Presenter Interview プレゼンターインタビュー
The vision of Makoto Matsuda
The producer behind the “2.5-D Musicals”
The “2.5-D Musicals” that bring to the stage stories based on popular manga comics, anime movies and video games is drawing the attention of audiences, artists and the media alike. The trend began when a musical production was created in 2003 based on the popular manga Tennis no Ōjisama (The Prince of Tennis) about the tennis team of an elite middle school and how they win their way through the nationwide school team competition. This was followed in succession by musicals based on works like the girls manga series Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) that had won the hearts of a whole generation of young fans, the Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) series about a demonic butler with amazing skills, and the worldwide hit anime NARUTO, about a ninja with super-human powers. These musicals are being performed not only in Japan but have now been performed overseas as well.
Amidst this growing trend, last year (2014) saw the forming of the Japan 2.5-D Musical Association by a nationwide team of publishing companies, broadcasters, production companies and the like with the aim of promoting 2.5-D musicals as a world-class form of entertainment. Also, March 2015 saw the opening of a new 2.5-D musical-specific theater in Tokyo’s Shibuya district named the AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo, adding a new dimension and even more attention for this movement. In this interview we speak with Makoto Matsuda, Chairman of Japan 2.5-Dimensional Musical Association as well as head of production company Nelke Planning and the producer of the smash hit musical The Prince of Tennis, to learn about his vision for this new entertainment medium.
Interviewer: Norio Kohyama, non-fiction writer