In Japan, Character Show Musicals (キャラクターショー・ミュージカル?) have run in conjunction with the Pretty Cure series ever since the first, and are organized by theatre company Gekidan Hikosen. The performers wear costumes concealing their own skin and wearing animegao/kigurumi masks to match on how the characters appear in the anime series.
During a live on stage edition of Pretty Cure, the performers only need to do the actions, as the voices heard during the show were pre-recorded by the actual seiyuus that do the anime series on TV. It usually features the main performers in both the super heroines and a couple of villains. The duration of the show lasts for about 20-25 minutes. These shows prominently feature dancing and simple fight scenes, and a simple storyline (always different to those of the actual episodes).
Sometimes these costumed actors appear only in short sessions featuring one or two Cures (usually from previous series to those running) and are given an introduction with a host and even a meet and greet session with the characters from their young loyal fans. In these sessions, there is usually a short quiz where the host will ask a series of questions based on the Cure/Cures that are on stage. This is then usually preceded by a handshake session and/or a photo session with the Cure(s).
Usually nearer the releases of All Stars films (with the exception of Pretty Cure's 15th anniversary in 2018) outdoor performances are held with most if not all of the Cures present. These consist dances of ending/opening themes of various series and a handshake session at the end. No villains or minor characters from any of the series feature in them.
Locations have included theme parks, department stores, special events & festivals, as well as anime conventions in the Tokyo area.
Near the end of the year, a slightly larger - scale production is run, usually in indoor themeparks (as most of the usual productions are outdoors) which has a different storyline to the smaller productions that run throughout the year. These (sometimes referred to as "Action Stage") usually include advanced fight scenes and special effects, another thing to note is that there are more villains, mascots (usually puppets) and a different set of suit actors for the Cures' civilian forms (compared to normal productions. During transformation scenes, a special effect is incorporated which allows the civilian form suit actors to switch out for a different set wearing fully - transformed Cure outfits. These productions are usually professionally recorded and released on DVD some time after they have taken place.
- Main page: Pretty Cure Live on Stage DVD