KLabGames is one of the leading names in smartphone games in Japan. They are behind the development of some of the most popular anime-related mobile games, including the wildly popular Love Live! rhythm game. With titles like Love Live! School Idol Festival, Utano☆Princesama Shining Live, and more, you can bet that KLabGames had a major presence at AnimeJapan 2019. The company had a huge booth that caught the eye as soon as you walked into the hall, with a bright pink and white colour scheme to draw attention and three huge screens around the stage.
It was at that stage that all the excitement happened over the course of the weekend. With seven different stage events about seven different KLab mobile games, complete with concerts, games, and famous guests, it was a busy and exciting place to be. We were able to attend most of the stage events, which were also live streamed online, and now we can show you what you missed if you weren’t able to tune in yourself!
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live
The Utano☆Princesama Shining Live stage drew a pretty big crowd, mostly of female fans excited to see one of their favourite voice actors on the stage and support the game. They had brought their Uta☆Pri cat plushes also dressed as their favourite characters, and their ita bags (handbags decorated with many pins, badges, and key chains to support specific characters). In short, the fans of Utano☆Princesama Shining Live came ready, and you could feel their anticipation in the air as the time for the stage to start grew closer.
The MC for the Utano☆Princesama Shining Live stage event was voice actor Kenichi Ono. He was soon joined on the stage by his co-host Takuma Terashima, the voice of Otoya Ittoki. As soon as Terashima came onto the stage, the audience erupted into screams and applause, and when he greeted them using Otoya’s voice, there was another explosion of excitement from the fans. To begin the event, Terashima himself played a song in the game for everyone to watch on the big screen behind the stage. He played a new song called “Ultra Blast,” and was quite good! He got an S ranking in just one try on a high difficulty level to a chorus of applause and cheering from the crowd. After “Ultra Blast,” Terashima also played “Nijiiro ☆ Over Drive!” which he scored even higher at, only missing two notes in the entire song.
From here, Terashima and Ono hosted the stage event like a variety show, talking about upcoming projects and also playing games with the fans. They announced the upcoming photos coming to the mobile game, as well as showcasing some of the past events from September 2018 to the present day. There was a lot of art for everyone to enjoy from past events, including Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. After talking about the art behind a few favourite events, they moved onto a special quiz game with the audience. Pictures from the game came up on the big screen with pieces of them covered up by question marks, and Terashima would read the question for the audience to try to guess. These included what food Ranmaru feeds to a cat, how many yo-yo’s Syo won at a festival, and what kind of dog Tokiya was holding. The audience and Terashima were able to answer most of the questions correctly, but one particularly hard one asked what animal was missing from a picture of Ren surrounded by many animals. The audience were all certain it was a cat, holding up their cat plushies to illustrate their point - but it turned out to be a wildcat specifically, much to the shock of the audience when they got it wrong!
Terashima and Ono continued to play other games as well. One of the most entertaining ones had Terashima listening to a song where no one else could hear the music and using gestures to dramatically act out the lyrics so that the audience could guess the song name. He wasn’t shy about going all-out with his movements and making everyone laugh. Finally, Terashima and Ono played a game together in which the beginning of a song was played, and when Terashima knew the title he could hit a buzzer to answer. Then he had a chance to try to match two sets of cards on a table to try to find the same character on both. He was doing quite poorly at the matching portion, and eventually, the coordinators of the game had pity on him and began to buzz when he was going to pick the wrong matching card so he could finally get one right! Then they revealed all the cards for the audience to see the in-game artwork on the big screens for each of the characters in turn, with Terashima and Ono saying a few comments on each picture. Terashima was also presented with a gift of fancy macarons printed with all of the characters’ faces which the audience really loved.
Finally, they made a fun announcement for an upcoming event in Utano☆Princesama Shining Live that will feature the characters having animal features! The audience was especially excited when they revealed a piece of one picture that clearly was Otoya with a dog tail! To wrap up the stage event, Ono and Terashima took a picture with the audience using a feature in the game that overlays one of the characters in the photo as well. Of course, they took the picture with Otoya in the middle! Terashima thanked the audience and said goodbye in his character’s voice, and everyone seemed to have had a lot of fun.
Love Live! School Idol Festival Series
The Love Live! School Idol Festival Series stage event almost immediately followed the Uta☆Pri one, and the crowd showed up right away. The demographic for this stage event was quite different from the previous one, but still just as numerous. The fans were clearly very excited, making a lot of noise and decked out in merch featuring their favourite school idols. Before the voice actresses even came onto the stage, they greeted the crowd over the loudspeakers, and the audience was happy to play along and respond with a lot of energy.
When the actresses finally came to the stage, it was to a thunderous cheering from the audience. The stage event was hosted by Aguri Onishi (voice of Ayumu Uehara), Kaori Maeda (voice of Shizuku Osaka), and Miyu Kubota (voice of Karin Asaka) of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club. They walked around on the stage just greeting everyone for a while, waving and thanking the fans who had come to see them. The audience loved it! Everyone was so excited to see their favourite characters on the stage, and when the women introduced themselves, everyone was very happy. They also modelled a zip-up black Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars logo jacket and button pin set (available for sale), which they wore over their school uniforms.
The speaking part of the stage event opened with the actresses each having a chance to talk about their characters. They shared a few fun facts, and also enjoyed some funny banter amongst themselves that everyone could laugh at. Then they moved on to discussing the Nijigasaki High School idols’ debut album TOKIMEKI Runners, with each woman talking about her own character’s special song on the CD. They also shared their memories of the promotional events they had attended at the end of 2018. Each of the nine members went to different places in Japan and met with fans personally, with Onishi in Akihabara, Tokyo; Maeda in Omiya, Saitama; and Kubota in Hakata, Fukuoka.
Moving on to the more interactive part of the stage event, the women each showed a large notepad with a unique handwritten message representing their hope for the future of the series. Maeda included a cute picture in hers, and Kubota wrote several pages instead of just one. Everyone loved seeing their personal messages and had a good laugh together. After that, there was an opportunity for both the live audience and anyone watching the live stream to play the Love Live! School Idol Festival mobile game along with the voice actresses! Each of the three women had a turn to play a song, with a goal score that they had to reach. They showed a unique ID code for the match as well so that the audience both at AnimeJapan and watching via live stream could join in with the game and compete for the highest scores. The four top scores for each round were even displayed on the stage’s screen for everyone to see! Onishi, Maeda, and Kubota seemed to have a lot of fun doing their best to play with their fans.
Finally, to wrap up the Love Live! School Idol Festival Series stage event, the women promoted the Love Live! stamp rally happening around AnimeJapan. For fans that could collect all the stamps, there was a special sticker prize with all the characters waiting for them at the Bushiroad booth. Of course, right after the stage event ended everyone headed straight for the stamp rally spot at the KLabGames booth.
The final stage event that Honey’s Anime attended on Saturday of AnimeJapan was a very special one, a concert and talk show with Lapis Re:LiGHTs. Again, the demographics of the audience was mostly male, and everyone came with their light sticks ready to dance along with the women on the stage. There was also a special free booklet being handed out to everyone while they waited for the show to start, and inside was an exclusive manga featuring the Lapis Re:LiGHTs girls deciding on a unit name. Then the show began, and all of the screens on the stage dissolved into lights and stars as the women came onto the stage. Performing the song “Polaris” to kick off the event were Yukari Anzai (Tiara), Risa Kubota (Rosetta), Live Mukai (Lavie), Iori Saeki (Ashley), and Mizuki Yamamoto (Lynette). They were all wearing their characters’ special performance outfit, with their hair styled as close to their characters’ hair as they could.
The women danced and sang on the stage for everyone, and the crowd went wild! Everyone was dancing along with them, waving their light sticks and chanting altogether. Fans were reaching for their favourite idols and dancing with passion, very clearly caught up in all the emotion of the moment. When the first song ended, the women left the stage temporarily to be replaced by the host of the talk show - Yoshino Nanjo, who plays Chloe of the legendary group Ray and the current headmistress of Flora Girls Academy. It was the first time for Nanjo to appear live on the Lapis Re:LiGHTs stage, and a really special moment for everyone to be a part of. Nanjo invited the women from Lapis Re:LiGHTs to return to the stage, which they did to the sound of thunderous applause from their fans.
Nanjo wore a beautiful blue dress very reminiscent of Chloe’s blue outfit and cut a very mature and classy figure on the stage. The women from Lapis Re:LiGHTs all introduced themselves individually and said a brief thank you message for the audience, waving to everyone. Then, lead by Nanjo, they all discussed the growing Lapis projects, including games, anime, comics and more. They also talked about the free comic that everyone had received before the show started, which is the first chapter of a new webcomic called 私たちのPRELUDE, or Our Prelude. It tells the story of how the Lapis Re:LiGHTs units began, serving as a prequel story for the girls.
Then the idols did something very special for the audience - they did a live reading of the comic! As the panels were projected onto the big screen and the audience could follow along, they each read their characters’ parts with some great voice acting to really bring the story to life. Our Prelude told how the girls first came up with the name for their unit and included a few rejected names that they thought about at first. The audience was respectfully silent during the reading, but cheered and clapped a lot for the voice actresses once it was finished.
Finally, after Nanjo also returned to the stage, they announced that one song for each unit would be receiving a music video. They also showed some new footage from the game that is in development. The video cut between the Lapis Re:LiGHTs voice actresses performing on the real stage, and their characters doing the same dance. Of course, everyone was really excited to see something new! The women then did a live performance of “Your Lights” on the stage as well for a fantastic end to the Lapis Re:LiGHTs stage event, leaving everyone very happy and emotional.
Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team
The Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team stage event didn’t have quite the same large crowd that other events had, but it gained more people as the event went on. The demographic was a mixed bag of both men and women, mostly a bit older, and a few with children. The event was hosted by Mah Inoue and Yu Mashima, a Japanese actress. Inoue was sporting a Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team t-shirt, and Mashima a football jersey. They both did some interaction with the audience, which earned a lot of applause right from the start, and set up a casual atmosphere that remained for the rest of the stage event.
When a football suddenly appeared on the stage, Inoue had a hilarious overreaction to its appearance. Mashima remained calm and cool though, posing with the ball and showing off her trainers for the audience. Then she surprised everyone by kicking the ball up into the air, juggling it between her feet, and even doing some tricks! Everyone clapped and cheered, and she remarked how she enjoyed doing freestyle tricks with the ball. It was a surprising talent to display on the stage, and she nailed it.
Then the first guest joined the stage - Junichi Kimoto, the director of Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team, also wearing a Captain Tsubasa t-shirt under his smart blazer. He explained how well the mobile game has been doing, placing in the top 50 in store rankings in 62 countries since its release in June 2017. But he wasn’t the last guest to appear; he was shortly followed by two more--Akipi and Ougon Sedai no Kodou, winner, and finalist of the very first offline exhibition match--and then Yumeji #2 wearing his Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team t-shirt and aviator sunglasses. The audience went wild when he came onto the stage, and were so excited to see him.
Most of the remainder of the Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team stage event was a match between Yumeji and Ougon Sedai no Kodou. It was declared to be the AnimeJapan Cup Exhibition Match, and after a quick explanation of the rules, the players moved to their respective sides of the stage to begin the match. They were both playing the game in real time on a mobile phone, with the screen projected onto the big screen for the audience to see. Everyone else on the stage served as the commentary for the match, though none as passionately as Inoue, who really made the audience feel like they were watching a live football match with his enthusiasm.
In Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team, players are able to use strategy to control an entire team on the pitch. They decide on formations and players, and they are able to choose from a selection of moves during critical game moments like stealing the ball, passing, shooting, and of course goalkeeping. It was up to Yumeji and Ougon Sedai no Kodou to not fall victim to the pressure of playing in front of so many people, balancing their team and player’s stamina, and try to win the game. Yumeji scored a goal quite early on in the match and seemed to be in high spirits as he laughed and did a running commentary himself. Ougon Sedai no Kodou, on the other hand, was much more serious, focusing heavily on the game.
At half-time, the score remained 1-0 in favour of Yumeji, but things were about to change. As he grew more confident, Yumeji almost missed making some selections in the game. Meanwhile, Ougon Sedai no Kodou had a new approach for the second half of the match - attack, attack, attack! He pounded Yumeji’s team relentlessly, and before long he had broken through the defense and scored two goals himself. There was a chance for Yumeji to pull the game back and at least get a tie with a last-minute corner kick, but he chose the wrong move and his player took the ball to the face in a humiliating ending. Ougon Sedai no Kodou won the match to resounding applause!
Shortly thereafter, all of the guests left the stage. But the Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team stage event wasn’t quite over yet, and Shun Fujiyoshi, the executive producer of Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team, appeared with a major announcement with dramatic music playing. This year, there will be a Dream Championship campaign with Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team players around the world. Players will compete in both online and offline matches for in-game and real-life prizes, and a chance to travel to Japan to compete in the final round. 16 players, both Japanese and international, will have the chance to face off head to head in Tokyo to see who really is the world champion player of Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team. The Dubai round will take place in April, Tokyo in June, Paris in July, Hong Kong in August, and then the final will be held in the fall back in Tokyo. The winners will get a special illustration by Yoichi Takahashi, creator of Captain Tsubasa, and a special in-game badge. It was definitely a really exciting announcement to end the event on.
YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle
The final stage event at KLabGames for AnimeJapan 2019 was the YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle stage. The audience area was moderately full, gaining more people as the event went on. It was nice to see a mix of genders and ages all excited to watch the event together, including a few children cosplaying right in the front. The YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle event opened with an announcement via video message from famous Japanese comedians Gorgeous and Yoko Inui, who declared that the stage event would be a special YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle quiz.
After the video announcement, the live MCs of the event came to the stage - Yosuke Oshima cosplaying Koenma, and Sana cosplaying Genkai. They were only the beginning though, and after sharing a few jokes on the stage they introduced the day’s guests. Everyone was going to compete in the YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle quiz, and they were all cosplaying YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO characters as well. The participants were Enako cosplaying Keiko Yukimura, Nagisa cosplaying Botan, Sayuri Furukawa cosplaying Kurama, Haruka Kohara cosplaying Youko Kurama, Nao Takami cosplaying Yusuke Urameshi, Mika Nonomiya cosplaying Ruka in her vine bikini, Haruka Ishida cosplaying Yukina, and finally a comedy duo called Kitsune (Hirotsugu Otsu and Kousei Awaji) both cosplaying Younger Toguro. Finally, there was also a plush of Kurage on the MC table who had a voice of his own and contributed a lot to the commentary for the event as well.
With introductions complete, the quiz itself began. Gorgeous and Inui read each of the questions, which were also projected up onto the screens, and the contestants had to decide which of the statements were true or false. They worked in teams of two (which the exception of Haruka and Kitsune, who were a team of three) and had to decide together on their answer. When the time came, each team held up either an “x” for false or an “o” for true. Then Gorgeous and Inui revealed the answer and explained a few more details in case anyone was confused about why the answer was what it was.
At first, everyone was off to a perfect start. It seemed like everyone would be able to win the title of YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle “maniac,” which is what was up for grabs. But by the second question, Kohara and Sayuri’s team began to fall behind. For the rest of the quiz, they got every answer wrong! Kitsune and Haruka’s team also missed two questions, along with Enako and Nagisa’s team. Between questions, Sana would regularly pump up balloons that were stuffed inside Kitsune’s shirts to relieve tension and add some comic relief. By the end of the match, only Nao and Mika had a perfect score! They won some in-game prizes, and to everyone’s surprise, original t-shirts for YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle as well.
But the stage event wasn’t quite over; it was time for a punishment game. Kitsune volunteered to take the burden on, and everyone moved to the side to make space as they began to blow up a giant balloon on the stage. Then Koenma cut off one end of it, and together with one of the members of Kitsune, they pulled the balloon over the head of the other Kitsune member. He was shoved completely inside of the deflated balloon! Then, using an electric blower, they filled the balloon with air once more with him inside. Only his hair could be seen sticking out of the top, and his fingers pressed into the sides of the balloon as it filled up and was bounced along the stage a little. When they finally released the balloon again, there was a single moment where the audience had a view of Kitsune’s horrified face as his head emerged, and then the balloon deflated around him once more. When he was eventually released, hair a mess and trousers slipping off, he looked like he had been through quite an ordeal. But the audience and other contestants loved it, and he was a good sport about the entire thing.
The YU☆YU☆HAKUSHO 100% Maji Battle stage event ended with a cool video on the big screen promoting the game with plenty of in-game footage, and an explanation about the five-character team system for battles. Everyone cheered a lot watching the video, especially when they saw their favourite characters up on the big screen. Finally, they reminded everyone that the half-year anniversary log-in campaign was going on! It was a fun and light-hearted last stage event at the KLabGames booth.
KLabGames definitely was a hot place to be during AnimeJapan, with emotions running high and everyone excited and happy to see their favourite voice actors and footage from the games they love. With a wide range of games to offer, the KLabGames booth appealed to so many different people throughout the course of the weekend, drawing a varied crowd and presenting stage events suited to that diversity. Each event was different from the last, but one thing is for certain - they were all really fun!
Were you able to visit the KLabGames booth in person this year, or did you tune into the live stream? Which of these games is your favourite to play? Are there any you want to check out now? Do you have any questions about the KLabGames stage events? Drop us a comment below!