Heading into this week, there was a fair bit of trepidation on the part of fans of Tatsuya Matsuki and Shiro Usazaki’s act-age. Shueisha had already announced that there would be an ‘important project announcement’ for the series in this week’s issue no. 27 of Weekly Shonen Jump, but it had also already been announced that Posuka Demizu and Kaiu Shirai’s The Promised Neverland would be on the cover. Based on previous precedent, it seemed unlikely that the series would make an anime announcement without being featured on the cover, but sources suggested otherwise. Nevertheless, that turned out not to be the case – instead of an anime, act-age is getting a stage play.
Coming sometime in 2022, the act-age stage play will adapt the ‘Night on the Galactic Railroad’ arc of the original manga. As the title suggests, this involves the main character, Yonagi Kei, acting in a stage adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa’s legendary fantasy novel alongside several other characters. Producing a stage adaptation of an arc that is also based on a stage adaptation seems very meta, but worry not: Horipro, who also produced the incredible Death Note musical back in 2015, will be handling the project.
Horipro are also holding open auditions for the act-age stage play from now until July 10 to fill the role of the protagonist, Yonagi Kei. Naturally, these auditions will be held remotely, with hopeful applicants being asked to sign up via the official website. You have to be a girl aged between 12 and 17, so some of you will be are out, but the good news is that there is no limit on nationality, provided that you can have a normal conversation in Japanese.
No doubt some fans will be disappointed that act-age’s big announcement is a stage play, especially after all the hype that was generated when several sources tweeted out over the weekend that the series would be getting an anime. But all good things come to those who wait – getting an anime announcement while another series dominates the cover would, surely, feel like a kick in the teeth.