One of the first appearances of Sound Horizon in mainstream media. Columnist Hiromi Nakamoto attends a SH live for the first time, and writes about his impressions.

Translation by Kurobara.

Sound Horizon’s fan-sustained fantasy space

Rock Opera or fantasy musical? I went to the NHK HALL (July 7th) to see a live by Sound Horizon, a music unit with a performance not easy to describe and an enthusiastic popularity of which to be proud.

Kera nº150

“The Great Hope for the Territorial Revival” is the title of this tour. Before the doors opened, I could see how fans with a passport hanging around their necks made a queue in front of the hall to have it stamped.

Their show is one of theatrical rock fitted in the shape of a musical suite in which Revo, the only member, is referred to as “His Majesty”, and fans call themselves “Citizens”. While Revo does sing every now and then, there is a large number of supporting members behind him, and the level of performance is fairly high. Their band vividly reminds of those from the 80s’ progressive rock and hard rock ― I couldn’t help but be enthralled at that pair of guitars (one of those being a flying V).

The five songstresses had an air like that of seiyuus, all clad in dresses and one even in a nun costume, and even danced ballet in one scene. In a big screen in front of the stage, lines of the lyrics and indications on how to shake fists were shown to the audience: At some point, it felt like we were in the midst of a “game for theaters”.

Except from me, almost every single person in the audience knew all the lyrics by heart. Never before have I seen a concert of any genre in which fans have such feeling of unity. When the concert came to an end, I stood in tearful awe at the sight of a whole audience chorusing an “anthem” in unison. And that was pretty much it.

…And, for what I’ve written so far, somehow this could perfectly fit the description of a fanatic cult, but that would be a rather “simplistic” thinking. And that’s because, although Revo is seen as a leader by his fans, his MC’s tend to be awkward, his jokes tend to be sloppy, and he always happens to have an extremely contradictory ‘light comic’ side in stock.

The present tour will visit Korea as well. Maybe this is the kind of artists, those that constitute a pure crystallization of the Japanese otaku culture, the ones that can cope with K-POP, so it will be interesting to see how they expand their “territory” to Asia.

August 11th and 12th at Kobe International Center / September 10th at Osakajo Hall / -16th, 17th at Yokohama Arena, among other dates.