Recap: NIJISANJI EN’s COLORS Brings The House Down

NIJISANJI EN's AR Live COLORS might just be a turning point for ANYCOLOR as the branch's first five groups put on a performance for the ages.

The 15 month wait was worth it.

I was thinking about how to start this piece about NIJISANJI EN’s AR Live, COLORS. The concept of a fully-produced group concert for the English waves has been on the lips of fans ever since Lazulight debuted nearly three years ago.

Having it given to the Livers and the fans early in 2023, only for it to be stripped away within days, was devastating. That was compounded by the tumultuous year since with numerous graduations and other controversies.

All that can be put in the past though. They happened, but that should not cloud your judgment on everything ANYCOLOR does. Put your feelings aside: you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go and watch COLORS.

The two-and-a-half hour performance (yes, that is not a typo, it was that long) featured all 15 remaining members from NIJISANJI EN’s first five waves. And it was impossible to tear yourself away from the stream at any point.

Where do you begin?

Stage Design

Let’s start with the stage design. It was announced ahead of time a key difference between the original COLORS and the re-recorded 2024 version was a live band. They were perfectly integrated into the performances, lurking in the shadows as the Livers took centre stage but always keeping pace. They only elevated the performances, especially during the more intimate moments like Enna Alouette smashing out ETHYRIA // TRUE.END or Ike Eveland screaming his lungs out in Maze.

The lighting was also stunning, and the way it reflected off the models and the stage was scarily realistic.

Those models too? The best you’ll see in a VTuber concert. I know it’s been a long couple of years to see the likes of Ethyria, Luxiem and Noctyx in 3D. However, the quality was outstanding. Whether it was touched up in post or they’re just that good out of the box, it was phenomenal. The flowing waves of Reimu Endou and Uki Violeta’s sleeves, the crispness on Sonny Brisko and Alban Knox ⁠— they were clean and a sign of what’s to come when their individual showcases are revealed.

Music Production

Now let’s get into the music. It is a concert after all.

There was not a single dud in the setlist. You had the high energy of Rose Me and Lazulight’s Diamond City Lights duet mesh with the solemnity of Uki Violeta’s Deja Vu. You even had Zuttomo show their sexy side with a cover of Ifuudoudou. Both PASTEL and VIVID STAGE had energetic highs and very powerful lows.

There were cameos from members gone by too. Nina Kosaka’s vocals were in the background for God Sees All. Mysta Rias’ voice was in Jazz On The Clock and Hope In The Dark. And of course, you could hear a distant Pomu Rainpuff during DCL.

I will focus on Shu Yamino though. There was a lot of hype leading into COLORS, and the rest of NIJISANJI EN were right to place faith in him. The screamo debut in his Exclamation duet with Ike, then him pulling off the performance of the concert with SHANTI was immaculate. The choreography was seductive, and to steal the zoomer lingo, he left no crumbs.

Capping it off with Virtual To Live was the cherry on top. There’s a few ending songs you can run in a NIJISANJI concert nowadays (I was quietly rooting for Oto no naru hou e), but the original is always iconic. And seeing all of them on stage ⁠in celebration — Rosemi jumping around, Vox Akuma puffing his chest out ⁠— was a great reminder of how tight knit this branch really is.

And it would be remiss to not touch on the break shenanigans, where Fulgur Ovid stole the show. While the Noctyx member could not be there in 3D, he was pulling the strings on VIVID STAGE with game shows involving both male groups. There was playful flirting with Uki ⁠— par for the course ⁠— but also a couple of ‘power hungry’ moments against the big bad Luxiem too. They were nice palette cleansers between the music.

I’ve seen a number of VTuber concerts. Birthday Lives, full-on stadium performances. None come close to the show NIJISANJI EN put on. It’s hard to explain why. Maybe it was the length. Maybe it was the raw quality. Or maybe it was the fact that the Livers had fought so hard for this moment in the spotlight. And after a year of highs and lows, this was their peak.

It’s nice to see them all soak in the praise too, uplifting each other and letting the fans’ words resonate with them. For many, this was their eternal dream.

“It's hard to believe I actually managed to achieve a life-long goal of mine,” Ike said on Twitter afterwards. “Standing on a stage in 3D and getting to perform. Thank you all for allowing me to make that silly dream a reality. Words cannot describe how happy I am!”

“This has been my life long dream and I was able to accomplish it thanks to you all,” Rosemi added. “Let’s make this happen more and more.”

So do yourself a favor. Buy a ticket and watch the VOD. My words cannot do COLORS justice, and the NIJISANJI EN Livers deserve the support for an all-time performance.

The concert VOD is available for viewing until April 29, 11:59 pm JST. More information are included in the event's website.