Goodnight Planetarium - The ULTIMATE Sakanaction Experience

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You may be thinking what the heck is Goonight Planetarium? A new single from Sakanaction, a mysterious track that's never been released? Actually, it's the title for the collaboration between Sakanaction and Kinoca Minolta Planetarium. It's a visual accompaniment for some of the most beautiful tracks from their discography. Part educational, part fantasy, and completely captivating. An out of this world experience that shifts from talking about constellations to a night joyride through Tokyo to a creative, abstract visual piece that all combines together to create the most amazing show. Not to mention that it's displayed in high definition on this gigantic dome screen, projected by this state of the art optical planetarium system, and enhanced through surround sound.

Out of all the shows I've seen at the planetarium, Goodnight Planetarium has been the best one yet. The visuals match the music so well; it's on a whole other level than watching a music video. The audience is wholly entranced and dragged into the underwater, cosmic world of Sakanaction. Plus, the 40 minute show is narrated by lead vocalist, Yamaguich Ichiro.

The show opens with Coelacanth to Boku. Submerged underwater, there are schools of fish swimming above. All around, silhouettes of coral rotate and illuminate with a calm, cool gleam. Exploring the dark abyss of the ocean, we are guided by bursts of coloured powder that resemble jellyfish. The contrast of bright explosions against complete blackness syncs in with the peak of the song. Afterwards, we transition to land to view a beautiful night sky full of stars. Soft crashing waves create a relaxing atmosphere but things pick up note by note as Music comes in. I have never heard such an organic instrumental of this single before! The plucks of the double bass, the chimes of the xylophone, and the warm strings of the cello! I love it so much and wish a studio version would be released.  It's honestly a perfect accompaniment to the spectacle of lights. The sea, or should I say sky, fades from black to red to gold. Yamaguchi's smoothing voice introduces several stars and constellations in the dark night sky. Pisces, Leo, and some of the other groups of stars. We learn a bit about the monthly constellations.

After the night show, the focus shifts towards Earth, specifically Japan. Everyone's about to go for a night ride through the great city of Tokyo. What better song to set the mood than Eureka. Zipping through vibrant Ginza and flashy Roppongi and empty subway platforms. Zapping past the iconic whites and reds of Tokyo Tower. Zooming up Skytree to finally seeing a scenic view of Tokyo for all its wonders. It's a thrilling adventure to see the light shows in the windows of skyscrapers.

Everything's changes though as we zoom out of Tokyo, out of Japan, out of this planet. The epitome of the entire program is this moment. Millions of specks of light gather forming the shape of earth and the light from the sun begins to peak around the corner. It's so beautiful. There were so many beautiful scenes throughout the show, but that moment, the floodgates opened and I just couldn't stop crying. Have you ever felt so glad to be alive just to experience something, to witness something so intrinsically beautiful? Because that's what I felt then and there. (As cheesy as it may sound.) A bit of it is featured in the promotion above, but it doesn't really convey the build up and intensity. 

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After that incredible event, it's going to be hard to top that. We're hit with something really different, a linear abstract depiction of a man running on the moon. Who knows where he's running towards.  Moving shapes and blue colour schemes make for a cool and refreshing visual for Sayonara wa Emotion. And it creates a different mood than the one seconds before, a fresh and exciting one.

All ends when we finally transition to the song, Good Bye. It was silence after the credits rolled. I think everyone was speechless. I don't think I'll ever get to experience something like this again. Just once wasn't enough. I went to see the show twice and will probably go again. Unfortunately, there is a limited viewing period until September of this year. If you are heading to Japan or in Japan right now, it would be a shame if this wasn't on your to-do list.

Bottom line: Go see it if you can! And cue to the (overboard) hoard of notes!

1) Visit Kinoca Minolta site for more information on showtimes and upcoming programs. Tickets can be bought online. For the day of, tickets are sold at the counter. I definitely recommend checking the Ikebukuro one, if you want to see Goodnight Planetarium. The Skytree planetarium has different shows, for example, a Hokkaido Star Flight one featuring  Penatonix.

2) There is an option for some comfy "cloud" chairs in the front of the seating area. On the contrary, I recommend to option for a seat in the back, for a better view. Center seats may be blocked by the projector, so be wary of that!

3) Currently, there is a feature on Sukima Switch; however go see Sakanaction's as their show focuses on the music rather than learning about the stars. If you prefer more of the focus to be on learning about stars and interesting facts, then go see Sukima! Also, there is an upcoming program about Every Little Thing and Auroras in the fall!

4) If you're interested in the technology used, there is more information on the Infinium Σ.

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