Idol group Wasuta's cute feline charm drew in over 1,000 fans during their North American performance debut.
This May, idol group Wasuta, or The World Standard to use their full name, made their North American performance debut at Toronto convention Anime North. Wasuta was an unusual choice for the convention's main Japanese musical guest, as Anime North has hosted primarily rock and visual kei artists for several years, but it was an impressive success.
While it had been pouring rain just an hour before, when it was time for the show at 7pm, an enormous line that twisted in on itself four or five times had the street outside the venue completely packed with a diverse group of fans. The show actually had to be delayed an hour to allow for the fans waiting outside to get through bag checks. By the time it actually started, approximately 1,000 fans had gathered in Hall C of the Toronto Congress Centre to enjoy Wasuta’s cute and energetic performance.
The concert was hosted in an enormous warehouse-like space. The majority of the fans gathered in front of the stage, while some hovered around the edges, uncertain of what was coming. Before the show, in an unusual move for a Japanese artist, it was announced that photos and videos were allowed. The event organizers encouraged the audience to welcome the group with some “Wasuta!” cheers, and a very dedicated group of fans at the front immediately obliged, chanting “Wa-su-ta! Wa-su-ta!” with impressive unity.
The group’s logo appeared on the screen behind the stage and the audience roared with approval and waved their coloured glowsticks in time with the heavy electronic beats of the intro track Overture as each member came out in a costume in her signature pastel colour, complete with matching cat ears.
Each costume seemed to have accessories following a unique theme. Ruka’s pastel pink dress featured a big ruffle covered with music notes over one side of her body and flowers over the opposite shoulder, while Nanase wore a green costume covered with gears and numbers, with clock faces on her shoes. Pastel blue-clad Ririka wore candies on her chest, lollipops on her shoulders and a matching heart-shaped lolly on the back of her head. Hazuki’s yellow costume had stuffed animals on the front of her shorts, while pastel purple Miri had an egg-like white helmet with stars on it.
The girls stood silently for a moment before kicking the show off with Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari, an energetic number. The group members danced around the stage, alternating positions smoothly. Ruka seemed to have the most confident voice, while Miri’s cute facial expressions also made her one to watch.
Next came their ending theme for “Kiratto Pri☆Chan”, Kira Kira Hologram, followed by the adorable Inu Neko Seishun Massakari, which saw the girls calling out “Neko? Neko? Nyan nyan nyan? Inu? Inu? Wan wan wan?” (“Kitty? Kitty? Meow meow meow? Doggy? Doggy? Bow-wow wow?”) during the chorus while they bounced around the stage and the cheerful music video was played on the screen behind them.
During the longest MC segment of the show, leader Nanase handled most of the group’s English introduction, describing Wasuta’s mission of spreading kawaii Japanese idol culture to the world. Then, each member took the time to give a self-introduction, also completely in English. Each girl mentioned her name, age and what she would like the fans to call her, before describing some of her unique quirks and skills.
Highlights included Miri explaining that she is learning Chinese before speaking a few words in the language, which drew a big cheer from the crowd, Nanase supporting the old stereotype about Canadians by stating “Everyone I’ve met in Canada is so nice!” and Hazuki mentioning that she is learning Spanish and gushing about the group’s trip to Niagara Falls. While the girls struggled a bit with speaking English, there was a warm and friendly atmosphere as some fans encouraged them with shouts of “Ganbatte!” (“Do your best!”) as they searched for the right words.
Highlights of the next part of the show included the lighthearted, RPG-inspired Ultra Miracle-cle Final Ultimate Choco Beam, which documents their battle against a villain called Triceratops, and the feline charm of Kurae! Hissatsu! Neko Punch☆ ~Watashitachi Tatakau Nyakotan [Level 5]★〜, which continued the story from the previous song with cute “cat punches” and each member calling out “Nyao!” ("Meow!") and striking a cat pose in a line. Another standout was the danceable Latin vibes of Yo Quiero Vivir, their collaboration with Spanish pop duo Adexe & Nau, which got fans waving their arms.
The members announced that the next song would be the last, but hastily took that back, correcting themselves to explain that it was actually their latest song—the lead track of their next mini-album, Mera nyaizer!!!!!~kimi ni a ge u~, which had a dramatic, battle-ready feel. Their theme for “Idol Time PriPara“, Saijoukyuu Paradox, drew an especially strong response from the anime-loving crowd, as did the following track Wonderful World, which had plenty of crowd participation moments that fans at the front seemed fully prepared for. The latter track also saw the girls suddenly call out “Japanese snacks!” before they grabbed a box of assorted Japanese treats and began tossing them into the audience.
Soon after, they announced the last song for real. Fans’ arms waved from side to side to the slower-paced track Super Arigatou. The girls sang passionately about feelings of gratitude and longing to meet a special person again someday, bringing the show to a satisfyingly sweet end. The girls called out “Let’s take pictures!” They explained how to do their signature Wasuta hand pose and had the audience do it along with them as the cameraperson snapped a few shots.
Finally, Nanase explained that Wasuta would be holding a meet-and-greet both in the venue that night and the next day at their Q&A panel, and the girls encouraged the crowd to share their photos and videos on social media. “We are The World Standard – Wasuta!” The girls thanked the audience many times, waving, smiling and blowing kisses to their very appreciative fans.
02. Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari
03. Kira Kira Hologram
04. Inu Neko Seishun Massakari
06. Ultra Miracle-cle Final Ultimate Choco Beam
07. Kurae! Hissatsu! Neko Punch☆ ~Watashitachi Tatakau Nyakotan [Level 5]★〜
08. Yo Quiero Vivir
09. Zili Zili Love
10. Love Unmelt
11. Mera nyaizer!!!!!~kimi ni a ge u~
12. Saijoukyuu Paradox
13. Wonderful World
14. Super Arigatou
Read our transcription of Wasuta's Q&A panel at Anime North at: https://www.jame-world.com/en/article/150237-q-a-with-wasuta-at-anime-north-2019.html
Wasuta recently debuted the short version of the music video for Mera nyaizer!!!!!~kimi ni a ge u~. The track will be featured on their new mini-album The Legend of Wasuta, which will be hitting stores on June 26th. You can watch it below:
The World Standard
Toronto Congress Centre