The third and final day of the I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul concert series saw some of the biggest names in the Anisong industry grace our sunny island of Singapore. From Anisong regular performer May’n to fan favorite angela and the highly anticipated Kalafina, Day 3 looked to build upon the energy level that Day 2 created.
In part 2 of our coverage of the I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul concert series, Co-founder Kenneth Wong continues his account of the mega stars event from the photopit.
Kanako Ito + Chiyomaru Shikura
No stranger to the Japanese gaming and anisong industry, both Kanako Ito and Chiyomaru Shikura are established figures in their own right. Kanako Ito has over 80 songs to her name and has also performed at the largest Anisong event in Japan, the Animelo Summer Live for 3 consecutive years while Chiyomaru Shikura founded 5pb. Inc. which is a Japanese video game manufacturer and record label for video games and anime music.
At this year’s I Love Anisong, Kanako Ito opened the final night’s concert with a repertoire of songs which she is known for. Although the crowd took a while to warm up, it did not take long as Chiyomaru Shikura was introduced on stage as well. Performing songs from the hit anime Steins;Gate, a sea of glowing light sticks waving in unison together with cheers for songs like “Sky Clad Observer” which was composed by Chiyomaru Shikura himself.
Returning to Anime Festival Asia this year is Milky Holmes, the representative unit of the hit anime and game Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Made up of the voice actors of the main character from the series, they also perform the theme songs as well. Milky Holmes recently also embarked on a sell out nation wide tour of Japan.
With a huge following of die hard fans, it was not surprising to hear fans cheering loudly and even singing along as the Suzuko Mimori, Sora Tokui and Mikoi Sasaki performed the catchy theme songs from the series accompanied with interesting dance steps. Renown blogger Danny Choo also made an appearance on sage to talk to the girls. While their performance time was short, it definitely was enjoyable as can be seen from the wide satisfied smile that I remember seeing from one of the fans in the front row.
One of the most stylish Japanese anisong bands to date, angela is no stranger to the anisong genre with 17 singles, 7 albums and 2 mini albums to date since forming in 1993. Local fans here in Singapore knew all about them as well after their first I Love Anisong last year followed by their JPLEX performance this year, many fans were looking forward to seeing them again.
Receiving perhaps one of the loudest cheers that night, atsuko and KATSU put up a performance that reminded everyone in the concert hall why their popularity still shines till today. Performing popular hits such as “Shangri-La”, “Beautiful Fighter” and “明日への brilliant road”, the dynamic duo continued to wow fans even though it was their 3rd time back.
As a bonus to fans in the front row, KATSU jumped off the stage and hi-fived the front row fans. Little wonder why POPCulture Online’s Editor has officially named them his favorite anisong band for the year.
The brainchild of renown composer Yuki Kajiura with two members from her FictionJunction project, Kalafina was born in 2007 under the Sony Music Japan label to perform the theme songs for the anime Kara no Kyokai. With 9 singles and 3 studio albums to date, Kalafina’s popularity continues to grow with their unique blend of vocals, stunningly good looks and tunes that continue to be a testament to Yuki Kajiura’s brilliance.
This was probably the most anticipated performance as Kalafina’s popularity in Japan and abroad has grown at an incredible rate since they released their first single, “Oblivious”. Decked out in lolita inspired outfits in black with purple, Keiko Kubota, Wakana Ōtaki & Hikaru Masai wowed the crowd who waved their lightsticks in unison when “Aria” started. “Oblivious” followed before the crowd favorite “Magia” which is also the ending theme to the highly popular series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
From the very loud & approving cheers the crowd gave at the end of their performance, you can be sure this is one group that local fans here (including myself) would love to have back.
No stranger to Anime Festival Asia and Singapore as well is the 22 year old May’n. Since her first performance here back in 2008 during the first ever Anime Festival Asia, May’n has been back to perform every AFA including her own solo concert in June 2011. May’n also graced the red carpet of the inaugural ScreenSingapore for the debut of her own movie.
I guess there is no better way to end this year’s I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul concert than to have May’n round up the night’s performance. From familiar tunes from the Macross Frontier series where she provides the singing voice to Sheryl Nome to her latest single, “Brain Diver”, her performance was that of a seasoned professional to the delight of her fans who turned up wearing her previous concert merchandise in the front row.
A Night Of Stars
I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul Day 3 saw the biggest lineup yet of anisong stars to grace the stage here in Singapore and the fans got their money’s worth that night. Perhaps this would be the benchmark that future anisong concerts would have to match against, both in terms of the lineup and stage performance quality.
There is a saying about keeping the best for last and I guess this was the case for Day 3 of the I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul. The performances not only left concert goers on a high but also left many wanting for more.
It has been an honour to be able to document and capture the many moments of these truly wonderful artistes over the two days and I do hope you have enjoyed the articles and pictures as much as I did writing and capturing them down for you.
For those of you who couldn’t be there or for those who were but want a walk down memory lane, do check out our photo gallery of the night’s performances. Enjoy viewing them and do share them with your friends via Facebook. All we ask in return is that you kindly respect the Event Organizers, The Artistes and the POPCulture Online team by not stealing these photos for use elsewhere.