Anisong World Matsuri ~Japan Super Live~ at Anime Expo 2018

live report - 01.08.2018 01:01

May’n, Sanketsu-girl Sayuri, Aimer and Yuki Kajiura put up a thrilling three-hour anisong concert at Anime Expo 2018.

A must-not-be-missed event at Anime Expo 2018 was the Anisong World Matsuri ~Japan Super Live~ held on July 6th at downtown Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. The concert showcased performances by May’n, Sanketsu-girl Sayuri, Aimer and Yuki Kajiura.

May'n

Backed by a rock band and four dancers, May'n, the first performer for the night, was off to an attention-grabbing start as she showcased her powerful vocals in the energetic Chase the world from “Accel World”. During the upbeat and cutesy One In A Billion -May’n Ver.-, the singer ran, jumped and twirled as she traversed the stage from one side to the other. “Hello Los Angeles! I’m May’n,” May'n greeted the adoring crowd before launching into her third song, Northern Cross from “Macross Frontier”. “I’ve always wanted to meet you. I’m really excited. Tonight, let’s make a big memory! Let me hear your voice!” she exclaimed.

Next song You, the opening theme of “The Ancient Magus’ Bride”, bore a unique sequence that sounded just as good live. The fans couldn’t help but raise their penlights, bouncing them in a back and forth motion, matching the rhythm as the song built up. May'n’s high but full notes filled the four corners of the Microsoft Theater as her backup dancers moved fluidly to the music. The audience switched the colour of their penlights to red, a perfect match for the slow burning sense of awe inspired by the soaring melody. Penlights rose higher into the air as the song reached its peak, the emphasis on May'n’s vocals. As the instruments subsided, screams of admiration shook the venue.

After performing the powerful Belief from “Taboo Tattoo”, it was time for another MC. “Wow, you rock! Awesome! Fantastic!” May’n praised the crowd. “I had a great time. You too, right?” she continued, drawing cheers from everyone. About the final song, Diamond Crevasse, May’n said, “This song is my precious song, because this song changed my life. I was able to meet everyone around the world. We may have different languages and countries, but music makes us one.”

Set list

01. Chase the world (Accel World)
02. One In A Billion -May’n Ver.- (Restaurant to Another World)
03. Northern Cross (Macross Frontier)
04. You (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
05. Belief (Taboo Tattoo)
06. Diamond Crevasse (Macross Frontier)

Sanketsu-girl Sayuri


© Anisong World Matsuri

Sanketsu-girl Sayuri brought a no-frills performance to the Japan Super Live attendees. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and accompanied by a solo keyboardist, the barefoot “2.5-dimensional parallel singer-songwriter” in a blue and pink poncho kicked off her set with Heikousen from “Scum’s Wish”.

Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no youna, which served as the ending theme of “Erased”, followed. Its dreamlike atmosphere sent listeners on a trip down memory lane with a bag of feelings on their back. Blue lights perfectly matched the melancholic vibe of the whole performance. From minimal movements to a little bit of headbanging towards the end, Sayuri’s intense gaze that was sustained even during the brief instrumental break was more than enough to keep the audience’s eyes on her.

After performing Tsuki to Hanataba, Furaregai Girl and Mikazuki, Sayuri closed her segment with an MC. “You guys understand Japanese? That’s so awesome!” she commented. “This was my first time leaving Asia to sing in America. I would like to come again, so please enjoy life and have fun. Let’s meet again. Thank you so much for today.”

Set list

01. Heikousen (Scum’s Wish)
02. Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no youna (Erased)
03. Tsuki to Hanataba (Fate/Extra: Last Encore)
04. Furaregai Girl
05. Mikazuki (Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace)

Aimer


© Anisong World Matsuri

Expectations were high for Aimer’s performance, evidenced by the thunderous cheers of the crowd as she entered the stage. Perched atop a simple stool, donning a pure white dress and illuminated by blinding spotlights, the pop singer and lyricist seemed to glow as she sang StarRingChild and Bright Shine. Pink and purple bokeh lights were projected on the backdrop of the stage as Aimer’s husky, soulful voice tugged at the heartstrings of the audience in her third song, Ref:rain.

After singing broKen NIGHT from “Fate/hollow ataraxia”, Aimer addressed the concert attendees. “This is actually my second time performing in America. Thank you for coming. I’m very honored to sing in front of all you amazing people. Moments like this make me grateful, and I hope I can live with you through music. I’ll definitely come back again. Thank you! I would like to dedicate my last song to you … ” she whispered.

With scenes from “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” playing on the large background screen, Aimer effortlessly pulled off several sustained high notes during LAST STARDUST. It felt surreal hearing in real life the same dramatic background music from an anime. The audience’s expectations were met; Aimer performance was to die for.

Set list

01. StarRingChild (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn)
02. Brave Shine (Fate/ Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works)
03. Ref:rain (Koi Wa Ameagari no You ni)
04. broKen NIGHT (Fate/hollow ataraxia)
05. LAST STARDUST (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)

Yuki Kajiura


© Anisong World Matsuri

Last but not least, bringing her band from Japan as well as three vocalists, Yuki Kajiura began her set with the appropriately titled song from popular anime “Fate/Zero” — the beginning of the end, followed by an epic battle song from the series that turned the fans’ penlights red and orange, and then the performance of the song sung by digital idol Yuna in the movie “Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-” that showcased more of the vocal power of her singers.

Yuki Kajiura spoke in English about the songs she had just played and introduced the talented singers and her original band members from Japan. “Hello! Welcome to Anisong World Matsuri. Are you having fun? Great. I’m sure that you’re enjoying the beautiful song of three divas,” she said, introducing her vocalists Kaori Oda, Joelle, and Yuriko Kaida. "We are so glad to be here."

The next two songs came from the “.hack//SIGN soundtrack,” Key of the Twilight and Yasashii Yoake. Yuki Kajiura explained after that set that the next song would be the only one, and that time had flown by. Luminous Sword from “Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-” turned the venue a shade of red and orange. For one last MC each singer was named and they thanked the audience for coming with their own words before leaving the stage amidst screams of “Encore! Encore!”

The lights dimmed once again and to everyone’s surprise Aimer came on stage for the encore to perform Hana no Uta from “Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower” with Yuki Kajiura. The stage lights as well as the penlights became deep purple and white. Aimer’s clear-sounding vibrato perfectly matched the powerfully played violin. Then, during a spotlight moment, her voice surrounded the whole place as well as enveloped the whole audience as the instruments momentarily paused. The sad and powerful song collaboration ended a magical night.

Set list

01. the beginning of the end (Fate/Zero)
02. Lancer and Assassin (Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower)
03. Longing (Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-)
04. Key of the Twilight (.hack//SIGN)
05. Yasashii Yoake (.hack//SIGN)
06. Luminous Sword (Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-)

Aimer x Yuki Kajiura special collaboration
01. Hana No Uta (Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower)

Links
May’n Website: http://mayn.jp
Sanketsu-girl Sayuri Website: http://sayuri-web.com
Aimer Website: http://www.aimer-web.jp
Yuki Kajiura Website: http://www.fictionjunction.com
Anisong World Matsuri Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnisongWorldMatsuri/
Anisong World Matsuri Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnisongWorld
Anisong World Matsuri Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anisongworldmatsuri/
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