Kyoden Burning Honnoji anime transforms 2.5D Touken Ranbu theater play into an animation

Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji poster and anime counterpart.
Touken Ranbu: Kyoden burning Honnoji theatrical stage poster and anime counterpart. Pic credit: and

On May 15, 2022, during a stage production of Touken Ranbu titled Kiden Ikusa Sekai no Kabuki at the Ochiakigaku held at Shin Kabukiza in Osaka, it was announced that the Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji would be turned from a stage play into an anime adaptation.

Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji was first staged in 2016 and the story centered around the Japanese sword personified as Fudo Komitsu, who was given to Mori Ranmaru by Nobunaga Oda. Kenichi Suemitsu, who wrote the script for and directed the film, will be in charge of the series composition and screenplay for the anime version. Its broadcast time is not yet known.

It was also announced that a new stage play focusing on the character Kunihiro is in the works for February 2023, and will be titled Stage Touken Ranbu: Yamanbagiri Kunihiro Solo Line (Japanese Sword History). Hiroki Nanami will play Kasen Kanesada and Sho Ayanaji will play Ogurikara. The play will be performed in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. In the summer, a 7th Anniversary Celebration for Stage Touken Ranbu will be held.

The first trailer for Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji stage play.

2.5D anime musicals are becoming a new trend in Japan

Stage Touken Ranbu is a series of 2.5D stage plays co-produced by Marvelous Entertainment and and inspired by the online browser game Touken Ranbu. Kenichi Suemitsu has directed all of the plays within this franchise thus far. The 2.5D stage plays that were announced in 2015 are not to be confused with the Musical: Touken Ranbu, which was announced at the same time.

What are 2.5D stay plays? A 2.5-dimensional musical is a type of modern Japanese musical theater production based exclusively on popular Japanese anime, manga, or video games.  The term 2.5D musical was coined to describe 2D anime stories being brought to real life.

In 2013 around 70 2.5D musicals were produced and drew in 1.6 million people (most of them young women in their teens and 20s). Starring in a 2.5D musical is often seen as a starting point in a young Japanese actor’s career.

Touken Ranbu goes from anime to real life and now from real life to anime

2.5D musicals set themselves apart from other anime musical adaptations by paying extra close attention to detail so that the costumes, make-up (appearance), and even personality (and funny expressions) of the characters that the actors and actresses are portraying are as close as possible to the original anime characters. The goal is for the actor or actress to look like an anime character that literally came to life. Special effects and stunts are used to recreate the fantasy worlds found in anime.

The lyrics of the songs sung in the musicals are usually written by the directors. Recently, the use of projection mapping where backgrounds and special effects are projected onto the stage and screens is being used in many 2.5D musicals.

The first stage play in the Touken Ranbu franchise ran from May 3, 2016 to May 20, 2016 and was titled Kyo-den: Moyuru Honnoji. On May 20, 2016, the play was also live-streamed in 60 theaters in Taiwan and Hong Kong and had over 40,000 spectators.

Due to the success of this play, a spin-off production called Kyoden: Moyuru Honnoji: Saien ran December 15, 2016 to January 17, 2017. There have been several other 2.5D plays based on the Touken Ranbu franchise.

You can watch a trailer for the stage play Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji here:

The second trailer for Touken Ranbu: Kyoden Burning Honnoji play.

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