Archive for the ‘FES☆TIVE’ Category

Events, FES☆TIVE, Minyo Girls Idol Extravaganza, Summer 2017! Part Two (FES☆TIVE & Minyo Girls)

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Continuing from my previous post…

I remember when Wasamin graduated from AKB, and I resolved to devote most of my “idol energy” toward her solo career.  However, I would go and see other idol groups “once in a while”.  After all, I was really only into two groups, Tokyo CLEARS and FES☆TIVE, so it wouldn’t be too difficult.  Unfortunately for me, that list of “other idol groups” has continued to grow to the point that every week I am checking 7-8 different websites for idol schedules, seeing if there are any shows I would like to see.  That said, I think I have done a half-decent job of exercising some restraint.  I didn’t go to see Chaki, or No Plan, or Hyper Motivation, despite the fact that all of them have been active this month.  Oh, and then there is Kozue’s dance-idol unit “I LOVE YOU”, who I would really like to see one of these days.  See, the list continues to grow…

 

FES☆TIVE

Like KissBee, FES☆TIVE are out promoting a new single to be released in time for “Tokyo Idol Festival,”  and the song is appropriately titled ‘Let’s Go Fes!’  The group is maintaining their usual, busy performance schedule, but are also throwing in a few free in-store lives to support the release.  The event I went to was held at Tower Records Kinshicho, where I saw Wasamin back in May.

The funny thing about FES☆TIVE is that the share the same label as Wasamin.  As a result, they share quite a few of the same label reps at events.  At this event, there were FOUR people from Tokuma who I regularly see at Wasamin events, including Yamaue-san, Sasou-san, the sound engineer, and one other guy whom I don’t know the name of.  Even funnier, when I first saw FES☆TIVE back in 2015, I had asked the Tokuma reps at Wasamin’s “Gomen ne Tokyo” event about them, and it was Sasou-san who called them a bunch of “busu-idols” (ugly girls!)

The new song is a lot of fun.  And the good news is that their two newest members, Piano and Saria have settled in quite well as permanent members.  I was worried about that since the group lineup had been static for so long.  Anyway, the new single is a lot of fun, and maintains the type of energy you would think a song like “Let’s go Fes!” would have…

FES☆TIVE’s post-show perks are pretty standard, and the same as what they usually offer.  One ticket for a shame or cheki, and a second ticket if you want to have the cheki signed.  (Actually, at their paid events it is only 500 yen more to get the cheki signed)  Per usual, I queued up for Hinarin as fast as I could since these days she is BY FAR the most popular member of the group, and her line stretches all around the store.  I don’t even bother trying to see her more than once.  I just line up for her quickly, and then use the rest of my tickets on other members…usually Hiyo-chan.

FES☆TIVE is going to be busy over the next couple of weeks with major idol events like TIF, but they will be squeezing in a couple of release events next week, including one in Akihabara.  I will do my best to make at least one of those events.

 

Minyo Girls

My guilty pleasure.  Actually, they really are a very talented group, and they have a very special gimmick.  Plus, you have to remember that both Wasamin and her manager have enlisted the Wasafans’ help in promoting them.  Throw all of that together, and I am proud to support them.

Speaking of ‘gimmick’, it is interesting to see them kind of go in a similar direction that Momoiro Clover went when they were signed to a major label.  (Remember early Momoclo? When they all wore Yukatas and had a ‘minyo’ sound mixed into their songs?)  When Minyo Girls first started they were strictly covering traditional Japanese folk songs.  However, once King Records signed them they seem to be breaking away from that genre a bit and doing more ‘idol-sounding’ material, albeit with a minyo/enka spin.  In fact, with each release they seem to be transitioning more and more into pop-idols.

Minyo Girls have yet to release an actual single, instead they release EP/Mini-albums with 5-6 tracks.  The event I went to see was outside the Cultural Broadcasting Radio building in Hamamatsucho, a place where I have seen Wasamin AND Hayabusa on more than one occasion.  I did not know until I got there that this event was celebrating the release of their third major label EP, ‘Minyo Girls III’  Since the show was right down the street from Devilcraft, one of my favorite places in Tokyo for Beer and Pizza, I went there first to ‘warm up’ for the event.

When I got to the venue, I think the people at the booth thought I was a random passing foreigner, that was until I bout four copies of the new CD, AND pulled out my Minyo Girls Happi.  The guy was like “Whoah, where did you get that???”  I wasn’t kidding when I told them I was a fan.

My three favorite Minyo Girls

After the event, where they played most of the songs from the new release, they were offering to sign copies of the CD jacket.  At first they said it would cost one ticket, but then someone else decided it would be free to anyone who bought the CD so cool.  Then it was time for handshakes, cheki’s and whatnot.  There were only six of the ten members in attendance, but all of the members I like were there.  So it was all good.  I first chose to do a group shot, which is a little more expensive, but it has become sort of a tradition for me with this group.

It looks like I am practically sitting on Yua, LOL

That is the FOURTH Minyo Girls group shot I have taken.  They are all fun to pose with.  I had tickets left, so I decided to do a signed cheki with one member.  Now I say that Yua is my favorite member of the group, but I also like Miyabi almost as much, not to mention the tiny Yutori, who always seems to remember me best.  Since I went with a Miyabi cheki the last time I saw them, I decided to go with Yua this time, despite the fact that Miyabi gave me real kami-treatment during the CD signing.

One of these days I want to take a cheki with Miki, the shamisen player.  She kind of sticks out as being much older, and not really that cute, but she is a major reason for their uniqueness, and sometimes I wonder if the other fans appreciate that.  Oh, and one more thing…

Their new PV!!!  ‘Ureshi Namida!‘ is from the CD ‘Minyo Girls II.’  They have been talking about releasing a single.  Perhaps this will be the one???  Anyway, Wasamin’s big concert is in just a few hours.  So expect that big report coming up soon!

CK in Tokyo

Concerts, FES☆TIVE, KissBee FES☆TIVE, KissBee, and a BIG Surprise at Shinjuku ReNY Super Live (2017/06/08)

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Continuing an extremely busy week, I headed over to Shinjuku ReNY to check out Idol Super Live Vol. 19, which featured over twenty different idol groups.  As I have mentioned before on this blog, I usually only go to these types of shows when there are AT LEAST two different groups I like, since the admission is not cheap.  This way I feel like I am getting more value for my ‘idol dollar’, even if ultimately I am going to spend more to get the benefits for each group.  This particular show would be featuring two idol groups that I really like, FES☆TIVE and KissBee.  So this was perfect, two groups.

I have been following FES☆TIVE for two years now, ever since I saw them for the first time at J-Pop Summit in San Francsico.  On the other hand, I am relatively new to KissBee.  This was only the third time I would be seeing them, and the second time was just a few days ago.  The two groups were scheduled an hour apart from one another, which was perfect.  I would see KissBee at 7:10, and then visit their booth for handshakes and 2-shots.  After that I would go see FES☆TIVE and do the same thing.  The only issue was that I finished with my part-time job at 2:30, so I would have 3-4 hours to kill before the show.  But no matter, I can easily find ways to waste a few hours.  After going to Dotour for coffee, Excelssior Cafe for Tea, and The Hub for a quick snack and cocktail, I headed over to the show.  I would get there a bit early to get my bearings before KissBee started their set.  However, I was not aware that there was another idol there who I have a bit of history with.

ReNY is a pretty cool venue, and it does A LOT of idol shows.  Their stage and sound system is great.  On the other hand, the lobby where the groups do the post show benefits is very small, and there are usually around five groups selling stuff at any given time.  It makes for some pretty tight quarters.  I showed the ticket taker my reservation, (which also got me a 500 yen discount)  paid for my prerequisite drink ticket, and I was in.  I would first check out which groups would be at which tables.  As I passed through the entrance there was a group immediately to the left doing signed chekis and handshakes.  As I passed them I caught a glimpse of one member taking a selfie with a fan.  Jeez, she looks sort of familiar.  I turned to get a better look.  Our eyes met and she smiled at me.  It had been over a year, but I was pretty sure I knew this girl.  So I asked the group’s manager (in Japanese) how much a signed cheki cost.  He tried to answer me in English (one-hundred yen) which I knew was wrong, he switched to Japanese at that point.  I then asked him the name of the blonde girl on the left.  He immediately responded “Yuki…..” and I finished his sentence….

“Himeri!!!!!!!”  I was right!!!

Yuki Himeri is a former member of Alice Project who graduated over a year ago.  Araki Himeri, as she was known in A.P., was my favorite member, and her departure is the reason  I no longer go to P.A.R.M.S.  I started following her new twitter, and knew that she had been doing some gravure modeling.  I was also aware that she had recently joined an idol group.  However, I had no idea that they were at this show.  I paid for my cheki, and waited my turn.  The manager called to Himeri, and she came bouncing over in the exact same fashion she used to when I would see her at P.A.R.M.S., as she loudly exclaimed “Kurisuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!”

The manager gave us a ton of time to chat, and we spent that time catching up.  I told her how much I had missed her, and I had hoped to see her again one day.  I also told her about some of the changes in my life since we last met.  I didn’t see her group actually perform.  Their name is “Nopuran” (No Plan)  She actually asked which group I was there to see.  However, for the most part we just kept squeeing at one another and flirting while she did a major number on the cheki.

Himeri then offered to take a selfie with me as a free extra bonus.  Of course I accepted, although I wasn’t sure if it was free or not.  But I figured even if she asked for another thousand yen it would be worth it.  My time was finally up, and we parted ways.   But I was soooo happy.  I really liked Himeri, and I did miss her since she was always so much fun and always made a big deal out of it when I came to see her.  And by the way, she looks really hawt with the blonde hair.

I headed deeper into the lobby, passing idol groups looking to attract customers.  I was admiring my Himeri cheki when a random guy came over.  “You are here to see KissBee?”  It turned out he was also at the Venue Fort show I went to last weekend, and he saw me there.  He is also a fan of Tanifuji Misaki, just like me.  I  got a few nods from some of the other KissBee fans after we went into the actual hall, so I guess a few of their fans noticed me on Sunday.  But before KissBee came on I watched a group called Diamond Luffy, who were actually really talented.  Once their set was done I grabbed a good spot on the right side for the KissBee performance, which was three songs and an MC.  However, they performed my favorite song of theirs.  I’m not sure of the title, I just call it the “Love Me Kiss Me Chupa Chupa” song.  I got a quick smile and wave from Misaki-chan after the third song.  Afterwards I immediately went out to do handshakes, 2-shots and whatnot.

They started with a free high touch, which I was happy about since it gave me a chance to quickly talk to a couple of the other members that I like.  First of all Sakura, who is always “liking” my tweets when I mention KissBee, then Rena, who I would probably call my 2nd favorite of the group.  Anyway, I thanked Sakura for “liking” my twitter posts, and told Rena that she was awesome!  I got great reactions from both of them, especially because I addressed both of them by name.  Afterwards we lined up for individual benefits.  I chose to do a cheki and a shamekai.  While in line I was talking to the guy I met earlier,as well as another KissBee fan who was fluent in English. I had forgotten that their manager takes the chekis ‘sideways’, which I don’t love.  On the other hand, he takes the shamekai at a weird angle too.  However, they actually look kinda cool.  Misaki was excited that I came back to see them again, and I told her I was happy they sang the “Chupa Chupa” song again.  She also asked if I was American.  I told her I was from California, but I live in Itabashi now.  She laughed, “Oh, that’s right, you said it before!”  One of these days I need to tell her my name.  After our second interaction, it was almost time for the FES☆TIVE set, so I headed back into the hall.


My Misaki-chan Shamekai 

The hall was a lot more packed for FES☆TIVE, but I waded my way into the fan cheering area, and got as close to the stage as I could.  Unfortunately I got stuck behind this obnoxious group of kids that I see at every  FES☆TIVE show these days.  But whatever, I would just focus on cheering for Hinari.  By the way, most of the groups get about fifteen minutes to perform, but I guess FES☆TIVE  was considered a headliner, since they were one of the few groups who actually got a 30-minute set.  I had my orange glowsticks, so I managed to get Hinarin’s attention despite the fact that I was fairly far back.  One of the songs they performed was their second major single, “Kingyo no Kin-chan” which is a sing about a goldfish.  It is very cute.


Anyway, the show finally ended, so I headed out to grab a Hinarin cheki ticket.  The line for benefits got really huge, going across two other booths with some less popular idol groups.  One of those groups is called ‘Death Rabbits‘, and features three idols and a big dude in some kind of Stormtrooper outfit.  Outrageous!  In fact he came over to me and started talking to me for a few moments while the girls were waiting for customers.  I actually caught a few moments of their set since they were on right after KissBee.  My first reaction was “WTF?”  Also, while I was waiting in line for Hinari all of the members of KissBee walked right by me as they headed out of the club, and I got waves and reactions from all of them…especially Misaki.  My turn to see Hinari eventually came.  And she had something she wanted to tell me…


Death Rabbits (or is it Desu Rabbits?) LOLZ

After greeting me and thanking me for coming, she asked me if I went to the Wasamin event with Matsui Sakiko on Sunday.  (Hinari knows I oshi Wasamin)  Apparently Hinari was there and saw it, although I didn’t understand what the circumstances were.  Hmmm, I wonder if they spoke, and if my name was mentioned?  Anyway, I told her that I didn’t go as I had plans with a friend that day.  (That is also the day I went to see KissBee, but I ‘conveniently’ left that part out)  But Hinari was excited to tell me that she saw Wasamin.  In the meantime I gave her the update on my Japan residential status, and I got a big “High Five”

I wasn’t going to deal with Hinari’s crazy line again, so I decided to just limit it to one cheki.  I had already spent plenty anyway when you consider admission, benefits for three groups (not to mention dinner and drinks)  Instead I went back into the hall since a group one of my friends kinda likes, Disdol was about to play.  However, when I got in there the groups were running very late.  So instead I watched El Float, who weren’t bad.  It was getting late though, so I decided not to stick around.

Needless to say it was a great night.  An idol-trifecta, if you will.  It made me think that I should go to see these idol showcases more often, especially at ReNY since it is a really nice venue, and it is very close to where I work and take classes.  Of course that is a dangerous thought, as far as my wallet is concerned.  So I will likely stick with my plan of only going to those shows when I can see two or more groups that I am interested in.  Unfortunately for my wallet my ‘stable’ of idol groups I am interested in is steadily growing, and now I have to add Nopuran to that list since Himeri is an active pop-idol once again….

Oh jeez!

CK in Tokyo