In this month's pop page we look at the first ever Ani-POP Culture awards on POPCulture Online
We've decided to award the Ani-POP awards to Anime Festival Asia for their brilliant work over the past 3 years. With many milestone performances at the series of "I love Anisong" concerts, AFA truely has broken boundaries between the pop scenes and culture between Singapore and Japan.
Thanks to them, Singaporeans have been able to get up close to the Jap culture and see their fave artists live which is almost impossible whereever in the world you're at.
Jap fans inturn get a taste of our culture and have even grown in the international scene which I think much credit should go to AFA for taking the first step in organizing this festival in 2008.
Based on the AFA concerts of the 2008, 2009 and 2010, we've broken down some performers we think deserve to be part of The Ani-POP Culture Awards.
Here are this year's winners.
Japanese pop and rock group. Proclaiming themselves as "The Most Powerful Japanese Girlie Pop Rock", they are composed of four high school girls from Osaka, Japan: Haruna Ono, Tomomi Ogawa, Mami Sasazaki, and Rina Suzuki. Scandal is very energetic, mostly due to the fact that Ono, the eldest and leader of the band, shares lead vocals with the other three members, in order to not have a focus on one girl in particular and to give each time in the limelight.
An interesting note about the group is the unique way in which they chose to promote themselves. Since they are fans of Japanese animation and manga, they wanted to be represented in animated form, turning each member into an animated character. The animated Scandal is featured on a series of promotional videos on the band's website.
Why we love them
Nobody does rock in school girl outfits quite so tastefully as they do.
Angela is a Japanese pop band that's best known for theme songs of anime television shows. The main members are atsuko and KATSU. Their signature upbeat tunes and rich arrangements is a dazzling mix of electronica, dance, rock, swing jazz and ska. angela’s energetic stage presence and stunning performance brings together atsuko’s versatile vocals and KATSU’s multi-instrumental skills, instantly winning the hearts of audiences in big scale international events like Otakon and Sakura-Con. No stranger to the Oricon Chart, they've enjoyed great success with a string of hits for countless anime titles. In 2008, they started an alter ego band called Domestic Love Band
Why we love them
It's all about the presentation and they come out tops!
JAM Project ("JAM" standing for "Japan Animationsong Makers") is a supergroup originally founded on July 19, 2000 by famous 1970s theme song artist Ichirou Mizuki.
The group is composed of many vocal artists well known in the genre; aside from the many anime, tokusatsu, and video game theme songs that this group has performed together, each member is famous for his or her own solo performances of Japanese theme songs.
- Hironobu Kageyama – founding member
- Masaaki Endoh – founding member
- Hiroshi Kitadani – joined in June 2002
- Masami Okui – joined in March 2003
- Yoshiki Fukuyama – joined in March 2003
Why we love them
Old is gold and these guys have the aura deserving of calling themselves a supergroup!
Yoshiki Fukuyama is a Japanese guitarist, singer and songwriter. He originally became known on an international level for his work in the anime Macross 7 where he was the singing voice and guitar of the show's main character, Basara Nekki.
Following a Macross 25th anniversary concert, Fukuyama and actor Nobutoshi Canna joined forces to perform a number of concerts together. Since during the production of Macross 7, the two men had worked together portraying the character, Basara Nekki, they had considered the name "Basaras" for their duo, but decided instead on "Fukujin" which was created by combining the first kanji of their respective surnames.
In 2009, Fukuyama was in Singapore to perform at the Anime Festival Asia's I love anisong concert and he did most of his session of the concert with his acoustic guitar which was a world class performance. He then went on to share the stage with May'n in what was an historic Macross moment.
Why we love him
It's his shirts really. He tends to take to the stage in bright flower printed shirts and carries the personality of a hippie. Quite different from other anime singers.
May Nakabayashi, better known as May'n has performed in Singapore for each of the 3 AFA's since 2008. She plays the singing voice of Sheryl Nome in the 2009 anime phenominon Macross Frontier
Never failing to garner a sell out crowd, May'n has managed to establish herself as the act most fans turn up for every AFA.
Why we love her
An absoloute joy to watch on stage, May'n always shows her bright and bubbly personality whenever she's on stage. One of the big breakout acts from Japan, She will also have her very own documentary movie in 3D set to be released in 2011 in which Singapore is featured.
Ichirou Mizuki is the most famous, highly prolific Japanese vocalist, lyrist, composer, voice actor and actor best known for his work on theme songs for anime and tokusatsu.
For over 40 years, he has recorded over 1200 songs for Japanese film, television, video and video games. He is referred to by fans and fellow performers alike as the Aniki (big brother) of the anime music genre.
He has also produced the singing duo Apple Pie since 1990 and created the supergroup JAM Project in 2000.
Why we love him
The king has sung on most of our fave animes and created JAM Project. It would be wrong not to love him!
All photos courtesy of Anime Festival Asia
POPCulture Online Feb 2011 All Rights Reserved