Nico Nico Douga to stream live concert for new Ghibli film

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

A concert by Aoi Teshima promoting Studio Ghibli Inc.’s latest animated feature film, “Kokurikozaka Kara” (From Kokuriko Hill), will be streamed live on July 21 on Nico Nico Douga, the video-sharing website operated by Dwango Co. subsidiary Niwango Co.

The event is a coproduction with the leading anime studio and video maker Khara Inc., which will produce the video to be streamed on Nico Nico Douga.

The concert will take place at the Nicofarre hall in Tokyo’s Roppongi district to celebrate the July 16 release of Ghibli’s newest anime feature.

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, singer Teshima had her first big hit with “Therru’s Song,” the theme from Ghibli’s “Tales from Earthsea” (2006). She also provided the voice of Therru in the Japanese film.

Teshima will sing the theme song for “Kokurikozaka Kara,” titled “Sayonara no Natsu” (Summer of farewell).

Nicofarre is a “concert hall for the next generation,” located at the former location of the Roppongi Velfarre disco club.

The interior of the venue takes its cue from the video-sharing website. With large LED monitors installed on the four walls and ceiling, concert-goers will feel inundated by a virtual flood of images.

As the concert unfolds, the video screens will scroll a stream of live comments from online viewers, a popular feature of the video-sharing website. Nico Nico Douga said it hopes to forge a sense of unity among concert-goers, online viewers and Teshima as she performs.

The video images will also feature scenes from “Kokurikozaka Kara,” with pianist Satoshi Takebe providing accompaniment on-screen.
Khara is a high-profile anime production studio set up by “Evangelion” creator Hideaki Anno. The studio is also responsible for the new “Evangelion” feature film series.

Khara’s collaboration with Ghibli for an event to promote the studio’s 1988 hit “My Neighbor Totoro” was an innovative surprise, and no doubt this new concert will grab equal attention.

Ghibli appears to be expanding the scope of its collaborations with Nico Nico Douga. The anime studio has already worked with the website for promo conferences for “Kokurikozaka Kara” and an art exhibition dedicated to Oscar-winning Canadian animation artist Frederic Back that is running now through October at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

For Ghibli, the collaborations are aimed at attracting attention from Nico Nico Douga’s youthful viewers.

Meanwhile, the video-sharing website can expect to raise its profile to attract more Internet hits. The website, which boasts about 20 million users, has already said it plans to expand its user base. Ghibli seems the perfect partner for Nico Nico Douga in that respect.
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