Did you know that Hayao Miyazaki‘s Spirited Away got a stage play adaptation? I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it. After all, when it first made its debut on February 28, 2022; it was a Japan-only screening. Currently, it’s still unfortunately only something Japanese audiences can enjoy. Fortunately, GKIDS wants to do something about that, and pretty soon to boot.

Spirited Away: Soon to be Stage Play and Film?

'Spirited Away: Live on Stage' Chinese poster.
This is not the NA release poster, by the way. That will come later.

GKIDS is proud to announce that they have acquired the NA distribution rights to Spirited Away: Live on Stage. Although to clarify: they’re not releasing a single film. Rather, this film adaptation of the stage play (which is itself an adaptation of the Studio Ghibli anime film of the same name) is actually an adaptation of a pair of separate stage plays that were both filmed at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. Of course, this means that we have 2 separate casts to boot. You might even recognize some of the actors/actresses from various anime. You can check out a full list of both casts below:

  • Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto / Mone Kamishiraishi
  • Haku: Kotaro Daigo / Hiroki Miura
  • No Face: Koharu Sugawara / Tomohiko Tsujimoto
  • Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi / Fu Hinami
  • Kamajî: Tomorowo Taguchi / Satoshi Hashimoto
  • Yubaba/Zeniba: Mari Natsuki / Romi Park
  • Aniyaku/Chihiro’s Father: Kenya Osumi
  • Chichiyaku: Sunao Yoshimura
  • Aogaeru: Obata no Oniisan

GKIDS: A Spirited Synopsis

'Spirited Away: Live on Stage' photo of Chihiro pouring a lot more hot water into the bathtub than she should.
Seems like a pretty spirited performance here too.

GKIDS also has an official introduction and synopsis to Spirited Away: Live on Stage ready for us, just for the hype. You can also check that out below:

Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation, full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award®-winner John Caird (Les Misérables), two unique casts and performances were filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre, featuring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.

While traveling to their new home, Chihiro and her family stumble into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. When her parents are turned into pigs and she is put to work in a magical bathhouse, Chihiro must use her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents, and return to the normal world.

Spirited Away: Live on Stage ~ Release Details

So when are we going to get to see Spirited Away: Live on Stage? Unfortunately, this is where GKIDS gets a bit vague. According to them, the release window for this film adaptation of the stage play adaptation of the Studio Ghibli anime film is sometime in Spring 2023. Whether they mean March, April, or May 2023 is unknown at this time. Fortunately, the release window means that we won’t have that long to wait even at the latest estimates, at the very least.

This release of Spirited Away: Live on Stage will also only be a theatrical release at the moment. This means that you’re going to need to purchase tickets to see it. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to purchase these tickets at the time of this writing. Tune back into THS later to find out where and how to get these tickets when we do.

Source: GKIDS