So it’s been two years now since I became a Ranka fan (if you wish to hear my story of Ranka I went into it on her birthday post here) so I feel like writing on something from last year that I wish I had been able to blog about at the time. That being the Macross F Super Live concert held on the PlayStation network which was one of my favorite memories as a Ranka fan. Such an old event is probably of little interest at this point but I put the YouTube video of it at the bottom for reference if you wish to see it.
For those who don’t know back in July 2011 on the PlayStation Network they created this virtual concert in PlayStation Home which is a virtual social community. I imagine its similar to Second Life or The Sims although I am not knowledgeable on this subject matter, in fact this is the only time I have ever used PS Home or anything similar. Anyways, there are different areas you can go to with different exhibits or purposes and you can run around, spend money on things like clothes or accessories, there are movie theaters and so on.
For this event they put in several things into the network, first they added a concert stage that is exactly like the one from the movies. Second they added an area outside of the stage with what I believe had a Valkyrie sitting there as well as they put in a store that allowed you to buy clothes and such, so for example you could give your character in the world Ranka’s Seikan Hikou outfit. Finally they added into the theaters showings of episode six and seven which was playing nonstop. Not sure why those episodes but I guess it was because they were the least shippy, least dramatic and most laid back fun episodes of the series perhaps.
So when I first heard of this I immediately wanted to be there for the concerts but I honestly didn’t think it would be possible. For starters I didn’t think I would have a fast enough internet connection being so far away from Japan. Second I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to get on the Japanese PlayStation Home network. Luckily for me it was rather easy thanks to some YouTube guides which told me which buttons to press and got me through the registration written in Japanese.
Next up was actually trying to figure out how to use the Home program which I was not familiar with at all and having everything in Japanese didn’t help either. I had to go back to the English side a few times to learn what buttons did what. Since the concerts did not actually take place for a week or two before the event was setup I had plenty of time to run around and see the sights.
First thing I found was the theater which at the time was playing episode six. This was also the first time I saw people dressed up in Ranka’s outfit running around which made me jealous (not jealous enough to spend the yen, if could, just for this one event though). The loading times for the episode was extremely slowing which made me worried for the concert but once it was loaded I had no issues with the episode playing smoothly. It was pretty nice to be able to watch these episodes on my TV and completely legally even though there were no subs so I had to use my limited Japanese knowledge. Overall it was fun and cool to watch it in a crowd even if I had no idea what anyone else was saying.
Next up I checked out the concert area and stage. Even though you were in a big stage just like the movie you actually were only limited to a single section in the middle. You could sit down in the seats or just stand anywhere and watch it didn’t seem to matter either way. There was a big screen in place of the stage that was playing Macross trailers for Sayonara no Tsubasa and various other ads. So that is basically my pre-concert experience, trying to keep it as brief as possible, now on to the actual concert.
Even though everything was setup for sometime and accessible any time of the day, including the screenings of the Macross F episodes, the actual concert was on a set schedule and was only going to happen a total of 4 times (two days at two different times) if I remember right. Thankfully the first concert was early on in the day in Japan so it fit in with my schedule. For my concern about not having a fast enough internet connection it turns out that the concert was mostly preloaded when you entered the stadium from what I could tell, it at least explained why it took me 10-15 minutes of waiting on downloading to see the few minutes of trailers on the big screen.
I logged in about 15 minutes early just to be sure there are no problems and got a seat in the front row. I was half expecting to see the other sections in the stadium fill up with people but instead I think they just made separate instances for every 50 or so people. When the concert started the place went from day to night and I lost control of my character. I was surprised that they made some kind of story and text similar to a game. I really wasn’t sure what was going on in the story and this portion did take up a far amount of the concert time but there seemed to be Varja and some fighting and a lot of talking by Sheryl and Ranka but it was all fun regardless.
After a while the first song started. With it came the stage raising from the water in the form of the weird oil rig pirate boat from the movie. It was not surprising that Sheryl was first singing Don’t Be Late which was a nice start to the concert even if it’s not what I was there for. I suggest you just watch the concert on YouTube if you wish to see the details of it. Sheryl was also wearing her costume from the movie which matched the stage.
I noticed that you had a sort of concert interaction with being able to somehow make either large scrolling text showing either “Ranka love” or “Sheryl love” appear whenever the camera panned back to the audience (you can find this in the video). In my audience it seemed there was much more support for Ranka and there was always green coming from us which was very nice. Sadly I had no clue how to do this, I think you might have needed to buy something from the store, and I wasn’t about to mess with my remote for fear of doing something to mess it all up.
After some more talking and stuff happening it was Ranka’s turn singing My Boyfriend is a Pilot. This is not my favorite song of her’s so that was a little disappointing but just seeing Ranka on stage like this was such a thrill, even if it wasn’t real it was still something I’d call live, I didn’t think much more of it. After Ranka was done with her first song and being all cute, moe and wonderful there was of course more talking I didn’t understand and then it was time for Do You Remember The Love. This had footage from the original Macross playing but other than that nothing much different from the previous songs.
Next there was more stuff happening with the story and talking for what felt like 30 minutes (but was really more around 5-10 minutes) and then fourth up was back to Sheryl. I don’t remember the name of this song but its a nice one and you can find it easily for yourself on the YouTube video of it if you wish to find out.
Now it was time for the good stuff, the fifth song was Ranka’s Anata no Oto. Perfectly fitting because the outfit she had on was from the music clip collection Nyankuri for this song. It had playing in the background the said video which was obviously perfect and they even had a paper airplane flying across the stage at the start which was a great touch. Even just watching it on YouTube again brings back the joy from watching this live with all the nice effects going on and stream of Ranka love from the crowd. Also, I’d just like to add I thought they did a great job on making Ranka and Sheryl dance and move very life-like and in rhythm with the songs. I think Anata no Oto was one of the best in showing this movement off.
After this they went to the credit but I had a feeling or maybe I was just hoping there would be an encore. I certainly feel bad if anyone left at this point because there was still 11 minutes left in the show after the credits. So as usual they talked for a few minutes and then Ranka came flying in on the hand of a Valkyrie got dropped off, waved back and proceeded to sing Seikan Hikou complete with the dance moves and a Kira~! After she finished she jumped back onto the Valkyrie and waved to the crowd for a bit in such a cute way it could melt even the most cynical of haters (I wish but there are evil Macross F fans out there sadly). It wrapped up with more text and the concert was over about an hour after it started.
It truly was an experience that you can’t get again just by watching the video but its close I highly recommend watching start to finish even if you don’t understand the text. One thing I didn’t really understand is why they played music from the TV series on a stage from the first movie, using video from Nyankuri for a concert promoting Sayonara no Tsubasa. I would have liked a few songs from that movie in it but it’s no big deal.
I also think this is possibly the only event in the history of Macross F where they gave bias to Ranka in that she got four songs to Sheryl’s two. She even got the final song and the encore, this was very nice to see for once. I wish Ranka had this more often in the franchises history. Overall it was a great experience something I consider myself extremely lucky to have seen live and I will remember and treasure as long as I live (hopefully).