Animelo 2006 on DVD = Animelol

So these babies came in the mail. LOL only means that it reminded me I already downloaded the DVD ISOs before new years. Time to watch!

Just for your information, if you didn’t know: I am a HUGE Masami Okui fan. I’m not even going to say why because I can’t bear to see my fanboy inner flesh sprawled out for no reason. By extension, I really dig JAM Project as well as some of Makkun’s (her fan nickname) collaborations. Makkun is also a very prolific anime musician, and over time she worked with a lot of different other musicians who have attachments with the anime scene. Chihiro Yonekura (and ROR/S), Minami Kuribayashi and Yoko Ishida are just a few.

But 2005-06 mark the years of Nana Mizuki’s biggest splash yet. She’s a pop cultural flag for the Densha Otoko generation, so it’s not a surprise to see her headlining this giant concert that is Animelo 2006. Animelo is this annual thing, for a couple years now, that the JAM Project folks have been throwing. It’s a lot of fun. And 2006 is their biggest show yet with the first time release of the show on DVD.

If you want to know how the show was, this is a much better read. For the sake of not reinventing the wheel I’ll just get the nitpickery regarding the DVD release out of the way and put in my two cents.

The DVDs, released by King Record (volume I) and Victor (volume II) are produced pretty much together. The design, art, the poster insert that you can put together for a full-size poster, and video production sync so they’re likely to be from the same production team. The release, however, are from two different labels. It’s no surprise because there are a bunch of different labels represented by the artists themselves, not even including our Suzumiya Haruhi trio: Aya Hirano, Yuko Goto and Minori Chihara. Their sole performance, Hare Hare Yukai, didn’t make the cut. Boo.

Other than that, all the acts seems to be on the discs. The DVDs also come with a behind the scene snippet, showing the day when all the performers arrived early in the morning, snippets of the rehearsal, people relaxing in the back room, people getting pumped before heading out to the stage, and stuff behind the scene during the massive roll call at the end. The featurette ends with individual post-concert interviews, each group telling us how Animelo 2006 was for them. The behind the scene bonus is on both DVD, and it’s exactly the same!

The DVDs divide the show up by gender, sort of. Naozumi Takahashi‘s two songs went with the male medley on Victor’s disc (along with JAM Project’s songs, and Ali Project). Kuribayashi’s taunting outfit along with the very cute Aiko Kayo landed with the female medley on King Record’s disc. The division is begging someone to come along and rearrange it to the concert’s proper order.

Ah well, onward with the impressions.

I’m honestly shocked: this would be my first time watching ALI PROJECT live, and she (Arika Takarano)’s definitely a looker. And I mean it in a high class model kind of way–she’s got the built and she takes care of her face. I suppose that’s a must if you’re going to look good on camera prancing around in that hardcore gothloli getup. The goth drag queens as backup dancer was neat, and I have a hard time saying no to Rozen Maiden Traumend OP.

And it took me years to realize Chiaki Ishikawa is the other half of See-Saw. Or rather, it just didn’t stick when I read her name back when Kajiura was hitting the popular waves here. I even have a copy their old CD…well, she does have curly hair now. I like her songs, naturally–they’re crowd pleasers as See-Saw’s new stuff tend to be.

But I should’ve known, Ishikawa actually wrote and compose entirely the OP to Simoun, which she performed on stage. When I first read of Animelo’s content, this didn’t even register. Who would’ve known what that meant six months later? Savage Genius also performed Simoun’s ED at Animelo 2006, and … yeap.

I think I said Aiko Kayo is cute. She really is. And it’s not the frail kind of cute that the SOS-Dan trio seem to be. I think Kageyama cracked a joke on Matsumoto over it.

Minami Kuribayashi definitely wins the provocative dress award, even giving Takarano’s oddish gothloli thigh+cat-o-nine-whip a good run. Her white dress during the medley part is very nice.

Nana Mizuki has legs. But I am always happy with that Eternal Blaze going.

I think the real highlight of the show for me is the 9-man raid full of SKILL! You got the JAM Project folks plus Yoko Ishida, Chihiro Yonekura, and Minami Kuribayashi. I think Fukuyama spent more time on the DVD screaming than saying decipherable words. It doesn’t help that I’ve done group karaoke over that stuff before. It really is hella fun.

Runner up would be Kuribayashi and Makkun’s duet for Mask. I always like that song.

It’s a ton of fun. The DVD reproduction is just a fraction of its total energy, but even then it’s one (or two) of the most enjoyable concert DVDs I’ve had the chance to watch. If you’re a person into anime pop, this is hard to pass up. At 4800 yen a piece I snagged both during the holiday season when it was 20% off from Amazon Japan (ftw!). Even with fast shipping I spent less than $85, overall.

Totally worth it, worth beyond its impressive song list and guests.

Nice Hat?

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