Posts Tagged ‘aoba hinari’

Events, FES☆TIVE FES☆TIVE Release Event Live at HMV & Books Shibuya…and a Cute Hinarin Side Story (2018/05/24)

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I mentioned around eight posts back that I attended two mini-live events at Tower Records Shibuya for KissBee and FES☆TIVE.  What I didn’t post about was the return trip I made a couple of days later to see FES☆TIVE at Tower Records Shinjuku.  I didn’t create a new blog entry for it since a lot of it would have been repeating what I had already said in the previous post, save for one little anecdote.  Hinarin is always a fun handshake, and we have had many conversations that have occasionally even stretched beyond the usual idol handshake material.  However this particular handshake and cheki encounter was quite memorable…

 

I was fifth in line to see Hinarin. When it was my turn I told her that I had a lot of fun the previous evening, and wanted to come back and see her again. Her response totally floored me….

She told me she read my twitter post about her the previous evening. She then recited my entire post, almost word for word (in Japanese, of course) She said it made her very happy to read it…

In that tweet, I basically said I went to the event, and all the new members were really cute. However, Hinarin remains my #1 girl in FESTIVE.

I told her I absolutely meant it. Hinarin then went in for the kill and again started hammering me to go to their event on Friday night. I told her that I already had plans to do something else, but I would come to more of the preorder events.

It just goes to show, idols really appreciate when you write nice things to them.  Anyway, it is in that spirit that I decided to see FES☆TIVE at least once during their release week promotions…

I was trying to decide between two events on Thursday and Friday. One was Keyaki Matsuri, and the other to see FES☆TIVE. Since Keyaki Matsuri is all about beer, I decided to do that one on Thursday just in case I imbibed a little too much it would give me time to recover for Friday night, as opposed to Saturday when I will be at AKB’s handshake event all day.  After a couple hours and a few small beers in Saitama, I got a little bored of beer drinking and figured I would go to see FES☆TIVE after all, and one the way I could knock one other thing off of my “to-do” list and pick up all of my single preorders.

I really wanted to see FES☆TIVE this week since the announcement of Hiyo and Reia’s pending graduation. Not so much for them, but I could tell that Hinarin was stressing quite a bit over all the changes within the group, and I thought perhaps I could help cheer her up. Anyhow, I still got to Shibuya relatively early, and spent some time in the cafe across the street before going into MODI, I made it upstairs around 20 minutes before curtain, bought two more copies of the CD (which makes 2 of each version for me) and got a spot on the far left end of the rail by the DJ. There weren’t very many people in attendance. In fact you could have gotten within 6 feet of the stage up to five minutes before the show, although a few more trickled in at the last minute. I talked to Pin (a FES☆TIVE superfan, who has been going to see them since forever) and she asked where my friend Anthony was. Apparently Anthony told her that he was coming to see the group with me. I was like “Huh?” When I asked him a few days prior he said he might be busy. Oh well.

Before the show started Saeko popped out few times for unknown reasons, as did Reia. Well, Reia was talking to the music tech, and playing with his board, LOL. She seemed fairly “devil may care” since announcing graduation. Hiyo-chan seemed unaffected though. One interesting thing, and I didn’t know what to make of it, but at one point there was a very pretty girl standing in the back, and the girls asked shop staff to bring her up to the front, which they did. She was standing right next to me, but in the staff area. I was really curious who she was? Was it an idol from another group? Was it the sister of one of the members? (She looked A LOT like Piano) or could it have been a future member??? She was kinda tall, so maybe Hiyo-chan’s replacement? Ultimately I don’t know, but the girls paid a lot of attention to her throughout the show, and she disappeared right after the final MC.

Another interesting aspect of the show, the new girls are starting to fish me a little bit. First it was Saeko (new green), who was making a lot of eye contact with me and smiling during the rehearsal. Later on it was Minami Marika. (new blue) It seemed like every time I looked her way she was staring right back at me. She was really trying to get my attention.

It took a while to get the cheki portion of the event started. The girls spent quite a few minutes in the dressing room, then they do group handshake and individual handshake before chekis. I had two tickets, and was first in line to use them both on Hinarin. I was surprised, however, how short ALL of the lines were. Hinari had the longest line, with six people in it. After standing there for over 15 minutes, Piano and Marika’s lines were still completely empty, and Saeko’s line had one person. WTF?

Eventually it was my turn. I asked the staff to be careful with my bag. Hinari asked why, and I told her there was beer inside. She laughed, and said she could smell beer on my breath, LOL. (It had been over three hours, I was sober at this point) I asked her how she was doing, and she made the comment about being the only original member left. I told her when I read that I wanted to come see her, and that everything would be okay. It was cute, she dropped the genki demeanor for a few seconds and seemed completely authentic. We also reminisced about San Francisco, when the original group was still intact. At that point I noticed the guy never took our cheki. He forgot…

Hinari called the guy over, and he quickly snapped the pic as I was just turning, and still talking to Hinari, hence the weird facial expression. Unfortunately when she gave me the pic it hadn’t yet completely developed, and she had already signed it, so I felt bad about asking for another one. But I knew the moment he snapped it that it would turn out that way. Oh, and this is the second time a FES☆TIVE photographer has snapped me in mid-talk. In fact the last time I was not even looking at the camera, LOL. I finished off by reassuring her the the future of the group would be good, and that I still support her. And with that I took off.

I will be so busy this weekend with other stuff that I will not have the chance to go to any more of FES☆TIVE’s release events, so I am not sure when I will see them again.  However, I look forward to seeing who their new members will be, assuming they continue with that tradition of quickly filling in new girls.

CK in Tokyo 

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FES☆TIVE, KissBee The KissBee/FES☆TIVE Mini-Live Doubleheader at Tower Records Shibuya (2018/05/08)

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I love when things are convenient.  If you read my last couple of posts, both Wasamin and Minyo Girls appeared at the same mall on the same day this past Sunday, making for a fun and tiring mini-live quadruple-header with my favorite singer, and one of my favorite groups.  So when I noticed that both KissBee and FES☆TIVE were performing at Tower Shibuya on the same day, I couldn’t pass up another great opportunity.  Not only was I getting “2 for 1,” but I was also getting to see FES☆TIVE’s new lineup for the very first time.  Of course I was also going to get a little facetime with both Misaki-chan from KissBee and Hinarin from FES☆TIVE.  That’s a big plus since I know they have noticed that I have not been coming to their lives nearly as much as before.

I headed out in the late afternoon, just before the rains came.  By the time I got to Shibuya Station the storm had established itself over Tokyo.  My evening started with dinner at Guzman y Gomez, which is an Australian Mexican food chain that has multiple Tokyo locations, including one across the street from Tower Records.  I considered going to the new Fatburger, which just opened in the former 109 Men’s building, but I just wasn’t in the mood for a burger at all.   KissBee was up first at 6:30pm, followed by  FES☆TIVE at 9pm.  Jeez, I didn’t know they did in-store lives that late into the evening.  I don’t think they make it a habit though, since they were announcing that they would have to shut things down at 10:10pm, regardless of the queue…

KissBee (6:30pm)

This is the release week of KissBee’s 2nd Album, Pop Honeycomb.  I made it up to the 4th floor of Tower Records, but not before I was “greeted” by the group on the big video screen in front of the store.  The event space was totally packed, and their was a huge queue to buy CDs.  I looked around for copies of their new album, but all I saw were their old singles for sale.  WTF?  This is release week, isn’t it?  Moreover, most of the people in line seemed to be buying the group’s old singles.  I decided to instead find a spot to watch the show, and worry about the CD later.  I was jammed in the back, and couldn’t see anything.  However, KissBee ropes off a section for people who wish to photograph the event.  (Personally, I hate that they do this, and I think a couple of the guys who do the photography are inconsiderate)  I noticed that the photography section was only half full, so I bee-lined my way over to that section and got a spot just inside the roped off area with a partially obstructed view.  This was much better than where I was before.  KissBee came out for their usual mic check and rehearsal performance.  Misaki-chan eventually spotted me and gave me a little smile and nod.

Most of the songs they performed were from the new album.  My favorite has to be the first track LOVE Sugite Shibo~tsu!  The other two album songs they seem to be promoting, OKAWARI Paradox, and Kare Ki ni Hana wo are also very nice.  Ultimately they did a six-song setlist, with a couple of their older songs tossed in as well.  In one of the final MCs of the set, Sakura-chan announced that the album took 1st on the Oricon Daily chart, so the members were all very happy.

They ended the show with their usual janken for prizes, which I have never won.  Then the photo-op.  Luckily most of the fans in front kneeled down for this (except for those camera dudes I mentioned before)  I decided screw it, since I was on the side anyway.  I basically stayed upright and got some decent pics, even if I wasn’t very close to the stage.  I love as part of their gimmick they all make goofy faces during this segment.

Once the show ended I went straight toward the registers.  Their wasn’t a line yet, and I asked if the new KissBee album was behind the counter (it was)  I quickly got my copy (as well as an upgraded version of my Tower ponta card) and was able to lineup for the free High Touch.  When I got to Misaki-chan she kinda squealed my name much the same way Wasamin always does.  Cute!

As for benefits, the general rule on release events is 2 tickets for an unsigned cheki, and one ticket for a handshake where you can get something signed, either the cheki, a photo provided by the member, or on this day the CD.  I chose to do the cheki and have my CD signed.  While I was talking to Misaki-chan, I was asking her about the new tracks on the album.  I knew which songs in the show I liked, but I didn’t know which one’s they were on the CD, so she pointed them out to me.  It helped that the song I really like came over the PA just as I was asking, and she was like “This one?” while pointing to the ceiling.

Anyway, I got my Misaki facetime, and my signed CD and cheki.  I decided to bail out of Tower Records for a while since it was hot in the store, and I was really thirsty.

FES☆TIVE (9pm)


The new FES☆TIVE: Shin-members (Red, Blue, Green) in front

So while KissBee was promoting their new album release, FES☆TIVE was doing a preorder event for their 7th single, Yamato Nadeshiko Sunrise, which comes out in two weeks.  Now the last time I saw FES☆TIVE was one of the last performances of their old lineup before three of their original members graduated.  Since then they have added three new members, and based on their official pics all three of them are extremely cute.  Especially Doko Ruriko, who happens to be Hinarin’s cousin, and a former member of Tokyo Cheer2 Party.  While there was a point where I was wondering if I would be cutting ties with this group after so many graduations, I must admit that the new members have really energized the group, and me as a fan.


Ruriko

The group came out for a non-song mic check.  I immediately started checking out the new members since I wanted to see what they looked like in person.  The first one who noticed me was Ruriko, who immediately pointed at me and started whispering something to Hinari.  And BTW, of the three new members I thought Ruriko was by far the cutest.  The other two were cute too though.   FES☆TIVE did a quick 4 song setlist with no MCs, aside from a short member introduction at the very end.  It turned out they were trying to rush through the event since Tower had put a time limit on it, and I guess Saria could not do chekis after 10pm?  So after the show ended, everyone queued up, and Saria almost immediately came out to handle her cheki/handshake line.  It wasn’t until around 5-10 minutes later that the rest of the group came out.

The system was quite simply one ticket for a handshake, 2 tickets for a signed cheki+handshake, or three tickets for a 30-second video+handshake.  I preordered 2 CDs, and despite the cuteness of the new members, I used them for a signed cheki with my “go-to” girl Hinarin.

I love that Hinarin gets really touchy-feely with me when I visit her.  I told her that I love the new members, and they are all extremely cute.  Now on one hand, you might think Hinari would get jealous about that.  But Hinari was extremely worried when Koto, Yuna, and Miki graduated.  It is obvious that she LOVES being in FES☆TIVE, and I think she is relieved that the fans like the new members.  I noted that she now has family in the group.  (I didn’t know the word for cousin)  She told me Ruriko was her itoko, I countered that in English we say cousin, which she repeated back to me.  I also mentioned that I really liked the rock and roll style song they performed.  Of the four songs they did, I only recognized one of them.  I’m not sure if the rock-style one was the new single or not, but she seemed to get really excited when I said I liked it.  Finally my time was up, but it is nice that they give you a fairly long time to talk with each member.

And with that it was getting close to 10pm, so I took off after thanking the group staff.  I’m not sure if I will be getting to see wither of these groups again this week.  FES☆TIVE is scheduled to perform twice at Tower Shinjuku tonight, while KissBee is back in Shibuya at HMV Modi.  Technically, I could go to both.  But the question is whether or not I want to.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I spent the rest of the evening tweeting photos from the event, as well as Minyo Girls’ event on Sunday.  The cool thing is that a lot of KissBee’s members react when you post pics of them.  I got likes from almost all of the members, the manager, and couple of KissBee West members, and even a “Thank You” reply from Misaki-chan.  Yes, idols are awesome!

CK in Tokyo

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