So, You Want to Go See Masters Of Idol World 2023?

Back around 2013/2014 we knew IDOLM@STER series will do a splashy show for the 10th anniversary year. We sort of got together to get something organized, and for the most part it went as well as things could have gone. With MOIW 2023 now in the horizon, maybe it’s time to review a few things.

For starters, the ticketing situation in Japan has gotten much harder than just “walk in and apply.” There are a bunch of factors to understand. For one, after COVID, many anisong shows have a big drop in attendance. Most concerts in Japan are still on their way to recovery in terms of attendance in 2022, but to put it into perspective, the summer big show, Anisama 2022, only really had packed seats on Saturday. Day tickets could have been had at the door on all three days, and those days don’t even have 100% seating utilization. The stands were at 50% on Sunday and both stands and arena were 50% on Friday.

Anyways, this is the biggest factor because fundamentally, some things have changed. Thankfully, it’s not that much.

Because of COVID, ticketing has largely moved to digital. There are still physical tickets for many shows, but some companies have completely moved to digital. For our purposes Bandai Namco has, anyways. Specifically, between eplus and OnlineTicket/Smart Ticket, it means ticket holders needs to map to account holders, for the most part.

No thanks to scalping laws pre-COVID, many ticket sites require verified JP phone numbers to even open an account now. This is probably the biggest barrier for oversea Producers trying to get tickets. The upside about this restriction is that you can get a sim card or perhaps even a rental phone, even as a tourist, in Japan, that can be used for this purpose. The downside is that there are few ways to obtain a permanent number that works oversea for this purposes, and no real way at all for most people outside of the country (or at least non-Japan residents).

The second barrier to going to see MOIW is the actual obtaining the ticket part. Besides having tickets within your ownership, you will need the same account if you want to apply to buy tickets, which means having a JP phone number at some point and having to register it with the account. In other words, to apply for the lottery, you need to rely on people who are already in Japan, or people who have already figured this out from overseas (due to being grandfathered in or something). Thankfully, the MOIW 2023 Asobi Store round ticket lottery allows each account to apply up to 4 tickets, both days (or up to 4 per day and there are also “through” tickets that include both days). Well, all the aforementioned barriers plus the smaller problem of that currently, there are no easy way to pay for it using oversea credit cards.

Enterprising Ps should be able to find someone who has an eplus account and have that person apply and get tickets for your fam for now, during the lottery rounds. Then worry about sending out the extra tickets to each person once you land in Japan.

These ticketing barriers are not exactly new, as some of these things were already pretty hard in 2018-2019 trying to get tickets via eplus. Either you had to figure out a payment system (like what used to work such as Mixi M), or had help from someone local. What is definitely harder is trying to get a phone number, as Japan really locked down the prepaid sim process and requiring residency proof.

So first thing everyone should do is flag themselves as interested for those who want and can go next Feb. Then people can organize lottery pools to at least get the right number of tickets.

If that falls through for you, the next step is to plan the next (and future) rounds of lottery. There will likely be direct ticket sales for this, as there were for MOIW 2015. And if things are as “bad” as they are, odds are good there will be even at-door ticket sales. It should not be too hard to get tickets to this show, much like how it wasn’t hard to get tickets for MOIW 2015.

I realize a Japan trip is hard to plan on these vague chances, but that’s the reality today. I hope at least the fan groups can get together and communicate and at least lower that uncertainty a bit. It could be a good thing or it could be just getting the bad news sooner so you have a chance to do something about it.

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