J-POP Summit Festival concert with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu trip report!

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu  J-POP concert San Francisco
[adrotate banner=”1″]As part of the continuing adventures of TarsTarkas.NET, I attended a free concert in Union
Square in San Francisco that was part of the J-POP Summit Festival 2013. The Festival is also sponsoring the first ever Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, which I am also attending screenings to (and reviews for Dreams for Sale and Library Wars will be appearing on TarsTarkas.NET!) I have press access, which I say as a disclaimer now, though I don’t accept free screening passes in press form, so I’ve paid my way for those films. I did, however, take advantage of the press access to get front row seats at this concert, which I would be attending anyway. But enough about the moral implications of getting a front row seat, let’s get on with the concert!

The free concert had four acts, so let’s go over them in order of appearance:

First up was Kylee (aka Kylee Saunders), an American singer with a Japanese mother who has become really big in Japan. As she’s currently going to school at Stanford, her focus now is more exposure and performances in the US. Kylee sung a mix of Japanese and English songs, including a cover of Pink’s Just Give Me A Reason. Kylee hung around a big to answer questions from concert host Mike Inouye of the local NBC station.

Up second was LoVendoЯ, the group formed around former Morning Musume singer Reina Tanaka. Over 4000 women auditioned to be part of the band, with Yuki Uozumi, Marina Okada, and Marin Miyazawa ending up with the coveted slots. LoVendoЯ was named earlier this year, and only has a few songs of their own, though I will say they were pretty entertaining. Among their songs played was Joukyou Monogatari. The act came out in outfits that were red and black colored leather, with billions and billions of metal studs in them. While talking with Mike Inouye, Reina Tanaka seemed almost apologetic the group didn’t have more songs to play.

Up third was human beatbox machine Daichi. Who performed by himself and made all of the noises for his songs. He was pretty crazy, creating inhuman musical sounds, mixing American and Japanese songs together into recognizable beats that were still unique. At one point he used a device to record samples of himself that he put on loop o he could perform as an entire band. Daichi has a song voice that sounds like a robot Popeye that he uses as his main song voice, but threw in several other completely different sounds. He also did a neat trick where he held the microphone up to his neck and still produced some awesome music. I believe he was the most impressive of the acts just for how cool it was that he did everything with just his mouth. And if they need a new Jones for a Police Academy reboot…

And, finally, what everyone came for – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! The screaming was loud, but Kyary Pamyu Pamyu burst on stage with her four American flag attired masked alien cat girl dancers and rocked the house. Or rocked the open public area, I should say. Kyary opened with PonPonPon and went through her hits, Invader Invader, Fashion Monster, you know the drill. The audience was going nuts, and the energy from Kyary and her dancers was electric.

But all good things must come to an end, and thus the concert did as well. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was kind enough to do a brief interview, and then that was all she wrote. Overall it was a fun experience, and some acts from Japan now have a larger audience thanks to the magic of exposure.

Here is a big bunch of photos I took

After the concert, the Press Pass lost it’s value, so I gave to to our good friend Mongo, who subsequently used the Press Pass to interview the brand new Royal Baby Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. Also, Mongo has been arrested, something to do with trespassing and harassment of the Royal Family and annoying an infant. Who expected that to be a crime? Freaking infants, they are such babies…
Press Pass Mongo

J-Pop Summit Festival

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF) is coming!

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Kawaii

Watch movies or the shark gets you!

[adrotate banner=”1″]The brand new Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will come to the city Saturday July 27th through Sunday August 4th at the New People Cinema in J-town. The JFFSF is also part of the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, which is July 27th and 28th in Japantown, a street fair featuring all sorts of activities.

The JFFSF will feature live action and anime screenings, including several West Coast and San Francisco premiers. I copied the schedule below for the live action films, but here is a summary in case you want a quick hit:

Notable live-action premieres include:

• Miwa Nishikawa’s Dreams for Sale
• Sakuran director Mika Ninagawa’s Helter Skelter
• Sion Sono’s award-winning masterpiece, Himizu
• “Zero Zen” Architect/author Kyohei Sakaguchi’s documentary, How To Build a Mobile House
• Director Takashi Miike’s Lesson of the Evil
• Director Shinsuke Sato’s Library Wars
• Actor Kazunari Ninomiya’s Platinum Data
• The samurai adventure of Rurouni Kenshin
• Space Battleship Yamato, based on one of Japan’s greatest anime properties (known in the U.S. as Star Blazers)

And, yes, films will be in Japanese with English subtitles!

Also semi-related is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu having a free concert in Union Square in San Francisco on Sunday, July 28th from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Yes, FREE!


Exclusive Premieres Include Dreams For Sale, Himuzu, Lesson Of The Evil, Library Wars, Platinum Data, Space Battleship Yamato And More At First-Ever NorCal/Bay Area Dedicated Japanese Film Celebration; Festival Will Welcome Library Wars Director Shinsuke Sato As Guest of Honor

San Francisco, CA, May 23, 2013 – The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, the popular yearly San Francisco summertime Japanese Pop Culture celebration, has announced the launch of the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film event for Northern California and the S.F. Bay Area.

The week-long Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning Saturday, July 27th through Sunday August 4th. The festival will also be a prominent feature of the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, taking place across Japantown on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. A complete schedule and advance ticket information is available on www.jffsf.org.

Tickets are $13.00 per film unless otherwise indicated. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (cross street is Webster St.) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.

Nine live-action films representing a vivid cross-section of the best in recent Japanese cinema will have their exclusive U.S. and/or San Francisco premiere at NEW PEOPLE. The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will complement this press release in coming days with a subsequent announcement detailing an exciting slate of anime feature films also set to receive their U.S. and/or San Francisco premieres.

Live-action films include director Miwa Nishikawa’s Dreams for Sale, Sakuran director Mika Ninagawa’s Helter Skelter, Sion Sono’s award-winning masterpiece, Himizu, architect/author Kyohei Sakaguchi’s documentary, How To Build a Mobile House, director Takashi Miike’s Lesson of The Evil, director Shinsuke Sato’s Library Wars, actor Kazunari Ninomiya’s Platinum Data, the samurai adventure of Rurouni Kenshin, and Space Battleship Yamato, based on one of Japan’s greatest anime properties (known in the U.S. as Star Blazers) and a must-see for any sci-fi aficionado. Films will be presented with their original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is also honored to welcome Director Shinsuke Sato, who is also known for his 2011 blockbuster, GANTZ, for a special in-person appearance for the exclusive U.S. premiere of his newest film, Library Wars. Sato will participate in a special Q&A session with the NEW PEOPLE Cinema audience and also appear as a Guest of Honor during the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is presented in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit, taking place Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th across the city’s historic Japantown district to celebrate the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture with a colorful array of live bands and artists, panel discussions, film premieres, edgy fashion shows and DJ dance events, celebrity appearances and more.

The J-POP Summit Festival is hosted and organized by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted nearly 65,000 attendees. More information is available at www.J-POP.com.

Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Live-Action Program:

Saturday, July 27th, 7:00pm
Written and directed by Miwa Nishikawa, who’s SWAY and Dear Doctor were screened at numerous film festivals around the world, Dreams for Sale is a richly evocative drama about a couple that lose everything in a fire and attempt to make a fresh start by swindling others. Wife Satoko (Takako Matsu) and her husband Kanya (Sadawo Abe) run a small eatery in a corner of Tokyo, but on the 5th anniversary of its opening, a fire erupts in the kitchen and burns the place to a cinder. In desperate need of cash, Satoko and Kanya embark on a hilarious and heartwarming marriage scam in an attempt to put their lives back on track.

Saturday, August 3rd, 4:20pm
Sakuran director Mika Ninagawa’s live-action adaptation of the eponymous shojo manga by Kyoko Okazaki utilizes brilliantly colored visuals to depict the descent of an outwardly perfect but inwardly unstable star that reigns over the entertainment world. Top model Liliko (Erika Sawajiri) captivates the public with her beauty that is the envy of all who look upon her. However, her appearance has been entirely engineered through plastic surgery. Complications arise from the numerous operations and begin to eat away at Liliko both physically and psychologically, sending her into a downward spiral.

Sunday, August 4th, 1:10pm
Sion Sono’s award-winning masterpiece is based on Minoru Furuya’s manga ”Himizu,” named for a species of a Japanese mole. Set after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, all 14-year-old Yuichi Sumida (Shota Sometani) wants is to live a decent life. But his environment keeps dragging him into the mud. Keiko Chazawa (Fumi Nikaido), a classmate of Yuichi, harbors a severe crush on him and sticks around despite being berated by him. One day, the yakuza comes by Yuichi’s home and tells him to pay off his father’s debt. Yuichi already heartbroken by his mother’s abandonment and abuse from his father nears a tipping point. A string of incidents occurs that brings Yuichi’s world to a screeching halt. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Saturday, July 27th, 1:30pm
With the appearance of the famous ”Zero Yen” architect, Kyohei Sakaguchi, the documentary, How to Build a Mobile House, makes its U.S. premiere in his favorite city, San Francisco! Screening attendees will also be invited to his free workshop to build a Mobile Green House with him during the J-POP Summit Festival. Kyohei’s numerous books include ”Tokyo Zero Yen House, Zero Yen Life,” inspired by the exuberant creativity of street dwellers. This documentary delves into the roots of dwelling, and living, through the unique activities of this architect who ”does not build.” Sakaguchi, who devised a nest-like abode that fits the size of the human body, apprentices himself to a Tama River Robinson Crusoe who actually lives on a riverbed. The film depicts the completion of a mobile house for only $260.00 in materials.

Saturday, July 27th, 4:20pm & Tuesday, July 30th, 7:00pm
Directed by Takashi Miike, Lesson of the Evil is a twisted psycho thriller based on a bestseller novel by Yusuke Kishi. Hasumi is a popular teacher among students at Shinko Academy, a private high school, and well respected by the faculty and the PTA. However, a student named Reika feels something menacing lurking beneath his shining reputation. While Hasumi brilliantly solves one problem after another, from a teacher-student sexual harassment to group cheating to bulling, he starts to take control of the school. As the problems go away, Reika becomes uneasy about the way they are solved. Tsurii, an unpopular teacher in the school, despises the popular Hasumi and starts investigating Hasumi’s past and discovers that Hasumi is a real psycho.

Friday, August 2nd, 7:00pm & Saturday, August 3rd, 1:10pm
** Featuring special in-person appearance by Director Shinsuke Sato
Library Wars is based on the bestselling novel and manga series by Hiro Arikawa. Set in the year 2019 in Japan, a new law is passed to crack down on free expression, which allows for the government to create an armed force to find and destroy objectionable printed material. Meanwhile, to oppose this oppressive crackdown, the Library Force is created. The Library Force includes instructor Atsushi Dojo (Junichi Okada) and Iku Kasahara (Nana Eikura), who work to protect the libraries. A fierce battle soon ensues between these two groups.

Thursday, August 1st, 7:00pm & Saturday, August 3rd, 7:00pm
J-Pop artist Kazunari Ninomiya (Gantz, Oscar –nominated for Letters from Iwo Jima), stars in Platinum Data, the biggest film to be released n Japan in 2013 and directed by Keishi Ohtomo (Rurouni Kenshin). Ryuheo Kagura (Kazunari Ninomiya) is an exceptional scientist working at the National Police Agency’s Special Analysis Research Institute. After solving series of complex criminal cases, he is assigned to investigate the murders of several people connected to the newly developed DNA forensics. Yet, when the faint trace of evidence left at the scene is analyzed through the DNA forensic system, it identifies himself as the offender. With no such memory, he decides to flee and the pursuer becomes the pursued. Is Kagura guilty or innocent? Should he trust in science, or in himself? Does he represent hope for humanity or despair? Platinum Data holds the key…

Sunday, July 28th, 6:30pm & Thursday, August 1st, 4:00pm
A new live-action film adaptation of creator Nobuhiro Watsuki ’s samurai manga that has sold over 57 million copies, been translated in 23 countries, and also inspired a popular animated series. Rurouni Kenshin follows the adventures of a slight and mild-mannered young man who was once an assassin working for anti-Shogunate forces but vows to abandon killing following Meiji revolution in Japan, and devotes his sword-wielding talents to helping others.

Sunday, August 4th, 3:20pm
A stunning live-action adaptation of the famed space opera originally created by Leiji Matsumoto that laid the foundation for the entire Japanese science fiction anime genre. A brave young crew journeys into space on a fateful trip to save the human race as it teeters on the brink of extinction. Five years have passed since the alien Gamilas first began assaulting Earth with radiation bombs in 2194. Most of the human race is now gone. Susumu Kodai (Takuya Kimura) joins other survivors of the Earth Defense Force in the mighty Space Battleship Yamato in search of a device that can restore the devastated planet. Although director Takashi Yamazaki first gained prominence with his heartwarming film, Always: Sunset on Third Street, his background is in science fiction and his talents for VFX shine in this acclaimed film based on one of Japan’s greatest sci-fi properties.

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees. More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will do the Star Trek Into Darkness theme!

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
[adrotate banner=”1″]Part of the Star Trek Into Darkness global domination tour involves having local artists in six countries sing their own Star Trek theme songs. Nothing interesting there, until you realize the Japanese artist will be Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. If you don’t know who Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is, then you ain’t seen anything! She is literally the embodiment of crazy JPop costumes, her videos are some of the most entertaining things that ever evered. So we eagerly await the video to the Star Trek song, knowing it might just be the best thing that was ever connected to Star Trek. Plus, any time I can talk about Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a good time!

via JapanToday