Tag Archives: AKB48

28th Aug: Bangkok – The incident

January 15, 2016 by

So, somewhere around July it was announced that AKB48 is going to appear for Japan Expo Thailand 2015. Now, I was waiting for the list of members that would be appearing for the Expo and around 1st August, the lineup was revealed.

BKK_AKB48Not bad, right? I was hoping for Shimada but I guess it was okay. But the lineup wasn’t my main reason to go. Going to the expo as well is Maicrosoft, my website administrator, my go-to IT guy, my confidante, my friend. I’ve known this guy for more than 2 years and we’ve never met. Half-assed subs wouldn’t be like it is now without him around. I would probably still be on tumblr making sub-par subs. He challenged me to do things and help spread the name of Half-assed subs. I was eager to meet the guy, and enjoy an AKB concert with him.

So, on 5th August, I booked my flight and my hotel (which is super near to the venue because I’m lazy). It was done. I’m going right after work on the 28th and coming back on the 31st of August (which was convenient because it was a public holiday in my country). Mindmix, who I met last August and Ryan, who I met last February in Jakarta was going as well. With Mai along. I didn’t felt alone and I knew I had company for the event.

BKK_Ticket However, a tragedy happened on the 17th. A bombing happened inside Erawan Shrine, near to the venue of the event. 20 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured.

To add image to the gravity of the situation, here’s a map of the venue, my hotel and the location of the bomb. Before my own safety, I was worried for the girl’s. I was half hoping they would cancel the event for their safety but the other selfish half of me hoping it would still go on as well.

BKK_Map

The next day…

BKK_AnnouncementGood on the Japan Expo committee for postponing the event. However, I couldn’t cancel my flight. Even Mai, Mindmix & Ryan couldn’t change theirs. Changing flight dates could cause a fee that is just as much as a new ticket and not going just seemed like a waste. I could have just not go but since they were going anyway, I might as well. I canceled my hotel and booked one in theirs (hotel rooms just magically open up as available after the incident I wonder why).

So, there I was, on the 28th of August, on my way to Bangkok to meet Mai, Mix and Ryan, for yet another adventure. Except this time, there’s no idol waiting for me.

2nd June: The last night

January 12, 2016 by

After our dinner in Shibuya, we head back to Ryogoku to meet up with Souchan, Momo and Toki. Wayne and Brad heads to the apartment first to drop some stuff while the rest of us waited by the train station. I even suggested to Souchan that tonight was the night. We had planned to bust in the other guy’s room early in the morning to get some wake up prank footage. It was perfect. I had to get up early for my flight back home and it was my last night here. We had it planned, go to Karaoke, then when everyone is tired and goes to bed, we’ll surprise them with a camera.

Wayne and Brad arrives with Hayate and all 10 of us, along with Rick and Renz that tagged along since Fuji-Q, heads up to one of the Karaoke spots in Ryogoku. We found a good one that is super cheap and has unlimited refills on drinks. (of course, I drank Melon Juice the whole night)

7thNight_KaraokeIt was a happy night filled with laughters and singing non-stop Japanese songs. I mean, just listen to our out of pitch rendition of “Heavy Rotation“.

Karaoke1It was one song after another. From AKB to SKE to HKT to NMB. We sang anime songs. J-pop, J-Rock and any other J-genres. Until we realized that it was already 2am.

KaraokeWe exhausted all the Japanese song we know and moved on to English songs. And what English song is the most stapled Karaoke song ever, if not “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

7thNight_BR

We sang a romaji version of “Saakuru Obu Raifu” (Circle of Life) and even messed up and adlibs on songs. We were all being silly and having fun all night long.

Hayate was the one to leave first, leaving us scavenging the song list and are now singing Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Eminem & Linkin Park. Then, Souchan, Momo, Toki and Gert left, leaving me, Brad, Wayne, Rick & Renz still singing any song we could find.

Karaoke2It was almost 5am when we left, as I had to rush back to grab the 6am train to get to the airport. It was kind of euphoric to stay up all night with your friends. I wanted to get the most out of my last day in Japan and I felt like I did. Me, Brad and Wayne rode up the elevator together and we parted ways and said our goodbyes while I try to hold back my tears. Going into my room I was hoping the Germans would be asleep but Souchan and Momo was up.

They watched me hurriedly pack my bags (should have done that earlier to be honest) and I told them if I have left anything here just take it with them. I remember joking around about the wake up prank idea, thinking it’s probably late to do it now. I probably choked on my goodbye since I didn’t want to say it. Told them I was late to catch my train and left them right after I zip up my last bag, crying on my way down the elevator.

It was probably the tiredness of having spend the whole day at Fuji-Q and spending the whole night singing, I haven’t bathe, haven’t slept for 25 hours and was overwhelmed with emotions. I didn’t want to leave. But I had to.

8thDay

I had so much fun this past week it felt like a dream. To be meeting friends from across the miles, idols that I have been watching or hear about, new friends and new idols, the places I went, the things I did… if this was a dream, I did not want to wake up. I must have looked like a crazy person trying to hold back my tears at the airport and failing to do so.8thDay_FlightI was so happy I’m surrounded by friends who shares a similar interest, even when we come from all over the world. A week flies by so fast and it’s hard to believe that I have to come in to work the next day. I couldn’t have ask for a more perfect group of people to accompany me on my first trip to Japan. Out of all the weirdos I could have met on the internet, I was glad it was them.

Final

10 tips for the 2-shot event

January 9, 2016 by

After actually experiencing 2-shot event itself, I could finally help or give some tips to people who are planning to go to 2-shots event in the future. Basically, these are all things I learn from going to the 2-shot event.

1. Give yourself time to rest.

If I could redo my day I would probably not have gone for 2 girls in each slot. Going for all the slots meaning I didn’t have enough time for rest. I didn’t have enough time to sit down or eat. And by the 6th slot I was already feeling the tiredness.

I spend most if not all of my day just queuing up and standing so my legs were giving out by the end of the day. If you think you could handle standing the whole day then go for it. If you know your own body, then give it a time to rest. Skip a slot or two.

Some info on slots for guide:
Slot 1: 09:00 – 10:30 (You must be in line by 10:00)
Slot 2: 10:30 – 12:00 (You must be in line by 11:30)
Slot 3: 12:00 – 13:30 (You must be in line by 13:00)
Slot 4: 13:30 – 15:00 (You must be in line by 14:30)
Slot 5: 15:00 – 16:30 (You must be in line by 16:00)
Slot 6: 16:30 – 18:00 (You must be in line by 17:30)
Slot 7: 18:30 – 20:00 (You must be in line by 19:30)
Slot 8: 20:00 – 21:30 (You must be in line by 21:00)

2. Pair popular members with unpopular members

Popular members will have more people lining up for them. I remember for Slot 6 Sayanee, I started lining up at around 6.45pm (I went to Kanon first) and it was almost 7.40pm when I actually got to her. That’s an hour to spend in line for a popular member. With only 1 and a half hours in each slot, imagine having Sayanee and Mayuyu in 1 slot. You might make it to both if you hurry, but I won’t take the chance.

PreJapan_2Shot

3. 2 members max, 3 in a slot is cutting it close

Conversely, you could try having 3 semi-popular members in one slot. I tried doing Murashige, Nako, Murashige in slot 4 and was cutting it close with 5 minutes left in Murashige’s second round. That said, if you want to have as many members for 2-shot like me, don’t risk it. Stick it to 2-3 members per slot. And for a popular Kami-member, pair it with someone less popular.

4. Bid for popular members first

This is during the round applications. The rounds are open with first round you can only apply for 5 names. You want to go for the popular ones first because everyone else is doing that as well. I had 2-shots with Sasshi, Shimada, Yukachan, Tomiyoshi, Emili, Murashige, Nako, Sakura, Boss, Mio, Miku, Sayanee, Kanon, Tano and Chori. For the first round I applied for Sasshi twice, Sayanee, Sakura and Mio. I got all 5.

When the list of the girls appear, jot down the girls you want to have 2-shot with. Then, arrange them by popularity and apply for the most popular members first. If you don’t know how popular your favorite members are, Sousenkyo rankings are a good gauge of that. You don’t want to apply for your favorite members too late only to found out they have sold out their slot.

5. Bring food/water

Well, they have food and water but if you’re me and you have 2 girls in each slot, you won’t have time to queue up to buy food & water. I had a couple of onigiri and a bottle of water in my bag. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to get me going through the day.

And if you have friends who doesn’t have as many slots as you, you can always message them to line up for food for you. Muahaha.

6. Take note of the lanes

When you get into the hall, they have this huge list of names and a map in the middle of the hall. You want to take note, jot down in your book or even snap a picture so you can know which lane your members are at. It’s easy, and you don’t have to come back to the middle of the hall every time you want to see which next lane you should go to.

5thDay_Lanes5thDay_Lane5thDAy_Map

7. Before 2-shot

Get your tickets stamped! Bring your passport and your tickets and get it verified. The counter is located beside the entrance when I went. You also need the passport and tickets every time you go for a 2-shot. The flow is queue up for verification at each lane, show your passport & tickets, queue up again for the 2-shot, before you reach the member open the camera on your phone and remember to leave your belongings before you enter the booth. Once you show your ticket and your phone to the staff near the booth, you’re ready.

8. Powerbank

I can’t stressed how important this is. 2-shot is taken using your own phone so the last thing you want to happen is your phone running out of battery. Also, no powerbanks are allowed to still be attached to your phone during the 2-shot, I learned it the hard way. So make sure your phone is always charged and ready.

9. Plan your pose

I mostly just wing it on most of my poses but there were a few poses that I knew I wanted to do. Because they will 100% ask “What pose?” during the 2-shot. This is your chance to get the girl to do any pose that you desire (obviously not indecent poses). You can ask back the member what is THEIR favorite pose if you like as well if you don’t have any. Or you can continue the running joke and ask Mio to do a peace pose to compare with mine, Wayne’s and Souchan’s Mio peace pose.

Mio_Peace10. Plan on what to say

Yeah, I wasn’t exactly sure if I would use advice this since I didn’t follow it at all. Or rather, when I did follow and planned what I wanted to say usually the reply was nothing I expected and the conversation strayed away from what I imagined.

But if you don’t know any Japanese, plan on a phrase that you want to say. For me my go-to phrase was, “Nice to meet you! I came from Malaysia!” (Hajimemashite, Mareshia kara kimashita!). It’s always nice to see the girl’s reaction and surprise especially if you’re a foreigner who came from faraway place.

In short, you don’t have to plan every single conversation. Stick to a phrase and let the conversation flow naturally from there. It’s not just a 2-shot. It’s also your chance to interact with your oshimen. Imagine that you only have 2 seconds to say the things you want to say, be clear. Be concise. Be flexible. And most importantly, enjoy the time.

30th May: 2-shot event – The big day

January 7, 2016 by

We were suppose to get ready by 6.30am to head out to the train station so we can arrive at Tokyo Big Sight in time. However, due to nervousness I was up since 4am. I decided to walk around the park a bit to calm down this nervous ache I have in my gut. It’s the same nervous ache I would get before a very big exam or a very important interview. Every time there’s something life changing about to happen I get this painful bouts of stomach aches and my nerves gets all tingly. This 2-shot is the big reason why I made this trip, and the day was finally here.

By 5.30am, everyone was up and getting ready, while I double and triple check my tickets, my passport and my electronics.  I think this was when I found out that yesterday night we were hit by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake. Which felt quite apt since we’re heading out to see the 48G girls today. By 6.30am, everyone was ready and we left our house.

5thDay_TouristAt the train station we were approached by 2 foreigners asking questions about directions. It felt nice to be helping out people so early in the morning so we were feeling good.

5thDay-2Shot

My phone was being an idiot at this time as the battery kept depleting and it didn’t want to open the camera. While everybody was relaxed, I was struggling with my power banks, trying to keep the battery above 15%.

5thDay_BigSightWe reached the place right before 8am. Just in time to be in queue and one of the few first to get our tickets verified, something that is safe to do if you’re a foreigner.They will validate and compare each of your tickets and stamp it. Once stamped, you would find little problems to enter each lane, as I did. My name on the passport and the tickets was quite different, but since everything was stamped, I had no problems in each lane.

5thDay_TicketsI walked around after validating my tickets, jotting down the number of the girls lane that I would be seeing and also looking around the sousenkyo posters.

5thDay_PostersMy first member was Sasshi, and Souchan was with me. I followed his lead and in about a few minutes, I’m about to meet Sashihara Rino. Nervous was an understatement, and the fact that while we were lining up, the little girl in front of us kept staring at me didn’t help. I look different, I know that much. With Souchan or Wayne or the rest, they look like your typical gaijin (foreigner). I don’t look Japanese, nor do I look like your average gaijin. In fact, during the whole day, I didn’t think I met anyone who resembled me at all. So with the little girl giving me curious looks, I was scared I would be getting the same looks from the members as well.

Sasshi was a member who I meant to see for the longest time. We both have the same oshi in Morning Musume, Kamei Eri. And Eri has a famous pose she does in a skit, which is “Gazen Tsuyome”.

gazentsuyomeMost of the members I would just go with whatever poses they wanted, but Sasshi was one of the few that I knew what I wanted. I wanted to talk to her about Eririn. I wanted to tell her thanks about all the things she did with HKT48. I wanted to tell her I appreciate her. What I didn’t anticipated was how short the timing of the 2-shot would be. And how tongue tied I would become.

2Shot_Sasshi[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you.
Sasshi: Hello, ah nice to meet you. What pose?
Me: Because I’m a fan of Eririn… *points to shirt*
Sasshi: Ah, nice!
Me: Eric Kamezou’s pose..
Sasshi: Gazen tsuyome!
Me: YES!
*clicks*

I couldn’t even finish my sentence but I was glad that Sasshi knew what I wanted. For her to recognize what shirt I was wearing (which was Eririn’s grad t-shirt) and for her to know the pose before I actually showed it was something that proved to me that she is truly a fan of Eririn. It was nice to actually get a few words in even though it was a short time. I went out of the booth with tears in my eyes because I was too happy. I was glad Souchan was there, I really needed a friend at that time. My next girl was Shimada Haruka, my AKB oshi.

I wanted to say a lot with Shimada. A LOT. I imagined our conversations in my head, going with I saw her in Jakarta, or just telling her I’m a huge fan from Malaysia, or I voted for her in Sousenkyo, or telling her I’m anticipating a Team K with her as captain, or even to say the gaijins behind me are my friends (Brad & Momo also applied to have a 2-shot with Shimada because of me). Let me tell you first, that none of that happened. Instead…

2Shot_Shimada[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you.
Shimada: Wow, you’re so fluent!
Me: No…(In my heart: NO WAY)
Shimada: What pose?
Me: Err…(In my heart: SAY SOMETHING)
Shimada: Heart?
Me: Ahh..err…(In my heart: SAY ANYTHING)
Shimada: *smiles while extend her hand in a half heart*
Me: *mumbles thank you*
*CLICKS*

2shot_Shimada2[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: *gets up from sit*
Staff: Actually, you have 2 tickets.
Me: Ah… (In the panic, I actually forgot)
Shimada: Really? Thank you!!
Me: … (In my heart: OH MY GOD)
Shimada: What pose?
Me: Err… (In my heart: YOU ARE AN IDIOT SAY SOMETHING)
Shimada: Team K pose?
Me: *starts doing Team K hand sign*
Shimada: Oh, you know! *smiles sweetly*
Me: *smiles like an idiot*
*CLICKS*

WELL, THAT WENT WELL.

That was the worse tongue tied situation I had ever been. Ever. Queuing up for Shimada’s lane after Sasshi’s was a shock. I’ve always known or read about how a popular member could have you queue up for hours and nobody would be lining up for an unpopular member but to see it first hand, it just saddened me that there was no one in Shimada’s lane. I had 2 tickets for Shimada and used both at once but looking back, I wished I had done a loop and did it one at a time. I was so tongue tied I couldn’t get to say what I wanted to say. She was so kind, and beautiful, and when she praised my Japanese even though I’ve only uttered a sentence, I just lost all my train of thought. If I could have a do-over on my 2-shot session, I pick this one. As the day got by, I got so much better at conversing and managing my time during 2-shots, I wished I had met Shimada later during the day and not after I was overwhelmed after meeting Sasshi. She was the only one I regretted how our session went by. I was nervous, speechless and didn’t get to convey what I wanted to say originally.

2nd slot was up next and I got Sasshi again. I wanted to go with a funny pose this time and was thinking of explaining to Sasshi about a flip-the-table pose but got cut halfway in my sentence by her.

2shot_Sasshi2[※All conversation in Japanese]
Sasshi: Hi!
Me: Hi again!
Sasshi: What pose?
Me: I was thinking if we could do…
Sasshi: You want to do a “he” (In Japanese the word he looks like this: へ) pose?
Me: A what?
Sasshi: Do this. *does the “he” pose*
Me: Okay… *follows along*
*CLICKS*

Dammit Sasshi! Hahaha! She couldn’t even let me finish my sentence and I had to follow her flow. But the best part was after the photo was taken, we had a little handshake and this conversation happened.

[※All conversation in Japanese]
Sasshi: Actually, who do you like?
Me: Murashige!
Sasshi: AHHH!!!! *points at me*
Me: *laughs like crazy*

It was funny that she figured out that she wasn’t my oshi. I had so much fun going into Sasshi’s lane and I know why people go to her lane as well. She makes you feel comfortable, like you’re talking to a friend rather than an idol. My conversations with Sasshi was pleasant, and I felt at ease. It’s probably the reason why she has so many fans as well. She can make you feel that she’s close to you, and she does it well . It’s no wonder she’s at the top, she knows how to pander to the wota community and she gets the vote of the casual fanbase as well because of her likability. And in the voting race of popularity, likability can get you very far.

My next member is Akiyoshi Yuka from HKT48, and I waited for Wayne & Brad as we have the same slot as well. Brad was lining up for Mayuyu and is taking such a long time so we ditched him as we feared we couldn’t be in time for Yukachan. I was undecided between a funny or a cute pose from Yukachan but I went with funny in the end.

2shot_Yukachan[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you, I came from Malaysia.
Yuka: Wow! Thank you! What pose?
Me: I really like your Chori bird imitation.
Yuka: Haha, it’s been a while since I did it.
Me: *starts doing the bird pose*
Yuka: *looks at me and laugh*
Me: No good?
Yuka: No, it’s perfect. I won’t lose. *Starts doing the bird pose*
*CLICKS*

I wanted a funny pose but I got a cute one. It’s such a win-win. My bird pose was ridiculous and I’m glad I don’t have to show it. I love that Yukachan was so into it and she looks cheerful, just how I imagined how she would be. It’s quite a while before Slot 3 starts so I meet up with the gang at the seats near the food corner. My next slot is Yamashita Emiri and Tomiyoshi Asuka from HKT48. Both are not popular members so I imagined the queue won’t be long. I made a pact with Souchan to meet up during Tomiyoshi’s slot as we had the same tickets.

Just as I figured there was little to no line at Emiri’s lane. In fact, I was the first one there and her first 2-shot of the day. After a while, a few more people started to line up after me and even though the line is short, it’s still longer than Shimada’s. Let me just start off that Emiri is the Kenkyuusei that got my attention from the start and I was excited to see her. I wished she had felt the same.

2shot_Emiri[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you, I came from Malaysia!
Emiri: Thank you.
Staff: Excuse me, sorry your phone just turned off.
Me: Sorry about that. *Takes phone from staff and tries to open the camera again*
Emiri:
Me: *looks at Emiri* Sorry, my phone is giving problems. Haha.
Emiri:
Staff: Okay, are you ready?
Me: What pose do you recommend?
Emiri: *starts silently holds up peace sign*
Me: *starts silently doing peace sign as well*
*CLICKS*

Uh… that was awkward. I don’t know if she was scared of me (she even looks scared in the photo) or it was because I was her first 2-shot and she needed to warm up first… but I felt awkward after her 2-shot. Even the handshake after the 2-shot, she was unenthusiastic and her hand felt limp. I really want to give her the benefit of the doubt, justifying it on the fact that I was her first 2-shot, or she is new at this. But in the back of my head I can’t help to feel that she judged me on how I looked. So she felt scared or threatened, and I hate myself for making her feel that way. Nevertheless, I was so high on her before our 2-shot, but I left with a sour feeling in my mouth. Maybe it was best if I didn’t went to her lane at all.

I met up with Souchan and we got ready for Tomiyoshi. Souchan went first and I could overhear all their conversations since Tomiyoshi is so loud.

[※All conversation in Japanese]
Tomiyoshi: Ah, you’re the Amina oshi!!
Souchan: Yes!
Tomiyoshi: Why did YOU come to Japan!
Souchan: Yes! Yes!

I just stood there, amazed. I knew that Tomiyoshi was Amina oshi, hence why Souchan went to her lane. But to recognized Souchan from a TV show that aired a year before? I was deeply impressed. My turn was next and I got excited.

2shot_Tomiyoshi[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you, I came from Malaysia!
Tomiyoshi: Oh my god!! Thank you!!! What pose do you like?
Me: Tomiyoshi revolution!
Tomiyoshi: Ehhhh, even in Malaysia you know about Tomiyoshi revolution?
Me: Of course! *starts doing the pose*
Tomiyoshi: Thank you!!!
*CLICKS*

Tomiyoshi revolution really doesn’t translate well in 2-shot with tables, haha. This was the only 2-shot that I wished the stupid table wasn’t there. But she was so cheerful and happy I felt nice going to her lane after Emiri. Me and Souchan even gushed about how she remembered Souchan as Amina oshi and needless to say we were both very satisfied with her. Since Emiri & Tomiyoshi’s lane was so quick, me and Souchan decided to look around, and see if we spot Shinobu or any of the theater managers. We’ve always planned to make AIDOL more of a legit translator for AKB shows but after many unanswered emails, perhaps meeting the managers one-on-one would speed up the process. Alas, the managers were nowhere to be found so we head back to the seatings in the food area, where AIDOL people seem to have set up camp there.

5thDay_YOUNot just Tomiyoshi recognized Souchan, even more Japanese people and foreign fans alike recognized Wayne & Souchan. “Why did YOU come to Japan?” had more impact that I thought it had and the line to have a 2-shot with them was longer than Shimada’s. Either that’s a testament to their popularity or a testament to Shimada’s unpopularity. They were also giving out Sousenkyo coasters for every food you buy and I was buying a few but couldn’t seem to get the girls that I like. Until Momo suddenly called out my name and waving a coaster to me.

5thDay_ShigeCoasterShe didn’t even offered but I just straightaway hugged her and grabbed the Shige coaster from her hand. It was the exact coaster I needed as Shige’s slot is up next. And I was nervous. I was about to meet my Oshimen.

5thDay_ShigeTicketI queued up with Wayne and SHaihh from AIDOL’s chatroom. Learning from Shimada’s slot, I decided to use only 1 of my ticket then line up again to get another one. Wayne was up first and I could hear her excitement! She recognized Wayne from YOU and thanked him for coming to see her again. I was happy for Wayne and was excited for my turn.

2shot_Shige[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you, I came from Malaysia!
Murashige: Thank you!!!
Me: That guy before me was on TV, right?
Murashige: Yes!! What pose do you like?
Me: How about Murashige pose?
Murashige: Okay!
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Murashige: Thank you for coming!!
Me: I’ll come again, I have another ticket.
Murashige: I’LL BE WAITING!!!

I just came out grinning from ear to ear. She was all I imagined her to be. I tried to bait her to talk more by pointing out Wayne but I guess the script for the 2-shot is always, “Hi!” and “What pose?” for the girls because of the time constraint. As the day goes by, I got better and better at playing the conversation limit according to the time constraint but I felt good with Shige. She was also overjoyed when I said I was coming again and it makes me so happy to see her so cheerful. She was also the first one to make me think, “Damn. I wished this is a handshake event so I could talk to her longer.”

My next member was Nako. I was hesitating on either to line up for Shige again or go to Nako first, but I decided to go for Nako. Which felt like a huge mistake because her line was so long, I was scared that I would miss the time cut out for Shige’s lane. Since I was already lining up, I just stayed in Nako’s lane, just praying that the lane moves faster.

2shot_Nako[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Nice to meet you, I came from Malaysia!
Nako: Ohh…
Me: Let’s do “Obake wo taosu guntai da!
Nako: Okay. *smiles*
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Me: Do you know where Malaysia is?
Nako: *thinks* Err… I do.
Me: Don’t lie!
Nako: Ahahaha.

First of all, let me explain “Obake wo taosu guntai da!” which is a phrase made famous when Nako appeared on Ariyosi AKB Kyowakoku. She was telling a story of how she met a ghost and promptly yelled “Watashitachi wa obake wo taosu guntai da!” (We are the army that defeat ghosts)

Nako It was a pose I wanted to try with Nako but poor girl was tired. She was exhausted. Just look at how tired she is in the 2-shot photo! She was there right beside Sasshi’s lane since morning and I remember watching her while lining up for Sasshi at 9am, she was so energetic then. It was 2pm when I saw her, she’s been doing nothing but 2-shots after 2-shots and her line has been relentlessly long, I felt it was too much for a 13-year old. She’s still a kid, which makes it funny when she pretended to know where Malaysia is when it was apparent on her face that she didn’t. If it was up to me I would order the rest of the people behind me to just go home and let the poor girl rest. But I was also part of the problem, as I was one of the ticket holder. I was happy that I got to meet Nako, but I felt bad at the same time. No kid should be subjected to this.

As I continue to mumble alone about the vicious idol world to myself, I ran back to Shige’s lane, with 10 minutes to spare before the lane closes. I got in just in the nick of time and was the second last person to see her for the slot.

2shot_Shige2[※All conversation in Japanese]
Murashige: You really came back!
Me: Haha, of course.
Murashige: What pose?
Me: Comeback! (I asked for 復活 pose which means comeback, also her theme for Sousenkyo this year)
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Me: I’m voting for you this year.
Murashige: Thank you!! Coming again?
Me: Ah, no… that was my last ticket.
Murashige: Well, thank you for coming!!
Me: I had fun!
Murashige: Me too!

Hee. 🙂

That was all I felt after meeting her. I was glad that I split up the tickets as I got to get more conversations with her. She kept her cheerfulness till the end of the session and both times meeting her was so great. Maybe it was because she was my oshi and I’m being biased, but I really enjoyed my time. It was only Slot 4, the day was only half over and I still have 4 more slots left but I was over the moon.

8 more girls to go and the tiredness begins to step in. I’ve been doing nothing but queuing up the whole day. When Kou bought food, we all acted like polite savages, politely decline the first time but devours the food once we got a bite. Water was the most crucial for me as I felt more thirsty than I was hungry. And I hate to go out to get water because my schedule was packed with girls and missing it would be a no-no. So there I went, queuing up again in thirst, hoping the day moves on quickly. Next up, HKT48’s Miyawaki Sakura.

2shot_Sakura[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia.
Sakura: Wow, thank you! What pose?
Me: This one, from “Sakura minna de tabeta“.
Sakura: Okay.
*CLICKS*

Okay, that might seem boring but we had a running joke in the Half48 chatroom that the pose of the song looks like someone is smoking weed. I was hoping she would be holding it much closer to her mouth tho. Dammit Sakura, you can’t even smoke pretend weed right. She was so cute in her Alice costume and it would have been a much funnier and ridiculous photo if she had gotten the pose right, hahaha. Oh well. Next up was HKT48’s Tanaka Natsumi aka Boss.

2shot_Boss[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: BOSS!! *salutes*
Boss: (In English) WooOoWW FUROMMU WHEEARRE?
Me: Huh?
Boss: (In English) Furommu wheaaaree?
Me: Oh, I came from Malaysia.
Boss: What, so you know how to speak Japanese.
Me: Hahaha.
Boss: What pose?
Me: Let’s do doyagao (smug face).
Boss: Okay.
*CLICKS*

First of all, her “From where?” is so hilarious and thick that I didn’t even understand what she was saying. I thought she was saying some Japanese I didn’t know until it clicked to me that she was trying to converse in English with me. Second, I was imagining a much more smug doyagao from her but all I got was a Murashige pose instead, haha. She was funny and engaging. I love how instead of feeling embarrassed that I replied in Japanese, she sounded pissed instead, which I felt was so Boss of her. I expect nothing less.

Next up was HKT48’s Tomonaga Mio. I met up with Wayne since we both have the same slot. We decided to troll Mio and speak nothing but English with her since we know how salty she gets with foreigners, based on the variety shows that we watched of her. English was not her favourite subject, and I can’t wait to get me some salty and confused Mio.

2shot_Mio[※All conversation in English]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Mio: Thank you! What pose?
Me: What pose do you like?
Mio: Peace!
Me: Okay!
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Mio: Thank you! I’m happy!
Me: I’m happy as well! Good luck in Sousenkyo!

Well, that was unexpected. I went in expecting salty and confused Mio but she got me confused instead. She was nothing but lovely, even though I spoke nothing but English. And she tried her best speaking English as well. She went above and beyond from what I expected of her. I met up with Wayne and we compared shots and noticed that she did the peace sign with Wayne’s shot as well. Since Souchan’s Mio slot was up next we asked Souchan to do peace sign with Mio as well. After comparing our three shots, we concluded that Mio is a robot.

Mio_PeaceThis was from 3 different photos. Such a cute robot, hahaha.

HKT48’s Tanaka Miku was up next.2shot_Miku[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Miku: Thank you so much! What pose?
Me: Let’s do Nako-chan’s “Obake wo taosu guntai da!
Miku: That pose sure is popular today.
Me: Really? Haha.
*CLICKS*

Again, I felt the same thing that I felt with Nako’s session. The poor girls are tired. And it shows. However, after having 2-shots with both Nako and Miku, it was apparent that Miku is the more professional of the two. While Nako embraces her child side more and acted playful and really show her tiredness, Miku was sitting up-straight, properly thanking me and gave a proper handshake on the way out. But she was still a kid.

2shot_NakoMikuI hate that I was part of the problem as well, and I vowed to get the girls in an earlier slot next time as the evening slot is too much. But would be getting the morning slot better? I was still contributing to their sales, and as long as they are the popular members, they are going to be subjected to long hours and more slots. As I talked myself through it, I concluded that subjecting these kids to long hours of 2-shots is just not right, but I didn’t come up with any proper solutions. It was a long standing tradition in idol world, and one gaijin is not going to be heard. Maybe my brain was also tired at this point onwards but even though I was feeling happy, something just felt wrong about this whole 2-shot thing.

I decided to shake the feeling off and meet up with the Ago Brothers, Rick & Brad, aka the Kimoto Kanon oshis.

5thDay_AGOBrosMy next 2 girls was SKE48’s Kimoto Kanon and NMB48’s Yamamoto Sayaka. I lined up early for Kanon because I know Sayanee’s lane is gonna be loooooong.

2shot_Kanon[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Kanon: Wow! Thank you!
Me: I’m actually HKT48 oshi, so I want to thank you for being a concurrent in HKT48.
Kanon: Thank you for your support, what pose do you like?
Me: Any poses you recommend?
Kanon: Let’s do “Gao“!
Me: Okay.
*CLICKS*

Kanon was a pleasure to talk with. Being the only SKE48 member that I took a 2-shot with today, it was typical of me to get the member that is also HKT48’s member as well, haha. I was glad that I got to say what I wanted to say and my Japanese is getting better as the day goes by as well. I always knew what to say but at this time I have the confidence to actually say it. My next girl was Sayanee. I remember asking Wayne what poses he wanted me to have with Sayanee, because we applied for the same slot for Sayanee but I won her and he lost. I was glad that he wanted me to take hengao (weird faces) with Sayanee because that is exactly what I wanted to do as well.

2shot_Sayanee[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Sayanee: Wow! Thank you! What pose?
Me: Will hengao be okay?
Sayanee: *smiles* Sure.
Me: *does my hengao*
Sayanee: *looks at me and laughs* Nice hengao.
*CLICKS*

Oh but the 2-shot didn’t end there. As I got up, Sayanee got up as well, shook my hands and proceeded to walk with me throughout my exit.

*Shake hands*
Sayanee: Thank you so much for coming. All the way from Malaysia too!
Me: I had so much fun. I watched your Another Sky episode yesterday!
Sayanee: Really? Thank you for watching! How was it?
Me: When you thought that expensive noodle was only 950 yen…
Sayanee: Hahaha.
Me: It was really funny.
Sayanee: Thank you for coming.
Me: I’ll be voting for you! Do your best in Sousenkyo!
Sayanee: Thank you!

HANDS DOWN my favourite 2-shot of the day. Hands. Down. She was amazing from the moment I sat down and looked into my eyes asking for a pose. “Will hengao be okay?” and the kind smile she had when she said yes (probably because I was stumbling with my Japanese). Then stood up after the 2-shot and accompanied me to the exit while handshaking and chitchatting with me. It was really a Kami-level treatment of 2-shots. I hate to talk about it in terms of money but she really made me feel I had my money’s worth. It was easy to see why so many people were lining up for her since morning. Not only is she talented, funny and have the leadership skill to boot but she’s engaging and friendly to her fans as well. I had the second last slot of the day and I couldn’t even sense a hint of tiredness from Sayanee. She blew me away. I was feeling tired at the end of the day but was rejuvenated after meeting Sayanee. My next and last slot was AKB48’s Tano Yuka & Nakanishi Chiyori.

2shot_TanoI’ve always had the IDGAF-vibe from Tano and it couldn’t be more apparent on that day. Her lane was quite far and she came in on a bicycle like a boss. I haven’t met her but I was already chuckling at the idea that she rode a bicycle just to come to her lane.

[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Tano: Thanks. What pose?
Me: Doyagao?
Tano: Sure!
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Tano: Thanks for coming.
Me: That was hilarious coming in here with a bicycle.
Tano: This lane is too far!
Me: I know right? Hahaha.
Tano: Hahaha!

She seemed cold during the 2-shot but opened up when I joked about her bicycle. She acted the way how I expected her to be, cool with that hint of IDGAF. I was now getting a bit sad. The last girl is next, and that means my day was ending. I could have met up with Chori first but I decided to meet Tano first and end my day with Chori. I hung around the lane for quite a while, waiting for the people to disappear. I had the idea to be last person that she sees, as she’s my last person of the day. 20 minutes after the lane is open it seemed there was no one else queuing up for Chori so I head to her lane. (Right after I queued up, a group of 5 people started queuing up after me orz)

2shot_Chori[※All conversation in Japanese]
Me: Hello! I came from Malaysia!
Chori: Wow! Malaysia? Wow!
Me: I like your bird imitation.
Chori: *laughs* Bird pose?
Me: Yeah.
Chori: Okay!
*CLICKS*

*Shake hands*
Chori: Thank you for coming.
Me: I’m HKT Oshi but I’ll support you in AKB as well.
Chori: Thank you!

Ah, I don’t know what happen in the picture but I remember that she was very cheerful and energetic, haha. Seems it didn’t translate well in the picture. Maybe she was tired, as was I. I also wanted to ask her if she plans to come back to HKT but the staff was already pushing me away. As I walk away from the lane and towards the food area where all the AIDOL gang have set up camp, I felt a huge sense of relief. It was a very tiring day, but a happy one. I was glad that I set out to actually do this, to actually meet up with the idols that I like. I was walking along happily until I heard a girl scream.

I looked back, worried. A girl screaming during a 2-shot or handshake event was the last thing you want to hear. Right after, I realized what was going on. If it wasn’t because I was speechless I would be screaming as well. I was walking but now I found myself couldn’t even stand still. It was as if a titan had his hand all over Tokyo Big Sight and started shaking the whole building.

We were hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

27th May: Strolling around Akihabara

January 4, 2016 by

We started the day early. A bit too early perhaps as we were hit by the morning rush hour on our train ride to Akiba.

2ndDay_Train2We separate ourselves into different coaches, while Wayne reminding each and everyone of us, “2 stops! Get off in 2 stops!”. Me and Momo ended up in the same coach, being squashed with Japanese people in business suits.

2ndDay_Train2ndDay_Exit2ndDay_AkibaWe reached Akiba early. And no shops was open yet. So, while we’re waiting for Akiba to wake up we head to the combini to grab something to eat. We walked around Akiba, just looking around at all the shops that have yet to open.

2ndDay_DonkiClose2ndDay_LibertyCLoseAround 11am, most of the shops started to open. We head to Softmap first, as Hayate wanted to buy a Japanese SIM card. I looked around and bought another powerbank, bringing a total of 3 powerbanks for my trip, haha. My phone was acting strange and keep depleting its battery so I didn’t want to take risk.

2ndDay_SoftmapAfter Softmap, we head to the CD shop to buy AKB’s latest single, “Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai”. Even the Sousenkyo preliminary result was shown at the shop.

2ndDay_CD2ndDay_PrelimsI bought all 4 versions, while the rest bought quite a lot. Mostly, for our friends who asked for our help to buy the voting tickets that comes with the CD.

2ndDay_CDs

Then, we head to Don Quixote or Donki and stroll around for a bit. We meet up with Kou and EroGG (Erik) from UKN48. So now, the 10 of us are just like one huge group of gaijin, strolling around Akihabara. There were a lot of other foreigners strolling about so we weren’t standing out that much.

2ndDay_ColinErik2ndDay_Donki12ndDay_DonkiWe tried to go to Hello!Project Shop next. I was only half excited anyway since all my favorite members were long gone and I was not familiar with the current members. But it was nice to entertain the idea of going to the shop. Too bad it was closed when we were there.

2ndDay_HPNext, was my favorite shop of them all. It’s time for some photo hunting. We head to Liberty first. I just want to make a statement here, that before my trip to Japan, my only photocard buying experience is either through online (ebay/yahoo auction) or asking for a friend who is going to Japan for help. So being in a shop, that is nothing but photo cards… well, I went a bit crazy.

2ndDay_LibertyJust going by my memory of what cards I have, I just keep choosing and picking and by the time everyone was done paying for their photos, I was still crouching by the HKT48 section, going through each photo one by one. Needless to say, most of my photo cards are of Murashige Anna but I had a few variety of others as well. When the cashier was ringing me up, it took ages, and everyone was waiting with anticipation on how much the damage would be to my wallet.

2ndDay_LibertyShige2ndDay_LibertyCashierThe total came up to ¥19980, just almost reaching 20K yen. I could see the looks on everyone’s face, like I’m a crazy person. It didn’t help that while the cashier was ringing me up, Flashdance’s “Maniac” song was playing throughout the shop.

After the 20,000yen shock in Liberty, we headed to another photo card place. Akiba Cultures Zone had a lot more idol merchandise namely t-shirts and posters.

2ndDay_Cultures

2ndDay_Cultures2The 20,000 yen damage was too much so I avoided the photo section. Also, because I was not sure on which photo I have and didn’t have at that point. All I wanted to do is head home and put it nicely in an album, take note of the ones I didn’t have and head back here. I did however, grabbed Murashige’s sousenkyo poster from last year, which was one of my favorite sousenkyo photo of hers.

2ndDay_ShigeThe rest of the gang then heads to the figures section while I waited at the side. I wasn’t that into figures and anime, so I just stayed by chatting with Momo and Gert. We head back down and went to Super Potato to look at some games.

2ndDay_PotatoLike anime, I wasn’t huge on games either so I just stayed by the door and chatted with Erik & Kou. I haven’t really chatted with them much before so I find them interesting. Particularly, Kou. Well, I’ll let pictures speak for themselves.

2ndDay_ColinAfter strolling around Super Potato we went back down to the streets and just popping in random shops and look around. They even took a group picture with me (The Colonel).

2ndDay_HalfWhen we looked at the time, we didn’t realized it was almost 5pm and we’ve been walking since morning. We split up into groups and I followed Souchan, Toki & Momo to Asakusa to grab some dinner.

2ndDay_Germans2ndDay_TemotoI open my photos just to browse it. I was still reeling in from the 20K yen shock but there was no sense of regret to be honest. I was happy I got the photos and can’t wait to sort in out in my album.2ndDay_PhotosSouchan opens his CD and was salty that he got Paruru as he was hoping for Yukirin.2ndDay_Salty2ndDay_CDopenI had Ikura Kobore Maki for dinner along with other side dishes that we shared.2ndDay_IkuraAfter coming back to our apartment, while Souchan, Momo & Toki was freshening up and resting, I decided to sprawl my photos on the floor and start some arranging. I must have looked like a crazy person, jotting down notes on which photos are missing, and rearranging all my photos.

2ndDay_Photo2ndDay_ListI opened my CD and started voting as well. Giving 2 votes to Murashige and 2 votes to Shimada. As I do every year. I got both version of Jurina, Sasshi & Yui for my photos.

2ndDay_CDsopen2ndDay_ShimadaAt one point, Souchan starts playing with my GoPro which I don’t know if he realizes it or not, as I could snap the pictures using my phone.

2ndDay_Souchan22ndDay_SouchanAs the night kept going, one by one starts to pop up in our room. Gert shows up first and we played some card games from Netherlands that he taught us. Then Hayate showed up and we played some Uno.

2ndDay_Netherlands2ndDay_Draw4Friendships were broken (but mended later) when this happened.

2ndDay_FriendshipsRuinedWe started doing silly stuff and showing each other magic tricks as well.

2ndDay_SouchanMagicWayne & Brad showed up last after coming back from PARMS.

2ndDay_WayneEven though he is tired, Brad seems to be impressed with Gert’s magic.

2ndDay_GertMagic2ndDay_GertBRadWe spend the night just playing card games. Sometimes UNO, then a little bit of Cards Against Humanity.

2ndDay_CAHIn the middle of playing, HKT48 no Odekake started so my attention was half on the TV and half on the cards in my hand.

2ndDay_OdekakeWe played well up to 3am or so, it was so much fun. A few months ago, when we booked the apartment, we envisioned a night like this. We just keep chatting on what we’re going to do and to be actually doing it, it was just amazing.

2ndDay_Card2ndDay_Card2It’s only been Day 2 but I’m having so much fun I didn’t want it to end.

20th Feb: AKB48 x JKT48 concert

January 1, 2016 by

When I heard about AKB48 coming to Jakarta to do a collaboration concert, I was hesitant on going. On one hand, I really wanted to go but on the other, I was also saving money to go to Japan in May. But, a few weeks before the concert, they release the names of the members that are going to the concert.

  • Team A: Matsui Sakiko, Morikawa Ayaka
  • Team K: Kitahara Rie, Shimada Haruka, Yokoyama Yui
  • Team B: Oshima Ryoka, Uchiyama Natsuki, Kawamoto Saya, Kuramochi Asuka, Takeuchi Miyu, Natori Wakana, Nozawa Rena, Hashimoto Hikari, Hirata Rina
  • Team 4: Okada Nana

The moment I saw Shimada Haruka it was a done deal. I bought the flight tickets instantly and quickly booked my place to stay. I know I’ll be seeing her again in May but May can’t come soon enough. I was determined. I’m going to this concert.

20th Feb was a Friday but I was lucky that 20th Feb is a public holiday in my country so I had the freedom to fly off on Friday morning itself. There were lots of things I had to do before the concert. Both of my colleagues (there’s only 3 in my department) are on leave for the week so I had to finish the whole week of work for 3 people before I fly on Friday. Busy was an understatement.

After finishing my work till late on Thursday, I had packed all I needed. I had my light sticks ready in my bag, 3 millions rupiah exchanged, putting 2 millions in my bag and bringing 1 million with me in my wallet. After double checking and triple checking my passport and my concert tickets, I was ready. That is when the first out of many obstacle hits me. My flight was delayed.

I was supposed to arrive in Jakarta at 11am, the morning of the concert. It was ample time for me to check in to my accommodation, then arrive at the concert hall around 2pm to meet up with people from Half48 chatroom & UKN48. Instead, my new delayed flight will make me arrive at 2.55pm. Once landed, I grabbed the first taxi service I could find to take me to my place of stay (I paid 320,000 rupiah which I now know was bloody expensive and I should have haggled the price). I was staying at Jalan Cockroaminoto which I somehow pronounced as CockroAminaSato, a mere 5km away from Kokas aka Kota Kasablanka (the concert place). I did think of going to Kokas straight away but I still have 3 hours till the concert starts and I thought I still have time. Boy, was I wrong. What I didn’t realize is 3pm on a Friday was when the traffic in Jakarta is at its worst. First 15 minutes after arriving in Jakarta and I was face to face with the infamous traffic jam a.k.a macet. The feeling of regret is starting to set in.

After paying 500,000 rupiah for my hotel deposit, I quickly threw my bags in the room and ran to the street to grab a taxi to Kokas. From my hotel to Kokas was only 20,000 rupiah, which was when the reality hit me that I paid an unreasonable amount for the taxi at the airport. After arriving at Kokas, I also realized few other things. I left my light sticks and the rest of my money in my bags at the hotel room. So there I was, in Kota Kasablanka, with 160,000 rupiah (Around 11USD) in my pocket, and 30 minutes till the door is open for the concert to start. The wifi connection in Kokas wasn’t very stable as well, so I couldn’t meet up with the other guys.

People were already queuing up. I tried looking around but there were too many people for me to find any Half48 chatroom or UKN48 people around.

Jakarta_Queue

Tired, worried, and losing all the excitement I had for the concert, I head on inside the concert hall. I didn’t have enough money to buy merchandise (I could buy something but then I would have no money left for dinner and for the ride back to the hotel so I decided to be an adult and hold out on the merchandise temptation). Luckily, people were giving away free glow sticks so I at least had something in my hand. The seats were separated into left and right section and since nothing in my day seems to be going right so far, I headed to the left side of the seating area.

Jakarta_ConcertKage-ana started and it was Melody. Her Indonesian was clear and slow enough so I could understand most of it. (I basically can understand a bit but don’t ask me to speak Indonesian, I sound weird). Overture started and the whole concert hall, I’m not kidding, EVERYONE started to chant. The boys, the girls, the old uncles and aunties, even the 6 year old girl sitting in front of me. Although, the guy behind me was shouting “Tiger! Fire! Tiger! Fire! Jya! Jya!” on repeat but A+ for effort.

I won’t bother on posting the setlist but I’ll talk about the performance that sticks to my mind. “Kibouteki Refrain” started playing and the whole 16 AKB girls were in a straight line from one end of the stage to the other end singing the song. As the light shines on the girls, who did I see directly in front of me, singing on the left side of the stage? It was none other than my AKB oshi, Shimada Haruka. I’m probably exaggerating but my whole worry… that whole ordeal of obstacles and happenings and shitty stuff that happened to me before the concert started? It was washed away when I saw her. All the regrets I had for the concert vanished as I watch her dancing energetically with her twin-tails bouncing around.

Sitting on the edge of the hall means I get first hand view of the trolley that the AKB members climbed in on the side. I can’t remember who was the AKB member who got it on the right side, but Yui & Ryouka was on the left. And they were so close. Suddenly my choice of sitting on the left side didn’t seem so bad. I remember Mocchi got on the trolley for the left side on one song and she was breathtakingly beautiful. Just plain gorgeous. Rena was in the center position for most of the song, which was apt considering her history with JKT48. But Naachan got the most cheer whenever she is on screen.

The MC sessions were fun and easy to follow along even though they used a mix of Japanese and Indonesians. The girls were engaging and funny. And I swear I’m not being biased, but Shimada was hilarious. She was not afraid to make fun of herself and I love when the whole hall just burst into laughter every time she shouts the word “Kurus! (Skinny)”.

The concert started with AKB then a few songs mixes AKB members with JKT members. After a few songs, JKT48 starts to perform. My attention immediately went to Team T, the newly formed team when they sang “Wink wa Sankai“. The MC after the JKT48 performance was an AKB vs JKT game which was awesome. It felt like I was watching a variety show, except in a huge hall with all my friends.

After the little competition, it was a bit of a shuffle as they mix up a few AKB and JKT members to sing songs. Mocchi stands out so much in “Blue Rose” but Naomi from JKT wasn’t about to give in. She fit in quite well with Mocchi, Chikarina and Aaya because for a second there I was wondering which AKB member was the 4th girl before I realized that she is from JKT.

Rena, Ayana & Andela performed “Heart Gata Virus” and it was clear that this is Rena’s song. The special video at the beginning of the song focused on her. Here is a girl, who traveled here and there during her childhood but somehow ended up in Jakarta. She found a home in JKT48. And it shows. The reception of fellow JKT members and the fans towards her was so apparent, it was touching. I don’t think if Haruka or Chikarina goes back to Japan would they got this level of attention. Even through her performance I could feel that she is saying to her fans, “Tadaima” or “I’m back“. I even forgot the fact that this is a 3-person unit as all my eyes could focus was on Rena at the center. Only when the other fans started chanting, “A~yana! A~yana! Ayana! Ayana!” then I realized, “Oh yeah, my JKT Oshi is in this unit too. Haha.”

Ame no Doubutsuen” was the first song that some other girl stole my attention from Shimada. Kinal was playful and energetic, teasing JKT and AKB members alike. She truly captures the spirit of the song, and I find myself difficult to stop watching her. Yui & Melody sang “Temo Demo Namida” and Yui went up the left trolley. I hate to brag but she basically sang that song while looking at me. Well, not directly at me but towards my general area.

The concert goes back to AKB performing and then back to JKT performing, with MCs to keep us entertained in the middle. The highlight for me was the last song, “Sakura no Hanabiratachi”. During MCs, the fans constantly needed reminder to be silent. Members and other fans keep shushing and telling us to keep it quiet in order to hear what the other member is saying. But not for this song. As the spotlight hits Sakiko, without anyone telling us to, the whole concert hall fell silent. She plays the first few piano notes, perfectly playing the familiar sounds of bell chiming in the beginning of Sakura no Hanabiratachi, and captivating all of us with her fingers.

Once the song start, everyone in the hall altogether started singing the lyrics in Japanese (romaji lyrics on screen helped). Every time the camera focuses on the girls, there were looks of surprise and awe. All of us were swaying our glow sticks from left to right and singing along with the girls. In that moment, it felt like all of us were one. As the song ended, I can’t help but feel teary eyed. I don’t know whether it was the lyrics of the song, indicating graduation and end of a journey as if this concert is coming to an end, or the unity of the fans and the members.

The girls bid their farewell and for the first time in this concert, I checked the time. Almost clocking 2 hours plus and I didn’t even realized it. I really enjoyed the concert but the minute the concert ends and I had two thoughts:

  1. Damn, I wished they sang “First Rabbit”
  2. Man, Shimada didn’t even get to ride that trolley thing at all (left or right side)

I was waiting for someone to start an encore shout and was glad someone started just a few minutes after the concert ended. The curtains open back again with all of them singing “After rain” followed by “10 Nen Zakura”. Then, my miracle happened. The familiar first few beats of “First Rabbit” started and I immediately recognized it. But I look on my left to find out that Shimada was on the trolley and I just lost all my shit. I think I lost my voice that night after shouting her name so much. It was a bloody perfect encore.

I managed to get a proper wifi connection after the concert ended. I met up with Mocil, Ixarus, Ryan, Araishikeiwai (Or Rick as I call him) and a few friends of theirs. I met Ryan when he came to my country a few weeks prior so there was no mystery there. But meeting Ixa, Mocil and Rick was awesome as I’ve been chatting with Ixa & Mocil in our Half48 chatroom for almost 2 years and this was the first time for me meeting them. It was the first of many for me to actually go out and meet my online friends. Before, I always hide behind my online profiles but “Half” is my first one that makes me feel that I really made a connection with people. So, I decided to break out of my comfort shell and actually meet my online friends. They were just the lucky ones to meet me first, and more in the future was yet to come.

Jakarta_IdiotsThey took me to eat Sate Padang. Which was good, because I was starving. Lucky for them, the 160,000 rupiah I had was enough for the food and the ride back home. I really didn’t want to be the asshole who borrows money the first time we meet, haha.

Jakarta_SateThe next day, I met up with Ixa and Rick again to try to get into AnDare’s recording at JKT48’s theater.

Jakarta_Idiots2Jakarta_JKT48Too bad we couldn’t get in so we opted for Japanese food instead. I’ve watched JKT48 theater before back in 2013 and I can’t remember why I didn’t apply for theater tickets on this trip. Either there was no show or I felt like I didn’t have the time.

On Sunday, I was already in an early flight back home and my 3 days in Jakarta ended quickly. Looking back, the concert was the best 3 hours of my night. And to think my flight was delayed, I had 3 hours to get to the concert, 2 of those hours was stuck in traffic, with little money, and couldn’t find my friends, feeling down as hell but the girls were so energetic and funny and amazing and it just made me feel glad that I decided to come after all.

Jakarta_FlightBetween attending the concert and actually meeting other fans, I was so glad I came. And it got me proper excited for my Japan trip in May. I will be attending my first 2-shot event and making my first trip to Japan. Just thinking about it makes me nervous and excited.

[HakataFTW] Hakata Hyakkaten Season 1 Bonus (Akimoto Sayaka)

August 28, 2013 by

Since today is Sayaka’s grad day, here’s something small about Sayaka and HKT48! Even Sayaka who didn’t know a thing about HKT48 has her own oshimen in the group now. And just like Sayaka, I hope maybe some of you would get to know these kids and choose your own HKT oshimen!

HKT has a bunch of shows with their seniors in AKB like AKB to XX!, Mujack, Hakata Hyakkaten, AKBingo and let’s not forget that Sasshi is also part of HKT48 and she’s always on talk shows with other AKB members.

So if there’s any AKB voters who aren’t sure who to vote for, I suggest to give it to HKT48! 😉

Just go message AIDOL on their facebook page here and type HKT48. Till tomorrow!

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