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Next month, Hetalia, the anime and manga franchise featuring anthropomorphized nations and a hefty amount of homoerotic subtext, is getting its very own live-action musical adaptation, and the play’s producers have just released the first photos of the cast in costume as their respective nations.

In Hetalia’s early days as a webcomic, creator Hidekaz Himaruya kept the primary focus on the Axis trio of Italy, Japan, and Germany, who are depicted as broad caricatures of the stereotypical image of the three countries’ fun-loving, reserved, and disciplined societies. As the series has continued, dozens of countries/characters have made appearances, including micronations such as Sealand and defunct powers like the Holy Roman Empire.

However, for the upcoming play, titled Hetalia Musical: Singin’ in the World, the producers have narrowed it down to nine nations taking center stage, starting, of course, with Italy, played by Ryoki Nagae.

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The other characters confirmed as making the cut are Germany (Yoichiro Omi)…

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Japan (Keisuke Ueda)…

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America (Ryuko Isogai)…

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England (Daisuke Hirose)…

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France (Juri)…

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Russia (Yuki Yamaoki)…

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China (Taishi Sugie)…

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…and, finally, Austria (Takuya Kikuchi).

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Singin’ in the World has a bit tougher mountain to climb in bringing its source material into the real world than two other recent anime-to-live-action projects, the Rurouni Kenshin Takarazuka musical and Prison School TV drama. Both of those productions feature entirely Japanese character lists and also less stylized costumes than Hetalia. Looking through the photos here, though, we don’t think fans of the series will have any trouble telling who’s supposed to be who when the curtain rises on the Hetalia musical.

Speaking of which, Singin’ in the World opens on December 24 at the Zepp Blue Theater in Tokyo and runs until December 29. Evening performances will be held every day, and also matinees on the 24th, 26th, 27th, and 29th. Tickets are priced at 7,900 yen (US$66), and can be reserved here starting November 8.

Related: Hetalia Musical: Singin’ in the World official website
Source: Anime News Network
Images: Hetalia Musical: Singin’ in the World official website (edited by RocketNews24)