I had to check to see when the last time was I went to see Emox4. It was back in March when I saw them, Kiss Bee, and Ebisu Muscats on the same rainy day in Ikebukuro. I am always on the lookout for a good opportunity to catch their show, and my favorite Emox4 member Minase had been tweeting about this particular event for the last four weeks. Thus, it was on my shortlist of shows I was considering seeing. Then, last week Minase starting “liking” some of my Twitter posts about Wasamin. I took this as her trying to send me a message. “Hey, I want to see you!”
However, it wasn’t until the day of the show that I fully committed to going. And I may not have even gone at all if not for the fact that they announced they would be taking reservations for discounted admission pretty much all the way until show time. After getting most of the work done I wanted to do that day, realizing I had no other plans, and really wanting to get out of the house for a while. I messaged my reservation to the group’s manager, took a shower, and got out of the house.
I arrived in Shibuya really early, not realizing until I got there that there was really no reason for me to be there for another hour. So I popped into The Hub not far from the venue for a little bit of ‘liquid courage.’ The fans of Emox4 are known to be rowdy, and this was a one-man live. It could be even rowdier than I have ever experienced at one of their shows before. After three drinks and some fried chicken, I was ready to go.
Tsutaya O-nest is in that little neighborhood behind the Shibuya 109 building which is filled with music venues; Duo Music Exchange, Club Asia, Shibuya Womb, Shibuya Glad, Vuenos Tokyo, Tsutaya O-East, Tsutaya O-West, all live houses known to host idols on occasion, and they are all within a block of one another. Tsutaya O-nest is actually on top of O-West, accessed by a hidden elevator to the left of the conbini that sits on the ground floor. When I first arrived the street was filled with music fans, as it seemed like every club had an event going on. At first I wasn’t sure how to get into O-nest, finding the elevator after taking a wild guess. There was nobody else waiting for the elevator when I went up, and I began wondering how many people would even show up. Eventually I arrived in a nice, medium-sized lobby, where I was directed to check-in. They couldn’t find my reservation on their manifest, despite me receiving a DM confirmation, but they took my word for it. I had my special ‘Minase’ version’ ticket, I grabbed my prepaid drink, and headed downstairs.
I eventually bought the T-shirt on the left, which is currently out drying on the clothesline, which is why I posted this photo instead.
STORY EDIT: I completely forgot that when they gave me my ticket, they also handed me a disc of some sort, which I quickly stored in my backpack. The disc completely slipped my mind until two days later when I discovered it while getting ready to go out on Saturday. It is signed by Minase-chan with “arigatou” written across the bottom. I finally had the chance to play it on Saturday night, and it turned out to be a solo song by Minase. I don’t know the title, and I didn’t see her make any reference to it on her blog or Twitter account, but it’s a cute little bonus gift.
Anyway, checking the goods, they had a bunch of different T-shirts, and a few other things. One of the T-shirts was an exclusive prize for people who filled out a point card, and it happened to be my favorite. I decided to just pre-purchase one 2-shot cheki ticket so I wouldn’t have to deal with it later. As I was finishing my beer outside all of a sudden I heard music starting. Oh shit, has the show started already? I downed the rest of my beer and headed in.
The Live Begins
The show was billed as a “one-man live,” but there actually was an opening act. I had never heard of or seen this group before. Their name was Baka Shinu (short for Baka wa Shinu Made Naoranai) a two-member group who apparently used to have a lot more members, and are in the process of recruiting a new lineup. I stepped into the venue, and attempted to maneuver my way closer to the stage since there seemed to be room on the floor, but most of the fans had crowded themselves into the back making it very hard to get down to the floor. Eventually I gave up trying to get close since this wasn’t the group I came to see anyway. I found a spot where I could see the stage. I figured I would have a shot to get on the floor when the first group finished. As for Baka Shinu, their musical style was not unlike Emox4, a manic-paced, hard beat, head-banging idol group. Of their two members, Enma, the dark-haired girl reminded me a little of AKB48’s Miyazaki Miho. However, I really liked the energy from Chihiro, the one with pink hair. Overall I think they both did an excellent job of entertaining the audience, and their songs were really good. I wasn’t drawn to either member in such a way that I would start following them, but I would definitely see them again.
Hissatsu Emox4 Set
As expected, once Baka Shinu’s set ended their fans retreated to the back. I attempted to enter the floor on the left side, but was completely blocked. I instead went toward the right side of the floor as the intro music for Emox4 immediately started playing. I had made it, but was on the wrong side since Minase spends 90% of her time on the left. I was having trouble maneuvering toward the other side of the floor, until I came up with a plan. This group is known to have a lot of fan activity in the center of the floor; slam dancing, wotagei, and a bunch of other stuff. So I kept jumping into their group, “slamming” my way across the floor until I got closer to Minase’s spot. Eventually I was where I wanted to be. In fact, Minase noticed me almost immediately after I got there and waved to me.
Every time I have seen this group the members have spent a lot of time actually IN the audience dancing, rousing the fans, and having fun. However, there was a fence set up in front of the stage, which made it almost impossible for the members to do that. It was probably for the best though, as this was by far the biggest crowd I have ever seen them play to, and by far the rowdiest. However, all of the members spent a lot of time hanging over the railing, grabbing fan’s hands and giving high-fives. Sometimes I am a bit timid about jumping into the fracas at shows like this, but I had a few drinks in me, and came to the realization I am bigger, both in height and weight than most of these fans. So, I began throwing my weight around, pushing my way to the stage when Minase came forward, jumping into the pandemonium going on in the middle of the floor. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, but I was having a blast. And every time I got to the stage Minase would reach for me, grabbing my arm, my hand, high-fiving me. It was great!
Also, it was around this time I got a good look at all of the shirts on sale, since people were wearing them throughout the audience. I decided I really liked their “NIKU” T-shirt, which is kind of a NIKE parody. The other nice thing is that they offer shirts in XXL. I decided since the T-shirt I was wearing was drenched I would purchase that shirt after the show as long as they still had my size. In the meantime, while the group had been promoting the show over the past week, there was some sort of commitment to getting at least 100 fans to show up. And it was during the encore that they were counting ticket stubs. At first they counted to 97, and seemed to run out of stubs. But Minase and Yui started crying. Huh? Was there some sort of penalty if they didn’t have 100? Also, it seemed like there were a lot more than 100 people stuffed into that room. All of the sudden the members of Baka Shinu came out and revealed that they had more ticket stubs. Needless to say, the count went way over 100. (According to their Twitter it was 170, although I only recall them counting to like 140. But whatever.) I found out later that the group were getting new costumes, but only if there were more than 100 people in attendance.
After the encore, I quickly gathered my backpack, and headed out of the venue, stopping for a smoke while fans went upstairs toward the exit and buppan area. However, a few minutes later the music started again. Huh, a double encore???
I am in the back. If you look closely you can see me
Yep, a double encore! Not only that, the girls came out with their outfits themed out as Sesame Street characters. Yuiyui (yellow) was Big Bird, Torii (blue) was the Cookie Monster, Mitsuki (red) was Elmo, and Minase was Oscar the Grouch. By the way Mitsuki is so petite and cute. I didn’t notice it during the show, but when I got close to her later during buppan, I saw how tiny she was. They did one additional song, which was a repeat from the first encore; the song with all the line dancing and headbanging. Since I had not gone too far from the stage area, I was able to jump back on to the floor for this, although I was wearing my backpack since I didn’t have time to put it away.
After that, the show was over. I immediately went upstairs looking for the buppan table. Luckily, they had one more of the shirt I liked in my size, so I snatched it up. It also came with a 2-shot cheki ticket, so now I had two. I was able to get a good spot in Minase’s queue, sixth in line. Like I said, I was drenched in sweat, but I was able to towel off, and I took off the collared shirt I was wearing over my T-shirt. I was still sopping wet, but a bit more comfortable. Eventually it was my turn…
Minase is always so touchy-feely during 2-shots, it is really quite cute. She kept going on and on about how happy she was that I came to see the show. I told her that I had been planning on it for a while, and when she started “liking” my tweets I felt I had to go. She was like “Yes, Wasamin!” Minase knows very well who my oshimen is. I mentioned that I had been very busy lately looking for a new job, but I had a free evening, and I am always interested in seeing her perform. Eventually she finished signing my cheki, and I told her I would be back in a bit.
However, before I did that I decided to change my shirt. I went back downstairs, but they had already closed the bathrooms. So the heck with it, I just changed by the ashtrays. Ahhh, a dry shirt. I felt so much better. I immediately went back upstairs to re-queue, however the line had grown much longer. I found the back of the queue, and began cooling myself by using the lane marker as an uchiwa. I was close to the buppan area for Baka Shinu, and grabbed a couple of their flyers. I planned on checking out their website and Twitter pages when I got home. Unfortunately their home page seemed to be down, and Chihiro had misspelled her Twitter handle. (I eventually found it)
Later on, as I got closer to the front of the line, I passed a young, idol-looking girl, signing the back of flyers with her personal information and handing them to the fans in queue. She seemed to be ignoring me, but then the guy manning the goods table started telling her to talk to me. I was watching their interaction out of the corner of my eye. She seemed scared to talk to me, but the guy kept egging her on. “I think he speaks Japanese,” he said since I did speak Japanese to him when I purchased my goods earlier. Eventually she mustered up the courage to talk to me. She is a new trainee for a very new group called Mecha Kagayakitai, and her name is Ryoka. The group is brand new, their debut public performance took place outside Akihabara Station last month. At first I couldn’t read her sloppy writing, and kept getting her name wrong. But eventually I told her I would look her up on twitter. (I ended up following her)
Eventually my second go-round with Minase came, and she was happy that I was wearing my new Emox4 T-shirt. I was telling her that I heard about her running into my friend Derek in Akihabara, and that Derek was jealous that she kept talking to him about me. I also mentioned that I will write about the show, and had asked if she had ever looked at my blog. She said she had looked at some of my Wasamin articles, and that she looked forward to seeing my writeup. I don’t think she will be able to read this, but I will link it to her anyway.
At was around 9:20, and I was finally done. I made my way downstairs and back to Shibuya Station, grabbing a Vitamin C drink along the way to try and replenish all my lost fluids, eventually getting home and crashing into bed.
I’m not sure when I will see Hissatsu Emomomomo!! again, but they play quite often, so it should be fairly soon. This weekend Wasamin is out of town, but both Kiss Bee and Minyo Girls are doing free lives, Kiss Bee doing a release event in Shimbashi, and Minyo Girls in Yokohama for Sasaki Ayaka’s (Momoclo Z) “A-rin Collection” Idol Live pre-show before her solo concert at Yokohama Arena. I will be going to one, the other, or both. I will decide this weekend.
CK in Tokyo