• Film & TV

Virtual ‘Tokusatsu’ Concert in Tokyo Wraps up Strange Year

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Singers give impassioned performances at the Tokuuta Matsuri Online 2 concert.

The last event I organized for this year was “Tokuuta Matsuri Online 2” at the end of November. I usually still hold a few more events related to tokusatsu sci-fi superhero shows or anison (anime songs) scheduled for around the end of the year, and then I write about the final event of the year in the New Year. That kind of lame time lag won’t occur this year, of course, because I couldn’t hold many events due to the coronavirus pandemic, which leaves me with mixed feelings.

Tokuuta Matsuri is a concert of songs from tokusatsu dramas and films. In addition to the three regular members — Yoffy and Imajo of the music unit PSYCHIC LOVER and percussion player Minoru Uchida — this time singers Yohei Onishi and Takashi Deguchi joined in. Onishi sings the opening theme song of “Mashin Sentai Kiramager,” the Super Sentai Series drama airing now, and Deguchi sings the ending theme. Deguchi also participated in the event for the first time.

They all sang their signature songs along with covers of songs by Yoffy and covers of songs from “Denshi Sentai Denziman,” which marked its 40th anniversary this year. The main event, however, was the Kiramager section, complete with its singers. They sang not only the opening and the ending songs, but also other songs from the drama, such as “Kiramei☆Action!!” by Yoffy, “Go Kiramager” by Onishi and the theme song for the character Kiramei Silver by Deguchi. The concert was streamed live without an audience, meaning we saw no one dance along to the performances. Therefore, I stepped in and danced onstage all alone, which was also out of the ordinary for these events.

Onishi gave a speech at the end of the concert. Referring to the fact there was almost no opportunity this year to sing Kiramager songs with Deguchi at various events related to the show, he shed tears of compassion for the young Deguchi, who could not experience promotional campaigns for the drama and other events. I was moved by his tears. Onishi, whom I thought of as still a newcomer making his debut only a little while ago, has matured into a big brother. Despite the pandemic, artists are maturing day after day. I could not help but feel hope thinking about how they will have grown before the live concert next year.