So with everything I travelled to Paris for happening on the first two days it felt like the final three days could be quite boring. On Friday we went to see Nogizaka46. One girl caught my eye but the choral singing style and type of music isn’t really my type of thing. The rest of Friday was mainly wandering around the Expo looking at stalls. Until we happened upon a section of the Expo with a dj playing H!P music and people dancing. That was fun to watch. Ptom had also found a stall selling manga which bizarrely had some H!P merchandise. There were some t-shirts but mostly in XL size except a Chissa in L and a Berryz one in S. I didn’t buy any but for 10 euros you couldn’t complain. I did buy some C-ute stageplay socks and a Chinami towel and then a few dvd magazines. Towels and socks (plus Berryz iphone5 cases, a C-ute stageplay poster, a Berryz poster and some other odds and ends were only 5 euros each. Bargain!
Chinami towel front and back.
DVD magazines (plus randomly in the pic the Suppecial Cutie Best Album).
C-ute stageplay socks. 😄
After that it was back to the hotel then to a nearby village for a meal with Ptom and Lizzie.
Saturday was going to be our first chance to see Orange Port perform. They are a little indie group but I liked the music video on their website. Even so my expectations were not that high. My expectations were wrong. Their first performance on the Saturday was on the tiny Saikou stage. They performed with such energy and on some songs only some members sing. Others dance and lead the audience in clapping, fist-pumping and hand waving. The stage was so small that some when dancing were actually off the stage dancing in front of the audience about two feet away. Anyway the girls were great live. Some are great dancers. Especially Juri and Shuri.
Orange Port performing.
Afterwards we went to their cafe. Well it was a stall with free green tea where the girls could meet fans. We got signatures off the members who were there and they were all so nice. I got a flyer signed and my wife got their single signed. They also gave my wife a free wristband and posed for photos with us.
Minami and Juri with some blogger. >.>
It’s a shame their album wasn’t on sale at the Expo. You could get the single but now I’m really wanting to hear their whole album.
Their second live was on the much larger 15th Anniversary Stage and again they were great. There were enough fans at both lives to lead chanting and clapping to encourage others to join in. We were sitting front row at the side and had a good view. The girls were often leaving the stage and walking around getting people pumped up. Their audience interaction and energy is really good. Also their single “Yell” is really catchy and has a great clapping bit to it which gets the fans involved. The other song on the single “With U” is a quieter song but is also good.
The girl facing the camera in the above pictures is Shuri Koike. As a performer she has loads of confidence and is a great dancer.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around until late on when we went into the Kawaii Area (having heard Ooki na Ai de Motenashite playing). There was a mad Japanese guy wearing a school uniform dj’ing. He was really funny and everyone was just watching, dancing and having fun. That’s Japan Expo in a nutshell really. Just mad fun.
Onto day five and it started with Orange Port’s last live. They were in the Saikou stage again. It’s such a small stage that not all the members performed. Anyway we had a great view as again we were at the front. There were some microphone problems for the first two songs but they carried on really professionally. The girls are aged between 12 and 19 and remind me in some ways of Sakura Gakuin and H!P Kenshuusei. Lots Of energy, different ages, and really good performers. They also did a cover of Hyokkori Hyoutanjima which was great fun. Especially for us Momusu fans watching (Nyuchandesu had turned up to watch too so there were at least three of us). The show was another fun event and I noticed at the end the oldest member seemed quite emotional.
Orange Port’s last live.
After the show we went to get the rest of their autographs and thank them for coming. They really made the last two days of the Expo for me. Some also posed for photos (like the day before) and my wife got a cheki. Their single Yell is still in my head now!
Juri, that random blogger guy again and Yuyu.
I have to say Juri made a big impression. Watching her at the cafe she was great with fans but also with the other members. She seems like a real big sis type to the younger ones.She’s a great performer too. She’s a good dancer and has a lot of presence.
The members busy at the cafe signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Juri’s expression pretty much sums up Japan Expo.
Yuna and Juri posing for a pic.
Some blogger and Ayu.
The signed flyer. Two of the members hadn’t travelled to France unfortunately.
The final act to see was Mounoon. My wife also got a signing ticket for them later on. They started off with the excellent 「Love is Everywhere」 before performing Sunshine Girl and many others. They were good too. After that was their signing and then the Expo was pretty much over.
Except…leaving at seven outside we heard wotas shouting. Over we went and there was some cute Japanese girl with a mobile phone connected to an amplifier and a manager filming her. Standing outside singing to backing music provided by a phone connected to an amplifier shouldn’t have sounded so good but she has a good voice and was so energetic. We watched the rest of her set and it turned out she’d also performed at some stage in the Expo. Her name is Rio Hiiragi and she handed out free photos afterwards. Pretty cool. She’s well worth checking up on.
That’s so Expo though. Even after it’s finished there’s more to see.
I love Japan Expo. There are so many people cosplaying or wotageing without having to put up with others staring or making comments. It’s like stepping into a wonderland for five days where people can be free and happy. It’s been a great five days full of happiness. Japan Expo I salute you. You give so many people such happiness. Just like all the idols and other performers who come.
Ah I wish I’d discovered idols when I was younger. All those wasted years! Idols are wonderful. Their concerts are just so much fun and their personalities so lovely! ❤ Great days!
So after the Expo came the walk home to the hotel which felt longer each day. One things for sure, these Expo’s get you fit. The walk also includes traversing the bridge of death.
Looks perfectly safe!
Then it was into the village for a meal for the third night in a row before heading to the hotel. Now as I finish writing this I’m sitting on a plane half an hour from landing in Helsinki. I’m already suffering idol withdrawal symptoms. But even if it’s only five days once a year it’s still an amazing five days. It really recharges the batteries. Berryz Kobo, C-ute, Nakagawa Shoko, Orange Port, Moumoon and Rio Hiiragi thank you for coming all this way and making so many people happy! 🙂 ❤
Now hours after writing all that and from the comfort of my home have a few random pics.
The hotels had all you can eat sushi. >.>
Sweets and Sake!
No Comicon this year but I still got this. Plus there were quite a few Doctor Who cosplayers…
And you can’t see it from the pic but this little Dalek had “hug me” on it’s head…
And finally this full sized Dalek under construction didn’t…
One final thing I should say. Check out Orange Port here. They are well worth it.