10 most popular TouMyu actors (as voted by the fans)

At the time of posting, the Touken Ranbu Musical franchise, based on the original game, has performed 7 original musicals, three reruns, and a host of group and solo live shows, beginning with the original Trial Performance back in 2015. Over five years, 30 actors have stood on the stage playing Touken Danshi, with both established actors and newer faces having the chance to appear in one of the most popular franchises in the 2.5d industry.

But which of these actors wins in terms of popularity according to the international fans of the musicals? I surveyed fans on their top five actors from the franchise and their reasons for their choices, and from 30 people who answered, scored and ranked the names most commonly featured.

After receiving all the surveys, I scored the actors by ranking, with 50 points for a first place ranking, moving down to 10 points for a 5th place ranking. I then totalled each actor’s score to find the top ten most popular actors as ranked by the fans.

Here are the results. I wonder if you can guess who came in at first place?

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10 Stages: July 2020

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.

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The Oshi Interviews: Emoto Koki

Welcome to my regular blog segment, The Oshi Interviews. Today’s interview is a little different because rather than being the one to ask the questions, I’m answering them. I wanted to be interviewed about one of my favourite actors to post on his birthday, and that day is finally here. Elisabeth Kaseda (who you can find at her website here) took the role of the interviewer, thank you so much for doing this for me!

She interviewed me about my oshi Emoto Koki (江本光輝), who turned 23 today (June 3rd 2020)

Emoto Koki is an actor who debuted in late 2018 as Chitose Senri in the Prince of Tennis Musical‘s 3rd season. He is 187 tall with legs that go on forever, a natural tan and thick eyebrows which he says are his charm point (although personally I would say his charm point is his amazing goofy smile and hyena-like laugh). He is a mature and simple guy who likes nothing more than to sit in cafes and read but is also an established cook and great at playing the piano. Who wouldn’t love a multi-talented guy like that?”

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How to buy Tickets for 2.5d Stages

I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently about how to buy tickets for stages in Japan, and so I decided rather than replying to everyone individually I would just make a post in the hope it could also help other people out. The details in this post apply to stage shows only. I’m not going to get into the minefield of other events because they vary so much that it’d be impossible to put something like this together. Also, even within stage plays there are differences (especially when it comes to very small productions) so this is far from being 100% perfect. Please always check the details for any stage you want to go to carefully.

If you have any questions about anything I have written here, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

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The Oshi Interviews: Nakao Kenya

Welcome to my regular blog segment, The Oshi Interviews. Here I will be finding out more about different actors by asking those who know them best, their fans!

Today’s interview is with Fox who I interviewed about her oshi Nakao Kenya (中尾健也) you can find Fox on Twitter @tokyolovejunkle.

Kenya headshot

Kenya Nakao is a stage actor best known for his portrayal of Eichi Horimiya in the SolidS & QUELL on STAGE, S.Q.S for short, series. Despite still being a relatively new actor he’s already appeared in stage adaptations for several high profile series like K Project & Sengoku BASARA, including his debut role as Yoshiro Akazawa in The Prince of Tennis Musical’s 3rd season. Outside of his work in stage plays Kenya also recently appeared in a movie, Engawa Lovers 2, which also featured several of his co-workers from S.Q.S, & has recently shown his ability for singing, featuring on 2 theme songs for the most recent S.Q.S plays.”

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5 reasons why live viewings are better than live stages

As a theatre fan, watching shows live is one of the best experiences, and very little can recreate that. However, I very rarely try and get tickets for a final show if it will have a live viewing at the theatre.

Instead, I choose to see it live on a different day, and then watch the final show from the comfort of a movie theatre. While seeing the show live is great, I also love the live viewing experience, so I’m here to bring you some reasons why you shouldn’t feel sad if you have to resort to this option.

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Gekidan Bancho Boys: Who are they and who might you have seen before?

Gekidan Bancho Boys are a theatre troupe under Sony Music Entertainment, who were originally formed in 2014 when they auditioned for their first members. The original members were between the ages of 15 and 24, and most were former models. Since that time, many of the original members have graduated, but the troupe continues to often audition new members.

Bancho Boys acts as an introduction into theatre for many new actors, who join the company as “trainees”. From this status, they are trained by the company and often work backstage during their events and shows as well as sometimes appearing themselves on stage. They are only made official members once their training is sufficient and usually once they have appeared in one or more of the Bancho Boys productions.

But Bancho Boys is more than just a stage troupe. Not only have they produced two musical groups (XOX and Gingadan), many of their members have also appeared on TV and radio, and Bancho Boys themselves once had their own TV show where they would audition for and perform skits written for them by comedy writers. The troupe also often holds its own live events where the members sing, dance, play games or perform short skits on stage. It’s this variety of talent amongst their members that has gained the troupe a sizeable fan base and makes them popular as a group and not only as individuals.

Bancho Boys have trained actors who have now graduated but are popular faces within the stage and 2.5d industry, including Komatsu Junya, Akira, Takamoto Gaku, and the Twin Paradox members. Graduations within the troupe happen around once a year and are usually the decision of the member themselves who wish to pursue other goals or feel like they have surpassed what Bancho Boys can do for them.

You can find more out about Bancho Boys at their website, and they also have a Youtube channel which features many videos including those from their former TV show.

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6 ways 2.5d Actors are Riding the Pandemic

The world is going through a hard time right now thanks to the pandemic, and Japan is no exception. All over the world, people are doing things to make the time better for people, and some of our favourite 2.5d actors have taken to social media to entertain, inform and support the country during this time.

I took a look into what kinds of things our favourites are up to, and here is what I came up with. If you know of anything else that an actor or franchise is doing to help, then please let me know in the comments.

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5 ways to support your favourite actor (that won’t break the bank)

There are so many people around who talk about the importance of supporting stage plays by dropping money on tickets, merchandise and DVDs. Unfortunately, very few people have unlimited funds, and I personally know that it isn’t always possible to buy every single piece of merchandise or every super expensive special edition DVD from each show your favourite actor has appeared in. They have to keep working, and this comes with a never-ending supply of things you are pressured to spend money on in order to seem like a “good fan”.

But what if I said you can be a good fan without blowing your budget? No matter what anyone might say, it is very possible and not so difficult or time-consuming. Here are five ways you can support your favourite actor without breaking the bank.

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10 2.5d Stage Shows you can watch legally through DMM (and how to watch internationally)

With many people off work right now and most choosing to stay at home, there is so much time and so little to do. I’ve seen many people comment that they are bored and don’t know what to do with their sudden free time, so what better way to spend it than watching some Japanese theatre?

People think it’s very expensive or difficult to watch 2.5d stage shows when you aren’t living in Japan or without buying the DVD, but the industry actually makes it quite easy for us to support our favourite shows for a fraction of the price of buying a BluRay or DVD or seeing the show in person.

I’ve put together a list of productions currently available for streaming and download on DMM. You may be surprised what you can find there. Some people think that it isn’t possible for people outside of Japan to access or pay for these downloads. It takes a little work, that’s for sure, but it is definitely accessible to people all over the world and can be paid for using Paypal.

To learn how to use DMM from overseas, please see this comprehensive how-to post written by sohmariku on Tumblr.

With that said, get your popcorn (and tissues and penlights) ready, because here is my list of ten recommended 2.5d stages you can find on DMM.

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