Sounds like the U.K. is getting its second Studio Ghibli anime-based stage production, and very soon.
All-new cast steps into the role of Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers.
Full in-costume cast shown together for the first time.
If you’ve got a favorite series from the hit fantasy series, odds are he’s in the huge cast of this new stage version.
Lucy, Lyon among those ready for their close-ups.
New York engagement marks rare North American visit by musical acting troupe.
The real-life Natsu is sporting fire magic and a six-pack.
The premiere of the Kuroko’s Basketball stage play is still a few months away, but the producers are giving fans of sports anime and/or dreamy boys a sneak peek with the first in-costume cast photo.
Next month, Hetalia, the anime and manga franchise featuring anthropomorphized nations and a hefty amount of homoerotic subtext, is getting its very own live-action musical adaptation, and the play’s producers have just released the first photos of the cast in costume as their respective nations.
We recently took a look at the first photos of the upcoming Rurouni Kenshin stage musical cast in costume, and looking at the comments for that article, more than a few fans of the hit anime and manga franchise are wishing they see the show in person. But if a trip to the Takarazuka theater in Tokyo or Hyogo Prefecture doesn’t fit into your schedule, there’s still a way to get a taste of the all-female performing troupe’s live-action spectacle, as the theatre company has released a preview video of the cast showing off their fighting moves and crossing swords!
Adapting anime to live-action is an extremely difficult venture. It’s not impossible, though, and one of the few icons of Japanese animation to make the transition smoothly is Himura Kenshin, hero of samurai saga Rurouni Kenshin.
The swordsman with the scarred face and soul has three successful live-action films under his belt, and this winter Japan’s all-female Takarazuka stage troupe will be raising the curtain on its own Rurouni Kenshin musical. Opening night is still a ways off, but the first photos of the cast in costume have been revealed, and gender-flipped or not, it’s hard to imagine a closer likeness for Kenshin himself than Takarazuka’s.
The recent boom in live-action movie, TV, and stage adaptations of hit anime has to be a headache for producers. Most anime start out as manga, where the only limits on outlandish character and costume design is the imagination of the original artist, and we imagine it’s an exhaustive search to find real-life actors and actresses who look the part.
But Japan’s casting directors are proving themselves up to the challenge. Hot on the heels of the recently revealed Prison School TV drama come photos of the cast of the stage adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, and not only are there some uncanny resemblances, we now know why there won’t be a DVD or live streaming of the performance.
In Japan, you’ll sometimes find extremely classy restrooms in surprising places, like sparkling-clean highway rest stops. But does that same metric apply to locations that you would expect to have swanky bathroom facilities?
It does in the case of the Takarazuka Grand Theater, home of the famous all-female Takarazuka Revue, which not only has an opulent restroom waiting for its guests, but also an extremely enlightened ratio of male to female bathroom stalls.
Even 18 years after its initial publication, One Piece continues to enjoy unprecedented popularity around the world, no doubt thanks to the grueling efforts of series’ creator Eiichiro Oda. Since July, fans have been waiting with bated breath after new details emerged regarding a kabuki stage version of the beloved franchise, but that wait is now over–October 7 marked the opening performance of the play, and we’ve finally been treated to some pictures of the cast!
I’m never really sure what I should call the zombie action series that began as a hit PlayStation game in 1996. Resident Evil, its internationally used name, is a lot more colorful than Biohazard, its Japanese one, but only the first of the many games takes place primarily in a home. What’s more, the source of the trouble is science run amok, not dark magic, so the “evil” part seems a touch melodramatic.
On the other hand, there are now five films in the franchise, with a sixth on the way, all of which are produced in English and usually come to Japan only after already premiering overseas, so score one point for Resident Evil.
But in the case of its upcoming stage adaptation, set to open in two months, I really think Biohazard is the most appropriate name, because it looks like every single member of the cast is Japanese.
Anime featuring anthropomorphized battleships or samurai swords seem like no-brainers, given that they have a certain cool factor among young otaku and by their very nature make it easy to develop action scenes. Filling your cast with personifications of sovereign nations, though, sounds like a harder hill to climb.
Nevertheless, Hetalia, which started as a webcomic starring anthropomorphized versions of World War II’s Axis powers, succeeded, thanks to its non-stop winks to historical events, willingness to skewer every country on the planet (Japan included), and undercurrent of homoeroticism. The franchise has since spread to print manga and animated TV and movie forms, and now it’s invading new territory with the Hetalia stage musical.
Similar to how some of Ghost in the Shell’s characters can slip their consciousness into new bodies, the enduring science fiction franchise has gone through many incarnations. Starting with the manga by creator Masamune Shirow, the enduring science fiction hit has been an animated theatrical feature, TV anime, and series of direct-to-video anime shorts, plus has served the basis for a handful of video games.
The franchise might even end up with a Hollywood live-action version with Scarlett Johansson playing the lead role. Before that, though, Ghost in the Shell is getting a stage adaptation scheduled to be performed in Tokyo.
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.
Over the past few months, there’s been a string of stage adaptations of hit anime and manga announced. But while we’re sure plenty of fans are psyched about the upcoming Naruto play and One Piece kabuki performance, fans of girls’ comics, or anime series with fewer than 600 episodes to wade through, might be feeling a little left out.
Luckily for them, there’s a more female-oriented, reasonably concise franchise about to become live performance theater, with the opening in March of a stage version of the Mysterious Play, or as it’s better known, Fushigi Yugi.
Between the huge success the One Piece franchise has found in comics, animation, video games, and associated merchandising, you wouldn’t think there’d be too many more avenues for it to expand into. And honestly, it doesn’t have to, as Eiichiro Oda’s manga, the starting point of the tales of pirates, treasure hunting, and friendship, is still going strong, with its 76th collected volume being released later this month.
But just like the Straw Hat Pirates don’t have to embark on grand adventures, but choose to do so anyway, One Piece is about to head into uncharted waters, as the anime and manga franchise is set to become a kabuki play.