Ever since I heard that Yoko Taro was going to write a stage play that would be a prequel to his manga series, I knew that I had to go! I had only gone a couple times to the YoRHa play (only twice for each of the two runs; 4 times total). I know many people would and have questioned me–one was even my own mother–why I would want to see the same play more than once, and to that I have no answer. I can’t answer that for you. I can’t make you understand what it feels like to like something so much that you’d want to over-indulge in it. Given the shitty year that 2016 was, especially losing my father, I thought that he would have wanted me to go as often as I liked. And that’s what I did.
I pre-ordered tickets for 6/9 of the shows pretty early on and I was okay with that. But when I heard that they would have bonus items for repeaters… I was compelled to add the last three shows.
Then shortly after I picked up the tickets from the conbini, I realized I had made a huge mistake. The first two days of the show were scheduled for December 21 and 22. I apparently was still scheduled for work those two days. I probably could have made the evening show on the 21st anyway, but it would have been impossible for me to make the early afternoon show on the 22nd… so I asked my school to reschedule those two days for earlier in the month. *phew*
The first day, I took a couple pictures around the area.
▲ Nice flowers for Yoko Taro & Moriyama Daisuke. <3
■ The Story
The setting for the play takes place three years before the start of the manga series, when the Japanese government was recruiting young people to use as guinea pigs to develop super human abilities. In the play we meet a group of ten 9th graders who were chosen to participate in a training session to see who would be selected for the Special Abilities Private High School.
There are so many great scenes of the kids playing and having fun, playing tricks on each other, but all the while there are several adults trying to manipulate events that cause complete and utter chaos… and only a few survive…
■ The Summary
＊ Beware of story spoilers below!!
＊ I am also going off of memory, so some of this may be a little jumbled and/or out of order. I may also be remembering things incorrectly. Some specific quotes I remember precisely, others I’m paraphrasing. I will make a better script once the DVD is released.
＊ I am also not completely fluent in Japanese, so there could be parts that I merely couldn’t hear or heard wrong. A special thanks goes out to a user on Twitter who helped point out a couple areas where I had made mistakes. Please let me know if you find anything else that is inaccurate. ♡
There’s something I always wanted to tell you…
There’s something I always wanted to tell you…
■ Phase I: The Gathering and Implementation
▲ This is an early scene when the kids are brought, blindfolded, to a secret location near Mt. Fuji for their training. This particular shot is during Hajizome & Kouji’s lines: Hajizome: Shut up, you buff idiot. Kouji: Buff idiot? Are you flirting with me? xD
Their new teacher Shinbashi was giving his own introduction, he mentions that there’s one more transfer student who will be joining them later. Mizukaki gets all excited after hearing this and wonders if it’s a somewhat-cool girl. Hajizome, who’s extra ability is to see the color of people’s emotions (Yellow=Happiness, Red=Anger, Pink=Affection, Blue=Concentration, Purple=Sadness), tells Mizukaki that his PINK color is disgusting. He does the dramatic single wave of a hand in front of his face to wipe his ecstatic look off (this is one of many subtle bits of acting that Kurofuji does with this character).
Then Shinbashi introduces the researcher Suou who is the crazy mind behind the drugs that they will be taking. Suou passes out small vials with two pills to each student, telling them that they will have no problem taking the pills without the need of water. He also reassures them all that the drugs are safe, there’s nothing to worry about!
But the kids do have their reservations. They are all basically misfits for one reason or another. Mizukaki has no desire to go home, Botan and Hajizome want to forget their past, Tsutsuji and Kouji have no money, Sumi has problems relating to people, etc. In short, none of them have anywhere else to go but to gamble everything in the hopes that their lives will change for the better. But Sumi says that it’s frightening because there’s no going back once they take the drugs…
Kouji takes the pills without a single thought, followed by Tsutsuji. Mizukaki is shocked that Kouji would take them so quickly, and is chided by Hajizome for being a chicken. Mizukaki puts on a courageous front, saying that it’s hardly scary to take them… but is visibly shaken and needs a little reassurance from Shinbashi. Botan constantly says how lethargic she feels and says, “All we have to do is down these pills, right? No problem.”
Hakuji physically bumps into Tsutsuji on his way to confront Suou in asking him, “If I take these, I’ll become stronger?”
Suou: Yes, that’s right.
And without another thought, Hakuji downs the pills.
Once all of the students take the pills, Mizukaki anxiously looks at each and everyone of them… but nothing seems to happen, so he says, “What the hell?! Nothing’s changed!”
It takes a little while for the students to start to feel the effects of the drugs. Slowly, they begin to feel strange. Hajizome notices that Mizukaki’s face suddenly looks YELLOW and then the glass vile that Botan was holding in her hands suddenly shatters, showing signs that her super strength is just starting…
Eventually all the kids start to get freaked out and scatter around the area and run away… all the while with the communication link still open with Akasumi and Susutake, the Commanders behind this wing of clinical trials. They seem extremely pleased that Phase I of the trials has progressed so quickly and smoothly…
▲ There are three categories that kids fall into with their abilities. First we have the Close-range “Attackers”. These are terms that I’ve come to use through translating the manga as a reference to the YoRHa stage play. Attackers have exceptional physical strength.
All the students gather and attempt to somehow draw out their special abilities. As they all chat and try different techniques, Hakuji manages to somehow shatter part of a nearby wall. Everyone is amazed and ask him what he did to get it to work. He gets annoyed quickly and pushes everyone away until… he suddenly gets a bloody nose from using his powers and runs off stage.
When Shinbashi comes in with the new transfer student, Hakuji comes back on stage and sees the girl.
Hakuji: ??? What are you doing here!?
Shinbashi: HAKUJI! Listen up everyone. It is against the rules for any of you to use your real names. If anyone on the outside gets wind of who you are, we will have no choice but to eject you from the program.
Hajizome: Do you know her from somewhere?
Shibashi: Hajizome, that also includes asking questions like that!
It seems that the car Sakura was in exploded and caught fire… but there were no casualties because Sakura carried them all to the nearest clinic…30 minutes away. Even Sakura herself remained unscathed. This demonstrates her own unique ability of immense strength. The students are all shocked to hear of the accident, and Mizukaki states under his breath that she’s “a crazy freak.” …which pisses Hakuji off as he grabs Mizukaki by the scruff of the neck.
Later that night, Hakuji is mulling about, when Usuki comes up to him and says:
Usuki: Hakuji, it’s time to go back to the dorms!
Hakuji: Who are you to order me around?
Usuki: I’m not ordering you. It’s just the rules.
Hakuji: Who gives a crap about the rules…
Usuki: And want to get to know you better.
Hakuji: You know, I didn’t come here to “get along” with you and line up our pillows at night. I came here to get power and that’s it.
Usuki: It’s vitally important for our training that get along!
Hakuji: No, it’s not!
Usuki: Yes, it is!
Hakuji: No, it’s not!
Usuki: Yes it is!
Hakuji: What the hell is your problem… I’ve had enough of this. And whoever’s listening in over there, I’m going to fucking kick your ass…!!
Just the Sakura and Botan come out of the bushes.
Botan: And who’s ass were you going to kick…?
Hakuji: Uh, I didn’t know… I said too much. I’m sorry.
Usuki: You know, it’s against the rules to be walking around after hours.
Hakuji: Yeah, you’re right. You guys, hurry up and go to bed. You… have to follow the rules!!
■ Phase II: Assessment and Efficacy
The clinical trials continue. Once the students take the drugs to give them special abilities, the trials go into Phase II in which they are closely watched to see whether or not they develop any special abilities.
In the meantime, Akasumi enlists a band of army soldiers to act as stressors for the kids in hopes to further draw out their abilities. At first they seem to go along with their commanding officier Urumi’s orders, but Chigusa continually argues and questions why children are replacing them in battle. He is clearly dissatisfied with the situation, but as a soldier, he must comply with whatever Urumi tells him to do.
▲ One of the few scenes of the army guys. They were recruited to participate in the experiment to draw out the special abilities of the kids, but they’re not very happy about it. They feel that the government is selling them out and replacing them with inexperienced children.
Training: The first scene we see the kids in training is when they were instructed to go running. The fastest were Kouji, Botan, and Sakura, followed by Mizukaki, Usuki, and then the others a short while later. Shinbashi meets them all and records the results of the kids’ performances, but he notices that Tsutsuji is nowhere to be found. Looking in the distance, Kuchiba says that she’s waaaaaaaay far behind. Apparently, Tsutsuji doesn’t like running much.
While they wait, the kids get to wondering why this project recruited young junior high students for training rather than adult soldiers in the army. If the government wanted to use these special abilities to beef up their armies… then why…? Mizukaki gets a little nervous when war is mentioned and he says, “There’s no way we’re going into a real battlefield. We’re just little twerps.” Botan agrees and finds it very unrealistic that they would ever be put in a real war situation. Still the question remains why recruit young kids?
They decide to not worry about the things they have no means to answer just yet and choose to focus on their training. They begin to wonder how they can draw out their powers, and they all start to do funny poses. Kuchiba, Hajizome, Sumi, Kouji, and Usuki all try very hard on their own, but Mizukaki hasn’t got a clue what to do, so he just copies the poses everyone else is doing. Eventually, he gets bored and just smacks Kouji in the face for no certain reason. You can totally see the sweat on his face go flying. lol
▲ This is a hilarious scene of the gang attempting to draw out their special abilities but having absolutely no clue how. I love watching Mizukaki try to copy what everyone else is doing and then slap Kouji in the face just for the fun of it. lol
Concentrating as hard as he can, Usuki points a hand directly at Shinbashi, who says, “Don’t point that at me!” knowing full well that Usuki could lose control of his powers and blow his head off right then and there.
Next, Shinbashi has all the kids line up to give them the results of their progress thus far. He first states that Sakura is amazing in both power and speed. She is by far the fastest among them to master her abilities. He comments on Kouji and then Botan next to wrap up the Attacker team.
Next up are the Scanners, starting with Tsutsuji, Kuchiba, Hajizome, and Sumi. It appears as though in addition to her ability to see long distances, Tsutsuji also has the ability to see into the future. For the moment, she can only see a couple seconds into the future, which really doesn’t change much of anything, but if she’s able to hone her skills further, she could have the ability to see further into the future, far enough to change one, single event… Next, Kuchiba appears to be an extremely shy girl who is utterly unsure of her abilities. She apologizes profusely and Shinbashi tells her that there’s no need to worry or feel inadequate. Next, Hajizome continues to show that she can read the emotions of a person. Lastly, Shinbashi tells Sumi that he has some ways to go before he’s able to get a grip on his own internal or emotional stability. Sumi quickly intercedes and says that he is especially capable mentally… by which Shinbashi merely agrees. ^^;;
Lastly is the Gunner team. Shinbashi starts off with Usuki, followed by Hakuji. Then he pauses at Mizukaki and eventually states that he is the lowest of them all. He’s hardly able to display any sort of ability whatsoever and is basically useless.
The next bit shows Shinbashi split the kids into their corresponding groups: Gunner, Attacker, Scanner. The first group to demonstrate their powers is the Gunners. But before they get started, Mizukaki rests a hand on Shinbashi’s shoulder and says, “I’m…not feeling well today.” lol I don’t think Shinbashi even expected him to try out his non-existent powers at that time anyway… He goes to sit down next to Hakuji.
Instead, Usuki steps forward first. Shinbashi tosses a baseball at him, and with his powers, stops it in mid-air. “Amazing work!” Shinbashi says before he draws a gun, pointing it directly at Usuki. He fires a single round, which Usuki, just like the baseball, stops it in mid-air. “Perfect,” Shinbashi says to the dismay of the other students, especially Botan.
Next up is Hakuji. Before Hakuji is called, however, you can see Mizukaki attempting to talk with him and he even offers his hand in a gesture of camaraderie, yet Hakuji responds with a middle finger. xD
When Shinbashi tosses the ball at Hakuji, he first stops it in place but then goes one step further by utterly destroying the ball completely. He can display his abilities very well. Hakuji asks Shinbashi to shoot the gun at him, but Shinbashi rejects the idea, saying that Hakuji’s mental stability is the problem.
Then the Gunner team runs off, and Shinbashi takes a closer look at the Gunner team. He asks them to scout the area with their abilities to see if they can spot any of the army soldiers around. Hajizome is the first to detect them, but is only able to say that a “yellow dude is over there and another one is over that way”. Shinbashi reminds her that she needs to be more precise, calling out clockwise directions. Kuchiba says that she can feel that someone is near but that is all and apologizes… Tsutsuji says that someone is roughly 300 meters in one direction, but Sumi beats her to the punch to say that someone is 280 meters in a very specific direction from them. Shinbashi says that he is absolutely correct, which he seems absolutely ecstatic about.
That’s when he ups their stress levels, by drawing a gun at them. Now the kids continue to scan the surrounding area, but their results are very sporatic given that Shinbashi is waving a gun around. In then end, he points the gun at Sumi and screams, “BANG!!!” which causes Sumi to scream in complete fear. Shinbashi then apologizes for stressing them out but it’s all part of their training. They did very well for what he was asking them to accomplish. As Hajizome, Tsutsuji, and Shinbashi walk off stage, Sumi looks very distraught. He’s worried that his skills aren’t good enough to keep him part of the project and may be retired entirely. Kuchiba shyly reassures him that he can do it, if he just puts his mind to it; to which Sumi replies, “You’re… very kind.” He walks off stage by himself, leaving Kuchiba to give a brief monologue by herself…
…in which we learn that she is an undercover spy for someone. She takes out her phone and writes many details on all of the students’ progress, even her own. Exactly who she’s writing to, the audience does not fully know at this point.
The last group is the Attackers. First Shinbashi pairs Kouji against Sakura. Sakura appears to be bested by Kouji’s speed and strength until Shinbashi tells her to concentrate. That’s when she’s able to go into her super-speed mode and beat him. “I…couldn’t even see her!” he says.
Then Shinbashi pairs Sakura with Botan, and before they begin to spar, Shinbashi tells Botan that she can beat Sakura if she concentrates. They begin to spar and Botan seems to get the upper hand for the majority of the time until Sakura lunges forward and lashes at Botan’s stomach. Botan collapses momentarily but manages to say that she’s fine; she’s just glad that this whole sparring thing would be over with.
▲ This is during the close-range team’s training. First Kouji spars with Sakura and seems to have the upper hand, but then Sakura moves super fast to beat him. Lastly, Sakura spars with Botan and beats her as well.
Then Usuki comes in from the side and says that he watched as Botan was sparring. He tells her that she can’t lose her concentration. If she does, it will be all over… Botan gets flustered and smashes a jumping fist into his face, from which he grabs on to both of her shoulders and says,
Usuki: Attacking one of your own… is against the rules.
She gets even more flustered and runs away… All the while poor Shinbashi was standing there, awkwardly watching a young-love quarrel. That’s when Suou comes into the picture and asks Shinbashi about the students. He says that it’s one thing to see the kids’ information printed out in numbers and figures, but a whole other thing to understand their mentality. Shinbashi understands and looks at his chart. He says that Sakura appears to be the strongest of the bunch, and Hakuji is also showing great potential even if he has a volatile temperament. And that’s when he realizes something. It’s a great coincidence that out of all the thousands of students enrolled in the training sessions to be accepted into the Special Abilities High School… what odds would it be for Sakura and Hakuji to have been old friends? Not a coincidence, but rather… a miracle. Suou is intrigued and thanks Shinbashi for his help.
In the meantime, Chikusa is still not satisfied with the situation and he goes to Urumi to voice his opinion on his own. Urumi can understand his concerns and distaste for the situation, but there is little they can do. They still have orders from command and that is what they will do. Then the other soldiers, Araigaki, Kurenai, and Togusa enter. They discuss the upcoming mission, their concerns, and in the end they agree to follow along with their assigned tasks… although Chigusa is still very unhappy.
In the next scene or so we see Chigusa fuming about the situation. Then comes Suou to give him some reassuring words of encouragement and… he as a request.
Suou: There’s something I’d like to ask of you… Are you able to keep a secret?
Nothing more is said between them, but Suou leads Chigusa off stage.
Later that night, Sakura is walking around by herself. Hakuji comes walking by and calls out to her.
Sakura: Ah! Hakuji-kun!
Hakuji: What are you doing out this late? It’s past curfew.
Sakura: Uhh, nothing. I, um. I’m sorry.
Hakuji: You’re still always apologizing for something.
Sakura: I am? Oh, I– sorry.
Hakuji: Seriously, stop it. You have to stop apologizing. Hm? Sakura? Sakura!!
Sakura: <pant> I… won’t apologize.
Sakura: You said that I should stop apologizing, but the only thing that I could think to do was to… hold my breath, so…
Hakuji: (haha) You haven’t changed a bit!
Hakuji: Um, Sakura? There’s… something I’ve been meaning to tell you… Sakura, I–
Botan: Would you mind keeping your hands off of my friends?
Hakuji: What?! I wasn’t–!
Botan: And what’s the deal with following her around all the time anyway, stalker!
Hakuji: Stalker!? You-you guys… Hurry up and go to bed!!
Hakuji, flustered as all can be, runs off stage, leaving Botan and Sakura alone.
Botan: It’s past curfew.
Sakura: Yeah, but… look at how beautiful the stars are.
Botan: It’s super cold out here, though.
Sakura: So… Are you and Usuki going out?
Botan: WHAT!? No, no, no, it’s nothing like that. He’s just really studious and an all-round nice guy.
Sakura: He seems to be really nice to you, too…
Botan: He’s nice to everybody: he’s not like that to just me… But… it is nice having him here, though… Yeah… So then, what about you and Hakuji? What do you think of him?
Sakura: I think… I really like him. I have for a long time.
Botan: Then why haven’t you told him! He’s probably freaking out that it’s just a one-sided crush or something–!
The two talk a little more and seem to have a really good time. Lastly, Botan says something in Shinbashi’s voice and Sakura laughs.
Sakura: You sound just like Shinbashi-sensei!
And off from the side of the stage, Shinbashi looks on fondly as the two girls leave the stage. He then walks off stage as well.
■ Phase III: Effectiveness and Value
Toward the beginning of this phase, the kids are still going through general training.
Curry scene: There’s a hilarious moment when Mizukaki with his back to the audience asks Hajizome to give him extra meat in his curry. He needs it to be super charming for the girls, but when he says this, he quickly turns around and awkwardly wink-blinks at people in the audience. He blinked and pointed once at me and I was like… Ahhhh!! <3 lol
Later in the same scene, when they’re all eating, Kouji mentions how delicious it is, but everyone else mentions how horrible it tastes. Hajizome mentions that it tastes like shit and just by saying that wonders where the phrase comes from for one to know what shit tastes like. Then off to the side, Tsutsuji is talking to Kuchiba about Mizukaki and Kouji, and wonders which one she likes, the right or the left… and Kuchiba is entirely confused but Tsutsuji continues talking anyway, getting the attention of both Mizukaki and Kouji before they just shrug the whole thing off.
Then Shinbashi comes back on stage and tells everyone that need to get back to training.
In the meantime, the army forces recruited are still having a difficult time accepting their role in this training mission. They are used to be deployed to real battlefields and they feel as though they’re just babysitting these little kids who will eventually take their jobs. They are resentful to the max, yet some of them are still very calm-headed and understanding of the situation.
Next, Mizukaki is feeling a little depressed that he has no real abilities, but Kuchiba is there to reassure him. Then she places her index finger over her mouth as strange thoughts enter his mind. When she lowers her hand, Mizukaki seems to be momentarily confused, saying that he suddenly had the image of a tangerine transform into a giraffe (ミカンはキリン).
In the next training session, Shinbashi told the students that he was mixing up various groups and asked them to NOT use their abilities. First, he pairs Sakura with Mizukaki. He’s first worried since she is crazy strong, but then realizes that she’s not allowed to use her powers… so then he gets overconfident. He first lunches at her by merely screaming at her in a loud voice all of a sudden to startle her. He laughs and thinks that he’s awesome. Then he uses a made up special move that he calls the “Mach-speed Punch”, which Sakura is only able to dodge out of the way. Then Kuchiba, over on the side of the stage, raises a finger to her mouth and Mizukaki instantly becomes violently aggressive. He grabs Sakura’s arm and laughs at her, saying that she’s nothing special. That she’s just some stupid little brat, which Hakuji gets ENTIRELY pissed off at as he comes to Sakura’s aid. Hakuji pushes Mizukaki into Kuchiba, who momentarily loses control over him, during which time Mizukaki has no idea what just happened and apologizes to Sakura. But then Kuchiba regains control over him, and he continues to bad mouth both Sakura and Hakuji this time… And that’s all the abuse that Hakuji can take. He lunges at Mizukaki, who dodges out of the way of his attack… and then he draws a knife.
Mizukaki: Maybe we can’t use our powers, but there’s nothing in the rules that says we can’t use real weapons.
Hakuji and Mizukaki fight for a good while, Hakuji using his special abilities to attack Mizukaki. In the end, Hajizome gets in the way and Hakuji accidently hits her square in the face… her left eye dangling out between her fingers.
Kuchiba relinquishes her control on Mizukaki and he’s clueless about what just happened but he knows that Hakuji attacked Hajizome… Usuki quickly runs to get Shinbashi, who appears shocked on stage. He carries Hajizome off stage while commanding two soldiers to take Hakuji away.
As everyone runs off stage, Kuchiba approaches Mizukaki and says…
Kuchiba: The tangerine’s a… (ミカンは…)
Mizukaki: …giraffe! (キリン！)
And with that Kuchiba erases Mizukaki’s memory from the time she had complete control over him.
Mizukaki: Huh? Were is everybody?
Kuchiba: They all went off that way.
Mizukaki: Ah, okay. Hey, you don’t linger behind now, you hear?
While Hajizome’s gone, training continues as usual for the others. Mizukaki’s minding his own business toward the back of the center stage. The others talk about going to visit Hajizome in recovery, otherwise they would regret not doing anything for her. Mizukaki agrees and says how strange it was to suddenly come to his senses and all of a sudden that had happened. Then Sumi turns to Mizukaki…
Sumi: Hey. You were acting really strange then. Are you sure you’re not just lying to us?
Sumi: You say that you don’t remember anything, but what if that’s just a lie? And that you secretly hate Hakuji, so that’s why you fought with him and when Hajizome got hurt, you just pretended like you didn’t know what happened.
Mizukaki: What the hell are you saying? I’m not lying!
Kouji: Actually, you were acting really strangely then.
Kuchiba: Mizukaki-kun, are you lying to us?
Mizukaki: I’m not lying!!
Sumi: See! It’s that attitude! You don’t even think you did anything wrong!
Mizukaki: I’m telling you can’t remember!!
With this passage, it’s clearly evident what sort of character Mizukaki really is and it’s one of the reasons why I really grew to like him after seeing the play. He is being completely honest in not recalling anything from that incident–because of Kuchiba’s mind control. He feels very bad that Hajizome
Sakura: Sumi-kun, there’s no point in blaming Mizukaki now. What’s important is Hajizome’s recovery. We need to go visit her, and let her know that we’re there for her. If we don’t, we’ll regret not doing everything we can for her…
Slowly, all of the kids walk off stage, leaving Sumi fuming center stage. Kuchiba is still hanging around, though.
Sumi: I think maybe I’m done for. My mind’s all over the place, compared to everyone else. I think… they might kick me out.
Kuchiba then raises a finger to her mouth and Sumi is surrounded by charming phrases and good feelings. He is utterly charmed and will happily do anything Kuchiba wants.
Kuchiba: The tangerine is an giraffe, right?
Sumi grins broadly and they happily skip off stage together.
In the meantime, Susutake visits Hakuji in his room. She says that someone had been asking to see him…and in comes Sakura. He immediately asks her to leave, but she is very concerned for him and keeps trying to get him to listen to her. But he has completely lost control of his emotions. He cries and yells about his past, how his mother was bullied for being a foreigner. She even ended up committing suicide, for which he felt responsible for, since he couldn’t do anything to help her. He had always been a failure like that. Getting into fights with the intention to help someone but then people viewed him as the problem and bad mouth him. He could deal with that as long as those he cared for were safe, but… It clearly took a toll on him.
Hakuji: The one I want to protect is–!
He stops short as he looks at Sakura, but slowly turns away. And yet Sakura presses forward to which he yells at her, “ENOUGH!!” With that, Sakura dashes out of the room.
A total mess of emotions, Hakuji falls on the ground and screams, crying. A moment later, Suou enters the room.
Hakuji: Who… are you?
Suou: Ah, maybe you don’t remember me… I’m Suou, I’m the one who created the drugs that give you your powers.
Hakuji: What are you doing here?
Suou: I heard what happened and wondered if there was anything I could do to help you.
Hakuji: What could you possibly do.
Suou: Your friend, the girl who was injured, she’s fine. I designed a new drug to help her and she can see better now than she ever could before!
Suou: I’m terribly sorry if the drugs are making you suffer, if that’s the case. But if there’s anything I can do, anything at all, I want to help you.
Hakuji: Are you saying… you can save me?
Suou: Yes. To the best of my ability, I will do everything possible to help you.
Some time passes, and it seems as though Hajizome is well enough to continue with training. The students are shocked that she specifically chose to continue rather than retire… When she returns to the group, Hakuji bows deeply before her and apologizes. Hajizome quietly accepts his apology, and although he doesn’t remember anything, Mizukaki lowers his head toward Hakuji in his own apology to him. Just when tensions seemed at their highest, in come Sumi and Kuchiba doing a short choreographed dance. Then they say,
Sumi & Kuchiba: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
So, apparently in the play, too, it’s Christmas.
■ Phase IV: The Final Trial
The last portion of the play involves a sort of Capture the Flag game for the kids. They’re separated into three groups and instructed to do whatever they can to reach their flag first. The only thing is, they don’t know that Akasumi has set the army soldiers around the area to snipe blanks at them in order to put pressure and added stress on the kids so it’s easier for them to access new abilities.
The three groups are East, West, and Center. I can’t recall which area specific groups went to, but they were separated as such:
▲ Sakura was given a sword before the start of the game and she’s worried why they would give her a deadly weapon for just a silly capture the flag game. But Hajizome takes a closer look at it and reassures her that it’s not sharpened and couldn’t kill anybody.
Then Usuki’s team suddenly comes under fire. Usuki stops two of the bullets with his powers but one gets by him and hits his arm. He tells the others not to worry since they’re only blanks… but then Sumi notices that Usuki’s arm is actually bleeding… The army guys aren’t shooting blanks like they had been told but they’re real bullets! More bullets come flying at them and Tsutsuji gets freaked out and runs away. Kouji then runs after her.
Sakura’s team is still trying to find their way through the woods when they are also targeted. One shot hits Hajizome’s leg and another hits Kuchiba in the arm.
Kuchiba: What the fuck!? They’re shooting real bullets!?
Sakura: What? You-you sound like a completely different person!
Kuchiba: Hey, you assholes! Cancel this stupid game! This bullshit is over!
Through all her shouting, the army guys keep firing at them.
Kuchiba: Shit, we have to get out of here.
Sakura: But, what about Hajizome? She can’t walk!
Kuchiba: Then carry her!
Shifting over to the army guys Urumi and Araigaki. It seems as though Araigaki’s having a little too much fun shooting at the kids.
Urumi: Araigaki, nock it off! You have to aim at their feet!
Araigaki: I know. My aim is completely off. I was aiming for their heads…
He then gets into a sniper stance and continues shooting at them until Urumi punches some sense into him.
Urumi: I said stop it! We need to contact command. Command center, this is Captain Urumi. What is– Command? Command!
Apparently, their communication device is not working.
Urumi: Is your coms working?
Araigaki: The coms?
Back at the command center, Shinbashi is watching the display of the area as the army begins firing on the students. He is clearly worried as it seems like they’re actually firing real bullets. Shinbashi tells them to call off the experiment but for whatever reason the coms are down. They can hear everything from the field, but they can’t hear Command.
Hakuji’s team also comes under fire and Mizukaki appears to get hit and falls flat on his back. Hakuji yells at him, but he doesn’t move…until he makes a funny face with his hand and says,
Mizukaki: Ha ha ha… Scared ya!
Hakuji gets pissed and slams Mizukaki’s hand hard into the ground. Mizukaki gets up and says that the naughty magazine he had tucked in his pants saved him from the blank shots, but as he pulls out the magazine, he freaks out when there’s something buried into the pages. Botan takes a look at it and says that she doesn’t know well about such things but… it’s probably a real bullet.
Botan: If this is a real bullet and it couldn’t break through all of the pages to hit you, that must mean that your powers have becomes stronger!
Hearing this makes Mizukaki very, very happy, so happy that he hums the Dragon Quest “level up” tune… but then says…
Mizukaki: This is no place to be happy over new skills!!
They’re showered with more gunfire but Hakuji stops them all, getting more and more pissed until he runs off toward wherever the shots were coming from.
Jumping over to the army guys Chigusa and Kurenai. Kurenai mentions how firing the blanks feels no different from the real thing and wonders if they’re really blanks. But Chigusa says that if they were real, the kids would be dead by now, so they keep firing. Then Kurenai begins to scream and grab his head until something smashes his head through a wall, killing him. Next we see Hakuji panting as he runs toward the area. Chigusa runs away out of fear.
Finally reaching the area the soldiers were sniping at them from, Hakuji grabs one of the guns to confirm that they were loaded with real bullets. Botan and Mizukaki eventually join him, but they are beyond shocked to see Kurenai’s dead body hanging from the wall even though Hakuji doesn’t even seem to notice. Mizukaki begins to get sick behind some boxes while Hakuji takes out a syringe from one of his pockets and injects himself with it, causing him to scream in an uncontrollable rage.
Hakuji: I will protect… Sakura… I will… protect…!!! AHhhhhhhhhh!!
He then runs off stage while Botan and Mizukaki are left in shock.
Next, we go back to Kouji as he’s trying to find Tsutsuji after she went running off on her own. When he finds her, she’s trying to get a signal on her cell phone, but there’s no reception. Then Togusa ambushes them.
Togusa tells Kouji to put his sword down and Tsutsuji’s got her phone in her hand…that suddenly starts making a strange sound from whatever game she was playing on it.
Togusa: Wha-what was that sound!?
Kouji: Turn that thing off!!
Tsutsuji: I can’t! He told us to keep our hands up!!
Togusa: Was that… Was that… Devil High School!? I love that game! It’s been so boring, no one around here plays, so… Do you mind if we exchange info?
Tsutsuji: I don’t mind, but… can I put my hands down?
Togusa: Oh, sure, you guys can relax. It’s alright. So…
Both Togusa and Tsutsuji talk for quite a bit about the game as they exchange in-game info. Still completely engrossed into his phone, Togusa says to Kouji:
Togusa: So, you’re an Attacker, right? You must be really fast and stuff, huh?
Kouji: No, actually speed is one of my weaknesses. I’m more built for brute force and carrying heavy stuff. <flexing>
Togusa: Heeh, that’s neat.
Then Togusa’s phone starts ringing.
Susutake talks to Togusa over the phone from the command center.
Susutake: Kurenai has been murdered. It was the children. If you come near any of them, please… be careful.
When she gets off the phone, Akasumi is there, listening into her conversation.
Akasumi: Susutake, what are you doing?
Susutake: Oh, I’m setting things up for you. You will be most pleased.
Susutake: Yes, everything is for you.
Then going back to Kouji and Tsutsuji, Togusa once more turns his gun on the two of them, telling them not to move. He shakes with fear after hearing about Kurenai’s murder.
Togusa: You people killed him! We weren’t going to hurt you! These guns are only loaded with blanks and yet you attack and kill us!
They scuffle for a little and Kouji tries to protect Tsutsuji by standing in front of her when Togusa gets frightened and shoots a single round that hits Kouji…
But it was just Tsutsuji’s ability to see a little into the future. She knows Kouji’s in danger of getting hit, so she quickly steps in the line of fire, taking the hit for him. She collapses in pain, and Togusa apologizes.
Togusa: I’m sorry! Did that hurt? Well, I did tell you not to move, so…
Kouji: She’s bleeding! Tsutsuji! Tsutsuji!! You people aren’t shooting blanks! They’re real bullets!!
Tokusa: No, it can’t be. They would have told us…
Kouji: You’re all insane!!
Kouji lunges at Togusa but he again fires his gun out of fear and self-preservation.
Togusa: Please stop!
Togusa fires round after round that all hit Kouji, but Kouji’s Attacker strength allows him to endure to some extent…long enough to grab ahold of Togusa and break his neck with one hand. Kouji then falls to the ground next to the dead body of Togusa… and he laments over not being able to return home to his younger siblings to care for them… but then he remembers the contract that he signed when he entered the program. Should anything happen to him, the government would give insurance money to his siblings… so even if he dies, they would still be taken care of… And so he slowly accepts his fate and fades away. Tsutsuji is still barely conscious and bleeding out from her own gunshot wound. But…she needed to log into her game to claim some in-game item, otherwise it would be wasted. As she raises her phone in a shaking hand, she clicks on the screen to accept the item before dying. As she lay motionless, the sound from her phone confirms a new login by Tsutsuji…
On their way after the crazed Hakuji, Mizukaki and Botan stumble upon the bodies of Kouji and Tsutsuji. This short scene is actually additional action on stage during Kuchiba’s character monologue, but I felt it was so powerful. Mizukaki is kneeling on the ground next to Kouji’s body and he lets out a slow-motion, silent scream toward the sky… So many times that alone got me sobbing.
I believe the next couple of scenes we see Hakuji fighting a bunch of the army guys.
▲ This is actually a really cool scene during Hajizome’s monologue. While Hakuji fights with a nameless army soldier. You can see a little bit of this scene plus a couple others in the short promotional clip below:
▲ Hakuji’s desire to protect his friends (mostly Sakura) pushes him to the limit… and to taking a special dose of drugs that Suou gave to him in secret, possibly when Suou came to visit him in his room earlier. The drugs make Hakuji super powerful but it slowly eats away at his mental stability. He becomes little more than an uncontrollable killing monster. As he runs off stage, Kuchiba follows after him and realizes that he was given a special syringe of drugs, too… which means that it was probably Suou who made her a secret spy within the gang.
Kuchiba: He’s… also working with that Suou guy… That fucking son of a bitch!! (くそったれが！)
▲ Interestingly enough, this is one of the things Kaine was prone to say…
In the meantime, Chigusa, already pissed off and scared from seeing all of his comrades murdered, he begins to lose his own mental stability. He comes across Sakura’s team and begins to fight with them until Sakura stabs him straight through with her sword. He staggers back but then suddenly takes out a syringe from one of his pockets…
Chigusa: The army is… all-powerful…!
And with that, he injects himself with the syringe, which gives him super strength and erases all sense of pain. He is virtually invincible. The stage goes black just as he’s about to attack them.
There’s a short continuing scene with Urumi and Araigaki… where it seems like Araigaki has completely lost it and is arguing with Urumi that this is all a stupid game. He goes to fire more at the kids but then he suddenly grabs his head and cries out in agony. His head then explodes as he slowly falls to his knees and the stage goes black. Obviously, Hakuji must have been around and killed him.
Switching scenes back to Sakura’s team, the girls are still running from the gunfire when Kuchiba starts to act even more strange. When they ask why it seems like she’s suddenly changed into a totally different person, she laughs insanely and tells them how think they all are for not realizing that she was put on the team to intentionally sabotage them within, to get them to fight each other and send the results on to someone in command. Then she starts talking about her own powers…
Kuchiba: Oh, that’s right. You’ve never seen the extent of my abilities, have you? hahaha
Suddenly an army soldier jumps at them with a gun, but Kuchiba forces him to put his own gun to his head and pull the trigger… Sakura and Hajizome are shocked and frighted as Kuchiba seems to relish with insane glee for killing the man, but then she gets even more crazy.
Kuchiba: It’s so easy to kill someone, you know. In fact, let me show you exactly how far my powers really go. I can kill every single person in the command center just by thinking it! hahaha Just watch!! hahahaha
Then you see the entire stage fill with fragments of letters dancing all around as everyone screams in agony. Kuchiba’s powers reach the command center with Suou, Shinbashi, and Kariyasu.
Her telekinetic powers even reach out toward the army soldiers, and the stage swivels around to show they writhing on the ground. But Suou was prepared for this. He presses a button that seems to cause Kuchiba’s attack to backfire upon herself. She screams and passes out.
Suou explains that he prepared a fail-safe measure to neutralize Kuchiba should the time ever come. His device uses her own powers against her: Rather than affecting those around her, her own ability is directed inward upon herself instead, shattering her mind.
Shinbashi is aghast. He asks why Suou would do such a thing, and Suou himself begins to laugh and act strangely. Shinbashi finally realizes what a danger Suou really is and draws his gun on him, only for Susutake to enter with her own gun on him. But then Kariyasu enters as well, pointing her own gun at Susutake. They are all at a stalemate.
Shinbashi asks why they’re (Suou & Susutake) doing all of this and Suou is dumbfounded.
Suou: Isn’t it obvious? It’s for the data!
Shinbashi: <aghast> Data?
Suou: Yes, the data’s what’s important here! Those kids who survive this trial are useless to me! But if they die, then they are reborn in the form of this precious, irreplaceable data! Why can’t you see that?!
Shinbashi then turns his back on Suou and Susutake and says to Kuriyasu:
Shinbashi: I’m sorry, but the rest is up to you.
He then turns around and shoots Suou in the shoulder. Susutake retaliates and shoots Shinbashi several times, he draws a knife and fights with her and is eventually able to kill her. But he is also done for. He collapses in Kuriyasu’s arms for a heartbreaking death scene:
Shinbashi: Please, you have to… destroy this place. As an Operator, only you can do it, set the self-destruct.
He coughs blood into his hands.
Shinbashi: Kariyasu-kun, I wonder… Was I a good teacher for them…? <dies>
Kariyasu: <sobbing> You were a wonderful teacher. I won’t let your sacrifice be in vain…
She stands up and goes over to the command console and enters a self-destruct sequence. A countdown begins with 90 seconds remaining…
Back with Sakura and Hajizome, they try to fight the insane Chigusa, but aren’t having much luck. Then luckily Usuki and Sumi come running in to give them support. Sumi, possibly still under Kuchiba’s charm, crouches down to check on her. She’s still alive but her mind is in shambles, so she isn’t even able to stand. Sakura again slashes Chigusa with her sword, but he doesn’t even react.
Sakura: What? Can’t he feel pain!?
Just then even Mizukaki comes in with a long pipe as a weapon.
Mizukaki: It may be against the rules to use our powers, but no one ever said real weapons were out of the picture!!
He smashes the pipe hard against Chigusa’s head, but again he hardly reacts at all. Chigusa then turns on Mizukaki, punching him several times, until the others can get Chigusa’s attention again. Mizukaki collapses and passes out slowly but not before giving Chigusa the Bird.
Hajizome grabs Chigusa’s gun and fires at him multiple times, but nothing seems to work. Chigusa stumbles toward her and very easily breaks her neck.
Sumi steps forward with the scabbard to Sakura’s sword and stands between Chigusa and Usuki who was beaten into the ground.
Usuki: Sumi, what are you doing? You are no match for him!
Sumi: Don’t you think I know that? But I can’t just sit by and watch as my friends are slaughtered! I won’t!!
Sumi hits Chigusa with the scabbard and Chigusa turns to attack him, but then several gunshots ring in the air… Urumi comes running up on stage, firing multiple rounds at Chigusa until he collapses in Urumi’s arms.
Chigusa: Captain. It’s like I always told you… The army is… all-powerful…
Urumi is clearly very upset to have to turn his own weapon against one of his men, and even more distraught at the pointless loss of life on both sides…
Urumi: It was that man, Suou! We were all deceived by him! But it’s all over now. C’mon, I’ll take you bac–
He suddenly stops short, noticing that he’s suddenly gotten a bloody nose. But that’s not all…
Hakuji comes stumbling ever so slowly near the stage, using his powers to explode Urumi’s head. Once he’s dead, Hakuji begins to attack all of his friends. Kuchiba wakes up and tries to do her mind tricks again, which affects all of the kids and even wakes Mizukaki who had been unconscious for quite a while. However, Kuchiba’s skills have little affect on Hakuji at this point. He merely waves a hand slightly and explodes her head.
It doesn’t look like any of the kids are able to stop Hakuji…
▲ So, Sakura picks up Chigusa’s syringe and injects herself with whatever’s left of it. I love the look of shock on Mizukaki’s face in the background here.
The drugs amplify Sakura’s already super strength and she rushes at Hakuji, grabbing him by the arms so he can’t hurt the others. He struggles to break free, but she continues to hold him close.
Sakura: Botan, please… You have to kill us both. I don’t know how long I can hold him.
Botan: What? I can’t!!
Sakura: You have to, please! Save us…
Botan screams and rushes forward with her sword and slices them both clean through. And suddenly time stops.
Hakuji: Sakura… I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened… I just wanted to protect you…
Sakura: I know. It’s okay now.
Hakuji: Sakura, I… I love you.
Sakura: I love you, too. I have for years, ever since we first met…
Hakuji: What? Thank you… Thank…
And time continues on as they both fall to the ground, dead.
Botan turns around to see what she’s done and screams and sobs uncontrollably.
Botan: What have I done? I killed them… I killed my friends…!!
This is usually the point in the play where EVERYBODY is sobbing. No matter how many times I saw this play, this one scene made me sob like a fool EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Usuki: No, Botan, it’s not your fault. It was my responsibility to protect you, and it was my responsibility to help everyone on our team, so it wasn’t you who did it– it was me. I did it.
Usuki: I will always be there for you. Always.
Usuki offers a hand to Botan. She takes his hand and slowly stands as the stage goes dark.
Next we see Akasumi talking to her own higher ups regarding the results of their experiments with the kids and it seems as though she has not only been fired but will be the one to take the fall for the trials FAILURE and all the carnage and death that transpired.
She argues as well as she can, but they cut her off the line, leaving her desperate and wondering if there’s something she can do to save her career.
But then she is shot in the back by someone. The audience slowly sees Kariyasu enter the stage as Akasumi turns around to see who shot her.
Akasumi: Kari… yasu? Why?
Kariyasu: Why? You know why. I’ve destroyed all records of everything that happened here. There is nothing left for you.
Kariyasu shoots Akasumi again. Akasumi writhes on the ground and pleads with Kariyasu not to kill her.
Kariyasu: There is nothing left for any of us.
And she shoots once more, killing Akasumi.
Kariyasu: Now it’s over. Would you be proud of me, Shinbashi-sensei?
She raises her gun to the side of her head as the stage goes black. Several seconds later, we hear the sound of a single gun shot echoing in the darkness.
And then we get one more, final scene…
In the rubble of whatever’s left of the command center lies a bloodied and battered Suou. The whole right side of his face is a bloody mess. He slowly tries to get up and can’t due to the tremendous pain. He screams and screams until he takes out a syringe from a pocket and injects himself with whatever it was. Slowly, he grows quiet and still until he begins to laugh insanely.
Suou: I’m alive! I’m alive!! hahahaha
He stands up and feels the side of his face.
Suou: Oh, but… my face is all torn up. Well, I guess that matters little. I can just create a new one, and take a new name… The research will continue on! hahaha hahaha hahaha
Shows that I attended:
After show events:
- December 21, 7:00 pm – Full Cast Greeting & Photo Time
- December 22, 2:00 pm – Talk Show
- December 22, 7:00 pm – Goods High Five Meet & Greet
- December 23, 1:00 pm – Talk Show
- December 23, 6:00 pm – Goods Meet & Greet
- December 24, 1:00 pm – Talk Show
- December 24, 6:00 pm – Goods Meet & Greet
- December 25, 12:00 pm – Repeater Polaroid Bonus
- December 25, 4:30 pm – Last Show Full Cast Greeting
▲ At the end of the final show, the audience continued to applaud the cast multiple times. The 3rd time the cast members were called on stage we all gave them a standing ovation, which some of the cast members reacted to quite emotionally. It was a really great moment! <3 This photo was taken by Sato Keiichi. Can you spot me?
Some other really awesome people were also present for the last show, including creator Yoko Taro, manga illustrator Moriyama Daisuke, and game producer Saito Yosuke!
A day after the shows wrapped, Moriyama Daisuke posted an illustration of the student & teacher cast of the play. Notice which characters have the Light of Life within them…
▲ Okay, so I’m a complete fool. For those who attended all 9 of the shows, you got to take a photo with any of the cast members. I really didn’t know who to pick, so I ended up deciding on Mizukaki because he was a returning character from the manga… plus I thought Kurofuji-san played the character really well. He was the perfect amount of comic relief and also utter heartbreaking moments… I think Mizukaki is probably my 2nd favorite character in the series after Kuroi now. Oh, and the reason why I’m a complete fool? Well, it was Christmas day so I felt the urge to dress up a little more Christmasy…… I think I may have scared the poor boy… hahaha but it was fun! xD
▲ This was an interesting new character in the play, Araigaki. He was a little insane, but I thought Matsukawa-san played him very well. I really liked the part where he’s sniping at the kids and he complains about his shot not hitting its mark…because he was aiming for their heads. xD He was totally shooting at me in the last show. lol And, his death scene… <3 Perfect! Yes, I’m a little morbid that way. heh
So, that’s it for my recap of the play.
I hope you learned some interesting things about it.
I’ll certainly post more updates and such on it when I can.
In the meantime, here are some additional photos that the cast posted to their Twitter accounts. I’ve included all links to references below.