I finally made it back to Tokyo after delaying my usual Spring trip. Part of my original itinerary was to go to the AKB48 “Sakura” handshake events, which were postponed after the Tsunami disaster in March. I was also going to hit MoMusu’s Spring Tour and if I could make the schedule work, the final Momoiro Clover concert at Nakano where Akari graduated…
But that all went out the window. Well, almost all. I was waiting for Togasaki to announce the reschedule dates of the Sakura Ki ni Narou handshake event. Most of my pre-purchased tickets were for the final date, which got pushed back to June 19th. So here I am.
The only problem was that there were no other events that I could see on the calendar for mid-June. No special AKB concerts or events, no other idol groups playing in Tokyo. This trip could turn out to be disastrous! But hopefully it will all turn out okay, they usually do. I am always surprised by what pops up at the last minute. And I knew my luck would change when AKB48 announced the 19 day concert series at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
So here is the first set of reports (not in chronological order) or my escapades in Tokyo, starting with the SDN48 show I won at the Donki, and an SKE48 handshake event at Yomiuriland. Fun Fun Fun!!!
SKE handshake event at Yomiuriland 6/12
This was rescheduled hs event at Yomiuriland for Banzai Venus. I got 5 tickets for 5 different pairs…
Sato Mieko (KII) / Furukawa Airi (KII)
Hiramatsu Kanako (S) / Hara Minami (E)
Yagami Kumi (S) / Yamada Erika (E)
Oya Masana (S) / Sato Siera (KII)
Ishida Anna (KII) / Hata Sawako (KII)
Other lanes I was interested in…
Matsui Rena (S) / Deguchi Aki (S) (sold out early)
Matsui Jurina (S) / Nakanishi Yuka (S) (sold out when we were getting near the front)
Tagayanagi Akane (KII) / Yamashita Yukari (E) (sold out shortly before we got to choose, dammit!)
I had never been to Yomiuriland before, and caught a wrong train which made me later than I wanted. that plus a certain someone’s insistence on going to the toilet (with a huge line) before we got our hs tix backed us up for 20-30 minutes, otherwise I wouldn’t have missed out on Churi. Might have even gotten Jurina. But that’s okay since I was happy with all the tix I DID get.
We got great seats (random) to the mini-live. 10th row, just off of center. They performed the tracks from the single (plus 1,2,3,4 Yoroshiku) and gave away a bunch of autographed stuff. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lucky ticket. Two funny things happened. First, there was a big bug on the stage which scared some of the girls during rehearsal. Then Airi picked it up and chased a few girls around with it before safely escorting it offstage. Second, one lucky fan won a 3-shot with one of the girls onstage and the Crown Records Guy. The rest of the girls were behind them (except for the Senbatsu, who were preparing for the final song) After looking at the girls on stage he asked if they would bring Jurina out for it, everybody laughed. He ended up picking Haruka, who was emceeing the live.
HS lines went very quick, so the lines were never too long, except for Rena’s which was a madhouse. All of these were first time meetings for me (except for Anna, who I talked to at the Beginner hs event last fall), so it was more of an introduction. Not like AKB/SDN where I have had handshakes with many of the girls before, so they know me. The best experiences….
Kanako! What a greeting! She is awesome!!! Amazing luck since she was my “replacement” ticket when Churi sold out. Grabbed both my hands! Tried to talk to me in English. I told her the S3 show was great. I think she remembered me from the TDCH show since I was in 1st row.
Sawako! Very cute, even with the funky teeth :silly: I congratulated her on ranking in UG. The also grabbed both my hands and asked me to come to SKE theater. She was pulling me back when the staff was pushing me away.
Anna! I think she might have remembered me from our previous meeting. I told her how awesome and cute she is, and that I love Team KII
Airi! I lied to her and told her we have the same birthday (actually we are a day apart). That got her excited. “Hontoni!?!”
Erika! I told her I hoped her back gets better. She thanked me. very nice girl.
The rest were all great! I told Masanya she was my oshi (well, she IS my SKE oshi) I have two hs tix for her next week in Chiba, along with a Churi hs ticket. That is why I wasn’t too bummed I couldn’t see her.
It was a great event! National handshakes are a lot of fun! I didn’t realize the lines would be so quick or I would have tried to get more tix. I had to leave at a certain time because I had won the SDN show too…
SDN48 Mixed Team Show 6/12
By the way, this was my 25th theater show (and my 10th for SDN), so I am a quarter of the way to MVP. Should hit it around 2025 at this rate
I guess they started mixing the teams shortly after my last trip. This was about half/half 1st and 2nd gen. I was bummed that Meetan wouldn’t be there, but at least my “secret waifu” Chaki would be performing. So without my precious Tan in the show I could put all of my focus on Chisaki.
I don’t think there is any real need to go into show detail, you have all heard it before. But I will note some special observations…
First of all, the new ticket system is interesting. It is all computerized now. No, they don’t have the “second mini-ticket” thing anymore. Instead they walk around the queue and “scan” your ticket with a hand-held. Then they begin paging the people who didn’t get scanned. They re-scan it again as you walk into the theater.
By the way, I have never noted this before. But why do 90% of the winners wait until 5 minutes before the deadline to queue for their ticket? I have always found this odd. It was a Sunday, so it wasn’t like anyone was at work that day.
I like the new configuration of the theater, especially since I usually win via regular enpou. The enpou section is about 4-5 feet closer to the stage. Also, they upgraded the seats (padded back) AND thicker cushions!!!!!!! So much more comfortable now. It is about time!
Just to note, they did the original version of Futsuu no Anata, and not the “clean” version they are going to be performing for the U-18 shows. Also, the choreography for Vampire Keikaku is much different from before since they don’t rise/drop the stage anymore.
Mana Ito speaks fluent English?????? She did the opening welcome/rules before the show, and ended it with “Here is my sexy voice”, and barely had an accent. When she does Chen’s lines in Touhiko she barely has an accent as well. Not to mention, she spoke to me in English during HT.
***Cool Moment, there was a “guest” in the audience who was heckling Nachu during her MC, and also LED THE ENCORE. Guess Who???
Hi-touch was great of course. So happy I could surprise Chaki. She was so happy when she saw me, as well as Nachu who always gives me a big greeting. But Chaki…yeah, I always have a great experience with her! Kohara acted shocked to see me, which I thought was odd since I have had HT with her before. Maybe she was shocked that I am a multiple visitor. I do get a lot of that during HT. I am starting to think that the shock is they are surprised they see me as often as they do.
But Akiko, WOW! Her reaction to me was the same as last time, just dreamy! I know she has a thing for “the twins” when she sees them too. Maybe she likes the gaijin? Anyhow, that reaction just dares me to fall in love with her. She is so adorable!
I have a week left on this trip, and I have won a Team B show for Tuesday. The bummer is that Wasamin isn’t performing in any of the A shows, but at least I have handshake tix for her at Chiba on Sunday. Meetan is ONLY performing this Thursday, which happens to be the first U-18 SDN show. That is going to be a tough ticket to win! So I am worried that I might not get to see her this trip Especially since some of the Singapore fans told her I was in Japan. Oh well, if I don’t get to see her I will drop off a fan letter.
More to come…
CK in Tokyo