Japan's Golden Week series of national holidays is looming. Can't help but greet it with a bit less glee than usual, what with this year's calendar making it the Golden Disconnected Three Days Off instead...but am still fully stoked about its first day, April 29. That's just one week away now--the day of Super Robot Spirits!
Meanwhile, down on that friendly little manmade island in the sea, Odaiba, today was a rehearsal for SRS--the only one, it turns out, prior to the day of the event. Last week I asked M-sensei what sort of rehearsal schedule a concert like SRS has, and she explained that while the performers who take part in SRS's acoustic corner receive their parts in advance to practice, there's only one actual rehearsal together at the venue, most of which is to work out the staging and lighting. They'll also rehearse together a bit on showday, especially parts that are duets (and if you get there early enough, you can hear from outside if you're near Zepp Tokyo's closed entrance doors ;^) ). But since the songs are mostly solos, they prepare almost entirely on their own to be ready come showtime.
I asked if there were plans for a DVD or CD release of this year's concert--had been hoping hard, since this will be the fifth year since the last time that was done!--but she said she wasn't aware of any. She said that the best way to get it to happen would be to write Birthday Song and suggest it. Birthday Song distributes questionnaires at each of its concerts, but I've actually never filled one out before (try to travel as light as possible into the venue, for less of a delay in the entryway search for cameras, and keep forgetting to tuck a pen into a pocket beforehand!)...will be sure to do it this time!
One show that takes a world more rehearsal than SRS is NHK's production number-packed Anime Shudaika Daizenshuu concert, with this year's edition happening the day after tomorrow! It'll feature 50 songs, and in the time between the concert being announced and the postcard tickets being printed, the galaxy of stars has even expanded to include some seiyuu.
This will be the fourth edition of the concert, and part of what made the past three so great--besides the superstar performers, live orchestra, and plush hall--was that the performers not only sang their solo hits, but also got teamed up with their fellow stars in duos, trios, and quartets on other songs. There's no guessing what those other songs may be--but as far as the solos, it's fun to speculate...
AKINO with bless4: "Sousei no Aquarion." Gotta be!
Susumu Ishikawa: How great is this--the performer of the themes from Dokonjo Gaeru and Obake Q-taro! Man oh man, wish I had a Pyonkichi shirt to wear!!
Kayo Ishuu: Known for Heidi opening theme "Oshiete." That's gotta be a sure thing!
Azumi Inoue: How could she be there and not sing "Tonari no Totoro" and Laputa theme "Kimi o Nosete"? Although it's not an anniversary year for it, am hoping there might be special Laputa plans; the reason why is to come...
Yuuko Uno: She did the "Sazae-san" song. Not much else major that I can find...
Akira Kamiya: Yowza! He could do anything--but am betting he'll serve up a Kinnikuman performance, given the presence of...
Akira Kushida: "Kinnikuman Go Fight!", most definitely! Am excited about the possibilities of whatever else gets sent his way, too; last year's "Gatchaman" was fantastic!
Isao Sasaki: "Yamato" and "999" at the very least...!
The Loose Dogs: How 'bout I just say "that song from NHK's 'Major'" and get three chances to be right? ;^)
Three Graces: No idea...! They're a longtime trio with hits in the '50s and '60s. Maybe they'll team up with Isao Sasaki and Isao Bitou for a Western Carnival-type thang. And sing, uhhh...what would be "western"? How about "Sun Boy," end theme from Kouya no Shounen Isamu? (Odds: about 1,036 to 1.)
Hiroki Takahashi: Dragon Ball's "Makafushigi Adventure!"
Mayumi Tanaka: Woo-hoo!! Voice actress of One Piece's Monkey D. Luffy, but don't see anyone else related...here's hoping she might reprise a much earlier role, Pazu from Laputa.
Sachiko Chijimatsu: Quadruple WOO-HOO!!!!--the voice of Pyonkichi, the Flat Frog!! Life is so good!!
Tokyo Meistersinger: Last year's appearance by the Duke Aces, who'd performed "Tetsujin 28-go" in the '60s, was epic...and this could conceivably match it! In the '60s they performed the themes for Cyborg 009, Giant Robo, and more, and were the chorus for the Mach Go Go Go opening theme. ...Can you imagine them backing Isao Sasaki on "Mach Go Go Go"? We can dream...!
Dreaming: "Anpanman." Absolutely. (Feel the fear...)
Shouko Nakagawa: And representing the here and now, Gurren Lagann songs! Just keep her away from your cat...
Ushio Hashimoto: Dragon Ball end theme "Romantic Ageru Yo."
Isao Bitou: Ohhhh, am so happy he's back for a third year out of four...! "Ashita no Joe," man. Am looking forward to this even more than to the Dokonjo Gaeru-fest--and that takes some serious doing!
Hiroshi Fujioka: Kamen Rider opening "Let's Go!! Rider Kick." Plus he was (is!) Takeshi Hongo, Kamen Rider 1! Plus he has a planet named after him: 12408 Fujioka!
Mitsuko Horie: Is there anything she can't do? But to try to pick a sure thing...here's a wild guess: Candy Candy ending theme "Ashita ga Suki."
Youko Maekawa: This lady is so dynamic in person! "Cutey Honey," as always. But either "Ribon no Kishi" or "Majokko Megu-chan" (or both!) would be great too...
Ichirou Mizuki: Would they let him get away without "Mazinger Z" or "Ore wa Great Mazinger"? It's a possibility, what with his "Furoshiki-man" being a monster hit on NHK's Minna no Uta...
Reiko Mizumachi: Her "Bokura No Sekai," the 13th ending theme for NHK's Ojarumaru, went on sale April 9.
Ado Mizumori: Would love to hear her do "Wai Wai World" from Dr. Slump again...but, maybe this time it'll be that Moomin opening theme?
Hideyo Morimoto: a.k.a. Hiroshi Nitta, who sang the Tiger Mask opening theme and its ending theme, "Minashigo no Ballad." Now that they've found him, they'd be nuts to let him get away without doing both!
Satoko Yamano: She sang "Doraemon no Uta" in a dozen of the movies. Doraemon--okay, someone in a Doraemon costume--is Japan's anime ambassador to the world. The previous three concerts each had a costume segment...
Jungo Yoshida: Sang the Kyou Kara Maoh! second opening theme and third ending theme. Kyou Kara Maoh! airs on NHK...
The answers aren't far away now--and the end result will air on May 4 on NHK's BS-2, starting at 7:45pm Japan time!