MY FRIEND will be in a bit of a tizzy this weekend, because the Anime Festival Asia 09 (AFA09) is in town. I’m not as big an anime fan as she is, but I’m also pretty psyched up because four of Japan’s hot music makers will in town for that event too.
As any anime fan will tell you, anime isn’t just about the story, the effects or even the animation. It’s also about those cool theme songs and music you hear in the background. I remember watching Vision Of Escaflowne and Lain and being blown away by their theme songs. (Yeah, the story was nice too, but I could not miss the opening credits.)
So you can see why I’m a bit stoked about having Yoshiki Fukuyama, celeb blogger/singer Shoko Nakagawa, May’n and the “big bro yo” of anime songs, Ichirou Mizuki trooping into town for the I Love Anisong concert during the festival. (Of course, it also helps that Shoko’s purty darn cute, and May’n is a babe.)
Oh, and to put the icing on the cake, “Virtual Idol” Hatsune Miku will also be making her formal international debut at AFA09.
For those who still don’t know, Hatsune Miku is a popular “vocaloid”, a virtual “person” generated from music software that can be tuned to create J-pop anime songs. Not surprisingly, Hatsune Miku is a big hit in Japan – and even performed “live” to 25,000 at Animelo Summer Live.
On Saturday, Nov 21, Hatsune Miku, Shoko Nakagawa and Ichirou Mizuki will perform, with Hatsune using the Vocaloid 2 programme. Organisers have also planned a “surprise”. Only one way to find out what it is.
Shoko Nakagawa will also be having an autograph session at 3.30pm at the Suntec City Convention Center halls 403 and 404 hall.
On Sunday, Yoshiki Fukuyama and May’n will take the stage, with the latter featuring brand new songs from her upcoming album and the latest Macross Frontiermovie. Despite his busy schedule, we managed to get Fukuyama-san to answer a few questions.
Why do you like anime?
I like animation because I saw it when I was young.
Which anime do you like?
I like Heidi, although if I had to choose among recent anime, I like Gintamal and Sgt. Frog.
Do you find that the theme songs for anime are sometimes bigger hits than the anime itself? Is that a concern of yours?
I don’t think so.
What do you think the most challenging thing is about singing animation songs?
And there you have it folks, the only person who talks less than Mando-pop singer Jam Hsiao.
The I Love Anisong two-day passes ($188) are selling out, the $108 single day tickets are still available. I Love Anisong ticket prices include entry into the main AFA09. Tickets available from Sistic.
General entry passes to AFA09 priced at $25 (2-day pass) and $15 (one day). Student concession available, children below 12 years, free. Available at the door. For more info, visit www.afa09.com.