This round of H!P adventures starts the day before the concert, in Tokyo, where I attended a handshake event for the Berikyuu photobook. At the handshake there was Maimi of C-ute, Risako, Maasa, Momoko, and of course Chinami, the main reason for going in the first place. I originally hadn’t planned on visiting the handshake, but a friend mentioned it to me and I’m glad I did. It’s not every day that one gets to meet their idol, so I like to take advantage of the opportunity every chance I can. I have to say thanks too, to that friend who was able to get the event tickets for me.
The line went fast but I was able to go through three times and ended up saying most of what I wanted to say anyway. My first time through I just said something along the lines of “it’s nice to see you; it’s been a long time.” My second time through I mentioned that I’d see all of the Berryz girls at the concert the next day. This time around Chinami commented on my Japanese skill, mentioning that I had gotten better. I hadn’t said anything much complicated or anything, but it made me happy to get the complement from her. My third time through I just said a little bit, thanked them and went on my merry way.
The next day was concert day in Osaka. I first met up with friends for lunch before things started, which is always nice. Before the concert I had bought some goods which I’m surprised that I am able to hold myself back from buying so much. From there it was concert time. I hadn’t been to a proper Berryz concert since the tour previous to the last, Berry Kou Fes, so it was nice to finally get back at it.
There were a lot of new songs played at this concert which turns out to be both a good and a bad thing. Good in that there were songs that I had never seen performed live before, it’s always good to see something fresh; bad in that, at least the first time around, it was hard to dance along to the songs. I’m only able to go to a day’s worth of concerts so it’s hard for me to pick up on the dance moves right away. I any case, even when I’m not dancing along, I’m enjoying myself all the same.
A couple notes about the performances of a few of the songs. “Shy boy” was kind of cool and didn’t really suffer from being overly autotuned. I really liked this song from the album and was surprised to see it appear on the setlist after not making it on the first round of performances.
Atarashii Hibi had a stand out performer in Saki, especially during the music break of the song. In the afternoon Saki had her hair down which looked great (in the evening she had it in a ponytail), during the break she was swinging her head and hair around wildly. There was just something fierce about it. The dance in general, Saki just killed it.
Yurushite nyan~. Okay there is something that’s a bit annoying about that if it’s used too much, but this time, well… Momoko had a whole song and dance dedicated to it and I’ll be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to dance and sing along with. Yurushite nyan~, Yurushite nyan~, oh my goodness, haha. You’ll have to see it to get how cute it was in some spots. I might say she was trying too hard, but I’ve come to conclude that that it just part of Momo’s character and it’s kind of grown on me even if it is a bit over the top sometimes. Also, Momoko is 20 years old? It’s almost funny the way she acts as a 20 year old, but as I said it fits her so I wouldn’t have her chance for anything.
Semi was on the setlist which was good to see. Semi is one of the songs I used to listen to way back when I first got into Berryz, so it kind of brought up a feeling of nostalgia.
Dakishimete Dakishimete with Miyabi dance solos. It really should have been Captain shining and rockin’ out on this one, but Miyabi held her own. While the other girls would pause and or do abbreviated dance moves at points, Miyabi would bust a move if you will. The setup was really interesting.
Rival is my favorite Berryz song, so it’s always good to see it performed here. Other great concert songs include Otakebi Boy and Icchoume Rock!. Overall it was a pretty solid setlist.
To finish things up, a couple of mentions about my interactions with the girls. Chinami and I were connected it felt like throughout the entire afternoon concert. I was sitting in the front row and we’d exchange glances and smiles as the concert went on. It really was great. As the concert ended too, I felt like I got a special goodbye from her as she was positioned right in front of me and gave me a nice big smile and a wave. Really, it’s great and I’m glad that I can sit up so close that these little interactions can take place. I felt that I didn’t have to fight for her attention or anything, I just had to be myself and we would connect naturally.
Now, I’ve mentioned my interactions with Risako in the past and this concert was no different. We have some sort of a connection I feel, I don’t know how to describe it. One thing that really stood out to me this time around though is something that made me feel like we really connected. Risako was up on stage, right in front of me, doing her normal serious pouty face (you’d know it if you saw it) when we locked eyes. Her gaze can be a bit intimidating at times, as it pierces right through you. Anyway, as we squared up I gave her a big ol’ smile. In reaction to this, she returned the smile with sort of a laugh attached to it. It may seem like I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but it felt so great to have that exchange. Little things like this make me feel just great.
So, back to the real world. I had a great time and I hope to do it again sometime. See you Berryz in New Jersey if I don’t catch you all before then.