ChouCho made her major debut as a singer with ‘Kawaru Mirai’, the opening of Heaven’s Memo Pad (Kamisama no Memo-chou) in 2011. Since then, she has been singing many theme songs of renowned anime works, including Girls und Panzer and Hyouka. Recently, she sang the opening of the theatrical film Fate/kaleid liner Prisma ☆ Illya: Oath Under Snow, which will premier in August. Today, ChouCho is recognized as one of the prominent anisong artists.
Her live concert entitled ChouCho Acoustic Live ‘naked garden’ vol.2, which she planned herself, took place on Friday 28 July 2017. Although she usually sings with her band, this time she performed with a gentle acoustic sound. Her fans at the venue enjoyed the exclusive night with, not only her own songs, but also covers at the fans’ request.
The sold-out concert was filled with her fans holding a drink in their hands and waiting for her appearance on stage. The atmosphere of the venue was more relaxed than usual, perhaps because it was a seated concert.
ChouCho appeared on stage right on time, wearing a white yukata with red flowers. The live concert kicked off with ‘Authentic symphony’. The acoustic backing sound enhanced her mellow voice, which resonated throughout the venue. After singing ‘Kusou Triangle’, she greeted fans with a lovely smile, ‘Good evening. I’m ChouCho.; When asked about her emergency hospital admission in June, she assured her fans that she was alive and kicking now. The fans replied, ‘welcome back’ which filled the venue with a homely warmth.
‘The next song is for the summer season’, said ChouCho and started singing ‘Natsu no Hi to Kimi no Koe’ with a bossa nova arrangement. The song had a somewhat bittersweet taste, reminiscent of the vast blue sky which I would see when I was a student. I wonder what sort of summer scenes you visualize if you are living abroad.
She then sang ‘Kamitsure wo Te ni’, which she hasn’t sung on stage for a while. While playing acoustic guitar, she sang ‘Answer’, for which she wrote the lyrics by herself in English. She sang about happiness with her own words; ‘But you will never find a rainbow if you’re looking down, keep your face to the sunshine.’
During the refreshing and clean melody of ‘Yasashisa no Riyu’, the opening theme song of TV anime series Hyouka, she and the fans enjoyed the call-and-response at the lyric ‘nando demo’. She also sang songs on request on this day. The song requests from the fans were gathered at the venue and ChouCho picked songs randomly, and then improvised the songs on the spot. While chatting with her fans, saying ‘Not sure if I know this song’ or ‘I might only know the chorus part!,’ she sang ‘secret base ~ Kimi ga Kureta Mono~” by ZONE, ‘Natsumatsuri’ by Whiteberry, and ‘Deatta Koro no Youni’ by Every Little Thing. Then she sang a full version of ‘snow halation’ by μ’s, which was the most requested song for the night.
She showed various expressions when searching lyrics of the requested song, and trying to remember which key the song is in. However, once she grabbed the microphone, she put on a professional singer’s face. She showed her ability of making other artist’s songs her own. ‘I nailed it, didn’t I?,’ she asked the fans and smiled contentedly.
During the second half, and she sang ‘bouquet’ and ‘looping star’. Then she sang ‘Taisetsu na Takaramono’, the ending theme song of the Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) OVA, Meguru Kouro, Haruka- (Far Beyond the Voyage). As she wrote the lyrics without any negative words, the song is packed with positive thoughts and made the atmosphere in the venue both positive and pure.
The band then left and she had the entire stage to herself. She started her talk about her 6-year anniversary as a professional singer on the previous day, 27th July, ‘I can’t believe it’s been 6 years already … how time flies.’ She revealed her true feelings towards her fans, ‘I was shocked and immensely sad when I had to stop singing for the first time in my career due to hospitalization. I was so worried that I might be forgotten by you. However, I received many more get-well-soon message than I thought I would. I’m really happy to have you. I appreciate you finding me among many singers and coming to my live concert.’
She stated her prospects, ‘as you gave me strength, I will keep on singing songs which give you strength when you feel anxious.’ Then she sang the last song of the night, ‘searchlight’, while playing acoustic guitar. The song is unreleased and only sung at live concerts. She created the song with her thoughts towards her fans in mind. I still remember her compassionate smile she showed at the time.
When she returned to the stage for the encore, she sang for the first time ‘Usubeni no Tsuki’, the main theme song of the theatrical film Fate/kaleid liner Prisma ☆ Illya: Oath Under Snow. The fans were enchanted by the beautiful lyrics and melodies that are unique to ChouCho. She showed her gratitude towards her fans by seeing off each of them at the end of the concert. It was a lovely night marking her 6-year anniversary and the first step after resuming her career with her fans.
1. Authentic symphony
2. Kusou Triangle
3. Natsu no Hi to Kimi no Koe
4. Kamitsure wo Te ni
6. Yasashisano Riyu
8. looping star
9. Taisetu na Takaramono