The biggest festival about Japanese culture in Europe, Japan Expo, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, from July 4th to 7th at the Paris Villepinte Parc des Expositions.
A lot of prestigious guests were invited yet again (Go Nagai, miwa, YOSHIKI, Otsuka Ai…), as well as, of course, several Japanese idol acts! Just as last year, the Bonjour Idol team was there to tell you all about the lives, sign sessions and events related to the Japanese idol culture throughout those four days at the festival.
Every year, Japan Expo and the SAIKO! Japan organization make sure to invite several idol groups or solo performers to please their French and European idol fans.
After Taiwan, Hong Kong and Bangkok, Task have fun set sail for Paris and did not fail to lit up the Japan Expo stages!
The group was highly anticipated by the fans. As a proof of their excitement, and in order to actively participate into the various showcases, some fans had set up a website listing up all the various calls and “furicopi” (copying the dance moves) for all their songs, contributing to the festive mood throughout the entire festival.
The three members of the group did not let exhaustion nor the jetlag bring them down and gave it all throughout those four days, whether for their showcases on the Tsubame and Saiko! Stages or for their sign sessions and photocalls.
With their newfound popularity in summer 2017 with their iconic single “3WD”, Task have Fun’s growing success does not seem to find its limits. The originality of their music and choreographies won over the Japanese idol crowd, and got the foreign fans excited as well.
Despite being a little shy for their very first photocall on Thursday morning, the audience didn’t let them down at any of their showcases. Their two sign sessions were also a big success, in which members and fans managed to exchange despite their language barrier.
We were also able to interact with the group during their Meet and Greets on the Fantasy Japan booth, where official merch was also available. Fans could take cheki (instant polaroid-type pictures) and shake the hands of their favorite idols during those sessions.
As a nice conclusion to this week-end, the fans had prepared a surprise for Fuuka, Kyouka and Natsuki’s birthdays (all happening just a few days before and after the festival), gifting them a French flag with a Task have Fun logo print, covered in messages from all the fans present at the convention – Japanese and French.
Task have Fun may never forget this once in a lifetime experience and European fans are know only waiting for one thing: to see them again in Paris as soon as possible!
This trio was not the only idol act at the festival this year, and someone else made their grand comeback at Japan Expo!
Kojima Marina from miraiskirt was there for the second time and gifted the French fans her lovely smile and sweet personality.
Completely self-produced, the energy and courage that Marina puts in her activities are always impressive. Idol fans were eagerly waiting for her and their patience was rewarded: with one Meet and Greet and one showcase on the Saiko! Stage per day, they had a lot of time to interact with their idol! An idol who, taking advantage of her trip to Paris, also shared two nights out at a restaurant with her fans, to make sure to create the best memories this summer.
We finally also got to meet again with Tokyo Candoll 2019 winners We=MUKASHIBANASHI.
After a change of name and line-up, this small group was starting from scratch and was completely unknown for the French audience. While this could have been a disadvantage, the enthusiasm and joyful energy of SAKI, MAKI and GASHI turned it into their biggest strength!
Through their big smiles, their energetic performances and eagerness to meet a brand new crowd, they completely won over the idol fans at Japan Expo but also the regular crowd that kept growing bigger and bigger in front of the Tsubame stage, hypnotized by their catchy music and fun choreographies. Aside from all their showcases, the girls walked all over the convention to give out flyers and take pictures with people. Their sign sessions and photocalls were also a big success amongst fans and regular attendees of all ages and backgrounds.
As we are approaching the end of this report, we cannot forget to tell you all about We=MUKASHIBANASHI’s showcase on the festival’s main stage, also named Karasu!
Despite a limited discography for the very young group, this trio once again went above and beyond all expectations thanks to an energetic and friendly show, with interactive choreographies and short breaks with small messages in French to their audience.
The girls had also prepared a small surprise by throwing signed goodies in the audience during one of the MCs! As they were one of the last artists to perform at the festival, the audience cheered very hard, followed the members by dancing along with them and waving their glowsticks up in the air on “Are you ready”. “The Gift”, the first digital single of the group, also saw a couple of people being lifted up in the air during both repeats of the track.
We also want to add a few praising words on the brand new light works on the Karasu stage, that participated into a successful live by lifting up the performance making it even more colorful and dynamic that it already was.
Sadly, our team could not find the time to cover the showcases of Yuemeoi Shojo and Airly Momoco due to scheduling conflicts. We hope they had a great time and that fans enjoyed their performances at the festival!
Just as every year, Japanese idols added their own little charm to the biggest Japanese culture festival of Europe, pleasing all their fans in the area.
We still have some exclusive content to share about it so stay tuned!
Task have Fun – Official Site Task have Fun – Twitter Task have Fun – Youtube miraiskirt – Official Site miraiskirt – Twitter Kojima Marina – Twitter miraiskirt – Youtube We=MUKASHIBANASHI – Official Site We=MUKASHIBANASHI – Twitter We=MUKASHIBANASHI – Youtube
Photos by Nathan
Article by Nathan, translated to English by Melody