Family

As I mentioned in the post before, Chu-Z announced at short notice their participation in a festival held in the TWINBOX Ahikhabara. WIth the exception of the Chu-Z affiliated groups Baby Star and WenDee, there wasn’t any other group I knew. But as my sister requested us to go there, so she can see Maia again, I gave in, having to forsake the chance to see Lovely Doll perform at Akiba Cultures (Yuririn *sniff*). Family… But seeing Chu-z again that unexpectedly wasn’t that bad an option either.Not sure what we did before the live. I don’t need to tell you that we slept rather late, until noon. So I assume we went around Akihabara, this time my sister was looking for idol merchandise at TRIO. So fast things can change. As I had no idea of the venue and neither of us had idea of what to do otherwise, we just went in for the start of the festival at 17. The location was even worse than I thought it to be: It was very small, even more than Akiba Cultures. Granted the TWINBOX had no annoying benches in place. But the bar area before you enter for the stage was tiny. Still it was used for events of several artist simultaneously. This allowed no place to rest or to enjoy your drink. The venue itself wasn’t much better. The area inside was wide, but not deep. A good thing for watching the shows in general, but for a longer festival (five hours) it made it close to impossible to find a resting place with the rising amount of people present. By positioned ourself in the back to let us use its wall to lean on, we still were close to the stage. But if you believe this made for a comfy atmosphere you couldn’t be more wrong. The idols needed to cross the venue when going from the backstage department to the bar area for the events. This repeated itself the other way round, when the event finished. It was a constant stop and go. Of course I wouldn’t have minded it that much, if Chu-Z happened to cross as well. But the backstage area had a second entrance and as they were the headliners who would do their event after the festival in the stage area, they didn’t need to pass by. Chu-Z are more clever apparently.

From the other idol gropus present I wasn’t fond of any of them. Some were really bad, some seemed to be lolis of maybe twelve years *shock* and others were passable, but nothing unique. Oh, I forgot to add, that Heisei Kotohime was also in the line-up, one of the idol groups that were present at the Hyper Japan Festival in London. Back then I missed their performance for the sake of the Denpagumi event. This time I couldn’t avoid them. Just kidding. They were one of the better artist there, very professional. But nothing that would make me a fan. It was funny though that their manager was talking to me, distributing flyers. He wanted to introduce the group to me and was happy when I told him, that I was at Hyper Japan. The conversation took an even more strange course, when he asked me about Peter and if I know him. (Peter was one of the guys I met in London and he became a big fan of the group back then.) The manager hasn’t forgotten him and was overjoyed to hear me tell him about Peter coming to Japan soon (in three days, on friday) and that he has Heisei Kotohime on his agenda. Luckily our conversation ended then and he didn’t try to coerce me into participating at their event.

The festival dragged on and it didn’t help that with time the venue began to fill more and more with people. Having no place to move and to endure acts you don’t like is not very pleasant. I started to participate in the fan choreos to keep me occupied, but it didn’t help much. I am just not fit for packed venues. Finally Chu-Z appeared on stage and saved my day. Their show was nothing special, them performing their classics as well as the new single was to be expected. I liked the song ‘Favourite Kiss’. My sister was overjoyed herself, standing very close to the stage and having frequent eye contact with Maia. After the performance the preparations for the events started. Here we made a bad decision of leaving the stage area for the bar, in hope for another drink. To our disappointment it was already closed. Probably unable to fit the needs for selling drinks AND holding idol events. The worst though was the fact that only then we realised Chu-Z (and WenDee) would hold their event in the stage area. Squeezing our way back in again through the small door with hordes of fans coming out was a crazy task we manged just barely.

Chu-Z and WenDee were positioned opposite to each other and the room was luckily big enough to accommodate the amount of fans present for them. I bought myself two 2shot tickets and for my sister the harem ticket, as she just wanted to do a photo with all members to avoid much talking. Well, that was her plan at first. We then positioned ourself at a spot at the outer left. This not only allowed us the opportunity to observe what was going on but also turned out later as the place being exactly next to Maia’s position during the event. Very important, then as the flow of people came to a halt, mainly for Maia, Kaede and Luna, the girls started talking to us once in a while, sometimes using one of the staff, a younger girl, as translator, as her English skills were somewhere on the niveau of Luna’s. Especially Maia showed interest in my sister and when Maia even told her that she likes K-Pop, especially KARA and YoonA from SNSD, my sister was intrigued by her, as she shared the love for K-Pop and regards Yuri as her favourite Korean idol as well. So what does a good brother do in such a case? I bought her two 2shot tickets, so she could use them for a proper (=paid) conversation – and of course with the hidden intention of consolidating her affection for Japanese idols even more. My sister happily made use of the tickets immediately, talking to Maia and later to Kaede. Here something funny occurred, then as Kaede inquired my sister for her name, Maia intervened and spelled it to her, not without pride – as Ka-Do. As I told you here, this was the wrong spelling of her name, but it would be detrimental to correct it now. My sister therefore acquired a new nickname!

In the meantime I watched the other lines and saw one idol from another group lining up as well for the event. Interesting to see an idol-loving idol. At the same time I found it strange, as I thought they could just meet backstage. Whatever, I needed to redeem my 2shot tickets and chose Kaede, as this time I had something to talk about. She would appear on Friday, or more exactly Saturday, on an event called AKINAI and for the first time performing there as DJ DENDEN. As I already scheduled with Peter to attend this festival, I wanted to tell her about it and cheer her on. (I will talk more in detail about AKINAI in a later post.) The conversation went nice, with the obvious misunderstanding, but nothing too major. I was able to tell her all what I wanted and she appeared much nicer this time as during our first meeting half a year ago. We also talked about where I am from and similar things.IMG_2316

I then went for Asuka. She was sweet as always, asking me how I liked the show. I told her it was fun but that I like songs like ‘Boombastic!’ and ‘Breaking Now’ more. When I mentioned the latter she replied with ‘Hatsukashi!’ (Nostalgic!) Apparently a song that is three years old is already considered an oldie in idol terms. We didn’t talk much more, as I hadn’t anything to say as well as her. But some time went by when we tried to agree on a pose. The effort was worth it, as I am very satisfied with its result.IMG_2317After I used up my tickets I could have gone for additional ones but I saw no use in it. Basically as I was out of topics. I therefore waited with my sister until the individual 2shots were finished so that they could do the group shot. As I wrote before, the demand for Maia, Kaede and Luna was at best sporadic and with frequently shared smiles to each other several conversations took place between us. Kaede wanted to know, when we would be leaving. After I told her, all three replied in unison that they would feel lonely without us. Maia then inquired about when we will be back in Japan. As we didn’t understand the question she called out for Luna who then had to translate it to us. When I indicated about planning to come again in Decembre, Luna smirked and told me about her birthday being in that month. I just made a surprised gesture and in my head started to contemplate about a birthday present for her. When I looked up her exact birthday later, it was the 2nd of Decembre. Too early for my plans, as I prefer to start my trip during the middle of the month. But that wouldn’t be too late for congratulating her then anyway, would it? It was a lot of fun, being in the centre of attention. I just hope the regular fans weren’t jealous.

The group shot later went quick, with my sister deciding on Maia and Kaede as her ‘sidekicks’, the two members that would kneel next to her. We then waited until the end of the event and left the venue. Outside we could see them from far away exiting as well. Before we could react they were already waving at us. We responded in the same way. What shall I say, other than this final was worth the whole ordeal that day.

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2 thoughts on “Family

  1. You prefer Akiba Cultures over TwinBox??? Are you mad? Well, the answer is obvious… I actually avoid going to Akiba Cultures, even if I’d like to see those groups – just because the venue is so horrible. Twinbox is like a proper underground idol venue. Also, wide instead of deep is the correct way round for venues to be! I wish those in Manchester took that lesson… they are all narrow and deep here.

    That’s interesting about Kotohime. Them and Honey Spice were so much better than Dempa at Hyper Japan – I think basically, cuz met them a few days in a row, and the trip really meant a lot to those groups, whereas Dempa were just going through their world tour motions and couldn’t give too much of a shit. Would I be a fan of Honeyspa and Kotohime now if they hadn’t come to London? No. But will definitely keep on supporting them from now on.

  2. I noticed that there is a misconception here, generated by my wrong wording. I change it around. First, me too prefers a wide stage. Especially with idol groups that feature many members it is perfect. But my intention of the paragraph was different: To explain my displeasure with enduring a longer festival in a small venue. Because Twinbox lacks depth, there was not much room to rest during uninteresting shows. And being next to the walkway of the idols and staff added to my displeasure. Akiba Cultures mostly does short shows of about 2 hours that features of course my favourite groups, so the issue of resting isn’t there. If the at Twinbox would have been just 2 hours as well, the venue itself would have been okay. Still it doesn’t chnage the fact that the bar area is too small for putting events there. For a festival I therefore prefer bigger venues or one with several stages, which automatically provides space for moving around.

    Well, regarding Denpa’s event, I actually don’t know what your expectations were. I like Denpa since long and their music and attitude is special in my eyes. Add to it their popularity and the difficulties to attend one of their events nowadays, and it should be obvious that my focus was only on them. The difference in behaviour between those different idol groups present was totally expected by me: Of course Denpa would do this more professional, like seating behind tables, as they are no small underground group anymore. You must also take into account, that they were “only” allowed doing signs there. But I was pretty surprised how nice and talkative most members appeared. Going through the motions is something completely different in my opinion. Maybe Moga fit your description, but I saw her talking to other fans just as nice as Mirin and Nemu did to me.
    For the smaller groups it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event, same for Luce Twinkle Wink or Tsuzuki Kana in Paris. Of course they would enjoy it (and were allowed to) to their fullest, “talking” to exotic Europeans. They had much more freedom than in Japan. But that is an effect of the lower amount of fans overseas. Maybe I would have started to like Heisei Kotohime and Honey Spice too, if I had had the chance to listen to them back then. But as it was, participating at an event of groups where I don’t know what they stand for or that I don’t like, would be plain stupid. And right now I have no intention of supporting groups of that genre. I have enough work with Arc Jewel idols right now, lol.

    In summary we again reached the conclusion, that in regard to fan interaction underground idols are the best. I think we can agree on that.

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