The 16th Impact all about J-music!
22 bands and music artists performed on the Karasu stage for the 16th Impact, that is 17 showcases and over 16 hours of live music within 4 days. An,d there was more with J-music around every corner and under the spotlight!
The live photo album of the Karasu Stage
The Karasu stage unchained
This year, J-rock had pride of honor, first of all with our Music Guest of Honor: VAMPS. HYDE (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust) took you into a J-rock hurricane on Saturday in the late afternoon: a full hour of show that those who attended it will not forget before long! And there were many of you as the Karasu stage had a full house.
Click here for more about VAMPS
in our Guest of Honor report
J-rock was hype this year. On Sunday, BACK-ON, who sing the themes of Eyeshield 21, Gundam Build Fighters or Fairy Tail, and Eir AOI, the singer of the themes of Fate/Zero, Kill la Kill and Sword Art Online, also attracted the crowds: close to 4,000 people, that is the maximum capacity of the stage, attended their shows!
To keep on with good rock music – and even hard rock – and anime music, with a beautiful touch of traditional music, Yasuhiro Takanashi & YAIBA captivated the audience! The band whose leader made the theme of Naruto: Shippuden and Fairy Tail offered two memorable performances thanks to its musicians: Yasuharu TAKANASHI, leader of the band; Hiroshi MOTOFUJI, a star of taiko; Kenji FUJISAWA, guitar player and composer of the theme of Beelzebub; -KIJI-, shamisen prodigy; Kinohachi, shakuhachi virtuoso; Shotaro MITSUZONO playing the bass; Yoshihisa ICHIKAWA playing the drums; and Jun TAKAYAMA, synthesizer programmer.
Click here for more about Yasuhiro Takanashi
& YAIBA in our culture & tradition report
Another animation film music singer enchanted you: Azumi INOUE, who sang the song in My Neighbor Totoro, as well as in other Studio Ghibli movies. She performed with her daughter Yû-Yu and with the Neko Light Orchestra, who often attended the festival and always attract many attendees to their shows, and as many as ever this time to see this dream duo open the Karasu stage on Thursday.
Video game music fans also had their moment thanks to a string quartet from JAGMO, the first ever professional orchestra specialized in video game music in Japan. 4 talented musicians had come to Japan Expo to perform the greatest themes from the Final Fantasy saga or from Chrono Trigger: Mana ITO and Kasumi HIGURASHI playing the violin, Noritoshi IKEYA playing the viola, and Tomohumi SHIMANE playing the cello.
The “angel voice” Hitomi KUROISHI, famous for singing the themes of Code Geass or Last Exile, hypnotized you with sweet melodies. As for discoveries, the duo ILU GRACE brought some RnB to the programming, when ONE NOT’E played their very own music titles.
Idol fans had nothing to complain about either with several dedicated events. On Thursday, the Japan in Motion Special Live brought together on stage Pink Babies, the kawaii band who sings covers of the 70s and 80s pop duo Pink Ladies, and, a bit more unusual, a male idol band, Bee Shuffle. Both bands were accompanied by Daiki ISE and the comic duo Jaru Jaru.
On Friday, you had the opportunity to discover on stage the band who won the Tokyo Candoll contest: the shining Luce Twinkle Wink☆. Dempagumi.inc had already come to Japan Expo and once more they won the audience over on Saturday.
Finally, for the last showcase of the festival, you attended the show by "local idols" who had come to promote their regions at Japan Expo: the Welcome to Japan show brought together 30 idols on stage with the bands Baseball☆Girls, Chaw Chaw, Michinoku Sendai ORI ☆ Himetai, Orange Port, and the singers Ai HARUNA and Rio HIIRAGI.
Click here for more about "local idols"
in our tourism report
The J-music photo album
More live shows
If the Karasu stage was a full music festival by itself, J-music nonetheless slipped in every nook and cranny of Japan Expo, on other stages, on the booths and in the alleys. The Také stage, kingdom of video games, obviously welcomed JAGMO for another video game music showcase by its quartet, and for a quizz testing the audience’s video game music knowledge. On Saturday, the kawaii Luce Twinkle Wink☆ and the angel voice Hitomi KUROISHI warmed up the Ichigô stage before the European Cosplay Gathering finals. The Yuzu stage also hosted music shows, with Trio ELM and their anime song covers, and Nolife’s J-Top. The show was shot live to present the latest J-music hits.
Click here for more about JAGMO
in our video game report
Other stages were waiting for you too. The Saiko ! Stage featured shows, meetings, and demos, with Le Lien, Bee Shuffle, Daiki ISE or Pink Babies live. As for the Wakanim stage, it offered a friendly atmosphere and showcases by Airly, Rio HIIRAGI, the French band STALYSKY, K-Ble Jungle, Eir AOI, ONE NOT’E, Enigami, and a talk-show with Yasuharu TAKANASHI. To finish with, the Welcome to Japan stage offered many opportunities to see the local idols who had come to Japan Expo, such as Rie YUNOHARA, Kana TSUZUKI, Orange Port, Chaw Chaw, Baseball☆Girls, Rio HIIRAGI, Stand-Up! Hearts and Michinoku Sendai ORI☆Hime-tai!
Meeting the artists
Japan Expo also offers you opportunities to meet the guests. Almost all the bands and artists performing on stage also met you for signings in the 7 dedicated Sumiré rooms. You could even take a photo with some of them thanks to our Photocall. The artists were as happy as the fans and left with smiles on their faces after those meetings.
Talk-shows and panels on the Yuzu stage offered great moments to be shared with the guests. VAMPS also gave a talk-show on Thursday, and Yasuhiro TAKANASHI unveiled the secrets of music composition for Naruto – Shinpûden and Boruto Naruto The Movie. At the event NEO JAPONISM~NOLIFE x ESPRIT JAPON x Japan in Motion, the guests presented their favorite places in Japan, little known places, and their most beautiful aspects. Presented by the comic duo Jaru Jaru and the hostess Caroline SEGARRA, the event brought together BACK-ON, Baseball☆Girls, Bee Shuffle, Dempagumi.inc, Eir AOI, Rio HIIRAGI, Daiki ISE, Le Lien, Michinoku Sendai ORI ☆ Himetai, Orange Port, Pink Babies, and Hello Kitty. You have also played games with ILU GRACE during the Japan Expo Game Show organized with participants chosen in the audience and guests.
A J-rock legend also payed us a short visit, meeting you for a few minutes on stage for the ECG finals. YOSHIKI announced X Japan’s coming concert at Wembley Arena and next album, and the sale of exclusive tickets at Japan Expo.
Click here for more about
the ECG finals in our cosplay report
J-music activities and panels
The associations organized many activities. In both Sora rooms, KajiaN proposed quizzes to test you about J-rock, visual kei, J-pop and Japanese music. Tengumi added new challenges, with anime theme quizzes. The star of music-related activities, karaoke brought together crowds of people thanks to BulleJapon and KajiaN. And every time, there were gifts to win!
J-music fans also met on the booth of Japan FM: the radio channel had moved its studios to Japan Expo for the time of the event. The attendees could see how a radio show was made and artists were interviewed live from the festival!
Last but not least, many conferences took place, such as the one about composing anime and game music by Kaoru WADA – conductor, arranger and composer for the anime Inuyasha, GeGeGe no Kitarô and D.Gray-man – and Keiichi ITOH – "sound magician," specialized in digital music and composer for Fullmetal Alchemist, CODE GEASS Lelouch of the Rebellion and Memories of Tomorrow. Hatsune Miku fans have also attended the screening of the show given by the virtual star in Indonesia.
Back to the 16th Impact: click here
for more about the festival with pics!