Early March saw the opening of the Taken away as if by magic stage adaptation. This version of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved 2001 Studio Ghibli film reimagined the story for the theater with stunning puppets. To be exact, 50 puppets. Toby Olié designed the living creations to accompany the 32 performers staging emblematic scenes from the film. The show started at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo, but now the Taken away as if by magic the stage adaptation will move on to tour in four additional cities. And with the news of the tour, Toho Co., Ltd. shared new images. We can’t get over how beautiful this show is.

Toho Co., Ltd.

Look how terrifying Yubaba is and appears like a giant puppet!

The story centers around Chihiro. She moves in with her parents in their new house when her father takes a shortcut. They end up near a seemingly abandoned amusement park, and after exploring, Chihiro’s parents turn into pigs and the young girl finds herself alone in a spirit world. Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi portray Chihiro in the play. Mari Natsuki, who voiced Yubaba in the film, is reprising her role in the Taken away as if by magic stage adaptation. Romi Park also plays the witch.

Yubaba points the finger at Chihiro in the game Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.

A number of images in the series look incredibly faithful to the film. Whether it’s Chihiro sitting next to No-Face, Kamaji talking to Chihiro, or the girl alongside the steadfast Haku. They even have little puppets for Boh and Yu-Bird. To see this come to life would be a treat.

Chihiro sits next to No-Face in the stage adaptation of Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.
Chihiro with Haku's puppet in Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.
Spirited Away stands next to a spirit puppet in the play Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.
A puppet of Kamaji with Spirited Away in the stage adaptation of Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.
Chihiro rides Haku the dragon in the room Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.
Chihiro cries as Haku comforts her in the stage adaptation of Spirited Away
Toho Co., Ltd.

the Taken away as if by magic the stage adaptation will be filming in the locations below on the following dates:

  • April 13-24, 2022 at Umeda Arts Theater (Osaka)
  • From May 1 to 28, 2022 at the Hakataza Theater (Fukuoka)
  • June 6-12, 2022 at Sapporo Cultural Arts Theater hitaru (Sapporo)
  • June 22-July 4, 2022 at the Misonoza Theater (Nagoya)

Hopefully it keeps rolling so we can try to see it.

Amy Ratcliffe is the editor of Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.