This was the last of the shamekai events for AKB48’s 9th Album. I chose to skip the three Golden Week events, figuring they would probably be more crowded. It also gave me a little more separation from the 1st event of the series, which took place in early April. My report on that one is around 11-posts ago.
The bummer was that my favorite member, Akiyoshi Yuka-chan, was going to be absent from this event because of her commitment to the Romeo and Juliet musical. They gave us the option of using it as a makeup during any of the Golden Week events, but I was not going to make the trip all the way out to Pacifico just for one ticket. Furthermore, I have two tickets for Yukachan at HKT’s shamekai event next weekend in Gotanda. So I will have a nice sob story to to tell her. Well, actually two, since I didn’t win for her play either. Anyway…
I had six tickets, plus an album jacket signing. I had at least one oshimashi to do, and the possibility of a second one came up during the event. My first ticket wasn’t until slot 4, so I came sauntering into the venue at 1:15pm, well rested, and ready to go.
Sakaki Miyu [CUCA] (Lane 28) At the April event, I managed to go 0-6 on winning the signed cheki and booklet. However, I knew I would be getting at least one today since Cuca-chan was an automatic win. I met with my friend David in front of the queue, shortly before the beginning of the slot. We decided to tandem, and were 1st and 2nd in line. Cuca came out, we took our cheki…
Now the problem was that I didn’t really think this meeting through. As you can see, Cuca took her sweet time signing the book, but I really didn’t have that much to say to her. To her credit, she began initiating conversation with me. She asked where I was from, and how long I have lived in Japan. She also asked if I had gone to any of STU’s concerts. What I find most amazing about Cuca is that every time I see her she seems more mature, idol-like, and beautiful. I’m just really impressed by her. So next time I see her I am going to plan some good stuff to talk with her about.
Yamane Suzuha (Lane 74) I waited for David to finish up with Cuca, since we both needed to walk to the other side of the hall. Eventually I made my way over to Zunchan’s lane. I expected the usual huge crowd. To my surprise the line wasn’t long at all. I lt the cheki drawing, and while waiting in the queue I saw Inagaki Kaori in the next lane over. She looked good, and genki. Considering her serious injury at SSA, I was glad to see she was doing well. Anyway, Zunchan remarked that she hadn’t seen me in a while. I think it has been around three weeks. I dunno, not so long, but maybe she missed me, LOL. I asked her the name of her little frog doll she always brings to events. His name is Gabriel. (The way she said it was really cute) So I asked if we could incorporate Gabriel into the shot.
Well, at least Zunchan looks good. I hate when they turn me profile like that. And, this is just another example showing that the closeup shamekai are much better than the long shots. At least that’s how I feel about it.
When I left Zunchan’s lane I walked by Tomonaga Mio’s lane, and it was closed. WTF? If she’s out for the day, then I have two oshi-mashi to do. I found out that she was there for Slots 2-3, cancelled Slot 4, but had not yet cancelled Slots 6-7. (I had Slot 6) What should I do? One of the members I was considering doing oshi-mashi with, Oba Mina, had early slots. If I wanted to see her, I needed to do it soon….
Yamauchi Mizuki (Lane 84) To save a little time, I decided to pre-queue for Zukki’s lane. I was around 5th in line, and just before they opened the gates a bunch guys started to mill around, I guess planning to cut the queue. I stared daggers at a couple of them, and they walked to the back of the line. However, one guy stayed, and when they opened the gate, he tried to jam into the line, but I blocked him with my elbow, LOL. While we were waiting in the queue, they started playing the new b-side MVs from the upcoming AKB48 single. I loved the Center Exam Senbatsu. The song, PV, all great. They just started the Team 4 Music Video as the queue started moving. I really liked this one too. The video ended with Zukki doing a “Nyan” pose, just as I was next in line. Perfect! Zukki lit up as I entered the both. “You have returned!” I said I loved her in the PV, and we should do the PV ending pose…
I think this is my favorite shamekai of the day. (The Cuca pic is nice too) Afterwards I congratulated her on being in senbatsu and centering the single team song. She said she hoped I come back to see her many times. Yes, I do have more tickets for her for both Jabaja and Teacher Teacher, so I am good to go!
I was considering seeing Zunchan for the Jacket Signing, which was in this slot. But after checking her queue, which was pretty long, I decided there was someone else I would rather to the Jacket Signing with. I instead left the venue since I had over an hour until my next ticket. I went all the way out to the Food Truck area before I found a seat. Here I met another Stage48 lurker named Paul. It was Paul’s first 48-group handshake event, so we talked for awhile about what he thought, and shared a few war stories about meeting the members, before heading back in. I wanted to get back in a little early since my Slot 6 schedule had the potential of becoming a little hectic.
Matsumura Kaori (w/Saito Makiko) Jacket Signing (Lane 51) I debated using this ticket first, or one of my handshake tickets. I’m glad I decided on this one, since the interaction completely changed my game plan for the rest of the day. This was another joint autograph lane, just like the first event I went to when I had Yuka-chan sign my CD. Luckily, I managed to be second in line, so I was getting a good head-start on the slot. I knew I wanted to have Kaotan sign my CD, except that Tani was in the next lane over. Moreover, I did not get any Tani tickets for this day’s event. This could be an issue if she sees me, and then doesn’t see me in her lane. In the meantime, Takeda Tomoka was in Tani’s queue, still with a huge line of people. So I might luck out after all. Around the beginning of the slot Murakawa Bibian came walking over, fresh off of her Produce48 activities, and I have to admit, Bibian looked radiant. Not to mention the cute little black shorts she was wearing. I’m not sure why she came over, she talked to the guards for a minute, and then left. After that, Tani came out. The trouble was, they had just cleared out all the fans who didn’t get to see Takeda, and hadn’t let Tani’s fans in yet. Everything was a mess, plus Kaotan and Makiko still hadn’t come out. Finally, a few minutes later, here they came…
The first guy in line chose Makiko, and she signed her CD relatively quickly. It was then my turn. Since Makiko was there, I decided to relate the memory of one of my earliest handshakes with Kaotan, the time when she started yelling at me, and then Makiko and Mikitty started laughing at me. Kaotan and I were trying to figure out how long I had been seeing her, but then when I said the part about Kaotan screaming “Why Why Why???? I Love you I Love you I love you!!!” Makiko started laughing. Not only that, Tani was laughing at us. I think after I related that part of the story, Makiko seemed like she might have remembered it. In any case, I am glad I made everyone laugh, including Tani. Kaotan asked me if I was coming for shamekai, and I pointed to my ticket holder, which I had strategically placed my Kaotan shamekai ticket right on top. (Hehehe)
Yamauchi Suzuran (Lane 43) <oshi-mashi> I had considered quite a few members for my oshi-mashi ticket. Komiharu, Mutou Orin, Sato Kaho, Minarun, even Yuihan. But I have wanted to meet with Ranran for a long time. Plus, I had a story that I wanted to tell her, and I wanted to do it before the story became too old. So this is where I decided to use my Akiyoshi ticket. I got over to her queue around 10 minutes before it opened for oshi-mashi, and spent the time talking to my friends Nori and Keita, who were also waiting to oshi-mashi with different members. Her line wasn’t very long at all, so I still had time to use my other ticket for this slot afterwards. In the meantime I was watching Jurina in the next lane over. However, I never made eye contact with her. She does a great job of focusing on her fans in queue. When I stepped into the booth, Suzuran immediately pivoted to “Oh Hello!” We sat down and I quickly suggested the peace pose, trying to save as much time as possible for my story.
I wanted to talk to her about HoriPro Matsuri, which I went to see around a month or so ago. Suzuran sang a duet of Sakura no Hanabiratachi with a classical singer named Okamoto Tomotaka, and it was really good. I wanted to tell her that I really enjoyed it. She thanked me, and asked if I came to see her, which I replied “of course.” Actually, I’m not sure what she really meant by that, but the fact is I really did want to see her. She said goodbye to me in English, and asked me to come back again. She’s really nice. I had always heard she was a big ‘fisher’, but I didn’t really have that kind of experience. I think perhaps because I kinda controlled the conversation.
Tomonaga Mio (Lane 60) So Mio did come back for her evening slots. But I had somewhat of a dilemma. Since Tani had interacted with me during my jacket signing with Kaotan, I felt really bad about not having a shamekai ticket for her. When I went to Mio’s queue I noticed there was hardly anyone in line. Moreover, there were a bunch of signs hanging in front of her lane. I couldn’t read what they said, but they usually put those up if the member isn’t feeling well, can’t talk, or something adverse like that. It was at that point that I thought that I would really rather go see Tani than see Mio, so I took off. In any case, I may have the opportunity to see Mio next week at the HKT event anyway. I found out later from a friend who went to see her that she seemed fine to him, and she looked really cute in his picture too. As a consolation I will show you what the outside of the cheki book looks like…
BTW, I was running into a few Wasafans during the day. Since Wasamin is out of town, many of her fans found their way to 48-group events. One of them told me that Wasamin apparently mentioned me on a radio show she guested on? When I met with Wasamin last week, I mentioned to her that the name of the show she was going to be on that week was the same as the name of the city I grew up in. So apparently Wasamin related that story to the host of the show. Cool!
Matsumura Kaori (Lane 37) After the dinner break, I headed in a little early to pre-queue for Kaotan, and I managed to be 2nd in line for her slot. Plus, I won the cheki, Yatta! I ultimately went 2-4 on chekis today (I had two ineligible because of oshi-mashi) While I was waiting for Kaotan to come out, Tani was in the neighboring lane, and spotted me again as she headed to her booth. That cemented it, I made the right choice by saving a ticket for her. Anyway, Kaotan came out, and I had a couple minutes since the girl who was first in line also won the cheki. When it was my turn, Kaotan exclaimed “Yatta, you won!” Yes, I was very happy about it too. She asked what pose, I said “smile pose.” Kaotan remarked, “You are very basic with the pose suggestions.” Yeah, I know.
I guess now I need to come up with interesting poses for her, although I thought the one we did in April was funny. (What, me worry?) We continued with my story about some of the first times I met with her. I will have to go back and look to see when it was, and if it was an SKE event or AKB. The incident I was talking about was an AKB event, but I am sure the first time I saw her was at an SKE event. In the meantime, she asked me how to spell “Smile” She had written it, but omitted the “e” at the end. She also asked if I had more tickets. When I told her I would see her next at the Jabaja event on the 26th, she asked how to say that in English. At first she said “two weeks ago,” but she kinda knew that was wrong. Then she said “two weeks later,” which I said was okay. I then told her “in two weeks” She repeated it twice, like she was happy she learned something new. Always fun with Kaotan, she hung out in the doorway chatting at me as they had me check the photo one more time, and didn’t leave until I was halfway down the exit. Kaotan runs on her schedule, LOL.
Tani Marika (Lane 35) <oshi-mashi> I had to wait 15 minutes before I could queue up for Tani. Plus, her line wasn’t short. So this had the potential to take a while. That’s okay, I really wanted to see her at this point. I ended up waiting around 35-40 minutes before I made it to the front of the line. She immediately suggested a heart pose, but after Kaotan made fun of me for being basic, I wanted to do something at least a little different. I had a couple of ideas, but ultimately decided on the Sailor Moon pose…
Yeah, not that groundbreaking, but it’s slightly different from what I usually do. I asked Tani if she liked the story I told Kaotan. Tani asked me about the shirt I was wearing. “Ebi shirt?” I then showed her the whole thing, it is a Wasamin shirt! She puffed her lip and said the she wanted to meet with Wasamin, and gave me a heart sign. I love that Tani and Wasamin are fans of one another.
It was time for me to go, just as the passing rainstorm was at its heaviest. The nice thing is that there is a covered walkway all the way to the station from Pacifico. So despite it raining all day, I never once needed to open my umbrella. Well, except to show the guards that I wasn’t hiding any contraband. Interestingly, of my seven tickets, ultimately I used none of them on HKT members. 4 were used on SKE, 2 on AKB, and one STU. Considering that I think of myself as an HKT fan…Well, next week is an HKT exclusive event, so I will make up for it then.
CK in Tokyo