Because no recording of any kind was allowed during the SUPER AWESOME May’n/Megumi Nakajima + 3rd special guest concert, all I can bestow for you readers upon this glorious recap is a photo of the Nokia Plaza in full action at night during the Laser Spectacular. Here’s to all the crazy anime/jpop/jrock heads who shed their layers of otaku introvertedness to come together and raaaaave the night away..
So who are May’n and Megumi anyway, and why did I even emphasize their importance in the first place? Well for starters, a nice little franchise called Macross celebrated its 25th anniversary with what should now be the rather popular (amongst American anime fans) Macross Frontier television broadcast. Within the story of Macross, songstresses of the galaxy are what bring the franchise’s pilots and heroes together to defeat the antagonists – in the case of Macross Frontier, the Vajra. The singers for the Frontier series that began airing back in 2008 in Japan happen to be May’n (Sheryl Nome’s singing voice) and Megumi Nakajima (singer and voice actress for Ranka Lee). Since the culmination of their huge popularity with their musical contributions to Macross Frontier, as well as their wildly successful Macross F Galaxy Tour Final in Budokan (along with my subsequent watching and liking of the dvd/blu-ray transfer), I knew I had to attend this year’s AX to meet and greet them and see them live.
The show itself was a riot, attracting just about the entire first floor of the Nokia Theatre, glowsticks amassed, and people chanting “kira!!!” and “moteke!!”, just like it was in the Budokan concert. May’n came out first to sing a mix of Macross Frontier songs and some of her own songs from her latest album, Styles. She then handed the stage over to Megumi, clad with a fluffy and vibrant blue and white dress, falling withing the same theme to the outfits she wore during their Macross F live tour.
One of the things about these types of concerts and this type of reunion is just the mere fact that something like this could have never happened, especially if they already did their finale back in 2009. Also, just the fact that I was privileged to not only see the original concert on dvd, but to also realize who the third special guest was before 90% of the people at AX even knew there was a freakin’ piano on stage, is a huge reward in itself. That said, who WAS the third special guest?
It was none other than Yoko Kanno, the series composer, famous for several other anime, movie, and TV compositions such as Cowboy Bebop, Honey and Clover, and The Vision of Escaflowne. Seriously, when she stepped out onto the stage, nearly everyone in the theatre stood to ovation and applauded her entrance with loud cheers of excitement. She’s like the equivalent to John Williams of Star Wars fame, for crying out loud.
Eri Kitamura, Danny Choo, and Yui Horie were among the biggest panels that took place for Day 2, but none of which I was able to actually attend. Eri and Yui are most notable for their voice acting roles as Taiga Aisaka and Ami Kawashima of Toradora. Toradora never really hit the anime mainstream until NIS America picked it up and began promoting it at their booth this past weekend. Eri is also credited for her roles as Yui from the recently finished Angel Beats!, Yuka Uchida from Minami-ke, and Yachiyo Todoroki from the recently finished Working!! Yui Horie is also credited for her roles as Naru Narusegawa from Love Hina, Tsubasa Hanekawa from Bakemonogatari, and Toru Honda from Fruits Basket (just to name a few in the galaxy of roles she’s had).
Much of the rest of the day was spent to figure out just how in the world Christian and I were going to obtain something for Megumi and May’n to sign for their autograph session on Day 3, as well as catch up with fellow twitter follower/friend Jonno and his cousin and other friends around AX and the J.W. Marriott lounge.
So, I think it’s funny when you recognize people at these types of conventions that you’ve never met in person but happened to chat with them here and there online somewhere. As Wynston best puts it, it’s the power of social media that brings moments like Day 2 together to brew into something much more rewarding and fun than it could have ever been. I even ran into Alpha at the Marriott lobby whom I saw perform at Jeepney Asian Grill a few months ago, along with Adrian, the host for the Laser Spectacular, as well as a few others! Amazing! Everyone was so nice and great to talk to as we all wound the night down.
There you have it for Day 2. Great concert, great people, and great cosplay. If I were to change up how this all played out, I’d have attended the panels I wasn’t able to. But for the most part, Yoko Kanno, May’n, AND Megumi on stage at the same time, singing their hearts out to Diamond Crevasse acoustic and LION? Hands down, best Anime Expo I’ve ever been to thus far.
For the final photo of the day, which I posted earlier, I’ll leave you with a fabulous cosplay of Toph of Avatar: The Last Airbender – one of my favorite characters from the show, and probably one of my favorite photos of the entire convention.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Day 3!