Akishibu project Will Fight (for Their Dreams)! Shinjuku BLAZE Live Report!
Akishibu project took another step closer to their dreams on May 30th when they held their 3rd one-man live “WAY TO DREAM 〜Mirai no Sentaku〜” at Shinjuku BLAZE. Having sold out their second one-man at TSUTAYA O-WEST (estimated capacity: 600) in Shibuya on January 25th and releasing their first ever CD on April 14th, moving to a larger venue was the next step in their evolution. Judging by the masses of young fans gathered in the streets of Kabukicho as they waited to file into Shinjuku BLAZE (estimated capacity: 800), the Akishibu movement was gathering momentum.
A group that mixes the diverse cultures of Akihabara and Shibuya and claims to be the “New Generation’s Royal Road” (“Oudou” 王道 is used to describe more conventional sounds, particularly in idol music, one example would be SUPER☆GiRLS), Akishibu project started with an intro video centered around the members wondering out loud things like “Where am I going?” and “I still don’t know what I really like.” The mood was that of the hopeful uncertainty of youth. As the final piano notes began to fade into eternity, Akishibu project took the stage, declaring that they had come to fight for their dreams.
Jumping into the electronic pop of “ONE”, fingers pointed to the sky as the 8 members of Akishibu project whipped their hair, and swung their arms powerfully.
The air became electrified with fan favorite “Akishibu Way” and the retro-flavored rock of “Manatsu no Serenade”.
Giving the audience a special treat by performing songs rarely performed outside their home theater Twin Box Akihabara, they split into units as Yuuna Arakawa, Ami Iseki, and Emiri Otani pulled shimmery, frilly dresses over their outfits to tap into their sweet and cutesy side with the electro pop tune “Keyword”.
There was not a cloud in the sky outside but Yue Miyatani, Hinako Kera, Saori Funaki, Miiro Taguchi, and Natsumi Ishikawa made it feel like the rainy season had already started as they delicately danced to the light synth pop of “Mayonaka sugi no Cinderella” with trench coats and lacy umbrellas.
Akishibu project regrouped and performed a mini-medley of “Candid Love” and “Love & Paradise”, stirring up the fans who were already singing along at the top of their lungs.
Leaving the stage for a short rest and wardrobe change, the theme of wanting to do something but not knowing exactly how to do it continued with a second video, words from letters written by the members appearing on the screen as they were read out loud. Overflowing with the determination and doubt of the members, the words on the screen combined with their voices gave the audience something to think about as they gathered up their energy for the second half of the performance. The breath was sucked out of the room when Saori Funaki walked on stage by herself reading a letter she had written but, this was not one of those instances where a single member of a group on stage would mean a graduation announcement, much to the relief of the fans.
Akishibu project once again made declarations of their determination and settled into the piano ballad “Niji no Iro”, the venue exploding into 8 different colors as the bass and drums kicked in, fans waving their penlights side to side and towards the stage.
Leader Yue Miyatani announced that in order for Akishibu project to grow, they would be embarking on their first domestic live house tour starting in July! Titled “Shingitai/Musha Shugyou Zenkoku Live House Tour” (心技体/武者修行全国ライブハウスツアー), it would take the group to Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Sendai, Yamanashi, Niigata, Gunma, Tochigi, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Osaka, Ibaraki, and back to Tokyo.”Shingitai” refers to the 3 qualities of a sumo wrestler: heart, technique, and physique. “Musha Shugyou” is a journey one takes to develop their skills. Even though Akishibu project had come this far, they recognized that they still had much to work on.
To celebrate their “power up chance”, Akishibu project debuted their new song “Restart”, a lively and poppy punk rock tune that took advantage of their towels, which were tossed into the audience for some lucky fans to treasure at the end.
Not letting up, they dove into the spicy yet sweet guitar rock tune “Gachi Koi Revolution”, waving their arms like an ouendan and throwing out elbows before fading over into the bass-heavy EDM-pop of “Kagayaki License”.
Returning to the “royal road” with “flower x flower”, the fans had energy to spare as they lifted each other up in hopes of getting a response from their favorite members.
The familiar piano intro of “Midaregami Fighting Girl” rang out and the venue erupted once more, penlights waving wildly and kechas being thrown and a loud rapid-fire “Kera” call as Hinako Kera sang her opening verse. There’s a good reason that this is the title track of their first mini album. Emphasizing once again that they have come to fight, Akishibu project ended their set list with the dramatic electronic dance rock “WAY TO DREAM”, pumping their fists and striking a dramatic pose before leaving the stage.
After a festive encore call, Akishibu project jogged back on stage and throwing out signed plastic balls in their colors into the audience. Some of them nearly reached the back exit doors and bounced off the ceiling! Swinging their legs to “Eternal Blue ~Kimi to Boku to Sora to Umi~”, the performance showed signs of having grown stronger since the first performance of the song at their previous one-man. There was a slight delay as Yuuna Arakawa had put her shirt on backwards! Ending as they began, the second song of the encore was “ONE”.
The second announcement of the night was that their 4th one-man live would take place at Akasaka Blitz (capacity: 1,298) on March 22, 2016. Despite the date being a weekday, given the early announcement of the event and the projected growth to take place during their upcoming tour, it will be interesting to see how Akishibu project will rise up to their biggest challenge yet. Ending the encore with “Akishibu Way”, the members cut loose from the fierce choreography to celebrate with each other, smiling and waving to the audience.
Glistening with sweat, the members were presented with flower bouquets in their individual colors and decorated with cute anime drawings of them before taking their final bows on a memorable night and important milestone on their journey. As amazing as Akishibu project is currently and how many fans they have amassed, it is their future and the realization of their potential as idols that is most exciting! Be sure to check them out on their first live house tour, Tokyo Idol Festival 2015, or Twin Box Akihabara as they make their way towards Akasaka Blitz in March!
Photos by Mime Soga
02 Akishibu Way
03 Manatsu no Serenade
05 Mayonaka sugi no Cinderella
06 Candid Love/Love & Paradise
07 Niji no Iro
09 Gachi Koi Revolution
10 Kagayaki License
11 flower x flower
12 Midaregami Fighting Girl
13 WAY TO DREAM
E1 Eternal Blue ~Kimi to Boku to Sora to Umi~
E3 Akishibu Way
Akishibu project Official Website: http://akishibup.net/
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