Otoko yaku and musume yaku: one cannot exist without the other. Their profundity: a product of all-female casts.
The Takarazuka Revue is an uncommon theatrical company as all its members are unmarried women. Naturally, they must play male roles in addition to female parts. The male roles are called "otoko yaku," while their female counterparts are termed "musume yaku." The otoko yaku usually have short hair and the musume yaku have long hair. It is easy to tell them apart by their appearance. Which of these two roles a Takarasienne shall play is determined by her height, vocal range, personal inclination and other factors, and some members even switch roles mid-career.
Despite being women the otoko yaku wear an air of male sexuality, while the musume yaku help them stand out. If one or the other were gone, the Takarazuka Revue would be nothing. The combination of the two roles is one of the theater's great appeals.
The Flower, Moon, Snow, Star and Cosmos troupes and the Superior Members each generate their own allure.
Flower troupe, "BEAUTIFUL GARDEN: A Profusion of Flowers" (2018)
Star troupe, "THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL" (2017)
The Takarazuka Revue's members presently comprise five troupes—Flower, Moon, Snow, Star and Cosmos—and the Senka, or "Superior Members." Each performance is conducted by one of these groups.
The top star and top musume yaku are the faces of each troupe. Their traits and those of their troupe make the stage.
Popular for their glitz and general skill. They have produced numerous otoko yaku stars over the troupe's long history.
Meticulous attention to group performances is a tradition. This troupe performs many a theatrical masterpiece.
Skilled at Japanese musical programs and renowned for their advanced skill on stage.
Talented costume work. This troupe puts on many productions where the otoko yaku truly shines.
A modern, stylish air. The troupe's impressive chorus has an established reputation.
The Senka belong to no one troupe. They are a group of specialists who appear in any of the troupes' productions as needed.
Each troupe has a leading pair of actors: the "top star" as the best otoko yaku and the "top musume yaku" playing alongside the top star. The plots of many performances develop around this top pair, who in combination with the enticing traits of the troupe's other members create a uniquely captivating theatrical production.