Swimming on Stage: A Free Fancast
There’s no denying that sports anime have made fabulous stage productions. Adaptations have already been made of The Prince of Tennis and Yowamushi Pedal (and now Ace of Diamond), and sports-based plays have been huge hits! Now with Haikyuu!! joining the ranks of sports musicals, it makes a fan wonder what other series will make the transition from screen to stage. Obviously, it should be a series that would really draw a crowd and is a sport that could be choreographed and adapted for the stage. Clearly, the most rational choice here would be swimming. How could this possibly be done? What effects would there have to be to simulate swimming? Who cares about the logistics! Let’s all channel our inner Gou and imagine what beautiful actors could bare it all on stage in a Free! swimming anime musical.
Haru is a soft-spoken, slightly aloof character who is only really focused on his true passion: swimming. For this role, Ota Motohiro would be ideal. His brooding, quiet performance as Byakuya Kuchiki in the Bleach rock musicals gives a good indication of his abilities to take on this kind of role. Not to mention the fact that he’s an alum of the wildly popular Tennimyu and Pedal Stage, so he’s certainly no stranger to sports stage adaptations.
Makoto is Haru’s friend who is always there for him. He cares just as much for Haru as he cares about swimming. Makoto has a very sweet demeanor, and Miyazaki Shuuto would be a great casting choice. Makoto has the calm confidence that Shuuto brought to his role as Shinkai in Pedal Stage with the supportiveness and love for his best friend that Hide, his character in Tokyo Ghoul stage, had. Together, it’s a combination of character traits that would make Shuuto an ideal Makoto.
Nagisa is a peppy and happy character who’s never without a smile, and Ueda Keisuke would be an absolutely perfect choice to play him. Keisuke played Manami in Pedal Stage, who has a similar positive attitude and an adorable smile, and it’s so easy to picture him enthusiastically going along with his friends as Nagisa. With just a little bit more bouncing than he did as Manami, Keisuke’s precious demeanor onstage would make him perfect for Nagisa.
Rei may look like the cool, collected megane character, but really he’s a bit of a dweeb. For this role, you’d need an actor who can pull off a mix of serious and comedic antics, and there’s really no better choice than Takuya Nagaoka. As William T. Spears from Kuromyu, he definitely had that cool side down pat and would definitely be able to bring that side of Rei’s character out. But on the other hand, his backstage antics at Kuromyu show that he’s a real goofball, so it’s easy to imagine that he can bring his natural silliness to the role of Rei.
Rin Matsuoka: everyone’s favorite overly-emotional and cocky crybaby. It takes a very special kind of actor to really bring out his over-the-top antics, and while it would be easy to slip Mamorou Miyano, Rin’s seiyuu who got his start in stage productions, into this role, consider Tamaki Yuki as Rin instead. Perhaps best known for his role as Toudou in Pedal Stage, Tamaki is most definitely capable of pulling off unhinged, enthusiastic, and emotional performances. Just listening to him calling out to Makishima in Pedal Stage as Toudou brings to mind Rin’s impassioned calls to Haru when they are sharing an emotional moment. And of course, that smug smirk Tamaki is so good at pulling fits Rin to a T.
Agree or disagree with Melanie? Submit your own fancast or tell us in the comments below!