CinnamonPurin on the Japan EX Stage at MCM London Comic Con October 2013

IMG_3819The audience gathers, seated upon unfolded chairs, a sea of faces in make up and wigs, ladies waiting on either side in Radio Sparkles* t-shirts, and whilst many are present for the impending Mini Cosplay Masquerade, there is also a sizeable gathering for Kerri Louise‘s vocal set and for YouTube dance group, CinnamonPurin.

This is your new scene, this is what is being built whilst foreign record companies slumber.

Comprised of three members – Lottie, Finny, and Lizzie – with a fourth member, Jessie, sadly absent due to sickness, CinnamonPurin presented a set of anime and Vocaloid songs displaying familiar routines and warm smiles. With each member dressed in a different coloured maid outfit, it was easy to see the effort put into the routines practiced for the set. Prior to the show, all three girls were waiting in the wings, silently mouthing the words of songs and gesturing gently with their arms, a sign of their dedication displayed later on stage.

Whilst much of the set may seem obscure to an audience unfamiliar with anime songs, there is certainly more than enough about the performance of these three girls to endear them to the more casual fan. It is also interesting to note the evolution of the presence of dancing groups on the Japan EX stage this year at MCM London Comic Con, the routines of CinnamonPurin being very much representative of the new style of performers such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, rather than the traditional dynamic of the older generation of idol music.

IMG_3832This shift is somewhat striking as it suggests a further evolution of the fan scene surrounding Japanese pop music in the UK, one that suggests interesting things about the scene overall. Yet if CinnamonPurin‘s choice of choreography is a surprising development, the decision to focus solely on dance covers may in other ways be construed as a step backwards following the performance of original material in the sets of Oishii!Ichigo and the Otaku Owls in previous years.

Regardless of this, it is important to note just how focused and dedicated these three girls are, and how quickly they have adapted to a new routine following the absence of their fourth member. With a set that showcased some very distinct routines and two incredibly complex set pieces, featuring a performance from Lizzie and Finny and a solo piece by Lottie, it was impressive how much the group interacted with their audience and how quickly the audience responded to them, clapping loudly and calling out during certain songs.

It is also important to note that, though criticisms could be made of the lack of an original or group-specific song, what CinnamonPurin lack in this department they certainly make up for in the presentation of their routines. With props including inflatable microphones, glow sticks, and several plush toys present, Lizzie and Finny were also present during Lottie‘s solo piece at the corner of the stage, swinging their legs and happily mouthing the words.

IMG_3841Hearing a member of fellow group MK Dance Group clapping with vigour and the shouts of the crowd amidst the unfolded chairs, it is easy to imagine the further growth of the YouTube fan community as performances like these gain more and more attention. Through social media and the slow realisation of Japanese record companies of the significance of their music abroad, it is this writer’s hope that future events will see a continual evolution of this burgeoning scene.

As the group made playful comments, noting that they had reached 120 followers thus far and were aiming to make 121 after their performance, it became clear that there is definitely a lot to look forward to from CinnamonPurin‘s future performances.

 

Photos by Sarah Tsang

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