Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away Stage Play Looks Fantastically Delightful

Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away Stage Play Looks Fantastically Delightful
Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

We can’t get over how cool this looks: a stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away with live actors, costumed creatures, and incredible puppets? While legions of Hayao Miyazaki fans will have to make do with these new glimpses of the production — since the Toho Co., Ltd. production is only touring Japan for now — we’re now even more excited to (hopefully) see the performance someday.

Radish Spirit!

Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.

The show opened at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo to critical acclaim, and will continue its tour through the summer. If you’re lucky enough to be close to any of these tour stops, we’re not at all completely, totally, and utterly jealous.

April 13-24, 2022 at Umeda Arts Theatre (Osaka)

May 1-28, 2022 at Hakataza Theatre (Fukuoka)

June 6-12, 2022 at Sapporo Cultural Arts Theatre hitaru (Sapporo)

June 22-July 4, 2022 at Misonoza Theatre (Nagoya)

Yubaba!

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

Look at all the details! The costume and makeup on Yubaba is immaculate.

The sets!

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

Look at Yubaba running her hot spring! These sets bring a storybook vibe that’s straight out of the movie.

All the feels…

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

This is exactly how we feel not being able to see this in person.

No-Face!

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

Seriously, though, how cool would it be to see how they expand No-Face’s body for the moments it becomes a giant monster? The theatre craft led by director John Caird (Les Misérables) looks next level. The energy of No-Face is timeless. Give us all the snacks to fill the void of not being able to attend this show due to travel restrictions.

Yubaba again!

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

The scale of bringing to life iconic animated moments from the film through the medium of theatre is sheer gorgeousness. This puppeteer-driven big Yubaba head is everything. So many moving parts to capture the magic of the film through performance.

Folks, we’re running out of superlatives here.

Image: Toho Co., Ltd.Image: Toho Co., Ltd.

The spider-armed Kamaji in the Boiler Room who befriends Chihiro.

AND OH MY GOD THE LITTLE SOOT SPRITES ON THE GROUND!

Wow!

Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.

Haku in human form. That is all.

Basically speechless.

Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.

Chihiro and Haku in dragon form taking flight combines more of an interpretive performance approach through puppeteering. And we love that the bird and mouse baby are represented. Hopefully their scene-stealing moments are still in the play.

Fog!

Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.

We love a fog machine moment. In all sincerity they make everything more ominous and impactful. On stage? Witchcraft!

Spirited Away FOMO is real.

Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.Image: Toho Co.,Ltd.

With over 32 performers and over 50 puppets designed by Toby Olié, Spirited Away looks to be an achievement in taking the whimsical world of Ghibli and translating it right on stage. And while the show ends its Japanese run in July, we lie in wait for any global tour announcements.

For more info visit the play’s official website.