35th anniversary play imagines Maruko-chan’s male classmates later in high school
Stage production company Nelke Planning announced on Monday that it is producing the first stage play adaptation of Momoko Sakura‘s Chibi Maruko-chan manga. The stage play will imagine the boys of Maruko’s third-grade class later on, when they are in high school. The stage play will debut in winter 2022, and will serve as the finale to the franchise‘s 35th anniversary celebrations.
The original Chibi Maruko-chan manga inspired a television anime that is almost consistently the #3 rated television anime series after Sazae-san and Detective Conan. (Chibi Maruko-chan airs on Fuji TV on Sundays at 6:00 p.m., before Sazae-san at 6:30 p.m.) The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995.
The manga’s creator Momoko Sakura passed away due to breast cancer at the age of 53 in August 2018. She serialized the manga in Shueisha‘s Ribon magazine from 1986 to 1996. The comedy manga, which follows the everyday life of a third-grade schoolgirl, has about 32 million copies in print. Sakura launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.
The Chibi Maruko-chan manga is getting new chapters drawn by Sakura Production, which is staffed by long-time assistants of Sakura. The manga is running irregularly in Ribon.