Manga Meets Kabuki

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cinema-kabukiCinema Kabuki presents “Superkabuki II: One Piece,” a screening of a 2015 live performance in Tokyo, on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m. at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. (at Highland), Los Angeles. (The 1:30 p.m. screening is full.)

The all-male kabuki theater has existed for more than 400 years, and it remains Japan’s most popular form of theater. The genre combines dance, music, dynamic action, and picturesque poses. Kabuki has created urban heroes, legendary characters, iconic courtesans, princesses — and a whole culture of stardom.

Since 2005, Kabuki production company Shochiku Co. Ltd. has released Cinema Kabuki, which offers English speakers the unique opportunity to experience full-scale kabuki performances by some of Japan’s biggest stars in high definition on the big screen with English subtitles.

This, however, is no regular film screening; Cinema Kabuki allows the audience to vividly experience the excitement of the live stage through the full use and wide-range capability of high-definition images and six-channel sound.

“One Piece” is Japan’s top-selling manga of all time, and one of its most beloved. This high fantasy saga is about a super-powered young man who travels as a pirate from island to island on an ocean planet. His pirate crew is as lovable as it is eccentric.

Cinema Kabuki “One Piece” introduces kabuki theater to a new generation. The play showcases elements of traditional kabuki: acting style, classical language, set design, costume elements, and more. The plot is from a specific “One Piece” storyline that happens in the middle of the long saga – the Paramount War. It covers Volumes 51 to 60 of the manga and Episodes 457 to 489 of the anime.

“One Piece” fans are highly encouraged to attend. Non-fans are encouraged to read “One Piece” before coming to see the kabuki performance. Luckily, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles free library has the entire series in both English and Japanese. Come check them out during library hours.

Outside the theater there will be a Cosplay Corner with Monkey D.Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Trafalgar Law, Tony Tony Chopper, Portgas D. Ace and marine cosplay pieces that you can try on. Take a selfie in front of the special Japan Foundation backdrop, upload it to twitter with the hashtag #onepiecekabuki, and the most popular photo will win all of the cosplay pieces. There will also be professional “One Piece” cosplayers with whom you can take photos.

Warning: Parking will be scarce due to that evening’s Christmas Parade on Hollywood Boulevard. There is a Metro station next to the theater (Hollywood/Highland).

For more information, contact Japan Foundation, Los Angeles at (323) 761-7510 or visit www.jflalc.org.

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