An Indie-Idol Holiday, Part 2: Setsuna Sonic & Hissatsu Emomomomo!! Live at Otsuka Hearts (2018/12/29)

On Christmas Eve, after I had spent a long day both at the Wasamin Christmas live in Saitama, and then the Necronomidol live in Shibuya, I was looking forward to getting a bit of rest.  After all, I had been fighting a cold all week, and the only thing that had kept me going was the strong cold medicine a friend of mine brought over from America.  But before I went to bed, I really wanted to look up the idol I had met outside Club Shibuya Milky Way earlier that evening…

I have already referenced this story on both the above-linked Wasamin and Necronomidol posts;  While I was waiting to enter Club Chelsea Hotel in Shibuya, a random idol approached me and gave me a flyer for her group’s upcoming live.  We ended up talking for a few minutes, where she told me a little about her group, and excitedly told me that she is friends with Wasamin.  In short, she was a very nice girl.  Nice enough that I wanted to take the time to follow her on Twitter, and look up her group, which is interestingly named Hissatsu Emomomomo!!  I found them on Twitter easily enough, but was disappointed to find out that they don’t have a dedicated website.  Pretty much all of their info is contained within their Twitter accounts.  When I checked their schedule I noticed they were playing at Otsuka Hearts over the weekend, which happens to be the closest idol Live House to where I live.  Not only that, they were sharing the bill with a group I have been wanting to see for a very long time, Setsuna Sonic featuring one of my favorite idols, Yuki Himeri.  That settled it.  The only remaining question was whether I would go to the matinee show, the evening show, or both.  When Saturday morning rolled around, I didn’t feel like running out to an idol show first thing in the morning, so the evening it would be.  I immediately emailed a reservation.  Might as well save myself five bucks, right?

I decided to head over to Otsuka early, figuring I could grab a brew or two at Beer Titans.  The bar was packed, so instead I retreated to the Dotour around the corner for a cup of coffee.  When it got closer to 6pm I walked over to the club.  Ironically, as close as Otsuka Hearts is to where I live I have only been to a show there once before.  It was Himeri’s debut in  Disdol, the group she was in before joining Setsuna Sonic.  It is fairly close to Otsuka Station, and it’s a relatively small club.  However, it does have a small lobby outside the concert hall with video screens so you can watch the show while taking a break to eat/drink/smoke etc.

This particular show featured nine different acts, although I was only there to watch two of them.  I ultimately watched five of the groups perform.  The headliner of the night was a group called COLOR’z, and it seemed the majority of people in attendance were there for them.  It was one of their members’ birthday as well.  The other groups I didn’t watch were Yume Kawa Days Monster, Tsukino Noa, Kuso to Moso to Kimi no Koishita Sekai, and Moegi Nojinomu (Actually, I watched a little of their set)  I arrived around ten minutes before “HissaImo” were due to take the stage, so I saw most of the previous group’s set.

So first let me quickly talk about Astraia* (sounds like Australia) and Lepus Lupus, the two groups other groups I did watch.  This was more of a standard J-pop idol show, although some of the groups had a bit of a rock edge to them.  As I walked into the club I was handed a pink glowstick.  I asked the guy which girl was celebrating a birthday, and he randomly pointed toward the Buppan tables.  I figured out whose birthday it was a little later.  I headed straight into the venue and took a spot just above the bottom floor.  I noticed there were two really cute girls standing behind me. (more on them in a moment)  Astraia* were already onstage when I walked in, and I really enjoyed their catchy songs.  Not to mention there was one member in particular who I thought was quite cute. (Amami Ayasa, the “red” member)  They were the type of group who I wouldn’t mind seeing again, although they came just short of providing me with the “wow” factor that would impel me to begin following them, or do a cheki.


Lepus Lupus, Ayane is on the right

It turned out that the two girls standing behind me were part of the trio Lepus Lupus.  I saw them hanging out among the fans and around the venue throughout the night.  Now to be honest, I didn’t think their music was anything special.  On the other hand, their center girl.  Kousaki Ayane was not only their best singer, but I thought she was drop dead adorable.  In a way she looked like a combination of AKB48’s Yamane Suzuha and Takahashi Juri.  It’s too bad that I wasn’t intrigued by their performance, because I thought she was great.  As I said, I saw her quite a few times in the venue, and often she would be standing quite close to me, and each time I would confirm “Yeah she looks like Juri when she smiles!”  LOL)  Anyway, on to the groups I was there to see.

Hissatsu Emomomomo!!

I had never seen this group perform before, nor had I watched any videos of them online.  The way I figured it, even if I didn’t like them, I would still enjoy Setsuna Sonic.  I decided to step down to the lowest level so when Minase (the girl I met Christmas Eve, green member) came out she would be sure to see me.  The lights went dark, and the girls rushed on to the stage.  It was then I remembered.  “She wears pretty thick glasses.  I wonder how blind she really is, and will she even be able to see me in the audience?”  I had barely finished that thought when I caught her eye and she waved at me.  Oh, and this group puts on quite a show!  They reminded me a little bit of Dempagumi Inc., but with a much harder edge and more frenetic pacing.  But what impressed me the most was the way they interacted with the audience.  They have a trainee, who pretty much spent the entire show in the middle of the crowd, but the members come down into the crowd during the songs and interact with the fans.  In fact, Minase came down and immediately put her arm around me, LOL.  It surprised me since I wasn’t prepared for it, but a couple other members, including the yellow girl (Yui) also did the same thing.  Ultimately I got swept up in all the dancing, jumping, spinning around orchestrated by the fans, and had quite a good time.  It also helped me to ingratiate myself with the rest of the fans, as before I was pretty much being ignored, but after that everyone was smiling, and giving me high-fives, so cool.  By the way, here is a music video with their most current lineup.

 

It seems that in their 18 months or so of existence, they have gone through numerous member changes.  Minase and Yui are both relatively new, and the two girls that seem to be the centers are graduating in a few weeks.  Not sure what’s up with that, but their material and style is a lot of fun, so I definitely want to see them again.

Their Buppan wasn’t scheduled to start until Setsuna Sonic’s set started, so I would see them later…

Setsuna Sonic

A quick background.  The reason I am interested in this group revolves around Yuki Himeri, who I have been a fan of for quite a while now, ever since she was part of Alice Juban.  She is a well-traveled idol, as this is now the fourth group she has been a member of.  I have watched quite a few of Setsuna Sonic’s videos online, but up until now I had yet to see any of their shows live.  Needless to say, I was very excited to see Himeri again.  I only hoped she wouldn’t be too upset I hadn’t come to visit her in over a year, the last time being her debut in the group Disdol.  Setsuna Sonic, as well as Astraia*, COLOR’z, and Disdol are all managed by the same agency.  Setsuna Sonic’s sound is high energy J-pop, with a somewhat rock-ish edge to it.  It has been interesting to watch Himeri go from group to group with contrasting styles, and although she was able to pull it off, I didn’t think the hard rock style of Disdol fit her personality.  This is a step down in intensity from that, which is a better match for her high-pitched voice, and “Princess” personality.  Not to mention she’s a bit of a spaz. (As is Minase.  How do I get involved with all these nerdy idols?)  That said, I must admit that Himeri has developed into quite an attractive young lady, as opposed to when she was in Pa-Ken Girls where she was more of a nerd-idol than anything else.  Ultimately, this group hit the perfect musical ‘sweet spot’ for me.  Their music is not overly “cute”, not too cookie cutter, and just edgy enough not to be over-bearing.  BTW, the video below was shot at Ikebukuro Sunshine City, which I have spoken about on this blog many times…

 

Buppan

As Setsuna Sonic’s set ended I immediately headed outside to meet Minase, and possibly Yui from HissaEmo.  Since I explained to the trainee, who was running their buppan table that I had never seen the group before, and didn’t know the system.  She explained that they had an introductory tickets for 500 yen which I could use for a signed cheki.  I think they were normally 1000 yen.  They have a CD as well, although I’m not sure if you get a ticket for that.  But I got my ticket, and it would only be a few minutes before I met with Minase.  In the meantime, their purple member, Oshiko, came over and said hello to me while I waited.  So I pretty much met every member who isn’t leaving the group.

 

She suggested that pose.  Obviously she remembered our interaction from earlier in the week, and was very happy that I came.  In fact, she repeatedly mentioned how excited she was when she saw me in the audience.  I explained to her that I really wanted to check them out after meeting her, and since I knew Himeri, and both of them were performing.  I would come to see the show.  When she learned that I knew Himeri from Alice Juban she mentioned she was also friends with Igari Tomoka, who you may know as the idol who suffered that horrific spinal injury last year and is now paralyzed.  Another coincidence, since I was also friends with Igari, and related the story when I first met her, and she thrust her above-average sized chest toward me and asked “Do you like Oppai?”  LOL.  Poor Tomoka, but she is doing her best to be able to one day walk again.  I told Minase I was quite surprised by how much fun their performance was, and I would really like to see them again.  Ultimately I was probably with her for 2-3 minutes.  So I decided to skip Yui for now.  Perhaps next time.

It would be an hour until I would be able to meet with Himeri, and I was beginning to develop a slight headache.  I decided to spend most of the remainder of the show outside in the lobby sipping ginger-ale.  The last five groups would be doing buppan at the same time.  Lucky for me, Setsuna Sonic were setting up exactly where I was standing, so I was pretty much first in line by default.  The girl who was assisting them was really hawt.  Like beyond idol-level.  Although she didn’t look like an idol.  Tight jeans, heeled-boots, leather jacket, and short black hair.  When they opened the table I immediately explained to her that it was my first time seeing Setsuna Sonic, and I didn’t know the system.  She thanked me, and basically told me 1000 yen for a signed cheki.  As I was paying for the ticket one of the fans pulled out some sort of special ticket for me.  I didn’t understand what he was saying it was for, but it was at this moment when the girls came out.  Himeri immediately started exclaiming, “Don’t give that to Chris, I know him, he’s my fan”  All of a sudden the other members turn to her like “You know this guy???”  Nasuko, who is the member with short, blondish hair, immediately started making fun of me.  At the same time Himeri is going “Kurisu…kochi kochi!!!”  “Kiteiru Himerichan!”  We immediately posed for the pic, and the girl told us to get really close to one another…okay!

I happened to see some of the chekis other people take with these groups, and they get much closer than that.  In some of the chekis the girls are completely wrapped around the guys, LOL.  Anyway, like with Minase, Himeri took her time signing the photo, so the meeting was like 2-3 minutes.  That was okay, as we had a lot of catching up to do.  I basically told her what had been going on in my life lately, and that hadn’t been seeing idols very much lately (a partial truth)  However, I told her I still follow her on twitter, and have watched the group’s videos.  Eventually she finished signing the photo, and told me to wait as she had a present for me.  She grabbed a bag full of random member chekis and told me to pull one.  The first two I grabbed were too dark, but I eventually pulled a closeup shot of Asakura Asuka, the other shorter-haired member.

Eventually my time was up (actually it was up long before that) and told her I would come to see her soon.  I was looking forward to getting home so I could treat that pounding headache, which had somewhat dissipated after talking to Himeri.  However I committed one faux pas, I coughed twice while I was talking to her, and Himeri gave me this look like “Don’t get me sick!” LOL.

So when I say that this show was more my speed than the Necronomidol show, what I am saying is this is the type of crowd, and the type of atmosphere and energy I am more used to at an idol show.  That said, I probably spent as much time outside in the lobby that I did in the venue.  I am always amazed at some of these young fans who go crazy for every group, and match the idols’ energy for a full three hours.  But for the most part it was merely the chanting, and synchronized dancing, no crowd surfing.  Although Imomomomo!! did have a couple of head-banging parts to their show, LOL.  As you probably figured, I left the show a fan of Minase and her group, and I look forward to seeing them again really soon, although I told her I won’t be able to see their solo-live next month.  As for Himeri, let’s just say I was again reminded why I am her fan.  She gives me full idol-fanservice whenever I see her.  I really need to stop taking a year between seeing her….

This will be my last post of 2018.  It has been an amazing year.  For the past two years this blog has been as active as it has ever been.  I hope next year it continues to be just as active, and I hope next year people START LEAVING COMMENTS!!!

Have a safe new year!

CK in Tokyo

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