It was Saturday, the 28th of March, and a clash of schedule happened today. My intention was to go for a Party Rockets Two Man in the early afternoon and later try to attend a small festival, which featured Chu-Z besides others. But for the same day another festival appeared on my radar: Kami Live Vol. 9, that not only featured Allan’s favourite group Fruity, of which he wanted to convince me while we were eating at an Izekaya, but also – brace yourself – had in its line-up:
- はっちゃけ隊 from PASSPO☆
No need to emphasize, that especially the PASSPO subunit Hachake Tai alone made me change my plans, who I never saw live as solo-act before. I had the hope that it will provide me with an easy chance to attend a good event, get in touch with all members and even take chekis without long waiting lines. We need to be honest here: The subunit only features the least favourite members of PASSPO, and therefore a small group of followers. But in contrast on a more personal level it consists of my Top 3 PASSPO members with Yukki,, Naomin and Morishi. But from Twitter I already knew, that Hachake Tai would close the show and events would be afterwards. So let me keep up the chronological order for the day.
My first station that day was Shinjuku, for turning up at the BLAZE, who would hold the Two Man of Party Rockets with Otome Shinto. My only purpose to go there anyway was just for the chance of them selling the Live DVD at the venue, something that was mentioned on their website. But when arriving there it looked like only pre-orders were possible. At least I couldn’t make out something different and every person I saw just had the regular preorder form in its hand. Well, I tried. If you want to know why I didn’t stay for the show when I was at the place, I explain: I really like Party Rockets, but I already put my doubts of this collaboration in this blog somewhere. On the other hand Allan told me about Fruity opening the Kami Live, which would start at 13:00. It was nearly 12:00 now, so if I hurried, I could reach Uguisudani in time, as the festival took place in Tokyo Kinema Club. My option therefore was staying for a show I would probably enjoy only in parts or accompanying a friend to his favourite group and even get introduced to them, as Allan was already close to the members. So my choice turned out like that. Also the fact, that the time of appearances for the singular groups was impossible to find out, so there was no way for me to tell, when for example Predia would perform. To miss out on them, although I would have been able to see them, was unforgivable.
I took the Yamanote Line back in the opposite direction, arrived at my destination – and failed to find the venue. I had to wait for Allan to show me that it was impossible to miss. Tokyo Kinema Club is just right after the bridge. So much for my reading skills. Entry ceremony was fast behind us (Allan told them we both are there for Fruity. In my generousity I let this pass unpunished.), an elevator brought us to the 6th(?) floor, after exiting we had to use a staircase for the 5th floor to reach the stage area and after putting down my baggage in some corner I went first to the bar, as traveling one and a half hour on the Yamanote line made me thirsty. I had to hurry, as Fruity (members don’t use colours but fruits) would start soon and finished my drink just in time. What can I tell about them? They are the general idol type, colourful dresses and poppy music, but very endearing and cheerful. They reminded me of Arc Jewel groups. So if you are into that, you should absolutely try them out!
I needed to decide on a favourite member, as afterwards a participation at their buppan was already promised, following the advice of my mother, who always told me to give fruits more attention. Or did she mean something entirely different? Whatever, it didn’t take long until I laid my eyes on the ‘mango’ member named Rina.
The event took part immediately after the live, on the 6th floor, next to the elevator exit, and featured a seemingly complicated system, which even included looping, so I was glad that Allan managed everything for me. But the positives: You could take chekis with them AND talk an ‘unlimited’ time with them (which means no staff taking the time). They also signed your pictures and you could decide if you want to take the photo with Polaroid or with your mobile phone. The joys of indie-idols. Allan was lining up for his oshi Misa again and again, whereas I got in queue for Rina. First things first: She was very nice and sweet, and despite some difficulties in language we understood each other pretty well, although some caution from her in front of a foreigner was obvious. But as expected I soon ran out on topics to talk about, as I had no knowledge about the group. But we introduced each other by name. Here I got to know her last name to be Fujimoto. No wonder she happened to caught my interest! We talked about Germany, of me seeing them for the first time, I praised her skills with drawing a cat – and was told it was a dog *Eeeeek*. The regular stuff indeed. In the I was very satisfied about my choice of oshimen here.
I had fun and Allan too, apparently. So I let myself being convinced about taking another photo/talk with Allan’s oshi. This experience turned out to be a bit strange, as Allan first introduced me and by proposing a photo with mobile made my talk with Misa kind of embarrassing. You must imagine the following situation: Misa was sitting behind a bar table, on a soft-cushioned bar chair. Me too placed myself next to her and we were very close. We then talked a bit, meanwhile some other member took a cheki of us with Polaroid.
As I said I didn’t understand the system, but now I could get myself a photo on my mobile. I am bad with taking photos of myself, so I handed Misa my phone and she came even closer, taking the beneath picture, which would make for a great couple shot.
During the conversation Misa even forgot to ask for my name, but she asked Allan later during another event for it, for which he would follow them later. They are close. A fact, that was proved before, then in fact it wasn’t my first time meeting with Misa. Yesterday evening me and Allan met at my subway station for a late dinner at McDonalds. He just came back from a Fruity live, where he talked with Misa for half an hour, he at least proclaimed. It is known, that Fruity always stays at the same hostel in Minami-Senju, the one I was staying at. During the last days I never ran into cute girls there though. This would of course change with the next day, when the members then able to recognize me. But more about it in my next post. Anyway after finishing our meal we walked a bit around the station, just to ran into Misa and one other member, who where on their way back from the live to the hotel. They recognized Allan immediately, asked him about me and then had a small chat. This meeting was unintentional, as Allan tried to avoid being seen, for fear of repercussion by staff personal. But I can spoil already, that he made it out alive. For me one other fact was more astonishing: For Misa being already 31 years old!
Back to the Kami Live now. During the Fruity event I saw the time table for that day being put on. To my disappointment the scheduling would have fit perfectly for me attending the Party Rockets show, as every group that was performing after Fruity until 18:00 was either unknown to me or not to my interest. But now I was there and therefore had to enjoy it. Experiencing new groups is nice and at least some of them were at least liked by me, especially SeiSHUN Gakuen and Ange Reve, who both made me participate. You remember SeiSHUN Gakuen, who has one of the best idol live show songs?
KNU turned out to be a group that featured very revealing outfits and seeing Shizukaze & Kizuna was also a treat, for the reason that they announced their disbandment in summer. A nice addition turned out to be VersusKids, a group consisting of lolis which seem no older than 13. Nevertheless I found them very enjoyable and fun, when they left the stage to animate the audience. Here something funny also occurred: As most of the members passed by me in fear of the foreigner, one of the girls stayed near to me to frequently interact with me, going even as far as making kissing-gestures when the lyrics of the song called for it. Certainly a group for Shaun. Just kidding. But admit it, you saw that one coming! Here is one of the songs they performed that time. The member I was talking about is the one, who stands left from the viewers point of view during the Jikou Shokai. Her name apparently being Maria.
Soon 18:05 was reached, which meant: The stage being open for Stella Beats! The first group that day I knew, like and wanted to take part in the events in. With it started a cycle of watching a performance, then going up for the event, just to go back for the next performance again. The only group whose event I couldn’t make it to was Lovely Doll’s, as theirs coincided with Predia’s performance. No chance there, Yuririn. So sorry! I skip any review of the shows by Stella Beats, Lovely Doll and Predia, as nothing special occurred there. Hachake Tai is another matter, but I will get to it later. Therefore I fast forward to Stella Beats’ event.
It was a pity that the schedule interfered with the performance of Houkago Princess, one I would have liked to watch, as Shaun just recently advertised them to me. I doubt that I will ever become a devoted fan of them, but as they are kind of a sister group to Ready to Kiss and their music is enjoyable, I wouldn’t have been bothered watching them perform. But as the event area happened basically on the balcony for the stage, just separated from it by drapes to obstruct the view, the sound was unmistakable. Therefore it became very easy to at least listen to the events on stage, but at tthe same time very difficult to interact with anyone, let alone converse with staff and idols. This only increased by the fact of language barriers. Nevermind, I managed to inform me about the structure of today’s event and bought myself four tickets – to receive two chekis with sign and talk. I would have loved to do a group shot with all members but I couldn’t make out if those were done that day. I should look up the Japanese word for it to be able to ask the staff next time.
My first choice was Kotoka again. I had to go for the photo first and then wait until she was free to sign the picture. For this no further ticket was needed. As usual, I had no idea for the pose, so I let her decide, which added a new stance to my repertoire. Apart from that there wasn’t much time for talking during the shot. While waiting I enjoyed listening to Houkago Princess and watched how the event took place. Nozomi seems to be the less liked member, as she stood around unengaged most of time. My conversation with Kotoka went very unsmooth, as the noise was covering our words and the usual problem of communication in a foreign language. She was very nice though, asked me to follow her on Twitter to which I replied that I already am – Kotoka’s smile got even brighter – but nothing important really was discussed.
My next endeavour was a cheki with Mana. I was unable to do that the last time, but I wanted to tell her that I really like her singing voice. She is one of the rare idols that impress me in that regard. The only other one that comes to mind is Akane from Predia. The pose was decided the same way – by the idol. I am lazy! What I first noticed though, was that Mana seemed very thin. I never recognized that. She was adorable through the photo shoot, even talked some english to me. Finished with the shot I waited again for the sign and when it was my turn I learned to my surprise, that Mana spoke English pretty well! Now this confused me. When an idol speaks to you in English, should I too or instead keep my efforts with Japanese? I tried the Japanese approach by praising her voice. She thanked me and asked a question back in the same language. Although I didn’t understand it, I assume she was reassuring herself of what I said about her voice before. I therefore just affirmed her question. No curious looks were given, so my intuition must have been on spot! Phew! The conversation, despite the noise went better than with Kotoka, but in the same style. She asked if I saw them for the first time and was apparently happy to hear that I knew them already from before. She advertised her Twitter account, which I promised to follow (I do now!), and expressed her hope to see me again. As I said, the usual idol conversation. But I must admit, she has a great charisma, accompanied by a lovely smile – and those big eyes! I hope to see you again at TIF, Mana!to be continued…