Naruto stage play production cancels all September 2022 performances due to COVID-19

Naruto stage play key visual
Naruto stage play key visual. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

The most famous anime franchises have all been represented in anime stage plays, with productions of My Hero Academia, Beastars, Mobile Suit: Gundam, Spirited Away, and countless others. Beyond the original early days depicting Konoha’s ninjas and expanding into Naruto: Shippuden, Naruto has not only earned its stage play but also several performances.

Unfortunately, the Naruto theater production has been paused due to a COVID outbreak among the actors, which has caused problems with the most recent performances.

The Naruto stage play cancellation

Live Spectacle Naruto, which made its debut in March 2015, takes Masashi Kishimoto’s well-known manga series to the stage. Each stage production focuses on a particular Naruto story arc while also introducing new characters.

The Fourth Shinobi World War is the focus of Live Spectacle’s most current stage adaptation of Naruto, Ninkai Taisen, Kaisen (Shinobi World War, Outbreaks).

According to Crunchyroll, Live Spectacle reported on its official website that the play’s first 12 performances this month have been canceled due to multiple COVID-19 illnesses among the cast.

<公演CM LONG ver.>ライブ・スペクタクル「NARUTO-ナルト-」~忍界大戦、開戦~
The stage play preview

Live Spectacle’s official statement reads as follows:

“We had been preparing for this show by taking the utmost precautions and measures in compliance with the guidelines for the prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus infection of the National Association of Public Cultural Facilities and the guidelines for infection prevention measures of the Performing Arts Network in Emergency Situations. However, several people involved in the show showed symptoms of fever, and as a result of PCR testing, it was determined that they were infected with the new coronavirus. As a result of discussions by the production committee, we have decided to cancel all 12 performances of the Live Spectacle NARUTO – Ninkai Taisen, Kaisen in Tokyo from September 17 to 25, 2022. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to those who have been looking forward to the performances, and for the short notice of this announcement.”

Live Spectacle

Live Spectacle’s cancellation of the live stream

Ninkai Taisen, Kaisen, which was supposed to hold its opening night on September 17, 2022, cannot perform its September performances at Tokyo’s The Galaxy Theater. All 12 of the show’s performances through September 25 had to be canceled due to 19 staff members getting sick.

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Opening night of Live Spectacle was scheduled to be streamed live, but that is no longer the case. The procedure for refunds will be announced later on the official website and Twitter account of Live Spectacle for those who purchased tickets for the aforementioned concerts.

In addition, Ninkai Taisen, Kaisen intends to perform at Hyogo’s Kobe Bunka Hall from October 1 to October 10. Additionally, from October 15 to October 22, the show will have 11 performances at The Galaxy Theater. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Live Spectacle has not made any statements regarding whether the Hyogo and the second set of performances in Tokyo will go on as planned. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the stage adaptation of Naruto will travel to North America.

Unfortunately, none of these anime stage productions have come to the United States, but given how well-liked the genre has become over time, it might not be long until audiences in the West can catch them in person as well. Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away’s live-action stage play debuted earlier this year on Hulu, demonstrating that there is a market for these adaptations.

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