What is the 2.5 dimension ?

What is the 2.5 dimension ?

« 2.5 Dimension ». Lately often featured in television and magazines in Japan, this term may be still unknown for a lot a of people. Our reporter will spread her passion by explaining you what exactly 2.5D is.


But first, what is the 2.5D ?

What Japanese people calls « 2D » is animation, illustration, manga, video game or any « Cool Japan » production and its characters.
« 3D » is usually said about real life and/or people.
Therefore, 2.5D is in-between 2D and 3D, more precisely, it refers to the projection of a 2D character into 3D.

After reading this, you will think: « Oh! Then this is about manga live-adaptions and cosplay, right? »
Partially yes, but in this article 2.5D refers to actors from the 3D world playing as faithfully as possible on a stage as a 2D character.

Our reporter, Ama-chan, loves not only the 2D characters but also came to like the actors.
That’s why she began to watch the actors' other plays. And then she discovers another work, and watches the stage play about this work, and comes to like another actor, etc...
Leading her into an infinite loop.

The birth of the 2.5D

2.5D began in 1974. The famous, all-woman Takarazuka Revue performed a musical play on « The rose of Versailles »

The other pioneer of the 2.5D was « Sailor Moon » performed in 1993.

Source: Ama-chan

But the trigger of today’s 2.5D is « The Prince of Tennis ».
The first big hit which popularised the genre was the musical play of « Touken Ranbu » and the stage play of the same series.

There was of course many other plays but those 3 were the turning point of the 2.5D.

Source: Ama-chan

Of course, « Prince of Tennis » and « Touken Ranbu » were already popular works to begin with, but the faithful representation was probably a big factor that made it popular.

Recommended Works

Musical: The Prince of Tennis

Source: Ama-chan

This is the story of « Ryouma Echizen », a junior high student aiming for the national tournament’s gold trophy with the tennis club of his school.

This musical play worked as a gateway to the professional sphere for a lot of young actors.
The main feature of this play is that it is made of several « seasons » and feature every season a completely new cast.

Over 300 actors has played in the « Musical: The Prince of Tennis » known as TenniMu.

Shirota Yu and Saito Ko who played in the TV drama and Mamoru Miyano, a popular voice actor, were also featured in the play.

Touken Ranbu, the musical and Touken Ranbu, the stage play

Source: Ama-chan

Adapted from a popular collective card browser video game the Touken Ranbu license got three anime , stage musicals, stage plays, and a feature film for itself.
The story is about collecting anthropomorphic famous Japanese swords and to defeat evil forces.
Those plays are really beautiful!

Touken Ranbu, the musical

The actors suddenly dance and sing during the play. The musical part is a little like an idol’s live.
CDs are also released.

Source: Ama-chan

Touken Ranbu, the stage play

A stage play where you can enjoy the scenario and hot-blooded sword fights.
In 2019, a live-action movie was made with almost the same cast as the stage.

Source: Ama-chan

Yowamushi Pedal, the stage play

Source: Ama-chan

An anime-lover high school student, Onoda Sakamichi discover himself a new hobby: cycling. He joins the cycling club and aims for the Inter-High tournament’s gold trophy.

Only the bicycle handle is used on stage and to show the spectator the pedalling, the actors are stepping the ground in a half-standing position.
This looks very tough and painful.
There were some actors whose leg muscles have become so thick that their pants size has increased by two.

Aoharu Tetsudou, the musical

Source: Ama-chan

An anthropomorphic railroad track musical play. Japanese train lines like « Tokaido Shinkansen » and « Utsunomiya Line» are the protagonists.

This manga-adapted musical play’s main characteristic is that one actor play multiple character.
This is what our reporter loves so much about the musical of Aoharu Tetsudou.
Even the manga readers approve this adaptation, so please try this one out!
Let’s ride on this lovable musical!

Can we see a 2.5D musical or stage play in Asahikawa ?

No.
You cannot watch the actual performance.

But lately, the final performance of a play or musical can be seen in the movie theater as « Live Viewing » !
So you don’t have to give up your favourite play just because you couldn’t get your hand on a ticket.

Click here to see the movie theater in Asahikawa that have simulcasted a play in the past.

AEON Cinema Asahikawa Station
Address: Asahikawa-shi Miyashitadōri 7-chōme 2 − 5 ionmōru Asahikawa ekimae -4th Floor
Tel: 0166-74-6411
Business Hours: 10:00~21:00 (the ticket counter is open until 19:00)

See you next time in the theater!

What did you think about the 2.5D ?
There is still a lot of plays and excitement that our reporter wants to share with you all.
But this will be for a next time!

Find your favorite manga/anime/game, find your favorite actor and devote yourself to the infinite spiral of the 2.5D!

Translated from あまちゃん (Ama-chan)'s article.

この記事のキュレーター

Rin

Hello there!

I am in charge of translating in english some of asatan's articles.
I'm from France and I have been living in Hokkaido for 6 years.
Things I like : drawing, pokemon, online games,
Things I don't like : melon, lags, waking up in the morning

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Hobby & Sports musical anime

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