The Land of the Rising Sun, Heisei 26 Mark Two Chronicle the Second: A Culture Day Holiday Weekend of Sheer Terror

Parental Advisory: May contain traces of the word "fuck".

This is part two. It covers the span of just three days. I hit 10000 words again. So launching straight back into where we left off...

Saturday 1st November

After not a massive amount of sleep (my body seemed incapable of getting more than 2-3 hours, probably due to the stop/start nature of my sleeping habits during the Nagoya times), I found myself racing through Tokyo Station dripping wet. It was the day of Idol Koushien. The biggest indie idol festival ever held. Featuring 140 idols and groups over 5 stages, it was to have been the main event of my trip.


I was late. The rain was insane (in the membrane) and the annoyance of getting to the Keiyo line in Tokyo Station is even more insane. Eventually I got on a train, waited five minutes, then got off the train, still at Tokyo station, because I was hungry. I bought a decent lunch and still got on the train before it departed, so when I arrived at Shinkiba the festival was already in full flow, and despite the umbrella, I was fucking soaked.

Having got through the turnstiles and into the venue I felt sorry for the poor saps on the outside stages, then headed straight inside for the main stage. Himekyun Fruits Can were on. Nevertheless, I missed 90% of their set. I caught the beginning of NanoCUNE, then got bored so walked out to wait on Next Shoujo Jiken. At this point Jul turned up and we waited. And waited. The festival had only been on 45 minutes and it was already running 10 minutes late. Oh the joys of organisation. At last the group called s-mash who I've never heard of buggered off, and Jul and I got into the area around the stage for Next Shoujo Jiken.

So did every other fucker who wanted to avoid the rain.

As Nono and Mai started their punk-fuelled attitude-imbued set, a moshpit started. Having experienced the Lolisyn pits in Tokyo and Nagoya I figured I'd be fine...

My local hospital disagreed with me.

Some guy in front of me fell over. Following every moshpit rule and convention, I stopped to help him up. Unfortunately the other motherfuckers had never heard of moshpit etiquette. Whilst I was helping him up, I got clattered from behind and fell over, crushing the guy I'd been trying to help. Another two or three people then fell on top as well, one helpfully spilling their beer everywhere. By the time everyone had got off and me and the original guy who fell had got up, my leg was wonderfully buggered. At first I thought it was just bruising, but this Friday just gone my local hospital told me it was a bit worse than that. Oh well. I stood near the sides for the rest of the live and just headbanged a bit.

After Jiken departed, there was nothing to do. AmiE were next on the same stage, but I wasn't feeling that up for it. I waited around for Dinco to start Jiken's buppan. It was short as anything, the number of fans has increased so much since last time. Whereas last time I could spend half an hour talking random shit to them, now I had barely a minute. Only Nono and Mai are left now. Shuri did the punk thing and ceased all contact, stopped turning up and got fired. Spoke to Nono while waiting in Mai's queue. As ever. The guy in front of me had a cheki taken with Mai under a No Smoking sign. The guy put a fag in his mouth and Mai held a lighter under it. Class. Both Nono and Mai remembered me, even the name Krv, but Mai still couldn't spell it.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Illiteracy Moe?

It's also weird how Next Shoujo Jiken do chekis compared to other groups. Unlike Lolisyn (line up, pay, take cheki, they deco it while talking to you, you fuck off) and 2& (line up, pay, lineup, take cheki, talk to Saki, possibly she'll deco it there and then or she'll take it and give it back to you another day with glitter and rainbows and stickers and shit on it), Jiken is more like lineup, pay and talk to them, take cheki, you fuck off. Whenever they can be bothered, they'll find you and give you your cheki back all decorated. I thought Shuri's antics last time were weird, but that's just how Dinco set it up. Obviously, back then no one wanted to talk to Nono and Mai so they could decorate while talking. Now they have to find gaps between chekis and such to work on them.

I went to the bar to wait. About half an hour later Mai finished it, apologising at not remembering how to spell Krv, "so I wrote it in katakana instead!" She wrote Calb...

Oh well, buppan over I had to find something else to do. It was still raining. I drifted. I remember seeing a bit of Luce Twinkle Wink and not thinking much of them. Caught the end of Siam and Poptune, but can't remember too much about them, then saw the beginning of Tsuki to Taiyou, who have improved quite a lot since I saw them in March but still wear the same outfits. I really wanted to see Passcode, but having left Jul at Tsukitai I quickly got bored with them so headed back into the rain for some more Tsuki to Taiyou goodness. A quick set was quickly over though, and I had to find something else again.

Jul wanted to catch Usa Usa Shoujo Club, who were a bit too loli for me. I headed over and saw some Nato Kan, but didn't remember much of it. After this Tsukitai's buppan started and Jul wanted to get a cheki with Tomonya. Another case of weird cheki systems occured. The line looped, but in the middle of the line was where you were supposed to buy your cheki ticket. After having noticed everyone except Jul had a little piece of paper with a member's face on it, I figured he was lining up in the wrong place. To save him the annoyance of lining up again, I nicked 500 yen off him (so cheap cheki) and went to the correct line, bought him the Tomonya cheki ticket, then took it back to him. Whilst he was in the queue, I went and grabbed some food (all the food stalls were outside, so were half the buppan booths... felt sorry for the idols as much as the fans). Then Tsubasa Fly started, so I enjoyed them for a while. Jul returned with his cheki, probably disappointed she wouldn't stand on him.

Petit Pas were on another stage. I wanted to see them in their form with two members. The dark-haired girl was back in action, but she looked either about to faint or about to cry the entire time I was watching. Eventually I couldn't tolerate it anymore so left.

We headed inside and caught PPP!Pixion with Piiiiiiiiiin or whatever the fuck they're called. Two groups as one. Didn't interest me much. We headed back outside because Jul had a fancy to see Death Rabbits, a subgroup of Usa Usa Shoujo Club that have a male death vocalist as part of them. Their MCs are pretty funny but their music isn't particularly brutal, and Buchou's death vocals aren't that amazing. I listened to one song then switched stages so I could watch Kimi to Boku, Tokidoki Melancholic again. I just caught the end of a group called Avandoned. One of the girls was running around barefoot (Nayuta). Someone asked her why. Her answer: "It feels so good!" Instant oshi, even if I heard like none of their music and she's blonde. Anyone stupid enough to jump around barefoot in puddles in a school uniform must have some kind of mental instability that ticks my boxes.

Kimiboku started and again Minmin captured my attention. So did their fans in their utterly weird masks and outfits. I'd thought it was just a Halloween thing. They tore through their Maerchenish set in short order, and buggered off. After that we headed inside for Fruitpochette. I wasn't sure what to expect. I really dislike metalcore, and Fruitpochette's headline track is metalcore in and out. However, after playing that they played their best song (Transcendence~Fantastic~) and two other damn good ones. A little moshpit broke out. After the exploits of earlier I hung back somewhat. Either way, I enjoyed quite a lot. After this Otome Shinto came out, and so I headed out to find Bellring Shoujo Heart's buppan. I really wanted to see Bellheart, but there were about three thousand fuckers waiting for the buppan. I didn't think I could be bothered to stay around for a short live. Jul had the same idea. I checked my twitter and the Tomoe top wota from Wednesday had tweeted me to say Tomoe would be at PARMS that night. We were already late, but it was Kamiya's birthday so Steam Girls would be on last, meaning I'd get to see Tomoe. Jul stayed around for Anna☆S and then we raced back to Akiba as quickly as possible.

We rushed through the Pasela entrance, possibly annoying the Akina-lookalike as we did so, and headed up to PARMS. It was fucking packed. We arrived about halfway through Armour Girls, and every fucker was wearing Erina's birthday tshirt. It was crazy. We could barely get through the door. As Armour finished, everyone got ready for full-powered Steam Girls (Araya had also returned for one night only) for the first time in ages. It was quite amazing. Tomoe shone. I figured she would, but she is still the first Alice girl that got my attention, all those aeons ago. The first time I had ever seen her in reality. So cute. Anyway, the set was full of crowd pleasers. Some random MCs included Tomoe having asked Kamiya what her favourite food was (Potatos), so Tomoe had cooked her some Potato Salad. Ayaka was bizarrely chosen to read out Kamiya's birthday letter. That makes two birthdays at PARMS, and twice Ayaka reading the letter. Ayaka said when she joined Steam Girls Araya was such a capable leader and helped make it easy for Ayaka to learn all the dances. Then Araya went into the wilderness and Kamiya took over as "temp" leader... According to Ayaka, Kamiya can't sing and can't dance so it was horrendous. Even so, happy birthday...


That's Ayaka. After the usual Alice tradition of whacking cake all over everyone's face, and a G-Cup rendition of Happy Birthday to Kamiya (Happy Birthday G-Cup, Happy Birthday G-Cup), they prepared for some more songs.

But wait.

Tomoe had disappeared.

Well, fuck. Araya continued until the end, and the live finished.

Buppan started in disarray as the hordes of Kamiya wota wanted to get their "all Steam Girls" chekis whilst they could, but even before any of the girls came out the manager guy was yelling, "Please appreciate that Tomoe and Satsuki aren't doing the buppan..."

Well, my hopes dashed. Dammit. Well, if I couldn't have Tomoe I wasn't going anywhere else either. I hadn't seen Nanaka perform, Ayaka was only my temp oshi in Steam, and Jun was being Jun. Plus the night after was Halloween night in PARMS, when they'd all be dressed up. Thus I decided not to do a cheki. I was tempted though. Nanaka was wearing some really tight shorts... Matsugami had stuck some antenna to her chest to expand her lacking bust...

Anyway, expensive and curtailed PARMS show over, Jul and I wondered what to do with ourselves. Firstly we attempted to go eat at Beckers, only to find it closed. Next we tried Pepper Lunch, which was full. Devoid of options, where else? We went to Saizeriya. After eating, we got tired and went to Lawson to book some tickets for the next day's PARMS show, then went our separate ways.

What an exhausting day.

Sunday 2nd November

Another early morning. I had to be at Sendagaya for just before 11am for Saki's satsueikai. I got a bit too zealous and arrived about twenty minutes early. About five minutes before 11, I was still waiting, when one of her managers turned up. He was (and is) the most bizarre-dressed idol manager I've ever seen. This day he was wearing a retro leather bomber jacket and jeans, with chains all over. He looked more ready to head to a Hells Angels ride than managing an idol. He came over and told me to wait a few minutes, and then we'd get started. He asked if I knew any of Sendagaya. I told him when I'd found out about the satsueikai location I'd come to Sendagaya to scout around. He didn't know about Shinjuku Gyouen Park behind the station, but I told him I couldn't get in anyway so didn't know whether or not it was open.

He then strolled off and beckoned at a pillar. Saki appeared from behind it and was cuteness incarnate.

The two days of satsueikai had had two different outfits. The Saturday had been a red hat, quite opposite to (and more adult than) Saki's usual fashion choices. Sunday was a nekomimi hoodie. She came over wearing it and stood there grinning. Not entirely sure why but it was awesome. The manager then basically fucked off.

Confused as fuck I asked her where we should go. She knew about Sendagaya having shot a magazine there about a month previously, so she led me to the far side of the national gymnasium where there was a massive mirror. I got a few shots of decent quality.

Insert Note Here: I'm saving the best pics for the 2& specific blog post I'll be doing after this (along with Lolisyn, Zekkyou and probably Guso Drop and Alice). That's a lot of posts I claim I'll write after half a year of inactivity but hopefully I can deliver.

Note the massive fucking platform heels. She is only 148cm (4'10") so it's not surprising. She wasn't too sure on the disjointed arms and legs when I showed her, but I quite like this one. Bit of the abstract about it.

A more natural mirror photo. The mirror could have done with a bit of a clean really. At this point the manager caught up with us and wondered where we were heading. I wanted to find somewhere with some grass but he said there probably wasn't one. Nonplussed, we headed over to the Seinenkan. On the way I asked how the satsueikai had been the day before, considering how badly it had rained. Saki replied that she'd spent most of the day in cafés and had eaten too much.

Prophetic or what, the manager from the Nagoya show had hit the nail on the head.

We also talked about random stuff. The manager said it'd be cool to do a live in the UK, so I told them about the popularity of band-backed solo singers abroad (and Saki's madcap, slightly Björk-ish stage persona) meaning that she might actually not do too badly. I also said that Babymetal were doing their second sold out concert in London in 4 months the following weekend, to which they were both either insanely jealous or awed.

After reaching the Seinenkan the mass of humanity became disturbing. There was some kind of concert going on in the Seinenkan's big hall, so we were dodging all the fuckers. The manager thought it'd be a good place to take some more pictures, so I figured "well, whatever..." and did so, constructing an impromptu lighting rig because I felt like it. The manager was content to play on his phone, even despite Saki asking him to hold the reflector, so I improvised and made it so that some winter sunlight shone at Saki and the Seinenkan. Then I had to basically lie down on the floor to take a picture where I could get even some of the Seinenkan in the background and not be shooting over Saki's head...

Unfortunately my lens is still broken so detecting focus can be annoying, thus the rest of the Seinenkan pictures are rubbish. Even this one is slightly soft-focus in the foreground. The manager buggered off again, leaving Saki and I to try to negotiate the crowds back to find some interesting places to shoot. We carried on talking about more random shit, and then I found a rock with some trees around that looked peculiar so we did some shooting there.

Ah, glorious yaeba. The second two shots she's actually on top of the rock, so I could actually achieve some good angled shots that didn't just look down on her the entire time without having to lie down again. I was going to ask her to sit on the rock but it was covered in lichen and dirt so I thought better of it.

I asked why she'd done the concert barefoot in Nagoya, so she replied that the costume she'd been wearing usually needs her to wear heeled boots. Obviously, with the flipping and cartwheels she does all over the stage that'd be an accident waiting to happen, thus, barefoot. Though why they couldn't just invest in some non-heeled boots that match the outfit I don't know. Maybe they just really like the added moe points of barefoot Saki. I know I do.

I spotted a white wall that had been erected for covering up some roadworks or something, and figured that'd make a nice little background in lieu of a studio. Ah, glorious black and white.

At this point I spotted a drinking fountain. We went over and were thoroughly confused by its workings. There was a tap really low down the side of it (washing shoes?), a constantly flowing mouthpiece (?) and a tap that was pointed over the edge. Eventually the manager turned up and made sense of it. The flowing mouthpiece was broken, and the tap that pointed over the edge was just pointing the wrong way, so we fixed it to point into the fountain. Then I achieved two of my greatest moments in photography. One I'll put in this post, the other as the headline image for the 2& post. Saki started posing with the water.

The manager looked amused and was like, "you should just drink some." Saki wondered if it were okay, to which he replied, "it's fine." So she did. Only for me to take a picture at just the wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it) time.

Cute. After this I took my crowning moment of awesome in portrait photography ever, which will headline the 2& post.

Fountain antics over, the manager left us to go back to the train station to await the next person. I had a fancy to try to hit Shinjuku Gyouen Park anyway, and we had a good twenty minutes left. We headed down there, but I forgot to take into account that not everyone (or anyone, actually, with the exception of my bandmate) can keep up with me when I'm walking. Adjusting speed for a short girl in hard-to-walk-in shoes was a step beyond too far. Needless to say, the five minute walking journey I had expected turned into 15 minutes. On the way I snapped a quick shot under a bridge.

We got to Shinjuku Gyoen Park outskirts but before we could cross the road to go in, Saki looked at her phone and was like, "shit, out of time." So we waited for the lights to go green. For about five minutes. Slowest traffic lights ever. No traffic either. I said that if this were the UK the red light mattered not at all and I'd have crossed anyway. Damn Japanese jaywalking social stigma.

We got back to the station just in time to avoid the manager probably reporting Saki kidnapped, and the next guy hadn't even turned up. The manager fumed for a while and then remembered I hadn't paid him yet. I asked if there were any other plans in place for Saki to do some lives before I left Japan, and his answer was "not as 2&..." Suitably cryptic.

I fucked off, remembering the words on the manager's tshirt. Guso Drop...

I got home and sat studying the pictures, waiting for 4pm to arrive. 9nine had an event in Suidobashi at Nihon University College of Economics, of all places. Having scouted the location (eventually) the previous week, I realised halfway through the day I couldn't actually be bothered. Since the Takoyaki Apocalypse in March I hadn't even really listened to 9nine, and whilst my fandom of Umika is as strong as ever (I watched a drama that had her in a supporting role even though it was about stocks, ventures, businesses and a bombing campaign) I had no energy after Saki.

Cue an intriguing conversation on Line. Dean asked me whether I wanted to go to an event with Ricardo, the Japanese Dorothy Little Happy wota who had turned up in some interesting places in March. Ricardo then basically begged me to go to Twin Box in Akiba to see the new group who had captured his DD heart: Dream Station. I had no idea who they were. The previous week I'd tweeted to him asking if he'd be at Idol Koushien, and he said he wouldn't because he was caught up in Dream Station. I asked what type of idols they were, and suddenly about eight members of Dream Station favourited it and Ricardo decamped on a massive propoganda war. Even so, my phone was unreceptive to receiving half the pictures and links I was sent so I couldn't revel in it as much as I'd like.

Either way, I decided to go. Dean wouldn't be there, but I asked Ricardo to give me half an hour to get to Akiba. I arrived just as it started, a free live (plus the cost of a drink) and it was not very long.

First off we were treated to Dream Station's Kenshuusei. They gave us a quick dose of happy idol pop and then fucked off. Ricardo was in his element, going full blast with his wotagei. His glasses fell off a few times, and a few other items went flying. Then Team Water, the rotating senbatsu-style unit of Dream Station came out. They'd just released their first single or something so they were on a bit of a roll. The really short girl (144cm), Ogawa Marina, was Ricardo's oshi, and he went a bit madcap supporting her. I've never before seen a baseball slide kecha, but I did that day. The venue was set up with rows of chairs for four rows and then standing behind it. There was a gap in the middle of the chairs. Ricardo ran up it, baseball slid, and kecha'd his life on the alter of Marina.

They played two good doses of idol pop, even getting me to do a few calls and furicopies. There was one song where the girls had waterbottles as props. Glow-waterbottles. Ricardo had made his own (of course). The last song was slightly more enigmatic though, quite a rockish song, and so that was good. The song was called Jakuchi Kara Derumono ("The Thing That Comes Out Of Taps"). The waterbottles made a reappearance.

Incredibly short live over we went out into the main area, where they'd be doing the buppan. The producer of Dream Station is a girl called Ootsuki Nana, a member of Joy☆. She's cuter than half the girls she's producing. Either way, I stood and watched for a while. A lot of Dream Station's fans were a bit like, "weird gaijin alert" so stayed away from me, so I asked Ricardo why his wotagei had been so bloody manic. He said it was his last time seeing them, due to circumstances at work, so I thought he was going to be shipped off to another place or something. Turns out he's just stupidly busy. He went up for a handshake with everyone. Then he gave me a handshake ticket, which I was confused at, but he said you could only use one handshake ticket per event anyway. I went up, and he did another one behind me. So much for that theory. I told most of them I was Ricardo's friend, so they were suitably less frigid than they otherwise might. One girl asked me, in Japanese, if I could speak Japanese. She was relieved that I could. Ricardo's oshi, Marina, was cute, but despite me liking short girls wasn't really my type. Another girl asked me possibly the stupidest question I'd heard on my trip. "Are you a gaijin?"

"Can't you tell by looking?" Was all I replied. I think this week's trip report is going to get me a bad rap for being a bit salty towards idols. One girl was quite cute and hit a lot of my oshi buttons, from the Kenshuusei. Her name was Sugizaki Non. Another one, who was right at the end of the line, claimed she could speak English. "Challenge accepted." I thought. Eventually she gave up and lapsed to Japanese. Her name was Ayano. She put me in mind of C-ute's Chisato a bit. Really gung ho and in your face. Ultimately I think I liked the Kenshuusei a bit more than the Team Water girls. They're going to make Team Road soon as well. Should be interesting.

Either way, I was getting close to the time when I'd agreed to meet Dean at Becker's. Or rather, I was getting close to the time ten minutes after I'd agreed to meet Dean, which is probably an average guess at how late he usually turns up. I said goodbye to Ricardo (though not before he gave me some more CDs from Team Water) and headed back to Becker's.

Tonight was PARMS Halloween party, after all.

Dean eventually turned up ten minutes after I had arrived ten minutes late. We headed into Becker's to grab a quick burger, and Jul arrived just as we were leaving. We were all ready for a Halloween party of awesomeness.

Before we went up we hit the bar on the third floor, and I introduced the concept of Jaegerbombs to the second country in as many months (I hit Croatia in late September and did some intriguing stuff there). When we reached PARMS and were overcome by bloody cuteness. Literally bloody. Dean, Himari and Miles had had their own personal Halloween party at PARMS on Halloween, dressing up as some things out of Youkai Watch, but tonight the fans went a bit more hardcore. At least 10% of them were crossdressing. One guy was dressed as Hard Gay, in hot pink PVC instead of black. And male lingerie. The girls were mostly covered in blood. Blood is always good. In the case of Matsugami it might even have been real. Well, I can live in hope.

Oz came out, resplendent in gore. Or rather, the better part of them did. Koume came out dressed as a chicken with red marker pen on her face or something. Pa-Ken were decent. Armour were quite brutal, Moa at the forefront of it. Dean observed wryly that she was always dressed like a weirdo. Indeed, so it proved, during the MC Moa admitted that unlike the others she hadn't needed to go out to buy something new for Halloween, her dress was something she usually wore. She really is a bit Goth.

Even so, Armour's happy upbeat Celtic Pop Punk was a massive contrast to the visuals on offer. Jun's cleavage was also ridiculous. I swear she unbuttoned at least three buttons during the course of the live.

They departed and I felt something interesting coming. Steam Girls descended. Sawada, who I still think looks about eighty, had donned corpsepaint. Ayaka was a nun. Kamiya was filthy. Oh wait, that's just usual. She was covered in blood wearing an Alice in Wonderland costume and bunny ears. Sara was cute but not bloody in the slightest. She let the side down. Either way they had some fun. Kamiya had to leave the stage two or three times because she kept exploding out from her costume.

Then it was Alice Juuban's turn. Mori was dressed up as a nurse with blonde hair (and blood, of course), leading to just about everyone calling her IKKO. Nanaka was cute as ever. Besides them I can't actually remember who most of the other members in Juuban actually are. Anna is usually invisible except when she's on the boat.

Either way, the live was some good fun and ended well. Post live we figured we'd get the Buppan, but first they decided to invite some of the crazier cosplaying fans on stage and judge them. Obviously, Hard Gay won. At this point I decided to put my leather trenchcoat on and nick Dean's sunglasses. The easiest cosplay for me to pull off is Neo, after all.

Then the buppan started, and Matsugami. Matsugami Yuko. As I said, the possibility it was her own blood was there too. She even started humping the whale. I couldn't resist. I went full on DD. I bought four normal chekis, as the wide ones always suck. First I went up to Jun, because she was on the verge of falling out of her top. I told her Jul had told me to come see her, which made her happy. For the pose I tried to do the bullet dodge and make Jun do the same. Nearly worked. Got a tiny bit of underboob. Next I went to Nanaka, as usual. Told her she looked cute covered in blood. Was true. She should do it more often.

Dean wanted his glasses back, and assumed a really suspicious guise. He too liked Ayaka's costume, and wanted a cheki. But Moa hates DDs. So he nicked a facemask off a Japanese wota, put his sunglasses on, put his hood up over his cap and went up. He should have taken his cap off really. He got almost caught out, Moa was standing directly behind him on the stage whilst he was with Ayaka, and he looked like an underwear thief or something, but he got away with it.

I hit Ayaka next because after Dean she looked bored already. I pissed off Dean by saying that he was all into her when I first dragged him along, but now... She knew he had oshihenned. I said I'd try to fix him. She laughed.

Finally I went for Yuko. She seemed stunned, a) that she'd be getting a cheki at a PARMS show, and b) that a foreigner went for her. I wasn't ready to ask to see her scars though. Maybe with a good deal of preplanning.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Chekis over I went and stood with Dean and Jul. I caught Ayaka's eye and mimed hitting Dean in the back of the head, to which she started giggling and didn't stop for five minutes. Dean and Jul looked confused at Ayaka doing something other than looking bored so I told them what had occured. Dean raged a bit.

After this they announced the winners of the Alice cosplay contest: Mori third, Sawada second and Moa first. I guess someone who self identifies as a "monster" instead of a human would win.

Post PARMS we sat, talked to people and went around a bit, then went home. I was knackered.

Monday 3rd November

After the two days previous, I could probably have been excused for having a rest. Unfortunately it was a national holiday in Japan, meaning idol events. On this day, there were three. However, two of them overlapped so much I'd basically have to choose between Lolisyn and 2&. Having both Zekkyou and Next Shoujo Jiken at the Lolisyn one made my choice easier, as did the fact that Saki was only getting a 20 minute set. I made my way to Otsuka at a stupid hour (it was still morning dammit) and found the venue okay. Then I got some tea at the convenience store, and a "premium chicken sandwich". I nearly gagged. I swear the chicken in Japan is half pork or something.

I went in and caught the beginning of Fumimi's set. I still can't remember her music. I went out and got a drink, and saw Reiji again. Spoke to him for a while then headed in to see a group called RaiLen. Why they have a Chinese name I don't know. They play quite good rock as well (which they market as "Sadistic Rock". I'm sorry, after Montero you can fuck off), and warned everyone in the crowd they were going to get wet. Then they said to those of us standing further back not to underestimate them. They were right, we did get wet. Their aim with industrial scale water blasters is pretty good. It was quite a good show, and afterwards the floor was so wet the RaiLen fans got towels and wiped it down.

It didn't make much difference. Lolisyn were next. After a good twenty minutes moshing, headbanging and getting kicked around by Montero, the floor was dry. During, however, a good few of us fell over. One fan was so awed by the fallen bodies he mounted one and started dry-humping him. The guy who fell over didn't seem to mind so much. That probably accounted for most of the spilled water. The exploits of Montero only began to grow. I noticed her in the far side and wondered how involved she would get in Tokyo. Next thing I knew she was kicking people across the mosh pit. Then she kicked someone and he didn't move. So she proper kicked him. Still didn't move. She slapped him in the face. The rest of us did the sensible thing and went flying when Montero kicked us.

Hiro was as pro as ever. Even the slapping didn't deter her from giving a damn good performance. Halu probably did as well, but I wasn't paying attention. We got Croissant 1 but no Croissant 2. That was exercise enough. Well sated, we rested.

Heading out to the buppan area was on the cards, as Lolisyn's was basically straightaway. However the buppan area was pathetically tiny. People were queuing in the most tiny space imaginable. Hoshina Fumimi once again caught my eye and beckoned for me to come to her. I ignored her and started a trend with the girl behind the bar. By the end of the day I didn't even have to say my order. The drink system in Hearts was stupid though. The door ticket was 2400 plus drink, which was 700 yen. Most of the drinks of the menu were 300 yen (soft), 500 (alcohol) and 700 (cocktails). 700 yen drink ticket is a stupid idea.

Not long after Lolisyn arrived and I queued up. I got to Hiro and spoke to her a while, and then thought of interesting poses I could do to top Jul.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Shocked at my request to be choked, she complied... sort of. Lolisyn have some weird rules I'll explain in another post. But it looked fun on the cheki.

Hung around with Reiji and the other Lolisyn wota for a while during GeNE because their ska-style didn't do much for me, then tried (once again) to watch Petit Pas. The dark haired one was still sicker than anything and not really capable of performing, so once again I left off.

Next up was Eren so I thought I'd enjoy some more of her socially awkward music. Once again she left me confused and drained but slightly happy in a musical and lyrical sense. After Eren was Kumada Kanae, hastily renamed Hatsukoi Cider. She started off with a song that wasn't Hatsukoi Cider, then insulted the audience. "Why are you all so fat?" she asked. "You come to all these lives and do such intense wotagei... do you do nothing at home but eat?"

I laughed, then she said that her next song was going to be a new song. Someone in the crowd ventured "Hatsukoi Cider?" but she told him to shut up, and performed a new song. Then she performed Hatsukoi Cider. Then she performed Hatsukoi Cider. Then she performed Hatsukoi Cider.

As ever, it sped up each time. Once again the crowd and idol trolled each other, though this time she didn't have to kick anyone to make them get on all fours.

Fun over, it was time for a bit of a rest. Yanase You, one of the girls from RaiLen earlier, came out and did some of her solo stuff, which is very much Japanese style music. She has one of those deep smoky speaking voices I go all weird about. A bit like Umeda Ayaka, but You has Kansai-ben as well. Damn her. The other girl from RaiLen does solo stuff as well, only it looks like this. With the type of idol event it was I don't think that would have gone over so well.

After You, there was a five minute break and then Death Rabbits came out. It went pretty much the same way as the Idol Koushien had, with the girls being audible and Buchou's "death growls" being nigh inaudible. The Death Rabbits fans had turned up about ten minutes before they started playing, comprised about double the amount of people who had been in attendance beforehand, and then when they left to the buppan area it was stupid crowded.

I didn't care, Zekkyou were up next. Kai and Montero basically smashed around the stage in the 20 minutes they had, singing a bunch more punk covers and creating a moshpit. But wait. There was an intriguing figure standing at the outskirts of the moshpit. The fans spotted and brought the figure to the centre. It was only fucking Buchou from Death Rabbits. Fuck it, we all seemed to think at once, and moshed the fuck out of him. After about three minutes he staggered out of the pit, rested against the wall, and then went and limped out, ostensibly for Death Rabbits' buppan. So much for the armour.

Next Shoujo Jiken gave us another punk-fuelled anarchic live after that. Due to Saturday's incident I mostly avoided the moshpit for this one. Got in Mai's face and yelled "fuck you!" at her a few times because the song adolescence calls for it. She yelled it right back. Abusive idols. Always good. It was during this performance I finally figured out how to 2Step (just as well, considering they have a song called Chaotic 2 Step). Most ludicrous dance move I've ever had to do, but oh well. Comes in handy for Lolisyn and Next Shoujo Jiken. Just about no one else.

After this I headed out for the buppan because the last two acts I knew nothing of and didn't really care to. Whilst I was waiting in the line for Next Shoujo Jiken Eren came up to me, obviously not realising Reiji had introduced me the previous Monday, and introduced herself. "Hello!" she said, in English. "I'm Eren. I'm crazy, cute girl!" My salty attitude from the previous day carried over and I just replied with "知ってるよ。" and then laughed. She was like, "hmm", then laughed as well and walked off. Socially awkward for the win.

Got up to Mai and she'd seen my tweet about spelling Krv wrong again. We talked a bit longer than we had at Idol Koushien (partly because Dinco was talking to a fan and couldn't be bothered to take a cheki), and when the cheki was done I buggered off to wait for Mai to finish scribbling on it.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

So amazed she was at being able to spell it she wrote it three times. Coin because my face was worse than usual. She also wrote Fuckingham on it. Old jokes never die.

After this I queued up for Zekkyou, which was surprisingly interesting. I went in Montero's line, because Montero. I was surprised to see the guy she'd slapped earlier standing behind them. He was their manager. Odd balance of power in that group. One of Montero's chekis involved her kneeing someone in the nuts. She also brought her gun, a knife, and a baseball bat. There was one guy in Kai's line, but he made up for it. He did about ten chekis with her. Halfway through he asked her to take her heels off so the chekis would show the difference in their height more. She was actually quite tiny. I'd never noticed. I decided to get knifed in the throat.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Stood talking to Montero, Kai and Kuzumura (their manager) for a while. Told Montero I'd try to bring a masochist to the evening event. She looked pleased. Everyone was trying to fist bump her because she had spiked knuckle gloves on. They were reacting like it hurt. I tried it and nonplussed. Montero was disappoint.

I asked Dinco about any more Jiken events, he said there wouldn't be. The git. Death Rabbits went around the room and high-fived everyone, followed by Buchou fist bumping everyone.

Reiji buggered off to get some food and the event wound down. I figured I should go get some food as well. First I hopped on the train to Ikebukuro to pirate some Wifi to see if Dean or Jul were coming. Jul was, Dean wasn't. I managed to convince Jul to get there as early as possible for Zekkyou. I got some funny stares in Ikebukuro. I guess a foreigner wearing a tshirt with a bright pink print on it saying "Absolute Queen" in Japanese on it will garner a few stares.

I headed back to Otsuka and went to 7Eleven for food, as the FamilyMart had nearly killed me with the sandwich earlier. I was stunned. None of the people working there were Japanese. You hear stories occasionally of people who find a staff member at 7Eleven who isn't Japanese, but this one had three people serving and one person stocking shelves, none of whom were Japanese. Was a bit of an intriguing situation. The clerk asked me if I wanted my food heating up in Japanese though so it all restored itself to some sense of normalcy. Some.

I headed back to the venue, eating spaghetti bolognese as I went, disregarding every Japanese rule of politeness and being a gaijin. I sat down on the fence outside the venue, and carried on eating. Next Shoujo Jiken came out and Dinco told the fans to stop following past a certain point, which I was already past anyway. He then handed the merch suitcase over to the Top Wota and told him to bring it over to his house later. Weird producer/fan relationship there... Mai came over to me and was like, "damn that looks tasty!" Dinco quickly reined her in and they headed off to the station. Bemused I carried on eating. Then I realised I had nowhere to put my rubbish, so I went to find a vending machine bin to sneak it into.

By the time I got back the doors had reopened so I queued. At this point a foreigner couple walked past and were looking bizarrely at the queue. I thought it would be a case of them just gawking at what kind of events Japanese people go to. I was later to be proved wrong.

I went in and ended up with another overpriced drink ticket. I hung around near the entrance and spoke to Reiji a bit, and waited for Jul to show up. And waited. And waited. Then the foreign couple came down the stairs and paid to get in. I was shocked. Did they really want to experience Japanese culture that much? They really didn't look the type for idol wota.

Eventually Jul turned up and we headed in to see Zekkyou. They were relegated to opening act for the second part of the show, which was unfortunate, and then they didn't play Totoro either. That was a shame. Still, the short as hell set had energy and resolve, and I moshed like shit to get in the mood as the next few sets would likely bore me.

First we had Shooting Star Girls, who were a normal idol group. There were also a shitload of them. The stage at Hearts is tiny. How they managed to dance around each other without smashing themselves in the face I'll never know. I retreated to the back and stood near the giant gaijin guy and his wife. After Shooting Star Girls finished I started talking to them. Turned out they were Death Rabbits fans. Was weird seeing them there. I told them to stick around for Lolisyn, as it was basically the Cannibal Corpse to Babymetal's Slayer, and they could have fun watching us making tits of ourselves doing wotagei. They assented.

Jul went up front for Death Rabbits, where once again the hordes of white-shirt wearing wota had descended. A long set for such young kids was quite weird. A bunch of Lolisyn wota ignored the girls and went everywhere Buchou went, high fiving him and generally causing chaos for the group of Death Rabbits wota who are used to just following the girls around the stage. Good little bit of trolling.

The sound techs had improved slightly, and Buchou was now audible. They tore through their set and even the tall foreign guy started enjoying himself.

Either way, they left and it was time for chaos.

Forty minutes of Lolisyn is something that everyone should experience just for the utter dejection your body goes through afterwards. We two stepped, moshed and headbanged. Montero joined in, and then Buchou did as well. As if this morning's moshpit hadn't been enough. He retreated to the sidelines soon after. Kuzumura was in the pit again as well, and gave Montero a polystyrene container filled with Nattou. Unsuspecting, she was soon standing on Buchou's shoulders, held up by a few other wota, and kecha'ing Hiro with Nattou in hand. Usually Hiro doesn't flinch when presented with kecha'ing hands and wota. Nattou was a step too far even for her. She grabbed the box and threw it into the crowd. Oh well, I thought, and carried on headbanging. My neck was screaming at me, so I started windmilling, which is even more dangerous. What's a few fused vertebrae? People started invading the stage to stagedive. Next moshpit around Montero kicked Kuzumura's knees out from under him, then smashed the recovered container of Nattou right in his face. Then she was crowdsurfing, and so was Buchou, and then Buchou got moshed to pieces again and ran away.

Then it was Croissant time. Nothing prepared me. The rendition of Croissant was the most bonkers ever, with Montero's head basically hitting the roof during the kecha part and a bunch of crazy wotagei the least of anyone's worries. A t-shirt was laid out on the floor with the words to the dreaded ultimate MIX...

Ahh, Yossha Ikuzo!
Ja ja!

Yappa Croissant!

Yappa Croissant!

Nearly everyone joined in. 

As we all lay panting on the floor at the end as we had lost, terror reigned. The dread notes of Croissant 2 hit the speakers.

"Oh fuck." Was all I thought. I felt sorry for Jul.

And we were up, and then we were down again because Croissant 2 just likes fucking with you like that. Then we were up again and mixing Croissant 2's even weirder MIX.


Demo Croissant!

Zha cai!
Yanjao Juuepao!

Then Hiro was in the crowd, people were on the stage, we were jogging on the spot, running around in circles around Hiro (Montero again kicking and tripping as many people as possible) and in general just openly being spanners. We nearly died. Not used to such exercise it took a heavy toll. At the end of it, as we once again lay prone, I pondered the meaning of existence and decided that I had found it.

Live over, they fucked off.

Reiji congratulated Jul and I on a damn good live, and we headed to buppan. The two foreigners had stayed for Lolisyn and then buggered off before buppan. I guess they thought that "the end" meant "the end". Poor sods.

I went for Montero first, because I felt like doing an interesting pose. I told her I'd brought the masochist but he wasn't too keen on Zekkyou's music. Montero seemed undaunted. Then I told her that because she'd been so happy to step on me the other day she should do it again. This time against a wall.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Both Kai and Montero had got into the habit of calling me by my real name (weird for me and idols, except 9nine), but Montero forgot how to spell Glen half way through, then tried changing it to Krv. Ended up more like Gurrrrrraf but oh well. You can see how well arguing would work.

I went and spoke to Jul, and compared chekis. He'd had Hiro stand on his face as well. Well, shit. I couldn't let that go. I lined up in Hiro's line and tried in vein to think of something to top it. I really couldn't. I tried, I failed. I ended up getting nearly the same pose as Jul had. Dammit. I conceded defeat, at least where Hiro was concerned.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

Oh well. I asked Hiro if they were playing again while I was in Japan. They were, but it was in Yamanashi-ken, which I'd never heard of. I said I'd look into going but promised nothing.

I set about getting Jul to have a cheki with Montero. We observed her at work. She started hitting everyone with a baseball bat. She pinned people against walls left right and centre. Kai looked a bit lonely so I went over and spoke to her. She'd taken her heels off again, and was a lot smaller than I was used to seeing her. I came up with a plan for a glorious cheki. Even though Kai dresses like a bit of an SM Queen, she's a complete masochist. I asked her to stamp on my face, hoping the S-pose mixed with her Mness would result in a cute expression. Unfortunately she was a bit too wise and put her heels back on. Unbroken, I came up with a second idea, a mix of my two Hiro chekis of the day.

I asked her to choke me out with her heel.

A photo posted by Pukovnik Krv (@pukovnik_krv) on

As you can see, she wrote it in English, with a few spelling mistakes, one of which is slightly unfortunate. Either way, she was awesome for doing it. later that night she started tweeting in English as well. I guess I'm good for something.

I stood to one side for a while, observing some Death Rabbits interactions. The girls were quite good at interacting with their fans, but one fan came up and asked for a cheki where he kabe-don'd a member. Only the member was buchou. Never a more homoerotic sight seen at an idol event (except of course, the earlier Lolisyn moshpit dryhumping). They again did their rounds and highfived everyone in attendance, with Buchou fistbumping everyone.

Weirdness over, I moved back to convincing Jul to get a cheki with Montero. Kai spoke to him. Montero spoke to him. That was the end of his futile resistance. He was on the floor with her foot on his chest pretending to swing a baseball bat at his face before he'd even paid. Kuzumura was slow as fuck on the uptake. Jul got the money out with Montero's boot still pinning him against the wall, and the cheki was taken.

My mission was a success.

After this we got kicked out by a staff member who looked suspiciously like Eren, and so Jul and I followed Reiji and the Lolisyn wota. We bumped into Lolisyn's producer on the way back, who wanted to know if any of them were going to Kofu. None of them had plans to. I still didn't know. They were all heading back to work the next day so they had to get the train and couldn't stay to fuck around. We were on the platform too when Jul changed his mind and said he wanted to eat somewhere in Otsuka. I told him there was fuck all that looked good in Otsuka as I'd been around it earlier. He didn't believe me so we went back out and looked at some restaurants, which I rejected because I generally hate about 90% of Japanese food.

Eventually Jul decided he wanted to eat eel or something so I fucked off back to Nippori. orob was back from his trip to Mars so we headed out for some drinks, and I slept.

To be continued...

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