Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ to be adapted into a kabuki play

Tabea Greuner

Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s manga ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ will be adapted into a kabuki play for an end-of-year staging at the Shinbashi Enbujo from December 6 to 25.

This isn’t the first time the seven-volume manga has jumped across medium. When it was first turned into an animated film in 1984, the series was still on-going. For this stage adaptation, fans will now be able to relive the full storyline as well as the final ending.

‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ focuses on Nausicaä, the young princess of the Valley of the Wind who’s looking for ways to rescue all the lives in a war-torn world, where humankind’s survival is threatened by environmental degradation. 

Photo: ©Studio Ghibli; nausicaa-kabuki.com

Even though the manga series ran between 1982 and 1994, the underlying theme is still relevant today, reflecting the ongoing concerns about climate change. This is prominently reflected in the slogan on the play’s promotional flyer, which states ‘Kono sekai wa, naze, konna fu ni natteshimatta no’. It translates to ‘Why did this world change like this?’.

As kabuki is performed by an all-male cast, this stage adaptation will feature Kikunosuke Onoe V as the main protagonist Nausicaä while Shichinosuke Nakamura II will play the antagonist Kushana, along with 15 other actors playing a host of characters, including some that didn’t appear in the 1984 movie. There’s no information on the performance runtime – a kabuki show generally lasts four hours – but we do know that it will be divided into two parts. The first half starts at 11am while the second half resumes in the afternoon at 4.30pm. 

Ticket sales will start on October 19, with prices ranging between ¥3,000 and ¥18,000. If you’d like to enjoy the show from the best seats in the house and receive some limited-edition manga souvenirs, go for the ‘pair ticket’. This premium option, on sale from October 4 to 14, lets you watch both parts of the play at ¥34,000 per person (reservations via phone only: 03 6745 0111).

For more information on ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’, click here (Japanese only). Also, follow our guide to explore the manga and anime culture in Tokyo.

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