The story of the play follows Asato, a passionate mangaka whose editor is not happy at all with the quality of his work, and tells him a good manga needs "action, violence and spectacle". While trying his best to work out how to fill these requirements, he is unexpectedly transported into the world of his own manga. There, he finds that his own characters are not following his script. His hero, Jin, "Gateman", who has the power to banish people through a gate into another world, is 100% fed up of being a hero and appears on the scene drunk and reluctant (and hates Asato for giving him such a horrible outfit and cheesy lines). From there, Asato tries to persuade his characters to follow the story he has created, but realizes along the way that his idea of a good manga is a lot different to his editor's.
The main characters (I'm sorry there aren't pictures of them all, they're posting different characters for each show on their Twitter it seems, and so they didn't do them all yet. I'll keep updating as the shows go by):
Asato (Kido Yuya)
Jin (Izaki Ryujiro)
Mana (Fujiki Kaoru)
Kisumi (Ohkubo Satomi)
The other main female character, Kisumi is an enthusiastic girl who is interested in Asato from the moment he falls into their world, even though he never calls her by name and just calls her "kimi", much to her annoyance. Her relevance to the story and to Asato himself become apparent later on in the show, and she's an important character. I especially liked watching her take Asato to look at the world he had created from a distance.
Slander (Kogawa Yuta)
Nandai (Naito Taiki)
A few general thoughts on the play itself.
The whole play had a very comic feeling to it, of course. After the first couple of scenes, they did opening credits, where the characters came on holding large colorful speech bubbles that had their name/character name, and there was a banner hanging from the top with the play's name. The costumes and props were very bright and colorful and purposely unrealistic. There were largely exaggerated sound effects when anyone got hit or when something was thrown on the ground. Oh, and there were mentions of other manga. At one point, the editor, after just having been told by Asato that he was "in his manga world" decided to google how he could get into a manga world, listed off about five 2.5 stage plays and then complained he couldn't possibly get into one of them because they were full of ikemen.
The play was, fundamentally, a comedy. Not only that, it was one that appealed to everyone. There was a 7 or 8 year old kid sitting in the row behind me who laughed just as much as all the adults (he did spend the 10 minutes before the show asking his mother every minute or so "is it starting yet?" but once it started, he was all good lol). There were jokes for everyone! Also, it was obvious there were people there supporting many of the actors, and that many people there loved at least one of the actors (I was sitting near the goods stand in the lobby and I saw most people buy only one photoset, but there were a lot of different photosets bought). It made the atmosphere really nice.
After the first show, we had a short after talk from Kido Yuya (Asato), Ohkubo Satomi (Kasumi), with guests Akutsu Shintaro and Tano Asami (who played the same roles in the original Comic Jack). A lot of the talk was about how much bigger the stage and props had been last time (I guess because it was a bigger production last time) and although they had a lot of the same set, everything was higher. They have a pole that characters slide down during the play and Kido Yuya said if it had been any higher he would have been doomed because he's scared of heights and he struggled even at the height it was. Shintaro decided to try pole dancing on the pole but his hands were sweating so he gave up. They said that Kasumi's second costume (a dress) was the same dress that they had used in the original version. In that dress, the character is standing behind the gate when it opens, and Asami said during her run she had stood in the wrong place when it opened so she wasn't there. Then, the second day, she forgot the hat that goes with the costume. Asato's costume was almost the same but the original shirt had been orange. Shintaro said they couldn't use it this time because they had given it to him.
After the second show, there was no after talk but we got an omiokuri from the nezumi danshi. They were super cute as expected and one of them just kept telling EVERYONE that it was cold outside and so we should be careful.
I'll admit that the reason I went to see this stage play was Izaki. I didn't know any of the other actors, or the story, but I bought a ticket the moment they went on sale, because of him. And of course, I wasn't disappointed. But more than that, Izaki Ryujiro makes me so happy to be his fan.No matter what role he's playing or who is around him, he puts every bit of his heart into it. I see it when he's on stage, and I see it when he talks about it before and afterwards. This is what he wants to be doing, and I'm happy to have been able to support him from his "beginning" in Tenimyu. I really hope that he continues in this way and keeps getting new stage plays (I don't doubt that he will) Maybe I should be telling HIM this, not you guys. I can tell him next week (if I can get those words out in Japanese XD). By the way, I've also been happy to see that so many of the Tenimyu cast have been to watch him perform in it as well.
During my second show, I was sitting in the front row. It's nice to watch from the front row (even if I did feel every vibration every time someone jumped on the stage), but it's also very difficult. It's a lot easier to stare from further back. Izaki's character spent a lot of time passed out, rolling around, or trying to regain his strength, and most of those things, he did right in front of my seat. I stared a lot. Luckily he wasn't looking in my direction and so I could mostly watch him safely. His hair was super messy from on top, I can tell you that, lol
Anyway, that's about it! Now I'm hoping for a DVD so that I can see it again.