In the evening I was on my way to my first regular live by PiiiiiiiN at their new venue, the Ebisu CreAto. As I have never been there before I looked up the map on my mobile and decided that the easiest way would be if I come from Shibuya station. It actually was easy, just follow one of the main streets straight, but finding the right directions with all the walkways around the station became tricky. In the end I was successful though.
I arrived on time (as usual). To my surprise only one other person seemed to be waiting at the location, with another at least shortly dropping by, just to go away again. The entry time was scheduled for 18:30, with events starting at 18:50, lasting shortly before the start of the live at 20:30. As I took my own assumptions as the basis, I couldn’t understand why people would miss out the events. I even checked on Twitter if the show was by any chance cancelled but it wasn’t the case. So I waited, with some doubtful reluctance. With a bit of a delay the doors were opened, I found my way through the narrow aisle to place my bag in the venue, which was terribly small and bought myself some of the usual – photo sets, just to get me event tickets. Seriously, isn’t there an online place to sell those? Although when I was already at home in Germany, I skimmed through the photos while unpacking my luggage and found this inside: An original signed / decorated photo by Arisa! I never knew that you can find these.
Anyway, I bought me enough to get five event tickets, not necessarily all for today, as I was attending another festival some days later with PiiiiiiiN in the line-up. But one intention of mine was to meet with other members of the group I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Later I found out, that Riko was not present that day, so this only left Emiri. I continued waiting in the venue, still very awkward about it all, but at least another four or five fans arrived. Still, when it was announced that you could line-up for the soon to begin event (first was cheki shooting), I was the only one lining up for Ayano, next to me only two other peoples queuing for some other members. I felt too much on display. If there had been some place to sit down comfortably, I would have done that instead.
Whatever, the members entered, announced the start of the event and Ayano thanked me for coming and on finding the venue. For the cheki we agreed on the simple PiiiiiiiN pose. Then Ayano wanted to know something from me, which I couldn’t understand. Something sounding like “mai gou” and “ii ji”. She even asked Ami and the staff next to her for help. Fruitless. With some effort I realised she was asking which way I used to get to the venue. So I told her that I came by foot from Shibuya direction, and that it wasn’t that difficult after all. Some days later, when I remembered our conversation, it dawned on me what Ayano was trying to say before: It wasn’t Japanese she was speaking, but English! “mai gou” probably meant “my go”, in an effort to ask about “my way (to the venue)”. The additional “ii ji” was meant to be “(found the way) easy”, just pronounced Japanese. To think of Ayano having attended an English school when she was younger… Still I appreciate her efforts and just hope that next time she will tell me beforehand when she suddenly changes the language, so I can more easily adjust, lol.
After this experience I needed some time to relax and think of my next activity. So I stood in the back, watching the slow moving event (slow for not having many people around), until I decided on Ami, with no real purpose in mind. I just got bored from waiting. Again an easy pose was chosen and nothing really came to mind to continue our talk so I just told her that I did this photo to make my sister envious. That made her laugh and Ami even recalled my sisters name. She was asking some further questions about her and then we concluded our meeting. Was pleasant!
Meanwhile the amount of people present got more and more, to my relief. This on the other hand made it difficult for me to speak with Emiri, who too my constant surprise since last winter is very popular. I waited a bit until the first wave of people meeting with her ebbed away and then walked up. To further my surprise Emiri turned out very nice in conversation, having absorbed idol behaviour over the last year. I am not too fond of such as I prefer more natural behaviour, regardless the mood, but it also doesn’t repel me. It is quite nice once in a while to feel special and cared for. Want an example? Emiri was keen on doing the heart pose. As I didn’t want to fight with her I complied. Anyway due to our difference in height (~one and a half head) the cheki turned out unsatisfactory. I realised the first law of idol physics: That the smaller the idol, the probability of the photo becoming more awkward increases exponentially. Emiri was asking me if it was the first time we met, so I told her that it was actually the second time. Her reply was a very lovely (translation) “Oh, so then it is ‘hisashiburi’?” I asked further, if her English skills have improved, which led to a distinct negation. As Tsutomo has told me that he wants to talk with her once, as Emiri has Brazilian ancestors, I decided to prepare her for her dark future. Beginning with ‘Be careful!’, which words make her shocked, so I calmed her down, I told her about this friend of mine who is a fan of Aris0 and that he plans to talk to her sometime as well. Emiri immediately remembered Tsutomo from yesterday and expressed her anticipation about it. We then parted and Emiri told me to return some time soon.
As there was still time on the clock for the event, I used up another ticket for a talk with Ayano again, which completely failed. Before it started I gestured to her that I was not coming for a sign (I had mine yesterday and already so many). This part got understood. Though when I inquired in Japanese if she considers performing with the group some time in the future, with Ayano on guitar, communication failed. She understood ‘future’ and ‘guitar’, but not much more. Then suddenly she seemed to assume what I meant and told me about already having performed during a regular live on guitar and asked me if I had seen it. I remembered her tweets about it from back then but to my knowledge the performance wasn’t caught on video. So I had to deny. This back and forth used up all the talking time. But I was out on ideas anyway.
Near the close of the event around 20 o’clock, a lot of fans finally entered the venue. It was still far from full, but its amount was decent at least. This made the up-coming live more pleasant for me. I refrained from going further to the front, as still many of their new songs are unknown to me regarding participation. I chose a place that offered some space and made the live very enjoyable, as it lasted nearly 1 hour. They also did some game between the members later: I couldn’t understand the specifics, but every member had to decorate one photo of another member. The results were displayed on a screen and someone was decided the winner by votes of fans. Probably funny and interesting if you understood anything.
Nevertheless it was quite fun and definitely a place to go next time, if possible. But then I won’t turn up that early again.
27.04.2016 / 28.04.2016
During the next two days I was in Kyoto, as Andy wanted to visit it. No idol activities were going on there. The trip turned out mostly terrible as it was raining non-stop. At least our capsule hotel turned out quite comfortable (free non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee!). As special activity we decided on spending our money on some Kobe Beef, and definitely it was some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten. If you happen to have some 15,000 Yen to spend, try it. Super delicious. Just the atmosphere in the restaurant could be too high-class for your taste.