rose_of_pain: (iri chie)
[personal profile] rose_of_pain
Day 6 - Tokyo: Tokyo Takarazuka Theater + Lost Glory

Jessica had warned us that it was a holiday and thus we should come to the theater as early as possible if we wanted to get toujitsuken. Toujitsuken = same-day tickets. Basically for every Takarazuka performance, there's a section at the back of B-Seki (basically the cheapest section) in which the tickets are not sold until the day of that performance. So even if the show is completely sold out, if you get there early enough, you may be able to get one of these tickets. For the Tokyo theater, these seats are the very last row in the balcony and then once they sell out, there's "tachimi" which is the standing seats, which are super cheap but you of course have to stand for the entire show. Though some fans seem to prefer this. I am not a fan of the standing thing so I really wanted to make sure I got there early enough for an actual seat. XD Though I didn't mind too much if I didn't get one since I had a S-Seki ticket for Wednesday's show but Chibi wanted to see the show and I thought it would be fun to watch the show with a friend.

I got up super early and omg the sun wasn't even out yet and it sucked. XD Sadly the first train at my station wasn't until 5:10 or so (while Chibi had one much earlier than me) but I made sure I definitely got on it. But I didn't think about what the time would be for the transfer train I had to take and I ended up missing the first train on that because omg there was like a ton of stairs I had to take to go down down to the track I needed at my transfer. It was kinda spooky too as the area the track was in seemed to be under construction. I felt like I was going into some creepy basement. XD So yeah didn't catch that train so ended up waiting around for the next train. Then when I get to the Hibiya station...then found out I had to go all the way to like the OTHER side of the station to get to my exit and then there was like...3 different flights of stairs and I ran up most of them. X_X I didn't get to the theater til like 5:45ish (we had aimed to be in line at 5:20) and I was completely out of breathe too. I felt super bad because Chibi had gotten there before me and thus would have had a better spot in line if not for me but she gave it up in order to stay with me in line.

I did make sure to pause just long enough to take this photo on my way to the line. The Tokyo theater is more like a skyscraper in design, very different than the Grand Theater.

I was still surprised as to how many people were already lined up at this point. I mean yeah I knew the holiday thing would probably bring more people but still! It made me a little nervous. We figured from the amount of people that we were still likely to get a ticket but might be stuck in tachimi. But we still had several hours before we'd find out as they don't open the ticket booth til 10am. Though they do let you know earlier if the line is too long so you don't stand around for nothing. The girl next to us gave us plastic bags to sit on so we wouldn't be sitting on the ground. I realized we should have thought to have brought a towel or something but this was the first time either of us had ever done this so we didn't think about that. XD But this girl had a backpack full of bags for this sole purpose and we were very grateful for her letting us use them. Most people in the line had a bag or towel and some even had little mini chairs. lol Obviously most of them were veterans of doing this. We talked to the girl for a bit too. Or well I guess I should say Chibi talked to her and translated to me. XDXD She also shared her photos from past irides once she found out we were also big Chie fans. Already I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside from talking to other Hoshigumi fans. I was finally with fellow fans of my troupe and it was wonderful. Like I love Hanagumi and Soragumi too but Hoshi is MY troupe and honestly it didn't matter what the show was, I just wanted to see my troupe perform no matter what. Even though I do feel slightly guilty. Hana was originally my troupe of choice back in the day and then I did a complete 360 and converted to Hoshi. Its all Chie's fault. XD

Our spot in line towards the beginning of the morning. As you can see, we were already down the side of the building. I don't even want to know how early the people at the frot got there. o_o; Or how. lol Since I don't think any train starts before 5am there.

Chibi went to go get food from a combini while I kept our spot in line. She brought back a red bean bun and some onigiri. When she asked what onigiri I wanted, I told her anything but ume or wasabi and here I'm thinking "oh yay, I don't have to play Russian Roulette this time!" since someone else who could actually read the labels was getting me one so I wouldn't have to worry about that initial fear of biting into one and worrying if my mouth would be on fire or not lol (though so far I had only gotten one semi-spicy one and it wasn't too bad, or at least I could still eat it and not die lol). Chibi handed me one saying it was tuna and I bit into it and...nearly fell over as my mouth exploded. I'm pretty sure it was a wasabi one. T_T It was pretty intense and Chibi felt horrible and claimed the label must have been wrong. lol But I said it was ok and kept eating cause I was hungry and I just tried to withstand the burn. At least I've gotten better at handling them. There was a day where I'd just cry after having that in my mouth. ^^;;

An hour or so later, the area got much more crowded and we were surprised by how many people were still getting into the line because we knew there was no way everyone was going to get a ticket at this point. Eventually a guy came out with a ticker and counted everyone. He didn't say anything to our side of the line so we figured we must be safe but we did hear him saying something to the people further down from us and we heard the word "tachimi" so we still got a little nervous. But noticed no one from that section was leaving so figured at least it meant we were all getting tickets. I honestly didn't notice when they cut the line off but they must have at some point because like I said, it was pretty obvious there were more people than tickets already. But it was fun seeing all the other fans in line. There was one lady with several daughters and I couldn't help but laugh at the fact the youngest one had a blue backpack with stars all over it and Chibi and I discussed how we were pretty sure her Mom was the Hoshi fan and dressed her up like that. lol Poor kid. Hope she at least enjoys the shows. The older girls seemed a bit more into it at least.

I'm not sure what time it was as I kinda stopped paying attention to that but suddenly it got VERY crowded in front of us and the line had long since been condensed and moved to be out of the way. Then it suddenly occurred to us that this crowd was the fanclubs getting into formation which meant irimachi was happening soon and sure enough, the girl we met in line got up to go over to it. We saw other people doing the same. I was surprised it was happening this early since the only show of the day wasn't til 3pm but then realized that must mean there's a charter show first which of course meant they'd still be doing iri for that and thus it was in fact time for it.

Suddenly irimachi XD

I got really anxious cause I really wanted to see Hoshi irimachi but had thought it'd be happening after we got our tickets, not before. We had been planning to meet up with Jessica since she said she'd be there for iri even though she wasn't seeing the show that day and I had hoped we could just hang with her during iri since she had already done it a few times and knew how it worked but we hadn't seen any sign of her yet. And we also planned to meet with Ei but being as she's in Tom's club, we figured we wouldn't see her til after (since we were more interested in being near Chie's club). I had read it was okay to leave your spot in line to go watch it but Chibi and I were kinda nervous about doing that and neither of us were really sure where we would be allowed to stand and it was really hard to tell where non-fanclub people were allowed to go. I kept standing up, trying to see if I could figure it out and eventually I said fuck it and decided I'd go and be nosey and ventured out towards the front of the theater to see if I could figure it out, even though I was nervous about accidentally ending up somewhere I'm not supposed to be. XD I figured I would just apologize if I did cause I honestly just didn't know. lol So I went out and at first I was overwhelmed by the large crowds of fanclub. This was so different from my experience at the Grand Theater, it was crazy! I didn't expect it to be this radically different. But I finally got the courage and just went out and across the street after I saw the group of Reon jackets and sure enough I saw Jessica, hanging out right next to Chie's fanclub. But I also noticed that it seemed the main fanclubs were getting in formation and a lot of the troupe had already passed so I ran (being very careful to not accidentally get in the way of any incoming siennes lol) back and grabbed Chibi, not caring if we left our spot, cause dammit I didn't want to miss this chance. XD

My view from across the street where we were standing. You can see the other fan clubs across the street. Chie's fanclub is too big so they stand on the opposite side and then Tom's stood to the right of Chie's, closer to the actual stage doors.

Glad I did get Chibi when I did because it wasn't too long before stuff happened. XD I managed to just barely catch a few siennes including Masako and Coto and then suddenly a car pulled up. Right in front of us. ...which made me realize "Oh crap, maybe we shouldn't be standing here ^^;;" since there weren't many fans standing around where we were but no one seemed to care we were there? And I figured if Jessica was there, it was fine. But yeah, car door opens up and Beni is right in front of us. O_O Though of course she just went straight across the street to her fanclub but it was so cool seeing her like that. I also was very amused how she just got to leave her car there in the middle of the street. XD I assume someone eventually drove it off for her but never really paid much attention to that but it was sitting there for quite some time.

I got really excited and overwhelmed at this point because unlike with the previous irides I saw, I actually recognized these siennes and knew them by name and I was a lot closer to them than when I was at the Grand Theater. And we got a great spot right behind Chie's fanclub. The fanclubs all kneel whenever a sienne comes in so people behind them can get a clear look so didn't have to worry about having anyone obscuring our view. After Beni, Nene came in though she was pretty quick. She had already greeted her fanclub (rather small :( it makes me sad how small musume fanclubs are and how few even have them) near the side by the time I noticed her. Then Yurika came out and I got overly excited since I love my Dorika. XD I tried to take video since Jessica told us she just takes video during iri and screenshots it later to make it easier and reduce blurry shots. But I forgot I had my phone on power saving mode and such, trying to use as little data as possible while in Japan, and apparently I guess video just doesn't really work in that mode...or something. Cause my phone freaked out when I tried to end the video and it didn't save. T_T Boo. So I only got a few photos of Yurika and it was still freezing up when THE CAR came and everyone around me got excited...

And then suddenly Chie was RIGHT THERE. And stupid me was still trying to fidget with my phone, trying desperately to get it to work so I could get photos but then mentally told myself "Lyn, stop, and just. LOOK." just in time to stop and stare as Chie was right in front of me as she went through the fanclub line, collecting letters. I didn't get to make eye contact or anything since she made sure to be giving her fanclub members her full attention but omg it was still soooo amazing to have her that close! After basking in the moment, I got my phone back up and it was finally ready so still managed to get some good photos and I'm glad because she was dressed REALLY nice that day, unlike the more casual "I just got out of bed" look she had been sporting for most of the previous day iris. XD

Look at that precious and perfect baby T_T and if you couldn't tell by my icon already, I really love this photo XD

Chibi did get manage to get video and I'll admit I've watched it over quite a few times. She's just too adorable! After we finished gushing about the event, since this was the first time doing iri for both Chibi and I, we eventually went back over to our spot in the ticket line. Its amazing how everyone just respects your spot in line and let everyone who had left just come back in. We finally met up with Ei and Jessica also joined us so the four of us had a mini foreigner meeting off to the side of the line for a bit. XD It was so nice finally getting to meet other foreign fans and gush about our love together. ^.^ I felt a little bad as we did get a little loud since we were just all so excited. When it got closer to the time for the ticket booth to open, Ei and Jessica stayed over to the side while Chibi and I got our tickets. We just BARELY managed to get 2 of the last B-Seki seats (there were only 2 left after us and that's only because a few people in front of us were waiting to get center tachimi instead, including the girl we had met in line). While the other people were getting their tachimi tickets, another girl stopped to talk to us. Chibi helped translate for me and I tried my best to follow. All the Hoshi fans I met were so nice though they kept making me sad about the fact I was only there for a short time, since everyone kept asking if we were going to go see Chie in Budokan and I kept having to shake my head sadly (at least I understood when they asked me that one lol). Met back up with Jess and Ei and we chatted while we walked to Freshness Burger for lunch. Jess had to head out so we said goodbye to her and then the rest of us had lunch.

I was a bit wary of having a hamburger in Japan but it ended up being pretty good? I'm not a huge hamburger person in general so I was pleasantly surprised. The fries were good too. Though I guess its a bit sad that I really didn't have many actual Japanese meals while I was there. I was finally with people who could help me order too. Oh well. XD We had plenty of time before the show so we decided to go shopping. Went to the Quatre Reves in the Chanter Mall across the street from the theater first. Not quite as big as the one at the Grand Theater but still pretty big and so we had fun in there though I didn't buy nearly as much this time around. But there were some things different than the stuff at the other QR at least. Next to the QR was a photo place that had a wall full of zuka-ish photos and Chibi had mentioned she noticed this place before but hadn't gotten a chance to check it out yet and after starring at everything in a bit of indecisive-ness, finally got Chibi to ask them about it for me. Because it wasn't as fancy as the Takarazuka Salon and obviously not an official one and they only took portraits and mainly focused more on fashion ones but I still really wanted to try it. So we found out the pricing and went ahead and set an appointment for me the next day. Chibi said she didn't have work til later that day so she could join me for part of it so I wouldn't be so nervous and help translate for me, which was a big relief.

Next stop was the Tokyo Taka-An, which surprised me in the fact it seemed to have a lot more stuff than the one in Takarazuka did, even though they were the same size. Though I guess it makes sense since there are more people living in Tokyo so more likely of stuff being turned in. They had a number of the more rare DVDs and a lot of Tea Party recordings, etc. I actually didn't buy too much from them and probably a good thing since they were cash-only unlike the other one, which took credit card. I did pick up a Ginga doujinshi that made me laugh a lot. I still need to scan some of it cause I think I need an icon of chibiTeru Pineapple Queen. XD They had Soragumi Phantom and gah it was so VERY tempting since it was the first time I had ever seen the DVD for sale but ugh that's soooo much money for just one DVD and I was already getting near the end of my spending budget I had given myself for zuka. But I saw multiple copies so good to know if I ever cave in, I can probably ask someone in Tokyo to get it for me. This turned out to be the first visit to this Taka-An for both Chibi and Ei so we ended up having to use my printed directions to get back to the theater since they both weren't sure which direction since we came here from the Chanter Mall and all. lol Then went to the theater QR too, mainly so I could get my Lost Glory program before it got crowded in there since I forgot to get it in the bigger QR.

A shot of the entrance to the theater since it was no longer crowded with fans lol

We still had time to kill so decided to go hang out at the local Starbucks. Ei decided to head off since she didn't have a ticket for the show that day, even though she kinda wished she did so she could join us but she said she'd try to get a ticket for Wed when I was going to be back to see a show anywho so we all agreed we'd meet up for irimachi then too. I was hoping to get one of the more unusual drinks that only Japan has for Starbucks but was sad to see they no longer had the Sakura flavor frap so I went with this passion mango thingy. XD It said it was a frap but it was bigger (I got the small size too) and more like a smoothie than a frap. It was still very tasty though! Took me quite some time to drink though since I had hoped for something smaller lol but hey at least it made us less guilty about spending a lot of time in there since at least it did take me most of that time to drink it. The sitting spaces were limited so one of the workers put a reserved ticket on a table for us while we waited for our drinks, which I thought was super sweet of them, to make sure the paying customers get a seat, etc. We looked over our new shinies while we drank. Chibi had loaded up on programs, just like I had done in Takarazuka and she too was later regretting it due to the weight lol (at least she didn't have to walk as much as I did with mine though XD).

Finally it was time we could go into the theater so headed back over there where a lot more fans had started to gather and headed in. Unlike the Grand Theater, you can't really enter the theater at all without a ticket, except for QR which has its own door. There isn't as much to do inside but its still really impressive looking and I actually thought the grand staircase was even nicer looking at Tokyo.

We went in pretty early so managed to get this nice shot without too many people as everyone was mainly getting stuff at QR or loitering around the lobby or outside.

While I didn't get a chance to wear my sparkly vest in Takarazuka, I made sure to at least wear it to Tokyo and got this photo. XD Though the mini spotlight kinda washed me out lol Chibi had the same problem. We're too pale pffft.

I made sure to rent a pair of "opera glasses" (though really they were just plain binoculars despite the name lol). Chibi had bought her own pair from QR which I totally would have done too if I was sticking around for longer since it did seem like a good deal and I noticed from my last several shows that most fans had their own pair. But I knew I'd definitely need them for this show. XD We looked around but there wasn't much to do other than to go find our seats. Had to go all the way up to the top floor of the theater for this but at least it was nice to see our level had its own bathrooms and a snack bar so there was no need to have to go back down to the main theater level.

The view from our seats. I couldn't help but laugh at how high up we were and how very different it was from my previous seats but I'm glad we did it as I kinda enjoyed the experience of seeing a show from the very back for a change.

We also had the advantage of having no seats behind us so could easily push our stuff under our seats instead of having to sit it in front of us like I did for my other shows. Chibi let me have the aisle seat and I totally abused the ability to lean out into the aisle to see better with my binoculars through most of the show. The only downside is that the seats are much closer together than the S-Seki ones so you feel a little cramped and don't have as much leg/arm space. I decided I should probably use the restroom firs since there was time though as I got up to head out...I suddenly realized just how high up we were and that the balcony was a lot steeper than I expected. So I kinda froze for a few minutes and had to laugh it off, cause I do have a fear of heights and they totally had just kicked in but I managed to do ok after a little bit. Just took it slowly. lol Chibi offered to help me but it wasn't that bad, just not expected so took me off guard for a second. Luckily the line for the restroom went pretty quick and I had no issue getting back up. By then most of the tachimi people were in place behind us and we saw several of the girls we had talked to in line in their spots. They were all so quiet and still throughout the whole show that I forgot they were even there leaning against the bar behind us.

Chibi and I couldn't help but laugh at when the ushers came out and while the bottom level gets the "no camera" etc signs, we had ones that were like "don't lean forward in your seat so you don't fall off the balcony and die" signs. XDXD There were quite a few advantage of being up that high though as the angle allowed us to see a lot of stage details. Like we could see where all the trap doors were and where the marks for stage spotting on the stage floor were. ...they were A LOT XD I guess they all follow certain colors cause else I don't know how they would be able to tell which ones to follow as they were literally all over the stage. lol We could also see into the orchestra pit so I used them to test my binoculars on, trying to see if I could identify the instruments, etc. The binoculars took a bit to get used to since I've never used any during a performance before. It took me a while to get a right setting that wasn't blurry and my hands shook a lot so it was hard to keep it steady. I ended up leaning on the armrest a lot to try to steady my grip better so I wouldn't get too dizzy from the shaky view.

I had originally thought I'd use this first performance as a way to take the show in as a whole and follow the plot so when I had my better seat on Wed, I could focus just on the details. ...yeah that didn't happen. As soon as my binoculars went up, I ended up not being able to look away from Chie the entire time she was on stage. XD The downside about the binoculars is that you can't really watch the show as a whole with them, even from how far back we were. It really just ends up focusing you on one part...or one person which is what I'm pretty sure all the fans do. I can't imagine how close the view in them must be from an S-Seki seat though considering how well I could see Chie from the way back. o_o;; There was only one distance on them too. So they must be getting an extreme close-up when they use them down there. XD I also noticed Chibi was doing the exact same thing I was doing as I could see her head turning the same direction as me every time Chie moved. lmao Our Chie-dar was strong with this show. Since she was not the main character of this show, she wasn't always the center attention and would be standing around in the background a lot but oh man, she looked so good so I couldn't keep my eyes off of her even if she was doing absolutely nothing but stand and look evil. XD

The one issue with the back of B-Seki is that you can't see the very top of the stage as the angle blocks it but it didn't matter too much for this show (though it did cut off part of our view during the revue especially during the stairs). But another advantage is that Chibi and I could get more easily get away with whispering comments to each other without bugging anyone. There were only 3 seats in our little corner so it was just us and the guy who was behind us in the ticket line. And we definitely giggled a lot during this show even in scenes that weren't supposed to be funny. ^^;; Especially the whole "America is dead!" part. Pffft. We both had to try real hard not to burst out laughing there. But we both actually enjoyed the show even though other people had told us they thought it wasn't very good. But hell, the show could have been horrible and I'd still enjoy it because I was paying more attention to just Chie and my Hoshigumi babies to follow the plot or care much about it.

My stomach started being unhappy towards the end of Lost Glory which sucked as it made it harder to focus as I just wanted the intermission to come up so I could go find something to eat. lol It ended up being super hard to get to the concession stand though because I had to go past the restroom line of dooooom and I was just like "noo I don't want to get in this line, I just want to get past it ;_;" but I did eventually get through only to sadly realize all the food was sweets. lol So I just got a donut since I really didn't want something super sweet at the moment. It at least helped even if it wasn't really what my stomach wanted.

When I came back to my seat, the curtain had already gone up to show the stage for Passionate which I also ended up really enjoying, despite my worry about it. The make-up wasn't as bad on stage as it was in the promo photos and I was just happy to finally see a revue show. I loved all the previous shows I saw but they were all pretty dark so it was nice to finally have light and color and silliness!

After the show finished, as we were getting up to leave, a few fans who remembered us from earlier stopped to talk to us, including an obachan who called Chibi "hime" due to the Renn Faire dress she was wearing. We didn't stick around for demachi, mostly because it was late and we were content with our irimachi experience and I just didn't have the energy to try to wait for demachi when I already knew I wouldn't get any good photos, etc. I was supposed to try to meet up with my friend Lauren since this was like the only day in my trip she'd be able to meet with me but since I had to rely on wifi for my phone, was trying to get a hold of her through Chibi and for some reason Lauren wasn't able to get any messages through and Chibi didn't want to wait too long since she still had to go back to her friends' place so I eventually just gave up on waiting. That and I was honestly too tired to meet up and Lauren was ok with it once I finally did get a hold of her once back in the hotel room. I doubt I would have been able to talk about anything non-zuka at that point anywho. XD Funny enough, turns out she was watching the Kuroshitsuji musical at the same time I was watching Lost Glory. To think just a few years ago, I would have been dying to try to see that but instead I was much more focused on just everything zuka. lol

I picked up this odd noodle meal at the combini for dinner. I thought it was cold soba but it had an interesting mix for the sauce. It turned out to be better than it looked at least. XD But not so sure I'd have it again. Chibi messaged me, saying she got her schedule for the next day wrong and wouldn't be able to be with me during my photo appointment after all so instead we decided to meet up before she went to work and she'd just get everything set up with the place beforehand. Took me a while before I could fall asleep as I was still on such a high from seeing Hoshigumi but eventually passed out.

My loot from the day. Nowhere as much as what I got in Takarazuka, of course XD Though I did get a number of gifts for other people that day which I did not put in the photo



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