Saturday, July 4, 2009

Well, AX is practically over....

How did it become 4:46 PM? It's only 1:50, silly computer!

I'm sitting in the Sheraton lobby after just experiencing the most amazing day of my life. Yes, I met Morning Musume. And I shall tell you all about it~

My friend Sarah came over Wednesday night. We went to bed around ten and woke up at 3 the next morning.

After six hours of driving, we arrived in LA. We found the convention center fairly quickly, and all three of us (Sarah, my mother, and myself) went in to get our badges.

Anime Expo is HUGE compared to Fanime. The convention center alone is massive. There are crowds everywhere. And it didn't help that the press was scurrying around the Staples Center, which was right next door.

Registration was quick and painless, even though they forgot to print Sarah's concert ticket voucher at first (we had to come back later).

We immediately got in line for the panel. We were close to the front, which was exciting. They moved us inside out of the sun, but that probably wasn't the greatest idea. The staff members didn't know about the change, and thought that we were in line for the Morikawa panel. So they brought us in by accident, and the line was lost.

The Morikawa panel was painful. All of these fangirls came up during Q&A and asked him to say "Will you marry me?" in Sephiroth's voice and the like.

After an hour, they all cleared out. Sarah and I had befriended two other teenagers, a girl cosplaying as Takahashi Ai in Resonant Blue and her friend, a guy who didn't really know who Morning Musume was. xD We seat jumped, but failed to get one in the front. We instead got one in the seventh row, close to the Q&A mic.

It was a little bit before 2 when Morning Musume came in.

They were surrounded by security guards and handlers, and quickly slipped through the front to go to the backroom, where they could change. Everyone leapt up when they came in, and we all cheered and screamed and cried. xD Well, I did.

We calmed down (except for the Japanese wota who had followed them from Japan) for a minute, but we got pumped up again when they played a 'history of MM' video. We sang along with the songs, and even did some wota-gei (the cheering and chanting that goes along with idol songs). Then the girls came out.

A girl I had met during the Morikawa had seen the girls at the airport on Wednesday, and she put the whole experience very eloquently. And it was true. These girls were so small, so fragile, like they could faint at any moment. These were people we idolized, and it was strange seeing them in person. Like the girl said, they were "so beautiful, yet they were very human and tangible." They whispered to one another, looked bored, everything. It was amazing.

They were still very small up on the panel platform. They introduced themselves, mostly in Japanese, but Linlin spoke in English. In fact, she spoke in mostly English the whole time.

After talking about their experiences and the like, Q&A opened up. A mass of people rushed to the middle aisle, including Desiree, the girl we had met. She couldn't decide on a question, so she pulled me up to help her. Our noise attracted the attention of Junjun, who looked at us curiously. Immediately I froze and returned to my seat. xD

The panel was fun. Most of the questions were fairly fanboyish, like asking members to do impressions. One guy even challenged Tanaka to a rock-paper-scissors match, and when he lost, he had to act like a cat.

Shige did usa-chan peace. Gaki did mayuge beam. The pandas spoke in Chinese to a Chinese fan. Kamei did the catchphrase from the anime series she's acting in. Koha freaked out over a Koharu cosplayer who asked a question. Aika was like the mother of the group. Takahashi was very leader-like.

Afterwards, we went out and stood in line to get our tickets for the concert. We met a group of high school friends and chatted with them. The Mana concert was going on, and so we made fun of the music, too. xD

Our seats were actually pretty good. We were in section F, which was the section right next to the center section. So, we were right in front of the screen and could see the stage well. We were in the 12th row.

The next morning, we got at the center around 10 or 11. We went immediately to the line in the back. It was really hot outside, and I had trouble breathing because of the smog. xD

Around 12:30, they let us in. We got a seat in the middle of the row. We cracked our glowsticks. I had red for Koha, orange for Kamei, green for Gaki, purple for Mittsi, aqua for Linlin, and dark blue for Junjun. The dark blue one turned out more blue, but I used it anyway. Sarah used my purple and aqua glowsticks. xD

The concert started on time (surprisingly), and we all went nuts. The girls all ran out. They were wearing costumes from their most recent concert. Now, I can't remember their complete setlist in order, but here's what I remember:

3.2.1. Breakin' Out!
Shouganai Yume Oibito
Resonant Blue
Medley (from their Single Daizenshuu concert)- Happy Summer Wedding, The Peace!, Souda! We're Alive, etc
Sono Bibiccha... whatever the Resonant Blue B-side is called. xD
And 3.2.1. Breakin' Out again.

We sang along and did the wota-gei. Wota-gei is really fun. You're jumping and waving your glowsticks and yelling 'oi!' in time with the music.

At the end, before the encore performance of 3.2.1., Yoshizawa Hitomi came out.

Yossie looked really cute. Her hair is getting long. It was bleached blonde, and the tips were dyed pink. She wore a sort of light punkish outfit, probably for her Hangry signing later.

Soon it was Yossie and Morning Musume, and then Tsunku came out. We were all dying. xD
Yossie hosted the MC, and Tsunku announced the winners. There were three winners. The winner of the Morning Musume award (the one MM liked the best) was in the audience. The grand prize winner really was amazing.

After some MC banter, Tsunku and Yossie left and Morning Musume performed 3.2.1. one more time. By then we were tired of it. xD

At the end, we all stood around and yelled 'Encore!' in Japanese until the con staff said "Seriously guys, they're gone" and shoved us out.

The concert was great. There weren't many MCs or breaks to give the girls resting periods. Every now and then, they'd run to the back of the stage and grab water bottles. xD They really did a great job.

They sang live, too, and were very good. Aika can really hold her own when live. Like, really live. Not concert DVD. You have to be there.

It was incredible. I really enjoyed it. And my love for Tanaka has increased. xD She has moved up in my list.

We went and bought copies of Platinum 9 Disc. Each CD came with a photo card. Coincidentally, I got Linlin and Sarah got Junjun. xD Since we had the other's favorite, we switched.

We went out to dinner in Little Tokyo and came back just in time for Hello! Party.

Hello! Party was not what I was expecting. It wasn't so much a party as it was a bunch of games. xD We sat and were separated into teams by favorite member.

It started off with an awful "medley" of songs by the dubbing group Sekai no Melody. They said medley. It was actually 3 songs in their entirety. Then we started the games.

First was the song guessing game. Sarah played. She totally guessed wrong. xD

After that was a trivia game. I didn't take part, even though Junjun's team was up. I should have, though. That trivia was pretty easy for the most part.

Then, after a break and a short dance performance (much better) we started a game that wasn't on the program but I was really excited about: The karaoke game!

Unfortunately, Junjun had already gone, but I really wanted to play, so I switched teams. xD I got a lot of boo's, but another Junjun team girl had done the same. We just wanted to play~ And so I joined the Koha team!

The game was really fun. We sang, around 3 lines each, before switching. My mic wasn't working with me, maybe because I was singing into it at an angle. So that was embarrassing.

We played twice, the same medley. I was the second to last singer the second time. xD I passed the mic to the girl behind me, who was on Gaki's team. But after singing the last line, she handed the mic off to a team Koha guy, and even though technically the Koha team won, we lost instead. And the guy got silly-stringed. xD

There were two more games after that, a drawing telephone game that Sarah played and the burabura thing, where you blindfold people and drop a mysterious object down on their head on a string, and they have to guess what it is.

We left after that.

We got up early this morning because we had an autograph session we had to try to catch! We arrived a little before 8, and wandered around before finding the line. After sorting the ticket-holders from the non-ticket holders, they moved us to a waiting room, where we were given place holders.

Sarah and I were behind a guy who had tried to make it to the first session, right after the panel, but they apparently only let in 150 people, and he was around 200th in line. He was nice, so we talked to him. There was also a teenage guy and a guy who had just gotten back from studying abroad in Japan in the line behind ours, so we talked with them.

We waited about 2-3 hours before they moved us into a larger room next to the autograph room.

The session started at 11. We didn't get in until noon.

Walking in was the strangest feeling. All nine girls sat behind a table. They were in normal street clothes, not their Shouganai Yume Oibito costumes like the panel. There was a short line before you could get your autographs.

I brought my Alo-hello! 3 DVD for them to sign.

First up was Takahashi. She took my DVD and asked me where I wanted to have my autograph. I said that anywhere was fine, and so she signed next to her face on the cover.

Gaki was listening, so she greeted me with a smile and signed her name. She's gotten really skinny...

Kamei was next. Her last pen had apparently died, so she grabbed another one and checked to see if it worked. I was nervous, so I laughed quietly and she grinned at me. After signing next to her face as well, she handed me the DVD back before reaching out and grabbing my hand. I was so stunned I let her shake my hand vigorously without saying anything.

Well, by then I was completely shocked and starstruck.

Shige greeted me softly, and signed her name.

Tanaka did the same, but as she saw the Alo-Hello! DVD, she let out a loud "Oh!". Tanaka's signature features a little doodle, so she took the longest. Koha, who was finished with Sarah, watched Tanaka with a bored expression on her face. She probably was tired of waiting.

Koha had big hair. xD She signed my name with a smile.

Aika was really excited. She greeted me with a "Hi hi hi!" and signed her name energetically.

Junjun was next, so my heart was pounding. She smiled slightly at me, with the small smile she normally had, and signed my DVD case. Then she held out her hand, and I shook it. It was a long handshake, mainly because I was too blissed out to move (xD).

Linlin said hello very loudly and energetically, and signed my DVD, handing it back with a bow.

I kinda stumbled out and collapsed on Sarah, who was talking to the guy in front of us from before. We stood around and looked at our signed products, talked about the girls, and waited for the others. All five of us walked down the stairs together, then said bye and went our separate ways.

I kinda wish I weren't so braindead during the whole thing. xD Sarah said that she told Tanaka that she thought her signature was cute, and Tanaka thanked her. The guy who had returned from Japan said that they complimented his Japanese. The teenage guy said that he said that Tanaka's black hair looked good, and she thanked him, and Kamei said that he had a nice smile. The guy in front of us had had a chat in Chinese with the pandas. I had gawked at them. xD

Sarah and I stumbled around to lunch with dazed looks on our faces. It really was incredibly. They looked just like they did in photos and on TV. But they were real people. Kamei kept on checking her makeup, and Junjun had some pimples covered up with makeup. And their hands were warm~

My DVD is amazing, too. I'll post photos soon~


  1. Seriously... I had the opportunity to join Sekai no Melody on stage there if I had gone, and I'm glad I didn't. Most of the girls just... can't sing! Why are they in an online singing group?

  2. Well, there's a difference between singing at home alone in front of the computer and singing in front of people. I'm an online dubber, but I could never sing in front of my parents. Even so, I feel like they should have considered that before performing...

    But the dubbing community is very willing to please and will never tell you that you're a bad singer. They'll compliment what they can, but they'll never be negative.