Anime Plays Are Rising In Japan, Might Start Going Global

Anime Plays Are Rising In Japan, Might Start Going Global

readers of United States have probably noticed more articles about popular anime and manga turned into plays. It is not your imagination that these parts multiply. Adapting anime and manga to the stage is becoming big business there, and there is interest in expanding their plays overseas.

Japanese news site The Asahi Shimbun did an entire article about it, noting that while these plays have in the past attracted more women than men, a fair number of men attended the sold-out sale Taken away as if by magic play. The Taken away as if by magic The play was produced by Toho Co., and an executive there, Atsuo Ikeda, noted, “A challenge was how to reproduce the characters’ strong impressions on stage and use flexible imagery techniques.” But Ikeda thinks they’ve found a way, adding, “I believe fans of the original anime found the piece freshly realistic.”

And Ikeda thinks these games can reach outside of Japan. “If our dramas are as popular as manga and anime, the total market scale of Japan’s entertainment industry would increase.”

In 2023, Kingdom and SPY x FAMILY will debut as plays. Pieces that have already been made include Death Note: The Musical, The Rose of Versailles, The Boy and the Beast, Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modernand SSuperior Kabuki II: One Piece.

“Kabuki is, in essence, an entertainment art form based on deformation techniques that transcend reality. Even anime fans can enjoy our performances without feeling any discomfort,” remarked Shigeyuki Yamane, who is a senior official of Kabuki organizer Shochiku Co.

Chiyoki Yoshida is the head of the Shiki Theater, which stages plays based on anime and manga. Yoshida said, “Developing new coins is a kind of investment. While adaptations of certain titles are expected to be big draws, we would be determined to make huge investments to increase the chances of success as much as possible.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun
Photo credit:Akihito Abe


Danica Davidson is the bestselling author manga art for beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus her suite, Manga art for everyoneand the first manga chalk book of its kind Manga Art Chalk, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out his other comics and books at

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