the abyss also gazes back

Blog Entry Translation: [17.10.2017] Sato Ryuji

Blog Entry:

The solo departure for the front lines, mission accomplished.

I’m sorry for updating so early, it’s Ryuji here. [1]

Even though I’m in the middle of work, I have a bit of free time, so I’m updating my blog.

Well, all the performances for the “Musical Touken Ranbu Kashuu Kiyomitsu Tanki Shutsujin 2017” have been safely completed.

Thanks to the support from everyone, we were able to dash through the 16 performances.

The 10 days that The Galaxy Theatre was bathed/dyed in crimson, it’s a memory that looks like it will stay with me until death.

As the soutaichou [2] (self-styled), I think that I was able to show everyone at the citadel a cool place.

Without losing to anyone, to create something that cannot be topped by anyone,

As expected, since I am a Touken Danshi [3], wanting to fight with movements that cannot be mimicked by anyone, I challenged myself with those kind of feelings.

It looks like my vocabulary has kind of been destroyed

Because I don’t have the words to skillfully present what I would like to express, this time, my composition is actually pretty bad, so please have mercy on me.

Anyhow, I truly enjoyed myself very much.

To be honest, even at the rehearsal stage, for the first time since I was born, I seriously thought, “Ah, it might be impossible for me to do this.”

But it’s really mysterious, isn’t it? Once I put on my costume and my make-up, I did it.

I think that this is the interesting part of 2.5D. To be saved by the character.

I said this once on Twitter, something like, I would become an existence that transcends dimensions. [4]

It is often said that the stage is something that is created by everyone, including the guests, and it is exactly that.

The nervous and excited faces of the guests during the first day,
The smiles on the faces of the guests when their favourite song played,
The surprise on their faces as they listened to the new songs,

How do I put it…

From where I am, I can see everything.

And, what I’m trying to say is,
to be able to see the guests faces in such a way, it was a solo departure to the front lines where I too received energy.

In stages where there is a lot of acting, basically, the only opportunity we get to see the guests’ faces is during the curtain call; this time, even as the guests are watching me, I was also constantly watching the guests, it was that type of stage.

When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes back at you. [5]

Once again, I would like to fully express my gratitude.

And, my beloved comrades, the dancers.

Again, they are the people who have transcended dimensions and fought alongside Kashuu Kiyomitsu.

Actually, their stamina is terrifying. Stamina monsters.

I would be really happy/blessed if you could love the dancers too.

Even though I haven’t properly concluded my story, I’m going back to work, so it’s forced termination!

Ah, wait, lastly, I would like to reveal my nails!

This is how they look. The concept for [the stage] this time is “the feeling of unity”, it was done to match the concept of the solo departure to the front lines; if it is okay with everyone, do try it too.

Well then, let’s meet during the Shinken Ranbu Sai! [6]


[1] He actually posted this entry at 6.40am (Japan time) on October 17, 2017.

[2] “Soutaichou” - Loosely translated to “captain-commander” or “head captain”, and is a term that is used to refer to the person who leads the captains.

This title is used by both the fans and the cast/crew of Toumyu to refer to Kashuu Kiyomitsu who was appointed as the captain (“taichou”) to Team Sanjou in the “Trial Performance” and “Atsukashiyama Ibun”, and was the first Touken Danshi to officially be appointed captain in the Musical Touken Ranbu franchise.

In real life, it is a title that is used to refer to Sato Ryuji (the actor who plays Kashuu Kiyomitsu) because he was considered to be one of the company leaders for the “Trial Performance” and “Atsukashiyama Ibun”, and was officially the company leader for “Bakumatsu Tenrouden”; a title which he, himself, adopted because he feels the responsibility of carrying some of the weight of the franchise on his shoulders as he was one the actors who led the franchise company from the very beginning.

[3] “Touken Danshi” - Literally translated to “sword boys” and is a term used to refer to the characters of Touken Ranbu.

[4] Ryuji is making a reference to his Tweet: HERE

[5] Ryuji uses the Japanese translation of this phrase, and it loosely means “if you study something long enough or observe something long enough, and spend the time and effort to understand it, it becomes a part of you”.

[6] The “Shinken Ranbu Sai” that Ryuji is referring to here is the “Musical Touken Ranbu ~Shinken Ranbu Sai 2017~” performance that is scheduled to happen in December 2017.

Personal Comment:

I don’t usually do a word-by-word translation of Sato Ryuji’s blog entries because Ryuji is a very tongue-in-cheek and verbally playful person who often fills his blog entries with amusing anecdotes and witty turns of phrases, which I feel that I wouldn’t be able to do justice in a translation. However, his serious entries, like this one, are filled with such a wealth of emotions that I just wanted to share a translation of it.

10x02 "Reichenbach"
10x03 "Soul Survivor"

“Mirror Mirror on the Wall…” - Some Things about Dean and Cole

1) The “Losing Loved Ones”-Thing: One of their parents was burtally murdered when they were still a kid, the events left them traumatized and lead them on a path of revenge.

2) The “Hunting”-Thing: Cole hunting Dean down and confronting him resembles the Winchesters’ quest to find Azazel and how Dean killed him.

3) The “Tables Turned”-Thing: In 10x02 Cole is in the same position Dean was in in the fight against Abaddon in 9x02 (x).

4) The “Sammy”-Thing: They both call Sam “Sammy” - this might sound minor and silly, but I think it is actually kind of a big deal tbh, because it’s overstepping boundaries completely. Just as telling btw is that Sam didn’t even have the strength to say something along the lines of only my brother gets to call me that. Though maybe at this point he is mature enough to not have a problem with the nickname. Still, Cole saying “Sammy” creeps me out.

5) The “Soldier”-Thing: Cole did two tours in Iraq, Dean did two tours as well: one in hell and one in purgatory. Both changed him massively. Both have also met their fair share of monsters that come without any fangs or claws and (now that Cole met Demon!Dean) also the literal monsters.

6) The “Abyss”-Thing: They both gazed for long into the abyss and it also gazed back into them. They both crossed over to monster territory. Cole refers to himself as the monster in 10x01 “Black” (“Yeah he was, many many moons ago, but now he’s prey. And I’m the monster now.”), Dean identifies as a demon in 10x02 “Reichenbach”, ironically enough when he comes face to face with Cole (“I’m a demon!”).

And last but not least and yes, this might be silly, but in the end it’s all about visual and narrative connections (as you can see above), right?

7) The “Weapons”-Thing: They both like hammers.