Chihara Minori 茅原実里 and Hirano Aya 平野綾 performed last weekend in the big Animelo Summer Live Generation A show at the Budokan in Tokyo. They were not the show's headliners. Those would have been bigger singing stars such as Okui Masami, Mizuki Nana, Ali Project, Momoi Halko, Suara, and Jam Project.
Backstage. front (l-r): Suara, Hirano Aya, Mizuki Nana. back: Kuribayashi Minami, Chihara Minori, Ohmi Tomoe, Manami from the group Jyukai.
Aya sang only one song -- a rocked-up version of Hare Hare Yukai -- but Minorin sang two, her new single Kimi ga Kureta Ano Hi and the theme from the new Kiddy Grade pilot. Minorin was one of the early invitees to the big show, but Aya was a last-minute addition as a "guest."
In her caption to the group picture, Aya wrote in her blog what an honor it was to be there with such stars, and said she knew she had a lot to work on, but would do her best to be included in the group next year. She also wrote that her guitar connection went dead just before she went on, and said the moments while technicians scrambled to fix it seemed so long. She apologized profusely for the delay.
Aya's outfit was a bird-like fantasy that some denizens of 2channel just hated. One said it made her look like a parakeet, and others yearned for the younger, simpler Aya. There was talk about her getting more female fans and leaving her old male fans behind. Boo-hoo. Aya wrote that her outfit consisted of: ①"Desho Desho" hat, ②spangled T-shirt, ③pink corset, ④sparkly skull wristband, ⑤tight shorts with double petticoat, ⑥butterfly pantsu, ⑦boots.
Minorin had a wonderful piece in her blog. She said how nervous she was to sing at the Budokan, but that the performance made her happier than she had ever been before. When she arrived in the morning, she walked all around the hall. Even from the furthest seats, the stage seemed close enough to touch. Many people around the building greeted her, and she thanked them for the warm atmosphere and support.
When she came off the stage after her performance, the staff was very enthusiastic. She said she felt as if her feelings had reached people: she was so glad to have sung songs she loved for people she loved. She thanked people for their cards, presents, and flowers.
How wonderful it must have been for Minorin to feel that her singing was reaching people, and that her career is taking off.