ＴＯＫＹＯ oct 1st to oct 8th, An Average Journey begins.
The week in ＴＯＫＹＯ that has been the culmination point of my journey into becoming pawn to the Namco Bandai war machine (that wages war against your wallet) known as THE iDOLM@STER.
It all started when this year, a little bit before Anime North, the latest game iteration of the wallet destroyer came out; The iDOLM@STER One For All . With the first edition copies came a couple of codes to win the eligibility to buy a ticket for the 9th anniversary live.
My friends and I had already crossed out all hopes of attending 9th, and we all made plans for 10th. There was no way we would win this lottery, or so we thought anyway. Regardless, We gathered as many entries we could ( with the help from people who wouldn’t attempt to go ) and for some unknow miraculous reason our 海外 group ended up with a ridiculous amount of winning entries.
Quickly disbelief, euphoria and panic all happened at the same time.
It was decided; HPT ( well a good part of it anyway) was going to Japan, in Tokyo, for two days worth of iDOLM@STER live.
Rushed / last minute plans started to get in shape.
I sourced Koepota and Animetas for events relevant of my interest to attend during the week surrounding 9th in Tokyo. The only that really pertained to my DDness at the time was GARNiDELiA’s first one man show. No way I was going to miss that. Ever since Mikunopolis’s Anime Expo, I has been a fan of とくP (TokuP) , so last year when I found out he was the head composer for this duo , I became an instant fan.
In Order to properly secure a ticket for this live, the same concept applies; you buy something relevant ( in which case it was Grilletto, their second single) , get a code and hope to win the chance to buy a ticket. Which I once again somehow managed to win. All thanks to boss Landro who secured all the transactions for the gaijin that I am.
With that settled it was time to head out to japan. This time for my data needs I went to Sakura-Mobile, which gave me a 3GB nano sim with 3G speed on the Docomo network (in theory you can get LTE speeds, but my phone doesn’t have the proper bands for that). I departed from Canada on Tuesday the September 30th to reach Japan on Wednesday night October 1st.
I was greeted by Ninbinさん ( the truest bro of them all) at Narita and chilled with him there for an hour or so. Took the N’EX ( at the discounted half price ONE WAY ticket from NRT) for Akihabara where I had elected my place of residence at ViaInn there.
I then went to get lost in Shinjuku meet Landro to get my ticket for GARNiDELiA in the morning, get UOs from Setsuna and meet the rest of HPT already in japan (Matt, Shini, Unknow, Kyosuke and Allocer). It was also then that I discovered that I wasn’t a fan of ファミレス. Drink bar or not. Which I mostly explain by me wanting to eat japanese meals when in japan and not travesties of Western food which I already eat enough here in North America.
Day 1 (Oct 2nd) – GARNiDELiA
Met with Shini and Sets in Akiba in the afternoon to scout the places where I would eventually waste a lot of money.
I got to taste some Oyakodon for the first time. Slightly expensive but pretty good.
Then headed to Shibuya for GARNiDELiA. As this was happening at Tsutoya o-west, a sort of bar, most place ( the best places) where standing only.
I showed up half an hour before entering to line up for some goods ( as experience from previous small lives of the sort in Japan indicated that line would be small) , but when I arrived I saw a cluster of people waiting to get inside. The whole thing would get confusing a bit since it was my first time as they let you in by number (on your ticket. Incidentally mine was 319). Some people told me the goods line was over, I was told to go wait some place because of my number, then staff told me to wait somewhere else. It was weird.
Somehow, as it was about to be my time to go in, I found out that I could still purchase goods, so thankfully I was about to get the ones I wanted.
Grab a drink tix for ¥500 and got me some beer before the live started, ready with my GARNi gear.
5.LOVE or GAME
— ʚメイリアɞG.R.N.D.発売中！ (@MARiA_GRND) October 2, 2014
— ʚメイリアɞG.R.N.D.発売中！ (@MARiA_GRND) October 2, 2014
I had two major expectations from this live. The first was hearing LAMB (and see MARiA dance to it , but that goes without saying I think…) and then BLAZING . Boy did they deliver.
Before that, I never experienced Mosh pit in japan before, I underestimated the level of crazy that could happen. Which was both scary and awesome at the same time.
First as the live began, everybody started to dive rush near the front and as a result we all got super compressed. I’d say I was around 3 to 4 lines of Humans far from the stage, which was pretty good.
People got really overheated during this live, I got elbowed a couple of times, and elbowed a couple of times too. While this may not sound fun, in the heat of the moment, it actually is pretty darn fun. Sometimes, the front crowd would try this wave motion of rocking their body back and forth, which make me worry about falling a couple of time, but surprisingly no major disaster happened.
The crowd yelling that Toku was Kawaii during the MC was pretty funny. Actually he probably got called that more often than MARiA . Speaking of MARiA, during the first part of the live, her outfit was nearly identical to the one she has in the Ambiguous PV, which she changed for a white/shiney version at some point. She had backup dancers during some of the songs, which was pretty awesome (especially for Lamb).
Overall this live was darn amazing, it was a blast to start my week long trip with them. It was even more special to me as it was their first One Man live (the second one is in february btw, if you are in Japan then,I highly suggest you try attending).
It is with these special feelings that I went back to my hotel once the live had ended for I needed some decent amount of sleep to be ready for the upcoming battle in the morning.
Day 2 – Sacred Battle for the Goods & Moviem@s
Early on when it began to become clear I would attend 9th, I had decided to skip on purchasing any good whatsoever because I thought them to be expensive, unnecessary, and a real pain in the butt to acquire (And what didn’t help was people who excessively worry about everything *coughJTcough* who would keep repeating that important goods would sell out over and over). However, as the clock ticked and the day of departure approached, freaking enablers started to link to 9th’s good page and started talking plans of taking the first train to line up. This would prove to me my downfall (My wallet’s in any case) or a great success depending how you like to see things. I simply couldn’t resist the call of the goods. So I cracked and decided to first train with the others.
And thus on that Friday morning, I got up at 4am, met up with Exciel, Kyosuke and Setsuna in the train. Once we reached sendagaya at 5am we and a couple of japanese Ps rushed to where we assumed the line was. Shini and Minh joined not long after. The battle against sleep was over, we were victorious (expect for Orphi who totally overslept and got on site quite late w). Unfortunately so began the waiting games. 10hs until the goods stalls opening.
It wasn’t all that bad though, thankfully we could leave our stuff and roam around a bit, go to the conbini, bathroom, walk etc. Some brave ones even went to play basketball, with unfortunate repercussions on their body, but that’s a detail.
I’m actually surprised by how fast those ten hours went by. The only major issue was the stupid sun and heat.
Around 2pm they started distributing the order form. The funny thing about first day liners or liners in general is that more than often their shopping list also contains items not for them. So it’s not really surprising to see someone drop nearly ¥90000 in goods, or as Sets later noticed, see a person carrying 5 sets of penlights (¥13500 each ).
10 mins to 3pm they opened and mass cash exchange happened. I was lucky enough to be first in my line.
And then waited for the others.
Once we regrouped, we headed to Shibuya wald 9 to see The IDOLM@STER Movie for the first time (at least as far as Exciel, Minh and I were concerned) .
In regards to the movie, it’s now been over two months since I saw it; my opinion on it has changed quite a bit since I first saw it. Originally, while I enjoyed the movie for what it was, I wasn’t really impressed by it. I more or less blame it on the fact that it was overly hyped to me and I made the mistake of expecting too much of this movie when I don’t feel about @nimas the same way a lot of people do. Now I can look back and what bugged me at first and say those were really nitpicky points, that probably everybody on the internet has already complained about, and that may have hindered my enjoyment of the movie, so I won’t add to that list. I will tell you however what I liked from the movie, things like how 眠り姫 ( Nemurihime) the movie was one my favorite part of the movie. Perhaps what Xenoglossia wishes it was. I kept grinning like an idiot whenever Miki was just wrecking everything. I loved how the ML cast got introduced at training can; it showed how much the 765 girls have grown. I loved the parallel that were drawn with LIVE anniversaries. And finally, even though I had mixed feelings about it, ultimately, I love the M@STERPIECE sequence at the end; it’s actually what I was looking forward to the most having fallen in love with that song thanks to OFA.
Whatever the initial feelings, I was glad I got to do this before the live the following day.