The Bank Holiday weekend brought us a whirlwind of guest announcements from Hyper Japan, giving us a clearer idea of what (or rather, who) we can expect to see at Hyper Japan Festival 2017 as it takes place in London's Tobacco Dock from Friday 14th through to Sunday 16th July this year.
If you're still on the fence about whether to check out the event, let's see if any of these guests can tempt you:
The Age of Civil Wars (Appearing Friday and Sunday) - The mysterious band calling themselves The Age of Civil Wars first appeared on January 1, 2017. Appearing only as animated avatars in their stylish music videos, the musicians are vocalist Nao-A, Kz on guitars and vocals. So far they have released two singles, Kyoka Ranbu and SAKURA.
Yes, a band of fearless warlords are making their way to this summer’s HYPER JAPAN Festival, but don’t worry; they come in peace. Their mission is to entertain you with their unique musical sound. That’s because The Age of Civil Wars is a mysterious rock band who so far have only appeared in animated form in the two music videos they have released so far. Amazingly, their appearance at HYPER JAPAN will be the first time they’ve ever appeared in the flesh anywhere in the world!
The Sengoku Jidai or age of civil wars in Japanese history took place around the fifteenth century, and was a period of violence and intrigue when great warriors roamed the country. The band’s imagery and music capture the excitement and romance of this time and bring it bang up to date.
KAIEN (Appearing Friday and Saturday Session 2) - With no regard for geographic or gender boundaries, KAIEN are a group devoted to creating exciting new musical and video experiences for their audiences. Their first, eponymous EP was released in 2015, while 2016 saw two singles, JUBILATION and Black Ship. Their second album, entitled 1853, was released last November, and HYPER JAPAN Festival 2017 marks their live debut here in the UK.
Yet another exciting musical experience is appearing for the first time ever in the UK at HYPER JAPAN Festival 2017, and this one is sure to have you up and dancing! KAIEN is a genre-breaking group of musical artists, including DJs, videographers, producers and dancers, who come together to create world-beating dance music with a distinctly Japanese flavour. Their distinctive sound combines the likes of electronic dance music (EDM), dubstep, progressive house and techno in new and exhilarating ways.
At HYPER JAPAN, expect a stunning performance involving dance, technology, video and performance, and yes, even 3D holograms! Don’t miss this...
Danny Choo (Appearing Friday, Saturday Session 2, Sunday) - Who hasn’t heard of Mirai Suenaga? Originally created by Danny Choo back in 2007 as a mascot to prettify his website , Mirai Suenaga (pronounced “mee-rai soo-eh-na -gah”) has taken the world by storm and is now a massive global phenomenon in her own right!
This summer, HYPER JAPAN is proud to announce Mirai’s creater, Danny Choo, will be taking to the HYPER Theatre stage together with Mirai in all her glory!
Danny will be giving a series of talks on Japan from the viewpoint of a foreign national, and on starting your own business. As he’s been living and working in Japan since 1999… and oh did we mention he’s running his own company (rather successfully, we might add)… it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about the things he’ll be talking about.
KIRIE (Appearing Friday and Saturday Session 1) - The group’s director is Hirokazu Kumagai. A former model and photographer, he met Miko and was inspired to create the KIRIE group. Miko herself was born in Osaka, and her kimono-inspired body art was met with critical acclaim back in 2009. Their partnership acts as a focal point of the group, which now encompasses dancers, vocal percussion artists and even an animation expert. KIRIE have mesmerised audiences in Japan and elsewhere around the world in recent years. Now it’s London’s turn!
You can experience an authentic evocation of the real essence of Japan thanks to a ground-breaking group of artists who are performing at this summer’s HYPER JAPAN Festival. Encompassing dance, music and calligraphy, the group expresses traditional Japanese myths and stories using modern artistic techniques. The centrepiece is KIRIE or “mist painting”, a unique approach pioneered by group member Miko.
TORIENA (Appearing Friday, Saturday Session 1, Sunday) - Born in 1993, TORIENA embarked on her musical career in 2012. In 2014, she released her first music video, Pluse Fighter, which became an online hit and was featured in a wide variety of media outlets including Yahoo News. In 2015, TORIENA began touring internationally, and has since performed in a number of countries around the world, including China, Italy and at Square Sounds Melbourne 2015 in Australia.
We’re very excited to announce our first confirmed act for the 2017 HYPER JAPAN Festival! Chiptune Girl TORIENA composes and arranges all her own tunes using a Game Boy and desktop music (DTM) software. Her distinctive sound combines hard-core techno and dance with 8-bit electronic music, and she is renowned for her powerful live performances, which are perfect for those who want to jump around and make a noise with the crowd!
REOL (Appearing Friday, Saturday Session 2, Sunday) - All three members of the group had illustrious solo careers before joining together to create REOL and release their debut album, Sigma (∑) in October last year. Reol and Giga had previously collaborated frequently, and even released an album together in 2014. At the same time, they each pursued solo careers, with Reol’s debut solo album, Gokusaishiki, emerging in 2015 and making her the fourth-ranked debut artist on the Oricon chart that year. The trio then formed officially in March 2016 and the rest, as they say, is history!
We’re proud to be showcasing a hot Japanese act making their first ever appearance in the UK at this summer’s HYPER JAPAN festival. REOL are a thrilling trio who offer a true treat for the senses. Singer-songwriter Reol supplies unique music, vocals and lyrics, including funky rapping, while her collaborator Giga creates the scintillating musical accompaniment, replete with electronic beats and Vocaloid work. The third member of the group, Okiku, produces and directs the stunning videos that accompany their songs to complete the audio-visual experience.
Kihara Hirokatsu (Appearing Saturday Session 1 and Sunday) - Kihara Hirokatsu formerly worked at the Studio Ghibli production desk, and was involved in Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Nowadays he writes ghost stories and MCs at monster conventions. His most famous work is Tales of Terror: Haunted Apartment, and has been a crucial contributor to many other hits in this genre.
Have you ever thought about what goes on behind the scenes of the anime films and television series we all know and love? Would you like to learn the trade secrets and day-to-day job profiles of one of Japan’s most lucrative industries? Well here’s your chance to find out, as anime industry insider Kihara Hirokatsu joins us at HYPER JAPAN Festival 2017. In a revealing discussion session, Kihara will talk about his time working on some of the most iconic anime films of all time. Attendees will also have a chance to glimpse some incredibly rare pieces of animation history!
You can check out the full Hyper Japan Festival timetable, comprising sake tasting, cosplay and plenty more besides the guests above, on the official web site. You can, of course, also book tickets there too.