On February 4, 2024, Toho Co. announced that they are canceling the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood musical‘s opening performances at Imperial Theater from February 6, 2024 to February 8, 2024. The musical will instead premiere on February 10, 2024.
The reason they provided was vague, only stating that it will take longer than expected to prepare for the opening and that it will be difficult for them to deliver the performance in perfect condition.
Update: Toho Co. has posted a longer official apology about two hours after we posted this article. See below for details.
2nd Update: On February 8, 2024, Toho Co. announced that they will have to cancel the performances on February 10 and 11 as well. It will now premiere on February 12, 2024 instead.
Toho’s Phantom Blood Musical Delay Announcement
This is regarding the musical “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood”. Due to needing more time than anticipated for opening preparations, it has become difficult to present the performance in its best condition. Therefore, we regretfully must cancel the shows scheduled for February 6th (Tuesday) to 8th (Thursday).
We sincerely apologize to our customers who were looking forward to attending these performances. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause.
- February 6th (Tuesday) starting at 18:00 (6 PM)
- February 7th (Wednesday) starting at 18:00 (6 PM)
- February 8th (Thursday) starting at 13:00 (1 PM)
- February 8th (Thursday) starting at 18:00 (6 PM)
Once again, we apologize for the late notice regarding this matter. Information on rescheduled performances, refund details, and updates about the shows after February 10th (Saturday) will be provided by 16:00 (4 PM) on February 8th (Thursday) through the official X (formerly Twitter) account and the Toho Stage website listed below. Please retain your tickets for the canceled shows as further instructions will follow.
We understand the inconvenience and concern this causes our valued patrons, and we apologize sincerely.
Toho Stage Announcement X (formerly Twitter) Account: @toho_oshirase
Musical “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood” Official Website: https://www.tohostage.com/jojo/
In addition to the above, Toho announced that customers who had scheduled to pick up musical goods they ordered on February 6 and 7 will also have their orders canceled. However, if they scheduled orders through delivery instead, they will be delivered with free shipping charges.
For customers who have tickets for the performances on February 6, 7, and 8, and were planning to purchase merchandise, they state to order the merchandise on the RENI (advance reservation service) site purchase page after 11:00 AM by February 12. These will also be delivered with free shipping, but there is a 330 yen system usage fee per transaction.
Outrage from Fans
Fans are understandably upset about Toho’s last-minute decision, with several voicing their complaints on social media. Some of them had already made hotel bookings, arranged transportation, etc. Due to the last minute cancellations, some of them would not be able to get refunds for these expenses. The company also hasn’t refunded fans for their tickets yet. Moreover, it is impossible for them to reschedule their ticket since all of the other dates are already sold out. As soon as the cancellations were announced, Toho’s ticket purchasing page was overloaded with traffic.
One fan even suggests starting a class action lawsuit against the company, whose post got over 18,000 likes.
“I would like those affected by the cancellation of the JoJo musical to consider a class action lawsuit. It’s almost certain we’d win in court given how unfavorable the situation is for Toho (the burden of proof lies with Toho in court). The ‘no responsibility under any circumstances’ clause in the ticket purchase agreement is invalid in cases of malice or gross negligence on the part of the debtor.”@pon_d8
“I believe many, including myself, were looking forward to their first musical experience with this JoJo musical. We all were excited about what a JoJo performance in a theater would be like. I hope that the organizers understand that our expectations seriously weren’t met, and that they urgently provide a detailed explanation about why the performance was canceled.”@yuto1121
If the organizers of the JoJo musical don’t release a satisfactory statement about the cancellation and leave things ambiguous, I think I’ll never go to a musical again in my life.
I don’t want to spend money or time on an industry that, after receiving a substantial amount of money, unilaterally breaks a promise without sufficient explanation. It’s just not trustworthy.@yuto1121
I’m speechless and disgusted by the handling of the JoJo musical’s opening day turning the tickets into nothing but a piece of paper. But let me make one thing clear: if you make the cast apologize for the cancellation during the curtain call on the opening day, I will never, ever forgive you???? The producers and directors should be the ones apologizing, right????@hbskss
I don’t know the reason, but the fact that performances were skipped in the history of this work is too much to bear. This is a work by Hirohiko Araki, known for never missing a manuscript submission.@saky_meow
I’ve been crying over the JoJo musical situation. Even if other dates are rescheduled, it won’t be the opening day that I desperately wanted to attend. I don’t know if I can bring myself to celebrate the day the performance actually opens, whenever that will be.@yukichhheee
It’s unheard of for a grand musical like JoJo, set to be staged at the Imperial Theater, to cancel the opening performance due to unpreparedness. The audience plans months ahead, booking flights and hotels, especially those coming from other regions. I wish the organizers would consider this. Even if there’s a rescheduled show, not everyone will be able to attend.@xoxoxoDolly
Other tickets for the Tokyo shows are already sold out (and I will be out of the country later this month), so people like myself who purchased tickets back in November have lost our chance to see this musical because of the Imperial Theatre’s lack of professionalism.@mrjeffu
The Other Cursed Phantom Blood Adaptation
Coincidentally, this isn’t the first time an issue arose related to a Phantom Blood adaptation. In 2007, a film adaptation by Studio A.P.P.P. briefly premiered in theaters. However, for unknown reasons, Shueisha never released the film for home video so it is currently considered lost media.
Since then, dedicated fans have made attempts to retrieve the film. One went as far as hiring private investigators to contact Shueisha. The investigators reported that it is unlikely they will ever release the film to the public due to compliance issues related to A.P.P.P.’s Stardust Crusaders OVA. On May 22, 2008, A.P.P.P. and Super Techno Arts halted DVD shipments for the OVA after receiving complaints for a scene where the villain DIO reads pages from the Quran in Egypt. Shueisha and A.P.P.P. apologized for this and ensured to change the scene for future releases. It was not their intention to imply anything as the staff just added random Arabic text they found onto the book in the scene.
The good news is that Toho hasn’t fully canceled the musical. An official recording of the performances will hopefully still release in the future.
Update from Toho
On February 6, 2024, Toho posted a longer apology professionally explaining in detail about their circumstances. Thankfully, they will be refunding the ticket price, system usage fee, and all cancellation or booking fees incurred from transportation or accommodations on the days of the canceled musical performances.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your exceptional patronage of Toho Theatre.
As we urgently announced on February 4th on our official website and X (formerly Twitter), the musical “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood” has had a total of four performances from February 6th to 8th canceled. This regrettable decision results from our failure to accurately foresee the complexities involved in the production of this performance and the inadequacies in our production system. We sincerely apologize to all patrons who were eagerly anticipating the show, as well as all parties involved.
Furthermore, we deeply regret the inconvenience caused to our patrons due to the last-minute notice of the cancellation, and for the initial lack of detailed explanation regarding the cancellation. We sincerely apologize for the concern and inconvenience this has caused.
We would like to reiterate the circumstances that led to this cancellation and explain our response to those who have purchased tickets for the canceled shows. Rehearsals for this production were behind schedule due to the complex direction plan and the need for more extensive confirmation processes under our production system. Even after rehearsals began on stage at the Imperial Theater, we all worked hard until the last minute to prepare for the opening day as scheduled. Despite our efforts, the need for further revisions and reviews led us to the decision, after careful consideration, that we could not make up for the delay. Considering the safety of our staff and cast, we have decided to postpone the opening day and cancel the aforementioned four performances.
We take full responsibility for this situation, which should never have occurred.
For those who have purchased tickets for the canceled performances, we will provide a refund of the ticket price, the ticket sales commission fee at the time of purchase, the system usage fee, the cancellation fees for transportation and accommodation arrangements made before the announcement of the performance cancellation, or for those who could not cancel, the transportation cost and one night’s accommodation fee per performance day. We kindly ask you to keep the receipts of the amounts paid and the tickets for the canceled performances.
Details about future performances and the refund process will be further announced by 16:00 on February 8th via the X (formerly Twitter) account and the Toho Theatre website listed below.
About Phantom Blood
Phantom Blood is the first part of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. Shueisha serialized the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump from December 1986 to October 1987.
An anime adaptation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure released starting from October 2012. Phantom Blood is covered in the first 9 episodes of Season 1.
- Yuya Matsushita and Shotaro Arisawa as Jonathan Joestar
- Mamoru Miyano as Dio Brando
- Miisha Shimizu as Erina Pendleton
- YOUNG DAIS as Robert E. O. Speedwagon
- Yoshihisa Higashiyama and Yusuke Hirose as Will Anthonio Zeppeli
- Yamato Kochi as Jack the Ripper
- Jumpei Shimada as Wang Chan
- Kong Kuwata as Dario Brando
- Tetsuya Bessho as George Joestar I