I’m not a fan of anime conventions anymore. I used to watch tons of anime– I was never that into popular stuff like Bleach or Naruto, but there were some great series that I devoured, from Samurai-spirit-imbued street racers Initial D to classic space-ified epic vengeance via Gankutsuou ~The Count of Monte Cristo. I think a lot of people discover Japan through anime, and that’s awesome. I discovered Japan through music first, but anime came close behind, and really helped to further my friendship with Jrock. It was, after all, through anime that I first heard songs like BUCK-TICK‘s Dress.
I’ve been to one anime con in the town where I currently reside, about 3 times consecutively. But then things started happening- like how they obliterated any reference to Jrock. There was a Jpop dance, and they also had an “intro to Jrock” panel, which I absolutely could not stand, but nonetheless my irritation with the panelist’s incompetence really inspired me to do a better job at introducing people to (actually good) Jrock and VK.
On that note, I would just like to say that despite my indifference to anime cons at large, I would have absolutely zero resistance to attending Japan’s Animelo event!
Animelo is Japan’s largest anime-song concert. Artists who have worked on anime theme songs, or seiyuu (voice-actors) who specialize in singing, perform. In this case, our focus is obvious. GACKT performed three songs, ranging from new, to newish, to classic. Animelo was held at the Saitama Super Arena on August 22-23, 2009. GACKT performed on the second day, along with notable artists such as m.o.v.e, Nana Mizuki, Suara, and many others.
See for yourself:
This is the first time that I’ve seen a proper arena Ai Senshi live like this (although there is at least one other live performance of the song), and it’s awesome. One of my favorite pieces off the Gundam-dedicated 0079-0088 album, along with the exquisite Meguriai. Personally, I thought the best part was the extra-manly shouts of Gakuto!! coming from the audience.
More extra-manly screams, this time in call-and-response style MC. After his customary shouting, GACKT says “This next song is, from us, to you, The Next Decade.”
This is honestly the first time that this song has really brought out my fighting-spirit. It’s an incredibly bad-ass performance, and GACKT’s headbanging, shouting, and general energy fire the whole thing up, plus the crowd is going wild, and it’s impossible to resist the amount of energy flying around.
Redemption will always be one of my favorite GACKT songs. It particularly hits home in this set-list as it’s paired with his new-generation piece The Next Decade, and then, before that, a cover song.
All video credit: WanlesShmilly
Thanks to Roukun.