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  • Animate Expo 2002 Piano

    Animate Expo 2002 Piano
    Toshima Koukaidou
    18:30 -
    free (need postcard)
    Kawasumi Ayako ()
    • Event report by Stephen Lee, 2002.01.16

    This is an animate Expo 2002 event celebrating the making into Anime of the CD drama/radio series PIANO. I have the first CD of this series and it was a monologue of the piano-playing main (only) character, Nomura Miu (Kawasumi Ayako). I heard later CDs (there are 3 out now) has other voices in them.

    It took place on 2002-01-13 (my birthday), at 18:30. Someone was giving out tickets outside the hall when I was lining up for the last event (Kanon TV preview), so I picked one up. They must have had quite a bit of tickets left, though the venue (Toyoshima Koukaido) ended up nearly fully filled in the end. The crowd has quite a lot of fans in it, though, people who followed the CD series and the radio show. Except for two people in the back who talked during Kawasumi-san's solo performance (and probably annoyed tons of people), the crowd was polite and in Kawasumi-san's words, "very generous" as we clapped a lot in response to her questions.

    In the beginning of the event, they showed a "Anime Tencho" short animation. People laughed since it was totally unexpected. I don't know if it has been shown before (my guess would be no). Afterwards the MC told us the short was contracted to/made by Gainax ("which involved the whole staff," the MC said, which generated another laugh (I am not sure why, is it because Gainax has only few people?) and directed by Anno himself. Kawasumi Ayako also has a role in it, and some people in the crowd guessed correctly which character she was.

    Then the screen was withdrawn and showed Kawasumi Ayako behind, sitting at a desk. There was also a grand piano on the stage, though she didn't play it. She proceeded to act out the part of the drama CD, live! It was amazing, like watching a live recording. She later said it was much different from a recording (and I'd guess much more difficult.)

    A promotion clip was shown of the Anime. It was made as a trial/promotion item, and the director didn't give much idea what the final anime story will be like or when it will be finished, yet, except it will take place during the first year of the story, i.e. when Miu is in second year in junior high.

    The animation was strange. Actually, the rest of the clip looked normal but the hairstyle of Miu was unreal -- her bangs spreaded a whole face-width either side to her face. It was strange to see her turn her head. I don't know who did the anime character design (original design was by Fujishima Kousuke).

    The event lasted for 1.5 hours. The rest was talk between the MC, Kawasumi-san and the director of the series, mostly about Kawasumi-san's experience playing the character in the CD drama and radio. Kawasumi-san answered some questions from the crowd as well (people submitted questions to the staff at the beginning of the event.)

    She talked about her Piano education (I later found out she graduated from a College of Music). She started learning from 3. Her last teacher was very strict and thinks that she should take piano as her first priority -- "If you want to express anything, express it via piano!" Kawasumi-san said if he/she was not so strict, she might not have given up piano lessons and became a seiyuu ^_^

    She talked about writing music. Someone asked whether singing or music-writing is more difficult for her, and she said she has done music-writing as a part of her lessons so she was more used to it than singing songs.

    The next day was Seijin-shiki (Japanese coming-of-age ceremony) and Kawasumi-san talked about hers ("x years ago", she actually said the numbers of years so it was possible to deduce her age ^_^). She said, half seriously, for this year's new adults, "I know the talks are going to be boring, but to sit through boring talks politely is part of Being Adult, you know?" which got some laughs and applause from the crowd.

    I do not remember much of the rest of what was being talked about, but Kawasumi-san was very straight-talking and interesting, and I enjoyed the event even though it was an unexpected one.

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