Otaku USA Magazine
First Footage from the Naruto Stage Play Hits

As of this past weekend, the Live Spectacle Naruto stage play is open for business in Tokyo! Japanese websites Famitsu, Cinema Today, Nico Nico, and Comic Natalie were given a sneak peak via a dress rehearsal on Friday, followed by the public opening on Saturday. Media in attendance have been allowed to shoot photos and videos, giving fans at home an idea of just what the heck a Naruto play looks like anyway.

There aren’t many surprises when it comes to still photography from the opening, as plenty of (dirt smeared) official publicity photos were released over recent months. However, reactions to footage of the play’s “high flying” trampoline-based fight scenes have been heavily mixed. No doubt a ton of hard work went into the choreography and execution, but one can’t help but sum up the results as “a lot of bouncing up and down and kicking at the air”.

Some comments from english-speakers on Youtube and Kotaku:

“I know that the header SAYS I am looking at… But I can’t comprehend what I am actually looking at.”

“This is equal quantities amazing and awkward…”

“I can respect that it’s difficult to choreograph a Naruto fight, but what were they thinking with the trampoline?”

Really the best thing anyone can say about the plays’ fight scenes seems to be “reproducing anime fights in real life is HARD.” Granted, on the internet, everyone’s a critic and a few nasty comments aren’t always representative of the whole. It’s still early and only time will tell how the production will fair in the eyes of the public, but one can’t help but wonder if this will affect the rate at which anime and manga are adapted into stage plays in the future.

photo: Famitsu

In the past few years, we’ve seen stage plays pop up based on Blue Exorcist, Macross, Code Geass, Robotics;Notes, and even Fushigi Yugi, with a Tokyo Ghoul production announced in Weekly Young Jump just last week. While fans always seem to enjoy the novelty of the idea, and the validation which comes from finding out that these titles are big enough to warrant a stage production… there doesn’t seem to be a ton of thought put into just what it is about these titles which translates well to the stage.

If public reaction to the above footage is any indication, maybe the answer is that some titles don’t translate much at all.

The notion that adapting anime and manga to live-action movies is usually a bad idea seems to grow more unanimous every day (though occasionally some adaptations make us smile un-ironically). Adapting anime and manga to stage is different from movies… but not that different. How long will this trend really last?

What do you guys think? Are you amped to see this production come to the Unites States, or are you happy to have it stay overseas?

Source: Kotaku

Related Stories

Full Naruto Stage Play Visual Sure is Crowded
Naruto Stage Play Gets New Character Visuals
The Last: Naruto The Movie Review
Naruto: Keeping the Ninja Dream Alive
Japan Reacts To News of Naruto’s End