Non-spoiler Japan stuff first: IT'S SO FUCKING HOT. I know that's going to happen but it's really like you forget how bad it is every time until you are actually here and that first burst of air hits you in the fact.
My flights were uneventful, thankfully, and Toronto's airport is NICE. I wish the layover weren't 4-5 hrs but otherwise, I'd consider this route probably every time since I can fly from my home airport. The last domestic flight from Tokyo to Osaka was a giant mistake, though, because my ears closed up during the first flight and never reopened, and when we took off that third time they HURT. Like sharp jesus christ i am crying on a plane hurt. it took two days for them to clear, so yeah, 3 flights in a row is clearly past my limit.
Had a nice visit with Amy who was nice enough to let me stay with her and we got to do goods early, which was fun because of just getting to chat and also getting to buy my own goods for once. Also got to see En and Rachel a fair amount, and met Katie and Juju both of whom were really nice. Looking forward to seeing them more in Nagoya next weekend.
last thing outside the cut: poor nika fell on his face very first thing friday, very first ramp. POOR NIKA. Took him a second to get up too, looked like it hurt. I hope somebody kissed it better later.
Non-spoiler concert stuff: I'm still kind of sorting it out, and there were big changes from fri to sat, but I thought it was pretty strong overall. I liked the theme, and the Screamers turned out to be so cute aww, and the effects and costumes ranged from really nice to mm it's not the worst. I had a nicely central view both times, if not especially close, and I'm interested to see if they change any of the staging for Nagoya.
Esp since on Friday they were clearly not done setting up the stage uhhhh. Well, first day is first day, as Mitsu said.
actual concert stuff: so I didn't take notes or anything, but here's what I've been thinking about.
I was not sold on the screamers originally, but after goods showed the little names each of them had (Cherry Mountain, Tamango) and how individualized they are, I was completely won over. They had the CUTEST fucking VTRs, one of which had profiles for each one (Mitsu's just said CHIBI), and then another one about concert manners where Mother Orange kept yelling at the others and I was rolling. There was a bit with puppet versions too. Anyway, the key holder/bag charm wasn't out yet for early goods and then sold out sat, but Katie quite sweetly grabbed some for all of us when she snuck down to get the parka.
I bought the fucking parka. lol I was trying to be so responsible but when you're back in the line you just...buy things. It's like a weird fuzzy beach cover up. Also this penlight lmao. I actually like the individual color buttons? But it's huge and mitsu is so proud of that dumb thing haha. I love member color penlights, because I love being able to look all over and see that there are fans for all of them, and like the whole way across dome, that purple dot is another Miyata fan! I guess it's a little silly, but I love it, I love when it's dark and we're all lit up and we make this crazy rainbow and every single section has all the colors.
My very favorite part had to be the Taiko drumming. The whole PSYCHO sequence I guess, but when Tama started the circle drumming on the first day everybody was like "WAAAHHHH" because it was so cool. and then Black & White is right after that and there's a ton of flares and fireworks and oh, I love that part. Somewhere is a bit too where these sparkle swirls in their colors follow them skating around on front stage, at first one at a time, but then when they start coming onto stage together all the colors swirl around together, still following whatever they are doing and it's the best. When Nika and Senga twirl, the blue and green spiral, for instance, so nice.
Snow Man!!! I had not seen those guys live since very first tour when I didn't even know who they were. They are the best goddamn backers. They're so handsome and good and I was so happy to see them. Especially for the solos, they were awesome. Date is so goddamn handsome, and he and Sakuma backing as male cheerleaders for Nika's solo pretty much made my life. Nabesho is still the prettiest ♥ But he was in Watta's food solo and I was like uh-huh, right. And Fukka being dweeb Macchan during Nika's solo was also super cute lol. First day they asked Abe the weather report, of course, and he was so proud of himself, as well he should be. I never get tired of that.
Sakuma is just a gem. He was SO HAPPY to back Miyata's solo, like a TINY SUN. he and Abe come out at the start of it with Miyata to hassle Mitsu off the stage, and on Saturday the camera zoomed in to show that sakuma had all the Miyata temporary tattoos on his forearms, and then it panned over to Abe who sheepishly had just the Tama screamer tattoo. I have zero doubt Sakuma just stuck that on him. Also during the water wheel thing at the very end, Sakuma was running and sliding in the water more than anybody else (except maybe Mitsu lol), just clearly having the best time. I just, ugh, that kid. SO MUCH ENERGY. SO HAPPY. Why isn't he my favorite? Pffft.
So what I really loved about the solos is how they invaded each other's. I love, LOVE, that Gaya and Watta come out to learn the wotagei dance like they're excited to be there, and then jrs push out Mitsu and Tama, and Tama is like whyyyyy nooooo uuuuuuugh, but then when they do the dance, he's the most ridiculously energetic of all. I loved Nika making a surprise appearance in Senga's solo and adding a rap part, and how the whole dome turned from green to blue-green. I love that they even HAVE solos and that the entire dome turns each person's color. Kitayama commented on it during MC, since only half the solos had gone by then, that he'd never seen the whole dome go orange before and it was cool, so we did some of them then cause mitsu asked, made it all go orange, and then purple and then...did we do Tama? Or senga? We didn't do them all. But esp orange and purple, they were like, wow, that's really amazing the first time you experience that isn't it?
I also haven't gotten over how happy I am that these solos are all just so them. Watta's cooking thing and Miyata's otaku stuff and Nika's cheerleader business. That kisumai is a place where they can really be themselves and when they do, it makes them so much cooler and handsomer than if they were forced to do more ikemen-type things. Also Miyata in particular singing a song about doing crazy fannish things to a dome full of fans just felt like...idk like we were sharing a joke somehow. Same with Nika singing about having a favorite idol. Also nika popped out of Watta's bento like he was a stripper popping out of a cake and I laughed so hard i missed a solid minute of his solo the first time.
Mitsu's ballad guitar solo is gorgeous. It's so simple and nice. I love that he doesn't have to be sexy rock type every time, that he can do this now too. He has just the nicest, nicest voice. He wasn't doing the high notes the first day, for some reason, and 2nd day he still barely was but, mm, whatever. 2nd day he screwed up a couple lines in and then just stopped like crinkle-faced uuuugh i'm sorrryyyyy and then started over. He's so cute. I still remember how the first tour I saw them, I didn't understand how cutesy-fun he is live, not very cool type at all. Like my idea of what Taipi/
Mitsu were like in concert was basically completely switched. I really love Mitsu a lot.
As I thought, Tama's solo and Senga's solo I liked a lot better as concert dance things. Tama and Snowmen in all white is niiiice. Taipi's horror VTR was cool but it was hard to watch both him and the screen first day, so second day they cut it off really early so I'm sure they realized the problem. but that took a lot of the shock value out of it too, so I'm not sure what the right answer is. Oh, the opener VTR was horror too, them in a haunted house, and I really liked it. Their scream faces were so funny.
So we got to hear the new single which I thought was fine? Still summer theme. And I hope they don't wear the flamingo mess outfits to promote that on TV uhhh. When mitsu was introing it on first day, he was being all cutesy like "Do you want to hear it? Hmm? Should we sing it? Should we? Hmmmm?" and Nika was like oh my god, listen to that guy, and then did a mean, fruity impression of what Mitsu was doing, and it was so fucking funny. Mitsu probably roughed him up for that a little afterwards lol.
Basically all new stuff, though, no older/jr songs. It might have been hard to fit stuff into the theme I guess, but I missed that a little. Still, they have so much stuff now, that's to be expected, esp if you're giving so much space to member solos. It'd be cool if they alternated duet year/solos year.
First day they didn't do a second encore, and we didn't really know why, whether it had to do with doing the water thing for the first time, like maybe they couldn't clear the stage right, or if something else went wrong, or who knows. 2nd day they only did just Thank You Jyan anyway, so, hm. But a lot of them came out in their tour parkas and Mitsu and Miyata couldn't get theirs zipped lol, which was nice because they had nothing underneath. Gaya came up to Miyata who had it maybe partway zipped and just yanked it open lol. I blame that whole last song for why I now own this silly parka.
Hm, I guess I'll stop. I haven't seen Kisumai live since debut tour because the timing has been bad, so it's really amazing how much they've grown. Also I've never seen very first show/venue before, so it is interesting how much got changed even in the first two shows. Like you can see them thinking "shit shit" when staging is weird or something doesn't work, or the juniors are all bunched too much in one spot, and I'm sure they had an incredibly late night Friday night watching footage and rehearsing fixes.
Once I get to Tokyo i'm meeting up with Kira and seeing Basara! I have no idea what Basara is about! lol stage shows are pretty whatever.