TokyoGirls'Update

JAPAN EXPO 2015 Photo Report : Idols Forge Bonds With Fans That Surpass Borders and Language

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JAPAN EXPO 2015 Photo Report : Idols Forge Bonds With Fans That Surpass Borders and Language

Photo by Nathan Gey

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From July 2nd to 5th in 2015, the 16th Japan Expo was held at Nord Vilepiente, Paris.

Japan Expo is the biggest Japanese culture festival in Europe where it extensively covers anime, manga, game, Japanese food, fashion, cosplay, and idols. Including companies’ exhibits, there are live stages, game broadcasting shows, and many more exciting contents in one ground.

From the first exhibit in 1999, the visitors are increasing and this year it reached 245000 visitors which we can assume that it was a huge success. In the train which heads to the place, it was packed with people cosplaying, and from the first day to the final day, it was filled with people.

In that situation, we focused on a booth of idols and female artists’ stage of course. First, eight groups from the project “WELCOME TO JAPAN PROJECT” which holds a slogan of making Japan happy all over Japan. The eight are Orange Port from Shizuoka Prefecture, Chaw Chaw from Osaka, Michinoku Sendai ORI☆Hime Tai from Sendai, Baseball☆Girls from Fukuoka, and Rio Hiiragi, Kana Tsuduki, and Rie Yunohara from SHOWROOM frame, and Stand-Up! Hearts from CHEERZ frame.

Also, Dempagumi.inc came back to France from the last entry in Japan Expo two years ago, Luce Twinkle Wink☆ which is famous for its orthodox idol group, Eir Aoi who is the leading anime song artist, Le Lien which the members are gathered from famous idol group production called StarDust, Moe Tsurumi from Niji no conquistador which creates new generation creator idols, and also Pink Babies who covers Pink Ladies songs and dances. This year, it archived the top number of idol and girls’ artist performing at Japan Expo.

We would like to first feature the idols from the Welcome to Japan Project. There was a stage that is named after the project, and during the expo the idols were on stage one group by one.

Orange Port 

Michinoku Sendai ORI☆Hime Tai

Chaw Chaw

Baseball ☆ Girls

Kana Tsuduki 

Rie Yunohara

Among the eight groups from the project, I dare say that Rio Hiiragi’s performance was outstanding among the eight groups of Welcome to Japan Project, in the way that she made efforts to connect with the fans in spite of the language. One of the reasons was that she already has some fans in Paris, as it was the third time for her to perform there (I wish every idols to go and perform at the same countries/cities repeatedly, not just one time only). In addition, she has been training herself to perform only by herself as solo idol. As soon as her concert started, many first viewers besides their fans gathered at the stage and it drew a crowd. Performed 4-5 up-beating songs including “Rio Rio Rii no Uta” and “Akiba Romance” for each stage and her fans got more excited day by day.

Stand-Up! Hearts is a group that won the ticket to France in the idol cheering application called CHEERZ. It is a fresh unit which is a sister group of Afilia Saga and has no songs of their own. Even though there were no people who have seen them, many idol fans gathered to watch their stage. They performed Afilia Saga’s songs, such as “NEXT STAGE!” and “Triangle Wave”, and also covered “Drawing Again” by Ayumi Murata.

Including Welcome to Japan stage, one idol group performed a maximum of four times in one day, so as they performed, more calls and voice were heard from the audience. In addition, there were many chances to talk with the idols directly at the booths so that made the fans feel more close to the idols. Not just the quality of the performance, but also the idols’ effort and enthusiasm toward the stage appealed the audience and they engaged in it. Many of the fans felt sad and even cried for the sadness of parting.

All the members gathered!  Pictures of Welcome to Japan Project at Main Stage

TGU looked closely also to Eir Aoi and Dempagumi. inc which performed at the main stage. Eir have been around the world to perform, but France is her first time. She sang “INGNITE” from Sword Art Online II Opening theme, “Lapis lazuli” from “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” and “Serius” from “Kill La Kill” which all are famous in France too.

Eir Aoi Setlist
1. SE : awakening
2. IGNITE
3. AURORA
4. Cynthia no Hikari
5. GENESIS
6. Lapis Lazuli
7. INNOCENCE
8. Sirius

Many Dempagumi.inc fans in France couldn’t wait till this day since two years ago when Dempagumi.inc came for Japan Expo, except Pinky, who could not attend because of a test. Many fans put on a sailor school uniform designed by “Ai☆Madonna”, who also had an exhibit this year. This uniform was worn in the music video of “Kira Kira Tune”. Clearly, there were many audience before the live compared to the live two years ago. The live included “Demparade Japan”, “Chururi Chururira”, “Den Den Passion”, “Otsukare Summer!”, and three other songs. The intro of “Den Den Passion” was in France version, and during the MC, the members talked in French which was a special stage only in Japan Expo.

Dempagumi.inc Setlist
1. Demparade Japan
2. Neo Japonism
3. Future Diver
4. Chururi Chururira
5. Itsuka Haruka Kanata
6. Den Den Passion
7. Otsukare Summer!

At Tokyo Girls’ Update, original comment videos of seven artists who joined Japan Expo will be uploaded from next week, so don’t miss out! Japan Expo’s live articles and France experience will be posted too! Thank you Japan Expo and the idols performed there, and awesome fans there!

Related links
Japan Expo 2015 official site : http://www.japan-expo-paris.com/en/
Dempagumi.inc official site : http://dempagumi.dearstage.com/
Aoi Eir official site : http://www.aoieir.com/
Rio Hiiragi official site : http://sunlighting.jp/rio/
Stand-Up! Hearts official site : http://stand-up-project.jp/hearts.html
Orange Port official site : http://www.orange-port.com/
Michinoku Sendai ORI☆Hime Tai official site : http://orihimetai.com/
Chaw Chaw official site : http://chawchaw.syncl.jp/?p=diarylist
Kana Tsuduki Twitter : https://twitter.com/tuduki_kana
Rie Yunohara official site : http://yunoxrie.com/
Le Lien official site : http://www.lelien.jp/
Pink Babies official site : http://pinkbabies.jp/
Luce Twinkle Wink☆ official site : https://luce-twinkle-wink.com/
Niji no Conquistador : http://pixiv-pro.com/2zicon/

Photo by Nathan Gey
Website : http://www.nathangey.com/
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/NathanGeyPhotography

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Related Artists : Pink Babies Aoi Eir Dempagumi.inc
Author
Ayaya
Ayaya

Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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