Archive for the ‘AKB48’ Category

AKB48, Events, HKT48, SKE48 AKB48-Group 48th Single Negaigoto no Mochigusare Individual Handshake Meeting at Makuhari Messe (2017/08/11)

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This is my “low key” handshake event for this single, and the only one of the three days of events I am attending this weekend.  AKB48 puts on so many more events per single than they did back in the day, so these days my M.O. is to get tickets to two events, one being my “main” handshake event with more tickets, and then my second handshake event, with fewer tickets. In this particular case, fewer tickets meant ten, including one “open” ticket that I could use on any eligible member. I had also condensed this day into three slots, so I wouldn’t be in Makuhari all day. Actually, it was originally four slots, but…well, you’ll see…

The real bummer of the day was that I could not get any tickets to see Yamane Suzuha. I didn’t realize when I originally applied, but today was Zunchan’s birthday, so her tickets sold out very quickly, and of course I couldn’t use my open ticket on her either. It’s too bad, because if I had known I would have picked tomorrow or Sunday to go instead, but I had already won tickets for the 11th, so I was kinda stuck. Oh well.

Anyway, I got to Makuhari at 11:15, grabbed lunch by the station, and made it to the venue just before noon. I didn’t need to get my tickets stamped since that was already taken care of last month.

Slot 3

Akiyoshi Yuka (Lane 40) <2 tickets> Yukachan was a bit late to the slot. In the meantime the guy in front of me was desperately trying to communicate with Rikopi, and then Aramaki since they were in the neighboring lanes. So I got a quick greeting from Rikopi (who didn’t know I was coming over to her lane right after) It was good timing, since they had just started debuting the B-side music videos from the upcoming single on the big screens. Akiyoshi eventually came out, and I was second in line. So I told Yuka that I had finally graduated from my University last weekend when HKT was at Tokyo Idol Fes. She congratulated me, and also invited Rikopi over to congratulate me too, which was nice. I told Rikopi that I would be over in a minute. In fact my second ticket for Akiyoshi was a continuation of my conversation with Rikopi, so…

Sakaguchi Riko (Lane 41) By the time I had finished with my first Akiyoshi ticket, Rikopi’s lane had cleared out, so I jumped over into her lane. The first thing she said was that when she saw me in Yukachan’s lane, she hoped I was coming over to see her too. At this point it was almost time for the debut of her MV from the upcoming single, so I told her I looked forward to watching it.

So the funny thing was, at this point all of Rikopi’s regular fans checked into the lane, and then they held the line up so Rikopi could watch the video. The guards were watching it too. I was standing in the area before check in for Akiyoshi’s line. After the MV we all gave Rikopi a big ovation, including her guards. LOL. Anyway, I asked Yukachan what she thought of Rikopi’s song, and then I told her that I really liked Sasshi’s MV. I had more tickets for Yukachan in a little bit, so I left it at that…

So for my open ticket, I had a few ideas. For some reason I had neglected to get a Tani ticket for this event, so she was a possibility, as was Zukki from 16th gen, since I consider her my favorite AKB kenkyuusei not named Zunchan. But then I noticed that Masanya’s lane was *starred* as well, at least in this slot it was. So I stood in front of the SKE area trying to decide, and if I was going for Tani or Masanya I had to do it in this slot, as they weren’t *starred* for Slot 4. At the end of the day, I have more Tani tickets for the next SKE event, and the next AKB single. This could be my last chance to visit Oya, so…

Oya Masana (Lane 170) Not surprisingly, Masanya’s queue got pretty big once they allowed oshimashi and open tickets in. So I checked in and waited. I didn’t have much to say to her, I just wanted to see her at least one more time before she graduated. I mean there is always the possibility of a National event, but no guarantee of that either. Essentially I just continued the conversation we had less than two weeks ago, and told her a little more about the circumstances behind me moving to Tokyo. So that was cool, and then I said I hoped to see her again. You never know, right?

Slot 4

I decided to stay in halls 7-8 since I had another SKE ticket in the next slot. In the meantime I ran into a bunch of people I know, including @Jeff86 . So we passed the time catching up, and comparing tickets. He was seeing SKE members almost exclusively. Later I ran into a bunch of other overseas fans I know, including BigC, who was hanging out near the Sakura lane (no surprises there) and Pandadash. This was also the point where they started simulcasting the NicoNico broadcast of the Janken preliminaries, which pretty much took the next 2-3 slots.

I should also note that I had virtually no trouble with my tickets, which were the last of my tickets to have my name in Katakana. It makes me wonder if I really should have changed them after all. Anyway…

Matsumura Kaori (Lane 174) It was pretty much a quick ‘hit and go’ with Kaotan today. I spent more time trying to hide from Tani in the next lane, since I didn’t have tickets for her. (I also didn’t have any Bibian tickets, and she looked really cute with her black and yellow outfit) Anyway, I just told Kaotan about my graduation, and she confirmed I was transferring to another school, and then she asked me a couple other questions I didn’t understand. I just nodded affirmatively, LOL.

Akiyoshi Yuka (Lane 40) <two tickets> Back over to the other hall to see Yukachan, it turned out this would be out ‘English Slot’. Again, she asked me in English what I planned on eating for lunch, so I told her I already had a Subway Sub. “An Ebi sub, and fried potatoes”, I added. I immediately looped the line since I wanted to get out of the venue and take a break. I wanted to ask her something in English to see how she responded. I was struggling for a good question, and then blurted out something stupid. “Yukachan, I have a question. Can you tell me where Spider Tower is located?” Now the problem wasn’t that she didn’t understand me. The issue was that she had never heard of Spider Tower. LOL. I thought that it was like a well-known building. Anyway, she told me in japanese that she didn’t know where it was, so I told her it was in Nagoya. Anyway, we both laughed. But I need to come up with better questions for her to answer in English.

And with that, I took a break.

I had three tickets left. Two in Slot 5, and one in Slot 6. But then I realized that the member I had the Slot 6 ticket for had a starred lane in Slot 5. Well, I can just jam all of these tickets out in one slot, since none of them would have long lines, and then I could get out of there early. So that was the plan.

Slot 5

Fuchigami Mai (Lane 37) For some reason I just wasn’t in that talkative a mood today. I kept struggling with what to say or ask each member. So whan I got to Maichan I simply asked her about her janken unit, since the janken prelims were still playing on the screens. In fact, Yukachan’s group had just come on while I was standing there. Anyway, Maichan asked me to root for her duo with Haruppi, which I had forgotten about LOL. I told her I would, and I would see her later.

Sakaki Miyu [CUCA] (Lane 91) I forgot to mention that in Slot 3 when I was deciding who to use my open ticket on, Cuca-chan waved to me from her empty lane. I’m not sure whether she recognized me from our meeting in July, since most of the STU members were waving at pretty much anyone who was looking their way. But I knew I would be seeing Cuca a little later anyway. So I headed over, and Cuca actually had someone in her queue. Nice, I hate to think that she is sitting there twiddling her thumbs all day. But I waited for the lane to clear out before I jumped in. She watched and waved to me all the way from before check-in. As I got closer, she had a look of familiarity on her face, so I knew she remembered me from before. I congratulated her on her Janken Duo with Sato Kiara, and asked what the name of the unit was. Jeez, they have a really long name. I commented, “Wow, that’s long!” (Maiorita Megami to Girigiri no Onna) Anyway, I told her a bought a bunch more tickets to see her for the next single, and she thanked me. Hopefully she will have a better draw.

Nakanishi Chiyori (Lane 108) This was actually a Slot 6 ticket, but since her lane was *starred* I could use it via oshimashi in Slot 5, which I did, and it saved me over an hour of waiting around. This was actually NOT the first time I have had an individual handshake ticket for Chori, as I got one for her around a year and a half ago. But I ended up blowing it off (along with a couple other tickets for Kaotan and Tanamin) since there was a special Wasamin cheki event that conflicted with my evening slots. I did get a chance to finally meet Chori at a Shoot Sign National event earlier this year, and she was really cool. So I looked forward to seeing her again. Anyway, it was really quick. I told her that I was rooting for her unit to win Janken since they had the best members, and then pointed to my Akiyoshi ticket holder. She laughed and said she would do her best to win, all the while being the usual fun and genki Chori that makes her a great handshake experience.

Actually, I am surprised Chori has stayed under the radar for me, because she is EXACTLY the type of handshake experience I really like. Perhaps it is because I spend so much time with SKE and HKT members at AKB single events, I kinda forget about the AKB members. It’s actually another drawback of having all the groups at AKB single events, it takes away from giving the AKB members, especially those that aren’t in Senbatsu, a chance to be the center of attention. Oh well.

And with that, I was done and it was barely past 3:30. 10 tickets in 3 1/2 hours, not bad. I found some friends who were also leaving, so we all went back to Tokyo together. And now there is a bit of a lull between handshake events for me. New AKB single events don’t begin until October, and the next SKE and HKT events aren’t until late-November. I’m not sure if I will apply for the Janken, or Masanya graduation since they are the same weekend as Wasamin’s next big concert. Hopefully some national events will pop up that I can go to.

 

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, Concerts ‘Let’s Go Kenkyuusei’ 16th Gen Stage Live at the Donki, 2:30pm Matinee (2017/07/30)

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I was strolling around Tokyo Big Sight, waiting to use my Slot 2 tickets at the SKE48 handshake event, when I saw I had an email from the ticket center. Hmm, I had a funny feeling I might be winning something soon. I noticed immediately that it wasn’t a win, but a cancel machi. Figures. I then saw the cancel machi number, 137. Yeah right, like I have a chance in hell winning with that number. After all, this is a brand new stage, it is a weekend show, and I haven’t seen the cancal machi go that high in a while. Still, I decided I would go and check it out. Even if I didn’t win, I could catch some of the show on the monitors until I left for my backup plan, to see FESTIVE in Ikebukuro. Also, I firmly believe that you get a few ‘brownie points’ for showing up for cancel machi even if you don’t win. I mean they do take down the names and numbers of everyone who shows up.

The Setup

I got to Akihabara around an hour early, and had lunch and coffee at the Excelssior Cafe across the street. It was a usual busy Sunday in Akihabara, with the main boulevard closed and tons of people walking in every direction. I headed over to the Donki around five minutes before cutoff. Let’s get this over with. However….

When I got upstairs I was surprised to see that there was virtually no line whatsoever for the box office. Furthermore, there weren’t very many cancel machi people standing there either. A couple of minutes later they announced that anyone with cancel machi 60 or below could buy tickets immediately. Wow, so the cancel machi is going to BEGIN at 61? Could I possibly have a chance? From there staff was rapid firing cancel machi numbers, through the 60’s, 70’s 80’s, finally it began slowing down, and he announced the initial cutoff at 90….

After this staff asked all of the people who hadn’t won yet to come forward. Lo and behold, there were only nine of us left. After a short discussion, it was decided. We would ALL be getting to see the show today. WOW!!! (Actually, I think they originally planned to let eight of us in, but when they saw there were nine of us, they decided not to screw over just one person) I have said this many times, I have seen the cancel machi go all the way to 150 multiple times. So even if you think your chances are slim, never say never. But yeah, 137. For me this is the highest cancel machi I have personally ever won with.

So, this would be my 35th theater show, and the second time I won in July. That doesn’t count the July 11th cancel machi I had and lost. So technically, I almost had three wins this month. Glad to see my theater luck has changed for the good. This ALSO meant that I would be getting to see the 16th Gen kenkyuusei’s brand new stage that they just debuted on Friday night. I was stoked, and who cares if I would probably have a horrible vantage point. I was just glad to be part of the show. I was third to last in, and at first I didn’t see anywhere I could stand, so I shuffled all the way to the other side of the rear of the theater and found a spot. A minute later a family of three in front of me decided they didn’t like their spot and moved. So I moved up, and actually had a decent vantage point. The pillar was blocking the center of the stage, but other than that, I could see pretty much everything.

The Show

I had briefly read the stage setlist here on the forum Friday night, so I remembered what some of the songs would be. And frankly, I was really excited. SDN? Watarirouka? Old Team B? Great stuff! And of course I was happy to be seeing my favorite AKB48 member, Zunchan, and my other favorite kenkyuusei, Zukkii. I was really excited to see her solo performance of the Fujita Nana song.

The opening songlist has a lot of high energy numbers, highlighted by one of my favorite Team B songs, Minnasan mo go Issho ni. So in that, it was a lot of fun. However, on more than one occasion the members seemed out of sync with the song. The dancing was a little bit disorganized, the lip-syncing was way off, and the member who did the narrative part on ‘Minnasan’ did more panting than actual talking. (Was that Nanami? I don’t remember) So I think the members still need a bit more practice on this portion of the setlist to tighten things up.

I loved most of the unit selections, and Zukkii’s solo, plus Cross were both highlights. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Yasuda Kana could center a song, especially a song like that. She was fierce. Of course I loved Kanpeki Guu no ne, especially since Zunchan was in it, and she was adorable. However, it seemed like they had the song slightly slowed down? Perhaps I was hearing things, but it just seemed slightly slower to me. the other two songs were alright, but didn’t stand out to me like the other three.

In the second half of the show, the girls seemed to be more into it, especially on Kodoku na Runner, Zutto Zutto, and especially ‘Wasshoi’ (Let’s Go Kenkyuusei) But it was around here that I noticed how much different the fans are at theater shows than they were when I used to go to the theater, and these song were new. Hardly anyone knows the calls to these songs anymore, and barely anyone knows the hand movements. Most of the people there are just waving penlights around. Oh, and I have the feeling hardly anybody there knew SDN at all, as I didn’t hear the distinct fan calls, or see the hand movements, at all for ‘Runner’. To me this is a disappointment. I know it is fun to wave penlights around, but in the old days of the theater hardly anyone brought penlights, but virtually everyone knew the calls and stuff. I think it was a lot more fun like that, and added to the energy of the performance. Penlights just don’t do that.

After the group shot, it was time for ‘High Wave.” There was another member who caught my eye a few times, but I don;t know her name. Oh well, she will have to capture me again. On the other hand, both Zunchan and Zukkii were great, and Yasuda Kana really impressed me a lot. And of course the little loli Sato Manami is cute.

At the end of the day, I was happy that I won the show, got to see Zunchan, and got to see a brand new stage. Since much of my luck seems to be with 16th gen shows, I look forward to hopefully winning the chance to see them perform this again, and perhaps they will be much improved.

CK in Tokyo

AKB48 My Guest Appearance on the 48TALK Podcast

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It is time for me to do a little bit of cross-promoting.  I have mentioned my friend Derek on my blog a few times lately.  Derek and I have been friends for around three years now, since just before he moved out to the West Coast from Pennsylvania.  I appreciate his enthusiasm for everything idol, and his enthusiasm for my blog.  It’s nice to know I have at least one regular reader.  By the way, you can check out Derek’s site here…

http://www.derekvasconi.com/

Anyhow, Derek has been part of a weekly YouTube show called the 48TALK podcast for about a year now, and has been hinting that he wanted me to be a guest on the show one day.  Well, finally that day has come, and I made my 48TALK debut yesterday.  Check it out…


It was a lot of fun to do, and I did my best to be as amiable as possible.  Although I would have loved to promote Wasamin a little more.  But whatever…

I really meant it when I said that I would love to see comments on this blog.  If you click on the individual articles, a comment box pops up on the bottom of the post, and you can leave your comments there.  I would love to hear from the people who actually read this blog.  Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, Events, HKT48, SKE48 AKB48-Group 48th Single Negaigoto no Mochigusare Individual Handshake Meeting at Makuhari Messe (2017/07/16)

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AKB48-Group 48th Single Negaigoto no Mochigusare Individual Handshake Meeting at Makuhari Messe (2017/07/16) ~Am I the First One Around Here to Do a Handshake with Cuca-chan?~

This was the leadoff event for the 48th single handshake events. For this release I decided to schedule handshakes for two dates, one this weekend and one for the 2nd weekend in August, although today I had the most tickets (14) I would be visiting most of my usual suspects, with a few new girls tossed in for a bit of variety. BTW, Disney on Ice was going on next door, so there were a billion kids around. I wondered why so many people who looked like they were going to Disneyland didn’t get off at Maihama when I was riding the train over.

A HUGE HALL

For today AKB had not two, not three, but FOUR halls rented out for the event. Halls 5-8 in the main building. It was actually divided into two separate venues, with a wide hallway in between. Halls 5-6 had SKE, NMB, and Team 8 (Lanes 1-96), and Halls 7-8 had AKB, HKT, NGT, and STU. (Lanes 97-187) Here’s a weird thing, the food trucks were in one hall, while the drink stand was in another. WHY??? Actually, most of the sales stuff was in Halls 7-8, while the info booth, manager booth, and drinks were on the opposite side. I hope they do something similar to this when SKE and HKT run simultaneous individual handshake events here in November.

WARNING

I am guessing this is due to the dickhead who decided to have his own fireworks show at the 46-group event, but the lane staff were being quite the jerks when it came to people’s names not being exactly the same on their IDs and tickets. Chara-ani stamped my tickets no problem, so ultimately it was a non-issue. But in the morning it was a pain in the ass as I kept getting questioned at check-in. Ultimately I have changed my name on all the preorder sites to romaji, so hopefully there won’t be a big problem in the future. Although in the case of Chara-ani, the system has an 8-letter limit, so Christopher ends up being “Christop” I hope that isn’t an issue. Ultimately it stopped being an problem after Slot 3, which makes me wonder if something was said to staff since it seemed to be an issue with every ticket I used in Slots 2 & 3.

So I had a total of 14 tickets for slots 2 through 7, including one “same day nomination” ticket. As for who I would use my “open ticket” for? I hadn’t decided, but I had a short list. Anyway, I got to the venue early. Since this was the voting ticket single, I anticipated huge lines. However, it wasn’t too busy when I got there. I got all of my tickets stamped, and it was still the end of Slot 1. I headed over to the other side of the venue for my one Slot 2 ticket…

Yamane Suzuha (Lane 155) – FINALLY! I have been wanting to meet her for so long! Ever since she captured my heart when I saw 16th gen in the theater. She has the cutest face with those big cheeks, and that semi-silly demeanor. As I mentioned before, the lane staff gave me a really hard time about my name on the ticket, but after a short argument where I pointed out their flawed reasoning, AND the fact that my tickets were stamped by chara-ani, they apologized and let me in. It was a really short queue, makes me wonder why her lanes weren’t “starred” Zunchan looked cute as a button, surrounded by bouquets of flowers. I entered the booth, and I got the “shocked to see a foreigner” reaction. “Hello?” I responded to her in Japanese, queue the even bigger shocked reaction. It was adorable. Anyway, I told her that I actually did high touch with her last month. Apparently she didn’t remember, but she thanked me, and then I got the “I LOVE YOU.” That’s nice. I told her I would see her again. She’s like “Really?” I said “Yes, I have more tickets!”

So a good start with Zunchan, and now I had an hour wait until Slot 3. I could have used my open ticket here, but by then I had an idea on who I would be using it for, and that opportunity wouldn’t be coming until Slot 5. After talking to friends for a while, slot three eventually started…

Murakawa Bibian (Lane 117) – A quick stop to see Bibian before I used a bunch of Akiyoshi tickets. She had no line, so I went right up to her. It was basically Bibian being all energetic. “Genki desu ka? Genki desu. Watashi mo!” I then said it looked like she just got her hair cut (It looked a bit shorter) I told her it was very cute, and was on my way. Bibian hasn’t been up to too much lately as far as I am aware, so not much to talk about.

During Slot 3 I ventured over to Cuca’s lane to see how the crowd was. Not surprisingly, most of the STU member lanes were completely empty, including Cuca. I felt bad. But at least she wasn’t alone. I spent a few minutes over there, and nobody came to many of the lanes the entire time I was there. I thought about using my open ticket right here, but ultimately I saved it.

Akiyoshi Yuka (Lane 120) [four tickets] – I had five tickets in total for Yuka-chan, four spread over slots three and four. Yuka looked really cute, with a T-shirt, casual collared shirt over it, and shorts. I was excited to see her since I had just gotten my HKT48 Baseball Jersey (designed to sorta look like a Soft Bank Hawks Jersey) with her name on the back. So I showed that off to her. I later asked her about the T-shirt she was wearing, which had pictures of some characters, and like a vehicle, and the words “Joy Joy Joy Gintama” or something like that. She was trying to explain to me that it was from a manga, and I told her that I would ask my friends who like manga about it. Anyone have any ideas?

In the next slot I was one of the first in line. And after the first handshake where I basically told her that her outfit was cute, and then complained that my Akiyoshi baseball jersey was slightly too tight, I immediately re-queued. It was at this point that one of the other fans came up and started talking to me in fluent English. It turned out he lived in Europe for 10 years and occasionally did business in America. He reminded me that Yuka-chan is serious about learning English, so I should try speaking to her in English more, and that she would like that. Anyway, we queued together. And I’m sure the two of them were talking about me as she kept looking over to me the entire time. When I came up I mentioned that Koji-san said that she wanted to to hear me speak English more often, except I screwed up the verb conjugation, and it came out more like a demand than a confirmation. It took her a few seconds, but then she figured out what I meant. At least I think she did. I actually got the answer to this question later on in the day…

Matsumura Kaori (Lane 85) – This would be my first venture into the SKE/NMB/Team 8 Hall after being exclusively in the other hall all morning and afternoon. I had no NMB tickets, no Team 8 tickets (yet) and only one ticket each for Tani and Kaotan. So no reasons to hang out on this side. Anyway, Kaotan had a relatively short queue. In the meantime, she was right next to Tani, who spotted me, pointed at me, winked and gave me a quick acknowledgement between visitors. (Don’t worry Marika, I will be seeing you later) Kaori-chan grabbed me into her cross-handed shake, and lamented she hadn’t seen me in a while. I told her not to worry, that I have plenty of tickets for her at the SKE events. She asked how about today? I frowned, and told her this was my only one. Oh well. The fact is that I am trying to cut down on tickets to the 48-group events, especially since both HKT and SKE have singles coming out soon, and I bought tickets for those events too.

And with that, I went upstairs to take a break. The weird thing was that it was really hot and stuffy upstairs. normally it is hot and stuffy in the halls, and upstairs, outside the halls it is cool. But today it was completely the opposite. Anyway, Slot 5…

Sakaki Miyu [Cuca] (Lane 182) – I was really excited about this. After all, I wrote an article about her on my old blog like 8-9 years ago. I headed over to the STU section, and of course Cuca’s lane was empty. But just then a woman walked into her lane. Cuca got all excited, bouncing up and down. It reminded me of how Yakata Miki used to act when I would walk into her empty lane. So I stopped and waited, hoping nobody else would go into the lane until she finished talking to this woman. Luckily, nobody did, and just as she came down the exit I walked in. Cuca immediately started bouncing up and down, dancing the entire time. I finally made it to the booth. She thanked me for visiting her. I told her I have been watching her YouTube videos for a long time, and that I am really rooting for her to do well in STU, so to please do her best. She graciously thanked me, and I told her I would come and see her again (I have a ticket for her in August too)

Ultimately she is a really sweet girl. I was so happy to get the chance to meet her, and from her demeanor (and her lack of a queue) it made me want to come back and see her again. In fact, when I got home tonight the first thing I did was order three tickets for her for the upcoming single!

As I mentioned, I had one open ticket, which I could use on any “starred lane.” The problem was that since this is the voting ticket single, the lanes with stars on them are few and far between. I also prefer to use these tickets on girls that I haven’t met before, or in a while, as opposed to just using them on girls I am seeing anyway. In any case, I made a short list of girls I was considering using this ticket on, including a few 16th gen and Team 8 girls. Ultimately I decided on this member, since she was the one I liked the most when I saw Team 8 a couple of weeks ago…

Takahashi Ayane (Lane 1)
 – Since this was an open ticket, I had to wait until the middle of the slot before I could queue up. It should also be noted that she had four slots, and this was the ONLY one with a star on it. Apparently I was not the only one with this idea, as a few minutes before the middle of the slot, a bunch of fans started milling around her lane entrance, which was at the far end of the hall. About a minute before the call, everyone bum-rushed into the lane. So I joined in. It kind of annoyed me since I had been standing there longer than all of them, but whatever. Her line wasn’t terribly long. I basically told her that I went to the Team 8 show a couple of weeks ago, and that she made the biggest impression on me. She thanked me, and that was basically it. At the end of the day, she wasn’t the most dynamic handshake. But come to think of it, she wasn’t the most dynamic on stage either, so it sorta fits. I came to the conclusion that I merely thought she looked really cute on stage. I did get another ticket for her for the next single. We’ll see if a second visit is a little better…

Fuchigami Mai (Lane 111) [two tickets] – I didn’t go to see Maichan in the earlier slots, instead opting to see her in the afternoon. She had on a cute, light, summery dress with a flower pattern on it. However, when I was looking at it from a distance, I thought it was fruit. So I was already to make a joke about the fruit on her dress, but it got spoiled. In any case, I showed off my new HKT48 baseball jersey for her. She asked me if I had heard the new HKT song and purchased the single yet, but before I could answer I got pushed out.

When I returned (in the following slot) I told her that of course I bought the new single, and that HKT individual handshake events are much more fun than 48-group events. (I actually do mean that. I much prefer seeing HKT and SKE at their own events than at the group-single events) Anyway, she exclaimed “Yeah!” and gave me a high-five and my time ran out.

Yamane Suzuha (Lane 155) [part two] – So when I told Zunchan that I had more tickets for her, I failed to mention that they were scheduled for six hours later (Hehe) But I kept my promise. Again, her queue was short. When I entered the queue she was saying something to me that sounded like a play of “osashiburi” It sounded like “hitachiburi” or something. It was a phrase I had never heard before. I kept repeating it back to her, since I didn’t know what it meant. I told her that I had cancel machi last week for 16th gen, bot lost. She gave a little frown, and as a was being pushed out I mentioned to her that I want to watch her perform more often. Ultimately, Zunchan is everything I expected in a handshake, which is a good thing since I ordered a few tickets for her for the next single. And if her lane is starred in August, I will be using my open ticket to see her.


Mikurin celebration. Glad to see my friend Panda got a good spot. I was behind the camera to the right

Akiyoshi Yuka (Lane 120) [part two] – At then end of my last handshake with Yuka-chan, I was mentioning something about speaking English with her more often, but I wasn’t sure she completely understood, even if she said she did. In the meantime, the Mikurin fans had a huge congratulatory ceremony planned for her since she made it to Undergirls. So I had a view from behind for that since I was queued or Yuka-chan a few lanes over. But to answer my question of whether or not Yuka understood me…

(All in English) “Hello Chris, did you eat lunch today?” Yes, I ate lunch. “What did you eat for lunch?” I had chicken from Family Mart. “Oh good!” She smiled, and I asked if it was fun to practice English with me. She nodded as I got pushed out. Koji-san was right, I should do that with her more often, just to mix it up.

Tani Marika (Lane 84) – For my last ticket, I decided to go out with a bang with the always crazy Tani. Plus, her lane was closer to the central exit of the hall. I had a conversation all planned for her, but she spoiled it with her manic behavior. She asked me what I thought of her look today. I know what happened the last time I didn’t say ‘kawaii” So I told her she was cho-Kawaii, and that she was also kawaii when I saw her do cosplay modeling for a new Kyoraku pachinko machine. She seemed surprised I brought that up, but then she was like “Yes, you like that, huh?” I told her I liked pachinko (partial truth) and it made me happy to see her doing those type of promotions.

Anyway, as expected the day ended on a good note. I had a Caribbean Jerk Chicken sandwich near the station before jumping on a train back to Tokyo. For the next 48-group event I have tickets to many of the same people, as well as Chori and Rikopi. But I am really excited about the new SKE48 single event, which is in two weeks. I have tickets to all my usual SKE members (Tani, Kaotan, and Yuzuki), as well as a few members I haven’t really talked with before, or for a long time (Obata, Soda, Aoki, Masanya) So it should be a lot of fun.

 

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, Concerts AKB48 Team 8 Live at the AKB48 Theater (2017/07/01, 11:30am Matinee)

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I still get surprised whenever I get some sort of “winning” email from the ticket center. In fact, yesterday I originally thought it was another website maintenance email, and only later opened it to find out I had cancel machi for the early matinee show on Saturday. So great, cancel machi. I had a shot.

The last time I had cancel machi was back in April, and I didn’t get in. But this time I had a lower lottery number, so my chances were better, although it definitely wasn’t a “sure thing.” However, by the time I left my apartment to head to Akihabara, the cancel machi number on the website had already reached 30. (In case you aren’t aware, if you win cancel machi, there is a counter on your lottery page that tells you how many people have cancelled via the website, so the higher that number goes, the better your chances) I got to Akiba a bit early, grabbed a coffee at Tully’s across the street. I stored my bag in the lockers behind the Donki (in that little parking lot) and headed up.

Per usual, a huge percentage of people who win show up at the last second, which makes the ticket queue very big leading up to the cutoff. With every person coming up the escalator, I felt my chances getting smaller. At exactly 11am they started calling cancel machi numbers, starting with #32 since they had 32 cancellations already, anyone with cancel machi #31 or less had already won and purchased a ticket. As he got into the 40’s, the staff member kept checking his counter. Uh oh, if he is looking at it that intently, we must be getting toward the end. Miraculously, he made it all the way to #59 before he called it closed. Bummer. However, since it got that high I actually had a pretty good chance of getting into the secondary lottery.

After cancel machi fills, they begin the theater entry lottery. At that point they estimate how many more people they can accommodate. However, these people will be the last to enter the theater. It’s usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 people. Since there weren’t that many people left waiting, I knew my chances were good. He had called all the way up to #70, and only two people were there. Finally, my number was called. They called three more people after me, and then cut it off. So cool, I was going to my 34th theater show. I’d be in the very back, but it was definitely better than losing, and watching on the monitors…

The Show

The last time I saw Team 8 was at their Saitama Super Arena concert earlier this year. It was a decent enough show, but I didn’t come away as a huge Team 8 fan. Moreover, there were no members that really grabbed my attention in a major way. When I looked at today’s lineup, I noticed a few familiar names, but nobody I was dying to see. That was fine, I would just enjoy the show, after all it was Aitakatta, which is a great stage. I grabbed a standing spot just right of center, where I had a decent, but not great look at the stage. I had barely been standing for a minute when the Kage-ana began, and then the show. Like I said before, I love the Aitakatta stage, and it had been quite a while since I had seen it performed live. But it has so many great old songs like Namida no Shounan, Rio no Kakumei, and Nagisa no Cherry. In any case, I wanted to see which members grabbed my attention, and a few did. Here ya go…

 

Takahashi Ayane (Saitama) – This girl is really cute, kind of a Komiharu/Paru type. She also reminds me a little of Kitazawa Saki (which may not be a good thing) Then it dawned on me,she was one of the girls I kinda liked when I saw them at Saitama! Just something about her smile, and I loved the way she danced on Nagisa no Cherry Unfortunately, she tended to “disappear” into the shadows quite often. She isn’t a front line member but I enjoyed her occasional moments up front.

 

Oda Erina (Kanagawa) – I think this girl is a champ. She just carries herself like a “pro-idol,” especially the way she toys with the audience members. I know she is somewhat popular, but I am surprised she doesn’t get more “love,” especially when I compare her to some of the Team 8 members who seem to be the most popular. She is also kind of tall. In fact, there was another “tall” members who I kinda liked. At first I decided Erina was better, so I started ignoring the other girl…..

Miyazato Rira (Okinawa) – As much as I tried not to pay attention to Rira, my eyes kept getting drawn to her until she finally won me over. She spends a lot of time in front, and has quite a fun aura. The funny thing is, according to our wiki she is only 155cm? That is even shorter than Wasamin! I dunno, she just came across as taller to me. Perhaps that is a testament to her energy on stage. She plays “bigger” than she is…

 

Yaguchi Moka (Miyazaki) – Her stocky build just draws your eyes every time. Idols come in all shapes and sizes, and this girl is really unique…

There were a few others I noticed, but I couldn’t remember every name. Terada Misaki (Nagasaki) was one, but that was in part because of her first name. Sato Nanami (Iwate) was another “tall” one that kinda stood out for me too. Then of course there’s Kuranoo Narumi. Now I do get that she has good stage presence, but I’m just not on board with her like the rest of the fans seem to be. Sometimes I am just puzzled by the fan’s general consensus. It’s the same with Orin Mutou in the 16th gen. I just think she has so many more talented and cuter peers, yet she gets all the attention. Oh well…

As expected, they had a second encore, which was mainly Team 8 songs, plus the new single. There was also a VTR advert for a a Team 8 documentary on YouTube. BTW, I love Seifuku no Hane, probably my favorite Team 8 song. I also remember really liking it when I heard HKT48 perform it earlier this year. Surprisingly, the new single, and its “waltz” time signature, is quite nice to see live.

Anyway, show ended. Time for “High Wave.” Unlike the last AKB show I won, I was one of the first to go through. I decided to give little “signals” to Ayane, Erina, and Rira to see how they would react. Erina reacted, but the other two didnt. Ayane was at the very end though. I did get a couple of “Hello!”‘s, but I can’t remember from who. I made it out, and was led to the back stairwell to exit. Is that a regular thing now? Maybe because it was a Saturday afternoon, but that was the first time for me that we weren’t allowed to use the escalators to leave.

So I seem to be winning at a rate of “once a month,” which is nice. It is a welcome change compared to what it was like before. And as I have ALWAYS maintained, there is nothing compared to seeing the 48-groups performing at their theater. NOTHING! This is a prime example. I went to see them at a major venue like SSA, and I came away “meh.” Go see them at the Donki, and I am a much more enthusiastic. To me idols are not meant to be seen at Stadiums, or major concert halls. They are meant to be seen in clubs, small places. It is in these intimate environments that you can really get what makes idols so special…

Anyway, that’s what I think.

CK in Tokyo

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AKB48, HKT48 AKB48-Group Shoot Sign Individual Handshake Event at Makuhari Messe (2017/06/25)

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I have made it sort of a tradition to limit myself to two events with these AKB releases. Usually that means I focus most of my tickets on one particular date, and then I will get a few tickets for another date. I do this for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don’t want to overspend on handshake events. Second, I like to keep my weekends open as much as possible for Wasamin events. So after having a much bigger day on June 10th in Pacifico, this would be my “light” event. When I say “light”, that means that I had four tickets spread over two slots (1-2)

So this post is going to be less about the actual handshakes and more about last night’s incident at the Nogizaka/Keyakizaka event next door. If you weren’t aware, both the 48 and 46 groups were having their big events at Makuhari this weekend, and in the same building. Nogi/Keya occopied 2/3 of the main halls, and the 48-groups had the last three halls down at the end. There was also some sort of Toys/Hobby Event happening in the other building, so there were tons of kids around the Convention Center.

I had to head out early since I had slot-one tickets. I ended up taking an unusual route at the suggestion of the Hyperdia train app. BTW I never go through Tokyo Station, I cannot stand that long-ass walk. Instead I usually take the subway to Shin-Kiba further along the Keiyo Line, or in this case I took the Sobu Line to Nishi-Funabashi, and transferred there. I was waiting for the train when all of a sudden someone comes up to me and asks me; “Aren’t you Cristafari from Stage48?” LOLZ It turns out he isn’t an active user, more of a lurker on the forum. And since he had never been to Makuhari Messe before, I decided to show him the ropes. i.e. Where the hall was, how to check in, ticket stamping, reading the legend, etc…

~Security~

The other issue was what the security situation would be like in the aftermath of the disturbance at the Keya/Nogi hall the previous evening. While I was on my way I messaged a couple of people who were already at the venue. They said it was a bit more thorough and strict than usual, but otherwise not a big difference, and the lines were not severely affected. However, when I got to the hall there was a big queue upstairs. I initially panicked. With a line this long there was no way we would make it to our slot one handshakes…

However, the upstairs queue turned out to be a bit misleading. In an unusual setup, they were doing the check-in bag check, and metal detector stuff downstairs in the hall, and they were only allowing a limited number of people in at a time to avoid congestion. So it actually took us less than five minutes to get to the security lines. As for the check in security? As expected, they thoroughly dug through my bag. However, I anticipated this, and only brought essentials, so that wasn’t a big deal. Also, they made me open my umbrella. I initially comlpained to the guy (who spoke English) “But it’s bad luck!” He laughed, and I opened it, splashing rain on him tool. LOL, serves him right. So not much of big deal, although I would advise people to pack their backpacks accordingly.

Once inside, there was really no difference in the process. Well, there was one. Check-in to the lanes was normal, as usual you store your bags in the bins when you get close to the front, and as usual you show your hands to the ticket taker to make sure you don’t have any contraband, or foreign substances. However, when it was your turn the guard next to the member had you show them your hands, and you had to keep them exposed until you shook the girls’ hand. Actually, that was always part of the procedure, it was just something they had become lax about enforcing. Anyway, I only had four tickets, for two members. One for each of them in Slots 1 and 2.

Akiyoshi Yuka (Lane 25): For both of the members I had tickets for, the first slot offered the chance to win some signboard, while the second slot you drew for the 1-shot video. I lost both chances for the signboards, but won both of the 1-shot videos. From what I saw and heard, the signboard was kinda lame this weekend, so it was no big loss. Although I was kind of annoyed since in both lanes the person before me had five tickets, and both won multiple signboards (first guy in Akiyoshi’s lane won 4, in Maichan’s lane the guy won 3) I was like “Jeez, give me one!” Akiyoshi immediately noticed my Wasamin shirt and started asking me about it. I guess she forgot that I have told her before that I am a Wasamin-oshi. Anyway, she acted kind of surprised. nd for the second slot, here is my 1-shot video…

This time I took my time picking which phrase I wanted the girls to say. I thought this one looked cute, and it had that multiple “chu! chu! chu!” thing at the end. Yes, that was written on the paper. I didn’t get the chance to talk about Sousenkyo with her, but that was probably for the best since she didn’t rank. But I did tell her that despite the fact that Wasamin is my Kami-oshi, that she is my 48-group oshi. She was like “Honto???” I think that is the first time I have actually told her that.

Fuchigami Mai (Lane 29): I didn’t have very far to go to get from Yuka-chan to Mai-chan, as their lanes were both tucked in the back-right corner of the venue. BTW, I forgot to mention that for the signboards they had switched to using the i-pads to decide who won. I guess the girls’ generosity the first weekend backed up the lines too much, so they decided to limit it by making it more random. At then end of the day the lines went much smoother, so I’m not complaining. Mai-chagave me her usual kami-reaction, and I told her that I watched the SSk on television, and congratulated her on her ranking. She then struggled to remember what her ranking even was. Frankly, I had forgotten too. But after a moment she remembered. And of course here is my 1-shot from Slot 2…

Nice photobomb by the guard at the end. Once again, I took my time in picking. And I knew this line would be a good one. Like Kaotan a couple of weeks ago, she asked if I wanted Japanese or English. I said Japanese was good. But like Kaotan, she threw some English in there anyway. I should also note that the guards told you when to start, and when to stop your video, which they didn’t do two weeks ago. fter the video, Maichan mentioned that she heard that I had a conversation in Japanese with some of her fans while in queue (a couple of her fans decided to strike up a convo with me) She was like “Really, it was in Japanese? That’s great!” So happy that I could impress Maichan. She’s so cute!

It was 10:45, and I was done.  I left the venue, but not before quickly signing a graduation card for Tanamin.  There were a bunch of indie idol shows I was thinking of seeing in the afternoon/early evening, but I was really tired, so I decided to go home. Perhaps if I got some rest I would be up for a show later. But instead I took a long nap. Probably for the best anyway. The next AKB handshake events will be for the 49th single next month. I am looking forward to finally having a handshake with Zunchan. I have a few other new members on my itinerary too, including Cuca from STU, so I am looking forward to that. Oh, and thank heavens SKE and HKT have new singles coming out, so I can focus on my favorite members from those groups.

CK in Tokyo

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AKB48, HKT48, New Release, SKE48 AKB48-Group Shoot Sign Individual Handshake Event at Pacifico Yokohama (2017/06/10)

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This weekend marked the first Kanto dates of AKB48’s 47th single. Interesting that they are all occurring AFTER the release of the 48th single, but whatever. The 48-groups over-stuffed handshake event schedule causes things to get backed up once in a while. Of the five events planned for the general Tokyo area, I bought CDs/tickets to two of them. Most of my tickets were for yesterday’s event, and then I have a much smaller (four tickets) schedule for one of the events coming up in two weeks. I try to limit myself so I don’t over-buy, and one day on a weekend is plenty of idol-time, as far as I’m concerned. Also, I always have to be conscious of the possibility of Wasamin scheduling something for the same weekend. However, this weekend she is in Osaka. So no worries.

Yesterday I had fifteen tickets for essentially six members. Two of my tickets were for special stages, so I would see a couple of additional members there. The handshake events for this release also features special bonus prizes you could win, from signboards, to 2-shot selfies, 1-shot videos, etc. This are fun additional bonuses to win, however in some cases (the signboards in particular) they can make the queues go painfully slow. I ran into that on more than one occasion. Anyway, I got to the venue shortly before the beginning of Slot 2 and immediately went to get my tickets stamped. It was the longest queue at the information booth I had ever personally experienced. It didn’t take too long, around 15 minutes, but the delay slightly screwed up my Slot 2 schedule. Let’s get to the experiences, shall we…

Slot 2

Fuchigami Mai (Lane 1) After getting my tickets stamped, I immediately queued up for Maichan, whose lane was near the info booth. It was a medium to long size queue, however since it was a signboard lane it was going very slowly. This was an issue since I had THREE Akiyoshi tickets for the same slot. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have gone to see Yuka-chan first. But oh well. After two turns, the lane went slightly faster, but there was less than 20 minutes left in the slot. I finally got to Maichan…

For the signboard, you had to pick which hand the heart-shaped ‘guitar pick'(?) was in. Of course many of the girls “help” you win. I was watching Mikurin in the next lane, and she would shake the hand that the pick was in. For Maichan, she “accidentally” showed me the pick for a brief second before she clasped her hand. Needless to say, I won. Maichan gave me a special bonus by writing on both sides of the signboard, which was cool.  I congratulated her on her preliminary SSK ranking, but then admitted I really hate the Sousenkyo, and gave her my reasons.  She then asked if I was going to Okinawa, I said no.  She actually nodded like she wasn’t surprised to hear this, as I am surely not the only one who feels that way.  Finally I thanked her, and was on my way. Slot 2 was almost over…

Akiyoshi Yuka x3 (Lane 16) I didn’t have too far to go to get to Yukachan’s lane. The line was fairly short, so I figured I could ‘loop’ the line once, and use my last two tickets together. However, that didn’t work out as planned because this was also a painful slow line due to the signboards. There was less that five minutes before the Slot closed, and I was sixth in line, so I went back to the check-in table and changed to use all three of my tickets at one time. It was a smart move since the person originally in front of me was just finishing when they closed the gate, so I wouldn’t have been able to loop. On the other hand, I probably shouldn’t have bothered, and kept those as ‘open tickets’ since the girls took as long as they wanted to sign the boards, regardless of how many tickets you were using.

I finally got to Yuka-chan, and we were so busy talking we forgot to play the game. She just began signing a signboard for me. Not technically, I could have (and probably would have) won more than one, but I didn’t care. As I have always maintained, the bonus prizes are fun, but they are totally secondary to me. I have just as much fun talking to the members I support. While Yuka-chan was signing, I mentioned that I saw the recent HKT stage where she bragged about having Kaigai fans. She smiled, and kinda winked at me. Not that I’m her only foreign fan, in fact she recently made a G+ post about her fans from Thailand. But I know that I am among that Kaigai stable she is proud of.

Anyway, two lane visits, and two signboards. Not bad. I hoped my luck would continue the rest of the day. And I also hoped that I wouldn’t run into any more time problems. However, that was wishful thinking…

Slot 3

Tani Marika – part one (Lane 81) I had to go to the other side of the event hall to gt to Tani’s lane. BTW, AKB had rented out the entire of Pacifico for this event, so the event hall was huge! I got to Marika’s lane early and queued up. I considered using both of my tickets at once, but her line was short, so this wouldn’t take forever. Boy was I wrong…

By the time Marika showed up, the queue got considerably longer. I was fine for my first ticket, but I wondered how long it would be for my second, since Tani is just like Kaotan, and ignores the time people. Plus, this was another signboard. Anyway, I got to Marika, and I was ready to tell her how sexy she looked, when she asked me, “Do I look beautiful today?” I responded that she looked really sexy. Unsatisfied, she asked if that meant that she didn’t look beautiful. Haha, Tani always looking for reassurance. I told her I really liked her denim jacket. She did a big Tani-styled signature on my signboard, complete with a little Unko-character. When I left the queue, the line had gotten really big. I originally planned on taking a break after the next ticket, but if I waited I wouldn’t have time. So I decided to take a break now and come back for the second ticket a little later…

Tani Marika – part two (Lane 81 Lane 79) I eventually came back to the lane 10 minutes before the gates were due to close, and 40 minutes before the end of Slot three. The line was still pretty big. In fact, there was even a short queue to even check in. Usually that only occurs for the top Senbatsu members. I wasn’t too worried, however since even if I had to wait a little bit into Slot 4, I would still have plenty of time to do my three slot 4 tickets. That nonchalance turned to worry as time ticked away, and the queue was moving at a snail’s pace. One of the three tickets I had for Slot 4 was a Special Stage, so I needed to get my other two Yuka-chan tickets done within the first 45 minutes of the slot, otherwise I could miss the special stage. At the beginning of Slot 4, Marika’s line was still long, so they moved all of us to a different lane to complete the slot. The problem was that Marika was letting everyone win the signboards, even if you have multiple tickets. So if a fan came up with like 10 tickets, she would do like eight signboards for them, and it would take forever. So there were people in there for like 5 minutes at a time. Ugghhhh…

After 90 minutes in queue, I finally got my turn. I decided to make it up to Tani by making a big deal of how beautiful she looked. However, she wasn’t buying it one bit. She gave me the stink eye like “Meh, too late” Marika noticed I had on a bunch of HKT gear, including an HKT concert shirt. So she commented that I am an HKT fan. “But I like SKE too!” “Who is your favorite SKE48 member? “Tani Marika! And also Kaotan. Tani and Kaotan are my 2-Top” I told her that I recently won an SKE Theater show, but it was for Team KII, and that I would love to see Team E. She said that she wanted me to see her perform. Anyway, I got another cool Tani signboard, and I was off to try to use the rest of my Slot 4 tickets.

Slot 4

Akiyoshi Yuka x2 (Lane 16) I was already late to the pre-queue of the Special Stage, but I had a few minutes. I decided that if Yuka-chan’s queue was short, I would loop the line. Otherwise I would have to use both tickets at the same time again. Lo and behold, her line was very short. So I checked in with one ticket. It also turned out that her lane was “automatic win” for the 1-shot video. Hmmm, that’s not good. It means she sold very few tickets for this slot. I quickly chose one of the pre-selected sayings for Yuka-chan to do, and made it up to her within a minute or so. I quickly asked her if #7 was good, and she said it was. Here’s the video…

Cute! While I did the handshake I quickly asked her which of the phrases she recommended, but she said she did n’t really know. Oh well, I would take a wild guess on the next one since I was running out of time. I ran back to the entrance and re-checked in. With the form I quickly checked off a random phrase, and re-queued. While I was waiting, I hear my name being yelled. “Kurisu! Kurisu!!!’ I turn and look around, it is Sakaguchi Riko! Haha, Rikopi is pushing hard for me to be her fan, LOL. I quickly told her that I would see her at her Special Stage later on, and she said “Okay, see you there!” Her English is pretty good, too. I made it to the front of the queue, and got ready to shoot my video…

Oops, my birthday isn’t for another six months. Hahahaha, I guess I will save that one and play it back in December. I thanked Yuka-chan, and told her I would see her (and Rikopi) at her special stage later on. I hustled over to the special stages, there was less than 10 minutes before it started. I was still okay…

 

Yabuki Nako, Tanaka Miku, Fuchigami Mai (Special Stage C12) As I got to the C-stage check-in, they were just starting to let people into the room. I quickly checked in, and got my ticket. It was #225. Not good, but at this point it didn’t really matter since they had already let most of the first 100 people in. Eventually my number was called, but I didn’t hear it since the neighboring stage was really loud. But eventually I realized that they were past my number, so I went in and positioned myself in the standing area, around three people back. I tried to find a spot where I would have a semi-unobstructed view. Anyway, I took a couple of short videos during the event.

Nako/Miku Singing…

The last pose they did…

They were doing a bit where they would pose based on a scenario, like “Your best gravure pose, or “Sasshi pose” It was cute. I was there to see Maichan, but Nako/Miku were definitely the ‘stars’ of the stage. However, there were a lot of Maichan fans in the room, so she got good support too. After this I had a bit of time, since I only had one ticket for Slot 5, and my Yuka-chan special stage was just before the beginning of Slot 6, so I took a lunch break at the food trucks outside.

Here was my lunch, a Kimchi-Steak Bowl. If was actually really good. A bit over-priced for the size, but whatever. I would definitely eat there again. I also did a couple other things during this break. I went to the goods line to get the SSK pins they were selling. Unfortunately they were already sold out of the Akiyoshi pin, but I decided to grab a Kaotan pin, especially since I would be seeing her later on.

I also signed a Zunchan birthday card, and her fans gave me a few little tokens of appreciation. Yamane Suzuha is my new favorite AKB-girl, but unfortunately I do not have any tickets for her until the next single events. I would have happily traded in one of my tickets yesterday for her, but she did not have a star (*) on her lane, so same-day nomination was not available. Oh well…

Slot 5

Fuchigami Mai (Lane 1) Back to Maichan, who I just saw at the special stage. This was also a 1-shot Video lane, but I didn’t win. It was my first loss of the day :( Oh well, when I got up to Maichan she immediately commented that she saw me at the Special Stage, and asked if I got any good pictures. I got lots of them, but unfortunately on many of my photos Maichan was turning profile to talk to Nako/Miku. Then Maichan admitted that she had forgotten my name. Interesting, since she had signed it a few hours ago. But that’s okay, I told her my name again, and was off. She is one of the few I have tickets for at the June 25th event.

Akiyoshi Yuka, Sakaguchi Riko, Tomiyoshi Asuka (Special Stage C16) Unlike the morning, all of a sudden I had loads of time to kill before I could use my next ticket on this stage. I took a walk around the venue to see who had the longest queues. They also had all of the SSK posters on the far wall, with all of the member ‘promises’ should they achieve their ranking goals. Eventually it was time, and I queued to get my entry ticket, #76. Not terrible, and many of the numbers in front of me weren’t selected at all, so I ended up getting in within the first 30 people. I got a seat in the second row, on the left side, and was ready to go. Luckily, Yuka-chan was positioned on that side too, so I chose my spot perfectly. Like the first special stage, I shot a couple of short videos, starting with the intro…

This video includes the performance of Kimi/Suki

Q&A

Essentially they were answering questions from the audience, and at the end they all sang Kimi/Suki, which was fun. Rikopi has a very nice singing voice. Asuka, on the other hand, was a bit shy and would only sing the chorus. After this I had two hours until my evening tickets, so I left Pacifico and went to Queen’s Square mall for a dinner break.

 

Slot 7

Tanabe Miku (Lane 40) This is the final weekend Tanamin will be doing handshakes, so I was glad I had a ticket for her. I queued up early, since the was a possibility of her line being unusually long. This was a signboard lane, and for the first time, I lost for the signboard. With Tanamin, there were no hints, just a 50/50 shot. Anyway, I congratulated her, and said I remembered the first time I saw her live almost 10 years ago. Tanamin said not to worry, and that we will surely be seeing each other at Wasamin concerts. Hahaha, does that mean that Tanamin is planning on joining the Wasamin fan club? Quite a few of Tanamin’s fans also like Wasamin, so her comment got a bit of a chuckle from the people behind me.

Matsumura Kaori (Lane 80) Kaotan’s lane was not too long. I checked in, and immediately won the 1-shot video. Cool, my luck had returned! I was watching the people in front of me, and Kaotan was ignoring the phrases and giving everyone a personalized video. Cool! However, I noticed the girl in front of me didn’t press record for her video. I tried to point it out, but the girl ignored me. Then Kaotan asked her if the video was okay, and she said yes. She then looked at me, looked at the girl, and asked “Are you sure?” She confirmed it, although I could see that her video was only one second, and that one second was at the end after I told her she wasn’t recording. Oh well. Eventually it was my turn, and I asked her to give me a special Kaotan greeting. She asked me if it was okay if it was in Japanese. I said that would be fine. So here we go…..

Bwahahahaa! So she went for the English anyway. According to Kaotan, I am a “nice boy, a beautiful boy” Oh, and after she started laughing I stopped recording, but then she kept going. Oops, I interrupted her, and told her I stopped recording already. She was like “Chris!!!” :fp: For the handshake, I told her I had a lot of fun at the Team KII show back in April. She was like “Oh, that’s right, you were at a show!” She thanked me continuously as I made my way out the exit, I would be turning around to see her in just a little while anyway…

Slot 8

Matsumura Kaori (Lane 80) I normally don’t stay for Slot 8, but since Kaotan and Bibian were both late slots only, I decided to stick it out. I also was interested in winning the 2-shot selfie they were both offering. I queued up early for Kaotan, and was fourth in line. Upon check in, the first three people ALL won the 2-shot. Damn, I knew what was coming. I pressed the button…Not A Winner! Oh well, I won in the previous slot. We queued up and waited for Kaotan, who I knew would be late since her previous slot went almost to 8pm. In the meantime…

I forgot to mention earlier, that Kaotan and Tani’s lanes were right next to the ‘handicapped lane’. It was the first time I got a really good look at how they run things in those lanes. In fact, a couple of my Wasa-fan friends use those lanes at AKB events. It’s neat how they set up an itinerary for the girls to come over and see these fans. There is also quite a bit of camaraderie among the fans that use those lanes too. Oh, and the main guard running the SKE handicapped lane was so cute! And she was great, she had wonderful demeanor, and of course she knew sign language, which I’m sure is a prerequisite since many of the fans that use those lanes are hearing impaired. I think the hardest part of the job is trying to arrange the popular members, who have very big queues. Not surprisingly, many of these fans also have tickets for girls like Jurina, Sasshi, and Sayanee. So it is quite the challenge. I saw Jurina over there a couple of times, as well as Masanya, Ryoha, Kanon, Ego, and Dasu. Anyway, back to Kaotan…

Eventually she came out. The funny thing was that none of the fans seemed to know how to take a selfie. They didn’t now how to reverse their camera, or how to position it. Kaotan would have to show em how to do it. Anyway, it was my turn, and Kaotan was very apologetic that I didn’t win. But I told her that I got my extension, and I would be living in Japan quite a bit longer. She got very excited, and asked me if I would continue to live in Itabashi. Wow, she still remembers exactly where I live, LOL. I told her I would be seeing her in a couple of weeks, and was off to use my final ticket…

Murakawa Bibian (Lane 13) I went all the way across, back to the other side of the hall. Bibian’s lane was relatively short, and BOOM, I won the 2-shot. It was only a couple of minutes until I made it to the front of the queue. But like the fans in Kaotan’s lane, I am also a bit of a novice when it comes to taking selfies. I positioned the camera as best I could, and kept asking Bibian if it looked okay, then I finally took the shot. Ladies and gentlemen, behold the WORST 2-shot selfie in history…

LOLZ. I love my famous “trying to balance the camera and hit the button” look, coupled with Bibian’s “photobombing” from the bottom right. On the other hand, it is moments like these that make the events even more memorable. So it’s all good. Since I won the 2-shot, I barely had time to say hello, cool poster, and thank you to Bibian before I was pushed out. And that was it, I was done for the day.

As much as I say that I don’t really care about the special prizes they now offer, they do add a bit of excitement to the events, even if in some cases they can cause lanes to get backed up. At the end of the day I didn’t have to eat any tickets. Makes me wish I had a few more tickets for two weeks from now. But what I am really looking forward to is the new SKE release, since I prefer the SKE and HKT exclusive events anyway.

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, Concerts Another Theater Win! AKB48 16th Gen Live at the AKB48 Theater! (2017/06/02)

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I’m still not used to this, since it had been so long.  But there it was, in my inbox.  “Congratulations, you have been elected!”  The even stranger thing was that it was a win via my Twin Pillars fan club membership, which I had NEVER won a theater show with ever before, and I have had a fan club membership for pretty much as long as they have existed.  But it was set.  No cancel machi this time, and no traveling to Nagoya.  I was seeing a show in Akihabara, and it was a 16th gen Kenkyuusei show, which was perfect since my current favorite AKB48 member is 16th Gen KKS Yamane Suzuha.  This would be my chance to see her performing up close, and perhaps find a few more promising newbies.

By the way, this would be my 33rd theater win, counting all theater shows from all groups.  It would also be my fourth Kenkyuusei show win.  In fact the last show I won at the Donki was a Kenkyuusei show, featuring the 14th and 15th gen.  The last few times at the theaters I have had pretty good luck drawing good seats.  I hoped my good fortune would continue.

I arrived at the theater around 20 minutes before the check-in deadline, after having a few cocktails at The Hub.  I wanted a higher entry number, since historically I have arrived early and gotten low numbers at the theater.  It wasn’t very crowded, and there wasn’t even a guard at the bottom of the escalators.  Once I got upstairs i noticed that the SKE Sousenkyo posters were all around the lobby, so I snapped a couple of quick photos of Tani, Mizuki, and Kaotan’s.  I paid for my ticket, and drew #96.  After I walked through the hall I noticed a bunch of Wasamin fans hanging out  They all seemed to be surprised that I won the show.  They were like “You like 16th Gen?  Who is your 16th gen oshi???”  When I told them Zunchan they pretty much unanimously said “Zunchan? Kawaii!!”  Yes, I know.  Anyway, I grabbed a plastic bag to place my stuff into for the metal detector, and waited for the lottery draw.

After the VIP, Enpou and Girls went in, it was time for the entrance lottery.  However, it seemed that the cancel machi people were the lucky ones on this night, and all the really high numbers were drawing in first.  So I wouldn’t be in the first couple of rows.  Oh well, I still felt good about my chances.  As more groups were drawing in, I began wondering how far in the back I would be, until finally “91-100” got called in.  We were 9th. (out of 24)  Okay, I probably still have a chance of finding a seat!

After going through the metal detector without incident, I quickly scanned the room to see what my prospects were.  I had three choices.  I could take a seat in the last couple of rows and see most of the stage, I could stand in the back and see most of the stage, but that would be far back, or I could grab a third row seat on the side, with a partially obstructed view due to the pillar.  I chose the 3rd row seat, despite the pillar, which blocked the entire left side of the stage.  On the other hand, I would be up close and personal with any girl on the right side of the stage, not to mention that stage wing that the girls occasionally dance on to.  I was almost next to it.  It was finally time for the show to start.

The 16th gen KKS stage is pretty much a Team A “Greatest Hits” stage, with various songs from all of the Team A stages.  But that didn’t really matter to me too much.  I really wanted to watch these girls perform.  Who would try to fish me?  Who would impress me?  Would Zunchan be as awesome as I thought she was the first time I saw her?  I will spare you the details of the main show, and stick mainly with my impressions of some of the members.

The member I was there to see…

Yamane Suzuha: She pretty much exceeded all of my expectations, and then some.  Although I was slightly disappointed that she didn’t spend as much time on the right side of the stage as I remembered. (Which BTW is why I chose to sit over there)  However, she is one of the better members when it comes to MCs.  She also did a flawless job singing the lead on “Koike” and doing the spoken parts.  She expressed herself very well.  My biggest surprise is when they did the mid-show costume change, and they came out in tartan skirts, with an untucked dress shirt and loose necktie.  Damn, Zunchan is not a skinny girl by any means.  Don’t get me wrong, I think she looked great.  But she does not have that traditional idol “skinny as a rail” look.  I was in awe of her hips and her waist.

I actually spent the entire show trying to get her attention whenever I had the chance.  And I finally got a sort of acknowledgement during the second half, where I seemed to catch her eye and she looked right at me for at least the next 5-10 seconds.  But the best was at the end, during “high wave”.  Zunchan was at the very end, and of all the members she gave me the biggest “kami-reaction” when she thanked me (in English) and I made a heart symbol for her.

The members that stood out to me (or just spent a lot of time on the right side)

Sato Minami: This “super-loli” is one that from the start of 16th gen I thought would be really popular.  I’m not sure if that has taken hold yet, but it was fun watching her try to perform with intensity.  She reminds me a lot of Yokoyama Yui from Team 8.  She isn’t the type I usually latch on to, she is too “baby-ish”  But she seemed to be in front of me quite often.

Yamauchi Mizuki: If I could pick a girl aside from Zunchan who I think has that “star potential” it would be Mizuki.  She looks really polished while performing, expresses herself nicely, and has a very pretty smile.  While I watched the stage I could tell many members needed a lot of work, but not Mizuki.  I think she is ready to be promoted to a regular team.

Homma Mai: There were two short-haired members who spent a lot of time in front of me (Umemoto Izumi being the other one) but Mai stood out as having the more commanding presence.  However, I didn’t notice her smiling that much.  It was like she was concentrating very hard on the performance.  On the other hand…

Yasuda Kana: always had a big, goofy grin on her face.  And she was one of the few members all night who seemed like they were making an effort to appeal to me in the audience.

Finally there was Kurosu Haruka, who spent a lot of time in front of me, and Nagatomo Ayami, who looks like AKB’s version of Tashima Meru.  I want to say I liked Asai Nanami too, but I can’t remember specifically why.  The rest either didn’t spend much time near me, or didn’t make much of an impression on me.  That includes Mutou Orin, who I didn’t really see until the end.  She’s not really my type of idol anyway.

I decided to push really hard for the encore, since I had a couple drinks in me, and I was in a slightly rambunctious mood.  The girls came out and performed River, and Sakura no Hanabiratachi, before finishing with the new single.  The members were wearing sashes with their names on them, and I made a mental note of every member who stood out for me so I could talk about it on this post.  I really lucked out with the high wave, as for some reason they made our row wait until almost the very end, and we were relatively close to the stage.  So I got to watch the members react to the fans for a long time.  Finally it was our turn.  The girls pretty much played it straight with me, although a few may have raised their eyebrows at the foreigner in the line.  Of course that all changed with the big reaction from Zunchan at the very end, which pretty much confirmed that I picked the “right girl” to root for from the get go.

And that was it, I was out the door.  I got my backpack out of my locker, and I was out of the Donki to meet a couple of friends for a nightcap.  At the end of the day, I am really happy I am occasionally winning shows again.  Hopefully that continues.  I have been a fan of this group since 2007, and it was the theater shows that got me hooked.  Without the theater shows, the group is just less interesting to me.  Maybe that isn’t so important anymore to the powers that be since the group has such a huge fanbase.  But to me, it is vastly important.  More than big concerts, more than 2-shot events.  It is the theater that originally set this group apart.

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, New Release Itano Tomomi 9th Single “ii ne!” Release Event at Sunshine City, Ikebukuro (2017/05/19)

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Itano Tomomi 9th Single “ii ne!” Release Event at Sunshine City, Ikebukuro (2017/05/19)

I had never considered going to a Tomochin release event before. I actually do enjoy some of her solo work, but I don’t consider myself a big fan. When I heard the preview of her 9th single, I really liked it. It is somewhat of a departure from the style that she is most known for, and the hook is really catchy. So I decided that I would definitely pick up a copy when it came out. And if I had an opportunity, I would pick it up at one of her release events, which I know she has done in the past.

I checked her website, and it only listed a preorder event which occurred a week earlier. However, when I checked again last week it listed three events over this weekend, the first of which taking place in Tokyo on Friday night (Osaka on Saturday, Nagoya on Sunday) Unfortunately, Wasamin also had a concert DVD release event on Friday night. What would I do? Would I skip my oshimen’s release event? I mean she does them all the time. Then I noticed that they were 90 minutes apart. Perhaps I could make both events, despite that fact that they were in completely different areas of Tokyo. I remained undecided about whether or not to go. However, when I was in Shibuya on Wednesday to see Wasamin I kept seeing the truck with Tomochin promoting Kireimo with the weird theme song. It was haunting me, beckoning me to go see Tomochin. Heck, I had never been to a Tomochin event in Japan before, so I decided to give it a shot.

I arrived at Sunshine City a little more than an hour before the event. They had been selling the CD and giving out priority seating tickets since the morning, so I doubted that I would get a good spot. I purchased one copy of Type-A (with the DVD) and was given an entry ticket. It was #46. That’s a pretty good number! I have been to Wasamin events here before, and numbers that low are usually long gone by the late afternoon. Being 46th in the priority area would give me a closeup view.

 

A half hour before the event we went to lineup, and were eventually led back over to the fountain stage. It was standing room only, and I positioned myself behind two smaller fans who were against the rail, on the left side. A 100-second preview was playing on the giant screen, over and over and over again. Ultimately I watched that preview over 30 times while waiting for this event to begin. I figured I could watch this event for 30-45 minutes, and still make to the Wasamin event. But right before the event started I noticed my MAJOR tactical error. I had positioned myself so well to watch the event, I had made it almost impossible to leave early through the jam packed crowd that stood between me and the exit. I would be stuck here until the show ended. I also noticed another Wasamin fan in the audience. However, talking to him later he told me he wasn’t even going to try to see Wasamin that night. Anyway, the show eventually started with two comedians (I’m not sure I have ever seen them before) introducing her. I’m not sure what the first song was, but I believe it might have been…

Setlist
1. HIDE AND SEEK
(35 minute MC and talk)
2. Doushite (new single c/w)
(short MC)
3. ii, ne!

 

 

Like I said, I am pretty sure it was HIDE AND SEEK, but I could be wrong. But after that came the longest MC ever. Including a third comedian who came out. I think his name was either Iwasa-san (LOL) or Yuuwasa, something like that. Just another one of these slapsticky comedians with a “Moe Howard-style” haircut. Actually, a lot of the MC had to do with the promotion they are doing involving the Fan-PV they are making for this single. If you aren’t aware, you can send them a 5-second video of you giving something a “thumbs-up” (ii, ne!) and it might be selected for the music video. In fact, I saw one international submission (from a girl in Germany. Anyone here?) and another from Sato Sumire! However, the longer this MC went I knew the worse my chances were of seeing Wasamin.

Eventually she sang the single B-side, which is a slow tempo song. It was followed by a short MC where Tomochin taught us the call/response, and hand gestures for the new single, and finally the song performance. Also, people in the audience were sharing their own personal “ii, ne” experiences (my b/f asked me to get married, etc.) and getting autographed stickers. Finally the show ended, and I could have left right there. But I figured I was late for Wasamin already, might as well stay for the High Touch. I was able to get relatively close to the front of the queue, probably within the first 30-40 people. It was a High Touch, not a handshake, so I figured it would go quickly. And boy was I right.

People were coming out of the booth as quickly as they were going in. It was literally a non-stop pass-by and high-five. I did manage to get out a thumbs-up “ii, ne!” as her eyes widened with that “ooh, a foreigner” look when I stepped in. Afterwards I grabbed my bag and headed back to the train station and to Kinshicho. BTW, this was the third time I have met Tomochin, end every time it has been like this. Barely enough time to say hello. Not that I have very much to say to her. But now it was time to see if I could catch Wasamin.

Unfortunately when I got to Kinshicho I went out the wrong exit, and had to backtrack under the station, so I probably lost at least 5 minutes with that blunder. I eventually found the Tower Records and headed upstairs through the mall, just in time to hear in the distance the last few notes of Saba Kaido and the applause. Shit, I had even brought my Wasamin Happi-coat. :( I was still able to make it to the handshake/2-shot portion of the appearance, where I apologized to Wasamin for being late. She said she was happy that I was there, so we discussed her DVD, which I watched the previous day. But perhaps she would have been slightly less happy if she knew the reason why I was late. Hopefully she didn’t read my twitter that evening. :fear:

 

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, HKT48, SKE48 AKB48 8th Album Shamekai Event @ Makuhari Messe (2017/04/22)

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AKB48 8th Album Shamekai Event @ Makuhari Messe (2017/04/22)

This is the third of six Shamekai events for the 8th album. Tomorrow the fourth will take place at Makuhari. However, I don’t have any tickets for that. So this will be the final shamekai event I attend for this album unless they do a resale for the final event in June. Today I only had five tickets, plus one CD signing ticket. I had already pretty much planned how I would use both my signing ticket, and the open ticket I had (due to Mikitty’s graduation).

Also, I brought a friend to the event. (The same friend I took to the AKB national event last week) He didn’t have any shamekai tickets. However, I gave him one of my CD signing tickets so he could meet his oshimen for the first time. I knew he has been wanting to meet Tani for a long time, and I am glad I could help him finally do that. I didn’t need to get to the venue until slot 5. However, I arrived just before slot 4 so I could show him around the venue. It was fun to hear the thoughts of someone who was seeing an actual handshake event in person for the first time ever. Kind of reminded me how I felt so many years ago. But anyway, let’s get into my tickets…

Fuchigami Mai (Slot 5) I had just spoken to Maichan last week. However, I was excited to talk about those pictures the members were posting online last night. I thought Maichan’s was particularly sexy. However, that was almost overshadowed by the cute jeans she was wearing today…

When I first mentioned the photo, she asked which one I was talking about. When I described it she started laughing. I think she was well aware of why I liked it so much. In any case, I always like seeing her because she gives me such a wonderful kami reaction every time.


This is the photo I am talking about.

Sakaguchi Riko (Slot 5) This was my open ticket, and after Rikopi screamed my lane from a lane over back in March, I felt I owed it to her to pay her a visit. I had never done a shamekai with her before, so that was another bonus. Her line was pretty short, and I jumped in just as they opened the lanes for “day nomination” tickets. When I walked in I immediately noticed the little signs she had prepared. I pointed to them, and she immediately gave me the dog one. She asked which one she should hold. I just pointed to the one that first caught my eye…

The good news is that I have scored tickets for Rikopi for the next HKT event, and for the upcoming AKB single. We will see what kind of relationship I can form with her. I will need to keep up with her activities. In any case, I had a short break before Slot 6, but I wanted to queue up early since more than half of my tickets were for this slot. I didn’t want to get shut out.

I forgot to mention that I had another member in mind for both my open ticket, and the CD signing. It is a new member I have just started to really like, and I haven’t had a chance to meet yet. But when I saw 16th gen perform a couple of weeks ago, I was absolutely enamored with Yamane Suzuha. I love her personality, and she looks like a young Kawakami Rena. I did win Zunchan tickets for the 49th single, but that is three months away. Hopefully I will get a chance to meet her before that.

Matsumura Kaori ~CD Signing~ (Slot 6) Of the three tickets I had for this slot, Kaotan would definitely have the slowest queue. So I thought I would get it done first. The opened the lane up about 12 minutes before the start, and nobody went in. Heck, I’ll go. I don’t think I have ever been first in line before. That reminds me, some fans talk about being “last in line” for a slot, and that somehow means you are a special fan. However, the girls will tell you that’s a load of crap. Usually the people with the most tickets go last, only because then they won’t hold the line up. But it is no badge of honor. Like I said, I had never been firstt in line before, and the only time I had ever been last in line (for Nishino Miki), it was purely by accident. On the contrary, some girls say that they like the fans who are first in line because that shows that they were really excited to see them. I must admit, when Kaotan and Masanya came over to the booths, and both of them acknowledged me standing there, it felt kinda good. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. But I might try to be first in line a bit more often. Anyway, she apologized for being late, and immediately started on my CD…

Kaotan takes her time, so we got to talk for over a minute. I wanted to ask her about some of the solo events she does. I see her tweeting about them all the time, and I always think “dang, I want to go to those” So I asked her if there was a place other than Twitter that she posts about her events. She basically said to pay attention to her Twitter account. In any case, she did an excellent job signing the CD, eh?

Tani Marika (Slot 6) Since my friend got to meet Tani for the first time, I wanted to get her impressions. However, they were kinda hurrying people through her booth, despite the fact that she had a fairly short line, and it was still the beginning of the slot. So when I walked in, Tani said hello and immediately asked me what pose I wanted to do. She suggested the heart/peace combo…

Anyway, as I got up to leave I asked her what she thought of my friend, but I don’t think she was paying attention, so I repeated it, and she just thanked me. Then, as I was walking away she said. “Wait, come back! (He) is your friend????” YES! “Oooohh, Thank you!!!” Okay. I just wanted a little credit for bringing her a fan she had never met before. LOL

Akiyoshi Yuka (Slot 6) Gotta see my girl! When I was in line for Rikopi earlier, the queue was right next to Yuka-chan, and within her sight line. However, I don’t think she had noticed me. There was nobody in line, and the curtain was closed. So I entered the queue, aaannnnnnddddd I WON THE CHEKI! Great! If there was one girl I was hoping I would win the cheki bonus for, it was Akiyoshi. This also meant I would have some time to chat with her.

So while she was decorating the book and photo (the autograph was pre-signed, but she did the rest in front of me) I told her that I had purchased an Akiyoshi HKT baseball jersey (the jerseys they are taking pre-orders for in the official shop right now) She asked if I was going to live in Japan permanently, so that gave me the chance to explain what I was doing in Japan. I also told her I got a bunch of tickets for her at the next HKT event in two weeks. As I was leaving she gave me the cutest little grin, I could feel my knees get weak. And she did a great job with the cheki and book, don’tcha think?

But I forgot to talk to her about her starring role in the pre-HKT concert VTR at Saitama Arena, the one where she plays Tora-san. Damn! I guess I will have to talk to her about it in May. Anyway, I had one ticket left, and over 90 minutes before I could use it…

Matsumura Kaori (Slot 7) Per usual, Kaotan’s line was going really slow, especially when she would get the cheki winners. Also, at one point she left the booth for a few minutes. So as it was getting late they started to rush people, which was fine with me since I had already talked with her a whole bunch earlier. When I finally got in, she apologized that I didn’t win the cheki. But I told her it was okay since I had won a cheki with her already. I didn’t want to do a heart or peace, so we did the third most common pose…

She again apologized, and said she wanted me to win the cheki. I reminded her that I already have four autographed items from her. The business card, the old maid card, the cheki, and now the CD. So it was okay.

Afterwards I ran over to Yuka-chan’s CD signing booth so I could wave goodnight to her. But I got a triple bonus as she was hangin’ out with Rikopi and Tomiyoshi. So I got to say goodbye to all three of them. After that I took off, had dinner in Makuhari, and headed home. I am taking my friend to one last event before he heads home, a Wasamin event. Finally!

 

CK in Tokyo