Live Report: Animelo Summer Live 2016 – Day 2

Once upon a time I liked to write actual posts and put up translations here, but with the birth of the Sakuga Blog (which you should read and maybe donate to!), all that content’s far more fitting to go there. Instead, it’s time to just fill this blog up with live reports because hey, it’s nice penning down your thoughts after particularly amazing lives — which Anisama most definitely was.

Let’s start off by saying that attending Anisama has been on my bucket list for the past 7 or so years now; it’s the ultimate gathering of pretty much everyone’s favourite artists, made all the more special through unthinkable collaborations (Marty Friedman becoming a member of Yuru Yuri’s Gorakubu, just to name one), so I wanted to attend at least once. Many things had prevented me from doing so however, such as having no hookups to get tickets during the earlier years, and then simply not having the money once that stopped being an issue.

Things went a bit different this year, however. Not only was money becoming less of an issue as my career took off, but each announcement revealing the performers pandered to me on levels which had never been seen before. Day 2 was essentially full of all my favourites, and I knew for a fact that I’d regret missing this for the rest of my life, so I pulled the trigger without hesitation. Fast forward to August and I’ve got tickets for all 3 days, but a slight bump in the road prevents me from flying out in time to make it for day 1. Under normal circumstances one would give up after that; flying from Glasgow to to Tokyo takes a wee while after all, so making it on time for day 2 after that would prove to be a struggle. Fortunately (?) I’m a bit of a madman, and chose to arrive on the morning of day 2 and head straight to Saitama Super Arena on no sleep, praying that adrenaline could power me through the five or so hours of going wild that awaited.

Ho boy, did it ever.

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Live Report: The iDOLM@STER Million Live 3rd Tour Believe My Dre@m!! – Osaka Day 2

Normally I don’t do live reports since I’m garbage at properly talking about them, not to mention my tendency to forget stuff super quick no matter how amazing the live is, but this feels like enough of a special occasion to merit it. Namely since it was my first time attending an ML exclusive live, something I never would’ve even considered up until last year (I think most people know why at this point, but if not, that can be a story for another time).

To make it even more special, I wasn’t even supposed to be going to this venue of ML3rd since all my applications for it failed (not that I can complain after getting both days of Makuhari next month locked down). Fortunately my man Matt (matchaP) had my back and let me take the ticket he got after opting to go for live viewing instead, which I couldn’t appreciate more as I was desperate to get out there since it’d be my one chance to see top idolch@ng Murakawa ‘Mad Mental Rieshon’ Rie in action. Naturally this meant I’d have to take the shinkansen out to Osaka on the same day, as I had another live booked during day 1 already (what self-respecting eventer doesn’t have a weekend packed full of lives?).

And that I did. I woke up at 7am, got ready, hopped over to Osaka, met up with my bro garb, then ended up waltzing into buppan to buy shit I never planned on simply because there was no line (don’t go to lives, kids…). After that we headed over to Sukiya for a quick munch, where we actually ended up talking to some JP Ps since they overheard us discussing day 1’s setlist and the like, always a nice experience. We parted ways with a quick A-R-I-S-A back and forth too, which couldn’t have been anymore appropriate. Afterwards, we headed back to the venue to meet up with others who’d come from abroad for the live, one of which included my other bro sets, who I’d have the pleasure of sitting beside and going wild together with. We basically hung around and bantz’d until it was time to head in, where we learned that the very front row on the 3rd floor was a super good place to be, so let’s get to reporting on parts of the setlist:

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Non-Stop Shorts: Honda Mio Apologism Post

Around a week’s passed since Dereani’s first part came to an end, time which has been spent thinking about the immense speed at which the hype train for the show went flying right off a bridge into the abyss. I’m a positive thinker though, so I’ve been doing my darndest to hastily erase thoughts like that and reflect upon the parts of the show that were actually good, such as the stellar episodes directed by Noriko Takao herself, the Tokimeki Escalate performance (well, ep3 in general really) and Anya saying Rrrrrrrrrrrrranko. There’s one little thing I appreciated a fair bit amongst all the major stuff like that however, and that’s how Honda FUCKING Mio the Memelord handles herself around the rest of the cast after she ragequits idoling briefly.

It’s a pretty minor thing for sure, but it was nice seeing her just be herself after it all rather than brooding over it constantly and making things awkward for both the cast and the viewer. She knows she messed up bad, but she also knows that that doesn’t really serve as an excuse to feel sorry for herself and have it dragged up at every opportunity. Instead, the whole ordeal ends up serving as a nice way to propel her along for future events, and the way she reflects on it in the final few eps in a ‘never again’ manner worked pretty well in maintaining her status as one of the few Cinderlla Girls with an actual personality behind them.

Granted, maybe it’s a bit too optimistic to assume that someone made a conscious decision about this considering how, uh, lacking the show was in regards to that sort of stuff, but I’m always willing to support the memelord.

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Brief Tales of Zestiria Thoughts

Not really a review because lol@me reviewing things, but it’s probably better to just sum up my thoughts here rather than make like 20 different tweets about it.

Despite the fact that legions of people on the internet are willing to to tell you the opposite (especially the people that haven’t played it) because muh Alisha, Zesty is a damn fine game. Describing it as a refreshing experience is probably the easiest way to go about things here, as it takes what could easily become a very generic story and turns it into something interesting through solid handling of its themes. I’m not going to pretend that it’s super deep or anything, but the game drills in the fact pretty early on that one of the big focuses is evaluating everything at hand and reaching an answer for onself, rather than just purely going for the ‘this is the right thing to do’ angle. Seeing the cast (who’re a wonderful bunch) making their way through the game’s events with that in mind, making their decisions and living with them, just makes the ride that much more worthwhile too.

Which brings me to the whole Alisha and Rose debacle, ’cause it’s just silly. Alisha doesn’t disppaear after a certain part; her story progresses in line with the game’s events and even reaches a conclusion. The fact that she’s not a major character only ties into the game’s larger focus, as she’s a very traditional Tales ‘heroine’, while Rose, the character everyone hates for ‘replacing’ her, is much more in line with this. Her mindsets and development don’t come from gradual devlopment as she interacts with the party as is typical for a traditional Tales heroine, because she’s already set on her life and her answer for the time being. She’s essentially the game’s Mira, except she isn’t revered as being perfect, and both her and Sorey compliment each other well. They’re portrayed as equals more than anything else, helping one another when it’s necessary, which I guess is something that makes people on the internet mad.

I think that’s all I can mention without delving into spoilers territory really, so yeah. Gameplay’s solid thanks to it basically being Graces’ battle system but refined, music’s standard Tales with the exception of some really good stuff here and there, blah blah blah, please ignore the misguided ramblings of people mad that they can’t play as their waifu.

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Non-Stop Shorts: Taking It Easy with the Rolling Girls

Writing up big lengthy entries on stuff isn’t really my forte, which I think is apparent by this point. I can do it depending on the topic, but otherwise I end up just waffling. So instead of throwing ideas in the bin because I can’t write a significant amount of them, I decided to make these Non-Stop Shorts (a great name because they’re going to be anything but non-stop :^) ) a thing so I can still write a little about anything I find interesting without worrying about people actually expecting me to know enough to go on at length about said ideas.

Enough about that, though. Let’s get to why Rolling Girls had the strongest first episode of this season for me.

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Climbing to the Peak of Mt. IRN-BRU

Because I’m too much of a hipster for 12 Days of Anime and Top Ten stuff, let’s merge parts of both concepts together to create a short post about a show that, while not my favourite of the year, was easily one of the biggest standouts of 2014 and deserves to be talked about: Yama no Susume (S2).

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Cute girls always climb mountains in style

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All’s Fair in Love and Idols

Gentlemen, I like idols. Gentlemen, I love idols.

I like Do-Dai, I like Soldier Game, I like Diamond, I like Snow Halation, I like Overmaster, I like Cutie Panther, I like relations, I like Start:Dash, I like Danketsu.

On stages, in streets, at home, at school, in offices, at festivals, on vacation, at after parties, on film, at Christmas.

I love every aspect of idols that takes place on this earth.

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