Arts and Culture
In this paper, I will analyze the phenomenon of intermediality on the stage of Japanese 2.5-dimensional theater (2.5D theater) within the context of Japanese media culture. 2.5D theater is the name given to the manga/anime/video game adapted theater which have become extremely popular in Japan in recent years. To faithfully reproduce the fictional world appeared in original works, all 2.5D productions have to adopt various media on the stage, which give rise to intermediality in the performance. Intermediality has attracted much attention in studies of contemporary theater and performance. According to existing scholarship, this phenomenon is deliberately created in experimental performances to alienate and disturb the audience. Similar to experimental theater, intermediality also leads to general dislocation and discomfort among Japanese 2.5D theater audiences. However, I argue that instead of alienating spectators, these feelings are well accepted by Japanese audiences, as most of these audience members were brought up in the already fragmented Japanese postmodern media culture. I will conduct a performance analysis on Japanese 2.5D play Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyū!!:Itadaki no Keshiki(2016) to examine intermedial elements and the perception of these elements. Through this paper, I hope to show that despite the intentionally created gaps in perception, intermediality can also appear in theatrical productions meant for entertainment purposes, and that the perception of intermediality should be examined with consideration of cultural specificity.