I was present at the first screening of IDOLiSH7 at Anime NYC, way back in 2017. So I thought it only fitting that I made it a point to attend the panel this year, which not only screened the concert event “LIVE 4bit BEYOND THE PERiOD” but also featured Japanese voice actors KENN (Tamaki) and Atsushi Abe (Sogo)!
“LIVE 4bit BEYOND THE PERiOD” premiered in theaters in Japan this past May, and began streaming on Crunchyroll earlier this month. There are two separate versions, Day 1 and Day 2, with slightly different setlists. It featured the four main bands from the franchise – IDOLiSH7, TRIGGER, Re: vale, and ŹOOĻ – with each band performing three songs plus three numbers featuring all the groups.
I wanted to make sure I got a seat, so I sprung for a reserved ticket. Normally I don’t agree with having to pay extra to attend a panel at a convention (all panels should be included with your badge, that’s sort of the point), but the $17 ticket included a swag bag, so that’s ok. I look at it as paying for the bag and not the seat.
The bag included a clear file (one of two designs), one visual card (featuring one of the sixteen characters – I got Ryu), one message card (also featuring one of the sixteen characters – I got Mitsuki), and a button of the specially-designed NYC version of King Pudding, dressed like the Statue of Liberty. A giant King Pudding attended the panel, as well. (And the only photos allowed from the panel were of King Pudding…and I wasn’t even close enough to get one! Please enjoy someone else’s photo instead.)
Before the screening, there was a brief Q&A with KENN and Atsushi Abe that I wish had been longer, just because they were so excited that it was adorable. They talked a little about some of the sightseeing they’d gotten to do before the convention (MoMA, Times Square, the Tamashii Nations store), but mostly they were excited to talk about the global fan response to the anime. They don’t often get to promote the series in other countries, so they were eager to see the New York response. They said that they hope that they can come back, maybe with more members of IDOLiSH7. (Yusuke Shirai, the voice of Yamato, was apparently particularly jealous that the two of them were able to come to New York.)
As for the screening itself, it was so much fun. “LIVE 4bit BEYOND THE PERiOD” is a great concert; we watched Day 1, and if you’re interested, both setlists are available to stream on Spotify (Day 1 – Day 2). if you haven’t seen the anime, you’ll know that they don’t skimp on the production. There are choreographed dances and everything. It’s just like watching a live idol group perform.
The experience was helped by the numerous fans who’d brought their own light sticks for the occasion, even changing the colors to match the colors of the film’s audience. People sang along, even clapping to the beat, and cheered for their favorite members. My ear drums are still in tact, so it wasn’t quite like attending a real concert, but everyone was excited and had a good time, and that’s all that matters.
Don’t miss the rest of our coverage from Anime NYC!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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