Key cast members and visuals were also just released, including a very big name in the world of voice acting.

Yokai, a diverse array of spirits in Japanese folklore, seem to be ubiquitous in modern Japanese pop culture. However, it’s largely thanks to the beloved manga GeGeGe no Kitaro that yokai have cemented their place in the popular consciousness, laying the foundation for more recent series such as InuyashaYo-kai Watch, and Natsume Yujincho.

The original GeGeGe no Kitaro manga ran from 1960-1969 and was adapted into several anime series (the latest finished airing in 2020), films, and even live-action films. This time, the story is being adapted into a stage play in honor of the 100th anniversary of creator Shigeru Mizuki‘s birth (he passed away in 2015 at the age of 93). Key visuals of the core cast in costume were released on May 18 to much excitement.

▼ The main cast

Titular character Kitaro, the last member of the Ghost Tribe who strives to maintain peace between yokai and humans, is played by Yoshihiko Aramaki. Yoshihiko has previously acted in other anime-turned-stage plays such as The Prince of Tennis, Touken Ranbu, and Bakuman. In a fun twist, Medama Oyaji (“Daddy Eyeball”), Kitaro’s father who exists only as an eyeball, is voiced by Masako Nozawa, who voiced Kitaro in the original 1968 anime series. You might also recognize her voice from her most famous roles of Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten in Dragon Ball!

▼ Yoshihiko Aramaki as Kitaro

Meanwhile, Neko musume (“Cat Girl”), Kitaro’s spunky friend who can transform into a cat demon, is played by voice actress and singer Sumire Uesaka.

▼ Sumire Uesaka as Neko musume

Comedian Takashi Fujii plays the shifty Nezumi otoko (“Rat Man”), who claims to be Kitaro’s best friend but often acts in his own best interest.

▼ Takashii Fujii as Nezumi otoko

An antagonist is introduced in the form of Amanojaku Rin (“Heavenly evil demon Rin”), portrayed by Hiroki Nanami. Hiroki is a former male-role actor in the all-female Takarazuka Revue musical theater troupe.

▼ Hiroki Nanami as Amanojaku Rin

Finally, rounding out the cast are veteran actress Yuko Asano as Sunakake babaa (“Sand-throwing hag”), comedian Taro Yabe as Konaki jijii (“Child-crying Old Man”), and stage actor Yuta Tachibana as Villager Takeru.

▼ Yuko Asano as Sunakake babaa

▼ Taro Yabe as Konaki jijii

▼ Yuta Tachibana as Takeru

Here’s a short promotional clip of the main cast.

In addition, screenplay and direction is by Takahiro Tamura.

The GeGeGe no Kitaro Stage Play will run from July 29 through August 15 at Tokyo’s Meijiza Theater and from August 19 through 28 at Osaka’s Umeda Arts Theater Main Hall. If the play only whets your appetite for more yokai lore, you may also want to visit the Shigeru Mizuki art exhibition happening in Roppongi Hills this summer.

Source: GeGeGe no Kitaro Stage Play Official Site via ITmedia
Featured image: GeGeGe no Kitaro Stage Play Official Site
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!