At around 30 minutes past 7, the crowd started chanting, “Eir Ruru!” and “Eir Aoi!” The crowd continued to shout in anticipation, then after a few moments, she went on stage with microphone in tow and belted her first song in her setlist.
It was her first time in the country, but judging from the reaction of the boisterous crowd that filled the BoA Concert Hall at the front end of the SMX Convention Center – Manila, it could have been mistaken for a comeback concert.
The Philippines made sure Eir Aoi’s first visit in the country would be memorable, and looks like from her reaction after the concert, looks like we did make her feel that way.
Eir Aoi’s guesting was the feather in the cap of an another successful Best of Anime 2015, held at the SMX Convention Center-Manila. Lines were packed to the rafters, cosplayers strutted their stuff and eventgoers took pictures with their phones and tablets. Merchandise booths full of goodies and different fun booths, all completing the best BoA experience for each and everyone alike.
The Best of Anime has evolved dramatically for the past six years. Before it was just like any other convention that has the same old activities and events that has entertained every single event goer.
But that all changed in 2012, with the introduction of the Japanese visual-kei rock band Uchusentai NOIZ to the Manila audience after gaining ground in Davao with their covers of OPM hits like Narda, when Best of Anime became one of the most awaited events of the year.
With the inclusion of more J-music artists like Joe Inoue, Starmarie and heidi. who have graced the stage of the Primetrade Asia-organized event since 2012, the ever-growing BoA fanbase has been dying to know who was going to be the next artist to hit the country.
And true enough, when Eir Aoi was announced as its biggest guest to grace the BoA stage in August, everybody wanted to witness it.
Aside from Eir Aoi’s performance, Best of Anime was also the venue of the sole Metro Manila qualifiers for the World Cosplay Summit Philippines National Finals which for the very first time will be held in Davao. Three cosplay teams joined in the competition with the hope of sending the best Metro Manila team to the National Finals.
Team Cosaga and Team JBF emerged as the top two competitors in the World Cosplay Summit NCR qualifiers and will fly to Davao in 2016 as the representatives of Mega Manila.
Cosplay guests Sara Tousa Bao and HANE*ANN were also there to be a part of the event, showing off their cosplay skills and also judged some of the events on the stage.
As the clock ticked down to 05:30pm, the fans who eagerly bought premium tickets for the concert waited in line and arrived at the SMX Function Rooms 2 and 3.
As everyone settled and glued into their seats, Joe Inoue provided the early fireworks with his hit songs “Closer”, “Kaze no Gotoku” and his new song “Philippines”, which was dedicated to his fans and has partial lyrics in Filipino. Of course, Inoue also showed his naughty side, which was best left to be unsaid.
Uchusentai NOIZ, on the other hand, created again waves, both literally and figuratively, as they performed their classic Filipino song covers such as “Narda”, “Pinoy Ako”, “Superhero” and “Liwanag sa Dilim”, as well as their original songs.
Like all their previous performances in the country, the band never lacked showmanship and energy so much that, on the later part of NOIZ’s performance, Eir Aoi was seen checking out the situation outside of the stage, and, surprisingly, nodding and also raising her hands in unison with the audience who were too pumped up to see her near her dressing room.
And then, the moment came for Eir Aoi to go on stage and sing the first stanza of the song “Aurora” from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, made the audience go crazy and sing along with her.
With five songs on her set list consisting of theme songs from Sword Art Online, Kill La Kill and Arslan Senki, she belted the songs from her heart.
After hearing for the very first time the reaction of the Pinoy fans that waited for her since the announcement of her guesting a mere two months before, Eir Aoi did not miss a beat in expressing her admiration to the crowd who roared and yelled for her during her main set, and people definitely want an encore… but unfortunately, not today.
Judging from her reaction after being given a token of appreciation for being The Best of Anime‘s first ever superstar guest in its history, we can tell that she’s more than excited to come back in the future. We will surely be waiting for her to come back.
As for The Best of Anime next year, the best is definitely yet to come.
Anime Pilipinas is an Official Media Partner of The Best of Anime 2015. We would like to thank Ms. Irene Lloren and Primetrade Asia for inviting us to the event.
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