Written by: Allysa Malicdem | Published on: July 9, 2021 at 1:25 PM PHT (GMT+8)
Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s award-winning ‘Spirited Away’ (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) has announced early this year that the 2001 anime film will return for a live stage play. The official website for the film’s theatrical production has revealed on Thursday details on the main cast.
The announcement came with the news on the title role of Chihiro to be played by two actresses, Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi. As with Japanese productions, the main roles are typically shared by multiple performers, known as the “W-cast” or the “Double Cast” system. This marks Hashimoto’s stage debut while Kamishiraishi has recently worked with director John Caird in the musical ‘Knight’s Tale’ in 2018. The 22-year-old Hashimoto was the voice behind Kaguya Shinomiya from ‘Kaguya-sama: Love is War’. The 23-year-old Kamishiraishi was well-known for voicing Mitsuha Miyamizu in the 2016 anime film 'Your Name'.
TOHO Co. Ltd. will be producing the stage play in celebration of its 90th founding anniversary. 'Les Miserables' theatre director John Caird will be the stage director. The live stage is set to premiere at Tokyo’s Imperial Theater on February 2022.
Well-renowned and reputable actors/actresses join the power cast, including:
Kotaro Daigo (Hodaka Morishima from “Weathering with You”) and Hiroki Miura (appeared in stage plays including “Les Miserables”) as Haku
Koharu Sugawara (Japanese dancer, choreographer and model) and Tomohiko Tsujimoto (Japanese choreographer and founding member of Niigata-based dance company ‘Noism’) as No Face
Miyu Sakihi (Japanese singer and actress, former top member of the all-female musical theater troupe ‘Takarazuka Revue’) and Fu Hinami (another top member of ‘Takarazuka Revue’) as Lin
Tomorowo Taguchi (Japanese actor, film director and musician) and Satoshi Hashimoto (also appeared in “Les Miserables”) as Kamaji
Romi Park (Korean-Japanese singer and actress known for voicing Edward Elric in “Fullmetal Alchemist” and Zoe Hange from “Attack on Titan”) and Mari Natsuki (played Yubaba in “Spirited Away’ film) as Yubaba/Zeniba
The official Twitter page of the stage production shared a photo of the cast.
Following the stage premiere on February, the play is set to open in Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Nagoya by the first half of 2022.
Until last year, ‘Spirited Away’ was the top-grossing film in Japan, with ¥31.68billion sales. It came in second to Haruo Sotozaki’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, with total sales of ¥37.78billion. The critically-acclaimed film has earned awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003 and the Golden Bear award at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival.
Synopsis by MAL:
Stubborn, spoiled, and naïve, 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino is less than pleased when she and her parents discover an abandoned amusement park on the way to their new house. Cautiously venturing inside, she realizes that there is more to this place than meets the eye, as strange things begin to happen once dusk falls. Ghostly apparitions and food that turns her parents into pigs are just the start—Chihiro has unwittingly crossed over into the spirit world. Now trapped, she must summon the courage to live and work amongst spirits, with the help of the enigmatic Haku and the cast of unique characters she meets along the way.
Vivid and intriguing, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi tells the story of Chihiro's journey through an unfamiliar world as she strives to save her parents and return home.