Persona Artists Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata Perform at Otakon’s Pre-Con Festival

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The convention guest list continues to add on Japanese singers to their roles and this time, it’s Otakon that’s putting out their announcements. This year, rapper Lotus Juice and singer Shihoko Hirata will be making their appearances at the Otakon pre-convention festival, the Otakon Matsuri. Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata will be performing at the street festival on August 11 that takes place before the convention actually begins.

lotus juice rapperWhether you fall into the category of Persona fan or, like me, simply enjoy hearing from artists who’ve collaborated with composer Taku Iwasaki, this is a treat! Although my first exposure to Lotus Juice came with the battle theme from Persona 3, which he did with Shoji Meguro, my favorite performance of his was when he collaborated with Taku Iwasaki, rapping in Katanagatari‘s almighty “Bahasa Palus”, a piece that shines in its pure, unadulterated epicness! Videos of those works below if you haven’t heard him:

I doubt he’ll be able to perform “Bahasa Palus” at Otakon though. The Persona stuff is probably fair game.

Shihoko HirataAs for Shihoko Hirata, I’m not familiar with her works on the whole. The only time I’ve her vocals have been when they’ve featured prominently on Persona 4‘s game introduction and the anime’s opening theme. Compared to Lotus Juice, I don’t have strong opinions of her work in that I think her voice is suitable when it comes to matching Persona 4‘s overall atmosphere. She’s not someone who’s capable of blowing me away though. Serviceable and well… at least it’s not squealy J-pop. Examples of her work below:

As is the case with East Coast conventions, I won’t be able to make it, so it’ll be interesting to hear second-hand reports.

Otakon 2013 Brings in Composer Yoko Kanno and Chiaki Ishikawa as Guests

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Otakon, the annual anime convention held in Baltimore near the tail end of summer, has hit its 20th year milestone and is celebrating that in style! This year’s production has already featured some big names like TM Revolution, the singer who paired up with Nana Mizuki to perform Valvrave the Liberator’s “Preserved Roses” opening theme! But arguably the most sought-after performance will be none other than the Otakon Sunday concert which will feature Yoko Kanno and Chiaki Ishikawa!

Right now, it’s really hard to tell what will go down. According to the site, it says that Yoko Kanno will be performing something called “Piano Me” which will consist of Kanno on solo piano. But beyond that, the details are sparse. As most anime fans know, Yoko Kanno is responsible for composing music to anime writing the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack as well as, more recently, the soundtrack for Sakamichi no Apollon, better known as Kids on the Slope in the West.

Chiaki Ishikawa will also get a chance to showcase her skills as she opens up the concert. For those not aware, Chiaki Ishikawa performed the evergreen opening song to Bokurano, titled “Uninstall” as well as the ending theme to Majestic Prince, through a song titled “Sayonara Tteiu”. In the past, she’s also worked as a part of See-Saw on the .hack franchise.

Given all that’s out there, I’d say that this year’s Otakon experience beats out the Anime Expo experience by a stretch, as fun as the latter was. Because of that, we’ll look forward to seeing how things go down and the impressions thereof!

Hiroaki Yura, Hiroki Kikuta, and Shihori are Guests at Otakon 2010

It shouldn’t be a surprise given that Hiroaki Yura, Hiroki Kikuta, and Shihori will be guests for this year’s Otakon 2010. The trio will appear during the opening ceremonies where the three worked together in composing, producing, and rehearsing the theme song, titled “Shackles of Night” which will be performed during the ceremonies.

The music will accompany the opening animation which is done by Japanese studio Production I.G.

Release Date for Otakon Theme Song Set for July 30, 2010


The Otakon theme song, titled “Shackles of Night,” will be released on July 30, 2010 for $15. This CD contains music composed by Hiroki Kikuta, with instrumentals performed by Eminence Symphony Orchestra’s founder Hiroaki Yura, and sung by Shihori. The Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku will also sing her own version of the song for the CD.

In addition to “Shackles of Night,” the disc will also have a B-side, titled “Antique Doll,” also sung by Shihori and three tracks that currently have been labeled as a collaboration between Hiroki Kikuta and Hiroaki Yura.

More information can be found on Eminence’s page for “Shackles of Night.”

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