The idol adventures continue on, whether my body is read or not. (For the record: mostly not.)
It’s Hard to Be Disappointed with Oppai.
Day 2 began with a very difficult decision to make. After the amazing show the day before, I was really wanting to go back to Shimokitazawa for Oyasumi Hologram’s fan merchandise event, but today was one of only two or three potential chances to see Alice Project’s big Kamen Joshi weekend show. After some thinking and chatting with Garry I decided I should take the chance to see Kamen Joshi again. I was also extremely tired, so walking 500 feet sounded a lot better than a train trek.
I got my stuff assembled and walked to PARMS. Well, most of it. I didn’t forget anything vital like my king blade or wallet, but I totally forgot my Kamen Joshi towel that I specifically packed to use again at their shows. It literally takes a minute to get there if I hit the crosswalk at the right time. The ticket desk for the shows is in a slightly different place, now inline with the other counters, but you still get the same ticket, food card, and voting chip. I arrived just a bit before the show but PARMS was empty, performers and audience alike. As time went on, I learned the format has changed. The handshakes are no longer before the shows. I noticed a ticket machine similar to what you might see in a ramen shop that had buttons for cheki, CD, and all that. Pretty clever idea, honestly.
The performance began with the kenkyuusei groups just like before. I had fun watching them, but literally nothing has changed about these groups other than the members. The songs, format, and choreography haven’t changed at all. Mostly I just stayed in the back and enjoyed the show quietly while they were on. These groups were never my focus so I didn’t know the calls very well. However, I got into the wota game a little when I saw Yukino Shihori, a member of OZ. I know her from Twitter because, well, she posts a lot of bikini pics. Like nearly every day. She wears them well. Very well. Just sayin’. I figure I might as well get a little wota time in, so I turn my king blade to white and move to the area her other fans in. It wasn’t hard since there were 50 people at this show at most. I ended up cheering for her through the OZ and Topping Girls units, following the other fans’ lead as best I could. It was fun and really nostalgic to be doing this at PARMS again. She eventually noticed me and was pretty shocked to see the gaijin cheering for her. I got some smiles and attention out of it which was nice.
As time went on, the Kamen Joshi sub-units came out and it was then I realized something pretty unfortunate: Kamen Joshi was 95% not there. The only “big” names there were Kubota Misa, Kawamura Nanaka, Sakura Yuki, and Kusunoki Mayu. I later learned from someone on Twitter that most of them were at a horse track or some other ridiculous PR thing that seems to occupy a lot of their time. Whatever pays the bills, I guess. But yeah, Cherry Blosson, Prism, and all that only had one or two stars in them. The rest was filled by the under members. This was a bummer but I didn’t regret going. It was still idol content to take in, and I got to see a few familiar faces as well as Shihori for the first time.
The show continued on and was still more of the same as I saw in 2014. Same music, same choreography, maybe some slightly updated material but it was all extremely familiar. As for the familiar faces, it was nice to see them again. Time has been great to Kubota Misa. She was pretty before but even more so now. Kawamura Nanaka looks fantastic these days. In 2014 I was pretty indifferent but she’s a head turner now. The thing that stood out about Sakura Yuki was how tired she looked, almost to the point of being unhealthy. I felt this way the whole trip honestly. Still pretty, but a bit deprived looking. Mayu looked about the same as before, maybe a little more grown up. Three years will do that, I guess. But yeah, the show overall was nice. Sadly, seeing Kamen Joshi isn’t as easy as it was before. I’d learn later on during my trip, thanks to generous help from people on Twitter, that it’s not just “show up and have fun” anymore, but you have to closely monitor several sites and announcements to try and catch someone.