Controversy Erupts Over Casting Mature Women as Leads in ‘Mage the Cat’s Eye’ Stage Play | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Controversy Erupts Over Casting Mature Women as Leads in ‘Mage the Cat’s Eye’ Stage Play

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Heroines considerably older than in the original work

The popular comic “CAT’S EYE” written by Tsukasa Hojo will be adapted to the stage as “Mage the Cat’s Eye” (February 6 – March 3, 2024), the 150th anniversary final performance of Tokyo’s Meiji-za Theater. It was recently announced that actresses Kika Fujiwara (52), Ayame Goriki (31), and Reiko Takashima (59), all of whom have experience as chairpersons of the Meijiza, will play the triple lead roles.


Mage the Cat’s Eye” is set in the Meiji period, when the Meiji-za was founded. It is said to depict an original story in which the eldest of the three beautiful thief sisters, Tapia (Takashima), Hitomi (Fujiwara), and Ai (Goriki), the third sister, brilliantly obtain treasures.

The news has been greeted with negative comments on the Internet, such as “I don’t know where the demand is,” “Takashima and Fujiwara are too old to be in the movie,” and “I feel like the cast is quite old.” The response has not been good. Despite the enduring popularity of the comic, the reaction was not good, revealing the lack of interest in the stage.


To begin with, it is a mature women’s version that is much older than the three beautiful sisters in the original work, and the setting is the Meiji era, so it is understandable that there are negative comments about it. However, it is common knowledge that stage productions are different from movies and TV dramas. Recently, an increasing number of productions are creating original worldviews, such as a musical adaptation of a popular comic book that has been accepted by a unique fan base as a 2.5 dimensional work.

Mage the Cat’s Eye is also directed by Masahiko Kawahara and written by Udai Iwasaki of the comedy duo Kamomentaru.

Of the three, Kika commented through the organizer, “After 26 years, I was surprised to see that the roles I play have become younger, from incapacitating to eye-opening! I’ m thrilled to be working with Masahiko Kawahara, the director of the show,” she commented.

The reason is that Kika played the oldest incapacitating role in the live-action film CAT’S EYE released in 1997. The other three sisters are played by Inamori Izumi (51) and Uchida Yuki (47), both from the same agency, as Hitomi and Ai, respectively. In the original story, Hitomi was the main character, but Ai, played by Uchida, who was very popular at the time, was changed to the main character.


In the original work, the main characters wore leotards that accentuated their stunning style. In the live-action version, however, the leotards were replaced by bondage-style leather fashions and masks, a bold Batman-style rearrangement. The film was not a box-office hit at the time of its release, with many people calling it a revision of the original, including the appearance of an enemy character that did not exist in the original. With such a history, it is surprising that Kika accepted the offer.

Since this film is set in the Meiji era, it is likely that the main characters will mainly wear kimonos, but it will be interesting to see if the Mature Cat’s Eye girls will show up in their trademark leotards. The visuals will be released gradually, but if leotards are involved, it is sure to be a topic of conversation. The three may already be working hard on their body make-up for the stage.


The outline of the stage is still under wraps, but all eyes will be on what kind of production will decorate the memorial year of the Meijiza Theater.


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Takashima received the KIMONOIST AWARD with Kika Fujiwara and others on October 17. Her style looks great in a kimono (May 2016, Photo AP/Afro)
At the Jewelry Best Dressed Award ceremony in 2021. In recent years, she has become the image of a wife of Nashien (January ’21).
She is also in the spotlight for her role as Asuka Lioness in Queen of the Extreme Evil, which is scheduled for distribution in 2024 (April ’23).
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo, Kazuhiko Nakamura

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