On Sunday 26 March 2017, during AnimeJapan 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight, there was a stage event for the upcoming anime Kabukibu!, which is set to air on 7 April 2017. The anime has gained a lot of attention because famous manga artist group CLAMP (*Card Captor Sakura*) is in charge of the character design drafts. Taichi Ichikawa, the actor playing the main character, and the rest of the popular cast, Ryouta Ohsaka, Kengo Kawanishi, and Nobunaga Shimazaki, took to the stage and discussed the highlights of the work.
The original work, a popular novel by Yuuri Eda, currently has six volumes in circulation via Kadokawa Bunko. The story’s main character is a first-year high schooler named Kurogo Kurusu, who loves the traditional Japanese theater, Kabuki. His dream is to join a Kabuki club. However, there is no such club at the school in which he enrolls. ‘So why don’t we just make one ourselves?’ Kurogo and his friend Tonbo begin to recruit members. The main character Kurogo Kurusu (voiced by Ichikawa) is a kabuki lover. Shin Akutsu (voiced by Ohsaka) is a hater of Kabuki but loves to stand out. Jin Ebihara (voice by Kawanishi) is the heir of the distinguished Kabuki family Shiroganeya. Hanamichi Niwa (voiced by Shimazaki) is a master of traditional Japanese dance thanks to his mother. However, he has already quit dance and is now dedicating himself to martial arts. The cast is made up of popular, young actors and the stage was surrounded by fans.
On the day, the hosts were Ichikawa (on his first main role) and Ohsaka. Along with Shimazaki and Kawanishi, they talked about the highlights of the anime and introduced each character. Also, since the topic is Kabuki, they tried to convince the audience members to watch the show without any hesitation. They are hoping that through this anime, people may become more interested in Kabuki.
They also talked about the recording sessions. Since the cast is made up of young people, it seems that the sessions are quite lively. They talked about a time when Kawanishi encouraged Ichikawa, who has never starred in an anime before. Ichikawa meets with a kabuki teacher and practices his lines, so the recording sessions actually feel like a kabuki club.
Everyone agreed on the difficulty of expressing kabuki but the fun of trying something new.
Business area: Thursday 23 March 2017 – Friday 24 March 2017
Main area: Saturday 25 March 2017 – Sunday 26 March 2017
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight