You can never please die-hard fans of an anime when it comes to making a live-action adaptation. 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of the most popular magical girl anime of recent years. Its dark yet fascinating story earned it a spot on the list of Top 10 Gross but Compelling Anime, and its characters dominated the top magical girl rankings, many earning higher ranks than even Sailor Moon.

Thanks to its enormous popularity, the franchise, which already has several movies, is also getting a live stage adaptation. It will be based off of its popular side-story mobile gamePuella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record!, which features an additional main character, Iroha Tamaki, as well as multiple more new characters. The play was announced back in July, but only recently did the official Twitter release photographs of the cast in costume.

Each of the main characters will be played by a member of the popular idol group Keyakizaka46, sister group to AKB46’s rival Nogizaka46. The cast members, who were also recently announced, are:

  • Memi Kakizaki as Iroha Tamaki
  • Hina Kawata as Homura Akemi
  • Miku Kanemura as Sayaka Miki
  • Akari Nibu as Madoka Kaname
  • Suzuka Tomita as Tsuruno Yui
  • Miho Watanabe as Felicia Mitsuki
  • Mirei Sasaki as Yachiyo Nanami
  • Kyoko Saito as Kyoko Sakura
  • Shiho Kato as Mami Tomoe
  • and Sarina Ushio as Sana Futaba

Fans of Keyakizaka46 are delighted to see their favorite idols playing their favorite anime characters, but rival group AKB48’s fans and many fans of the anime, however, were not at all pleased with the casting or costuming, and were quick to leave negative comments about it on Twitter:

“I can’t see this as anything but a parody video lol”
“Can you all stop destroying our dreams please? Seriously…”
“Compared to the original, this is really sad…”
“Gross”
“Just stop.”

But many more kind Madoka Magica fans countered with more positive tweets like, “These are real people, with real feelings; you shouldn’t say such nasty things!” and “The girls are working really hard on top of all of their other work to do a good job.” A lot of Keyakizaka46 fans were supportive of the endeavor, while others were just excited to get to see the play itself.

▼ A video comparing the actresses to the game characters

The play, titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record, after the mobile game, will be held once or twice a day, six days per week between August 24 and September 9 at the Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo. Tickets are 8,800 yen (about US$80) each and will likely be bought up quickly by Keyakizaka48 and Madoka Magica fans, so get yours quickly if you want to go! You can find information on how to get tickets from the play’s home page (Japanese only).

Can’t make it? Don’t worry, you can still express your love of the anime by sporting Madoka Magica accessoriesshoes, and even lingerie.

Source: Twitter/@stage_magireco via Kinisoku
Featured image: Twitter/@stage_magireco