Music

Music showcase brings out anison acts, J-rock heavyweights for three days of gigs

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

With the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) set to shine a light on movies in the capital, other art forms see an opportunity to siphon off some of the media glare.

Along with the Tokyo International Anime Festival and the film festival-related TiffCom, the Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) hopes to showcase trends in the Japanese music industry with booths introducing record labels and, more importantly, three days of performances at Zepp DiverCity from Oct. 21 to 23.

With animation being a key theme at this year’s TIFF, it makes sense that the first day of TIMM would follow suit. “Anison-Idol Night” includes musical acts that have written music for anime, or perform cover versions of songs from animated series. Anime songs, or anison, used to exist mainly to serve an obsessed otaku fanbase, but the genre has gained in popularity over the past few years. For example, the group Linked Horizon made it all the way to the stage of NHK’s yearend “Kohaku Uta Gassen” program last year on the back of the success of its single “Jiyu e no Shingeki” (“March to Freedom”), the title track for popular anime series “Attack on Titan.”

TIMM’s selection of anison acts includes the four-piece fhana, whose music is used for anime and whose single “lyrical sentence” is a promotional track for the novel “Sekijitsu no Alice” (“Alice’s Regrettable Days”) by Shusei Sakagami. Rock band Nagareda Project joins the night after its anison covers became popular on the Nico Nico Douga website.

The next day’s “J-Pop Night” focuses more on the country’s pop-rock scene, with five-piece Passepied headlining the event. The group’s vocalist, Natsuki Ogoda, has been in charge of the group’s aesthetic approach, which has helped it garner attention on social media. The group, which employs new-wave and techno-pop elements in its sound, took its name from a composition by French composer Claude Debussy.

Other artists at “J-Pop Night”include the visual-kei and heavy metal act NoGoD, indie rockers Molice and EDM (electronic dance music) act Future Boyz.

Rounding out the three-day music festival will be the second edition of Japan Night, the first having been held in May at the National Stadium. Two rock acts [Alexandros] (formerly known as [Champagne]) and Vamps, will join pop five-piece Sakanaction for the show.

The Tokyo International Music Market takes place at Grand Pacific Le Daiba in Koto-ku, Tokyo, from Oct. 21 to 23. Japan Night takes place at Zepp DiverCity on Oct. 23 (6:30 p.m. start; ¥5,400 in advance; 03-3527-5256). For more information, visit www.jcs2014.com or www.japannight.jp.