Yukihiro Watanabe for JAPAN Forward

The curtain has closed on the one-month performance of the big hit kabuki adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, but the show will go on.

Poster for the upcoming "delayed viewing" film of the performance / © JAPAN Forward | © 松竹株式会社

The relationship between humans and nature is the theme of this world famous animé story. However, the kabuki adaptation engaged in a deeper exploration of the tale and included scenes that were not portrayed in the animé, enabling the entire original story to be told.

There have been reports that many fans re-read the original comic books — all seven volumes — before going to see the play. This bit of information gives you a glimpse into the studious and rich inquiring minds of the Japanese people.

© JAPAN Forward | © 松竹株式会社

The adaptation is the long-pursued project of kabuki actor Kikunosuke Onoe, one that he has worked on for the past five years. Having thoroughly read the original story, Onoe embarked on a project that resulted in a lengthy and profoundly sophisticated play. It is also interesting that both Nausicaä and kabuki fans reacted rather differently to the ambitious production, which contained an abundance of kabuki’s traditional stylistic beauty.

As I have previously written, like NARUTO and One-Piece, there has been an ever-increasing number of new kabuki adaptation programs of comic stories recently. The kabuki adaptations of such animé works, which are known by many all over the world, provide a new platform to share and explore Japanese culture.


By - Ben K.