The Embassy of Japan recently celebrated the annual Philippines-Japan Friendship Month with the Grand Finals of the J-Pop Anime Singing Contest at the SM Cinema Centerstage in the SM Mall of Asia.
A joint project of the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Foundation, Manila, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc., and SM Cinema, the event commemorates 58 years of longstanding cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.
Now on its sixth year, the contest has been a venue for Filipino amateur performers of all ages who can sing their favorite J-Pop or anime songs. This year, a Dance Contest was added to create more excitement.
The trio Hi-Ka-Ri* won First Place with their acoustic cover of “Ren Ai Shashin” by Ai Otsuka; while Mitch Arceo placed second with her rendition of “Aitakute Ima” by Misia, and Tigerlily, who sang “Ai no Kakera,” by Every Little Thing was in third place.
Special awards were also given to other participants: the Bandai’s Best Award to the all-girls vocal group Seiza, the Hero’s Choice Award to Vinar Takumi, and the Toei’s Choice Award to Shaira Maine Gonzales and Tigerlily.
For the dance category, the first place went to the energetic Junior New System, who danced to an all-time Filipino favorite, “Voltes V no Uta” by Horie Mitsuko; while Team Mars, who danced to a mix of Japanese Hip-Hop music, came in Second Place. Hero TV also gave their Hero’s Choice Award to Team KMB Reverse for their one-of-a-kind performance.
The Japan Embassy’s No Plan Band also performed during the event. It also featured a special appearance of Doraemon and its friends: Shizuka, Suneo, Nobita, and Takeshi; as well as Koala’s March and Yakult. Guests not only enjoyed great music, but great food by Yoshinoya.