Jun 7, 2015

Live Spectacle NARUTO !

Live Spectacle NARUTO opened curtains in Resorts World Sentosa for the last leg of it’s World tour right here in our sunny Singapore.  And I was one of the lucky fans to get a ticket (out of my own pocket of course)!

 

Official site: http://naruto-stage.jp/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@naruto_stage

 

 

Press-Con
photo credit: http://www.rwsentosablog.com/

 

My friend and I managed to get seats at the first row though we were situated on the left of the stage. For obvious budget reason, I did not purchase a premium middle seat #poorTAT .

 

 

 

The show started punctually at 1:30pm and ended around 4:00pm. A whooping 2 and a half hour of high energy actions and great story telling!  The live show meshed and blended a couple of stories together but mainly ran on 2 base story. Namely the “Prologue - Land of Waves” and the “Konoha Crush” arcs .

 

 

I don’t watch stage plays very often and as a stage show of a Ninja themed Anime with unrealistically superhuman actions , I had a lot of doubts prior. But the musical did well to ease all our doubts as we watched on in glee with an embarrassing grin stamped on our faces.

 

 

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The stage was not very big, probably around 20 odd meters wide. But it was appropriately decorated with well designed components that served multiple functions and are movable to provide  dynamic choreography. The use of flashy high tech media such as live projections, pre recorded videos to zoom in on the character’s actions and emotions, and changing the environment with an instant switch all made the production such a stellar watch!

 

 

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For example, when Team 7 first got together and introduced themselves to Kakashi. It was executed with a song and the actors’ moving in synergy with a video projection in the background. The clever use of the same prop ; a big rectangular moving container that serves as both a wall and a cloth screen , allows for countless unexpected morphs , hidden trampolines and seamless transitions to the next scene.

 

 

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Efforts has also been made to be as close to the original as possible as they took the time to go though with the audience what is Chakra and what Ninja countries are there. Just like in the original but with a human twist.

 

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I loved how the stage show managed to weave so many of everyone’s favourite Genins into the show. Almost the entire class had been personified! Ino-Shika-Cho fans can celebrate as the stage show had an entire segment of them fighting against the Sound Ninja sent by Orochimaru. That part of the show was thrilling as a blown up ball in the image of Chouji’s Meatball Technique was introduced to the excited crowd. Sadly for us sitting on the side, the Chouji ball only moved within the centre audience. A funny fact we noted was how oblivious the fans in the centre were to the purpose of the ball. It was meant to be a crowd interaction activity where the ball was supposed to be passed around but the helpful fans in the front kept pushing the ball back to Shikamaru. In the end, Shikamaru gave up and just took the entire ball up to the back rows and have it pushed down hahaha. I expect the Japanese crew and actors to be face-palming at the fan reaction XD

 

 

The production crew also weaved some local lingos into the dialogue as Chouji suddenly spoke in English that “I am very hungry”. This caused Shikamaru to ask in English “What do you want to eat?” and Chouji replied with the name of a local Singaporean cuisine. I have friends who heard him say Chicken Rice and friends who heard him say Chilli Crab. Either way, all this talk of food is making me hungry!

 

 

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The Hinata actress was sooooooooo adorable >////< b !!! All the actors were spot on in their interpretation of the characters and the costumes looked amazing in real life. The only pitfall of such an arrangement though, was the lack of time to bring out everyone’s story. And trying to squeeze so much in 2.5 hours meant the paced had to double up.

 

 

 

 

 

The most unexpected segment was the introduction of Itachi in Sasuke’s flashbacks. While Itachi’s personification was done by a side stage crew , (so no closeup on his face) us in the first row could make out his bishiness in the dark haha. This particular segment featured an amazing Aerial Silk Acrobat routine between the 2 brothers. I can only imagine the amount of practise and pain the actors had to go through to perfect that seemingly effortless dangle in mid air! One problem here though was the amount of things happening at the same time. While the brothers were performing their high tension rope routine, two huge screens had appear on either side and silhouette story of Uchiha’s Clan massacre projected on them. As an audience, it was easy to get lose and wonder where exactly should you be focusing on.

 

 

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My friends and I were seated on the first row (lucky!) and had the chance to check out Orochimaru and Kabuto up close. Our conclusion, was that Tatsunari Kimura looked amazing as Kabuto! I never was a Kabuto fan but darn! Tatsunari Kimura looked so good in real life! His photographs don’t do his face justice haha! And rest assure Kabuto fans, his performance was aced as well. “Megane” lovers would swoon at the way he gracefully pushes his glasses up via the centre.

 

 

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Orochimaru’s appearance was so well weaved in too. With immaculate precision and operatic creepiness, Hiro Yumi barged into the scene with her strong Broadway voice and a ghoulish accompaniment dancer.

 

 

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photo credit: http://www.rwsentosablog.com/

 

 

Highlight of the show for me have to be the ending where Naruto appeared in front of us and high fived all of us in the first row. What an exhilarating feeling *fangirl* !

 

 

All in all, it was a fantastic live stage show that surpassed my expectations. The brilliant use of light and shadow and video projections really enhanced the performance and allows for instantaneous scene changes. The use of Sand Art to tell Gaara’s story should also be commended for it’s stroke of creativity and willingness to incorporate more elements of entertainment into the show. Not to mention the amount of nostalgia incited by seeing all your favourite Anime characters in flesh on stage, that was a phenomenal feeling hard to match a price tag with!

 

 

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Fans rushed to queue for the merchandise after the show as they happily shelled out good money for the Programme booklets and Photo postcards!

 

 

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Some passionate fans even came in Costume to celebrate the event! This Hinata cosplayer even knitted a red scarf for Matsuoka Koudai (Naruto)! Isn’t that so sweet?

 

 

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The Tsunade Cosplayer handing her gifts to the crew via the staff.

 

 

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It was a great show and I look forward to the DVD release! Have you watched the show too? Comment and share your comments with me!

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