You might be wondering what a koto is after reading the heading to this post. A koto is a traditional string instrument from Japan that has quite a distinct sound and is recognisable as the national instrument of Japan.
Koto player, Kazushi Okimasa, recently put together this clip showing his rendition to the opening of hit anime, Yuri On Ice. The theme is called History Maker and the show version is performed by Dean Fujioka. Here’s the show version:
Those damn cute trio of girls that make up J-Rock/J-Pop group, BABYMETAL, have been very hard at work in 2016. They’ve had many appearances at music festivals around the world and had numerous visits to TV shows all in the name of promotion and spreading the BABYMETAL message.
2017 looks set to be even bigger with the news that they’ve lined up a tour with hard rock legends, Guns N’ Roses.
During the Japan leg of the Gun N’ Roses tour, BABYMETAL will be the support act to get the crowd rocking and really into it. I just love how cool these posters are promoting the event, would love to see this show!!
Fans of Sword Art Online will no doubt be familiar with the OP from the first 14 episodes in the first season, “Crossing Field” by LiSA. If you somehow missed it and kept skipping past it to get to the show, I’ve included the awesome track below:
What’s even better is the recent announcement that singer LiSA will be coming back to SAO series to provide the theme song for the SAO film, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. The track is called “Catch the Moment” and will be released on February 15, 2017 which is only a few days out from the film’s premiere on the 18th of February. Can’t wait to hear it or see the movie. And just on the movie, rumours are rife that it will be having a worldwide simultaneous launch would be amazing!
A mind-blowing futuristic theatrical experience from Japan
The multi-award winning Japanese phenomenon, SIRO-A, will bring their theatrical spectacular to Australia for the first time and exclusively at The Concourse from 10th to 22nd January 2017.
SIRO-A are renowned for their mind-blowing performances combining visual effects, mime, dance, comedy, puppetry and high-energy music in a spectacular feast for all the senses.
Taking the world by storm, SIRO-A has attracted millions of views on You Tube, sold-out shows across the globe including New York, London and Edinburgh, and wowed audiences with their appearances on America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent.
Described by critics as ‘Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group’, the six performers in SIRO-A perform alongside technology to create a visual spectacular. A vast projection screen acts as a backdrop, and the latest video-mapping, light animation, laser effects and 3D video projection are utilised throughout the performance.
Each performance is divided into short visual sketches that seamlessly blend reality and animation, performed meticulously by the SIRO-A artists alongside two DJs spinning an electro soundtrack.
SIRO-A was formed in 2002 by six classmates from Sendai, Japan, who shared a desire to create the next generation of entertainment; outside the boundaries of conventional theatre and performance art.
Performing for the very first time in Australia, SIRO-A’s multimedia and family-friendly performances will transcend language and captivate audiences of all ages!
WHAT: SIRO-A WHEN: 10th to 22nd January 2017 TIMES: 7pm on 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th; 8pm on 12th to 14th and 19th to 21st; 3pm on 15th and 22nd
WHERE: The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood TICKETS: From $29. Available from Box Office (02) 8075 8111 or online via www.theconcourse.com.au SUITABLE FOR: Ages 8+ years DURATION: 60 minutes VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/user/siroaofficialchannel
SMASH! have just dropped a massive bit of news, vocaloid superstar IA will be making an appearance at this year’s event! Here’s the press release with the amazing news.
INTERNATIONAL VOCALOID POPSTAR, IA, TO MAKE HER AUSTRALIAN DEBUT AT SMASH! 2016
Sydney, NSW, July 29th, 2016: Get ready to party — Australia’s #1 Japanese pop-culture event has once again catapulted to world-class status (and beyond)! In an Australian first, international Vocaloid sensation, IA , will be coming to SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show to perform live at SMASH!’s 10th anniversary event on August 20th.
A virtual popstar created as part of the vocal synthesis program ‘VOCALOIDTM3’, IA is the world’s latest muse that has taken the world by storm. For many fans and creators of the industry, IA has been praised as a reliable voice-bank library in which users can create unique songs and videos. Since IA’s debut in 2011, she has has collectively garnered more than 100 million views in Japan and abroad, and her popularity will no doubt rise even further when she makes her Australian debut.
Presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, this cultural collaboration between JPF Sydney and SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show marks the fourth consecutive year for both organisations. Acknowledging SMASH!’s dedication to bringing the best of Japan to Australia, JPF Sydney’s representative Jessica Chow congratulates the SMASH! team for “reaching a significant milestone”.
“The Japan Foundation, Sydney supports devoted anime fans in pursuing their passion and interests,” Chow said.
“By sponsoring special guests for conventions like SMASH!, fans will be able to meet and interact with Japanese stars, and reaffirm their love for pop culture.
IA is an ambassador for Japan’s modern culture and technology. Her debut in Australia is a great opportunity to connect with anime fans, as well as people in other fields. We look forward to seeing the new possibilities that her appearance may bring to Australia’s arts scene.”
Since her debut in Japan, IA has reached out to her international audience with many successful solo concerts in France, London, Singapore, and Taiwan. Following a string of recent successful concerts in United States including New York and Los Angeles, SMASH! President Andrew Qiu could not be more “ecstatic” about IA’s first Australian appearance.
“IA’s appearance at SMASH! 2016 solidifies the convention’s position as the #1 platform for Japanese pop-culture in Australia,” Qiu said.
“With JPF Sydney’s continuous support, it is SMASH!’s mission to bring unique talents, and deliver world-class content and entertainment every year. And what better way to celebrate SMASH!’s 10th anniversary than having superstar IA perform at our event.”
In addition to IA’s exclusive performance, she will be joined by the likes of Hachioji P and DJ Catalystic at the anniversary party. Other SMASH! 2016 guests include Japanese voice actor Hideo Ishikawa (Naruto), Japanese voice actress Ai Nonaka (Madoka Magica), and cosplayers Yuegene Fay and Goldy.
Some of you may be wondering who Jason Paige is after reading the heading. Jason is the man behind the voice to the opening theme track to the US version of the Pokemon show. That was a while ago, 18 years ago in fact. Due to the recent surge in popularity of Pokemon, no doubt due to Pokemon Go, Jason was recently tracked down to bust out the iconic theme track one more time. Does he nail it? Have a look and see for yourself!
I love BABYMETAL, those trio of J-Metal/Pop girls are awesome and I love their sound. Some people are new to their sound and image as seen below. This is from YouTube channel Fine Brothers Entertainment who are known for their “People Reacting To…” clips.
This clip shows Su-Metal, Moametal and Yuimetal watching YouTubers reacting to clips of themselves. It’s really interesting to see how they perceive people who are watching them for the first time. And on top of that…it’s realy cute to watch their reactions too! Check it below.
Two things I love coming together puts a smile on my face, Hatsune Miku and classical music. In a special one off event for just one night, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Crypton Future Media are coming together on August 26, 2016. The blue haired Vocaloid will be providing the vocals while backing music will be provided by the orchestra.
The event will be going down in the Chiyoda ward at the Tokyo International Forum Hall A in Marunouchi. If you want to grab tickets, they go on sale June 28. Class A seats will set you back ¥8,000 while a special seat that comes with a pamphlet and limited goods will sell for ¥14, 800. As a bonus, formal attire won’t be required and casual dress will be the code for the night.
This one’s a bit old now plus I had a few people tag me on Facebook about this so yeah, I’ll write it up! I’m a fan of the J-Pop x Metal trio, BABYMETAL. If you’ve been living under a rock and never heard of them, here’s a clip of a recent hit, KARATE.
Anyways, their popularity is soaring by the day as they’ve been steadily increasing their live performances and doing shows all over Europe, Asia and the US. The latest platform they’re making an appearance on is Nintendo’s build it yourself platform game, Super Mario Maker for the Wii U…here’s a clip of a wickedly difficult level with a Japanese gamer streaming his attempt to beat it and his rapturous reaction when he does beat it.
Here’s a promo clip for the joint collaboration as well.
So basically when you complete the Metal Resistance level (also the name of their latest album), you unlock a character that’s actually a montage character of all three members, Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal. On top of that, the girls have also recorded sound sample for the game so you’ll hear them exclaim “Yosha!” (“We did it!”) when you beat a level, “We are Babymetal” when they show themselves and “Tobe!” (“Jump!”) as you jump over in-game obstacles.
This recently uploaded level is available worldwide so anyone can join in the BABYMETAL fun!
The Japanese female trio of Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal known as BABYMETAL are back with a new J-Rock offering for 2016, Metal Resistance. Straight off the bat, this album is amazing! I’m not one for too much rock or metal but this blend of rock, metal, pop and kawaii really hits the spot for me and BABYMETAL do it so well.
This new album is the 2nd studio album for the trio and is headlined by the lead single, “Karate”.
I won’t go over each song and pretend to be a professional music critic, which I’m not, but I’ll say as whole, the album puts out exactly what you’ve come to know about BABYMETAL. It’s loud, fast, rocking and surprisingly at times, very pop oriented and ballad-like. Coming back to the lead single, “Karate”, this is a fantastic stand out track which exemplifies exactly they’re well loved and admired by fans around the world. With their very pop vocals laid over a double drum beat, this song is non stop from start to end with a very pop middle bridge, great stuff.
There were some tracks that I found myself coming back to. The aforementioned “Karate”, “Awadama Fever” which also blend some subtle electronica into the mix, “Amore” which sounds like an anime into track, “No Rain, No Rainbow” which slows down the tempo of the album considerably and sounds more like the ED of an anime and the only English track on the album “The One” which is another track with its share of slow tempo, up beat pop and very 80’s sounding guitar riffs, awesome…loved it. Not to take anything away from the rest of the album but these are the tracks that I found myself coming back to.
This is one group that I would love to see live, this explosive sound is barely contained and would be even better on stage. This album gets 2 thumbs up!