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‘Spirited Away’ stage play to premiere in Japan in 2022

By Kara Santos Published Nov 11, 2021 3:46 pm

Studio Ghibli’s beloved anime film Spirited Away will come to life on stage in Tokyo early next year.

According to movie studio Toho Co., the stage adaptation directed by Les Misérables director John Caird is set to make its world premiere at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo on February and March 2022.

With its fantastic, unique story and setting, Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning classic film has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world.

The story focuses on Chihiro, a young girl who is heading to her family’s new home, who goes into a tunnel to find herself lost in the world of gods and supernatural beings in a bathhouse for spirits. She courageously overcomes various challenges on her way back to the human world. 

Two new poster visuals for the stage play version Spirited Away were released Wednesday (Nov. 10.) 

Actresses Kanna Hashimoto (Gintama, Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Kingdom) and Mone Kamishirasishi (your name, live-action Shihayafuru) will both star as Chihiro in alternating performances.

Kanna Hashimoto (left) and Mone Kamishirasishi.

The stage play will reportedly run at TOHO's Imperial Theatre, which will transform into the iconic bathhouse, from February to March 2022, then tour to Osaka in April, Fukuoka in May, Sapporo in June, and Nagoya in June and July. The show marks Toho Co.'s 90th anniversary theatrical production.

"I feel so excited and privileged to be working on the first ever stage adaptation of Spirited Away. I have for many years now regarded Hayao Miyazaki as one of the preeminent geniuses of world cinema and the greatest ever proponent of the anime form," Caird previously said in a statement.

“I share a belief in all the most dominant themes of Miyazaki’s work, themes that are at the core of the Spirited Away world—care for the environment, reverence for nature, a belief in the force of the good spirits within us, and the empowerment of young women and men to change the world for the better.”

Originally released in Japan in July 2001 by distributor Toho, Spirited Away received universal acclaim and went on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003.

Frequently regarded as one of the greatest animated films ever made, Spirited Away took the No. 1 spot as the highest grossing film in Japanese box-office history, and held the record for 19 years until December 2020.

The animated film is currently streaming on Netflix, along with other beloved classics from Studio Ghibli.