Everyone and their cat knows how Shinkai Makoto’s Your Name revolutionized anime cinema in 2016, breaking through Spirited Away‘s records. What few know, however, is that another movie made anime history the same year: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm.
As you may know, the KING OF PRISM movies are spin-offs of the Pretty Rhythm franchise. The first movie, KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm (shortened as Kinpri) was initially released in 14 theaters on January 9th 2016. Three weeks after release, it was only screening in 9 cinemas, and the staff was preparing for the worst. However, the movie ended up earning more than 800 million yen, and by May 2016 it was in over 100 cinemas across Japan. All thanks to dedicated fans’ word to mouth and the movie’s “Cheer Screenings” (応援上映 in Japanese), screenings where you can come in cosplay, use glowsticks, scream and sing along during the movie, or dub lines during subtitled scenes specifically made for it. The movie had a 9 months run in cinemas, and its final screening was at Shinjuku Wald 9, on September 2nd 2016, even though the movie was already out on DVD/BD since June 17th. KING OF PRISM was a huge success in South Korea as well. The first movie released there on August 11th 2016, and broke the record of longest screening period for an anime film, a record previously held by Love Live! The School Idol Movie! The sequel movie, KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-, ended up releasing simultaneously in Japan and South Korea on June 10th 2017.
However, the Kinpri movies have a hidden history unrecorded even on Japanese anime sites. In the first place, how did a kids franchise spawn movies geared towards adults? Why are the movies gayer than actual Boys Love anime? Why does what seems to be a Yuri on Ice! ripoff with Shinji and Kaworu clones is a big enough deal to be screened at Los Angeles Anime Film Festival???
Note: While similar, I’ve added a lot of things compared to the French version of this article I published back in May 2018. This is basically the XX+ Reloaded Definitive edition of the “Pretty Series History”.
Edit: I fixed the post’s layout, as it got screwed up after I changed the blog’s theme, even though it was fine beforehand during preview.
There’s no spoilers for KING OF PRISM- PRIDE the HERO- , except for one fact about George they had revealed in interviews prior the movie release, so if you’ve read my previous posts you should know it already.
This is a summary of the Kinpri related production info and jokes they said on Anigera episodes 271 and 272. Similarly to my other radio shows summary, it’s written in a very crude&fast way.
Sugita Tomokazu voices Takadanobaba George in KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-. (aka Kinpra or Kinpri 2) Kobayashi Tatsuyuki voices George when he’s singing, he’s his ghost singer. Furuya Yamato is George’s actor in the stage play, KING OF PRISM-Over the Sunshine!- (aka Butakin)
Anigera Didoooon!! is Sugita’s radio show. He hosts it with his friends game journalist Mafia Kajita, Kedouin Makoto(yes, Corpse Party’s author) and Asakura, an animator. On episodes 271 and 272, Kobayashi and Furuya were present as guests.
When Kinpri 2 was in production the staff called Aoni, Sugita’s agency, and he got the role for George without even passing an audition. Director Hishida also said he made George around the same time they called Sugita and it’s a bit like if he made the character for him. Sugita advertised Kinpri 1 a lot on every radio show he appeared in in mid 2016.
Kobayashi Tatsuyuki voices George when he’s singing, he’s his ghost singer. He’s also Asahi in Idol Time PriPara. He also sang OP2 of Saikyou Ginga Ultimate Zero Battle Spirits(Batosupi6), which was a pretty good show you should watch. It’s fine to watch it even if you haven’t seen past Batosupi seasons. Director Hishida was also the episode director for episode 44 and also did its storyboard. The most appealing thing about Batosupi6 is definitely the original, refreshing, hard lined chara design by Ishikawa Tetsuya. Ishikawa actually worked on the Kinpri movies as an animator, and is also among the many personalities, mangaka, singers etc who advertised the first Kinpri movie on Twitter and part of why it became popular. But I digress, and you should be able to read about all this in detail very soon if I manage to finish my “Everything you should know about Pretty Rhythm and the KING OF PRISM phenomenon” thing.
Episode 271 starts with a sketch, something they often do on Anigera. It’s a pretty funny Getter Robo parody with Sugita, Furuya and Kobayashi each acting George.
After introducing themselves, they talk about how the “Butakin” nickname for the stage play is super funny. They also talk how Kinpri was the first movie to use ouenjouei/cheer screenings profusely and popularize it, showing it can be a mean to success. And how a lot of other movies are doing it too now.
The three of them had already contacted each other on Twitter DM saying they need to meet up one day, but Sugita couldn’t go to that meeting, so he decided to talk with his radio staff to see if they could invite them.
Both Furuya and Kobayashi knew Sugita before Kinpri happened, but never met him in person. Furuya says he doesn’t watch much anime but he knew about Sugita since he’s in very popular shows. When he was chosen to act George in Butakin, he was super nervous, wondering if he’ll be able to portray a Sugita voiced character properly. He felt a lot of pressure. Then he went to watch the movie, and got even more confused when it turns out it’s not Sugita when George is singing. Plus he wanted to get an idea of the character, but George has very few lines in it, so it didn’t give him enough info at all. So then he went to see Kinpri 1, but George doesn’t even appear in it as he’s a character made for Kinpri 2. So Furuya was really lost. In the end, he inspired himself with Gintoki in Gintama and even listened to tons of Anigera past episodes. Sugita says it reminds him of the Blazblue stage play, Ragna’s actor had the same problem and was super worried if he’d be able to portray Sugita’s character correctly. He was really happy when Sugita praised him about it, saying ‘it’s fine yo be yourself, your Ragna was great’.
Kobayashi talks about the recording of George singing the Love Mix song in Kinpri 2. At first he was really lost, because he thought he had to sing in a way that sounds like Sugita’s voice. But then the staff explained to him that even in the story, George does use a ghost singer, so it’s totally fine even if the 2 voices sound completely different. They told him it’s fine to just sing like a “sparkling normal idol”. So then it was much easier.
The name Takadanobaba comes from the train station with the same name. They don’t actually talk about it so that’s just info from past posts I’m repeating: in the past Hishida director said he often passes near Hirokouji station during walks. Then it became a private joke between him and the fans, because of Hiro and Kouji. That’s why he decided to name George after a station. But Hiro and Kouji weren’t named after Hirokouji as far as I know. It was a coincidence.
Sugita says the cheer screenings are definitely one of the big appeals of the Kinpri movies. And you can actually do it at home, just not too loud to not bother neighbors.
As he already said many times back in 2016, Sugita went to see Kinpri 1 twice when it released. The first time, it was right after seeing the movie Doukyusei which he though was a movie adapted from the bishoujo game Doukyusei. Turns out it was adapted from a yaoi manga with the same name. He was the only guy in the theater. But the movie was pretty good, so then when getting out, he saw the ad for Kinpri1 and was like, “might as well go watch this other yaoi looking movie, maybe it’ll be good too”.And he was absolutely amazed by it. So he invited one of his friends to go watch the movie again. He had already seen some if not all of Pretty Rhythm before seeing the movie too. Anyway back to Anigera, Sugita says he’d actually like to go to the events etc as a simple fan but can’t. Like the Wrap Up Party events in Tokyo and Osaka which he then promotes.
They talked about a lot of random things in this episode, but less about Kinpri.
Furuya had to improvise a lot of George’s lines in Butakin. I guess this means each representation was different. Stage play George talks a whole lot more compared to anime George. Furuya says that he thought “if it was Sugita san, he’d go overboard and say tons of stuff”, so that’s why it turned out like this.
Tatsuyuki was named like that by his parents to evoke a dragon soaring into the skies, and to reflect how they wanted to see him grow up well.
Script is by Aoba Jou, aka Pretty Rhythm&Kinpri Director Hishida Masakazu (aka Riru Riru Fairilu Director Gojou Sakura)
The actual director of the stage play is someone called 宇治川まさなり (not sure how his name is read). Seems he directed many other stage plays in the past like the Yowamushi Pedal stage play, or the Sengoku BASARA vs Devil May Cry stage play (yeah, I didn’t know this existed either, I want to see that).
They haven’t said for now whether it’ll be a completely new story or using the story from the movies. I don’t think it’ll be a new story. I think it’ll mostly be the first movie, with maybe a few changes.
When it was announced, director tweeted “please support Butakin”. He’s abbreviating the stage play as butai + Kinpri = Butakin. In the past he’s also the one who coined the “Kinpri” abbreviation for KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm and the “Kinpra” abbreviation for KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-, though I mostly use Kinpri2 instead of Kinpra, so it’s easier to get for people not familiar with Pretty Rhythm.
Some people told him to change the abbreviation but I hope it’ll stay this way. In any case I’ll keep calling it Butakin myself because this is so funny.
Old time Pretty Rhythm fanartist Siokya san explained it’s because Director loves it when everyone uses an unique abbreviation so it sticks out during searches, so it’s easier for him to see people’s reactions. So Siokya said he’ll purposely use the emotes
buta/pig and the emote for the kanji 禁/kin
to talk about the stage play, to make it harder for director to search for it haha. Some other old times fans really like the Butakin abbreviation as well and will keep using it alongside with the emote version.
Soon after the announcement, Igarashi tweeted “If not for Kinpri, I wouldn’t have got the opportunity to be in such a stage play again”, that he’ll try to spread the prism sparkle with this stage play which can be considered in a sense 2.5D. And he said “The only one who can act Minato, IS ME!!” referencing Hiro’s line in Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live episode 18. Made me laugh a lot.
Enoki Azusa/Mion tweeted she’s happy Kinpri is getting a stage play, and that she knows Shin’s actor, she did the Bakumatsu Ookami Kick stage play with him.
It seems Tsubota Fumi isn’t working on Kinbuta. Would have been perfect if she helped with the scripts, as before writing for Pretty Rhythm, she used to write theater pieces, hence why she greatly contributed to making the Grateful Symphonia theater like episodes at the end of DMF.
Also, if you’ve been reading my blog for at least a year, you should already know that Koreans fans made their own fan stage play of Kinpri 1 at a convention. Director even retweeted it back when they put it on Youtube. I hope the official one will be at least as good as this.
In other news, Yamamoto Nozomi (Cosmo, Ai jozenji(Naru and Ito’s classmate),Ito’s pair tomo Kurun) finally saw Kinpri 2 today. She says she likes Street Style the best and wants to see the movie again.
The official KING OF PRISM Twitter is about to reach 60K followers, they'll give out Twitter avatars to celebratehttps://t.co/R9rK1WkzDr
Lastly, as always, I’m still saving info from the ongoing stage greetings, eagerly waiting for the KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO- DVD release so I’ll finally be able to read all the new background info and translate&publish it.