Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Musume Spring Tour Photobook Release Handshake Event, Fukuya Shoten Shinjuku, 8/9

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~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A quick post to commemorate the 24th birthday of our beautiful Leader~~~

Yes, this is a bit late...but it's still the 14th where I'm at, and I actually made the birthday shrine last night when it was still the 14th in Japan. (plus this is an excuse to wish her happy birthday again~)
I also happened to JUST remember that I hadn't posted here about Aichan's birthday -___-


Happy birthday Aichan~~~
Thanks for everything you do for both Morning Musume and for me as a fan, and for all the other fans. You're simply too amazing for words ;____;

Also, this just happens to be pretty close to the one-year anniversary (maybe a week from now) of my becoming an Aichan wota. Here's to another year with the greatest waifu I could ever ask for :'D

- cfb

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More on being an idol fan/wota...

I originally wrote this in response to a comment by Yonasu on this post, quoted in its entirety here:

"Honestly I couldn't care less about the agencies behind the idols. I like certain idols of H!P, and I like certain idols in AKB, they live together in harmony in my world. But my favorites are from H!P and that will never change since they've had many years to grow on me.

My all time favorite is Eri Kamei, and whatever happens to H!P she will always remain my favorite^^ And my favorite from AKB is Atsuko Maeda (although she might not even make the top 10 of my overall idol faves). I consider myself an Eri wota, I guess, but really I don't need a title, I just care about loving whoever I love :) People are free to hate on me and the idols I love, I really couldn't care less about that either, haha.

In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense.

Peace out."

However, my comment ended up REALLY long (I basically ended up rewriting/updating the original entry Yonasu was responding to) and there were some things I said that I felt warranted another post, so here it is. I was responding specifically to one paragraph in his comment.

"In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense."
In the example of Mac vs Windows, I agree completely. It's just an OS...find what you like and use that, screw what everybody else is doing. In fact, the "OS wars" is one of my least favorite things to talk about...ditto for the video game "console wars".

However, with idols, we're not dealing with something so trivial. The difference between idols and just about every other hobby out there is that there is a relationship with living, breathing people here. Supporting your favorite idol is not the same as supporting your favorite video game company or band or OS developer or whatever because supporting those things does not explicitly express love for another human being. For me it is not just entertainment...I am truly invested in my idol, as much as I would be invested in someone I know in real life, if not even more so. I suppose for most gaijin idol fans it's difficult to take it that seriously...after all, most of us never really have the chance to build a "real" relationship with these girls because they obviously live across the world (or, at least, in a different country :P). If everyone could have the opportunity to go to FC events and talk to the girls one on one, shake their hands, etc on a regular basis I get the feeling things might be different.

But here I am, living in America, and I still take my relationship with my idol as seriously as I would were I able to interact with her regularly. I want to be the best fan I possibly can for her sake.

Going back to what you asked, I care about what other idol fans like because I want them to be the best possible fans for these girls as well. Honestly I don't particularly like being the person pointing his finger at everyone, but it aggravates me when I see the approach many Western fans have. These girls deserve more devotion than that.

And that's not to say that Western idol fans are not passionate. Many of the people I've met really do love these girls a lot. However, as I said earlier I feel that the relationship between a wota and his/her idol is very real...and I don't feel it's appropriate or respectful to have relationships with more than one person at a time.

I don't mean that you can't like more than one idol...I like all the members of Morning Musume - some of them a lot - for different reasons. But Aichan is the only one I love, and the one I consider to be MY idol. I have only a casual interest in the others. Personally I think that's how it should be if someone wants to call him/herself a wota. Actually, I feel that this kind of dedication may very well be what separates a fan from a wota, which is why I get so agitated by casual use of the term 'wota' - it's not a word to be taken lightly...

Of course, I can't reasonably expect everyone to take this approach. I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with being a more casual fan (and I don't mean that everyone who isn't a hardcore wota is "just a casual fan"...as I said earlier, there are certainly non-wota idol fans who love these girls a lot - they are just comparatively more casual fans). Some people are simply not willing or able to have this kind of dedication, and to an extent I can't blame them...it's really hard. Sometimes, honestly, it sucks. But the good times are so incredibly rewarding, and I feel that I am capable of doing so much more for my idol, when I take this approach. As I said, I want the best fans possible for these girls and through my experiences I've come to believe that singular dedication fosters that kind of fan. I may not be able to convince everyone to join me, and I may even make some enemies along the way (I have already, actually x.x)...but I feel that this is a cause worth fighting for and I hope that I can inspire others to join me.
- cfb

Sunday, March 14, 2010

February 2010 Purchases

Splurge for this month was the visual books. AX DVD was also kind of a big deal lol. Other than that, fairly typical month I guess.

  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE A (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE B (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai LE C (w/DVD)
  • Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai RE

  • Momusu - Concert Tour 2009 Aki ~NINE SMILE~
  • Momusu - America Hatsu Jouriku Live ~Offshot Mansai Micchaku 72jikan~
  • Momusu - Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai Single V

  • 2005 Spring Dai ~6kan Hit Mankai~ Visual Book
  • 2005 Spring Dai ~6kan Hit Mankai~ Visual Book 2
  • 2005 Autumn ~Baribari Kyoushitsu Koharu-chan Irasshai~ Visual Book
  • 2005 Autumn ~Baribari Kyoushitsu Koharu-chan Irasshai~ Visual Book 2
  • 2006 Spring ~Rainbow 7~ Visual Book
  • 2006 Spring ~Rainbow 7~ Visual Book 2
  • 2006 Autumn ~Odore! Morning Curry~ Visual Book
  • 2007 Spring ~SEXY 8 BEAT~ Visual Book 2
  • Iroppoi Jirettai Making Photobook (not pictured)

Quick thoughts:
- NINE SMILE made me bawwwww so hard ;______;
- AX DVD is amazing. So many good memories~
- Visual books are sweet.

- cfb

January 2010 Purchases

Starting the new year off with less purchases than usual. This should continue until at least August or so...saving up enough to attend Aichan's graduation concert~ (whenever that is...)

Somehow everything in this picture is sealed, other than the Kanashimi Event V (which still has the plastic on it, seal is just broken at the bottom)

  • Kusumi Koharu - Happy Single V
  • Momusu - Kanashimi Twilight Event V
  • V/A - Pucchi Best 9
  • Momusu - Rainbow 7 RE

  • Momusu - Morning Channel ~Digiphoto History 2001-2005~ Photobook
  • Momusu - Yomiuri Land East Live 2009 DVD

Quick thoughts:
- Morning Channel photobook is adorable, so many great offshots of the girls~
- Yomiuri is an amazing concert, I loved how they kept the little bit at the beginning...it's nice to put a visual to what I've heard in fan recordings of FC events so many times.

- cfb

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hello!Ranking Test Run...!

This last Sunday, bryan (organizer of Hello!Party and all-around kickass dude) held a test run of a site he's working on called Hello!Ranking (a "next-generation [Hello!Project] fan site that allows you to see how your favorites change over time and to share your rankings with others", to quote bryan himself), which I had the privilege of taking part in.

Normally I'm not the ranking type - it takes me FOREVER, in fact, unless I'm extremely familiar with the group (see: Momusu) - but seeing the site in action was very cool. Or, at least, what I saw was cool...those who participated only had access to the ranker itself.

(right now the design looks a little plain - bryan informed everyone that the final site will have pictures of each member to go along with their name when doing your ranking)

Essentially, us testers had access to three rankers: the group ranker, the groups ranker, and the artists ranker. The group ranker (pictured above, with my actual current MM ranking~) allows you to choose a Hello!Project group, choose whether you want to rank the current roster or all members that have ever been in the group (when applicable), and then you simply drag the members around into whatever order you want to rank them. After that, submit your ranking and voila! - your ranking is saved and added to the database of everyone else's rankings. The groups ranker allows you to rank H!P groups, both new and old - Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, Country Musume, ROMANS, Buono, Coconuts Musume (ew), EcoMoni, etc. The artists ranker allows you to choose from every member of Hello!Project - new, old, graduated, active, inactive - and rank whoever you want. Fans will also be able to rank albums, singles, and individual songs. Very cool stuff!

Once the site goes live (hopefully soon), people will be able to create profiles so everyone can share their rankings, along with viewing overall statistics that pull together everyone's rankings so you can see where your favorites members, groups, songs, etc stand against all the others. The site will also be used to house detailed Hello!Project member profiles and a few other things that I don't remember (and/or may not be able to share - sworn to secrecy ;D sort of...). Overall, Hello!Ranking is shaping up to be a great resource and central hub for the H!P fan community. Keep an eye out here for when the site goes live!
- cfb

(And for anyone who wants a preview of the site...bryan is planning another test run of the ranker this weekend, most likely Saturday afternoon. Pop on over to #helloranking on irc.rizon.net if you want to participate!)