Posts Tagged ‘tanifuji misaki’

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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Events, KissBee, Tokyo CLEARS Hisashiburi CLEARS, Hisashiburi KissBee! (2018/03/26-29)

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It had been quite a while since I had last seen Tokyo CLEARS and KissBee perform.  I last saw KissBee in early December, just before I headed to California for the holidays.  For CLEARS, it had been much longer.  almost eight months.  It’s unfortunate since I really adore Rion from CLEARS, and I had developed quite the rapport with Tanifuji Misaki from KissBee.  But such is life, when I decided I needed to curtail my idol spending.  Indie idols were the first casualty.  That said…

This week I noticed that 1) CLEARS was doing some free lives in support of their debut album, and KissBee had just started promoting their own debut album.  So here were some chances to visit these groups without a big admission layout, see a performance, and talk with the members for the cost of a CD.  I was in.  First up, CLEARS…

Tokyo CLEARS at Shinseido Sunshine City, and Naka-Meguro Club Try

I actually went to two different CLEARS events for their new album, “We Are CLEARS”.  The first one was on Monday at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, where they were doing an in-store live along with Gunma CLEARS.  They had two events scheduled, at 5pm and 7pm.  I didn’t think there was any way I could make it to the early show, which was fine.  However, I arrived earlier than expected, and was actually there by the time the live was just ending and the handshake event was starting.  But I decided to stay hidden, and just wait for the later show.

I came back around 6:20pm, and was checking out the rules/benefits of the event, when all of a sudden the door to the dressing room opened, and out came Rion.  Her manager had their dinner.  Rion immediately spotted me, and completely lit up.  “Kurisuuu!”  Rin Asahina also came out to see what the commotion was, and waved to me.  Anyway, my next stop was to do the preorder, but I didn’t understand the benefits at all.  They were quite confusing, and looked like you had to buy multiple copies of the same version, and some video shooting.  I was like “Screw that, I’m not buying five albums just to do benefits.  The people at the cash register were kind of confused too, and went to ask the group manager manager.  Ultimately what the chart didn’t say was that you could still do normal benefits with the purchase of one or two CDs, like chekis and handshakes and whatnot.  So I preordered the limited version, and got three tickets.  I was ready to go.

It was 7pm, and there were literally like eight fans standing there.  WTF?  So I got a spot front and center.  Since there were so few people, nobody was really doing any calls.  Just clapping.  At one point I started calling for Rion, and she pointed her microphone toward me.  The crowd did fill in a bit as the show went on, then some random foreigner came fumbling into the live with her camera raised, and they had to stop her.  Later there were a group of little kids who came by, and we cleared the front of the stage for them to dance along.  It was very cute.  They stayed for the entire rest of the show.

I had three tickets, which I was going to use for a signed cheki with Rion, and an unsigned cheki with Sayuri.  Rion was going on and on about how she missed seeing me, which I also repeated back to her.  I really did miss her, possibly more than any of the other idols I hadn’t seen in a while.  I also mentioned that I sometimes have a hard time figuring out when and where they are appearing, and it was mainly because I saw her tweet that morning that I was there.

Sayuri was a lot more opportunistic.  When I mentioned that I came for the release event, she immediately asked when I would come again, and mentioned the actual release event on Wednesday.  She made me pinky-promise to come.  I remembered reading that it was only 1000 yen to get in, so I was like “Sure, I’ll come.  It is fairly close to where I will be anyway.”

Fast forward to Wednesday…

I had a couple hours to kill before the live, so I went to Devilcraft to grab a couple of quick pints.  I stayed a little longer than expected, and was rushing to get over to Naka-Meguro in time for the show.  It was odd though, I had never seen this many people on the Hibiya Line all the way to the end.  It wasn’t until I got there that I realized why…

It turns out that Naka-Meguro is a huge Hanami-Sakura Viewing spot, since the river cuts right through the middle of the area.  So there were tons of people pouring in and out of the station.  I finally made it out, and tried to figure out where Club Try was, which I had only been to once before.  It took me about five minutes to figure out I went in the wrong direction, and had to backtrack through the huge crowd to the other side of the station.  I was worried that I was going to miss the beginning of the show, arriving at 7:02.  I got upstairs, and paid my admission.  Luckily, I misread the time.  It didn’t begin until 7:15.  there were still a few seats left, so I grabbed one in the third row, but not before buying the regular version of the CD.  This would afford me a signed cheki with Rion, and mean that I had one of each CD version.

This show featured four of the CLEARS groups.  Tokyo CLEARS, who I was there to see.  Then you had Gunma CLEARS and CLEARS SMILE!, neither of which really grab me.  Then there was Chiba CLEARS, who I had never seen before.  OMG…

The girls in Chiba CLEARS were adorable.  All of them.  I was watching them, deciding which one I wanted to meet, but I was having trouble deciding.  There were like four of them I liked, including their brand new chibi member, LOL.  Each group did two songs in the live, and then appeared all together at the end.  As they were setting up for the handshake event, I went and grabbed my prerequisite drink.  I also went to check out Chiba CLEARS’ system.  (All the groups have their own sales tables)  They weren’t selling the CD, they were doing a preorder for something else.  I had no idea what it was, and didn’t feel like spending any more cash, so I will have to meet Chiba CLEARS another time.  I went to line up for Rion…

I still had a slight buzz from all the beer I drank earlier, so I boldly decided to tell Rion that I had checked out some of her old gravure work that was on YouTube.  This stuff is all from about 8-10 years ago, before she was in Ebisu Muscats.  I confirmed that she was a teenager when she did most of those gravure DVDs.  Anyway, I told her that she was a very cute teen.  She said she hoped to see me again soon, and I was on my way.  I went to do a little Sakura viewing on my own before getting back on the train for home.

KissBee at Village Vanguard, SkyTree

It has been a while since I have posted her about KissBee.  Actually, I was getting ready to do a post in December about all the release events for their last single, but I got sidetracked by the holidays, and ultimately never wrote it.  I prefer going to their CD events since they are usually free, as opposed to their non-release events, which usually cost upwards of 3000 yen to get in.  Since this is an album promotion, I probably won’t be going to too many events.  In fact, they have already been promoting the CD for a couple weeks, and this was the first event I had been to.  It was quit convenient though, since I had an appointment near SkyTree, it was easy for me to come over after I was done.

 

KissBee’s new album is called “Pop Honeycomb.”  And like CLEARS, there are two versions, although both versions are the same price.  I got there over two hours early, and the shop hadn’t even started setting up for the show.  So I went over to the food court and got an early dinner at Gindaco.  After wandering around for a while, I headed back to the venue, and saw that the regular fans had already camped out their front spots.  Which reminds me, a small rant…

Back when Wasamin first started her solo career, I noticed that many of her big fans often stayed in the back of the venue when she had events.  Eventually I asked them why, and they said because they are already big fans, and see her all the time, they would rather let newer fans have those spots, so hopefully they become big fans of her too.  I have always taken that philosophy to heart, and usually stay out of the first few rows at Wasamin events.  So I have to be honest, when I see these KissBee fans ALWAYS taking these spots, never allowing anyone else to be in the first row, it kinda rubs me the wrong way.  I once mentioned this to one of the KissBee fans (not one of the front row guys) and he seemed surprised to hear me say it, but he understood.  Anyway…

The other big change is that two of the members seemed to have left the group.  Well, I’m not sure if they left, or are on hiatus, but they are not promoting the CD, aren’t on the cover, and aren’t even listed on the website anymore.  This includes my #2 KissBee girl, Maeda Reon.  I knew Maeda was on hiatus, since I read her Twitter.  I asked what her current status was, and they said she is still considered on hiatus.  I feel badly about that, but it makes things easy for me, as I will focus all my attention on Misaki.

Another interesting issue, this particular Village Vanguard has a history of being over-regulating when it comes to idol events.  In fact, it makes me wonder why they have these events at all.  Fans aren’t allowed to do “calls,” they demand the volume of the music be kept down to a surprising low level, so “not to inconvenience other shoppers,” and they try to stuff everyone into this tiny little space, regardless of the amount of people there.  Luckily, this time they allowed the music to be at more acceptable levels.

It was the usual KissBee live, four songs with a couple of MCs, then it was time for 2-shots and handshakes…oh and the high touch, which is free for everyone.  They weren’t offering the group cheki at this event, but they DID offer a shamekai option, which I suggested to them before.  “Why not give a choice to the fans, and shamekai don’t require you to use any film.”

Anyway, I took a cheki with Misaki-chan, and then later lined up for a handshake, and to have her sign the cheki.  As usual, Misaki had the longest line, and I was toward the back of it, but I eventually got my turn.  She had asked why I hadn’t been around, and I explained that I had cut back on idol events for financial reasons, but I did enjoy their CD promotions, so I would come to a few of those.  I also mentioned that I liked her new hairdo, and the bangs looked really cute on her.  BTW, I also like the album costumes.  To be honest, I thought their costumes for the last two singles looked cheap and ugly.  These are definitely an upgrade.

And that was it.  I had a busy weekend planned with all the 48-group Saitama Super Arena concerts, which I will talk about in my next post.

CK in Tokyo 

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