The long blog post title is important.
I was on the flight back from a weekender attending the 3rd WUG bus tour, or the finale of the TUNAGO tour–which is a Wake Up Girls fanclub event that focuses on the seven girls as solo performers. In years past they have always done the WUG solo events as a two-day act, where each of the seven WUGchans would do their solo shows for about 1 to 2 hours, back to back across 2 days. This year they made it fanclub only, and linked the events in weekends during March. Each of the events would run twice a day, a solo act for one WUGchan, and the venue would be at a small live house somewhere in Tohoku.
This is hard for dedicated WUGners because that means they have to traverse Northern Japan for the month of March. It’s kind of expensive especially for fans outside of Tohoku, which is most of us. Local Japanese fans complained, overseas WUGners grinned and beared with it. Having the events being FC-only meant the tickets were more or less available (unless you’re looking for Myu’s show, somehow hers were the most popular (probably because hers was in Sendai and it was the easiest one to get to. Also her new solo song was the best)), despite the smallish venues. To cap it all off is the Bus Tour, which costs 50000 or so yen, plus the optional Nijikai event (another ~6000). It’s an expensive proposition no matter who you are, I guess.
To cut to the chase, now that everything is done and over with, I have a bit of mixed feelings about this year’s WUG bus tour. For starters, it’s very different than the prior tours in terms of activity. This time, the tour was nearly 500 strong, whereas prior tours had maybe half as many. The smaller counts allowed more personal-ish sessions at the earlier bus tours, such as watashikai and autograph events, and seeing the WUGchans more frequently. This time, we only saw them via the special niconama (which was streamed to the hotel rooms) as guest audience, at a greetings event at the hotel, and at the nijikai as surprise guests. And of course, the 5th anniversary live, which was the big event of the WUG bus tour part 3.
The somewhat-mixed, mostly-happy feeling I got from all this is kind of just a personal observation, but one universal part is how those of us in the WUG Love FC know how the prior bus tours went. This one being so different is going to lead to some disappointments. The tour in general is pretty lacking in terms of what’s really good for normal tourism, although the onsen ryokan we stayed at (Akiu Grand) served both as a WUG anime pilgrimage spot (same hotel in the anime) as well as a solid onsen ryokan. The food was a little on the weak side, though.
Well, enough waxing poetry on meta, here’s a blow-by-blow recall.