Manzai comics and boy band stars take the stage as vintage cartoon characters
By now, anime fans are used to seeing stage musicals spring up for everything from Touken Ranbu to Here Is Greenwood... maybe with a little Rainbow Parakeet thrown in for good measure. But if your guess for this summer's next big stag show wasn't a Tom and Jerry music, we're here to set you straight.
The classic American cartoon is much-loved in Japan, so much so that the world's first Tom and Jerry exhibit is currently running in Matsuya Ginza to celebrate its 80th anniversary. The upcoming stage musical Tom and Jerry ~Yume yo Mou Ichidou~ is one more facet of the festivities.
The script, which features the long-time rivals forming a truce so Jerry can help Tom win the affections of his crush Toodles, will be penned by Shigeki Motoiki (stage adaptation of The Place Promised in Our Early Days). Seiji Nozoe (○○ toaru Fukei) directs, and singer/songwriter Yumi Matsutoya is in charge of the score.
The massive cast of characters will be led by Shozo Endo (of comedy group Cocorico) and Motohiro Takewaka (of comedy group Buffalo Goro) trading off performances as Tom, and Kouta Matsumoto, Ryota Yamamoto, and Yusuke Matsuzaki (all of Johnny's Jr) trading off as Jerry.
The show opens August 3 in Nagoya, and will go on to be performed in Tokyo and Osaka before closing October 20.
Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and interviewer with bylines at VRV, We Are Cult, Fanbyte, and many more. She is also the co-founder of Altrix Books and co-creator of the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. Kara blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.