Tokyo, the home to everything fun, has lured me back into its grasp 2 weeks ago. The final day for the Hatsune Miku cafe coincided with the last day of the International Toy Fair at the Big Sight, and made June the 16th my “must go to Tokyo” day. There really is no other cafe like this, even the Goodsmile Cafe paled in comparison with the amount of Miku displays on the walls, the music in the cafe and the inspiration in the menu. Everything was related to Miku and it came served with a wonderful night view of Downtown Tokyo. Its an event not to be missed, but unfortunately the cafe is no longer with us as it was a time limited event. You can however, relive my experience with my video!
Last year, Golden Week was a continuation of my year long journeys around Japan. This year, I’ve hardly been out of Nagoya for work and vacationing. Originally, I had planned to visit Shikoku and Kyushu this year, but everyone had other plans. The trip still may come to fruition, but it is uncertain when. April 29th was the official start day of Golden Week for many people, or April 28th for those that don’t work or have school on weekends. After a great sushi night, and a walk from Kanayama to Kamimaezu and Nagoya, I celebrated my first day of Golden Week working on my Yotsuba model, SimCity and Saizeriya for dinner. Slowly and carefully, I will be finished sometime later this year.
Tomorrow, a day of karaoke is planned with some friends! Also, following up on Maaya Sakamoto’s concert, it was fun, but not as entertaining as her Route38 concert! The first half were all songs from her new album (as we expected) and other lesser known songs. The second half had a medley of her best songs, and finished with a Macross Frontier song, and one of my favorite songs, Poketto wo kara ni shite!
I have my tickets to Maaya Sakamoto’s concert in Nagoya! This time I’m not alone! I will be going with 2 friends and I’m really looking forward to it! Apparently, this concert is to celebrate the release of her 8th album. Her 8th album will contain 8 new songs, mostly written and produced by Maaya Sakamoto, with a remix of Everywhere and a new arrangement of Chikai. They named this tour “Roots of SSW” meaning Roots of singer, song writer.
I’ve been a big fan of Yanagi Nagi’s voice, as well as a long time fan of KEY. This Key Sound Label combination brought the best of two artists together for a CD only rivaled by Love Song (also Key Sound Label) and Supercell! The music has a combination of slow and fast songs, carefully placed with stories that focus on “end of the world scenarios and relationships”. Each story at first seem unrelated, but with the songs simple lyrics, it leaves a lot of interpretation. Hidden mysteries lie hidden within each song and how all the songs may be part of the same time line.
I highly recommend this CD to Yanagi Nagi (Supercell) and Key Sound label (Angel Beats!, Kanon, Clannad, AIR, Planetarian, Little Buster) fans. The CD comes with Japanese, Chinese, Korean and ENGLISH lyrics! You know they really care and recognize their international fans when they do something as rare as this. I got the special edition so it comes with all the music videos for the songs that have them, and they’re really great! However, there are slight errors in translations, but it doesn’t change the fact they are trying to expand to their fans overseas.
While in Akihabara I had the chance to try lunch at the IdolM@ster themed Good Smile Company Cafe. At first I had to admit that like at any themed Cafe I was reluctant to spend hard earned Yen on questionable food. However, this was the Akiba Good Smile Cafe and I’ve eaten delicious food at another GSC Cafe location, so I decided to try out this location too.
The inside was certainly a lot larger than the other location, large enough to have 4 different themes in one location, and as many goods on display, but mostly Idolm@ster art and figurines. It wasn’t as magical as the Fate/Zero theme, but the food, yes the food, actually caught my attention! It actually looked good, much better than the Fate/Zero food, which seemed minimal. First of all, what I noticed was the White Curry, which looked like it’d dance in my stomach much like the Idol’s in Idolm@ster would try to dance on stage. Then there was the dessert, which was healthy looking, and I like healthy desserts so, I ordered that as my friend, who came in for the second time that day, accompanied me for this treat by ordering the drink/dessert set.
My friend got his set first, and we learned that they forgot to write down my order! When they finally corrected it they gave me my placemat, which of course I didn’t eat on because I wanted to save it, as well as two collector cards. One card was Idolm@ster and the other was an anime called Accel World. While we waited, we talked about Idolm@ster and the idol’s, especially my favourite idol, Miki, and my experience at the other GSC cafe. When the curry arrived it didn’t come with a spoon, but a spoon in the shape of a shovel! Yukiho, which the dish is based on usually uses a shovel to dig herself a hole to hide in due to embarrassment and what not. It was so awesome that I asked my Japanese friend if I could keep it to dig my own hole, but he said the price for the curry would have been much higher if you could keep it. Feeling dejected I took my first bite, and my mouth had literally never taken curry so sweet, so much like a dessert, and yet at the same time not overly too sweet, and I was in love. It tasted a bit like white chocolate and also a bit like cheese, and I’d really like another one right now!
I ate it quick, not because my dessert got here immediately after and I was afraid of it melting, but because it was just so good. The desert was also super delicious. It came with a frozen Kurogoma pudding and fruits all around. I am allergic to cherries however, and promptly removed it along with the whipped cream using the shovel. The ice dessert with condensed milk was large and the fruits juicy, and like the curry its something I would definitely come back for. After eating I toured the area a bit like most other customers and took pictures of the posters, toys and area.
So if you want great eats that won’t break your wallet and comes with a lot of free goodies to see come to the Good Smile Cafe in Akihabara, and I promise you that you won’t be let down!
Visual Art’s, known for publishing the visual novels Kanon, Air, Clannad and several other big titles, celebrated their 20th Anniversary this weekend. To celebrate they held a concert at Yokohama Dome and invited all of the big name artists related to singing the opening themes and ending themes to these titles. Outside the arena were cars decorated in Visual Art’s characters for people to snap pictures of. Around the side were hour long line ups for Visual Art’s goods, the most popular T-shirts were sold out quick. Inside they checked our bags for any forbidden goods, and handed us a gift package which included a free CD with 2 tracks! We were welcomed in by two giant characters which stood a few dozen feet tall. It was amazing to see the singers of your favourite game up close and personal, even though I sat quite a ways from the main stage. What was even more amazing than the singers themselves were the fans. The fans were synchronized with the singers using many of glow sticks in one concert, and in some cases a glow stick for every finger! This was my first time at such a large concert hall in Japan. The only other concert I had been to was LiSA’s GIRLS DEAD MONSTER concert on a smaller stage in Nagoya and that one didn’t have seats like this one, but seats would become important for this concert would run for over 5 hours! The concert started with Kotoko and I’ve singing a variety of songs I knew, but others that were before my time. The first song I recognized was “Close to me” by Kotoko, and it sounded much better live. The artists would usually introduce themselves and Kotoko told us that unfortunately Mell couldn’t make it to the concert for certain reasons. However, just to see Kotoko was definitely nice since she had a big impact in my life when I started getting into Japanese music. Afterwards, a few artists I didn’t recognize came up to stage including a boy band and during that time I made my way to the bathroom and some of the exhibits outside, including a room with all the Visual Art’s game to demo. After a few more unknown names the concert was in intermission.After the intermission came a video that previewed a new Visual Art’s game, a sequel to Rewrite. There would be a few commercial in between artists, the best one however was the first trailer to the Little Buster’s anime by J.C. Staff. There were also commercials that featured their past games, which also sent chills, these definitely got the crowd going.After the commercials came one of the best parts of the concert, GIRLS DEAD MONSTER featuring Marina and LiSA. Marina would sing Alchemy, and LiSA would sing a couple other songs, before another artist sang Ichiban no Takara Mono. Afterwards, a few more unknown artists came on to sing and I used this chance to use the bathroom, and thankfully I did because there were no more intermissions. One of the unknown artist included a new member of the singing staff and she asked us to give her our support. Rita, the singer to the opening of Little Buster sang Ecstasy, and another song. The most disappointing thing was that Eufonius only sang one song! She was one of my favourite singers, but she didn’t do as many songs for Visual Art’s compared to her work for anime. She did however record a song under the name Riya called Love Song, and it was definitely a beautiful CD and It was disappointing she didn’t sing anything from it.However, as the concert came close to ending Lia finally appeared! I was getting sad that I didn’t hear any of the songs to my favourite anime and game openings, but she came in and gave us exactly what they wanted, singing Tori no Uta. She would also sing Dango Daikazoku, and My Soul, Your Beats! All of the songs were so much more powerful live than on CD, especially Dango Daikazoku. The bass that shook the room sent more chills down my spine, it was almost like a dream listening to it. She was definitely a show stealer, and the applauses she got definitely proved she was a top quality singer. Her English was also fluent and fantastic as she described the musicians behind her. The concert finished with two songs sung by I’ve, who came out together in a group and sang Last Regrets from Kanon, asking everyone to sing along with the karaoke on screen. Before they sang the last song, they introduced their president of the company, and proceeded to sing Orpheus, the theme song of the concert, before saying their thanks and ending their 20th anniversary celebrations.
I’m going to be in town, but unfortunately at a different event! I’ll be at the Visual Arts concert in Yokohama. I can’t wait to see LiSA again and Lia, Kotoko, as well as Euphonius for the first time!
Meanwhile, those a wonfest will see some Nendoroids I’ve been anticipating!
The prototype of Gumi, Sakura Miku and the almost finished Hakase from Nichijou! Head to Chiba to see the gigantic Nendoroid, Figma and Scale Models this Sunday!
More by Mikatan!
The Visual Arts event theme song sung by your favourite Key Sound Label artists!
More information on Visual Arts’ 20th anniversary celebration this Sunday July 29th at Yokohama Arena!
Copyright: Not my Photos.
Deco*27’s third album was released today. It comes with 13 songs, most of which were featured in their most recent singles. The special edition comes with a DVD video of 8 tracks including a documentary. Tracks like Ego Mama, Light Love and Long Distance Love affair top my chart. This is the first album release to not focus any Vocaloids but instead Marina and Topi dominate the tracks. Their wonderful voices make the lack of Gumi and Miku forgiven.
Some of the songs: