MAPPA held its Stage 2023 showcase event last night, bringing updates to some of the world’s most popular anime titles.
From the studios behind anime hits like Attack on Titan Final Season, Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man, MAPPA invited fans to see what projects they have cooking in the near future. Last night, MAPPA Stage 2023 took place at the Tokyo Garden Theatre, with Seitaro Mukai of comedy group Tenshin MC hosting the event. The 8-hour event was full of entertainment, although there were no major updates on some of their biggest hits, such as Chainsaw Man Season 2.
Here were the anime series mentioned at MAPPA Stage 2023:
- Hell’s Paradise
- Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill
- Attack on Titan
- Vinland Saga
- Chainsaw Man
- Jujutsu Kaisen
- The Mourning Children: Nagiko and the Girls Wearing Tsurubami Black
- Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Koujou
Starting with the first and sadly more disappointing news, the Hell’s Paradise announcements at the event were bone dry. However, Yumiri Hanamori (Yamada Asaemon Sagiri), Ryohei Kimura (Aza Choubei), Rie Takahashi (Yuzuriha) and Chikahiro Kobayashi (Yamada Asaemon Shion) were all present to share their experiences of working on the show so far. It made sense for MAPPA to hold off on announcing plans for Season 2, as the series only has 8 episodes so far. They also announced that episode 9 will not be released next weekend (May 27th), but the following week on June 3rd.
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill
Similarly, the Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill panel had no major announcements but was very interesting and fun. Fans were able to see Yuma Uchida’s incredible cooking skills as he prepared a beef curry dish using “wyvern meat”. Uchida talked and cooked for his fellow cast members Satoshi Hino, Hina Kino, Maaya Uchida, and MC Mukai.
Attack on Titan
Finally, some of the more exciting news! The Attack on Titan panel was very emotional for the fans and cast members who attended. It started with Romi Park (Hange Zoë), Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman) and Yuki Kaji (Eren Jaeger) doing a live reading of some of the most intense scenes from the last season of the anime. Park spoke passionately about her role as Hange and how she has been playing her for so long. Attack on Titan Final Season director Yuichiro Hayashi then joined them to reveal a new key visual for the final instalment – stating that this would be the last for the anime.
Fans of the popular Viking anime were treated to a new trailer for the second season, which is currently airing. It was supposedly accidentally posted by MAPPA on their official Twitter account before the announcement was made on stage. Nevertheless, it was a nice recap of season 2 of the Vinland Saga with some new scenes added. Yuto Uemura (Thorfinn) and Shunsuke Takeuchi (Einar) joined Shuhei Yabuta (director) and Hiroya Hasegawa (producer) on stage. They talked about the current season and some of the most memorable moments Thorfinn has experienced on his journey so far.
With so many announcements made at MAPPA Stage 2023, you’d think there would be a big update on Chainsaw Man Season 2, especially after that Twitter post in December 2022 with a picture of Denji and Pochita saying “See you again”. But no, the fans were disappointed. Their panel began with a Pochita mascot appearing on stage, followed by voice actors Kikonosuke Toya (Denji), Fairouz Ai (Power) and Shogo Sakata (Aki Hayakawa).
Tomori Kusunoki, the voice of Makima, was unable to attend due to illness. They talked about some of the iconic scenes from Season 1 as fans waited eagerly for an update that never came. The panel ended with the cast unveiling some new official merchandise for fans to buy online, and then the disappointed Twitter reactions flooded in. One fan mentioned staying up “until 4am for your guy’s chainsaw man panel and you guys don’t even mention anything about season 2 wtf…”.
To counter the lackluster Chainsaw Man panel, the Jujutsu Kaisen panel came out swinging—previewing the new opening theme song for season 2! Pretty much everyone expected a new trailer for the Hidden Inventory / Premature Death arc, premiering on July 6. The new opening son “Ao no Sumika” by Tatsuya Kitani was very hype, backed by the action-packed trailer.
The Hidden Inventory / Premature Death arc features a younger Gojo, Nanami and others from their school days – providing more backstory for these fan-favourite characters from Season 1. Character artwork for the highly anticipated Shibuya Incident arc was also shown. If you have read the manga, the Shibuya Incident arc is quite a shocker!
The Mourning Children: Nagiko and the Girls Wearing Tsurubami Black | Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Koujou
The subsidiary animation studio CONTRAIL has been working hard on Sunao Katabuchi’s latest feature film, The Mourning Children: Nagiko and the Girls Wearing Tsurubami Black. A teaser visual was showcased. As for Mari Okada’s Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Koujou movie, a new teaser trailer and visual was shown at MAPPA Stage 2023, with a release date in theatres for September 15—across Japanese cinemas.
To round off the evening, the only new anime that was talked about during the live show was BUCCHIGIRI (Bucchigiri?!). It was announced that Hiroko Utsumi (Banana Fish) will be directing the original anime project, which will follow the story of two friends who reunite and end up in a power struggle. The show is set to premiere in January 2024, and a teaser visual and trailer have been released.
And this was pretty much all of the announcements made at MAPPA Stage 2023 this year! It was pretty mixed in the reception of the event. Essentially, the announcement lows were terribly low, but the thrilling trailers, teasers and live cooking show made up for it.