This Sunday, as the Saturday before, offered a lot of options regarding idol shows. Just take note of the list below:
Bellring Girls Heart – Three Man with Starmarie and AnnaS
Chu-Z – Mini Live in celebration of Kana’s birthday
Babyraids – regular live
Matsurhythym – an outdoor festival in Hibiya Park with Lovely
Doll and Tsuzuki Kana amongst the participants
Stella Beats – participants in some festival
None of the mentioned shows were perfect. Bellring performed with two groups I don’t care about, the Chu-Z show would be rather short and probably consist of lot of talking, Babyraids show would start in the early afternoon but fell below my radar with their recent radical change in (fashion) style and the lack of events (just high touch, chekis only for fan club members), Matsurhythym would start around noon and happening outside in the heat, whereas the festival with Stella Beats, also at noon) would feature only them as my point of interest. As me and my sister wanted to use a big amount of the day for finally sleeping to our hearts content, the final decision was only between Bellring or Chu-Z. As I saw Bellring already (not near than enough of course) and I could assume my sister wouldn’t like them (quote: “They can’t sing!”) we went for the show of Chu-Z, a group which style should suit my sister and as it seemed at that time, it would be the only opportunity to see them. And I wanted to see them again, as they fight for being my favourite group – after PASSPO!
As expected, we slept very long that day, until 15, and then started for our trip to Roppongi in leisurely pace, as we had enough time. We used it to walk around the area, one I have never been to before, and ate some German food as well as drinking German Beer in a nearby German restaurant. Someone should tell the Japanese to also serve the meals in German size, as the serving we got could only be counted as an appetizer. At least the amount on the receipt was L-size. But as a Yukki-passenger I didn’t mind. Soon we made our way to the venue, the Tokyo Berg, a very small club, even smaller than Akiba Cultures, but here only standing (Thank God!). The stage could have been higher but otherwise it is a nice location. I have met Yutan for a quick chat and he told me were to line up (inside the building on the parking deck). Wasn’t that bad as it allowed us being safe from the sun.
When we got inside, fans of the Kana-Birthday-Commitee were distributing red penlights and self-made cups. Very nice idea!
After a quick check of the stage area and a stop at the toilet, the live soon began and as expected Chu-Z performed like 7-8 songs. Amongst them Iroha Music, Chu me now, Choose my Life and Girls on the run as my favourites. Sadly no Boombastic!, Breaking now or Bow Wow. All the members were dressed in one of Kana’s uniforms and therefore every member was wearing red. Maia, being a lot taller than Kana, wore the current ‘ballerina’ dress for Tell me why, and it seemed to be too small for her as the skirt appeared shorter than usual. Not that anyone in the audience minded that!During their Jikou Shokai the girls adopted Kana’s nickname (Kana-pyon), hence adding a -pyon after each name. It was quite amusing, but as usual I understood not much of it. Many presents were distributed by fans, like the above displayed cup, a cake and photo albums. To not interfere with the fans around I positioned myself at the back of the venue. This still offered me a good view (small place, remember) and I could observe the crowd better, not embarrassing myself with my inferior knowledge of fan chants. The experience turned out very nice.
After the live finished, some preparations were made, so we used the intermission to buy three cheki tickets, one for the use of my sister. I more or less wanted to force her to participate in the event, as it would be her first cheki with an idol, but to my surprise force wasn’t needed: My sister already had her eyes on Maia, who impressed her with her singing skills and strong stage presence. Me on the other hand was still contemplating, with whom to talk. I was only certain of going for Kana, to congratulate her. As expected the queue for her was the longest. I finally decided to line-up for Luna, one of my favourite members, who had only one fan waiting for her, my sister next to me for Maia, being the third fan in the row. Asuka was in a lot of demand, as usual.
I was able to watch my sister’s attempt from afar and it was funny to see. My sister also told me later what happened: Maia was first surprised to see a foreigner girl and started to talk in English with her, though obviously struggled a lot with it. Maia awkwardly positioned my sister after the cheki in front of her so they would have more room to talk. Relief came in the form of a female staff member, who also wore a uniform by Chu-Z. She was able to translate. It turns out the conversation was rather generic, with the usual question like where are you from, did you like the show etc. My sister couldn’t contribute much anyway, as it was her first time seeing Chu-Z. It is interesting to note that Maia misheard the name of my sister, instead of writing katakana Ka-Ro, she understood Ka-Do and wrote it accordingly. Still Maia made a great impression on her and even later was often waving to my sister. Pride of having a foreign female fan, I assume. After the time with Maia ended, the staff member on the other hand didn’t leave my sister alone and instead engaged her in a longer conversation, to my sisters enjoyment. (The staff told her that she studied in France and was therefore accustomed to foreign languages.) Maia’s personality and the staff’s interest in her played a huge role in now opening my sisters interest in Japanese idols.
So far about my sister. I didn’t know how Luna would receive me or if she even remembers, though I was hoping for it. In fact, our conversation started confusing, with her asking me something that sounded like ‘Lemon’. Maybe ‘Ramon’, an English name? No idea, what she wanted to express. She seemed to notice immediately and therefore inquired my name in English. After telling her, she repeated it like she suddenly remembered and apologized for not knowing it. Now it made sense: She knew me from last time, but wasn’t remembering the name. After the cheki, where she told me to take on the ‘Kana-pose’ (bunny ears?), we started talking. From the greeting before I was under the impression that it would become difficult, as our prior meetings haven’t stayed in her memory. But on the contrary: One of the first things Luna mentioned was our last conversation at Shinjuku ReNY in March. Even the Zepp Tokyo meet-up was mentioned. She then thanked me for the tweet I sent her back in March and that it made her very happy. This surprised me as Luna hadn’t favoured it back then. And for her to remember it still! (During our talk the last time Luna was asking me if I forgot her. But this was due to a misunderstanding on my part, confusing the venue we met at. Anyway, I tweeted her the day after, thanked her for yesterday and reassured her that I would never forget her. Seems I chose the right words.) Luna was then inquiring if I like her Kana-dress. I affirmed but told her that I like her more in purple, which made her laugh. It was a great reunion with her!
I then started lining up for Kana, and damn, was the queue slow. This happens when each meeting with a fan last longer than a minute. But nothing to complain about, as this is much better then having close to no time at all. I used the waiting time for thinking about a proper pose. Soon the cup came into my plans. Many fans were posing with it but I wanted to create a diversion. An idea came to mind and I therefore asked my sister for her cup. When it was my turn after more than 30 minutes I was greeted by an exceptional joyous Kana, whose face displayed recognition and happy surprise! In fact her first words were ‘hisashiburi’ and she immediately inquired me about when I arrived. After my reply, without further delay, I congratulated Kana for her birthday – resulting in an even brighter face – and we had to take the cheki, as the staff was reminding us. I then handed Kana one cup, kept one for myself and told her to cross arms. The last bit made her laugh out loud. The picture wasn’t perfect though as the discrepancy in our arms length is obviously too much.
While starting to sign the cheki, she extensively apologized for not remembering my name. After telling her, she seemed to remember, a fact that was proved by Kana writing my name without further contemplation – and even in the same wrong way like the last time. Adorable! Our further conversation was a funny mixture of her trying English phrases once in a while, like to my question how she likes today’s show she replied “I am excited!”. Too bad I already forgot most of the details, but I can assure you: It was lots of fun!
Soon after the show me and my sister left the venue for our hotel, this time deciding on waking up “early” to do some sight-seeing, until it was time for our next idol event in the evening!
Fujita Akari had left Party Rockets with a sudden graduation announcement, in effect immediately, to follow her dream. This turned out as – joining the idol group GALETTe. She knows them from helping out as a substitute member back in Spring. Obviously this experience has deluded her mind. I mean, the groups popularity is not different to that of Party Rockets, a fact proven by the announcement of GALETTe to perform their biggest One Man on Decembre 29th – in Shinjuku Blaze, the venue Party Rockets performed in Novembre 2014 already. So only the difference in type of music between those two groups should be the reason. But in that case, Akari should have left after the last graduation took place with Koume. She at least left in the proper way, announcing her decision in time and even was rewarded with a graduation live. The group still is in good contact with her. Akari on the other hand devoted her further idol career to Party Rockets back then, wanted to continue with Haruka and Fumika, her friends from school, as a Trio. The sudden and seemingly indirect way of graduation she chose was with high probability to avoid any conversation with Fumika and Haruka, as it became obvious by Fumika’s blog statement. I am really disappointed in Akari here and will stop following her. Party Rockets though still have my full support and I wish them luck with finding new members.
On a different topic: New videos from Bellring Girls Heart appeared on Youtube, featuring the new members and even the new song Asthma. The video quality isn’t that good, but still: Enjoy!