This day started early, as at 12 I had to be in Odaiba, attending a kind of event I have never been to before: The Hacchake Tai Talk-Eat-Drink-Mini-Live-Karaoke-Event – I have no idea how to call it. It was located in Tokyo Culture Culture, right next to the big ferris wheel, on top of Zepp Tokyo, offering a table and seat, food and drinks.
The place itself was rather definitely not suitable for some regular live performance, but good enough for an event 0f the sort I would become a witness of. Its shape is rather wide, with only a little depth. The stage was a rather small one, with benches and tables missing right in front of it, leaving some space for a standing audience, if necessary. Screens were several, so no problems of visibility. This allowed the members on stage later to show videos and pictures.
(*photos taken from the official website http://tcc.nifty.com/)
I had dragged Andy with me and we arrived basically on time. Luckily some seats on the sideline were still available. I would have hated it to be more in the centre of attention as foreigner who hardly understands anything. To fit the occasion – and the personal taste of the Hacchake Tai members – we first ordered ourselves a big chunk of beer. For food I ordered a Yakisoba – such simple food, but I love it!
Before my order arrived, the show was already starting. The four members walked up the stairs, themselves – after performing the “Hacchake gymnastics” – each presenting a chunk of beer and with them together we all cheered to each other “Kanpai!”. It then continued with the members sitting down on chairs to show and comment live recordings from their recently performed 2nd One Man, using this opportunity to present their new song and up-coming first single, that is released under their own name Hacchake Tai, instead of being part of some PASSPO album.
The whole line of segments of the nearly 2-hour show became:
- 2nd One Man summary
- Name Game
Fans were going individually to the members, told them their name and in response were given a “Hacchake Name”. I didn’t really get it so I refrained from participation.
- “Karaoke” of PASSPO songs
Hacchake Tai performed songs by PASSPO that do not belong to their repertoire. Singing abilities varied (as expected), but choice of songs was decent, like Moso no Hawaii.
- Fan Karaoke
Four fans were chosen to do Karaoke of a PASSPO song. The chosen title by majority became Wanted! Great decision!
- Wotagei Game
The up-coming single and some other song (the B-side?) were teached to the audience. The video below is the end result. Despite being entirely in Japanese I was able to participate in it easily.
- Mini Live
Finally the live performance – only three songs though.
After the main event was over, preparations for the events began. Offered were the usual options in the following order: Group shot, individual handshake, sign session. After purchasing the necessary items for one of each – photo sets of course again – I realised close before my turn that I forgot to bring my mobile phone for the group shot (Platinum groups don’t do Polaroid chekis). When returning from collecting it from my seat, I became the last in the queue. Well, whatever. It moved on quick anyway. After a short greeting into the round and telling them to do the Hacchake pose I seated myself. On a whim I crossed my arms for it and who became the only member following my spontaneous lead? Fujiki! (Yukki!) We are slowly becoming soul mates, lol.
When I looked up the photo much later (I rarely control the outcome of photos at the events itself.) I was surprised about Charisma (Nachu) showing such an intense smile. Gen-san (Morishi) appeared lovely as ever and Zaian (Naomin) surprises me every time as a Hacchake Tai member, making nice poses at every occasion so far (like here or here).
The handshake became very nice as it took longer than anticipated. After that many I developed some kind of inner clock that tells me when I exceeded the usual time frame. But to step down was impossible, Fujiki didn’t let go of my hand, so it became my longest chat with her until date! And I forgot most of it! *sniff* My first topic though became today’s show, I called it “interesting, but fun”, lol. Fujiki thanked me and inquired further if I was able to understand any of it (I suppose she was asking that. Not really sure, lol.). Of course I didn’t and told her as such. Not wanting to give her much chance on a reply I continued by congratulating Fujiki for the single release. This is the point were my memory fails me. I only recall that she asked me something in return.
But for the sign session shortly after, my memory sets in again. Fujiki asked if it was my first sign with her (as Hacchake Tai member). I affirmed and mentioned about the T-Shirt sign I had (as PASSPO member). She remembered that and me wearing it few days before at the PASSPO event. We soon said farewell – until next time 😉
I was finished with my tickets but stayed until the end of the event to wave goodbye. Would I take part in such an event again? It certainly isn’t easy as talk is the main part of the show. But to spend some time leisurely with your favourite idols and supporting them by just being there makes it feel worthwhile for me. Still, there is nothing better than an One Man. Their next is scheduled already, for September 17th at the small venue Shibuya ASIA. I would love to attend…
Me and Andy then left, just to stop at the nearby Niku Fes, basically a huge amount of tents selling different varieties of meat. It even provided German beer. Heavenly! The purchase was terrible though: You weren’t able to buy directly at the tent but had to purchase coupons at machines at the other end of the entrance – which was filled with thousands of people! It seemed like eating meat was a rare occasion to the Japanese. Still, we managed and after separated – Andy had enough of idols for the day – whereas I headed for Shinjuku, initially intended to attend a live with Oyasumi Hologram in the line-up, for which I even had reserved a ticket already. But as I felt still tired from my Kyoto trip, I instead chose to go for an already going on small idol festival at Ruido K4, a venue I have never been before, to see Party Rockets GT, who regained my appreciation once more during this and the last trip.
The line-up for the small festival consisted just of five groups: Party Rockets GT/FES☆TIVE/FRUITPOCHETTE/Devil ANTHEM./SiAM&POPTUNe. So apart from the first no other group of interest to me was present. Luckily it wouldn’t take too long to endure the others, as I already missed Siam&Poptune and arrived in the middle of the set of Devil Anthem. Though getting to the venue was very complicated. I found the location easily, as it was the in big portions the same way I use to get to Shinjuku MARZ, but after entering and getting down the stairs it got confusing: The path divided in two directions but none had any sign for the Ruido K4. I took the most reasonable option, I thought, in getting further down the stairs instead of following a longer aisle, plastered with dubious pictures on the wall. But when I reached the end I was facing a big sign board at the end of the stairs and heard the members of Party Rockets singing, which couldn’t be as it was still far from their scheduled appearance on stage. When I looked around the sign board, some people were leisure sitting their, most of them turned out to be staff members of the groups present and the place I stood was the entrance for the backstage area, hence hearing the girls practising their singing. One of the staff members slowly approached me and gestured that this area was closed. He seemed to feel my confusion though and asked in a helpful manner, if I was there for the idol show. I confirmed his question and he gestured me to follow the aisle one level above. Thank You! Now continuing down the aisle with the pictures on the walls, to find at the end of it a second staircase leading down, also finally a sign for the Ruido K4. Relieved I went down, just to end up in a sort of lobby with two doors, but none of them displaying the name of the venue. One door though read Red Nose, which name I remembered having heard before, being that from another venue. To my luck some Japanese guy was present in the lobby, actively working his mobile phone. I came to his attention as I must have looked very weird, standing around confusingly. He immediately asked if I was there for the Idol Koushien, to which I only nodded and then he politely opened me the right door. Thank You!
Finally inside I had to realise that the place was not only small, as expected, but also quite well attended, offering bare to no room for my luggage. I managed though by securing me a place next to the slightly elevated platform at the back of the venue. Despite that I didn’t feel comfortable at all, as smoking was allowed, less space and bad air-conditioning, making the venue too warm. It helped a lot that Party Rockets GT didn’t need long to appear on stage and me was walking close to the front, where space was much better to find, as many people got further to the back. This tells you that not too many of PRGT fans were present that day. The set list contained at least some well-kown songs by them, like Setsuna Sora, but I still had to be careful for not doing the wrong interactions. It was nice to see though, that especially Ayumi and Nanase instantly spotted me in the crowd, adding substance to my enjoyment of the live.
The shows by Festive and Fruitpochette were uninteresting to me and required some patience from my side. Especially the latter with only one member now was rather boring, compared to the past, when it was still two members. Eventually I endured, though it became obvious that I just wanted to get to my hotel as soon as possible. When preparations for the events began and I was looking up the Party Rockets GT merchandise table, one of the staff members put out a laptop and showed me the following image on it, that I had to took a photo of:
You see it right: An English translation for the events of the group! Apparently the “huge” amount of us foreigners participating at their events a few days ago had a lasting effect, having lead to additional effort from the side of staff. I wonder if Ayumi had to be the one to translate it. I consider this a nice service, which should be implemented by more groups. It isn’t that difficult to make, even without much skills in the language. Although I understood the original Japanese information board just fine I was polite enough to use the English board for buying me three cheki tickets. I wasn’t to keen on the photos, but as you can see no individual handshakes were offered and I wasn’t confident to get through an all-member-handshake that day. Chekis therefore were the best alternative, with them now allowing some decent talking time after the photo shoot. And possessing a cheki as the result is of it is not too bad 😉
As one of the last groups the members of Party Rockets GT finally appeared, but as the queue was mostly behind a corner leading to the lobby I couldn’t see much of the fan interaction. I was surprised by the amount of people taking part in the event and also had to wait in the lobby for the time being, as the handshakes would be executed first.
When the cheki session began and I walked around the corner I was noticed by Ayumi who shouted my name close to my ear. I scolded her for being too loud. I went up the platform, where the event took place and I had to decide on a pose quickly to waste no time. I suggested a thinker pose, which we did, but afterwards Ayumi was asking me how I had this idea. It was just by accident but Ayumi old me that this actually was her trademark pose. Seems to me that I found another soulmate, lol. In jest I apologised for stealing her pose. She then continued telling me she read my tweet few days ago in which I wrote her that I will see the group soon again. She was happy to have read it and that I really came by.
With my second ticket I chose Fumika. It has been a long time I met her for a cheki, respectively individual handshake. I also wanted to talk to her with her in English, after she tried to speak with me in that language the last two times during the all-member-handshakes. As expected she received me with shouting “Hello!”, took the initiative with her well-known self-confident attitude and decided the pose. When finished, I asked her – in Japanese – if we want to speak in English. Fumika immediately made a defensive gesture, then raised her index finger and proclaimed in a solemn manner: “No English…. I not speak.” Everyone around us was laughing, including me. Being flexible I changed into Japanese mode, much to the surprise of Fumika, exclaiming even “Ah, Japanese.” I told her that my sister likes her and her surprise became even bigger. When we parted she – as usual – told me to come again for their show. Fumika is definitely a funny idol!
My last encounter was with Haruka. She was really nice and smiled, in contrast to her familiar self. The new members really changed the group a lot – to the better. This time Haruka even remembered my name, or probably just heard it when Ayumi called it before. We made the cheki, with a coolness-pose as suggestion. It fits Haruka‘s new attitude quite well, in my opinion. After it there would have been time for talking but I had no real idea, so I just complimented the live. Haruka hadn’t anything to add, so with that my participation at the event was over.
I was happy to end the day, then as I said I was tired and the next day with the big One Man of Bellring Girls Heart would require some energy, without a doubt.
I updated my Schedules Blog.