Boiling randomness

Japan Autumn 2012 – Day12b: AKB48 Theater

Hallway leading up to the theater itself

Hallway leading up to the theater itself

This evening, I had finally, after 3 trips to Japan, won a ticket to an AKB48 performance at their home theater in Don Quixote, Akihabara. Unfortunately, since it was my first time, I made a few mistakes which led to 2 hours of boring waiting with nothing to pass time with. The system they have in place is markedly different from that at the NMB48 theater.

I turned up at Don Quixote about 10 minutes before ticketing and made my way up to the top floor where the theater was. A security guard glanced at the email indicating I had won a ticket and let me through. Tonight, the kenkyuusei would be performing the Boku no Taiyou setlist as well as celebrating Iwatate Saho’s birthday. Kenkyuusei performances mean half price tickets but it also means I know of only 2 of the girls who would be performing this time.

Saho's seitansai today

Saho’s seitansai today

Turns out, the order in which customers enter the theater is done randomly by drawing lots, not in the order which you purchased your tickets, so I didn’t need to be here so early at all. I took a bit of time writing birthday messages for a few members as well as Saho (I had no idea who she was but why not?) before going back down to the arcade to kill some time.

After 2 hours of watching uber pros destroy each other in the arcade games I had wanted to play, it was time to gather outside the theater’s doors and hope to get a good seat. Each ticket had a number which determined which group of 10 one would be in. Having bought my ticket so early, I was in the first group which was, sadly, one of the last groups to enter. Finding a reasonable spot was impossible since all the good, decent, as well as bad vantage points had been occupied. I was then pushed to the far corner which had a terrible view of the right 1/4 of the stage and a pillar completely blocking stage center. The only good point of my position would be that my diminutive size did not result in a fully obstructed view.

Not much to say about the performance since I was only able to see 15% of it from my position. Vocals weren’t great since none of the girls were particularly outstanding singers. In terms of dancing, Hirata Rina (someone I actually know of!) would slide into view quite often, and she had some unexpectedly good moves. The other girl I saw from time to time was Muto Tomu who danced like an expressionless robot. Perhaps she was tired that day.  Since stage center was obstructed, I wasn’t able to see any of the self introductions at all, meaning I didn’t get to know any of the girls unless they really stood out, like Saho and Yuiri.

RUN RUN RUN was okay. Himawari was butchered and honestly, quite disappointing. At the end, the full UZA PV was shown, which I could not see at all since the projection screen was center stage. Then came the hi-touch where I could finally see the girls who had just sung and danced their hearts out. It was all over in a flash. Muto was first, followed by a whole bunch of girls I didn’t recognize, then Hirata somewhere in the middle who I only noticed because she grabbed my hand. Once through the hi-touch, it was then time to swim through the dense mob of crazy fans who had gathered just to catch a glimpse of the girls during the hi-touch. Somehow managing to get to the lockers and procure my bag, I took one last look at the girls, and made my way back to Kugayama in the heavy rain.



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