You’d be hard-pressed to find a girls’ manga with a broader or more international fanbase than Hana Yori Dango. Also known as Boys Over Flowers, Hana Yori Dango ran as a serialized comic for more than a decade in addition to having a popular anime version that aired in the late 1990s. That was just the beginning of its multimedia franchise, though, as the series was later remade as a live-action TV and film series in Japan, with separate, locally produced versions for Taiwan and Korea as well.
One place Hana Yori Dango hasn’t gone yet, though, is the stage. That’s changing next year, though, with a Hana Yori Dango musical that’s holding open auditions to cast its female lead.
Perhaps emboldened by the excited reactions to stage versions of fellow shojo manga hits Sailor Moon and Fushigi Yugi, the production has recruited respected Japanese playwright Gou Aoki and director Yumi Suzuki. Handling the music will be Akimitsu Honma, a music producer who’s worked with Japanese bands Porno Graffiti and Ikimonogakari. The play will open in Tokyo’s Theatre Crea in January of 2016, with additional performances to be scheduled elsewhere in Japan for February.
It seems a given that all four of the handsome and wealthy young men who compose Hana Yori Dango’s F4 group of unusually influential high school students will make appearances, although no casting decisions for the quartet have been announced yet. Nor have producers said who’ll be playing protagonist Tsukushi Makino, but that’s because the role is still up for grabs.
When Hana Yori Dango’s story begins, Tsukushi is just starting classes at the prestigious Eitoku Academy, and a recurring plot element is how she comes from a much humbler background than her upper crust classmates. Perhaps looking to recreate some of her star-struck, fish out of water aura, the play’s producers aren’t going through a talent agency to find their Makino, but instead are accepting applications from professionals and amateurs alike.
Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 25, and while no professional experience is needed, the producers are looking for an energetic woman who can project confidence and completely take on the persona of the character. Also, since this is a musical being cast, the successful candidate will of course need to have a good singing voice.
If you’re interested in applying, the first step is to submit an application package with the following:
- A resume/self-introduction profile
- Photos (one passport-style and one full-body)
- A CD recording of yourself singing Ikimonogakari’s “Koi Suru Otome” and “Bluebird”
The ability to speak Japanese also seems like an obvious unstated requirement, although long-time anime fans do have the advantage of probably being familiar with one of the requested songs, “Bluebird,” as it was used as an ending theme to the Naruto Shippuden TV series.
Application packages should be mailed to:
Hana Yori Dango The Musical Looking for Tsukushi! Audition representative
Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Higashi 3-25-10, T&T Building 8th floor, Cube
Address in Japanese:
東京都渋谷区東3-25-10 T&Tビル8F キューブ
「花より男子 The Musical つくしを探せ！オーディション」係
Applications are being accepted between now and May 31. Oh, and while candidates as young as 15 are accepted, those under 20, the age of legal adulthood in Japan, will need their parents’ or guardians’ permission before starring in the stage version of one of the most popular girls’ comics of all time, so don’t forget Mom and Dad first.
Related: Hana Yori Dango The Musical official website
Sources: Anime! Anime! via Jin
Top image: Hana Yori Dango The Musical official website (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Hana Yori Dango The Musical official website, Wikia