On July 6, 2018, anisong fans packed the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for “Japan Super Live” — the second night of Anisong World Matsuri at Anime Expo 2018 — to see rare U.S. performances by anime superstars May’n, Aimer, Sanketsu-girl Sayuri, and Yuki Kajiura.
May’n charged onto the stage to open the concert and pump up the audience, backed by a full rock band and a squad of dancers. “Are you ready to make some noise? Come on, Los Angeles!” Beginning her set with her high-energy single “Chase the world”, followed by “One In A Billion -May’n Ver.-“, May’n shared her excitement, speaking in English to the thousands of fans in the Microsoft Theater. “Wow! So many, many people,” she said, smiling and waving to the fans in the high mezzanine, “I can see you!”
“I have always wanted to meet you guys,” she continued. “Tonight, let’s make a big memory! Let me hear your voice!” she exclaimed as the band played the opening notes of Macross Frontier‘s dramatic “Northern Cross”. Thousands of blue pen lights illuminated the theater to create a galaxy of lights to match the celestial imagery projected above the stage.
After two more rocking songs, “You” and “Belief”, May’n returned to the world of Macross for her final song, “Diamond Crevasse”. Opening her arms wide to receive cheers of “We love you!” from the audience, “It’s been eight years since my first Anime Expo… I’m back!” she announced. “This song is my precious song, because this song changed my life. I was able to meet everyone around the world. We may have different languages and countries, but music makes us one.”
Street performer turned anisong rising-star Sanketsu-girl Sayuri took the stage next. Barefoot in her indigo and pink shawl and holding only her acoustic guitar, the “2.5-dimensional parallel singer-songwriter” began her intense performance with well-known anime themes “Heikousen” and “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no youna” as the screen above her displayed dramatic 2D silhouettes of the the singer and Japanese lyrics flowing in time with the music.
With just one eye peering from behind her thick, dark hair, she relentlessly strummed her guitar accompanied on stage by a solo keyboard player for live versions of theme songs from Fate/Extra: Last Encore and Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace.
“You guys understand Japanese? That’s so awesome!” Sayuri commented. “This was my first time leaving Asia to sing in America. I would like to come again, so please enjoy life and have fun. Let’s meet again. Thank you so much for today.”
Aimer returned to Anime Expo in a follow-up to her 2015 performance, seated on a simple stool and back lit by spotlights and projections of wispy white smoke. Filling the dark theater with her powerful voice, the mysterious singer performed “StarRingChild” (from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn) and then “Brave Shine” (from Fate/ Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works) accompanied by a dramatic montage of anime scenes.
Aimer took a moment to address the fans directly. “I’m very honored to sing in front of all you amazing people. Moments like this make me grateful, and I hope I can live with you through music. I’ll definitely come back again. Arigatou gozaimashita! I would like to dedicate my last song to you…” she whispered. Aimer’s sustained high notes shook the whole theater as she performed “LAST STARDUST” from (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works).
The final artist of the night, famed composer, lyricist, and performer Yuki Kajiura, arrived on stage behind at her keyboard, supported by a five-piece band and three vocalists. A massive cheer filled the hall as her name was projected on screen, and the internationally renowned artist led her musicians through instrumental and choral arrangements from her most popular anime film and television soundtracks, including Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-, .hack//SIGN, and Fate/Zero.
“Hello! Welcome to Anisong World Matsuri,” said Kajiura. “Are you having fun? Great. I am sure that you are enjoying the beautiful song of three divas,” introducing her vocalists Yuriko Kaida, Joelle, and Kaori. “We are so glad to be here.”
As a special surprise for fans at Anisong World Matsuri, Yuki Kajiura was joined on stage for the final song by vocalist Aimer. Together they performed “Hana No Uta” from (Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower for the first time ever, bringing an exciting climax to the emotional three-hour anisong concert.
1. Chase the world (Accel World)
2. One In A Billion -May’n Ver.- (Restaurant to Another World)
3. Northern Cross (Macross Frontier)
4. You (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
5. Belief (Taboo Tattoo)
6. Diamond Crevasse (Macross Frontier)
1. Heikousen (Scum’s Wish)
2. Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no youna (Erased)
3. Tsuki to Hanataba (Fate/Extra: Last Encore)
4. Furaregai Girl
5. Mikazuki (Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace)
1. StarRingChild (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn)
2. Brave Shine (Fate/ Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works)
3. Ref:rain (Koi Wa Ameagari no You ni)
4. broKen NIGHT (Fate/hollow ataraxia)
5. LAST STARDUST (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)
1. the beginning of the end (Fate/Zero)
2. Lancer and Assassin (Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower)
3. Longing (Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-)
4. Key of the Twilight (.hack//SIGN)
5. Yasashii Yoake (.hack//SIGN)
6. Luminous Sword (Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-)
Aimer x Yuki Kajiura special collaboration
1. Hana No Uta (Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] I. Presage Flower)
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