So onto day two. Handshake and concert day! The day started with the handshakes. The feeling of excitement as everyone hung around waiting for the event to start was palpable. My wife and I met up with some German friends and ended up speaking to a girl from Japan who was studying in England for a year. Everyone was so excited and I know I was also a bit nervous. Not knowing much Japanese and not wanting to repeat myself it’s hard to know what to say. Anyway for the first handshake I stuck mostly with saying I am happy to meet them. Captain was up first and she looks so sweet. Momo was next and I told her she was kawaii. I don’t actually think that but it seemed the polite thing to do. 😄 Then came my favorite Berryz nember Chinami. I told her she was saikou and she beamed and said arigatou. I said to Maasa happy birthday and Maasa was just usual Maasa. Apparently she wasn’t well though which sucked. After Maasa was Tall. A gentle handshake and then came Miyabi who looks less horsey in person. Miyabi is my second favourite. I liked her eyes which seemed happy to be meeting everyone. She left a good impression. Then Risako. Risako was more like a finger shake. The sarcastic blogger in me wants to say it was more like an “I can barely bring myself to touch you but if you must” shake but I think she was just being feminine. Her facial expression was a bit odd though. I think it might have been a sympathetic, “I know you’re nervous but I’m gentle and listening” type of expression. Or she could just be mentally impaired.
Onto C-ute and with Maimi I said “Berrykyuu saikou” to which, just like last year with my more honest “C-ute saikou” she responded with a beautiful big smile and a “saikou” of her own accompanied by a fist pump. Weirdly the first time round I don’t really remember Nacky at all. I was feeling surreal. Airi looked at my t-shirt and said something but I’m not sure what. I was wearing a C-ute shirt that had been designed by some manga type so had them all as cartoons.
I thought it might be more memorable and actually I didn’t see any others there although I saw a similar Berryz one. I did also have a Nacky wristband though. Anyway Airi was charming. Her expressions throughout the handshake were so expressive and happy and her whole aura so funny and likeable. With Chisato I just said I was happy to meet her and that was that. Chisato would make a good Berryz member fitting in alongside Maasa, Tall and Risako. I mean I don’t dislike her but in all of C-ute she interests be by far the least and both last year and this there was nothing really sparkling about her. Finally it was Mai and I wondered if she’d understand if I called her perfecto. 😄 I wanted to do my perfect sign from last year. In the end I spazzed instead and just said either nice to meet you or Berrykyuu saikou, made a weird fist pump movement and wandered off in a daze. 12 idols RIGHT THERE. All going past so quickly. It’s too much to process. My mind had gone all 😀 so I couldn’t think straight. Ah well time to queue up and go around again. 😄
Second time was more of the same. Captain was nice, Chinami was beaming, Maasa looked like she’d rather be somewhere else, Risako was finger shaking again, Maimi is like some kind of super 3-D idol that just hits you hard. She really is so beautiful. With Nacky I pointed to my wristband and she made an ah type happy face. Then I said “Nacky-chan saikou” or something similar and she smiled and said arigatou in her cute voice. <
The handshakes were awesome. Meeting idols who you only see on tv or laptop screens is surreal. But also they are so friendly and they shine so much so it’s like meeting otherworldly beings. It’s like being blessed with the presences of Goddesses for a few moments. I’m biased of course but when you get to Maimi, Nacky and Airi it’s especially so. Big smiles, such beauty and so awe-inspiring. Everyone comes away giddy. Anyway some pics…
Great expression from Airi.
Miyabi thinking “Chinami? Grr”.
Captain found time to wonder what it would be like to be tall.
Even though we had priority tickets for the concert (of which there were only one hundred) my wife and I decided to go queue up for the concert before four. Meeting up with two others (anyone remember Ptom of Hello!Blog? Well him and his friend Lizzie) we headed to the sun outdoors. This meant missing a Shokotan live drawing thing but it can’t be helped. As it was when we arrived at the queue there were a lot of people already ahead of us. We must have been about 60th of the hundred. Anyway the queue seemed less lively than last year. Not much music and dancing but the feeling of excitement was still there. And sitting in the sun for a few hours (ours was the only line without shade) just made it seem like we had earned out places at the front.
Once they started letting us in they staggered it a few at a time and had staff inside telling people not to run. This worked well as you could probably have even nipped the toilet without losing your place too much. Anyway we went left of stage and ended up second row. A great view. Some French girls arrived behind us and started complaining they couldn’t see which I don’t understand at all. Third row is still good. I know of someone else who had someone asking to swap places. That person is hardly tall so why should they. There have been many events like this now. Everyone knows if you want a good view you need to get there early. Lots of us spent a lot of money travelling from other countries and then queued up many hours. Why would someone sacrifice their place to allow someone else the same height to go in front?
Anyway ignoring one or two individuals it was onto the concert. There was the usual chanting and cheering before the girls came out and an amusing moment when someone walked across the stage with a “no photo no video” sign and everyone started chanting “no photo no video, no photo no video”. Then movement behind the scenes. I could see the girls walking behind the curtain to get ready. There’s a little gap between the offstage area and the curtain so I could see from where I was quite well. Chinami kept stepping out to glance out the side at the crowd. Awesome Chinami again! Then the concert started with Berryz and C-ute doing their solo song versions that together make up Chou Happy Song before they joined together for the joint version. A great performance! The concert was a mix of Berryz performing then C-ute with some Buono thrown in. The one disappointment was that C-ute didn’t do many of their most recent singles. I was hoping to see the songs they’d released since last year’s concert performed live. They did do Love Take It All but mostly it was songs from the Japan Expo special album Suppecial Best. This did mean however that I got to see C-ute do Forever Love. This is the song that made me a fan of theirs so that made me really happy. It’s still one of my favourite singles of theirs. I also saw Berryz do Piriri to Yukou, Dschinghis Khan and Dakishimete Dakishimete. Three of my favourite Berryz songs. Then later C-ute did Dance de Bakoon! One of my favourite C-ute singles if not the favourite. Nacky was right in front of me for the whole of it. That girl can dance! This was immediately followed by Cha Cha Sing! The other Berryz song I love. For that Chinami was right in front of me. Happy times.
The one moment of drama in the concert concerned Miyabi. Earlier on I’d seen something fall from her arm then shortly afterwards Momo’s ankle seemed to land awkwardly and she nearly fell. During a break where they chatted to NoLife woman the manager came on stage on hands and knees and seemed to be picking up lots of things scattered around the stage. Maybe beads? Tut. Silly horse! Then later on during Special Generation Miyabi must have hit some hurdle as suddenly she ended up stumbling sideways before lying down in the middle of the stage. It was neigh good. Chinami and at least one other member I can’t remember (because she wasn’t Chinami) helped her up and the song continued with barely any difference to how it would have been had she not fell. Miyabi seemed okay and the concert continued.
There was a one song encore which seemed quite short but when I looked at the time it was already nine so the concert had lasted two hours.
The least interesting parts of the concert for me was NoLife woman interviewing C-ute and then later on in the concert Berryz. I know the girls need breaks but with two groups there it wasn’t necessary. They’d already had a Q&A session the day before (which I missed most of due to it clashing with Shokotan’s live) so I don’t think a long talking bit was needed during the concert. Other than that and the lack of recent singles it was a good concert. Seeing Berryz…Chinami for the first time was great and seeing C-ute for a second time, when up until a year earlier I’d expected to probably never see them even once, was a privilege. I was disappointed that both Berrykyuu and Shokotan were only there two days but they packed a lot in (with some clashing unfortunately) and actually Berrykyuu did as much in two days as Momusu did in four when they came. Of course that makes everything go by in the blink of an eye and everything feels rushed as you have to go from one place to another with little time to look at stalls and rest. Even so I’m glad they came and I feel so lucky to have seen them in concert and shook hands with them. Berrykyuu and Shokotan were wonderful. It was a busy but awesome two days. It was topped off after the concert by having someone come up to me and compliment me on my blog (I’m sorry I don’t know their name but hi anyway) and then with meeting fellow blogger Nyuchandesu before then being interviewed by some guy with a camera.
Anyway no after concert party this time sadly but it did mean I could go back to the hotel and catch more sleep! Such a busy but awesome two days! Onwards to a quiet Friday.