Like we had planned we entered the venue as one of the last persons and immediately realized: This show is packed to the brim! We could only walk a few meters until we took our places: At the back, right side to the stage. Maybe this sounds bad to you, but AKIBA Cultures is a small venue and even if we stood in the last row we could still make out the facial features of the group on stage and even them could recognize us, if they wanted, which I hope they did. I am allowed to dream, right? And what was even more important: We had the space and ability now to exercise our cheering to the fullest, each of us equipped with towel and light stick. I don’t even want to imagine how I would have felt during Baby Jump, bounded to my bench. Tsutomo also was satisfied that so many people were actually interested in Nachu’s Birthday Show as he didn’t reckoned with a sold out venue. Still he found a hair in the soup: Nachu passengers, persons in orange shirts or with orange light sticks, were still quite random and by far in minority. In my opinion this just shows the solidarity of the PASSPO fan base, showing love and respect for every members, regardless if it is your favourite or not (like me). But this may be a fact, that hardcore oshi lovers like Tsutomo will never understand. Whatever, for the occasion I settled my light stick on orange (I knew this all-version-light stick would come in handy) and kept it there. Though sometimes I switched to dark blue (Yucky) to show my more heart-felt support and even to red (Naomin) as I observed much less red light sticks in the audience.
Again I am stealing from Yucky’s blog and post the setlist for this day. It was again chosen by Nachu who also was responsible for the dresses – the purple ones from Truly, the song that started my affection for PASSPO. I am starting to love that girl *cough*
02）Let It Go!!
06）Wish on a star
Choice of songs were acceptable although it had quite a lot of ‘classics’ in it. But Let it go!! is always a great one and two of my personal live favourites with Baby Jump and Kibun wa Saiko Saiko Saiko were included. The whole flight lasted approx. 1 hour, supposedly longer as the MC were quite long, focussing on our birthday girl who even appeared on stage wearing a huge cake costume. It was a lot of fun, doing the first song with everyone in the audience holding orange light sticks and shouting for the encore, this time instead of PA-SU-PO with NA-TSU-MI.
Eventually the show ended and we instantly made our way out of the venue to the merchandize area. We had to buy a lot, with Tsutomo wanting 1 akushukai and 1 cheki with Nachu. I for my part was more greedy – I wanted 3 akushukais (Nachu, Naomin, Yucky) and 3 chekis (Morishi, Annya, Sacotee). This required task sharing: Tsutomo queued up for the chekis, preordering a bunch of the Himawari Single, as he would be the recipient and was better in filling out the Japanese preorder formula. I lined up for the ‘regular’ merchandize, hoping to finally get myself the Face-Shirt of Yukimi and one Nachu-Face-Shirt for Tsutomo, which were now in stock, and getting the akushukai tickets for it.
All went well except: The ‘stock’ were only left-overs, which meant the Nachu shirt was only available in S. Luckily (for me) Yukimi is the member with the least amount of passengers. This allowed me to buy her shirt in a larger size! To still get the right amount of tickets and to have something for Tsutomo I needed to buy more, so I went with a new released photo set of Natsumi and finally the two missing banners, Annya and Morishi, for my sisters. But I didn’t know that they had a limit established here: You would get 1 ticket for every 1,000 Yen spent, but the maximum would be 3 tickets. Doesn’t matter if you bought more. That meant I had already reached this limit with my Yukimi Shirt and were handed out just 3 tickets. Damn. Short discussion with Tsutomo again. He acquired all the cheki tickets. But this still left 1 akushukai. My offer of giving him one of mine was declined (I would have graciously pass on the opportunity to congratulate Nachu personally) and Tsutomo got back in line for the CDs as me getting back in line for merchandize wouldn’t work because of the 3-tickets-per-person-limit. Tsutomo’s fear, that Nachu would leave the stage before him being able to talk with her was unfounded: There was a huge amount of passengers lining up for her, something Nachu rarely experiences, I am certain of.
With Tsutomo still in line I started using my tickets already, beginning with Naomi. After we shared our greetings and I congratulated her for her performance(in Japanese, as I did the whole evening) she told me something, again in Japanese, which I failed to understand. And Naomi wasn’t able to say the English expression. I hate this situations. Even worse, I forgot what she told me to have it looked up later at least. I can only imagine that it was something like she remembered me but maybe that is just wishful thinking. She also seemed a bit down as she wasn’t laughing frequently during the whole evening as she mostly does (‘Happy Girl’).
Next was Yukimi. I again began with praising her performance and that I have seen her in the Osaka and Nagoya Flights which prompted her reply that she had seen me there and remembered me from the release event in Osaka. This I didn’t expect so I was on the verge of jumping out for joy. Luckily I had to retreat and cool off my head, as the 15 seconds, allowed for talking, were up.
My last akushukai I used up for Nachu, as planned. Before I was looking around for Tsutomo but he still was not to be seen. Nachu was again dressed in her cake costume and I approached her with a perfect ‘o-tanyobi omedetou’. She thanked me, grabbed my hand with both of her hands and asked me where I was from. I told her which resulted in a huge ‘Ooooohh!’ She was asking me a lot more, but I honestly don’t remember any more. That is the downside when you have to do so much interaction with members in a short time, as you never know if you will meet them again during the next vacation. But she left a very positive impression on me.
After finishing all of my akushukais I could finally continue with the more simple part: chekis. They require a lot of less speaking. I just had to wait until the time for akushukais for my intended members was over. First girl I approached was Shiori, surprisingly without a line already. She was exactly like the girl you see on stage: Bright smile and full of energy. Before I could even talk my first words she already came at me with (Japanese): ‘I saw you in Osaka.’ I was tempted again for jumping around. Calm yourself! I replied, ‘I also have been to Nagoya. You were great on stage.’ Even brighter smile. Then the tap on my shoulder came for reaching the time limit. Luckily there still was no one lining up so while reproaching I hurried up to tell her what I intended from the start: That my sister is a fan of hers and she will come to PASSPO‘s Shinjuku Blaze Flight in Septembre. A little jump by Morishi and she shouted cheerfully: ‘Matemasu’. THIS had been by far my best interaction with an idol so far.
After I left the stage Morishi and Annya were obviously talking about me. I hated to do this but the surprised look on Anna’s face was worth it: I went up for my cheki with her and realised: She is such a small and frail person! This was the reason why my posture in the cheki is that awkward. Anyway, after it was done, without talking anything, she right away pointed at my nose and excitingly exclaimed ‘hana takai’. Which I didn’t understand at that time. She came even closer, pointed at her own nose, repeated ‘hana takai’ and even tried to get the near staff members attention for whatever she was shouting. But as mentioned I didn’t understand and so we parted, leaving me confused. Only back in the hotel I looked up the words and got its meaning: Big Nose. What to think of that? Obviously it was Annya’s frank personality at play again, though her reaction made it clear that it wasn’t meant in a bad way. Anyway I promised myself, if there will be a chance to talk to her again, I would.
During that time Tsutomo finally arrived and I had the opportunity the observe him talking with Nachu while handing over a present and taking his ‘unique’ cheki with her. It was quite a sight. Meanwhile I was preparing for my last cheki with Sako. I was actually tempted to go for Mio instead as her line was empty already. Tsutomo was even talking me into it. But after finding Anna already small, how would I even deal with Mio? So I stood firm and went for Sako, whose smile had captured me in the last One-Man-Flights. And she was even cuter close up. She asked me during the shot, where I was from and, after telling her, congratulated me for the world cup. I humbly thanked her as I was to dumb asking if she had watched it instead and left the stage. I still have so much to learn. But language barrier and time limitations doesn’t make it any easier. But anyway THIS happened to be my best idol experience now. That’s how fast it goes. Sorry Morishi!
Inside I was struggling with myself if I should buy more tickets as this was my last chance for chekis with the PASSPO girls this vacation. But I didn’t. I kind of regret that now but will hopefully and soon have a new chance for meeting those girls and take photos with them. At the end I also came in contact with Norman and Allan, both Singaporean, or better, Norman approached me first. He is a fan of Annya and we chatted for a bit while exchanging our Twitter accounts. As we kind of had the same schedule for the next days (Thursday PARMS, Friday Idol Koushien, Weekend TIF), we agreed on meeting again. Me and Tsutomo however went to Ikebukuro to get us something to eat as it was already late (the event ended around 22.30). As a result I had to take a taxi later as my subway would only get me to Gotanda. But hey, after this great day it didn’t matter in the slightest (and I wouldn’t have found the way to the hotel otherwise).
The whole show even was released on Youtube: