Once the venue had closed, I was left standing outside, where I chatted with a few of the remaining fans regarding the concert that had taken place. It was another chance to film and learn more about their impressions, and much like myself, everyone I spoke with was filled with excitement, gratitude and happiness. Even though everything had died down considerably, it was apparent that they were all so energised and thankful.
For so many, this had been a dream come true – from the set-list, handshake event and the members’ appearance, the Juice=Juice Live in London had been perfect, and a first for many. It is no easy feat, travelling to Japan to see your favourite Idols perform, so this chance was one that had been both overwhelming and incredible for a lot of the UK fans, and their expression and tone said everything I needed to know when I began talking to them.
As we huddled together in the night, waiting together, the remaining fans – myself, my sister and friends included – were lucky enough to catch a final glimpse of Juice=Juice as they left the venue. Dressed in their casual clothes, each girl waved enthusiastically as we all waved back, crying out our final thank you’s and goodbyes, our still-glowing penlights waving enthusiastically. Even as the members sat in the van that was driving away, the windows tinted so we couldn’t see through, we waved and called out to them as enthusiastically as ever, before Juice=Juice returned to their hotel and left us standing together, relishing that final moment in our minds.
It was the end of the night for some of us concert goers, after that, and finally, we began to break away. Wondering back to my hotel, whilst others headed towards pubs, I looked back to the night that had transpired, excited, overwhelmed, and happy.
For me, this live performance was an eye-opener. I went into this concert with a lot less interest in Juice=Juice than others, and came out of it with a new understanding. I now see why people are so enamoured by the group, and why fans who have experienced the ‘live Juice=Juice’ encourage others to experience it, too. It’s addictive and fun, and the performances are thrilling and polished. Each member is incredible in their own way, and I can’t help but like Juice=Juice more for it.
Miyazaki Yuka is incredible. Even though she is not the strongest singer, she has a certain aura about her that makes you want to watch her. Her smile, energy and passion is brilliant, and I cannot deny just how wonderful she truly is. There is no denying that this girl loves her group, because it shows clearly in each song and expression, and you could see just how grateful she was to be there.
Kanazawa Tomoko was brilliant, a shining star throughout. Honestly speaking, she belongs on a stage; from her voice to her presence, I cannot put into words how amazing this girl is. A talented, expressive beauty, I can see why so many people love her, and why she is one of the leading ladies in this group. Tomoko is gorgeous, in sound and in looks, and whilst she may not be my favourite member of the lot, I have so much respect for her, and found her to be an enchanting performer the more I watched her.
Takagi Sayuki is the game changer for me, of course. After seeing her at the handshake event, witnessing her reactions, listening to her incredible voice and realising just how funny, cute and entertaining she is, I can’t help but fall in love with her. She has mesmirised me in every way, and now, I can firmly say that I am a Takagi Sayuki fan, from here on out. This girl is incredible, and someone I want to continue following as an Idol fan. Simply put: she is amazing, in every possible way.
Miyamoto Karin is someone who has drastically changed my opinion, and for good; she really is a gem, and I can see (and hear) just why she is the groups center. This girl is gifted, and her expression, passion and energy is so true in her performance. Every note she sang was perfect, and every lyric felt personal to her. Karin is a true sweetheart, and whilst she isn’t my favourite member, I have a newfound respect for the girl. Like Tomoko, she has wowed me, and I’ve honestly seen the light. Miyamoto Karin is a true idol, and I can see why so many love her.
Of course, Uemura Akari is someone I still adore. I was surprised by her performance, however, and how cool she was throughout the entirety of it. Of all the members, she was the one I found to be looking serious and collected, no matter what the song. She delivered cute, expressive moments, of course, but no matter what, the maturity and determination to impress was there. Once the youngest, you would expect her to be a flurry of energy and sweetness, but that was not the case; Akari is simply majestic, and so beautiful, to boot! I am so glad I could capture this side of her in my memory during the short concert.
For Yanagawa Nanami, one of the newest members to the group, this was my first true impression of her as a member of Juice=Juice. I’m surprised to say that, somehow, I am a little enamoured by her. The cute, energetic girl I saw up on stage was instantly likable, and no matter where someone stood, you could see that Nanami was looking out into the crowd, from the front, to the back, to the middle. If you held a blue penlight, she tried her hardest to catch your eye, and even if you didn’t have her colour in your hand, she still tried to watch out for every fan, something that I noticed, and found completely endearing about her. Though I’ve never noticed her much, even in Country Girls, I have to say that Yanagawa Nanami has found herself a new fan. She tries her best, her energy is flawless, and her love for performing is undeniable, but it is her desire to seek out the fans that wins me over.
Finally, Danbara Ruru. Newly debuted, and welcomed warmly by the fans, Ruru truly gave it her all. Belting out the lyrics and proving her power, this girl has come from the Kenshuusei in full force, and has shown us all just how stellar she is on-stage. I am so impressed by her, and can’t believe just how wonderful she is as a singer. Though I didn’t seek her out on stage, whenever I heard her, Ruru left me speechless with her pure talent and drive. I expect great things from her – and Nanami – for the future of Juice=Juice, and hope to hear more of this girl as time goes on.
It was incredible. I don’t think that I can fully put my words into appreciation, or express how much this night meant to me. It was a chance I took, and despite feeling indifferent towards the group before going to the concert, I can now confidently say that I like Juice=Juice. After meeting so many other fans, no matter where we travelled from, and hearing all these songs and experiencing the true atmosphere of a Juice=Juice concert, I can finally say that the Juice=Juice fandom is right; a Juice=Juice live is incredible, and it’s one the many reasons why all of their fans love them. There is something about them, about their passion and drive, their ability to show off their love for performing, that makes them so addictive and fun. I can see it, now.
Juice=Juice is amazing, they’re wonderful and a delight to see, and one day, I hope to witness their live performance all over again. Whether it is in Japan, or back in my home country, I wish to experience Juice=Juice in full force. Hopefully – one day – you can experience it, too.
This was a fun and memorable moment, and I’m thankful for it all. I met amazing people, and experienced a wonderful slice of the Idol world, in my very own country. What more could I ask for as an overseas Idol fan?