Info/images of the Takarazuka Revue, Japanese all-female theatre troupes that perform musicals.

~ AIKA Mire ~
Beloved Vocalist

Name Pronunciation: ah-ee-kah, mee-reh

Name Meaning: flowery love,

Nickname: Tamo

Height: 168 cm

Debut: 1985

Became Top Star: 1999

Retired: 2001


To begin, I'd like to say that I won't be able to write an accurate portrait of Mire, my most favorite Takarazuka star. The difficulty is in how to describe her attributes while not hyping her so that when you see her in a performance you won't be disappointed. It's been a learn-by-experience story of how I realized that even the best things can be over-hyped, and then sadly someone else can't enjoy them in the same way. I would hate to cause that for Mire, but there being no writing about her in English at all (to my knowledge), I've decided to give it a shot.

Mire's pleasingly rich and warm voice caught my attention right off the bat. I was riveted from the moment she spoke her first line in Asaki Yume Mishi, the musical I attended. Mire is a very gifted performer. Her acting has depths of feeling in it, recaptivating me every time I watch her in an emotional scene.

Mire's voice is among the best ones that I've heard in Takarazuka. I love the way she places emphasis and emotions into the lyrics. When she sings Ai no San Uta, the longing romantic song of Asaki Yume Mishi, it sounds so heartrending. Her vocal piece in Eden no Higashi (East of Eden) idealizes sweetness and tranquility. Mire is best at high notes. In past shows, when she needed to sing below her range she sometimes didn't reach the notes well. Happily, she has developed a way around this, in using a darling technique to sing a note as if exclaiming it cheerfully. I like this a lot, and it adds pizzazz to her revue solos!

Mire's movements are graceful and flowing. She can float across the stage to swelling, passionate music during a musical or flash a beaming smile while she dances to carefree melodies. I admit that in the realm of dancing, Mire isn't at the top; she doesn't implement dance moves as difficult as other Takarasiennes. However, she looks nice in the simpler dances she does. The choreographers know their performers and vary difficulty according to the star of the scene. This way, by not attempting something beyond her skill level, a star who isn't as skilled in a certain area still looks great in the show. What makes Mire and Ootori Rei's pair dances special is the presence of feeling in each one, they convincingly look as if they're in love with each other.

Mire has a good-natured girl-next-door look, and an amiable warm voice. She often dresses in casual and comfortable styles, with a bit of a tomboyish bent.

One of the main reasons Mire continues to be my favorite Takarasienne is her personality. There isn't a way to know how genuine it is, given that we don't know her personally, but Mire imparts friendliness and caring for people in every performance and offstage appearance I've seen. She makes a point of giving a smile to a near audience member when she walks along the stage walkway, and during the closing of a show she waves in as many directions as possible before the curtain goes down. In the finale of The Beauties! DVD you can see her mouth the words "Arigatou, bye-bye" to her fans. Going to this extra effort probably wouldn't be important to her unless she values a friendly attitude in the first place, so it seems likely that her amicability is authentic. As my friend so aptly put it: "She comes off as a very open normal kind of person, someone it'd be nice to run into at the grocery store. At the end of the Beauties she just gets this big old grin on her face."

"With a voice that is strong, who, with effortless song, makes a light in the dark...."
- Where in the World,
Kopit and Yeston's Phantom
Takarazuka Kagekidan names, images, references, etc. © by Takarazuka Revue Company, Hankyu Corporation, and associated parties. This website is intended for promotional and informational purposes only.
Analysis © copyright March 2001 by Stephanie M. Taylor
Update © copyright December 2001 by Stephanie M. Taylor
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Comments? Questions? E-mail me by removing the spaces: dioptase @ quixium .com