Park Inn Hotel
26th March 2010
Written by Elizabeth Flanagan
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Arriving at Northampton’s Kitacon event you’ll have found around 100 humans dressed as their favourite anime and manga characters. Now this is nothing out of the ordinary for a convention- except for the fact they are all waiting outside a room with no locked doors an hour and a half before the lights will even go down for HITT’s performace. As soon as the doors get dragged open, these humans swarm towards the barrier-less stage, staring at the emptiness minus 2 microphones, a Korg keyboard, bottle of water and a Bass.

The backdrop shows a repeat of HITT’s infamous ‘Sakura Romance’ PV until the scrunch of fans receive a warning by strobe lighting. A red and blue light streaks across the crowd as a piano opens out through the silence. Revealing himself from behind the drapery, HITT is welcomed by a surge of screams, performing a fan dance reminiscent of Kagrra. The fans swarm forwards for a man that is barely known throughout the world of drawings, all taking photos and bouncing along to HITT’s hits….

The Yin to HITT’s Yang is echoed by the crowd, showing just as much energy as he is effort. HITT’s powerful hip thrusts and leans towards the crowd do nothing more than create the roar of screams. A torrent of applause ensues, yet almost as instantly drops as the next song begins. Clapping in time, bouncing, creating your own dances- all goes at a performance of HITT’s. A true crowd pleaser with a strong voice, something rarely seen these days by bands that cross to our shores.

It takes a true fighter for someone outside the country to come and use Queen’s “We will rock you.” Not too hard you say? What if he made it so within the beats you could scream “HITTO?” Yeah, not so easy now.

Full attention on the crowd, HITT draws his victims in, converting them all into the house of ‘HITTERS’ which are currently forming across Europe. Their leader being possibly one of the best Japanese artists I have ever seen perform here- mainly due to the fact he still remembers the connection between fans and the musician.

Now, for a fan of blood/death/any form of misery, it is disgusting to admit that a smirk appeared once I saw that HITT looked proud just for knowing anatomical names in English, resulting in revealing his nipples with anime character stickers on them. It all seems to be going so well… Three loud gunshots. HITT drops to the floor, lying there spread-eagled before creeping his mic to his mouth and screaming “OH MY GOD!” Quite shocking really, I thought happy artists never died.

This man, in the space of 90 minutes becomes a God. An anime girl’s dream boyfriend. His fun and passion are all directed towards the fans as though there is no artist/ fan divide, just 101 people partying. Playing for his own enjoyment as well as the crowds, it surely seems the time to shout “I’m a sexy boy” to a group of puppy-eyed girls. Forget Robert Pattinson and the new found love for vampires- with the amount of goggle eyes seen here, HITT could well be on his way to being a new-found sex symbol in the UK. A dream boyfriend for the girls in the UK, simply put- A Miyavi minus wife and baby.

Not many artists can be completely solo onstage for 90 minutes. Usually there is some form of tech running across stage, proving that this guy really is a Jack of all trades, a true one man band. His operatic voice like that of Riku (Phantasmagoria) or Jui (Vidoll) trapped in a Miyavi style body. His ferocious piano playing can only be likened to that of famed Hayashi Yoshiki (X-Japan). With a change to a classical section, “Wish upon a star” floods over the crowd, their mouths moving as they probably did as children sat in front of the TV with the VHS of Pinocchio in. Rarely in the UK do you find men swaying in time with ballads, yet HITT manages to hypnotise them with his breeze, his soft lullaby voice beckoning all to his mercy.

“Last Song” draws through the air as the disappointment that those words always brings begins to creep up on the crowd. The epitome of energy that is HITT himself begins to twirl across the stage, legs in the air like a man possessed, proving it difficult, nay damn right impossible to keep still.

As the crowd leave the venue, girls are now seen with “HITTER” scrawled across their arms, it is apparent that even after 90 minutes of just one man, his songs and stage presence are so strong that he has understood there is no need to gild the lily with unnecessary tagalongs. Stone faces that stared at the man to prove himself had now changed to ones that screamed in his face if he even glanced their way. Rushing towards HITT at the end of his show, grabbing him anywhere and everywhere they could, yet another congregation for a cult has formed. The church of HITTERS has grown… and they know just by a simple “Aishiteru” to conclude the show, that they are very welcome.