Archive for 'Entertainment'

Hajimete no Berryz Concert

I don’t think I need to say that I love Berryz Koubou, that’s pretty obvious isn’t it? I also don’t think I need explain how much I love~ Tokunaga Chinami. Those two things however, do setup the rest of the post. On October 11, the setlist for Berryz Koubou’s latest concert was revealed; on that setlist, was “Ohiru no Kyuukei Jikan.” What’s the big deal? Well, what made this special, was that the song was to be sung alone, by Chinami. To the point, the day I heard that Chinami would be getting a solo at the concert, on October 11, I bought a plane ticket to Japan. I just had to be there.

So anyway, after a few delays in my flight, I made it to Japan on Thanksgiving Day. The concert wouldn’t be for a few days, so I filled my time doing a little bit of shopping, eating and visiting a couple places that I missed during my first trip to Tokyo. I could only stay for a few days, with work and school keeping me busy, but I tried to make the most out of my time.

One thing I wanted to try, was to go to a maid cafe. I ended up going to @home cafe in Akihabara. That sure was an interesting experience. They served me some juice and some interestingly designed cakes, we did a little chant, played some games and I got my picture taken with one of the maids. It was a unique experience, one that I was glad to try. The atmosphere, and the moe~ oozing throughout the place was a nice sight.

With the visit to the cafe, and to a few places someone I know recommended that I check out, I was able to keep myself pretty busy. Now, on to the concert…

First, I had wanted to get some really good seats, 1-3 row, center. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get them. But that’s okay, because it turns out that rows 1 and 2 weren’t even available. They were taken out to setup camera equipment and such. I ended up getting 4th row tickets in the center for both the afternoon and evening concerts. With the missing seats, that put me right in front of the stage!

I’ll skip a full concert review, but I will just summarize it and say that I had an awesome time! Honestly, during the train ride over, the walk to the concert hall, and while waiting for the concert to start, I could not stop smiling. And afterwards, the smile lingered, I had so much fun. Chinami’s solo was awesome; the Dschinghis Khan beat-boxing was awesome; the girls in fish costumes while Momoko chased them around the stage with a net; the girls did an awesome job of standing out in their own unique ways; it was all awesome!

And too add to the awesome, being in the 4th row I was able to get the attention of the girls. I mean, I’m there jumping around, dancing and such, waving my bright orange glow sticks and strobe light, and they’re there looking straight at me. I don’t mean they were just looking in my general direction, or just turning my way and giving me a quick glance, I mean looking -at- me. A big, tall, black guy kinda stands out, right, lol. During the two concerts I was able to catch everyone’s eye at least once. Near the end of the second concert, I waved and smiled at Risako and she waved and smiled back. Right after that, Chinami gave me the smile treatment as well. Every time they looked my way, my smile would broaden and I’d wave frantically. I know that sounds all fangirlish and what not, but well, I’m a fangirl yeah, lol. Fangirl? Fanboy? Wota!!! God, I love this stuff.

For the second concert I sat with some big time wota. They were really into it. Before the concert we had talked a bit in mixed Japanese/English where I told them about how long I had been listening to Berryz, the first song of theirs I heard, my favorite member and that it was my first Berryz Concert. Anyway, they were really chummy and such throughout the concert.

Headed back home in about 12 hours. Another great trip to Japan, I’m looking forward to doing it again someday.

What’s in a Photobook?

Well, not literally. I think the answer to that question is a fairly simple one. Jonas over at yonasu.com on the other hand, has raised an interesting question that I really hadn’t thought too much about:

“What do you Think About when Looking at Photobooks?”

It’s a question that on the surface brings forth a response of “because I like the pretty pictures.” But when you really think about it, perhaps you can glean a little bit of insight into yourself. What do these idols and entertainers really mean to you? What type of enjoyment do you get out of it? No matter how plain, bizarre or embarrassing.

As for me, happy people make me happy. Cute people make me happy. I guess the idol photo/photobook thing is a portal into that. The photos of happy, fun and cute bring out a little bit joy and excitement in me. Their smiles and playfulness just elicit a strong sense of glee. It does, as Jonas implied, require some sort of familiarity as well as realism; if not I can feel somewhat detached. But with the attachment, well, that’s all I need really.

And as I say that is all I need, they provide so much more. I’ve got a particular interest in idols from the Japanese music arena, whose music I also love. Then there are other avenues by way of doramas and even simple things like television game and variety shows. One gets the enjoyment of these photos that can otherwise be unrelated to the medium where the idol caught the eye in the first place. Or, the photos can be an introduction into the world of the idols’ other works. When viewing a photo, all of these thoughts, a conglomeration of the whole experience seems to be running through my head, albeit on a subconscious level.

I’m not much of a daydreamer, but I have thought once or twice about what it would be like to “be there.” I imagine it would be fun to partake in various activities, something we could do together that would continue to make the time with them exciting and cheerful. Like a father to a child, I like to think that I would be the kind of person to spoil them with love and support, and criticisms. And even with that, the photos are enough for me; I prefer to watch them have fun with little to no intervention. In the end, I don’t think much about anything when viewing photobooks, but an underlying thought is there. What a wonderful time they must be having, all captured in a single photograph, I hope their happiness continues from that moment and beyond.

Dead Fantasy I-II

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