Thoughts on: Masuda Takahisa’s Stageplay 「ストレンジ・フルーツ」”Strange Fruit”

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see Massu’s Stage play, “Strange Fruit”! This was my first time seeing Massu in a stage play and I was really excited to see how he would perform!

Strange Fruits

Now, I will admit that I originally went to this play just because Massu was in it. As I read about the play itself and watched some of Massu’s TV appearances promoting the play though, I started to become really interested in the story line itself, as well as how Massu would play a character that is not similar to his normal personality.

The play was about 7 artists that were invited into a contest to win 100 Million yen to create an amazing work of art. They come from many different types of denominations of art, such as music, fashion, cinema, and more. The catch is that they must live in this old school for 1 year with no connection to the outside world and are not allowed to leave, or they will be disqualified because it is believed that those distractions take away from making great works of art. There is also the underlying mystery of what exactly is this “Strange Fruit” that is spoken of.

If you want the whole story line, you can click this link HERE to take you to a translation of the storyline from the actual stage play website. and Click HERE to go to the Strange Fruit Website.

*Spoiler Alert! Don’t read If you are going to see the play!*

This play was very artsy and very well done, in my opinion. Some people might find it confusing, but the play started from the very end of the storyline and then went back in time to show everything that had happened to lead up to what you saw at the beginning of the play. In my opinion, it was almost like watching a film backwards, because they made it like you were watching a movie that the main character’s (Chiba, Massu’s Character, because he was a film maker) perspective because they had movie clips in between each of the five “Chapters” to transition scenes.

From the very beginning of the play it was pretty intense, with a suicide scene opening up the play and then continuing with final part of the actual storyline with “Chapter 5”, which was a scene with the “funeral” of the main girl character who committed suicide and the final “picnic” to announce who won the contest (Which ends up being Chiba). The climax seemed to be at the beginning of the play (which is the end of the storyline) and then became lighter and lighter as the play went back in time to see why the characters became the way that they did and how everything ended up the way that they did. The first and last scene seem to be the the most impactful of the whole play, with the other scenes filling in the gaps of information that need to be known to develop the characters.

The final scene of the play is the very beginning of the storyline and this part is the part that clears up the most questions, in my opinion, with Chiba and the main girl character having almost a half of a scene together. You finally find out their original relationship (they had known each other from before the contest and maybe were going out before hand? I didn’t fully understand that part) and you find out that the girl has a heart problem that still hasn’t been cured. Despite this, she still wanted to complete in the competition because she would see Chiba again and spend time with him because she loves him.  Chiba wants to take her directly to a hospital, but she refuses saying she wants to be by his side and help him make the ultimate work of art, “Strange Fruit”, which has to do with the suicide at the beginning of the story. Basically, she committed suicide in order for Massu’s Character to re-make “Strange Fruit”, which involves the suicide at the very beginning of the play. This scene involves a kiss too, but it was different from a typical love story. Chiba was denying that he liked her the whole time basically until it is revealed that the girl really is in a bad condition and would die soon anyway. So, they decided to spend their last amount of time together during this contest.

Of course, there is more to this storyline that just this, but this was the main story that the play revolved around.

I throughly enjoyed this play and actually wanted to go see it a second time to see if I missed anything and can see anything else. Unfortunately I couldn’t, so I will have to fill in the gaps of the story I didn’t fully understand in my mind! Massu is quite talented and I really liked seeing him in a more dark role and a darker concept for acting that before. I think he did an amazing job, as did the rest of the cast.

*Disclaimer: This review is what I understood the play to be. I am still actively learning Japanese, so if I got something wrong about the play, please tell me so that I understand better! Thanks!*

15 thoughts on “Thoughts on: Masuda Takahisa’s Stageplay 「ストレンジ・フルーツ」”Strange Fruit”

  1. Jo Lee says:

    Thanks so much for your report of Massu’s stageplay. I’ve been going around in the Internet trying to find a fan report, and was finally pointed here by a kind soul in LJ, so am very glad to have found your blog on the Strange Fruit stageplay. =)

    Wish I was in Japan so that I could watch it!

    Thanks again!

    Like

  2. Lynn says:

    Hi Lauren!
    Thanks for posting about this. I’ve been wondering what the play was about for ages…I hope one day I can watch a stage play in Japan 🙂 (Hopefully when I go there for exchange)
    Actually, I’ve been watching your videos on youtube for the past few years..but this is my first time commenting! Thanks for all the videos you’ve done…they’ve been helpful ^^
    Also…I saw on twitter that you were going to ballot for the NEWS concerts?
    I’ll be in Kobe this summer for a summer course that ends the day before NEWS’s concert there…I would love to see NEWS as this will be my first ever concert in Japan but I have no idea how to get tickets…would you be able to help me out?
    Sorry for the long message >.<
    Thanks again for always posting about Japan and JE 😀

    Like

    • nihonchique says:

      Hi! Thanks for watching my videos and reading my blog! I appreciate it!

      As for the tickets, its hard to get unless you are in the fan club with johnnys sometimes. I think its better to wait for the ballot results to come out and do then do some of these suggestions: 1 the Japanese Jticket site could open up tickets there or 2 ticket.co.jp, though this site the prices are more and there is a risk for your ticket to be blacklisted and not go to the concert because its against the fanclub rules to resell your tickets on auction sites. I used to do it this was, but there is ALWAYS a risk involved. Or #3, you can ask around on livejournal or twitter for extra tickets. or #4 wait around the venue on the day of the concert and see if fans have extra tickets they are trying to get rid of.

      I hope this was somewhat helpful!

      Lauren

      Like

  3. binibinikahel♥NEWS10 (@misskahel) says:

    Hi~ Thank you for the review! I think it’s my kind of story~ wow! I hope Johnny-san releases a DVD :3 From the tv promotions alone it looks really interesting and intense. And i agree, it’s good to see Massu dark~ ^^ Again Thank you!!!

    PS Is he really big in person? he keeps on saying this, right? haha so i wanna know~ thanks!!!

    Like

    • nihonchique says:

      Yea! He is kinda bigger in person ahahaha.
      Unfortunately, stage plays rarely come out on DVD :/ I wouldn’t count on it coming out, though it sucks. I wish I would be a DVD too!

      Thanks for reading!!

      Like

  4. hisahisa says:

    Hello! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this play. I was all over the net trying to find a fanrenport. Thank God, a kind soul shared the link to this fanrep.

    Wow. The way you told the story left an impression on me that the play was really great, not to mention intense. I wish I could watch. The story sounded so intense. It’s totally different from what I had in mind. (all this time, I thought Chiba and Kana would end up together because the translation in the booklet was saying that Chiba has discovered the strange fruit, in which he did. But I was thinking something sweeter. But since this isn’t a typical love story…then oh well). I really didn’t see a suicide scene coming. Like, how did Massu reacted as Chiba on that scene? He must’ve looked so great. I just wish someone did a fanrecord. It’s rare to see Massu act out a dark role, even with a lady that has mutual feelings with him (that rarely happen in dramas). Even a kissing scene, that perhaps would be the first. OTL I envy Minamisawa Nao (the leading lady). I hope that this could be his break that can lead a new chapter in his acting. Perhaps, a mature role or a romance drama with Minamisawa Nao ( LOL cause I ship them).

    BTW, how did the kiss go? Does Massu look good kissing? Was it a wall kiss? A weibo fan said it was an illusion (which I doubt cause it’s a play). How long did it last? Does Chiba and Kana have intimate scenes? OTL I feel so shameless asking you questions that requires detailed answers.

    One last thing. Does Massu look twice as good in person?

    Like

    • nihonchique says:

      Hi!
      Thanks for the comment! It wasn’t to long a haha.
      The play really was amazing!

      Massu’s Character seemed kinda panicked and flustered during the suicide scene, but basically Chiba knew she was going to do it though. The scene went so fast and so much was going on that I wish I could have seen the play a 2nd time to make sense of the stuff again. She committed suicide for the sake of the “strange fruit” work because she was gonna die anyway because of the heart problem, so she wanted to do it for him because she loved him. I hope that makes sense?

      Its not a wall kiss, but it was fake: It was a stage kiss that makes it look like they are kissing but they really aren’t. Totally different than Shige’s kiss in Seminar! a haha

      Thanks for commenting and reading!
      Lauren

      Like

      • hisahisa says:

        Bummer. I was hoping he’d finally have a kissing scene.

        I’m happy and disappointed at the same time.
        LOL maybe, that’s because I ship them.

        Anyways, thank you for entertaining my silly questions haha :))

        Like

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