On the 29th July, Visual Art’s celebrated it’s 20th anniversary at Yokohama Arena. SGCafe shares the event proceedings in this report!
As reported in SGCafe, Visual Art’s is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year with a host of events. I am lucky enough to be at the event, and the following is my report of the event.
Located at Shin Yokohama, Yokohama Arena is a landmark of many events and live concerts, including the first K-On! Live (2009), THE [email protected] 7th Anniversary Concert (2012) and Sphere’s orbit live tour 2012 (2012).
It makes an ideal location for live concerts as it seats close to 13 000 audiences even when 1/5 of the arena is taken up by the stage and middle arena floor.
The arena is selected as the location for the event as it has a big outer cloister to house exhibitions and seminars as well as a big outdoor area for a sales. Fans were told not to crowd around the area until 9am, when the queue for the live goods would start.
Live Club Event – OTSU
At a very early 8am, fans began queuing up to get a ticket. This ticket enables them to enter the live club event, hosted by OTSU.
OTSU is short for Organized Trance Sequence Unit, a bunch of DJs who specializes in remixing music, more specifically, Key Sound Label’s music.
A total of 250 were allowed into the event area, while the number of people actually queuing for the event is almost at 400. The queue began at the right side of Yokohama Arena, stretching underbeath the overhead bridge connecting the pavements from the other side of the road.
The event begins at 10am, amidst the sales of live goods. OTSU remixed tracks from Little Busters!, Rewrite, Kud Wafter and a big number of other series from Key Sound Label.
VA20 Official Live Goods Sales
From as early as 6am, Visual Art’s staff had been prompting their customers to come back only at 9am when they will officially open the queue.
However, impatient fans hang out around the event hall entrance. Eventually by 8.30am, an estimated 5000 or so fans were crowding around the event space, eagerly awaiting for the staff to begin the queues for the event.
At 9am sharp, fans started sprinting to the upper left level of Yokohama Arena’s exterior as they vie for the first positions for the queue.
The queue routes from the upper left level of the exterior, descends downstairs towards the water fountain and routes past the garden pathway, and u-turns around the traffic junction. Beyond that, It is impossible to see where the queue leads to as I reached my spot of the queue at around the 700th position.
The queue closes up before the event sales begin at around 9.30am.
At 10am sharp, the queue began to move rapidly. At exactly the same time, Tomoe Tamiyasu and Keiko Suzuki began their short seiyuu event. Fans who are standing under the hot sun can use their smartphones to watch the event while waiting.
Staff handed out product lists so that fans can write down the number of events they wish to purchase.
As the queue reaches the main sales area, fans snake around the main queuing area and await their turn. They were then split into 15 different counters as their turn comes close.
Reported earlier, there were a big number of items on sale. Orpheus, the event theme song single, was not listed in the event sales catalogue but was still snagged up by fans who still have not bought it.
I returned to the queue area at 1pm, after purchasing my own goods, to find out the snake queue is still as long, and impossible to make out from the road junction when the queue turns around.
At 10am, the exhibition cloister was open to the general public to roam. They span across the entire interior ring of Yokohama Arena. At 2pm, the cloister is then open to ticket holders for the live concert to roam.
The exhibition area is divided into many areas, notably:
- Visual Art’s Chronicle 1991 – 2012
- Visual Art’s Console Port Exhibition
- Exhibit of Visual Art’s 20 Year Commemoration Mementos
- Corner Jammed Pack with Staffs’ Interesting Ideas
- Reconstruction of Staff Workroom
- Full Display of all famous VA Characters
- Commemorative Illustration Exhibit
- Corner of Rare Original Artworks
For more images of the exhibition, you may view them at the bottom of the post.
Almost two thirds of the entire cloister were panels describing the choronology of Visual Art’s, as well as photographs and artwork of impactful releases or event participations.
Rare products were also on display, from both Visual Art’s Sales department, GA Books as well as other products available only exclusively in Comic Market and specific events.
Sign boards including the illustrations of various artists congratulates Visual Art’s on their anniversary.
Original artwork and scripts were also display at the event, including the script for Little Busters! episode 1, slated to premier this year October.
Other items on display include costumes and concert dresses.
Upon entering the exhibition hall, ticket holders for the live concert were presented with a special commemorative CD containing a new song written specially for the event by famed composer Jun Maeda.
The CD is also illustrated by famed artist Goto-P.
Cosplayers donning the uniforms of Visual Art’s game characters also roam the cloister giving out limited edition Visual Art’s WS Promo cards.
Look forward to our live concert report!