Today I was heading for Shinkiba, where Tokyo Idol Wars would take place. The line-up was far from being spectacular, but Bellring Girls Heart would have two performances there, so all effort was worth it. I took Andy with me, who would have a hard time there, being mostly bored at what was going on. He can not see the fun of it, instead showing the expected reactions by a foreigner skeptical about the whole Idol business. It can’t be helped.
By chance I would meet Peter there, who to my surprise was in Tokyo that day. But he was leaving already after some time. I don’t remember his reason anymore but I am sure it concerned Idols, lol. Also Marty was present, him mostly for Ready To Kiss and Akishibu Project, and Yuu, the English-speaking Bellring Girls Heart fan I had met just yesterday.
Before we entered the venue Shinkiba Coast, we first ate something at a nearby Seven-Eleven, though I would have prefered to eat inside, as with the festival containing four stages – one even outside – food stalls were put up. When we arrived at the venue to get inside, the first members of Bellring Girls Heart, Kai and Ayano, arrived by Taxi. The latter though didn’t look around, so greeting her was impossible, unless I would have shouted, which of course I refrained from. But some minutes later – we had already passed the entrance but stood near to it while talking with Peter – Reina and Mizuho arrived, by Taxi as well. And here Mizuho recognized me from yesterday and began waving at me. Good start.
It still took some time until Bellring Girls Heart was on stage for the first time, so I watched the performances by Stella Beats and Furikake Panic until then. Later Bellring‘s set list was great, but as lifting wasn’t allowed and some fans did otherwise, half of the songs had to be sung accapella – the punishment from the organisers for fans misbehaving was stopping the music. That nevertheless lead to some nice performance, as the girls singing was very nice and it was enjoyable to hear the songs in a “new” version. The downside though became stupid fans of other groups, or even haters of Bellring Girls Heart, who made fun of the girls on stage, laughing and shouting at them. Ayano and Mizuho seemed to be the most affected by it, even began to cry. I only found out the reason behind this when Yuu explained the circumstances afterwards to me. At the time of the live I was of the impression that the crying was for the music being stopped, which wasn’t the case at all, as the group already expected such behaviour. I have no respect for people though, who call themselves Idol fans and then misbehave in front of those Idols they don’t like. These kind of people are the lowest creatures possible.
Anyway I enjoyed the live and soon after the event was beginning. As my way was for Ayano, only one talk with a member was possible and really only Ayano was staying until the end, whereas the other members had already left. At first I was asking her if she was okay, as she had tears on stage. She replied with a smile though and said she is “genki”. Not sure what happened right after. It could be that I praised the performance despite the circumstances, but I am not sure. Anyway, it led to Ayano doing two unexpected things: The first was saying that she is always grateful to me (“itsumo arigatou”). She even wrote it on the cheki. The second was, while starting to sign the cheki, Ayano confirmed with me that my name was Tobi. Nothing special in general, except for the fact that I never told her my name and she never cared for it before, not even signed my former chekis with my name. Only two possibilities come to mind: She remembers me from Twitter. But I hardly interact with her, in rare cases only push the like button, and I only once got a direct reply by her – one of the greatest Idol moments in my live! The other possibility would be Kanra told her my name, as she is the only member who remembers it. But again, why would they talk about me and her memorising the name? Whatever, it became a great moment. We continued to talk about her changing member colour – from purple to pink – and her new personal theme: Smiling Pink. As I couldn’t think of anything other to say (in Japanese), I made a longer pause, which Ayano used for asking me how long I will stay in Japan. I told her and she cheerfully replied with something that means ‘long stay’. It was nice to see her in good mood again. When I was going away I couldn’t help to turn backwards and to say to her “ichiban aidoru”. Bad timing by me. Should have said it much earlier.
No real groups of interest were performing in the meantime, so I watched Ready To Kiss, talked with Marty, Yuu or Andy and just enjoyed the atmosphere. When it became time for the next performance, at the outside-stage, I secured me a seat in the front and enjoyed the show as best I could – I have never participated more than that day at a Bellring Girls Heart Live. To my luck the whole set contained rock songs (C.A.N.D.Y, The Edge Of Goodbye), so it became very easy to follow. For the first time I joined the circle and “mosh pit” during Asthma. At the end I was sweaty – but VERY happy! Maybe you can spot me in the video here 😉
I think it was like half an hour waiting time for the start of the next event of Bellring Girls Heart, also outside. Nevertheless I got in line early, knowing about the amount of people that would queue up soon besides me. I wasn’t wrong with that assumption. I was shortly contemplating if I should meet with Ayano again, but for the lack of anything to say I decided against it, instead I chose to talk with the ever-lovely Kanra. This also meant for me that I could skip a lot of the queue very soon, as fans for her were far less than for Ayano.
With Kanra it became one of those meetings again, were we constantly failed to understand each other. I praised their accapella singing from the first performance, which really seemed to delight her.But as I continued to suggest an acoustic live by the group she failed to understand a thing. I gave up. Furthermore, when she saw me, she instantly told me that she has forgotten about my cheki from Decembre. As if I would believe her now. She probably had already lost it or something. Me on the other hand remembered that I forgot to give her a cheki coin yesterday, so I gave Kanra two this time. The pose had to be done very sudden again, so we just improvised on the spot something simple.
As for the posing in general: Members of Bellring Girls Heart are allowed to touch you, even embracing you. Satoru made a very enviable cheki with Ayano just recently, for example. But I can’t bring myself to propose such a pose. I just don’t feel it and it would feel importunate(?) to me. Either an idol does it by herself, like Kanamiru, or I would really become so acquainted with one that it would feel sort of natural. But I don’t see the latter with anyone.
My meeting with Kanra happened early during the event, so I still had time to line up again. I decided on talking with Reina this time, mostly because of the fact that she is Yuu‘s favourite member, lol. We started with the pose, again some sudden decision – I hate posing. Afterwards Reina started to introduce herself but I interrupted her, saying her nicknames and that we had met before. We then exchanged the date and the location and she told me she remembered in a very enthusiastic way. I still was skeptical, but didn’t mind it that much. I continued by repeating my words regarding the accapella that I had interchanged with Kanra before – Reina seemed happy and praised her super-long her. In summary it was a very pleasant meeting, with Reina definitely knowing how to act with fans.
Soon after my talk was over I finally released Andy from his first-ever Idol experience and left, accompanied by Yuu, who also had just been there for Bellring Girls Heart. We met Marty on the way to the station, sitting by the pavement, eating. I continued to show Andy the nice views of Odaiba, we went for our first Japanese meal and took the Yurikamone Line back, to make him enjoy the view of the area by night. All in all a pleasant day!