OTAQUEST Connect – August 16, 2020
Live Report by Cap Hayes
Sunday evening kicked off OTAQUEST Connect, a free, online anime convention powered by Anime Central, and we managed to catch the last act of the evening, GIRLFRIEND. This marks the American (virtual) debut of the band, although they had been scheduled to perform at the now-postponed Anime Boston convention in May.
The show opened with the band members introducing themselves to their online audience, in English. In the introductions, the band asked that fans stay safe and healthy so that they can meet them all when they are able to come to the U.S. and also announced that they had a special surprise for viewers, but that it was too early to tell us.
The opening song was sure to be the hit of an anime convention, Sky and Blue. For anime fans, this is the 8th opening theme to Black Clover. Judging by some fan reactions on Twitter, this was a great way for the band to kick off the show.
Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa #Girlfriend #OTAQUESTCONNECT #Signboard 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/seMJhXUpMW
— 愛りス🤗😘❣️ (@aiRISHteru) August 17, 2020
Following Sky and Blue, we got treated to some more discussion from the ladies including a small plug for their latest album, House. This is of course the lead-in to playing their hit song off the album, Full House.
For fans of bass, this is a short-list song to listen to. Bassist Mina manages to pull off a perfect blend of funk, disco, and rock that keeps you moving and rocking at the same time. The breakdown pulls you in and then Mirei’s singing and drum work sends you home. Overall, this song showcases the band’s chemistry and energy together. It also features all members on vocals, how many rock bands do you see that with?!
Full House is followed up immediately by Hide and Seek, another fan favorite off of their single 15 / Hide and Seek as well as their first full album, Chocolate. One fan commented that this song is reminiscent of SCANDAL, which is no surprise to fans following the band, who are long time fans of SCANDAL and have quoted them as an inspiration to their music.
Directly after Hide and Seek, we were treated to one of this author’s personal favorite songs, Mirai List (ミライリスト). For fans after hard-driving rock, this is a fine example from the band. Nagisa leads us in with Mina and Sakika clapping while Mirei gives her a little rhythm support. This is really Nagisa’s song to shine, with another great solo midway through and she puts all of the emotion that you would expect from a great guitarist into it.
After a great ending to Mirai List, we get brought back to the ladies discussing the big surprise. But, instead of telling us, the band decides to show us. What could it be? Well, actually they are going to tell us – the first ever showing of Sky and Blue, English version!
Considerable work seems to have been put into the lyric writing and it matches the song very well. No one would be able to tell that Sakika isn’t a native English speaker (or singer). This is really the standout song of the night for her, it can’t be said enough how good she sounded performing this. What does this mean for anime fans? Will it be incorporated into the Black Clover dub?
The show ends with the band thanking the fans, asking if we enjoyed the show, and Mina telling us that she can’t wait to come to America and see us all in-person. The band would also like new and old fans alike to follow their SNS channels.
GIRLFRIEND Twitter: https://twitter.com/GIRLFRIENDJAPAN
GIRLFRIEND Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girlfriendjapan
GIRLFRIEND Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/girlfriendjapan
You can also visit their website and YouTube channel here:
GIRLFRIEND Website: http://www.girlfriend.band/
GIRLFRIEND YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuFW_SrYtpktBaShHay174A
OTAQUEST CONNECT Website: https://otaquest.com/connect/
OTAQUEST CONNECT Twitch: https://twitch.tv/otaquestconnect