Apr 25

Justin’s Japan — Nippon in New York: Babymetal, Anime Fan Fest, Coppé, Eir Aoi, Hatsune Miku

Babymetal returns to New York at the PlayStation Theater May 4. (Courtesy of PlayStationtheater.com)

Babymetal returns to New York at the PlayStation Theater May 4. (Courtesy of PlayStationtheater.com)

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

As spring continues and the weather continues to warm, New Yorkers can enjoy activities all over the city both indoors and out.

This month’s highlights include:

Wednesday, May 4, 8:30 p.m.


PlayStation Theater, 1515 Broadway


New York City welcomes the return of Babymetal, a genre-smashing trio of teenage girls who perform a fusion of metal and idol music dubbed kawaii(cute) metal. After playing to a capacity crowd at Hammerstein Ballroom in 2014, the group returns to support its second album Metal Resistance, now available on Amazon and iTunes. After playing venues like the Tokyo Dome and Wembley Arena in London, Babymetal is poised to become one of the biggest (and widely known abroad) Japanese musical acts today.

Friday, May 6, 8:00 p.m.

J-MUSIC Ensemble

Shrine, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard


J-pop meets jazz! The J-MUSIC Ensemble is an NYC-based, jazz-rooted instrumental band that is devoted to bringing new perspectives to modern Japanese music, showcasing a fresh take on the best of J-pop, anime and video game tunes. This strikingly sonorous eight-piece band combines the elements of the electric guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums with a full horn section—saxophone, trumpet, and trombone–to deliver a full and powerful, yet dynamic, sound. Following in the jazz tradition, the horns do not play a background role in this instrumentation; instead, they are at the forefront and are put in the same role as leading singers.

May 6-8

Anime Fan Fest 2016

Garden State Exhibition Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset (NJ)

$32-$114, children under 10 free

OTAKU USA Magazine, the largest anime and manga magazine in the U.S., and MAD Event Entertainment producers of Comic Con in Long Beach, CA, has partnered to produce the OTAKU USA Anime Fan Fest at the Garden State Convention Center. The first year event features a star-studded guest list of voice actors, cosplayers, and more! “After producing countless events celebrating comics and pop culture, and our first convention in New Jersey having been such a success, we decided the time was right to produce an anime show” said Martha Donato, executive director and founder of MAD Events. “When we had the opportunity to co-produce this event with the number one magazine for anime and manga, we knew we had the makings of what will be one of the biggest weekends of the year for fans in New Jersey!”

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