The Idol Koushien – an Indoor Idol Festival, which is taking place every few weeks, all around Japan. It is not an event which will be attended by big names of the business, but instead sees itself as a showcase for many new or still relatively unknown groups, with the addition of some better known ones to attract fans. Each group gets 20 minutes to perform and – the best – nearly all of them do some kind of after-show-event later on. If you are new to idols you should absolutely try this one out: Although it is very exhausting (this one lasted from 12:30 to 22:30, non-stop) you will see a very diverse units – some better, some worse – but it will be enjoyable, I promise, when seeing each the idol giving their best and it also gives you a chance on observing the Japanese fan culture.
I don’t know how I came to know about the Idol Koushien on the 01.08.2014, but it was probably because of a post in Twitter. Well, it doesn’t matter. The line-up consisted of groups all unknown to me, with the exception of Dorothy Little Happy, Bellring Shoujo Heart and Party Rockets. But these three alone made me want to go there. I had no ticket, but chances were high, there would be still some left as it was a weekday AND the day before the TIF. So the usual wota would rather spent his money on the latter; and as most of the idols would also appear there most wouldn’t had any motivation to see them a day before and paying extra for it.
Buying tickets was easy: There was a counter, occupied with a sales girl, who sold me my ticket. She was asking me a question which I couldn’t hear because her voice was too low through the thick glass of the counter. Her voice matched her motivation (means: low) as she didn’t take any effort to compensate for this. Not for a gaijin perhaps.Whatever she was saying: I put my money down – she handed me the ticket – I was happy. As it was already close to 13:00 and the show began already at 12:30 I went down the stairs to the venue and was received by someone who handed me a FREE copy of the recent single by Dorothy Little Happy, Sky Traveler. That was a great start and it should only get better. As I still needed to get used to the venue and wanted to look around I without any delay redeemed my – let’s say it all together: DRINK TICKET! (Thank You!) They even had beer, so I ordered one of those. But it must have been some non-alcoholic one, as it – well, ‘tasted’ would be the wrong word as it was really horrible. I soon went to the toilet to get lost of the most of it. Afterwards I started to look around.
There was a small table on the side, manned by two sales girls (Why are these always girls? Not that I complain, beware!). It was obviously for selling/preorder CDs by groups participating at this festival and, after confirmation from my side, would earn you the benefit of akushukais or chekis. Well, well, well… Wasn’t there a new Party Rockets Single soon to be released?
Now in possession of one akushukai and one cheki ticket I looked around some more, but there wasn’t much to see. I presumed the many tables in the aisle would be for the imminent after-show-events and got proven right later (as expected from myself). After checking the schedule I saw that my groups appeared only in the late evening: On stage starting with Rockets around 19:30, then Bellring at 20:30 and Dorothy a bit after 21:00. For their events Dorothy was first, having the time period from 19:00 to 20:00, Rockets from 20:00 to 21:00, and with Bellring closing the events when starting theirs at 21:00. You can see, that they were very closely scheduled. In hoping, this wouldn’t result to overlaps later on (but of course it would!) and despite it still being a long way to go (Remember: It was only 13:00) I entered the venue…
…which was hardly filled. Okay, I already stated the factors for it not being overrun, but this less attendance? The show had begun since half an hour ago and I still would have been able to get a place in the first rows. This sounds much worse than it actually was, as the place for the audience was separated by lines of anti-moshing-fences and many placed themselves behind those to be able to rest their hands on them. So people were all over, even at the back, obviously not interested in the current line up on stage. But anyway, there was much space between each small group and I used this to my advantage; every time going to the front, when a good group appeared. This didn’t change the whole day, as although people became frequently more by time, there always was enough room left to slip in to.
After taking my time to make myself comfortable, I started to participate in the cheering for the groups, though none of them was really that special. But being in a concert crowd is always fun. But I soon realized, I would get tired pretty soon, so I began to take longer breaks in the back whenever a group didn’t catch my interest. Later Norman and two of his friends (one Infzer0) joined the show, adopting the same tactic. They actually wanted to catch the performance of Houkago Princess, but Norman couldn’t make it as he confused Zepp Tokyo with Zepp Diver City and came too late. That is the danger of Tokyo!
Groups that caught my attention that day were Lovely Doll. Although I can’t find any member that adorable, they at least wear cute uniforms and their sound is based on rock music. Will definitely check them out again, if the chance arrives. Also Jyu Jyu(?) (in Japanese it is じゅじゅ) was quite interesting, reminding me in sound of Babymetal. But opposite to them instead of one girl accompanied by two goth lolis they just featured the two goth lolis. Could be worse. So probably more similar to Fruitpochette. I must admit though that I don’t really like this style of metal, but singing the refrain “nande, nande, nande, nande” became addictive.
My experimentations and disappointments with unfamiliar drinks also wasn’t over. After all this jumping I became thirsty again, and was also in experimentation mode. So I ordered a Ginger Ale. I really like this beverage in Germany. The Japanese version meant it really good as it was one with ‘extra ginger’. And yes, it was A LOT of ginger in it, why I went to visit the toilet again…