Kanon Wakeshima’s long awaited U.S. debut was at a scheduled time of 4:00 PM in the main event room on the second day of Otakon. The line for this event stretched and winded, so it was no wonder that fans continued to fill the room as the opening act, [geist] performed to the eager crowd. The “voice of Otakon” later filled the room, reminding all attendees of the normal rules for convention performances.
The entire main event room was full, a room with the seating capacity of 2,600, as the stage was being set for Kanon’s debut. The crowd cheered as her signature white cello was brought out and positioned delicately in the center of the stage. It was a simple stage with not much decoration, save a red parasol standing upright on the left.
The haunting melody of “Sweet Ticket” soon entranced the audience, as Kanon elegantly walked onto the stage. She was met with applause, yet her entire outfit left the audience breathless. She was fitted with a full length gown in red, custom made by Mana, half of which was covered with a black and white laced overcoat, topped off with a red flower pinned to her hair. Pulling out a red fan, Kanon bowed and opened it, moving the fan throughout the air. She then spun around slowly, revealing stitched details on the back of the overcoat and leaving the entire room quiet as the musical piece ended.
The opening cords of “Still Doll” are heard as the two screens on either side of the stage showed scenes from the Vampire Knight anime. Kanon’s voice was clear and calm as she turned about on stage, resembling a doll in a music box. As her solo neared, Kanon made her way to her cello to perform as the audience responded with cheers.
Kanon stood and bowed, making her way to the center of the stage again but this time with a piece of paper. “Hello everyone! Ogenki desu ka?” (To which the audience responded “Ogenki desu!”) “My name is Kanon Wakeshima. When I was 3 years old I started playing the cello. My hobby is drawing. My favorite food is… spaghetti! Do you know what my favorite animal is?” The audience confidently replied, “cat!” Kanon giggled while nodding, “I have two cats. One is black and the other is brown. The brown one is a kitty.” She made a kitten meow as she audience widely clapped. “She is very cute!” A member from the audience shouted that Kanon is the one who is cute, as she giggled once again. “The next song is ‘Suna no Oshiro’,” she announced, and was met with crowd approval.
“Suna no Oshiro” began as the dual screens showed scenes from the Vampire Knight anime once again. Kanon knelt down on stage, got up slowly, swayed and moved her arms to convey her lyrics. She spun around before walking to the cello, playing it as she still stood. After her solo, the audience continued to cheer. She pulled up the length of her dress hugging it around her shoulders. Kanon rotated around slowly again on the stage as her voice resonated the last lines of the piece.
Immediately the mood perked up for “Kuroi Torikago”. Kanon took off her coat, hanging it on a small coat rack near the back of the stage. Returning to the front of the stage, she revealed the entirety of the gorgeous red gown, along with the bright art work on her upper right arm: two red roses with green stems. Kanon picked up her cello bow, using it as if she were orchestrating a band and pointed it towards the audience. Walking over to her cello, Kanon bowed before playing the complicated solo. Afterward, she slowly slashed the bow through the air as if it were her own weapon of choice. She then set it down near the cello, covering her face before the music ends.
Kanon took a short water break before picking up her cello once again. She vigorously played, introducing “Shinku no Fatalism”. Keeping her cello in hand, she pushed it off to the side as she sang her verses, only to pull it closer as she sang the chorus and performed the solo. Kanon continued this pattern until the end of the song, when she bowed again and set the cello down carefully.
Kanon brought the piece of paper back out, “Now I would like to introduce my partner. This is Mikazuki!” Kanon made the introduction complete by playing a few cords on the white cello. “This means ‘crescent moon’. Mikazuki. So please remember it! Mikazuki!” she giggled as the crowd cheered in reaction. “This is my first visit to the USA. I will be to three cities. I am very happy!” The audience once again cheered with support and enthusiasm. “My next song is ‘L’espoir’.”
“L’espoir ~mahou no akai ito~” began as Kanon walked to the center of the stage, holding onto the sides of her dress as she danced elegantly. She invited the audience to clap to the beat, once again wrapping the sides of her dress to each side, swaying and turning around. Her movements were gracefully coordinated as she brought her hands down to her knees, followed by more simple hand movements. She walked around on stage as the audience continuing to clap with each beat.
A ringing of a telephone was then heard. She asked the audience “Is that you?” Kanon tried to quiet the phone by bringing her finger to her lips and making a hushing noise. She shrugged, walking over to the right of the stage and noticing where the sound is coming from. She then jumped over the suspect, which caused the phone produce a muffled ring. The audience laughed and clapped in reaction, as Kanon continued her skit by forming her fingers into a phone and bringing it to her ear.
The tune of “Ennui kibun!” began, as she urged the audience to clap along to the beat once more. She swayed her dress as she pointed to her wrist as if she were impatiently waiting for time to pass by. She continued to clap along with the audience, then finally deciding to pick up the ‘phone,’ ending with a “Thank you!”
Kanon walked up to a paper on the ground of the stage as she took it, giggling a bit before looking to the audience. “This is the last song,” she stated, which the audience responded with disappointed sounds. Kanon smiled, “Thank you for coming today. This last song is, ‘skip turn step’.” With these words, a large crowd spilled into the front of the venue, getting in line already for the autographs and merchandise set for after the concert.
This didn’t spoil Kanon’s performance however, as she walked to the left of the stage, picking up the parasol as she stage lit up in bright colors to “skip turn step”. She urged the audience to clap once more, spinning the parasol while it rested on her shoulders. As the chorus began she opened up the parasol, holding it to her side while walking backward. Kanon lifted the parasol above her head while softly clapping one hand against her wrist. She walked about on stage once more, closing the parasol as the song neared the end, resting the handle of the parasol on her wrist as she continued to clap with the audience. She bowed as the last cords of the song resonated into the room.
Picking up her paper for the last time, Kanon repeated “Thank you! Thank you! I had really had fun with you! I want to come back in the near future! Domo arigato gozaimasu!” Kanon took her fan and bowed for the final time. The audience stood and clapped, as Kanon waved before she walked off stage to the sounds of “Sweet Ticket”.
1. Still Doll
2. Suna no Oshiro
3. Kuroi Torikago
4. Shinku no Fatalism
5. L’espoir ~mahou no akai ito~
6. Ennui kibun!
7. skip turn step
Live Report by: Monika
Edited by: Kia