Makeover turns our reporter into Lady Oscar, heroine of The Rose of Versailles and the all-female Takarazuka theater troupe.

Last month, our Japanese-language reporter Natsuki took a trip back in time to the 1980s by visiting a Tokyo photo studio that specializes in Bubble Era pop idol makeovers. This month, she went back in time to the ’80s again…except this time the 1780s.

Well, we suppose you could also say she went back to the 1970s. But while the exact “when” is debatable, the “where” is a lot easier to pin down, as Natsuki visited Tokyo’s Opsis, a photo studio that transforms customers so that they can look like the stars of Japan’s famous all-female Takarazuka musical troupe.

Opsis (which also has a branch in Osaka) handles everything you need, providing makeup, hairstyling or wigs, and costuming. The first step is to choose your desired look, and as Natsuki perused the example book, at first she thought she was looking at an album of actual Takarazuka photos, only to learn that all of the women pictured were either Opsis staff members or customers, just like her.

Even though there are dozens of options, Natsuki made up her mind with lightning-speed: she wanted to become Lady Oscar, the gallant swordswoman star of The Rose of Versailles, one of Takarazuka’s signature productions and an adaptation of the manga/anime of the same name which began serialization in 1972 and is set during the buildup to the French Revolution.

▼ Lady Oscar

Opsis prides itself on avoiding image editing and digital trickery, so Natsuki’s session started off in the makeup chair. As Opsis’ artist showed off her amazing skills, Natsuki documented the process which gave her glamorously expressive eyebrows, luxuriously thick eyelashes, and other leading-lady facial features.

Next, Opsis’ stylists selected a wig and dazzling outfit for her…

and then it was time to get in front of the camera.

Once again, the Opsis team proved themselves to be true pros, meticulously adjusting the lighting and giving Natsuki easy-to-follow directions to ensure perfect posing. “Raise your chin a bit,” the photographer directed. “Turn your eyes a little more towards me.”

But as kind and encouraging as the staff was, Natsuki still didn’t feel 100-percent confident. Could she really be transformed into Oscar, one of the most stylish and iconic characters in Japanese manga, anime, and stage history? She got her answer after the photo shoot was done, and the answer was…

…yes, absolutely!

Opsis even provided props and special effects, equipping Natsuki with a basket-hilt sword, romance-red rose, and a dashing cape, which an assistant held up just out of frame so that it could “blow” dramatically behind her.

“It feels so mysterious looking at the pictures,” says Natsuki. “It’s like they’re simultaneously pictures of me, and pictures of someone else: Oscar,” and so we’d say this photographic transformation was a complete success.

Studio information
Opsis / オプシス
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-2-2-, Hibiya Shante basement level 1
東京都千代田区有楽町1-2-2 日比谷シャンテB1

Photos ©SoraNews24
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