Litchi Hikari Club / ライチ光クラブ (1985)
Litchi Hikari Club / ライチ光クラブ (1985)

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Litchi Hikari Club / ライチ光クラブ (1985)
Reproduction of a work by Suehiro Maruo.

A full video copy of Litchi Hikari Club (1985) does not exist. A single audio copy of the original play exists, and is in the possession of Tsunekawa Hiroyuki, also known as "Zera". Please contact him directly if you wish to arrange an in-person listening of the play.

★Tokyo Grand Guignol presents: Litchi Hikari Club★

A group of boys vow to never grow up. They despise adulthood, and everything it represents. They will live on as virgins.

Leader Zera with members of the Hikari Club.
Ticket from a showing of Litchi Hikari Club that took place at Shimokitazawa Paratta. December 22, 1985.

In December of 1985, Litchi Hikari Club began its run at Shimokitazawa Paratta, a small performing arts theater in Tokyo, Japan. Boys in black gakuran and strange makeup sold tickets and led audiences members to their seats. Members of the troupe had previously put on showings of the plays "Mercuro" and "Galatia". "Mercuro" featured manga artist Suehiro Maruo as assistant to the teacher played by Kyusaku Shimada.

Ameya Norimizu, leader of TGG, says that he wanted to adapt Suehiro Maruo's work for the stage. While at J Theater Company (to which he used to belong), Ameya overheard tap dancers practicing their routine. The sound brought back memories of Ameya's childhood, which overlapped with his thoughts of the world of Suehiro's work. Shortly after, Ameya founded TGG to express the unique world of his revived boyhood.

There was no curtain between the audience and the actors. TGG's Litchi Hikari Club suddenly began as soon as the theater lights dimmed. At the center of the stage stands a boy wearing a gakuran and silver-rimmed glasses. He poses to the mechanical music being played. He stands in front of a large coffin that is upright and closed. Other boys, also wearing gakuran, carry pinspot lights on their shoulders and flash them at the audience. The bright red star is the only visible color among the black and white costumes and props.
Whistles ring throughout the theater. It's uncertain whether they are being sounded off by the boys or not. The leader of the Hikari Club is Zera, but he is unaware that he's being controlled by Jaibo (played by Ameya Norimizu). It's speculated that Zera is an honor student, and his parents put great faith in his future.
Early in the production, manga artist Suehiro Maruo played the role of a doctor that is pleased to show off a video of a human autopsy. He also promoted his books, of course.
Jaibo seems to be a boy from another school. He is a bright boy that looks down on the world of adults. Jaibo is cunning enough to take advantage of Zera and manipulate him. He is sex-repulsed, and views sexuality as the gateway to adulthood. In order to combat this, he wears a chastity belt made of iron. He intends to remain a virgin for life.

"This iron penis is not for use on human women. Each of you should think about how to use it. As for me, hmm... I know! Let's try it with this TV. Hi there, Psychic TV-chan!" Jaibo yelled as he inserted himself into the TV and ran around stage, as if he'd been electrocuted.

★ Tsunekawa Hiroyuki, who played Zera, commented: "The crucial difference between Lychee Hikari Club (Furuya) and Litchi Hikari Club (TGG) is that Litchi Hikari Club (TGG) has no BL elements at all. All club members wore chastity belts to prevent them from masturbating and having sex entirely. Essentially, they're perfectly untouched steel virgins. The members of Hikari Club are united and free from sexual desire. They're unaware that they're merely Jaibo's guinea pigs. They don't see that he's the one pulling the strings." (August, 2015)

The boys are building an artificial man. They sit in chairs, earnestly building their assigned parts. Their eyes are filled with curiousity, joy, and madness.
Suddenly, a boy is dragged in by members of the Hikari Club. He had allegedly been spying on the club out of pure curiousity. He claims that he didn't see anything because of his weak eyesight. Despite this, Zera calls for his execution. The boy is then blinded, his eyes being burned out by Leuchten, Zera's favorite pinspot light. As the boy blindly stumbles around, a female teacher stops to question him.

"I did this to myself." The boy replies.

"There's no way you could have done this to yourself." The teacher insists.

Fearing the club's retaliation, the boy says, "Really, I just wasn't being careful enough."

"What is a landrace?" Jaibo asks the female teacher. "It's a pig. Livestock raised with the intention of being modified and eaten by humans. Landraces live, breath, and die for human consumption. Their purpose is cut and dry. Not one bit of them goes to waste. Soon, you'll have a cut and dry purpose, too."

(Text provided by Tsunekawa Hiroyuki)

One day, the boys kidnap the teacher. Jaibo rapes her with the iron penis attached to his chastity belt. Her pubic region spurts blood and she dies. As a representative of the adult world, the teacher is assaulted and discarded like mere trash.

Eventually, the boys finish building their robot. They name it Litchi.

"We can't feed our cute little robot gasoline or electricity. We'll fuel it with lychee, just as Yang Guifei did herself. Sounds good, doesn't it? Litchi, la litchi, la la liiitchi." Zera sang as he admired the fruit in the light.

"The lychee fruit was decided based on a dessert that Ameya Norimizu had with a magazine reporter. The play's undertones are inspired by Umezu Kazuo's manga, I am Shingo."

The boys give orders, and Litchi obeys faithfully.

"What is your mission?" Zera asks.

"To capture girls." Litchi answers.

When given lychee, the robot makes a sizzling sound and devours the fruit. Raizou (Yaguruma Kennosuke) crafts a cat-like mask and gives it to the robot. Anyone who wears the mask will immediately fall asleep upon making contact with it. Raizou orders Litchi to use to mask to bring a girl to their club headquarters. At first, Litchi puts the mask on himself and returns from his hunt with a stuffed animal. The boys correct him and he is sent out to hunt again.

The boys excitedly watch Litchi through periscopes.

Litchi returns from hunting. He brings back an unconscious girl named Marin (played by Koshi Miharu). Zera interrogates her, to which Marin responds:

"Your name is weird. You shouldn't talk like that. Ask better questions."

Zera decides that Marin is beautiful, but annoying. He decides to cast her in iron, to preserve her beauty and render her unable to speak.

Tamiya (left) loses to Zera (right) in a game of chess.

Tamiya feels frustrated after losing a game of chess to Zera. He is seduced by Jaibo into burning down the lychee tree that Zera was growing. Tamiya is caught, and Jaibo betrays him by suggesting that castration should be his punishment for burning down the tree. Tamiya's penis is removed.

"It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman!" Marin encourages Tamiya. "It's okay!"

"Fuck you!" Tamiya responds.

Marin introduces herself to Litchi, and they slowly get to know each other.

"I'm human." Litchi says. "I know this because it was input into my head."

"Can you open your head and show me?" Marin responds. "Ah, are you sulking? That's odd. I've never seen a sulking robot before."

Litchi decorates the place where Marin sleeps with red flowers. He gifts her with flowers and plays the organ for her.

"Would it make you happy if I became a machine?" Marin asks one night. "I bet you won't give me flowers anymore when I start to look like a grandma."

The two huddle together in a sheet of plastic, seeking shelter in the leaky basement of the Hikari Club. They fall in love before they even realize. Koshi Miharu, who plays Marin, has a boyish haircut and wears cute, girly clothes. Her voice is girly to match.

Marin: "I've never felt a forehead as cold as yours before. What's it made of?"

Marin: "My left hand isn't my dominant hand. I can't use it to write or draw. But I can use it to make music. Just because the left isn't as good as the right doesn't make it useless."

Shimada Kyusaku, who plays Litchi, has a facial structure like Arnold Schwarznegger. He has very kind eyes.

Marin dances to to a music box cover of a song from the 1985 film, Night on the Galactic Railroad.

After falling in love with Marin and realizing what it means to be human, Litchi goes beserk and kills members of the Hikari Club one by one. The last to be killed is Zera. Litchi drives a hand into Zera's abdomen and tears out his internal organs. Zera then vomits blood into the audience.

"These are my organs...?" Zera marvels as he continues to pull them out of himself. "This hurts... Is there some way to fix this? Shit... I'm tired... I'm just gonna rest a little..."

Litchi seeks out Marin. Just before they meet again, Litchi runs out of fuel. Marin finds the last remaining lychee and tries to feed it to the robot, promising to peel it for him and all. But Litchi remains still, his eyes closed.

The lights dim.

When the lights return, Litchi sits in the center of the stage, lifeless. Marin is lying in his lap with a strange hat on her head. Zera stands behind them, seeming to live on forever.

Zera: "I will stand here and watch. I will stand here and watch as our machine named Litchi slowly rusts away. I will watch this so-called Marin rot away until she is nothing but bones. Gentlemen... Bohren! Beginen!"

Zera takes out his whistles and tweets. The sheets strung up behind him fall. A number of stepladders are revealed, with the Hikari Club members sitting on them and shining lights on each other's bloody faces. The stage slowly goes dark amidst the strong sound of caning.


The Tokyo Grand Guignol Litchi Hikari Club Soundtrack is available in playlist form via YouTube. [x]

The soundtrack is as follows:

1. SPK - Culturecide

2. Haruomi Hosono - Trembling #1

3. 23 Skidoo - Kundalini

4. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Japan

5. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Coda


7. Test Department - Fuel to Fight

8. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF) - Osten Währt am Längsten

9. XP39

10. The Residents - Breath and Length

11. Deutschland Lied

12. Robert Wyatt - Amber And The Amberines

13. UW

14. Haruomi Hosono - Bio Philosophy

15. Art of Noise - Legs

16. Haruomi Hosono - 06 Sequential Opera Circuit

17. Haruomi Hosono - The Animal's Opinion

18. Haruomi Hosono - 05 La Kanto de la Rondiro de la Stel

19. Haruomi Hosono - 14 La Travida Malgojo de Giovanni

20. Ryuichi Sakamoto - A Carved Stone

21. Haruomi Hosono - Dark Side of the Star

22. Koshi Miharu - Parallelisme

The following is a statement made by Tsunekawa Hiroyuki in August, 2015.

"The movie, Lychee ☆ Hikari Club is an adaptation of Furuya Usamaru's Our Hikari Club, right? That I understand. Bokura(Our Hikari Club) is Usamaru's world. Litchi Hikari Club doesn't ring a bell anymore. The original cast and our history of theater has been removed from the Hikari Club name. First it was Death Note, then it was Litchi. More and more underground works are being diluted and adapted into silly movies that are popular for a while, then forgotten when the audience gets bored. I hate that kind of mass media.

To all the Lychee ☆ Hikari Club fans out there,

Do you understand why the Hikari Club boys wear gakuran and insert German into everyday conversations? Do you understand why it isn't simply fashion, or cosplay? Do you know what it means to put on a play in the 80s, with a group of people that go out of their way to wear gakuran?"

The following is a statement made by Furuya Usamaru on August 25, 2015.

"I truly adore Tokyo Grand Guignol's Litchi. So much so that I wanted to make a manga for future generations to enjoy. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth to see my name being the basis for "Hikari Club" as a whole. There's so much more to it."

The following is a statement made by Tsunekawa Hiroyuki on December 17, 2015.

"Usamaru-kun reached out to me. Apparently, Ameya Norimizu strongly pushed for Hikari Club to be published as an original work, rather than a derivitive one. That sounds like something he'd do. Neither the publisher nor Usamaru-kun had the intention of marketing Hikari Club as an original work."

The following is a statement made by Furuya Usamaru on December 17, 2015.

"Hello. I'm not at liberty to discuss the details on my own, so I'll refrain from doing so. I and the publisher both have a lot of respect for Tokyo Grand Guignol. I hope you understand."

This page was translated from a Japanese blogpost originally written by Keiko Olds. [x]