Considering that a few of my recent posts have been focused on Anime Expo’s eye popping line up, we certainly should not forget about the number of other US anime and Japanese culture conventions that managed to snag some pretty big names this year.
With spring about half over and summer around the corner, we are about to enter full swing into convention season. While I won’t be attending some of these acts due to time, budget, and other personal reasons, hopefully those who are in the area will show up and support these artistes. Keep in mind that it’s still a fairly rare event for Anisong artistes to make a US appearance, let alone recurring appearances. It’s also uncommon for artistes to have meet & greet or autograph sessions in Japan, so this is certainly an opportunity you don’t want to miss if one or more of your favorite artistes are performing.
May’n @ Anime Central (May 19 – 21) in Rosemont, IL
May’n is a talented singer, singing pop, rock, dance, and R&B. She was the singing voice of Sheryl Nome in TV animation series, Macross Frontier in 2008. Both her songs released that year debuted in the Top 3 on the Oricon Weekly charts.
In January 2010, tickets sold out instantly for her first solo concert at Nihon Budokan. She went on her first Asia tour in March, and a summer tour hitting 17 locations in July.
In February 2011, she released a documentary movie, May’n THE MOVIE – Phonic Nation – which was released nationally.
Since then, she has continued to deliver her songs in the form of concerts, and in 2013, she went on her national tour, hitting all 47 prefectures in Japan.
May’n not only has performed in Japan but has over 60 times overseas in countries such as France, Germany, South Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, etc. She has attended numerous festivals overseas, and was even the main act in, performing last in nine locations in seven countries.
May’n is planning her 5th tour hitting worldwide in 2017. (From Anime Central)
OxT @ A-Kon (June 8 – 11) in Fort Worth, TX
The digital rock unit comprised of Masayoshi Oishi and Tom-H@ck.
In 2013, the two released the tracks “Go EXCEED!!” and “Perfect HERO” for the anime Ace of Diamond as Tom-H@ck featuring Masayoshi Oishi. They created the unit OxT in 2015.
Anisong World Matsuri @ Otakon (August 11-13) in Washington, D.C.
(From Otakon). Note, separate concert ticket is required for the concerts as it is hosted by Anisong World Matsuri and not Otakon.
JAM Project is the first of several featured artists to appear as part of the Anisong World Matsuri at Otakon!
This is JAM Project’s fourth collaboration with Otakorp, Inc. JAM Project made its US debut at Otakon 2008. They returned for Otakon Music Fest in 2012, and made a brief appearance at Otakon Vegas 2015 in conjunction with the Anisong World Tour Lantis Festival in Las Vegas held nearby. This will mark their first return to Otakon proper.
FLOW, consisting of brothers KOHSHI (vocals) and TAKE (guitar), KEIGO (vocals), GOT’S (bass) and IWASAKI (drums), began with the two brothers in 1998, and began getting national attention in 2003 with the single “Blaster”. Since then, they have performed themes for several anime including “Go!!!” for Naruto and “COLORS” for CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion. They’ve taken their energetic live shows from Japan’s Budokan to countries around the world, including several prior US appearances.
Takanori Nishikawa made his debut as T.M.Revolution (T.M.R.) in May 1996, with the single “Dokusai –monopolize-”. Since then, he has established a reputation as a singer with ear-catching tunes combined with intriguing and irresistible live performances. Many singles have been picked up as themes of major anime and games including Mobile Suit Gundam and Sengoku Basara.
Yousei Teikoku was founded on the idea that humanity’s dwindling belief in fairies must be reversed in order to bring back the purity in people’s hearts. It was in year 1997 at Nagoya where the princess of the Fairy Empire, Yui (vocals) first grouped with Takaha Tachibana (guitar) and named themselves “Yousei Teikoku Dai San Gakutai”. Yousei Teikoku is the shortened name. They then scouted three members in Midgard, Nanami (bass), Shiren (guitar), and Gight (drums). The band merges heavy and aggressive rock music with metal, classical and techno. They performed for many anime including “Kuusou Mesorogiwi” for Future Diary.
Luna Haruna @ Anime Weekend Atlanta (September 28 – October 1) in Atlanta, GA
Born on October 11th, Luna Haruna is one of the up-and-coming AniSong (anime song) artists in Japan. Luna has loved singing and watching the animation since her childhood.
At the The 4th Animax Anison Grand Prix held in 2011, Luna became the finalist and it led her to the chance of making her major-label debut. Her debut single “Sora wa takaku Kaze wa utau” (TV anime “Fate/Zero 2nd season” ending theme song) was produced by the renowned anime song producer, Yuki Kajiura, and released in May 2012.
In August 2013, Luna released her 1st album “OVERSKY”, and she also held her solo concert at the renowned Shibuya Public Hall in December 2014.
In January 2015, she released the 7th single “Kimi Iro Signal” (TV anime “Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend” opening theme song) to be followed by her 2nd album “Candy Lips”. In this year, she held concerts at bigger venues such as Mielparque Hall (Tokyo) and Morinomiya Piloti Hall (Osaka), and both became very successful.
Currently, Luna’s hit songs are;
“Overfly” (TV anime “Sword Art Online (fairy dance arc)” ending theme song),
“Aioutae” (TV anime “Monogatari series 2nd season” ending them song),
“snowdrop” (TV anime “Monogatari series” 2nd season -Koi Monogatari-“ ending theme song”),
“Startear” (TV anime “Sword Art Online II” ending theme song”)
“Kimi Iro Signal” (TV anime “Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend” opening theme song)
“Ripple Effect” (TV anime “High School Fleet” ending theme song)
“Windia” (Videogame “Sword Art Online –Hollow Realization-“ theme song)
With her sweet-looking appearance and deeply-resonate voice, Luna has had high level of popularity both in and out of Japan, and been invited as the musical guest to the events held across the world such as Asia, USA, and Europe. She also expresses her talent as a fashion model and often appears on the cover of the popular fashion magazine “KERA”. (From Anime Weekend Atlanta)
bless4 @ Anime Weekend Atlanta (September 28 – October 1) in Atlanta, GA
bless4 is a chorus, dance group composed of four siblings – AKASHI, KANASA, AKINO, and AIKI.
AIKI, finally came back after a 2 year rest from the group as he was out volunteering.
They formally debuted in 2003 with BGM Japan with the single “Good Morning! Mr. Sunshine”.
In 2009 they contributed to Disney’s animated series Stitch with the ED theme “Stitch is Coming!” and the insert song “Hitori Jyanai”.
bless4 took 1st place in the Celebrity A Cappella Championship and 3rd place in the 7th Celebrity Kaeuta Finals.
AKINO made her solo debut at the age of 15 in 2005 with the song “Sousei no Aquarion”, the OP theme of the anime series “Sounsei no Aquarion”.
The iconic phrase “♪一万年と二千年前から愛してる♪” (I’ve loved you since 12,000 years ago) once again caught everyone’s attention
Then 2 and a half years after its release and stormed the charts:
#1 hit in Oricon Ring Tone Ranking, iTunes Download Ranking, AMAZON CD Ranking, Karaoke Ranking, etc!
It was also awarded the “2009 JASRAC” Silver Award.
bless4 work together in different forms to continue to amaze the world with their vocals and performance.
“Yumetsumugi”(Album) placed #3 in Billboard Japan
“Kimi no Shinhwa～Aquarion dai ni shou” placed #3 on the Oricon Charts, and #1 in anime category ranking.
“Extra Magic Hour” OP for anime series ‘Amagi Brilliant Park’
sang OP and ED theme-songs for the visual novel game ‘Senjou no Waltz’
“Miiro” OP theme for the hit anime series ‘Kantai Collection’ ranked #2 on the Oricon Charts shortly after its release
“Let’s Have A PARTY♪” is known for its rhythmical beats and fun dance, spreading to people all over the globe
“Decennia”(Album) AKASHI has made some songs in this album, as well as in some previous CD singles
“Golden Life” OP for the Anime ‘Active Raid’
“OVERNIGHT REVOLUTION” OP for a game ‘Soku no Revelation’
“cross the line” OP for the anime ‘Izetta: The Last Witch’
AIKI choreagraphs all the dance
AKINO makes all the stage costumes for the group
KANASA writes lyrics
AKASHI writes the songs and produces the group
Did I miss a notable guest? Let me know and I will add it to the list!