Otodama Sea Studio Talk Event 8/3 2016
The third of August started rather unluckily with my sister getting sick so I had to go alone and my friend getting sick as well so she would meet me up just an hour before opening time. This sucked and made me super anxious as Kamakura and Hachioji (the place I stayed at that time) are quite away. Soon I learnt that Kamakura and any place within Tokyo is still QUITE AWAY ==’. But I was determined to have some fun so bravely I stepped out of the apartment, switched on google maps and got lost immediately. I’m not even kidding you. I lost my way before I even got on a train. So yeah, it was a rather unlucky start. Then it got better so bear with me. The train ride was complicated due to transfers but again my basic Japanese skills plus some really helpful old Japanese ladies and I was at Kamakura in no time (1h9m to be precise). Should I mention that the day before I got some allergic reaction on my legs which made me wear a looong black skirt? Should I also mention that it was probably the hottest day during my stay in Japan? I probably shouldn’t, nevermind. Just imagine a pale blond girl in a loooong black skirt, black Japan Expo Paris T-shirt, holding a (you guessed it) black umbrella walking to the beach with a crowd of suddenly not so modestly dressed Japanese youth with bikini straps poking under tops. I was basically looking like more of a weirdo than normally. On the good side, I couldn’t get lost as the whole train crowd headed in the same direction as me, the beach. I knew that I was only an hour or so before the Satoyama x C-ute talk event at the Otodama Sea Studio so I was ready to stand in a long line just to enter the building. But I could meet and socialise with fans? Right? Team C-ute forever baby!
Not so far away from the beach, I noticed a small group of people wearing H!P goods, mostly Airi’s so I got super excited. Of course, I waved at them and said something like Suzuki Airi is the best to which they smiled politely. I wanted them to help me out with finding the Otodama building but they weren’t THAT friendly, besides I was confident to find it on my own and beat them to the line. MUAHAHAHAHA yeah, pathetic I know.
I was right, finding the place wasn’t that difficult since it was literally by the entrance to the beach. One would have to try really hard to miss it.
Just follow Smirnoff. It works in Poland.
I asked the first staff member where to stand in the line and through gestures and some rambling we established that I can start lining up just an hour before the event itself. Let me just tell you, Japanese people don’t fuck around with lines. If it’s one hour before, it’s gonna be one hour before. In Europe (and other countries I have no idea about), people would line up whenever they feel like it. “It’s a free country goddammit” would be yelled at any staff member. Not here in Japan. I noticed some fans just standing around like vultures and decided to talk to anybody that dared to look the foreigner in the eye. BINGO. One girl did and she seemed alone so I walked to her and asked her the same question about the line. It was a good choice since she introduced me to some line guru who got his magic notebook with names and numbers of people in the queue. God, was I not lucky. My number was around 130ish so it wasn’t that bad. The guru had some problems with pronouncing my name as I wrote it in romaji but to hell with that I was the only foreigner there anyway… or was I?
Exactly an hour before the event, Line Guru san started reading the names and organising everybody. Everybody was very calm and nobody argued. I just remember the Japan Expo line in Paris and well all the scenarios played in my head like “I was here from 8 am and I don’t care about any lists.” or something similar. Huge respect Japan, huge respect. My foreigner radar started buzzing and I saw a blond girl standing not so far away from me. That’s how I met Chiara from Italy. She spoke awesome Japanese and was very friendly so I was very happy I could finally talk with another fan freely. Our line numbers were close so soon enough I skipped a couple of Japanese guys who didn’t mind and stood next to her.
It was extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY hot. I was on the verge of a heatstroke. I changed to shorts and put the black skirt in my bag because YOLO and screw my allergy it’s C-ute baby. My umbrella was a blessing so Chiara and me stood together with my umbrella the only shield against the sun demon. I tred my Airi towel but it wasn’t that effective.
Standing in the line for an hour was pure torture. My brain was on fire and minutes were crawling by. I desperately needed more water but any vending machine/combini was surprisingly out of reach. It was all worth it though. I reached the doors inside with a sense of anticipation and determination to find a good spot. We entered the venue and the women section was just in front of us so it was easy to stay there instead of trying to flood the center with all the tall man already there. My foreigner powers came to my rescue as with my 164cm I was the tallest girl easily. What is more, I stood right by the fence guarding our innocence from the raging fanboy testosterone so I could propel myself on it bit more, making my view even better. Jackpot.
not so bad, amrite?
The venue wasn’t nearly as hot as the outside so I risked my wig. I just needed the members to see that somebody from Japan Expo came all the way to Japan for them. I don’t know why, but as a foreigner I feel this responsibolity to make myself even more visible to the staff and members to make them know that all the international marketing and concerts are paying off.
all the memories *sniff*
I was ready, everything was set and I waited with more and more pressure building in my chest. This was it. This was finally happening. The moment that the girls entered the stage was so magical. It lacked the desperation, the rush, the devotion the crowd felt in Paris after first seeing them at the autograph session. But it was different. The girls looked far more at ease and comfortable and the crowd was more “welcome back” and less “I’m gonna rip my face because I love you so much”. Do you get what I mean? It wasn’t bad but it was warmer. I liked this atmosphere because I could savour the girls more rather than scream like a banshee and cry (this would come later). At the same time this surreal situation in which the idols you love and adore are suddenly so close to you, they wave at you and smile so gracefully is just the same as it was in Paris. I still can’t believe that they were so close to me and all it took was an hour of standing in a line and paying absolutely nothing. Japanese fans are so spoiled and foreign fans are just so sadly at a disadvantage. If you are a fan that never saw them in person then I am so sorry for you and wish that one day you will because it’s just amazing beyond any words.
During the event, the girls talked about beach safety and Nacky was the MC. She stood the farthest to me while Chisato and Mai were closest to me. Again. It was Japan Expo concert all over for me LOL. They behaved so differently from Paris tho. MaiMai and Chisa were talking to each other and ignoring the hosts (and Nacky) it was hilarious. Chisa was always so entertaining to watch but I never knew that she’s so close to Mai. Chisa wore some really high shoes to fit with the rest of girls while Nacky just didn’t give a damn and stayed a midget 🙂 At one time, Chisa took off her shoes and stood barefoot. The girl is so entertaining. The talk included some silly games that made the audience guess some beach related terms. Even without knowing Japanese, it was fun to watch them having fun and making a fool out of themselves. My favourite moment was when Airi tried to show a hiragana sign for “ma”.
She held her arms horizontally and then kicked her leg in the air in a tango like move I really can’t explain well. She whipped her head at the same time with a facial expression matching the tango theme. Airi rocks! At the same time, Maimi showed the simplest hiragana you can show with your arms- “ku”.
Why did they do that you might ask? Well, because “kuma” is a bear in Japanese. Yes, they were supposed to make the audience guess the word “bear” and they chose to show hiragana. Genius 😄 How is that beach related? I really didn’t want to find out on my own.
The event was quite long and very satisfying. I left the venue happy and even more pumped up for the live. Bring it on.
to be continued