Traditional deculture!

One of the ways the mecha anime Macross sets itself apart from others in the genre by making music a recurring theme. For most of the franchise’s history, including its most recent incarnation, Macross Delta, that’s meant idol music, but now Macross is partnering with a much more old-school form of entertainment, with the announcement of an art collaboration with Kyoto’s Minami-za kabuki theater.

Minami-za was Japan’s first kabuki theater, originally founded circa 1600. The current building was constructed in 1929, and remains Kyoto’s premier kabuki venue.

▼ The Minami-za theater, located in Kyoto’s Shijo district

The collaboration will take the form of a special Macross art exhibition held within the theater, which will feature new illustrations of the cast of Macross Frontier and Macross Delta dressed in kabuki costumes, drawn by character designers Risa Ebata and Majiro.

With kabuki being famously a all-male form of theater, it might be surprising to see Frontier’s heroines, Sheryl and Ranka, as well as the members of idol unit Walkure, promoting kabuki. There’s historical precedence here, though, as in its earliest days kabuki was performed by women, until the shogunate banned female performers from the kabuki stage in 1629.

Fans of Frontier might be ready to point out a glaring omission from the promotional poster, as within the series male lead Alto spends several years training as an onnagata (a male kabuki actor who plays female roles) before transitioning to being a transforming robot pilot. Rest assured, though, that the even organizers say new Alto illustrations will be part of the exhibition, as will kabuki versions of Delta’s Yami_Q_Ray antagonist idols.

During the exhibition character artwork will be displayed in photo spots on the Minami-za stage itself (though its unclear if guests will be able to get up stage as well). Kabuki costumes and props related to the collaboration will also be on display in the lobby and other parts of the theater and, naturally, the artwork will be the basis for an excusive line of Macross character merchandise.

The exhibition runs from January 20 to February 18. Tickets, which come with two illustration cards randomly selected from a total pool of 15, are priced at 2,500 yen (US$16.65) and go on sale November 21 here through the Ticket Pia online ticketing service.

Source: Macross official website via Otakomu
Top image: Macross official website
Insert images: Wikipedia/MichaelMaggs, Macross official website
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