Just last week we attended the first-ever "Star Wars" kabuki play, in which famed actor Ichikawa Ebizo portrayed the internal strife of fallen Force-user Kylo Ren. But there’s now a new stage theatrical take on a beloved film coming to Tokyo, with the kabuki adaptation of anime director Hayao Miyazaki’s "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind."
The 1984 film contains some of the most iconic visual aesthetics in the history of Japanese animation, as well as some of its most memorable mechanical and creature designs. So how is all of that going to translate to a live-action stage production?
Startling well, as this video of one of the play’s final rehearsals shows.
The video preview, posted by Oricon News, shows the star of the show, actor Kikunosuke Onoe, dressed in a costume that combines Nausicaä’s in-anime outfit with classical kimono couture. We also get to see Shichinosuke Nakamura as warmongering princess Kushana and Matsuya Onoe as a surprisingly youthful-looking Master Yupa.
But it’s not just the human performers strutting their stuff in the video. The sneak peek also gives us glimpses of the ostrich-like horseclaws that Nausicaä and Yupa ride around on, as well as multiple modes of air transport that celebrate Miyazaki’s love of flying machines, including Nausicaa’s Mehve glider.
Then there’s the great and small wildlife of Nausicaä’s world, with the former represented by a massive Ohm resting in the Sea of Decay, and the latter by fox-squirrel Teto, who gets some help from kabuki’s unique black-robed stagehands in recreating the creature’s violent first reaction to the gentle-hearted heroine. Really, the entire production is looking incredibly impressive, even with Miyazaki himself not being involved in it at all (as was his demand from the very beginning).
Unlike the "Star Wars" play, the kabuki Nausicaä has repeat performances, running from until Dec 25 at the Shinbashi Enbujo playhouse in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood. Those who aren’t lucky enough to see the show in person, however, will still have a chance to experience it through theater screening which will begin in Japan on Feb 14.
Sources: YouTube/oricon via Hachima Kiko, Livedoor News
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