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

~ WAO Youka ~

Polished Dancer

Name Pronunciation: wah-oh, yoh-uu-kah

Name Meaning: center of harmony,

Nickname: Taka-chan, Wao

Height: 172 cm

Debut: 1988

Became Top Star: 2000

Youka defines a graceful and gentlemanly style for her roles, and she is one of the best dancers of Takarazuka. When Youka, Shizuki Asato, and Kozuki Wataru were a triple combination at the head of Cosmos Troupe it was a height of Takarazuka's dance aspect - if not the top. Cosmos has set a standard for superb dancing which has the potential to last for a long time. Youka employs her own style of dancing which is very smooth and glides with the orchestra's music.

I don't think many others could as impressively succeed a talented star as Youka has proven to do. Her earnest and sweet nature endears her to fans. She is an emotional person whose soft, caring attitude comes through on stage.

Youka's dramatic acting is very believable in musical and revue scenes, and she has a nice range with which to work. A specialty seems to be refined and composed men, but she is capable of many other types of roles too. Youka can be found using a rough dangerous image for a criminal just out of jail, or implementing a comical bent for an eccentric schoolteacher. She is one of the best otokoyaku at doing a female part. In Elisabeth, Youka plays Franz Joseph, a young, romantic emperor who develops into a world-weary old man by the end of the musical. It is impressive that she can convince us her character ages so much.

Youka's voice itself is nice-sounding, but when singing low notes she incorporates an unusual and unique style which isn't "correct" according to the techniques of voice instructors I know - but perhaps it's simply a type I've never encountered before. Perhaps it is even a combination of three singing styles blended together. She can sing deeply without difficulty (much better than some of the other Takarasiennes). Judging by opinions I've heard, she has a voice people either really like or really dislike. I think repeated listening will get you more accustomed to it if you're of the latter opinion.

Regardless, Youka is very enjoyable to watch for her excellent dance abilities and acting. She has a very cute closed-mouth smile too. (^_^)

"Do I like dancing? Confidentially I do! If this is love, what a way to start! Heaven in my arms, music in my heart! A melody especially contrived for my heart!"
- Heaven In My Arms,
Very Warm For May

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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