New Plays 日本の新作戯曲
Doraemon — Nobita and the Animal Planet (stage version)
Shoji Kokami (Original by Fujiko F. Fujio)
Fujiko F. Fujio is one of Japan’s most famed and well-loved manga authors. Since its first episode in 1969, his popular
series has extended to an unprecedented 1,400 episodes in manga comics, TV programs and animated films that are loved not only in Japan but by fans around the world. Now for the first time, playwright and director Shoji Kokami has adapted
for the stage with the human actors.
Doraemon is a robotic cat come back in time from the 22nd century, and in a typical Doraemon episode he helps his good friend, a primary school boy named Nobita, out of difficult situations using secret devices from the 22nd century that he pulls out of his “4-dimensional pocket.” Aided by Doraemon’s secret devices, Nobita, his trouble-making friends Gian and Suneo and the angelic girl Shizuka-chan go through episodes combining the everyday of primary school children with science-fiction adventure.
Beginning with the Doraemon character, played by an actor inside a character suit, all the characters and animals that appear in the play are played live by actors. With the exception of the main characters Doraemon and Nobita, all the other characters are played by actors performing multiple roles, without distinction of the role’s orientation of good or bad, friend and foe. Also employed in the staging are traditional style kuroko black-hooded stage hands who appear on stage to bring in props or create a variety of effects such as standing as a group with tree-pattered panels for a scene where Nobita becomes lost in the woods, or rippling a water-pattern sheet to make a flowing river effect in a scene where the characters cross a river, or waving a fishing pole with a flying saucer on the end in a scene with a space craft.
The original script for Nobita and the Animal Planet was written for one of the ongoing series of full-length Doraemon movies. It deals with the theme of environmental preservation from a unique perspective by employing the device of space travel to planets in outer space.