For me, the Macross Frontier concert at Anime Expo was something magical and transcendent. It sounds silly -- like these words have become cheapened through overuse -- but I assure you that it was true. I felt for an hour like I was on the space colony itself, like Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee were performing in front of me. I slipped from the earth and joined the Macross universe.
The people roared, passion blazing in their faces. They followed each movement on stage, each gesture by May'n or Megumi Nakajima, as if they had a telepathic bond with the perfomers. It felt right, and that's the best way I can explain it. I wish all concerts were like this.
The concert opened with "Welcome to My Fanclub's Night" by May'n to set the mood. Then things went into full swing. She sang in character as Sheryl Nome, something we rarely see, and the effect was as if we watched a Sheryl concert in real life. Next came "Northern Cross" -- a fast-paced song that set my heart racing. Then she sang "Universal Bunny" from the Macross Frontier film.
"Diamond Crevasse" is one of the rare slow songs. The smoothness of May'n's voice really draws me in, and the underlying sadness of the song makes it my favorite of Macross Frontier's ending themes.
May'n ends her set with "Don't Be Late", another high-energy song.
May'n. . . Nothing more need be said.
That led up to a duet, with May'n and Megumi Nakajima singing "What About My Star @Formo" together. It's one of the defining songs of the series -- their character arc through that scene, as they put aside their rivalry to be carried away by the sheer artistry of singing -- it's an incredible moment. It felt like a happy day in the sunshine.
After that, Megumi Nakajima took center stage, singing some of the songs Ranka Lee makes famous in the series. Her voice is so sweet. "Anata no Oto" is one of those songs you can just wrap around your mind like a blanket, soft and warm. It's something only a master idol could pull off, and she does. "Sou da yo" is like lying under a tree by a stream, listening to the sound of water. At that moment, life seemed unbelievably peaceful. It was a nice break, after the intensity of May'n. "Sunshine Girl" was one of those songs that every idol has in their repertoire. Very jpop. Then came "Jellyfish no Kokuhau", the Kobato ending theme. It's so cute and cheerful I kind of want to watch the show now. Ninjin Loves You Yeah! (AX Version) made everyone feel that Megumi genuinely loved us all and wanted nothing more than to be with us, at AX, singing. I belived it. Her idol power is great indeed. Then she did "Watashi no Kare ha Pilot", just for the old school fans.
Megumi Nakajima, cute as always. And Yoko Kanno.
Finally, "Seikan Hikou", which is the Ranka song for me. And at the middle, we find out who the mystery guest is!
YOKO KANNO. SITTING ON STAGE IN FRONT OF A PIANO.
We're near the end, but this isn't how they're going to end it. They launch into "Lion", singing with all their might. Everyone stands in unison, shaking their light sticks in the air. Right after that, with barely a pause to catch their breath, they sing "Triangular" as a duet. That was the right way to end it. It was the ending song in episode 25, and I love the way they ended on a high note.
This was one of those great events that takes the power, the size and scope of an Anime Expo to pull off. It wasn't perfect -- the mixing had some issues -- but I think they've worked through their teething problems now, and I look forward to going back. The Nokia Theatre may have cost a lot of money, but it's got no peer in terms of putting something great like this on. I enjoyed this event so much that it would have made AX worth going to even if I saw nothing else.