Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A9 FCTrip 2016 - Alice in Atema Kougen Group A [25/11/2016]


The Arrival, and the Snow.

And here I am,typing out my experience on my last trip in the wild and crazy year 2016. A year that I've never even expect of myself, what a year indeed! How many times I was being asked how did I do it, how did I fly to Japan so often? How many times I heard people telling me it's nice that I can afford to fly there as many times as I did. 7 times throughout the year 2016, it is indeed impressive. And trust me, even I'm amazed at my own ability to do crazy things. Anything for the boys apparently, the trouble here is I don't see myself stopping my crazy stunt anytime soon, as long as I can still afford it - or able pull my belt tight enough just to make it happens, I have a feeling similar will happen in the coming year really.

It has been a fruitful year, the FC trip has provided me solid proof. That one man I wanted to notice my existence, he just told me that he did. He even make an effort to show that he did, I don't know what else can I ask for, really. If this is not the perfect last trip to close my chapters with the boys in 2016, I'm not sure what else is.

The way this November trip started out for me has already been a special one. The moment that I touched down in Narita, I was greeted by sight of drifting snow. My first sight of snow in my whole life, not through the tv screen, but real, actual snow that eventually melts on my clothes, it was so awesome. The day itself was so cold and yet so beautiful, cold enough that I craved for warm but not horrible enough that makes me hates the day itself, it felt like a nice break from where I've came from, really. It's also a birthday wish of mine that came true early, now left me wondering if I'm going to get more of these snowy days when I return to Japan in January. Lol.

Beautiful autumn colors in Tokyo~
The first day in Tokyo was amazing, short but lovely. I'm able to catch up with my beautiful friend Aisu, meet up with YuPing from Singapore and finally able to meet Lau from Mexico, I'm so happy to finally able to see you, girl! The hours slipped by us, so fast, so busy, we were all busy catching up with one another, sharing our passion, our memories with the boys, our worries and fears even. It was a wonderful time, I hope we will get to do it again sometimes! Miss you lots already.


The night was called short because we all need to go back and pack for our trip next day, not like priorities make our parting any easier, but with the promise that we all are going to meet again soon (Aisu, please say that we are still going to have a date to see Christmas lights someday!) we went home to get ready for our big days. Each of us holding a different meaning of it perhaps.

FC trip

The day for the FC trip started early, and a bit rushing for me, I absolutely have no idea why it has taken me as long to get ready as it did, I ended up running like crazy through Tokyo station just to get where we were supposed to meet up, but I did manage to arrive to the waiting location and catch the bus that'll bring us up to Atema Kougen to see our lovely boys.

The trip up was spent with butterflies fluttering inside my stomach, perhaps for the same reasons it seems like no one on the bus talk much (which is a lie, but no one in my group talk much). I didn't manage to sleep, too nervous, so I kept myself busy texting all my friends and trying not to think about how nervous I was, trying to not think too much about what would happen next, because everyone knows nothing comes out good from something that you expect too much good from. I did have plenty of expectation though, I know who I wanted to talk to, whose attention I want to have on me, and I know I wanted to show them my drawings. I'm just glad that even with all these expectations, the real situation manage to turn out well, in some aspect it is even better than how I hoped it would be, and I'm really really really happy.


A photo posted by Paige Yin (@paigeyin) on


Arriving to our room I've already know my roommates, a Singapore lady who I know since last year, Val, her friend せいさん, and せいさん's friend, みーさん. You can say I was in quite a comfortable company, although my Japanese is still so bad that we can't really have much in depth conversations with one another, but we managed to get by. I just wish my Japanese can get better soon so I'm able to talk to them more freely, instead of having thoughts in my head that I'm unable to express, it is very frustrating.

Well, seems like I have more works to do improving my Japanese~ XD

Our room.


First activity on schedule after we settled down in our room was taking a 6 shots with the boys. What is 6 shots you might ask? Its actually a picture taken with 5 of the boys. One you, 5 of them, so there are 6 person in that 1 shot (not quite the 1 person being photograph 6 times as the name "6 shots" might suggest). XD Shou gave us a little preview of the venue design had just drove our nervousness up the top notch, my friends went crazy the moment they saw that picture in his tweet, one that featured white roses and white background. We all had the same thought running around in our minds: that looks exactly like a wedding ceremony, OMG!

The outside view of our 6-shots venue~
And I have to say, that's exactly what it is like. We went down following the timing we were given, it wasn't a long wait, we were given our numbers for the shot: mine was 98. It was soon that we were told to line up according to the numbers, and then the girls in front of me caught sight of a Tora in formal suit and started chatting excitedly. Formal though, what's with formal? I myself was so dressing in my natural style that my heart sank a little knowing that it is for real, they are all dressing up formal for the shot. Lol, shit. I'm just glad that the picture turned out alright eventually though.

When we were allowed to go into the photo shoot venue, most of us didn't expect the boys to stand on the left of the entrance, it gave us a shock upon realising it. I just walked by Hiroto so close on my left~! *eyes widened in surprise*. Saga looks fabulous in his suit, it fits him so well. And Shou, he looks like a Prince as usual. Nao, Hiroto and Tora look handsome too of course! Sorry, hahaha, I am bias and only have my eyes on that pretty princess~ :P He looks a little tired, I've got to say. :-/

We were told to sit in rows on the benches - told you it's like a wedding ceremony. Once I sat down, I caught Shou's eyes and he nodded and smiled at me in that familiar way that left me wondering does he remember me, I am still wondering about that right now, LOL. A regret that I didn't ask him directly.

Photo taking was fast. They rotated their position for every group. In my group, I have Saga and Nao sitting on either side of me - Alternative team! - standing behind me was Tora, Shou and Hiroto. I'm quite happy for the arrangement because all my biases are close to me, Saga, Shou and Nao. There was a little mishap, they have a procedure to take a shot of the number (Don't ask me what number) right before the shot with the next girl, and Gakki-san forgot about it until I've already sat down between two boys (I might also have kicked the chair as I took my seat because I was nervous and having 2 left feet. >.> sorry Shou-san). So, what Gakki did, he was like "Oh well, why not?", and he held the number above my head and let the photographer shoot a picture of the number (eh???). I was shocked really, didn't expect that (what unglam look I would be wearing on that picture I wonder), but that somewhat coxed out a natural smile from me when they take the real shot, that I'm happy about.

We all receive a gift from the member before we leave the shoot. Nao-san handed mine to me. "プレゼントです。(This is a present)" he told me as he handed it to me with a little smile.

So nice. It was so nice till I almost forgot my phone on my way out. Lol.

There was a little chill time before dinner. Dinner was very very nice, we have all sort of food, yet I didn't eat much - and then regretted it as the night got later and I got hungry. Gotta say, the cake and the yogurt (although I have no idea why their yogurt is in solid form instead of usual liquid form, it feels like mousse) are so awesome that I wished for second, though me being me I didn't go get since I'm already full enough and I was lazy.

Dinner at Atema Kougen
After dinner, we went back to our room and dress up warmly for the acoustic live and karaoke session.

Since it snowed the day before, and rained on the day itself too, our starlight live took place indoor. Maybe it would be more romantic in a way if they play it outdoor, but I am happy enough - and certainly prefers the warmth of the indoors venue. The boys only did 3 songs for the acoustic live, they played 昴 (Subaru), Fantasy and Number Six, everything sounded so amazing. Shou's voice was wonderful that night. They played the live in their formal suits from earlier, the whole feeling of it was very very nice.

They talked a lot during the live, Shou started by saying that it's a bit sad that they cannot play the live outdoors, but they do have the starlight brought into the room (there was a projection of starlight in the room, Lol). I think he said that when they were rehearsing last night, they thought they will all die (from the cold?). Well there aren't much action for this live, all of them were sitting down nicely, in a row, no wonder they would worry about playing out in the cold.

Starlight live, indoor version. XD

During Subaru, Shou asked us to sing the last part along with him, that part choruses "we as one". It was very beautiful. He said he was very happy that we all sang "we as one" with him. Lol.

They talked about making new songs, though I did not quite catch what they talked about. Sorry guys, my Japanese is still so bad and can't really understand many of what they were chattering about among themselves.

But it was very funny when Shou mentioned  that they've marked Final Fantasy XV release date on their work calendar, apparently Shou will be NG for 3 days after the game released - are you sure it only takes you 3 days? And they mentioned that Saga played Wii until 5 am just that morning - no wonder you look tired Princess... Hey you need to have more sleep than that you know?

It seems like Hiroto really wanted to play the live under the starlight, Shou mentioned it. Lol. Well I'm glad that he gets to do that on the second day at least.

They mentioned about Tora going to sing on karaoke session that night, and teased him about it.

They also talked about でまち, and the boys talked about their family, if I'm not wrong. There were mentioning about mother, father and sister in the conversation, though I couldn't understand much. The live ended with a beautiful piece of acoustic Number Six. I'm pretty sure you guys have the recorded version of it, and it sounds very much like it at live.

After that, we were told to go back up to ground floor to wait as the staffs kept the instruments and the boys change into their casual wears.

Karaoke session next, Saga looks so handsome in the blue turtle neck and a checked jacket drapped over his shoulders. Shou in his usual casual style, hoodie and skinny jeans. Nao's pajamas is so cute, it's white, long sleeves and with cute cartoons printed on it. Hiroto is in his usual style too, white shirt, pants, a long silky dressrobe completed the whole look. And Tora wore a very nice, green color jacket, he looks very handsome in it.

I had so much fun on the karaoke session, the boys had a lot of fun singing along with the fans, and they sang with each other too. It's so funny, they made fun of each other and they also made fun of the fans came up on stage. I have got to say, every fans that went on stage did very very well, you guys are awesome!

Highlighted moments are when Nao, Hiroto and Tora came out doing PPAP, Nao was so funny, the way he sang the song making it sounding all wrong and right at the same time, it was so funny I couldn't stop laughing even when my stomach hurts. If you ever heard Nao sang before, just imagine his voice goes "I haf a pe~n, I haf an appuru, ah~ applepe~n" LOLOL~ and I am very very sure he had a lot of fun time doing it. Lolol! Tora on the other hand shown off his awesome rapping voice and sounded very handsome there.

Saga's singing was awesome as usual, but that pose... Hahahaha! It was very funny, especially when Shou came out joining the fun dancing along to it. He was so cute!! It seems like Shou-san have some moves in him yo! But he looks like a kid when he dances, soooooo adorable.

While I do love him joining in at that song and showing off such adorableness, at the same time I felt a little annoyed at that because he made everyone laughed and scream and I couldn't enjoy Saga's singing to my heart's content there - also the fact that once again I found myself being not sure where should I look because I want to see both of them at the same time.

Saga sang very very well, really really well. He sang Kiss Me by 氷室京介. His deep voice pulling off the tune so beautifully~ I miss his voice so much already, oh God.

On the other hand, Tora's singing was... *laughs* It seems like he can't start singing without having some beer first. Oh and the boys came out with beers in their hand just as the karaoke session started, well Saga and Tora did. What a way to start the night indeed, hahahaha!!

Another funny moment, Shou chose to sing Everlasting by L'Arc~En~Ciel. He was so into his singing that all the members ran away from the stage. The look on Saga's face as he slowly backed away from Shou - there was this part where he sang the high vocals - was so funny. The face suggested that, "Ok, he's so into it he sounds dangerous now... I better get to the backstage and let him have the stage all to himself... (you know, just in case he starts Maou-ing)" hahahahahahahaha! I laughed so hard at that.

One of the fan went up on stage giving the boys some pocky, the boys immediately claimed that they want to eat, and opened the packs handed to them and started eating. The crowd went wild when Saga and Pon shared a pocky - you know, the each of them chewing from one end - and then the wilder moment, when Shou and Pon shared the same pocky. That Pon eh, go around sharing pocky with the members, tsk tsk tsk...

Apart from PPAP, Nao has also sang Rainbow that night. I am sorry Nao, but instead of cool I really find you adorable beyond words. He appears from backstage with that famous pair of white glasses Shou wore for Rainbow PV, and started pretending to be Shou. It was funny. And the fact that he doesn't really remember the lyrics and have to read it off his phone as he sings, was so cute. The room went quite wild with it, we all did A jump along with the tune - who can resist it right? Shou and Nao went into the crowd and gave the fans their mics to sing into it.

These boys are just so adorable, whyyy??

My friend, Lau from Mexico, was one of the participant for the karaoke session. She did so well, I don't even think I'll do half as good as she did. And the song she chose was so difficult to sing, and she did such a great job with it.

Hiroto paid our side a little visit sometimes by the end of the karaoke session, he came out from the door at the side - where we weren't expecting as a door actually. Some fans were so shocked that they literally backed away when they realized it's Hiroto standing beside them. *laughs* See Pon, you're scaring the girls. :P

The karaoke session finished around 11pm? I wasn't exactly checking the time, but I know they finished the session so late that I couldn't help but wonder just what time would they even finish the Goodnight Time. Lol. The staffs told us all to please stay awake for the room visit before we were allowed to go back to our room. He was like, the boys will sure go to every room, so please wait up and don't go to sleep. *laughs* We went back to the room and prepare for their room visit next.

The 2-shots tickets~
My drawings for the boys, arranged on the round table in the room.
The room visit was fun, it was wonderful. I feel blessed being the only Saga fan in my room, seeing no one else takes interest in him - much - I had a good interaction with him. I'm also surprise at just how much I managed to say to him, in opposed to my usual tongue-tied state whenever I see him. He still does that to me, makes me speechless, exactly what happened to me the next morning. But during that room visit, I managed to talk to him. It even felt natural for me to start conversation with him then, perhaps because the two of us were left standing at one side - while the other girls had Shou surrounded, *laughs* - and it felt a little awkward if I'm don't say anything to him, and I didn't want to waste the good chance right in front of me. So I talked to him as much as I could, with my limited Japanese, I'm just really really happy that I was able to speak as much as I did. And he was there being ever patient and kind, he even has that little smile hovering on the corners of his lips as he waited to hear my words. <3

So Shou and Saga walked in, not long after I got message from my friends knowing the other group was Tora, Hiroto and Nao - I'm still surprise at that, then again, maybe I should not be. Hahaha. Shou proceeded to walk to one side of the room, the side where the beds are, he probably searching for a setting to take photos. Saga pulled him back before he sits down on the bed, he was saying something like don't go to the beds *laughs* so Shou went to where there are a coach instead. Almost immediately the Shou was very busy with the three girls talking to him, and Saga - in his blue turtleneck and a light blue checked jacket just drapping over his shoulder. He was also wearing hat, as I expect he would *giggles* He looks so handsome - wandered over to where I was standing, by the window, where I had spread out my drawings on the round table standing there.

Me: *holding up my drawing of him* 沙我さん (Saga)...
Saga: *looked up at the mention of his name, and saw the drawing of him* お~ 描けましたか? (Oh~ Did you draw that?)
I nodded in response, and he came over to take the drawing from my hand*
Saga: すばらしい(It's awesome)!
Me: *Speechless and awestruck just looking at him staring at my drawing, he was really taking in the details of it it seems*
Saga: *Looked up at me* すばらしいよ! (I think he probably think I didn't hear him because I never response, so he emphasized his words.)
Me: あ~ ありがとうございます。*with a little bow*
Saga: *taking the drawing like he's going to keep it*
Me: *panicking a little* え~? も-持ってますか? (Eh~? Are you taking it?)
Saga: もちろん持ってるよ! (Of course I'm taking it!)
Me: ちょ- ちょっと待てね! *hurried search for the envelope for him*
Lucky I did came prepare and put all their letters inside the big envelope meant for the drawings. Lol. Val helped me to tell him that I have a letter to him too.
Me: *Passed him the envelope*
Saga: ありがとうございます (thank you)。

There was a little silence, Shou still hasn't finish his photo-taking with the girls. Saga, perhaps he feels awkward, perhaps he was just curious, went to look at the rest of the drawings one by one.

His conclusion: Naoさんはカッコイイです. (Nao's drawing is handsome). *laughs*

I told him thanks again. He stood beside me as we waited. Now my turn for not able to stand the silence.

Me: 沙我さん, 私のこどは覚えてますか? (Saga, do you remember me?)
Saga: もちろん覚えてますよ! 今まで, ありがとうございました! (Of course I remember. For so long, thank you.)

I was so shocked and happy I couldn't say anything but shook my head at him.

Seriously, even though after so many times my friends told me he should remembers me by now, for my drawings, for the many times I've flew over to see him, I could never find myself believing the fact that he would. I mean, he must meet hundred of fans every event, receiving hundreds of not thousand fan letters too everytime? I am such an insignificant one among that many. I'm not sure if you could imagine how I feel, I feel lucky, I feel blessed, and most of all, I feel appreciated, it's the kind of happiness beyond description of words.

And I'm bad, I still couldn't help myself doubting his words a little after that, wondering is he just saying so because it's something any idol would say to their fans just to keep them in the fanbase. I am pretty certain he is not that kind of guy, but it is just pretty unbelievable, if you get what I mean?

Couldn't help myself wondering too, where and when did he starts remembering me from, and how? It's pretty true that he saw me at some of the lives, in June, July and August, and before that it would be back in 2015 when I met him at handshakes after live, I am not sure he would remember me from that far back really. Or perhaps, when he said he remembers me it's because of my drawings? If that's the case, *laughs* I'm so in trouble, the things I always wrote in my letters to him, thinking he probably won't know my face... *laughs*

Oh wells, not like I'm going to stop writing silly things to him now. Hahahaha!

I've also made a song request from him for January, told him that on the first day of Shibuya live it was my birthday, he was surprised by that and told me that he will try to remember this and put the song on their setlist that day. Throughout the whole conversation he has been so patient, so gentle, the way that he leaned down closer to me so to catch my words. He also has a little smile hovering on his lips, and he look at me encouragingly, so I can finish my sentence to him, it was such a beautiful moment.

I would love the moment to extend infinitely, but the staff then came over to ask me how many 2-shots I've bought, and who do I want to take them with. I bought 4 in total, 1 with Shou and 3 with Saga (a regret I never notice someone expression when I told the staff that). Since Shou was already in position, I headed over and take photo with him first. Finally I have a moment with him, I shown him the drawing. He was like, "上手ですね (you're pretty good at it)!" to which I replied thank you. Surprisingly, he took the cheki with me holding up my drawing. When I asked him does he wants to take the drawing with him, he told me that he will take it the next day.

To be fair, I never expect any of them would take the drawing with them right away, how Saga has made an exception has already made my day.

I had 3 shots with Saga, first was a cool shot, his usual face. And then I requested a smile from him for our second shot, "いいですよ (that sounds good)!" he replied so naturally, that OK with such affirmative and did so. He smiled for our third shot too. So beautifully. Thank you Princess!

After sending these two lovely boys away, we waited for the other three to come visit. We will be the last room for the second group. Hours ticked by, we talked a little, half complaining that we're sleepy but the other half were still hyping over moments we could get with Shou and Saga earlier on. It was until 4 am that we got signs of the boys heading our way. The staff came over to give us a warning about 10 mins before they came over (poor Staffさん, appears that they couldn't catch any sleep before the boys finish their activities too, poor thing).

Generally I'm very relax facing this group, I'm not taking picture with any of them, so I was very chill. I was even there drinking tea when they burst in. Like, out of a sudden they just came in, didn't even bother to knock (Shou and Saga was much gentler that they knocked first). I was very surprised to be honest, even with the staff's prior warning, I didn't expect them to reached us so soon. Standing there I was still holding my tea cup - just swallowed my sip of tea - looking at the three guys. "Eh?" I blinked several times at Hiroto when he came to a stop in front of me. He tilted his head at me (cutely): "Eh? ...何で?" (like asking me why am I so surprise?) I almost rolled eye at him - or did I? I think I didn't, hope I didn't, it would be rude. Lol. He quickly shifted his attention somewhere else before I recover enough to reply him.

I talked a little with them three, mainly showed them my drawings. All of them were pretty happy with them, I'm glad. My friend managed to get Tora to say something in English, I was just telling her earlier that I want to listen to him speaking English. Random I know, LOL.

Randomly, our Tora-san just went "How are you?", "I am fine," and "Thank you," to our little request. LOL!!

And the boys left and we were finally able to clean up and get some rest... Some, if you count a little more an hour's sleep some. I'm amazed at how I'm able to get up from bed at all. Breakfast was wonderful, there was coffee (thank God for coffee!!). After food we went back to room to pack, getting ready to leave the place. It was with a little sad tone, I didn't want to leave the place. "How nice if I can just stay for another day~?" I remember myself thinking, well at least I have a precious memory to bring home.

Breakfast at Atema Kougen.
After settling our luggages we went to the hall for the boys to bid us goodbye. Me being me that's too excited on the day before, I've misplace one important item, the ticket for me to take my 6-shot picture!!! D: D: D: Lucky for me that the staffs provided a me a solution quickly - and lucky me that I still remember my number - things proceeded without issue. We sat according to the numbers and the boys came out to for short speech bidding us goodbye. They still look handsome on the day, although a little tired - especially our Pon - but Saga and Shou looked refreshed, I'm pretty sure they've got a bit of sleep in since they ended their last night earlier, I'm glad. After the message, we were told to leave the hall following the sequence, by rows, the boys were outside waiting to handshake with us, to say goodbye.

Me and my friends were about the 5th row. When I was still in line I could already see Saga there, beautiful as ever. 💖 I was the last among my friends, but the delay was not enough, I really just wanted more time to look at him, to stare at him from that distance, the real him there. You know how I feel? But yeah, eventually we all need to move. So I went up, my mind went blank at the same time (forgive me, I couldn't come up with anything to say to him, between sleep deprived and electric zap from the night before and all the staring at him). But seems like it's fine though, because someone was taking the advantage of my silence to say so much to me.

Saga: *enveloping my hand in both of his* おはようございます! 絵がありがとうございました! (Good morning! Thank you for the drawing!)

Wait. What?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

D-did I heard him right? Did he just thanked me for my drawing from the night before? You mean he remembers? He actually remembers?

Me: いえいえ ("No no", more like "its nothing")...

Basically I don't quite remember what he said to me next, I think he was asking me 楽しがったか? (Did you had fun?) or is it 休んでましたか? (Did you had any rest?) I remember him asking me a question because he has spoken in such a gentle and soft tone that I had to leaned in to hear him. My poor brain must have been overloaded, between lacked of sleep and him dropping me such a bomb this early of the morning, I don't even remember how I responded to him, I probably told him "はい (yes)!" with an exaggerated nod and a big grin even perhaps, I don't know. That guy is still freaking dangerous, he makes me not even sure what I did in front of him *laughs* I must have told him thank you too, because I remembered it, kind of. The most precious is moment though, is still the last, just as the last seconds passing by and I'm almost moving over to say my goodbye to Shou - because I had nothing else to say to Saga (not like that's ever true, but I couldn't think of anything else to say to him anymore at that moment)...

Saga: *reached out to catch my hand again* 本当にありがとうございました! (Roughly translating to "Thank you very much" but like, "Really, thank you very much!")

Seriously, I was very shocked that he did that, and at how much he actually meant his words I can hear his sincerity in them, and he was staring straight into my eyes, and the fact that he has reached out to took my hand in his the second time... I didn't have time to give an response to him this time, Gakki-san simply pushed me away from him (because I was in front of him for a very long time *LOL* but it was not my fault though, he was the one come catching my hand when I'm about to move on. I really really appreciate that moment though, and glad to know that he really like my drawings.)

I bet you could guess how I don't quite remember my goodbyes with the rest of the members, I know Shou told me thank you in Japanese, and I told him "please come to Singapore soon" when I was being push forward again. Shou appeared a little surprise, he asked me "シンガポールですか (you're from Singapore)?" I replied him "はい(yes)!" by when I was already standing in front of Nao. Sorry Nao-san! I'm not ignoring you. Nao has probably overheard our conversation (naturally) and he told me "Thank you," in English, with a very amused smile on his face (hey, what are you musing at?).

Sorry girls, if you're Hiroto or Tora fans reading this, I have to admit, I can't remember a single word of what they've said to me, not a word. I know they asked me something like "Did you had fun?" or "Did you got any rest?" and one of them definitely told me that he had lots of fun yesterday, and thank you, but I can't remember who said them or the exact words they've used. For someone who claimed to have photographic memories, I feel ashamed about that. But I can tell you that Hiroto said his goodbye and thanks with such sincerity that can melt hearts, and he looks into my eyes as long as he could held it, with such intensity. And Tora, Tora is just a big gentle tiger isn't he? He was being so gentle when I shook hand with him, even leaned in so close to me and spoke in a tone that's just above whisper. When he added "またね (see you again, ok)!" at the end of his sentence, I replied him "また来年 (see you next year)!" Tora looks a little surprise at that and asked me back "来年 (next year)?" Yes, Tora-san, next year because I can't fly anymore this year. A little sad that I'm going to miss you guys for Christmas but hey, at least January isn't that far away~

Got the 6-shots picture from the staff without anymore incident on my way out. Surprisingly I like how I look in this picture, has never expect it to turn out good at all, I always dislike pictures others take for me because there is a big chance of my face freezing and my smile turns unnatural. The bus ride home was quiet in a way, this time each of us carrying the heavy heart that doesn't want to leave the resort instead, I know mine did. I thought my heart was left with someone, back there; I still think my heart was left there with someone, back there.

Beautiful memory, our first 6-shot image together.
And the message card that came along with the picture. <3
The rest of the evening was spent sleeping back at my guest house and chilling after bidding my friends goodbye. It felt like things were over too soon, and we all are parting ways back to our normal lives once again...

Kuroshitsuji Musical and a surprise

Waiting for Kuroshitsuji to start.
Another early day, at least I got some rest but exhaustion from the night before still lingers. It isn't like I'm complaining - much. I'm excited to see musical for the first time in Japan, of all the amazing thing I heard about it, I can only expect greatness out of the afternoon's show and nothing less.

I found out about the Kuroshitsuji musical from one of my favorite actor, Miura Ryosuke. He is playing the Joker from the Noah Circus Ark, a character I actually likes quite a bit from the story itself.

People has already lined up outside the venue by the time my friend and I arrived, but seeing that we're having numbered seats, I wasn't worry. We queued up for the goods, got myself the beautiful tote bag and the pouch, after which we went into the hall to sit down and wait for the show to start.

Shots of the flower stands lining up along the hall.
The musical was awesome! Of what little pages of the comics I managed to read before flying over, I could see that the story they acted out on stage followed closely to the original - of course, what else am I expecting *laughs* The costumes, the characters, the actions, the music, I love every bits, even the jokes I'm only half getting sometimes because of my limited Japanese vocabulary. Oh and I love the actor playing Ciel, he's so adorable I want to hug him. XD

Some pictures taken right outside Tokyo Dome City Hall.
After the musical we went off to meet with some other friends again. And then we (YuPing and I) had sushi for dinner, at a small little shop that serves sushi on a conveying belt. It was very interesting eating in a small, local restaurant like that, I find. The sushi was delicious too. And then we went to meet with Lau, (and glad to also got to know Lis, though sadly she couldn't join us for our next adventure :( ) and together, three of us set off to Kabukichō, towards Shinjuku Loft that's where Midnight Party Zoo was held (don't think too much there yo~). We waited around for the boys. We didn't manage to catch all of them, but we saw the million-watt smile lead singer, Shou who appeared in a navy blue jacket that looks so good on him - well since when he looks bad in anything huh? We also saw Aki and some other bandman going into the venue.

When Shou saw me, he went like "Oh...", not sure what to make of his reaction there, does he recognised me? Or not? That pretty smile though...

While I wish I've gotten a ticket for the live with them, well... At least it wasn't a wasted trip over there at all, at least I managed to catch Shou one more time before going back.

It was a wonderful trip, one that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to forget anytime soon. My crazy lives-going, Japan-flying adventure in 2016 seems to end in a beautiful note there and for that I will forever be grateful about. I look forwards to the adventures awaiting me in year 2017, hopefully it will be as amazing, if not more so.

And thank you all for reading, this has been a crazy long post. *laughs* I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to comment below/ let me know what you think via Twitter. I'll see you soon, maybe I will be able to squeeze in one more post concluding my crazy year before the New Year, if not, I'll sure see you again in year 2017!

Love you~~

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A9 XII ANNIVERSARY, "NO NAME"-名前は未だ無い- 2004-2005 ONLY LIVE


And here I am, on the flight hurling me 844 km/hour away from the beautiful city where my heart remains, for some while now. During the last six months of my life, somehow I've managed this feat I didn't even know I'll be able to pull off, flying to Tokyo six times in the span of six months. And while it's all stressful and exciting at the same time, it's great because I learned a lot, and even there were some uneventful occurrences along the way, I seriously couldn't remember them now. Memories of Tokyo to me is full of laughter share with people I love, and all the precious memories built with new friends I made.

I should probably come back for another entry concluding my many journeys in Tokyo, although I really have no idea when I'm going to come back to it, seeing the many travel reports I've promised has still yet to make an appearance. But yeah, I'm going to skip into the main topic, and bring you to 28/08/2016, A9 XII ANNIVERSARY 2004-2005 ONLY LIVE, "NO NAME"-名前は未だ無い-.

Early day, as usual, although this one I actually couldn't get up early enough and left with many things I've not the time to prepare before live. It was that morning only that I manage to finish writing letters to our bassist and 2 guitarists. Needless to say, I didn't manage to catch anyone going into the venue, arriving at Studio Coast by 9.30am after meeting up with Aisu, there was already a queue for goods. We joined in and waited. It was while waiting that we finalized stuffs, mainly the anniversary card that I didn't plan on making, but I made anyway, and yes, I managed to finish my letters. A few of us has bought A9 a bottle of champagne as well to celebrate the anniversary. It was such an awesome bottle and Aisu has wrapped it so beautifully, thank you~


The champagne and anniversary card we've made for the boys this time! I hope they've got them and enjoy the gifts~!

The goods queue got long pretty fast, and we moved location twice. The hours waiting just flew by being there with friends, talking about the boys, and sharing stories of our lives during times we did not see one another. Goods sales started at 2pm, and we all got our lots, chekis and goods, after which, a busy time.

Busy with what you might ask, well, busy finding a good shot of our biases of course. It took us more than an hour, but I would say it's not bad for the hour's work. I managed to get many Saga chekis, and one shot with Shou smiling so bright that my heart melt the moment I saw it. あ~ 将さんの笑顔はとても綺麗ですね~ And I even managed to get the full set of Saga ドレカ and a set of Hiroto ドレカ for my friend, totally satisfied with my hunt there.

Saga's ドレカ, full set, along with the metal charms.
Hiroto ドレカ, full set.
There was a bit of a rush back to hotel and back, by the time we reached the venue again, they've started calling entry numbers. Aisu went in first, I follow closely and managed to find her inside the venue itself. We were standing about... 5 rows away from the stage? Not the closest but definitely guaranteed a good view. And we were near Saga side - of course, what else are you expecting from two Saga biases?

About half an hour passed, and finally the lights dimmed, crowd cheered, there was a short video showing the boys, flashing back to the past from their latest work. The boys came out on the stage, half hidden behind the closed, half-transparent curtain. "Saga's back!" I was told by my excited Aisu. Squinting to look through the curtain, it was true that I'm looking at a good view there. That patch of flawless white skin peeking out through the hole cut onto his outfit. I'm glad that through the half-transparent curtain is not the only time I get a glimpse of it (*cough* I'm sorry for typing that, but I'm not really sorry), there were multiple times during the live that he turned his perfect back to us too, without needing us to ask. So yeap, definitely full of good views from my spot right there last night.

Side-tracked, *cough* let's get back to the opening now.

The flashback ends on a familiar song title, 平成十七年七月七日, the first song starting the 3 hours long live.

Lots of songs were played, and I don't really remember that much MC-ing during the main show. As the boys played all these older songs, the night went by busily for us fans as well, busy following Shou doing furi along the music.

The arrangement of the songs that night flowed from one into another seamlessly, not just the music, but the feeling of the atmosphere as well. I'm not sure you will understand what I am talking about exactly unless you're there to experience it first handed. The feeling of the music, in the atmosphere, it flows into another smoothly. Perhaps you can get a feel of it by listening to the songs according to the set list last night.

It was not just a great live I think, it was almost perfect. It's everything I've expected this live to be, with all their experiences gained and improvements made throughout the last 12 years in the music industry, they showed it on stage that night. There was some rearrangement to some songs, and Shou's voice singing them sounds so different now - but the bright smile on his face when he's showing us the furi didn't change at all, no. His smile spread even wider when you manage to get the movements right, he will look at you with that bright happy face while nodding in approval. Like a big kid really. 将さん, 可愛い過ぎ!

Last night, it's very easy to tell that Shou was very happy. Indeed, all of them were very happy on stage.

I have to admit, I'm not that familiar with all their old songs, I wasn't there right from the beginning, but I do have several favorites from that era and I'm glad to be able to listen to them. 無限の花, H.A.N.A.B.I., 赤い風車, 白夜二黑猫, 銀の月, 黒い星, these are all the songs that I love and they sang last night. And I'm so glad to hear them with their improved sound really. They've came a long way, our boys, and I could feel nothing but pride for their improvements.

I always say Shou has shown great improvement with his singing skills throughout the years, which is certainly true, but I'm not trying to be bias towards him and discredit the rest of the members. Its just that, everyone has their own focus on certain sounds when it comes to music, mine has always been the mid- to high range, which tends to pull my listening focus to the vocal and guitar. So yes, I really love the improvement shown by our vocalist. And his voice was perfect last night, his voice has shown all the improvement he has made throughout the years; they've managed to perfect all those songs they've made at the start.

If they've recorded last night's live, I want a DVD of it, or at least a live CD that I can listen to over and over again.

Meiji is one of the song I'm not familiar with, it was from a brief chat with Aisu that I found out that is a live-only song, both Meiji and Ageha. During Meiji, Shou asked all of us fans to squat down and when it's out turn, we should jump up. We will be devided into 4 portions, the right most is Hiroto's fans, follow by Shou and Nao, and then Saga's fans and Tora's fans. I've no idea what got into us, when Shou mention Saga's fans both Aisu and me were like, raising hand and went "hai" (I know I did, softly but it did sounded loud to my ears). None others did it but us two, definitely embarrassing, I felt like a dork. But that little action caught our Saga-sama's attention, and he glanced over at us, and lifted us a smirk. From one of us to another.

You big shitty tease! You big tease!

Apart from furi on some songs, the boys also got us singing a part of chorus from 赤い風車, which you would know if you've watch their Court of "9" live. What different for me is that, instead of watching everyone on the screen holding hands singing to the familiar tune, I was a part of it, I was there doing that with the boys and all the fans. And it felt so heart warming, looking at the boys' expressions on stage as they watched us singing to their song, there was this shade of unmistakably pride and approval on Saga's face. And Shou and Tora were just shinning with happiness (and I couldn't really see Nao and Hiroto from where I was standing...).

無限の花 was so beautifully done I've got to mention it, from the moment the boys play it, that first note in the air sounded and my thoughts jumped to a friend who wanted to be there to listen to the song but she couldn't. If this would help - which I doubt it would - and if you're reading this, JH, the song was brilliantly done. I think Saga did some fine-tuning to the music, but then again I can't be sure because it is the first time I listen to it live, like live live, and I couldn't remember much from the Alice in Wonderland video I watched... (OK, I will rewatch it again sometimes soon, after I got home). The music felt softer, like smoother, and of course as I mentioned, Shou's voice has improved so much through the years. The song sounded very good, perhaps that's all I need and have to say.

During the ending part of 無限の花, one by one the members left the stage, first Shou, then follow by Saga and Tora, and finally Hiroto, leaving Nao on the stage. He performed us a very awesome drum session to a piece of traditional Japanese music. It was very cool, Nao looks very handsome that night by the way, although my focus has not been on him. But that moment was totally his, when he's up there being all amazing and drummed out complicated patterns. The crowd gasped at several places, and cheer for Nao's name whenever he raised his drumstick indicating us to.

And the boys returned after, started Siva and Diva.

What should worth a mention perhaps, should be Haikara. That song that everyone has been waiting for perhaps, and perhaps some of you (like myself) had been wondering if Saga would do it, would he lick his bass that night. Soon as the first note sounded in the air and everyone cheered so loud. Saga did it by the way, licking his bass giving us full fan service over there. And I screamed so loud. Lol. So sorry I couldn't help myself. But you big tease! Saga you big freaking tease! I see those teasing glint in your eyes as you glanced at us out the corner of your eyes, and that little smirk hovering at the corner of your lips! He totally just paused in the middle, narrowed his eyes just to look at us all, watching our reactions (and enjoying it) probably, and then he gone back licking his bass again! He's such a tease! Damn big a tease!

Ah, I screamed so loud. *cover face*

Saga changed bass after that, some technical issue? Or is it hygiene issue? I've no idea. His mom should be there and watching after all. ;-)

Lots of headbanging at the last few songs, and gyaku dive, which is definitely the cause for the aching on the left side of my neck and left shoulder right now. But it was so much fun! The many gyaku dives though got me a bit disorientated, because of all the moving left and right, and back and forth, by the time they ended the concert and went back stage, I kept having the feeling that I've somewhat ended up at Hiroto side of the stage? But I have not, it was just a persistent feeling that has got me kept looking at the stage and wondering where I am standing. It was a very strange feeling (and I was starving, I had been hungry since before the start of the live, perhaps that contributed to the disorientation).

The fans chanted encore loud as ever, if not even louder, none of us was ready for the night to end, even when it has actually ended. I believe all of us wanted to see A9 more, listen to them singing more songs, go crazy and have fun with them. It didn't take long for the boys to come back out on the stage for the first encore of the night, in - wait for this - school uniforms! They came out in school uniforms along with their thick makeup, it's like, well, it's like old time seriously.

And to tell the truth, Hiroto actually looks like a student - we have already establish the fact that that boy has not age a day since 12 years ago. And Shou looks like the most famous student of his year in those Shoujo Manga, one that every girls in the school have a crush on.

Tora, Shou and Hiroto came out arms on each other's shoulders. At first Hiroto is the only one that appears without a jacket, it didn't take long for Saga to take off his - and loosen his tie - and then Shou too, took his jacket off.

They played Shunkashuutou in the school uniform - not surprising, I knew they going to sing that song the moment they appeared in uniforms, seriously - and then 銀の月, 黒い星, that I really love. The boys went back in once again, and another round of encore sounded through the hall, louder than before and more persistence. They took a while, changing into their Anniversary tee before walking out again. For the first time they all wears the same design - at least among all those lives I've attended, this is the first I see - and after another round quick MC-ing, they broke into another familiar tune, 葬園 - 名前も無き君へ -.

They played total of 4 songs in the second encore, all the fun songs. The crowd cheered loud when first note of G3 sounded in the air, and there was another round of head banging and gyaku diving, such fun. The last song wrapping up the show was Time Machine, another that I've been waiting to listen to them play live. Its also an emotional moment for some fans I'm sure, I think I saw someone crying among the crowd there~! Beautiful song, I really wanted this live version to keep.

The boys took pictures with the crowd at the end there. Shou told the photographer to please take a good shot, don't miss out Saga's expose tights there. Saga obediently leaned down even lower so to show more legs in the pictures.

Ajdhfjshgsjsgjk.

So backtracking, I shall cover bits and pieces that I missed out above.

At one point in the live, Shou asked us to call the members by names. So we were to call Nao like Na-o, Saga as Saga-sama, Tora as To-ra usual, Hiroto as Hiropon, and Shou as Sho-u all done with that cute intonation. You'll probably get it if you watch Haikara live performance where they have the member names calling part. The wonderful thing is really listening to Shou going on with that cute intonation himself, that guy, can he be any cuter. He can do some pretty good cutesy high pitch too! Hahaha!

There was some MC-ing throughout the live, although I could never remember between which two songs they did that, neither did I remember/ catch much of the contents. I do remember that Shou talked to Tora first, and Tora has this beautiful smile on his face all the time that's all I could recall. The second round of MC-ing that Shou brought our attention to Saga. There was this part where he was talking about his outfit - which of course, is something that must be mentioned. Shou said something like well, Saga-san is showing his tights today, and his back - on which Saga has been very nice and turned back to show us that perfect back, again - and initially he thought of making Saga to show his stomach too. Shou has also mentioned something about when they first put on these costumes for the photoshoot, and he saw Saga right after he finished his makeup, his immediate reaction was like "Oh hey, long time no see!". You should be there to see Saga's smirk to that comment! And also the reaction he gave to Shou's asking us "So Saga-San is very sexy (in this) huh?"

Yesssss~ sexy to the max!

By the way, Saga was smirking into the crowd waaaaaayyyyy too many times throughout the live, in the way you can tell he's very proud of himself - for still looking this way and rocking it even though it has been 12 years perhaps? He also kept sticking out his tongue and biting his lower lips when he glanced into the crowd, those actions should definitely be illegal for him to do!

If I'm not wrong, Shou talked to Nao on the next MC session and to Hiroto at the last. I remember Hiroto touched on the way they designed their stage, which was with many long traditional Japanese fabrics hanging from the ceiling to the ground, that give a very Japanese feels to the stage. It was so beautiful and I hope they show pictures sometimes soon. I remember Hiroto talking about this is the feeling to the theme today. It's fitting, reminded me of the visual kei style A9 started off with (at least from what I read, their initial style/ theme was a mix of traditional Japanese with Western influence? Correct me if I am wrong). In some way, the design of the stage really gave out a restart feeling that the boys has been emphasizing on this live.

Funny little part, after Hiroto finished talking, there was some fans there kept calling Nao's name like "Na-o, Na-o, Na-o, Na-o~", Shou heard that, and he was like, "Do you want us to go back (to talk) to Nao-san?"

Hiroto seems to be pretty preoccupied that night that he kept missing out when the other members were talking. First was Nao, when they was introducing their goods. They were talking about the premium box. Nao started to talk about the sake but Hiroto kept talking too, resulting in Nao went like "are you listening (to what I am saying)?" And the second time was during the second encore, where Shou was talking, but Hiroto was busy taking pictures of the crowd which got Shou went like "I am talking here," Hirotoさん, please pay more attention, alright?

During one of the songs, there was this part where Shou sang with an arm held out (like he sometimes do), and Hiroto went over and leaned into Shou's embrace as he plays guitar. During G3, Shou put his arm around Saga's neck holding him close letting him growl into his mic. And somewhere in the first encore, Tora swung his dreadlocks in circles several times.

I heard that Hiroto kissed Shou on the lips sometimes in between Kousai Strip and G3, and Shou got this very embarrassing/ cute reaction to the kiss. Sadly, I've missed that. :( I must've been distracted by our Mr. Sexy right there, or something... XD

Speaking about our Mr. Sexy, Hiroto carried him in princess style at the end there. And they held hands, bowed to the crowd before going in back stage one last time that night.

Announcement for future live were shown at the end, it seems like they are having a revival of A9 Channel on Christmas~! And it will be a White theme Christmas live on 24/12/2016. Following, in January, "Black Period" black theme tour! What's really exciting for me though (and Paige is here grinning very wide, very very wide) is the fact that they're going to have a live on 19/01, MY BIRTHDAY~ Guess who is so going back to Tokyo in winter next year~

Well, if there's not a snowy Christmas for me this year, at least I can hope to see snow on my birthday? I might regret it though, it would be COLD~

It was a wonderful and beautiful live, I am sure this little piece of blog entry I have here isn't even enough to cover half of how amazing the live was. If this is an anniversary signifying the restart of A9, I really look forward to see what they've planned for us in the future, the music they'll do, the live they'll play, and everything else.

The night ended with us headed off having quick supper nearby, we tried demachi (for 15 minutes), but we didn't manage to see anyone going off from the venue (except some backstage staffs that's it). But, perhaps lady luck was with us that night, we still manage to see Nao-san going off, just right after we braved through the wind and the rain back to the train station. Aisu was like, "Can we rest here for a moment?" We all agreed. But it was several seconds after that that out the corner of my eyes, I spied a familiar figure. Someone wearing all black with a giant red bag, and a slim backpack that look strangely familiar, hmm... And the hat and the mask covering his face, he was wearing glasses. I gasped, waving my hand to catch the girls' attention and I was like "Nao Nao Nao!" he was just heading up the escalator to the station. We went over to tell him "Otsukaresama" before he went off. While well, we didn't manage to see all 5 of them going off, it was lovely enough that we get to tell Nao that at least. A surprisingly beautiful ending to the amazing night.

As usual, I hope you had fun reading my little adventure in Tokyo. Feel free to comment/ send me correction if something I've wrote above is not what happened exactly. And for more reports on the anniversary live, feel free to check out @itsmisho_o on Twitter. I might be back to put up some random entries regarding my trips to Tokyo, but if I don't do that, I will totally see you again in November, when I will once again head to Tokyo to see our beloved A9, going on an FC Trip with them.

Picture spam below~ I hope you enjoy them~!
Studio Coast! Took this after the live's over.

Inside the venue with Aisu, so glad to have know you, and found you inside the venue as well.
From the photo exhibition. Don't ask me where is Tora at the bottom set, because his picture was missing when I was around to look at them. Beautiful photos nevertheless.
Closer shots of Saga's ドレカ.
The beautiful portable battery.
The new sensu (fan).
Metal charms from the lots.
Some shots from the artbook~
And new flyers~