The plot is basically that Rukia has been kidnapped, which may or may not have something to do the internal politics of the Soul Society. Unlike the previous Bleach myu which covered the beginning in passing, I was completely lost as to who was on whose side. It didn't help that affiliations seemed to have changed since then. I think I may have needed to have to read the manga or watched the anime to fully understand it. I didn't get the ending, which either had both Rukia and Ichigo dead and meeting in an afterlife or Ichigo pulling through and rescuing Rukia having magically acquired a cape. In the 'final' scene, Rukia is raised above the stage in a crucifixion pose. She says "Thank you... thank you... thank you... and goodbye!" There's a song and dance number, the lights go out and Ichigo is holding out his hand to her on a beam above the stage. With a big brown cape. Any ideas...?
Having said that, it didn't really matter. I just accepted that Rukia had been kidnapped and enjoyed the musical and the actors. It really is amazing how much better everyone is this time around! It was SO much better than the previous myu! Everyone can sing and dance now. Gin (Tuti) in particular was amazing. I've never really been much of a Tuti fan, but he's improved so much. He gave Gin this beautiful lilting voice -- similar to that of a kabuki actor -- that I don't recall him doing before. It fitted so perfectly (but perhaps similar to the anime...?). There was this great scene with him in which he summoned his weapon. It actually projected from a piece of scenery, but looked really good despite this. Anyway, his weapon extended and extended, then stopped. Then it wiggled and extended a little further. There were lots of nervous giggles. Um... I guess you had to be there, right?
Speaking of weapons, there was another cool weapon with Madarame Ikkaku (Usui Takuya). A jet of steam came down and a much bigger weapon came out that a minute later converted to nanchaku. It was very smoothly done. I didn't really get Madarame. He was a character that got applause just for appearing on stage. There's also a funny scene with him later in the musical where, since he's one of the villains' minions, he's talking to him. And Zaraki Kenpachi is just rubbing his bald head very suggestively. It was so funny, but I guess you'd have to see it.
I also liked Yamada Hanatarou (Murakami Kouhei), but whose appeal I find inexplicable. He's a very enthusiastic, very camp character who dances like no one's watching.
I said 'final' scene previously because, as before, the story ends about twenty minutes before the end of the musical. There's an extra bit in which everyone sings, dances and talks to the audience. It's also the fanservice section! It's easy to see which character gets the most squeals (Tuti, by a lot). I'll say for now that there are some really funny dance scenes!
Overall, I really loved this show! It's gone from a show that I got tickets for at the last minute as an afterthought to one that I'm going to try to get tickets for on the first day next time. I can't overemphasise how much of a massive improvement the cast have undergone.
yuki_scorpio, I got your photoset! (You should see Animage this month... they have a 'megane danshi' special!)
Finally, we walked through a park on the way home when we saw lots of bats gathering around the lamps. But that seemed strange because we thought bats weren't attracted to light like that. When we got close and stopped to look at them, we realised they were actually moths! The biggest moths you've ever seen!