Has it already been two days since the GEM one-man live at Nippon Budokan?? (umm, it’s been two weeks. And it was a SUPER☆GiRLS concert). Time really flies when you’re something something.
Speaking of the GEM one-man live at Nippon Budokan, yesterday I ordered SUPER☆GiRLS silicon wristbands. The moment they unveiled the Budokan concert goods last month, I knew I had to have a purple wristband. Kill for it if necessary. I love stuff that tells the world who you favorite member is. I read a fan blog who mentioned most of the goods sold out several hours before the concert began, including the wristbands and t-shirts. The SUPER☆GiRLS website also apologized for the shortages. Wristbands are so cheap they should have had thousands of every color, with truckloads of reinforcements arriving every ten minutes. Hopefully multiple people were fired over this catastrophe.
They probably sold out because the wristband colors are sold randomly (just like their buttons. Remember the button story from a couple of months ago?) The randomness is a cheap way to force fans to purchase more than they need. There are a few ways to get the wristband color you want though. If you don’t care what people think about you (aka you’re crazy) you could open each wristband package while you are at the register, and keep paying out until you get your color. Or you can just buy one and trade with another fan at the venue. But there are always weird people at concerts, and sometimes you don’t realize who the weird fans are until after you already started trading wristbands with them. Ultimately I think most fans would just purchase more than they need and hope they get their color. If thousands of fans are doing the same thing and buying extras it isn’t surprising they would sell out.
So how many did I buy? (wait, this story isn’t over?) Since I bought them online there isn’t a way to guarantee getting a certain color. Purchasing just one obviously has a 1/10 chance of getting your preferred color. I like those odds! I like those odds a lot! It would be weird though to only order one considering the shipping cost and the hassle of buying from avex’s online store. But I also didn’t want to buy too many, because that would also be weird (I am a guy after all and we’re talking about colored wristbands). Ordering five gives me a 41% chance of at least one purple, six increases the likelihood to 46% and seven increases to 52%. The logical choice would have been to order seven since that is the minimum number to increase my odds beyond 50%. I’m pretty lucky when it comes to completely unimportant things like this, so I decided to live dangerously and bought six. Ideally I hope to get 1 purple, 1 light blue, 1 black, 1 white, 1 red,
1 brown and 1 orange. But I would be fine with any combination as long as I get one purple. (What if you get six Rino blue?) I’ll retire from the internet.
The Official GEM Lineup
After six months of drama, heartbreak, laughter, suspense, and non-stop kawaaiiiiiness the final GEM lineup was finally revealed on June 12. The concert was attended by over 6,000 fans, lasted more than four hours, and SUPER☆GiRLS performed all 34 of their songs. Most importantly SUPER☆GiRLS wore bikinis when they performed Tokonatsu High Touch! Even more importantly the final GEM lineup was finally revealed! But even more importantly Reira was wearing a bikini!
It would be annoying if I pointed out Rachel’s hotness, so out of respect for the readers I won’t. (It’s ok. I’ll allow it, but just this once. And “readers“?) The other day I heard some school girls talking about whether Reira’s beauty has achieved “legendary” status. You’re a professional, what do you think? (*puts on glasses* I’m glad you asked. Yes, absolutely. Now tell me more about these school girls.)
The Official GEM Lineup Part II
Even though my personal motto is “Never worry about anything,” I made an exception and allowed myself to be a little worried about Sara making the final lineup. A little extremely worried. The week they had their concert I had three finals and a research paper to complete, but I woke up super early on June 13 to check out the final lineup. My heart was pounding like crazy *kerplunk splash kaboom meow*. Without being too melodramatic, I knew that if Sara wasn’t in the final lineup not only would I have been too depressed to study, but my GEM fandom would have disintegrated into dust and the internet would have ceased to exist. She had to be in the lineup. After all she is the idol who will bring balance back to the something something.
I went to the GEM blog but they hadn’t updated yet. So I went to the official iDOL Street website and checked the GEM member list (aka the GEMber list). For some reason the page loaded slower than it normally would and only the first two rows showed up. And Sara wasn’t there! I was about to retire from the internet, but then the third row loaded and a certain miracle member’s image appeared. OMG (oh my GEM) crisis averted! She was listed last because the order is based on age and she is the youngest. And best! I can now *officially* refer to her as my oshiGEM™.
Once the Sara high faded I started thinking about the GEM lineup. *puts on glasses* Out of the 14 candidates ten girls were chosen. Here is the super controversial final lineup:
From day one the most exciting aspect of GEM was the possibility of a perfect idol lineup. In the 100 year history of J-pop idol groups there has never been a perfect lineup. But when GEM debuted my female intuition went into overdrive with prophecies of idol group perfection. The starting member lineup was already almost perfect. They just needed to remove Risa and Haachin (no offense) and add Sara. The formula to achieve perfection was so simple.
Unfortunately it didn’t turn out as planned. Nagi suddenly quit a week after the street-sei realignment in April. Although she explained she quit because of anxiety issues, I think she had a falling out with Yuki (her best friend) who moved from Sapporo to Tokyo. This is also when Sara, Chisami, and Kakochin were added as GEM candidates.
As GEMStar did more concerts it was becoming apparent that some members were the front-runners and some weren’t involved at all (Risa, Haachin, and Naapon). I’m convinced that Naapon would have made the group if she really wanted to. She’s popular with both fans and within iDOL Street, she is super cute, and a good singer. I think she had the potential to eventually rival Maya and Ranachin. Unfortunately for GEM fans her priority seemed to be acting first, and GEM second. She’s done commercials, some small roles in dramas, and I think she is currently in a theater production. If she was unable to commit to group obligations like rehearsals and fan events this would have put the producers in a difficult situation. On one hand she was perfect for the group, on the other hand a lot of internal problems could arise when one member isn’t held to the same rules as everyone else. I’m sure it was a difficult decision to make, but they were probably thinking long-term and felt it was better to stick with members they knew they could rely on.
I’m still surprised how many changes the group underwent the past six months. Three starting lineup members didn’t make it while three late additions did, and one member quit. Next weeks Suto-sei Dayori is going to cover the GEM portion of the Budokan concert. Based on the setlist and a SUPER☆GiRLS blog I read, GEMStar performed three songs and then the final lineup was revealed. I don’t know how GEMStar was set up for this concert (typically GEMStar has rotated 7 or 9 members, with Naapon, Risa, Haachin, and Chisami rarely being involved). Naapon, Risa, and Haachin blogged about the outcome. None of them voluntarily withdrew, so the decisions were made by management.
edit: Suto-sei Dayori was uploaded this morning
The video includes footage of iDOL Street’s producer Tatsuo Higuchi revealing the GEM concept to the stree-sei members back in November and concludes with the Nippon Budokan concert. After watching I’m really surprised Naapon didn’t make it considering she was in 2 of the 3 GEMStar units. And are they trying to give Yuki a heart attack by calling her name last?
Seeing how it played out I’m even more relieved Sara made the group.
If you’ve noticed Sara and Ranachin have slightly better skills than some of the other members it may be a result of their experience in an avex academy group called Tip-Lip.
Even though this video is ancient please give it a like.
There are still a lot of GEM questions that were unanswered, most notably a release date for their debut single. They also really need new costumes (their outfits right now look like they literally came off the rack). The color-coding is also really weird (no pink, no blue, but two red, and two green). And is this the new GEM logo?
Nagi and Naapon not making the group is a huge loss. But everyone knows I’m still a huge GEM fan.