The official website for the stage musical adaptation of the "Kyoto Arc" of the Rurouni Kenshin manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki announced today that the production has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the 50 performance slated to run at IHI Stage Around Tokyo from November 3 to December 15 has been cancelled.
Teppei Koike (L in Death Note Musicals) was supposed to star in the stage musical as Himura Kenshin, and Mario Kuroba as the antagonist Makoto Shishio, with Shuichiro Koike as the director and scriptwriter.
The organisers of the stage musical penned a message saying:
"As for the musical 'Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto-hen,' which was scheduled to be held at IHI Stage Around Tokyo from November 2020, we had prepared for the audience to fully enjoy it by using the characteristics of the 360-degree stage structure with intense and dynamic choreography and authentic sword fight scenes. However, in light of the recent spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the director of this performance, Shuichiro Koike, and the organizers had repeatedly discussed. We regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel all of the performances because we believe it would be difficult to deliver the full appeal of the play that we originally wanted the audience to enjoy. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to those who have been looking forward to the play."
Shuichiro Koike, the director also penned a message saying:
"With the fury of the corona, which is still showing no signs of slowing down, we have concluded that it is not our intention to show sword fighting that the actors can't stand close to each other and that it would be difficult to deliver the 'Rurouni Kenshin' to the audience in the way it should be this fall. We are very sorry about this, but we ask for your understanding and cooperation."
Rurouni Kenshin, also known sometimes as Samurai X in the TV show, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The manga has over 72 million copies in circulation as of 2019, making it one of the best-selling manga series, while its anime has ranked among the 100 most-watched series in Japan multiple times.