Got to the venue like 2 hours early, was told countless times to stop lingering by Fukuya Shoten staff haha ('Please try to come back when the event starts')
Eventually they moved everybody over to an out-of-the-way area and lined us up by ticket #. I ran into somebody I knew (named Gonsan), she introduced me to a friend of hers and I traded one of my tickets with her so I wouldn't have trouble making it back into the line (I had 3 tickets, numbered 34, 35 and 164 - I traded my 35 for this girl's 60).
Then typical line stuff, moved everybody to a closer spot and so on. Once it got started, the event went like this: get to the front of the line, give one staff your ticket, the next staff gives you your photobook, then you go around a corner and shake the members' hands...after which you walked out and could re-enter the line if you had more tickets.
Every time I got a photobook I had my backpack open, ready to stuff it in and zip the bag up VERY quickly haha, cause I had very little time before I walked around the corner and shook the members' hands.
There were three members at this event - Takahashi Ai (Aichan), Fukumura Mizuki and Ikuta Erina (they were in this order: Ikuta, Fukumura, Aichan). Being honest, Aichan's the only one I REALLY care about...so every time I went through I just said 'thank you!' to Fukumura and Ikuta with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. I felt a little bad, honestly, but with Aichan right there in front of my face I couldn't come up with anything better to say >.>
Anyway, the first time I at least took the effort to tell Fukumura that she's my favorite 9th generation member, which she seemed happy about. Then when I got to Aichan I said "It's been a while!" (お久しぶり！）and she responded with the same. There was an awkward pause as I remembered what I wanted to say (SO nervous the first couple times...) and, as staff started to push me out past the table the members were standing at, I said "I'm so happy to be able to meet you again!" (また会えてすっごく嬉しいです！) and Aichan said "Me too!" (こちらこそ！) and I walked out of the event.
Honestly, I was really lucky Aichan was the last member...I could say something quick even as the staff forced me to move along, and even as I walked away if needed :P (about half of what I said to her every time was as I was letting go of her hands/walking away haha)
Then I went back and lined up again. I think it was at this point that I saw there were still tickets available (they were selling them at a little booth near the exit of the line), and I considered buying a few more...
Anyway, I entered the line a second time. This time I decided to tell Aichan about me reading Harry Potter, since she's the reason I started reading it in the first place. Started with "I started reading Harry Potter on your recommendation!" (愛ちゃんのおすすめでハリーポッターを読み始めた！) and Aichan just kind of made a surprised face like" Ohhh!!" and I said "It's really great! Thank you!!" (超いい、それ！ありがとう！) and she smiled real big and nodded lol, then I was out of the event again.
After my second time, I ran over to the booth where they were selling photobook reservation tickets and asked the cashier how many copies you're allowed to buy. He said there was no limit, so I bought 3 more >.>
Back at the end of the line, I ran into Gonsan again...and this time she was with a different person. They both got kind of excited and were talking to each other about something while looking at me as I approached...apparently Gonsan's friend thought I looked like Harry Potter? hahaha
So my topic for the next handshake with Aichan was decided :P
And apparently this friend of Gonsan wasn't planning to go into the event for some reason? I showed her one of my ticket numbers (1334 or something) and told her I had *just* bought it, so there were tons left (2000 tickets total), so they ran off to buy one. Gonsan's friend yelled "Thanks, Harry!" as they were walking off lolol
Then I entered the line again, same process...once I got to Aichan I said "I've been told I look like Harry Potter, but what do you think?" (ハリーポッターと似てると言われたけど、どう思う？) and she said "Yeah, kinda!" (似てるかも！) with a laugh, and I was out of the event.
After my third time through, I ran into another friend of mine (Shigemi) who let me hop in and enter the line with her and her friends even though my number hadn't come up yet (apparently the staff were cool with her just claiming I was in her group haha). In line Shigemi and I came up with a plan to try and get Aichan to remember my name...as part of that, she borrowed some tape from a friend while we were working our way through the line.
Aichan died her hair brown/red today (pics here: http://ameblo.jp/takahashiai-blog/entry-10980577705.html), so I decided to talk to her about that on my fourth time through. When I got to Aichan I said "Your hair's really cute!" (この髪可愛いよ！) and she said "Thanks!" (ありがとう！). Then, as I was walking away, I said "It suits you!" (似合ってる！) and she said "Thanks!" again :P
Once out of the line, Shigemi got markers from a different friend to go with the tape from before. She pulled out some paper she had and we wrote my name in hiragana (ざっく) and then in English (Zac :P) below, then taped it to the front of my shirt.
For the fifth time through, when I got to Aichan I said "My name is Zac! Zac!" (俺の名前はザックです！ザック！) while pointing at the sign on my chest. Aichan looked down and gave a nod of confirmation with a quick "Okay!" (はい！), then I said "Remember it, okay?" (覚えてね！) and she said "Thank you!!" in English haha (kind of a weird response - I think she may have been just as nervous as me :P ...or just really wanted to say something in English and that's what happened to pop out), then I walked out of the event.
At this point I knew I'd need one more ticket, so I went ahead and grabbed another photobook reservation ticket (that makes 7 now, if you're having trouble keeping count >.>)
Once back in line, I removed the sign with my name on it. For my sixth time, I started to say "Do you remember?" (覚えてますか？), but before I could even finish she said "Zac!!". I gave a big thumbs up and said "OK!!", then kind of shambled awkwardly away from the table (Aichan remembering my name （ ´Д｀）). I understand that it was just a short period of time, but even so it's still a major hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng moment for me （ ´Д｀）（ ´Д｀）（ ´Д｀）
For my seventh and final time, I said to Aichan "This is my last time through, so please do your best!" (これは最後だから、頑張ってね！) and Aichan said "Okay!" (はい！), then as I was walking away I said "I'll be supporting you on the fall tour!" (秋ツアー応援してます！) and she said "Thanks!" (ありがとう！) and I said a quick 'bye bye!!', which she returned, then I walked out of the event for the last time.
After that, I realized that people were lined up behind a gate thing over near the event...it seemed Aichan and the other members would be walking by there, so I got a spot up near the front right behind Gonsan and her friend from before ("Thanks Harry!" :P). It was a really good vantage point, where I could see where the members would leave the event space and the whole front of the store were we figured they'd be walking.
Long story short, we waited forever and then the members made like...a half-second appearance as they walked from where the event was held right into Fukuya Shoten, then we waited forever more...then they walked out way down by the other end of the store and walked up some stairs, and that was that. Everybody was pretty upset that the members didn't walking along the front of the store...
Disappointing that I wasn't anywhere near close enough to get Aichan's attention because of that, but with everything else that happened tonight I don't think I can complain.
Immediately after walking back into the guest house, I said "ahh, I'm so happy~" (はぁ、幸せ〜) and told everybody what happened. One of the Japanese guys tweeted about me, and apparently he got a response from someone who was at the event who said they saw me many times hahaha (http://twitter.com/#!/mkamaga/status/100919600677531648)
Truly an amazing night~