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Opinion needed: Anime stage plays / musicals.


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higegome



Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:54 pm Reply with quote
Hello!

I'm doing a project on anime and stage plays. I wanted people's opinion on an anime being adapted into a stageplay. Most of them were only in Japanese. There are few that are english speaking such as "The Bleach Rock Musical" and in Maryland, USA they did "Anime Momotaro." The next one is in London, which is a true adaptation of "Princess Mononoke" done by Whole Hog Theatre.

I don't know who is familiar with the subject, but even if you're not I'm curious:
~What is your stance on an anime jumping to a medium of theater?
~Do you believe there is a certain style of theater?
~Should one stick to a style of traditional Japanese or modern theater?
~Is there too much of an artistic difference?

Generally, anything you can think to input on an anime being adapted into a stageplay/musical.

[Edit: I would like to make this forum my place to talk about my progress and bounce ideas for the next year. So please come and go and help me out =)]


Last edited by higegome on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tony K.
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Joined: 18 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:11 am Reply with quote
Welcome to the forums.

As a common courtesy that we require from any thread-starter (new and old), I recommend answering your own questions first. By quickly giving us your own opinion, it can (and usually does) help in establishing some kind of rapport or empathy (however little there needs to be) from other users, which can then potentially open things up for further (maybe better) discussion.

Not to mention, people that join these forums just for the sake of getting help on their homework are often not too well-received, because a lot of them make one post, expect people to answer, and then never give any feedback ever again. It comes off as rude, disingenuous, and feels like a telemarketing or door-to-door salesman scam that really only benefits the person asking, and nobody else.

So if you're really serious into wanting to tap into the ANN community for some help with a project, you'll probably wanna' do a little better in presenting your inquiry as fitful as you think will need be to get some actual comments.

Good luck.
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:27 am Reply with quote
higegome wrote:
Hello!

I'm doing a project on anime and stage plays. I wanted people's opinion on an anime being adapted into a stageplay. Most of them were only in Japanese. There are few that are english speaking such as "The Bleach Rock Musical" and in Maryland, USA they did "Anime Momotaro." The next one is in London, which is a true adaptation of "Princess Mononoke" done by Whole Hog Theatre.


But I somehow suspect they won't be English-adapting the Sailor Moon musicals:
http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​rq4pGtXx3K4

(I think that pretty well sums up all that's good and bad about anime stage musicals. Confused )
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:45 am Reply with quote
I cannot help with series that went from anime to the staqe, but I can point you to one series that made the opposite transition. Oh! Edo Rocket began life as a stage play by Nakashima Kazuki (who is better known to anime fans as the creator of Gurren Lagann), then adapted for Studio Madhouse by Aikawa Shou and directed by Mizushima Seiji. The anime preserves many of the characteristics of the stage play like speaking directly to the audience ("breaking the fourth wall") and the use of stage lighting and effects (Torii's appearance in episode 17 is a good example). I once saw a couple of photos from the original stage play which took place on a nearly-empty set. The anime is pretty much the opposite of this stark approach with elaborately detailed backgrounds and lots of special effects.

The use of stage direction and mechanics appears in some other animes I've seen, most notably Bartender. It has an occasional "Greek chorus" and uses spotlighting to highlight certain characters. Some of the characters speak directly to the audience in this show as well.
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higegome



Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Tony K. wrote:
Welcome to the forums.

As a common courtesy that we require from any thread-starter (new and old), I recommend answering your own questions first. By quickly giving us your own opinion, it can (and usually does) help in establishing some kind of rapport or empathy (however little there needs to be) from other users, which can then potentially open things up for further (maybe better) discussion.

So if you're really serious into wanting to tap into the ANN community for some help with a project, you'll probably wanna' do a little better in presenting your inquiry as fitful as you think will need be to get some actual comments.

Good luck.


I truly apologize for the abruptness of joining the forum. I am planning on sticking around. This is a project I'm working on in order to graduate college, a "senior project." I know ANN is a well-known and respected anime source so I decided to post here. For the project I have to write a research paper I'm planning on doing my own adaptation but I'm in the research phase then over the summer I'm going to be writing it.

I actually didn't think to put in my own opinion because I thought people would have big opinions on crossing media. But, since I love both anime and theater, I think it'd be amazing. I do believe it'd be difficult to cross the mediums because they are extremely different. I would like to stick to the roots of theater but I would like to keep the essentials of anime like the over-the-top characters.

I really don't have a true opinion myself on the topic. This is just something I've always wanted to do but I wanted to see what the community thought since I'm not sure how it reflects. I was going to ask a theater community a similar question since anime is newer and theater is such an old art form.

yuna49 wrote:
I cannot help with series that went from anime to the staqe, but I can point you to one series that made the opposite transition. Oh! Edo Rocket began life as a stage play by Nakashima Kazuki (who is better known to anime fans as the creator of Gurren Lagann), then adapted for Studio Madhouse by Aikawa Shou and directed by Mizushima Seiji. The anime preserves many of the characteristics of the stage play like speaking directly to the audience ("breaking the fourth wall") and the use of stage lighting and effects (Torii's appearance in episode 17 is a good example). I once saw a couple of photos from the original stage play which took place on a nearly-empty set. The anime is pretty much the opposite of this stark approach with elaborately detailed backgrounds and lots of special effects.

The use of stage direction and mechanics appears in some other animes I've seen, most notably Bartender. It has an occasional "Greek chorus" and uses spotlighting to highlight certain characters. Some of the characters speak directly to the audience in this show as well.


Thank you so much for this information! This is wonderful!
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Also, not anme, but the Japanese stage play "Radio Time" was filmed as the live-action movie "Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald" (which Viz released on DVD), which is probably one of the funniest foreign comedies I've seen. Very Happy
Always wondered whether it could ever be translated for the US, but the popularity of Japanese radio drama is too localized.
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Tony K.
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Joined: 18 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:10 pm Reply with quote
higegome wrote:
For the project I have to write a research paper I'm planning on doing my own adaptation but I'm in the research phase then over the summer I'm going to be writing it.

That's a good sign: starting research for a summer paper all the way in April. Your due diligence impresses me, and I will offer whatever help I can.

higegome wrote:
I actually didn't think to put in my own opinion because I thought people would have big opinions on crossing media. But, since I love both anime and theater, I think it'd be amazing. I do believe it'd be difficult to cross the mediums because they are extremely different. I would like to stick to the roots of theater but I would like to keep the essentials of anime like the over-the-top characters.

I think most crossovers in general are to video games and vice versa, since both mediums aren't really restricted by the laws of physics. Anime to live-action film would be the second most frequent, as you can practically CG or rig the thing like a video game. But I honestly have no idea how adapting anime would work as a stage play.

I would think any kind of story and character concepts could work since it's all just dialogue and ideas. But part of what makes anime so outlandish is the fact that it, like I mentioned earlier, is not held down by physicality. Magic, superpowers, mecha, and all the fantastic is kinda' what adds on to its presentation, for me anyway.

As for your initial questions:

Quote:
What is your stance on an anime jumping to a medium of theater?

Depending on what anime story they were adapting, I could be very intrigued if it were something a little more down-to-earth like a slice-of-life drama or something (without a whole lot of props). But if you told me someone was putting Gundam or Akira on stage, I'd be very skeptical.

Quote:
Do you believe there is a certain style?

A certain style of adaptation? Uh.. not really. Although, I guess it would depend on what source material was being adapted in the first place. If you're talking about "a certain style [of stage play]," then I would say the traditional (non-singing) ones are the most common, which is not to say I don't enjoy musicals, though.

Quote:
Should one stick to a style of traditional Japanese or modern theater?

I'm afraid I don't know much about traditional Japanese theater outside of a few depictions I've seen in movies (and they were all Edo period or older, which makes it even more ambiguous to me). And as much as I like modern theater, I haven't had too many opportunities to see them in person, as I really hate driving. But from what few productions I've seen, I do enjoy them a lot (most have been musicals, by the way).

Quote:
Is there too much of an artistic difference?

I would think so, unless you just have really bad ass costumers, makeup people, and set designers. I've seen some news headlines about the Code Geass stage play they did, and the costumes I saw in the profile pics looked stupendous. Not sure how the actual performances turned out, but it looked like it had potential, at least from a visual perspective.
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higegome



Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Tony K. wrote:

That's a good sign: starting research for a summer paper all the way in April. Your due diligence impresses me, and I will offer whatever help I can.


Haha, the paper isn't due until May 2014. But I still need to write and produce the show. Then finish the research on the outcome.


Quote:
Quote:
What is your stance on an anime jumping to a medium of theater?

Depending on what anime story they were adapting, I could be very intrigued if it were something a little more down-to-earth like a slice-of-life drama or something (without a whole lot of props). But if you told me someone was putting Gundam or Akira on stage, I'd be very skeptical.


Haha, I considered Akira but then I was like... impossible.

Quote:
Quote:
Do you believe there is a certain style?

A certain style of adaptation? Uh.. not really. Although, I guess it would depend on what source material was being adapted in the first place. If you're talking about "a certain style [of stage play]," then I would say the traditional (non-singing) ones are the most common, which is not to say I don't enjoy musicals, though.


I guess I meant more with this question a style of theater or anime genre that should be turned into a stageplay.


Quote:
Quote:
Is there too much of an artistic difference?

I would think so, unless you just have really bad ass costumers, makeup people, and set designers. I've seen some news headlines about the Code Geass stage play they did, and the costumes I saw in the profile pics looked stupendous. Not sure how the actual performances turned out, but it looked like it had potential, at least from a visual perspective.


Momotaro anime stage play This isn't exactly an adaptation, since this stageplay is based on an old Japanese folktale that was turned into an anime and the stageplay is based on that anime. Strange, I know. If you look at the pictures, you can tell it's pretty anime-esque. Here's a trailer for the show: Here
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EireformContinent



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:50 am Reply with quote
Several post and nobody wrote two crucial words? Every Japanese asked about stage adaptations of anything will say them.
Takarazuka Revue.

Wiki article is pretty complex with nice sources, so I won't re-write it, but nobody can deny that since the beginning of the manga those two mediums influenced each other. Osamu Tezuka was their great fan and later his two works were adapted into plays. Rose of Versailles musical is probably the longest and most successful run of stage play in whole Japanese history. Revue itself is a cultural phenomen with whole star system and loyal fans.

Youtube has some videos from preformances and full adaptation of "Gone with The Wind" that say a lot about their style- campy, over the top, with elaborated costumes and incredibly catchy songs. It doesn't have much in common with "traditional Japanese theatre" but in Japan become regognisable on it's own.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:01 am Reply with quote
At the moment, it's not unknown for popular shows seem to get turned into stage productions. My best friend is absolutely obsessed with "Tenimyu" which is a very long series of musicals (largely designed for fangirls) based on the Prince of Tennis. Off the top of my head, I know Black Butler, Bleach and Blue Exorcist have all been made into stage shows as well.
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Knoepfchen



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
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Location: Catalonia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:59 am Reply with quote
higegome wrote:
But, since I love both anime and theater, I think it'd be amazing. I do believe it'd be difficult to cross the mediums because they are extremely different.


I used to be a huge fan of stage musicals a few years back and still enjoy them a lot (if well done). However, I do tend to be skeptical when it comes to crossing mediums. Anime has a very distinct aesthetic, as described by Tony K.

Personally, I am not all too interested in real life adaptations of anime that I like, with the exception of things set in real life like Monster, for example, I could easily imagine this being re-imagined as a fantastic live action movie, but I really would not want to see things like Evangelion or Code Geass being turned into live action movies. It wouldn't be the same and it would not interest me, personally, all that much.

Musical theater, however, is a different thing, following different rules. Larger than life can easily reach a different scale without feeling forced, awkward, or silly (for me, anyways) than on the screen.

EireformContinet wrote:
Several post and nobody wrote two crucial words? Every Japanese asked about stage adaptations of anything will say them. Takarazuka Revue.


They are very interesting in this context, indeed.

There was an Austrian musical that was incredibly famous in my home country, Germany, in the 90s and early 2000s: Elisabeth, the story of the Austrian Empress. Fellow Europeans might have heard of it as well. It was incredibly dramatic and over the top, with Death (portrayed as a beautiful young man) courting and eventually liberating Elisabeth from the burden of her life and duties in the end. The Japanese loved it and Takarazuka Revue adapted it as well. With all their performers being women, Death turned into even more of an androgynous, bishonen character than in the European versions of the musical. I used to own a tape of the Takarazuka adaptation, and even though it's been years since I've last watched it, I remember it exuding a strong anime vibe, and it worked fantastically well for me.

In the end it all depends on the story and setting of the original, I guess, and if you find people bursting into song to be an irritating thing or not. Cool


Last edited by Knoepfchen on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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yuna49



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:11 am Reply with quote
Like other commentators, I don't think many anime lend themselves to stage productions unless they constitute stories that do not rely heavily on the medium of animation itself. Some shows like Nodame Cantabile and Bartender have been released as live-action shows, and a few others I can think of like Hataraki Man, Asatte no Houkou, Mouryou no Hako, or Showa Monogatari might be able to make the transition as well. These are all shows with a substantial slice-of-life component or ones that take place in a fairly limited number of locales. (Nodame poses the problem of staging the orchestral performances; I see this as a major obstacle to a staged version unless the concerts occur off-stage via recordings.)

Bartender, in particular, could make a nice stage show, and not just because it uses stagecraft in its anime design as I mentioned before. You would have the one main set, the bar Eden Hall, and then a series of other scenes where the characters' recollections mixed with the forays into the history of spirits take place. Scrims and lighting would work well for these scenes. The television adaptation of Bartender differs greatly from the anime, especially in the TV version's portrayal of the relationship between Ryuu and Miwa. In the anime she has a crush, but there is no evidence her feelings are even noticed, much less reciprocated, by Ryuu.
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DavidShallcross



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:22 am Reply with quote
There were also the Sakura Wars stage shows that went on for a number of years, although, strictly speaking, these were based on the video games, rather than the anime. In the games and in the anime, the characters fight demons, but have cover identities as musical theater actresses. I haven't seen the stage shows, but believe the stage shows represent the shows that these characters would be presenting.

And I think I have read that someone made a Noh play based on material from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Myself, I am all in favor of having many adaptations, enough so that fact that one adaptation might have to present only certain aspects of an original work is no longer a problem, and that no adaptation is seen as definitive.

I wonder whether the first part of Maria-sama ga Miteru would do well as a stage play.
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higegome



Joined: 03 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:38 pm Reply with quote
EireformContinent wrote:
Several post and nobody wrote two crucial words? Every Japanese asked about stage adaptations of anything will say them.
Takarazuka Revue.


I had to do some research since I've never heard of them, but they sound amazing.
I was afraid this would be beyond my research when I first looked at it. It still might be, but I may be able to use what they do to give me a better sense of my direction.

Knoepfchen wrote:


...I do tend to be skeptical when it comes to crossing mediums. Anime has a very distinct aesthetic, as described by Tony K.

Personally, I am not all too interested in real life adaptations of anime that I like, with the exception of things set in real life like Monster, for example, I could easily imagine this being re-imagined as a fantastic live action movie, but I really would not want to see things like Evangelion or Code Geass being turned into live action movies. It wouldn't be the same and it would not interest me, personally, all that much.

Musical theater, however, is a different thing, following different rules. Larger than life can easily reach a different scale without feeling forced, awkward, or silly (for me, anyways) than on the screen.


Monster does sound interesting. I'm surprised its over 70 episodes. Sounds extremely dramatic. I'm mostly only doing a play because I have zero musical skill. I would absolutely love to make a musical, but it would be a ton of work added onto how difficult this is already going to be.

yuna49 wrote:
Like other commentators, I don't think many anime lend themselves to stage productions unless they constitute stories that do not rely heavily on the medium of animation itself.

Bartender, in particular, could make a nice stage show, and not just because it uses stagecraft in its anime design as I mentioned before. You would have the one main set, the bar Eden Hall, and then a series of other scenes where the characters' recollections mixed with the forays into the history of spirits take place. Scrims and lighting would work well for these scenes.


This is a great idea. I'm having the hardest time choosing an anime as it is and focusing on a static set would be perfect with my limited funds.

DavidShallcross wrote:

And I think I have read that someone made a Noh play based on material from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Myself, I am all in favor of having many adaptations, enough so that fact that one adaptation might have to present only certain aspects of an original work is no longer a problem, and that no adaptation is seen as definitive.


My thing is I totally dislike adaptations that completely get rid of scenes or add scenes. (Cough, Harry Potter) I understand in some cases it's needed to help the story along but I want to avoid doing it because (a) It's a pet peeve and (b) I'm not a playwright so I wouldn't know how to make things flow better that that.

----->

So far I've gathered I should stick to relatable, real-life anime with a single set.

When I was originally thinking about this I had the idea of an anime movie, with a minimal set background, written in a Greek or Shakespearean style.

I also wanted to stick to an anime under 30 episodes if I was going to try and adapt it... since I'm going to have to watch the whole series... then watch it again... then again... then again... you get the picture.

NOTE: I'm strictly thinking stage adaptation. A live action film is an extremely different medium with rules.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:17 am Reply with quote
higegome wrote:
Quote:
I'm having the hardest time choosing an anime as it is and focusing on a static set would be perfect with my limited funds.



You might want to try Genshiken. It is set in the real world and mostly takes place in a single club room. You could adapt it to address the interests and possibly the personalities of the local anime/manga community.
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