Crunchyroll Adds Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Live-Action Show

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Crunchyroll announced on Wednesday that it has added the live-action series adaptation of the Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories television anime for users in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and the CIS. The first two episodes are already available.

The series premiered in Japan on September 9. Noboru Iguchi (Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories season 2, The World Yamizukan), Yūki Kumagai (Tokyo Living Dead Idol), and Daisuke Ōno (not related to the voice actor) are among the directors of the Yamishibai (Iki) (Shadow Picture Show (Live)) series, and Iguchi is also one of the writers.

The production does not use regular video footage, but instead composites still photos of landscape paintings with photos of the cast, in the style of the original anime. The live-action episodes feature both remakes of popular stories from the anime, and its own original stories.

The cast includes idols and actors from "2.5D stage plays," including Risa Aizawa, Ryū Ichinose, Rin Kaname, Naoya Kitagawa, Yūki Kimisawa, Hisanori Satō, Hiroki Sana, Atsushi Shiramata, Taishi Sugie, Ryō Sekoguchi, Shungo Takasaki, Toshihiko Tanaka, Yoshiki Tani, Toomi, Akari Nakamura, Shuri Nakamura, Shunsuke Nishikawa, Shōhei Hashimoto, Shōgo Hama, Ui Hinagata, Ryō Hirano, Taiga Fukazawa, Karin Matoba, and Yū Miyazawa.

The original Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories series of anime shorts featured six-minute horror stories based on urban legends in a modern day setting. The shorts draw inspiration from Shōwa-era illustrated paper theater (kamishibai) productions.

The anime's first season premiered in July 2013, and the seventh and most recent season premiered in July 2019. The project inspired a previous spinoff, The World Yamizukan, in spring 2017. Crunchyroll streamed all seven seasons and The World Yamizukan as they aired. The anime is also inspiring the currently airing Ninja Collection spinoff anime, which similarly stars idols and 2.5D stage play actors, and premiered on July 12. Crunchyroll is streaming the anime as it airs in Japan.

Source: Crunchyroll (Joseph Luster)

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