Initially I wanted to spend that day in Nagoya, which would have had a festival including Chu-Z, Predia and GALETTe aka the-new-group-of-Akari-of-Party-Rockets-fame. I tried booking a ticket at Lawson’s the day before, but it told me that the reservation period was already over since the 18th. The risk of going to Nagoya anyway without a ticket was to high for me, as you never know how well such event is received. So Day Tickets may or may not have been a problem.
Another factor makes it a pity for not being able to go there: Luna of Chu-Z had her first ever solo appearance scheduled there on the same day. She alone with an acoustic guitar. But details on each shows, the festival and Luna‘s Live came in much to late – the evening before if I remember correctly. Much too sudden to plan a farther trip which requires a Shinkansen, maybe even hotel, and without a ticket at hand. Otherwise I would have seen something similar to this, I guess (*Pictures taken from Luna’s Blog Post):
When I feared for spending another evening in my “hotel” room, Twitter announced another small festival in Akihabara, taking place in the Akihabara Drug & Café, Akidora for short. There weren’t any interesting groups present except for one: Tuduki Kana!
DDプリンセス(アソート) / I♡Puchi（アキドラスタッフまりお&れいな）/ 青山☆聖ハチャメチャハイスクール / アキシブproject / 異国のファルマチスタ / WenDee / MFガールズ / CAMOUFLAGE / スライムガールズ / 都築かな / 10COLOR’S / ピカ☆マイ / FES☆TIVE / 放プリユース
I haven’t seen Kana live since the Japan Expo in Paris and my meeting with her at TIF was rather short. As I really took a liking in her I was thrilled to finally see a proper live by her, with more of her fans around and an extended set list. Timing was also good, as Kana was the act before last. Additionally she just released her first Solo CD, which I wanted to acquire as well. It would turn out to be rather easy, as you will see.
Tuduki Kana calls herself an Anisong(?) artist. So the emphasise is mostly on her performing songs from Games and Animes. With some original tracks in between. By the way I write “Tuduki” now as it seems she wants to keep this spelling for her career. Although it doesn’t fit with Japanese transliteration. But don’t let us get starting on that. Anyway, I am not so much into Anime, so if she doesn’t announce a song beforehand I wouldn’t be able to distinguish between original and cover. I also admit that I wouldn’t even have talked to her, if not her biggest fan, Hideki, hadn’t told me about Kana being the ex-member of Lovely Doll. Luckily I did though.
The focus with that type of idols is also more on the participation during the lives and the event after, so it doesn’t matter that much. It is opposed to my usual way of enjoying idols, as I mostly go for the music. I like some crowd participation, but don’t like to get too distracted by it. If I travel so far for a show I want to experience the performance. Much easier too watch with an solo idol by the way. I often have a hard time focusing on the group choreography as they hardly stay together on the stage. Which is why the view from the “balcony” during the Sunshine City Live was such a revelation.
The time until the appearance of Kana was going slow. Not many groups there caught my interest and made me want to join the crowd. Many of the idols present appeared in Christmas outfits, which – doesn’t intrigue me. But it was interesting to see, how many different styles of clothing there is – from wearing a christmas tree costume to a mini skirt One Piece. Positive idol dicoveries have been 青山☆聖ハチャメチャハイスクール (Aoyama Saint Hachamecha High School), which displayed a very good rock sound. In fact, they have been the first group I joined the crowd for (after 2 hours already being there just watching from the side lines, lol). Definitely a group I will look out for in the future, though so far I have no intention to join events by them.
Wendee, the sister group of Chu-Z, was present as well, but I never really got to like them. Another group I kinda enjoyed have been 放プリユース, which is a sub-unit of Houkago Princess. I didn’t realise that until I started to recognise some of their songs. I have found a Youtube-video of a complete performance at the same venue.
The rest of the groups were rather uninteresting or even annoying, like Camouflage for example. The Akidora venue itself is kind of difficult to rate, in my opinion. It is basically an idol café when there are no lives – and it still is, when there are lives. Hence a line of tables is put right in front of the stage at any time. This distracts a lot for the fans who want to enjoy and participate during the performances, as they are blocked from reaching the stage. Also I find those people who sit and eat at the tables during the show rather weird. I mean, being in the middle of the area, surrounded by idols on one side and by enthusiastic fans on the other, meanwhile eating and drinking with no real option for participation or enjoying the live in any way – weird. Or maybe even creepy, to cite Julian here. On the other hand, the stage itself is nicely done, relatively huge for this type of venue and it can even be viewed from the side. So you can still see the action on stage even when it is too full in the centre. The general concept of the place is also weird, as you don’t pay any entry fee. Instead you are handed some kind of point card that you can (must even?) show to the bar keeper, when you order drinks or whatever. He will put down the value on the card which you later have to show at the exit to THEN pay for your purchases. I am still not getting behind this. In fact escaping the venue without paying anything could be really easy – if you are not an obvious foreigner, who draws attention either way, that is 😉
As I mentioned, it took a while until Kana appeared on stage but when she did, it was much, much fun. Kana herself was dressed as a reindeer and to my delight she performed the two major songs she already sung in Paris. Therefore I had a rough idea of what to do during these songs. It has to be said that big parts of the audience had already left the place, as they consisted mostly of fans of Festive and Akishibu Project. So in the end Hideki was present and with him at least ten other guys and girls cheering for Kana. Additionally a bunch of people who stayed until the end or who were waiting for the last act, a duo whose name escaped me. Be it as it was, it left a lot of room, me being able to secure a place in the “front” (behind the tables) and taking part in the chants and specific movements very easily, by observing the other fans 😉 Kana has one original song that I really love and which is also the A-side of her first single, S.N.L. I especially like the change in singing style, child-like pronouncation during the verses and “proper” singing voice during the refrains. There sadly is no real good video of the song, which displays both the singing as the crowd participation. So a video post of an old recording at Akiba Cultures must suffice here, for choice of sound reasons.
Let us come to the event right after. It was situated at the back of the venue, or rather on the other side, as this place has two entrances – one from the street where Akiba Cultures is located and one near the Twinbox venue. Anyway, much room there, as most people already left, despite the Festive event still continuing. Very nice, as I hate huge crowd gatherings during events. While waiting for Kana, I “chatted” with Hideki, who wore one of the decorated shirts from Japan Expo. Meanwhile I figured out that because of the recent single release (two types, but same songs), you had to purchase those for the event. I bought me three of those. Hideki was purchasing fifty or so, as some event was associated with it, allowing you to go Karaoke with her, cook something – together, and other stuff, idols offer during those times. No wonder he needed a backpack…
Soon Kana herself appeared, still sweating as the reindeer outfit was obviously not customised for hot spotlights and for moving around extensively. (Warning: Dirty joke coming) But who doesn’t like his girl sweaty? Now back to a more civilised manner of speech. When I wanted to queue behind Hideki, he let me get in front of him – for an obvious reason: He had purchased so much talking time that other people would have been unable to participate. But he used in several stages, allowing other fans to join the event. Nice behaviour! It was soon my turn and it was nice to see, that additionally to Kana waving at me before, she even still remembered my name. The cheki pose was a reminiscence to her reindeer outfit. Yea… Our conversation was rough as ever, but we started by greeting us in french, not by french kissing, but in exchanging a”bonjour” to each other. Ah, sweet memories of a time that once was… We then talked about the single, she telling me it includes the two songs performed in Paris, and later about the Christmas season.
Additionally to my cheki with her I also asked Kana to sign me one of my CDs. I wanted it to be a present for my sister, who is a big fan of hers. By this occasion, my stupidity came to light, then as Kana was asking for the name of my sister, Toni (abbrevated like my name, to make it easier accessible for idols), I had the unfathomable misconception that she was asking me my name again, despite greeting me with it at the start of the event. So I told her: Tobi. My mistake only occurred to me after I saw her puzzled face and she had already wrote the wrong name (mine) down. I didn’t say anything that time though, to not make the confusion any bigger, thought of another purchase of CDs to correct my error, but kept away from it, as it seemed that the CD sign was something allowed just for me, as Kana had to reassure herself about it with the staff.
But this situation allowed some nice interaction in the aftermath. Back at the hotel I wrote an apologising tweet about it to Kana, explaining my mistake. I used a lot of Google Translate for it, apparently successful, then in addition to liking it, she some days later, when I went for another live of hers, Kana mentioned my tweet and we both laughed about it. I like continuation in talks with idols, even when it requires some self-irony from my side, lol. My sister by the way didn’t mind the mistake in spelling, as our names are quite similar and no friend of hers would be able to read anything in Japanese 😉 By the way, Kana was conceiving me as a french citizen, as my sister told me some weeks later after tweeting her about receiving the CD. Kana was talking about in her reply to her and showed surprise to the correction. I am so disappointed, Kana 😛 Just kidding!
On a completely different topic I just recently found some videos of some old rock groups I like, including my most favourite guitarist of all time, Michael Schenker – during his best phase, with UFO. Why I post those here? Because I can 😛
And some JANE, a great Progressive Rock Group from Germany.