So Japan Expo day one. It started stupidly early for me as I got up at 4am (3am French time) in order to catch an early plane having had very little (well actually no) sleep. I didn’t get to the hotel in Paris until 12 so it was already a long day and there was still an hour before the Expo started. Still with Berrykyuu and Shokotan to come any tiredness would be soon washed away.
The disappointment for me is that both Berykyuu and Shokotan were only there Wednesday and Thursday and some of their events clashed. Wednesday was particularly full. The first thing to do upon arriving was queue for the Berrykyuu signing. We had missed the first come first served one by a long shot but there was still the draw one. The wait was quite long as the new computerised system didn’t appear to be moving people any faster. Nevertheless after queuing for an hour I finally got to the front only to not win a signing voucher. My wife did though so that’s still great. We now have a signed poster. ^^
After queuing for an hour it was straight onto more queuing this time for Shokotan’s signing. The queue fluctuated a lot in size. When I was in the Berrykyuu queue (kyuu queue? Is there a train coming?) it was quite small but by the time I’d left the Berrykyuu queue (next stop Shokoland) it had grown a lot. Nevertheless this time when I got to the front I won a signing voucher. Well worth the wait then. Now Momusu and C-ute are my biggest loves but I’ve liked Shokotan for as long as I’ve liked C-ute so this was a great voucher to win.
While queuing for the voucher a staff member told us if we win we can only have items signed that were from a specific stall. By the time I’d finished with the queue the first come first served Berrykyuu signing was starting so I watched that for a few minutes. Normally I’d have watched it all but the day was so packed that I had to go find the stall I needed to get a Shokotan item from. So even though some events weren’t clashing I still had to miss some things. ><
This is my fourth year visiting the Expo so I know the layout quite well but the stall that sold (very few) Shokotan items was still confusing to find. The same place also had a little stage area nearby with its name overhead but the stall itself was around the corner and had no name on it that I could see. Anyway I eventually found it and bought Shokotan’s 10th anniversary 2CD best of album.
CD bought it was straight to Shokotan’s live.
Shokotan live is so entertaining. She was good for audience interaction and spoke quite a bit as well. She got the crowd to wave hands, pump fists and so on and the atmosphere was pretty good. She did a mix of her rock style songs and a big anime medley too (a given at a place like Japan Expo with all it’s cosplaying anime fans).
Many years ago when I got into Momusu followed by C-ute they never seemed to travel abroad. I remember how amazing it was to eventually see Momusu live at the Expo in 2010. For some reason I always expected not to see C-ute as I kind of thought Momusu are much bigger so they could come but C-ute probably never will and they will probably split up anyway. So seeing them last year was another wonderful and emotional feeling. With Shokotan I have liked her as long and think she’s beautiful and multi-talented but the interest isn’t as strong as with Momusu or C-ute but I have lots of her albums and singles and do like her a heck of a lot. I knew she’d been the Expo many years ago so again she was someone I never expected to see. She was my third big jpop love so seeing her finally even if only in a 45 minute showcase was wonderful. Live she has a really good voice and a big stage presence . Her personality shines through and she’s so energetic. The live was so much fun.
After a sit down and some food it was onto the Shokotan signing session. I was slightly unlucky in being quite far back in the queue as the signing ended up over running. One thing that was great was that there was an interpreter there so people who don’t speak Japanese could still chat to Shokotan. She was also posing for pics and the staff member working there was taking cameras and taking a few pics for each person. This is so different to the old signing days where there were no photo no video signs everywhere. That’s not to say every guest would pose for pics but people were still allowed to take from a distance while watching. Anyway the problem with Shokotan talking a lot to people and posing was that the signing overran and so by the time I got there they were quite hurried. The staff member still took three pics during her signing though. Well actually he took six as he got a bit rushed and took three of the person in front of me first. ><
My actual face when meeting her.
Shokotan was really friendly and asked me if I like Japanese culture (hello. This is Japan Expo!) I hardly had time to reply before it was time to move on but before I did she reached out her hand to shake mine. Ah it was unexpected. A signing and a handshake! 🙂
The Berrykyuu signing was supposed to start at half 7 but the Shokotan one finished late so the Berrykyuu one started late (same staff I think). I watched the signing from a decent enough distance. The girls were all shiny as expected. Chinami really stood out though as at the start she stood up posing for pictures. Towards the end she grabbed a video camera and started filming the audience and getting them to make different arm movements. It was really funny. Across both days her big smile was so infectious.
We then headed to the hotel as the Expo was closing. I don’t think I’ve ever fell asleep so quickly. It had been a long day but a really good one. BERRYKYUU ARE HERE! And Shokotan too! Sadly I wasn’t going to be able to see Shokotan on the Thursday which is a shame. However on Thursday I had the handshake with Berrykyuu (twice) and the concert! So much fun still to come.