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MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO returned to Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and it was bigger than ever! From the evening of November 6th until Kyary Pamyu Pamyu walked off the stage on November 8th, it was a nonstop assault on the senses. There was food, fashion, displays of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, and of course music! With free entrance to the events for anyone that was not a Japanese citizen, it was one of the most ambitious events looking to share everything wild, crazy, cool, delicious, and kawaii of Japan with the world! The first day, November 6th, was named Moshi Ani and featured artists known for their contributions to anisong as well as cosplay and fashion.

Matsuri Stage

Moshi Ani kicked off around 3:00pm at the outdoor free Matsuri Stage right in front of Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, greeting those spilling out of the exits at Sendagaya and Kokuritsu-Kyogijo stations or coming over from nearby Harajuku and Omotesando with DJs, cosplay shows, and idol lives until 7:30pm that evening. Starting with DJ POCHI and DJ Pinky (Neko Punch), there was a shodo (calligraphy) demonstration, and an appearance by cosplayers from the World Cosplay Summit.

As the autumn sun began to sink and evening fell, DJ Shishagonyu (Electric Ribbon) and DJ Hiyokochang Nishimura (with his trademark ramen strainer!) got the audience warmed up for some hot live idol performances by Tonic, Hauptharmonie, Erika Akiyama, Dream Color, the 2015 reboot of Shojo-tai, and the self-proclaimed “King of Positive”, POP.

Moshi Moshi Stage

Those inside the main arena around 6:00pm were rocked into a festive mood with an opening ceremony that featured energetic Japanese dancing by Yosakoi Party Monster and Kotoomi Hanayanagi, breakdancing and wota-gei by REAL AKIBA BOYZ (RAB) and Ginyu-tokusentai, and a mix of everything as TEMPURA KIDZ got together with female taiko troupes Hananoen and DIA+.

Hosted by Rei Mastrogiovanni, who provided explanations in English and Japanese, the night had only begun to heat up inside! Vocaloid producer Hachioji P blasted through a furious 10-song set of his Hatsune Miku creations. He was followed up by pop icon Yun*chi who performed “Your song*” (ending theme for LOG HORIZON) and “Lucky Girl*” (theme song for Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life) to put an asterisk on the evening. There was also a fashion show by ACOS that brought the characters from Senbonzakura to life!

Singer and fashion model Luna Haruna began with “Overfly” the second ending theme of Sword Art Online and gave a head start on the Christmas season with “Sweet Fantasy” which was to be released the following week before finishing up with “snowdrop”. Fueled by a meal from the Niku Fes outside the arena, Nagi Yanagi got things heated up with “Tokohana” ending theme song from Black Bullet. She followed up with a pair of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. opening theme songs with “Harumodoki” and “Yukitoki” before ending on her solo debut song “Vidro Moyo”. The World Cosplay Summit took the main stage by storm with even more amazing outfits as well!

livetune+, the collaboration unit of kz and Anna Yano, hit the stage with the first public performance of their bright and sparkly tune “Milky Rally” and turned the clock back to her debut with “Shape My Story” (opening theme for Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C³-bu). The audience was in for yet another treat as they also debuted “Jump Up”! May’n brought several of her anisong hits to the show, starting with “Yamaidare darlin'”, “Yoake no Logos” (Aquarion Logos), “Northern Cross” (Macross Frontier), and “Vivid” (Blood Lad), coloring the inside of Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium with the glow of penlights and cyalumes.

The fashion of the streets and lolita came together in a collaboration show by KERA magazine and the brand Angelic Pretty, flaunting some of the latest trends from Harajuku.

Visual-kei rockers SID closed out the night, starting with “Monokuro no Kiss”, their major label debut single and opening theme song from the anime Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler). Vocalist Mao’s cool gaze belied his nervousness at appearing an event with so many cute young female idols, which had many in the audience laughing at how someone as cool as him could be just as otaku as they are. Continuing with their latest single “Hyoryu”, the bulk of their set consisted of songs from the 2010’s: “V.I.P.” and “Anniversary” (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic opening theme) but, they saved the best for last, ending with “Uso” (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood opening theme).

Nippon Stage

Luce Twinkle Wink☆ got things going at the Nippon Stage right away with their infectious towel-waving “You are a star!” and fan favorite “Setsuna Halation” before causing hearts to pound with their upcoming single “Koiiro♡Shikou Kairou”, which is the theme song for the PS Vita dating simulation game To LOVE Ru Darkness True Princess. Musubizm took another step forward in tying together (musubu) the world through kawaii culture, introducing themselves with “MUSUBI☆IZM”, fanning the flames in wota hearts with the energetic “E.M.B.” and covering TEMPURA KIDZ’ “ONE STEP”. Hokkaido’s Rinne Yoshida who has been hailed as one of the current generation’s most promising solo idols may have released one of 2015’s earliest summer songs in “Manatsu no BeeeeeeaM.” back in March but she had no problems keeping with it even at the beginning of November.

Harajuku idols Kamiyado began their 3-day stand at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO with their theme song “KMYD”, transforming into Sentai Rangers with “Harajuku Sentai Kamiyado Ranger”, a song which needs a MV badly! Wa→Suta, the newest idol group from Avex continued their reign of cuteness with “Wonderful World”, “Doki Doki♡today”, “Lan Lan Jidai”, and the near impossible to resist “Inu-Neko. Seishun Massakari”. If you haven’t seen/heard it, do it right meow! drop completed the trifecta of cute newcomers with a high energy set that began with fan favorite “Nanimo Iranai”, the frenetic “Jodan Janai”, the chilling “Hocus Pocus”, and ended on a high note with “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Chu”.

Magical schoolgirl group Afilia Saga cast their spell immediately with the rocking “S・M・L☆” (opening theme for Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru aka Noucome). This was followed by their upcoming single “Embrace Blade” (theme song for Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon) and the festive “Japanesque × Romanesque” before ending with one of their older songs “Houkago Romance”. It was unusual that they did not perform “Never say Never” since it was the opening theme song for ISUCA, an anime that member Kohime Lit Pucci provided the voice for one of the characters as well.

LinQ, one of the strongest and biggest groups to come out of Kyushu (and not have a 48 in their name), sounded the ending bell for the Nippon Stage, starting with their “Chime ga Owareba”. The theme of Japanese festival received some Latin flavor with the carnivalesque “Hare Hare☆Parade” before returning eastward with “HANABI!!”. LinQ finished up with the driving electronic beats of the towel-waving “Shining Star” to bring the first day of MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO to a close.

The first day of MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO boasted a lineup that would put most music festivals to shame and that wasn’t even a full day of performances! Add to that the food and culture booths, the fashion shows and the fact that the weather wasn’t so hot that it could endanger your health like so many summer festivals! Stay tuned for the full reports from the rest of the weekend coming soon!

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Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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