Anisong World Matsuri is one of the biggest events annually at Anime Expo. This year, Anisong brought some of the best artists in the industry to Los Angeles! At the Japan Super Live, we were treated to performances by May’n, Sanketsu Shoujo Sayuri, Aimer, and Yuki Kajiura. All of these artists have had prolific careers in the anime music world, as evidenced by the night’s song list.

Credit: Anisong World Matsuri

May’n returns to AX after 8 years, just as cheerful as ever. She kicked off the show with her bright smiles and high energy, thoroughly captivating and engaging the audience with her music and enthusiasm. She started off with Accel World’s very lively and animated opening “Chase the World,” and continued with her trend of powerful songs from different anime until the very end. She rounded off her set with the classic “Diamond Crevasse” from Macross Frontier, leaving us all with nostalgia as she exited the stage. Personally, I was most amazed at her consistently high energy levels on stage for every single song, and without a single break!

May’n:

Chase The World (Accel World OP)
One In A Billion (Isekai Shokudou OP)
Northern Cross (Macross Frontier)
You (Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) OP)
Belief (Taboo Tattoo OP)
DIAMOND CREVASSE (Macross Frontier)

Credit: Anisong World Matsuri

Next was Sanketsu Shoujo Sayuri, who has provided us with many an ending song for various anime, with the most recent one for Fate/EXTRA Last Encore. She has a rather unique vocal quality, very clear but intense. Songwriter and producer Yojiro Noda (and vocalist and guitarist for popular band Radwimps) also saw a special quality in Sayuri’s voice, as his search for the owner of his song “Furaregai Girl” led him to Sayuri. With the exception of “Furaregai Girl,” Sayuri actually writes all of her own songs, and has hit top 10 on the Oricon charts multiple times with her music.

Honestly, everything about this girl has character, from her interestingly stylish sweater ponchos, to the fact that she played the guitar parts for every one of her songs while singing, or even the individualized animated music videos for each of her songs. It was interesting to watch the well-produced videos on the screen as Sayuri’s music accompanied the animation. Definitely a performance I had to stay on my feet for.

Sanketsu Shoujo Sayuri:

Parallel Line (Scum’s Wish ED)
Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Youna (ERASED ED)
Tsuki to Hanataba (Fate/EXTRA Last Encore ED)
Furaregai Girl (collaboration with Yojiro Noda from Radwimps)
Mikazuki (Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace ED)

Credit: Anisong World Matsuri

Wow. What is there even to say about this girl? Aimer delivered a stunning live performance, and definitely lives up to all the praise. There were moments where you couldn’t help but clap in amazement because she would belt a strong and such unexpectedly sustained note, like at the end of “Last Stardust” or “Hana no Uta.” She definitely brought the house down. I daresay her live performances are better than her official recordings.

Since her debut in 2011 with “Rokutousei no Yoru,” Aimer has been known for her distinctive, husky voice. Her strong vocals and haunting voice lend to the emotive atmosphere she brings with many of her songs. When adding that to the simplistic stage setting Aimer is known for (aka literally just Aimer in a plain white dress standing or sitting on a dark stage), it creates just the right backdrop and ambience for us to enjoy music in its purest form.

A couple of fans nearby purposely sat down and closed their eyes, saying, “I could listen to her all day.” Honestly? So can I.

Aimer:

StarRingChild (Gundam Unicorn RE: 0096)
Brave Shine (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)
Ref:rain (Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain))
Broken Night (Fate/hollow ataraxia)
Last Stardust (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works)

Credit: Anisong World Matsuri

The sheer volume of cheers that rang out in the theatre for Yuki Kajiura was deafening. As one of the most prolific and talented composers, especially for anime music, Kajiura is practically a household name amongst anime fans. Even if they aren’t a fan, they will have heard her music at some point…repeatedly. She started her career as part of See-Saw, before the creation of the FictionJunction projects and Kalafina. Though Anime Expo’s Japan Super Live followed Kalafina’s disbandment in March, fans had the chance to see great performances from her other well-known singers, Yuriko Kaida, Kaori Oda, and Joanne.

Kajiura covered quite a few old tunes—including “Yasashii Yoake” from .hack//SIGN, which was originally from her time with See-Saw—along with the newer songs. Though not as basic as Aimer’s set up, Kajiura’s performance consisted of just her band members and singers, focusing all our attention on the music and performers. The vocal and instrumental layering is amazing to witness live in concert.

If asked about the genre or quality of Kajiura’s music, the only word I can think of to classify it is “Epic.”

As a special encore treat to the audience, Aimer and Kajiura performed “Hana no Uta” from Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel I. presage flower for the first time! Excellent performance for a first try!

Yuki Kajiura, with vocalists (Yuriko Kaida, Joanne, Kaori Oda):

The Beginning of the End from (Fate/Zero OST)
Lancer and Assassin (Heaven’s Feel OST)
Longing (Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale OST)
Key of the Twilight (.hack//SIGN OST1)
Yasashii Yoake (.hack//SIGN OST1, originally from See-Saw)
Luminous Sword (Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale OST)
Hana no Uta ft. Aimer (Heaven’s Feel I. presage flower OP)

Check out Anisong World Matsuri at http://anisongworldmatsuri.com for other events globally!

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