can feel that the whole theater is overwhelmed by their match. Bloods out of their mouth, sweat dripping non stop.. you’re not going to believe that you’re watching a slow motion show instead of a real boxing match!!!

Alright, i’m going to write the ending now on who won the match!!
You can stop reading now if you want to be keep in suspense :p

It’s Shinji who won the match.
Barikan was dead……….
He suffered serious inner injury and dead on the ring………
And then.. we saw Shinji hugging Barikan’s body and the next moment we heard Shinji (Jun) screaming ARGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH loud in the theater 🙁

The stageplay itself is quite difficult to understand. Besides Shinji & Barikan, there are many other characters which i don’t really understand their story. There is one group of people who called themselves “自殺研究会” (The community of suicide), They seems to search for people who looks as it they’re going to commit suicide, and although they said their motive is to stop these people from doing foolish thing, but in fact they’re actually “happy” to see people dying..? Hmm… too difficult to understand, so, sorry.. i’m skipping all the episodes other than Shinji & Barikan.

One thing which is very exciting about this stageplay besides you can see “nude” Jun :p is….
the artists walked around in the audience seat!!!!!!!!!!!
Like when they’re jogging etc, they just walked along the aisle in the audience seat, and……………..
i was so lucky that my seat was along the aisle, and it was quite front….
This happened not only once but more than 3 times!!!!
He always stop half way and it’s always beside me!!!! 😥
The last time when he was beside me was the time after his bedscene with the gal… maybe it’s the perfume of the gal or his own cologne, the smell was sooooo strong, the smell isnt that good actually.. 😕
When he’s beside me, i cant see his face coz he’s standing and i’m sitting, but it’s the moment where you really feel… “YEAH, the REAL JUN is just beside me!!!!” 😥

Afterall, although i don’t understand the story 100%, Jun was really impresive, his acting and his seriousness. He looks just like a pro and not an idol!
The stageplay last for 3 hours. 1.5 hour for first session and 15minutes recess time before the second session.

After the end of the show, all the casts came out and bowed in front of the audience.
The applause didn’t stop at all even though the casts has gone back to the backstage and Jun has to come out and thank the audience (he didn’t speak anyway) together with the other cast for 4 TIMES !!!!
Actually he looked very very tired at the end of the show, not much smile on his face, he looks exhausted.. I suppose so, imagine such a hard and tiring scene, and 2 shows in a day!! orz..
They didn’t use mic to speak, and so they had to talk very loudly too…
潤くん、お疲れさまでした!良かったよ!(Jun-kun, otsukaresamadeshita. Yokatta-yo!)

OK, lastly here’s some extra information for those who has not read my facebook.
Sho went for Jun’s stageplay at Saitama on 31 Oct, noon session and Ohno went for the same day for evening session.
Nino went on the first day of Saitama, but he went again with Aiba on 6 November after being asked by Aiba.
Hmm… why all Saitama?
There’s one gal who sat beside Sho said she cant concentrate on the stageplay when Sakurai Sho is beside her!
YEAH !!! HOW TO CONCENTRATE WHEN HE IS JUST BESIDE YOU ??? Oh………… i was searching for Sho in the theater although i know the chance for him to watch the 2nd time is nearly equal to ZERO~~~ 😀

Last but not least, a smiling Jun and a sexy Jun!!

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296 Comments on “Jun’s stageplay “Aa, Kouya” Review”

  • 6 4月, 2012, 1:04

    Hahhhh……….Happy to read about him 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Yay……love him lots…..But I dont like the way the story ends….that is so saddddd…..I dont want him to cry 🙁

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