Relaxing is good!

04.11.2016

Finally my first real Leisure Day. Did some laundry and met Julian for a walk, visiting Nezu Shrine for example. On the idol sector I made some contemplation and realised for myself, that Bellring Girls Heart, respectively in person of Yanagisawa Ayano, had developed into my main priority. That nonetheless didn’t made me follow the group unconditionally, as why I didn’t go to Utsunomiya the weekend before for a 40 minute outdoor appearance at some festival, but rather enjoyed my time at the Halloween show of Party Rockets GT in Tokyo. I also noticed that groups like PiiiiiiiN and Chu-Z didn’t appeal that strongly to me anymore. I still like them, but right now at least there is something missing, mostly some releases that suit my taste more.

Despite this reduction on groups I am not keen on getting to experience new groups. In contrast to my beginnings in idol music, I now rather concentrate my support on a small array of groups I already know and wholeheartedly like, especially when it comes to the music they perform. I experienced for myself, that the benefits are much more rewarding for me, if I strengthen the bond to those groups and idols. This is also a fact why I don’t enjoy longer festivals anymore, if there aren’t too many groups performing that I like. Actually if I am able these days, I prefer to meet with friends now and then and take my leisure time accordingly to make laundry, sleep long or to plan the next days, instead of attending random shows.

05.11.2016

I visited Tsutomo in Saitama, his hometown. Through a nice coincidence PASSPO held a release event near it in a mall, so we attended the first part for watching the performance, but without taking part in the events or buying CDs. Such release events are not really enjoyable: Participation is mostly prohibited and the atmosphere – outside, limited sound system and surrounded by families – is not the best way to have fun at an idol show. Afterwards we travelled some stations further, to take a look at the outskirts of Tokyo. Very pleasant, as it happened to be 20 degrees then.

06.11.2016

On the same weekend Bellring Girls Heart was performing in Osaka at some festivals, but nothing to extraordinary that would have made me want to follow them. If there had been a One Man, like that time in Sendai, I would have gone, no doubt about it. Instead I went on a 2-hour train ride to Utsunomiya in the morning, to arrive in time for PASSPO performing two One Man Lives. I was glad I also booked a hotel there for the night. That way my stay there was rather relaxing.

I wasn’t satisfied with the audience during the lives. But maybe I was just spoiled by the more powerful participations during the Bellring Girls Heart and Party Rockets GT lives. Another factor that came into play was the amount of people in the venue, which were just too much for my liking. There was hardly any room for moving your arms and I don’t like that. The live itself had some solo acts involved and acoustic versions of songs, like Aipon only singing and playing piano for Kucha Love. The best was definitely the Duo Yukki-Nachu performing the song FAKE. It had a feel of JyuJyu to it. They announced though, that these solo acts wouldn’t be part of the set at the Tokorozawa Outdoor One Man though.

After the first part I took a cheki with Yukki. She at least definitely recognized me now and took attention of the blue fan towel I had in my pocket. I could also manage to tell her that I will attend PASSPO‘s Live in Tokorozawa on the 19th. During the second part I noticed another foreigner present. But it seems he was new to idols and didn’t know about the requirement for event tickets, so he had to leave the lane for Morishi. I haven’t seen him afterwards but I didn’t really took attention either. My cheki with Morishi has been the usual, mostly talking about her birthday. Later I talked with Yukki again and told her that she looks cool with guitar and asked if she is became skilled already. She laughed and said that she still has much to learn. Was a really nice conversation, and she kept me from leaving right away, by continuing our talk and keeping a firm hold on my hand.

PASSPO‘s music and attitude changed some with their decision to adjust the musical direction more into what they call American Girls Rock. As I have stated before, I am a fan of their output during the One World / JeJeJeJet! era, which clearly had its focus on hardrock tunes. It is mostly because of this change that I actually prefer Party Rockets GT much more nowadays, with them sticking to their style no matter what. Nevertheless PASSPO will never loose its importance for me for introducing me to idols in the first place. I also grew quite too attached to its members and their stable line-up.

07.11.2016

Right after the show ended I went to my hotel and returned the next morning to Tokyo again. Here again I was taking it slow, not doing much besides laundry again and some shopping. That is the big advantage about staying so long: You don’t mind missing a live every now and then, as a new one will appear on the schedule later anyway. And with so many leisure days I can comfortably take my time in doing laundry, scheduling, relaxing,… I need more vacation days for sure!

08.11.2016

That day I was out with Tsutomo, as his favourite group – Up Up Girls – were performing at Budokan! They are not really my favourites, but I like them enough to stand through a whole show of them, lol, And the opportunity of being able to see an actual idol live at Budokan, the goal for most idol groups, has also been taken into account.

We walked around town before we went early to the venue for the merchandise sales. The lane was huge, reminding me a lot of Kpop concerts that I have seen in Korea. It was definitely something unexpected to see at an idol show, especially with Up Up Girls being an indie group. Nevertheless I queued up and got me the shirt for that occasion. Design is a bit lame at the front, basically consisting of only coloured stars, but I like the backside of it, displaying in full Japanese the venue, date and names of the members.

The live itself was as expected not sold out and the venue was prepared or that – the supposed standing area had chairs, lot of room for the aisles and a centre stage. All in all not the best place to be, so I was glad that we had a nice balcony seat with good view on the stage. Some areas of the balcony had also been covered, but those parts which were left open, were occupied by fans. To my surprise a support group was performing, in the name of Idol Renaissance. Although they feature some nice alternative rock tracks, they also have many songs, that I can’t get into. The live of the main act was okay. They used the space in the arena for a lot of gimmicks, like standing on rolling platforms and even a huge festival-like palanquin. The atmosphere through the whole show was really enjoyable to experience.

Little did I know that Chuan had attended the show as well. I would meet him soon at my next show with Bellring Girls Heart in the line-up. I wasn’t able to aquire a ticket for their live the next day, but at least for the day after tomorrow.

09.11.2016

As I have said I wasn’t able to get a ticket for today’s live of Bellring Girls Heart, as tickets were already sold out. I wasn’t really in the mood for something else, but as I expected this day to be the last chance for me seeing PiiiiiiiN, I decided on going to their regular live again. It was funny to see how one of the staff members recognised me from my last trips but was too anxious talking to me as he has issues with the English language, mostly being unable to use the correct pronunciation. As example he mentioned “ticket”, with the Japanese language having no equivalent of the “ti”, instead using “chi” for it, which makes the pronunciation “chiketto”. Finally some prove, that Japanese actually are able to speak English, but are just to ashamed to do it.

The live this time was a Two Man again, like last weeks with Party Rockets GT. Today it featured Festive as a guest, so half the time of the show I just spent “resting” in the back, lol. PiiiiiiiN was performing with five members only again, like they do currently for most of the time. Riko is still excused from most shows to allow her time for school/university  exams or something similar, whereas the process of auditioning a new member to substitute the graduated Hara Ayano (*sniff*) is still going on. As I therefore have no favourite member in the group, I decided to talk with Rizu, like I do during most of my trips. I mentioned the English sentence again, that Ayumi of Party Rockets taught her last time (Let me hear your voice) and asked if she improved in saying it, but strangely her reaction was putting her index finger before her lips for shushing me, then she contemplated a bit and said “High School”. I can only assume, that she tried telling me, that her language skills are still terrible, as she is only in High School. But that doesn’t make much sense actually.
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Like I stated above already, PiiiiiiiN has lost some of their appeal to me, but I am still infatuated enough with the group and its members, that I want to continue my support for them, just not in that former extent anymore. Maybe I need to decide on a new favourite member in the group, but I am not really willing to do that. It just feels wrong and I feel much better in supporting the group for itself now.

10.11.2016

Finally some live of Bellring Girls Heart and therefore meeting with Ayano again, even though it was only a smaller set at an Idol Koushien at Shinjuku Blaze.I have met Batista there again and was later introduced by him to Chuan, a fan from Singapore, who only recently became a fan of the group and deciding on Ayano as his favourite idol. Good timing, with the group only being around for two more months only. The live was the usual, running, jumping, lifting and all. Unless you count losing one of my shoes as something special. I recovered it right away though.

The highlight though happened to be my talk with Ayano afterwards. The last time we saw each other was more than a week ago. I don’t know if Ayano therefore assumed that I had left Japan already, but whatever the reason, when she saw me she immediately became all smile, giggling around and even mentioning something to the staff about me. Handing her the letter last time – and with it declaring her my most favourite idol – has definitely been a good idea! This time I also suggested a pose and as we had to wait for the staff to take the photo, we both exchanged funny faces to each other.
datei_00n1
I hadn’t anything specific to say, but mentioned having lost my shoe. A better reaction I received though when mentioning that it had snowed in Germany. She wanted me to show her. Luckily my sisters had sent me a photo and Ayano was very happy to see the snow and even my sisters on the picture. She handed me the cheki now, which she was signing in the meantime and I was happy to see that she had wrote my name on the cheki again. Yea, definitely one of my nicest meetings with her. Further major shows of Bellring Girls Heart had recently been announced as well, even three of them in a row at Shibuya WWW X, a fantastic venue, so I was happy being able to see Ayano again soon – and experience some further great shows by the group.

11.11.2016

Not sure if anything was up that day, but again I spent most of the day at my hotel. Strangely the Fridays in November had hardly any idol performances. At least not the ones I cared about.

12.11.2016

Again I was meeting with Tsutomo. Our plan was to walk around Shibuya area, eating something good and just enjoy the lovely weather, without doing any idol activities. But it came different. While we were walking Harajuku, I checked my Twitter by chance and noticed that PiiiiiiiN was around the area, doing a Free High Touch event, as promotion for their up-coming 3rd Anniversary live at the End of December. Tsutomo was immediately enthusiastic to take part in it. We just had to figure out their location, as they didn’t tell it directly, but instead just posted some landmarks once in a while that they have passed on the way. After some misguided attempts at Omotesando and Tsutomo recognising a building that was in Harajuku, we went there again. As we had no further clue, I suggested to walk down Takeshita Street, as I assumed this to be a good place for advertising, with the huge amount of people walking there. Tsutomo was sceptical, as the street offers only few space. But a new Tweet made it obvious that PiiiiiiiN was really there, and soon we were able to see them. Only three members were present though, as Arisa and Rizu didn’t take part because of a cold.

We both slowly approached them but the second Ami saw me she already called out my name at waved at me to hurry to them. What a nice reception and so me and Tsutomo enjoyed the free high touch – first Ami, then Runa, last Emiri. As a gift we were provided with a sticker, on it displaying the concert date. We continued to stay near them and watch the event for a bit. It was funny to see how they tried to convince the passer-bys and even tourists to free high touch them, but I doubted the effect of this promotion campaign. Why would someone go to a concert for a group they don’t even know about?
Anyway, some minutes later, PiiiiiiiN decided on changing locations again and we both followed, making sure we were keeping a good distance between us and them. We stayed around for a bit but then decided to leave, but not without passing by them again. Tsutomo, without any decency, just walked straight to them again, while I was pretended a cool demeanour, not wanting to exploit the situation. But Ami thought differently, coming some steps closer to me and demanded that I high touch her again, instead though she this time kept holding my hand. So I used the opportunity and told her that I have bought the ticket just recently, as I was sure to attend their show on my next trip. Ami‘s eyes even got bigger than they already were and thanked me enthusiastically. This of course had the consequences of me now being again more supportive of the group – Damn! I even could imagine Ami becoming my favourite PiiiiiiiN member.
 

We finally left them alone then, happy and using the opportunity to eat something for the first time this day – it was already after 5 pm. This is the effect of idols. When looking up Twitter we realised that not far later, PiiiiiiiN did mobile phone chekis with the fans present, but they have all been reworked with a picture app, so most likely we wouldn’t have liked the result or even wouldn’t have been able to take part as we missed that specific app. No idea how this event was handled. Anyway, after we finished eating, we made a quick stop at Tower Records Shinjuku. There we arrived to our surprise for the members of Zenbu Kimi No Sei Da, who where just taking promotion shots of their new CD, which was prominently displayed in the store. As neither of us happened to be a fan of them, we didn’t interact with them. Kind of funny that soon this group would appear in a “scandal”, losing two of their members because of prohibited interaction with fans.

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2 thoughts on “Relaxing is good!

  1. Where in Saitama were pictures were taken? Do you remember the name of a local station or even just the line, anything? Sorry if it seems like a weird question, I think I used to live around there.

    I like your blog, by the way.

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