RIYADH: Closing the three-day Anime Expo with a bang, Arab and Japanese legends Sammy Clark, Isao Sasaki and Ichiro Mizuki serenaded anime fans with classical tracks from their favorite shows.
They were joined by Chromatic Orchestra, from Egypt, playing the tunes of nostalgia led by maestro Saif Al-Yazan.
When Ichiro Mizuki took the stage to perform his songs for anime shows Mazinger Z and Astroganger, the fans’ cheers echoed across the walls as they called him “Aniki.”
“I’ve waited for tens of years to come to Saudi Arabia,” he told them, after greeting them in Arabic.
Isao Sasaki was greeted with enthusiasm as he sang the opening tracks to Grendizer and Grendizer UFO and the crowd raised their arms high in salutation to their favorite anime series.
But when the melody to Treasure Island (Takarajima) began to play, the crowd cheered the loudest as Sammy Clark’s operatic voice carried them back to their childhood with John Silver and Jimmy.
Clark, dressed in a Grendizer biker jacket, was extremely touched, telling them: “The world would envy me because of you.”
He told the audience the “philosophy of life that Japanese people have” is good for Arabs know more about, “and it’s good for them to know us in the Arab world like this.”
After he had performed Grendizer songs and Astroganger, Mizuki and Sasaki joined Clark on the stage. The trio performed renditions of Astroganger, Mazinger Z, Grendizer and Grendizer UFO, harmonizing together in Arabic and Japanese, and singing in each other’s language as well.
Before ending the show with Treasure Island, Mizuki addressed a sweet message to Clark, saying: “If it weren’t for Sammy singing all these songs, we wouldn’t have been standing here with you.”
Sammy Clark told Arab News that this was his fifth visit to Saudi Arabia.
He said: “Saudi people are very close to my heart. The people here are genuine and honest, something that we need more of during these times.
“Here, you feel a gentleness in the reception, and hospitality and love, which is mutual on my part.”