For last year’s Anime Festival Asia, (AFA) the wacky five-man dance crew Real Akiba Boyz (RAB) touched down in Singapore for the first time! You may know them for their hilarious dance covers of anime theme songs like their Kakushinteki☆Metamorphose! dance, which they performed (without the omake section, of course) on the first day of AFA 2015 at the Main Stage!
The members, Dragon, Keitan, Atsuki, Maron and Muratomi are all very unique and talented dancers in their own right, but somehow it all comes together to make totally amazing performances. We at J-Network managed to get an interview with them, and here it is transcripted and translated below!
Q: When did the members of RAB decide to begin uploading their dance videos on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube?
Maron: I guess it all started from when Suzumiya Haruhi’s ‘Hare Hare Yukai‘ (the memetic first ending theme to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) was really popular.
Muratomi: That was around seven years ago.
Q: Then, how did RAB officially form?
Atsuki: Back in 2007, all of us were in our own dance teams. During that time, few people did dance and liked anime at the same time. RAB first began with only one member, but we all came together even though we were in different teams and we just asked each other whether we wanted to go hang out in Akihabara or something. I suppose all of us deciding to have fun together like that was the beginning of the team’s formation.
Q: How do you guys come up with the choreography for your videos?
Dragon: First, Maron makes up the moves, then we all give our opinions and finally, we decide on the final product together. That’s how we make our choreography.
Q: This being your first time in Singapore, what are your first impressions of the country?
Atsuki: It’s a beautiful city. The buildings are beautiful, and the view is great! Super sweet.
Muratomi: The wind smells good, haha.
Atsuki: Oh, now that you mention it, the air does smell good.
Muratomi: That’s a good wind you got there.
Q: What differences do you think there are between foreign audiences and Japanese audiences?
Atsuki: We are quite unsure about how Singaporeans will react to us dancing to anime songs, it makes me think – ‘are people overseas watching the entertainment we create?’ Dancing to anime songs is quite an uncommon thing, so we don’t know whether Singaporeans would get excited when they see us dance – makes me wonder if we can do that. As for Japanese audiences, they get really excited when they see us dance to anime songs, though!
Q: If given the chance, what event would you want to perform in?
Maron: Animelo Summer Live.
Atsuki: That’s it! Animelo Summer Live! (the biggest annual anisong festival in Japan hosted by Dwango and Nippon Cultural Broadcasting) Oh, also, it’s not really an event per se but we’d really like to be part of an anime! So, if an RAB – Real Akiba Boyz – anime could be made, that would be awesome.
Q: Speaking of which, what anime would you like to make a PV for?
Maron: Hmm…maybe something like Genshiken? (a manga by Shimoku Kio which was adapted into an anime by Palm Studio in 2004)
Atsuki: Ah, yeah, Genshiken.
Muratomi: Something like that.
Atsuki: Also, battle anime!
Atsuki: Something like…otaku start off by dancing, and they eventually become good at it. If that kind of anime is made, I would be really happy.
Muratomi: Oh, then those otaku become more popular and start to meet various girls…
Maron: Haha, suddenly it became a harem anime?
Muratomi: Yup, a harem anime. That too, that too.
Q: Given the chance, are there any other countries you’d like to perform in?
Muratomi: Taiwan, Brazil!
Marron: I guess we want to go around Asia for once, because we feel that there are many people in Asia who get excited about anime. Coming to Singapore really made us happy, so we want to get around Asia a little and see more.
Q: Lastly, have you ever thought of collaborating with others?
Maron: Lia. (a famous anisong artiste who also came for last year’s AFA) To us, Lia made great songs like Tori No Uta (the opening theme to AIR, a visual novel by KEY which was later adapted into an anime) really godly, so we really wanted to give her songs a shot. But though I guess a collaboration is quite impossible, I really want to hear her on stage.
Maron: And maybe collaborate with someone like KOTOKO? (an anisong artiste famous for being, the second opening theme for Shakugan no Shana.)
Muratomi: Kawada Mami, too. (another anisong artiste, famous for Hishoku no Sora, the first opening theme for Shakugan no Shana.)
Atsuki: I suppose each of us have our own thoughts on who we want to collaborate with.
If anything, we’d definitely like to see a dance battle anime set to kamikyoku! Would it be the next anime of the year?! Maybe one day. We look forward to seeing more from RAB, and hope to meet them again this year too!
Featured image & first image credits to RAB’s Official Twitter
All other photography credits to AFA