Welcome to my monthly round up of the top ten performances that are happening this month. There have still been a lot of cancellations and postponements of performances thanks to the ongoing pandemic situation, but it seems like the theater world is finally beginning to rebuild and there are a lot of treats to look forward to in July.
This list includes both the large franchised shows you will probably have heard of, and those smaller productions which you might not know about. This is not a fully inclusive list of everything going on this month, but includes a wide variety of things to check out.
Butai Touken Ranbu: Tomoshibi Kaihen Ikusayu no Adabana no Kioku)
The planned production of this stage was cancelled back in June due to the pandemic, but not to be beaten, the company made the decision to delay the start date and transform it into a reading stage to allow it to still go ahead. Although they have plans to revive the original version later, this is a great compromise to allow us to see all of the new swords and actors on stage.
The show stars Wada Takuma reprising his role as Kasen Kanesada, and the only other returning actor is Umetsu Mizuki who will be playing Yamanbagiri Chougi for the second time. Aside from that, there are a whole host of new swords and actors, including Kokindenjunotachi (played by Katsumoto Ryou) and Jizou Yukihira (played by Hoshimoto Yuzuki) who were only released in the game this year.
Butai Touken Ranbu: Tomoshibi Kaihen Ikusayu no Adabana no Kioku will run from July 16th to August 2nd at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Stellar Ball theater, and then from August 4th to August 9th at Seinenkan Hall. You can find more details about the production at the official website here.
Zekkyou Musica: The Stage
Another production that was revived after originally being cancelled, Zekkyou Musica is an interesting show in that it features not only actors performing on stage but numerous popular voice actors doing voice overs for the spirit characters. This production is the first show in a new cross-media project called Geki x Men.
The story follows Utsumi Hibiki (played by Kuroda Hiromu), a high school student who loves music. One night he is visited by a spirit, Joa, who asks Hibiki to save the world using his music. Once the spirit combines with his guitar, terrifyingly beautiful and evil messengers begin to appear, leading Hibiki and his guitar, along with his high school classmates, to enter into battle. It is said to be a story of friendship, growth and adventure amongst the six classmates.
The performance will run from July 8th to July 13th at Tokyo’s Haizuya Theater. You can find out more information about the show at its official website.
Angeki Gokuto Jinhen
Angeki Gokuto Jinhen is based on the horror video game of the same name (known as Underworld Capital Incident in English) which was released in 2015 and also has a manga adaption. The lead character is Kirishima (played by Chida Kyohei), an underworld escort who is tasked by his superior to go to an abandoned school to complete a mission that his colleague was unable to finish. The mission is to catch a deceased person whose spirit cannot leave this world.
If you have a weak heart, this is probably not going to be the show to you as based on a horror game, it’s bound to have a lot of shocks, but if you’re the kind of person who thrives on that kind of thing, then it’s definitely worth checking out.
Other cast members include Kento, Saki Masato, Isono Dai, Yamaguchi Tsubasa and Kosaka Ryoutatou. The production will run from July 11th to July 19th at Tokyo’s Shinjuku FACE Theater. You can find out more at its official site here.
Gensenja, which was originally performed in 2018 and 2019 is having a 2020 rerun with new cast. This time, the production stars Yamazaki Shogo and Kawakami Shota in the lead roles, with other cast including Shiraishi Kousuke, Tonoshiro Yuma and Domoto Shohei.
The story is centered around a ryoukan which is having financial problems due to debt created by previous generations of owners, alongside dark shadows who are targeting the land for its treasures and resources. Not willing to give up, a hero is born to protect the ryoukan and its treasure, and aim to make a success of their hero show Gensenjer.
If hero shows are your thing, this is definitely one to watch, with its bright costumes and action. Gensenjer will run from July 8th to July 12th at Shibuya’s CBGK Theater. You can find details at the official site.
Yuukoku no Moriarty op.2
Yuukoku no Moriarty (translated to Moriarty the Patriot) is a musical based on the manga of the same name, had its first production back in the spring of 2019 and returns this summer with its 2nd performance. The musical stars Suzuki Shogo in the title role of William James Moriarty and Hirano Ryou as Sherlock Holmes.
Yuukoku no Moriarty takes the classic Sherlock Holmes story and reimagines it Moriarty as the protagonist and exploring his motivation in becoming the greatest criminal Britain has ever seen, eliminate the evils of the class system and create an ideal country.
Other cast members in the show include Kubota Hidetoshi, Yamamoto Ikkei, Izawa Yuki and Akazawa Ryotaro. The show will be performed in Tokyo’s Galaxy Theater from July 31st to August 10th and then in Kyoto Gekijou from August 14th to August 16th. More details can be found at the official site here.
Ultra Stage Boku no Hero Acadamia PLUS ULTRA ver.
When this show was first performed earlier this year, they only managed to put on a few performances before the run was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But for those who were disappointed about not being able to see it either in person or on DVD, the company chose to postpone their planned live and perform a rerun of this stage instead. While the majority of the cast remained the same, they also chose to add new cast members who were due to be introduced in the live.
The production is based on the popular JUMP manga and anime of the same name, follows the main character Izuku Midoriya/DEKU (played by Tamura Shin in the stage) who aims to become a hero despite his lack of ability. This is the second stage play in the franchise, with the first one being performed back in 2019.
With a large cast and great music and effects, this is one to look forward to whether you can see it live or only on DVD. The performances will run from July 17th to July 26th at Tokyo Dome City Hall. The official site is here.
King of Dance
King of Dance is a drama and stage collaboration where the cast are shared between both, and features a talented group of stage actors and dancers. It takes place in an era where dance is a big thing and everyone is competing for the title of “King of Dance”. The story follows characters gathering from all over the country, all aiming to win the esteemed title.
The cast for both drama and stage includes Takano Akira, Wada Masanari, Kiyama Haruki, Aoki Jin and Honda Reo. The drama aired from April 11th and as well as showing on various channels in Japan, can also be streamed online. You can find details of the streaming sites on the website here.
The stage will run from July 16th to July 19th at Cool Japan Park Osaka WW Hall, and then from July 23rd to August 2nd at Tokyo’s Hulic Hall. The official site for the drama and stage production is here.
Ken ga Kimi ~ Zanka no Mai
Ken ga Kimi is a stage based on an otome game by Rejet which was released in 2013. The story is set in the early stages of the Edo period follows the heroine Kayo as she is asked to take the place of a princess in a marriage promenade because they are identical to each other. Heading off on the journey with six samurai bodyguards, she becomes caught up with youkai and an imperial match concerning the five legendary swords.
The cast of the stage includes Tanaka Reina, Yabe Masaki, Akisawa Kentarou, Tanaka Toshihiko and Sugie Taishi. The show will run from July 8th to July 12th at Tokyo’s 1010 Theater. More details on the production can be found at the official site.
Shinigami Tsukai no Jinkenjou ~chinkon kyoukyoku~
Starring Sakiyama Tsubasa and Yasui Kentarou, this is another collaboration, with stage and movie both set to be released this summer.
The movie was released back on June 12th and has been shown in various theaters across Japan. The movie stars popular stage actor Suzuki Hiroki, however he does not make an appearance in the stage production. Details of the movie, along with many photos can be found here.
Other cast members in the stage include Jinnai Sho, Kitagawa Naoya, and Sakurai Keito. The show will run from July 23rd until August 2nd at the Sunshine Theater in Tokyo. from August 5th to August 9th at Osaka’s Drama City, and on August 13th at Fukuoka’s Sun Palace. The official site for the stage is here.
Hananaki Produce Kuritsu Super Ultra Sugee Fire Konto Shougakkou)
In this most recent Hananaki Produce stage, this conte shows the performers challenging various world records. The cast includes Akiba Yusuke, Ichinose Ryu and Ukai Mondo.
The show will be performed from July 10th to July 12th at Tokyo’s Rikkoukai Hall. You can find more details on the show’s Twitter account here.