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Hajime no Ippo Gets First Stage Play, Will Be Written & Directed by Ippo’s Original VA in the Anime Series

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Long-running boxing manga Hajime no Ippo is set to get its first-ever stage play! The announcement was made in the combined 36th and 37th volume of Kondansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine. According to the announcement, the “Real Fighting ‘Hajime no Ippo’ The Glorious Stage!!.” play will run sometime in January 2020 and is part of the celebrations for the manga’s 30th anniversary.

The stage play will be written and directed by Kohei Kiyasu, the original voice actor of main character Ippo Makunouchi. Ippo is Kiyasu’s first anime role, and he lent his voice to the character from 2000 to 2014. After retiring from the voice-acting industry, Kiyasu returned to being a stage actor and established his own theater company, Bulldocking Headlock.

In an official statement released by Kodansha, the manga’s author George Morikawa expressed his happiness with Kiyasu directing the upcoming stage adaptation of his manga: “It is written/directed by Ippo’s anime voice actor Kohei Kiyasu. The person who knows about Ippo more than anyone will create the worldview.” He also stated that he is happy that Nelke Planning will be producing the play. He says, “I have nothing but trust. As the author, I am so happy to have such talented staff and actors.” Nelke Planning produced well-known musical stage play adaptations of titles such as Prince of Tennis, Touken Ranbu, and the upcoming Sailor Moon plays to be staged every night in the franchise’s specialty café, Shining Moon Tokyo.

Hajime no Ippo is the only work by author George Morikawa. The manga was launched in 1989 and has been serialized in Kondansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine since its debut, releasing over 123 tankobon as of this writing. An anime adaptation produced by Madhouse, Nippon Television, and VAP ran from October 2000 to March 2002.

Source: Crunchyroll News

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