For the past twenty six years, still going strong, is Anime Expo, known to many as merely "AX", is an American anime convention that has been held in Los Angeles, California for a good majority of its initial run. This year is no different for the popular convention, one of the largest North American conventions as of 2017! With that said, the convention would yet again return to the Los Angeles Convention Center, and surrounding building's such as the venue Microsoft Theater, along with the hotel JW Marriot among other spots, showcasing numerous events and activities to partake in joining.
Day 0 would begin on the 4th of July, with Day 1 through 4 happening the day after the holiday. Known to many as "pre-show" night or "preview" night, would consist on some activities ranging from some panels, screening's of anime episodes, films, and other area's with games, booth's set up with minor giveaways occurring every now and again.
But many of the attendee's would not just be picking up their free swag bags, but their I.D. lanyard badges as well. Strolling inside the convention and outside of it too, many people decked out in "cosplay" attire, portraying their favorite characters from the Japanese anime of choice, just as the characters would do at amusement parks. Other people after receiving said items in hand, were off to pick up their tickets for the Microsoft Theater event, called the Anisong World Matsuri, it being in its third year running, as it was launched back in 2016, with a following the next year in 2017. But this third year, would not just be a one day ordeal, this time it would be extended into three days in a row!
Day one of the events, would consist of solely one performer, a pop idol group called "Aqours" based off an anime called Love Live, a spin off sequel series titled Love Live Sunshine! The 9 piece idol group, being present, as they were in attendance during this event's festivities back in 2016, and 2017 as well. This year would be their own set-up, consisting of a 2 hour performance, being of not just Aqours performing but their side projects as well. It included CYaRon!, Guilty Kiss, and AZALEA, each performing 2 songs each, with Aqours playing a handful of their tracks taken from season 1 and 2 of the anime series. The whole event being called "LoveLive! Sunshine!! AqoursWorld Love Live!in LA Beyond the Pacific".
During the group's performances though, was spent like this, where Aqours would play 3 songs, then take about 20 minutes to talk with the audience, this not being bad but then again it was just a mess and not much of a good set-up. For one the group spoke minor English, with them speaking entirely in Japanese, with an English translator presents, but not being able to translate quickly enough, or not even bothering at all. Plus there were not subtitles provided on screen until towards the end of the performances, with the subtitles provided being in Japanese, as opposed to English. So everything in that sense of the entire concert was as said just a complete mess of a set-up.
The various group's performances on the other hand, were again pleasing and rather entertaining but that is about it. The energy provided by the audience, gave the venue a vibe of sweat, love, and joy for the most part. Those in eye shot decking out their chemical glow sticks, if not light sticks battery operated, as the entirety mostly the front area, was lit up in an assortment of colors, forming a rainbow on and off throughout the 2 hour performance time. Towards the end of the night, the entirety of the rainbow lit up, causing Aqours to tear up.
Through it all though, Aqour's first official U.S.A. concert, as a full on show with them alone, was good but could have been better, if the subtitles were better suited, as well as the translator provided to give those in the crowd, what was being said as well. As for the other side project acts CYaRON!, Guilty Kiss, and AZALEA, their performances were fair, with Aqours' being decently good, but could have been so much better. Their song list taking such songs as "Mirai no Bokura wa Shitteru yo", "君のこころは輝いてるかい？", and "Yuuki wa Doko ni? Kimi no Mune ni!", among others. Again their side projects, playing a mere 2 songs each performer, had their more recognizable tunes, that the audience knew immediately.
All in all, the performers of the entire evening's showcase did a job that was good, got the crowd on their feet, along with dancing in their seats, all were there to have fun, enjoy the music that they adored, and would possibly be back for more, from both the acts and the anime it's attached too as well. Only time would tell for certain, just how far Aqours the pop idol group of a Japanese animation would sustain to last, and popular to continue to grow forth, reaching perhaps more than expected. Who knows but only they do, because they are Aqours, the act who wants nothing more than to shine bright!
Aqours LOVELIVE! SUNSHINE!
Aqours World Love Live! in LA ~Beyond the Pacific~
7/4/2018 Microsoft Theater Los Angeles
1 Mirai no Bokura wa Shitteru yo
2 Kimi no Hitomi o Meguru Bouken
3 Kimino Kokorowa Kagayaiterukai?
4 Mirai Ticket
5 Genki Zenkai Day! Day! Day! (CYaRon!)
6 Kaigandori de Matteru Yo (CYaRon!)
7 Torikoriko Please!! (AZALEA)
8 LONELY TUNING (AZALEA)
9 Strawberry Trapper (Guilty Kiss)
10 Guilty Night, Guilty Kiss! (Guilty Kiss)
11 Taiyou o Oikakero!
12 Yuki Wa Doko Ni? Kimi No Mune Ni!
13 Sunshine Pikkapika Ondo