Anisong Matsuri Super Live at Anime Expo 2017

By Keira Truong

Anisong Matsuri brought back another great lineup at AnimeExpo 2017 this year! Featured artists were Konomi Suzuki, Mashiro Ayano, GARNiDELiA, ALI PROJECT, Minori Chihara, and angela.

Recap

Launching off the night’s programming with a cover of “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” Konomi Suzuki and angela remains the favorites of this author’s concert experience. Both have strong vocals, immense stage presence, and enough enthusiasm to get a full house going!

Despite her young age—or perhaps because of it—Konomi Suzuki brought such energy to the stage and audience with her outgoing personality. The crowd was on their feet from the moment she started with the famous opening song “This game” from No Game no Life until she left the stage. Her successful efforts to engage the audience at every turn certainly made her performance that much more enjoyable. Known for her strong vocals, it is surprising that Konomi’s voice could be even more powerful in live performances, as she consistently showed with “Blow Out” and “Redo.” This was definitely one show you did not want to miss.

Next up, we had Mashiro Ayano who was previously here at Anime Expo in 2015 for the Fate/Stay Night Special Event live performances. Since then, she has only become more confident and relaxed in her stage presence. Her strong vocals have only improved with time, and she delivered an exuberant performance. She said a few words, letting the audience know that she had looked forward to coming back to AX and was very happy to be here this year. This year, she sang “Vanilla Sky,” “Newlook,” and “Ideal White.”

Compared to Mashiro and Konomi, GARNiDELiA’s performance had a more subdued, yet elegant and mature feel. Considering the complexity of her songs, it was impressive when MARiA synched with her background dancers’ choreography while still singing with no lapse in her vocals. (This author would also like to comment that she loved MARiA’s outfit for the concert.) GARNiDELiA performed “Ambiguous,” “Grilletto,” “SPEED STAR,” and “Yakusoku -Promise code-,” before bringing Mashiro back out for a brilliant duet of “Sorairo Days.”

If GARNiDELiA was the start of a different kind of performance, ALI PROJECT takes it to the other end of the spectrum with their dark, dramatic performance. They started off with “Boukoku Kakusei Catharsis,” with each movement and gesture adding to the mysterious and theatrical show. They followed with “Yukyou Seishunka,” “Seishoujo Ryouiki,” and “Rara Eve Shinseiki.” Truly, with their costumes and song choices, it almost felt like I was watching a theater production rather than an anime concert. It was very different and fitting.

Minori Chihara, one of the more veteran performance guests, was last at Anime Expo back in 2007, when she attended with guests of honor Aya Hirano and Yuuko Gotou to round off the trio of female protagonists from The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. (Aya Hirano – Suzumiya Haruhi; Yuuko Gotou – Mikuru Asahina; Minori Chihara – Yuki Nagato). As a voice actress who has sung many well-known opening and ending songs, she performed a good number of popular associated acts for the concert. Starting with “Paradise Lost,” she continued with “TERMINATED” and the song she is probably most well-known for, “Kyoukai no Kanata.” She then invited ALI PROJECT onto the stage again for a duet cover of “Celestial Diva,” before continuing with “Hare Hare Yukai” and demonstrating that she still remembers the full choreography after 10 years. Chihara ended her segment with “Freedom Dreamer.”

The final…and perhaps the most entertaining and hilarious artist of the night: angela. Two words: Lion suit. The band angela consists of two main members: vocalist Atsuko and guitarist Katsu. From the moment they walked onstage with Atsuko in a lion suit romper and Katsu in a ringmaster costume, to misintroducing themselves as Fripside and even GARNiDELiA, telling fans that dogeza was how the Japanese greet people, and Katsu announcing that he wants a green card and begging for someone in the audience to marry him, they were effectively and hilariously trolling the fans and their fellow artists throughout the rest of the night.

This year, angela performed “Boku wa boku de atte,” “Asu e no bBrilliant road,” “SIDONIA,” “KINGS,” and ended the night with “Shangri-La.”

Though her powerful vocals are a definite highlight of her performance segment, the most impressive aspect was the fact that Atsuko was able to teach and get the audience to coordinate a small bit of choreography to the songs “Asu e no brilliant road” and “KINGS.” One of the movements was a coordinated wave from the front row to the mezzanine seats. The results were fantastic when the camera later panned over the audience during the actual song performance. Through sheer charisma and outgoing personality, angela successfully closed out one of the biggest main events at Anime Expo 2017 with a memorable bang.

Though, to this day, I have still yet to figure out why a lion suit. (To be honest, though, the lion and the mini-crown reminded me of Saber from Carnival Phantasm.)

Song List

DUET [Konomi Suzuki & angela]: Zankoku na Tenshi no Teeze (A Cruel Angel’s Thesis) – Evangelion

Konomi Suzuki
This game – No Game No Life
Blow out – Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records
Redo – Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Mashiro Ayano
Vanilla Sky – Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation
Newlook – Re:Creators
Ideal White – Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

GARNiDELiA
Ambiguous – Kill la Kill
Grilletto – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
SPEED STAR – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Yakusoku -Promise code- – Qualidea Code

DUET [GARNiDELiA & Mashiro Ayano]: Sorairo Days – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

ALI PROJECT
Boukoku Kakusei Catharsis – .hack//Roots
Yukyou Seishunka – CODE GEASS Lelouch of the Rebellion
Seishoujo Ryouiki – Rozen Maiden Träumend
Rara Eve Shinseiki – Sora o Kakeru Shoujo

Minori Chihara
Paradise Lost – GaRei Zero
TERMINATED – Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere
Kyoukai no Kanata – Kyoukai no Kanata

DUET [Minori Chihara & ALI PROJECT]: Celestial Diva – Chaos Rings II

Hare Hare Yukai – The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi
Freedom Dreamer – Anison Plus

angela
Boku wa Boku de Atte – Ajin
Asu e no brilliant road – Uchuu No Stellvia
SIDONIA – Knights of Sidonia
KINGS – K
Shangri-La – Fafner in the Azure

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