My latest adventure in Japan finally reaches its end, much to my paradoxical relief and dismay.

So Much for Feeling Better.

November 16th ended up being a roller coaster for me. The day started off routine enough, and by 12:30PM I was thinking about some lunch. I was pretty unadventerous and had a burger according to my tweets. After lunch it was time to start preparing to leave. I went to buy my Narita Express tickets back to the airport. On my way back to the apartment, my physical condition deteriorated at a truly scary pace. There was a chill in the air and a noticeable wind, and my recent rebound officially ended. By the time I made it back to the apartment I was having a horrible coughing fit. Easily my worst yet.

I shoved these ridiculously underpowered Japanese medicines into my mouth like they were tic tacs, but it was no use. I coughed so much and so hard that it felt cumbersome to breathe. I got a little scared and reacted pretty harshly on Twitter. I just wanted to be at home, in my own bed, with medicine that actually did something. I even wrote up a few maxed out character tweets about this maybe being my last trip here. We’ll get back to that when I wrap this series up.

For the next hour I just stayed in the apartment hoping this coughing spell would end. Spoiler: It didn’t. The worst of it finally went away but I was coughing regularly and hard for the rest of my trip. Somewhere along the way Jack gets in touch with me. He says he’s going to the first PARMS show of the day, set to begin at 5:30PM. Quite honestly it wasn’t on my radar, but I thought this’d be my best bet to at least do something with my day. When it was time, I made my way across the street. I honestly wasn’t jumping for joy to go there, but hey, it was something.

The bad luck on this trip reared its ugly head right away. I went to the counter to buy a ticket, and said very clearly, “Ichi-bu onegaishimasu” (first show please), and the lady at the counter said “Ah, Ni-bu ii desu ka?” (Ah, is the second show okay?) I was a little confused, so I repeated myself and she again wanted to sell me the second show’s ticket. I was literally a couple of minutes late for the show’s start, but I’ve never heard of this being a problem for anyone else. I finally make a “1” hand gesture and she looked at me kinda odd, but seemed to get it. I pay for the ticket and take the elevator up.

As I get up there and hand over my ticket, the guy looks at it funny. Immediately I know what the problem is and I let out an audible “Oh God damnit.” The guy tries to explain to me that it’s a 2-bu ticket and I try to tell him I wanted the 1-bu. Somehow he never really got it. I started to get really frustrated with him and finally said in English, like it would help at all, “Well this is the one they gave me.” He made phone calls and spoke with other staff. This is another example of the sometimes annoying Japanese unwillingness to bend even the smallest rule. The only difference was the color of the ticket. It’s the same price and everything else. Why this had to be a literally 20 minute ordeal is beyond me. Just as I was about to turn around and walk away, they let me in.

The show itself was nothing special. As I got there, Jack gave me some gummy vitamins he had to try and help out with my deteriorating health. I believe I used the king blade for Moa when she was performing but I was not very active in it. Honestly, her not remembering me really hurt me to the point that I felt fairly indifferent to being there. I guess I was really wanting Alice Project to be to me what AKB48 was to fans a decade ago: This small little thing that I could fall back on and feel close to the times I was lucky enough to get to Japan. In the end, that didn’t happen. If the girls weren’t going to really remember me then I just didn’t feel like there was much to latch onto. It’s certainly not Kamen Joshi’s music. No offense but outside of the fun of a live setting it’s not the greatest.

So yeah, I watched the show just glad to not be dying in the apartment alone. When the show ended, I chose not to participate in cheki time. Moa was there, but I don’t think Shihori or Yuuka were. Jack even mentioned if I was going to take any chekis, and I just kinda shrugged and said “eh”. As we left I was worried I’d regret this. Thinking about it as my trip turns three months old, I still don’t. This was my last Alice Project experience on this trip. It’s rather unfortunate that something that was so precious in my first trip ended up being less critical this time around. I have no hard feelings about it, but yeah, I was really hoping for more.

Look, I know my attitude on it is a little bitter, but consider this. I borderline knew Moa would remember me after the ridiculous amount of time I spent at PARMS the previous trip, as well as the following on and off Twitter engagement. To not get that honestly hurt my feelings. All I can really say is I’m only human and I was disappointed. Several people tried to “fact check” me on this. It’s not about facts, it’s about emotions, so yeah.

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Mike
Author

Fan of アイドル, Japanese and Korean music, video games, anime, space, and technology. I tweet and blog about all of the above plus life.