Summer Concerts for Anime/J-Pop fans
If you have or haven’t decided whether or not you’re going to attend southern California’s biggest anime convention, then maybe you haven’t see their roster of Guests of Honor (GoH). Ranging from anime voice actresses to anime directors to some of Japan’s musical stars, Anime Expo (AX) may just be the place to be for your 4th of July weekend. Not only that but they will be showcasing some anime that has yet to be released here stateside.
Going strong since 1992, this tiny convention that was started by a group of friends has launched into one of the biggest conventions for Japanese Animation. But that’s not all they’re catering to now. AX has also had concerts that were mainly performed by the voice actress, but it wasn’t until the mid 2000’s that they started bringing in actual musical guests that performed theme songs for anime.
If you missed the past two years then you’ve missed quite a few amazing artists such as Anna Tsuchiya, Oreskaband, SKIN, LM.C and Morning.Musume, just to name a few.
Don’t worry though because this year has some new changes and has some pretty cool things. This year’s musical guests have shown some promise and since AX has the NOKIA Theater how can you not be just a tad bit interested?
If you love idols and love girls then you won’t want to miss out on one of Japan’s top idol groups, AKB48. Sixteen of the 48 members will perform on July 1st at the NOKIA Theater from 16:00-18:00. They are calling these girls “Special Dream Ambassador Team.”
The members are: Asuka Kuramochi, Haruna Kojima, Rino Sashihara, Aki Takajo, Minami Takahashi, Atsuko Maeda and Ami Maeda of Team A. Sayaka Akimoto, Tomomi Itano, Yuko Oshima, Erena Ono, Moeno Nito, Reina Fujie, Minami Minegishi and Sae Miyazawa of Team K. Last but not least, Rie Kitahara of Team B. You can also see them in person on July 2nd for a fan events such as meet-n-greet, attendee panels and autograph sessions. AX is an excellent place for the group because the initials of the group AKB is short for Akihabara, the anime/otaku district in Tokyo.
On July 2nd you can catch anime voice actress and musical guests, Megumi Nakajima and May’n at the NOKIA Theater. Megumi is the voice of Ranka Lee for Macross Frontier and has appeared on the anime soundtrack. May’n sings for the voice of Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier. If that’s not enough get a second helping of live music from MELL that same day. MELL sings the opening theme songs for Rideback, Sky Girls and Black Lagoon. She is featured on the Hayate the Combat Butler and KILL soundtrack, a film directed by Mamoru Oisii.
If you’re into J-Rock and don’t know this band then that’s OK. This band was born when some of you were actually born. SOPHIA, one of the oldest J-Rock bands are still around and kicking. They had the ending theme song anime “Kaleido Star.” Opening for SOPHIA is pop star BENI (aka Beni Arasiro). She sings theme songs to Eyeshield21 and Major. You can catch both of them on July 3rd at the NOKIA Theater.
In regards to her first live in the U.S. BENI says, “I am honored by your invitation to participate in such an event that brings Japanese culture to the US. As a child, I spent several years in southern California, so I am grateful for the opportunity to return for the first time as an artist. I hope to support SPJA in making the best of this event, and look forward to delivering my music to worldwide fans.”
For all you Black Lagoon fans, get ready for the World Premiere Screening of BLACK LAGOON Roberta’s Blood Trail, episode 1. It will premiere on July 1st at 13:30. You can also catch its creator Rei Hiroe on July 2nd for a Q&A at the L.A. Convention Center.
Other GoH’s this year are voice actresses Yui Horie and Eri Kitamura; Internet sensation Danny Choo; voice actor Katsuyuki Konishi; Eden of the East trio Kenji Kamiyama, Satoru Nakamura and Tomohiko Ishii; voice actor Kyle Hebert; animation director Toshihiro Kawamoto; seiyuu Yuu Asakaw; and anime director Shinichi “Nabeshin” Watanabe.
Don’t forget about the cosplayers! Find all your favorite anime characters in the center of L.A.
Source: Anime Expo