Tag Archives: Super-long kawaaaiiiiiiiiiii

SUPER GiRLS Event, NEO Fes!!!, & Trip Recap

23 Jul

SUPER GiRLS @ DiverCity Festival Square
NEO Fes!!! @ Tokyo FM Hall
July 16, 2008

My last day in Japan was hectic (in a nerdy way), but it was worth the hassle. SUPER GiRLS had release events in Odaiba and Monogatari was part of an all-day idol event in Chiyoda, a district of Tokyo that includes the Imperial Palace and several foreign embassies. Since this was my last day, I also had to check out of my hotel, stow my luggage somewhere, and eventually get to Narita Airport, which was a slight complication, since I usually fly out of Haneda, which is closer to Tokyo.

After checking out of my hotel, I went to Chiyoda and stowed my luggage in a coin locker. Although I was going to the SG event first, my plan hinged on an available locker at the station nearest Tokyo FM Hall, since I wanted to go to Odaiba free of my luggage so I could enjoy the mini-live and shop for souvenirs. This was the part of my plan that I was most concerned about, because I’ve had nightmare experiences in the past trying to find a locker.

Fortunately, there were several lockers available. The midsize can fit a carry-on roller luggage and a backpack/messenger bag and still have room to spare. That’s so GEM!™

It all seemed too easy and I had to punch a random person in the face to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I was then off to Odaiba! On the way, I daydreamed about Kome‘s creamy, creamy skin and her slender and silky smooth perfectly toned legs–[What about her ample bosom?] Please let me finish! And of course, her ample perfectly proportioned bosom; Z cups if I recall correctly.

I also remembered that when I was in Odaiba last summer, they were in the process of dismantling the Gundam statue in order to build a new model. [Are you sure they are Z cups? I think they are bigger. What comes after Z?]

When I arrived in Odaiba, I had an hour to kill before the SG event. To be upfront, I wasn’t going to buy anything since the single isn’t out yet and I didn’t want to fill out a reservation form for a single I would never be able to pick up. Had the single been released, of course I would have bought a copy since I don’t think it’s right for a hardcore fan to watch a live and not support the group. With that disclaimer out of the way, I checked out the Gundam statue, which I thought looked pretty similar to the one it replaced. Only, stupider looking and less iconic. Afterwards, I went to the JUMP shop at Aqua City. I am a huge One Piece fan and bought a mug and Luffy, Ace, and Sabo glasses because I could take the Luffy and Ace glasses and spell LA.

I mentioned previously that SUPER GiRLS unexpectedly became my favorite group again during this trip. Every performance I saw, they did not disappoint. And I really like their new single. It’s been years since I could say that. My favorites from the original lineup have graduated, but in addition to Kome, I really like Nana, Hotaru, and Yumeri.

It was pretty hot during the first mini-live at noon, fortunately the stage area was in the shade and the group didn’t perform in the sun. I found a spot on the upper terrace overlooking the stage, which was also in the shade and provided a great view from above–which I have to say was way better than the paying fans who were suffering in the sun. During TIF, this area is always blocked off to prevent fans from camping out, which is annoying because it’s perfect for viewing the stage–which is exactly what it was designed and built for.

The mini-live was great. Kome is so attentive to the fans. She always makes eye contact and lingers on stage waving goodbye. She even genuinely waved at us non-paying fans. 

At least buy my blu-ray.

Okay. Just please keep making them. At least ten image videos every year. I mean 20! No, a million!

Setlist
Joishi Ryoku Paradise
Koishite Yes
Bubbling Squash
Gira Gira Revolution
Ichatte Yachatte

I wouldn’t be able to watch the second mini-live because of Monogatari’s timeslot at the idol event, so I returned to Chiyoda.

NEO Fes!!! is an ongoing idol event similar to Idol Koshien. This edition was held at Tokyo FM Hall, which is commonly used for idol concerts. I reserved a ticket through tiget and after paying the fee at the entrance, I was handed the current issue of Top Yell (an idol publication), as they were the sponsors. The place is kind of weird imo. The room is a perfect square with a high ceiling and it’s a small space, maybe fitting 3-400 people. The floor had also been divided into a sitting and standing area. There were five rows of chairs upfront and a standing area in the back, which is where I watched from because I like being able to jump around. While I was there, I had to keep track of the time, because in order to make my flight, I had to leave at 5:30. I was super fortunate, because Monogatari was scheduled from 5-5:30. Essentially, I payed 4000Y to watch Monogatari perform for 30 minutes. If they had been scheduled any later, I wouldn’t have been able to attend–in which case I would have watched both SUPER GiRLS mini-lives. Outside of Monogatari, I was only interested in Woltanative. Other groups I was interested in either performed earlier in the day or after I would leave.

Woltanative was the first group I saw. They were a five member unit again. This group has gone through a lot of lineup changes in their short existence. For instance, two months after they were formed as a five-member group, they lost two members. Then they added two. And then lost one. The website currently shows six girls, but there were only five on stage. They are a MAPLEZ sister group, and the center of Woltanative is the former center of MAPLEZ. MAPLEZ is disbanding this year and this group could be on thin ice. I like their music though. It’s very much in the vein of MAPLEZ, leading me to think the sound producer is the same.

Fulfill Pocket and …… (I think they are called “dots“) followed. Fulfill Pocket isn’t my type, but dots was somewhat unique. They perform wearing bands covering their eyes; I think their gimmick is the members are all anonymous. 

I really wasn’t expecting much from the other acts considering I was there for Monogatari, which is why I was surprised when I fell in love with the group that followed. Or more precisely, I fell in love with a member of the next group.

The group was Inkey Oops. They were at Idol Yokocho, but even had I known of them, there would have been a schedule conflict. Their lineup was three girls and a guy who mainly just hyped the crowd. And he looked a lot like one of the guys in Zettaichokyu Joshi! Play Balls (it turned out that he was the guy). I don’t think he is a full-time member though, just like how Play Balls usually perform without the two guys.

Then I noticed the blond girl in the group and I literally fell in love right then and there. Seriously cute and super energetic and smiling and jumping around nonstop. Her name is Chihiro Kamata, but goes by Rinco Star. All of the members have stage names. [Was she super-long kawaaiiiii?] Yes, of course!

I don’t necessarily have a thing for Japanese girls who dye their hair blonde, but I have previously been a huge fan of Runa (Doll Elements) and Saya (gallop+). What I do have a thing for though, are girls who put their hair up like she does. I really dislike the trend of girls completely covering their foreheads, which has been going on for years now. There have been times when I’ve liked a group and the entire lineup has their bangs chopped straight across and lined up with their eyebrows. Why is that a thing? /rant

The group’s music is straight up pop, which is refreshing since new groups these days are seemingly either rock-based or frenetic, nerd-core. 

One of their songs they performed was a cover of a-ha’s Take On Me, but the rest of their set was original music (I think). It’s rare that I react like this to an unknown group, but they were so energetic and dorky, that I couldn’t help jump around and act like an idiot alongside them.

Unfortunately, there are warning signs, so I’m proceeding with caution. Within a year, they’ve already lost a member. When I saw gallop+ and immediately fell for them, my favorite member left the group a month later. For now, I’ll casually follow them, and hopefully see them again during my next trip. 

After enduring an Arc Jewel group called Jewel Neige it was finally time for Monogatari.

Of course they performed wearing the outfits I hate.

Ugly dresses: I am shiny and nylon and color-coded! Why do you hate me?
Me: Because you are shiny and nylon and color-coded.

When I return to Japan, please wear any of these:

Setlist
KISS MY GIRLS
Maho o Tokonaide
WE are ONE
PARTY ANIMALS
Moikkai Kimi ni Suki to Ienai (new single)
MONOGATARI

The setlist was great because I honestly like every song they perform. Even if I don’t like the song itself, their choreography is so amazing, that I can still enjoy the performance. They have a choreographer who is reminiscent of the one PASSPO had when they debuted, basically designing performances that are really unique and dare I say, revolutionary. I have a feeling their choreographer is no longer with the group–they rarely stick around, but she had a hand in enough of their songs to really impact their development.

Surprisingly, the five times I saw Monogatari this trip, they never performed arguably their most popular song.

^ That is the version of the group that I fell in love with. I fear that phase is over though. But even if it is, everyone knows that I’m still a huge Monogatari fan.

And because my editor says people like this kind of thing, here are pictures of food

Movie recommendations
During the flight I watched Tori Girl and Mixed Doubles and loved both. Highly recommended if you like romantic comedies.

And out of these movies, which do you think I watched?
[Probably the perviest one. Sherlock Gnomes?] If you guessed Sherlock Gnomes, you are… not correct and you clearly do not know me! I watched Pacific Rim: Uprising, and it was really disappointing. Much worse than the first movie. On the other hand, I was shocked that Blockers was hilarious.

Next trip
My school has three weeks off for winter break, so I’d like to return during that time. My focus will be SUPER GiRLS, Monogatari, and Moriwaki Yui. Secondary will be Silent Siren, Yumemiru Adolescence, Tokyo Performance Doll, and Magical Punchline. Tertiary will be Yamakatsu and maybe Inkey Oops (I’m still not sure if my fandom is temporary insanity). If Fuwa Fuwa schedules “real” concerts outside of their theater, then I would bump them to my secondary tier.

And I really wish Japan would have held on against Belgium, if only to keep this going. They actually did events wearing these! Super-long kawaaiiiiiii.

The end

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Tokyo Summer 2016 Mini-Cap™: Yumemiru Adolescence, GEM, and Akishibu Project

15 Aug

Going to Japan was a last minute decision, although I was deliberating it for a while. On July 31, I finally decided and booked my flight and hotel for August 3–12. My main motivations were seeing Akishibu Project, Yumemiru Adolescence, drop, and GEMAnother motivation: I had purchased tickets for J-POP Summit in order to attend Silent Siren’s U.S. debut in San Francisco on July 23, but as luck would have it, I ended up getting a job interview at a new school the following Monday, so instead of going to San Francisco, I spent the weekend preparing my presentation for the interview. So I wanted to make up for that loss. Everything turned out for the best, I got the job, went to Japan, and I’ll see Silent Siren when they perform in Los Angeles in September. 

Every summer, I stay at the same hotel in Odaiba, because it’s a ten minute walk to Tokyo Idol Festival. After checking in, I went to Akihabara to see Yumemiru Adolescence at Akiba Cultures Theater. In the ten times I’ve been to Japan, I’ve only been to Akihabara twice, and I had never been to a show at Akiba Cultures. For some reason, I’ve also never been to Ginza, even though that is the first district of Tokyo I learned about when I was in college studying Japanese. Surprisingly, I was able to purchase a ticket to the show using my Pigoo account and credit card. Now in addition to being able to purchase drop and Maneki Kecak tickets, who use Peatix, I can also purchase tickets for shows at Akiba Cultures. That’s so GEM!™

This is the process I used for entering the lottery and purchasing a ticket
1. Register for a Pigoo account (assuming you don’t live in Japan, you’ll have to fill in a fake Japanese address.)
2. Wait for the pre-sale period, which varies depending upon the type of membership you have. For free accounts, I believe the lottery period begins ten day before the show. You can review the details here.
3. Enter the lottery and wait for the results, which will be sent to your registered email address.
4. After you win the lottery, pay using a credit card or paypal.
5. You’ll receive an email confirmation, which includes your ticket number.
6. On the day of the concert, pick up your ticket 30-60 minutes before the show start time by showing your email confirmation along with a form of ID. 
7. Pay the 500Y cover. If you plan on buying merchandise before the concert, arrive early, because sales end about 15 minutes before showtime.

This was a new experience for me and it was a little nerve-wracking, because I kept thinking my ticket would be cancelled since I used an American credit card and a fake Tokyo address, so hopefully the above instructions are helpful.

Yumemiru Adolescence
YUME LIVE! @ Akiba Cultures Theater

August 4, 2016

I arrived at the theater 30 minutes before the start time, and since I’d never been there before, I tried to casually observe what was going on–which is difficult when you stand out. Eventually a staff member yelled out that anyone who still needed to exchange their ticket should go to the ticketing area, so I walked in (still kind of thinking there was a chance my ticket could be invalid). Fortunately my fears were unfounded and I was able to show my ticket confirmation in exchange for a real ticket. The girl helping me checked my ID and I wonder if she compared my California address to the fake Japan address I used for my Pigoo account. I was prepared to explain the situation if pressed, but it wasn’t necessary.

After getting my ticket, I was literally a few seconds from entering the queue for merchandise when they closed it, because by that time it was 15 minutes until showtime. My ticket was #289, which is pretty bad for this venue, since capacity isn’t much higher than 300. The concert sold out, and I think they sold extra tickets beyond normal capacity. Despite my high ticket number, I had great visibility from the standing area in the back.

Most of the fans in my area were pushing Karin (who is also my favorite), and since she is color-coded red, we were the red light district. Which reminds me, when I was still at home packing my luggage, I tested my penlight and found that half of the colors weren’t working–it’s supposed to toggle through 10 colors, but I lost yellow, light blue, brown, purple, and two others. 

The concert lasted only about an hour, but I knew that beforehand from watching their previous YUME LIVES. The concert was great and now that I know how easy it is to purchase tickets, I’ll go back in the future, since a lot of groups I like perform there. The venue also isn’t as janky as I once thought :D The low-res streams on niconico kind of give a bad impression of the theater.

And I feel very mature for not once mentioning how hot the members are.

Setlist
1. Suterusu Bukai 25: 00
2. Mai Gene!
3. Mawaru Sekai

4. Shomei Teenager
MC: Announced a free live on 8-13, the day after I leave :P
5. Oshiete Schrodinger
6. Fantastic Parade
Encore
7. Love for You (new single)
8. Hi! Summer Dreamer


GEM, Yumemiru Adolescence, Up Up Girls, Moso Calibration, et al
GIRLS❤GIRLS❤GIRLS SUMMER LIVE!! @TSUTAYA O-EAST
August 9, 2016

When I found out that Yumemiru Adolescence was performing at an event called GIRLS❤GIRLS❤GIRLS SUMMER LIVE!!, my first instinct was to purchase all the tickets and not share GIRLS❤GIRLS❤GIRLS with anyone! But then I got hella dizzy looking at the word GIRLS so many times in a row and realized one ticket would suffice.

A friend mentioned that this event sounded like a strip club, which reminded me that when I was in fourth grade, when returning to school from a field trip, our bus drove by a building that had a huge sign that read GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! I was only ten at the time, but I remember my best friend and I thought that was hilarious and wish we could have gone on a field trip there instead.

The concert was two days after TIF and was sponsored by a Tokyo radio station celebrating their anniversary, which is why the lineup included groups which typically wouldn’t participate in a shared concert. This was also the last real show I would go to for this trip; everything else was release events.

The full lineup in order of appearance: J-Dee’Z (opening act), Zettai chokkyū joshi Play Balls, Tsubaki Factory, GEM, Bakusute Sotokanda Ichome, Moso Calibration, Yumemiru Adolescence, and Up Up Girls.

I’ve never seen J-Dee’Z, Play Balls, or Tsubaki Factory before. I’ll just write one sentence about each:
J-Dee’Z’s music and style is kind of old-school and the way they dressed, it was like they just pulled clothes out of their closets and then went on stage.
Play Balls are a baseball-themed idol group and they have two guys in the group who wear baseball uniforms and act like idiots on stage to the delight of their fans.
Tsubaki Factory is a Hello Project trainee group, and like all Hello Project groups, are old-school and incredibly boring! :D

GEM followed Tsubaki Factory and as one of the few remaining good guys in the world, I politely plowed my way to the front center. GEM was actually a late addition to this concert. Obviously, that’s so GEM!™ Ever since I’ve been a fan, my interest in them has constantly been up and down though. They recently added two members to the group, Monami and Hirari, when Maya went on hiatus and almost immediately I became a huge fan of Monami. Because of her, my interest in GEM had skyrocketed into the furthest reaches of outer space. Unfortunately, Monami fans came crashing back down to earth soon after her debut, because after about ten days of activities, she went on a sudden hiatus–and hasn’t been heard from since. It’s possibly due to illness, but no one is really sure, because there hasn’t been an update on her status.

Despite her absence, I still love GEM and had a great time. Their set was much funner than any I had seen from them at TIF. Although, instead of doing their new overture, they came on stage singing “We’re GEM,” which was disappointing since the new overture is cool and “We’re GEM” is not. At least the choreography allows us to repeatedly point at our oshiGEMs. They performed their new single “Spotlight” and “Party Up” from their recent album, which are both great additions to their normal rotation. “Do You Believe?” is fun, but I doubt I’m the only one who is getting tired of it. Lastly, I continue to get haunted by the song “Can’t Stop Loving.” Every time I see GEM, they perform either this song or it’s brother, Star Shine Story. And I would see them perform these two songs three more times during the trip.

GEM’s setlist
1. We’re GEM

2. Spotlight
3. Party Up
4. Do You Believe?
5. Can’t Stop Loving

Bakusute Sotokanda Ichome was next and umm, I’m not going to write about them so fast forward to Moso Calibration, although I don’t have much to write about them either. The last time I saw them was 2014, and I remembered their fans do wotagei and also run around in circles, so I moved out of the center. Their fans were extremely tame during their set though. 

Afterwards, I again became a gentleman and politely plowed my way to the center for Yumemiru Adolescence. There were a lot of YumeAdo fans at the show, so the front area was more congested than it was for GEM. There was still space to move and jump though. Really fun setlist, the funnest of the night for me. Basically just a lot of jumping around.

YumeAdo’s setlist
1. Love for You

2. Bye Bye My Days (Note: I would link to this song, but it’s disappeared from the internet)
3. Kurachu Summer
4. Mai Gene
5. Fantastic Parade

After their set I went to the bar to redeem my drink ticket. I had noticed 7 or 8 foreigners at the show, and two came up to me while I was getting my drink and mentioned seeing me at TIF. Up Up Girls came on shortly afterwards and I went back to the floor area. I’ve seen this group several times, and they’ve never clicked with me and I left after watching two songs. I was also starving since I’d been out since early that afternoon and it was now 9PM.


Fairies Event @LaLaport Tokyo Bay, Chiba
August 10, 2016

I haven’t followed Fairies in a long time, but I’m still slightly interested in them, so I went to their event in Chiba. They sang three slow songs, including their new single Crossroad. I’ve noticed they’ve rapidly matured their look during the past year. It seems to be working since they are still getting more popular, but I prefer the more high energy, cool look they used to have.


GEM @Ikebukuro Sky Deck (aka the Tobu Department Store rooftop)
August 11, 2016

GEM and Akishibu Project both had two events in separate locations in Ikebukuro, and because of the timing I was able to go to both of GEM’s and one of Akishibu Projects. Later that night I wanted to go to Narumi Takiguchi‘s one-man in Shibuya, but that didn’t work out, so I went to Akishibu Project’s third event scheduled that day, which was also in Shibuya.

I feel like I shattered his perception of the oversees GEM fan. Anyway, I’m still surprised that I was able to see GEM so soon after the new GEMber’s debuts, yet I wasn’t able to see Monami. It’s pretty rare I become a fan of a new member so quickly. I honestly hope she’s okay and returns to the group, but this situation is kind of unprecedented.

GEM Event 1
Overture
Spotlight
Can’t Stop Loving
Star Shine Story

GEM Event 2
We’re GEM
Do You Believe?
Spotlight
Party Up
Can’t Stop Loving


Akishibu Project events
@Shinseido, Ikebukuro
@HMV & BOOKS, Shibuya

After GEM’s first mini-live I rushed to Akishibu Projects event at Sunshine City (a large mall in Ikebukuro), which was about ten minutes away. On the way I saw their truck promoting their single and had to stop to take a photo. I also saw the truck in Odaiba during TIF and in Shibuya.

Their event was at a Shinseido store at the far end of the mall, and was a little hard to find since it was actually a mini-store inside a store. Since the shop was small, the stage was even smaller. The members were dressed as staff and handled cd sales.

I purchased two copies of their single and afterwards, I had to rush back to GEM’s event, which was beginning in 20 minutes. Because I was in a hurry, I bought the wrong version of one of the cds (each of the five versions have different tracks). Not a huge deal, but it’s a great single and it’s doubtful anyone will upload the other versions. Yuechi helped me with my purchase. I have several favorite members in the group, which is why I like them so much, but Yuechi and Yuna are my favorite. I was a little nervous and I’m pretty sure my hand was shaking like a person being electrocuted as I handed her the cds.

After their Shinseido event and GEM’s second event, I went back to my hotel for an hour, before going to Shibuya. Earlier in the day I found out Narumi Takiguchi was having a one man at a small club near O-EAST, and I really wanted to go, despite not having a ticket. I’ve been a fan of hers since 2013, when I saw her with her old group Takokusekigun, at an underground idol show in a small club called Shibuya Deseo. So I went to the venue she was performing at called Vuenos. I had to run to get there and arrived 5 minutes before the opening time. There was literally no one there though. I thought maybe I had the wrong day, but checked her twitter and confirmed this was the day. There was a sign on the door in English that said “Not Ready,” but I went inside anyway. There was an old man sweeping the floor and a few girls standing inside, but I didn’t see any staff or Narumi fans in the lobby. I went outside and waited until 7:10, not really sure what to do since this was an underground show and I already felt out of my comfort zone. Akishibu’s event was at 7:30 at HMV & BOOKS, which is across the street from Tower Records, so I knew I could get there quickly if necessary. I waited a few more minutes and didn’t see anyone enter or leave the venue, so I walked around to the back thinking there could be an alternate entrance. I didn’t find one so I decided to go to Akishibu’s event. It was getting late, so I also had to run there. Running through Shibuya’s crowded streets isn’t the coolest thing to do, but I’m an extremely fast runner so I was able to get their quickly.

HMV & BOOKS is a relatively new store and they have an event space on the 7th floor. It’s supposed to hold 100-200 people, but that seems like a complete exaggeration. I should have purchased more singles, but I still hadn’t realized I bought the wrong version earlier in the day, so I just watched the live. They came on stage wearing pajamas and I loved all the songs they performed. It was a short live, but this was their third event of the day, and they had been promoting all week, so it was understandable.

Setlist
Summer Summer

LOVE&PARADISE
Be Yourself

If you think you can have any interest in Akishibu Project, please watch the video for Be Yourself. It’s super long kawaiiii and super long kakkoiiii!


My original schedule included a show at Shinjuku ReNY with drop, Houkago Princess, and Maneki Kecak the following day, but that listing turned out to be a mistake. The lesson here is to not automatically assume everything on idolscheduler is accurate!

I didn’t want to go to that show anyway!! *sobs into a pillow*

The End

Recaps: Silent Siren

5 Sep

saisai spacetime banner v3.2I previously mini-capped™ the Silent Siren concerts, but this is the superior version 2.2.
[What happened to version 2.1?]
Version 2.1 turned into that weird thing I wrote about Apple Jacks.

Prologue
Although I’ve been a fan of Silent Siren for years, I never considered attending one of their concerts. I had assumed their lives would be overly girly and also only attended by girls. Wait, does that sound sexist? [I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out how a concert only attended by girls could be considered a bad thing.] It wasn’t until I watched their two concert blu-rays, and then re-watched them over and over again, that I realized they are overly girly! But in a good way. Well, it’s better than a girl band being overly boy-ey.

Having become a Silent Siren addict, I wanted to attend every live they scheduled during my trip, which turned out to be “Mezamashi Live,” a two-man at Otodama Sea Studio, and a brief appearance at Tokyo Idol Festival. Unfortunately, I missed their tour finale by a week–which in retrospect would have been enough reason for me to reschedule my entire trip. They also had a photo event in Shibuya and Yokohama during my stay, but since they wouldn’t be performing I was too lazy to attend. It was so hot in Tokyo that a lot of the smaller events I typically would have gone to became too much of a hassle.

“Mezamashi Live”
@ Odaiba Yume Tairiku
July 30, 2015

Mezamashi Live is a long-running series of summer concerts produced by Fuji Television (named after their morning program “Mezamashi TV”). The concert was scheduled for 18:30, but I arrived at 17:00 in order to collect my 1-day pass for the Yume Tairiku festival (which is included with the concert ticket and necessary to access the concert venue) and to purchase Silent Siren goods.

Earlier in the day the band tweeted there would be a high touch event after the concert, so in addition to purchasing a towel and wristband, I pre-ordered their new single Hachigatsu no Yoru, which included the event ticket.

Suu backstage before their rehearsal. Source https://twitter.com/sumiredooon

Afterwards, I went to the stage because the band had started rehearsing. They were super long kawaaaaaiiiiiii, particularly Suu who kept jumping around and acting like a kid. The session lasted about 20 minutes, and they played bits of random songs, including my favorite Silent Siren song Yumeoi. When they finished, I joined the concert queue which was located at the back entrance to the festival. 

My ticket number was 211, which was pretty good since there was about 900 in attendance. In comparison, at last year’s SUPER☆GiRLS Mezamashi Live, my number was 684. For most of my concert tickets this trip, I used Japan Concert Tickets and they were awesome. The guy who helped me was extremely professional and was able to enter me in several ticket lotteries, which would have been otherwise impossible.

Upon entering the venue, staff members handed everyone Silent Siren disposable glowsticks and I chose a spot in the center column of Row 7, which was based on where the members position themselves on stage. I am a huge Suu fan (lead singer and guitarist) and she occupies the center position. My second favorite member is Ainyan (bassist and backing vocals), so I deliberately chose a spot that was directly in the middle of the middle column (for Suu), but I then shifted two seats to the left (to get slightly closer to Ainyan’s spot), in order to maximize my field of vision for both members. [In other words you’re a huge nerd. And that explanation was poorly written!] I also kept shifting back and forth trying to find the perfect spot, which I think confused and annoyed the people around me. [Umm, no one needs to know that detail.]

The group performed wearing cute white dresses (pictured above), which are outfits they’ve worn since 2013. Their smaller concerts begin with them running on stage and clapping along with the audience, before heading to their stations and picking up their instruments. It’s a simple intro, but surprisingly cute. I’m going to write the word cute a lot, because the members have genuinely cute mannerisms on stage, contributing to their overwhelming cute aura. And I actually think that despite being a rock band, they are cuter than practically every idol group. Their cuteness is a result of the way they perform and interact with the audience, as opposed to the rehearsed cuteness idol groups rely on, which tends to disappear once the performance begins.

Despite the setlist being heavily tilted towards their gimmicky songs, the concert was amazing. Their new single Hachigatsu no Yoru has become my second all-time favorite Silent Siren song and from the moment the first chord was played I was crying non-stop like a baby gorilla and screaming “Suuu daiSUUUkii” directly in the ear of the person in front of me for the entire song! I was flailing my arms and just kicking whatever was in my path knocking over people and just having a blast! (<- All of that may or may not have happened).

They also performed their cover of ZONE‘s “Secret Base,” but I thought their version was a little rough. Maybe they are still getting the song down, or maybe they intentionally didn’t want to do a clean version. Now that I’ve listened to their single though, the studio-version sounds great, although I still prefer the original. The concert lasted about 45 minutes, and another 15 minutes for the high touch to conclude.

The high touch went fine, until Ainyan looked at me and said “Whoooa!” like she just had a close encounter with an alien from Mars. Initially I thought it was hilarious, but after thinking about it more I have no idea if it was a positive reaction. My hair was pretty spiky that day so maybe it was a combination of that and being a foreigner. I would see them again at TIF and again on August 5 in Kamakura, but this time I was setting up official Suu fan headquarters directly in the center because Ainyan was dead to me! (jk)

Setlist
1. Soukai Rock

2. BANG!BANG!BANG!
MC

3. Secret Base (ZONE cover)
4. Hachigatsu no Yoru (New single)
5. Starmine
6. GuruGuru Wonderland
Encore
7. Bii San (Beach Sandals)


“Tokyo Idol Festival 2015”
@ Zepp DiverCity (“Heat Garage” stage)

August 2, 2015

On day two of TIF, I arrived at Zepp DiverCity at 8:00 to queue for Silent Siren, who would perform at 10:15. Palet was scheduled immediately after them, and ever since Yumi Nakano joined the group, I’ve become a casual fan. The weather was already hot and a second reason I wanted to arrive early was in order to queue in the shade, since there is only a small stretch next to the venue that isn’t in the sun. When Silent Siren was added to TIF I assumed they would perform a regular set, considering they were scheduled for 30 minutes. Even after PASSPO was designated as their guest, I just figured there would be a harmless gimmick involving PASSPO members either singing alongside them, playing instruments, or doing somersaults on stage.

When I arrived there were about 25 people in the area, but an official queue hadn’t started. I thought that was weird, but took it as an opportunity to buy some drinks. Even after I returned ten minutes later, fans were still just casually standing around This was annoying because there are always line cutters at TIF, but usually the very beginning of a queue is safe. At all the TIFs I’ve been to, queues had formed this early, so I was confused and just stood near the fans with Silent Siren shirts and towels and would follow their lead.

At 8:30 the staff conferred (pictured above) and shortly afterward moved the unofficial queue to the side of the building (which you can see in the stretch that is in the shade). At this point, there was a two-hour wait for the venue to open. Upon entering, I noticed that there wasn’t a security check like there had been for day one and I went directly to the middle of the stage next to the cutout for the camera operator. It wasn’t first row, but it was center and I was on the railing, therefore I would have an unobstructed view.

The group performed wearing cute pastel colored dresses. Suu was wearing a knee-length dress that was completely saved by slits on each side, revealing her SUUper-skinny, yet SUUper-perfect legs. Every time I see her I just want to scream “SUUUU!!”–like a wolf howling at the moon.

Unfortunately, they only performed three songs, and I kind of realized the setlist would be short after they performed GuruGuru Wonderland second, since they typically end concerts with that song. After Bii San, the rest of their timeslot included PASSPO and a boring discussion of the punishment game Yukurun lost during their spring tour, which culminated with her performing Material Girl with them. [If you’re interested in the backstory on the collaboration you can watch this video–skip to the 10:00 minute point.]

Although disappointing, Silent Siren appearing at TIF was completely unexpected. Therefore, I was grateful, but I still selfishly wanted more. Have you ever seen a wild bear eating cookie crumbs? That’s what I looked like. I was like a starving bear eating Silent Siren crumbs and constantly looking for more Silent Siren crumbs and then devouring those.

Except the crumbs were Suu’s legs, making them the best crumbs ever.

Setlist
1. Lucky Girl
2. GuruGuru Wonderland
3. Bii San


“Otodama Sea Studio: Itano Tomomi x Silent Siren”
@ Otodama Beach, Kamakura

August 5, 2015

Otodama Sea Studio is a summer concert venue located directly on the beach of Kamakura, a city 50 kilometers to the south of Tokyo. Travel time was 70 minutes by train and when I arrived I quickly visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, a popular Shinto shrine. The shrine is in the opposite direction from the beach, so I only had about 15 minutes to look around before I needed to head to the venue. The weather was really nice because of the proximity to the ocean, and a total departure from the Tokyo heat.


Earlier in the day, the band tweeted photos while they had lunch and walked on the beach.

Unfortunately, there would be no bikini photos on that day–probably because Suu’s skin is very creamy. [And soft too.] Oh yeah, absolutely. [And supple!] Please stop interrupting my Suu story. And never use the word “supple.” Anyway, I was concerned that her delicate skin would be harmed by the sun. But it looks like she was wearing protective clothing. I was thinking though…

Wasn’t there anything I could have done for Suu to protect her from the sun?–which would coincidentally allow her to wear a bikini. Alas, I’m just a normal guy. Suu and I come from completely different worlds. I’m a successful private detective by day and zoo keeper by night and she is a beautiful idol with a sassy personality by day and lingerie model with a sassy personality by night.

Yet I kept asking myself over and over, “What could I do for her? What could I do for her?”

And each time I replied, “I can rub sunscreen all over her body. I can rub sunscreen all over her body.”

Maybe it’s because I am one of the few remaining good guys in the world, but whenever I think about idols going to the beach, I just really, really want to rub lotion all over their body. I know, crazy right?

I missed my chance this time, but if she ever returns to the beach, I promise that I will make the ultimate sacrifice and rub lotion all over her body. [Even the parts that won’t be in the sun?] Especially the parts that won’t be in the sun. Those are the most important parts!

I would tell her, “Suu, your creamy skin will soon be in the sun, and you are already shivering like a baby gorilla. Do not push me away or scream in my ear. It is with great reluctance that I remove all of your clothing. Alas, I must apply sunscreen over your entire body. And yes, including the parts that won’t be in the sun. Fortunately, I always carry with me twenty bottles of lotion. I will be here all day… and you’re welcome.”

Anyway, when I arrived at the beach, the staff had just begun letting fans into the venue. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the process was, because they weren’t calling by ticket number. It seemed like they were just letting in blocs of people based on ticket number ranges, beginning with fan club members. I knew I had a good ticket so I just got in the queue and I entered without a problem. It’s a free-standing venue and I was able to get 4th row in the center column. The floor is actually sand, since it’s a structure set up on the beach.

The two-man line-up was interesting because I doubt there is fan overlap between Silent Siren and Tomomi Itano, and the ratio was probably close to a 90/10 split in favor of Silent Siren. Because it was a shared concert, I figured the etiquette of letting fans of each group have priority would be in effect. I didn’t know who was opening though, so I chose the best spot available, and would vacate if Tomochin opened. I figured she would open though, since the stage didn’t have Silent Siren’s instrument setup. Most of Tomomi’s fans are girls, so when she came on first, I let them pass me, but I still had a decent position. I’m no longer a fan, but when I followed AKB48, she was my fourth favorite member, so I was interested in seeing her as a solo artist. I won’t get into detail about her performance, but it was entertaining, although she heavily relies on a backing vocal track. I think she sang six songs, with a short MC, before returning for a one-song encore.

At the conclusion of her encore, the Tomochin fans relocated to the back of the venue, and I returned to the front near Suu’s spot. Silent Siren’s staff then brought out their instruments and did the standard instrument checks. For the concert Hinachu would use an electronic drum kit instead of her typical acoustic drum, which you can see in the photo below.
I was about two meters from the stage and I actually moved closer because I don’t recall ever seeing the guy wearing the hat in the above photo. There wasn’t the typical gap between the stage that exists at larger venues, so the group was extremely close. They performed wearing the same dresses as Mezamashi Live, but this concert was a lot better, because they performed more songs, it was free-standing, and the beach setting had a better vibe than Odaiba. During the MC, Suu explained that the two-man came about because Tomochin requested Silent Siren, and their managers set it up.

They performed for an hour and sang BANG!BANG!BANG!, Lucky Girl, Hachigatsu no Yoru, What show is it?, GuruGuru Wonderland, and Bii San, in addition to a few others. The group had been heavily promoting their new single Hachigatsu no Yoru, and had another high touch event after the concert. If there was even a 1% chance they would do the event while wearing bikinis, I would have purchased ten, I mean one hundred copies. But Suu has creamy, delicate, soft, and supple skin remember?

The sun hadn’t yet set as I left the venue and I walked along the beach. I had heard that there were Japanese restaurants that served Japanese food in the area, and I was anxious to try one as it would be a nice change from the Japanese restaurants that served Japanese food that I had dined at every day since arriving. Unfortunately, every restaurant I walked into told me they were closed. Which was weird because…

It was only 19:00!

So I ate at Kua Aina, the only restaurant in the area that was still open.
I didn’t mind, afterall, maybe I could find a Japanese restaurant tomorrow.

The End

Spring Tour 2016
I’m planning my next trip to coincide with Silent Siren’s spring tour. [When is the tour?] Spring. [Oh. Probably no bikinis then.]

I think tour details could be revealed during their year-end concerts in Osaka and Tokyo. Until then, I won’t be blogging–unless I finish my Chubbiness fanfic “Chubbfu11y.”Although after a year of writing this is all I have:

Chapter 1
The Chubbiness concert at the onsen had just concluded and the members were extremely sweaty. The special twelve-course dinner the proprietor had promised them would be served in an hour, and in the meantime they would all have time to relax. [Chubbiness member’s name] decided to take advantage of the opportunity and make a quick reconnaissance of the hotspring. Afterall, she was very sweaty.

“OooOOhh this is so relaxing! The water feels great caressing my arms and legs and special places. But now that I am clean and refreshed, I seem to have forgotten my towel in my room. Well, it’s just a short walk, I’m sure no one will see me. Wait, I just heard a noise! Oh, it’s just you [Chubbiness member’s name]. You scared me!”
“Yes, it’s just me, [Chubbiness member’s name]. And I also forgot my towel.”