For some time I have considered the visual novel Rewrite to have one of the greatest Christian parallels in modern fiction. I read the finale Moon/Terra in a single sitting up to almost 3am the same day the English translations were released, and had so many mental notes about it even back then. A couple years later, and I got to talking with Japes who surprisingly shared my thoughts. We considered co-writing about it because we were so eager to share how brilliant it was, but opted not to because it was proportionally far too complex. Tanaka Romeo’s writing is like that. Brilliant sci-fi that has a habit of dabbling in quantum mechanics to fuel rather unique but difficult stories. His style is further attuned to the Japanese language and thus translations have a record of being less than accurate. The loss of information across the potentially poetic nature of Japanese balanced with the sci-fi terminology and theory of Romeo and combined with trying to convey this to others through summaries (because the vast majority of people will never read it) was an impossible task in and of itself. Trying to make analytic parallels on top of that felt kind of pointless.
But in the end, we decided to do it anyway. I had a lot of random notes and points but I had to try to make the writing easier to follow and have a more essay-like feel to it or risk losing the understanding of readers who were already lost. I ended up not using several points, especially the eschatology portion which was easily beyond my capabilities anyway. Lots of editing and rereading later, and we finally decided to feature it during Holy Week, this past week leading up to Easter. I suppose it’ll be the best thing I’ll ever write, if only because I can’t imagine getting source material as perfect as Rewrite ever again (Junketsu no Maria is, although unexpected, a very different kind of material that I will need to address soon), though maybe I could rewrite it for the better at some point. Tanaka Romeo is a true genius of sci-fi literature. Moon route alone was everything I’ve wanted to see in a religious sci-fi. Not that Rewrite was religious in tone but one could argue the cult-like nature of a certain faction was. Either way, I still don’t know if we really did justice to Rewrite. It’s just too complex; there’s too much to say, and rather than a thesis format, I feel it’s something that needs to be a discussion format to exhibit its full potential (so the new Haibane Renmei-eseque Bible Study, I guess). Who knows, maybe we’ll infiltrate the Kazamatsuri Rewrite podcast if that ever happens. Anyway, here are the 5 posts, and roughly 15k words which we finally compiled and officially finished releasing as of today. It spoils everything, so I re-iterate everywhere that I wish people would actually read the thing beforehand to fully appreciate it because we did a horrible job summarizing it. Except almost no one will actually listen to us.
Part 1: Dive Into the World of Rewrite, a horrible summary of everything prior to the finale, which take roughly 40 hours to read so yeah why would you think this is even close to a passable summary?
Part 2: The Moon of Possibilities, an analysis of the nature of Moon route and powers of Aurora as representative of a spiritual plane of warfare separate from our own that exists outside the boundary of time and the infinite parallel time lines of humanity’s destruction as a symbolic manifestation of damnation
Part 3: Terra, the Path of Salvation, a multitude of parallels in Terra route relating to Jesus’ sacrifice leading to salvation and the importance and impact of free will in our sinful lives.
Part 4: The Meaning of Salvation, how the ending of Rewrite exemplifies salvation through Jesus as an ongoing journey of hope and growth.
Part 5: Rewrite’s Biblical Meta-Narrative, an outlook on Rewrite’s overarching narrative and how it reenacts the narrative of the Bible, from the repeated failures of sinful humans in the Old Testament to the transition of salvation and hope in the New Testament through the sacrifice of Jesus.
And I know people are lazy and hate to read. So here’s an excerpt from part 4:
Rewrite delivers arguably the same message but in a greater scope. It is not just about collectively heading toward a better future; it is also about the impending doom if we do not change our ways, and the amount of effort, sacrifice, and most of all, love that is needed to reach that future. This is why Rewrite can so beautifully connect to Christianity, because in a way, the messages are the same: humans are heading toward their own destruction, there is only one path to salvation, and that salvation is brought about by sacrificial love.
Today, another Nana interview with Natalie has been published (also the 7th Natalie article featuring Nana. I think that just means interviews?) It pretty much focused on Eden and each of the 4 (!) new songs with some time given to Live Flight. While I’d love to translate the entirety, I don’t have the time, energy, (Live Theater tomorrow) or most importantly, Japanese knowledge to do so. However, there was one part I really wanted to share: Nana’s thoughts on her Singapore performance. Again, my Japanese isn’t that great, so I’m sure there’re a bunch of errors but I think I got the important things right.
– Regarding the international part of the tour, how was the foreign performance?
Nana: In a word, it was insanely fun! But I was very nervous. It was my first solo live in Singapore, and I was wondering whether communication would be okay…that sort of big worries. When I visited Singapore for last year’s event*, I was able to talk directly with the fans at the autograph session and after that, I received fan letters. However, for a one-man live, the nervousness is different. Even so, the moment I appeared on the stage, all of my anxiety vanished. Everyone greeted me so passionately with their penlights and calls, including the 77 people who came from Japan, drawing out my full energy.
– The lecture of the best from Japan.
Nana: I was so happy. Looking at all the fans before the performance, it really was like preparing for a lesson. The live proceeded and all the calls came together… It was like the atmosphere when I first debuted; I was deeply moved. Furthermore, there was even a big surprise at the end! Although Miracle Flight (from the album Alive and Kicking, released December 2004) was the closing song for the domestic tour, it was decided to be the same for the international one too. I think that other songs were probably hard to predict, but it seems they analyzed the setlists in Japan and confirmed “at least the finale will definitely be Miracle Flight!” At that time, everyone simultaneously took out flags! “Our journey has only just begun,” the lyrics from One (from the single TIME SPACE EP, released June 2012), was written on blue flags and everyone began waving them at the same time. Afterwards, I learned from the fans who came from Japan that they distributed the flags before the performance and were very careful not to let it be revealed (laughs).
-That’s some incredible solidarity.
Nana: I couldn’t handle how unexpected it was and began crying. Furthermore, it wasn’t just because the flag was chosen for Miracle Flight, but also because of the quote from One, which I sang in the performance after I came back from cancelling the lives due to my throat issues.**
-What amazing fans. (laughs)
Nana: I was truly surprised. Even if our countries are different, we are connected by the same feelings; it is such bliss. Music, the interpretation of lyrics, and the way of translating are subtly different. But at that stage, the bonds of “Team Mizuki” were firmly connected, and I was deeply moved.
Sorry for my poor translating skills. Actually, this is the first time I’ve translated anything beyond random people asking me what random things say haha, so it’s probably terrible. Either way, I’ll reiterate how impressed I too am by Singapore fans. When Nana started crying during Miracle Flight…it was just too moving. I’m not from Singapore, but as a foreign Nana fan, I think my own feelings were vicariously conveyed, if that can happen. Also since America is a fail country, I know we’d NEVER be able to pull off anything on this level. Sad but true. I don’t think I’ll get around to translating any other part of the interview, but if I get a positive response, I’ll consider doing more translating stuff in the future when I’m not swamped with research and actually have better Japanese (so like, in another 1-2 years).
* referring to AFA 2013
**I’m pretty sure that’s not what Singapore had in mind with the quote, but okay!
A look back at all the events I attended in 2014.
1/11 – ELISA Acoustic Vol2: contrary to what it may have seemed like, I started the year with an ELISA acoustic live. I somehow manged to get a front and center seat. She’s improved a lot since her debut in 2007, but still has a ways to go, especially holding longer notes. Either way, it was kind of interesting to realize she has a pretty small fanbase, and that I’m probably one of the few people around to have followed her since her debut, even if that was more a result of being a fan of Tenmon’s compositions than her singing.
1/18-19 Nana Mizuki Winter Festa: Of course then there was Winter Festa. A relative disappointment in the sense that I really wanted a legit winter live, but it was a fun event that only happens once in 7 years, so I can count myself lucky in that regard. The best parts were when Nana asked if any foreigners were there and I got to answer, and then the premier of Ladyspiker, which I really want to hear again.
2/11 – Sunshine Creation: Unexpectedly, I ended up going to SC since a friend invited me. It was a pretty small doujin convention, but the boats were as popular as ever. In particular, I remember Hamakaze doujins being for sale even though her art had been released like 4 days ago.
4/25 – Nana Mizuki Handshake Event: The highlight of my year, or perhaps life, meeting Nana Mizuki in person, talking to her face to face, and shaking her hand. Wow. Even getting a few lines with Mishi-P was a completely unexpected but fun surprise. And of course, I was in the 2nd row and center seats. I don’t think I’ll ever get to see Nana perform that close to me ever again. Truly a memory for my lifetime.
4/29 – ELISA meeting: I think I found out about this the night before and was just like sure why not. She does a lot of these in Akiba, among other places, to promote her new songs. And since her fanbase is pretty small, it was easy to just walk up there unplanned and chat with her. Her English is actually somewhat above average, for a Japanese person, which I guess isn’t saying much but whatever.
4/29 – Comic1: I don’t actually recall doing this on the same day, but according to the records, they were the same day. Anyway, I pretty much went to Comi1 for the sole purpose of picking up a Nana artbook. I actually ended up meeting Tam of Tamusic there as well so that was interesting.
5/31-6/1 – Nana Mizuki Live Flight Yamanashi: The first concert of the Live Flight summer tour. I got to meet several Nana fans and sort of spent the short weekend with them between the hotel and meals that came with the tour package. It was really exhausting though.
8/3 – Nana Mizuki Live Flight Yokohama: A long 2 month wait for the final concert of the tour, at least in Japan. The best part of this was one of my friends flying over to experience his first Nana live. The concert itself was better than previous ones, with Nana using more props, most notably 3D flight while singing Vitalization. That was beautifully amazing.
8/16-18 – C86: Shortly after was summer Comiket. Unlike the previous time, I actually knew what I was doing. Unfortunately, I still didn’t manage to get all the loot I wanted to but it was worth the trip. This was also when I stumbled upon a several other Nana fans and met a couple other friends which is the type of thing that makes Comiket worth it for me.
8/31 – Yanagi Nagi Live: August was an eventful month, apparently. I ended it with a Yanagi Nagi live. Perhaps best known for her vocals in Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari of Bakemonogatari, Nagi has done a lot of great stuff since then including a collab album with Maeda Jun. She excels in both soft ballads and strong vocals, though not as good as Nana (but who is). I was a bit disappointed she did so many covers of other songs, but she still did a number of her own, most notably Tokohana.
9/27 – Nana Mizuki Live Flight+ LiveViewing: Next was Nana’s Singapore concert which got streamed to Japan. Got to hear Nana’s English after all her practice, and it was as adorable as ever. Yet the best part was probably when Singapore fans pulled out the flags during Miracle Flight which actually caused Nana to cry out of sheer happiness in the middle of the performance. Lots of respect to Singapore fans for all their hard work.
9/28 – Kitamura Eri Live GivexEvidence: Right after Nana was a KitaEri concert. I have kind of mixed feelings for KitaEri as a singer (although I love her as a seiyuu and radio talk show host), but I figured I’d take the chance to see her live while I’m in Japan since I’ll probably never get another chance. She had some pretty cute MCs. She also ended up singing her entire new single, which wasn’t even released until some time later, and I ended up liking those songs a lot more than a lot of her previous work. I probably wouldn’t pay to go another KitaEri live, though.
11/2 – Shining Fan Festa: The Shining series is notorious for dumping large amounts of money into its voice cast. And one of those voices is of course, Nana Mizuki. Kamiya Hiroshi was there as well and constantly made jokes like “you all are only here to see Nana Mizuki, but that’s okay because I’m the same” hehe. That said, I got to see some live voice acting, and Kamiya’s was actually probably my favorite. Luckily, Lia was there so I got to hear her sing, though if it’s Lia, I really just want to hear her Tori no Uta above anything else. Also Hayamin. Been waiting to see Hayamin for far too long.
12/28-30 – C87: Finally, I ended the year with winter Comiket. I ended up spending the entirety of day 1 in lines to get Holy Breaker and Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiruchiru (the latter of which I’ve already finished reading and enjoyed). I didn’t do much day 2, and day 3 was a pretty suffering battle. I still haven’t gotten a copy of Taishou ptsdpoi. I thought the crowd was worse than usual and turns out it had 210k people, a tie for the current record of attendees, so that explains that. Even so, it was a good, if exhausting, way to end the year.
I did a lot more than I recall this past year. Many of the things I did because I’m in Japan, and I figured I’d take the opportunities while I still have them. For 2015, the only foreseeable things I’ll definitely do are Nana Live Theater in a couple weeks and whatever summer tour she ends up doing and of course summer Comiket. I considered Animelo, but I’m not sure if the cost justifies the few singers I want to see. I might attend KSL but it’s more expensive than I expected. I would definitely like to see Ten-chan and/or Ozawa Ari sometime this year if the chance arises, and I’m always open for more Hayamin. Chiwa Saitou is still someone I’d want to meet but she hasn’t done anything since becoming a housewife.
Aside from events, I’ve shifted a large portion of my free time to reading untranslated VNs. In 2014, I got through the rest of the Grisaia series + spin offs, Tsurioto, and part of Eustia, which isn’t all that much, although I also read several things in English. Current backlog I’d like to clear soon are Holy Breaker, the rest of Eustia, Otorison and Tsurioto2 (or rather, afterafter story). That’ll honestly probably take me through March at least since January is just a super busy month and I still have quite a chunk of Eustia to get through. I do want to read OreTsuba eventually just so I can fully appreciate the literary genius that is Ou Jackson. I guess throw Angel Beats! and Harmonia onto the list once they get released. I’m not sure what else I’d want to tackle, other than Muramasa which is still far in the future due its writing style. If it’s LNs, I’ll probably attempt to try out Romeo Tanaka’s new series. Assuming he writes as slow as he usually does, that should give me a good buffer between volumes. Also anything written by Mizuki Nomura because Nomura.
Anyway, I’m overall satisfied with 2014. Kinda spent more money than I wanted to but…not like I’ll have any events to go to once I leave. 10 months left~
Could this be any later? Probably. Oh well.
I’m going to be a bit lazier with this report as far as repetitive setlist goes, although Nana did make some interesting changes for the final flight. For this concert, my friend, who I’ve been raising as a Nanatard for some time, flew to Japan so we hung out and ate some Nana curry and watched the new Rurouni Kenshin movie (which was really good) before Sunday, the day of the concert. We got there somewhat late because I was hoping the queue would be short and I could just grab a couple items fast enough, but unfortunately the line was not what I’d hoped. I already got everything I really wanted at Yamanashi, except for maybe the Yokohama specific T-shirt, so I was fine just skipping out on goods. We went inside to find our seats and although I got tickets for the stands in row W, which sounded pretty bad because it wasn’t even arena, it ended up being closer than I expected, as far as not-arena seats go. We talked about what to expect for the concert based on previous lives during the tour and I noted how there were a bunch of wires above us that might indicate something related to the tour theme…
The opening movie started and everyone got up and cheered as usual. And then,
1. Virgin Code
Nana appeared in the sky riding a plane! I thought she’d just be on stage again like Yamanashi but this time she rode a mini airplane as she sang one of my favorite Supernal Liberty songs. When she finally landed in center stage, it was like “ah, this concert has really begun.”
2. Next Arcadia
The second song changed to Next Acadia which is definitely a song I’m glad to hear. That piano arrangement is pretty good. Except, as usual, piano gets drowned out by Nana’s overly powerful voice. Heh.
3. Kakumei Dualism
A big flag went up in my head when she pulled Kakumei Dualism out this early. This had always been somewhere in the middle of the setlist so getting this so early meant something different for sure. I was disappointed this probably meant no Preserved Roses, since, as I always say, I prefer that so much more.
Nana welcomes everyone to the stage as usual and says how there are 32k people here. It’s the final flight of her tour, so she hopes everyone has a lot of fun. She also mentioned how since it’s the last flight, she has a special surprise in store for us…
4. Million Ways = One Destination
Again, same as last time. I like the song but it just doesn’t feel complete, and this is emphasized even more live.
5. Don’t be Long
So I, and probably many others, were so expecting Eternal Blaze. As I said last report, Eternal Blaze outside at 5pm is sad because the sunlight completely drowns out the penlights which kills the mood. (By the way, Yokohama Stadium is also open air) So I was constantly complaining about how this performance would be sad again but Nana switches it up at the last flight so after a couple notes, I was like “waaaait. This isn’t Eternal Blaze; it’s Don’t be Long!” Excellent. Nanoha songs are all really, really good so can’t complain buuuuut where is my Brave Phoenix? D:
6. Fun Fun People
Fun Fun People is fun. Nana definitely does not sing it according to the recorded version and I don’t mean that in terms of vocal strength but actual pronunciation. I guess she’s having too much fun~
7. Dramatic Love
Huh honestly I did not enjoy this as much as I usually would.
8. Egao no Yuukue
During this song, a bunch of giant balloon-filled balls came out from somewhere and everyone in the arena got to bounce them around until they popped, releasing all the balloons inside. Then everyone in the arena used the balloons as penlights because it was still bright outside, so that actually worked out pretty well. It was fun to watch and made the song more enjoyable.
Nana announced her new single which will be released on October 15th. It’s been a long time since Vitalization. Furthermore, it’s her 30th single! That’s a lot of music. One of the songs will be the ending theme to the new Yamato movie and another song will be the opening to the most stacked seiyuu cast anime Cross Ange. Like, it is literally the most stacked cast since I don’t even know when. Reminds me a bit of how the Shining game series tends to dump money into its cast but even more than that. Then she pulled out the dice as usual and it landed on the star. So Aniki ended up choosing Desire, probably because Nana had mentioned it rarely came up this tour.
Well, I’d say among the 5 songs, this is the one I wanted to hear most, so yay! It’s pretty rare for Nana to sing character songs (though, that was the whole reason she did this die rolling character song in the first place), so it’s a nice treat, but I’d really love to get some Symphogear character songs one day.
The next few songs were the same, so I don’t have any real comments. Even if this were changed to Hikari, I don’t think I’d have been all that excited.
Again, even if it’s no Ai no Hoshi, still a really good ballad and one of the better songs from Supernal Liberty.
And it’s Guilty again. So catchy. So good.
13. Still in the Groove
Same as before, good song, but I was hoping to get Soredemo instead.
Nana explains again about her outfit for Guilty. It was really similar to the MC at Yamanashi at least, so lots of repeated lines and…camera angles…
So I’ve wanted to hear this song ever since the full orchestral arrangement in 2011. I guess I’ll still have to choose that arrangement over the original, but it’s definitely one of the older songs I didn’t listen to much back then before hearing it from Live Grace.
Still don’t particularly find this song all that great. I think I forgot to mention it last time, but Nana wore a purple overcoat just for this song.
So at this point the tour video with Aoi Yuuki played again…or so I thought. This time Arino of Yoiko was also included in the video. He pretended to be Nishikawa and sang and Nana was just like “you suck at this.” Then he teased Nana and she’s just all “hidoi,” so cute. I didn’t catch the specifics of most of his teasing but it sounded Sugita-esque. Maybe that’s just my imagination, since if it was Sugita, we’d get something like this instead:
Anyway, the video was really long and I was wondering why they spent so long on it before proceeding to the rest of the video which was the same. I didn’t think deeply about it though I was just like “wow this video has gone on for awhile…”
16. Vitalization – Aufwachen Form-
And then I knew why. Nana appeared, not on stage, but in the sky. Now, as any Nana fan would know, she’s flown before. But that was always 2D flight where she simply was in a standing position and wires carried her either forward/backwards or up/down. And that’s what I was expecting, hoping for, even because this is Live Flight. Nope. Nana comes flying in with wires that allow for 3D flight in both spatial motion and her actual physical motion. It was by far the best moment of the concert. Seeing Nana just swoop down like a bird angel and flying in fairly fluid motion. I actually think the crowd forgot about penlight choreography because we were all just so excited. But you know what, here’s a video so you can catch a small, ever so tiny, fractional glimpse of her celestial, supernal perfection.
Ummm entire crowd was still on an epic high from that flying so I don’t recall this other than “Nana was flying.”
18. Eternal Blaze
Yes! It was dark by now so Eternal Blaze with full orange light after Nana flew like she was Fate Testarossa. Glorious.
“I flew.” Yeah, we could tell, Nana. She talks about how it was like she was a mahou shoujo and she was borrowing the powers of Feito. Or perhaps she was more like Tsubasa. Either way, since mahou shoujo tends to be some of her best roles, I suppose it’s fitting.
19. New Sensation
Even though I like the song, since I already heard it at Yamanashi, I wasn’t particularly thrilled to hear it again.
20. Rock you baby!
Don’t have much to say about this either. It was the towel song of the tour, so that made it more fun than it probably would be otherwise.
21. Power Gate
Power Gate!!! I was translating the calls for my friend so he didn’t mess up. Other than that, it was standard Power Gate – super amazing and fun.
22. Miracle Flight
And finally, the theme song of the tour, Miracle Flight. Yay. Nana left and the encore calls began as per usual.
I’m sad I ended up getting this song again. Not that I don’t like it, but less variety.
Well this song wasn’t going to change. Descriptions so short now, I should’ve just lumped all the songs together.
Nana then makes an announcement. Her next live will be. January 17-18th. Saitama Super Arena. Acoustic Live! Honestly, I’m sad at that because acoustic corners are really nice but an entire live doesn’t sound exhilarating. That’s also 2 years of being in Japan and I don’t get an actual winter live, which is me getting really unlucky. I can’t complain though when Nana specifically says as much as she enjoys the fun lives, sometimes she wants to just sit down and have a relaxing one. She says how the next song is a special one. Areee? So this entire time I’m expecting Discotheque and I’m trying to match her words to that and then I’m just like uhhh this doesn’t describe Discotheque at all; it’s describing something like…
25. Innocent Starter
Yay. Super nice surprise. I mean, I’ll personally always choose powerful songs over ballads (except Ai no Hoshi cause how is that song so beautiful) but hey, Innocent Starter is one of her best songs. It was really nice to hear it again.
And now the finale which I was expecting. Not really a fan, but it’s a fun song.
The lights don’t come on, confirming a double encore. Nana comes out after some time and says she wants to spend more time with us. I…I want to spend more time with you too, Nana…then she starts talking about our Mizuki Blue penlights and something about how if you look up, you can see the power of the sky (okay this is definitely not what she said, but that’s the general meaning I grasped) soooo she will fly one more time! Yesssss that 3D flight was waaaay too epic to only get once. The staff comes to hook her up to the wires and Nana tries to kill time talking about the contraption which apparently was imported from America! Then she’s like “sa….saaa….sasasa!!!” as the staff takes a lot of time. She then just spends like 1-2min waiting and repeating “sa” (at one point I said Sasasasami, for those who get the joke) and she felt embarrassed having us all watch her. After much time, it was finally ready and Nana could announce: since we are holding Mizuki blue penlights and the stadium’s team color is what it is, the next song is…
27. Aoi Iro
I did not know the team’s mascot color. I was just thinking, well Astrogation is like a blue song and stars are kind of like the sky maybe that works. Oh well. Either way, Aoi Iro ended up being a nice song to end the concert with. Nana flew pretty close to me a couple times, which was pretty exciting.
And then the concert was over. Since I’m so late on this, I suppose there are a few Nana related things to note. Flight+ is…tomorrow orz. In preparation for the Singapore concert, Nana has been studying English. In fact, she made a series of “Let’s Study English” videos available to fanclub members featuring her talking with Evan, who worked on Crown of Avalon. They are pretty hilarious, and I really look forward to Nana’s absurdly adorable and terrible Engrish on stream. Also, 禁断のレジスタンス is the title of her upcoming single. The leak of Kindan was featured on her latest M no Sekai episode. It is pretty generic anison with the exception of a couple parts, so I like it. BLUE (Aoko/Dead Blue anyone?) had a really short teaser in a Yamato CM. It doesn’t sound like it’ll be able to compete with Ai no Hoshi. Also, with Dog Days S3 coming winter, I’d assume we’ll get another single in Jan/Feb. Oh also the cover for the single is amazing. I haven’t liked a cover this much since uhhh I don’t even know. My goodness, how is Nana so good.
Sooo this is a lot later than planned. Lots of things happened. I think I’m going to have forgotten a lot of MCs but I’ll try my best @_@
Day 1 is not actually concert day 1. Unfortunately, there was only one live this weekend. I bought a bus-hotel package offered to Nana fans and decided to do the weekend one to guarantee goods. So the bus left Shinjuku around 9am and drops us all off right next to the goods line, and it’s straight into the 3.5 hour queue. And honestly 3.5 hours is a lot faster than it normally is so yay. Managed to get all the goods I (and friends…@_@) wanted but a combination of buying too many goods and me trying to keep track of the count in Japanese resulted in getting one less Nanaca than I should’ve. Afterwards, I scavenged for food, and then found some other fans to trade Nanaca with in order to complete a 2nd set. It was pretty interesting to see them all gather around and discuss the fairest trade. It was around 3pm now and I was conflicted about whether to stand in line to go rides or just sit around and rest until the bus came to pick us up at 5pm. Oh, so for those who aren’t aware, this live was held at Fuji-Q Highland, where Mt. Fuji was quite visible and is an amusement park. This weekend, anyone with a Nana ticket got free access to the amusement park. I heard tickets are normally like $60-ish, which sounds right for an amusement park, so that’s a kinda good deal for the Nana ticket. The catch is you don’t really have time to enjoy all the rides (lines) because Nana. Anyway, I didn’t really want to stand in MORE lines the same day, so I wandered into the bus waiting zone where I see like 10 Nana fans (all carrying goods) sleeping, and I’m just like well, guess I’ll join them.
I got to the hotel and shared the room with 2 other fans. Now, originally, I was a little disappointed at the bus because it was about half full and they organized the seats perfectly so that everyone was as far from each other as possible, so I didn’t have the chance to meet anyone. That plus everyone went to sleep anyway. But being forced into the same living space meant being forced to make friends! Heh. So yeah, they seemed impressed I was from America but didn’t press any questions. Then dinnertime…it was a dining hall full of Nana fans (well, 1/4 of it at least). Also it was a buffet and I took full advantage of eating as much delicious food as I could. Pretty much everyone was talking about Nana (duh) and at one point, this guy comes and lays out like 10 Nana arena tickets to various venues for sale. After that, it was still like 7pm, so my 2 roommates just talk about Nana the rest of the night while I, with my terrible Japanese, just listen and interject like once every 20min. One of the guys was a fan since 2003 – Live Attraction! He said he didn’t join her fanclub until 2005’s Live Rocket because for the first time he couldn’t get a ticket and was just like welp better join fan club. Still got a number in the 5000 (meanwhile, I’m in the 50,000). There was so much Nana chat that I can’t recall or will even bother to write it all, but it was glorious. They talked about stuff like queueing goods in the rain, Nana fan club events, sleeping in for goods (lolgg), buying multiple copies for tokuten like it’s the most normal thing in the world, and some recent things that I was able to chime in on like handshake event which only I was able to go ha! At one point there was a song name one couldn’t remember and I ask for a short description and I’m just like “Nostalgia?” yup it was Nostalgia. They were impressed by my Nana knowledge lol. The next morning I got woken up by some anime character alarm. Not sure who cause I was still sleepy but was amusing.
Buffet for breakfast which was a little sad because I can’t eat much in the morning, especially at 7:30am, since breakfast closed at 8…Anyway, if I get the chance for next year’s summer tour, I’ll definitely do this bus+hotel thing again. The bus dropped as back off at Fuji-Q around 11-ish, even though the concert didn’t start until 4:30. I guess we’re supposed to enjoy the amusement park, but between like 1.5 hour lines and not wanting to be exhausted for the concert, we had time for like 1-2 rides max. I also met up with another foreign fan and we hung out for a bit and headed over to the concert venue. It was a lot smaller than I expected, which meant I would be that much closer to Nana. I was somewhat close to the center on the left (Nana’s right) side. Except there were a lot of heads so ~_~ Anyway, as the seats fill, this like 5 year old girl dressed as Nana’s Lovely Fruit waitress outfit sits near me and everyone is like omggggg so cute. All I caught was her saying she likes Nana. Wonder what her parents are like, indoctrinating such a little girl in Nana-ism…Also, since this was an outside venue, it was hot. Maybe not summer heat, but it was still outside so ugh. At some point, there were some Akio calls, I guess because he made a short appearance, but I couldn’t see. And then the opening movie starts…there is some little girl who finds some crystallized person, so drags some pilot guy to it and stuff…idk this was even more abstract than usual for Nana. Well, maybe about the same but it was too short to draw any conclusions. Anyway, halfway through, Little Busters’ A World Where Nothing Happened I mean Virgin Code starts playing and…
1. VIRGIN CODE
YESSSSSSSSS. Best opening to album is best opening to Live Flight. I’ve been switching between this and Guilty as my favorite from the new album, but hearing it live confirms it – Virgin Code is my favorite. This song is just toooo good, and it is seriously such a good opening song. It was a little odd because being new songs, the audience choreography is not perfect yet (which would prove to be problematic a lot this time) but I didn’t really care because VIRGIN CODEEEEEE.
2. Preserved Roses
Woah wait what, Nana is pulling out Valvrave for the opening act? Well, I do like Preserved Roses a lot more than Kakumei Dualism, so I was really happy she decided to sing this over the latter. Also, I’m still wondering when they will decide to just stop playing TMR’s track in the background when the audience can sing his part so well. Please, real duet with Nana and audience. Though I should probably get around to carrying my weight and learning more of the lyrics in that case oops.
3. Stay Gold
This was unexpected too. I guess Nana would be balancing new songs with old songs, so it wouldn’t all be the new album, but Stay Gold is nowhere on my radar of songs I expect to hear. Then again, it was the ending theme for M no Sekai for a good amount of time. Either way, while I don’t like it all that much, it’s still a fairly hype song, keeping the entire opening act really high powered.
Nana welcomes everyone to Live Flight and sort of forgets to give the “presented by Aniplex etc.” lines. She also included Japan Airlines this time, which I’m not sure if that’s actually true or not or if…something I will mention later. Btw, she is wearing a pilot uniform, which I forgot to mention. Nana mentions how it is so hot, and if we’re all okay. I know people have passed out from heat stroke at Nana lives before, so it’s a fair concern! She mentioned how previously, it was really hot in the day but suddenly got cold during night, which I did see get mentioned earlier and was prompted to bring a jacket just in case, but turns out that was completely unneeded. Nana says how she’s only been here for Prits before. She also mentions Mt. Fuji, which only she can see because she’s facing it while we have our backs to a bunch of trees and it. She reminds us how at Live Grace I, she said she wanted to perform on Mt. Fuji….but I guess this is the best she’ll get. Then she asks if we’re ready for more songs. Of course!
4. Million Ways = One Destination
Nana takes off her jacket, but is otherwise wearing the same outfit. Million Ways = One Destination is somewhere in the upper middle of songs I liked from the album. I felt it was lacking but hearing it live was very different, in an improved Nana way…I say this every time about every song I didn’t like pre-live don’t I? Anyway, this made it 2/2 for album songs I wanted to hear at Live Flight. Still waiting on a few more…
5. Eternal Blaze
WHAAAAT. Nana please too fast. I’m kinda upset the legendary song came out so early. We were so unprepared for it, and because it was outside and the sun was still out, there was a terrible lack of penlights. I mean, we were waving them, but there was no sea of orange because the sunlight drowned it all out T_T It was a disappointing Eternal Blaze, but that said, it was as fun as always.
6. Fun Fun People
So I know I said I got bored of this song fairly quickly, but I also said I really liked it too. I haven’t really been listening to this as much as other album songs for said reason, so I sort of felt the same way as I did when I first listened to the leak. Anyway, this song live is soooo fun. The singing parts are so great, and Nana got really into it as well. “Oh yeah!” “Oh no!” Hehehe Nana so cute being all excited singing that.
And now another catchy song. This is one of the songs that’s like slightly above average catchy when you listen at home and then you hear it live and the audience changes everything. It has some pretty fun penlight choreography and chanting, but that said, I think it fails as a follow up to Fun Fun People which was just…really fun.
Meh, as I explained before, I’m not a fan of this cover. Possibly my least favorite song of the album. It wasn’t even a matter of Nana vocals carrying the song; I just couldn’t really get into it. Nothing else to say, but it’s not really a Nana song so ha.
Now Nana is wearing some cute flowery dress. She talked about how some cosplayers (I think?) and how there was a Vitalization one which was really impressive. She asked if that person was around but it didn’t seem she was there. Nana is like “aww I hope we meet in the future, Vitalization-san,” lol. Then she talks about how it’s summer and she wanted to do something special. Hmmm? And she says how at the handshake event, she got a lot of requests for character songs. Ohhhh? And then they bring out a large die, reminiscent of the one from Winter Festa. On it are 5 different character songs and a star. The star means someone from the band gets to choose. So Nana rolls the die and it just barely avoids the star and lands on…
How many people even know this song? I admit, I didn’t know this song. It’s a song from Prits (Sister Princess group) from like 10 years ago. Actually, it’s not even strictly a Prits song because it was a cover song Prits did. Either way, I’m pretty sure most people weren’t familiar with it, but it was pretty enjoyable. I have a feeling it was one of those songs where Nana’s vocals just dominate the melody to make it enjoyable.
Nana does a short MC about the song and how she was super nervous. Apparently she didn’t even rehearse the song lol. I sure couldn’t tell cause it sounded perfect to me. Nana too good. Then she moves on to the next song.
Soradokei is a nice song that gets largely overshadowed by its other single songs Astrogation and Dancing in the Velvet Moon. Can’t compete with those. So, while I’d still prefer the super great songs I have yet to hear live, I am always pleased when she does a less popular song that I still like because it’s usually a surprise.
Nana sits down on the stairs and FATE starts. FINALLYYYYY. I was sooooo sad when she sang this at Nagoya and Osaka but NOT at Tokyo handshake events. I guess I still only had to wait like a month, but still. I love this song. Hearing it live, not as much as Ai no Hoshi. I think Ai no Hoshi will stay in my top for quite awhile longer. Regardless, this is the ballad of the album, and despite me repeatedly saying I’m not a ballad person, Nana’s ballad singing is just too beautiful. Like what stop I don’t like this kind of music but…Nana too good @_@ Also the lyrics are pretty great.
Ahahaha here it is. Here. It. Is. I actually talked to the other foreign fan about this and we were just like yes please she better sing Guilty, also the lyrics lol Nana please what are you thinking. Putting aside how amazingly catchy this song is for a moment, Nana, what in the world are you thinking asking Sayuri to write a song about a sexually loose woman? Pleeeeeease. This isn’t even subtle anymore. And her dancing was supposed to be sexy or something but Nana is too cute to pull anything like that off effectively. But yeah this song is soooo catchy. Like probably even catchier than Get My Drift? It was really enjoyable but I will never be able to get over these lyrics.
13. Still in the Groove
Heh. So the previous day while queuing, this song played and I thought how nice it would be to hear it. And here it is! Yay! Definitely one of the better older Nana songs. I enjoyed it a lot.
Okay, as I alluded to in Guilty, Nana is also wearing what is supposedly some sexy outfit, but really it’s just showing more skin than usual. But of course there are ero-shishou calls. And of course Nana feels the need to explain in detail why it’s sexy and the camera zooms in on her skirt and people are like 「あれ？これはちょっとやばいよ。」and the camera quickly moves away and then they ask for more….these people what are you thinking such bad things about Nana-sama for. Then again, it’s totally her fault for teasing. Then there’s a mawatte call and Nana asks us to call her name like we did for Mishi-P. So we do and she does, as well as a second time.
Omg it’s Risouron. Now, the full orchestral arrangement in 2013 was preeeetty good, but the original is really amazing and strong already. I’ve been wanting to hear this since it was first released, so I’m glad I can cross this off the endless list of Nana songs to hear live heh.
Okay, so this was one of the least surprising songs. It was pretty obvious she’d sing this and Arpassionato. I’ve said I’m not too big of a fan of either song. As a first live performance, it also had some coordination issues, but most people were enjoying. Not to say I wasn’t enjoying it but compared to Risouron, yeaaah not going to cut it for me.
There’s a movie with Nana taking off in a plane and travelling to Live Flight. Then she connects her little communication screen to…Aoi…Aoi Yuuki. Hahahaha so Aoi Yuuki totally makes a guest appearance in the Nana tour film. If we’re doing newer seiyuu, I have an entire list I prefer over her, but I guess with Symphogear and having actually worked closely to her, it makes the most sense. Anyway, there is some trouble in Nana’s plane and she crashes! D: She wakes up and stumbles upon the person shown at the start of the concert. I guess she was the little girl? Not sure, too abstract, too little information.
So despite me saying she chose Preserved Roses over Kakumei, she ends up singing both. This time, Nana gets on a little make-shift airplane and goes around the stage. As usual, the announce sings TMR’s parts. I admit I know the lyrics better to this than Preserved Roses though. My block is next to Nana’s pathway and I get that situation where being in the front of the block is now infinitely worse than the back of the block. She was looking the other way the whole time though, and then just as I give up, she spins around and stares directly at me (not really) and proceeds to cover my side. I swear she practices this timing to ensure she looks at every angle possible.
As much as I say I have complaints with this song, I will say Nana’s vocals were quite impressive with this. It’s definitely not a straightforward song as far as melody and vocals go, so it has that going for it. I do/did enjoy it a lot, but yeah, the song just seems to have several good elements that don’t go well together.
Nana is wearing a red dress that reminds me of the one from Live Diamond except it’s…longer I guess? It allows for more swirling when dancing – that kinda thing. She talks about Supernal Liberty and Arpassionato that I do not recall at all…I think she also brought up the Live Circus BDs and asked who watched it all and some people said she did. “Hey wait, normally that should take 11 hours.” Well Nana it’s been like 3 days since it came out so watching 11 hours of concert video is 100% possible.
18. New Sensation
Another pretty old song that I did not expect at all. I would associate it with Still in the Groove as far as old school Nana songs which are really good. In fact, New Sensation actually ranked 16th at Winter Festa (previously 13th), so maybe its ranking played a role in her choosing it as part of the setlist. Anyway, great old song from Nana that I’m glad I got to hear.
19. Rock you baby!
Mmmm I think I like Fun Fun People more, which is weird because my opinion was the opposite before the live. Well, not too weird I guess since that means one is better looped and one is better live. It just wasn’t particularly a significant improvement over the recording.
20. POWER GATE
Yay Power Gate. I think anything I have to say about this is the same as always. It’s Power Gate yo, such hype. Although, this time Nana didn’t do many calls – only guys and girls, so the most basic ones. Was a little sad; one day she will do a gaijin call!
Nana says how the concert is almost over, and the next song is the last one. Actually, this was the first song she decided on for the setlist when the tour was decided. Live Flight, so that means the next and final song is…
21. Miracle Flight
Yeah about time. Surprised Nana saved it for the final song. I mean, I’m sure everyone thought of this song when the theme of the tour was announced to be Live Flight. It was pretty weird to hear it again though because while I like it a lot, it’s not a song she sings often, yet she sang it at Live Circus 2013 Seibu Dome, and now it’s basically the theme song of 2014 summer tour, so she’ll probably sing it at every venue. I’m not complaining though; I really like it.
Wow. The guy next to me went crazy with excitement. I guess he’s a huge fan of the song. I’m not, but like most Nana songs, I enjoy it for what it is. It’s not a song I would put on my wish list though. I admit, however, the excitement of my neighbor made it more fun than it would’ve otherwise been for me. Nanatardism is contagious, I think…
Woah another album song in the encore. I’m pretty sure there were other examples earlier, but I’d like to point out that very first performances of songs can sometimes be bad as people just did not know what to do with their penlights. There was like basic waving that was fine, but there were also parts where like 1/3 would jump or like 1/2 would shout and it was just messy and disorganized. Unfortunate, but hopefully we all figure out coordination by the end of the tour.
Nana has an announcment…her Taiwan concert will be in October! Not that there were many options. But…she’s also going to have a Singapore live! Not just Valvrave Night, but an actual solo live this time. She notes how she really wanted to have a full live in Singapore after AFA, but she’s also worried about learning English. “This is a pain,” so she said, in English. Nana worrying about her English is pretty cute…well, I suppose to be fair, she’s always cute, but that’s beside the point.
I think I’ve said it before, but I am in the minority of people who do not like Discotheque. Well, I guess I don’t dislike it, and it’s grown on me hearing it live, but still not a fan. Too cutesy for me. There might be so R+V bias going on here too since that show was soooo bad. Considering it’s a fan pleaser though, it’s a good song to end the concert with, I will admit. Also I can’t remember when, but at some point some near the end, fireworks went off. As nice as it was, I was hoping they would do something else cause I knew this would just feel like a weak rip off of Union’s Hoshizora performance.
I know I definitely missed a lot; this was not a full report that I would’ve liked to do. Sorry, real life things and stuff. AND IN OTHER NEWS. Live Flight Air 6 was cancelled due to Nana getting laryngitis. It is unfortunate that a concert was cancelled due to her health for the very first time in history, but the fan response has been nothing short of amazing. No one has complained, and everyone has emphasized they care about Nana’s health more than concerts. Ironically, Nana doesn’t seem to get this as instead of resting like we want her to, she spent the night crying in frustration at letting down her fans. Uhh yeah Nana, you care about us waaaay too much. Please invest some of that love into your own health. Anyway, as of now, Mishi-P said she would have 3 days of rest and the rest of the tour would continue as planned. I really hope Nana gets all the rest she needs and doesn’t push herself to finish the tour only to relapse or get worse as she’s exactly the type of person who would do that, and this sentiment has been echoed across the Japanese community as well. Nana, please take care, stop pushing yourself, and rest well.
UPDATE – Air 7 and 8 this weekend have been cancelled. Incredibly relieved. Hopefully she can recover completely over the next week.