SKE48 ‘Ikinari Punch Line’ National Handshake Event at Makuhari Messe (2018/11/03)

A few days ago I was contemplating what to do over the weekend. Wasamin technically has the weekend off, from seeing fans at least. I really haven’t been seeing any indie idols lately either. I decided to check the 48-group schedule to see if there were any Zenkoku events coming up. Lo and behold, SKE would be in Tokyo this weekend. Moreover, Souda Serina would have a special lane to do make-up handshakes…

Back in July of 2017 I had my first ever ticket to meet Souda at an Igai ni Mango event, but she went out ill and missed the entire day. Since then I had been wondering if they were ever going to offer a make-up for that day. I mean I combed the entire SKE news feed and never saw any mention of it, aside from one random entry late last year saying it was undecided. But FINALLY I was going to be able to use the ticket that has been sitting in my ticket holder for over 18 months! Now what would I talk with her about, since my reason for getting the ticket in the first place was ancient “news”

I didn’t have any tickets for the event, but they said they would be selling tickets on site. Also, Tani wasn’t participating. I decided to purchase two tickets, with a plan to use one on Kaotan and one on Hidaka Yuzuki, who I embarrassingly called by the wrong name last month at the individual event.


Three MVPs for me today; Hidaka Yuzuki, Obata Yuna, and of course Kaotan

At SKE’s Zenkoku events they work in slots, which have staggered time schedules. The members also change lane-partners throughout the day. Checking the schedule, I liked who both Kaotan and Yuzuki were paired with early. So it was merely a question of whether I would have time to visit both of those early lanes, plus Serina. Actually, Yuzuki and Kaotan were in a lane together for the evening session, but there was no way I was going to wait for that. I arrived at Makuhari an hour before the event, purchased two CDs (Types B and D) and had my two tickets…

I chose B and D because I wanted the songs from Team KII, and the unit Tani centered. For bonus photos I got Takeuchi Saki and Sugawara Maya. Not my top choices, but whatever. I drew a middle section ticket, which was already pretty full. I decided to hang out close to the back so I wouldn’t be far from the railing if the girls walked the venue. However, they decided to open up a second entrance right where I was standing, and a deluge of people began flooding in, so I moved a bit closer to the center of the section…

BTW, and this is a bit off-topic, but I was half-paying attention to the music they were playing on the P.A. until one song came on I particularly liked. I was pretty sure I knew the artist since I recognized her voice, but I decided to Shazam it anyway. Sure enough, Taylor Swift, and the song was 22. It’s funny, every once in a while when I am forced to listen to American pop I will run across a song I like, and quite often it ends up being Taylor Swift. So I guess I am a fan of sorts. Who knew? Anyway, it was 12pm and time for the show. Kumazaki Haruka did the Kage-ana and screwed it up royally, which resulted in a giggle fit among a few members back stage. Then the lights dimmed, and the overture started. Here’s the setlist…

1. Ikinari Punch Line
MC: Welcome and Intro
2. Parting Shot (Team S)
3. Dareka no Mimi (Team KII)
4. Kimi wa Ramune (Team E)
5. Kimi wa Pegasus (11-gatsu Senbatsu)
MC: November Birthday Girls
6. Hana no Kaori no Sympathy (For You Senbatsu)
MC: New Single Senbatsu announcement
7. Akushu no Ai

Ikinari Punch Line

It was too bad we didn’t get to see/hear the B-Laviere senbatsu song, which Tani centers. But without her there, there’s really no point. After listening to the three team songs, I decided I liked Team S’ song the most, and I confirmed that I don’t care for Kimi wa Ramune at all. Obviously the most interesting MC was the one that introduced the new single senbatsu. To be honest, I was hoping that Kaotan would somehow make it in since this could be her last SKE single. In fact after the video Yuzuki brought up the question of a graduation song for Kaotan. Yuzuki also seemed not to notice the announcement of the song title (Stand By You) as she began wondering what the song would be called….after it was announced, LOL. Also, and I felt kinda bad about this, but it seemed like the announcement of Jurina centering the song was a bit of a letdown to the fans. I mean everyone was cheering throughout the announcement, especially when they announced Arai Yuki’s name. However, when they announced Jurina you kinda heard the audience begin murmuring before they started obligatorily clapping. The show ended, and we had an hour break before the handshake event began.

Arai reacting the announcement

I arrived back in the venue a few minutes before the event re-started. I noticed Souda’s make-up line had hardly anyone in it, so instead I decided to prequeue for my first Zenkoku ticket. It was one of the longest lines in the venue too…


(Lane 3) Machi Otoha, Obata Yuna, Hidaka Yuzuki: With Kaotan’s graduation looming, I resolved to see Yuzuki more often since she is the one SKE member not named Kaotan or Tani who I really connect with. Plus, Obata was in this lane, who I think is adorable. I snaked through the line, getting the occasional glance at Churi who was in the neighboring lane. Finally it was my turn. As this was a National event, the interactions were quick.

Machi: (English) Hello! Hello! Me: Yes, hello! (we both laugh)
Obata: (look of familiarity since I saw her a couple weeks ago) Hey, it’s you again! Me: Yes, and there’s that beautiful smile!
Hidaka: Hisashiburi! Me: I’m sorry I called you by the wrong name last month. Hidaka: Huh? Ohh, hahaha! (She smiled and waved to me)

Machi Otoha


I really wanted to apologize to Yuzuki for that gaffe a couple weeks ago where I accidentally called her “Mizuki” (Had Yamauchi Mizuki on my mind I guess)although I’m sure she had forgotten about it until I brought it up. It made me feel better to see her take it so lightly. The fact that Obata is beginning to recognize me is awesome. I will have to get more tickets for her. Machi was cool too,so a successful lane!

(Lane 12) Souda Serina: At this point the queue in Souda’s ‘Special Lane’ had grown slightly, but it still wasn’t a long line. As I mentioned, I originally bought this ticket on the heels of seeing her at a theater show, where she tried to fish me. Now 18-months later that interaction is a distant memory. But I had this ticket for so long, I was going to use it dammit! Eventually my turn came…

Souda congratulating Arai Yuki

Me: I saw Team KII for the first time in the theater in April of last year, and I wanted to meet you. So I bought this ticket. It has been a long time.
Souda: (puts her hand up to her mouth) Oh, Gomen Gomen Gomen!!!!!!!
Me: Daijoubu! (As I smiled and waved as I got pushed out)

That works, it was pretty much what I wanted to tell her from the start. And using that ticket felt like such an accomplishment!

(Lane 7) Nojima Kano, Nishi Marina, Matsumura Kaori: My last ticket, and the handshake event had only been open for 25 minutes. I felt a bit sheepish about having only one ticket for Kaotan, but I am just over the practice of buying stacks of tickets. A small amount is enough for me. There was a medium-sized queue, and this was one of the lanes that started 30-minutes later. So I pretty much planned my tickets perfectly. Eventually the line started moving. Frankly, the guards were slightly pushy in this lane, so I had to be quick…

Nojima: (English) Hello! Me: Hello. Nojima: Where are you from? Me: I’m an American, but I live in Ita….(As I get pushed to the next member)
Nishi: (She’s smiling) Me: I met you before, it was your first handshake event! Nishi: Ehhh? Me: It was, ummm…..(get pushed to Kaotan)
Kaotan: Me: Hello Kaori-chan. Kaotan: How many tickets do you have today? Me: This is my only ticket. (I lied) Kaotan: Ehhh, (makes crying gesture) Matta ne.

Kano-chan looks so much different from when she first joined the group!

By the way, Nojima Kano is awesome. I really liked interacting with her. I can’t remember if I ever did a handshake with her before. I may have. I will have to check my old posts. But it would have been when she was brand new.

But that was it, I had used all of my tickets, and it was only 2:40. Except I now felt really bad that I had somehow disappointed Kaotan. I couldn’t just leave her like that, with the faux-crying pose. I thought about it for a few moments. Oh, what the heck, there was still plenty of time in the slot. I went back upstairs and purchased one more CD, this time I got Type-A, and I got a Jurina bonus pic. I pulled out the ticket, and went back into the venue to queue up, running into a couple Wasafans along the way.

(Lane 7) Nojima Kano, Nishi Marina, Matsumura Kaori: I was ready to make three idols happy by looping their line. Originally I thought if I had a third ticket I would use it on Dasu, or Sato Kaho, but this was for the best. Kaotan is always so sweet to me….

Nojima: (Smiling) Konnichiwa! Me: I am from America but I have lived in Tokyo for three years. Nojima: Ehhh? Me: I have been to the SKE48 Theater three times. I have also met her before (pointing to Nishi)
Nishi: Me: It was Yokohama Arena where I met you. I met all of the 3rd gen draftees. Nishi: Ahh, Naruhodo.
Kaotan: Me: I bought one more CD! I wanted to see you again. Kaotan: Good, because I am here until 7pm! Me: See you soon!

Now I felt a bit better. I don’t like making girls cry, especially Kaotan. But that was really it. No more additional purchases. I was done for the day. I headed to the exit before seeing my friend Boma hanging out near the display costumes. He was spending the day trying get into the special Jurina talk show that was going on. Apparently there were four events, but they had limited space, so you had to win your way in via lottery. I hope he got into one, since he missed out on the first two.

The display costumes for the day. Ikinari Punch Line, and something from SKE’s countdown concert?

So at this point it is a matter of waiting for the announcement of the Mu-mo sale for SKE48’s next single. I have no idea if Kaotan will be included, but I have a feeling she will be. But as I said, I am planning on getting more tickets for Yuzuki, and I will likely get tickets for Obata and Kaho. And then there’s Nojima. She was really cool to me today. I think I may consider her for a ticket too. We’ll see.

CK in Tokyo