18-Year-Old Natsumi Okamoto Wins 6th Anison Grand Prix
posted on by Egan Loo
18-year-old Natsumi Okamoto won the 6th All-Japan Anison Grand Prix singing contest at Tokyo's New Pier Hall on Sunday. The Animax anime television channel and Hikari TV run this nationwide audition to find "next generation artists" to sing anime theme songs.
Between June and October, Okamoto competed in several rounds with 10,171 other aspiring singers. She won the Sapporo semi-finals to advance to the Sunday's matchup with nine other male and female singers. For the finals, she sang the Hyou-ka opening song "Yasashisa no Riyū" in the 1st stage and the Angel Beats! ending song "Brave Song" for the 2nd stage. For the "Final Final Stage," she belted out the Macross Frontier song "Infinity."
Okamoto has been offered a chance to sing a theme song for upcoming anime as her professional debut. Animax is streaming her performance of the Shangri-La opening ""Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare" from the Sapporo rounds.
Catherine St-Onge, a 27-year-old Canadian living in Tokyo, won the singing contest on 2008. Her voice (under her stage name HIMEKA) can be heard on Valkyria Chronicles, Letter Bee, and Night Raid 1931. The winner of the first contest, Shuhei Kita, performed songs for Persona -trinity soul-, Natsume's Book of Friends, Miracle Train - Ōedo-sen e Yōkoso, and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi 2, Bakuman. 2, and Hiiro no Kakera.
The three other previous winners were Sayaka Sasaki (The Book of Bantorra, T.P. Sakura - Time Paladin Sakura - Jikū Bōeisen, My Ordinary Life, So, I Can't Play H!) and Marina Kawano (A-Channel, Natsume's Book of Friends), and last year's Konomi Suzuki (Dusk maiden of Amnesia, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou).
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