On October 27, 2013 I, Selective Hearing staff member Hiro along with Dave and Vu from New School Kaidan attended AKB48’s Koisuru Fortune Cookie handshake event at the Nagoya Dome. We started by leaving Osaka early Sunday morning en route to Nagoya. After we dropped off our bags at a coin locker station we made our way to the Nagoya Dome. We first hit up the goods line which was empty and desolate. Unusual considering that every goods line we encountered on the trip has been packed.
Dave went baller and scooped up a plethora of goods. We then proceeded to the dome itself where we encountered a lack of a line up again. Totally strange but when we got in we saw that there were already a lot of people in the dome seated watching a mini-live. We were sent to the lower bowl of the Nagoya Dome and sat down to take in the atmosphere of the event. Unfortunately I couldn’t take it all in because in the process of walking to the dome I lost my coin locker key.
I walked back to the station to get a new one which involved me asking the station attendant to call the number on the locker and talk to the folks on the other end to come by. It was a 30 minute wait so I got a drink and sat by the lockers. During that time I watched the LINE chat and was informed that the Request Hour announcement was made. Well I missed seeing that live, but making sure I could get my stuff was more important.
After the locker manager arrived and I had a short discussion about what my bag looked like and its contents I finally got my bag for a 1500 yen fee. Then I had to pay another 300 for a new locker. I made sure I stored the key in my backpack, triple and quadruple checking to make sure I had it. By the time I got back to the Nagoya Dome there were way more people than when had first arrived. The line was wrapping around 3 or four layers deep.
I asked one of the staff where I would go If I already checked in and I was sent to gate 2. I showed my ticket stub to the attendants and strolled on in back to my seat. I looked at the big board and saw that our assigned numbers were coming up for the lane we had pre-chosen before going to Nagoya. It was one of the last lanes with some lower tier members. From what I recall the members in that line were Izuta Rina, Tano Yuka, Oba Mina, some other chicks and ended with Hirata Rina. Other than the line being short I also wanted to meet Hirata Rina because of the experiences that everyone else had at the larger handshake event.
These handshakes went by faster than the NMB48 ones. All I felt was some dudes hand on my shoulder pushing me along. I did touch Izuta Rina for the sake of my boys at Basugasubakuhatsu and especially for our social media director Allen. I know he loves Izuta Rina. xD
Oba Mina is a cute girl, too bad she has no neck. Really, the way she was standing it’s like she had no neck. Hiro spent the rest of the trip trying to convince me she has a neck. I had none of it by the way. She has no neck. Anyway, the most memorable was Hirata Rina. She is much cuter than her photos make her out to be. Her English also had that valley girl accent, which was pretty cool. After the handshakes were over we were herded out to the back of the Nagoya Dome where some people went back in for more and we walked off to get our bags and head back to Tokyo.
Overall this was a much more impersonal event. There was no bro fisting or 5+ seconds with high level senbatsu but the benefits were that the larger venue allows you to sit in a proper seat instead of a concrete floor while waiting. Also, there was a lot more entertainment such as multiple mini-lives and live radio shows while you wait. And it wasn’t raining. That was great considering we waiting in a torrential downpour for NMB48 and were drying off for most of that event.
I think next time we get a chance it would be best to show up or stay the entire day for one of these types of handshake events. Take in the entire thing for a bit longer to get an idea of how it works and maybe get a few more short handshakes since we had to give away our remaining tickets to others who were staying in Japan longer.