25th Oct: Kuala Lumpur – GamePlan Day 2

January 20, 2016 by

I started the day knowing that the live is moved from 11am to 1pm, leaving my morning free. I decided to head to shopping malls nearby the area to get the girls some souvenirs. I remember Kana-chan was talking yesterday that they would probably didn’t have time for shopping. So I bought the girls batik sarongs & beautiful songket skirts for each of them.

GP2_Batik
The live went great this time, most of us are getting more familiar with the songs and the mix. 1st live went without a hitch and I participated right up at the front. When the buppan started, more people were lining up than yesterday, even some of the items were sold out! I bought myself more bromides and photo packs, along with a T-shirt for another Mana oshi in Japan. Got myself 2 tickets with Kana-chan for a cheki, and 7 tickets for Stella☆Beats. Enough for 1 handshake and 2 chekis. I was really stretching myself financially with the souvenirs and the chekis. I only imagined spending for 2 chekis per day, but end up getting 7 chekis and 2 handshakes. My wallet was crying by the end of this event.

Kana-chan was up first and I handed her the souvenir personally.

[All conversations in Japanese]
Half: Here is the kain batik I told you yesterday.
Kana: Ehhh… no way! For me?
Me: Yes, as a thank you present.
Kana: Really? Wow, I’m so happy.
Me: I’m glad.
Staff: Ready?
Me: Do you have any pose you want to do?
Kana: Let’s do “Gao”.
Me: Okay.

GP2_Kana

Kana: *while signing* Have you been to Japan? Oh, wait. Last May, right?
Me:
Haha, yeah. This year was my first year I went to Japan. I’m going again in March next year.
Kana:
Really? Let’s meet in Japan!
Me:
Of course! I don’t know what kind of events there will be in March but I’ll come!
Kana:
Yay! Oh, it’s pretty cold in March so make sure you wear thick clothes… There’s no winter in Malaysia, right?
Me:
No, it’s pretty much like this all the time.
Kana:
I see.
Me:
It’s hot everyday.
Kana:
That must be tough.
Me:
Summer everyday.
Kana:
*laughs*
Me:
I think I’m becoming a fan of yours.
Kana:
Ehhh, really? Thank you!
Me:
Yeah, your single is coming out next year, right? I’ll buy it.
Kana:
Thank you! Wait! My single is coming out next month!
Me:
Sorry! Next month! Next month! I made a mistake with my Japanese.
Kana: It’s okay, haha.
*Staff taps my shoulder*
Me: See you at the live later, I’ll be watching.
Kana: Okay, thank you!

Now that there’s more people lining up for Kana-chan, the time was shorter than it was yesterday. But I was glad, this means she’s gaining more fans. She was happy when I gave her the batik. It was my last cheki with Kana-chan as I didn’t have any money left. I thought it ended on a good note. Next, was my handshake with Stella☆Beats.

[All conversations in Japanese]
Me: Here, I bought you this this morning.
Rikopin: Wow, thank you!
Me: It’s a souvenir. You have to wear it, it’s kinda like a long skirt.
Rikopin: Thank you so much!
Me: Rikopin, you used to be an idol before this, right?
Rikopin: Yeah, I was in…
Me: Idol Street!
Rikopin: Yeah!
Me: When you first joined, I look you up and my friend recognized you.
Rikopin: There’s even an Idol Street fan here today.
Me: Really?
Rikopin: Yeah, is he your friend?
Me: Ah, no. I don’t know him.
Rikopin: Haha.
Me: I’ll take a cheki later.
Rikopin: Okay, see you later!

Mana: *jumps up and down* I spelled it properly today! (Referring to her 2nd day bromide, she spelled the word leader properly)
Me: I saw! Good job!
Mana: Hee. *smiles*
Me: Here you go. A souvenir.
Mana: Ehh!! Thank you!
Me: You have to wear it, it’s a Malaysian-like souvenir. Kind of like a long skirt.
Mana: I’ll upload a picture later.
Me: Eh, really?
Mana: Of course! Keep a look out.
Me: Okay! Ne, Mana. I’m coming to Japan next year.
Mana: Really? When?
Me: In March next year, so in about…
Mana: 5 more months?
Me: Yeah, 5 more months.
Mana: Let’s meet up!
Me: I don’t know what kind of events there will be in March but I will go!
Mana: I’ll be waiting.
Me: Okay.
Mana:
How did you learn Japanese?
Me: I didn’t really attend classes or anything… I used to watch idol shows and variety shows a lot. I love those.
Mana: Really?
Me: Yeah, like my favorite comedians are Ninety Nine-san or Downtown-san. Ah, I used to watch Utaban a lot!
Mana: Me too!!

I swear this happened. We went from handshaking to grabbing each other hands in a bear claw and simultaneously got excited and jumping up and down.

Both: MORNING MUSUME!!!
Me: Oh my god, YES! I was such a huge fan.
Mana: Me too! Who is your oshi?
Me: 6th Gen member, Kamei Eri.
Mana: Ah, Eririn!
Me: Yes! Who is your oshi?
Mana: Goto Maki.
Me: Gocchin! Ah, you’re really a Mowota! (Morning musume wota)
Mana: *laughs*
*Staff taps my shoulder*
Me: See you at cheki later.
Mana: Okay!

Me: Here, present for you.
Nozomin: Eh, thank you!
Me: It’s a Malaysian-like souvenir, you have to wear it. It’s kinda like a long skirt.
Nozomin: No way, thank you! How was my Malay?
Me: Which one? Haha. (No but seriously, she spoke quite a few Malays during her MC)
Nozomin: Selamat berkenalan! (Nice to meet you)
Me: You got better! When you said it yesterday, I have no idea what you’re saying!
Nozomin: Hm?
Me: No, yesterday. When you said it yesterday. I didn’t know what you were saying.
Nozomin: Aku suka? (I like?)

Am I not speaking Japanese right? Hahaha. I swear at this point there was such a confusion between Nozomin and me. Mostly, she was being a ditz and I was being a klutz with my Japanese.

Me: You know how to say that too?
Nozomin: Yes! If you ask “Kamu suka?” (You like?) I will reply “Aku suka!” (I like!)
Me: That’s right. You’re so good.
Nozomin: Ask me!
Me: Kamu suka? (You like?)
Nozomin: Aku suka! (I like!)
Me: Suka apa? (What do you like?)
Nozomin: Huh?
Me: Hahahahaha.
*Staff taps my shoulder*
Me: See you at cheki later.
Nozomin: Aku suka! (I like!)
Me: Hahahaha.

I swear she makes me laugh so much. I never really took notice of her before but chatting with her has been so much fun. But I love chatting with Mana more. Hers was the most natural. Somehow, whatever I wanted to say she would understand it immediately. And I understood her. I love finding out new facts about her and knowing that she’s a Morning Musume fan was a nice surprise. The cheki session is up next and right when it was my turn, they ran out of films.

[All conversations in Japanese]
Staff: Ah, sorry. Let me get some more films.
Mana: Yay! Lucky time!
Me: Lucky time?
Mana: We get to talk more!
Me: Oh! Lucky time!
Nozomin & Rikopin: Lucky!
Mana: Any pose you want to do?
Me: Err… No idea.
Mana: So, you’re meeting us in March next year, right?
Rikopin: Eh, next year?
Nozomin: Let’s meet! Let’s meet!
Me: Yup! I promise I’ll go and meet Stella☆Beats in March.
Mana: Then lets commemorate that promise.

By this time the staff is back with the camera and gosh I don’t know if I could describe what happens next properly. Mana faces towards me and hands out her pinky. I grabbed it and she was just staring straight at me I can’t even meet her in the eyes. She laughs when I get embarrassed and looked away but her eyes was consistently on me. Then she said, “Promise you’ll come meet me in March.” which I just replied with a nod. I don’t even know when the picture was taken.

GP2_SB1

1st session went really great. Time passed by quickly and the next live is their last one. The girls started giving out flyers to promote their final live. I still remember the manager taking pictures of them being surrounded by fans when they gave out the flyer. The manager laughs while taking the photo and said, “It seems like they’re really popular in this picture!”. I shared a laugh with the manager and pointed out that Nozomin’s flyers was the quickest one to finish. I told the manager it seems like Nozomin is the most popular member among Malaysians and he agreed.

We still had time before the 2nd live so we head up to an open area and just recorded our own version of 笑顔でスキップ (Skip while smiling). It’s something Rikopin has been doing regularly on her twitter at first and now various members does it as well and it gets uploaded to their channel.

After we skipped and laughed about it, we head up to the concert hall area. Hibiki was there chit-chatting with us before the concert starts. He asked us if we were willing to send them off at the airport tomorrow. As I had work the next day, I hesitated. Isn’t these 2 days enough? Sending them off at the airport just seemed intrusive. I didn’t pass up the offer fully and mulled over my decision. I was leaning towards no actually since I have work the next day and rushing to work from the airport just didn’t seem ideal.

Since our event is shared with a game event, they were having the finals at the same time we are having the concert. The semifinals was just over and now it was time for DJ Kana. I was trying to conserve my energy for Stella☆Beats so I stayed at the back and enjoyed it leisurely.

At first it seems like the finals of the game event would be held first but suddenly Stella☆Beats’ music started playing. I quickly head to the front and did my loudest calls. The MC session was a whole lot of fun as Mana conducted it fully in English while trying to translate what Nozomin and Rikopin is saying. They accepted questions from the crowd and tried answering it in English. Then after shouting for encore, the live ended in a blast. I had such a great time.

Stella☆Beats登場! @ マレーシアツアー #11/22、23日ソフマップ2DAYS公演

A photo posted by ステラビーツ (@stella_beats) on

After the live, everyone gathered around and signed the banner that XMorfis did for the girls. All of us presented the banner to the girls when they came out for the handshake and cheki session and we moved them to tears. Seeing them on the verge of crying makes me want to cry as well, something I’ve been holding off ever since the live ended.

GP_Banner

こりゃーみんなの愛情のかたまりだよな @ マレーシアツアー最終日 #11/29 girls on StellarBall!

A photo posted by ステラビーツ (@stella_beats) on

I decided to stretch my wallet further and buy one more item. I already had 3 tickets for a cheki but I wanted to do a handshake one last time. Not to mention I haven’t gotten my special ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) kaomoji pose with the girls yet, and I was determined to get it.

[All conversations in Japanese]
Me: Did you see our skipping video? On Jun-kun’s twitter.
Rikopin: I did!
Me: We were laughing too much, haha.
Rikopin: You guys were having so much fun, ne?
Me: Yeah, I really enjoyed this 2 days. Being with other fans. And finally getting to watch Stella☆Beats.
Rikopin: Thank you.
Me: No, thank YOU. I really want to thank you. Thank you for coming to Malaysia. I really had so much fun these 2 days.
Rikopin: I’m glad. Let’s meet up in Japan next.
Me: Yes, next year! In March.
Rikopin: I look forward to it.
Me: Thank you for everything. Really, I’m so grateful you came to Malaysia.
Rikopin: Thank you for coming and supporting us as well.
Me: Oh, later during cheki, can we take a funny pose?
Rikopin: Ooh! What is it?
Me: I’ll show you the pose later, okay!
Rikopin: Okay!

Me: Mana, did you watch our skipping videos?
Mana: Everyone looked like they are having so much fun!
Me: We laughed a lot!
Mana: I could tell. I’m glad everyone is good friends with everyone.
Me: That’s because all of us love Stella☆Beats.
Mana: *smiles*
Me: Later, can we take a funny pose for the cheki?
Mana: What pose?
Me: It’s on my phone, it’s a kaomoji. I will show you later.
Mana: Haha, okay then.
Me: Mana…
Mana: Yes?
Me: Thank you.
Mana: For what?
Me: For coming to Malaysia. These 2 days have been the best days of life so far.
Mana: Really? Thank you for coming.
Me: Really. I’m so glad.
Mana: Me too. I’m so glad that we finally meet.
Me: Next year.
Mana: Yes.
Me: Let’s meet again.
Mana: In March.
Me: Yes.
Mana: I’ll be waiting.

Me: Nozomin, thank you for the past 2 days. I really enjoyed watching your lives.
Nozomin: Thank you for coming!
Me: I think you learn a lot of new English and Malay words as well!
Nozomin: I did!
Me: Later, for cheki lets do a funny pose okay!
Nozomin: What is the pose?
Me: I will show you later. It’s a secret.
Nozomin: Oooooh. A secret. Aku suka! (I like!)
Me: Hahahaha!

So during the time for cheki, all the girls hovered over me as I took out my phone. I showed them ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) with Mana chiming in “Oh, I know this!”. Looking at the cheki after it was taken, it was quite apparent that they got the pose a lil bit wrong, haha.

GP2_SB2

After taking the cheki, we lined up yet again to get it signed. This was it. My final interaction with the girls. I already told them how I was grateful that they came here, how happy I was. This was my time to say goodbye. But as tears starts forming in my eyes, words seems to betray me.

[All conversations in Japanese]
Rikopin: Half-chan, I’m so glad I met you.
Me: *Eyes starting tearing up* Me too.
Rikopin: *silently signs* Here you go.
Me: *chokes up* Thank you for everything, thank you for your hard work.
Rikopin: *nods and smile*

Mana: Half-chan!
Me: *stays quiet, fights back tears*
Mana: I’m sad that it’s the last day too.
Me: *still keeping quiet, still fighting back tears*
Mana: Don’t cry!
Me: *cries*
Mana: Ah!
Me: Don’t say “Don’t cry!”!! Of course someone would cry if they were told that!
Mana: You’re right. You’re right.
Me: *trying to wipe away tears*
Mana: Hey, hey.

Mana tries looking at my face but I was facing down as I can’t face her. The tears won’t stop at this point and I was halfway mad at myself for crying and halfway embarrassed.

Mana: We’ll meet again, right?
Me: *nods*
Mana: Next year in March.
Me: *nods*
Mana: Just five more months.
Me: *nods*

I think she smiled but I couldn’t see her face. Well, actually I couldn’t face her. Nor form words at this point. I quickly went to Nozomin knowingly that that was my last conversation with Mana.

Nozomin: Oh my god, you’re crying.
Me: *points to Mana* It’s Mana’s fault!!

Both of the girls laughed. I tried to make a joke out of all that but I think they knew I was sad. I clearly couldn’t hide it. Even the staff-san was patting my back during my time with Nozomin going,  “There, there” and I have officially reached the highest point of embarrassment right then and there. I quickly told Nozomin thank you and left their way. Hibiki met me afterwards and tried to console me but I rather be left alone so I sat at the back. Just wiping away tears that can’t seem to stop while looking at the rest of the fans who are still queuing up to get their cheki signed.

I can’t believe I cried. 

As I was sitting down alone at the back, contemplating what possibly is their last memory of me on that day, I heard someone calling my name.

“Half-san.”

I turned around, and it was their manager. “Oh crap, I did something wrong.”, was my first thought to myself. I quickly responded and he signaled me to meet him further at the back of the hall. I followed, being scared shitless. I thought I was getting reprimanded. “Open your palm”, he said. I slowly opened my palm, quietly anticipating some kind of slap or a fine. He discreetly gave me a charm bracelet, a handmade charm bracelet.

“From the members.”, and he smiled.

I remember crying.
I remember being totally surprised.
I remember me saying, “Ehhh…. What is this? Seriously!?”.
What I have a vague memory of was what had happen next. 

I quickly left the manager and with the charm bracelet in my hands, I head to the girls. I was distraught in my thoughts. “What just happened?”, “No way!”, all of the situations were running through my head. They already finished the last of the cheki sessions and were handing out the remaining flyers. A lot of fans were surrounding them, and even though I was standing alone on the outs at the side, Mana saw me.

And she heads to me.

I couldn’t look her in the eye. I couldn’t face her. I couldn’t even utter a single word.
I think I said, “Thank you” but I couldn’t remember.
I just remember crying. A lot.
She took the bracelet from me and tie it on my wrist.

“With this, I am always by your side.”

She continued giving out flyers after tying the bracelet on my wrist. I was at loss for words and was too speechless to even function properly. I don’t know if anyone saw us at the time but it did feel like for a moment, we were the only ones in the hall.

GP2_Bracelet

The bracelet is a charm bracelet they did a few weeks back for a Sports Event where they competed with different idol groups. Anyone who showed up and supported them gets one. The thing is, only those who attended the event got it. It was something they spend days making it themselves. But to have them bring it all the way to Malaysia and give it to me? I don’t know why I got it, I don’t even know if anyone else got it but that moment was so special to me and it cemented Stella☆Beats as a group that I really want to support for the rest of my wota life. I love the girls so much.

GP_Misanga

I was hesitating on whether I should go to work or to the airport for the next day. But after just now, I didn’t want to leave my last impression as a sobbing idiot who couldn’t even muster a word to say thank you. I wanted to send them off with a smile.

So the next day, I woke up, lied to my boss about going to the bank and some other bullshit, and went to the airport.

At the airport, quite a few fans (around 10 I guess?) gathered to give their final presents and goodbyes. At the departure gate, everyone was saying their final farewells and I stayed behind. Just smiling sadly at the fact that this is the last time I get to see them. It just felt too much for me at that point. But the makeup artist saw me at the back and pointed that out to Mana. And she walked towards me.

“Thank you for coming.”

“I won’t cry today.”, I don’t know why that was the first thing I said to her. But I did. She laughed, “Yes! No crying today!”.

“Next year in Japan.”, I smiled. I lift up my hand to show her I was wearing the bracelet at the same time. “See you next year”, she smiles back. And that was it. And it was enough. And it was the what I needed. It was great seeing her off and to have that one final interaction. The whole 2 days was perfection but this was the perfect closure. As I was relieved that I get to send them off, my heart was racing as I set off back to my office. I got there late, and continued working like it was just another usual day.

Looking back at the event, it was great that I finally get to interact with my favourite group up close and spend time with them for 2 days. I also got to meet a lot of other fans as well.

GP2_GroupKanaGP2_GroupSB

Mana stayed true to her promised and actually uploaded a picture of them wearing my present. They actually wore that for their regular live in Japan.

For their latest single, “Hoshizora Symphony”, which was released yesterday, they even included pictures and scenes from their event in Malaysia. Which made me think that this trip made an impact on them as much as it did on me. It also received #1 on Oricon daily ranking yesterday! And I hope it will rank Top 10 in the weekly ranking as well. I’m proud of the girls, they really worked hard for this release event for the past months.

Things has been quiet down after they left. The post-concert depression was bad. Even worse than after I got back from Japan. Now, I’m working hard to save money for my March trip to see them again. I wore the bracelet they gave me all the time. It gives me the motivation to get through the day.

No matter what bad things happened to me, or any sad news I received, I just glance at the bracelet, and I think back on that weekend. And how magical it was.

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About the author: Half

[Half Assed] is a one person subbing team. Meaning I’m doing all the translating, timing, uploading and bullshitting in all the videos. In the video, I will sub the parts that I am very sure about and the ones I’m not sure I’ll just make up some stuff. This is where I will practice my 中途半端の日本語 (my half-assed Japanese). After all, a half-assed sub is better than no sub, right? 

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