A year and a half ago, Juice=Juice started their 220 concert tour in hopes of earning their right to stand on the prestigious stage of Budokan. 3 years after debuting as a major artist, they were finally able to set their feet on that stage and hold their solo concert on November 7th, 2016.

Before the concert started, the main screens lit up to show us the Line Live stream from behind the stage. For the first time ever, you got to witness just how it is for the members right before the show, and in real time at that! The mixture of nervousness yet incredible excitement made me all the more pumped for the show to start.

And boy did it launch into a powerful start. After a brief member intro of sirens and projected lasers asking the crowd “ARE YOU READY?”, the concert began with Erabareshi Watashitachi. “The chosen ones”: truly a fitting start for what will be a huge milestone in the legacy of Juice=Juice. After that came a continuous string of energetic songs, getting the crowd pumped up with no signs of slowing down. You could practically feel the electricity flowing through the crowd from the pure energy radiating through the venue.

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After an incredibly strong opening, a VTR showing the major points of the 220 concert tour began playing on the main screens, showing bits and pieces of just how much they’ve endured to stand on the stage that night. Right after the VTR, the members once again appeared on stage to sing Dream Road~Kokoroga Odoridashiteru~, really nailing in the reality of the fact that they’ve reached their first major goal as a group.

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Even halfway through the concert, the energy high from the beginning was still going strong through both the members and the audience. Juice=Juice led the crowd into doing a multilayered wave through Budokan with each floor during Umaretateno Baby Love, which looked especially cool with everyone’s cyalumes! The girls then proceeded to show us another facet of their talents with an impressive dance performance, somewhat reminiscent of the Dance Club segments during Hello! Project summer and winter concerts.

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After this break, we’re presented with two songs from NEXT YOU, the idol group that Juice=Juice played as in the drama, Budokan. Then with a complete 180 degree flip from the coolness so far, we’re shown the cute side of the group with Ai・Ai・Gasa. It was a refreshing and nice change, filled with flowery dresses, umbrellas, and an entire cafe scene acted out during Chikutaku Watashino Shun.

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Then began the last spurt of the concert, yet the audience didn’t show any signs of tiredness and energetically followed along until the girls left the stage. Immediately afterwards, calls of “mou ippai” were started; an encore for one more glass of juice. Of course, this was met with the girls coming back onto the stage to perform. We were then given a touching MC with each member talking about the hurdles and worries they’ve had since their long journey of 220 concerts began.

And to really squeeze the juice out of your tear glands, this was followed up with Tsuzuiteiku STORY, a beautiful ballad about the continuation of these girls’ paths. The lights dimmed with the final notes and the girls left the stage, but once again, the audience burst into cheers of “one more glass!”. We were then given a bright and hopeful double encore with Wonderful World to finish the concert.

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The entire live was 3 hours long, consisted of 25 songs all presented in full, and only had sparse MCs throughout it. Yet the 5 members who gave us that performance showed nary a hint of reaching their limit. This truly proves just how much stamina the group has gained from their journey to stand on Budokan. I know I’ve heard various comments from foreign fans say that Juice=Juice had seemingly disappeared from the map since they’ve began focusing on their 220 concert tour.

But even if we weren’t able to see them much aside from a few Hello! Station appearances and the Budokan drama, I believe that for them, it was a very successful cocoon period to level up as a group. One that with this concert, they’ve broken out of as a butterfly, wings spread to bring them towards their next big goal together.

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SETLIST

M01. Erabareshi Watashitachi
M02. Karadadakega Otonani Nattanjanai
M03. Romanceno Tochuu
M04. CHOICE & CHANCE
MC
M05. Ijiwarushinaide Dakishimeteyo
M06. Aino Diving
M07. Miraie, Saa Hashiridase!
Video
M08. Dream Road~Kokoroga Odoridashiteru~
M09. Goal! ~Ashitawa Acchidayo~
M10. Umaretateno Baby Love
DANCE TRACK
M11. Next is You
M12. Otonano Jijou
SE
M13. Ai・Ai・Gasa
M14. Chikutaku Watashino Shun
M15. Hajimetewo Keikenchuu
MC2
M16. Ashitayarouwa Bakayarou
M17. GIRLS BE AMBITIOUS
M18. Datejanaiyo Uchino Jinseiwa
M19. Hadakano Hadakano KISS
M20. Watashiga Iumaeni Dakishimenakyane
M21. Magic of Love (J=J 2015Ver.)
INTRO ON MC
M22. KEEP ON Joushoushikou!!
ENCORE
EN01. Samidare Bijoga Samidareru
MC3
EN02. Tsuzuiteiku STORY
DOUBLE ENCORE
MC4
EN03. Wonderful World