Theater-going Tips

10 2.5d Stage Shows you can watch legally through DMM (and how to watch internationally)

With many people off work right now and most choosing to stay at home, there is so much time and so little to do. I’ve seen many people comment that they are bored and don’t know what to do with their sudden free time, so what better way to spend it than watching some Japanese theatre?

People think it’s very expensive or difficult to watch 2.5d stage shows when you aren’t living in Japan or without buying the DVD, but the industry actually makes it quite easy for us to support our favourite shows for a fraction of the price of buying a BluRay or DVD or seeing the show in person.

I’ve put together a list of productions currently available for streaming and download on DMM. You may be surprised what you can find there. Some people think that it isn’t possible for people outside of Japan to access or pay for these downloads. It takes a little work, that’s for sure, but it is definitely accessible to people all over the world and can be paid for using Paypal.

To learn how to use DMM from overseas, please see this comprehensive how-to post written by sohmariku on Tumblr.

With that said, get your popcorn (and tissues and penlights) ready, because here is my list of ten recommended 2.5d stages you can find on DMM.

1. Musical Touken Ranbu

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By far one of the most popular 2.5d adaptions, Musical Touken Ranbu follows swords-turned-handsome guys as they travel back in time to prevent the changing of history. With the beautiful costumes and lots of choreographed sword fighting, you’ll be thoroughly entertained from start to finish. But that’s not all! In the second half the swords become idols, so get your penlight ready to join in with the crowds in the theater.

Here is a list of all musicals currently available for download and streaming on the site:

2. Butai Touken Ranbu

Butai Touken Ranbu

The stage version of Touken Ranbu tends to be more dramatic, heartbreaking and serious than its musical counterpart, but just as beautiful and entertaining. Make sure to have your tissues ready for these shows, and be careful not to cry into your popcorn.

3. Musical Hakuouki

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The second musical on this list takes us once again back into Japanese history with this popular stage based on the game Hakuouki. In this stage, we follow the heroine as she goes down the path of romance with one of the handsome warriors available to her. The outcome depends on the stage, with some of them being more dramatic and heartbreaking than others.

Here is a list of the shows currently available for download:

4. Mankai Stage A3

Mankai Stage A3

My 4th trip to DMM brings me to the stage about stage actors, Mankai Stage A3. This stage is a bright and colourful look into a group of stage actors living and working together in troupes based on the four seasons. Although it may look bright and cheerful, you may want to get your tissues ready because sometimes you may find tears begin to flow.

Here is a list of the shows currently available for download:

5. Yowamushi Pedal

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If sports are more your thing, then Yowamushi Pedal is definitely one to watch. If you can’t go outside and ride a bike, why not sit in and relax and watch actors running around the stage with handlebars? You might get exhausted and restless just watching them, but you’ll be very much entertained in the process.

Here is a list of the shows currently available for download:

6. Boku no Hero Academia: The Ultra Stage

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JUMP anime turned 2.5d stage Boku no Hero Academia, which follows a world where heroes are normal and where one boy dreams of being one himself, is another show that is available for streaming through DMM. Unlike previous shows on this list, there is only one available, but if you have a couple of hours to spare, I highly recommend it. This is also one of the cheaper downloads on this list at only 998 yen.

You can find this show here.

7. I-Chu

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If none of the above appealed to you, then maybe idols are more your thing? If this is the case, you’ll definitely enjoy this adaption of the popular idol mobile game. Again, get your penlight ready for this marathon, and be careful not to spill your popcorn while dancing along to the songs.

Here are the available shows:

8. Yugeki

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Everyone loves a guy in a suit, and this one is packed full of them. Many popular 2.5d actors are in this show, which follows ghosts who have regrets in the real world, trying to stop conflicts between the human world and the ghost world. I haven’t seen this one yet, so although I can’t say much about it, the visual is appealing all on its own.

You can find this show here.

9. Osomatsu-san on Stage

Osomatsusan

This comedy stage based on the anime of the same name may leave you confused but you’ll definitely have a lot of fun in the process. The cast hilariously manages to bring the six brothers to life and you may need tissues for this one because you’ll probably be laughing so hard you’ll cry.

These are the shows that are available right now:

10. CHaCK-UP

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CHaCK-UP was a starting point for many actors commonly seen in 2.5d stages today, making it the oldest stage on this list, and another one for the idol fans… and fans of aliens? With colourful costumes and a group of very different and eccentric characters, the road to being the “perfect idol” is definitely not easy.

You can find this show here.


I hope this list was helpful and that you could find something amazing to watch! Let me know if you checked any of these out, which it was, and which is your favourite.

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