HKT48 Bagutte Ijan National Handshake Event at Makuhari Messe (2017/05/28)
I am actually “backed up on writeups, as I have Wasamin’s DVD release week, a special Wasamin exclusive ‘Karaoke Party’, and a Chaki event to write about. However, this one is so fresh in my mind, and it was so much fun, I wanted to write it up tonight.
I had earmarked this event as another chance to spend time with the lovely Akiyoshi, and of course Maichan. So I planned on searching for tickets early. I was also informed that my friend Derek was coming back to town, and he wanted to go to the event too. So I had to find tickets for both of us. So about 3-4 weeks ago I scoured the reseller shops and was able to find 9 inexpensive tickets. Then this past Friday Derek and I were in Akiba, and we found 12 more at Bulb, behind the Donki. So we were set, 10 tickets apiece. We would give the extra ticket to a friend who only had a few. However…
When the schedule came out the other day, I immediately noticed that Akiyoshi would not be attending. Oh well, I guess I will spend a lot of time with Maichan. Except she was out too. Jeez, my “2-top” in HKT were out? Why the hell do I have 10 tickets??? As I checked out the lanes, I struggled to decide how would I use the tickets I had. Would I loop Bibian’s lane over and over? Perhaps I would just go to a bunch of different lanes. I began mapping out ich lanes I was most interested in seeing, and figured I would decide at the event. By the way, here are the lanes we had to choose from…
1) Sashihara Rino (H)
2) Kodama Haruka (H), Ueki Nao (KIV), Unjo Hirona (KKS)
3) Matsuoka Hana (TII), Takeda Tomoka (KKS), Miyazaki Sono (KKS)
4) Miyawaki Sakura (KIV)
5) Ui Mashiro (H), Tashima Meru (H), Kurihara Sae (TII)
6) Tanaka Miku (H), Imamura Maria (TII), Shimizu Rio (KKS)
7) Kojina Yui (H), Yamamoto Mao (H), Aramaki Misaki (TII)
8) Yabuki Nako (H), Tsutsui Riko (TII), Yamashita Emiri (TII)
9) Matsuoka Natsumi (H), Shimono Yuki (KIV), Fukagawa Maiko (KIV)
10) Tanaka Natsumi (H), Tomonaga Mio (KIV), Oda Ayaka (KKS)
11) Sakaguchi Riko (H), Moriyasu Madoka (KIV), Jitoe Nene (KKS)
12) Inoue Yuriya (H), Iwahana Shino (KIV), Tanaka Yuka (KIV)
13) Motomura Aoi (KIV), Murakawa Bibian (TII), Tsukiashi Amane (KKS)
14) Komada Hiroko (H), Tomiyoshi Asuka (KIV)
Members not participating:
Team H – Akiyoshi Yuka, Ueno Haruka, Yamada Marina,
Team KIV – Imada Mina, Kumazawa Serina, Fuchigami Mai, Murashige Anna
Team TII – Sakamoto Erena, Hokazono Hazuki, Yamauchi Yuna
Kenkyuusei – Sakai Moeka, Toyonaga Aki, Matsumoto Hinata
I knew I wanted to go to lanes 11, 13 and 14 for Bibian, Rikopi, and Asuka. Mio in lane 10 was a possibility. Then you had Nako and Miku in lanes 8 and 6. I had mentioned in my last HKT post that I was interested in meeting Nako. I also figured I would use my entry ticket on a ‘heavyweight’. Would it be Sasshi, or Sakura? Lanes 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 12 were pretty much out. Or so I thought…
The three of us got into the venue, and asked if they could renban our tickets. They said no, but we could all go to the “worst” section if we wanted. We all pulled different sections. Koba got A2 (front and center), I got B2 (middle center) and Derek got C2 (back center) We ended up trading our B2 and A2 tickets to various people for C2 tickets. However, that was before any of us knew that there was a rear stage. So for the random guy I traded my B2 ticket to, I felt kinda bad that I sort of screwed him over. But it really wasn’t on purpose. Anyway, we got in about 30 minutes before the mini-live started, so it wouldn’t be too long a wait.
The mini-live started with a skit based on the comedy variety show “Shoten” where the teams answer quizzes and win cushions to sit on (SKE did a variation of this on Ebisho once before) Natsumikan played the host, and Imamura was the one handing out the cushions. Then came the music. The setlist…
1) Bagutte Ijan
2) Melon Juice
(MC) “Waratte Iitomo”
3) Iiwake Maybe
4) Heavy Rotation
5) Flying Get
6) Gingham Check
7) Love Trip
8) HKT48 Family
I may be messing up the order of the songs, and the AKB part was a tribute to SSK. Personally I would have rather hear them stick to HKT selections, but whatever. The MC after Melon Juice included another game, this time hosted by Bibian. The object was for the teams to toss blow up ‘pool rings’ to one member who had to somehow catch and ‘wear’ them. Most of the teams struggled, but the last team used Imamura as the catcher, which everyone laughed at. Until she turned out to be a freakin’ champion, completely covering herself until the rings were even over her head, and then catching three more rings completely blind. Needless to say she was the MVP of this game. The show end shortly after 2:30, and the staff got the lanes ready pretty quick, definitely quicker than the last National event, when the lanes all opened up late. It was time to strategize. I wanted to get a long lane out of the way first, but which would it be? It also didn’t help that our section (C2) was the 2nd to last section allowed to enter the lanes. Finally we were called. Well, it’s now or never…
Sashihara Rino (Lane 1) – The line was already pretty long, but this was a National event, so it wouldn’t be a terribly long wait. However, at one point they reconfigured Sasshi’s lane to accommodate more people. I wasn’t sure what to say to Sasshi, but I figured I would ask her about her teeth. That plan went out the window, however, when I got into the lane and Sasshi noticed my t-shirt. She immediately pointed to it and said “Ebichu, all-right!!” as I was pushed out of the lane seconds later. I was confused though, I wasn’t wearing an Ebichu shirt. But when I looked down at my shirt I realized what she was getting at. I was wearing one of my Wasamin birthday shirts, which features a big shrimp and a heart. “Ebi…Chu!” Ahhhhh! Well, considering Sasshi is into Ebichu, I’m glad I didn’t correct her.
Sakaguchi Riko, Jitoe Nene, Moriyasu Madoka (Lane 11) – Since I got that out of the way, I would start doing the lanes that were high-priority for me. I chose this lane because a) it was shorter than Bibian’s line, and b) my friend Koba wanted to Renban. I eventually made it to the front. Rikopi immediately greeted me with “Kurisu, sashiburi!” I gave her a “whassup!”, mimicking our last exchange at the individual HS event. Nene immediately tried speaking English with me, which became a pattern. Pretty much every single 4th gen KKS tried to speak English to me. Finally I got to Madoka and said “Wingardium Leviosa” in reference to her SSK poster from a couple years back. Anyway, I was glad I had the good reaction from Rikopi
Lane 11, Part 2- I went back to this lane later in the afternoon. However, the girls had changed their order. Madoka was first, so I explained that her that I had her Harry Potter SSK poster framed in my house, which is partially true. I used to have it, but after I sold my house I took all of the posters down. Anyway, she was kinda shocked when I told her that. The guard kinda shoved me over to Rikopi, who acknowledged that I got shoved really hard. Finally more English from Nene, and I was out.
Tsukiashi Amane, Murakawa Bibian, Motomura Aoi (Lane 13) – All of my friends decided that they wanted to visit this lane, so we entered together. The queue was fairly big, but we noticed that the next lane over was completely empty. I decided that I would take advantage and go there next, since I planned on seeing Tomiyoshi anyway. We got to the front, and I gave my usual “good luck, do your best” shpiel to the KKS, since I really have nothing to say to any of them. Bibian was next, with her usual over the top Kami reaction. I told her that her MC was great. After an osashiburi to Aoi I was done. However, I looked behind me and neither of my friends entered the booth. It turned out they stopped the lane right after my turn to send the girls over to the handicapped lane. I would take advantage of their wait to quickly visit Tomiyoshi in Lane 14. I would be visiting this lane later on as well.
Tomiyoshi Asuka, Komada Hiroko (Lane 14) – There was no wait in this lane, and only a couple of people ahead of me in the queue. I greeted Tomiyoshi and asked if she was genki today, but then the fully expected push from the guard never came, so I sat there with my mouth open. Asuka was like “uhhhh” and sorta laughing, finally I got the merciful push to Komada who immediately asked me where I was from while Tomiyoshi watched our exchange since there was nobody behind me. It’s funny, I always struggle to talk to Asuka, while Komada was no problem. I think the issue is that Asuka always waits for me to engage her, while other girls will take charge of the conversation. Anyway, chalk up another awkward exchange with Tomiyoshi, which occurs around 50% of the time I see her.
In the meantime my friend Panda showed up at the venue, after spending the morning with SKE in Nagoya. I wanted to renban with him and visit his oshimen, Mikurin. But he informed me that he would only be doing matome with her. However, he said he was going to see Mio. Okay, she was on my possible ‘visit list’ I would enter the lane with him. And since he is also a big Mio fan, he could introduce me as his friend…
Tomonaga Mio, Oda Ayaka, Tanaka Natsumi (Lane 10) – It wasn’t a long line, eventually we made it to the booth where Panda began talking me up to Mio. She totally brightened up. When I came in after she had this huge smile on her face, and was totally genki. I told her that her haircut looked really nice, since the last time I saw her a couple weeks ago her hair was longer. I was eventually pushed to Oda, who gave me the ‘English’ treatment, then to Natsumikan, who immediately asked where I was from. I then told her that she was a great Shoten host. She enthusiastically thanked me as I left the lane. I have to thank Panda, because he totally upgraded my Mio experience.
Half my tickets were done, I knew I would be visiting Lanes 11 and 13 again, I had three more to decide on. The odd number lanes were on break, and the even numbers were going on break soon. I decided I would get into another even numbered lane before they went out…
Yamashita Emiri, Tsutsui Riko, Yabuki Nako (Lane 8) – I had noticed last week how genki Nako seemed with her fans, and that I would like to meet her. Well, here was my chance. And it was quite the experience, but not for the reasons I expected. Since I had never met Emiri before, I would give her the usual ‘nice to meet you’ greeting. But then Tsutsui saw me, and all hell broke loose. Grabbing on to me, she as just blurting out as much English as she could think of, holding on to me tightly. “Nice to meet you!” “Thank You!” “I Love You!” Eventually I got pushed over to Nako, but Tsutsun didn’t let me go, now leaning over Nako and just continuing to give me facetime, and every time I tried to speak to Nako, Tsutsun would just keep going. Finally I got pushed out, without hardly saying a word to Nako. But just as I was leaving, Nako asked me “Do you speak Japanese?” I responded affirmatively, and she just laughed. They spent all this time yelling at me in English for no reason. Anyway, points to Tsutsui for the tremendous fishing job. It is too bad she is graduating, I would have probably gotten a ticket for her after this exchange.
Tsukiashi Amane, Murakawa Bibian, Motomura Aoi (Lane 13, part 2) – The even number lanes went on break, so I decided this would be a good time to loop my top priority lanes, which were both Odd. After going to Lane 11, which I wrote about above, I went to see Bibian again. I passed Amane in a blur, but when I got to Bibian I wanted to tell her that my friend met her and was really impressed with her energy. She gave me an excited reaction, per usual. Bibian is pretty much always ‘shot out of a cannon’ I moved on to Aoi, who I have similar experiences with as Tomiyoshi, not sure what to say. So I merely told her I enjoyed the mini-live, especially the MCs.
I had two tickets left. There was one lane left on my ‘priority list’ that I hadn’t yet seen. So to have no regrets I would go there next, and then decide what to do with the final ticket. Perhaps see Sasshi again? Meet Sakura for the first time? Or even Meru??? What I didn’t know was that these last two lanes would be my highlight of the day. It was totally unexpected too because it involved members I originally had written off as not being too interested in seeing…
Shimizu Rio, Imamura Maria, Tanaka Miku (Lane 6) – So even if I wasn’t getting to see Mikurin with Panda, I still wanted to meet her, especially since I am the person who receives Panda’s huge orders from AKB and HKT with all the Mikurin tickets. I thought she might be interested in knowing the person behind the scenes of his huge amounts of tickets. All of the lines were much shorter now, even this line was quite small. As I went through the queue, I noticed that Lane 7 was empty, I also noticed that Aramaki Misaki was staring at me. Eventually she nudged Yamamoto Mao, who was next to her. They both waved to me, so I waved back. All of the sudden they brightened up. But they had nobody in their lanes, so I gave them the ‘sad puffy lip’ look. They are both beckoning me to come over. I thought about it a second. Well I DID have one ticket left, so I gave them a thumbs up and motioned that I would come over. They both started jumping up and down, along with Kojina Yui, who had gotten into the act. I love being fished from other lanes while in queue! Anyway…
I went through my usual KKS greeting, then moved over to Maria. I congratulated Maria on being the ‘game show champion!” This time I got a more authentic reaction than the last time I met her. That made me happy. I finally got to Mikurin, and told her I was friends with Panda. (Actually I used his real name) I then told her that “all of his tickets come to my house” and she immediately burst out laughing. It was awesome! Panda has become sorta notorious for the amount of Mikurin tickets he gets, so it wasn’t lost on her what kinda of job handling Panda’s tickets probably is. In fact, when she met Panda later, apparently she was excited to tell him the story. So now she knows the person behind the scenes of all those handshake tickets!
And since my last ticket had been decided….
Yamamoto Mao, Aramaki Misaki, Kojina Yui (Lane 7) – This promised to be an excellent handshake experience after our exchange a few minutes earlier. Like before, there was hardly anyone in the lane. All three of them pretty much were addressing me at the same time, thanking me for coming, complimenting me. “Kakkoi!” “Handsome!” “Jouzu Nihongo!” They were spreading it on quite thick, I felt like was at a hostess bar. But that’s okay. I told them all I will come and see them again. The funny thing was the last time I met Aramaki she wasn’t like this at all. However, my friend said that she has improved at handshakes lately. It was my first time meeting Yui and Mao. And Mao is one in particular I had thought of meeting for a while. So I am glad it was such a fun experience. It was definitely a meeting so memorable that it guaranteed future meeting will be just as fun.
Talk about ending on a high note, eh? Two lanes I almost ignored ended up being the most fun all day. In fact, the entire day was a lot of fun, and just about every lane was a great experience. Sometimes it is good that your “oshi” isn’t around. It frees you up to meet other members. While the cat’s away…
Anyway, that’s it for me and HKT events until they release another CD. Same with SKE for that matter. I would much rather go to their exclusive events than the 48-group events. Aki-P and friends need to get their asses in gear and give these sister groups more releases.
CK in Tokyo