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The NL On The Beat - A Night In Fantasia 2007: Anime Edition

Author: Geoff Larsen
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Eminence’s Night in Fantasia series are performances of musical pieces strictly from video games and anime. Upon finding this out I was all like ‘Hell yeeeeah’ then muscled a friend into tagging along so as not to seem like a total lamewad (hey, this section is called ‘Nerdlinger’ for a reason) and headed down to the concert.

Heading up to my seat I engaged in the ungentlemanly act of eavesdropping on other attendees. There was quite a bit of buzz in the audience and the few wisps of speech that reached my ear informed me that several people were excited about hearing the themes of their favourite anime performed live.

Taking my seat I overheard the people behind me talking about modifications to Grand Theft Auto and tricks to completing Metal Gear Solid. I heard people playfully teasing each other, likening to characters from popular anime series – and I even heard sound effects from someone’s PSP.

Amidst all this auditory commotion a wave of realisation hit the shores of my mind. Truly, this event was the Mecca for fans of anime. I was not attending a musical concert but rather a social ceremony – this was not just about the music but about the love that each member of the audience, and the performers, had for their art. Each audience member spoke freely about their obsession unashamed and was loving accepted by the likeminded individuals that surrounded them. [Neeeeerrrrrds! – Ed.]

This particular performance was a special event in that there was a guest appearance by Yuki Kajiura, composer of several video games and anime such as Xenosaga, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Elfen Lied. The popular composer came on stage near the end of the show to answer questions of fans, an event that was warmly received.

Experiences like A Night in Fantasia never fail to shock me. I enter expecting what I’ve read on paper, in this case a concert, and I leave flabbergasted. Entering an event like this you find you are not only attending a performance but you are entering a whole other world, a world where intelligent people live out their fantasies and interests freely. With all the stress and hardship in the world it is invigorating to attend such a gathering. My eyes were certainly opened as I realised just how many forms beauty truly does exist in.

My hat goes off the performers, it certainly was a breathtaking concert – but my love goes out to the audience. It is fantastic to see so many people getting together to share in their mutual interests and for that, I respect you all… but if anyone asks; you’ve never met me.