Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More robots on the Japanese stage, this time "Tetsujin 28" courtesy of Mamoru Oshii (!)

by Chris MaGee

When I first read this story that Todd Brown posted over at Twitch I thought he was referring to the 20-minute Oriza Hirata play "Hataraku Watashi (I, Worker)" that I reported on a few days ago. Reading a little further I realized this was another "robot" play entirely, one with giant robots written and directed by Mamoru Oshii. The "Ghost in the Shell" director has adapted the 1956 manga "Tetsujin 28" created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama into a live stage play set to premiere at the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka. The original manga was the very first to feature what would later become a staple in Japanese manga and anime, a giant robot, in this case one called "Tetsujin 28" who fights crime around the world while being remotely controlled by a young boy named Shotaro. Many of you may better recognize "Tetsujin 28" from it' English-dubbed version titled "Gigantor".

"Tetsujin 28" has been adapted many times before, four times as an animated series (check out the opening for the 1980 series below), as well as a 2005 live-action film starring Hiroshi Abe and Sosuke Ikematsu as Shotaro trailer below), but a live-action stage production? Directed by Mamoru Oshii? That would definitely be something to see. Now, I just have to figure out a way to pay for a ticket to Osaka...

"Tetsujin 28" 1980 animated series opening

"Tetsujin 28" directed by Shin Togashi (2005)

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