Historical revisionists, seeking to change the course of history, have begun their offensive in the past.The government at the time has dispatched a saniwa into the past to protect history.The saniwa, being able to sense spiritual energy, was able to bring out the tsukumogami spirits residing within swords.Together with the "Touken Danshi," the saniwa has dedicated themselves to fighting to protect the course of history.
One of two distinct stage continuities, Touken Ranbu Stageplay (or Tousute as it's abbreviated) is a series of Stage Plays adapted from the widely popular Touken Ranbu franchise. Each stage play focuses on a new story, with few recurring characters, namely Mikazuki Munechikanote and Yamanbagiri Kunihiro being a constant staple in them. It all comes together in the fifth stage play, Hiden: Yui no Me no Hototogisu.
A four episode docu-series set around the production of the stage play was released and received a Blu-ray release on December 9th, 2018.
A live action movie featuring returning actors from the stage plays premiered on January 18th, 2019, although it covers a different story. This film also holds the distinction of being the first movie and first live action movie adaptation of the franchise. A manga adaptation of the live action movie was posted up until the movie's release. It received a sequel movie in 2022.
2020 finally saw to a crossover between the stage play and musical continuities. Titled Touken Ranbu: Daienren, the two citadels were expected to collide in August 2020 at Tokyo Dome. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was cancelled and replaced with a cast talk event.
The stage play series also saw to an animated adaptation. Kyoden was the first of the plays announced for an anime retelling in 2022.
- Kyoden: Moeyura Honnouji (Apocrypha: Honnouji Temple Ablaze) (2016)
- (Rerun) Apocrypha: Honnouji Temple Ablaze (2016)
- Giden: Akatsuki no Dokugan Ryuu (Canon: Dawn of the One-eyed Dragon) (2017)
- Kaiden: Kono Yora no Odawara (Addendum: These Nights at Odawara) (2017)
- Jouden: Mitsura Hoshigatana Gatari (Genesis: Tale of the Three Star Swords) (2018)
- Reprieve: The Drinking Spears note
- Hiden: Yui no Me no Hototogisu (2018)
- Jiden: Hibi No Ya Yo Chiruran (2019)
- Iden: Oboro no Shishitachi (2019)
- Touken Ranbu: Daienren (2020) Cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Tropes spanning the entire stageplay series:
- Bittersweet Ending: The first play has the Touken Danshi return to the Citadel a little more mature, experienced, and happy for the most part. However, Fudou's still drinking; as the game shows, it means he's not yet over his guilt over Nobunaga, and won't be until he gets his Kiwame training.
- Breaking Old Trends: The 2020 show introduces a relevant female character in Hosokawa Gracia. While continuities like Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu and the movie did feature girls, they were in minor roles; characters like Katsugeki's Saniwa did have female voice work and were relevant, but were treated as gender ambiguous (unless you watched the dub or watched with subtitles, in which case he was male). For the eighth installment, the character is both played by and is female and a billed character.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Munechika does this quite often near the end of the plays. Usually they're small nods that indicate how well they accomplished their mission, but over the course of the series it becomes very clear that something is wrong with him to interact like that.
- Breather Episode: Jiden, following the absolutely heartbreaking Jyouden and Hiden, is mostly just two hours of sillier shenanigans localized to the Citadel and features the rather simple plot of distracting Yamanbagiri and Yamanbagiri Chougi from meeting. Many comment on the installment feeling like a Hanamaru episode.
- Canon Foreigner: Similarly to the Musical adaptations, the stage plays introduce characters not previously seen in the original game, based on the historical figures.
- Continuity Nod: Due to all the stageplays being connected and a meta example where every stage play performance is referenced due to Mikazuki being trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and experiencing the same thing over and over in canon, referencing the constant performances of the stageplays in the real world.
- Characterization Marches On: Due to all the stage plays being connected And the stage plays being meta in the repeated performances of the stage play weigh in on Mikazuki Munechikas mental state as he tries to break out of his "Groundhog Day" Loop.
- Chromosome Casting: Due to there canonically being no women in Touken Ranbu, as well as no female Touken Danshi, there were no women in the stage plays cast up until Iden. Even the stage play exclusive characters were male. The Saniwa was eventually revealed to be male, as well.
- Darker and Edgier: While Touken Ranbu as a franchise isn't exactly light-hearted as at the center of it all it is about a war; the stage play continuity is the only continuity in which swords die. There is also heavier emphasis on the tragic aspect of the war and what the swords have go to through to protect history compared to the other adaptations.
- Driving Question: For Kyoden: Who was Oda Nobunaga truly? Every major player affected by the man has their own take. To Fudou and Ranmaru, he was a beloved master and a treasured person; to Hasebe, a scoundrel who abandoned him; to Souza, the one and only Demon King; to Mitsuhide, someone he didn't want abandoning him, and his destiny.
- Every Episode Ending: Each show ends with the Touken Danshi cast singing and performing a parasol dance as they take their bows.
- Fanservice: Similarly to the Musicals, but mostly with character interactions and Ascended Fanon.
- Theres a bit of fanservice for fans of Mikazuki Munechika/Yamanbagiri Kunihiro, Mikazuki Munechika/Tsurumaru Kuninaga and Tsurumaru Kuninaga/Ichigo Hitofuri in the stage plays.
- Genre Deconstruction: The stage shows do make a point of having interactions between Touken Danshi of similar circumstances or the same master/smith be not entirely chummy between them. Sure the Awataguchi and Samonji brothers interact fine, but those owned by Nobunaga do not; in fact, some of them barely know each other, their differences in opinion over the man can cause them to argue and draw lines in the sand, and most of them are neutral at best.
- The Ghost:
- The Saniwa in the early musicals. Although the Touken Danshi constantly refer to them, they're either just off screen (and in the audience's general direction) or resting.
- For all the importance Nobunaga had on the rest of the cast in Kyoden, he never actually shows up until the end, and even then his face is in shadow and he turns his back to the audience without a word. Truly he was of not actual importance to the story; the Nobunaga that drives the plot is the perception he gave to others.
- Good Is Not Soft: A running theme throughout the plays. Protecting history, beyond just ensuring arbitrary events occur on track, also means that the Touken Danshi need to be prepared to kill said figures mercilessly. It takes a strong heart to prepare themselves for their roles in assisting atrocities—a feat new swords don't always agree with.
- How We Got Here: Kyoden opens up with Ranmaru rushing around Honnouji in a vain effort to protect his lord, and encountering Mitsuhide along the way, who asks him who Nobunaga really is both to him and to others. It's only later that we get the how to those turns of events.
- Killed Off for Real: Yamabushi Kunihiro is among the first swords to permanently break. Mikazuki Munechika is also dismantled in Shiden, and while that's not the same as breaking, it's unknown if a sword can come back from it, or if the saniwa will ever order for him to be put back together.
- Last Stand: Ranmaru in Kyoden gives his all to protect Nobunaga to the last, despite being only one person.
- The Load: While Fudou may say he's a "useless blade", he really exemplifies it here beyond mere talk. His constant drinking and lack of training leave him at disadvantages where numbers are concerned, and he routinely has to be saved by other Touken Danshi. That isn't to say that he doesn't know how to fight; he clearly does, and is able to hold his own, but he's just not a team player.
- Non-Entity General: Averts this by giving the Saniwa an appearance. He is a man in this continuity, similarly to the Musical.
- Original Generation: Hiden's plot features a never-before seen Touken Danshi, dubbed "Nue-to-Yobareru".
- Overcrank: A couple of real time examples in the plays; Souza's nightmare of Honnouji and certain fight scenes are good examples of this.
- Popular History: Like the musical, the series focuses on popular historical figures but with its own take on how things occurred.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of Jiden, Yamanbagiri decides to go on his Kiwame training in order to better himself and become stronger for the Citadel.
- Quit Your Whining: Fudou, being new and very attached to Nobunaga, is rather distraught over the idea of having to put his real feelings aside for the sake of the mission. Hasebe tells him rather bluntly that it's part of the job, and to get used to it.
- Series Fauxnale: Hiden, at the time, was as close to edging towards a grand finale as one could get. Yamabushi, a Touken Danshi, died onscreen, Yamanbagiri was appointed the new leader after Munichika, and while there is a sequel hook in releasing Munechika from his constant loops, one would be under the impression that you could loop the five plays released up to then and it would feel like a complete story. However, the director as well as actors gave the fandom hope for the future of the stage plays, as well as the characters. While it was considered the final play for a little while, Jiden followed in 2019.
- Trust-Building Blunder: In Kyoden, the Touken Danshi try to encourage teamwork skills by having a red-versus-white team battle; Oda swords and Tsurumaru going with Yamanbagiri, Awataguchis and Shokudaikiri going with Munechika. The Red Team is generally spot on and in sync, but the White Team's major malfunction lies in Fudou.
- Unseen No More: The Saniwa finally makes his first appearance in Hiden.
- Villainous Rescue: The Retrograde Forces come to Ranmaru's aid when the Touken Danshi attempt to assassinate him to preserve the timeline. Like many things that happen with the Retrogrades, this is presented as a bad thing.
- Wham Shot: In the final performance of Iden, one of the Retrograde Forces takes off his helmet and hat to reveal that a version of Yamanbagiri has joined their ranks, in an effort to break Mikazuki out of his loops.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: The Retrograde Forces sure know how to change tactics. When their initial goal is thwarted by the Touken Danshi, they quickly choose another target to alter. Kyoden, for example, has them trying to save Mori Ranmaru, then trying to prevent Nobunaga from committing seppuku, and finally trying to kill Mitsuhide before his intended death in battle less than two weeks after Honnouji.