GACKT has worked on the original screenplay, casting and music production of the play, and in 2012, his life work [Moon Saga -Secret of Yoshitsune-] concluded. The sequel, [Moon Saga -Secret of Yoshitsune- Chapter 2], has since begun performances on 8 August (Friday) in Tokyo’s Meijiza.

In the play, during the late Heian period, the magnificent historical drama depicts the story of a young hero, Yoshitsune, who is dealing with the anguish and murder of his cousin and childhood friend, Minamoto no Yoshikana (later known as Kiso Yoshinaka), and pursues peace for the Genji while avoiding war. The stage’s set is completely different from the regular artistic sets, and is an innovation where many layers of white panels are used and background changes are projected onto the layers using projection mapping. The stage was like a kaleidoscope with projections of a starry sky, a lush bamboo forest, the seas on which a ship floats, a red moon in the night sky and more. As quoted from GACKT himself, “The stage is a pop- up picture book”. The bravura of the fusion between traditional costumes and state-of the-art technology will leave you wide-eyed with awe.

In addition, huge slopes are constructed on stage makes for dynamic action scenes as the actors go back and forth doing acrobatics and tumblign around. GACKT’s sense of aesthetics was prevalent throughout that space and spread out across.

The story is set in a world where apart from humans, there are other beings such as the Mononoke who possess powers, and the Mononofu who have powers passed to them from the Mononoke. It is a world where the Mononofu use these powers to rule the humans. Yoshitsune, acted by GACKT, contains the “hyakki” in his body, and out of fear of his powers, avoids using them for he may unknowingly hurt the people close to him. Yoshitsune, who fully grasps the emptiness of war, seeks peace with the Taira who his house has hostile relations with. He grows close with Taira no Tomomori (Kawasaki Mayo) and Taira no Noritsune (Yumi Hiro) but the strings of fate are not so easily broken, and in a turn of unfortunate events, new blood flows. In a conference before the opening night, GACKT said that Yoshitsune was portrayed as “a weak man” and will draw empathy from us who live in a world filled with hesitation, and he feels that it will bring a certain level of reality into this historical fantasy.

You can also strongly feel the presence of the music artist GACKT as you get drawn into the story with a variety of musical expressions and effects which range from heavy tunes, from Dubstep to quiet string music and piano music. Also, the well-projected dignified lustrous voice of GACKT came to good use in his stage play career. Even as it is dominated with a serious theme, heroine Hiyori (Hatsune/Kuroda Arisa) is a light-hearted fairy whose cuteness will calm hearts, and the pranks exchanged between Dennai Noriyoshi (Suzunosuke) and Noritsune will make you smile. Kajiwara Kagetoki’s (Kinoshita) desperate political jokes are scattered everywhere and left a great impression and laughter when it happened. Also, Takarazuka Revue’s well-known tallest Yumi stood side by side with GACKT and created an unprecedented colourful stage. In engaging wire-action scenes, sharp movements and elegant gestures will make you gasp. This is not a movie nor a television show, but the dynamic raw action that can only be tasted and presented on such a stage.

Performance will continue until October and I cannot give away the ending of the play but every character in this play grapples with hesistation and their struggles, yet are fascinating and filled with passion. Watching the tragicomically of these characters, you will begin to painfully realise the human foolishness of rushing into war out of paranoia. Thought-provoking to us who live in this modern age, please do experience this realistic yet beautifully tragic story.

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