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Hello Project Summer Concerts experience

Posted by Kinjiru, 07 August 2017 · 295 views

So I attended both concerts on Saturday (August 5th) and 2 out of 3 concerts on Sunday (August 6th). Just wanna ramble and geek out over the whole thing a loooooot since it's the first time I have consumed this amount of Hello Project in such a short time. Normally I just go to one live on a day but I managed to win two good tickets from the fan club for Saturday and then bought two relatively cheap tickets for 2 Sunday ones since they were doing 3 performances and I guess the price was a lot less than usual because of that. Seats were 1st row, 2nd row, 6th row and 7th row so the experience was incredible and as an audience member you really feel like you are part of the experience if you are within the first 10 rows so if you ever come to Japan and want to attend a concert, go to a Hello Project concert and sit within those rows for the best experience. Because of how many times Hello Con happens (5 concerts in one weekend and then they will be performing at Nakano Sun Plaza again in two weeks!) the resale prices are relatively low and on top of that you will get to see all of the groups. I got a bloody 2nd row 18th seat for 15000 yen at gorakudoh. Never saw anything close to that price for a good 2nd row seat for Morning Musume concerts; it's a bit more money, but it is completely, entirely worth it. If you look foreign, it is entirely worth it because at that distance (if you are of average height) there is no way in in hell they won't look at you. You are literally unmissable from the sight of view of the members performing on stage in front of you since the elevation of concert halls makes it so everyone can see the stage and is visible. It will be an unforgettable experience during your trip here, so as long as it's affordable I highly recommend it!

Both set lists were enjoyable and I can't really pick one since there were some songs in both versions that I liked and didn't care that much about. Ended up seeing a lot of the same songs in both versions though because to my surprise the shuffle corner where several members of different groups sing a song together was exactly the same! I mean, as alluring as Murotan is in that Sexy Boy outfit (Um...you'll see when the footage comes out >.>; ), I would have rather seen different members perform other songs in the 2 different versions. Btw, they coordinated their own outfits for the shuffle corner and Risa had a fashionable outfit but she was wearing an arm net that seemed a bit "Chuunibyou"-ish to me, lol. One song that really stood out was performed by Ruru (I liked her red and black outfit!), Ichioka, Momohime, Ayano and Kurumi and hopefully they'll show it on H!P station or something. Although at first I was unimpressed the beat is actually quite catchy and the movements are so easy to copy that is was the one song along with Fiesta Fiesta that still remains in my head. The common factor both songs have is Ruru! Her speaking voice so much different from when she sings, damn this girl has a set of lungs. If she is already at this level when she's only just entered the group I'm really looking forward to her growth. JJ has a lot of good singers but I am certain she will be getting a lot of good parts regardless, there is just a very satisfying feeling in the powerful way she hits those notes. It really feels like they don't know how to handle the new group member thing very well yet at Hello Con, but they didn't have much time to incorporate it properly either. Like, there are some songs in which there are none of the new members, and some in which there are new members. Now if it stopped at this it'd be ok, but at some points groups appear as back dancers, and they still wouldn't have the new members. Whether the new members appear, or when, if they are part of Country Girls, they will line up with Country or the other group is still unclear. It's inconsistent and in practice it feels as if the other groups are just "renting" the Country Girls members for certain songs, lol. I was constantly scanning whether Chisaki was present in the horde that is Morning Musume or not and during the ending when they line up I am still not sure where she was standing. One thing I dislike about both versions is that unlike previous H!P cons, the member groups do not all appear and sit on stage together during the MC. Often there would be a ranking corner like "Who is most likely to be able to communicate with an alien" and they would give the word to all kinds of different members and it was always fun to see everyone sitting up there. Now they just pull out certain members for the MC, which doesn't feel nearly as grand.

It's pretty obvious why Hello Con is great when you are sitting close to the stage. You can see everything very well, the proximity makes you feel like you are part of the experience, the members can see you clearly, you might be able to create some moments with certain members (Maachan is great at this) , the sound is fantastic, etc. BUT, Hello Con is also incredibly frightening and it scares me more than any concert from the individual groups. Just skip the next part if you don't want to hear me rambling about the hardships of supporting multiple members, lol.

Spoiler


Wanna talk about the individual groups and any interactions I had with them~

Some members are very difficult to get eye contact with while others won't leave you alone to the point where you suspect they're just messing with you. Whether they look at you or not will largely depend on whether you are waving their color, how well they know you and how much you stand out in a positive way. Someone who shows up for multiple concerts and is repeatedly seen by them will get more looks; I got much more eye contact on the 2nd day than the 1st. Also, the second day I wore white instead of black so that kind of pops out I guess.

Morning Musume: So many members...so incredibly difficult. So most of the time I was waving emerald green and it broke my heart that I wasn't able to support Akane and Haachin more. Btw, Akane's facial expressions have improved a lot! She is constantly smiling and looks like she is having fun! Haachin looks absolutely beautiful this concert! There has been some talk about her weight as of late, but she looked fabulous to me. Gentle expression, hair straight down, I was watching her performance much more than I expected to. Although I couldn't wave light blue too much I did have a moment on the first day (and very briefly the 2nd day) where she looked over and grinned, maybe a bit nervous looking, lol. Really wish I could show her more of my support though because she went through some tough times and I just really like her as a person, there's nothing you could possibly dislike about her personality. Another person who I wanted to show more support was Oda, who I really like, but her positioning on stage didn't work out well, since she was either not in sight, or near one of my top 3.

Maachan is a mixed bag, her mood is all over the places and she will sometimes mess around with people in the audience and wave or solely focus on the performance and ignore everyone. She didn't appear in front of me much to begin with, but for the amount of time I spent waving emerald green I sadly didn't get that much eye contact. The first day I would say that she didn't even notice me, and on the 2nd day she glanced over rather often during the 2nd half of the concert (from weird angles too, not when right in front of me). There was one really good moment though when I was shaking my head side-to-side to the beat and since she was in front of me on stage she directly looked at me and and started to make this teasing kind of face while shaking her shoulders/head too, lol. I think the key to stand out for Maachan is that you have to be a little extreme and wave at her or do something different from the rest so she will "play along", which is strange because usually fans deliberately avoid distracting their favorites likes that. I also think she values dedication to waving emerald green quite a lot, which makes it difficult to support the rest of the members -.-;. I...might have messed up once or twice while she was looking from a place not directly in front of me.

Another member I really like is Harunan, but her positioning on the stage was quite bad and I could only wave yellow when she was right in front of me, which she responded with by glancing several times, but nothing that lasted longer than 2 seconds each time. She saw that I mostly waved Emerald Green, so it's tricky.

I guess I should include Morning Chisaki in this. MoSaki...? Is...is that a valid name? O.o; Anyway, during the Momusu performances I mostly saw her in 3 positions; at the back of the formation, right in the middle (might just be at the end of the song) and on the left side of the stage, dancing for a prolonged amount of time, near Sakura. Unlike Maachan, Chisaki rarely looks sideways, so she mostly looks at and sees the people in front of her. I didn't get a seat that was right in front of where she performed until the last concert on Sunday. One of my objectives during Hello Con was to show her that even after entering a huge group like Morning Musume I would still support the hell out of her, waving orange in disregard to the fact that it's Kudou's colour. It was perfect, because first Country Girls performed, and I clearly showed me waving orange to which she responded with some grins and then soon after she performed together with Morning and when she was at the left part of the stage she was right in front of me, so I could continue waving orange and it would very visible to her. So again, she looked over several times slightly smiling and the message seemed to have gotten across. Chisaki is a bit weird with eye contact, there are moments where she gives short nervous glances, there are some times where she will look for like 3 seconds and then there are moments where she is staring at a fixed spot in the audience but she is aware that you're waving her color as she sometimes gets this awkward grin, as if she is trying to concentrate on not looking, though that might just be coincidence. I am pretty sure Oda thinks I don't care about her because she could very easily see that I was not waving for her but Chisaki, which is rather painful because Oda usually looks at me often during events and stage plays and I do like her quite a bit. Showing support for Chii even after she entered MoMusu was a priority to me though, so it couldn't be helped.

Angerme: Angerme was great as always and Dondengaeshi as a H!P song where all the members were doing the swing back-and-forth move was awesome.

Murotan is my favorite so I was mostly watching her throughout the performances. I went to many of Angerme and Muro's events so I truly hope she recognizes me, but I have no idea honestly. That said, she looked over quite frequently with a bright smile on her face, so she fully lived up to my expectations! Because her eyes are big it is easy to spot her gaze. Also, she was sitting at the left side of the stage during some performances and was acting like a crazy person, making strange movements to the beat of the song. At some point when the performers left the stage through the left side where she was sitting Murotan held her hand up to high-five them, but all of them just ignored her and she was left hanging, HAHAHAHAHA. I couldn't hold in my laugh and she just subtly tried to play it off (they're sitting in the dark so it's not like the focus is on them to begin with). She's like a real life cartoon character and a joy to watch at every concert.

Ayacho: Er...a tricky one since I wasn't waving red, but I am pretty sure she did not look over to check even once regardless of that (and I went to her BD very recently too!). Always liked her wild personality but as of late she feels very distant/cold and it seems like she cares more about making Angerme a success than forging a stronger bond with the fans. It's a 2-way street, you treat your fans well and they'll feel a need to support you. I've tried waving red at release events but she is just too stoic or tsundere to give fans a look, mostly staring straight in front of her.

Kana: Kananan, pleaaaase :(. She was straight up messing with me on Saturday. Although not one of my favorites necessarily, she is always very warm at handshakes and like foreign movies and stuff so I occasionally wave her pink. Kananan recognizes me though, so there were points where I tried swapping to light blue but couldn't. She knows I am a Murotan fan and probably realizes that I will keep waving her color as long as she is looking so she was staring at me for a extended amount of time with an "I'm not going to let you swiihiiiitch~" type of grin, even though I was clearly making gestures and flicking my eyes towards Murotan the entire time. Thankfully it didn't happen on Sunday, lol.

Momona: I adore Momona, she is kind to the fans, super sweet and the way she performs just makes you want to support her so much more. Angerme members are right on the money when they compare her to a dog. The awesome thing about Momona is that she doesn't have some weird sense of pride, she will look at you even if you are clearly waving someone else's color. I was waving light blue and then when she appeared in front of me on stage she was looking at me quite intensely. So I looked at my penlight, clicked it towards pink and started waving her member color, lol. She started smiling brightly when I did, so that was a very cute moment. It felt like a dog waiting for their bone to be thrown, lol. Normally switching colors in front of a member is a no no, but for Momona she is completely ok not being first choice as long as you show her your support! It's very much like Momona because she herself said "Oshi aren't something you change, they just increase". Her mindset is more mature than a lot of the members in that regard.You don't win over fans by shunning them if they aren't waving your color but instead by rewarding them if they do show their support. Rewards over penalties and all that.

Juice Juice:Ya know, I mostly had Takagi and Tomoko on my side of the stage so I couldn't really make eye contact with Yuuka or Akari much but...

Akari: Quite disappointed, since even though she is the type to not look at audience members much to begin with, I expected at least one "Ok, we definitely saw each other" moment. I think she glanced over at me on the 2nd day near the end of the concert but no certainty there because usually she breaks eye contact after a second. Can't figure her out because at handshakes she is always excited and bounces up and down when she sees me so it's not like I'm being hated O.o;

Tomoko: No eye contact, since I wasn't waving red to begin with and there is no way she'll look at you if you don't. The tyrant requires complete devotion. That said, when she was sitting down on the left side of the stage in front of me I could see her looking my way, probably curious as to whose colors I was waving during performances, as I am a confirmed Juice Juice fan in their eyes after attending a lot of their release events, their lives and each of their BD events (except Sayuki's).

Ruru: I waved orange during the performances she was part of outside of Juice Juice (partly because JJ members were sitting down on the left side, but honestly I quite like her), but Ruru keeps her stare absolutely fixated on the center of the audience and does not look at people. Maybe it's the nerves and the fact she is still new and might not have much leeway to look at people while dancing.

Yanamin: I really like Yanamin, so I was happily surprised to see she deliberately made an effort to sneak in glances and look at me for extended periods of time during each of her performances to the point where she was most definitely the person I had most eye contact with out of everyone, and not just while she was directly in front of me either. It could be that she remembers me from CG events, but that on its own wouldn't warrant her looking over that much, honestly. I comment a lot on her blog about coming to performances and I have sent her 2 Pokemon plush gifts too (only member I have gifted more than 1 present, mostly because I just really wanted to buy a plush Suicune I saw for her, as it's her favorite Pokemon), so it might be that she matched up my name from the fan letters with the blog comments and the one foreign dude that often comes to lives/events. She doesn't have too many comments to begin with and since she is a bit narcissistic I could totally see her reading through each and every one of them as a confidence boost, in which case there is no way she would not have read mine. It's great to have a member consistently make eye contact like that, it feels like you're truly being appreciated and I do really want to support her now that she's entering a new group and in unfamiliar territory. I've always considered her the successor of Momochi, but in certain ways she is a better idol than her playing manager. Also during the MC she said "A hobby of mine is collecting plush dolls from the games I play.". Yay, I gifted her Pokemon plush dolls both times! ^_^

Kobushi and Tsubaki: Not much to say here since pretty much the only member I really like in these two groups is...

Ami: who I remember glancing over occasionally on Saturday. She definitely remembers my face though, since at the Tokyo Dome release event for their new single she told me "Long time no see!" which was absolutely correct, lol. Nothing special, but she wasn't in front of me on stage often either.

Kisora: Ok, so I'm not her fan and since I was only waving Ami's color she should know this, but she still stares at me unusually often. At the Tokyo Dome event when all of the fans are lining up for the handshake I was awaiting my turn and occasionally looked through the guards at the members. Very often I spotted Kisora staring straight at me...O.o;

Hamachan: This was another funny moment similar to what happened with Kananan. Although I don't really have a favorite in Kobushi, I mostly wave pink because if I absolutely had to pick someone it would be either Hamachan or Taguchi, and I like how Hamachan takes her role of idol so seriously. So since, I was waving pink during Kobushi performances she probably suspects I am a Hamachan oshi. Now during one of the shuffle songs she was paired up with Funakki. I absolutely adore Funakki and like Country Girls overall more than Kobushi anyway, so despite knowing that Funakki never really looks at audience members, I wave yellow since I might as well try right. Hamachan was STARING ME THE F DOWN. So since Funakki doesn't really look over anyway I switch to pink since I don't want to give a bad impression to her and she's making an effort to look over. Then on moments where it seems like Funakki might look over I tried switch to yellow again and...AGAIN HAMACHAN STARES ME DOWN so I switch to pink again ;_;. She was staring so often the entire damn time I ended up waving pink for like 90% of the performance. I can somewhat understand it if I were a big Hamachan fan, but she hasn't seen me at their events in aaaaaages, last time was the JK Ninja musical. She seems very dedicated to being an idol and I guess demands integrity from her fans which I fully respect, but I'm not that big of a Kobushi fan to begin with...ah well, it's moments like those that make H!P concerts funny (and frightening).

Country Girls: Haven't seen them in a while so it was great fun to see them perform again! Even though they might not be releasing any more singles, they still have just as strong of a presence during Hello Con! Maybe even more so, since the CG members sometimes also perform as part of the other groups and Risa/Mai do the MC. In one of the concert versions they do the Rhythm wo yondeiru call with the audience and the call and responses have become absolutely ridiculous at this point. Yamaki was doing a sexy version, Funakki was doing a rock version, Chisaki's was still relatively normal by just adding the word "Shortcake" after clap. Mai's was pretty ridiculous too. Anyway, I already talked about Yanamin and Chisaki so...

Mai: I love all the Country Girls members and think Mai is absolutely fantastic, but since I like the other members more there is never much opportunity to wave blue for her. She sometimes tries to make eye contact but I'm mostly waving orange during CG lives. Thankfully there was a shuffle song with her in it, so even though Akane who I like quite a lot was also in it I decided to just wave blue. Mai was right in front of me and she's been through a lot lately, so I wanted to show her there were people rooting for her. She spotted me waving blue and her smile brightened up! I wish her all the best with her studies and although I feel sad that we won't be able to see as much from someone who is very suited to be an idol I look forward to her Hello Project appearances and radio shows!

Yamaki: Yamakiiiiii~ yeah, she was doing MC on the middle of the stage, sitting down on the left side during other performances and dancing/singing as part of Country Girls so she was pretty much everywhere. Made eye contact during the CG performance several times and she saw me swapping between green and orange, but nothing out of the ordinary here. I couldn't see where she was looking while they were sitting in the dark on the left corner of the stage but as I was right in front of it there is no way she did not spot me.

So yeah, all in all a great experience and I am still wondering whether I should attend the concerts in two weeks as well even though I've already seen both versions twice. Hello Con is the only time you'll be able to get such good seats within the 10000~15000 yen range, you can easily double that amount for seats at individual groups' performances. Especially if you're a foreign fan who wants to see their first H!P concert in Japan, Hello Cons are absolutely the best considering the price, the seats and the fact you get to see all of the groups at the same time. The members themselves also feel that Nakano Sun Plaza is a kind of home base for Hello Project at this point, and it's like a huge family gathering with all the fans and groups.




Read the whole thing and that DOES sound scary lol
But also very fun : v
Thankfully I like Hamachan the most out of kobushi so I wouldn't have a problem if I was in your situation
I want to read more eye contact-blogs like this!! Lol
Someone write about Fukuchan and Maria's eye contact... plz

Aye, I want to read more eye contact-blogs from other fans too! Eye contact and just how they generally behave towards fans adds a whole new layer to the member's personalities. A lot of the times in DVDs and TV appearances of their events we only get to see the performance and their MCs, but we don't get to see anything in detail, what happens in between or leading up to it. For example, with that footage alone I would not have grown to like Momona as much as I do, since I only noticed how kind she is to the fans by watching her at release events. Same with Sakura. Especially as foreign fans we mostly just see the performance side of it. People might think someone like Ikuta is too cool to look at the fans but surprisingly she seems to be looking a lot.

I am not sure about Maria since I rarely watch her but I think Mizuki is the type to make eye contact if you wave pink consistently. Outside of her singing lines she does seem to looking at people. At least I'm sure at Budoukan she did.

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November 2017

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