“There’s Only a Bright Future Waiting!” Afilia Saga Leader Louise Sforzur Graduates at Zepp Diver City
On March 11, 2016 at Zepp Diver City, the members of Afilia Saga and their senpai (Afilia term for fans) bid a fond heartfelt farewell to Louise Sforzur, the beloved and respected leader who had carried the group forward on her slender shoulders for 7 years.
After Louise welcomed the senpai to the venue and went through the customary announcements, the house lights dimmed, leaving only the soft glow of “Sforzur green” penlights as the performance began with “Mirai ga Watashi wo Matteiru” and “Justsu Shiki wa Dareka no Tame ni”. Already into the second song, the emotions of the night began to get to Louise, Kohime Lit Pucci and Yukafin Doll moving in close to hug her and pat her head as she struggled to hold back her tears.
Composing herself, Louise raised her microphone with the others for the gritty mid-tempo rock of “Sepia”. She thanked the senpai for making their way out to Odaiba on a Friday evening and shining their green lights for her, comparing it to a rolling prairie. The 10th generation members Kaori Selene Godrand, Kana R. Norwich, and Yumi W. Klein joined the others as they introduced themselves.
A 5-song medley began with “Sei Naru wktk no Hoshi”, the members thrusting their disco fingers high into the air, their skirts fluttering as they bounced from side to side. Yukafin called for the senpai to get more excited and the others shot them dead with their finger guns. Screaming and baring their nails, Afilia Saga got pulses racing as they directed all eyes to their “zettei ryoiki” (絶対領域, the bare skin exposed between a skirt and knee-high socks) during the super popular “Knee High Egoist”. Churning their arms like a locomotive steam engine, the members made their departure from “absolute territory” as they began a “Magical☆Express☆Journey” which transitioned into “S☆M☆L”. As Louise stepped forward to sing her solo lines in the middle of “Hikou Jisshu〜Learn To Fly〜”, she was again surrounded by a sea of green lights, her voice trembling slightly.
With the end of the medley, the others walked off the stage, leaving only Louise, Yukafin, and Kohime on stage momentarily. First generation graduated members Rose Gardenfairy, Meena M Frace, and Lily Coco Evance were called out to the stage to a rousing round of applause and cheers, including the ones of the younger members who went down into the audience to watch. Dubbed “Legend Members”, they expressed their excitement at welcoming a new member to their ranks. Louise and Kohime reminisced along with them about the humble beginnings of Afilia Saga when they would hand out flyers for the café when it was snowing and would perform in venues that didn’t have cordless microphones which made dancing difficult. Louise admitted that she didn’t want to be the leader, Kohime adding that she suddenly broke into tears as they were going home one day because of it. Rose praised the current members for transforming Afilia Saga into a group very different than the one she had been a part of.
Turning the clock back to the beginning of their magical journey, Louise, Kohime, Rose, Meena, and Lily performed their debut single “Luminous no Izumi”, the senpai raising their voices as they had done countless times before. Kohime called out to them to get louder as she pumped her fist in the air. Louise’s hand went to her nose again as she was caught up in the moment. Lili went over to Kohime and put her arm around her shoulder, reaching down due to the height difference. The “Legend Members” remained for a second song, the very first one they ever performed, “My White Ribbon”.
Rose, Meena, and Lily went backstage to watch the rest of the performance and the current members returned, asking Louise if she saw them waving from the floor area. Yukafin commented that so many people had come to Zepp Diver City because they love her so much, adding that Louise had thought up the set list for the evening. Flecks of light reflected off of the mirror ball, the members of Afilia Saga standing shoulder to shoulder as they joining their voices together for the slow piano ballad “Everlasting Friends”. Surrounded by her comrades, Louise’s voice became shaky again during her solo, prompting Yukafin to mock her and assure her that it was okay to stand out because “it would be over soon”. Miku suggested that Louise shouldn’t graduate, causing her to declare “I’m graduating” before imitating Miku’s high-pitched voice to announce the next song “SURVIVE!!”.
Continuing on with the shuffling “Neptune☆Sagashite” and “Kirakira Radio”, the coupling song from their latest single (“Itsuka Mita Niji no Sono Shita de”), Kohime seemed determined to be tsundere towards Louise even though her nails were “Sforzur green” with a bunny rabbit painted on them. When asked by Yukafin how she came up with the set list for her graduation concert, Louise replied that she wanted to pick songs that would tie together the hearts of the senpai with hers.
Not even a minor miscue with the music during Kohime’s lines during “Yakusoku no Ano Sora no Hate” could delay the impending end of the concert despite Louise calling for them to stop so they could start over from the beginning. After “Itsuka Mita Niji no Sono Shita de”, Louise said again, “I’m graduating”, as if to remind herself that it was the last time she would be standing on a stage as the leader of Afilia Saga before announcing the final song of the evening “Houkago Romance”. Zepp Diver City was filled with the soft glow of orange lights.
Soon to be leader, Maho Sotto Voce announced that Afilia Saga would be starting a new tour in April, which would take them all over Japan as well as overseas. Louise was given a green party hat and a sash that was meant to read “I am the Chairperson” (私は委員長です) but Miku had miswritten one of the characters. After several other obvious joke gifts, Maho presented Louise with a large bouquet of flowers as well as a picture album with photos and messages from all of the members. Tears rolled down Louise’s cheeks as Kohime and Yukafin read long farewell letters that they had written to her, finishing with one written by Louise’s mother. Louise felt that with so many people supporting Afilia Saga, the group had nothing but a bright future ahead of them, which would allow her to graduate with her heart at ease.
Louise urged everyone to sing with her one final song “My White Ribbon”, running over to Rose and Meena as they returned to the stage. The tears became contagious, spreading to Yukafin, Kaori, Myuna Shulita, and Nana Drop Bijou as the song drew to a close and the members gathered around Louise for a group hug. Assuring the senpai that Afilia Saga will have a bright future ahead, Louise asked them to keep supporting them before bowing and picking up her gifts, even the “Pervert Representative”（スケベ代表）sash that Nana had made for her and left the stage as Louise Sforzur for the last time. Louise will continue to support Afilia Saga from behind the scenes as a staff member.
01 Mirai ga Watashi wo Matteiru
02 Justsu Shiki wa Dareka no Tame ni
04 Sei Naru wktk no Hoshi
05 Knee High Egoist
08 Hikou Jisshu〜Learn To Fly〜
09 Luminous no Izumi
10 My White Ribbon
11 Everlasting Friends
14 Kirakira Radio
15 Yakusoku no Ano Sora no Hate
16 Itsuka Mita Niji no Sono Shita de
17 Houkago Romance
18 My White Ribbon
Afilia Saga Official site: http://afiliasaga.jp/
Afilia Saga Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfiliaSaga
Louise Sforzur Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/louise_sforzur
Sponsored LinksAfilia Saga
Get More Hype! Nagi Nemoto (Nijicon) Raps American Dream in the New Maltine Song, “America”
8th Wave of Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 Performers Announced!!