Churning Butter Underground in Shinjuku?! LOHAS Night by BELLRING Shoujo Heart and xxx of WONDER!

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Churning Butter Underground in Shinjuku?!  LOHAS Night by BELLRING Shoujo Heart and xxx of WONDER!

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Butter churning under the slogan, “Lohas is awesome!” That’s what these idols did, spreading butter on slices of breads held by outstretched hands of countless numbers of otaku. Have you ever witnessed such an incredulous scene with your own eyes? It wasn’t a dream or a fairy tale, but something that actually happened in underground Tokyo. This totally bizarre event took place on May 15th at Shinjuku Marz, as part of a concert event sponsored by the ever-changing idol group, BELLRING Shoujo Heart, called butter: response.
「ロハス最高!!」という掛け声とともに、バターができあがる。それをアイドルが、ステージに詰めかけた無数のオタクの差し出すパンに塗りたくる。あなたはこうした目を疑うような光景を目撃したことありますか(笑)?それは夢でもおとぎ話でもなく、実際に東京の地下で起きた出来事。そんな謎過ぎるイベントこそ、5月15日に新宿のMarzで開かれた、変幻自在なアイドルグループBELLRING少女ハート主催のライブ「butter: response」なのだ。

It was a three part event with BELLRING Shoujo Heart, xxx of WONDER, a creative unit we’ve introduced many times before on Tokyo Girls’ Update, and a solo by vocalist Shiho Nanba.
このイベントはBELLRING少女ハートと、過去に何度かTokyo Gilrs’ Updateでも紹介したクリエイターズユニットxxx of WONDER、そしてそのボーカルをつとめる南波志帆のソロという構成のスリーマンライブ。

First, Koji Tanaka, director of BELLRING Shoujo Heart, and xxx of WONDER members Dr. Usui and Mel Kishida started off the event with an opening talk. The talk included the concept behind xxx of WONDER, as well as what the members look like under the make-up and their roles, along with Tanaka’s heartfelt feelings towards BELLRING Shoujo Heart and an animated discussion about the current underground idol scene.
まず、イベントの前座としてBELLRING少女ハートのディレクター田中紘治と、xxx of WONDERのメンバーのDr.Usuiおよび岸田メルによるオープニングトークが開かれた。トークはxxx of WONDERのコンセプトや、それぞれのメンバーの素顔や役割、田中氏のBELLRING少女ハートに込める想い、さらに最近の地下アイドル事情の話で盛り上がった。


When the talk finished, the stage was bathed in blue light, and xxx of WONDER appeared. They’re unit founded by five different creators, including Shiho Nanba, who possesses a “magic voice” in the center, Julie Watai, a photography/Akiba style originator who has gained attention from all over the world for her intellectualism, Freneshi (currently on hiatus), an active “singer/songwriting/animator” praised for his high quality lyrics and musical arrangement abilities, Dr. Usui, who works as an idol producer and whose popular songs were featured in Doki Doki! Pre-Cure, and Mel Kishida, a popular illustrator. Their five intellects and talents create a perfect harmony and totally original groove and performance, which has received a large amounts of attention.
トークが終わるとステージが青く光り、xxx of WONDERが登場。このユニットは、「マジックヴォイス」の持ち主とされる歌手の南波志帆をセンターに、その知的な感性で世界から注目されるフォトグラファー/アキバ系クリエイターのJulie Watai、ハイクオリティな作詞と作曲能力が高く評価され “シンガーソングライティングアニメーター”として活躍しているフレネシ(現在はお休み中)、アイドルのプロデュース活動やアニメ『ドキドキ!プリキュア』の楽曲でも有名な Dr.Usui、イラストレーターとしてとても人気の高い岸田メルという5人で構成されたクリエイター集団だ。5つの感性と才能が融和して創られる唯一無二のグルーヴとサウンドとパフォーマンスは現在、大きな注目を浴びている。



They performed five songs from their repertoire in total, including “Meisekimu Madonna”, “Loop of Wonder”, “Jerry Jerry”, “Humming ga Kikoeru”, and “Douka shiteru!” Before beginning each song, Julie Watai would address the audience, “To everyone living in the modern society!” and the like, with words symbolizing the theme of each song, transforming the fantastic atmosphere of the stage each time! Matching with their cute and poppy numbers, there were many illustrations and visuals shown on the back wall of the stage. All of it was like a chemical reaction of creativity that had sparked fireworks, making it hard to even blink. And to top it off was the comical performance that unfolded from the main performance by Mel Kishida!! Displaying an intense amount of otaku talent, by making the audience hand over their glowsticks every time they fell out of their seats. The audience of otaku would not go down without a fight. The venue was enveloped in a strange sense of unity and laughter.
ライブではxxx of WONDERの持ち歌の「明晰夢マドンナ」「Loop of Wonder」「ジェリー・ジェリー」「ハミングがきこえる」「ドウカシテル!」といった全5曲を披露。それぞれの曲が始まる前にJulie Wataiが「現代社会に生きるみなさんへ!」などといったその曲のテーマを象徴するような言葉を放つと、その度にステージがファンタジックな空間に様変わり! キュート&ポップな楽曲に合わせて、ステージの壁いっぱいに曲の世界観を表現したイラストとビジュアルが映し出される。それはさながらそれぞれのクリエイティビティが化学反応を起こし火花を散らして爆発しているかのようで、まばたきするのが惜しいほど。 さらにさらに、極め付けは演奏中に繰り広げられる岸田メルのコミカルなパフォーマンス!! 客席に降りると観客からサイリウムを手渡され激しいオタ芸を披露。客席のオタクたちも負けずとそれに応戦する。会場は不思議な一体感と高揚感と笑いに包まれていた。



After xxx of WONDER’s set, Shiho Nanba took the stage solo next. She performed a total of five songs, including “VOICE -Tooku no Kimi he-“, “Shoujo, Futatabi”, “Aryarya?”, “Para Para Battle”, and “Kami wo Kiru 8 no Riyuu”. Her weightless voice felt as if were floating throughout the entire venue, and it took the audience quite some time to recover from the excited, dream-like state which befell them.
xxx of WONDERのステージの次は、南波志帆がソロで舞台に立つ。披露した曲は「VOICE −とおくのきみへ−」、「少女、ふたたび」、「ありゃりゃ?」、「ばらばらバトル」、「髪を切る8の理由。」の全5曲。彼女の会場を無重力にするような浮遊感溢れる歌声はさっきまで興奮していた観客に落ち着きを取り戻させ、夢見心地な気分に浸らせていた。


With both xxx of WONDER and Shiho Nanba’s performances finished, BELLRING Girls Heart took the stage in straw hats along with Director Tanaka, who appeared carrying plastic bottles, whipping cream, and salt. Just what the heck was going on?! Mr. Tanaka went on to describe the spirit behind the project.
さてさて、xxx of WONDERと南波志帆の演奏が終わると、麦わら帽子を被ったBELLRING少女ハートも登場し、さらにディレクター田中紘治がなにやらペットボトルと生クリームと塩を持って現れた。一体何が始まるのか!? まず、田中氏から企画の趣旨が説明される。

Since BELLRING Shoujo Heart’s May theme is “LOHAS is Awesome”, apparently they wanted to try making butter, a LOHAS food there with everyone. It was easy to make. 1. Put whipping cream into a plastic bottle. 2. Add salt. 3. Shake it up. 4. The liquid turns into butter. We’ll tell you the easy recipe one more time! First… About how clumsy the BELLRING Shoujo Heart members were! (laugh) Spilling salt, not being able to pour the whipping cream into their plastic bottles well, and how they weren’t listening to Mr. Tanaka’s instructions! (laugh) How naive they were- too naive!! There were cries of how everything was, “Totally chaotic!” (laugh) It was like a ridiculous cooking lesson put on by naughty black witches. Somehow the butter churning ended, and promising samples to come after the show, the cooking lesson ended. After that BELLRING Shoujo Heart took the stage.
BELLRING少女ハートの五月のテーマが「ロハス最高」ということで、どうやらロハスフードのバターを実際にみんなで作ってみようということらしい。作り方は簡単。①ペットボトルに生クリームを入れる。②さらに塩を加える。③思いっきり振る。④液体が固まりバターができる。もう一度言いますよ、作り方は簡単、のはずなのに……。なんとBELLRING少女ハートのメンバーの不器用なこと(笑)! 塩はこぼれる、ペットボトルに生クリームをうまく入れられない、そもそも田中氏の話を聞いていない(笑)! 無邪気な、あまりに無邪気な!! 会場からは「カオスすぎる……」の声が(笑)。まるでステージはいたずら好きの黒い魔女っ子たちの、はちゃめちゃお料理教室のように。それでもなんとかみんなバターを作り終え、実食は終演後とのことで、爆笑お料理教室は終了した。そしてBELLRING少女ハートのステージへ。



The lights dimmed, and six of the girls (Anna was absent) appeared on stage in black sailor-style schoolgirl outfits with wings, suddenly filling the venue with an air of tension. Then the girls broke out in their unique psychedelic song and dance! The girls’ stage performance was a frenzy. The audience’s voices shouted out like a roar. Coupled with the dazzling stage lights, its mood was gradually enhanced. There were members that dived off the stage into the crowd, and took bread members of the audience held out to them. It was cuteness mixed with madness. It was like a performance where two energies intermixed to create a strange world in underground Shinjuku where no logic or order existed! They played 13 of their best songs, including “Crimson Horizon”, “Tangerine Saibo”, “c.a.n.d.y.”, “get rid of the Chopper”, “Hibari no Sora”, “yOU rari”, “Circus & Renai Sodan”, “the Edge of Goodbye”, “Karma”, “UNDO”, “Natsu no Accelerando”, “rainy dance”, and “Bokura no Wednesday”, and when their performance ended, a curtain closed BELLRING Girls Heart’s set.
照明が暗転すると、真っ黒なセーラー服に羽根をつけた6人の少女が現れ(アンナは本日お休み)、会場は一気に緊張感に包まれた。そして彼女たち独特のサイケデリックな歌とダンスが炸裂し始める! ステージを暴れまわる彼女たちのパフォーマンス。会場に轟く観客たちの叫び声。幻惑的な舞台照明と相まって、そのムードは次第に高まる。ステージから観客の上に飛び乗るメンバーもいれば、差し出されたパンを奪い取るメンバーも。かわいさと狂気。この二つのエネルギーが入り混じった彼女らのパフォーマンスは新宿のアンダーグラウンドに理性も秩序もないような異様な世界を作り上げたのだった! とにかく圧巻の13曲(「Crimson Horizon」、「タンジェリン細胞」、「c.a.n.d.y.」、「get rid of the Chopper」、「ヒバリの空」、「yOUらり」、「サーカス&恋愛相談」、「the Edge of Goodbye」、「Karma」、「UNDO」、「夏のアッチェレランド」、「rainy dance」、「ボクらのWednesday」)の公演を終え、BELLRING少女ハートのステージは幕を閉じた。




For the last part of the event, xxx of WONDER and BELLRING Shoujo Heart stepped back out on their stage with the butter that they had made before. The girls spread butter gently and sometimes violently onto bread held out by audience members clamoring to be first. During which Mel Kishida remarked, “I wonder if someone would want mine?” (laugh) By the way, I got butter from Moe Usami aka Moechi from BELLRING Shoujo Heart and Mel Kishida. It tasted like regular butter! (laughs)
イベントの最後にはxxx of WONDERとBELLRING少女ハートが先ほど作ったバターを持って再び登壇。我先にと詰め寄る観客たちのパンに、時には優しく時には乱暴に塗りたくって行く、彼女たち。そんななか岸田メルが、誰か俺のも貰ってくれるかな?と(笑)。ちなみに私はBELLRING少女ハートの「もえち」こと宇佐美萌と岸田メルのバターをそれぞれ頂きました。味は、うん、普通のバター(笑)!


Related Links
BELLRING Shoujo Heart Official Site :
xxx of WONDER Official Site :
Shiho Nanba Official site :

Photos by Izumi Kumazawa
Translated by Jamie Koide

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Related Artists : xxx of WONDER

Writer, Book Reviewer. Having the degree of MA. (Japanese Literature) I love Japanese Girl's Popular Music, such as YUKI, Chara, Makoto Kawamoto, and Seiko Oomori.

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