Day 2 met with a little more lining up, and this time, it was myself and Ash who went, premium tickets in hand! Our other friend, Renee, did not have a premium ticket, sadly, so was spending the day looking around the museums of France. For myself and Ash, however, we were going to meet ℃-ute!
We went to the line a little later this time around, but we were there for a good two or so hours. Of course, my time in line was just as active as the day before, if not more! Yet again we made friends and talked to so many people, and for the most part, I hung around some wonderful Yajima Maimi and Nakajima Saki fans with some amazing cosplay! Hopefully, they won’t mind me throwing in a picture here, because their cosplays were really great!
As we talked and got to know one another, one of the Yajima Maimi fans gave me and my friend three CD’s she had been given the day before. I had missed out on the free CD’s at the concert, however, as the Maimi fan already had the CD’s in question, she let us take them. Ash and I took one each, and set the third aside for our friend who could not come. And then, from another ℃-ute fan I met in line, I received BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy. I was so happy! Later on, after the fan meet, I opened the CD to find a Haga Akane card. I was quite surprised!
I was also given some free Maimi photos, but I handed them to the Yajima fan, as I don’t collect Maimi photos. It was nice to be able to trade with others and share. I also gave a Japanese Chissa wota some chocolate. He was delighted and found it delicious!
Much like the day before, as I ran up and down the line to talk to people, I had people come up to me and say that they knew me from somewhere, or say ‘You’re Chiima!’, before hugging and telling me that they liked my videos and blog, etc. I feel like I’m bragging, but it really is overwhelming, and it made me feel so happy, though slightly embarrassed. I cried because of it, too, but it was so nice to talk to everyone again, meet friends that I hadn’t seen the day before, and also meet everyone who watch my silly videos.
Soon, we were all heading back into the venue to participate in the anticipated fan meet and greet! Much like the concert, this was my first time meeting an Idol! We were handed our lotto tickets, some fans went to buy goods (the same as the day before), and Ash and I went to find seats, where there was a lot of chatting. I found a few friends from the line (who I also knew from Facebook) sat behind me, and a few members of Team UK (mostly from Scotland) were sat right next to us. Everyone began cheering again, waving their glow-sticks and king blades proudly, whilst I sat in my chair and screamed Chisato’s name. Throughout the fan meet, a man in front of me, an avid Nakajima Saki fan, would have a yelling match with me. My friend joined him, making the match unfair, but of us all, I am definitely the loudest.
It was really fun, having that friendly rivalry with another fan. It made my night!
Finally, ℃-ute graced us with their ethereal presence, wearing pure white outfits from their single, To Tomorrow, a featured track on their last Triple A-side release.
Now, as someone who does not understand either Japanese or French, a lot of the fan meet was hard for me to follow. I do, however, have eyes (believe it or not), so I was able to watch the members interact with one another, and the fans. By far, Okai Chisato and Suzuki Airi were the most entertaining of the five, with Airi dancing throughout, and acting random or weird, as she does. I also noticed that, of all the members, Chisato was always caught touching each Airi’s shoulder or arms, and they would talk quietly to one another, and make cute little gestures that made me realise just how real their friendship feels. It was a really sweet moment, and it made me appreciate those two even more.
All of the members were super sweet, of course. They waved and smiled, just like they did at the concert, but even more now. They called out to the fans a lot, and did a Q&A with questions written by the fans. One question included what kind of animal they would be. For Maimi, it was a Cheetah. Nakky answered with a fish, which earned so much laughter from the audience. Airi proclaimed she would be a sloth, and went on to do some weird movements. Chisato said she would be a monkey, and finally, Mai stated that everyone else in ℃-ute had said she was a cat, but she disagreed, because she does not like cats. So, therefore, she announced that she was a dog, whilst everyone else in ℃-ute disagreed as she said it.
Another question was, what was their favourite song? Sekaiichi Happy na Onna no ko was the answer given, because the opening had the group bringing their hands together and raising them up high. Then, the members were asked who was the most changed within the group, and both Nakky and Airi were put forward. Nakky, because she had become more confident as a person, and was much less shy than before. Then, Chisato stepped forward to say that Airi had changed because, somewhere down the line, Airi had gone completely nuts, and beforehand, the two hadn’t been that close and were very distant, until Chisato discovered that, actually, Airi was even more freaky and weird than herself. Now, that I can believe.
Seriously, throughout the entire meet and greet, both Chisato and Airi were wonderfully entertaining, and I believe in how close they actually are.
At some point during the fan meet, Airi showed off her ‘Eiffel Tower’ pose, which had everyone laughing in the audience. It demonstrated her weirdness, after Chisato had revealed it, and made the other members laugh, too. It was a cute moment, and really fun to see up-front.
Once all the questions had been asked, we moved on to the lottery, where five members of the audience were chosen to take polaroid pictures with ℃-ute! The polaroids were also signed, and though I was not chosen, I was really happy for everyone who was! One girl was crying with so much happiness, it was really sweet and made me want to cry.
One of the funnier moments of the lottery I remember, is that when someones number was called out, the members of ℃-ute all noticed that the person next to them had been waving an ANGERME penlight. Mai called out to them and said ‘But we’re ℃-ute!’, whilst Airi just smiled and gave them a thumbs up. It was funny that they all pointed, crying out ‘ANGERME?’ when they saw it, though.
Once the lottery had ended, the host then revealed that ℃-ute would perform two songs for us, and that we had a choice of four to choose from. Whichever two songs we cheered for the loudest, would be the ones performed. Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~, Ham to Cheese no Bagel, Jinsei wa STEP! And Adam to Eve no Dilemma were the songs to choose from, and when both Jinsei wa STEP! and Campus Life were called out, the hall erupted in cheers. So, ℃-ute sang both of those songs, and I was an absolute puddle of happiness. Hearing Campus Life live was absolutely amazing, because way way back when it was released, that was definitely my jam! I was so pleased to experience a nice little slice of nostalgia with that song!
At one point, during the performance of Jinsei wa STEP, a part of Chisato’s skirt came undone! So the other members who were not singing helped her to attach it, but it was a cute little moment. They stayed professional at all times, despite it, and worked to help out their fellow member when they could.
Finally, once the songs had ended, the members of ℃-ute gave a final speech to the fans. Because I don’t understand Japanese, a fan, David Rousse, has allowed me to borrow his own rough translation. As the members thanked the fans, their speech talked about the last 15 years since becoming Idols. They each told us about how much love they have all received, and how amazed they are to have so many fans around the world. They also expressed a desire to come back to enjoy France one day as tourists. Mai expressed that she would keep her memories of her Idol life close, whilst Nakky spoke about the performance of Gamusha LIFE the day before and how it was last minute, but the fans’ rendition made them cry and want to perform it for us. Both Maimi and Chisato thanked everyone for finding ℃-ute, and that they would never regret the path they had chosen, because it lead them to the fans.
It was a bittersweet moment, and throughout the message, Chisato and Mai were both crying. I felt so sad.
Before leaving the stage for the high touch event, the members came off the stage to stand with the fans and take one last picture of us! I was way, waaay in the back, so I was not able to bask in the presence of ℃-ute, however it was a wonderful moment, and I am just so happy to know that, somewhere, my face is in that picture.
Once ℃-ute had left the stage, it was finally time for the high touch event! This would be the last part of the fan meet, before all of the members left and the fans parted ways. I stood in the line, anticipating it, and the closer I got, the more nervous I became. And, despite being told that it would be a very fast high-touch event, it was actually a steady, well-paced affair. The fans in France didn’t want to rush, and because of that, we were all able to talk to the members a little before moving on. I was so nervous, though, and trying to remember what I was going to say to the members when I saw them. I had rehearsed it in my head, but it was getting jumbled.
There were a lot of emotions going on; excitement. Happiness. Sadness. Nothing felt real at that point, but when I finally got to the members… Yeah, I became undone.
Maimi was first, of course, and wow, she is really beautiful! I didn’t expect her pictures to not do her justice, but in person, she is absolutely stunning. I told her as much in Japanese, and said thank you to her. She was smiling so brightly and said ‘thank you!’ back quite a bit. Then it was Nakky, who I told ‘my sister and I love you’ in Japanese. That was what I had been rehearsing, and I stumbled a bit, but when I got it out, her whole face lit up. She thanked me, and seemed happy, and I felt so overwhelmed. Then I came to Airi, and at that point I was beginning to cry. I told her she was cute, and of course, she was very sweet and lovely.
And then there was Chisato, and I was crying a lot then. As I write this, I feel such second-hand embarrassment for myself, but I am a crybaby, so it was expected. Anyway, I cried so much, and I think from the performance, Chisato was still a little upset, too. She wasn’t as refined as the others, in keeping her features pleasant and neutral. I told Chisato that I loved her, and that she’s really cool. Basic stuff, because my Japanese is basic. Chisato was wonderful, and I won’t be getting the image of seeing her, in front of me, out of my head any time soon. It was the perfect moment!
Finally, I was able to Mai, and she was smiling so much! I was really surprised. I told her that she was really cute and cool, and she seemed pleased with it. There were a lot of thank you’s that came from her, but after Mai, it was the end. I was a mess, sporting a beautiful panda-eye look courtesy of running mascara. The perfect meet & greet look, you know?
After I had left the high-touch area, I received a small signed poster of ℃-ute, just like everyone else who attended. Then, we were ushered outside, so that the entrance didn’t fill up when other fans came out of the high-touch area.
Outside, I was talking to a few people and asked about the event, and, thankfully, I was not the only one who cried. I had a few more people come up to me and say they recognised me, and said that they enjoyed my videos. I wanted to cry all over again. I really was an emotional mess! Everyone at the fan meet and greet was so wonderful and kind, and they really made my weekend special.
Then the fans came together for a giant group photo. In one, I am all the way in the back, so I can’t be seen. However, in the other one, I managed to snag a place in front! It was great!
This was a fun, amazing opportunity that I will always treasure. I am so lucky that I was able to go to not only the concert for ℃-ute, but also their fan meet & greet! I got to meet so many wonderful people, create so many beautiful members, and experience the joys of an Idol live for the first time ever! I hope that I can do this again, and I hope that this won’t be the only live report I write!
It was wonderful, and I want to do it again!