ANIMETAL 10th anniversary live [Songs For Everlasting Future] tour final in Zepp Tokyo

live report - 01.12.2006 23:00

Live report of ANIMETAL's tour final on October 22nd.

ANIMETAL, in their 10th anniversary year, did their final live of their [Songs For Everlasting Future] tour in Zepp Tokyo, Odaiba, and then, once again stopped their band activities.

ANIMETAL fused anime songs and heavy metal into one, and made a huge sensation all over Japan. Eizo Sakamoto, the charismatic vocalist of ANTHEM, MASAKI, who is the exceptionally skillful bassist of CANTA, and Syu, a young guitar hero from the band Galneryus, make up this new-style heavy metal band. I’m sure that there were anime fans that hadn’t listened to heavy metal before, and heavy metal fans that hadn’t seen anime before, but both crowds showed interest in these genres because of this band. The enlargement of both anime and heavy metal fan bases can almost solely be attributed to them and they achieved more than what any of us at first imagined.

Like it was destined to happen, ANIMETAL's music went overseas and received a positive reaction from heavy metal fans all over the world. Heavy metal fans, guitar kids and anime fans came to see their live in Paris in June 2006, welcoming ANIMETAL enthusiastically.

Long before the live started, there were female fans outside the venue waiting for the members to come in. At 5 pm it started raining, but there were still long lines of people, mostly 20-30 year old males wearing T-shirts and jeans, waiting outside the venue. Most fans wore ANIMETAL T-shirts while some had painted their faces and many females had long hair and wore tank tops. I was lucky to see their very last live and was excited with expectation. If you were an anime fan, you would be more excited to think about how your favorite anime songs would be arranged and performed on the stage.

Before they started the live, Mr. Hisatake, who is the producer of ANIMETAL, stood on the stage and gave a speech. Surrounded by the audience’s friendly warm cheers and applause, he said thanks to fans who had been supporting them in the 10 years since ANIMETAL released its first CD in 1996. He was moved to tears, with people cheering and clapping too. Then he shouted out, ‘Do you like anime---!?’ ‘Do you like heavy metal---!?’ ‘Do you like ANIMETAL---!?’, people raised their fists up yelling ‘Yeah----!!!’ all at once, then the live started.

With a big cheer from the audience, Eizo Sakamoto appeared on the stage wearing a blue costume with a yellow fur cloak and stood in front of the center microphone. MASAKI, wearing a yellow and black costume, stood on the right side holding a yellow bass, and Syu, wearing a red costume with white fur around his neck, stood on the left side of the stage. Support drummer Jun took his seat on the center back stage for drums wearing a simple tank top with light make up, while the other three members were made up with showy black painting around their eyes.

The live started with a fast paced song: Uchu Senkan Yamato. The audience raised their hands lead by Eizo, and people in the front line started to head bang. In the following Bara wa utsukusiku chiru, Eizo kneeled and sang enthusiastically while Syu played a brilliant guitar solo and sang along. Eizo said that they had played in Zepp Tokyo for the first time and had found familiar fans who wore ‘Mazinger Z’ costumes and introduced them to the audience. Next song, Kimi wo nosete, started with Syu’s guitar solo and while it seemed to be a slow ballad, speedy heavy drums followed by an explosion started by Eizo’s shouting and it soon changed into a very hard heavy metal song. In the main melodies of Chikyu wa mawaru.(meaning The earth goes round.), the audience raised their fists up and sang together.

In Marathon V Medley, Eizo kicked a Pet bottle like a soccer ball into the audience while Syu head banged and swayed his hips sexily and rhythmically to the music. During the pop tune Ultraman Reo, MASAKI played a heavy bass riff and Syu’s guitar sounded sorrowful. In the family anime medley For The Bravehearts Only!, Eizo mimicked a popular singer, Goro Noguchi, looked at a video camera and introduced following songs. In the song Doraemon, he directed the audience to join the song by shouting "Hai! Takekoputa!"(meaning "Here you are! Takekoputa!" after he sang "Sora wo Jiyuu ni Tobitai na!("I want to fly in the sky freely!".

The voice of Eizo Sakamoto, brilliant guitar solos of Syu, the fast tune bass of MASAKI, combined vocals of Eizo and Syu, and the unpredicted dirty talk of MASAKI filled the live with an explosion of great music and laughter. The set list included various songs of anime, from old to new, and just like a 'marathon,' they showered us with one song after another and gave us no time to catch our breath. I was surprised that even the anime songs of Hayao Miyazaki's films, Doraemon, and Chibimaruko-chan were arranged into heavy metal.

After Syu played his glorious and dramatic guitar solos, the Dragon Ball Z song CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA, which had a catchy bright melody, began. Next was Ginga Tetsudo 999, a slow Japanese ballad. These songs reminded us of wide variety of songs in their repertoire. In Marathon VI Medley, fast tune songs were fired off and the audience raised their fists up while head banging wildly. MASAKI played his bass very quickly and Eizo shouted with his high-toned voice in unison with the guitar and bass.

Eizo directed the audience to take a seat and he seated himself on a chair and started an acoustic live. He played acoustic guitar, sang, and talked frequently drawing the audience’s laughter. Being led by him, the audience clapped their hands, danced and sang together, and finally hugged each other while singing and swinging to the music. Beautiful acoustic melodies and Eizo’s pleasant talk wrapped the whole venue in a calm, warm atmosphere. Once Eizo left the stage, MASAKI and Syu sang Ai wo torimodose together.

Once again, Marathon VII Medley started with the sharp, speedy CAT’S EYE and included heavy middle songs and slow ballads. MASAKI played bass solos, Jun played drum solos, and Eizo kneeled and sang. In Ta ga tameni, MASAKI finger-picked his bass and Syu played an impressive guitar solo under flashing colorful red, green and yellow lights. In ANIMETAL Marathon Medley, which was the serial anime songs arranged in heavy metal from fast tune to ballads, members were running around on the stage and the audience head banged. MASAKI went down to the audience and pointed his mike to them, Syu sat on the floor, and Eizo was screaming and then the huge venue of Zepp Tokyo became hot like a live house.

In a bass solo, MASAKI played quick bass without a pick, sometimes like flamenco guitar and sometimes arranging famous classical songs by distorting bass sounds. It was just incredible. The theme of Con Battler V included quick guitar and bass unison. Eizo exchanged his costume for a black ANIMETAL T-shirt, kicked a Pet bottle into the audience and head banged wildly while screaming during the song Touch. In the middle of Mazinger Z, the guitar and bass chased each other and the audience joined in call and response of ‘Mazinger!’. During the following song, Getta robo!, the audience, lead by Eizo, raised their fists up all at once, jumped, and the live reached at climax.

Members were running around on the stage, making jokes and provoking laughter, all of which made the show outstandingly wonderful and entertaining. The audience waved their hands, jumped, and moved together with members on the stage. They also head banged with heavy metal explosion, sang their favorite anime songs, moved and sweated together, making it seem almost like an athletic meeting and made a strong identification of band and the audience.

When Eizo told the audience that ANIMETAL would stop their activities again, the audience gave appreciative cheers and a big warm applause to him. Fans were upset, but thankful for everything the band had giving them.

In Gacchaman no Uta, Syu and Masaki played guitar and bass longer, and Eizo shouted longer too, like they let their inner thoughts flood out. In the last song, Pegasus Gensou, the audience raised their fists shouting ‘Oh! Oh! Oh!’ under a shining mirror ball. When the sounds of the guitar and bass had finally faded away, the last live of ANIMETAL had ended. Picks, a drum head, towels, wrist bands, many things were thrown into the audience, and everyone joined their hands and did ‘Banzai!’ 3 times, then the live finally ended.

Releasing positive messages to wholesome anime and metal music fans, ANIMETAL showed us more than a rich entertaining show. It’s a big shame that we won’t be able to see this kind of entertainment anymore. I really hope ANIMETAL will recommence their activities once again for anime and heavy metal fans waiting all over the world.

Set List:
1. Uchu Senkan Yamato
2. Bara wa utsukushiku chiru
3. Kimi wo nosete
4. Marathon V Medley (Yoroshiku turning ~ the theme of Lupin the III ~ The Chanbara ~ Cho-denshi Bioman ~ Tatakae! Dragon ~ Ryu-sei Ningen Zone ~ Yatta-man no Uta)
5. Harikenja- Sanjo!
6. Ultraman Leo
7. For The Bravehearts Only! (Doraemon no Uta ~ Ninja Hattori-kun ~ Kiteyo Paman ~ Ora wa Ninki-mono ~ Odoru Ponpokorin)
Guitar solo(Syu)
9. Ginga Tetsudo 999
10. Marathon VI Medley (Gattai! Getta-robo ~ Yusha wa Mazinger ~ Hoshi-zora no Gaikingu ~ Omoide ga ippai ~ Kawaita Daichi ~ Ai.Senshi ~ Tamashi no Rufuran)
Vocal solo(Eizo Sakamoto)
11. Marathon Medley VII (CAT’S EYE ~ Midnight Dekarenja ~ Star! Star! Kage-star ~ Yamato Takeshi no Uta ~ Yujo no Baromusuku ~ Tsuyosa ha Ai da ~ Maho Sentai Majirenja)
12. Ta ga tameni
13. Iron leaguer ~Kagirinaki Shimei
14. Animetal Marathon Medley (Umi no Triton ~ Tekkaman no Uta ~ Tatakae! Kyashan ~ Macros ~Shippu Zabunguru ~ Tekko Ziek no Uta ~ Tobe! Gandam)
Bass solo(MASAKI)
15. The theme of Con Battler V
16. Touch
17. Mazinger Z
18. Getta robo!
19. Gacchaman no Uta
20. Pegasus Gensou
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