Wednesday, April 8, 2015

GARNiDELiA at Sakura-Con 2015

When MARiA and toku combine forces they become the super group GARDiNELiA! It was an honour to have the opportunity to hear their stories, met them in person, and listen to them live in concert! Like most fans, I first heard GARNiDELiA when they sang the second opening of KILL la KILL, ambiguous. I immediately fell in love and bought their first album, Linkage Ring. At that time, when I ordered the album, Sakura-Con haven't announced their major guests yet; so, of course, GARNiDELiA was to be one of their first Japanese guests of honor!

Official photo from Sakura-Con

MARiA arrived just before their panel on Friday. toku arrived earlier that day and already had a Subway sandwich to eat. He was quite surprised of how big the sandwich was in the United States! They were both surprised at the amount of cosplay around the con. Especially the huge, dangerous looking weapon because toku mentioned that weapons aren't usually allowed in Japan.

MARiA has been singing for over 10 years, while toku made his NicoNicoDouga debut in 2009. They started working together to create COLOR, the opening theme song for Freezing. However, they did not debut as GARNiDELiA until 2014. The name comes from "Le Palais Garnier de Maria" and the moon that was discovered on toku's birth year, Cordelia. MARiA was 22 at the time while toku was 36.

Their debut song, ambigious, was also their first fast-paced song. It was a challenge for them but they confronted it knowing that they were creating an anime opening theme song. The combination of MARiA's beautiful voice and toku's brilliant music evoked a lot of emotions for me. The shooting star sound that became prevalent in all of their songs became a signature sound and I really fell in love with them all.

Grilleto is their second single, which is also another fast-paced song. They also wanted to create a song that you can dance to as shown in the video with two dancing MARiAs. The MARiA in white represents her confident self and the MARiA in black represents her weaker self. Since MARiA had to do the dances twice in two different dresses she was filmed for 24 hours for the video. Whereas toku's part only took 30 minutes...

Their third single, Blazing, was an unexpected project because the director for Gundam Reconguista in G, Tomino Yoshiyuki, specifically requested them to do the opening song. MARiA worked on the lyrics on the bullet train then she sent them back and forth to Tomino for revisions. They were overwhelmed when they first met Tomino because to them it was like meeting the "god of Gundam". Since they were filming at night for this video, they had to use CGI to delete the flying insects around the stage...

These three songs are included in their first album Linkage Ring. The title of the album invokes the hope that they can create a link with their fans and new listeners to their album. Because to them, music is a way to communicate even if there is a language barrier.

After showing one of the videos from their first concert, MARiA commented that she designed and produced the dress for the live herself while working with a dressmaker. If she was not in the music business she would have like to design clothes for a living. Both of them are also avid anime fans. MARiA likes Sailor Moon and Naruto, while toku likes Macross Frontier and Evangelion. He also did cover songs of X Japan. Performing in the US has been one of MARiA's dreams... So without further ado, here are photos from the concert on Saturday night!

With matching plaid outfits, toku and MARiA came out and performed Grilleto as their opening song!

A big thank you for my Twitter connections to get me the set list from the concert because I was working hard to get the best photos within the first three songs! Thank you to @ToastCrust for retweeting my request, @UuaanPewo for notifying me of @cowboybibimbop's set list!

That amazing coat flap!
It was surprising when they started playing Go Tight from Genesis of Aquarion. It was very unexpected, but the song right after was even more unexpected for everyone!

A moment when toku wasn't as animated playing the keyboard.
MARiA teased that maybe not all people will know the next cover. toku even played the wrong music and MARiA playfully scolded him, "No!" Finally the familiar opening tune of Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis began playing and everyone went nuts! Myself included! Even though I could never beat MARiA's voice, I couldn't help but sing along. Since it is a GARNiDELiA mix, you could hear that familiar shooting star sound during the song.

The best close-up of MARiA

They finished the concert with their first and most popular single, ambiguous. They did not have an encore since they were signing autographs right after. They did keep to the schedule perfectly and signed people's merchandise very quickly. After the concert they took a photo with the crowd and MARiA posted it to her Twitter. You can see a green rectangle on the right side which is my notepad that I had out.

I have more photos from the concert that may not look as good as my best shots but still decent. If there are enough demands for it, I will post them up on my Flickr. Please contact me if there are any corrections to be made, via comments here, email or Twitter.


  1. Man, they played ORiON and SPiCa? Now I wish even more that I could've been there.

    Those are some great photos, by the way. MARiA is gorgeous.

    1. Ah that's too bad you couldn't make it. GARNiDELiA was my reason to go to Sakura-Con! Alas the concert ended too quickly ^^;

      Thank you! I'm glad my photos turn out better than expected because I was struggling to get the best shots within the first 3 songs for the press.