Sakuracon 2013 - Luna Haruna and Eir Aoi Panel

Aniplex of America's E.J. Rivera introduced Sakura-Con's two musical guests, Luna Haruna and Eir Aoi, to packed audience on Friday. The Sword Art Online and Fate/Zero singers wore matching cat ears, with Haruna in her "signature" green color and Aoi in blue. Haruna wore a white lolita-style dress, while Aoi wore a thin white long sleeved shirt overtop of a black shirt with silver sequeins with a slim blue scarf to accessorize. Rivera opened the panel with a fairly lengthy series of interview questions, which would be a running theme for most of the industry run panels.


E.J. Rivera (E.J.): How did you both become singers?

Eir Aoi (E.A.): I put my first song up on the niconico streaming service. Someone contacted me after seeing my video. To be honest, when I first got approached, I thought it was weird and strange. Like, this can't be happening, this must be a scam.
E.J.: Now, wasn't your first musical debut in a magazine?

E.A.: The magazine was called LisAni. There's a lot of music, music related stuff in there. It was the first time my music was put out in the world so there was a lot of mixed feeling of nervousness but it was very exciting. The song was called "Frozen Eyes," and it's also in my first complete album as well.

E.J.: Luna, can you tell us a little about your career and how you started.? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you did modeling work before you became a singer?

Luna Haruna (L.H.): I first started off as a model in a magazine called Kera and they do a lot of model-type fashion. After I did some work there, they asked me if I wanted to enter in the Ani Grand Prix Contest.

E.J.: Now, your music was also released in a magazine too, right?

L.H.: This is true. Like Eir here, I also had my debut in the LisAni magazine. Again, seeing your music, seeing your songs go out into the world was a very, very moving for me. I think the music is very melodic so a wide variety of people can enjoy it.

E.J.: Can you talk about your official debut song? Let's start with Eir.

E.A.: My first official, official debut was the song "Memoria," which was the ending song for Fate/Zero. What I wanted to envision in this song was very powerful woman (Saber). So, when I was singing it I really tried to capture this strength.

E.J.: Why is Eir covering her face in her debut album?

E.A.: I was trying to be mysterious. (laughs)

E.J. Now Luna, can you tell us about your debut song?

L.H.: My first debut song was "Sora wa Takaku Kazewa Utau." This song was closely tied into the [Fate/Zero] anime itself. A lot of the lyrics were tied into the characters themselves. Like [the character] Iris (Irisviel), the story is portrayed by the lyrics. I'm an otaku myself, so I tried to portray myself through the song.

E.J.: Luna, you have a very nice outfit, It's very gothic and well designed. How did you pick your outfit today?

L.H.: It was actually very, very carefully chosen. The brand is h.Naoto. My second single, "overfly," it has a very wingy with white themes to it. So, that's why this has a very white and wingy feel. That's why I chose it today.

E.J.: Both of your first singles were chosen for the same anime, Fate/Zero. Also, both of your next singles were chosen for Sword Art Online. Eir Aoi, I heard you're a big fan of video games too, is this true?

E.A.: I play on xbox 360 and I play online a lot. So, I think I've come across a few of you guys from overseas too. We've played together. Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, anybody? (cheers from the crowd)

E.J.: Can you tell us a little more about your theme song for Sword Art Online?

E.A.: As you guys know, I'm a little bit of a gamer. So, when I got the chance to sing for Sword Art Online, something that blends a game and an anime together, I was really excited. I try to convey these feelings in my single "innocence."

L.H.: So, in my single "overfly", I tried to convey the feelings between Kirito and Asuna. It was really painful, and tension between them is really conveyed through the lyrics. I want you guys to listen to it and let it give you courage. Personally, given all that, I'm a big fan of Klein.

E.J.: Eir, I heard you recently released an album, is that true?

E.A.: So yes, my new album is titled BLAU, which is "blue" in German, went on sale January 30. The inspiration behind this album and the reason I called it that is because my name, Aoi, means "blue". It contains different elements, aspects, and characters I have within me. Blue is an overarching theme I wanted to express there with something that means a lot to me. And the opening song is called "Aurora." (note: both Eir Aoi and the translator both said the opening song was "Avalon Blue", but the title on the actual cd is "Aurora")

E.J.: Eir, you also toured in Japan with this album release. How is it to perform on stage and what do you like about performing live?

E.A.: When I perform live, it's really a different sensation than performing in a studio. You're really close to your fans and I really feed of that energy when I perform. When performing live, you have to have fun yourself so the fans have fun too. So whenever I sing live there's always this chant that people in the audience do for me. There's a concert tomorrow, you know, right, so I thought this was the perfect time to try this out. So will you guys come to my concert tomorrow? Tomorrow!

E.J.: Luna, I heard you made an interesting video clip. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

L.H.: So, I think the clip he's talking goes with the song "Mahou no Shiro, Shinzitsu no Sho," this was the coupling track to "overfly." What's interesting about the clip is that the artists aren't in it whatsover. It's animated, but it's not completely anime. It's between 2D and 3D. It resonated with me because it's a transition between their world and our world.

E.J.: We covered a lot of songs today. So, I bet a some these fans want to know if any of these songs are available in the US?

L.H.: So yes, both singles are available on iTunes and Amazon, "Sora wa Takaku Kazewa Utau" and "overfly". I really packed all my anime otakuness in these so I hope you give them a listen and go download them.

E.A.: BLAU is online too, go check it out.

With limited time left in the panel, Rivera opened the floor for a brief Q & A session for fans.

Q: My favorite song off of BLAU is "Satellite." How is your guys' relationship with LiSA?

E.A.: Well to say the least, I really just love LiSA. She's a great sort of predecessor to aspire to. I have a lot of respect for her.

Q:First off, (in Japanese) I love you guys! (English) Both of you have very beautiful voices. I was wondering if you wanted to try voice acting and if so for what anime?

L.H.: So, there was a period when I wanted to voice act and since I am a big anime fan, especially Fullmetal Alchemist. There was actually a feature in a magazine, Gangan, that took you through the studio where they did they did voice overs for Edward Elric. When I saw that, I really wanted to it but it was a a passing phase. Maybe someday I'd get to voice some dark characters. I'd want to do something dark.

Q: I noticed that both of you were at the Type Moon 10th Anniversary Concert with Kalafina, and everybody. What was that like, rehearsals and the event all together?

E.A.: I was stretching with LiSA.... and she pushed me from behind. (laughs)

L.H.: With all that kind of musical talent all gathered in one place, it was inspiring and stimulating. I felt, not just as an artist, but I was able to enjoy the concert as a fan as well. I was able to look at the set as well. Type Moon really went over the top, and I felt I was a part of their world.

Q:Last year you [Eir Aoi] did a single for the Yui tribute album called "Gloria," what was that like?

E.A.: So "Gloria" was actually my first cover, and um, it was very difficult to really sing something another artist came up with. I remember listening to this song when I was studying for exams back in the day so when I went to go sing the song I tried to remember how I felt back then, to cheer someone and on and give them that energy.

Eir Aoi and Luna Haruna: (In English) Thank you very much, see you tomorrow!