Your AKB48 Experiences

Discussion in 'General AKB48 Discussion' started by cRaZY MiKi, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. ckd

    ckd Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    wow Cristafari! I want to see those cosplay pics of Tanamin! Hopefully she has them on her blog!

    Can't believe you didn't know Misato in Evangelion [hehe]

    EDIT: You're right, she is hot! :)
     
  2. drazaar

    drazaar Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oshimen:
    nagaomariya
    @Cristafari : whoaaa tanamin was misato?! My friend who was with me who didn't know akb would have gone crazy, he was looking for good misato merch while we were there the whole time. Just sent him the pic ha
     
  3. 55Cyanides

    55Cyanides Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana University, Indiana, USA
    Great read, Cristfari! Your post, like others, is causing me to vicariously live these experiences. Keep them up!
     
  4. Erin.

    Erin. Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Awesome post, Cristafari. It's really something that you've gotten to meet certain girls so many times that they clearly remember you. (I guess being foreign helps.) Like, even though she knows she's not your oshi, Kaotan is not going to give up on you. :XD: And I think Wasamin really appreciates it whenever you two meet. You put a lot of thought into your interactions with her. It's really sweet to read.

    And Komorin in Canada? Yes! Please come to Toronto Komorin! :awesome:
     
  5. Tensai

    Tensai Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Oshimen:
    uchiyamanatsuki
    Twitter:
    Tensai
    Flew back to Tokyo last week for a Momoclo concert and the AKB48 So Long! and Sayonara Crawl HS events. As usual, I found myself lucky enough to have several other AKB48-related experiences.

    Note: Theater Show write-up is a bit briefer than usual, as I did a fairly extensive write-up of the Team KKS Pajama Drive last month.

    NOTTV - Anta Dare? - 05/27/2013
    Had no plans for Monday - so headed over to the AKB48 Cafe to try to get into AnDare. Featured members for 5/27 were:

    [​IMG]

    Natori Wakana
    Nonaka Misato
    Katayama Haruka
    Ishida Haruka

    Usual crowd of about 120 showed up for the lottery, and once again my number was called while they were filling in the standing room seats. The staff members are beginning to recognize me (especially the really cute one who runs the lottery). When I pulled out my AKB48 Cafe card to get my stamps for the show, she tried to get a glimpse of my driver's license to see where I was from. Of course I happily obliged - and both of the girls seemed really amused.

    [​IMG]

    When I got into the theater area, I decided to stand on the right side rather than in the back. Much better view of the proceedings this time - even though there was a slightly taller guy in front of me. The MC's were ChikiChikiJohnny, and during the warm-up I was a bit quicker in getting my hand up when they asked about people from outside of Kanto. Even still, the director had to keep pointing at me to get the MCs to ask where I was from.

    Then the girls came out to do the intro. The big topic - it was Micha's 50th show, she even got a little flower display. She ended up leading off the segments.

    50 Things About Micha: Prior to the show, the staff had written down 50 things they liked about Micha. I think they managed to get the list done in under 4 minutes. Now the AKB48 members at the show were challenged to the same. Lots of comments you would expect, cute eyes, pretty hair, etc, etc. They still didn't manage to complete the list. (I personally would have said lovely eyelashes).

    Team B Oshi: Since all the members in the show were Team B, they did the usual segment singing Team B Oshi with variations on each member's catchphrase. There were some silly puns using Nonaka‘s and Wakana's names (not sure they really translate).

    My Solo Debut: This is the segment I saw last October, where each member has to pretend they are at their solo debut concert. They do an MC, introduce their hit song, and then sing it. As usual, Haachan was the best with a song about Pancakes. Usually they do this with Wasamin, and she has a solo at the end. Since Wasamin wasn't there, they announced that Haachan and Micha would do a duet of the classic 'Matsuwa' by Amin instead.

    It was absolutely amazing - and for everyone who thinks these girls can't sing, you are completely and utterly wrong.

    Name that Tune: In this segment, they play an extremely short 'blip' of an AKB48 song, and the member has to rush up, grab the mic and announce the song. Then instead of singing, they have to dance it instead. Songs were 'Kimi no koto suki dakara', Seigi no Mikata Janai Hero, UZA, and another I can't recall. Wakanyan got Kimi and the other pretty easily, but they had a lot of trouble with Hero. To the point that the audience had to shout out the title. Since they all failed to recognize their Team song, they all had to dance. They also had trouble with UZA.

    For the appeal segments, they had to talk up Shimada Haruka. Which proved to be very tricky for some.

    When it was time for the photos - I ended up getting stuck behind the tall guy with the . Which means you can only see the top half o my head.

    [​IMG]

    Team KKS - Pajama Drive - 5/28/2013
    I ended up being very tactical in my Theater show entries this trip. When I do win, it's usually one of the first shows I apply for. So I didn't apply for Team A on Monday, in order to have my first entry be the Team KKS show on Tuesday. Like clockwork - I woke up the morning I was leaving to find a winning email in my inbox. (and for once - not cancel machi). Really excited that I would be seeing Team KKS again, especially since Nakkii was in the line-up (and Hirari too).

    Pre-Show

    Arrived and checked in as usual, ended up with ticket #38. Spent some time taking photos of the new member pictures and Election photos. Then walked around Donki (and picking up some of the May monthly Theater Photos). Got back just in time for the line-up, and ducked into my spot. Because I was #38, I was literally sitting on the old cafe booth in the back. Which is a shame, because MrWaffle was standing at the head of the line a few rows over.

    Yes - two foreigners managed to completely miss each other in a Theater that barely fits 250 people.

    [​IMG]


    I ended up talking to the guy who was behind me quite a bit, always nice to have company in the line. Talked quite a bit about the various members as they came up on the monitor displays - unfortunately his oshimen (Yuurin) wasn't performing that night.

    While my ticket luck is good, my entry draw is not. As row after row were called, both of us started discussing if our row would be last. Sure enough, it was and we were the last two people to enter the theater. The left and center standing areas were packed, so I made a beeline to the right side- hoping there would be room in the raised area. There wasn't, but I ended up standing right in front of it, with a good view of the stage. Gave me room to move around a bit for once rather than being crammed in.

    Show

    Unlike the April show, the audience was really engaged that night. The section I was in essentially clapped and mixed every song (where it was appropriate - there are a few songs/places where you don't). Also did a decent job of some of the more uncommon mixes. There was one guy in front of me who was pretty much shouting for everyone during the MCs (really loud and really long). He also ended up leading the encore.

    This time my eyes were pretty much on Nakkii whenever she was on stage. I was one of the few vocal Nakkii supporters in the crowd, and did my best to represent. When I wasn't watching Nakkii, it was either Hirari, Saho, Mitsuki, or Miki-chan.

    The first MC was about things you can't resist doing - of course it mainly resolved around food. I recall Hirari talked about putting flowers into her bath, and Naachan likes to talk baby-talk to her dogs.

    Junjou Shugi was interesting, as first Hirari and then Yuiri both lost their hats. But of course the highlight for me was Temodemo.

    Next MC was about little dreams the girls had. Mitsuki wanted to live in a Share House, and Miichan asked if she meant 'Terrace House'. Hikari wanted a butler. Mogi wanted to do all day Karaoke. Last MC before the encore was how they were surprised about another member.

    Encore call was way quicker than the last time and I felt like it was more enthusiastic. The final MC I didn't really catch, it was a riff off the KKS concert title in some way, but couldn't fully understand.

    For the final song they performed Sayonara Crawl. They really did a great job with it and probably was one of the highlights of the night.

    Hi-touch and Thoughts

    I'm so used to seeing Hirari at the end of the hi-touch line, I was a bit surprised when I came out and she was the first one. I was going to congratulate her on the promotion, but my mind completely went blank and I think it was just a quick 'Thank You' and 'good to see you again'. When I reached Nakkii, she had a slightly different reaction than the last two times I've seen her - was it perhaps… recognition! I also made sure to give a little extra attention to Mikichan and Mitsuki.

    ( I really like how Team KKS is a bit more grabby in the hi-touch line - makes it a bit more personal than the quick pat and pass )

    After I got my bag, I decided to hang out to see what happens at the very end. For some reason, I've never done this in the past. They paused the line for a family - it was great to see the member's reactions to the kids. Then near the end I saw this guy come swaggering out, and I swear I recognized him as a Miichan oshi I had seen on an MNET documentary the week before.

    When the hi-touch was over, the members headed back into the theater, and waved to us from the door. Mogi shouted her catchphrase right before they closed the door, and everyone joined in.

    I'm so happy I had another chance to see Pajama Drive performed, and that Nakkii was one of the members who performed. There is just something about her that caught my eye, and seeing another performance with her was going to make an very difficult decision much easier.

    NOTTV - Anta Dare? - 05/31/2013
    Cristafari was flying in on Friday, so we decided to try to meet up for AnDare. The members performing today were:

    [​IMG]

    Sato Amina
    Maeda Ami
    Miyazaki Miho
    Uchida Mayumi

    Cristafari had enough time to check into his hotel and rush over to meet me at the cafe. We had to line up almost immediately, and ended up being assigned numbers 39 and 40. While waiting, had a couple people from overseas come over to ask what was going on. (this was a bit awkward as you aren't supposed to be near the line when the numbers are called if you aren't in the lottery - but I tried to explain as much as I could).

    Sometime between Monday and Friday, they had changed the lottery process. For all my previous shows, the lottery was done by pulling paper slips from a box and reading the number on the slip. Now they were being randomly generated by an iOS app that the staff would show to everyone. (the girl who runs the drawing was explaining to everyone that it was supposed to be displayed on an iPad - but I guess they couldn't get it working and had to use an iPhone).

    Once again they got through all the seats without either my number or Cristafari's being called. We were kind of in a dead zone (not many called from the 20 - 50 range). With only a few standing room slots left, Cristafari's number 39 was called. I gave him a quick congrats, and had resigned myself to not making it. When the next number called was 40, the entire crowd remaining let out a big 'Whoa!!'. Chance no Junban indeed.

    [​IMG]

    I told Cristafari to go to the left side - and ended up in pretty much the same spot I was for the Monday show. Again - really close and a really good view of the stage.

    The MC's were Top Reed. They went through the usual routine, including asking who was there for the first time. I poked Cristafari to raise his hand. The MCs spotted us at that point, so when it was time to ask "Who's from outside of the Kanto area", they instead said "Let's do this different today, who comes from somewhere other than Japan?" Our hands and another person's went up (I believe they were from Taiwan).

    When asked where we were from, I had Cristafari go first. He said he was San Francisco, and when they asked me I said I was from there too (and that we were friends). They made a really big deal about this, and it would be the start of a running gag throughout the entire show. I lost track of how many asides and comments the MC's made about "the guys from San Francisco" during the show. Then there was some practice for two of the segments. One was how to do a slow standing ovation, the other was splitting the room into two teams for applause (that second one never came into play on the show).

    Amina read the rules of the show - and flubbed the first instruction. Which lead to a very frustrated growl from her that got everyone laughing. Then the show started and the members came running out. The intro's focused on the fact that it was a 'Mi' show (all the members have 'mi' in their first name) - though that seemed to be flubbed a bit too. Then they called out the fans from outside of Kanto, and when they got to us it became a bit amusing. Aamin was either having trouble pronouncing San Francisco or confusing it with Shanghai, and

    The rest of the intro segment focused on Aamin, because her 18th birthday would be the next day. They had her do another intro, this time talking with her eyebrows. This was also the last episode for one of the production staff, so all of the appeal segments were devoted to the girls talking about him. The main segment after were:

    The best OOO on Team K: In this challenge, the members rank the other team members based a random question. The first was 'Who is the best smelling member of Team K?'. Aamin did the ranking vs one of the MC's. Myao was ranked high, along with Natsumi. Aamin's theme was all the girls who smelled 'tropical'? I remember there was a lot of discussion about Hawaii.

    The second question 'Who has the most beautiful body parts on Team K'. Ucchi and Amina did the ranking. Ucchi selected Sayaka and Mariyagi and I believe Abe. She really liked Sayaka's V-shaped face. Amina picked Hirari as number one, followed by Aamin, and then Chikarina. When she had to explain her reasoning it was epic.

    If you know Amina, you know she likes boyish girls, so she went off on this long explanation of how cute Hirari is in tight shorts (short pants). Talking and demonstrating how she looks at rehearsal and I swear she nearly started drooling. Everyone was dying of laughter. Then the MC asked why she hadn't picked Sae, and Amina was like "well I haven't seen her in short pants yet - but I want too!"

    [​IMG]

    Tough Crowd: In this segment, the member has 1 minute to perform some random task to please a very unmoved fan (played by the MC). This is when we had to do the slow standing ovation. Aamin had to make a paper cut out silhouette of the MC, Myao had to craft something with clay (she ran out of time - and ended up making a pea pod), Ucchi had to do a dramatic reading from her photo book, and lastly Amina had to do a moe sketch. Once again, Amina was the star of the show doing a take of a girl chasing after the guy she likes to surprise him.

    Farewell: The final segment was a farewell to one of the AnDare producers, Tanaka P. They played a slideshow of many of the photos from the G+ posts over the year, and everyone talked about their memories of the occasion or event.

    When it was photo time - I wanted to ensure I didn't have my head cut off again. But the person in front of us was very nice, he had Cristafari and I move in front of him and stay there even when the girls went off stage.

    [​IMG]

    Aamin did the closing announce (after the girls went off-stage), and took a moment to give special thanks to the 'guys from San Francisco'.

    Tokyo Tower - Night View DJ (Fujie Reina) - 05/31/2013
    When we got out of the show, MemoryBreak had arrived (he was staying in Tokyo for the HS events).

    Cristafari, being an experienced idol guide, had a plan. Tokyo Tower has a small club/restaurant in the observatory, where various shows are held on a daily basis. On Friday nights, they have a Night View DJ who comes in an plays music and takes requests for a couple of hours. Several years ago, Umeda Ayaka used to be a regular for the gig. He decided to check out who was DJing, and by complete coincidence, Fujie Reina was going to be the DJ that night.

    Off we went to Tokyo Tower, and happily discovered that not only was Fujie Reina there - but so was a Suntory Highball Garden. Sadly we bought our tickets to the observation deck, before we found out they had a special (ticket + highball) package. Since it was early we sat down a bit and enjoyed the weather.

    [​IMG]

    When we got up to the deck, there was already a big crowd preset. But we found a table where we could hear, and if we stood could see Reinyan. She came out about 7:30 and proceeded to play songs, read comments from the fans, and talk about various things. It was a very laid-back atmosphere, so we basically chilled out and listened to her for the next 90 minutes. Cristafari was feeling the jet lag and headed downstairs a little early, but MemoryBreak and I stayed until the end.

    It was obvious there wasn't going to be a high-touch, but when we go to the elevator I was a bit surprised that nobody was leaving. We headed back over, right as she came back out to thank the fans again. Her co-DJ gave her a little bouquet of flowers, I believe because she had gotten so good at doing the gig. Then she played Sayonara Crawl as the last song and wave goodbye to all of us before leaving again.

    But that wasn't our last glimpse of Reinyan.

    We were about to leave, when the staff came by with a couple of what I presume were VIPs. They opened the door right next to us, which was the impromptu dressing room for the show. MemoryBreak and I were a bit surprised when we saw Reinyan checking out her phone, and then greeting her guests. Just goes to show you always need to be on the lookout for idols in Japan :D

    Up next - the massive HS Event reports!
     
  6. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    Oshimen:
    Iwasa Misaki
    Twitter:
    Cristafari
    After all of the fun I have had this trip, the one thing I still hadn't done was won a theater show. The tough part was with the Nissan Stadium show, most of the theaters were closed for the bulk of the week. That didn't leave me too many chances to win. There was Komori's final stage. I really wanted to win that, but no such luck. Anna Ishida's birthday show? Got skunked on that one as well...

    This is my 11th time in Japan, and I have never come here without winning at least once. Would my lucky streak come to an inglorious end?

    [align=]AKB48 Team Kenkyuusei, June 9th, 2013. "Pajama Drive" 15th gen. debut[/align]


    I finally got the good news when I returned from Nissan Stadium on Saturday night. I had won via Ippan to see the AKB Kenkyuusei and the 15th generation's debut.

    I met Koba and Pandadash in the afternoon. Our plan was to hit the Sousenkyo museum , and then I would cut out for my theater show. When we got to the museum the line was super long. I seriously considered bailing on the museum (I have already visited once) and just get my theater ticket. But I stuck it out since they have a bunch of new post-election exhibits. I will post about the museum later. Finally at 5:15 I jetted out of the museum, and jumped across the street to the Donki.

    Paid for my ticket, #154. I jumped downstairs for a quick smoke where I met a couple of young fans who also love Wasamin. I love this Sousenkyo t-shirt! I have been wearing it everywhere and getting endless comments and thumbs-up. Anyway, I wished them luck on the entrance lottery and headed back upstairs.

    Went though the usual formalities with the queuing process. Now it was time for the lottery. First up...
    150-159. Oh hell yes!!! First row again! This was my 31st theater show. For my first 27 I never made it closer than 4th row. But three of the last four have gotten me a 1st row seat. And this was the second time I have been front row center. This show was going to be awesome, except...

    I am not as well versed in the kenkyuusei as I should be. Sure, there are some that I know about and like. But the majority of them are a mystery to me. Throw in the 15th gen debut, and I was seeing a lot of girls I knew nothing about. This could be a huge problem with me in the front row. I better figure them out quickly, or I am going to feel like an idiot. So here was the plan...Pay close attention during the opening set, listen attentively during MCs, and go from there.

    Show begins, the crowd is giggling because they screwed up the opening chant in Shonichi. Right off the bat, Miki Nishino is in my face. 30 seconds in and I already love this girl. But I knew she wasn't a new member. I spent the first two songs wondering which were the new members. I knew Komiyama Haruka was new since she was so unique looking. But what about this super tall and skinny girl? Was she new? She keeps trying to get my attention. There is one gangly looking girl, and what about this intense looking one? Then I found her...

    One girl kept looking at me. I wasn't sure if she was new or not. But I thought she was extremely cute. Just something about her made me want to pay attention to her the entire time. Not too young, but a very pretty face...

    During opening introductions Miki took the lead. Now my first reaction was to go for her. But I could tell she was extremely popular. I like underdogs. The tall skinny one who keeps looking at me? Maeda Mitsuki...not really my type. Super-intense girl? Okada Nana. And the foreign looking girl? Shinobu Mogi. So now I knew who the players were. Oh yeah, the one I was totally into???

    Tsuchiyasu Mizuki. Oh wow, she is brand new. I am going to have fun with her tonight!

    On to the units, and I was having a great time playing with any girl who landed in front of me on stage. I was pointing, doing the hand motions, cheering, doing all I could to get their attention. Although it is pretty easy for someone like me. Big gaijin with a goatee, not to mention my Wasamin shirt. I might as well have been wearing a neon sign. Then came Kogami no Naka no Jeanne d Arc...

    Oh my, my new love is already centering a song! Yeah, she is good. I am totally focused on her, and she is totally focused on me. She couldn't stop looking my way. For the rest of the show it was more of the same. Not to mention other members were also looking right at me, and I didn't want to be rude. Maeda Mitsuki had her eyes on me all night as well.

    Now I am sure many of you want to hear about the other 15th gen members. All of them were there except for Nana Owada...

    I'm sorry, Owada Nana must have been off of my radar, because she was indeed there. Struggling to remember. I believe I thought she was cute, but I was thinking she was 14th gen.

    I already mentioned Komiyama Haruka. Very cute, always smiling. She will be great after she gets more comfortable.
    Yumato Aimi. Reminds me of Haruu. Not my type at all.
    Fukuoka Seina is a lot like Nakky looks-wise. But kind of quiet.
    Ichikawa Minami was very good. I was surprised she was a debut member.
    Mion and Kiara were both very cute, but look extremely young! I try to avoid the baby-girls

    That said, they all did a great job with the performance.

    Anyway the rest of the night was me looking at Mizuki, Mizuki looking at me, me trying not to look at Mizuki. Looking at Miki, looking back at Mizuki since she is looking at me. For me, being in the front row means I want to make as many of the girls feel acknowledged as possible. And with the 15th gen, I wanted to carry them through the show. Not that they needed it.

    The setlist finally ended with Sayonara Crawl. I screamed "Omedetou!" to the 15th gen and Maeda Mitsuki nodded to me in approval. As they left the stage every girl came up to me at one point, Mizuki found me twice. But not to be outdone, Okada Nana came up to me and blew me a kiss! (???) Then came High Touch...

    once again, there are times when it is great to be a foreigner. High Touch is one of them. At least half of the girls exclaimed when I came by them. Nana held my hand tightly, as did Miki. they were all great, but I was looking for one girl...

    She saw me coming from two girls away. I slid by the two girls in front of her (not sure who they were, sorry) and gave Mizuki a big congratulations. It was a great interaction! Her reaction was just as awesome! I am so happy that I got to be her first major fan experience. In fact I feel so lucky to be able to make such an impression on the 15th gen in their debut! The bummer is that I go back to California in 2 days. I would love another chance to interact with Mizuki. Oh well, it will have to wait. Hopefully I get back to town soon. And if I do, Mizuki will be on my handshake shortlist. Nana and Miki may make the cut as well!

    Just don't tell Wasamin I was looking at other girls! :yikes:

    EDIT: Ya know, I forgot to put anything of real subtance about the 13th-14th Kenkyuusei in the show...

    Nishino Miki: was my favorite to watch. She clearly reminds me of Jurina when it comes to skill and intensity. She commands your presence and is great at interacting with the audience. She was in front of me quite often and I enjoyed her performance immensely.

    Okada Nana: My first thought was that she was sort of intense and introverted, kind of like Tomochin or maybe Mariko. Very cute, and the more I watched her the more I liked her. And of course she did seem to react to me quite well!

    Maeda Mitsuki: My first thought was that she wasn't my type of idol. Kind of reminded me of Yurina Kumai from Berryz Kobo. But she is super-genki and energetic on stage. Paid a lot of attention to me as well, so I will give her props for some excellent fishing-work! [hehe]

    Aigasa Moe: Gets a lot of attention from the fans (and the other girls) for being super-cute.

    Anyway, those four had the biggest impression on me.
     
  7. csidni

    csidni Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Thanks for the report. Can't wait to watch the LOD myself - unfortunately I don't have a DMM account so it'll have to wait.

    I'm pretty sure Owada Nana was there, though. She did Temodemo no Namida in Saeki's position according to the reports I've read. Perhaps you overlooked her?
     
  8. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    Oshimen:
    Iwasa Misaki
    Twitter:
    Cristafari
    I must have, because you are right. they were all there. I am trying to remember what I thought of her. Oh well, forgive me as my brain was on overload. And I was really focused on 2-3 girls
     
  9. Tensai

    Tensai Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Oshimen:
    uchiyamanatsuki
    Twitter:
    Tensai
    Great write-ups Cristafari - really happy you were able to see a Team KKS - Pajama Drive performance (and the 15th Gen debut too!) [clap]

    Time to continue my write-ups of our adventures in the Land of Idols.

    Since these are long, I'm going to break the So! Long and Sayonara Crawl HS Events into two posts instead of combining them. I planned on meeting over 40 members over 2 days, and most were only a single ticket so they'll be brief. But I will go into some of the more interesting handshakes in detail.

    So Long - Makuhari Messe - 6/1/2013

    Quick notes:

    - I attended this event with Cristafari, MemoryBreak, and Pandadash. I also had a chance to meet Drazaar from the forums as well.

    - As with the Eien Pressure event - this was held in Halls 9 - 11. Not the worst location, but not the best either. While the day outside was cool, but the enclosed space ensured that it ended up being kind of stuff and uncomfortable to hang out inside. Which meant after each session we either stood around by the smoking area, or found someplace to sit on the street outside.

    - Decided not to wear any specific Team gear this time. I had a couple Hashire! Penguin shirts that I could have worn, but didn't want to get pegged as 'that penguin guy'. Especially since I would be seeing several members for the second or third time.

    - They are continuing to do open lanes for the less-popular/non-Senbatsu members. This is really great as you can see and interact with a lot of girls without even having a ticket for them.

    - Since I had limited time, most of what the conversation I had with the members was a lot of 'Hello's and 'Thank you's. I think most members hold back a bit on conversation, not only because of the time, but because like me, they probably don't know how much I will understand.


    Slot 1

    Kodama Haruka: Decided to break the HS ice with Haruppi. Since it was the first slot/session, all the non-senbatsu lanes were empty so I went right in. Amazingly cute - even more so than I expected. Got a big reaction when she heard I was California, and then I told her I really liked watching her on Hakata Hyakkaten. Which I mispronounced and she corrected me with that cute little lisp, and gave me a big 'Thank You'.

    BTW - she posted an 'air handshake' video for that day - so you can experience Haruppi too!
    https://plus.google.com/111907069956262615426/posts/K1UgimpSfTt

    Iwata Karen: I had two tickets for Karen. She was dressed very casually, but looked great. Started off telling her I loved Team 4 and 'Hashire! Penguin', and that she was great in AKB48 0048. But most of all - her mother's video of her singing 'Hashire! Penguin' in the bath was the most amazing thing. She was happy, though I think still a little embarrassed by it. Though before the week was over - her mother had posted a new video.

    https://plus.google.com/104469157599705660710/posts/5FgueBk7Hr6

    Izuta Rina: I had a fun experience with Izuriina at the HS event in April - when I didn't even have a ticket. When I started talking to her, I found myself smiling a lot because she's a lot of fun. She laughs a lot when talking, which makes it an even more fun handshake. I found her to be really cute and adorable, and I'll definitely end up going to see her again in the future.


    Slot 2

    Ogasawara Mayu: Second HS with Maachun. Told her that I was at the Budokan and really enjoyed her 'Idol nante yobanaide' performance (did not tell her I was watching Nakkii most of the time). Was a lot more upbeat and excited than the previous event - but the long weekend had only just started.

    After Maachun I thought things were about to get awkward. I discovered that the SKE48 members I was about to see (Igucchi and Anna) were right next to each other, in open lanes, and neither was very busy. How to pull this off without getting a salty or tsundere reaction?

    Iguchi Shiori: Decided to see Igucchi first. Beautiful and tall as always. I told her I went to the Budokan concert, and enjoyed it a lot. Congratulated her on her Team E transfer and wished her luck.

    Meanwhile, two lanes over - Anna was staring at me the entire time (and it was a strange little look) :^^;:

    Ishida Anna: Last December, I had an epic experience with Anna at a theater show, and now I was going to see if that experience was only a fluke. Walking into her booth, I was more than a little nervous. The fact that she is breathtakingly beautiful and fashionable as well, didn't make it any easier on my heart.

    She greeted me with a big smile and said 'Hello' in English. I did my usual intro of where I was from, and then mentioned I had been at a Team KII3 performance in December. I told her that the performance and my hi-touch with her was amazing. She thanked me, and then gave me another slightly thoughtful look. Her eyes went wide, she pointed a finger at me, and jumped a little exclaiming "Ahhh!!! oboeiteru! oboeiteru!" (I remember you, I remember you!). I was completely floored, but managed to say that I was so happy she remembered me. She looked really pleased with herself, a look I'm getting very familiar with now. We waved and said goodbye to each other, and she told me to come see her again.

    Later I realized that I was wearing the same orange hawaiian shirt that I had worn to the theater that day. The one that got many of the members to focus on me during the show, including herself. This is probably why she was staring at me so hard while I was in Igucchi's lane, she knew me from somewhere and was trying to place me.


    Slot C

    Anai Chihiro: Another one of my many HKT48 handshakes this event. Told her I really like watching her on the HKT48 TV show and wished her luck on guitar. Just like Haruppi, she was really happy and was a very enthusiastic handshake. These HKT48 girls are dangerously cute...

    Sato Meiko: Always good to see Nee-san. Was just a quick conversation, mentioned I was at the Budokan concert and that it was a lot of fun.

    Sato Amina: This was the third time seeing her at an event, and I don't even bother introducing myself anymore. Started off by saying that I had been at AnDare the day before. She immediately started smiling and went "Ah - San Francisco!!!'. I gave her a big "Hai!!!". Got a big thank you for coming to the show, and I explained that I had a lot of fun. Totally forgot to ask her if she told Hirari about the short pants thing. (see my AnDare write-up for the background on that)


    Slot 3

    Moriyasu Madoka: Got a big reaction from her when I came into her booth - think she was really surprised to see someone from overseas. She is really tall and elegant looking and very pretty. Told her that I had been at the AKB48 Group concert at the Budokan, and that she was amazing in 'Ame no Pianist'. When I said that, she was so happy she gave my hand a really big squeeze. Hard enough that my hand was tingling for nearly half an hour. Note to self - don't get pianists too excited, they don't know their own strength.

    Murashige Anna: Probably my most anticipated HKT48 handshake. I know some fans dislike her over-the-top personality, but as someone who has been accused of the same, I feel a connection. Surprisingly, she was very laid-back when I arrived - and like all the other HKT48 girls, looked absolutely amazing. Told her where I was from, and that I was a big fan. I think I did the 'mentaiko' bit next, which she did in turn while laughing. Explained that I watched Hakata Hyakkaten and really loved her 'hi tension' character, and the proceeded to mimic her reactions on the show. Which she also started doing too - so it was a lot of fun. Got a 'Thank you' in English and wished her luck in the election. As they were moving me out, she asked if I had been to the theater yet. I told her regrettably that I had not, but I really wanted to go. She told me to "please come see us!!!".


    Slot 4

    Iwasa Misaki: Went to see Wasamin with Cristafari, and like last March she saw both of us and asked him "tomodachi? (friends)". This was the session when Cristafari asked if she remembered his name, and it was really cute the way she thought about it before answering.

    I was wondering what to say to her, but while she was talking with Cristafari I had taken note of that she was wearing really tall heels (and what seemed to be the trend with a lot of members that weekend, a really short skirt). After saying 'hello', I asked "you seem really tall today?". She started beaming, and proceeded to turn around and lifted her leg so she could show me her shoes. Ahhh - Wasamin doesn't know I'm a leg man, shame shame. I told her they were really cute and so was shut, and wished her luck in the election.

    Yokoyama Yui: If you have been following my HS adventures, you know that my Yui sessions have been good, but never quite what I'm expecting. The trend continued today, as after the usual hello's, she explained that she was learning English. So I asked her if it would be okay if I spoke English. When she said yes, I told her it was "really good to see her again". She laughed and was like "Wakaranya (I don't understand). In hindsight, I probably talked too fast or was too complex. As I mentioned on Twitter. Yui and I are like a couple in a Romantic Comedy. The one that can never seem to find the right timing or connection to finally get together.


    Slot 5

    Nonaka Misato: Since I had seen Micha on Monday at AnDare, that's what I talked with her about. Told her I was there, though I don't know if she saw me (the lights make it hard for the girls to see the audience on the sides of the Cafe theater). Told her that her duet of Matsuwa with Haachan was amazing, and she thanked me for coming. (sadly - no 'cute gaijin' comment this time)

    Suzuki Shihori: Been wanting to meet her for a while, and pretty much said that when I met her. She told me that she was studying English, but I had learned my lesson with Yui and only gave her a "that's cool" in return. Then I explained I was learning Japanese. She then started talking too fast for me (now I know how it feels to them when I do it), but I didn't grasp what she was saying until it was too late. She was asking me to teach her something in English… Definitely needed more time with her.

    Ishida Haruka: Second time seeing Harukyan, and it was just as good as the first time. Told her I was at AnDare on Monday and had seen her there. Told her that I really loved AKB0048 and wished her luck in the Election.


    Slot 6

    Iwatate Saho: Saho was styling a 1950's housewife look - really cute but a bit confusing. Gave her a big Ya-ho! when I entered her booth, and told her that I was at the Team KKS show on Tuesday. Mentioned how much I liked her Tenshi no Shippo, and she was really happy and asked me to come again.

    [​IMG]

    Oya Shizuka: Another HS I was looking forward to, as I've followed Shiichan since my very first theater in show. In fact, I told her that my first theater show was her first Birthday show. Since she was paired with Wasamin (who wasn't busy with anyone), Wasamin pretty much stood next to her the entire time and made little 'heart' gestures at me. Two former Team A girls that were my first theater experience. Lucky!

    I recommend getting something to drink - this next one is going to be long.

    Uchiyama Natsuki: There was one girl I wanted to see more than any other this day, Nakkii. I wanted to really enjoy the moment so I held off as long as possible before going into her lane. Which meant MemoryBreak and I were hanging out in front of her lane watching her interact with the fans. Like the April event, her lane was pretty empty, so most of the time she would wave and interact with her fan committee who was standing right next to me. MemoryBreak kept telling me to introduce myself, but I felt way too shy to do that.

    I finally decided it was time to go see her, and through chance entered right behind one of her fan committee members. When he saw me, we struck up a conversation. I told him I was a big Nakkii fan and where I was from - which made him happy I think. Along the lines of "Oh, fans in America know who she is?"

    She actually had a bit of a line, so we were able to watch her up close. She really engages every fan with a lot of energy, and fights her usher really hard when they try to move the fan out of her booth. She literally will not let go until they drag the person away. The committee member was explaining how everyone felt sorry for her usher, (or peeler as they call them in Japanese, I think?), and that he has the hardest job of everyone at the event.

    Nakkii is very into fashion, so you could tell she had chosen her outfit very carefully. When it was our turn, the committee member said something about me, because he turned to point me out to her. So when I came in she was already excited to see me.

    Like the previous time I met her, she immediately grabbed both of my hands and started swinging them. I got the feeling that she didn't remember me from the previous event or from the theater that week, so I mentioned that I had been at the show on Tuesday. She got even more excited and thanked me, and aI told her again that her Temodemo performance was amazing. I said that I called her name several times during the show. Got a rush of arigatou's and sugoi's. Let her know that she was my favorite Kenkyuusei and that I loved her smile. Which was getting bigger and bigger every moment. Then it was time to drag me out, and she got this really sad look (pretend, but still really cute). I told her that I read her G+ every day and how even though it's late at night for her, for me it's my morning. She would not let go and asked me to come back and see her again… I let her know that I would be back the next day.

    [​IMG]

    On the way back up, the committee member was waiting for me. He wanted to introduce me to everyone, and that's where I spent the rest of the session. They wanted to tell me about themselves, and in turn had a lot of questions for me. The head of the committee gave me a oshi towel they had especially made for her (he apologized he didn't have a new one for me). Another member gave me her Election photo, and another a snack from Fukuoka (they had come all the way to see Nakkii). I was completely overwhelmed and grateful for their generosity.

    I ended up talking with them until Nakkii went back for a little break between sessions, and then headed out to meet up with Cristafari and the others before the final session.


    Slot 7

    Komori Mika: Really glad that I could see Komorin before she graduated. I congratulated her on it, and she thanked me and said she was going to be studying overseas. I asked her where, and she thought for a second (maybe to consider if it was okay to say) and then said Canada. If I had more time I would have told her to come to San Francisco (she would have a couple of ready and willing tour guides).

    Nakamata Shiori / Tanabe Miku / Shimada Haruku: Due to it being a long day, I don't recall these handshakes fully (and I was still kind of off in Nakkii-land). Know that I did the usual introduction and that I had wanted to meet them. Tanamin did not cosplay on Saturday, and I do remember telling Haruu that I was a big Team 4 and voted for Hashire! Penguin (likely mentioned the same to Nakamata).

    Haruu was technically my last HS of the day - but I wasn't aware that due to the open lanes, someone else had been watching me the entire time. In the open lane section, it's really easy to see other members in their lanes not only from out front, but also from the back as you head up front. You are basically walking past pairs of tables, with a little curtain in between to keep you from walking into where the members are standing.

    Uchiyama Natsuki (part 2): As I was walking back to the front, I had completely forgotten that I was going to pass Nakkii's lane. So when she suddenly leaned across a table, and started waving for my attention, I was totally caught off guard. If anyone had been in her lane, she would not have seen me because her back would have been to Haruu. But since there was nobody in her lane, I guess she had been watching and waiting for me to walk past.

    I stopped and waved back to her - she was about 5 feet away, but this is kind of taboo. While the staff started to realized what was happening, she asked me to tell her my name. I had gotten out of the habit of telling the members my name, and apparently I had forgotten to mention it to her. I told her, and she repeated it back, but before I could confirm I needed to move - the staff was no longer not reacting.

    But since the table she had been leaning across, was the one that is normally behind her, I still had to walk past the curtain that closed off where she stood, and then was once again in full view of her again.

    Now she was leaning across her own table, waving and asking me to come back and see her again. I stopped again to wave goodbye and give her a こんばんなっきー (Good night Nakkii), and tell her that I would be back tomorrow. I swear her usher was shaking his head in resignation at this point, but I had to keep moving. As I turned the corner, I jumped up to wave from over the partition, and then once past that turned around to wave goodbye several more times.

    I stopped to say goodbye to her committee members. They had been watching this entire exchange and seemed to be amused by it all. I found out that several of them had been telling her about me during their own handshakes with her. I was completely overwhelmed and grateful that she has such wonderful fans. I've always had a ton of respect for the fan committees, and all the work they do to make each girl feel special, and even more so on their birthday's or other special events. It's amazing to see it in action at the shows, but even more so when you get to finally meet some of the people behind it.

    I wanted to stay until the very end, but it was getting late and had already been a long day. Still had an hour train ride back to Tokyo, and Cristafari, Panda, and MemoryBreak were waiting. I bid my farewells, but let them know that I would be back tomorrow. Then it was time to head back to Tokyo, because we would be there first thing in the morning to do it all over again.
     
  10. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    Oshimen:
    Iwasa Misaki
    Twitter:
    Cristafari
    I know Tensai is dying to post in this thread again. So I will put this here. I originally posted these on my blog with pictures (blog is linked in my sig)


    AKB Festival/Senbatsu Sousenkyo at Nissan Stadium

    It has been a while since I have attended a major AKB48 event. If you don’t count TDC Hall, the last major concert I saw live was…Yokohama Arena? Wow, that was three years ago! But it isn’t really a big deal to me. Major venue concerts are not what AKB48 is about as far as I’m concerned.

    Back in 2007 when I first started getting into the group, it was the “idols you can meet” and “theater experience” concepts that I bought into. So when I plan my trips over to Tokyo, I make these experiences a priority. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than spending the day shaking hands with and talking to Wasamin. Nothing makes me happier than to win a theater show and watching one of AKB’s teams performing up close. That is the AKB I know and love. It is the perceived intimacy that makes AKB so special. With huge arenas you lose that completely. In fact I would say the biggest thing that makes shows like that worth it are the chance that Togasaki might come out and make a surprise announcement…

    But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go to a major venue event if given the chance. It just so happened that not one, but two major venue concerts fell into my trip window. Luckily, I won tickets for both of them! The first one I got was sort of “poetic justice”. Those of you who know me might remember that I won Google Plus’ Oshimen support contest last year, which included a trip to Tokyo to see the 2012 Senbatsu Sousenkyo at Budokan. Unfortunately I was in the middle of escrow on my house and couldn’t afford to leave the country for the trip. As much as it hurt, I had to pass up the prize. But the world works in mysterious ways…


    [align=]AKB48 Festival + Senbatsu Sousenkyo @ Nissan Stadium 13/06/08[/align]


    Almost exactly one year later I won a ticket to the event I so reluctantly missed before. Wow, Nissan Stadium. I have been there before, the place is huge! I sure hope I get a good seat…

    I picked up my ticket from the conbini the day after I got to Tokyo. Most of my friends had gotten tickets in the lower stands. I didn’t know anyone with arena/floor seats. But for me, I was in section E26. Oh jeez, that is the Upper Deck! In fact I was nine rows from the top of the Upper Deck. Better bring my binoculars eh? But at least I was going to be in the venue.

    The morning of the show arrived, and I had already received word from a friend that the lines for goods were unbelievably huge at Nissan. Before I gave up on getting souvenirs for the show I decided to try the group’s alternate goods venue in Tokyo, which happened to be the AKB48 Cafe. I got there around 30 minutes before opening and was about 50th in line. This was more like it. The show didn’t start for another five hours. There was no reason for me to hoof it out to Yokohama so early, especially for the planned concert/Sousenkyo 6-hour marathon. The Cafe-Shop had most of the goods being offered, only missing the t-shirts of the sister-units. So I was good to go, and still had a couple hours to rest before I headed out.

    I got to Shin-Yokohama around 1 pm, and made the trek over to the stadium. Found a couple people selling binoculars, but they were ridiculously expensive AND amazingly ineffective. So I passed. BTW, all of the area restaurants were advertising “AKB48 Special Menu”, which I thought was kinda funny. Upon arrival I was surprised by the mass of food stalls and trucks stationed all around the venue. Jeez, they had everything! Even AKB48 got into the spirit with their own bento boxes. I decided to go lite and grabbed a quick snack and some tea. I spent the next hour people=watching and searching for some of my friends who were also there. But the place was so huge, I didn’t end up finding anyone. I decided to head in…

    After grabbing lunch inside (Yes, even the concessions were open!) I climbed up to the top floor and found my seat. Sure I was high, but since Nissan has a curved-in roof I was in the shade. This was a blessing since it was a sunny and humid day AND I was already sunburned. Since it was daytime, they gave us little pink flags (along with the promised Rain Poncho) to wave instead of lightsticks.

    Finally the show started, and I immediately realized two things. First, I was really far away. The girls looked so tiny on stage that I pretty much resigned myself to watching on the monitors. Next, the sound system was AWFUL! I’m not sure how it sounded in the rest of the place, but up where I was sitting was really bad. Echo, totally out of sync with the video monitors. I tried to find Wasamin a few times, only being successful once with the monitor’s help. But that was okay with me. I was there mainly to see the Sousenkyo.

    The setlist seemed very pedestrian, including the top members (and interestingly Tomu Mutou and Meru Tashima) performing in the units. But I had a great view of the coming action. Why were the next group of girls coming in under a tarp?

    I guess it was to hide Kawaei Rina, along with Haste and Waste performing BKA48′s new song. Actually, that is my favorite song and PV on the Sayonara Crawl Single! Other highlights included Tomochin performing 1% and NMB’s new single Bokura no Eureka, which I REALLY like! Happily, the concert portion came to an end so I bailed to the bathroom before the line got long….

    Or so I thought. “Chotto Matte!” CinDy’s voice rang throughout the stadium as the graduated members came out to perform one last song. Unfortunately I was in a sea of people moving toward the exit so I walked as slow as possible so I could watch Meetan do her performance. Yes, that was the highlight of the concert of me!



    The break was very short, maybe about 20 minutes before the Sousenkyo started. I made it back to my seat in time to watch the girls make their way onto the stage. Obviously management had planned in case of rain, as the girls’ seats were sheltered on the stage. Oh, and for those of you who watched the event online, the announcers did indeed get totally out of sync with the members coming out. I believe they were two teams behind at one point. I waited in anticipation, as the was only one thing I cared about at this moment…

    When would Wasamin’s name be called? Where would she rank???


    Once again, the speakers echoed badly up where I was. I swear I thought I heard the name Urano Kazumi at #62, it was only when I saw Nacchan on the screen that I realized who got called. However, the speakers were loud and clear when I heard who ranked at #56…

    Much like Wasamin, the gamut of emotions ran through me when her name was called. I first felt excited, and admittedly relieved. After her preliminary ran at #62, there was no guarantee that she would rank at all. Although when I heard the lower ranked girls coming in at around 12K votes, I felt good about her chances. I know #56 is quite a drop from her previous rank of #33. But the competition was a lot rougher this year. There were a lot of newer members heavily promoted in ALL of the groups. Wasamin has had a quiet year when compared to her breakout solo effort in 2012. So frankly I wasn’t surprised that we dropped. That said, I am concerned about next year. Hopefully Wasamin will have some exciting goings-on to help her climb back up the ranks.

    With that out of the way, I was free to enjoy the rest of the rankings. Hopefully there would be some awesome surprises along the way. Oh yeah, there certainly were…

    I was rooting for a few more things to happen. I seriously doubted Meetan would actually rank, and I was okay with it. Would HKT48′s Marika Tani rank? I think we are a year away from that happening. What I really wanted was a shake up of the Senbatsu. Kaotan was so close to the Top 16 in the prelims, could she jump into Senbatsu? I seriously hoped so. I wanted to see WMatsui move up in rank. I wanted Milky and Sayanee. And most of all, I wanted to see someone OTHER THAN Yuko or Mayu at the top!


    I wanted to see Sasshi rank #1 in the worst way!!!


    It’s not that I am a huge Sasshi fan, but like a lot of fans I am tired of seeing the same 10 members constantly in front of this group. I am ready for the change that will take AKB into their next phase. To me, newer members like Paru, Milky, Kawaei and the like are much more interesting right now. So as girls like Mocchi, Kitarie and Umechan ranked lower, I held a glimmer of hope that the Senbatsu of the future could be coming. Not to mention the fact that I cannot stand antis. I think they are ridiculously immature, and a cancer in the fandom.

    Once we got to the Top 16, it was clear who would be there. But in what order? The first breathe of fresh air was Suda Akari at #16. I can’t think of a more perfect girl to make her Senbatsu debut. She is awesome on stage, she is great with her fans. She is just a super-idol, and I am so happy for her.

    After watching the NMB girls come in, Sae’s great speech, and who can forget Paruru’s lolzworthy speech at #12? Once again, it’s not that I am a big Paru fan, but I think her antis are a bunch of idiots. I have no expectations of her. So when she stands there with a blank expression I merely giggle. But now there was an interesting dynamic happening in the crowd. Even before the girls’ names were announced, some of the crowd would cheer when they would hear “AKB48 Team…” because they knew Jurina, Rena and Sasshi were even higher. You could see a lot of fans bowing down in prayer, and then pumping their fists. It was awesome, all the way down to #2 And when Yuko was called, you could hear a combined mix of ecstatic cheers and exasperated jeers. It was awesome, even the guy next to me gave me a big High-Five! I have never had so much fun watching the Top 5 ever before. I think quite a few people felt the same way.


    And this is why having Sasshi win Senbatsu is so great. Here it is a week later and the conversation about the Sousenkyo is still going strong. I highly doubt we would still be talking about it if “the usual suspects” ranked at the top. This is a great shot in the arm for AKB, and hopefully next year will see even more drastic changes. The fans seem to be embracing the new generation, and that is going to keep the AKB-family going strong for years to come.


    Anyway, I jammed out of the stadium as Sasshi started her lap around the infield, and caught the Shinkansen back to Tokyo in record time. It was a good night. Wasamin ranked, Sasshi won, and I completely avoided the massive crowd trying to jam themselves into the JR Yokohama Line. I couldn’t wait to read the shitstorm that would await me on the message boards.


    Kenkyuusei Show @Budokan

    I mentioned in my previous post that I won tickets to two major AKB concerts during my trip. The Sousenkyo was one. The other show popped up at the last minute. I decided to double my chances by applying with my buddy Pandadash. Lo and behold, we won again. Tickets were available for pickup just four days before the event. Would Panda and I get good seats???

    Denied!!! Our seats would be near the ceiling. But that’s okay, we were going to the show. And Budokan isn’t a very big venue. Oh Budokan…

    It had always been a dream to see a show there. I grew up listening to the legendary Cheap Trick at Budokan and countless other classic American artists’ performances there. And here it was, two trips in a row. I finally made it there last year to see Momoiro Clover Z. Seven months later I was back again…


    [align=]“Oshimen Hayai Mono Gachi” AKB48-Group Kenkyuusei Live at Budokan 2013/06/05[/align]



    Ahh, the last “add-on” concert of the AKB at Budokan series. When the AKB-Budokan series was originally announced in January I was sorry I couldn’t make it to a show. But now I was getting the chance, although it was for the Kenkyuusei. But why is that a problem?

    There are many fans (including some in the West) that feel the Kenkyuusei really don’t get their due. Admittedly I am one of those who doesn’t pay as much attention to the trainees as I should. And it’s too bad. When one takes the time to pay attention, there are quite a few talented girls making their way up the ranks. Case in point, I found Wasamin when she was a brand new Kenkyuusei. It makes me happy that I have been a Wasa-faithful since her very beginning with AKB, and I love the fact that she remembers that. Not that I am looking to replace her, but it is worth the effort to check out the girls struggling to make it within the groups.

    Not that there aren’t Kenkyuusei that I like. I have already stated that HKT’s Tani Marika is one of my favorite idols. And what about Kaotan, the eternal Kenkyuusei? I love her personality. Her balsiness makes me want to support her! I also had the chance to meet Iwatate Saho the previous week. Yes, I was going into this concert with total enthusiasm. I was rooting for the Kenkyuusei to put on a great show!

    I made it over to Budokan shortly before 2pm. That would give me almost 4 hours until the show started, plenty of time to get goods, right?

    Wow, the line wasn’t very long. When I went to see Momoclo the line was at least twice as big, and I got everything I wanted within 90 minutes. However, as short as this line seemed to be, it moved at a snail’s pace. Not to mention we were directly under a glaring sun. Luckily I remembered to wear sunscreen!

    It seems that AKB management had decided to release the member buttons in limited quantity, and the fans up front were hoarding them at an unbelievable pace. An hour into the line and most of the popular members were sold out, including Tani, Kaotan and Saho. I guess I wouldn’t be getting any buttons. Over three hours later we were beginning to get close to the front. I managed to pick up a t-shirt, a program, and buttons for Hillary and Yukarun. But time was short, less than a half hour until curtain!

    We ran across the street to load up on liquids and to grab a quick smoke. Panda and I then headed into the venue. We were ready for the show!

    It was freakin’ hot where we were, but Panda and I were excited for the show. Before it started we were treated to videos of the member’ messages to the fans on the monitors. Then, as the overture rang through Budokan out came the evening’s MC’s. It was Miichan and Kaotan!

    Somehow it seemed totally appropriate. Miichan is sort of a mother hen to the trainees, and Kaotan is queen of the Kenkyuusei. So it seemed perfect that they would be hosting the show. My favorite part of the opening MCs was Tani completely trolling Tashima Meru as she introduced HKT. Tani is so full of energy, there is no way you are going to keep her quiet for an entire MC.

    After the opening set we were treated to Unit songs, leading off with Miki Nishino doing Acchan’s Nagisa no Cherry. Little did I know at the time, my favorite new Kenkyuusei (Tsuchiyasu Mizuki) was one of the backdancers…


    I must admit that I was less than impressed with Kojimako’s First Love. I have heard much better renditions of this beautiful song. Later on I enjoyed Tani and Nakky during Ame no Deboutsen. Speaking of enjoyment…

    I feel bad as I do not know the Kenkyuusei as much as I should. on the other hand, Panda is completely into the trainees. He is usually a mild mannered guy, but he was going all out cheering for his favorite girls. I was totally impressed with his energy!


    After the units, each team took turns performing hit songs from their respective teams. I was excited as it was the first time I had heard Suki Suki Skip, Oh My God! and Seishun no Laptime performed live. And during the encore we were treated to a first of sorts…


    “Let’s Go Kenkyuusei”, which is an alternate version of “Wasshoi B”. But this time over 100 members were featured in the song. It was a sight, and a sound to behold. I can’t wait to see this on DVD as the fans clearly got a kick out of this song going on and on and on….and on! It was long enough to curtail the planned ending, so we didn’t get to see the Kenkyuusei version of Heavy Rotation. But that was okay….


    Overall, this show was as exciting as any other AKB48 concert I have ever seen. It didn’t matter that the performers were all trainees. They put on as good of a show as the top members. It is too bad that there are a lot of snobs in this fandom. They miss out on some of the most fascinating aspects of AKB. I certainly learned a lesson that day. There is no reason to think of the Kenkyuusei as a “lesser act”. They are every bit as exciting and entertaining as their senpai. And you never know which young member might tickle your fancy…


    Then you can say “I was a fan of her since the beginning!”
     
  11. SunnySK42

    SunnySK42 Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Oshimen:
    otakiyuria
    Twitter:
    sunnyside_42
    Hey everyone, I haven’t posted here a lot yet, but I recently went to my first handshake event and thought I’d write about it since I’ve really enjoyed reading about other peoples’ experiences.

    I went to the Sayonara Crawl handshake event on June 15th. I live in Japan, but in Kyushu, so while I’ve had the chance to go before I was never really motivated to until my oshi, Akimoto Sayaka, was graduating. So, after winning tickets (thanks for your help, HoneyRoastedPeanuts!) and booking flights and hotels, I finally made it to Makuhari Messe.

    After getting there, I realized that I had made a horrible mistake- I forgot the green receipt paper in the package back in Kyushu. I have no idea how I did this, since I was being super anal about everything else. Luckily, I was so prepared otherwise that I had printed out my email receipts. I went to the information area and between those and showing my order history from chari ana on my phone (and saying that I’d come all the way from Kyushu), the staff felt bad enough for me that they made me a handwritten receipt paper to use. Seriously though NEVER forget this paper, I came really close to not getting the handshakes.

    During this ordeal, I had to miss my tickets in the second block, which were supposed to be for Sayaka and Iwata Karen (and, I later learned, Shimada Haruka had switched to the earlier blocks so I missed her handshake too). Still, after thinking that I would miss all of them, I wasn’t heartbroken.

    So after that, I started my handshakes during Block C:

    Oya Masana- She’s gorgeous and smiled the whole time. I said hello and she said “Beautiful!” in English, which was really cute (and an ego boost haha). I said that she was beautiful, and then I congratulated her on the sousenkyo. She said thank you and then my time was up, and we waved to each other as I walked away.

    Takamina- I was so happy that I had been able to get a ticket for Takamina. I waited before her line opened, so I didn’t have to wait for very long in her actual line. My first thoughts were that she’s really small and had really long nails. I told her that I really respect her, and she said no and told me that I was pretty (which I’m sure she says to everyone, but again, it was nice!). She seemed really quiet. Also, from the line I saw Takahashi Juri, who I thought just looked less than happy because of her notorious eyes, but I guess she closed her lane later possibly because people kept telling her that they were sorry that she wasn’t ranked.

    Sayaka- Meeting Sayaka was why I had come, so I was really nervous. She’s so beautiful in real life! I think that she wasn’t feeling well, though; she was sitting down (she said she had a cold on Twitter, so that was probably it). Unfortunately, my first ticket was disappointing in that I’m pretty sure they pushed me out too fast (it seemed much shorter than my other tickets, even with Takamina). I got to say hello, she asked me if I live in Japan, I said yes and they started pushing me. On my way out she quickly said “Where are you from?” in English and I said America while I was pretty much out of the door. If I hadn’t had more tickets for her I would’ve been really upset.

    Matsui Sakiko- I told her that I like her piano album and she asked me where I was from. When I said that I’m from America but live in Japan, she was surprised that I live in a super rural prefecture and it was really cute. Then she said that she’s studying English and I told her to do her best. This was probably my favorite handshake of the day, she was really sweet and responsive. I had already liked her a lot before but she’s definitely one of my favorite members now.

    Sayaka again- I had two tickets this time so I had a bit longer. I got to tell her that she’s my oshimen and introduce myself. Hearing her repeat my name was awesome. She remembered that I had said that I lived in Japan and repeated that from earlier, so I told her my prefecture and she also seemed really surprised. I got to say that yeah it was super rural and far but I had wanted to meet her at least once. She seemed happy and then my time was over.

    Ranran- First, I have to say that two people in front of me was a little girl with her mother, and she was super cute with the girl, kneeling down and patting her head as they spoke. Also, I think that it was from this line that I saw Miichan (I can’t remember if it was this line or Sakiko’s). She didn’t have a wig on and she looked gorgeous with her short hair, but she also looked tired. I saw her kind of sigh between two handshakes, like she was preparing for the next one, but she was smiling during the handshake. It was a definite reminder that they're real people who are doing their best. Anyway, I wasn’t exactly sure what to say to Ranran so I just said that she was cute, and then she said “Hello!” in English and I said hello back (otherwise I only spoke Japanese to everyone). She seemed so happy that she had gotten “hello” right, it was adorable.

    Sayaka again- This was my last handshake with her, so I said that I’m hoping to go to one of her fan events after she graduates. She thanked me and told me to keep supporting her, and I said that I would. On the whole, she seemed very serious and I also heard someone in her line say that she seemed quieter than usual. Hopefully I really can go to one of her fan events when she’s feeling better!

    Nakanishi Yuka- I told her congratulations on becoming captain and that I’m supporting Team S, and then I also told her congratulations on the sousenkyo. She said that it was because of the fans and thanked me. From her line I could see a bunch of the other girls since it was open. Uchida Mayumi and Kobayashi Marina look better in real life I think. They're all gorgeous though.

    Abe Maria- This was my last handshake, which was of course the one time that day I screwed up with Japanese (after successfully convincing the staff to let me use my tickets without the receipt, I was feeling so good about it, too!). I told her that I love Team K and she was really happy and asked me if I’d seen them perform in the theater, but she spoke really quickly and when I heard “kouen” my first thought was “park” so I was confused for a second. I figured it out 3 seconds later but it was already too late and I was being pushed out, it was kind of embarrassing. I said thanks and we waved at each other as I left. She’s really gorgeous, she looks like a model and has a really cute smile.
    Overall, it was a great if exhausting day. Since my oshimen is graduating (and now Mariko too- I was so bummed I couldn’t get a ticket for her, and now I’m even more sad) I don’t know if I’ll go to any more handshake events, since it’s a bit of a trip. Maybe if Sae ever comes back or if it’s over a long weekend or something. For now I’m hoping that they have national handshake events in Fukuoka, so if I ever make it to one of those, I’ll try to post something again.
     
  12. gocchisama

    gocchisama Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Paris,France
    Oshimen:
    hirateyurina
    Twitter:
    Gocchisama
    Great post! Thank you for your feedback!

    And yeah it's always fun to read other's fan experience, it's like you're living it yourself!

    When i'm reading it i guess we can say it was worth it, no?

    Since you're living in Fukuoka, do you have particular feeling toward HKT48? Any connexion as you are from fukuoka? Would you go to an Handshake event if they are nearby?
     
  13. SunnySK42

    SunnySK42 Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Oshimen:
    otakiyuria
    Twitter:
    sunnyside_42
    Unfortunately, I'm not actually in Fukuoka (city or prefecture)- I'm a couple hours away by the fastest train. I keep meaning to apply to see HKT but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I also don't know too many of the girls yet; since I tend to be more interested in the older girls, I haven't looked into them as much. However I think Madoka is gorgeous (she's probably my favorite) and all of the front girls are adorable, particularly Haruppi and Mio. So, while I definitely want to see a theater show at some point, I probably wouldn't go to a handshake event, at least not now. Even just living in Kyushu though it's been interesting to see their popularity grow among the general public.
     
  14. Tensai

    Tensai Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Oshimen:
    uchiyamanatsuki
    Twitter:
    Tensai
    Thanks for the write-up, SunnySK42. I really enjoyed reading about your HS Event, always great to see new posters to this thread. Before I had a chance to go myself, I lived through the experiences of others (and learned a lot too).

    I think that's why I try to put so much detail into my own. :lol:

    Wrapping up my last trip, here is the second day of the double HS event weekend.

    Sayonara Crawl - Makuhari Messe - 6/2/2013
    Saturday night we decided to get tickets the next day to meet Togasaki. You have to line up at 8:30 to get a ticket, but I was so tired I ended up not making it to the site until 8:45. Luckily there were plenty left. However, the scheduled time was from 4:00 - 4:00, and that was going to be right in the middle of a busy slot. Hoped it would not have too much impact on my schedule.

    Slot 1

    Takahashi Juri: When I told her I was from America, she got excited and mentioned she had been at Washington D.C. concert. (which I had forgotten about). Mentioned her Ariyoshi and Gachi Challenge appearances, and that I enjoyed them.

    Kawaei Rina: Ricchan did not bring Haste and Waste to the HS event (there had been some jokes about it on TV). She started to go into the "My name is…" in English, but with only 10 seconds I jumped in with "Ricchan daisuki!". Told her I loved the Mechaike SP and 'Haste and Waste' before I was ushered out.

    Yokoyama Yui: In some ways the hardest handshake of the day. How do you tell your oshimen that your about to oshihen to a Kenkyuusei in a few hours. Especially when she was so happy to see me again. I only had one ticket, so I kept it short and wished her luck on the Election and told her I voted for her. As I was leaving, I asked her "Please don't cry again this year."

    Sato Amina: I was going to make a comment about her obsession with Hirari's short pants (from the AnDare show on Friday), but I kind of stumbled on this one. Ended up wishing her luck on the election and told her I had voted for her.

    Morikawa Ayaka: MemoryBreak has been urging me to meet Ayaroid, and now I wonder why I waited. She is really, really, pretty, and taller than I expected. She was wearing a cute pair of red-framed glasses. Did the "Ayaroid suki desu yo!", and mentioned I had seen her perform at the theater a couple times.

    Slot 2

    I was already getting the sense that it was more crowded than the previous events, so began to be very strategic about the order I was seeing members. Would hit a crowded lane at the start and end of the session, and then fill in the quicker lines in the middle.

    Matsui Jurina: When I came into her booth she gave me a big 'Ohhh'. Told her that I really enjoyed her dancing, and the SKE48 Budokan concert was amazing. Especially the 31 song non-stop setlist. Wished her good luck in the Election, and she asked me to come again as I was leaving.

    Hirata Rina: Was going to try to go through the line with Cristafari originally, but he was already off in another long line. MemoryBreak and I went through together, with me going first. Hirari was wearing pajamas today, seems all the 12th gen members had coordinated. When I stepped up to her, I thought for a moment she said "Hi Frank". But I figured I had misheard, because I had never told her my name.

    I gave her a big omedetou in Japanese and then again in English, telling her how happy I was that she had been promoted. She thanked me and said she was really happy. I think we both jumped up and down a little bit. I told her that I had been at the concert, and that it was great when her name was called.

    I was going to mention the KKS show from earlier in the week. But she suddenly went "Oh - I saw you in the stands at the concert". I must have given her a look of disbelief, because she clarified "you were up in the 2nd stand". Then I think we chatted about that a little, but to be honest my brain had already gone fuzzy. I think I told her that I voted for her in the Election and wished her luck. Then as I was getting ushered out, she waved goodbye and said "Bye Frank!" really loud. She did know my name! o_O

    I walked back to the front with a completely goofy grin on my face. Hirari had managed to completely fish me.

    And next up was the fishing queen.

    Watanabe Miyuki: I was determined this time not to get fished as badly as my first time. But as I inched forward in her line, I started getting more and more nervous. Then I stepped into her booth and discovered she was wearing a ridiculously huge "Kiss" hat.

    [​IMG]

    It broke the spell, because I pointed at it and went 'Cute Hat'. She smiled and did her usual "I love you". I thought to myself - I've heard this before. So I responded "I Love You!" I swear I could see her thinking - "oh darn - he's not buying it", so she upped it to "I need you!". I just grinned and replied "I want you". Sigh - we had just successfully done a reverse duet of the Heavy Rotation chorus. /facepalm. I wished her luck on the Election as they were pushing me out.

    Still amazingly cute - but next time I'm going to ask her to speak Japanese. And yes, Hirari managed to completely outdo the Handshake Queen this round.

    Managed to snag a tiny break during the start of the lunch slot, but needed to go back almost immediately. The day was getting busier and busier.

    Slot A / C

    Yamada Reika: I really like Reichan, she caught my eye almost immediately when I began following SKE48. After seeing her in the Team KII performance I was at in December, I had to see her at a HS event. Since she is one of the members who only has a 60 minute slot, I went to her lane first. For these members, they set tables up in front of the other lanes, and it's a really short check-in/entry line.

    [​IMG]

    She was wearing her hair down instead of the twin-tails that I'm used to seeing, it really gives her a more mature look. She was also wearing thick-soled sneakers to boost her height a bit. I noticed that a lot of the fans talking to her were girls around her age - which was cool. When I walked up she seemed more than a little surprised. I told her where I was from and that I had seen her perform back in December and that I enjoyed it a lot. Mentioned that I was at the Budokan concert too, and wished her luck in Team E. Really nice, but I think a little confused by me too.

    Aigasa Moe: I told her that I was at the show on Tuesday. She perked up and started thanking me and I think asking me how I liked the show. I told her that I really enjoyed her Junjou Shugi performance, more thanks and then I couldn't keep up with what she was saying. Really fun handshake and surprisingly talkative too - I think I need to see her again.

    Ishida Anna: Anna was again stunning, and when I greeted her I made sure to rectify my oversight from the day before. I told her I was sorry that I had forgotten, and wished her a 'Happy Birthday'. She let out one of those wonderful laughs and thanked me. I told her that I really wanted to see her one more time, which got me a even bigger smile. She told me again to come back.

    I'll be honest - I do not know why her line is not jammed with fans. She's a great singer, dancer, and utterly amazing. She's on my list for every HS I attend from here on out.

    Suda Akari: Last HS in this slot was Dasu - and her line was huge. I knew I would not make it out before the next session started. Cristafari had already lined up and was way ahead of me in the line. We managed to chat a couple of times while waiting.

    You can hear Dasu while waiting in line - so I knew she was in 'high-tension' mode as always. I don't know what happened when Cristafari was talking with her - but her voice got even louder. I didn't know what I was going to say to her, so I decided I would just let her lead the way.

    When you enter her booth, it's impossible not to start grinning. She has the biggest smile and those eyes are just sparkling. I did my usual intro of saying where I was from, and got a huge "Ohhhh, you came from America". Then she started talking really fast and I just couldn't keep up. All I know is that I still had that huge grin for a good 5 minutes afterwards. 10 seconds is nowhere long enough to see her.

    [​IMG]

    By this time I was starving and only had a few minutes before the next session started. I headed outside and hooked up with MemoryBreak, and we went and got some food for ourselves and the Panda. It felt like things were still manageable at that point, so I spent an extra 10 minutes hanging outside. Mistake, mistake, mistake.

    Slot 3

    Oshima Ryoka: Ryochan almost missed both days of the HS event for a school event, but ended up making Sunday. Really happy to see her again since she was my first HS. Told her that I enjoyed meeting her in March and wanted to see her again.

    Now with little more than 30 minutes before the lanes closed for this session, I was faced with a problem. I had tickets for Murashige, Igucchi, Wasamin, and Mariko. I figured I could see Igucchi at the end, after Mariko. Murashige's lane was way too long, so I went over to Wasamin's before going to Mariko's. I was shocked to find Wasamin's lane completely full. I realized I couldn't get through it in 25 minutes, so I headed over to Mariko's lane.

    Shinoda Mariko: The setup on Mariko's lane is a little strange. She keeps the curtain closed, and an OJS48 member waves people in one at a time. When I entered her booth I got a big "Ohhh", and said hello and where I was from. I think she mentioned something about 'New York' that I didn't quite catch. Told her that I had seen her twice in the theater, and I was really glad I could meet her in person. Gave her my usual Election wishes on the way out. It was a nice handshake - but 10 seconds isn't enough for Senbatsu members.

    All the lanes had closed by the time I finished - so I ended up missing Murashige, Wasamin, and Igucchi this slot because of the lines

    Slot 4

    Yamada Nana: Didn't waste any time getting into Nana's lane - as the line was already building and I needed to get through it in 30 minutes to get over to see Togasaki. Noted that her line, like Reichan's, was populated with a lot of cute girls. When I went into booth and said 'Hi', she responded back in that lovely, squeaky, accented voice of her's. I literally gushed "I love your voice!" and got a little embarrassed 'Thank You'. I told her that 'Koike' is one of my favorite performances.

    Got out a little after 4:00, and had to rush right over for the 2nd most important HS of the day.

    Togasaki Tomonobu: This is pretty much the same as a regular HS, except you get a two-shot. You hand your camera to a staff member, and Togasaki poses with you and then shakes your hand. There is enough time to say a couple quick things. MemoryBreak and Cristafari went first, but when he saw us he asked if we were all together. We all thanked him, and I went out of my way to express my gratitude and thank him. I mentioned that I was so grateful that I managed to usually win a show on each trip, and how much it meant to me. He thanked us all for coming and asked us to enjoy the event.

    [​IMG]

    By this stage, everyone's line was really long. I already knew that I wouldn't make Mocchi in this slot, and didn't think I could get through Miorin's and back in time for Paruru, so I was going to skip her too. But then when I got to Paruru's lane, I discovered it hadn't even opened yet and we were already 45 minutes in. The staff was asking people to go to other lanes and come back as they would extend the closing time.

    I decided to go back to Miorin's line, and it was one of the best decisions I made that day.

    Ichikawa Miori: Miorin has a lot of fans who know each other, and a lot of them are not guys. I only had a single ticket, so our exchange was basically how much I loved her performances and catchphrase. I had time to wish her luck in the Election before they pushed me out, which is when she dropped the lemon bomb…

    Miorin: テレビみてて。(I saw you on TV)
    Me: Eh?!? (totally did a double-take because I though I heard her wrong)
    Miorin: テレビみてて。(I saw you on TV) with even more conviction.
    Me: 生ビール (Draft beer?) while pointing at myself.
    Miorin: はい!(Yes!) and she shook her head and smiled.
    Me: あ。あ。ありがとう (Th.. th.. thank you)

    I literally wanted to go back and hug her. If I was in a daze after talking to Hirari earlier in the day, I was nearly knocked out by 'Lemon Power' this time around.

    Shimazaki Haruka: Even though the lanes had long since closed, they were still accepting people in Paruru's lane. Her line was pretty short at this point (think a lot of people just gave up). I had two tickets that I didn't want to go to waste.

    When I was a few people away, I realized she was seriously under the weather. Something must have been going around Team B, as Wasamin and Yukirin were also a little sick. Didn't get much of a reaction when I walked into her booth. I took her hand lightly - she barely gripped mine at all. I told her how much I loved her and Team 4 and how I voted for Hashire! Penguin five times. Very quiet "Ah - Thank You" in return and a tiny smile.

    Decided to pull out all the stops, and said I really loved her December Mechaike Special, and proceeded to do the 'Parururun!" pose in her booth. Which got another tiny smile out of her, while the fans outside started chuckling loudly. Was able to wish her luck in the Election, and then she was on to the next fan.

    I wouldn't call it a 'salty' handshake, she obviously wasn't feeling well. But not sure if I want another shot at the Paruru experience.

    Slot 5

    At this stage - the only way I could describe the event was chaos. There were lines everywhere, and I had no clue how I would manage to see Kanon, Kaotan, Kuramochi, and Suuchan in this slot.

    Sato Sumire: Her lane had only started filling up when I got there, so I didn't have to wait too long. Like Nana. Miorin, and Reichan - her line was predominantly girls (in fact several had been in the other lines). She gave me a really big smile when I walked up. I told her that I had wanted to meet her for a long time. With a bit of a guilty smile, I told her that she amazing on Gachi Challenge. Got a little embarrassed 'Arigatou' in return.

    Now where - Kaotan had a huge line, so I figured I would stroll over to check out Kanon's. That's when I saw that Mocchi's line was outside of her lane. I had already missed her in Slot 4, and there was no way I was not going to see her this trip. So I lined up for what would be the longest wait of the day.

    Kuramochi Asuka: If you bought all 5 copies of her single, they gave you a postcard to send in for an autograph. I brought the one I had along, and put it in my front shirt pocket so she would see it.

    As usual, she was really happy to see me again (always get the 'Hisashiburi'). Congratulated her on the solo debut, she thanked me and pointed at the postcard. I told her I bought all of the versions, and it was really good. With the few seconds left, let her know that I voted for her in the Election too and wished her good luck.

    Sadly - lanes had closed and I missed out on Kanon and Kaotan this round. That technically would have been the end of my day, as Cristafari and I didn't want to stay too late. But there was one very special person that I still needed to see, and I had picked up 5 tickets in Slot 6 solely to see her.

    Slot 6: Nothing but Nakkii

    Uchiyama Natsuki

    Like Saturday, her fan committee was hanging out in front of her lane. I got a big welcome from them, when I arrived. Today, her lane was really busy with a nice line already formed. It was a huge contrast to the previous day, and really surprising to see her line getting longer, while several Team B members around her only had short lines. While we were hanging out, a couple of the members returned from seeing her and mentioned that she had asked them if I was coming today. I was a bit surprised, but apparently she was waiting for me to come see her. Since Cristafari had picked up a ticket for her as well, we went through the line together. I decided to only use two of my five tickets for the first visit.

    As usual, she looked amazing. Her hair was up and she was wearing these long dangling earrings. Her outfit was what she wore to her final audition, so it was pretty special.

    [​IMG]

    When I stepped into her booth, I took her both her hands and said hello. She completely light up, and then I discovered why she had been waiting for me. She took this really deep breath, and then very slowly and deliberately said:

    "I want to learn English so I can talk with you"

    I was completely floored, and everything after that got fuzzy. I think I told her that I was really happy, and I that I wanted to learn Japanese so I could talk with her too. I have a vague memory that she said something about practicing. Then they started pulling me out of the booth. She wasn't letting go, so I had time to tell her that I was returning to America the next day, and I was really sorry that I couldn't go to the Kenkyuusei concert or Election. I wished her luck on both, and told her that the next person was my friend.

    I hung out with the committee for a bit, and went over in my mind what I had been wanting to say since April. Wanted to make sure my Japanese was correct and I could do it without stumbling. Then it was confession time…

    When I stepped into her booth, I got a "ah - you came to see me again. Thank you!". I said "Hello" and then asked her "Your oshimen is Yokoyama Yui-chan?". I think I spoke at little fast, because she didn't look sure, but when I repeated it she jumped in with a "Yes! Yokoyama-san is my favorite senpai".

    I told her that Yui was my oshimen too, and had been for two and a half years. Now it was turn to take a deep breath…

    "Until today, Yui has been my oshimen" She started to squeeze my hands a bit harder - I could tell she knew what I was going to say next.

    "From now on, you are my oshimen."

    I can't believe how high she jumped when I said it, and her wonderful smile only got bigger. I let her know that I had given her nearly all of my votes, and that I hoped she would do well in the Election. She told me how happy she was, and I told her how happy she made me. Then as it was time to go, I apologized that I wouldn't be back for a while. But I would be watching the Election in America and cheering her on.

    Spent a little more time with her other fans before heading out. It had been a long weekend and we were all exhausted. But every minute was worth it, and once again it was a trip full of great memories and experiences. Now I'm just counting the days until I can go back.
     
  15. gocchisama

    gocchisama Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Paris,France
    Oshimen:
    hirateyurina
    Twitter:
    Gocchisama
    Another great read! Thanks Tensai!

    Yeah, you did all you could for Paruru. The combo "awkward and very embarassing pose" didn't work that much i suppose.

    A member remembering your name, even if you're a foreigner, is a super hit on the fan. Hillary sure know how to fish people.

    And Uchiyama Natsuki is your new Oshimen? Did you oshihen the same way as HRP did, because you thought Yui was fine on her own and you thought a KKS needed more of your support?
     
  16. Tensai

    Tensai Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Oshimen:
    uchiyamanatsuki
    Twitter:
    Tensai
    That may have made the decision a little bit easier in the end, but it wasn't the main reason why.

    It's hard to explain, but things that seemed so clear from afar, ended up being much different once I started attending handshake events. All I can say is "what a difference a handshake can make". It's not that I like Yui any less than I did before, there is just something about Nakkii that completely reset the meaning of 'Oshimen'.
     
  17. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    Oshimen:
    Iwasa Misaki
    Twitter:
    Cristafari
    Awesome post Tensai, great to have a second view of an event I attended :)


    [align=]The AKB48 Sousenkyo Museum 2013/06/04 – 2013/06/16, Bellesalle Akihabara[/align]

    [​IMG]

    It was announced right about the time I arrived in Tokyo. AKB48 would be opening a temporary museum in celebration of this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo. We weren’t sure how tough tickets would be to obtain, so Panda, Koba and I immediately worked on scoring tickets. It was 1000 yen to attend, but you could pay 1500 and take home the Sousenkyo poster of your choice…

    Campaign posters? Really??? Awesome!!! “Let’s go twice!” I suggested, knowing I would have the chance to not only get a Wasamin poster, but a Meetan poster too!

    [​IMG]

    It turned out tickets were pretty easy to get. You could even show up and buy them at the door. There were actually a bunch of different lines in front of the Bellesalle building, which is right across the street from Sofmap and the Donki. It turned out a) they were pre-selling photos for the Nissan Stadium show there, and b) you could buy all of the Senbatsu posters you wanted for 500 yen each. Panda and I showed up opening day expecting a long line, but to our surprise we just walked right in…

    The exhibits were fairly standard faire, although they had a few neat pieces on display…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Outfits from various Senbatsu related singles

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some of the past awards!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Acchan’s Graduation Gown! I took this closeup because that was the spot Takamina affixed her rhinestone, as seen in this year’s Documentary

    [​IMG]

    Can it really be a museum without those ghastly paintings that serve as the stage backdrop? I can’t wait to see Sasshi’s next year! And of course, a chance to be head of the Senbatsu!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Actually, that chair is kind of underwhelming up close. But at least I can now say my butt has shared a seat with Acchan and Yuko! Then again, anyone who has been to the AKB48 Theater can sort of say the same thing. (BTW, I’m not sure why I blur out my face, most of you know what I look like already)

    [​IMG]

    They gave you an hour to spend in the place, but you can really see everything in about 15 minutes. There was really no reason to spend too much time there. But that all changed a couple of days later when various idols began making surprise appearances. And one of the first to show up?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I am so bummed, as I was actually outside the museum while this was going on, and didn’t find out until later that Wasamin was inside. Luckily someone I know snapped those awesome photos. Anyway, after the Nissan Show a couple of new features appeared inside, including the podium from where the Senbatsu is announced….

    [​IMG]

    By then quite a few members had signed their Senbatsu Posters. I have always loved Wasamin’s silly autograph with the heart, happyface and star. So cute! Meetan’s Heart-Butterfly thing ain’t too shabby either!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The posters were a brilliant idea, and people were buying them up by the stack! I ended up coming home with 16 of them, including five from the special Senbatsu Set that came out on Monday. They are now framed and lining the entryway into my house. So I guess you could say my “Casa de Wasa” is itself becoming an AKB48 museum!

    [​IMG]

    I also spent a couple of hours in “the pit”. They had set u a special room for pic trading in the basement of Bellesalle. Just imagine 200-300 people jammed in a little room. I managed to trade for a Wasamin set, as well as Tani and Rena Kawakami. I would have traded for more, except the local fans seem to think of me as a “mark” for unfair deals. A couple of times I had to exclaim “Baka Janai!” as people would offer me ridiculous trades. I would have loved to have traded for more of my SKE girls, but they seemed to be the least popular team to trade in the room. That said, it was a lot of fun!


    I think that sums up just about everything I wanted to talk about for this trip. It was really an awesome time. I did so much, hung out with some old (and new!) friends. Just partied hard AKB-style from landing all the way up to departure. I wish I could stay there for longer stretches. Heck, I wish I could just stay there permanently. But to be honest I think not living there, and visiting as a tourist makes these trips even more special.
     
  18. drazaar

    drazaar Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oshimen:
    nagaomariya
    A little late but I finally wrote up my first handshake. I actually had written some of it a while back but when I upgraded my computer I wiped the file :fp: . I'm trying my best to remember the details for some of the girls.

    AKB48 So Long! Handshake Event 5/26, 6/1
    5/26

    I went there with my buddy who isn't really an AKB fan but he's been around me long enough that he's completely fine with it. We got off the train at Makuhari and started off somehow NOT following the crowd and got lost for an hour in the complex. We went north from the station instead of south and honestly it was like a little city. The good thing was we got there about 2 hours before my first handshake [whew] . When we did finally get to the event, it still took me a while to figure out where my slots were. For some reason I had a hell of a time finding Miyupon's lane...


    Slot 2
    Akimoto Sayaka
    : My first handshake everrrrr, and with the girl who got me into akb and was my oshi for 5 years no less. While in line I could watch Takamina and Mayu greeting, first live member sightings! :p I think I figured out the process ok. I say I did but I couldn’t understand the girl at the front who asks you to show your hands. It took about 10 seconds for me to figure out she wasn’t asking me to hand her something XD. I probably cost some guy his slot with Sayaka haha. I used 3 tickets and went in. Wow! She’s super pretty in person, and quite tall in heels. I told her my name and that I was from Texas. She asked (in perfect English) OH, where in Texas? I told her San Antonio. “OHHHH, how long are you staying?” I said 9 days. They were already forcing me out, it didn’t feel like 30 seconds at all! As I was leaving she was trying to remember my name by repeating it. :D

    Omori Miyu: I hurried over to Miyupon’s next. Thankfully Sayaka’s line made all the others a breeze. Miyu just had a person or two in front of me. I went in and introduced myself and the usual. She was cute and has a really interested expression lol. I started letting myself out after my initial comments because we started having this funny/awkward exchange and after Sayaka’s line I thought they were forcing me to leave already. I realized I was letting myself go too soon and she got this hilarious look like she was surprised and *don’t go!* :XD:

    Iwata Karen: Karen was a lot more calm and mature than I expected. Thinking about it now she was being herself. I told her who I was and at the end I added that I loved team 4. She looked pleasantly surprised and reached to grab my hand I was going out and said “I love you”. Well done, Karen.

    Tano Yuka: She was a little shocked to see a foreigner it seemed. She wasn’t going crazy but her reactions were all good and she seemed like a little bundle of joy. I told her I loved team for and she replied “OH, thank you!”


    Slot 3
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Nagao Mariya: I was super nervous but I had already had some other members to practice my handshaking ability so I thought it would go ok. The key was not passing out from her cuteness . It's finally my go and I give them 3 tickets, I walk in and she has that little smile going that she always does when she shows her top teeth. Her hands were so soft and warm. She lit up when she saw me and I introduced myself, making sure she could pronounce my name. I told her I was from Texas and she asked ”どこは” or something to that affect. I was like "huh? umm" and eventually she smiled and asked in english "where in texas?" DUH I knew what she was saying my brain had just stopped working completely! I told her San Antonio and she's like "OH!" Then I asked her in japanese if Hamu (her hamster) was doing well. She looked directly at me, smiled and said “Genki desu!”. Then they were forcing me out and we waved goodbye. When I got out I realized I had barely registered any words she had said until after the fact.

    Iriyama Anna: Next I happily made my way over to Annin’s line, it wasn’t too long at all. She was pretty as usual and I just had time for the basic introduction and “I love team 4” which she appreciated. She was actually friendlier than I expected. I would see her again.

    Takahashi Juri: Last up in this slot was Juri. She got excited at seeing a foreigner. I really love her dead eyes when she is trying to express emotion like that :D . Again I told her I loved team 4 and and I was being dragged out she was still excited and yelled “ka..kakkoii!!” :awesome:


    Now I had a few hours to kill since my next slot wasn’t until about 2pm so my friend and I went walking to look around and find some food. We were already feeling tired lol, from jet lag the previous day. I had Yagi and Sayaka again in my next slot.


    Slot 4
    Akimoto Sayaka
    : My memory is a little fuzzy on this one. Since I was tired I thought she must be too but when I asked, of course she was basically like “lol hell no”. I let her know that it was nice meeting her and that I would visit again next week. Her line is really strict so we didn’t have much more time than that haha.

    Nagao Mariya: This time I used 2 tickets even though I had more because I wasn’t sure how long I could hold a conversation haha. I come in to see her again and she sees me and starts getting excited saying "two!" and then she elaborates "second time!". I'm like "haha yes, second time!" Then she asked me if it was my first time in Japan but it took me a try or two to understand. I told her it was my second time. I had been planning to ask her about her appearance in nemousu later that day but since she had been talking so much our time was already up! As I was being forced out I still managed to ask her if it was on today and she was like “yeah!”


    Slot 5
    Yokoyama Yui
    : Yui’s line was pretty long so I went to her first. I only had one ticket so it wasn’t too much. When I first saw her she was saying goodbye to the last person and didn’t seem all that excited. She did perk up when she saw me, probably because I was a foreigner. All in all she seemed really pretty and mature. I just told her the usual and that I was glad to have met her. She ended up being really pleasant and relaxing to talk to.

    Ichikawa Miori: Lemon’s line was actually a beast, I didn’t expect that for someone who was in one of the open lanes. While waiting for her Renacchi was right there to my left, wow she’s so thin! The open lanes are pretty cool this way. I can’t remember who I actually saw when but I did see Haruykya, Ayarin, Nattsun, and a bunch of others close up. Lemon’s hilarious, when I got up to her I realized how pathetically small she is :D. I had something to tell her. I said we have a lemon tree at my house back home (which is true). She got super excited and was bouncing around haha.

    Suzuki Shihori: Just one person in front of me handshaking her when I get there. She sees me and is like “whoaaa!!!” This girl has a great personality. She really seemed friendly and legitimately happy to see me. I only had one ticket and after introducing myself she started talking to me excitedly in Japanese. When they were pulling me out she was holding on and only talking faster XD. I wish I knew what you were saying Shihorin! Lol, I’ll get her again next time.


    My buddy had been waiting outside for this slot and said he was going to walk around a bit. When I got outside thought he was still in the same place I had left him. He told me that there had been a fight and the police were right there taking reports. I had seen these guys selling photos outside the event before I went in and one of them had a ripped shirt. A staff member had come and told them to leave. They had argued for a long time and basically the kid and his friends were making fun of the staff member and things were getting ugly. Eventually the staff guy tried to pick up his photos and confiscate them but he kicked the guy into the fence. The staff member got up and grabbed his shirt and started hitting him over and over with is other hand. So yeah, at least my friend who was probably pretty damn bored that day got to witness a fight :XD: . The funny thing about japanese police is they don’t really do much. There was a policeman who had been walking by when they were arguing but he would just check to make sure things were ok and then walk away again haha. After the fight he came back and started getting the reports lol.


    Slot 6
    Nagao Mariya
    : My last slot today because my friend and I were extremely tired from jet lag by now and standing all day. I only had one ticket but wanted to tell Yagi goodbye and that I would see her next week. Again, as I walked through the curtain she got excited and exclaimed “3 times!” I’m glad she was keeping track :D . I told her I was tired and had jet lag. She replied “ah jet lag.” Then I asked her if she was tired too? She was like “oh no, no!” I was glad, she really did seem to have not lost a step even though it was getting late in the day. As I was being forced out I let her know I “next week!” and I think she got it but I’m not sure if I said it properly haha. As I was being pulled out she was saying Matte! Matte Matte! (wait) while reaching towards me. Dunno what she wanted me to do :^^;:


    6/1
    Slot 3

    This last week was supposed to be super short because my friend and I had things to do on our last day in Japan and I didn’t want to make him hang around the entire day again.

    Akimoto Sayaka: I came and greeted her again, she remembered me from last week. Basically I just stressed how happy I was to have met her and that I would continue to follow and support her. I told her that her English was really impressive and of course she humbly denied it :p. Really a beautiful woman, I can’t wait to see what she does after AKB.

    [​IMG]
    Nagao Mariya: Just like last time, as soon as she saw me she lit up with recognition. I told her in Japanese that I had watched her on tv on Wednesday (ichiban). It was the second time she performed sayonara crawl on tv I believe. Anyway, she said “arigatou!” I gave her a thumbs-up and said “good job!” She laughed and did a thumbs-up and nodded saying “good job!” Then, she giggled like a little girl. Not just a short giggle, a long giggle like she was really having fun :D . It was seriously the cutest sound I had ever heard! I held up my fist and we fist bumped and then I told her bye. She sure was quick with that fist bump too, it was cuuute.


    After this slot I remembered that I had read Tensai was going to be at this event. I sent him a quick message and got one back saying he was behind the election posters under a tree chilling. My friend and I went over and met up. He was with Cristafari, Pandadash, and MemoryBreak. Cool finally meeting fans in real life. I guess we talked and traded stories for about 20 or 30 minutes and then I had my last handshake to go to. Good times.


    Slot 4
    Nagao Mariya: Ah, my last ticket . I went in and told her good luck in sousenkyo. She smiled happily and thanked me. Then I told her I had 40 votes. She looked shocked and then started thanking me more earnestly, being really sweet. As I was leaving and we were waving goodbye to each other she still looked in a daze. I think she didn’t expect foreigners to support her so strongly? It was that or she realized she was my oshimen, because I hadn’t told her that. Anyway, it was kind of a cool moment.


    Ok so I definitely could have spread my tickets out a lot more. I had multiples for a lot of girls that I didn't end up using but this was my first time so I went overboard on getting some of tickets. Oh yeah, and I probably wont do the handshake the day after I arrive in Japan next time. I can't wait until I can do this again. One other thing was that I managed to convert my friend to Sayaka. He bought some of her photos and was even able to pick her out in some of the videos at the event (which is kind of impressive) [nod] . Successful trip :music:

    At the Cafe, the girl asked for our oshimen and I told her Sayaka for my friend. Last time I was there they just gave you a random coaster but this time I thought they would actually give you who you want. Well, almost. She brought them out and started mixing them up. My friend wasn't ready for this and he ended up missing out on Sayaka's coaster :fp: . I was laughing though and the girl also was having a good time laughing at his misfortune :lol: .
     
  19. Tensai

    Tensai Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Oshimen:
    uchiyamanatsuki
    Twitter:
    Tensai
    Great write-up's Cristafari and Drazaar.

    The museum sounds amazing - wish it had opened while I was there. Loved all the photos, especially the throne shot! [clap]

    Really glad I had a chance to meet up with Drazaar at the HS event. Always fun to meet other S48 fans and read about their experiences meeting members and especially their oshimen. :D
     
  20. tkmnwen

    tkmnwen Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Oshimen:
    takahashiminami
    Twitter:
    energywen
    We went to the same NOTTV recording ;A;)/
    Idk if you're the guy I talked to outside the cafe after the show? LOL
    It was my first Anta Dare try and I got in, but wasn't too keen on the members. I don't even know who were the ones that were going until I got my number. LOL But it was a great experience.
     

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