Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - KOTOKO Concert

by David Chang & Bamboo Dong,
KOTOKO Concert

If there ever was any doubt that KOTOKO had her fair share of popularity in the United States, the packed main events hall Saturday afternoon cleared away all questions. Anticipation for the I've singer's debut US concert had fans lining up for the Geneon Anime Festival at 10AM. With most fans waiting almost two hours to be seated, the line stretched the entire length of the third floor of the Anaheim Convention Center and overflowed out onto the balcony. Seating started at 1PM right on the dot, and the large flow of attendees slowly flowed into the Main Event hall.

Despite the punctual seating, the Geneon Anime Festival was late, and the KOTOKO concert didn't start until much later after its scheduled time. The instant the idol singer walked onto the stage, the restless crowd burst to their feet. Decked in a black, hooded cloak, she delivered an energetic performance of “Suppuration –core-” from her Re-Sublimity album.

Backed by an energetic band, a full synthesizer set, lighting effects, and two “sexy dancers” as she later introduced them, she kept the crowd on their feet until well after the concert was over. The sound balance was a bit off at the beginning of the first song, with the band entirely too loud and her voice lost in the commotion, but this problem was eventually fixed. After the song, her cloak was torn off to reveal the outfit she wore for the Re-Sublimity P.V., complete with the white hair. Afterwards, she left for a quick costume change and came back out wearing a modified yukata which she wore for the remainder of the concert.

Song List:

  1. Suppuration –core– : Single – Re-Sublimity
  2. Re-Sublimity : Single – Re-Sublimity
  3. Garasu no Kaze : Single – Garasu no Kaze
  4. Shooting Star : Please Teacher op
  5. Oboetete li yo : Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu op
  6. Agony : Kannaduki no Miko op
  7. Chi ni Kaeru (On the Earth) : Starship Operators ed
  8. Wing My Way : Anime Expo “theme song”
  9. Encore: Short Circuit : I've album – Short Circuit

Halfway through the concert, KOTOKO pulled out a sheet of paper she had hidden in her yukata sleeve and gave a few brief words of thanks and amazement o the audience in English. During one of the songs, the audience members took out their cell phones and waved them to the beat. A sea of cell phones, it was definitely a sight and moment to remember for AX2005. One admiring fan even pulled out his laptop and typed KOTOKO in both English and Japanese and lifted it up.

During the entire concert, fans cheered wildly and yelled their confessions of love and proposals for marriage. At the concert's end, many attendees started filtering out of the Main Event's room, but a large group of determined fans stayed and chanted for an encore. Exploding into cheers when KOTOKO and her band re-appeared, everyone rushed to the edge of the stage and jumped excitedly as she delivered a vigorous performance of “Short Circuit.”

Overall, KOTOKO's debut concert was an immense success and a terrific opportunity for US fans to watch her perform live in the States. Those who suffered through the long lines to get to the concert were rewarded with a great concert and a memorable experience, and it's no doubt they're cheering and jumping assured the singer that she was fully welcome at Anime Expo.

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