We are FIGHTING DREAMERS!! I love Anisong!
It is hard to believe, but despite attending Anime Festival Asia every year in Singapore since its first, I have never gone for a single Anisong concert. It started out as a financial limitation, back in the days when I was a poor student who would spend most of her money on food and textbooks. Then it became a habit, a justification to myself that I should not spend money on a concert where I was not familiar with all of the artistes that were performing for that night. After all, if I didn’t know the artistes or the songs being performed, how could I possibly enjoy the concert?
Oh, how wrong I was.
Of course, it is always better when you are listening to a song or musician you know and like. You end up singing along at the top of your voice, not hearing if anybody hears you because everybody is doing the same anyway. You get VIP tickets, not for the seats, but for the sheer distance to your idol. You get standard or basic tickets if you want the space to wave your light sticks like a man possessed, and dancing along. (For those of you who are new to Japanese idol concerts, you should check out the Wotagei dance – something that fans do with light sticks at concerts where you have the floor space.)
Passion is contagious.
It’s ok even if you don’t know every artiste invited and every song performed. Turn up anyway. Feel the floor shake from the drums and loud music. Sing along. Dance the wotagei. Laugh when Atsuko from Angela talked about wanting to find a girlfriend for her partner Katsu. Cheer when Katsu ask the crowd to marry him (and then again at the sheer replies he got, and from the sound of it, from quite a few of his male fans too). Snicker when FLOW nefariously planned to perform every song of theirs because they could not do it the last time they were at AFA, taking advantage of the fact that they were first in the line-up this year. Feel the Singapore pride when May’n lamented that she loves prata and it should totally be made available in Japan. Do the Kallang wave.
I believe my friends had never seen this side of me before – the way I jumped and screamed and inwardly sobbed at how the free lightsticks given for the concert were nowhere near bright enough, not when the amount of professional level King Blade light sticks around me.
Next year, I’m definitely going for Anisong concerts again! But before that, a shopping trip for decent light sticks is in order.
Photo Credit: Anime Festival Asia / Hajime Kamiiisaka
by Tessie Tan
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