Single box events, or “moridakusankai”, are special events you can attend by pre-ordering H!P singles through Fortune Music (usually).
These events work similarly for most H!P groups, but there are some differences that make a difference. For example, C-ute has been more strict than other groups and has names written on handshake tickets, so that you can’t buy or sell them on auctions.
The events normally comprise of solo handshakes, group chekis, and other events depending on the group. Ex: Morning Musume has 2shot and group chekis, Angerme has portrait sketching events, Kobushi had events where they threw balls at you, etc.
For the sake of this article, I’ll be writing the tips based off of Morning Musume’s events because those are the ones I know best. Just be aware that there may be slight differences if you’re trying to attend the ones of another group.
Box sets and single pre-ordering lottery goes on sale approximately 1.5 months before the release. The events themselves take place anywhere from slightly before the release date until about 3 months after release.
You will need an account with your name on the Fortune Music website to apply for these lotteries, so make sure you have a proxy or friend who can set that up for you.
When to apply/buy:
When the pre-ordering information goes up on Fortunemusic.jp, it will have the dates of the events, as well as the application rounds for them. The application rounds are spaced out about weekly, and the application periods are usually 2-3 days. Once applications are over, the results will be up within a day. Only then will you know if you’ve won the things you’ve applied for and need to pay for them. Sometimes, there will be extra application rounds added later on if they’re not sold out.
There will also be information on the type of events available (2 shot, group cheki, autograph & talk, etc) and the days they are happening on. Note that all events may not happen on every day, so if you want to go to a specific type of event, make sure you check the dates they’re happening on.
When applying, remember that the number of applications you put in does not necessarily mean what you’ll get. For example, if you apply for 1 cheki with your oshimen, you may get lucky and win that one lottery. But if that member is particularly popular, or you just have bad luck, you could possibly apply for 5 chekis and win none. Or you could win 5 and not have enough time in the round to take them all. It’s the risk that comes with the gamble.
~1080 yen or the cost of one regular version CD, if you do it by legitimate application. More if you buy it through auctions or resellers at the venue, and the member you want to see is an expensive one.
Or if they’re graduating. Prepare to pay 3x-5x the normal market price and kiss your wallet goodbye.
Handshakes normally do NOT have names attached to them so they can be circulated in the unofficial wotaku markets.
Medium to high. Depends on your level of Japanese, the member’s level of English, or both your skills in communicating by hand signs.
How to attend:
Handshakes are usually the bread and butter of single box events and happen after all the other cheki or autograph events in the morning.
When you enter the area for handshakes, staff will most likely take a glance at your tickets beforehand and make sure that you have the correct tickets for the current round. Once you get past that, you find the member’s booth and line up to be checked by security. Prepare to be checked by a metal detector and to have to take off any accessories you have on. You’ll leave your bag on the table outside before the doorside staff checks your hands and lets you in to see the idol.
There’s usually 7 to 8 rounds of handshakes in a full day of single box events, with each round lasting about 45 minutes and ~15 minutes of break in between. After the first 20ish minutes of each round, you’ll be able to use multiple handshake tickets. Before the staff make that announcement, you can only use 1 ticket at a time, which will get you approximately 7 seconds with that member.
I suggest planning a list of things to talk about, because even if your Japanese is decent, common sense tends to fly out the window when an idol is standing right in front of you.
Also, try not to hit the booth wall as you’re leaving. I know, they’re cute and it leaves you in a daze. But they are most likely still watching you as you leave.
Average difficulty to attend: ★½☆☆☆☆
2 Shot Chekis
Depends how many CDs are in that single’s CD box. For example, Morning Musume usually has 6 CDs in each single box, and that’ll rack you about 8000 yen for each cheki. But for the Brand New Morning/Jealousy Jealousy single, there were only 4 CDs in each box, so the price per cheki was 5616 yen.
Depends on how complicated the pose you want is. If it’s a simple heart made with hands or leaving it up to the member, it’s a piece of cake. When you start having more difficult poses to describe though, then it’s best to check with a Japanese friend to make sure that you get the idea across.
How to attend:
As chekis have names attached to them, you will only be able to use the tickets won by yourself. There is a security check at the door that will require your tickets and a legal form of ID, like your passport. Once that has been checked and cleared, the staff will stamp the ticket(s) and you’ll be allowed inside. After that, you’ll line up at the member’s booth, which should have their name and picture outside. The security works pretty much the same way as it does for handshakes, but after the hand check, there will also be a staff who will ask what kind of pose you want. You’ll have to tell it to them, and if it’s something obscure, they may not get it. At that point, you can just say that you’ll tell the member directly and they’ll most likely let you in. Once you’re in the booth, the girl will greet you as the staff tells them the requested pose. Quickly take a seat and give her any specifications if needed. The cheki takers don’t wait around for you to be 100% ready, so get your pose right and get it right quick. After the picture, the girl will thank you and a staff will hand you the cheki as you leave the booth.
Do not listen to T. Swift and shake the cheki. It develops better on its own.
Also, do not leave the security area so fast. There’s a roped off area by the exit where people stand around and wait for their chekis to develop. If there’s any staff caused error, like a blurry or dim picture, you can show the staff around there and they’ll let you retake the picture. Of course, the failed picture will be stamped and taken away so take a good look before you make that decision.
Average difficulty to attend: ★★☆☆☆ to ★★★★★
Depending on the popularity of the member. Some girls, you can do the maximum application each time and still win absolutely nothing. And then there’s nothing you can do about it because it’s tied to your name and there’s no way around that.
Specials (Group Chekis/Autograph & Talk Sessions/Special Events/etc)
One single box worth.
Medium. For group chekis, it would be the same difficulty as 2 shots, where you have to get your pose request across.
For autograph and talk sessions, obviously a higher level of language barrier. You’ll need to write down what you want the member to write before you go in, and that needs to be checked by staff. It cannot be in English and needs to be in Japanese. There’s about 1.5 lines worth of blanks and people usually get something along the lines of “To quirky description Name-san”. When the girl is signing, you also get to talk to her so be prepared for that.
How to attend:
The security and name check is the same as 2 shot chekis so you’ll need the proper ID and all. Procession through the booth is also the same for group chekis. All of these events will have a little more staff checks than the more casual solo handshakes.
As foreigners, it’s pretty rare for us to be able to make these special events, so try to come up with a more unique pose instead of the standard. It’ll serve as a better memento (and you’ll get more likes online if you post it).
Average difficulty to attend: ★★★☆☆ to ★★★★★
Again, depends on the member you’re going for and her popularity.
Single box events are great opportunities to get to spend more intimate time with H!P idols the entire day. There’s a good variety of different events you can take part of, and it’s always great to talk to your oshimen up close and personal. You have to time your trips right to make them (like pretty much everything else), but I think these are some of the events that are most “worth it” to make.
The next guide article will be about single release events, serial events, and some less frequent events.