Jiritsu means 30 years old and that is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy series. This year also marks the 10th year anniversary of Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concerts which started during the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy series. To mark the special occasion, Nobuo Uematsu himself was present to attend the concert.
I was expecting something special to mark the special occasion but it turned out to be disappointing. I went for the concert last year (read the post here) and almost everything that I wrote is still relevant for this year's concert since the concert venue, the orchestra, and the conductor are all still the same.
The repertoire is seriously worse this year. It may be the first time some songs are played for Distant Worlds but choosing the less popular tunes and the mellow ones as the first few songs really bring the mood down. Even the more upbeat songs end with an anti-climatic tune instead of a loud orchestra kind of bang. This year's concert definitely did not sell out as on my level, the right wing was only 30-40% filled. My row and the row behind me were half empty after the first half. Arnie did not engage the audience as much as last year and I believe the audience were also less crazy than last year. Overall, the energy level was poor and disappointing even for the 'Sephiroth' chants during One Winged Angel.
Nobuo Uematsu was there in the audience and I was surprised that Arnie did not have more interactions with him. I thought it would be nice if Uematsu-san were to conduct 1 song as an encore but that did not happen. He ran to join the choir instead for One Winged Angel. But hey he seems to be a very nice and easy-going man and he clearly enjoyed and had fun.
One song that really blew my mind is FF 6 Opera song. It features several styles of music (from opera, waltz, game kind of music) and it also features soloists. With a grand ending, this is the kind of fantastic song for a live orchestra.
Medley is missing and I am still hoping for Dissidia ending theme song that features a glimpse of soundtrack from each series.
I missed the merchandise last year so I arrived earlier at about 630pm and I queued for merchandise for about 40 minutes. I only bought the concert booklet which is very expensive at $35 and they did not even have a carrier bag! Seriously.. There were Chocobo and Mog's plushie for 30th anniversary for $60 each. Only 100 pcs for each and it was sold out by the time I was there. Crazy.. Lucky I already bought them when I was in Japan. The shirt was reasonably priced for concert merchandise at $25 but the design is too plain to get me interested.
I bought the cheapest ticket this year for $72.50 with restricted view. Never ever I will do this again as I wanted to watch a live concert/orchestra, not watching a live screening through a monitor. After 2 years of disappointment, I am not sure if my fanboy energy is enough to convince me to again if there is another one next year -which I doubt since this year's was not sold out and the audience was rather emo too.