Only two days in, there’s a clear winner of this year’s Tokyo Game Show: a giant red cat who also happens to be an extremely good heavy metal drummer. Joined by Tak Fujii — you know, the guy from Konami’s E3 2010 conference — the mascot performed an intimate, hard-rocking concert for a crowd of just a dozen attendees, with strobe lights and headbanging to boot.
The concert was ostensibly meant to promote Gal Metal, a rhythm game for Nintendo Switch that marks Fujii’s return to game development after leaving Konami in 2014. Gal Metal, as its title suggests, is about a bunch of gals who are into metal. (I’ll have more thoughts on it later.) A special heavy metal show in the game’s demo area made sense to me as a live event at a convention packed full of them.
I’m not quite sure how the cat factors into that, but it’s all good. After a screaming introduction from Fujii, the mascot waddled to his drum kit. He sat down. He picked up his sticks.
And then he tore that stage up. Here’s a short clip from Japanese Wall Street Journal correspondent Takashi Mochizuki, who also happened to be at the show:
藤井さん（ @Tak_Fujii )曰く「プレスデーはノリが悪いぞ」とのことなので、一般公開日はもっともっといきましょう。あ、ハコはかなり小さめなのでお気をつけて。(2/2) pic.twitter.com/o0kI4PxFOn— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) September 22, 2017
Fujii joined him for a brief performance of his own after the cat’s solo, but the real star was obvious. And it was that same red cat that got to close the show with a solo encore.
It’s not every day you get to see a solid metal concert for free, and it’s even rarer for the stage to be set inside of a country’s largest video game convention. And for the headliner to be a drumming kitty mascot? Who’s actually great? Once in a lifetime experience, man.