5 Stage Play Adaptations of Famous Manga to Look Out for in Japan This 2017

  • The production for the Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) stage play, which was set to start in July 2017, has been officially canceled due to the passing of its director of acrobatics. However, there are still plenty of shows to look forward to this 2017. Here are five popular manga (漫画) turned theater productions which both anime (アニメ) and stage play fans will surely enjoy!

    1. Naruto (ナルト)

    Naruto is an action manga written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto (岸本斉史).

    The first stage play, “Live Spectacle NARUTO (ライブ・スペクタクル ナルト),” featuring Kodai Matsuoka (松岡広大) as the young and mischievous ninja (忍者) Uzumaki Naruto (うずまきナルト), debuted in March 2015. The well-received stage play was also performed in other Asian countries such as Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore. In 2016, Matsuoka and most of the original cast members returned for the second “Live Spectacle NARUTO” performances in Tokyo (東京) and Osaka (大阪).

    This 2017, “Live Spectacle NARUTO: The Akatsuki Investigation (暁の調べ)” will tell a story that is different from the previous productions. Its main cast, Kodai Matsuoka as Naruto Uzumaki, Ryuji Sato (佐藤流司) as Sasuke Uchiha (うちはサスケ), and Yui Ito (伊藤優衣) as Sakura Haruno (春野サクラ), will reprise their roles but with the addition of new characters such as Shinji Rachi (良知真次) as Itachi (イタチ), Rei Fujita (藤田玲) as Yamato (ヤマト), and Ryō Kitamura (北村諒) as Sai (サイ). Akiko Kodama (児玉明子) directs whilst Shunsuke Wada (和田俊輔) composed the music.

    The musical was performed at the AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo (アイア 2.5 シアタートーキョー) from May 19 to June 4, 2017, and it is currently being performed at Mielparque Hall Osaka (メルパルクホール大阪), from June 16 to 22, 2017. “Live Spectacle NARUTO: The Akatsuki Investigation” will then return to the AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo from July 29 to August 6, 2017.

    Live Spectacle NARUTO Website
    Access: AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo / Mielparque Hall Osaka

    2. Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種 トーキョーグール)

    Tokyo Ghoul is currently receiving a lot of hype for the upcoming release of its live-action movie starring Masataka Kubota (窪田正孝) as Kaneki Ken (金木研).

    This summer 2017, fans of Sui Ishida’s (石田スイ) dark fantasy manga are in for another treat as its second stage play adaptation is also going to be performed from June 29 to July 4, 2017 at THEATRE1010 (シアター1010) in Tokyo, and from August 8 to 9, 2017 at the Umeda Arts Theater (梅田芸術劇場シアター・ドラマシティ) in Osaka. The main cast includes Ryo Matsuda (松田凌) as Kaneki Ken, Aya Tabata (田畑亜弥) as Touka Kirishima (霧嶋董香), and Yoshihide Sasaki (佐々木喜英) as Shuu Tsukiyama (月山習).

    Tokyo Ghoul Stage Play Website *Japanese only
    Access: THEATRE1010 / Umeda Arts Theater

    3. Digimon (デジモン)

    The late ’90s franchise, Digimon, created by Akiyoshi Hongo (本郷あきよし), announced its stage play adaptation of the anime film project, Digimon Adventure tri.

    The stage play entitled, “Digimon Adventure tri.: The Adventure on August 1 (8月1日の冒険),” starring Gaku Matsumoto (松本岳) as Taichi Yagami (八神太一) and Shohei Hashimoto (橋本祥平) as Yamato Ishida (石田ヤマト), is scheduled to be performed at the Zepp Blue Theater Roppongi (Zepp ブルーシアター六本木) from August 5 to 13, 2017. The general sale of tickets will begin on July 2, 2017.

    Digimon Adventure tri.: The Adventure on August 1 Website *Japanese only

    4. Haikyu!! (ハイキュー!!)

    Haikyu!! is a volleyball-themed shonen manga (少年漫画) written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate (古舘 春一). The series received positive reviews which led to an anime adaptation that ran for three seasons.

    “Hyper Projection Play ‘Haikyu!!’ (ハイパープロジェクション演劇「ハイキュー!!」),” the first run of the Haikyu!! stage play, was held from November to December 2015. It was followed by a second run entitled, “Hyper Projection Play ‘Haikyu!!’: The View From Top (頂の景色),” which was held from April to May 2016. Covering the Interhigh match of Karasuno (烏野) against Aobajosai (青葉城西), the third stage play called, “Hyper Projection Play ‘Haikyu!!’: Winners and Losers (勝者と敗者),” was held in four different cities from March to May 2017.

    This coming fall 2017, “Hyper Projection Play ‘Haikyu!!’: The Summer of Evolution (ハイパープロジェクション演劇「ハイキュー!!」進化の夏),” the fourth stage play adaptation of the famous sports manga, will feature Suga Kenta (須賀健太) as protagonist Shoyo Hinata (日向翔陽) to perform at the following venues:

    Advance ticket sale will begin on July 30, 2017.

    Hyper Projection Play “Haikyu!!”: The Summer of Evolution Website

    5. Black Butler (黒執事)

    “Kuroshitsuji – Tango on the Campania” is the fifth musical based on the dark fantasy manga by Yana Toboso (枢やな). Actors Yuuta Furukawa (古川雄大) and Reo Uchikawa (内川蓮生) from Black Butler’s 2016 play, “Noah’s Ark Circus,” reprise their roles to play Sebastian Michaelis (セバスチャン・ミカエリス) and Ciel Phantomhive (シエル・ファントムハイヴ), respectively.

    Directed by Akiko Kodama, the play will focus on the manga’s “Luxury Liner Arc” and will have its run in five cities from December 2017 to February 2018:

    General ticket sale will begin on October 1, 2017.

    Kuroshitsuji – Tango on the Campania Website *Japanese only

    Aside from the trend of producing live-action series and movies, stage play adaptations are slowly becoming another welcoming addition to the various ways of enjoying our beloved manga. It involves singing, dancing, stunts, games, and other exciting means that allow us to meet our favorite characters and take us one step closer to the fictional worlds they live in.

    Which stage play are you most excited to watch?

    *Featured Image: jp.fotolia.com/

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