On the 25th and 26th of February 2017, history has been made as Aqours held their first concert in Yokohama Arena. While they’re still young and fresh from the success of μ’s, Aqours has the potential to become as great as their predecessors and they have a long time to do it. With that said, I’m gonna talk about my time during Aqours First Love Live! ~Step! ZERO to ONE~ where these 9 girls show the world that they’re ready to shine!
Big thanks to Dengeki G’s for the pictures and Zehel for the set-list. Shout-outs to both the Love Live! subreddit page and Anime Pilipinas for news leading up to the concert, and kudos to Change.org for a successful petition for both North America (albeit delayed) and Asia live viewings!
Anyways, let’s start off at SM Megamall where the live viewing took place at Cinema 3, the same venue where μ’s Final Love Live was shown last year. You may call it a coincidence, but it must be fate to have ODEX and Bandai Visual put up a live viewing on Cinema 3!
Now for those who didn’t follow Love Live! Sunshine!!, it was started back in 2015 as a spin-off to the main series. But with μ’s graduating in Spring 2016, the three main companies (ASCII Media Works, Lantis, and Sunrise) pushed Aqours ahead as successors and they got global exposure ever since from places like United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore. Heck, USA got a delayed live viewing for goodness sake despite the skepticism that they won’t have it!
With that said, it’s time for the concert itself starting in Day 1…
So first of all, I would like to say that the 1st day of the concert was exciting and I was blown away from seeing Aqours giving their all, especially with the opening act when they perform both Aozora Jumping Heart and Koi ni Naritai Aquarium. Glad that saw the full version of their opening song, as well as Aqours’ second single getting that Snow Halation effect when fans turned their King Blades (or the Ultra Blue glowsticks) into light blue when Shuka Saitou recreate the last part of the song.
For the rest of the songs like Kimeta yo Hand in Hand, Daisuki dattara Daijoubu!, and Yume de Yozora o Terashitai, they did fine on performing those songs so no complaints there. Then again, I wish that the first two intermission segments should be fully-animated instead of having talking heads.
For the sub-unit portion, they sure got me surprised from Shuka Saito’s dancing during CYaRon’s second song Yozora wa Nandemo Shitteru no?, to Guilty Kiss rocking out and hyping the crowd as they’re the successors to BiBi! Oh yeah, and let’s not forget AZALEA where they’re majestic as hell especially Arisa Komiya’s stunning looks.
But the biggest thing that happened after the sub-unit portion was two songs: Mijuku Dreamer and Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare. While the costume change for Nanaka Suwa, Arisa Komiya, and Aina Suzuki wasn’t possible due to fear of wardrobe malfunction, Mijuku Dreamer is still hyped as hell with that power ballad-inspired tune! However, the most surprising of all was Rikako Aida playing the piano during Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare, despite the fact that she learned how to play the piano in the span of 3 months. I have to say that it was impressive for Rikyako!
Lastly, it’s time for the climax of the concert where Aqours recreated the scene from Episode 13 before performing MIRAI TICKET and seeing it in full was the best thing ever!
By the way, I shouted “Isshoni, kagayako!” during the last part of the song and I was proud of doing it, even though no one would notice it. But hey, I had fun watching Day 1 of the concert and Aqours did a splendid job of entertaining their fans!
So after Day 1, I went to see some members from the Love Live! subreddit page and I did write my name there. Check out this post where Alt230s posted a picture of the banner!
With that said, let’s move onto Day 2 where it’s almost the same thing, yet there’s one event that changed everything…
So while Day 2 changed two songs with Humming Friend and Mattete Ai no Uta replacing both Aqours☆HEROES and Todokanai Hoshi da to Shitemo respectively, there’s one defining moment in Day 2 during Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare.
At first, it was some sort of a glitch but then I saw Rikako Aida being reduced to tears that Anju Inami, Nanaka Suwa, and Aina Suzuki rushed into to help calm her nerves, give Rikyako some water, and wipe her tears. And during that brief mishap, everyone supported Rikyako by shouting her name while changing their King Blades to sakura pink. With that said, Rikako Aida is ready to play the piano again and while she’s shaken, Rikyako has the support of her team-mates which I found it heart-warming.
Now this picture was originally existed in Rikako Aida’s Instagram account, but it’s now deleted due to its illegal nature. But thanks to Dyrea and Kirino, they managed to save the picture so kudos to them! Also, you may check it out LuciaHunter’s thoughts about Day 2, especially Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare.
And lastly, here’s the encore portion for Day 2 where I got overwhelmed by a shit-ton of announcements such as the dates for the 2nd live tour (That’s right a live tour), release dates for CDs, and best of all… A PACHINKO- Sorry, I meant to say Season 2!
That’s right, Aqours’ story will continue on the next season which will air in Fall 2017! For those who missed it, here’s the announcement video and I have to say that I was happy that they got Season 2! They sure come a long way from being unknowns to getting recognition and Aika Kobayashi shed tears of joy upon hearing that announcement.
And now, here’s the aftermath of Day 2 and while the attendees are doing selfies on the event, they won’t get any merchandise because it turns out that ODEX, Bandai Visual, and Bushiroad couldn’t bring here in the Philippines. I guess they fear that the Bureau of Customs might seize it.
And also, I went to see the Love Live! PH Facebook group where I write my name at the banner and took a photo of it along with the members of that group.
But you know what, this live viewing would have been possible without the support of fans, especially Zeroblade where he did his best to rally the fans on supporting the live viewing via sending e-mails and taking part in petitions. Now while I have to confess that I’m the one who begged SM Cinema and ODEX to bring the live viewing to the Philippines, it was Zeroblade who did most of the work so give thanks to him as he deserves more for creating awareness within the Philippine Love Live! community.
Image courtesy via Pixiv
In any case, that’s about it for my experience in Aqours First Love Live concert.
I have to say that even though the song list is almost the same between these two days, I enjoyed quite a bit that I’m hoping that they capture the hearts and minds of everyone in 4 or 5 years. Like I said before, they have plenty of time to become the greatest school idol group like their predecessors in both anime and in real-life!
For now, I’m looking forward for the 2nd Live Tour in the future (if ODEX and SM Cinema brought it here of course), as well as the second season where I’ll see those 9 girls on saving their school from being merged! But anyways, I’m glad that Aqours have turned zero into one!