The HYPER Live! Stage is in many ways the beating heart of HYPER JAPAN and all of our HYPER Live! guests at Festival 2019 were totally fantastic. We were entertained all weekend by idols, rockers, visual kei and traditional Japanese musicians, movie stars and artists, games and anime, CosPlay, J-Fashion and of course the HYPER Bon Odori!
The HYPER Live! Stage had a crowd around it all weekend and gave us some of the biggest highlights of another eclectic celebration of everything Japanese at Olympia London.
The opening act of the HYPER Live! Stage for HYPER JAPAN Festival was the exciting and very popular rugby-based anime ALL OUT!!
The story of the Jinko High School Rugby Club has touched hearts and found a big following in Japan and around the world and was definitely a big hit with the HYPER JAPAN audience too. Keep following ALL OUT!! as we’re sure it’s going to keep going from strength to strength.
Staying with the Rugby theme, we were delighted that one of the special ambassadors for the Rugby World Cup host city of Fukuoka, Naomi Suzuki, could join us in this Rugby World Cup year. Naomi is a very talented singer and performer and gave us a moving rendition of Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union. She also shared her passion for Japan with the HYPER Live! audience as well as her dream of creating a long-lasting legacy for next year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Later on Friday afternoon, and again on Saturday too, NINTENDO took over the HYPER Live! Stage with a workshop on their fantastic Super Mario Maker 2. NINTENDO’s excellent presenters kept the audience entertained throughout and even invited some lucky visitors to join them on stage and take part in exploring this amazing new game.
Friday afternoon also saw the first HYPER JAPAN appearance for acclaimed Japanese artist and illustrator Mitsuhiro Arita. The HYPER Live! Stage had a predictably big crowd to welcome Arita-sensei to London and he entertained all-comers with stories from his long, varied and successful career as an artist in Japan, highlights including his work on the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Final Fantasy XI and Berserk: The Golden Ages. Arita-sensei was definitely a very popular addition to this year’s HYPER Live! Stage and he kindly appeared on all three days of the HYPER JAPAN weekend.
We all got our first glimpse of this year’s most mysterious guest on the HYPER Live! Stage on Friday when IJEN KAI took to the stage for their first show.
IJEN KAI entertained an adoring HYPER Live! Stage audience with their unique and exciting show, complete with smoke, banging beats and of course, masks. Their show was back for more to close the HYPER Live! Stage on Saturday evening and IJEN KAI once again brought the house down!
HYPER JAPAN was thrilled to welcome Japanese movie star, Harumi Shuhama, one of the leads of the massive hit One Cut of the Dead, to the HYPER Live! Stage on both Friday and Saturday.
Harumi talked about her experiences as an actor in Japan and answered some fascinating and insightful questions about the making of One Cut of the Dead, which unexpectedly became the Japanese hit movie of 2018.
We are very grateful to Third Window Films for arranging for Harumi to come to London and talk on the HYPER Live! Stage.
Friday’s final big performance was from ultradark Tokyo-based idol group NECRONOMIDOL, who returned on Sunday afternoon to close the HYPER Live! Stage.
NECRONOMIDOL’s performance was much anticipated and they had a large following at HYPER JAPAN Festival 2019, with some of the biggest crowds of the whole weekend coming to see them on the HYPER Live! Stage and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
NECRONOMIDOL brought their unique, dark charm to the HYPER Live! Stage and the fans loved it!
The first HYPER Bon Odori of 2019 closed the show on Friday on the HYPER Live! Stage and it was as big a hit as ever.
This Japanese matsuri festival dance is easy to learn, and with the help of our resident Bon Odori experts Akari Mochizuki and Haruka Kuroda we were delighted to see so many people take part in the Bon Odori and enjoy the Japanese summer spirit to the sweet sounds of DJ Takeru Sunamori’s special 2019 Tokyo Ondo remix on each day of HYPER JAPAN Festival 2019.
Back fresh on Saturday morning for the second day of HYPER JAPAN Festival 2019 we were pleased to welcome, all the way from Karatsu in Saga prefecture, singer and performer choco.
choco, who is a massive manga and anime fan as well as a CosPlayer and a trained voice actor, thrilled the HYPER Live! Stage audience on Saturday, and again on Sunday, with her sweet music, inspired by the beautiful countryside of Kyushu in western Japan.
Saturday on the HYPER Live! Stage also saw the UK debut show for Japanese Shamisen Rock Band, KUNI-KEN. The brothers from Mie prefecture did a wonderful job of getting the HYPER Live! Stage excited, and the crowd were definitely in the mood for this fabulous show. KUNI-KEN’s unique and very interesting and appealing blend of rock music and the traditional Japanese instrument was a big hit at HYPER JAPAN, with their second show on Sunday even more popular than the first.
Later, as Saturday afternoon turned into evening, we welcomed an old friend of HYPER JAPAN back to Olympia London. Visual kei artist Miura Ayme visited and performed at HYPER JAPAN when he lived in London and we were very excited to have him join us for a show this year on the HYPER Live! Stage. The audience were also very excited and thoroughly enjoyed his high-energy, dazzling performances both on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Just before the session change on Saturday, the HYPER Live! Stage was packed with a crowd of fans of Japanese fashion and kawaii culture for the HYPER J-Style Collection Fashion Show!
There was a wonderful selection of styles and trends on display, celebrating the diversity and range of the Japanese fashion scene.
Saturday afternoon at HYPER JAPAN Festival is the time when CosPlayers and CosPlay fans get to shine on the HYPER Live! Stage as its time for the COSParade!
This year’s COSParade contestants put on an amazing show of imagination and talent and the audience were blown away by the high standard on display by the CosPlayers on the HYPER Live! Stage.
Sunday’s HYPER Live! Stage welcomed CosPlayers back to the limelight with the COSTest!
This chance for serious and experienced CosPlayers to show off their talent and skill is always an amazing show and a very popular part of HYPER JAPAN. This year was no exception and the CosPlayers blew us away with their outfits.
There will be more information on the Fashion Show and the CosPlay events in separate posts later this week so stay tuned CosPlayers and fashionistas!