Normally in 2-shot pictures one hides their face or crops themselves out completely before posting. I ain’t doing that. Most of y’all know what I look like by now so there’s no point in hiding.
Anyway, this is my point of view of the whole 2 shot event at Tokyo Big Sight. If you plan to comment on this you better put something intelligent and relevant or it goes into the void of moderation. Commentary on the merits of this event or whatever will not be tolerated. As I stated last year, if you haven’t done this or you don’t plan to do it ever, you have no right to run your mouth.
Let’s get it started.
Pictures with idols
On May 24, 2014 I attended my first ever idol 2 shot event. I went in with some knowledge of how the process worked after having gone through the AKB48 handshake event last year. So getting tickets to this wasn’t that difficult since it was the same lottery process one uses to get a handshake. In fact, that was probably the easiest part of this whole thing.
As for the actual event itself? It was held in Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba. Which meant a bit of a long trip for me since my hotel is located a wee bit further out in Shinjuku. After supplying up at a konbini and getting myself some breakfast I embarked on the journey to Odaiba.
I took a different route than I did on my trip on Friday morning. I opted for faster service over slow trains and pretty scenery. I had to stand for the first part of the trip, but after about the mid way point of the journey everyone just suddenly disappeared and I could sit for the rest of the way to Odaiba.
I didn’t notice a lot of wota on my train. Usually they’re pretty easy to spot, like a mole in some unseemly place on your face. But nope, there were just regular folks going about their business on a Saturday morning in Japan.
So yes, a totally uneventful and rather boring ride out. Once I disembarked at the station it was simply a matter of following the bouncing wota to the venue. And it’s a long, long, long walk to Tokyo Big Sight. And it was a long, long, long wait to get inside.
But once the floodgates were opened all hell broke loose in an orderly fashion I guess. There were a few familiar sights such as the goods booth, the information table (a.k.a. the table of shame), trading area and zones for families and women to rest. Apparently single men get no place to rest since they’re expected to be standing in line like good soldiers.
There was a new area I probably didn’t notice from last year or it was set up specifically for this type of event. A set of charging stations for people to juice up their devices so they don’t miss out on their 2 shot.
Anyway, after exchanging pleasantries with Hiro and Anthony I made my way to my first area on the far right of the 3 halls rented out for this event. Hiro also was around that area so he gave me a quick run down on what’s going to happen and pre-lined for his first girl and we went our separate ways.
Shit gets real
So here’s how the process is supposed to work for a 2 shot, this is a bit of a FYI for those of you who plan to attend one of these things should AKB be around in 2 years when they release their next album.
First thing you do is hand your ticket and ID to the people at the table. They check your credentials and if you’re good your ID is handed back to you and they scan your ticket. If you’re not good you get sent to the information booth, or what we liked to call “The table of shame”.
When you go to the table of shame you have to present your ID (in my case my passport) and your tickets to get approved and stamped. Then back to the line you were once in.
After clearing the check in point, you line up once more. When you get to the front you hand staff your ticket, show them that your hands are free of any bodily fluids and put your phone into camera mode.
Once the curtain opens, you put your bag on a table, shake hands with said idol and then proceed to do a pose. Make sure your feet on the pad and click, boom, GTFO and have a nice day.
Then another staff member takes your camera, asks you to check the photo and then if you are happy with it you move on. If something is wrong with it, then you re-take it.
Wash, rinse and repeat for each consecutive idol you have a picture with. Sounds simple right? Let’s just see about that.
Team 4’s Nishino Miki was my first listed. Her pre-line was pretty decent and I was somewhere in the middle. So I watched the people as they did their thing and when it came for my turn I did as I was instructed.
First thing, I was stunned at how cute and tiny Nishino was. She’s small. When it came to pose time, well she said peace sign and I wasn’t going to fight it. First time up to bat for me, might as well go with the flow.
So I did what I said I would not do, peace signs. Oh well.
And that went by way faster than I had expected it to.
Okada was only a few booths away from Nishino so it wasn’t really a far walk to get to her line. If any of you follow New Team 4 you kind of know that Okada has the rep of being all Ms. Serious.
So when you actually do talk to her, she does really stare at you attentively. It’s kind weird if you’re not used to that. It was the handshake and a quick discussion about the pose, which she confirmed by practicing doing it first.
Pose and bye bye.
I got the GM at the start of my second round. Her pre-line was quite big the time I arrived back inside the hall area. I had no idea what I was going to do with her, so I took a suggestion from our social media director and pulled a wrestling pose.
It’s not quite The Shield but it’s close enough. =P I was also lucky to get 2 of these since the staff member was trigger happy and held on to the button too long on the phone.
Note to AKS, more trigger-happy staff members taking pictures please.
This is where I ran into an issue with my ID and ticket. I was denied entry to the line and was directed to the table of shame. Apparently I was not the only person there. A bunch of Chinese fans were also getting their shame on as well.
It’s interesting that AKS had this set up but at least they were prepared for the influx of foreign fans coming over. Although I think it’s probably time that they open up their policy a little to allow one to use a foreign address instead of a Japanese one so no one has to go through this hassle.
There’s nothing wrong with charging a premium to those outside of Japan to ship their CDs. If foreigners can afford to come to Japan for these types of events they can suck up a bit of shipping costs to get their tickets too.
Anyway, after about a 10-minute wait I got my tickets stamped and was on my way back to Anna.
Her line was fairly consistent; it wasn’t huge but not enough for me to worry about making the pre-line for my next member in slot 3. I couldn’t think of a pose so she just said do the peace thing. Sure, why not?
After I posted my pic on Facebook I managed to awaken a long dormant member of the idol fandom, NSK’s Atron. He told me to “STAY IN YOUR GODDAMN BOX!!” I guess he still got that Ishida love coursing through his veins somewhere.
Actually, that probably won’t be the first time you will see me stepping a bit out of bounds. xD
If you think Kuramochi is hot on video, that probably doesn’t do her justice in person. Again I took another wrestling inspired pose. Unfortunately we did it with the wrong hand placement so it looks like we not the people.
Oh well, don’t care. I got a picture with Kuramochi and that’s all that counts. One of my fellow Canadian idol friends is crying with jealousy right now I believe since I got a pic with her oshi.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Moe. I know a lot of folks tend to call her Tomochin 2.0. And by looking at her you can probably guess that assumption would be correct.
We’ll have to see in a few years if that comes to fruition or not. Anyway, the girl is hella cute and is pretty easy to chat with. I think this would probably be one of my favorite shots of the day since it turned out well in the end.
I joked on Twitter that Sato Amina has fans when I saw how big her line was. Yes, it’s cold, but remember we westerners don’t get to see this shit. We only assume a bunch of stuff when it comes to how popular members actually are in Japan.
It was nice to see a huge turn out for her though. When I got in I congratulated her on her graduation and then we did the pose. Now one of my main missions on this was to see if I could make an idol lean away. Yes, I make a game of these things to keep myself entertained.
Did I do it with Amina? You be the judge.
Sadly her line was pretty barren. Not like zero people, but a few stragglers coming in and out of her lane. It’s a shame too because she seemed pretty fun for the brief time we had.
She’s way taller than I had expected her to be though. She’s also hella FINE and she’ll probably get a nice tan out in the jungle with JKT48.
This girl had one crazy long line. Apparently there were people with multiple tickets for her. I guess she’s that damn good.
And she was. I suggested a boxing type pose that you see on those fight posters. After our pose she asked me where I was from in English. Okay, that was unexpected. I also got the “I love you!” when I was getting shoved out of the booth.
I guess I can see why people had multiple tickets for her. She is that damn good.
I was warned earlier in the day that Sasshi may not be totally genki by this time slot came and that she may not even be standing at this point. Her line was pretty long when I checked in.
When I pulled out my passport an older Japanese gentleman in front of me started speaking to me in English asking where I was from and bunch of other questions like is AKB popular in Canada? Do I understand any Japanese? Why did I come to Japan? You know, shooting the breeze and passing time.
This dude only showed up for Sasshi and he had 3 tickets for her. Dudes eyes lit up when he talked about her so he seemed rather smitten with her.
Surprisingly Sasshi was still standing in this round and she immediately went into peace mode, snap and GTFO. Okay. The older dude waited for me outside of the Sasshi booth and asked me how she was.
Well she was better than the last time I saw her at the handshake event where she was sick I said. Much livelier. After that we shook hands and parted ways as I was on my way to my break and dude was done for the day.
I had a request from my peeps to do the DX pose. I chose Fujie as the candidate since it made absolutely no sense to do so whatsoever.
After we did the pose she asked me what kind of pose this was. I gave her the answer of puro resu and ushered myself off laughing. It turned out well, and fearless leader David Liao said that Fujie gave the pose some class, since she’s a classy lady.
Wasamin is always a pleasure. Although she started a trend of poses that seemed to continue through my later rounds: The cat pose.
Up to this point every member would just look at my shirt and laugh at it or just “Nyan Nyan” as I left. Wasamin stepped it up and actually whipped out the cat pose.
I used my open ticket on her on the advice of fearless leader David Liao. We attempted to do a heart pose but it ended up being more of a circle. Fail on that part.
But she looks pretty good, but not as tall as I expected her to be. Whatever.
Cat pose and middle finger if you look closely at my shirt.
I was expecting salt. I had heard that she’s rather salty on almost a Paruru level and she was the one I was trying to get to do the lean away. Instead she was a rather sweet girl. Of course, cat pose.
Well, much like the handshake event last year this was a physically and mentally draining experience. You can’t train to be walking and standing for 12 hours no matter how hard you try.
My legs were okay, but my feet were in some serious pain by the time I got back to my hotel. I was gonna write this up last night but I was so exhausted I just crashed watching TV instead.
So a bit of advice for those of you who are going to attempt this if it ever happens again. First, get some sleep. Be well rested, you’re going to need the energy. Second, stock up on supplies from the konbini. Get a drink, some snacks, anything to keep you alive for the 12 hours or so you will be around.
Third, prepare to get shot down or not do what you expected. What I mean by this is that if you’re going to try to go in and do goofy poses, have a high level of Japanese or be prepared to actually show the members what you want them to do within a few short seconds.
The staff is pretty damn pushy at getting the lines done as quickly as possible so you don’t have time to fuck around. Have those stock poses ready or just let the member do whatever and guide you.
Lastly, you’re going to get hot and sweaty with so many people in one place. Get used to it. And if you expect decent cell phone network coverage good luck. With so many using the same network at the same time things get a wee bit overloaded.
Otherwise have fun. You may not feel like you had fun by the end of the event but looking back when you’re not in pain, you’ll see that it was all worth it.
As for me, sure I didn’t get a lot of mileage out of some poses than others but the point is I was here, I got some good memories of another AKB event and I learned some stuff that hopefully I can apply in like 2 years when the next AKB album comes out.
I’m also very happy that I had a 100% completion rate and zero burned tickets.