Shirota Yu, and other lights of Asian musical theater
I'm a fan, mostly of his face and personality. But tell me, DL mavens - can this Queen sing?
He has a new collection of showtunes out, available for 3,000 yen (thanks, Sony!). Cuts include 'The Darkness Spreads' (ELIZABETH, he played Der Tod in the Tokyo Stage); 'Aimer' (ROMEO ET JULIETTE, he played Romeo); 'I am with You' (SWEENEY TODD, he played Pirelli); plus covers of 'My Favorite Things' (THE SOUND OF MUSIC), 'A Whole New World' (ALADDIN) and 'The Greatest Show'/'A Million Dreams (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN). He didn't include anything from those anime musicals he did (hello, PRINCE OF TENNIS?) or West End/Broadway classics which he has been known to sing on variety shows in Japan.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||18 hours ago|
In ELIZABETH, the 2016 run:
|by Anonymous||reply 1||09/22/2018|
Singing the opening number of ROMEO ET JULIETTE (whatever that was called):
|by Anonymous||reply 2||09/22/2018|
A little Disney - 'Go The Distance' from HERCULES (only half in English, for some reason):
|by Anonymous||reply 3||09/22/2018|
Rudolf's death in ELIZABETH. Yu got pretty into it...
|by Anonymous||reply 4||09/22/2018|
Tough crowd. This guy originated Tuxedo Mask on the stage, you know.
Anyway, here's Shirotan's dreamy take on 'The Shadows Grow Longer'. I like the metal cry he adds to the finish, it's sexy. Furukawa Yuta, his duet partner for this number is a pretty dancer (clearly ballet-trained) with a cute voice. Given this take on the song is more sensual than chilling it's easy to tell the director/producers of this run knew who buttered their bread; women make up most of the ticket-sales for popular theatre shows in Japan...
|by Anonymous||reply 5||09/22/2018|
Hideously garish hetero outfit, stunningly beautiful musical-gay voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||09/24/2018|
Here's his 'Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!' for the One World Broadway: 4Stars concert series, with Lea Salonga.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||09/25/2018|
Speaking English for a 4Stars interview with Sierra Boggess. His pronunciation is excellent for a Japanese man. Sierra praises him here as "open, positive, funny....his spirit radiates love & peace" (lol).
SIERRA: [about Yu's pre-show rehearsals] He was chill, too, he was fine.
YU: You're talking about two days ago? Not yesterday...
SIERRA: [sound] check? That was fine!
YU: I wasn't fine.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||09/26/2018|
Yu's first role as Tuxedo Kamen. Kitsch!
|by Anonymous||reply 9||09/30/2018|
What is this Elizabeth musical? I've never heard of it...
|by Anonymous||reply 10||09/30/2018|
Oh, you poor dear, R10. It's been running for just over 25 years, so you've a lot of exploring ahead.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||09/30/2018|
For his more obscure musical turns, see this clunky lurid production of THE LOVE BUGS. Yu was good, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||09/30/2018|
...and his several appearances as beloved 'Buchou' (Tennis Captain) Tezuka in THE PRINCE OF TENNIS. There are no words to prepare anyone for these shows; you just have to hold your nose and stick your head under.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||09/30/2018|
He's no fucking Jimmy Shigeta, that's for fucking sure.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||09/30/2018|
so he knows Ramon Karimloo....🤔🤔 knew I recognised this guy from somewhere. I’ll look him up now.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||10/01/2018|
Ok so after a quick Google....
His voice/face IS pretty OP; but maybe another reason he gets so many of these big musical roles and projects is because of his connections and his gaijin looks? Per the Internet his father is (or was?) a big shot at NIPPONTv. Plus the man looks about 6ft.2” and pale-skinned as milk with a prominent nose & pair of lips. True that the Japanese have different beauty standards than we, but in their Arts they can’t deny they still sometimes fetishise the imperial European/Regency/classic ‘Disney Prince’ Western look...
|by Anonymous||reply 16||10/01/2018|
He’s the epitome of bisexual.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||10/02/2018|
He did some, uh, interesting photoshoots in his early 20s which I'm sure DL will appraise with keen eye.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||10/02/2018|
Something about the Tequila blood in a person’s DNA just improves everything. I’m sure this kid would have been cute anyway, but a few drops of sexy Spanish in the mix bumps him up at least 2 points tbh. I don’t think he’d have been near as good-looking if he were half-German, half-Australian or half-Thai.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||10/05/2018|
Yu's Latin side is part of what makes him so interesting & charismatic-looking, yes.
Because of his distinct features he's sometimes used as a catch-all 'Western' actor when it comes to Japanese productions; while he has played many Japanese men & boys he also gets cast as European, English & American people. For example, about 10 years ago he played famous British rockabilly singer Mickey (Mikki) Curtis in the musical-biopic THE HIT PARADE for FujiTv (you can see him as Mickey in the far top-right corner of the linked pic).
|by Anonymous||reply 21||10/07/2018|
Shirota played the homosexual warlord Oda Nobunaga in the Asahi drama one-shot NOUHIME II (2013), which regrettably did not feature him in any gay sex/love scenes. What is a Nobunaga without his beloved Ranmaru?
Still, he looked hot af with a sword and in period dress.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||10/09/2018|
One of his earliest and most famous solos, 'Semero, tsuyoku nare!' ('Attack, and go forward!) from PRINCE OF TENNIS.
His voice is so buttery and resonant, and he was just out of College here. He has presence even on a janky stage like this one.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||10/10/2018|
Well, he’s in the #1 drama in Japan rn so I guess he’s doing something right.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||10/12/2018|
And so talented that he has to teach his castmates to sing...
|by Anonymous||reply 26||10/14/2018|
Oh man, R26. It’s lucky for that other guy he’s super cute cuz he sounds like a cat on heat singing....
Btw when will Asian heartthrobs learn that anime-manga hero hair does not look good on real life guys...
|by Anonymous||reply 27||10/15/2018|
Shirotan's schmoozin' his way to the top!
But seriously, he's making waves with this Ramin connection. It sounds weird with Yu doing the Rudolf part in 'Die Schetten', but whatever.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||10/15/2018|
Just noticed he’s left-handed, in case anyone who manages to pick him up wonders why it looks weird when he grabs the shaft southpaw.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||10/21/2018|
My 'Phantom of the Opera'-loving Moms went nuts for that cover R28, and then crossed herself in Catholic guilt for declaring that Yu is "so beautiful" (she's 53 and he's 33, nbd imo but hey, straight ppl right?).
|by Anonymous||reply 30||10/21/2018|
This whore’s got a hotter slightly-older brother who’s not nearly as talented or famous, so you know he’d do some freaky shit for the validation/attention.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||10/27/2018|
^^^no lie. He soaps up naked and showers off at two minutes.
Yuu-kun would never.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||10/28/2018|
Yu x Kazuki, awww. They should date, they would make a nice handsome sweet couple with the bonus of perfect voices.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||10/29/2018|
OP minor correction: he played Anthony Hope in ‘Sweeney’.
But yes, he can sing, albeit in a Disney way. He’ll probably end up singing Japanese dubtracks for them, if he hasn’t already.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||10/31/2018|
Seems like Shiropon is a Mama’s boy. He looks just like her, and is likely the favorite (sorry, Jun).
Also his old Skyrock profile from a decade ago is still up, and it’s hilariously bad. Just Engrish captioned with grainy photos taken on an ancient Samsung camera, and with no attempt to mask homosexuality.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||11/01/2018|
Hilarious how he always towers over everyone in all those 2.5D musicals he does.
At encore it's like twenty-five guys standing at 5"6 and then there's Yu, three heads taller.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||11/01/2018|
So is he fucking Karimloo or what?
|by Anonymous||reply 37||11/02/2018|
[quote] and other lights of Asian musical theater
You fucking rang?
|by Anonymous||reply 38||11/02/2018|
It would probably help his music and stage career if he stopped dragging down his credibility starring in silly romance tv dramas based on comic-books. This new one he’s in, the latest of a dozen on his resume, seems so boring and so very heterosexual, even though he still has those good looks to coast on.
He should do like his gorgeous former costar Takumi Saitoh did, and sashay his gay self over to the U.S. permanently to model for LV and then do gigs and make arty films for prestigious festivals on the side.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||11/02/2018|
He’s considered a lesser Fanservice God in theater-otaku circles, I’m told.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||11/04/2018|
There isn't a song in Sweeney Todd called "I Am with You."
|by Anonymous||reply 41||11/04/2018|
Well, that's the track name on the official CD tracklist, as written on HMV and everywhere else R41. Maybe it's a retitled/mistranslated song, or a new number written in for an Asian audience (surprisingly common).
|by Anonymous||reply 42||11/04/2018|
He’s going to be a guest on the music award show ONGAKU NO HI 2018. One of many, but hey, it’s a gig.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||11/08/2018|
I bet Jin got Yuu on the line-up for that show R43; they used to be classmates in HS.
Yuu is popular and a good choice to host or perform, but he's still not so big that he's gonna eclipse the spotlight on a reunited KAT-TUN and their comeback promo (and Kame will NOT be upstaged).
|by Anonymous||reply 44||11/08/2018|
I hate the way he pronounces "beautiful" in "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."
He's cute enough but yeah, Disney voice. And why are Japanese heroes so... bland these days? Where is the FIERCE WARRIOR?
|by Anonymous||reply 45||11/08/2018|
^^he’s not so much a heroic actor, more a boyband-type bubblegum star.
He’s worked with The Backstreet Boys and done Broadway. He’s not in any way ferocious.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||11/11/2018|
Right. Yu is too campy by far to ever be warrior-like.
He turns the swish up to 11 in the DD-BOYS reality show he starred in. He also had the habit of shouting all his lines.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||11/11/2018|
R26 I still remember the time he said that barely any other stage actors in Japan could sing and that he had to teach his casts (think it was in Moshii magazine, sometimes a few years ago). What a narcissist.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||11/12/2018|
[quote] I hate the way he pronounces "beautiful" in "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."
I think he just fumbled the diphthong ‘-eau’; understandable as it doesn’t appear at all in Japanese, rarely appears in Spanish and is difficult to say for non-fluent French/English speakers. So it came out “byu-oh”.
I want to hear him sing more in English, just better songs. ‘Everlasting Love’ would be a good choice, I feel.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||11/18/2018|
Tower Records are promoting his disc. Apparently that company are still big in Japan.
Just me, or is Yu’s voice starting to sound a little like Midge Ure? It has that dreamy romantic intensity.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||11/19/2018|
Tower Records?? The one on Sunset?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||11/20/2018|
In Tokyo, R51. Didn’t the one on Sunset close down years ago?
|by Anonymous||reply 52||11/22/2018|
R41 it’s how the Japanese titled the number, ‘Not While I’m Around’.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||11/25/2018|
Yu is close friends with this cutie and my current crush, Zukki Hiroki.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||11/29/2018|
I can see Shirota moving into major cast recordings more heavily.
He could do like John Farnham with JCSS. Though perhaps I’d put Yu more easily in the Judas or Simon role.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||11/30/2018|
Yu is so boring on SM now, yucking it up with random nobodies and young girls on IG. Used to be he was always hanging out with fairly obvious closet-cases like KIMERU and posting dumb stuff from his drinking binges on Twitter (guess age finally caught up with him and his managers told him to stop outing himself).
Here he is in March, drunkenly cussing with his old pal Konii Yoshikazu (he of ‘Boys’ Love’ movies).
|by Anonymous||reply 56||12/03/2018|
[quote] He said that barely any other stage actors in Japan could sing and that he had to teach his casts (think it was in Moshii magazine.
I recall this posted on LJ (used to be a big Asian stage fan) and believe he was misquoted/poorly translated. Stage actors in Japan don’t go through the rigorous training & audition/rehearsal process Broadway actors do; the most prized trait of a performer over there is the willingness to practise all hours of the day and show up early/go home late every day of the run no matter how sick or unprepared you are. People who try very hard and give “their best” are valued over those with talent.
What the very-talented Yu was complaining about iirc was that young actors entering the business via this route ruin their voices & their reputations as well as entire shows by turning up to work with no technique. It’s a very valid concern and he was right to say it. It’s also likely why he’s trying to crack the European stage so zealously now.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||Last Saturday at 11:12 AM|
Yet it takes a lifetime to learn kabuki.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||Last Saturday at 11:36 AM|
^^well, we can’t blame native Japanese performers if they don’t feel the same sense of duty toward Western plays as historical forms like the Kabuki. For one, the classic ‘musical’ or straight-ahead page-play as we understand it is a much younger mode, and concerns the modern condition which is not wholly applicable in a Far Eastern technocratic society with entrenched feudalism. For another, musical or commercial theater has even less worth in Japan than it does in the English-speaking world.
For professional productions of classic theater in Japan there’s always Takarazuka Revue, who put 150% into their lavish American musicals and 20thC. plays. Maybe there’s no call for anything more or better, and so it’s easy to see how Yu can accomplish more overseas than at home.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||Yesterday at 1:58 AM|
Kazuki is all on Yu’s Twitter..again.
Yu never smiles and kids around like this with anyone else these days. These two need to emigrate so they can get hitched and get it over with. I’m TIRED, boys.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||18 hours ago|