We are proud to announce that on Wednesday, May 29, 7-9 PM, we will be taking part in Lacoste’s NYC launch party for their new Osamu Tezuka inspired clothing and shoe line! Gendomike will be giving a half hour talk about Tezuka, the history of anime and manga in America, and the influence it’s had on culture (including clothing and fashion).
We’re really excited about this, and we invite everyone to come, especially our East Coast and NYC fans! Again, this it’s Wednesday night, at Lacoste’s Soho Boutique on 541 Broadway, New York City:
Word of mouth, contests, features in local newspapers, and giant billboards: nothing was spared in talking about L’Arc-en-Ciel‘s only North American stop on their 2012 World Tour Concert. L’Arc-en-Ciel is the first Japanese group to headline at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden. Last year when the concert was announced, concert organizers moved it to a bigger stage that seated about 19-20,000 people to accommodate fans.
My trip to the concert began one stop after 34th Street, around 42nd Street and Times Square. I wanted to take pictures of their billboard ads. Then it was a day of finding and photographing L’Arc’s next electronic ad, like a scavenger hunt.
Official concert merchandise sales were scheduled to begin around 4pm. There was already a line, with fans waiting since 12pm, so I joined the line. Many were Asian fans, but I also saw people from Brazil and Canada traveling here for this concert. While waiting with friends, The Paper also arrived: he too had traveled into New York City specifically for the concert. Sales began a little before 4pm, and fans were allowed in groups of 20—though that still didn’t prevent the merchandise area from being mobbed.
I ended up fighting/waiting/nudging/streaming my way to the booths twice. I got a glow stick for myself, a World Concert shirt, and their newest album Butterfly for The Paper. Glow sticks were one of the first items to be sold out, though convention merchandise was still being sold throughout the concert locations before and after the show.
This was an assigned seat concert, so the people I knew were scattered around the arena. I found myself around stage left for this concert. Many fans were on stage right, and those I saw in the center definitely jumped or danced to the music as Laruku performed. The band members spoke mainly in English with the audience.
Hyde was in fine form, singing and moving. He gave a short speech about being excited for having the opportunity to perform at Madison Square Garden. It had taken them 20 years, but they made it! Dressed in black, with cornrows, he changed outfits about two more times during the concert. Ken read from a paper, where he spoke about his experience visiting the American Museum of Natural History. He wanted to visit it, since it was where Ben Stiller’s movie “Night at the Museum” took place. He also announced getting a souvenir in the form of a “Nightmare Before Christmas”-themed Monopoly set, which he gave to Yukihiro, along with a New York City cup, that Yukihiro displayed momentarily at his drum set. Tetsuya in particular gave plenty of sexy comments in the gifts he threw. He asked if crowds wanted to eat his banana or lick his lollipop. He also sprayed water to audience from a banana-shaped water gun toward the end.
It seemed as though the concert happened way too fast. For the most part, I was utterly in shock watching L’Arc-en-Ciel performing live definitely feeling swept up by the music even as I tried to concentrate enough to take pictures. They sang songs from their new album, but with familiar songs like “Fate,” “Stay Away,” and “Revelation,” on the set, I know they sang songs that resonated with concertgoers and represented their long track record of success.
I know The Paper enjoyed the concert a lot. I spoke with him afterwards, and he mentioned not being able to walk, since he jumped up and down the entire concert. At points, I marveled at the pyrotechnics on the stage, lost my hearing slightly, had a headache from hearing screams, and screaming myself. I want to relive this concert over and over! (I sincerely hope there’s a DVD of their World Concert.)
いばらの涙 (Ibara No Namida)
Chase (English ver.)
Good Luck My Way
Drink It Down
X X X (English ver.)
My Heart Draws A Dream
Caress of Venus
Ready Steady Go ~Encore~
While walking again past Times Square, where the L’Arc billboard was supposed to be, my friends and I came across the advertising company taking down the poster. In a few minutes of fan frenzy, fans who also were there took photos with the fallen poster. The Paper was one of them, so we are going to have images of that later.
A friend of mine also caught a banana Testuya threw into the crowd. Since there was no way to preserve it for long, she had to eat it. As my friends and I took lots of photos, she said it was a very strange, but tasty experience. Since the only thing that she could preserve was the sticker, it was an incredible moment.
With this show, L’Arc-en-Ciel finished their North American leg of the concert, but they return next week in London to kick off their European tour.
Be sure to check out Anime Diet’s Flickr for more photographs that I took from the concert.
Rarely has there been a story that would inspire the interest of an industry outside of its target audience. However, this has been the success of The Drops of God aka Kami no Shizuku. It had inspired trends that would literally sway the consumption of a certain vine to being nearly all consumed and sought after.
The direction of Drops of God in English that Vertical has chosen is going to be one similar to how Oishinbo had been published by Viz, a sampling and not everything is going to be released. So this series in Japan may be 20+ volumes, but in terms of practicality, only three volumes has been decided to be published in English. The main point of this entry though is not the review of the manga, which I still have yet to read. Rather it is a recap for a publisher event that I was able to attend.
On Wednesday and available for the public to attend, Vertical took an alternative approach to presenting one of their latest releases. They presented The Drops of God at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, a wine shop, where attendees were able to taste certain wines that were mentioned in the manga.
Since there was a large crowd expected, attendees were given slips of paper to get the opportunity to blind taste a drop of God. There were also plenty of mingling, so the evening passed as the wine flowed and prepared snacks were consumed. I sampled three wines and since I have already had a prior preference for white over red wines, I had my heart set on which wine I liked.
For those who were present at this wine tasting event, also had the opportunity to purchase the book. It was a great opportunity to see how successfully a title can be crossed over into another industry. I happen to take some photos of the event, so you can check out the Flickr here.