That day, which was Halloween, didn’t had much options regarding idol shows, so in the evening I decided to go for a festival that had JyuJyu in its schedule – even very early, which suits me best. I am not fond of Halloween though and regret it came over from America. It is nearly as bad as Christmas in its materialistic way. Idols dressing up in costumes doesn’t help either. I admit that most of them look good in it, but I prefer to see them in their usual outfits. The uniforms are part of the concept. Nevertheless when I entered the venue – for the first time Shibuya WWW – I ran immediately into Julian. He was again on his usual venue-hopping trip, so after seeing the over-hyped Zenbu kimi no sei da, Yukueshirezutsurezure and some group that Julian liked, we had a longer chat, but then soon parted again, as me was going inside for JyuJyu‘s appearance.
As the festival consisted of a mixture of idols and general rock music bands a lot of girls were also present as well. This had the advantage that the front area right at the stage was close to being empty during idol groups. I have never been so close to JyuJyu as on that day. The downside though was me having to participate more during the live, which was difficult, as I don’t know to much about the choreo’s and most of the newer songs. The setlist was so so also, me having enjoyed their 40 minute set a few days ago much more. It became apparent to me, that no matter how much I like Neu, JyuJyu will probably never be more then a side group for me.
The events later took place in an easy to overlook room, which luckily Julian had told me about before. To my surprise there were hardly any fans presents, but some people new to the group used the offer to a free cheki for Newcomers. Those haven’t been many either, so it soon became my turn. Neu recognised me and greeted me by name, accompanied by her trademark shy smile. We just did the JyuJyu pose and then she asked me if today was my first time seeing the 3-member version of the group. I told her about me having been to their show in Shimokitazawa, were she helped me in my Japanese, as I forgot the word for day-before-yesterday. Should have talked more about it, but as usual I never recognise obvious topics. Instead I continued by telling Neu that everytime I see her, she is different. Surprised look on her face. Then I explained by listing her ways of appearance: Black Neu in JyuJyu, White Neu as Neu-chan and today Neko-Neu. She had to laugh. Before parting I wished her fun on the up-coming trip to Hong Kong for the group. Although opportunity was plenty for talking to the other members as well, I didn’t bother about it. I hope for a 3shot anytime soon though. Maybe this will encourage me to engage in chats with Miori and Minoru then. Instead I left the venue for my hotel.
Tonight was a great, but also strange show. I went for a release event by VMO, some kind of Electro/Rock-mix-up group. The reason behind it: They had Oyasumi Hologram and Bellring Girls Heart as guests to perform (Hence the face paintings later in the chekis). The show was held in Roppongi and it would be the only time that I would be able to see OyaHolo on this trip. Also my first time to see Ayano again, after giving her my letter. But the main act, VMO, was kinda dull, as their music did not really have melodies or even structure, but appeared more like an avantgarde type sound collage. Lasting to their set took some effort. At least some guys I knew were present (Yuu, Batista).
Oyasumi Hologram wasn’t that great as well, as the set list was rather boring – probably suited to the main act – as it mostly consisted of electronic songs that soon became repetitive. Maybe it is just because it is not my type of genre. Bellha‘s set was much better, but because of the stage not being much higher than the floor level and the absence of barriers, lifting and moshing was impossible. Well, most of it anyway 😉 Events turned out much more eventful.
First of course I got in line for Ayano. When getting up to her, Ayano already told me that she had read the letter – click – cheki was done. I couldn’t say much, as Ayano continued by telling me in several ways that she liked it, even using English (“very good-o”), so I assume she hasn’t lied, lol. We also talked about her make-up which gave me the chance to look at her face closely. *joy* Further she inquired about how long I would stay and some other stuff, which became lost in translation though. My next meeting with her would become special, but this was still many days in the future.
To my luck, the event of Oyasumi Hologram was still going on, although they had even less fans present than Bellring Girls Heart. With the requested help of Yuu I was able to buy a cheki ticket, enabling me to talk with Hachigatsu. I wanted to see about her English, as her tweets implied she is learning the language. It turned out better than expected, as Hachigatsu, after greeting me, stopped, looked at me closely, then while pointing at me (Isn’t that considered impolite? lol) calling out “I know”, repeating the same to the staff with the camera, though this time again in Japanese. So before we did the photo we rekindled the memories of our last encounters. First mentioning Christmas 2015, she then remembering us meeting in summer 2015 and some more. She also pretended of knowing my name from Twitter, but not sure if that was true. I had to tell her anyway. Our talk already became a mixture of English and Japanese, making it obvious that Hachi was really putting some effort in. In general she was very cheerful and expressed much interest for me – it was awesome. I then was able to ask her about her learning process and Hachi stated that she liked learning English (“It is fun.”). Fun with learning? I always knew Hachigatsu is a strange one, lol. It was difficult to depart from her, as she prevented me from leaving.
The Bellha event was still going on, so I used the chance to talk with Re-Re. It was the first time I actually realised how overly friendly and kawaii she acts in her talks, like that idol cliché. Can not say I like that too much. I prefer the honest idols, that also show when they have a bad day or are depressed. Nevertheless it was nice talking to her. She welcomed me with saying “O-hi” (Japanese spelling “O-hee”). I had to ask her what that meant. Reina just replied by stating “O-hisashiburi”. So an abbrevation, and even the most formal form of it. So fitting for her. I mentioned my last tweet to her, to which she had replied in English. She told me that she had used a translation app for it, as expected. As eating is one of Reina‘s favourite activities (Her words in English actually: “I like sweet things.”), we came to talk about food and I mentioned potatoes again. As you can see, she likes potatoes as well. 😉
That day featured a lovely small Two Man by PiiiiiiiN and Party Rockets GT, in the context of PiiiiiiiN‘s regular live. This made it apparent to me, how much more I like the music of Party Rockets GT. It is very powerful and the fan participation consists of a lot of shouting, which is my favourite. PiiiiiiiN‘s music on the other hand lost some of its appeal, maybe due to Hara Ayano‘s graduation. That day I wasn’t feeling too well, so I restricted myself from much interaction during the events.
After the show I first talked to Ayumi from Party Rockets. On stage she was asked to teach Rizu some English (Let me hear your voice), but Rizu failed terribly (I expected nothing different.) It was funny though, when Rizu tried to write down the spelling with Japanese letters on her hand. I mentioned this to Ayumi and this was basically everything we were able to talk about.
Of course I talked to one member of PiiiiiiiN too, as it was their regular live. I chose Ami now, as I haven’t talked to her the last time and I grew to like her more. My affection only rose up higher when Ami, like on my last trip, was welcoming me by name again. Why she remembers I don’t know. The talk with her went terrible though, not understanding much of each other. At least I could reply to her question about how long I would stay and that chances are high that I would come again for a show of PiiiiiiiN.
This day became busy as the scheduling allowed me to attend events of three groups, without too much effort involved. The first was PASSPO‘s single release event for the Double-A-side Gimme Gimme Action / Love Refrain. Finally PASSPO! It was on the rooftop of TOBU department store in Shinjuku. Lovely weather, easy pre-order forms (collecting at the store, so no need to fill in an address), many people. The live was the usual for release event lives, everything a bit subdued. But I was able to get a place close to the stage and I had the impression that Yukki noticed me.
All-member Cheki, Individual Cheki, All-member handshake and Individual handshake was possible, but I only decided on two Individual Chekis. First of course I went up for Yukki, but our meeting became underwhelming. I was anticipating some Hachigatsu-like greeting but instead Yukki was reserved, not even seeming to remember me. Completely out of character. In retrospect though and in knowledge of my later interactions with her I believe – she knowing me being a regular – an over happily reaction wasn’t necessary in her opinion. At least Yukki spotted my shirt that I actually chose to wear for this very occasion, as she recently is seen on Twitter quite often with wearing shirts by The Beatles.
Talking with Naomin is always some adventure, me always leaving with the impression that she dislikes me. Just look at our photo together – Is that an honest smile? Naomin appeared very intense while talking with me. She inquired about the pose to which I suggested us pretending playing a guitar. Naomin wanted to know why I chose this pose, adding the question if I played it. She was obviously surprised when I replied that she herself became very good on guitar, resulting in Naomin to ask if I had seen her play recently. I was only able to affirm that then the staff already made me leave.
Although there was a second live by PASSPO scheduled a bit later, I chose to just move some department stores further, to P’PARCO Shinjuku, for another single release event, this time by Chu-Z. It would be my only time seeing them this trip, so I believe this to be justified, missing out only a release event. The venue was tough to find though, as I at first confused P’PARCO with PARCO. I realised being at the wrong location when I noticed the supposed event floor would have been right in the middle of the women’s underwear department. Finding the right venue wasn’t hard though and after buying me the singles – one of each of the three types – I joined the audience. I also met Yutan there, who helped me in explaining the events after and who made me write a birthday note for his new favourite member Honomi. The live was very good, I liked the new songs. It was also a good opportunity to see Maia still in the group as she announced her graduation for early next year.
The tickets I had allowed me to talk with Luna and make a cheki with her. To my surprise it was on mobile phone – the first time the group did such. I tried to explain to Luna how I found the place, but although I was certain of using the right words, she didn’t understood at all. So we just exchanged courtesies. At least Luna hadn’t forgotten about me.
The day in regard to idols wasn’t over yet though. Party Rockets GT would take part in a small festival and I am glad I took the effort to go there – the live as well as the after event turned out great. Have a nice party starts to become my favourite songs and the members that evening were in a grand mood. I love the new line-up. Back then as three-member group such impressions would have been unthinkable.
The group handshake became an experience as always, me not really able to phrase myself in the short amount of time, but them neither, lol. Nanase was hyper as usual, Himeka sweet, Ayumi of course cheerful, even outperformed by Haruka, who was beaming all over, repeatedly saying “Thank You, Thank You”. She definitely changed the most. Fumika must have been told that I am a long time fan and from Germany, so she thanked me and expressed her wish to see me more often at their shows. Shouldn’t be a problem.
I first took a cheki with Ayumi, where we didn’t talk too much though because of time restraints.When meeting Haruka, I decided on doing a random hand pose, which immediately led her to ask me what this meant. As I had no idea either, Haruka called out for Ayumi, asking her to inquire me about the pose. We all could laugh at me stating that I had no idea. It was nice to experience Haruka such cheerfully. Afterwards I let my cheki getting signed by Ayumi later. It seems you get the most time for talking with the members that way and we definitely did – about the differences in working and vacation of Germany and Japan, as Ayumi wondered how I could stay in Japan for so long and often. She explained to me that she is actually very thankful to the fans who come to their lives, although them having to work long. She also expressed her joy to see me and of course I returned the compliment. It is really a difference to actually be able to talk with an idol.