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“I work a lot in France, where manga and anime are enormously popular, although many theater producers think they are basically for children and are often too violent. However, they regard my robot theater as being an essentially Japanese art form,” the pioneering dramatist Oriza Hirata said recently during a break in rehearsals for his upcoming version of Franz Kafka’s absurdist gem, “The Metamorphosis.”

“But then they found out that robot theater is actually a very high-tech art form with nonchildish content,” he added with a quiet smile on his face.

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