Anisong World Matsuri ~Japan Super Live~ at Anime Expo 2017

live report - 08.01.2017 20:01

The "~Japan Super Live~" surged with explosive power from start to finish.

Anisong World Matsuri ~Japan Super Live~ was held at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, July 1st. In contrast to the fluff and cuteness that was the ~Japan Kawaii Live~, the ~Japan Super Live~ surged with explosive power from start to finish.

As soon as the Anisong World Matsuri logo appeared on the large screen that served as the backdrop for the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers and raised their LED light sticks in the air. More cheers filled the theater when the performers for the evening were introduced on the screen: Konomi Suzuki, Mashiro Ayano, GARNiDELiA, ALI PROJECT, Minori Chihara and angela.

Konomi Suzuki

© Anisong World Matsuri

The ~Japan Super Live~ got off to a fiery start with a collaboration between Konomi Suzuki and atsuko from angela. They performed Zankoku na tenshi no these, the wildly popular theme song from classic anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. It proved to be the perfect opening song, bringing the American audience to their feet as high quality speakers pumped out crisp, clear music at full blast. This surprised the Japanese fans among the crowd as standing during sit-down concerts was uncommon to them, but some of them stood up soon after.

Konomi Suzuki then continued with a solo performance, backed up by a live band. As she sang songs such as This game from “No Game No Life” and Blow out from “Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor”, it was easy to distinguish her true fans from other attendees as these fans knew exactly when to move their light sticks. Even though the cheers Konomi received weren’t as loud as what she was used to in Japan and some concert-goers were chatting during her performance, Konomi no doubt put up a stellar show.

Set list

01. Zankoku na tenshi no these (Special Collaboration with angela)
02. This game
03. Blow out
04. Redo

Mashiro Ayano

© Anisong World Matsuri

Rising anisong star Mashiro Ayano was up next. She seemed to glow as the stage lights were reflected off her uniquely-styled white vest and asymmetrical layered skirt. After performing vanilla sky, Mashiro launched into her latest single NEWLOOK. This uplifting new song transmitted waves of positive energy to the audience, chasing out the darkness in their hearts. The majority of the crowd set their light sticks to white here, perhaps to match Mashiro’s outfit or the cheery mood.

After NEWLOOK concluded, the Hokkaido-born singer spoke to the crowd. She did a self-introduction and expressed her joy at being able to perform at Anisong World Matsuri, which marked her second time performing in Los Angeles. “Are you ready?” Mashiro asked, rallying the crowd to cheer loudly. She continued, “This song is called ideal white.” Immediately, the intro to the last song of her set started flowing out of the speakers.

Set list

01. vanilla sky
03. ideal white


© Anisong World Matsuri

Deafening cheers rattled the theater when GARNiDELiA took to the stage, a clear sign that the duo were a hot favorite among the audience. After a rousing performance of ambiguous, vocalist MARiA took some time to address the crowd. “This is our first time in LA. We are so happy to meet you! Thank you so much!” MARiA cried, expressing her gratitude. “Let’s have a great time together, ok?” she asked, to which the crowd roared their hearty approval. “Ok! Here’s our next song, grilletto.”

The seating area transformed into a sea of blue as fans raised their light sticks in time to the beat of grilletto. A pair of female dancers joined MARiA on stage, enhancing the visual impact of the performance. SPEED STAR came next, MARiA’s clear, powerful voice sweeping through the venue as orange lights shone through the atmospheric fog. During Yakusoku -Promise code-, the dancers whipped out folding fans that they twirled this way and that with deft flicks of their wrists.

“Do you like anime?” MARiA asked after Yakusoku -Promise code- ended. Needless to say, the crowd answered in the affirmative. “I’m collaborating with my favorite artist,” MARiA continued, welcoming Mashiro Ayano back on stage amidst joyous cheers. After both vocalists took turns to speak to each other and the audience, it was time for their performance of Sorairo Days. As soon as the music kicked in, the audience let out a resounding “Whoa!” Plenty of energetic jumping and shouts of “Oi!” later, MARiA and Mashiro led their fans in a collective jump to bring the set to a satisfying finish.

Set list

01. ambiguous
02. grilletto
04. Yakusoku -Promise code-
05. Sorairo Days (Special Collaboration with Mashiro Ayano)


© Anisong World Matsuri

The arrival of ALI PROJECT on stage brought a mystical feeling to the venue. Singer Arika Takarano gave the impression that she had walked out of a fairytale, sporting a shock of long, crimson locks and a towering crown of white feathers atop her head, donning an elaborate white gown with scarlet flowers and flowing sleeves. As if to match her outfit, the audience switched their light sticks to red.

Flanked by four dancers, Arika delivered a series of well-known anisongs that held the audience spellbound. The first song was Boukoku kakusei katharsis from “.hack//Roots”. Already, one could tell that ALI PROJECT’s style of music was markedly different from the pop songs by the other artists, carrying a darker edge with gothic and symphonic rock elements. During the all-familiar Yukyou seishunka from “CODE GEASS Lelouch of the Rebellion”, Arika led the crowd in a time of clapping along with her.

Set list

01. Boukoku kakusei katharsis
02. Yukyou seishunka
03. Seishoujo ryouiki
04. Rara Eve Shinseiki

Minori Chihara

© Anisong World Matsuri

Successfully entertaining the audience after a performance as splendid as ALI PROJECT’s was no mean feat as the bar was already set so high, but voice actress and anisong singer Minori Chihara rose to the occasion with an electrifying set of songs. With anime footage rolling on the background screen, she powered through Paradise Lost, TERMINATED and Beyond the Boundary.

“This next one is special,” Minori said in Japanese after performing Beyond the Boundary. Arika from ALI PROJECT appeared on stage again to excited cheers, this time in a red, layered dress that matched Minori’s. Together, both vocalists lifted their voices in harmony to sing Celestial Diva from “CHAOS RINGS II”.

It was then time for Minori to continue her solo set with her smash hit Hare hare yukai, the ending theme for “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. Right away, the temperature of the theater went up by several notches. As clips from the anime’s end credits were flashed on the screen, Minori mirrored the dance moves by members of the SOS Brigade. “Thank you!” she chirped during the instrumental portion of the song. The crowd responded with a heated “Whoa!”, wildly waving their multi-coloured light sticks in the air. “Thank you!” Minori said once more at the end of the song before smoothly transitioning into her closing number, Freedom Dreamer.

Set list

01. Paradise Lost
03. Beyond the Boundary
04. Celestial Diva (Special Collaboration with ALI PROJECT)
05. Hare hare yukai
06. Freedom Dreamer


© Anisong World Matsuri

If there had been a fashion contest for the ~Japan Super Live~ artists, winning the “Most Uniquely Dressed” prize would have been a cakewalk for angela’s vocalist atsuko. All eyes were on her as she entered the stage. She was clad in a lion costume that included a golden crown atop her head, a realistic-looking 3D lion head covering the front of her torso, furry wrist and ankle warmers, and a tail. Guitarist KATSU was dressed as a lion keeper, sporting a red blazer and pants that had checkers and stripes on opposing pant legs.

As the final performer of the night, angela was expected to impress and bring the concert to its climax; they didn’t disappoint. No one knew if there was any special meaning behind atsuko’s choice to dress as the ruler of the jungle, but it was obvious that she was the queen of audience interaction that night.

“I’m going to dance with you guys,” atsuko told the crowd before performing Asu he no brilliant road. “I’m going to teach you a dance,” she continued, instructing everyone to follow along. She demonstrated a simple dance that involved slowly raising her straightened arms until they were above her head, flicking her wrists outwards and then bringing both arms back down with closed fists in front of her chest. During the performance, atsuko showcased the dance while singing. At that moment, it was a cue given to the crowd to follow along, and follow they did.

When atsuko raised her hand in a salute at the beginning of SIDONIA, the audience followed suit. When she commanded them to shout “Hoi!”, they obeyed. When she jumped, they leapt. Everyone heeded her every call to action.

atsuko made another speech after SIDONIA. “Are you having fun?” she asked. The crowd responded with a “Yeah!” “Do you understand Japanese?” the singer asked again. Another “Yeah!” rose from the crowd. “I know … Anime!” atsuko continued, referring to the fans’ main source of learning Japanese. “I know everything,” she remarked before teaching the audience the dance for the next song, KINGS.

atsuko’s instructions for fans were to jump when she cued the “big bang” lyrics during the song, and to quickly raise both hands up and then swing them down when she sang the “big wave” lyrics. Satisfied that her students had mastered the dance after some practice, she let KINGS begin.

“You are otaku!” KATSU remarked right after closing song Shangri-La ended on a high note, praising attendees for knowing the music and Japanese language from anime. The crowd responded with laughter and he chuckled. All artists then returned on stage to say their goodbye messages.

“America, I really like you! I need a VISA! Please marry me!” KATSU joked during the final moments of the concert, drawing whoops of laughter from the crowd. “Anisong is forever! We will come back again!” he declared. With that assuring statement and a group bow by all the artists, the curtain fell on the ~Japan Super Live~.

Set list

01. Boku wa boku de atte
02. Asu he no brilliant road
05. Shangri-La

Anisong World Matsuri Links


Anisong World Matsuri at Otakon 2017

Date: August 11th and 12th
Venue: Washington DC Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Lineup: FLOW, JAM Project, T.M.Revolution, Yousei Teikoku
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