Otaku USA Magazine
Yoshiki Foundation Event

So on July 1, I’m leaving my hotel room and I find this flier at the front desk about the Yoshiki Foundation America hosting a charity event at Club Nokia that night separate from other activities in the area. Apparently several companies—including Toei Animation, Toyota, J.Rock Revolution and others—were coming to help put on this variety type event where there would be anime previews, a fashion show, and a performance by the music group X Japan, of which the founder Yoshiki is a member. I didn’t know much about Japanese music, but knew this band had a pretty big following and if he was doing something for charity, it couldn’t be all bad. So we went to check it out.

We got upstairs and found this red carpet setup area where celebs would come in and strut their stuff. Soon enough, we got to be part of a press conference hosted by Yoshiki and Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame. During the conference, Lee mentioned that he met the famous musician during a party but didn’t know who he was. He came to learn about Yoshiki’s varied talents and compared the experience to learning about who Elvis was before America knew, and wound up appearing in an upcoming X Japan music video portraying The Devil.
Lee also commented on the anime series Heroman. “People ask me about it and I came up with it, but others developed it and animate it and write it. I just take the credit.” As to the manga Ultimo, “It’s my favorite. Ask me why. Because I’m in it,” getting laughs from the crowd. He also commented on the upcoming anime adaptations of Iron Man and Wolverine, comparing them to the American versions. “On the surface they’re the same, but subtly different. Both are great.”
Soon after, we got to see the venue, filled with gothiness and folks looking to see their favorite band who even had a couple pachinko machines set up in their honor. After an action-filled preview for the anime Black Rock Shooter, we got to see a video explaining Yoshiki’s motivations for this foundation, showing various disasters such as the 2009 China earthquake. Yoshiki had apparently toured the area and decided to set up foundations for the children to draw resources from. So this event was set up for him to present substantial donations to representatives from Meals On Wheels and The Grammy Foundation.

Then came the fashion show. I’m really not certain how to describe the clothes, but the models definitely knew what they were doing while showing off the gear, as you can see in the pics. Soon it was time for the announcement that X Japan would tour the United States, beginning in Chicago in a couple months.

This led up the first acoustic set with members of X Japan performing “I.V.”, followed by a full-scale production for their new music video “Born To Be Free.” Featuring fireworks, flamethrowers, and caged go-go gals, this song was performed four times for the raving crowd as footage for a music video, with us stuck among the screamers. As evenings go, there could’ve been worse ways to spend a night in L.A.