This year, Anime Boston’s concert series was held on the inaugural night of the event. It was to be a double header: singing sensation Kanako Ito followed by the queen of Akihabara herself, Haruko Momoi. The line snaked across the floor of the Hynes, as fans began chatting and starting impromptu Pokemon duels or Magic: The Gathering games to pass the time.
When the doors finally opened, hundreds of eager fans filed into the auditorium. Some chatted amongst themselves, others occupied their time with manga or video games. However, it was quite clear that people were brimming with anticipation. They knew that they were mere moments from an experience unlike any other.
Soon, the lights dimmed and the Voice of Anime Boston began his introduction. The crowd roared, as Ito took the stage. She started strong, with Hacking the Gate. Afterwards, she greeted the crowd with a dramatic, over-the-top flair before breaking into Kinkakuji, the opening to visual novel Axanael. Through the evening, she continued to belt out hit after hit, from Chaos;HEad opener F.D.D., to Lamento.
After Lamento, an acoustic guitar was brought out to Ito, and she began a brief acoustic set. In a change from the previous high-energy rhythms, she began with the melancholic Shoes of Glass, followed by Kururi Sakura Hirari. Through the two songs, the audience swayed in an almost reverent silence, and allowed the music to simply overcome them. A few glow sticks swayed through the crowds, but the rowdiness and excitement that had previously personified the concert were replaced by a mellow warmth. She continued with the mood that was set after her acoustic duo, as she moved onto Togainu no Chi closing theme Still.
The mellow atmosphere was momentarily interrupted, as Ito injected a bit of pep into the audience with a surprise. Attendees received a special performance of Lost Control: the opener for Nitroplus’s upcoming visual novel, Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas.
Following Lost Control, she returned to slower fare, with A Wish For the Stars, from Blassreiter. Ito finished her set with an original song, Rainbow In Your Heart, which she had previously written in response to the Tohoku disaster. As her final words passed through the mic and the final cheers roared through the auditorium, one could hear a gleeful chatter amongst the fans, as they made their way toward the exits. She had made an impact on many that had attended,
While her faster songs were catchy and fun, it was clear that Ito’s forte was her slower melodies. Shoes of Glass and Kururi Sakura Hirari were beautiful and haunting melodies, that seemed to simply reach out and touch every listener in the crowd. Her talents as a singer and a musician shone brilliantly, as she bubbled over lyrics in Still and Rainbow In Your Heart. While fans will continue to tell stories of how they saw Ito sing the theme to Steins;Gate or Chaos;HEad, one can only hope that the love for these fantastic pieces isn’t lost, as well.