Hiroshi Kamiya and Kazuhiko Inoue comment on ‘SOUND THEATER X Natsume Yuujinchou, Tsudoi Ongeki no Shou~ Futatabi’

2015.12.06 <PASH! PLUS+>

An Introduction along with the Event Report is here

©Yuki Midorikawa, Hakusensha/"Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)" Productions

     The unique musical narrative SOUND THEATER X NATSUME YUUJINCHOU (Natsume’s Book of Friends), Tsudoi Ongeki no Shou~ Futatabi opened in the Maihama amphitheater on December 5, 2015. What follows is a report on the event and comments of the artists performing in this musical!

[Hiroshi Kamiya (Plays Takahashi Natsume)]
      I came back to the world of “Natsume Yuujinchou” after a long time. When all the co-stars come together, the world of ‘Natsume’ spontaneously comes alive. The first act was over while I was still mulling over the strangeness of it all. After all is said and done, like the previous performance, we were able create the atmosphere because of Mr. Yoshimori’s music. All we did was talk, and “Natsume Yuujinchou” came alive. I was able to acutely feel the splendor and power of music once again.

     There were no audience reactions when we were rehearsing. But, as the scenes were progressing, I could hear sobs from among the audience reactions…..

     They too became an important factor in creating the act.

[Kazuhiko Inoue (Plays Nyanko Sensei/Madara)]
      Because this is the second performance, I feel that I was able to experience the world of ‘Natsume’ more deeply. The audience must have experienced it too. I could to see the astonished faces of the audience members when the flames rose from the back. This effect was not used in the previous production. How calm they were just before that scene (laughs)

     We are friendly ‘Natsume’ cast members. But this time, I felt that we understood each other much better.

[Event Report]
      The set was thick with real bamboo. The sound of rain and crickets echoed in the venue. The music started to flow gently when the live orchestra started to play. Hiroshi Kamiya playing Takahashi Natsume, and Kazuhiko Inoue playing Nyanko Sensei make their entrance on stage. Act One “Fleeting Light: Bonds” of the musical narrative opens. When all the familiar members from the TV anime like Ryōhei Kimura playing Satoru Nishimura, Hisayoshi Suganuma as Atsushi Kitamoto, Takashi Matsuyama as the One-eyed Chuukyuu demon, Hiroshi Shimozaki as the Cow-faced Chuukyuu demon, and add Kazuma Horie playing Kaname Tanuma come together, the auditorium is instantly transported to the “Natsume Yuujinchou” world.

     Natsume met a ghost called Hotaru (played by Houko Kuwashima) by the pond. The first person Hotaru met who could see ghosts was Akifumi Sugino (played by Kenji Hamada). They gradually grow close. But one day, Akifumi loses his ability to see Hotaru… The heartrendingly beautiful story between a man and a ghost moved the audience to tears. The rendition of fireflies in the finale was the show’s masterpiece. Lights were used beautifully to show the fireflies.

     Act Two “False God” is an original work written by Bun-oh Fujisawa. He works on the production and screenplay of “SOUND THEATRE”. Before moving on to the main story, the 2 Chuukyuu demons appeared on the stage. They gave away Christmas presents to the audience just before the story started.

     Yuka Terasaki played the role of Sayo whose grandmother ran an antique shop. An artifact spirit residing in a hanging scroll watched over Sayo. “False God” is a heart-warming story, interweaving the thoughts and imagination of man and the “False Artifact Spirits” his thoughts create. The audience felt tension rise with the impressive musical performance coupled with the use of real fire in the climax ‘Fire’ scene. A production with real fire on a normal stage must have been difficult to achieve. In the last scene, real snow came fluttering down on the audience. A feeling of togetherness swept over the auditorium as the performance came to an end.

     The harmonious performance of the cast made the audience laugh, cry out in surprise and burst into tears. They were able to experience the world of “Natsume Yuujinchou” in this event.



Musical Narrative SOUND THEATRE X NATSUME YUUJINCHOU, Tsudoi Ongeki no Shou Futatabi

Screenplay, Production: Bun-oh Fujisawa
Music: Makoto Yoshimori
Co-sponsors: Banpresto/Takara TOMY – Arts/D’Anime Store
Sponsors: “Natsume Yuujinchou” Sound Theater Production Committee

Takashi Natsume: Hiroshi Kamiya
Nyanko Sensei/Madara: Kazuhiko Inoue
Kaname Tanuma: Kazuma Horie
Satoru Nishimura: Ryouhei Kimura
Atsushi Kitamoto: Hisayoshi Suganuma
One-Eyed Chuukyuu Demon: Takashi Matsuyama
Cow-faced Chuukyuu Demon: Hiroshi Shimozaki
Hotaru: Houko Kuwashima
Akifumi Sugino, Sutokuin: Kenji Hamada
Sayo: Yuka Terasaki

Piano: Makoto Yoshimori
Violin: Koichiro Muroya, Aya Ito, Tomomi Tokunaga, Yuya Yanagihara
Viola: Tomoko Shimaoka
Cello: Tomoki Iwanaga
Clarinet: Yoshie Toyonaga
Percussion: Mari Sekine

 * Morning and evening performances will have the same itinerary.

Act One, Musical Narrative “Fleeting Light: Bonds”

      Unable to sleep, Natsume wakes up one night to find that Nyanko Sensei is gone. He thinks that Nyanko sensei went to drink sake or something. He tries to go back to sleep, but something keeps on bothering him. This night is too quiet… Natsume has experienced loneliness because of his ability to see “ghosts”. However, he has also seen people suffer after they lose their ability to see “ghosts”. What if Nyanko Sensei is “here”, but Natsume cannot “see” him…?  A distant memory runs through Natsume’s mind when he leaves in search of Sensei.

     A story of a ghost he met by the pond, who called herself “Hotaru”…. This is the story of a man and a ghost who loved each other. However, on a fateful day, the man loses his ability to see ghosts. The story is about a man who lingers about wishing to see the ghost, and a ghost who wants to assert her existence.

     This story is based on a popular episode called “Fleeting Light”. It talks about the bond between Natsume, the man, and the ghosts.

Act Two “False God”

      This is an original episode written by Bun-oh Fujisawa. He works on original works, screenplay, and production in “SOUND THEATRE”.

      Natsume comes across a mysterious hanging scroll in the antique shop. An artifact spirit is residing in that hanging scroll. Natsume couldn’t just leave the hanging scroll in the shop and decides to take it with him. Nyanko Sensei becomes angry, saying “Don’t stick your nose in other people’s business “. However, a very compassionate artifact spirit was residing in the hanging scroll. This is a heart-warming story interweaving the thoughts and imagination of man and the “False Artifact Spirits” those thoughts create.

Official Anime Website URL: http://www.natsume-anime.jp/
Official Event Website URL: http://natsume-ongeki.soundtheatre.jp
Official Live-Viewing URL: http://liveviewing.jp/natsume/
Official Anime Twitter: @NatsumeYujincho


Read this article in Japanese