So in the middle of all of today’s events, I noticed Ayrton’s shirt. He’s always had great shirts. The donuts one that caught mano erina’s attention. The one of the robot punching a guy because he was doing the robot. But none of them were/are as fitting as the one he was wearing today. Living the dream but with dream crossed out and Plan B written in. From the very second the Morning Musume member graduation was announced, our plans for this Japan trip have been stuck together by mere duct tape and string. But somehow against all odds, it’s worked out for us. Getting selected and finding time for the Team B stage with front row seats. Barely making it to the C-ute concert afterwards. And now it gets even crazier.
So today Ayrton and I went on a trip to the ticket resell shop in Harajuku to look for better MM seats. He got them. He spent an insane amount for 4th row tickets. He now has literally fifty dollars on hand to last him until if/when we can find him an ATM that takes international cards. It’s crazy, I know. But fuck it. The bigger discussion is about when we went to the resale shop, he noticed a display that was marked, Today’s Tickets. With it being September 21st and only hours away, surely there weren’t any AKB48 JanKen Tournament tickets left were there?
Well to answer your question, here are my highlights from the night.
Member Introductions. Sashihara Rino’s crowd reaction was insane. And here I thought she was underappreciated. Komori Mika’s was rather ractious and Takajo Aki was surprisingly overwhelming, she’s like really popular. Kobayashi came out and then ripped off her clothes and wore a bikini for the rest of the night while carrying around an inner tube.
Right off the bat, the first battle was with Shinoda Mariko. Everyone held there breath and the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Mariko won and you could feel the crowd relax a bit that their favorite members might be safe. Then favorites started to go down left and right. Kashiwagi went out immediately afterwards. Itano followed suit. Minegishi was gone. Then the bombs started to fall. Minami and then Yuko. One right after the other.
After the first two rounds, I’d say the event went down a little. Most of the big names were gone. There was a Maeda vs Maeda battle between Ami and Atsuko. At that point I saw the past and the future of AKB48 standing there together on one stage. No one really knew Ami was, as shown by the crowd reaction when she was first introduced. Also the event went a little long. Three and a half hours is a long time to watch people play paper, rock, scissors.
But somehow AKB managed to make it interesting. The played it up and even got a bunch of celebrities to show up for the festivities. For example wrestler Antonio Inoki. I’ll go more in depth on the next show but the JanKen was really a genius idea. Not only for giving other members a chance to shine but also a way to get more people to recognize other people’s names. Also one of the by products people care about their favorite members in JanKen whether they win or lose. When they win it’s like yes. But when they lose it’s a huge deal to see the favorites get knocked out. It becomes water cooler talk and sometimes in losing you win more fans over just by the way you handle it.
There were a few times when I thought the event may be rigged. Even know the worries still cross my thoughts. But for all the reasons I have that it was a set up, I have just as many as to why it couldn’t have been.
Going into this event before hand, I should have known you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That’s how it works. You can’t have everyone of your favorite members be in senbatsu and you can’t have even your favorite win. I got Maeda Ami and Kobayashi Kana but lost out in Miyazaki Miho and Masuda Yuka. Maeda Atsuko, Takajyo Aki, and Kojima Haruna stayed in senbatsu but I also didn’t get Kitahara Rie, Sashihara Rino, and Ota Aika. It’ll just be bitter and sweet all the way.
But as a special treat, here’s some footage before the event started I was able to shoot, before I was stopped by security.
Also, it’s really poor quality, but I managed to record the audio for the new single they showed near the end of the event. It’s really weird and futuristic with a matrix vibe. The members are playing a video game where they all get horribly killed. At one point Maeda Atsuko is even screaming for like 15 seconds as her hand is stabbed. I’m not sure how I feel about this song yet.
Finally, in a last bit of news. There was something else I saw and purchased at the Ticket Resale Shop.
If you can’t make out the kanji, it says Takahashi Minami. Yep, it’s a ticket for the Photobook Hand Shaking event going on tomorrow, it’s release date. Line starts at 4:00PM. Doors open at 6:10. Just hand shakes, no pictures or autographs. But I was told there would be a special present given to those who attended. I’ll of course be giving that to someone else who I’m sure would want it a lot more than I would. How much did I pick this ticket up for? A measly 15 bucks. The Janken Tournament was under list price as well because it was so last minute. I don’t know how much longer we can keep running on this luck, but as for now. Plan B is going accordingly.