Todays idol event would be the Babyraids weekly – and free – performance, called ‘Toranomon Dojo‘ at Pony Canyon, their record company. I had no idea what this would be exactly but I wanted to give it a try anyway. But as the show would only start in the late evening there was still time for exploring Tokyo again.
As I have a childhood liking for dinosaurs we went to the National History Museum in Ueno Park only to discover: The dinosaur exhibition is closed! Figured. Only those of the time before and afterwards was still open. But at least there was a special exhibition: About extinct mammals, who reigned the world after the extinction of the dinosaurs. And I must say, this was just as good. Some impressive specimens and also in big quantities. I will try to go there again in winter. Hopefully the museum then is fully open, with all dinosaurs to look at.
The museum took longer than expected but still left enough time for a late lunch and then we already went to Toranomon, to look for the Pony Canyon building and found it quite easily. We also found the room where it took place without problems as it was the first on the first floor, when taking a side entrance. Even better: There was a toilet behind it, free for all and clean. So please excuse me for some minutes…
Sorry for the wait. As there was still A LOT of time we decided to take a look at Tokyo Tower which was in the area and on our way – crossed paths with not only Rioton and Manatsu of Babyraids, but later Den-chan as well. This is typical: Missing the chance to run into Yucky, because she decided to take some holiday in Korea while I am in Japan, but bumping into idols that can’t recognize me as I only saw them live during TIF before, an event with too much foreigners to stand out. And the one member I at least shook hands with, Naosuke, was not around. Her I would have greeted. So I just smilied inside, praising myself for successfully identifying idols on the street.
Tokyo Tower was nice to see again but as the weather was cloudy it was of no use staying there. So we headed back to Pony Canyon again, arriving approx. 16:00, which was much too early, as the show was starting 17:30, with entrance at 17:00, and there were hardly any fans around. We started waiting anyway there, even sitting down next to the entrance. Now another advantage of being a foreigner was visible: The few other fans who gathered around, recognizable with their fan shirts, were immediately sent away as they were blocking the road (which they weren’t). We on the other hand, SITTING, weren’t even glanced at, obviously regarded as impertinent tourists. Funny as it was we got bored anyway and as people were still few we took a short walk to the next conbini, refilling our supply on food and drinks. This took just about 10 to 15 minutes but as we came back to Pony Canyon – A huge queue of fans had lining up, spanning already half around the building! What the hell?!? In that short amount of time from hardly 10 fans to over 200? Unbelievable. But nothing to do about it, so we queued up at the end, discouraged for getting a good place or even a ticket.
It wasn’t long until the queue, now lining up in pairs, began to move. We were wondering what was going on as it was still far from entry time. Even more confusing as none of the fans went inside the building, instead we were handed out papers with a number on it – me a 50, my sister the 45. Now it dawned me: This event used entry numbers, like I already knew from PASSPO flights. That means having number 45 and 50 was fantastic luck! Yea, finally it came back. Now it was lining up again, this time according to number, which went surprisingly smoothly. The only downside: It started to rain, but we each had our umbrellas with us *hahaha*
When getting in we saw that the front near the stage was seated area, behind the one for standing. As, how I mentioned in the beginning, we didn’t know what to expect, I wanted to sit. Luckily my sister agreed, though mostly because she didn’t know the group that well. We decided on seats in the third row, right side – very close to the stage and a fantastic view on the girls, who later appeared in jeans hot pants and simple T-Shirts. Have I said, it was a great view? We soon realized that the show was recorded, I guess for some stream site, and that it was likely sold out. I assume it was an audience of around 300 fans. To be seated was a good idea, then after the show finally started, it was obviously more talk than sing. With the moderation of Kikuchi Ami, a former Idoling!!! member, they discussed their recently success in acquiring over 10,000 signs for a concert at Budokan (I am one of those signs), made some year retrospective and had a guest musician. But don’t ask me about his name. Some middle-aged Japanese pop singer with a guitar. But he performed a nice sing-a-long tune, covering the whole history of the group so far. At the end Babyraids performed themselves. This was obviously the best part. They did 3 songs, including the encore. I forgot the first song, maybe it was ‘Babyraids’, but the other two were ‘Koyomi no ue deha december’ and ‘Tiger Soul’. The last one I am not so fond of, as the attentive reader will remember, but it slowly grows on me. And participating with the fan choreography is easy during the ‘ageru’ part. One disadvantage though, but a hilarious one, was the fact, that the right side was that of Rioton. I guess, a quote from my sister says it all: “Having her in front of me all the time was terrible. I had trouble not to laugh. She really can NOT dance!” The fact that Rioton wasn’t able to get more secure in her performance over time (Babyraids existing since 2012) makes me believe that her poor skills are now her personal gimmick. Well, at least it always leaves me with a smile.
After the show ended we realized there would not be any events so we wanted to leave. But no one stood up. So we kept seated, wondering. Suddenly tables were brought in and put close to the exit. Now we both assumed in unison: High touch event. Like the one we experienced with 4minute back in Sweden. And so it came. Babyraids lining up behind the tables and everyone from the audience had to pass by them. It was good that there was no time for talking as this would have become tough, finding conversation material for five idols, in such short amount of time. They said “Thank You” in English, we as well. That was it. What I again realized: The girls are frail and tiny. But Ricopin looked much better with her new haircut. Manatsu, my oshi if she wouldn’t be center, has a smile to dream of and it was nice to meet Naosuke again. So all in all a nice experience, though I wouldn’t do it again, as I don’t understand too much of the conversations on stage and the short live and only high touch event are not worth it.