Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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Anisong supergroup JAM Project began their JAM Project Japan Tour 2017-2018 TOKYO DIVE in November last year to celebrate the release of their newest album, TOKYO DIVE. The final concert of the tour took place on Saturday 17 February at the Budokan, one of Japan’s biggest and most prestigious concert venues.
Regarding the performance, Masaaki Endoh shared his thoughts: ‘I thought that performing like this was just “of course,” but performing here today I really feel that the “of course” is also very special.’
For spectators like me, we had to plan our schedule, buy a ticket, and listen to music to prepare for the concert. Moreover, we may even buy new clothes and makeup products to wear on the day. Whilst we are preparing, our expectations increase and the concert day becomes not just something ‘to be expected’ but something special. It’s a surprise day born out of the everyday.
On the other hand, we tend to presume that our ‘special day’ is ‘just another day’ for the musicians. However, Endoh’s words tell us this isn’t true.
Endoh also said, ‘It is because we don’t know if we can perform at the Budokan again that we have to pour our hearts and souls into this performance. Every time we stand on stage we have to make it special so that we can come to the Budokan again some day. Every concert we perform at has special meaning to me.’
Every music fan must have experienced the pain of one of their favorite bands breaking up. They must know some musicians who played once on a big stage such as this but then never did again. Likewise, we mustn’t readily think that ‘Oh well, JAM Project will play a live concert at the Budokan again sometime in the future anyway.’
The live concert I went to was another one of their concerts which made me think: ‘Woah! I want to come again and make some more noise!’ The members of JAM Project had to make us want to see them again. They know their brilliance requires a continuous frantic effort. Think of it as a lightbulb powered by the intense pedaling of a man on a bicycle. Even if the light starts to brighten, it will dim again once the pedaling stops. They have to keep pedaling, and their brilliance will brighten up our souls.
Apologies for the prolonged introduction. That’s because I was greatly inspired by Endoh’s words. I just wanted to say that JAM Project is always going all-out for being JAM Project and doing everything at full throttle. Therefore, there is no ‘next time’ and if you want to go their concert, you must go now.
On the day of the concert, leader Hironobu Kageyama said: ‘We’d love to stay being JAM Project forever because we are having so much fun.’ I expect them to continue shouting on stage no matter how old they become. But don’t relax too much. You never know what’s around the corner. [laugh]
Above the stage hung a giant Japanese flag. When the lights were turned off and the venue darkened, the night view of the glittering cyber city of Tokyo could be seen. Its dazzling lights were just a fake façade covering reality. Five soldiers appeared in the midst of this fake world on-stage. They were the members of JAM Project, of course. As they were singing the electric, loud song ‘TOKYO DIVE’, their figures glowed in bright neon colors. The glowing neon costumes created a colorful cyberspace which made us forget reality. It’s a message from them poking fun at our high-tech, plastic world. Perhaps because they are borderless existences who are going back and forth between the real world and a virtual world, they were here to tell us something important and crucial. I was in awe watching them sing and dance. Words can’t explain how much I admire them. JAM Project taught me that the most important thing is to continue to push your limits, no matter your age.
The live concert featured songs mostly from their new album TOKYO DIVE. They got the audience going with their wild roars during the second song, ‘EMG.’ Now they were showing their aggressive side and the projected magnificent scenery. A dog-eat-dog fight of exposed emotions was unfolding on stage. The roaring introduction of ‘BAD CITY~We’ll be alright~’ echoed around the venue as if ordering to attack an enemy fort with our burning souls. What a strong wall of sound it was. This raging, dauntless wall of sound was surging towards us, with the passionately roaring band members almost giving off the air of wild beasts.
‘We’ll show you what we’ve got today. Bring it on!’ (Masaaki Endoh)
‘Feel the heat of rock!’ (Yoshiki Fukuyama)
‘We’ll get a gold medal today.’ (Hiroshi Kitada)
The venue was a full house and the shouts from the bands’ members ignited a fire in the audience.
Flames blasted out and seemed like they burned every little bit of shadow in the venue. Do we go into the world of darkness or the world of light? The audience was engulfed in the intense performance of ‘Kami no Kiba~The Fang of Apocalypse~’ and facing the same ultimate choice to survive in the danger zone.
Then, we heard the reassuring voice. The heroic symphony ‘Shori no Mirai -Toki-‘ brought out a new energy from within us. Our burning passion had us raising our fists which were holding red glow sticks. The music pushed us into an uncontrollable frenzy.
‘Meikyu no Prisoner’ let us dive into a deep blue world with its roaring performance and uplifting lyrics. We wanted to keep pumping our fists in the air. It was a battle between the band and the audience. The venue was almost like a battleground, as the audience and band competed to come to full-frenzy first.
The live concert moved into the next program in which each band member performed their most memorable song from their time in JAM Project. Masami Okui sang ‘Divine Love’ which she composed and wrote the lyrics for, but was originally sung by Hiroshi Kitadani. She sang the hard and wild rock song heroically and beautifully while preserving its air of wildness.
Masaaki Endo and Hiroshi Kitadani sang the band’s debut single, ‘Shippu ni nare.’ I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that although it’s a rock song with a sense of speed, it sounded unexpectedly pop-like and had bright and open feelings. The vibes of the two singers were a great match which let them sing wildly and freely all over the stage.
Hironobu Kageyama and Yoshiki Fukuyama appeared on-stage each holding an acoustic guitar. They performed a heartrending version of ‘Hoshizora no Requiem’ with just their vocals and guitars. Their melancholic performance took the audience’s minds to desolated ground. The song has a scale of vast wildness; however, their vocals and guitars were gentle and nostalgic which echoed in such rough scenery. The audience was immersed in a fantastic yet melancholic narrative of their performance.
It looked like a requiem mass. We became priests who were offering prayers with the red lights in hand. ‘Alexandria’ was a dark and thrilling song. All of a sudden, ‘Believe in my existence’ began, as if trying to grasp at a sparkling light in the darkness. Their passion built up as the song proceeded. Every time they started performing a new song, JAM Project drew a new picture with various colors which representing the swing of feelings, and we were excited every time we saw a new image.
The program proceeded to the acoustic segment in which they performed specially-arranged songs with acoustic instruments. Masaaki Endo played djembe. Hiroshi Kitada played acoustic bass, and Yoshiki Fukuyama and Hironobu Kageyama played acoustic guitar. Masami Okui was responsible for maracas and tambourine. The audience, who expected mellow acoustic songs, was pleasantly surprised at the song which was ‘Growing Up.’ We felt like being invited to a party room as the song itself has a sense of freedom and warmth. It was as if we were all standing in front of a fireplace watching the band cheerfully performing. They called ‘Cheers!’ and we shouted back ‘Cheers!’ What a happy experience it was! During the instrumental bridges, some members played solo parts. Hironobu Kageyama’s guitar solo was especially superb and we couldn’t take our eyes off his spectacular ‘superjet’ fingering.
The other band members came back to the stage and performed ‘Shuwatch! ~Kimi wo Mamoritai~’ together. When they played ‘Everything,’ the venue plunged into a deep blue world. The five singers’ sorrowful harmony rendered a world of melancholic romanticism. I sincerely loved their firm harmonies which touched my heart immediately.
‘Hagane no Warriors,’ the theme song for the upcoming game Super Robot Wars X, signaled a kick-off to the latter half of the live concert. It’s an awesomely symphonic song which has the volatile power to ignite the emotions of whoever hears its roaring sound. Even for those of us who had never heard the song before, we were swept up into a whirlwind of passion and sound. Wow, my heart began to burn again.
JAM Project hit us hard with ‘Gowan Punch,’ which is a character image song for the popular anime One-Punch Man. The song was throwing a body blow of sound to us. Did we dodge? No way. We threw our punches and shouted back to the band at full strength.
The latter half had begun with the five singers’ overlapping vocals, and then a dynamic, symphonic sound was pouring out from the stage. There was a moment when we were overwhelmed by the impact from ‘The Exceeder’ but we instantly went back to our madness. We wanted to hurl our burning souls at them on stage. The band members and the audience were exchanging emotions in the hellfire.
Our frenzy didn’t have a limit. The band members fueled their energy of excitement tirelessly. We raised our fists which were sparkling with our burning emotions while they were performing ‘The Brave.’
The atmosphere in the venue abruptly changed when they performed ‘Tokyo Scandal.’ The band members and audience were spinning hand towels above their heads and romping around innocently in tune with the swinging pop rhythm. Although I love raising my fist to show the burning emotions that go with rock songs, it’s fun to hear them play heart-skipping pop tunes. I felt much closer to them when watching their smiles.
The live concert entered its final stage. ‘Shining Storm ~Rekka no Gotoku~’ was like hellfire in a confined, dark space. It insisted on us burning out our hidden bitter feelings completely. Its sound was like billowy fire. We threw ourselves in the fire instead of falling in the darkness. We felt the heat and wished to flare up like hellfire.
Hiroshi Kitadani shouted. It was the cue to perform ‘Crest of Zs’ but it sounded like growling. We felt like getting heavy blows all over our body by the sound of steel. We were shaking and shouting back to the five singers with all our souls. The venue became a fierce battleground caused by an interplay between shouts and passion. It was a battle of destroying all rational thought and transforming into a wild animal. I couldn’t get enough of such a savage feeling.
I found myself in the light. The darkness was dispersed by shining light without me noticing. It was JAM Project delivering ‘The Hero!! ~Ikareru Kobushi ni Hi wo Tsukero~’ who caused it. We were in the center of a raging firestorm and realized that when we vented our raw emotions, we could become a hero. We stopped all emotional reasoning and shouted out our gut feelings. At that point, we all transformed into a hero.
We were still trying to take it all in when ‘Hero’ was performed for an encore. Feeling united, we just let ourselves go with the flow of the brisk sound of the song. ‘La la la’, the singing voice echoed in the venue. The live concert of JAM Project wasn’t only about raising red hot fists. There were heartfelt messages and sincere intentions at the bottom of their hearts. We sang along and received the message that was full of their affectionate vocals and straightforward thoughts.
The concert wrapped up with a medley of songs from Super Robot Wars, which were the most prominent, frenzy-guaranteed rhapsodies. We did explosive call-and-responses during their performance of ‘Rocks.’ ‘Victory’ ignited our emotions. We were shaking with joy. We sang along with ‘Gong’ in a feverish manner. Each of us became a member of JAM Project and our souls resounded with a ‘gong~’. We broke through the limit, jumped across the cyber city, and arrived a paradise of mania where we continuously shouted ‘Motto! Motto!’ (more! more!) I found the ideal me there, or to be precise, it was me when I was young, innocent and full of dreams.
JAM Project burned out all my unnecessary thoughts. My dark emotions were washed away from my body and clear, bright thoughts remained. However, I knew that once we stepped out from the venue, I would be surrounded by darkness. I must arm myself with the light JAM Project gave me to drive the darkness away. That’s the reason why we go to their live shows and crave for more of their songs while shouting ‘More! More!’
JAM Project will be touring Asia next. It’s your time to experience the frenzy of their live concert!!
Friday 11 May 2018
Venue: Guangzhou Beilei Theatre
※Ticket information will be announced at a later date
Saturday 26 May 2018 Doors open 18:00 / Performance starts 19:00
Sunday 27 May 2018 Doors open 16:00 / Performance starts 17:00
Venue: Legacy Taipei
Tickets: V.I.P Ticket NT$3,500 / Regular ticket: NT$2,600
Saturday 23 June 2018 Doors Open 18:00 / Performance starts 19:00
Sunday 24 June 24 2018 Doors open 16:00 / Performance starts 17:00
Venue: Universal Arts Center, Seoul
Tickets V.I.P ticket：121,000 won / Regular ticket 88,000 won
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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