Arts and Culture
2.5D musical is fundamentally an adaptation of 2D original manga/anime/video game works to 3D musical performance. A common topic in 2.5D musical studies is the differences between 2.5D and Broadway musicals, since the latter also include many adaptations from animation and film. In this presentation, I use two Broadway shows, namely Beauty and the Beast(1994) and Spider Man: Turn off the Dark(2011), and two 2.5D musicals Musical Prince of Tenis(Tenisu no ōjisama, 2003-) and Death Note(Desu nōto, 2015) as examples to analyse these two genres as different types of adaptation. From perspectives of adaptation strategy, narrative structure, and singing and dancing, it is clear that the coherence emphasized by Broadway works emphasize is absent in 2.5D musicals. In other words, 2.5D musicals display a lack of totality, proper dramatic structure, and ‘purpose’ with respect to their singing and dancing. However, I would argue that these seemingly immature elements are exactly the characteristics of a 2.5D musical, because the word “adaptation” in 2.5D musical should be interpreted as a transforming process which provides a space in between of 2D and 3D. Therefore, 2.5D musical ought to be discussed as a unique genre, and should not be criticized using concepts and theories in Broadway musical studies.