Smaller Events Part 3 – PARMS, Akihabara

After the UTA Musume show, of which I talked about in my last post, I had to hurry as I promised Norman to meet up at PARMS, Akihabara for the Alice Project evening show. As it was already past 19:30 and the show was starting at 20:15. The train ride from Akasaka to Akihabara would already last 20 minutes. Really too bad, that both occasions had to be on the same day. Nevertheless I rushed to the streets of Akasaka, entered the subway, arrived in Akihabara at around 19:55 and – used the wrong exit! And I didn’t know where I was as every building in my view was unknown to me. It took me over 10 minutes to finally find the right direction, bought myself the ticket and – the show was delayed. Good, as this meant I wouldn’t miss any of the show, but bad as it is never a good idea for your body odor to run hectically through the streets during warm weather, even if it was dark already. This aside I met Norman and some of his friends (one later revealed himself as infzer0) and we all entered the venue.

I heard most of Alice Project and PARMS from my discussions with Jul3, a forum member, who is a great fan of them. And the place was really not bad: A huge stage, much room for the audience, on its right side the buffet area and on the left the merchandize table and the bar. It became clear that neither of us had been there though, so our participation was pretty – toned down. But it was nice seeing the girls, I only knew from Youtube, now in real life and recognizing again: These are also very small and fragile in general. A fact that never reveals itself when watching idol shows in videos.

To my disappointment I realized that Hayase Amu, the member which like Sayumi from COCORO ODORU follows me on Twitter and initially introduced me to Alice Project, was not around. I so much wanted to take a cheki with her. Instead I went with my second favourite member, Watanabe Maari, who surprisingly talked a bit in English, asking my name and if this was my first time at PARMS. Really nice girl. When I go there next time I will certainly talk with her again!

Me with Maari

Later I redeemed my – you have it right – drink ticket and bought me some T-Shirts from the merchandize stand: One of Alice Juuban, my favourite group out of them and the second of Steam Girls, as I like their gas mask icon. Too bad, those Shirts look like kids stuff actually, compared to the great motifs they feature on their website. Why didn’t they make some of those?

To give a short recap: Buying tickets is very easy. You just do that at the reception on the ground floor (or first floor). Then you either take the lift to the 7th floor or the stairs. The last bit is no joke. As you have to queue up anyway in the staircase you can already use this way instead of walking down from 7th floor to the end of the line. After admission you are free to go anywhere. And on a weekday there is a lot of room. The show in my case started with a performance by Pa-Ken, followed right after by Oz and lastly the major groups Alice Juuban, Steam Girls, Armor Girls and the unit version of the three – Kamen Joshi. A downside with weekday shows: They are rather short compared to their equivalent on weekends. There is also no crowd diving by the girls, just the normal entr with light guns and paper cannons. But I think that reduced show bits are reasonable as every group is performing daily (with the exception of one day per week) and the attendance is not that huge after a working day. I would like to visit a weekend show some time, though it will be tough, with all the competition of other events in Tokyo.

Right after the show starts the Cheki-Event. Here you can choose between:

  • Regular Cheki – photo with your favourite girl on small Polaroid
  • Wide-Cheki – photo with your favourite girl on bigger polaroid plus autograph
  • Unit-Cheki – photo with all the members of your favourite Unit.

That’s about all. It is like your regular idol show with after-event, just that it is on a daily basis, at the same venue. It is especially great for those who have the chance to attend the shows there on a regular basis, as this would allow you to learn the choreographies and some of the differences to other idol shows, like standing in the line for your oshi during the show. For irregular visitors like me it was still much fun and probably will be in the future.
I split with Norman after that and went back to the hotel. We already intended to meet again during Idol Koushien the next day. And as it could be foreseen that it will be a long and exhausting day, I was happy to go to bed early.

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