Japan Trip 2014 Clippings

Model M

The TL;DR version of my 13700+-word post. And more! But you know, TL;DR version of something that big is still by no means short. I don’t do short?

Happy birthday Yayoi! And INSTANTLY this picture summons the FEELS from IM@S SSA. Just like that. This picture is over 9000 words. So you see how it goes.

Oh, there are also a bunch of non-IM@S things. Notes.

Before we even begin, super TL;DR editions: day one, day two (yeah, really) of IM@S SSA if you just want the details. Day one most notably for a shot of the call book.

If the internet is replacing the newspaper, then the blog replaces a collage journal (and that is mass-published?), so this post is a lot less glue-smelly and probably a lot easier to put together than going at magazines and newspapers with scissors. And not seeing coverage of the IM@S SSA lives in the latest Newtype would not be as discouraging. Man, buying a magazine to check out concert coverage in 2014? That’s so retro.

So there will be like a billion links to tweets and sites. And naturally a lot of IM@S. This post also serves as an annotation to my long write-up.

First though, there’s already a pretty succinct summary over at Ani-note. Calling me senpai would be incorrect, Author-san is senpai because, after all, he was all knee-deep into it way before me. Maybe calling him Author-sensei would be slightly more appropriate given the style of things he operate. To answer his questions:

  • I signed up for Gree while I was in Japan, so no geospoofing needed and I got a local friend to do the confirmation. Really quite easy in that regard as long as you have a mobile device that can handle the game. If you were in Japan with a smartphone but no SMS/mail number, you probably could have used a Google Voice-type service to do the authentication. You could even just spend a few bucks for a phone rental if all you need is a number. As an aside, authenticating with a Japanese phone number sometimes borks the gasha purchase process, so be aware. It works for me sometimes, sometimes it gives an error. Might have to do with user agent. If you want to friend me in Million Live, click here. To play, here’s a guide to get started.
  • Kotori’s songs… Sure, Hikari and Sora get a lot of prop, ID[OL] too (I listen to this one often). But her c/w track on M@STERPIECE single is top tier, and you hear that at the live which is just makes me see the universe. I only brought this up because it’s not in the wiki entry Author linked, probably because this is not an image song of sorts? But whatever, this song pwns.

Next time I do a layover in Japan… DMM? Mobage? iTunes?

Okay, so revisiting the original plan, I ended up watching the movie 5 times–twice for the stage greeting, twice the next two days for the tokuten and because, feels. Then once more on Saturday, 2/22 because they announced the special screening while I was over there. Everything else basically lined up as planned, other than unable to pull myself to go to the two chika idol lives that Paranda went to (a megane event no less). I substituted it with Dear Stage so I guess I am okay? I tried for the WUG handshake events but they were long sold out for my dates, and I had no chance in hell for the stage greeting for Mouretsu Pirates.

I deferred Yukarin’s write-up to Paranda’s mucho-superior version. All the fun stuff happened at A-Button, though, is something I can go into. So the bar owner, Shin-san, is a big Yukarin fan and the Oukokumin community know him. I went with Paranda to A-button to drink with some usual suspects after Yukarin SSA day one. Funnily the bar also opened late that day (hurrr I wonder). We were also starving so we got curry. Shin wasn’t actually there at the time we got there and we suspect he went to the live? Anyway sooner or later Shin ended up busting out all these Oukokumin paraphernalia like his pompoms, 10 years worth of call books in a hugeass binder, and things. Talking to Paranda they quickly hooked up into the network and the day after found who to get callbooks from. He even gave Paranda his old pompom, which I believe rounds out his Oukokumin gear set. I keep on making the comment, but it feels like a true east-meets-west sort of thing, each finding the other curious.

 I wrote up KOTOKO here. Can’t wait for her Raleigh stage, as said twice before.

I wrote up the two IM@S movie theater greetings I attended here.

DearStage might deserve a post all on its own, but not because it’s “worth talking about” but rather it is kind of a tangent subject here to the travelogue. I enjoyed my time there but I really need to speak Japanese to get the most out of it. I went with people who could, and I guess this is why I will probably never enjoy going to hostess clubs, language difficulty aside. That, and actually do wotagei. Doing calls is such a different deal in comparison.

I went to Enoshima and Kamakura. So that’s Tari Tari and Tsuritama down. Ate at Wakana’s House. LOL. No, I didn’t go into the cave. Yes, I went up to the garden/tower. The two “misses” for my trip out there were 1) due to snow, Bills ran out of eggs and 2) I should’ve mailed my post cards from Enoshima’s post office.

Animete.tv wrote up the Non Non Biyori radio recording session. At the end of the session we also had this free-style segment where some words are no longer kinshi. Words like Lovelive or IM@S. Jokes flew, what have you. Other memorable moments include DJ Rieshon in da hizzouse and Ayaneru wore like 6 pairs of glasses. The ball rally competition was fun. The seats we got was 3 in a row, on the back half of the auditorium, except I somehow ended up on the left section and the other guys on the center section, so I was with team Koiwai while Momotato and 7thwrath were with Ayaneru/Rieshon. Paranda was with team Asumin. That Kotori Koiwai girl sure is cute. I am not too familiar with Rieshon’s brand of crazy but it’s kind of interesting in that you know both Asumin and Ayaneru had to “dial it back” in this to work with Rieshon. Koiwai was quiet pretty much the whole time. So yeah. This girl. Oh, the recording session had all four girls wielding cameras and camcorders, so I guess when the episode airs, we’ll also see some crowd footage?

On Friday 2/21 we went to SSA to check out the merch and also the venue. Photos here. The concert site has a list of goods

Above Youtube embed is Lantis’s list of LTP songs used in the SSA Live.

Here are the two new game trailers from the SSA event.

After the live, lots of the performers tweeted and blogged about the shows themselves, on top of the usual press coverage. My list here is in no way comprehensive and if you have anything to add, please do so. Also, if you poke around on the performer blogs you can also see multiple posts about the event sometimes. Say what you will about the CG/ML girls, their presence in the lineup automatically increases the event coverage via social media by a ton.

For sake of visual sanity I’m grouping it by type of coverage.

Data and lists:

Personalities and press write-ups

Other P’s coverage & Pre-show fan gatherings

A little context. Saitama Super Arena is connected by a large outdoor elevated platform between the main JR station entrance and the venue entrances. The platform is pretty solid for lounging once you get to the giant plaza area between the attached shopping mall and the venue. Lots of fans gathered there to hang out, smoke, raid vending machines, or go to the shops nearby. Once goods opened and the horde of folks pick up their stuff, everyone emptied out there to hang out. And then there are a lot of guys who are there just…turfing, not even really buying stuff. It was chilly both days, but that didn’t stop these guys. Well…


[More here]

Some of my own photos!





Girls on bikes



Beyond the Haruka-san

Ku - the sound they made when the cops came to kick them off the platform

Not bad

Lost and beautiful

Twitter image spams 

Sorry, but I feel compelled by CHIAKINGU:

And these two from the full write-up…

Moca news pics of the same performance: one, two.

And that’s it, I think.

Next, TO DO:

  • Mouretsu Pirates movie write-up
  • IM@S movie write-up
  • Farm tumblr for seiyuu pics
  • Farm pixiv for fan art (lol probably not)

I went into details for a few things, but the long SSA 2014 write-up didn’t give me opportunity to really talk about IM@S as an entertainment trope sort of thing, the seiyuu as idols, and all that. In some ways I still have to collect my thoughts more before I can really do it. But that will happen sooner or later.

PS. 2 more pictures. 1: Loot shot from JP trip; 2: change history of IM@S SSA writeup post.

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