- AJ Circuit in Ryogoku Kokugikan AniSong World Matsuri 2017
- Sunday March 26th, 2017
- Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo
Intro: An Unexpected Venue
AniSong World Matsuri was run in conjunction with Anime Japan, but in an independent venue with a separate ticket meaning anyone who wanted to attend just the concert was welcome to go as well. Inspired by its previous success at Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles, this was the first year for AniSong World Matsuri to be in Japan! It featured three leading bands in the anime song industry – OLDCODEX, JAM Project, and T.M.REVOLUTION. These three groups have different record labels, but all three are leading producers of anime theme songs, so they came together for the fans to put on a great show.
As stated before, the show took place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, a large sumo hall near Ryogoku JR Station in East Tokyo. It meant the show was on a big stage with plenty of seats all around – and uniquely, a ring of massive sumo wrestler posters around the whole venue. The seats were almost completely full on the ground level, and mostly full in the balconies as well as fans of all ages came to support their favourite artists together in one incredible three hour show. Most of the fans were Japanese, but there were a few foreign faces amongst the crowd as well. And of course, the queues to get the usual merchandise (towels, t-shirts, and light sticks for the show) were super long too as fans scrambled to get memorabilia from their favourite artist.
By the time the lights went down at 5pm exactly, everyone was more than ready to get started with the evening’s fun! And from the first note of music to the last, it was a night to remember.
Performance: Head Banging, Jumping, and Singing All Night
OLDCODEX slowed it down a bit after the first song with a few calmer numbers, but the energy went right back to the top with one of their newest songs “Deal with,” and it didn’t die down again for the next few numbers! Fans were singing along with The Experience, and the light show that accompanied the music and the art was really well done and added to the intensity and energy in the hall. And Ta_2 surprised everyone when he jumped off the stage and started singing directly to the fans in the front row, even grabbing one lucky fan’s head and singing with him right in his face! Then he circled around the whole ground level to give all the fans a personal experience with him before climbing back on the stage and finishing the show with “Rage on” – a definite fan favourite judging from the massive cheer that went up just with the introductory notes of the song, and the sing-a-long that happened shortly after.
After a set change on the stage and a brief break for all the fans, JAM Project came out to a massive uproar and cheer from the crowds. They opened strong with “THE HERO!!,” which hit everyone full force and had the hall full of jumping fans. All five members were playful on the stage together, and with the audience, even pretending to be sumo wrestlers in their self-introductions to highlight their special venue. Throughout the show they had the audience laughing with their commentaries, and everyone was clapping and singing along with the music.
When JAM Project slowed things down a bit with “HERO,” the floor came alive with fans swaying to the music, their light sticks switching from red to blue and moving together soothingly. The emotion in the room was high, and you could tell the song meant a lot to a lot of people! But of course they ended their set on another high note with a few more upbeat songs, and left to a standing ovation and screaming fans.
Last but certainly not least came T.M.Revolution, and after an epic instrumental build-up he appeared on the stage and went straight to business with his in-your-face, powerful music style. Aside from a few short commentary breaks, T.M.Revolution never let the energy level drop during this show and kept everything at a fast pace that gave no one a chance to relax – not even him! But it meant that the 45 minutes passed by incredibly quickly, maybe too quickly for his biggest fans, because the fun just never stopped. And judging from the grin on his face and bows of thank you to the audience, it was fun for T.M.Revolution too!
While the whole show was intense, it’s hard to think of a more memorable moment than when the sound of a clock striking rang through the darkness, and then “Resonance” from Soul Eater came on at full volume. Everyone immediately cheered to hear the older song playing and started jumping together as one, and the room felt super-charged with energy and excitement! And with no break before Preserved Roses, the exhilaration never stopped. By the time T.M.Revolution ended with “HEART OF THE SWORD,” every fan as well as he himself was really emotional, and the energy left in the room took a while to ebb.
Whatever band the fans were there for, everyone had a great time. From the fans to the singers to the band members creating the music itself, everyone was smiling. The show may have been three hours long, but it felt like only one at the most it went by so quickly (though everyone’s bodies and throats were probably pretty sore the next day!).
Outro: Music Brings Everyone Together
All three bands at AniSong World Matsuri have their own unique style, and their own fans. It was clear from people’s clothing and merchandise who they were there to support, but everyone actually got into all the band’s music! Hardly anyone was sitting in the entire venue, and everyone was dancing and cheering together. Especially with the surprise ending the show had in store - JAM Project and T.M.Revolution unexpectedly singing “Skill” together and laughing and being silly on the stage. It was easy to see how the performance really brought everyone together.
At the end of the day, we’re all anime fans who like to rock out to anime theme songs. So whatever style it is we like, whatever band, whatever show and character – we’ve all got something in common. Even the band members themselves in all three bands were talking about anime and their love for it during their commentary moments, and also saying words of encouragement and support to one another’s music, too! AniSong World Matsuri was meant to bring fans and record labels together for one great show, and it succeeded tenfold. We can all have a great time together and make unforgettable memories like the ones everyone shared at AniSong World Matsuri!