Despite getting there a bit late, the panel was still getting ready. I already knew that there was a no photo policy for Elisa since they mentioned it in the press room…but surprisingly, they didn’t make a formal announcement during the panel itself. I have no idea if they made any announcement for the fans on the line, but definitely, there were only a few cameras that people pulled up…and it was during the time when Elisa was singing.
The MC started by calling Elisa into the room and noted that she debuted in the US last year at Sakuracon 2014. Highlighting some series she sang for, she did the ending song to Nabari no Ou, the theme for The Irregular Magic High School, Valvrave the Liberator amongst others. The MC continued by asking Elisa questions.
- Q: What is New Jersey like for you?
Elisa: New Jersey is…very big. *audience laughs* Did everyone come by car?
Elisa: Did anyone walked here? *audience laughs* I arrived here 9:30pm by plane. In Japan, we usually travel by train or walking. We don’t usually travel by car long distances.
Q: She went to NY yesterday for the first time. What was it like?
Elisa: *in English* Yesterday, I arrived in New York. *in Japanese* I went to see the Statue of Liberty yesterday which was my dream.
The MC asked Elisa if she has any questions for the fans.
- Elisa: *in English* How old are you?
Fan: *in Japanese* 23 years old.
Random fans: 18, 32!
Elisa: *in English* Why can you speak Japanese?
Fan: *in Japanese* I learned in college.
Elisa: In Japan, we study English in junior high school, but there are so many people who still can’t speak English. It’s so amazing to see people here speak Japanese so fluently! Tomorrow’s live, I will be speaking in Japanese, will you understand? I will speak a little English, okay?
Q: Which anime title aside from those you sang themes for is your favorite?
Elisa: In Japan, they play saturday morning cartoons which I watched as well as alot Sailor Moon. I played alot of Legend of Zelda.
Q: Which is your favorite character from Sailor Moon?
Elisa: Tuxedo Kamen.
Q: Which is your favorite Pokemon?
Elisa: Psyduck. *audience laughs* He is so cute!
The MC asked for the fan’s favorite anime and the first to be called is Sword Art Online. When the MC asked which song of Elisa’s did we like, the loudest was ‘Eonian’, the ending song from Expelled from Paradise. Elisa was surprised and noted that it was a new single. She asked if fans saw the movie to which they responded yes. Then she surprised us with:
- Elisa: I want to sing! I want to sing now!
When Elisa said that she wanted to sing, everyone applauded. She said cutely in English, ‘I’m nervous!’ and asked ‘Do you want to hear?’ We cheered her on. ‘I want to sing!’ Her voice is so beautiful and even more so acapella since we could hear it so clearly. I spotted Elisa’s fans on the other side of the room. When she started singing the first verse and the chorus, they started waving their glowsticks. *audience applauded loudly*
Elisa noted how happy she was to sing for us and the MC encouraged us to attend the concert tomorrow. They opened the floor for questions.
- Q: What foods did you try in New Jersey?
Elisa: There are too many. What should I eat?
Fan: Fat sandwiches!
Elisa: I ate that this morning! *audience laughs*
The second question was more of a ignorant statement. “You know your performance will be on youtube in an hour.” It’s ignorant since there was obviously a no recording and photo policy at the panel despite the lack of the announcement in the room…just that surprisingly, no one stopped the few who pulled out their cameras/phones during the singing. I was surprised the MC even interpreted this. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one laughing nervously at that. Elisa gave an exclamation of surprise and stated simply. “It may disappear.”
- Q: Who is your favorite singers and did you attend any concerts in Japan?
Elisa: I really enjoy classical opera. In Japan, I attend the concerts of my ani-song senpai.
Q: What color do you like?
Elisa: Maybe purple, red and white…maybe brown.
Q: What is the training like when you became a singer and how old were you when you debut?
Elisa: I never officially done any voice training or singing, except for the one year I did an opera program.i
MC: She is naturally brilliant! *audience approves*
Q: My favorite son is ‘God Only Knows’ from The World God Only Knows. What was it like composing the song?
Elisa: The recording of that song took…how long?
Staff (assuming manager): Eight hours.
Elisa: It took eight hours. The song has 4 sections and they’re all very different. I would sing one part and take a break, another part and another break. Also, it’s all in English. Which part is your favorite?
Fan: I like the ‘God Only Knows’ theme and the part right at the end.
Elisa: You might be able to hear that song tomorrow.
Q: *in Japanese* Your singing is beautiful. *in English* I love the song ‘Eonian’ from Expelled from Paradise. Did you have any interactions with the voice actors or directors during the creation of the song? To understand the story to make the song?
Elisa: Yes, I had alot of collaboration with the director and I sang together with all the voice actors during the recording. That video may be on youtube. (Ed: Found the making of as well.)
Q: Are there are American etiquette like leaving tips for waiters you find odd?
Elisa: Tips…I didn’t know how much to leave for the waiters. I also wanted shake hands with the waiters and waitresses when I gave them the tip. I always wanted to! Actually, in Japan, I’m so used to singing Japanese in cosplays. When I come here, I see Europeans, Americans in cosplays…it seems so much cooler and closer to how anime is! I want to take pictures with everyone! *indicates a fan* You definitely should wear that everyday, it’s cute!
Fan: Thank you!
The fangirl was wearing a type of seifuku to which Elisa made the comment. To the laughter of the crowd, the next was a fanboy with what I remember to be some sort of animal ears and something elaborate…to which Elisa remarked, “You might not be able to wear this everyday.” *audience laughs*
- Q: How do you like America thus far?
Elisa: The food is so good that I’ve gain weight. I hope that I can fit my dress tomorrow! Which of my songs do you like?
Fan: Euphoric Field.
Elisa: My first single!
Q: What was part of the creative process for her songs?
Elisa: I would use colors and they would send me images of the series so the song I would create would fit the image. During the recording process, I wouldn’t get to see the actual scenes until afterwards so the images are important.
Q: Are you a fan of other musical artists? Not necessarily Japanese.
Elisa: Sarah Brightman, she is classical in sound.
The next fan was cosplaying Aladdin to which Elisa sang out ‘A whole new world!’ *audience applauded*
- Q: What do you use for inspiration for your songs?
Elisa: I was in the chorus in highschool. My family is all into classical music. I play piano, my parents play the cello and flute. I had alot of musical inspirations growing up.
Q: How do you prepare for a live, mentally and vocally?
Elisa: Before anyone even gets there, I go and greet the stage. ‘Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!’ When they let everyone in, usually the fans are powerful and very excited: I feed off of that excitement. I don’t want to lose to that excitement so I battle back with my own and prepares myself to go onstage.
Q: Do you cosplay?
Elisa: I have never cosplayed before, I don’t know what to cosplay. What would be good for me?
Fan: Princess Zelda!
Elisa: I did a cosplay with pigtails and seifuku, but noted that it didn’t look right me! *laughs* After that, I never tried it again. But if someone has a recommendation, than I will try.
The MC thanked the fans for attending and reminded us that merchandise can be purchased. The autograph is next!