When they announced the handshake dates for this single, I was slightly disappointed that they jammed two Tokyo events into one weekend, instead of two different weekends. But the decision of which date to attend was easy since I had already purchased HKT48 shamekai tickets for Sunday (not to mention Wasamin’s special cheki event tomorrow, but that’s another issue) So at least I wouldn’t have to worry about filling two days of handshake tickets, and doubling up on buying theater versions. I might’ve had a couple of drinks when I applied for these handshake tickets too. I don’t remember, but I ended up with an interesting set of tickets, and not nearly the usual lineup I go for. Oh sure, I got Kaotan and Tani, as well as a ticket for Yuzuki. But then I also grabbed a few tickets for members I have never purchased tickets for, or haven’t for a long time. So it promised to be an interesting day.
Getting to Seibu Dome is a bit of a ride. I live near Saitama, but not on the side where the stadium is. As a result, I need to go down to Central Tokyo to catch the Seibu Ikebukuro Line back up to the other side of Saitama. Not to mention the stadium is on this separate line that spokes off of the main Seibu train, so it takes four transfers. The nice thing is that the train drops you right at the stadium entrance. Anyway, I made it before Slot 2 started, grabbed a quick lunch, and then headed inside.
It was neat, we were on the field. The handshake booths were set up in the middle of the field, with nothing really behind them, so you got a pretty clear view of what goes on behind the scenes, unlike at Makuhari or Pacifico. I will talk about that as we go. I had a total of nine tickets for seven members…
Suda Akari (Lane 3) I took a chance on getting this ticket, since my experience is that Dasu’s line is always crazy. To my surprise, it wasn’t very long at all. When I bought the tickets, I isolated my Slot 2 and 3 tickets because I thought the lines would be really long. This meant I was going to have A LOT of downtime in-between tickets. Anyway, I spent my time in the queue watching Jurina and Obamina in nearby lanes. Kumazaki Haruka was in the next lane over, and in her downtime, I caught her eye. She gave me a big smile and wave. It was finally my turn. After the hisashiburi, I asked Dasu if she was cold, and then I complimented her cool leather jacket. Dasu was her usual genki self, so it was a good experience. In fact, I have never had a bad experience with Dasu, but I only see her once in a while.
Lanes are empty since I took the pic in-between slots.
I had around 90 minutes until I needed to use my next ticket, so I went back outside. They had opened up the stands, and all of the concessions on the third base side of the field, so it ended up being the perfect place to eat, drink, and relax in between handshakes. You also had an overhead view of the entire event, which was really fun to watch, especially with the games and stuff they were offering. I ended up going over there three separate times during the day.
Ego Yuna (Lane 12) This really puzzled me. Why the heck did I get an Ego ticket? Don’t get me wrong, I like her, but I can’t say I like her enough to want to get handshake tickets for her. The only thing I can think of is a) I did enjoy her performance in that SKE48/New World Order MV, which I think I was watching around the time I applied, and 2) this was the lunch slot, when most of the popular members go on break. So I think of all the members who were available in the slot, she was the only one I had any desire whatsoever to meet. I didn’t go in until the slot was almost over, and there were two people in front of me, so not much of a wait. She immediately grabbed my ticket holder, “Kaotan!” Yes, Kaotan. I basically told her that I enjoyed her performance when I won a Team KII show last year, and that she is a very good dancer. She smiled and thanked me. Overall, Egochan is not an overly demonstrative handshake. She smiles, and listens, and is generally very nice. But I don’t know that I will be making her part of my regular rotation.
Matsui Jurina (Lane 1) I finally pulled the trigger and bought Jurina ticket. I make it a point to meet her at pretty much every National Event I attend, but this was the first time I reserved a ticket for her. I went to queue up early, the plan being that I would get it done quickly, and then have a big break until the next slot. I was 4th in line, great! It was just after the Slot opened that management came over and announced that Jurina would be considerably late for the slot, and offered to let people “uncheck-in” if they wanted. This was my only ticket for the slot, so I had no choice but to ride it out…
I played with my phone for a while, and watched Kumazaki again. Kumazaki was great, she was engaging with all of us during her downtime. Smiling, waving, talking, she’s really cool. Also, and this was really neat. I saw the woman who makes all the PA announcements. You know, the one with that really generic, almost inhuman voice? She’s basically standing back there with a wireless microphone, making announcements as needed. She was standing by the Jurina lane since she needed to keep announcing updates on the Lane status. Oh, and she is really cute too. I am guessing she is probably in her 40’s, but she’s tiny, and really pretty. She had on tight jeans, and a white leather jacket. Now that I knew who she was, I was kinda watching for her throughout the day when I was up in the stands, LOL. Anyway, back to Jurina…
Yeah, 50 minutes later Diva Matsui made it out to the lane, and she had all sorts of handlers around her too. But she was like “enough of the coddling, let’s go!” She got excited when she saw me, and I told her that I have fun meeting her, and I want to see her more often. She latched onto my Kaotan necklance. “Kaotan, she is your oshi?” Yeah. “What about Jurina?” Ni-oshi (I lied, LOL) She gave me a crying face as I left the queue. I didn’t want to make her cry, but she would cry harder if she knew the truth, LOL.
I took another break. Part of the fun was watching all the extracurricular activities going on in the venue. They had a badminton court to play against members. You could also throw pitches in the bullpen, or throw off the main pitcher’s mound, with select members cheering you on. And of course they had the SKE staple of costumes to try on (If you are a female) These two were on display outside; The 22nd single uniform and Masanya’s graduation dress.
Sato Kaho (Lane 10) Another first time meeting. A few months ago I was queued up for Yamane Suzuha, who was in the lane next to Kaho. I was just fascinated watching her interact with her fans. Not only was she a big flirt, but she was wearing a very loose top, and really giving all the fans a show (if you know what I mean) Needless to say, I wanted to meet her, so I grabbed a ticket the first chance I got. Unfortunately, it was cold in the venue, so she was kinda bundled up, but she got excited when I entered the booth, and leaned in really close to me. I basically told her the story of watching her from another queue, that I thought she was really cute and genki, and I wanted to meet her. She definitely has a bit of a “twinkle in her eye, and I would love to meet her again. Perhaps in the Summer when its warmer. XD By the way, of all the queues I saw or experienced today, hers was the longest. My guess is she will be a senbatsu member soon.
Matsumura Kaori (Lane 14) <2 tickets> Finally I’m getting to my regulars. I pre-queued, and was ultimately 5th in line. Kaotan’s lane was right in the middle, so we had a perfect view of all the girls coming and going, plus the pitching event. I pretty much saw most of the members come out. Kaotan was talking with Obamina when she walked over. Since it was her first slot of the day, Kaotan sets the ground rules with the staff. “Don’t push them out, I do it a certain way.” I love it! I showed her my Kaotan-JK badge that I bought at the concert, but she didn’t really react. I mentioned that I had been watching the pitching behind her, and that I used to be a pitcher. She asked when, and I told her High School. And of course she asked how many tickets I had. When I mentioned three, she asked if I would be looping. Yep…
So I immediately looped. It didn’t take very long. I asked her about the “talk show” she did yesterday. (Yuasa mentioned it on his blog) She said it was in Osaka, and when she does it in Tokyo that I should come, so I should keep track on her blog. I promised her I would, and that I would see her next slot,
90 minutes later, it was next slot. I passed the time relaxing in the stands, and had some takoyaki from Gindaco…
Matsumura Kaori (Lane 14) There was nobody pre-queued for her when I came back into the stadium, so this meant I would be first in line. Now the last time I was first in line for Kaotan I kinda got a special treat since she talked to me the whole time while setting up. This time was even better…
Once again, I was watching the people pitch (most of them are awful) and watching the members walk around behind the lanes. Shirai Kotono was in the next lane, and before she started waved to me and smiled. Eventually I see Kaotan walking over with Oba Mina again. Oba is eyeing me while they are talking, although I can’t hear what they are talking about since they are too far away. All of a sudden Oba turns in my direction and yells “Hey Kurisu!” and starts waving. I laughed and waved back. Mind you, I have never met Oba before. My guess is that she said something to Kaotan about her having a foreigner waiting for her, and then Kaotan gave her the scoop, LOL.
Kaotan made it into the booth, and immediately started screaming. Apparently there was a bug crawling across the counter. It was then I noticed they had bug traps and repellents around the lanes, so that must be an issue. I asked her if she killed the bug. She said no, she just brushed it away. She then asked me why I wasn’t wearing a jacket. When I told her I forgot to bring one, she got worried that I was going to catch a cold. I told her I would be fine, although to be honest, I really was cold. And then a few minutes later my nose started running.
Tani Marika (Lane 17) I quickly switched to my new Tani ticket holder and queued up. It wasn’t a very long line. Tani was wearing side braids, which look cute on her, so I immediately commented about it. She kinda turned and showed them to me. Tani was also bundled up. I asked if she had a heater, and she said no and she was cold. I said I’m cold too. At the end she asked when she would see me again. I wasn’t sure, so I just said the AKB event.
I checked, I don’t have a ticket for her until the AKB Jabaja event at the end of May, so it will be a while.
Hidaka Yuzuki (Lane 8) My final ticket of the night. Ya know, I really don’t see Yuzuki as often as I should. She is a really great handshake experience, and she is always excited to see me. Not to mention, she is a senbatsu member, so there is always stuff to talk about. She was really happy to see me again. I asked if she was excited to do the event at a baseball stadium, and she emphatically said yes. I know she’s a big baseball fan (Maichan in HKT is too) She said she had never seen a game at this venue, but would like to one day. I said I wanted to see one there too, as I finally got pushed out. I bid my farewell, and headed toward the exit.
Luckily, I was able to use my three tickets more quickly then expected, and was able to catch an earlier train home. I have a somewhat long day tomorrow, with the HKT48 shamekai event at Tokyo Ryutsu Center, followed by the Wasamin cheki event a couple of stops away. It’s lucky that I only have four tickets for HKT, so I have time to make it to Wasamin’s last cheki ‘slot’, if all goes well.
And here’s one last cardboard poster pic, because Obata is cute.
CK in Tokyo