Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
On the evening of 3 November 2017, the fountain square in Ikebukuro Sunshine City shopping mall was abuzz with people. There were also hundreds of people gathered on the 3 floors above, watching from the landings from all 4 sides. Although most of the people gathered were young women, there were plenty of men there too. A closer look revealed that many of the people were holding onto LED glow-sticks and large paper fans decorated in bright colors and the names of performers. There was a sense of excitement in the air, as the members waited for the event to start. After a few minutes of waiting, a man came onstage to introduce the guests. The buzzing got louder as the audience anticipated the start of Dream Festival R Miracle☆Greeting! 03 Mini Live.
Dream Festival R is a so-called 5D male idol project. The concept seamlessly blends the 2D (anime, games etc) with 3D (real-life). Beginning in 2015, the project has a smartphone game, two anime series, an arcade game, a hologram concert, a VR experience tour and more under its belt on the 2D side. On the 3D side, there is a long-running radio programme with the cast, an online variety program, a live concert, multiple fan events, and even an upcoming nationwide tour.
The project revolves around 2 main groups, the 5-person DearDream and the 2-person KUROFUNE. If you refer to ‘DearDream’, it could both mean the group that consists of the 5 fictional characters and the real-life unit that consists of the 5 real-life cast members. This is one of the great appeals of the Dream Festival project, as you can enjoy both the 2D and 3D aspects in different ways. The concert I was attending was about the 3D members, but of course, the 2D members were of equally great importance!
The guests on stage for this event were:
Soma Ishihara who plays DearDream’s bright and positive center Kanade Amamiya (image color: red)
Kentaro Tomita who plays the reliable and hard-working leader Junya Sasaki (image color: yellow)
Takuya Mizoguchi who plays quiet yet sharp former child-star Shin Oikawa (image color: blue)
Masaki Ota who plays the gentle giant Itsuki Katagiri (image color: green)
Kaoru Masaki who plays the pint-sized super bubbly Chizuru Sawamura. (image color: light purple)
Along with DearDream was the friendly rival unit KUROFUNE. Whereas DearDream has a boy-next-door kind of image, KUROFUNE bring a bit of sexiness to the table.
The members are as follows.
Kimito Totani who plays the elegant and graceful Keigo Kazama (image color: gold)
Hideaki Kabumoto who plays the aggressive-yet-kind rock-lover Yuto Kuroishi (image color: black)
The mini-concert opened with the members of DearDream bouncing on stage and jumping right into ‘PLEASURE FLAG’, which was the opening of the first series of the anime. Already the fans were waving their glow-sticks in time to the music, shouting along with the parts of the song. After finishing the number they moved into the opening theme of the currently-airing second season, ‘Yume no Kodou’. Each member was wearing their specially-designed outfits from the Yume no Kodou promotional video and CD jacket. Unlike most of their outfits, which focus only on each member’s color, the Yume no Kodou outfits all mix red, yellow, blue, green, and light purple, with accents in each member’s own image colors. These outfits show how much DearDream as a whole means to the 5 members and their fans.
After ‘Yume no Kodou’, Soma greeted the audience, beginning the first talking segment of the performance. Each of the members introduced themselves and their image colors for the new members of the audience. Takuya then introduced the people new to Dream Festival to a special word. When he shouted ‘Ikemasu ka?’ (Can we do it?), every member of the audience shouted back with ‘Ikerussho!’ (We can totally do it!), which is the catchphrase of Kanade Amamiya in the anime.
As the other three members left the stage, Masaki Ota and Kaoru Masaki began to perform ‘Reversible Valentine’. The two of them make up the newly-formed unit W-MaSKat (pronounced ‘double muscat’, which both pays tribute to Itsuki and Chizuru’s grape-like image colors and the fact that the two of them are referred to as ‘W Masaki’ by fans). Masaki is well-known for his great dance moves, but Kaoru had no problems keeping up. With fans still reeling from their performance, Kentaro and Takuya came onstage to excited screams in order to sing Yureru Midnight.
There was no rest for the fans, as the next song introduced us to the duo KUROFUNE. As Kimito and Hideaki came on stage, the fans started to scream in delight and the atmosphere completely changed. The first song they sang was ‘Kimi wa Mi Amore’. Not only is this a fun and sexy song with great dance moves, it is also the first song Keigo and Yuto performed together in the anime version, making it special both for KUROFUNE and the fans.
Each of the members introduced themselves and thanked the audience for coming, and got ready to perform the next song.
As the music started, Soma came onto the stage in a red outfit and the audience lost their minds. With the three of them on stage, it could only be one song they could perform. That was ‘Bara no Sanjushi’, a song about 3 musketeers that endeavor to protect their lady. After ‘Bara no Sanjushi’ ended, the music changed, signalling another turn in atmosphere. The duo then performed one of their earlier KUROFUNE songs, ‘Scenario’. The two of them both held some impressive long notes.
KUROFUNE then invited DearDream back onto the stage and the latter talked about how cool they thought the KUROFUNE performance was. Soma mentioned that everybody can look forward to the DearDream national tour coming up early next year. There will also be a special Battle Live KUROFUNE VS DearDream on 3 and 4 February 2018 in Tokyo. Hideaki joked that DearDream will be coming along to THEIR live, to which Masaki replied innocently with ‘yes, we’ll be coming to your performance’, spurning Hideaki to reply with ‘no, you mean you’ll invade!’, referencing one of KUROFUNE’s catchphrases. [NB: KUROFUNE means ‘Black Ship’ in English and refers to Commodore Perry’s Black Ships which opened up a closed Japan in the 19th Century. Many of KUROFUNE’s catchphrases reference this, such as ‘invasion’ and ‘opening the country’]. Kimito shouted out to the audience ‘who wants to sail on the Black Ship there!’, and was met with an enthusiastic response from the audience as well as the other performers on stage. We wonder how the Battle live will pan out between these friendly rivals!
DearDream and KUROFUNE then went on to perform their first 7-person single, ‘ALL FOR SMILE !’, which is also the ending theme to the second season of the anime.
As the performers left the stage, the fans clapped and cheered, calling for the encore. The call for encore at Dream Festival events is not shouts of ‘encore, encore’ but shouts of ‘ikerussho!’
After a few minutes of shouting ‘ikerussho!’, the 7 members returned to the stage, this time wearing the pink DearDream and black KUROFUNE t-shirts from the recent FanMeeting 03 that was held in Tokyo and Osaka this autumn. There were even some audience members who proudly displayed their matching t-shirts.
After thanking the audience, Soma began to talk about how special it is to perform at the fountain stage in Ikebukuro Sunshine City. One year earlier, DearDream performed on the same stage, and it could be said to have been their first live concert, as well as KUROFUNE’s first live appearance. The fountain stage is also like no other, as there are people watching from 4 different floors from 360 degrees, and that DearDream were happy to be able to come back.
Then, the 7 members of DearDream and KUROFUNE performed their final number ‘Arigato no Kazu Dake Egao no Hana wo Sakasetai’. It is an upbeat number filled with the gratitude of both the performers and the fans to each other. The singers and audience both waved their arms in time while singing ‘la la la la’ during the chorus. If the venue could be described in one phrase at this point, it would be ‘a sense of unity’ between each of the fans and the performers on stage. As the number came to an end, each of the members moved across the stage to thank all of the audience members for coming to their performance. As with many live performance in Japan, the group finally shouted ‘thank you’ without their microphones, and the audience also responded with ‘thank you!’. The event then came to an end with one final ‘Ikerussho!’.
With the end of the event, both long-time fans and newbies who had learned about the project for the first time can look forward to Dream Festival’s future endeavors in both dimensions.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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