Monday, May 25, 2009

Kalafina in Boston

This past Saturday I attended Anime Boston, mainly in order to see Kalafina in their first American concert. I know Kalafina mainly through their role as the vocalists for the music in Kara no Kyoukai - The Garden of Sinners, though I certainly enjoy their other songs.

Producer/composer Yuki Kajiura with Kalafina signing autographs (there was no photography in the concert itself).

As expected, the concert was well worth the trip to Boston. Kalafina have what humorless pop-music snobs would probably describe as an "overproduced" sound, but they held up remarkably well in the live show. I get the impression that some songs, notably oblivious, are really designed with a fair amount of post-production work in mind, but Kalafina got through it in fine form. In the second half of the concert, especially, the audience and the singers started getting enthusiastic, and hearing sprinter towards the end of the show was definitely a chill-inducing experience. The encore was a real treat, and it's a shame that some people had to bail before it got started. For the encore, they ditched the canned instrumental music, and it was just Keiko, Wakana and Hikaru doing a couple of slower songs, with Yuki Kajiura herself on keyboard.

Crumby photo of Kajiura and friends signing my oblivious single.

The opening act for Kalafina was the Video Game Orchestra (Youtube Channel), which proved to be a pleasant surprise. If I were putting together a concert of video game music, I would probably want to cover Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, some Square-Enix standards, and, oh, maybe throw in something token from outside of Japan, like a Halo medley. That's exactly what they played. It was fairly awesome, and I would have bought CDs if they were selling them.

Garden of Sinners promotional flier from the Kalafina table in the dealer's room. Distributer Aniplex was at the convention, but apparently didn't announce anything solid about licenses.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mmm, New Haruhi

As people have suspected for a while now, the spring season 2009 rebroadcast of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) actually includes new material, starting with this week's episode. Most excellent. It looks like I've got something to add to the must-watch spring TV anime list, which up until now consisted of K-ON! and Eden of the East.

2008 was sort of a slow year for new TV anime, with only a couple of truly outstanding shows, mostly airing in the autumn. 2009 is shaping up to be considerably more exciting.