10 years! Wow, that’s a long time. Congratulations Berryz! It interesting to think too, that I’m personally in my seventh year of following them. All that time, well, it’s been a great ride and I hope it continues for however long.
So in me posting here, one might guess and guess correctly, that I’ve just returned from Japan to see Berryz. Three days of concerts and a day of individual handshakes were on the menu for this go ’round. That adds up to five performances and over forty chats with the girls. I guess I’ll start off with just a general summary and or some commentary about the whole goings-ons, then get to some comments on the individual girls.
The concert was great, though I’ll mention it seemed to be lacking a certain something. There was obviously a theme, but it didn’t seem as prominent to me. Not quite sure why, as there were MCs and such… No matter, it was fun. On the top, they played a memorable PV as chosen by one of the members. During the first show, it was Captain, who picked Rival which happens to be my favorite song, so that was a great way to kick things off.
Berryz would then come out and their first performance was a new song off their newly release best album (Koiseyo!). I had left for Japan on the day it was released so I had not gotten a chance to hear it yet, but I can say I loved all of the new ones. Onnna no Ko in particular, was just great. The song, the dance, it’s a shame the only way to get to see it is via concert. I’ll be looking forward to seeing it on DVD in any case, and perhaps this will be one of those album songs they continue to perform fairly regularly, it was just too cool. Keeping the overall commentary brief, I just wanted to say that during one of the concerts, as they broke off to do smaller group performances, they ran the groups from their 6th album. Loved these songs when I heard them, and first saw too, and was glad to see them again here. On their tenth anniversary, they switched things up a little. During the encore the preformed their first three singles, then finally, Bye Bye Mata Ne. It was an awesome ending, and things wrapped up with faux sakura petals falling from the ceiling.
Now, on to some individual observations at he concert, though here too I’ll provide some details of my experience at the individual handshakes. Last time I did the handshakes, I only got one ticket for each member, that is, outside of Chinami who I got close to thirty. This time however, I got three tickets for everybody (though again too, I ended up with close to 30 for Chii). Had lots to say, though it was sometimes hard to find the right words with regards to how to say it, yeah.
First things first though. A bunch of people seemed surprised that I was lining up for anyone else except for Chinami. They all know Chinami is my girl, so perhaps the assumption is that I’ll go to her to the exclusion of everyone else. To address this briefly I’ll just state it this way: while it is Chinami’s image that I have tattooed over my heart, and I love her dearly, more than anything else in the world if I am to be honest, it is Berryz name that is tattooed there as well. I love ‘em all, though it is obviously a special kind of love that I’ve got for Chii.
Anyway, here we go:
Captain is hands down the best dancer on the stage. Her dancing is so sharp and wow. It’s great to watch her do her thing, what a pro. Last time I saw her (at Budokan), Captain was pretty enthused when I talked to her the day after the concert, acknowledging that she had seen me there. She was pretty enthused again here, seeing me at the concerts this time too. It makes me happy to watch her and see her happy, yeah. It also eats me up to see her sad (or perhaps sad is not the right word, she was happy, thankful, but crying in any case). She is, and has admitted, to being a little bit of an emotional girl. Well, I just wanna give her a hug when she gets like that, heh. Have so much respect for her.
When we talked at the handshake, she was again enthusiastic, pointing out that she had seen me having a lot of fun in the first row at the concert. In part thanks to you Captain, thank you.
Momochi is the best idol, if you didn’t already know, because I mean, she has told you time and time again, how could you not know by now. Come on get with the program, hah. Some might find this character of hers annoying and or disingenuous, but I kinda just see it as an idol trying to be the best idol she can be. It’s kind of tricky though, because it often times does come off as an act, as fake, but at the same time, I don’t know, I see it as more of a performance, and she performs it well. I’ve conflicted feelings about the whole thing.
I’ve mentioned on this site before I believe, that I’ve danced with Berryz. Now, when I say I’ve danced with them, I don’t mean like, we doubled up and did the walls or something, heh; what I mean is when the girls give me their full attention for an extended period of time as we’re singing and dancing, together. Chinami does it with me a lot, no surprise, but this time Momochi got in on the fun as well. I was right in front of her during the Wow parts of Otakebi Boy and she locked in on me and we did the song and dance (which went on for the whole ~12 seconds, that’s like an eternity, haha). When we dance, the girls always get extra expressive too, which is just awesome. They see me having a good time, and we’re just having a good time together.
During the handshake I wished Momo a happy birthday amongst other things. Also mentioned, and she was really appreciative to hear, that I loved her voice in their latest single Otona na no yo! I sang to her crudely to cite an example, the simple “wow” part. She could tell exactly what we’re referring to. Seriously, her voice there is like butter (if I’m using the metaphors correctly, ha). It’s just so smooth and rich and awesome. I could have cited many other examples where Momoko’s voice has impressed me, but ain’t got time for that, heh.
Chinami was in the center of the stage a bit more than usual during this tour which was nice. Having had a few tickets there in the center it was nice for me too, heh. Her part during Onna no Ko ni~ is just epic. She sings her line in the center, and then just backs up all cool like. Seriously, this song and performance is great, and Chinami just rocks it. After Onna no Ko ni, Chinami gets some more time to shine with Mou, Kodomo Janai. Great song featuring Chinami, and I just love her sweet sounding voice.
Locked eyes with Chii. Dancing with Chii. Smiling with Chii. I’m love struck. There’s so many little moments with Chii at the concerts these days, I don’t even know where to start in describing them. I will mention though, at the end of every concert, Chii gave me a special wave and a word or two as she leaves (just a simple thank you, or bye bye). Just for me. Yeah, I feel special.
So on to the handshake. First session, first person I go to see, is Chinami. As she sees me outside of the little cube she is behind, she leans over and enthusiastically calls out my name. “Geoffrey~!” I walk forward and she’s got both hands in the air with a great big smile on her face (not to mention she’s on her tip toes, though I’m not that much taller than her, ha). My hands meet with hers, and we then do a sort of wide rotating motion of the hands away from each other and back in to each other where eventually settle clasped down in the center in front of us. I was more than happy to see her again, and there no denying it, she was happy to see me too. As mentioned, I had plenty of tickets for Chinami, but to add to that, I passed on more than a few to a friend as well. The idea was for my friend to help with communication and passing on information to Chii on my behalf. We did this last time I was here and it worked out well, so too would I call it a success this time around.
Food, sports, music, travel. Talked about a bunch of different topics. I told her about my recent trip to Tokyo DisneySea, and at the end of doing so, asked if she like Disney too. I asked in Japanse mind you, but her response was in English. “I like Tokyo DisneySea!” Yay! She was so loud, and enthusiastic (which I later pointed out to her, saying I liked it, she responds in English “Big Voice!”). There were a bunch of little English moments with us. So many moments of this kind or another, I’m not going to go through them all. I will say though, Chinami and I, we’re planning a trip to Hawaii, also New York, also, Kentucky. Ha. All at her request. All the while, I’m going to be teaching her English. Yup, yup. It truly was a delight to interact with her. At our last interaction together, she said, “See you tomorrow!” I didn’t correct her, heh.
I’ll mention one last thing about the handshake with her, though it’s sort of an indirect comment. The staff there. They’d always be smiling as I walked out of Chinami’s cube, amused by our interaction no doubt. They’d even be clapping some of the time for one reason or another. I just thought that was funny how seemingly supportive they were (if you could say that’s what it was).
This next bit is perhaps a bit tangential, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. I was asked by a friend if I thought Chinami was cute. If I thought Chinami was sexy. Now, the answer should be simple, and one may guess my answer, being the big Chinami fan that I am, but it’s not that simple. I hesitated. The answer was fundamentally, yes, but I felt that those words, they don’t do her justice. Cute? An internal dialogue then gets to running: are you kidding me? Chinami is so much more than cute it’s not even funny. Sexy? Can you even begin to describe perfection with such a lonely word. I realize I’m laying it on rather thick (though this is just the tip of the iceberg), but the reality is, I tend to think of things this way. I have fallen so completely for this girl.
In continuing the tangent, I’ll make reference to another thing this friend asked me about back when I was out there in December. I can’t recall the context exactly, or the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of, what sort of relationship do you see between you and her, what type of relationship would you want, what would be the ideal. Again, hesitation on my part. Let’s be real though, what are the chances? I’m not saying that it’s impossible, in fact I am of the mindset that anything is possible, but I’m also a realist. I am not so enamored as to be blinded by the fact that I am me, and she is she. But if we were we, that’d be dandy. Now, that’s not the answer I gave to my friend, and the way I’ve explained it here kind of dances around the question, but in an ideal world, things would be as they’re meant to be.
Pardon, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. One may have noticed that I generally tend to not go into great detail about my feelings and or comment much on my interactions with Chii. The reason being, if I were to do so, I’d be spitting out nonstop poetic nonsense, butterflies and rainbows and flowers and ew, no one wants to hear or see any of that, ha.
My first impression after seeing Maasa at the start of the concert was, Snow White. With the short hair and the outfit, she really reminded me of her. I say, she looks like a princess, but she will always be Berryz King to me, heh. Hey, Maasa! Maasa~! It’s kinda a pain trying to get her attention, though it has been my observation that she rarely gives it, to anyone. On the third day, I was finally able to get it though, if only for a second. Maasa’s performance during the second day afternoon show with Yurina, Ground Demo from their 6th album, I like this song, and I like this team.
During the handshake, I told her about the Snow White thing she seemed surprised. I also told her that I thought her performance of Ground Demo was cool too. Her response to that, I loved it. She just kept on denying and downplaying it, like, no, no, I’m not cool or anything. The way she spoke however, in that moment it was totally cool, ha. I could probably find some videos of the cool Maasa I’m talking about, but you may already know what I mean. On a side note, last I saw her, during the Rock Erotic release event, she, as one of the guys was totally cool again too. We told her as such (back then), and she was happy. Anyway, I’ll conclude this piece on her by saying: cool Maasa is cool.
Miyabi always seems to have a little something fashion wise going on when compared to the rest of Berryz. Even when they’re all dressed similarly, there’s always something unique about Miya, whether it’s a glove, or a bracelet or whatever. I like that bout her. On the second day of concerts, another lovely team paired, Miya and Momo, the Berryz half of Buono! Ai ni wa, Ai desho was great to see. That’s pretty much where my commentary on Miya ends as she was unfortunately not at the individual handshakes. She had gotten sick.
Yurina sweats a lot, I’ve mentioned before on this blog. It might be a weird observation to make, but it’s really apparent. The fact that she does so, it’s somehow endearing. That’s not weird to say or anything, is it? Heh. As I mentioned with Maasa, their performance of Ground Demo was fun, one of my favs. During Heroine and Shining Power I enjoyed seeing Yurina there too, and she couldn’t help but notice my mad dancing skills, ha.
During the handshakes the interactions with her were pleasant as usual. I told her about my enjoyment of her performance of Ground Demo, and she seemed happy to hear it. Not much else to report.
It’s happening again! I’d really like to know what’s going on in Risako’s head. Every time it happens, I question, am I just misinterpreting things. Is it just my imagination? But then, it’s been happening for years, it can’t be, nothing. Well, whatever it is, it seems I’m still under the witch’s spell. I used to say she was shy about it, but she’s not really being shy about it now. There’s the thing, dancing with me (as mentioned with Momo), and then there’s dancing -for- me. Risako has been dancing for me, yeah. Then there’s the looks, and the smiles, and the coy little glances. It was fun to watch her on stage. It seems like she was really happy to be back on tour. More into it than usual, energetic and all around having a good time.
During the handshake, since I had some extra time with her this time, I confronted her about the looks she was giving me. Okay, not really, ha, but I mentioned directly, that I liked it when she smiled at me when she is on stage. She said thank you, and that she thought my smiling face was cute. Uh Risako, don’t say that. Now not only is she killing me with her eyes, and smiles, and moves, now she’s killing me with her words; that woman is dangerous!
So that’s where things end for this latest trip to Japan. Had a great time as per usual. Seeing Berryz, and friends, and traveling and seeing the sights. Until next time!