Anime NYC 2021 is still underway, but I can already tell that the highlight of my con was Friday night’s My Hero Academia Official Live Concert. Featuring live musicians and special guests, Funimation (with help from the Consulate General of Japan in New York) put on an amazing show, and yours truly had a front-row seat!
Produced by Boston-based music production soundtrec and represented by SOHO Live, the My Hero Academia Official Live Concert closed the first day of the convention with a bang. While it was produced in celebration of the release of World Heroes’ Mission, the third movie in the anime franchise which hit US theaters on October 29, all of the tracks performed were from the regular anime.
Live musicians – rock band soundtrec along with symphonic orchestra members – accompanied scenes from the anime in real-time, performing iconic tracks including “You Say Run,” “Hero Too,” “I’m Here (All Might’s Theme),” “My Hero Academia,” and “Hero A“, among others.
Partway through the concert, the musicians were joined by composer Yuki Hayashi, all the way from Japan. Hayashi told a few funny stories about composing the music – such as scoring a scene from the first film. Apparently, when he gets the material, it’s basic sketches (“that resemble grade school drawings” to paraphrase the man himself), and there was one scene that had an eagle and what looked like the Statue of Liberty. He naturally assumed that the scene was set in NYC, so he titled the track “New York”. It wasn’t until he saw the film – where the statue is gold (which the Statue of Liberty is not) – that he learned it’s meant to be set somewhere like Las Vegas.
Hayashi also joined the musicians on keyboard for the final two songs of the event, along with AmaLee as vocal accompaniment.
This event was so much fun. I was fortunate enough to get a press pass from Funimation, and I got there early enough that I had arguably the best seat in the house – front row center(ish), with a great view of the musicians as well as the center screen. (I also have a lot of love for the Funimation staff member who came around handing out earplugs to those of us in front; my seats were maybe ten feet from all the speakers.) Sometimes it was hard to decide what to pay attention to – the musicians or the screen! I kept wanting to watch the scenes, but the musicians just had so much showmanship. (Super mad props to the saxophonist in particular.)
It’s been ages since I’ve been to a concert, and the energy in the audience was fantastic. You all know that while I’m passingly familiar with My Hero Academia, I haven’t actually sat down and started watching it (though after World Heroes’ Mission, I bumped it up on my list), and honestly, this concert bumped it even further up. I may actually start it this weekend when I come home from the convention tomorrow. I’m super pumped about it now!
Thanks to Funimation, soundtrec, SOHO Live, and the Consulate General of Japan in New York for putting on such an amazing event!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.