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Cofesta in Brazil Part 3 – Shows and final verdict

2010/07/12

IMPORTANT -> Pictures and videos to be found below were taken by me as an individual for personal use. I felt like publishing them on my personal blog but by no means I’m intending to infringe the Japanese laws of use of image. If anyone acting on behalf of Piyorabbie, Miki Maruyama and Yoko Takahashi objects to an image and/or video being included in this post, please notify me at qshikinami[at]gmail[dot]com and I will remove it as soon as possible.

Here we are: the last part of my coverage of CoFesta in Brazil. I promised exclusive footage and you’ll find it below. You just might wanna check out part 1 and part 2, but I guess this is the post most people were looking for. Without further delays, this is it.

As I’ve said before, amongst CoFesta’s attractions there were 4 invited guests of honor who would make shows during the event: the duo Piyorabbie, awesome singer Yoko Takahashi and seyuu Miki Maruyama. Each of them performed at about thrice a day. In order to avoid repetitions, I’ll talk about the shows in a non-chronological manner.

Piyorabbie is a duo formed by Usagino Namihey (in pink) and Sunao Yoshikawa (in yellow). They’re performers at Dearstage, a live house and bar located in Akihabara, Tokyo. Their live performances, of course, are accompanied by the proper wotagei moves. Their single, Hikari No Kyanberu, scored 15th in the Oricon Daily charts, it was also ranked 1st in the Weekly chart when it was released. Now enough of this generic info, let me tell you about the shows.

Let me summarize everything: I’m a shy person and I had never danced  in public. Well, Piyorabbie not only managed to get me dancing wotagei frenetically, their shows were so addicting that in the end I even joined them at the stage on Sunday, March 14. I believe I did a good job since I scared some people while dancing. XD They were extremely charismatic and were always trying to make everyone in the audience dance.

Besides their original songs, they also sang “Chad la head chad la” (DBZ), “Lost My Music” (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuustu), “God Knows” (Suzumiya), “Black Rock Shooter” (BRS), “Butterfly” (Digimon Adventures), Mezase Pokemon Master (Pokémon season 1), “We are Fighting Dreamers” (Naruto) and “Soldier Dream” (Saint Seiya). What kind of disappointed me is that there were very few people in the audience singing along with them. Most did not know the lyrics. =/

And here they’re teaching everyone some basic wotagei moves. ^^

And this is a world-wide web exclusive. Maurício de Souza, the most famous Brazilian cartoonist, rushed to the stage to take pictures of Namihey and Yoshikawa. =D

When they weren’t performing, one could bump into them walking in the event. The fact that they were pretty unknown in Brazil allowed them to walk around without so many problems. I even tried talking in Japanese with Namihey-san at the first day, but our conversation did not go much further than “Hajimemashite, watashi wa [name here] to moushimasu. Douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu” (It’s very nice to meet you. My name is ****), “Sain o kudasai!” (Could you give me your autograph?) and “Shashin o tottemo ii desu ka?” (May I take a picture?). Don’t blame me, I started studying Japanese last year and I still don’t know much. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get two autographs and four pics. After dancing in the stage, Yoshikawa-san also gave me one of those light sticks you often see while watching Japanese shows. If they ever read this, especially Namihey-san, let me just say I’m sorry for bothering you two so much! ^^;;

Miki Maruyama is a singer and seyuu. She sings “Angel Addict” , the main theme of Lemon Angel Project, with Ryou Shihono, Mai Kadowaki, Ami Koshimizu, Minori Chihara, and Juri Hirama. She’s also the voice actress of Uran (Astroboy 2003), Miki Suwa (main character of Lemon Angel Project), Ishiguro Izumi (BECK), Polly (Black Jack), Tako-ball Nurse (Ondekun), Nozomi Kasuga (Shikabane Hime) and Mieu (Tales of the Abyss – PS2 game and anime).

One word to define her: kawaii! She did great on her performances, albeit those being quite brief. She just sang the tv version of two Lemon Angel Project songs, which together took at about 5 minutes.

Piyorabbie joined the audience during some of Maruyama-san’s shows!

Mauiyama-san also answered some questions of the crowd and introduced Uran and Miki Suwa to the audience. Me has a video. Check it below. “Tudo bem?” is Portuguese for “Ogenki desu ka?”/”How are you?” ^^

I should also introduce you to the host of the event: Kendi. He’s an actor, singer, producer, and reporter. But above all he’s extremely charismatic. The woman in black was the event’s interpreter. I talked to her later and she said that it was her first time working as an interpreter in this kind of event. She was very kind and I believe she did an awesome job, specially considering that none of the guests understood Portuguese. I owe them both a lot, I’ll explain why in a minute.

It appears that some fans managed to take a pic with Maruyama-san too. Hmmm…

Now, having introduced Piyorabbie and Miki, that leaves me to talk about Yoko Takahashi. I won’t lie to you, I’m a great fan of her and the sole fact that she’d be in the event was the main reason I attended the three days. If you don’t know her, she’s the voice behind New Genesis Evangelion OP “Zankoku na Tenshi no Teeze”. She also sings some other outstanding music such as Pumpkin Scissors OP “Aoki Flame”, Shakugan no Shana ED “Yowake Umare Kuru Shoujo”, Neon Genesis Evangelion Death and Rebirth’s theme “Tamashii no Rufuran”, and This Ugly Yet Beautiful World OP “Metamorphose”.

During the shows she only sang Zankoku na Tenshi no Teeze, Tamashii no Rufuran and Fly Me To The Moon (acid bossa ver.). But it was enough to bring me to tears. ^_^

During the first show I kept waving to her with my Neon Genesis Evangelion #1 manga. When she stopped singing Kendi noted I was desperate to talk to her and lend me the microphone. I told her that I was a great fan and that even with the absurd import taxes in Brazil I had three of her singles. Most important: I told her that March 12 was a day I’d never forget cause I managed to listen to her live and above all, I talked to her. She was very very kind for listening me there. She thanked me for supporting her job so much and said she was glad to know she had such hard fans in Brazil. YAY!

And Takahashi-san pointed at me while singing “Fly Me To The Moon!” Almost passed out here. ^^;;

In the end she autographed my NGE manga and allowed me to take a picture with her (although the security staff advised her not to do so). I was extremely happy to know I was the unique person that managed to take a pic with her during the whole event. =D

The last day of the event was March 14, but I only realized that by 3 PM. I almost killed myself for not buying any White Day gift to Takahashi-san. In the end I gave her what I had with myself at the time, a pin with the flags of Brazil and Japan. It was the least I could do. ^^;;

Now, my verdict: CoFesta was awesome, but mostly due to the live shows. I mean, without the artists, people would have no reason to attend all three days. The most serious problem was the lack of publicity: if it was properly divulged, it’d be crowded. The fact that there were no food outlets was a thorn in the neck. As for the anime being exhibited, my point of view is that they’ve picked some titles that would never make much of a success in Brazil. Some were very embedded with Japanese daily life, such as “Kochikame” and “Mainichi Kaasan“. Other’s such as “Crayon Shin-Chan” would not be broadcasted here due to the moralism of public channels. The manga library was a great idea, but they should’ve brought some titles in English too since very few Brazilians know how to read in Japanese.

Positive remarks: it a was a great initiative to bring the event to Brazil. I should really point out that I’m very glad to know that Japanese companies are finally noticing the potential the Brazilian market has to offer, with its enormous population and large number of Japanese descendants, not to mention the fact that anime and tokusatsu are broadcasted here since the 70’s. The guests were an awesome choice as well, all of them managed to interact with the audience very well, which is quite a feat considering that less than 5% of those present could speak Japanese. I really hope CoFesta comes back to São Paulo in 2011, while trying to avoid the problems of the 2010 edition.

And finally, here’s a group pícture taken by Piyorabbie’s staff after their last show.

If you want to follow Piyorabbie on twitter, they may be found @usaginonamihey, @sooopiyo. You may also want to follow @dearstage for occasional livestreams of some performances.

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