Sunday, May 25, 2008

Special: Anipara Ongakukan Extreme Live 2008 Live Report!!!!

This is not a translation, I really went!

So back on May 6, I made an excursion to Tokyo to see Anipara Extreme Live 2008. Sorry I didn`t write this report sooner.

So first I was hanging around outside of the arena hours before the show started (don`t ask), and suddenly around noon Yoshiki Fukuyama drove past me in a black car and bowed to us! I hardly registered what I saw until he was past. Then a few minutes later Masaaki Endoh drove past in a white car! I and some other people there ran around to the loading dock and Endoh and Hironobu Kageyama both got out of the car! I took a couple of pictures but they look like crap and you can see the license plate number so I probably won`t post them. Kageyama posed for me (peace signs) but I missed it. Kageyama said "Atsui!" and some guy said "Hare otoko!" Then they went in but Endoh kept turning around and waving (at me?? Maybe they were surprised to see a gaijin...or annoyed that I was taking pictures...).

A couple minutes later, a green taxi pulled up and Masami Okui got out of it, wearing a mask. A few minutes after that, Hiroshi Kitadani came walking down from the other direction in a yellow Denny`s t-shirt. So, I got to see all of the members of the JAM Project arrive! Yay!

About an hour later, I saw Takayuki Miyauchi get out of another taxi, but I don`t know many of his songs so it wasn`t such a big deal to me.

Let`s fast-forward to the concert starting because the rest of my trip to Tokyo was a complete nightmare.

I thought I had lousy "seats" (it was all-standing) but when the members came out onto the stage, I was close enough to see the sweat running down their faces (I was just behind the bar separating us from the lucky people who were right up against the stage). The weird thing, for me, was the amount of space between people. There was no crowd rush, everyone had their bags on the ground, and I was able to pull my notebook and pen in and out of my pockets (that`s right, I took notes!).

The thing started out with a video filmed in the Anipara Ongakukan studio about some new gang of anison singers called "Anison Future Syndicate" who challenged the Anipara All Stars and how there was a traitor in their midst or something like that. There was some story through the whole concert, and I didn`t understand a lot of it. I`m sorry! I`ll study harder for next time!
So of course Kageyama, Endoh, Tomoe Ohmi, and Psychic Lover (Anipara All Stars) ran out on stage and sang "Go! Go! Paradise!" And of course they did the dance (watch one of the live videos of it on YouTube). I love how they always crack up when they hold the microphone for each other. <3

I was trying the whole concert to keep up with the shouting/hand motions/clapping patterns that the rest of the audience seemed to know. There was the "clap clap hey," the "moving your hand like a director at the slowish parts," the "jump at the last drum blast at the end of a song" was kind of complicated.

Then each of the members sang a solo song. Kageyama sang "Super Survivor," and if memory serves, he spent a good portion of the song on his knees (which meant I couldn`t see him `cause I`m short).

Then Endoh came out and sang the theme song to "Aquarion," which I didn`t know at the time but have since fallen in love with and I can`t wait for ENSON. At one point he gave the audience kind of a disappointed look and started doing some crazy vocal gymnastics--I guess we weren`t being loud enough yet.

Then Psychic Lover performed "Number One Battle Brawlers." I`d never heard that song either but I tried real hard to sing along to the chorus. There`s something incredible about singing with hundreds of people, especially when it was just us chanting and Yoffy harmonizing over us. It was actually kind of creepy because there was maybe 500(???) or so of us going "We are number one battle brawlers!" and it looked kind of military. They probably could`ve made us rob a bank at that moment.

Finally Tomoe Ohmi came out and sang a really girly song--apparently the song from "Araiguma Rascal."

Then everyone ran out on stage, and there was one more--Hiroshi Kitadani! And basically everyone was like, "What are you doing here?" Then there was some evil laughter and a man dressed in black with a white featureless mask came onstage. I think he was supposed to be the leader of Anison Future Syndicate or something. There was a bunch of talking I didn`t get. He challenged them to a battle and Endoh acted like he was going to fight the masked guy, but he was like "No, not that kind of battle!" When the masked man took off his mask, he was some guy I`d never seen before. He had the kanji for "evil" written on his face. He was in Endoh`s diary, apparently his name is Takeshi Washizaki and he`s from a group called Paoro. For some reason K-ness the wrestler and two other Dragon Gate wrestlers showed up on stage. Two of them grabbed Endoh and dragged him off stage, and the third one threw Dani over his shoulder and carried him off, and everyone cleared the stage except for Washizaki (he was the MC).
He introduced the first members of the Syndicate, and a short video played introducing them: NanaKana! They came out and sang a song that`s apparently called "NanaKana wa Sekai wo Sukuu!" I love j-pop but they were kind of annoying.

Then Tomoe Ohmi came out and so did Washizaki, and they discussed the terms of the battle. Ohmi was like "Let`s do a singing battle!" and they were like "Um, no." Then Ohmi said, "Alright, let`s battle with your weak point: dancing!" And they were like, "Isn`t that YOUR weak point?" But they sang and danced to "Hoppe ni ChuChu." Ohmi did kind of suck at dancing. :)

Then NanaKana acted like villains in an anime who just lost (ran off going "We`ll be back!"), the stage cleared, and another video played, introducing...

Masami Okui! Who sang "Insanity"!

Then Ohmi came out and challenged her to a battle as well: a sexiness battle! They sang "Cutie Honey" together, both tarting it up. At the end, Okui said "You did a good job, but I could see that you were struggling." Ohmi was like, "Yeah, this isn`t really my thing," and Okui said, "Come on, I`ll teach you" and they walked off together.

Then Washizaki came out with Ucchii (Endoh`s friend, I don`t know his real name), who also had "evil" on his face, and with Washizaki on acoustic guitar and Ucchii on percussion, they sang "Gachapon." It was really awesome--and funny! Washizaki would make faces or Ucchii would make weird noises with the percussion and there were long, awkward pauses and stuff like that. Washizaki kind of reminds me of the goth singer Voltaire, if you know who that is.

Then the All Stars plus Dani came out--Ohmi was "sexied up" (her hair was different). This was the acoustic corner. They were saying something about a "Miyazaki Special"...I don`t know who`s from Miyazaki. Anyway, they started playing and Dani was like "WAIT WAIT WAIT" and made them start over and they all yelled at him. Finally, they played "Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara."

After that, they played another slow song called "Kimi wo Nosete." Afterwards, they were like, "The real thing was the best it`s been so far! Rehearsal sucked!" and they all walked off stage chattering, like "Good job! We did it! We were great!" Then their sound faded out.

Then another video played introducing the next member of the Syndicate: Dani! He ran out and sang "Divine Love," which was AWESOME (and the first song I could sing along too since "Go! Go! Paradise!"). After the slow acoustic section, everyone`s energy went way, way up. After it was done, Dani was all fired up and started screaming about how great he was, rolling his r`s ("Orrrrrrrrrre wa..."). Yoffy ran onstage going "Dani-san!" and slapped him to the ground. Dani stood up and was like "Sorry," but then started again, so Yoffy slapped him again. This happened a couple of times. Then they had their battle: "Precious Time, Glory Days" and "Endless Dream." Dani ran off going "I lost!" and Washizaki came out and talked some more.
A video played introducing the next member: Mikuni Shimokawa. It talked about how she`s the member of Anipara who knows the most of the other members` secrets.

I don`t even know what song she sang. It was really boring after the Dani/Yoffy fire. Sorry, Shimokawa fans.

Then Yoffy came out and they said they were going to sing a song with harmony like a warm breeze called "Minami Kaze." Also boring.

Another video introduced the next guest: Yoshiki Fukuyama! He appeared on stage in a puff of smoke with his guitar and sang "Wakugai!"

Then (FINALLY) Endoh came out and he was like "We`re going to break this concert hall down! We`re going to destroy it! But be careful!" They sang "King Gainer Over!!" together.

Apparently you`re supposed to "do the monkey" while chanting along to that song. I did it but I felt kind of stupid (>_<).

Afterwards, Fukuyama was trying to get Endoh to betray the All Stars. Endoh resisted at first but Fukuyama said, "What are the fine things in life? Tobacco...alcohol...women...Hironobu Kageyama`s job." They walked off together with Endoh considering it.

Finally, the last guest was introduced: Takayuki Miyauchi. He sang "Kamen Rider--Black RX."
Then he and Yoffy sang "Tokei Winspector" together. That`s the only Miyauchi song I know because I saw it on an Anipara Ongakukan video on YouTube, but apparently I don`t know it well enough because I thought that water was "BLUE," not "GREEN."

After that, Yoffy left and Kageyama took over, and Kageyama and Miyauchi sang "Tokei Exceedraft" together.

At the end of that, Kageyama said "Now it`s time for the final rivals...when we sing together, we look like friends but we`re really battling...JAM Project!"

Yayyyy! JAM Project!!! (Sans Rica, of course.) They had all changed their clothes, and Endoh had written "JAM" on his face with something blue and sparkly.

They sang "Rocks"! Yay! The robot voices became a call and response between Kageyama and us: "Super robo! SUPER ROBO!"

Then they sang "Dragon Storm 2007" and of course the three wrestlers joined them onstage for that and kind of sang along.

Finally, they were like "Time for old-school JAM Project!" and I think the crowd thought that Rica was coming back, but she didn`t. But they did sing "Soultaker," which was admittedly kind of weird without Rica.

That was the end....

...yeah right.

A man in front of me with a really bright glowstick took charge of getting us to chant: "ENCORE! ENCORE!" After a few minutes of that, the Anipara Super Band ran on stage!

Anipara Super Band: Endoh on bass, Yoffy and Ohmi on guitar, Joe on keyboard, Kageyama on drums.

They all had deconstructed t-shirts with their names on the back. Joe`s said "John." They said that Endoh made all of the shirts.

First they played the intro to "Smoke on the Water"--no singing but pretty cool! Then they introduced the members and everyone played a little solo. Everyone laughed at Ohmi because she kind of sucked. Oh, Ohmi.

Kageyama tried to make us do a call-and-response with the drums but Endoh stopped him and said "That`s not a drum solo!" So Kageyama did a real drum solo, complete with throwing the sticks up in the air and catching them. I think Endoh was the leader of the Anipara Super he should be!

Then they sang "Ginga Tetsudou 999," which I totally didn`t know was an anime song because a band called Exile has a cover of it out right now and it`s pretty popular. They all took turns singing, while they were playing their instruments--even Joe sang.

Finally, they played the old Lazy song, "Akazukinchan Goyouji"! Kageyama sang the lead vocals for that one, while he was playing the drums. (Isn`t that difficult?)

Then that was the end.


As soon as they were off the stage, the next chant started: "ONE MORE TIME! ONE MORE TIME!"

Kageyama, Endoh, Psychic Lover, and Shimokawa came back out on stage and sang "Ticket to the Paradise" (again, with the dance). Right before Kageyama`s big solo, the music stopped, and Kageyama yelled, "Here`s tonight`s last challenge: surprise dance show!" And some random dancer guy came out and he, Endoh, and Kageyama break danced! Endoh did some handstands! I want Endoh to dance more often <3 <3 <3

Then they went back to "Ticket to the Paradise," Kageyama did his solo, and they finished the song.

Finally, EVERYBODY came out on stage (including the wrestlers and Washizaki and Ucchi, who had crossed out the "evil" and written "love" on their faces, and who apologized for being evil) and it was time for the real last song.

You know!

"Bokura wa Uchuu wo..."

Wait, no、Kageyama made a mistake. Of course they made a big deal out of it and Kitadani fell flat on his face and everything, and then they started over.

"Uchuu wa Bokura wo..."

"MATTEIRU!!!" <--the audience

I love that song! We all did the "I love you, I need you..." thing with the gestures, and even though my trip to Tokyo completely sucked, I felt completely at peace with the universe for five minutes. At the climax, there were a couple of explosions, and tons of sparkly silver streamers fired from two cannons. We stuck our hands up and caught them. I still have mine.

Finally, it ended. Everybody left the stage single file and we yelled their names and whatever, and then the lights came back on. The loud guy who led the first encore chant screamed "Was it hot?" and we did a three-cheers kind of thing.

I don`t even watch anime, but this music is incredible. This message seriously needs to be spread. And I will be at the next concert that is not in Tokyo.

1. Go! Go! Paradise! - Anipara All Stars
2. Super Survivor - Hironobu Kageyama
3. Soukei no Aquarion - Masaaki Endoh
4. Number One Battle Brawlers - Psychic Lover
5. Araiguma Rascal - Tomoe Ohmi
6. NanaKana wa Sekai wo Sukuu! - NanaKana
7. Hoppe ni ChuChu - NanaKana and Tomoe Ohmi
8. Insanity - Masami Okui
9. Cutie Honey - Masami Okui and Tomoe Ohmi
10. Gachapon (acoustic) - Takeshi Washizaki and Ucchii
11. Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara (acoustic) - Anipara All Stars and Hiroshi Kitadani
12. Kimi wo Nosete (acoustic) - Anipara All Stars and Hiroshi Kitadani
13. Divine Love - Hiroshi Kitadani
14. Precious Time, Glory Days - Hiroshi Kitadani and Psychic Lover
15. Endless Dream - Hiroshi Kitadani and Psychic Lover
16. ????? - Mikuni Shimokawa
17. Minami Kaze - Mikuni Shimokawa and Psychic Lover
18. Wakugai! - Yoshiki Fukuyama
19. King Gainer Over!! - Yoshiki Fukuyama and Masaaki Endoh
20. Kamen Rider--Black RX - Takayuki Miyauchi
21. Tokei Winspector - Takayuki Miyauchi and Psychic Lover
22. Tokei Exceedraft - Takayuki Miyauchi and Hironobu Kageyama
23. Rocks - JAM Project
24. Dragon Storm 2007 - JAM Project
25. Soultaker - JAM Project

26. Smoke on the Water (instrumental) - Anipara Super Band
27. Ginga Tetsudou 999 - Anipara Super Band
28. Akazukinchan Goyouji - Anipara Super Band

29. Ticket to the Paradise - old Anipara All Stars
30. Uchuu wa Bokura wo Matteiru - everybody

PS Thank you to the people on mixi who posted the setlist so I could find out the names of songs, even though your setlist was all out of order.

PPS You can translate this live report or whatever and put it on your website, but, credit please!


Flavio said...

Owww nice report!!

Siyao said...

Wow! Sounded epic! and with break dancing as well. Endoh-san...are you sure he's not 18 or so? They really know how to dazzle fans!

Douglas Leite said...

16- Sore ga ai deshou - Mikuni Shimokawa
I Need a torrent this!!! xD

Anonymous said...

omg. i wish i was there. you are so lucky!!!! i have naver seen them live and might never will...
keep posting!