It happened to be the 30th Decembre, meaning Doll Elements One Man and FiveStars Festival. The first I was attending with Shaun, the latter with Shaun and Caio. At least this was the plan. But we will come to that. Getting ourselves tickets for Doll Elements was difficult as it was a lottery system between fans who also subscribed to their fan letter. Shaun is a member but the registration for ticket distribution wasn’t possible from outside Japan. So he had to use the help of fdjp.com and we got lucky and got two tickets, to Shaun‘s rejoice!
While this was already troublesome, acquiring tickets for FiveStars was an even harder task. The festival would be free but here it was a lottery again. This meant: A lot of competition from poor wotas who applied and we had to rely on luck again, this time hoping that we three individually would win the ticket race. And what shall I say: Luck was on our side as all three of us got mail, telling us we won! Still can not believe this. Maybe we got a foreigners bonus, who knows? Another curious fact: I tweeted my success in acquiring a ticket for FiveStars and this was favoured by Saki, an idol from 2&, which I never heard, seen or talked about before. Idols and Twitter are unpredictable…
Now followed the planning aspect: Doll Elements‘ show was in Shibuya, Mt. Rainier Hall, whereas FiveStars was split in two venues, Zepp Tokyo and Shinkiba Studio Coast. For those of you who know Tokyo this meant a lot of traveling. Shaun and me brainstormed and made up this plan: First going to Shinkiba for Ready to Kiss (11:00) then heading for Shibuya to see Doll Elements (14:00), skipping the after events as we will have to hurry to Zepp Tokyo (16:00), where a bunch of groups would be performing we wanted to see. Somewhere in between we also needed to find something to eat.
This plan derived quite a bit from my initial schedule, which was majorly favouring the Shinkiba venue as it was my intention this time to see a lot of groups I have never seen live or even listened to before. But there were a few facts that made me reconsider:
1. Winning the tickets for Doll Elements
2. Next Shoujo Jiken canceling their appearance at Shinkiba
3. Tsubasa Fly being on the Idol Koushien on 02.01. (I had tickets already)
4. Zepp Tokyo featuring a bunch of my most favoured groups like Lovely Doll, Chu-Z, Stella Beats, Afilia Saga, Ready to Kiss
5. Not wanting to be alone *sniff*
Me and Shaun therefore started out for Shinkiba, arriving separately. I had some trouble finding the venue and was only able to get there because I followed some girls who resembled idols on the way to the event. Always the best option! The entry was easy as you just had to show your win announcement on the mobile. Then you got a wristband which allowed attendance for both venues. A bit like TIF. Caio was nowhere to be seen and, as expected by both us, wrote later that he overslept. Meanwhile me and Shaun were trying desperately to find the Main(!) Stage. Outside was a smaller stage in full action, with metal idols performing and a lot of mosh-pitting wotas. Inside the building was another small stage and many event booths. I nearly accidentally walked into Minami and Azusa from Up Up Girls who stood right at the entrance for their event as the place was so overcrowded and tight. We looked around but saw no signs for Main Stage so we decided to queue up at the next best line we saw. There was one going from inside the building to outside the exit. This MUST be the queue for Main Stage, no doubt! But after waiting for like 10 minutes without any noticeable movement, Shaun decided to take another look and – found the Main Stage. We had actually lined up for the Up Up Girls event. Immediately we left the queue and headed to the stage, where Ready to Kiss was just starting their set – Perfect Timing! Here again, like at the Koushien yesterday I ran into Allan.
After Ready to Kiss our initial plan was staying for Up Up Girls but we all skipped that. Seems like no one of us really likes them. Anyway, as Allan decided to go for the Ready to Kiss event. I decided to join, too. I wanted to get a hand on their great fan shirts. But it took the girls too long for appearing, so to avoid missing Doll Elements concert me and Shaun were heading on to Shibuya. No shirt therefore for me *sob*. I skip a review of the Doll Elements One Man as Shaun made a great post about that you can find when clicking the underneath screenshot. (But the actual reason for skipping is that I forgot most part of it and was several times surprised when reading his review).
I just add, that I didn’t like the seats there. Too cramped and the venue was too hot (or was it my cold?). But the show was enjoyable and I will continue following the group. I even registered for their newsletter which is a first for me. I wanted to buy a fan shirt even but as great the design was I couldn’t get over the pinkness of it. Again no shirt… During the show I realized what Shaun meant about Yukino being a bit on the voluptuous side, a fact I never got from the photos. Despite that fact and opposite to my usual preferences she is my oshimen in the group. I explain this further when I make my post about the TOKYO FM Festival, where I saw the group again.
No further delay. Now tripping to Zepp Tokyo which turned out – as a carbon copy of Zepp DiverCity! A real concert hall franchise! We arrived on time, to see Ready to Kiss again as well as all the performances of the groups on our list:
Me with Stella Beats, Chu-Z, Lovely Doll, Seishun Gakuen, Afilia Saga.
Shaun with GEM, Cheeky Parade, Houkago Princess, Links.
All the sets of my favourites turned out great. Especially Lovely Doll and Chu-Z made good choices in song selection. Links was a positive surprise. I need to watch out for them. I participated in the events of Stella Beats, Lovely Doll and Chu-Z, who were scheduled perfectly so I was able to see this groups also on stage, but this meant events happened to be in the time slots of the performances for most of Shaun’s favourite groups. Oh well… Shaun on the other hand at least didn’t say anything bad about Lovely Doll and Chu-Z. I count that as positive. At least I saw Houkago Princess and later Links. GEM‘s event was right beside Stella Beats‘ booth, so this should count as well, right?
After Stella Beats finished their performance on stage I went out in the aisle to purchase their CD, which would allow me to participate in their cheki event. The booth of Ready To Kiss was right opposite to me and already open. I shortly contemplated if I should try again for a shirt but as the aisle was very crowded and I didn’t want to loose my spot in the queue I decided otherwise. There went my last chance for the shirt. But later, when I was lining up again for the Stella Beats sign event, the members of Ready to Kiss walked close by. I was carefully making room for them and when my eyes met with Anju‘s she suddenly put on a huge grin! Whatever it meant, I declared her my oshi right away! Feeling courageous now I greeted another member with an ‘Otsukaresama’, obviously surprised by being talked to in Japanese by a foreigner, and got a smile and the same reply as reward. I like this little small talk with idols. Soon after Stella Beats appeared and I, for the first time, met Sakuragi Kotoka. She is the most cheerful girl in the group, that is why I favour her. I also like Mana a lot, who in my opinion has a great, distinguishable voice. Anyway shortly before it was my turn a Japanese fan approached me in English and asked me who I like, where I am from, the general questions really. He also offered me to introduce me to Kotoka. Well, offer is the wrong word, than before I was able to reply, he already was talking to her. So now I wasn’t in need to tell her my nationality or anything else. Kotoka, a bit surprised, greeted me cheerfully and, when seeing the single still in my hands, suggested the nether cheki. We couldn’t talk much then.
The Japanese fan already awaited me, telling me to line up again to let the cheki getting signed. Of course I did that. He then translated to Kotoka. She wanted to know how I knew them and I told her that I saw Stella Beats quite a lot in fall (here and here and here) and now it was my first time taking part in their events. She displayed happiness and therefore fell out of her role as from their dresses she should have just smiled. Happiness is Mana‘s occupation, but as I like her too I let it slide – this time. Here is the CD cover and the mentioned dresses:
The event ended so I hurried back to the stage area for Lovely Doll‘s appearance. I was happy that they wore their orange-yellow dresses this time and they would still wear them for the events which I was heading to right after. Here I ran into Allan again, who also likes the group. Here the system was the same: For CD purchases you got event tickets, the differences here you had to buy extra ones for the signature. As I had no CDs by Lovely Doll so far I didn’t mind and was instead happy to see them also selling their album. I purchased it together with some singles. Now queueing up for Yuriko turned out more difficult: They again had the boards held up displaying the names, but Yuriko‘s name was entirely written in Kanji. I seemed to look desperate and was therefore asked by a female fan, which member I was looking for. She then pointed me the way. I believe I said this once, but fans of Lovely Doll are the best!
Yuriko was as lovely as the last time, even remembering me and suggesting the heart pose, again like in our past meeting. Her memory was basically our conversation topic as I showed my doubts which she dispersed by telling me the exact occasion we met! Incredible! My oshi!
I then decided to take a cheki with Yuki also. She was asking about my nationality (of course) and was in a completely good mood. Later during the sign session she told me she learned Spanish for a few years. She then said ‘Buenos dias’ to me. This came as a surprise. I wanted to reply that I have been to Spain quite a few time already or if she plans on traveling there, but my poor Japanese skills impeded that. Instead I searched my mind for any Spanish words. ‘Happy New Year’ would be fitting so I said ‘Feliz Navidad’. I only later realised it actually meant ‘Happy Birthday’. Well, it is close. And Spanish. And I am sure Yuki got the drift. Too sad, that she announced her graduation a few weeks later. I would have been fun to talk with Yuki again, prepared with some Spanish words then. Good thing I was able to get a photo with her in time. Another diversion in spelling my name here. Now I have it in Katakana and as Tobi, Tobby, Toby. She also understood Tomi at first, hence the hiragana and while talking she obviously forgot to sign it herself.
I then went to the stage area again for Chu-Z performance and later took part in their event. But as this became special I will talk about it in an extra post. I will therefore end this instead with a video by Links, a group to look out for.