May. 8th, 2016 08:41 pm
mazauric: (KKWI)
[personal profile] mazauric
Hey Guys!

So, since I seem to have made a tradition of reporting on here when I go to Japan, it's only fitting I do it again since I'm fresh back from what has to be the shortest trip I've taken yet to Japan.

KAT-TUN 10ks Concerts
Tokyo Dome

Friday April 29th
Saturday April 30th
Sunday May 1st

At first, I wasn't even sure I'd be going to these. First there was Junno with his most unwelcome news and that was the first inkling I had that a trip may be necessary. Then KAT-TUN announced it's final concerts and it turned from possibility to probability to necessity and suddenly, after a LOT of financial finangling, accepting help from my parents and basically owing people back, it was decided I'd be going there for one week. The flights were booked quickly, I had help with getting tickets. At first I was only going to go to one concert but that was quickly changed to going to all three in Tokyo Dome. All I can say about the planning for sure is that money helps, a budget helps. Be sure you know what you can do, what you can't do and when push comes to shove, do what feels right. Everything was done really fast and it's actually the first time I've ever had to arrange a trip to Japan. The last two times I've been there was on the government, they paid for me to go there. This is the first time I've had to do it myself (also the first time I haven't had to go through Hong Kong to get there)

Because of all the ups and downs, planning and booking, the flight I found left New Zealand at 5 in the morning. So I got to the airport at three in the morning, tired and basically having had no sleep at all. I don't remember the trip much except that it was long and I slept a lot. It takes about 2 hours from Christchurch to Auckland and an extra 12 or 14 hours from Auckland to Tokyo.
As you can imagine, after a trip like that being stuffed into cattle class, by the time you get to Narita, all you want is a shower...and probably a bed.
But all things considered, compared to previous flights, this one really wasn't so bad.

Is there anyone who actually likes flying for that long?

Hit Narita and wander around looking for things. A SIM card for my phone, a NEX ticket to get to Ikebukuro...I was still tired and couldn't really believe I was actually back in Japan. This makes three years in a row I've been to Japan at least once since I started studying Japanese.

I was lucky enough to have a group to hang out with the entire time I was in Japan so I met up with [livejournal.com profile] jo_lasalle [livejournal.com profile] solo [livejournal.com profile] b_akakame and [livejournal.com profile] frameofmind6 in Ikebukuro and from that point onwards, the trip - whilst extremely fun - went extremely fast. I will say this, we did spend the night in Jo's hotel room watching KAT-TUN's appearance on Sakurai's show. All of us in hysterics over Kame's antics with the paint and them trying to make Ueda cute again. Dear god don't do that to his hair again... XD

Friday 29th April - First Concert

Don't ask me about seating, since this is my first time actually sitting in the Tokyo Dome, I don't have a wealth of experience of what constitutes as a good seat or a bad seat but I can say I was safely in the first floor stands. So that, so far to me, is not a bad view at all. Thanks to Jin's concerts last year, the experience of waving around a penlight is not foreign but the uchiwa totally was. I get it, with one hand you're waving a penlight and with the other hand, you're holding an uchiwa but I found it so much easier to just hold the penlight and leave the uchiwa alone.
Though I can say that Kame's uchiwa is most definitely a pretty one.

The goods line is also new for me (Jin's concerts, apparently don't count because they weren't dome) but according to [livejournal.com profile] bellemainec and [livejournal.com profile] frameofmind6, who were waiting in the line with me and taught me how to do this, the goods line on that day wasn't NEARLY as bad as it could have been. For those of you who have never stood in a line, here's how the one in the 10ks concerts worked and I imagine (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that when it comes to dome concerts for other groups, the proceedure of goods isn't that much different.

With Jin's goods, it was a line of goods, people came in, lined up and just bought what they wanted. This one was a little different. First you line up and since it's dome, the line is going to be long. You move with the crowd until finally you're allowed to the goods table. There were three sections in all. Each section sold a different bunch of things. For instance in section one, you could buy the alarm clock but you can't buy the penlight. In the second section, you can buy the pamphlet but not the stickers. Each section had about six lines to join and because I'm an idiot and was still learning, I ended up lining up in section two THREE times because I kept forgetting what they could and couldn't sell.
Lined up once for the mug, twice for the stickers and a third time for the folder.

Learn from me. Make a list and keep a pen on you. Especially if you're buying for others.

We met up in Ikebukuro (by this point our group was joined by a tired but raizin-wired [livejournal.com profile] powwie and [livejournal.com profile] crism79!) and took the train to Korakuen, the stop right outside the dome. We soon broke up to find our seats and that's when the real thing began.
From my seat, the view wasn't too bad. Especially when they got on the large moving things and got closer to the stands. The first concert went by in a very exciting flash because I remember screaming a lot, singing and being a little worried.

This wasn't the start of their tour but it was the beginning of the Tokyo concerts. This is just my opinion on what was going on and my view, but Kame and Maru in particular seemed to be struggling just a little to me for that night. To the point where I kind of had to stop bouncing for a moment, watch them closely and switch from my own view of them to the nearest screen. It didn't last long though, our boys are professionals and they still brought the entire concert home. Funny thing about concerts is that they make you like songs you didn't previously like.
For instance I wasn't the biggest fan of Precious One. Now it holds some significant weight.

Golden moments include Moon - in which Kame decided to go down on his mic His face was in the material until he was leaning over it and all of us were screaming our heads off. I'm so glad he kept that!
Also the alarm clock recording. That night, Ueda's message stuck out most to me.

Ueda: "Oy, wake up. It's morning....look at that face...sleeping face...looks kind of tasty actually...itadakimasu!!!"

Nakamaru's ran somewhere along the lines of telling you to go back to sleep and whilst I did like Kame's, in light of his message on the final concert, I can no longer remember his first message.

Possibly the rarest and most golden moment of that night was the moment Kame fucked up. He was supposed to turn around, sing 'Love Yourself' with Yamanade glasses and his own uchiwa but something happened, he forgot to take it out and he stopped the song saying "Wait! Wait! Wait! I made a mistake! Wait! Wait!"
He turns around and we're all laughing as he fumbles around under his vampire cape, desperately trying to find his uchiwa and glasses...and blood under his vampire teeth because he'd bitten Nakamaru. It was both epic and completely adorable.

The end of the concert marked the first of a long series of different speeches we were undoubtedly going to hear from the boys. About their past, their future and what was going to happen. The first night was fairly standard in the way of goodbye speeches but there were still tears from the audience. This is hard after all, this is the last three nights we're going to see them as KAT-TUN for god knows how long. The knowledge that I was going to come back the next night and the night after that kept me rather placid in that moment.That and I was still in "Holy shit they're right in front of me OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG" mode.

After the concert, we headed to Saizeria for food and back to the hotel for drinks. (Jo's room became the bar ^_^ More on that later)

Saturday 30th April - Second Concert

Wake up early and head out with [livejournal.com profile] powwie to the Johnnys Shop...which took awhile. When I went with her in Osaka, it was a simple in and out procedure but because we went on Saturday, and it's nearly golden week...and basically it's in Harajuku, there are different rules.
If you want to go to the Johnny's Shop in Harajuku, it's a straight procedure.

1. Find the guard down the road from the actual shop. He's giving out time tickets. Your ticket has the time you're allowed into the shop. We scored one for 11:30 in the morning and since we got there at 10:30, we had one hour to waste.
2. In your allocated time slot, line up near the guard along with the other people who have your time slot. You'll eventually be led into the shop where you line up again to get in.
3. Once inside, you'll find a piece of paper and a pen. You write the name of the group you want on the top and go to find them. The walls have sections of groups, their pictures are posted on the wall along with numbers. You find your group and fill the form out. It already has numbers written on it, you just have to write how many you want. For instance if you want picture number 30, which is of Kame doing a Yamaneko pose or something, you write '1' next to the number 30 on the form. You can't fill the same form for two different groups. If you're going in there for KAT-TUN and NEWS photos, you're going to need two pieces of paper. The inside is also crowded, lots of people gathering around a wall to find their groups and pictures so be prepared to worm your way through a crowd inside as well. It's very narrow.
4. When you've finally filled out your form, you line up for the register. It took me and [livejournal.com profile] powwie about 40 minutes to get through to the register...or maybe a little longer than that...
5. Finally get to the counter, pay and leave asap.

The entire ordeal, from when we got to Harajuku to when we got out of the shop took about 2 to 3 hours.
Now the concert of that night. Actually, of all three concerts, this is the one I remember least. I was sitting alone for this one but my seat was actually pretty good. Lots of leg room and the seats were leather and comfortable...not that you sit a hell of a lot during a concert but it made a slight difference.
What I do remember is Kame going down on his mic again and us screaming (again), Kazuya saying "USO USO KAWAUSO" which ended with the dome exploding because, come on, he'd said Taguchi's gag, and the kid in front of me was way too young to be there because he spent the entire three hours with his fingers in his ears whilst his mother was waving around her penlight. She eventually just picked him up and sang the ballads to him when KAT-TUN sang them. Also tears, more tears but still none from me because this really wasn't the end yet.

I did feel however that, in comparison to the first night where I got the feeling they were struggling a little, this night went a lot smoother. I didn't get any vibes like that. But yes, the tears. Perhaps the most memorable part was that this night was the first night (of the Tokyo concerts, I'm not sure if he did this in Nagoya or Osaka) that Kame said every members name (yes, he said Jin's).
KAT-TUN is, Kamenashi Kazuya, Akanishi Jin, Taguchi Junnosuke, Tanaka Koki, Ueda Tatsuya and Nakamaru Yuichi. Tatsuya also implied that a lot of members and fans had jumped off the ship known as KAT-TUN but that we the fans should support not only the current members but also the former ones. This was an implication and god knows if I got it messed up in translation. Remember I'm only a third year student, my Japanese is so not there yet.

Afterwards came the three (turned five) hour karaoke session in which I got somewhat drunk and ended up stumbling back to the hotel with my friends. I tell you my bed just would not stay still that night. I'm not used to being drunk or even mildly tipsy but that was a lot of fun...even if I did need a shitload of water the next day.

Sunday May 1st - Final Concert

The strangest thing about this day was that it hadn't really hit me yet that it was the last day before the recharge would actually begin. Like honestly, even when I was sitting in the Dome waiting for the concert to begin it still didn't feel like it. The closest thing is this strange feeling of numbness. You know damn well it's the last and you don't know what that's supposed to feel like so it's just...numb. Excitement definitely but still numb.

For the morning, I hung around [livejournal.com profile] powwie and [livejournal.com profile] crism79 the agenda included shopping. Particularly in Nakano Broadway, the mandarake there had some interesting things. We also encountered interesting things on our way such as Kame being his normal gorgeous self with his pretty green eyes and hair.
I'm late on the scene when it comes to finding old anan magazines but that does not mean I never had an intention to catch up. Last year I caught Jin's anan and this year, powwie helped me find Yamapi's. The stark difference between the two of them (and the hilarity of it) is something I'll write in later but honestly, I had a good laugh about it.

We had lunch, I was thankfully able to sort out laundry thanks to those two! (not the easiest thing to deal with when you're in a hotel!) and before I knew it, we were off for the final concert.

What can I say about the final one? Except for the fact that it was charged with more energy than both the previous two combined. It's hard to describe but the audience seems to work with the performers. When they're up, the audience is up and when they're down and running out of energy, so too does the audience. At least that's my take on it, take it with a grain of salt as I'm still the n00b here guys. On my way in I saw a lot of JIN UCHIWAs as well!

By now their setlist - whilst not completely predictable - was starting to become a little familiar. Still very exciting though, Kame with his mic. As this was filming day I had been hoping he'd do it again and thank god he did. By now I think Ueda and Nakamaru have figured out that no matter what they do with their kimono-dressed mic's, it's not going to get attention like Kame. I kept seeing Ueda eyeing Kame, as if trying to see if he'd do it again and when he did, Ueda just picked his mic up, put it on his shoulder and left it at that. The cameras were on Kame all the way down to the floor.

D-Motion is very fun to dance along to, the bouncy music really is. Especially that night because it was charged with a shitload of energy. So much so I'm starting to think all three members just chugged cans and cans of Raizin before rushing onto the stage. Another thing to note, which I probably should have noted in earlier concerts is Nakamaru. He gets a lot of screams when he's doing the deep voice during GOLD and RESCUE. He's also taken to stealing some of Kame's signature moves. For instance, he pulled a couple of cutesy faces, when Kame pretended he was going to lean in and kiss him, Nakamaru leaned in too which of course caused Kame to jump back in alarm and this really betrayed look on his face. Like "That's my thing you thief!"
It got screams.
Also the ending, when Kame blows a kiss to the audience and wanders offstage. Right after him is Nakamaru who blows a kiss and gets screams even louder than the ones Kame got. Nakamaru you cutie...

The alarm clock messages this time, I remember all three.

Nakamaru tries to wake you up initially but then comments on your sleeping face, how you're obviously working hard and you should go back to sleep.
Ueda starts off light, saying "Oy, it's morning, wake up" which ends in him screaming at you to wake up (if there was ever an alarm that probably would do it's job and wake me up, Ueda's one is it)
Finally, there was Kame. Kame who couldn't record the alarm clock whilst everyone was watching him and so he ended up crouched with his tengu cape draped over his head.

Like this (credit not mine)

He tells you to wake up and when you don't (because honestly, who wakes up to a voice that soft and quiet?) he kisses you. The sounds of which made the entire dome explode in screams but clearly FAR too embarrassing for Kame to do it straight like the others had. I don't blame him! They've been saying since day one of the Tokyo cons that this part is the embarrassing bit!

During the MC as well was a small part where someone, I can't remember which one of them, screams "Don't fight!" which led to an impromptu dance we haven't seen since the dance/fight sequence between Ueda and Kame in Okyakusama. It was a nice flashback and it got screams from the fans.

The concert was powered with energy but at the end, when all was said and done, we still had to say goodbye and they had to say goodbye to us. Ueda started it off. Like the nights before, he mentioned that KAT-TUN began as six but since then, fans and members had left. The last ten years had been an experience of both ups and downs and he wished to make the fans laugh instead as KAT-TUN would definitely come back in his opinion. His speech ended with him looking like he was on the brink of tears. It kind of reminded me of when he cried onstage during the okyakusama cons. Another flashback.

Nakamaru unfortunately was bound to cry as he was already sort of out of sorts before his turn even began. Language problems stopped me from understanding him completely but what I did understand was that he had some worries about this recharge period. He was sort of all over the place and he mispronounced KAT-TUN as KATSUN.

Kame began with "Hi, I'm KATSUN's Kamenashi Kazuya" and his message was...well if you were expecting him to break the rules and say things we know would be controversial, you're in for a disappointment. He talked about how the group has lost members over time and how the last ten years have been charged with so much change and how much KAT-TUN has gone through to get to this point. This time his words exactly were "KAT-TUN is, K, Kamenashi Kazuya *long pause* A, Akanishi Jin, T, Taguchi Junnosuke, T, Tanaka Koki, U, Ueda Tatsuya and N, Nakamaru Yuichi"
He said that without the members, both present and former, KAT-TUN wouldn't be where it is now and wouldn't have ever existed. His speech was the longest and honestly, his was the one where people started bawling. There was a girl sitting in the row in front of me and she was just howling. Shoulders shaking, face in her towel, crying. People cried MORE when Kame said Jin's name!

Kame's speech was longest, had more pauses and when he was finally finished, Nakamaru was in tears. Ueda hugged him first and Kame, noticing his two bandmates were hugging, joined them and started leading them to their exit point which was up the stairs. He didn't cry at all, he took Nakamaru's wrist and led him to the second point wherein, Ueda stopped walking. Kame dragged Nakamaru back down to him and they hugged again, then all three headed up to the exit point. I said I'd managed to avoid crying the previous two nights and I hadn't cried then. But I cried after Kame's speech that night. If ever there was a feeling that this is the end of something, that was about when I felt it too.

Of course...we as fans were NOT going to let them get away that easily. We called them in for an encore. Precious One begins with Ueda on the piano, Nakamaru providing beatbox and Kame singing at the beginning. But this time, Ueda didn't start the song right away and instead said he needed a moment. He drank some water from Kame's bottle and gave the same bottle to Nakamaru (which got some reaction from the fans - indirect kiss and all - but I don't think they did it for that, they looked kind of tired)
They came out for two encores which I've been told is normal in KAT-TUN concerts. The final night we got them out for the illusive third encore, which apparently is not done normally. They came out to sing Real Face because we wouldn't go home. We kept standing there clapping our hands and screaming their name.

They eventually had to huddle on the stage to decide what to do because they needed another song to get them through this third encore. Whether they predicted they'd have to already or they honestly hadn't been expecting it is up to you. I'm willing to bet they had a feeling they'd get one and had loosely been prepared for it but they weren't betting on it.

Kame: Are you satisfied yet?
Fans: NO!

A second round of PEACEFULDAYS got Ueda and Nakamaru out in the arena area, running around and touching the hands of the fans. Pity the cameraman who had to run after Ueda!!!

We were satisfied after the final encore and when we got outside, I caved and bought the one thing I said I wouldn't buy. The damn alarm clock.

We spent the night drinking, cooling down after the concert and basically being the hyphens we are. There was also one point of the night in which the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand came to light. I won't go into details (mainly because I don't  clearly remember them as I was downing pear-tasting sours like water) but there was some time-old fond insults like "sheep shagger" going around.
Kiwi's take all of this lightly, especially when it's coming from Australians. We're rivals and friends, it's a strange relationship we share.

The next day was the official start of the recharge period but I still didn't feel like it had begun...maybe because I was still in Japan. You feel it a lot more when you're not actually in Japan!

After Jo, Anni, Solo and Jess left, the rest of us hung out around Shibuya, Harajuku. Serious shopping for papa pics was needed and we went out for dinner too. At the end of the night, whilst getting somewhat drunk in [livejournal.com profile] crism79 and [livejournal.com profile] powwie's apartment, I took a look at the anan in which Yamapi was featured and found something interesting. Has anyone actually taken a look at this magazine in their hands? Jin's shots looked natural but Yamapi's looked posed and awkward. BUT the page after Yamapi's photoshoot comes a very interesting section about masturbation! It's hilarious, it's like the magazine is saying 'Alright, here's Yamapi's nude shots, now we're going to teach you how to wank over it TROLLOLOLOL'

The next day it was just me and Belle left, we spent the day sorting out stuff, saizeria and a three hour karaoke session before she went back home.

Finally it was just me left in Ikebukuro. I was the last one out (and because of leftover alcohol from Jo's bar, my room ultimately became the bar! Everything that was left to Belle was eventually left to me, we finished the whiskey and I left a note for the hotel staff saying everything under the desk was for the rubbish) and when I was sitting on the plane, flying out of Narita, that's when it hit that this was over and it had gone REALLY FAST.

I listened to KAT-TUN all the way home and used my black 10ks towel as a blanket (sure the plane gave me a blanket too but the towel was comforting).

This is my final year, all I have to do is pass it, graduate and I'll be back in Japan next year. This time for much, much longer.
Until then, like every hyphen in the world, I'll be waiting.
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