Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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‘It’s going to be a live concert nobody has ever experienced before‘
Justin Ebieber, a mascot character who appears in Luna Kaguya’s videos, has repeatedly told us this line (Yes, she did three introductory talks as a matter of fact.)
As the final August of the Heisei era came to an end, ‘Luna Kaguya Live @Zepp VR ‘Beyond the Moon’‘ was held on 31 August 2018. With the occasional chilly breeze reminding us that the times are changing, it was as though she were demanding that the world has fun for a bit longer.
Luna Kaguya is in the forefront of the Virtual YouTuber movement in Japan, and she continues to shine with her originality even after more than a half year since her debut. Her first live concert attracted a lot of attention right from the moment it was announced, and the prepared live streaming spaces at movie theaters all over Japan were mostly packed to near capacity. The main venue, Zepp VR, was nothing but maverick; it is a virtual club prepared for this concert. This historic first live concert on a virtual space was advertised to take advantage of VR. We could understand what that should mean, but couldn’t tell what should be actually happening and we all had to wait with no details until the day of the concert.
— 輝夜 月 🍤 (@_KaguyaLuna) August 31, 2018
The umpteenth ‘first VR year’. The last summer of Heisei era. The perfect time to have the first live concert of Luna Kaguya, like it’s fate. Luna Kaguya is delivering a final blow to both the era and the summer.
Live streaming spaces were prepared at movie theaters all over Japan, drawing nearly 5,000 attendees. Fortunately, I managed to experience it on VR with a virtual-reality headset.
As I was entering the virtual venue, I saw many fans gathered in front of the entrance that looked like that of the real-life Zepp. I heard the guitar tuning sound and some other instruments having rehearsals through a closed door. It was just like a music club in real life. I was already feeling fully immersed.#
Inside, the venue was decorated with colored tiles of her three signature colors and a large glittering sign of letters ‘MOON’ above. A huge Justin Ebieber and Pubroccoli gave us an introductory talk.
As I said in the introduction of this article, the phrase ‘a live concert nobody has ever experienced’ impressively repeated by Ebieber got me tingling with even more anticipation. Feeling very nervous and excited at the venue through VR, it finally started.
The glittering stage was gone and a single spotlight focused on Luna-chan standing on stage. I needed a moment to understand what was going on with this quiet appearance because I was expecting to see a flamboyant opening. But I found it more comfortable than I thought to believe that she was actually standing there and my skepticism was eliminated right away by my excitement to see the girl I always watched on videos.
The audience murmured excitedly to see Luna-chan after a long wait, and ‘VR Radio Taisou Exercise‘ started. It started out like the outdoor radio exercises that many Japanese associate with the summer, but it didn’t take long to show us something different.
When the exercise was mixed up with a familiar dance like the Running Man, it totally derailed into ‘a half-forgotten ‘Koi-Dance’ of some sort’. But that is the true value of Luna Kaguya. Her unprecedented wildness and chaos that we always see on videos began to make us all smile on the dance floor.
After the completed warm-up exercise, Luna-chan suddenly disappeared. By the time she was gone, our conventional thinking was already defied and destroyed completely. Then the monitor on stage projected a video that summarized her past works. I was reminded of her great works that streaked like shooting stars, and I was filled with deep emotion instead of the excitement I had just had.
But, we had yet to see the best part of the concert. SE resonated as if to set us afire, and a huge golden mirror ball appeared above on stage. Our excitement was at a peak when the mirror ball reached the floor of the stage, burst out, and Luna-chan popped out from inside.
Without allowing us to take a breather, her first original song, ‘Beyond the Moon‘ started. The song was a fusion of various music genres, but the audience understood it as her anthem expressing that she never loses sight of pop and rock. The audience responded to her with the zenith of our excitement.
Super excited just by seeing Luna-chan sing and dance, the staging rendition even changed one after another to match each tone of the music with dizzying speed. Multiple alter ego’s of Luna-chan’s appeared everywhere on stage, and one could find something new in every corner. Wherever you turned, you would think, ‘Yup, this is Kaguya Luna, all right.’
After getting off to a great start, it was time for Luna to talk to the audience. She screamed out her usual greeting, ‘Ohayooo!! (Good morning) Konichiwaaaa! (Good day) Konbanwaaaa! (Good evening)… Wake uuup!!’, with her fans in the venue. After shouting ‘Let’s create a special summer memory together!’ cheerfully, she asked, ‘>When do you feel happiness?’ and changed the atmosphere in an unusual tone.
Then she performed a second song, ‘Koufuku-ron” (theory of happiness), a cover of a song originally by Ringo Shiina. Despite the choice being unexpected, the strong message of the lyrics with her singing voice and the band sound shot straight to our hearts.
She certainly proved her depth as an artist to us, but that wasn’t all. A part of the stage she was standing on suddenly floated up in the air, slid away and disappeared out of sight. Letting my ears take in the sound as I switched my gaze, I found Luna-chan flying around high above the stage.
In a real-life venue such as an arena or live house, your attention would only drift horizontally between left and right and you would hardly check your behind you, let alone directly above your head where there’s supposed to be nothing to see. With such a train of thought, I found myself moving my head around to chase after Luna-chan, and the evolving live concert subverted all my preconceived notions of how a concert is supposed to be.
Displaying the futuristic rendition of the stage, the main part of the concert ended quickly, and encore started within no time. This time, Luna-chan showed up riding on Ebieber. As the venue was lightened, the walls and ceiling were all in pink; the interior decoration changed in a heartbeat thanks to the VR. She started talking freely, saying ‘It’s gonna be a long talk~!’. She answered the questions collected prior to the concert and took some photos at the venue too.
To the question ‘What did you feel happy with recently?’ she answered as ‘The luckiest thing is that I met you all’, and thanked Mika Pikazo, whom she worships as a designer and calls mom, Pablo who composes the music, and the viewers. I started to choke back a sob seeing her sincere attitude. But just then I noticed that something looked a bit weird on stage. Before I knew it, Ebieber was swelling up like a balloon. Somehow, there was a setup to inflate the mascot as the viewers on VR tapped the prepared Ebieber emote button. At first Luna-chan found it fun, but as it went on, she said ‘I’m scared! Please, stop it for a second!… Oh no, dead’ and it burst, leaving the venue filled with a stark white light.
Luna-chan reappeared out of the light, revealing her costume merged with Ebieber. She started singing the real last song of the day, ‘Beyond the Moon‘. Fireworks were shot off on the stage as it grooved to the climax to gorgeously showcase the end of summer.
Luna-chan’s advanced performance with the cutting edge technique of VR fireworks and traditional Japanese culture was welcomed with a thunder of applause, and it ended as every inch of the venue was illuminated by her sparks.
After the concert, the location was switched again. The dazzling ceiling was now outer space, and I saw Earth. That’s right, Luna-chan had taken us to the surface of the moon.
The concert was titled ‘Beyond the Moon’, which supposedly meant that there should be more to see beyond the moon when we stood there. She showed us an unimaginable future as reality, and the virtual surface of the moon in front of my eyes convinced me that we should still be watching further beyond. I surely fostered a hope for the path to the future opened by Luna-chan and VR. Then I left Zepp VR as the announcement led us saying, ‘Please return safely to the real world and make sure not to leave your belongings behind.’
‘Let’s go together to the next phase‘ That’s what AO-chan, who helps manage Luna-chan’s work, said when I asked her about their future plans at an interview for KAI-YOU. Their will never wavered, and it came to fruition to show us a new world that nobody ever imagined. Luna Kaguya made it, as she declared, with the stage full of all the whizzy technology and her distinguished ability as an entertainer, based on the foundation built with their solid awareness. Her first live concert, a first both in history and of her own, has been certainly engraved deeply in the entertainment history.
— AO (@_AO1209) August 30, 2018
Everyone thought the term IT Revolution had been worn to death, that everything that could be done was already done, and that the entertainment industry had become saturated with the same thing. Now we have this innovative change called VR.
The flexibility of VR had always been recognized, but nobody had actually delivered it successfully enough to reap a fresh harvest and point in a future direction. But now it holds the center stage more than it ever could and continues to grow at an ever-evolving speed. This world’s first VR live concert was one of the goals and a new starting point. Virtual reality used to be something limited to science fiction for many of us, but now that isn’t so. It offers us an experience that allows us to feel the virtual world as the real world.
The scenery in front of your eyes switches in an instant. People fly around. None of that can happen in reality, but the immersion removes the discomfort or odd feelings from us with cutting-edge technology and human ideas to successfully create an entertainment for the new generation. Luna-chan performed her original song, ‘Beyond the Moon’, twice in her concert. She wrote the lyrics herself and sings ‘Stay watching this moon’ at the end. Luna Kaguya showed us such a great concert, yet she isn’t going to stop. The revolution has just started. And we shall continue to see her shine. Forever.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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