Thursday, July 16, 2015
By Roland Kelts
More than 90,000 attended the 24th annual Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest Japanese pop culture convention, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 to 5. The four-day event featured a concert by idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who were joined onstage by two members of veteran American rockers, Kiss — a result of their unlikely collaboration earlier this year on the song and music video, “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina.” (In March, the two groups also performed together at Kiss’ Tokyo Dome show.)
American producer and DJ Porter Robinson, cable channel mtvU’s artist of the year and an avowed fan of Japanese pop, delivered a surprise set following a gig by Japan-influenced electronic music act, Anamanaguchi.
Sanrio hosted a fashion show to celebrate the 40th year of “Hello Kitty.” The 20th anniversary of Hideaki Anno’s seminal film and series “Evangelion” was marked with a performance by its theme-song singer-songwriter, Yoko Takahashi. Other guest producers and directors who attended included Studio 4°C President and former Studio Ghibli Producer Eiko Tanaka, and Takahiro Miura, director of the popular series “Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.”