Kind of have this live write-up on the back burner because I wrote about it on Twitter fairly extensively. Then I read this tweet.
Like, it’s pretty reasonable, considering my own costs are in the same ballpark. I spent less on housing (shared an airbnb with friend), I spent less on chuusen (like, 14000 or so), I spent less on goods (about 30000 total), less on UOs (one box, 2800 at Yodobashi Hakata), and probably more on uchiage since I went to two (like 8000?). But 9600 on UO is putting that in perspective if you don’t know why your children are starving.
Anyway, I spent like 4000 on a set of binoculars after day 1, which I will thus explain with the rest of this post.
IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE 6th TOUR: UNI-ON ON AIR Fairy Station Fukuoka: Why did I buy binoculars for Fukuoka day 2
Having been to my fair share of arena and dome lives (actually, not that many dome lives because I don’t particularly enjoy them, but anyway), there are some people who enjoy them through binocs, at least plainly around me at these events. It is a totally legit way to enjoy a concert if you don’t have a great seat, and a lot of the time at these big venues, you won’t. It’s just statistics.
The thing with cheering and calls and waving your arms around with glowing objects on the business end is fun and all, but it’s not always appropriate and sometimes it gets in the way. I just need to point to my MOIW 2014 experience as example enough–holding 13 lights one handed meant I at time dropped some. It’s fine I guess but don’t go overboard. Or at least get enough practice so it doesn’t happen anymore?
The seat I had both days for Fukuoka was pretty far. Day 1 I was in block B stands, which is the right corner, towards the back. It wasn’t a huge arena so I was still able to see the live okay without resorting to the screen completely, but I had to keep that in my peripheral vision most of the time.
Day 2 I was literally center back, row 18 stands, which puts me just to the right of the sound booth slash camera rig area. I was up high enough to see over it thankfully, but it was pretty far. My friend and I had the foresight to get some scopes though.
There were two major motivation for it, other than pure distance. First of all, one of the unit portion of the live, Grac&e Noctern, was entirely a musical. It spanned the length of 4 songs + MC, and we sat the whole time. It is also still oddish to wave penlights during a musical number, despite what Japan may want you to think.
When you’re sitting the whole time, setting up a pair of zooms on your face the whole time seemed like a great idea, especially since the camera is not going to shoot all 4 of them at the same time, giving you the freedom to look wherever needed. And it was. I think that’s almost a must for Grac&e Noctern, especially there are a bunch of lapses of time where the performers just kind of stand there waiting for the other guy’s monologue to end.
The other motivation is that the zoom gives you a much better look than the camera crop. I bought a pair of binoculars that were pretty cheap (kind of a last-minute buy after all) and offered 25x zoom at 7 degrees, which happens to cover 90% of the main stage. I can see the full body of the performers, or just about.
This is important during Mythmaker. And the rest of the EScape set, when the dancers and the cast members do their thing. Like, you can really say all your gyrations are belong to us. The lighting was kind of erratic during Mythmaker too, so I needed some optical aid to see it well. To put it differently, the great dance moves can only be fully appreciated if you saw it with your own eyes plus some optical help, since the cameras were not only single-focused on one performer at a time, it also crops half of the person out half the time.
The rest of EScape’s set also had a lot of cool visual symmetries that are better appreciated if you can take in the full stage. None was more prominent than the way they ended LOST by lying down on the stage, posing for the stage-top camera.
Actually, there is a third reason, which has to do with the set list, why binocs made sense on day two: because it’s almost the same as day 1 minus the solo performances in the last one-third of the live. We already watched most of it without binocs, so it is time to zoom in? I don’t think I would normally use those, and after all, why start now if I hadn’t before?
It is definitely not the first time we feasted on delicious thigh-accentuating live outfits from the Million Live seiyuu or Koroazu showing her upper arm vigorously, or whatever that tickles your fetish. Fishnets? Oh, same.
The shark-infested waters aside, I would think the alternate experience through a pair of scopes actually gave this live some more life and dimension to it. In other words, it’s kind of like you went to a bangering ballers awesome show, and you want the Blu-rays yesterday already. If the Blu-ray is just another set of optics in which you experience the live with, the binoculars are just the same, with different trade offs and limitations.
For one, it’s hard to do calls and wave. Unless you spend the big bucks for something with image stabilization, it’s just not very tenable. You can hold out lights while watching, but don’t expect to wave very much or speak/call out. Second, it is kind of annoying to use if you wear glasses. Third, it takes some level of awareness because you will literally be in a tunnel mode the whole time vision-wise. It only makes sense to me to use it when you are watching a repeat live kind of a deal, or is paying attention at what you aren’t also seeing, by disengaging the binocs frequently, which is kind of annoying/difficult. FWIW, I only really used it for some of the songs in large parts, and barely any during most of them, especially ones where taking in the full thing was more important than zooming in to just the singers.
All of this is just to bury a bigger point I want to make about Million 6th Tour Fukuoka: this is one of the best IM@S lives I’ve attended in a while. I think I was thoroughly enjoying it, sharks or not. The opening segment with D/Zeal was already a home run in more than one way. It was instrumental, it was vocal, it was bare, but it was full-armored anime idol at work, the dork Koroazu fronting her massive voice along with Aimi being as little as possible and Julia being as much as possible (which is not much still in the end). Com’on, guitar-san.
Why bury it? I think a lot of what makes Fukuoka good is my context with Million Live. It comes down from the fact that I was even there in the first place–foregoing Kobe, which is more of my bag, knowing the timing would be better in June/July and the music will be better at Fukuoka, no offense meant and entirely personal. And I was not let down.
We even got Kouki Ranbu–the ultimate entertainment, in a sense. Even then I think still the MVP is ART NEEDS HEART BEATS rearranged with Cream Soda fakeouts. The song even works so well with the group, maybe by coincidence or maybe Roco is just too strong out of the 4 of them. Go big or go home, Nakamura. It was delightful misdirection and art all in one. And it helped Jelly Pop Beans be as strong as the other three in terms of entertainment value on a more visceral level.
The actual Jelly Pop Beans’s Getsuyobi no Cream Soda presentation on day 1 was kind of messy because of the audio was not sync’ed between the tap dancing and the arena speakers, so there is a huge audio lag from the back. This was fixed on day 2. The tap dancers were also kind of a fakeout because they looked like men but were girls dressed like boys. Was Kobe like this too with the taiko drummers? But yes, there were tap dancing, and can-can dancing. And all that Americana. I like that fake doo-wop stuff.
Actually, the real reason why I want to bury that I’m very hyped about Fukuoka is because of the SSA announcement. Fukuoka is Fairy station, and since Fairy was a thing, all the bangers were assigned to them, and they have most of the new bangers! It is just musically hype. Not necessarily everything Fairy is musically good, but if I had 2 words to describe Fairy music, it would be “burning blue.”
So what would be really good would be a all-in-one stop in Kanto that has all the units plus the Theater Boost songs? Why, this was exactly what they announced on day 2 Fukuoka. And at a terrible date for me. Oh well.
For completion sake, here are the other notable things in bullet form. I guess let’s do our best to go to SSA in September.
- FLYERS!! revealed. With the anniversary event in the rear view mirror (and hires flac on my phone) this is cute and quaint.
- That guy with the UO during Flyers is cool but pls sit.
- Chinese and Korean versions! ENGLISH WHEN pls.
- Hyaku hachi juu kai gacha muryo! Catchy jingle with Mikku only completed with clapping on day 2 when they bomboarded us with the ad before the show. Oh yeah the cameos. Joshiryoku Yakisoba mmm.
- I mentioned in the tweets but Grac&e Nocturn doing curtain call in character is not bad.
- SNS with video is good, we’re getting up there. Does Yukiyo use tictoc?
- EScape outfits has lights, but they weren’t really lit on day 1, seems like there was some issue. They did went on for day 2 though, and looked more or less flawlessly.
- On that note, the usual kimoi Karaage.
- This was my day 1 uchiage…
- Day 2 D/Zeal segment Sing My Song Aimi screwed up. It’s a minor mistake but it kind of messed up the beginning, which lead to a restart and she asking us not to post on SNS.
- They played one of the Gessan songs during pre-show. Betting it’s showing up at SSA…
- What gets said during D/Zeal in-character skit/MC. That will be fun at SSA…
- Silent Joker is so fun to furicopy.
PS: Travelogue Fukuoka.
I flew in and out of FUK, which is in the middle of the city. Rented a car on Monday after the live to do Saga pilgrimages for Zombie Land Saga, then back to Tokyo Tuesday and eventually hit AX later in the week in LA.
Famous eats I went to at Fukuoka included the “blue bucket” ramen place “Genki Ippai” which serves up a solid Hakata-style broth, and also new with a curry kaedama which is wowzers. I ate also at Udon no Maki which is the Mocho-recommended chain, serving long lines of producers all weekend long. Also the motsu nabe place we went on Sunday night uchiage is pretty solid, out in Akasaka. Monday night we had motsu nabe again but this time had a course meal, including mentaiko stuffed inside a chicken wing, which is pretty remarkable and I liked it.
Originally, I flew to Fukuoka via NRT and out via NRT, bypassing Tokyo completely. Due to the stupidity of that I later changed my flight to fly out of NRT a day later in order to enjoy Million Live Theater Days anniversary things in Akiba. I was also able to do same-day change of my flight out of FUK, which was nice. Didn’t think Discovery Japan fare actually gave much of a discount. Domestic travel by air in Japan is just very nice in general, if you can put up with the older hardware they field for that. I mean it was still just an Airbus a320 and Boeing 777-200 (back to HND) that I flew on.
Renting a car and driving in Saga was also fun. As a first-time Japanese driver there was a bit of a learning curve, which is hard to deal with inside downtown Hakata. By the time I came back to return the car I was already used to it! Also, tolls are a pain in the rear.
Weather was kind of wet the whole time–like at max humidity and it would drizzle on and off, with periodic downpours. It was kind of amazing I went and left Fukuoka without getting my shoes wet, because I went in prepared for that possibility. At least it was not hot, and the sun wasn’t out much. Tokyo on the day I was there was much worse.
I thought Million Live do their shows in the Spring! It’s already Summer orz orz orz.