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The real-life Natsu is sporting fire magic and a six-pack.

Despite its somewhat wimpy-sounding name, long-running manga and anime Fairy Tail doesn’t have anything to do with glass slippers or cohabiting, single-trait dwarves. No, original creator Hiro Mashima’s hit distinguishes itself not only with subtly different spelling from the class of quaint children’s stories, but also by taking place in a world where combat mages are far more common than handsome princes with magical lips.

Fairy Tail will be celebrating its 10th birthday this year, and is also being adapted into a stage play set to open at Tokyo’s Sunshine Theatre during the Golden Week spring vacation period. Playing the role of pyromantic protagonist Natsu Dragneel is actor Shuto Miyazaki.

Fans of the original work, however, might be concerned to learn that Miyazaki isn’t ordinarily the athletic type. As a matter of fact, prior to be being picked as the leading man for Live Fantasy–Fairy Tail (as the stage play is being called), the 25-year-old Miyazaki says he never made a regular habit of going to the gym. That’s a bit troubling, since while Natsu isn’t as muscle-bound as some anime heroes, he’s certainly got a toned physique, and his penchant for open-shirt outfits means that Miyazaki won’t have the option of hiding any physical discrepancies behind a layer of fabric.

Then again, based on the first official images of the star in costume, it doesn’t look like he’ll need to.

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While it’s likely that Miyazaki fired off a couple of sets of crunches before the photos were snapped in order to add a little definition to his abs, he insists that everything you see is him. “I hate the idea of editing photos to make the person look more muscular,” he tweeted, and also added “I’m doing my best to make people say ‘I’m glad they cast Shuto Miyazaki as Natsu!”

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Also set to appear in the play are Fairy Tail characters Gray Fullbuster, Brain, Midnight, Cobra, Hibiki Lates, Lyon Vastia, and Jellal Fernandez. Photos of their flesh-and-blood versions have yet to be revealed, but if they’re anywhere near the level of accuracy that Miyazaki has achieved, the production should be a sight to see.

Live Fantasy–Fairy Tail is scheduled to run from April 30 to May 9. Tickets are priced at 7,800 yen (US$65) and go on sale February 28. Your local gym is probably open now.

Related: Live Fantasy–Fairy Tail official website, Shuto Miyazaki official blog
Sources: Anime News Network, Hochi, Nijimen
Top image: Shuto Miyazaki official blog (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Shuto Miyazaki official blog, Live Fantasy–Fairy Tail official website