Review: Lantis Festival ANISONG World Tour 2015
By: Brian Chan
What is Lantis Festival? Despite a name that sounds ominously like the insect “mantis”, Lantis Festival is actually a Anisong world tour by the Japanese music publishing label “Lantis” to mark their 15th anniversary. The tour largely consists of familiar opening or ending theme songs in anime series (hence the hybrid word ‘Anisong’) which has wowed audiences in Las Vegas, Hong Kong and now, Singapore, with Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei next.
Although the doors at The Star Performing Arts Centre only opened at 5pm, there was already a sizeable crowd of Anisong fans since 3pm, snapping up the exclusive event merchandise from the booths. Some of the fans even bought flower stands for the performing artistes to congratulate them (there was even one from Hong Kong)!
The concert opened with a minute of silence in reverence of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who had passed away just days earlier on Mar 23. But the solemn minute didn’t dampen spirits, with fans cheering energetically as the first artiste took the stage.
Kicking off the festival was ChouCho who had made a name for herself with her anime songs. She sang 4 songs but it was her 3rd, a cover of “Snow Halation” from the popular anime, Love Live!, that drove the crowd wild. She only needed to tease it as the next song to drive the crowd into a frenzy!
The similarly bubbly Tadokoro Azusa was next in line. . Her emotional rendition of her unreleased new single, “DREAM LINE”, sent ecstatic fans shouting their adoration and waving blue penlights to the beat.
After 2 cutesy girly acts, teenage heart-throb Kensho Ono picked up the mic. Known for voicing Tetsuya Kuroko, the protagonist in popular anime Kuroko no Basuke, he thrilled fangirls with his charisma, commanding them to bop along with but a flick of his hand. Concluding his performance with a backflip, he left as he arrived, a youthful force of unbridled energy. Not hard to see why the girls went ga-ga over him.
Not content with letting the ladies rest, Kenichi Suzumura bounced onto the stage and was greeted with a cacophony of cheers. Although not as hyperactive as Ono, Suzumura, with a more mature aura, still got the crowd worked up as he sang “Asunaro”, the ending theme for Kamisama no Memochou. Each time he approached the front rows with his charming smile, fans greeted him with screams of affection.
The vocal powerhouse of Megumi Ogata was next. The veteran voice actress and singer delivered a dose of nostalgia for older fans as she sang her hit song “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” from the classic anime, Evangelion. Megumi Ogata, who is both the singer and the character’s voice for another classic, Sailor Moon, then belted out the iconic tune in a duet with Tadokoro Azusa. She ended her performance on a sombre note, giving her heartfelt thanks to the audience for their continual support of the Japanese animation industry.
After a restless 15-minute intermission, OLDCODEX stormed onto the stage in style to rock it out. Males and females alike headbanged to their hits such as “RAGE ON” from FREE! and “WALK” from Kuroko no Basuke. In their trademark style, lead vocalist Ta_2 sang his throat sore while the other vocalist, Yorke, painted the titles of the songs onto a canvas sheet.
With our necks aching after OLDCODEX, we were graced by Chihara Minori and her lithe frame. Contrasting the adorable ChouCho and Tadakoro, Miniori’s sensual femininity set a different tone as she sang various songs, including “Paradise Lost” from Ga-Rei Zero and Kyoukai no Kanata’s title track. Her duet with Masami Okui of the upcoming act, JAM Project, performing “Rinbu Revolution”, the opening song for the 1996’s Revolutionary Girl Utena, was another treat for fans.
The 3-hour concert closed with a set by JAM Project, an Anisong group of 5 veteran singers founded in 2000. They crooned several well-known songs such as “Vanguard” from the anime adaptation of the trading card game, Cardfight!! Vanguard, Each member also sang solo hits, which included “勇者王誕生”, “PREDESTINATION’, “PLANET DANCE”, “ウィーアー” and “CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA”, evoking plenty of fond memories for this writer who grew up with these tunes.
The Singapore leg of the world tour wrapped up with all the artistes taking to the stage one last time to perform “Starting Style”, the theme song for the Lantis Festival, together.
The Lantis festival could only have happened due to the strong support of anime and J-pop fans. From their fervent cheering to the sharing of light sticks and refreshments, the Lantis Festival has demonstrated the unity of the community. Definitely the best Anisong concert in Singapore this year in this writer’s opinion – or at least till the annual Anime Festival Asia comes around in November. We’ll see you there.
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Set List: ChouCho
Set List: Tadokoro Azusa
Hello My Revolution
Lost My Music
Set List: Kenshō Ono
NEEDLESS TO SAY
Set List: Kenichi Suzumura
Set List: Megumi Ogata
A Cruel Angelumi Ogatamムーンライト伝説 (with Tadokoro Azusa)
Set List: OLDCODEX
Dried Up Youthful Fame
Seek Your Turn
Set List: Chihara Minori
輪舞-Revolution- (with Masami Okui)
Set List: JAM Project
牙狼～SAVIOR IN THE DARK～
PREDESTINATION (Masami Okui
PLANET DANCE (Yoshiki Fukuyama)
ウィーアー！ (Hiroshi Kitadani)
CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA (Hironobu Kageyama)
Photos courtesy of Amuse Entertainment