At the very first anime convention I ever went to, a highlight of the programming was a concert given by a Japanese voice actress. It was a low-key event, with her performing on a small stage set up in the banquet hall of a modest San Jose hotel, with open seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Things are very different now. International anime fandom is now so large that music producers recognize overseas conventions as a major opportunity to promote their talent and their associated series, with Los Angeles’ Anime Expo being the most prized venue. AX 2018, as the convention is also known, will be taking place between July 4 and 8, and it’s just announced its concert lineup, which features some of the biggest names in the industry.
In conjunction with Anisong World Matsuri, Anime Expo will be welcoming Aquors, the in-anime and real-world vocal unit featured in "Love Live! Sunshine," the latest chapter of Japan’s premier idol anime franchise.
▼ Aquors, seen here performing in Japan, goes all-out with its stage productions.
The Love Live! Sunshine!! Aqours World Love Live! in LA ~Beyond the Pacific~will feature not only Aquors, but two other concerts will also be taking place at Anime Expo, each with multiple acts. The lineup for Japan Super Live consists of vocalists Aimer (whose credits include theme songs for "Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel I. presage flower" and "After the Rain"), and May’n ("Macross Frontier"), composer Yuki Kajiura ("Sword Art Online," "Fate/Zero," "Puella Magi Madoka Magica"), and mixed-media singer-songwriter Sanketsu-girl Sayuri.
Finally, performing at the bouncier Japan Kawaii Live will be popular idol units AKB48 Team 8 and The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, six-voice actress idol group i☆Ris, and high-profile anime fan and media personality Shoko Nakagawa.
▼ The presence of The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls should appease at least one fan who hates rival franchise "Love Live!"
All three concerts will be held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, with Aqours World Love Live! in LA ~Beyond the Pacific~ coming first at 4:30 p.m. on July 4. Next up is Japan Super Live at 5:30 on July 6, with Japan Kawaii Live closing out the concert series at 4 on July 7. Attendance requires both an Anime Expo admission badge (prices start at $60) as well as a separate ticket for the individual concert, (prices range from $60 to $150). Tickets can be purchased online here, with the earliest to go on sale being those for the Aquors show.
Source: Anime Expo via Otakomu
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