Fellow anime nerds like to think they have seen it all when it comes to the crazy colorful world of their favorite animated show, but I’m willing to bet that some of you may not have heard of these live-action anime shows, but it’s okay – no one is going to take away your nerd card, and once you’ve read this post you’ll totally be in the know anyway.
The Rose of Versailles
You might not know about this one, but shout out to the Broadway nerds who most certainly do. This live-action version of the famous anime brought Marie Antoinette to life in the form of an all-singing, all-dancing Broadway production performed by an all-female theater troupe, Takarazuka Revue. Blending the color and energy of Asian stage shows like Shen Yun with anime culture and French Revolution chic. It was as awesome as it sounds.
The Prince of Tennis
At one time, The Prince of Tennis, which followed the trials and tribulations of the Seigaku tennis team was the most popular anime in the sports genre. So, of course it was made into a series of 22 musicals made between 2003 and 2010. That’s, uh a lot of singing, so it’s no shock that the cast changed about five times during the run. Who knew there was such an appetite for sports anime musical crossovers?
Poké-heads who haven’t heard of this one shouldn’t feel too ashamed of themselves because it only had a short run from late 2000 to early 2001, which is surprising given Pokémon’s popularity at the time, or y’know maybe not when you consider that the plot about team Rocket creating a genetically engineered Pokémon by the name of MechaMew2 was not exactly inspiring.
This totally 90s anime about Mika, a Japanese girl who is magically transported to ancient China where she must work as a priestess was begging to be turned into a musical, and so it was, and Tanaka Reina of Morning Musume was the perfect person to play Mika.
Saint Seya is an anime about a bunch of devotees to the Goddess of Wisdom and War, Athena herself – shout out to the Classical Greek nerds. There have been a bunch of musical adaptations in the Saint Seya cannon, and actually, if you like rock operas, they weren’t half bad. I mean, the costumes looked like something your mom put together in a hurry after forgetting it was Halloween, but other than that, it was great.
With more laughs than plot, Lucky Star might not seem like the natural choice for a stage musical, but Lucky Star ≈ On Stage is definitely a thing that happened, as is Lucky Star in Budokan: Anata no Tame dakara – a concert that lasted a whole five hours. It wasn’t exactly Hamilton, but what is?
How many of these have you seen, Curious Crowd? Do you have a doozie of a live-action anime show that hasn’t been mentioned here? Do share.