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10 things you need to know before Otaquest LIVE & Otaquest Kick Off

By Shelby McWeeb

Every year on 4th of July Weekend, fans of anime and Japanese media takeover Downtown L.A.. This year will be no exception as Otaquest is bringing us Otaquest LIVE and Otaquest Kick Off.

M-flo, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Hiroomi Tosaka, CrazyBoy and CAPSULE (Yasutaka Nakata, Toshiko Koshijima) will all be performing for together for the OTAQUEST LIVE concert event.

Otaquest Kick Off will feature Japanese DJs and producers. Bringing big name performers like Taku Takahashi, Yasutaka Nakata, and Teddyloid. Chuck None will also be headlining for them!

Both events will take place July 3rd at the The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles, following Otaquest’s success of their collaboration last year with Anime Expo.

What about this year’s Otaquest LIVE/Otaquest Kick Off events makes them so groundbreaking? Here are 15 things you should know before attending.

  • You could hear internationally acclaimed hits played live.

Kyary Pamyu Pmayu, who was once described by VICE as “the David Lynch of J-Pop” will be drawing in hundreds of fans from all over. Did you know her viral 2011 hit “PONPONPON” garnered over 148 million views? Kworb.net ranks it as #11 in their list of most viewed music videos by Japanese artists, EVER.

  • Are of a fan of Yasutaka Nakata? Chances are you’ve heard his music before and not known it.

Not only does he release solo music, he also makes up half of the duo, CAPSULE. If that still doesn’t ring a bell, he’s also responsible for his work with the girl group Perfume and the music icon, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

With Perfume making headlines for being the first J-Pop group to perform at Coachella this year, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu with four world tours under her belt, it would be pretty hard not to have heard his work before.

Nakata is a producer, composer, DJ and songwriter. He’s produced at least one full-length studio album a year (through his own titles or through other talented musicians) since 2003.

  • Members of M-flo used to live in the United States.

Other than the group’s international fame, it’s members are no stranger to being in America. Verbal attended Boston College in Massachusetts, while Taku travelled to Los Angeles to study at Occidental College.

The two met each other in school, and after returning to Japan, invited their third member into the group, LISA. The rest is history

  • Hiroomi Tosaka? Also an actor.

Not only has the musician had a successful, career. After his first major label debut in 2010 and releasing his first single in 2017, he’s also made his mark on the acting world.

 He got his start in 2014 for the film “Hot Road”, which won him the Newcomer Award in 4 Japanese film ceremonies including the Japan Academy Prize.

Most recently he starred in the romance film “Yuki no Hana” which came out just last February.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Teddyloid and both members of CAPSULE got their start when they were teenagers.

While most of us were waiting till we turned 17 to watch R-Rated movies, these celebs were already launching their careers.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (real name Kiriko Takemura) started off as a model for magazines when she was just in high school. In 2011, she graduated from high school and went on to release “Moshi Moshi Harajuku,” which was produced by Yasutaka Nakata.

She first met Nakata at one of his club event. It was there that he encouraged her to make the leap from fashion model and blogger to debut as a singer.  

Teddyloid first got his big break when he was eighteen, after joining MIYAVI as chief DJ on his world tour. Later in 2010, he made his mark on anime history by producing the soundtrack for Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, along with Taku Takahashi.

Capsule first got together in late 1997, after Nakata Yasutaka and Koshijima Toshiko met at the Teens’ Music Festival. They were both only 17 years old. Their first single was “Sakura”, which they released in early 2001.

  • Taku Takahashi is an avid fan of Game of Thrones.

Taku regularly tweets about everyone’s favorite HBO series, Game of Thrones and has made it known across all forms of media that he is an avid fan. He also changes his twitter display name to things like “☆Taku Takahashi from House of m-flo”.

In an interview with Fader, he confessed he watches a lot of dramas.  “My favorites are Game of Thrones, The Man In the High Castle, Westworld, Mr. Robot, and Stranger Things,” he said.

  1. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu started off as a Fashion Blogger for Harajuku culture.

Do your parents not understand your deep love of alternative fashion and flare for the bizarre? The superstar can relate all too well.

The singer grew up as an only child with strict parents. She would have to leave the house with her fashionable clothes hidden, and finish changing and doing her makeup in a public restroom in the Harajuku District.

In an article with Culture Trip, they reported. “Her passion for clothing lead to her becoming a fashion blogger around 2009, and she eventually caught the eye of style magazines based around the area, who took her on board as a fashion writer.”

  • Teddyloid has toured a ton of anime conventions.

If you’ve attended an anime convention in the United States between 2016 and 2018, there’s a good chance Teddyloid was also in attendance too. The DJ has performed internationally across four countries and been to more than thirteen cities in the U.S. alone for anime-themed events. During some shows, he has Me!Me!Me! cosplayers on stage with him to dance while he plays.

  1. ELLY & iroomi Tosaka are in the same group, Sandaime J Soul Brothers.

The J-Pop vocal and dance group is made up of Takanori Iwata, NAOTO, Hiroomi Tosaka, Naoki Kobayashi, Ryuji Imaichi, ELLY and Kenjiro Yamashita.The group formed in 2010.

  1. Teddyloid reached out to Taku Takahashi on Myspace

Not a lot of people want to mentally revisit their Myspace days. Amatur selfies, 7th grade playlists and pc4pc requests. However, Myspace was a great way for musical artists to network. Teddyloid actually reached out to Taku Takahashi on the social media platform, to promote his career.

In an interview with Otaquest, the two sat down together and talked about the experience.  

“Taku Takahashi: At the beginning, you directly sent me a track which was super heavy electro sound with a bunch of comps stating “Please listen to my track”.

Teddyloid: That’s right. I remember thinking “I’m scared of Taku”. But because I was ranked number one on MySpace at the time, I was riding high on excitement. I told myself “Let’s send the thing!”. After that, I got a response from you saying “It’s good!”. To this day, I feel that that moment was a major turning point in my music career.”

One of their most famous projects they worked on together, was the Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt soundtrack. They collaborated on this only a short time after meeting each other online.  

Whether this is your first time learning about these artists, or you’ve known for years, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy Otaquest LIVE and Otaquest KICK OFF either way.

Shelby has traveled through dozens of states across the country to research weebs in their natural habitat of anime conventions. She has worked over a decade in professional media, ranging from television to some of the biggest news websites in the world. She producers her own live stream talk show and invites her favorite content creators and media contributors from all over the globe.

Shelby has traveled through dozens of states across the country to research weebs in their natural habitat of anime conventions. She has worked over a decade in professional media, ranging from television to some of the biggest news websites in the world. She producers her own live stream talk show and invites her favorite content creators and media contributors from all over the globe.

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