Canon and IBM Japan will join forces to promote performing arts using volumetric video technology, which I understand as being a form of 3D video filming which will allow to freely move the point of view around the stage. Captured images are digitally processed so that they can be modified adding CGI. The Iemoto of the Hōshō school, Hōshō Kazufusa, is collaborating with this project – you can see samples of his performance of Aoinoue on the Volumetric x Noh Website.
Performances of the “Vr noh” Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) will be held at Tokyo’s Setagaya Public Theatre on August 22 and 23, featuring young shite actors from the Kanze School, Sakaguchi Takanobu and Kawaguchi Kōhei. More info and tickets here (Japanese only – all performances seem to be already sold out, perhaps due to with-coronavirus restricted seating)
After various animation films, the 2017 Hollywood feature film (sparking controversy because of the almost-all Western casting), and a recent all-digital sequel on Netflix, Shirow’s manga is recast in nō form.
As I kid I used to collect Masamune Shirow’s manga. Appleseed, my favorite, has been one of the first available in Italy back in the early 90s, followed by Black Magic, Dominion, and Orion. His works, mixing cyberpunk with fantasy and Japanese spirituality, were extremely popular outside Japan (I think he was published by Dark Horse in the US).
Ghost in the Shell blew us readers away because of the amazing color rendition of some of its pages. How is it going to look like in “vr nō” style? I imagine the plot will play with the idea of the “ghost” or “soul” transmigrating from body to body, or from body to another material vessel, something familiar to the nō repertory, rooted in buddhist thought. From the poster we can see the female protagonist, apparently dancing wearing a purple chōken, typically used the the depiction of female spirits.
As I pointed out at the beginning of the article, all tickets are already sold out, so we can only hope for future re-runs, or for a video!