Hayao Miyazaki early on established himself as a master of his craft with his second feature and the inaugural Studio Ghibli film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. But while the 1984 anime classic helped establish the world-renowned animation studio, no one has dared to touch Miyazaki’s creation — until now.
A Nausicaa of the Valley Wind play is now in the works with playwright and director G2, the figure behind the Resident Evil musical, adapting the Miyazaki masterpiece into a kabuki production. Yes, you read that right, kabuki.
Sports Hochi (via ScreenRant) reports that a kabuki version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is in development from G2, the playwright and director behind the musical adaptations of Resident Evil, Musical Biohazard ~ Voice of Gaia, as well as the kabuki incarnation of Naruto.
Keiko Niwa, the screenwriter of films like The Secret World of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There, will be penning the script and bringing some Studio Ghibli credibility to the production. The stage production will reportedly adapt Miyazaki’s entire seven-volume manga series, expanding beyond the classic 1984 film which only covered the first two volumes. Miyazaki originally wrote the manga series after he approached several studios to make an original anime film — an idea that was rejected since most anime films at the time only adapted existing manga. So the filmmaker published 16 chapters of the manga before heading into production for the film, finally wrapping up the 27-issue series in 1994.
This will be the first time one of Miyazaki’s works will be adapted to such a unique medium. But apparently kabuki adaptations of popular animes have become a frequent practice as of late. The traditional performance art dates back to the 1600s, but have had a resurgence in popularity recently with productions of popular anime like One Piece, Naruto, video games like Resident Evil, and even picture books like Arashi no Yoru. Though these kabuki productions feature the flamboyant style of the medium, they sometimes more resemble regular stage productions, sans the white make-up associated with kabuki. I’m not sure how Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind — an ambitious, futuristic environmental epic — will translate to the stage, much less kabuki, but it will definitely be some kind of experience.
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