JAPAN Expo 2014 has had another amazing year in France since its start in 1999. It is one of the most celebrated and spectacular events that highlights Japanese culture in Europe. This venue showcases the latest releases in video games, anime, manga, technology, cosplays, and traditional customs. Every year fans come out to express their love for Japanese culture and appreciate everything it has to offer.
Each year this five day event brings out fans around the world and provides them the opportunity to dress up as their favorite anime characters. JAPAN Expo offered many events such as Japanese women playing traditional folk songs, Japanese men performing traditional dances, fans participating in karaoke competitions singing their favorite anime songs, and displaying merchandise that represent the culture as a whole.
One aspect of the festival that I will focus on is talent that performed during their time in France. Some of the most popular performers that entertained the audience included Yoshiki, MouMoon, and Shokotan. Each individual has gained success among their fanbase in Japan and abroad.
First, I will discuss one of the most successful acts in J-rock is Yoshiki, the creator and co-founder of the heavy metal band X Japan. They are credited as being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success and become pioneers of the visual kei movement, a fashion movement allowing musicians to wear make-up and perform in flamboyant costumes. Since his departure, he has experienced enormous success in his solo career.
Another popular act was the Japanese pop duo MouMoon at JAPAN Expo 2014 consisting of vocalist YUKA and composer Kousuke Masaki. The group’s name derives from the French word “mou” meaning soft and the English word “moon” meaning soft moon. They debuted with the release of their single Flowers/pride in 2006. Their latest album is called LOVE before we DIE.
Finally, we have singer/actress Shoko Nakagawa. She released her fourth album 9lives and several mini/anime cover albums. Few singles were used as movie or anime themes such as Antenna for Pokeman Arceus and the Jewel of Life and RAY OF LIGHT for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. She is popular overseas in France and loves to perform there.
JAPAN Expo 2014 has also done a good job of exposing other acts, especially in France. They include DJ Caesar, PCF, Mienohito, and Real Akiba Boys. DJ Ceasar is a pioneer in the anime song DJ world that get his name from the famous manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The group PCF is made up of members Bouto, Tadanon, Keitan, and TAKUMA. They mainly submit videos to Nico Nico Douga(Japanese version of Youtube) and Youtube. Presently, they hold 40 million views. The Real Akiba Boys is dance unit made up of Keitan, Moran, Muratomi, Suzumiya Atsuki, and Dragon that initially gained attention for a dance video to the song “Hare Hare Yukai.” Mienohito is a multitalented DJ, VJ, songwriter, and music video producer known for video for Kurousa-P’s hot Vocaloid song, “Senbonzakura.” Every year it will continue to get better and better. JAPAN Expo is here to stay and will continue to play a major positive impact among fans in Europe and around the world.