This day voluntarily began late: We slept until 14:00 o’clock, or if you come from a less civilised country, until 2pm (NOT the korean Idol Group). The reason was my plan to attend an Night Idol Live Festival which I agreed with Peter to attend shortly before the trip. But I get into detail later. Let me first give you an account of how the time before the above mentioned live took place.
The few things my sister had on her agenda for sightseeing included the Sky Tree. As we still had time that day we took the subway to Asakusa and walked the rest of the way, as the area is quite nice. My sister was impressed by the height of the Sky Tree but otherwise uninterested in anything that may concern it. So we neither made our way up to the observation deck nor did we shop in the associated mall. Good girl. As I knew from my last trip that the aquarium was also not worth it, we just took the chance to eat some ice cream at Cold Stone, a branch we knew from Korea already. That was it. So back to things more interesting: Idols!
JyuJyu would have a release event for their 3rd single at Tower Records Shibuya, complete with a mini live and subsequent event session, consisting of group Akushukai, Group Cheki and CD Sign, in accordance to the amount of CDs you bought. To my surprise Peter agreed in accompanying me to this before my trip. I can say with confidence that he is not the guy to like their music – at all. But as we would go to the Night Idol Festival later and he had nothing to do anyway, he was willing to join. For Peter there was another problem though: He only had arrived that day in the early morning, with no sleep until then: Check-in for him was as usual only in the evening and there was no hope of catching any sleep in the near future, as the next day would merge basically with no pause into TIF, Day 1. Tough programme, mate. My respect!
But back to JyuJyu: We agreed on meeting each other right in front of Tower Records. Waiting outside was impossible though with the heat, so me and my sister went inside, and saw – Makochan! The graduated member of PASSPO, live in person, doing a DVD release event! I nearly died. You could do a handshake with her if you bought the DVD. But as it would have cost way more than 3,000 Yen, had no english subtitles and I have never met with her before directly (group shot doesn’t count), I didn’t participate – with an aching heart, I have to admit. Still it was great to see her after such long time again. Here is the trailer to the movie, as expected of the school horror genre.
After some time Peter arrived and we went up to 3rd floor, to purchase the CDs needed for the event of JyuJyu. For explanation, the mini live was free, but if you wanted to enter early you needed to buy 1 CD, which got you a priority entrance ticket plus 1 ticket for the group akushukai. If you bought 2 Cds, you also got a ticket for the group shot, 3 CDs gave you the CD sign, 4 Cds another group shot, 5 Cds one more group shot. To get a hand on the CDS turned out a bit troublesome though. I assumed that the CD would be for pre-order, as the official release date was August 1st. So I asked the information for the procedure, filling out forms and stuff. But they refered me right to the cashier. Okay, going there, asking about JyuJyu, and they refered me – to the information. Well… Here Peter, much more skilled in Japanese than I would ever be, intervened, explained the situation again and we were refered to another staff. Luckily this one was accustomed to the schedule of Tower Records and knew right away about the CD. She told us to wait, left and came back with one CD. But we needed more. Peter wanted two, me three. Another short but successful conversation to tell the staff about the event tickets associated with the CDs and she left again to get us the amount of CDs needed. Finally. We got our receipt which allowed us to collect the event tickets downstairs at 1st floor and for the rest of the time got up 8th floor (only available through elevator) to drink each of us a beer at the roof bar. Nice place, and not too hot at night.
When the time for entry approached, we said goodbye to my sister who headed back to the hotel. She saw JyuJyu two times already and was not that interested in them. The discrepancy of the music and the girls itself was too much for her. I do
not know what she means… Me and Peter skipped most of the line because the queue for priority tickets was further ahead. Which is a given, when I think about it. So forget the last part. The doors where open soon, we put our bags at the side and got for the stage, second/third row. The venue was maybe half attended, but atmosphere was nice. Although free, no overexaggerated fan behaviour was present. Just the usual shouts, clapping and small dances. The performance was great and around 30 – 40 minutes, including a longer MC -YES!!! – with them again not knowing what to talk about, making it enjoyable to watch them asking each other what to do. It was fun.
(The single reached Oricon rank #7 – Fantastic result for a still hardly known group like JyuJyu.)
Figuring out the event was the next challenge. It was held according to the amount of tickets. This meant, only people with just 1 ticket lined up, the rest waiting in the venue. After the queue was finished, then people with 2 tickets had their turn, Then those with 3, and so on. This resulted in a relatively long waiting time, then people with 1 ticket were more than a few and the talks were not of the short ones. Good for Peter was him having just 2 tickets, so he could line up and had something to occupy his mind, preventing him from falling asleep. Me on the other hand had to endure waiting until the end of the second round, which took even longer as photos were done now too. It was funny watching Peter, a big guy approaching the small idols. He later told me that he mentioned to them being at their show on behalf of me. When it was finally my turn to get in line, it didn’t get much better. Advancing took ages. The good thing was that the CD sign was only done after everyone did the photo and talk. People had to line up again for the sign later.
My meeting with them started pretty nice as they even remembered my name from the last time, having written them just recently and because of the trouble of telling them the correct spelling. I never thought of this being an advantage before, but obviously it is. The staff who is always around, translated to me the girls inquiry of where I was from. After my answer, as I didn’t manage to see them personally yesterday at the Idol Koushien, I began telling them that I enjoyed their lives on Monday and Thursday. Struggling hard to form the Japanese sentence for it made me end all further talk with an embarrassed “Ijou desu.” (That’s all.) The conversation faded out in laughter by all of us. The pose for the photo was again a matter of “What to do?”. I saw some guys making poses with the girls standing on them, holding their twin tails or usual stuff like the JyuJyu pose. As always I don’t like overexaggerated poses, I prefer normal or funny chekis. That is why I just recycled the ‘hands on the shoulder’ pose. With those two I can not imagine doing anything crazy or sexy.
Now back in the waiting line again for the CD sign. It took quite some time (again) but I at least found some distraction by watching Peter falling slowly asleep in the corner. The girls were sitting at a table, the ever-present staff close behind them. There was a good opportunity for engaging in a talk again with them – if I knew Japanese or at least some topic to chat about. When it was my turn finally, I therefore just handed them the CD with an “Arigatou” and squatted down. Talking with them from high above would have felt much more awkward. The girls, while signing, began talking and laughing with each other – what exactly I don’t know. Then they told me to see them again. The staff inquired how long I will stay in Japan and I told him that today was my last day. I lied here, but it was easier than to say “On Monday” and with it I avoided any request for coming to their lives on the weekend. Mentioning TIF was a bad idea in my opinion, as JyuJyu wanted to be one of the participants but didn’t make it. So yea, a pretty lie (< PASSPO reference) was allowed here. My reply earned me a surprised exclamation by JyuJyu plus staff. It was worth it!
To prevent Peter from falling asleep for real, we headed out of Tower Records and made our way to Akihabara before the trains were out-of-service; to kill time with a midnight meal at the 24-hours Denny’s right opposite of PARMS, were the Night Idol Event would take place later at 1:30 in the morning – or 25:30 in Japanese time. On our way there we crossed quite a few idols going for the venue already, and while already at Denny’s we became witnesses of them coming to eat there as well. Much to the delight, or should I say rather dismay of Peter: As the group present in the restaurant happened to be Honey Spice, whose members were familiar with Peter from Hyper Japan, he wanted to avoid any recognition by them, thus crouching in his seat, using me for cover. He is so shy at heart!
But he survived and after over one and a half hour at Denny’s we could finally made our way to PARMS for the Idol Night Festival called AKINAI. Amongst the idol groups were KNU, VIC:CESS or Honey Spice. But the reason I wanted to be there was Chu-Z, and with it the first performance of Kaede, one of their members, as DJ DENDEN. Actually I agreed with Peter to go there before my trip. Back then it was the only announced live of Chu-Z I thought to be able to attend. So I took the trouble on me to go through a night without sleep – right before TIF. Little did I know, that seeing Chu-Z on my trip would become so much easier. For Peter it was even more exhausting, as – remember – he just arrived that day and wouldn’t be able to sleep as well, as TIF was his goal the next day, too. Skipping on it wasn’t possible as the tickets were purchased in advance already. But actually that never came to mind seriously, as I was happy to be able to see Chu-Z again. I could concern myself with the problem from lack of sleep later.
My second hope was that Chu-Z would appear rather early on stage so I could eventually leave the festival for the first subway available, taking me to the hotel for at least some sleep and a nice shower until I would go for TIF at 8:00 in the morning. So when they released the exact performance schedule, I was looking at the times and – You gotta be kidding me! Chu-Z was the group before last, their live starting at 5:15, afterwards buppan, and DJ DENDEN began 6:00, until 6:30! (A delay made it 6:45) That in conclusion meant for me to stay up for the whole night! I have to be honest here: I don’t like missing out on sleep. Not at all! You can imagine how I felt then.
But there was nothing to do about it. I tried my best to endure the shows, but as I wasn’t fond of any of the other groups and careful of saving my energy in preparation for the day to come, I couldn’t do much to enjoy myself. I admit it – I am not fit for such events and will avoid it in future times (maybe). But once in the while I participated in the shows and observed the diverse buppan’s taking place in the small space that is PARMS. The idols lined up in the narrow lobby, whereas the queue of fans would extend far into the venue, even troubling the fans there watching the performance – like me! But Peter had his fun – at first being in the audience cheering for the idols, than going for their buppan for several times, to go back to the audience again, just to reappear at the subsequent buppan of the group he just saw. It was like a recording put on repeat. And yes, he was very happy! But this behaviour would have its consequences on the day to come, though that is a different story.
Finally Chu-Z appeared, nothing special to report as the setlist was basically the same like the last two shows I have been at. But with one improvement – Boombastic! I love that song, though I would love to see Brand Boy again, as I should still remember the movements to it. The performance of Kaede as DJ DENDEN was very nice, as far as I can evaluate. I generally do not get the DJ concept. It is just putting some – none-original – songs into a long sequence. But she had Boombastic! in the mix and several other Chu-Z songs, so it was one of the better ones (totally subjective). As there is nothing to tell about the lives, I fast forward to the events.
As I mentioned already, these were held in the small lobby, so there was actually no room for forming individual lines for each member. Instead two lines were formed, but with a strange concept: Line #1 consisted of the three popular members Asuka, Kana and Miku, whereas Line #2 featured the rest, Luna, Maia and Kaede. Wouldn’t it have been much wiser to spread the followers more equally. Count to it that Kaede wasn’t even around as she prepared her DJ set already after the Chu-Z live ended. The event itself was also reduced to 2shots without signs and limited talk time – with the goal to shorten the event, as the members wanted to watch Kaede’s DJ performance as well. I didn’t mind, as my choice for 2shots would be the to “missing” members of the group, Maia and Miku, which whom I haven’t done a cheki this trip. As I hadn’t any idea of topics to talk about, I was actually glad to skip this part. Also to my defence: The tight situation of the event itself didn’t make for a good atmosphere. The music from the stage was clear and loud to hear in the lobby, making any sort of conversation pretty difficult.
I was well received by Maia, obviously as I am the bother of “Ka-Do”. Actually our talk began with her questioning me about my sisters whereabouts, to which I replied that she is sleeping. The pose was decided by Maia as well, so do not blame me.
With Miku it was her asking me, if this photo shoot was my first one with her: I told her that it actually was the second time and she reacted in a happy manner. But would an idol really be happy about it that knows I am talking to other members as well? But Chu-z seems different. There rarely is an “only akushukai” option, they always are connected with a 2shot. Hence the amount of fans, I guess, who take so many photos with the other members besides their oshimen. Nevermind. I only saw afterwards that Miku’s costumes displays a “Y” – Should have asked her about its meaning.
After the event the performance of DJ DENDEN began, watched by the other members from the balcony, opposed to many underground idols, who participate directly in the audience. When it ended, me and Peter were both leaving, going our own ways to our hotels, to meet us later at TIF. Me I arrived around 7:00 at my room, took a quick shower and changed my clothes (PASSPO shirt and towels by PASSPO and PiiiiiiiN). My sister still wanted to sleep, but promised to join me later for TIF. I therefore went alone to Odaiba around 8:00, not really feeling any side effects of the night I had experienced.