Japan 2013: We came, We saw, and We can’t feel our lower extremities

What else did we do that is worth noting? Well we visited Akihabara Backstage Pass twice during our last week. Tuesday was kind of meh but we stumbled upon the birthday show of a low level member of the group. Her fans were pretty rowdy and there was this gargantuan mutant of a man who looked like a football player with Seth Rogan hair. He looked like a regular. Dude was going hardcore with his “press pass”. God those things are expensive. You get this ridiculously large Fujifilm camera that pops out 10 exposures of Polaroids for 3000 yen. Japanese Seth Rogan was going to town on these things. Hiro & I thought he brought his own roll of film.

Anyway, the performances on that night were meh at best. None of the members really had any stage presence or charisma & the saving grace was that the fans up front were having a jolly good time which made things pretty funny. Some of the Backstage Pass members came to visit us in between performances. Hiro & I managed to survive well enough and were able to have conversations without them running away in fear of the English speakers. All good really.

The strangest thing of that night was that the members were singing covers of AKB songs. Considering who is tied to this venture you figure that would be taboo, but I guess not.

When we got our bill that night it was kind of shocking. Akihabara Backstage Pass now charges per half hour so if you go there be aware of that. A small bill ended up being around 2000 yen. To make up the difference you’re forced to buy a pen that isn’t even branded with Backstage pass if you don’t hit an exact number of half hour slots.

We went back on Halloween night and the place was packed. We did the line waiting thing (which seems to be the norm for us now) and eventually we got in. Anthony’s friend Kaori was in the house which meant we could speak English without fear. I find her fairly attractive. Then again, if you ask the other guys it doesn’t take much for me to get on the gravy train. xD

Anyway she is fun to talk to and if she’s there when you go to Backstage Pass you’ll have an engaging conversation. Give them producer points to her if you got them & and remember how to log into the web site to allocate them. The actual performance on stage was much better than Tuesday. Whoever was dressed like the pirate sure had some pipes. There was also a very popular member who was dressed like a witch. She had some crazy stage presence and a nice pair of legs.

There was one girl dressed as a pumpkin who was crying her eyes out. Apparently one of her friends was graduating and she could not contain her emotions. It was touching yet funny because her makeup was running like mad while she was singing.

This was the first time that Hiro & I got to see a full stage performance. The rest of the crew had seen full shows already but we always showed up late last year so we got the bye bye songs & the boot. Here’s a pro tip if you’re shutting down Akihabara Backstage Pass. (meaning you’re there until 23:00) Don’t wait for the elevator, take the stairs down to the first floor. It’s faster than waiting for a bunch of people to cram into the small box that is the elevator in the Akiba Zone building and then have the empty one come back up for the next wave.

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Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.