First big thanks to Hentaishinshi for writing this article.
This is a guide about 48 Groups Handshake Events both for Individual member event and Nationwide event. It contains more detail description and some tips.
1st part for Nationwide handshake event:
Hello everyone, long time no tumblr.
So I was told that a comprehensive guide about the events that made 48 groups what they are (in many ways), the infamous handshake events, would be appreciated, so here I go.
<National Handshake events>
Let’s start with the simpler type, the so-called “national handshake events” (全国握手会 - zenkoku akushukai).
As the name suggests, they are held not only in the group’s base city (Tokyo for AKB, etc) but in several locations throughout Japan.
Tickets to these events are obtained by buying the single’s First/Limited Edition. Take a look:
These are the national handshake tickets one could find in the Sayonara Crawl CDs. Only AKB48 have 2 different versions: pay attention to the official blog to know when you can use each type.
Anyway, for national handshake events the above tickets are all you need. Just bring them with you and go to the designated place on the designated day, follow the staff’s instructions and eventually you will be allowed to line up in your oshimen*’s lane.
To be honest, I have never been to an AKB48 national handshake event. The tickets are not easy to come by (compared to the sister groups), there are hordes upon hordes of people, and you have to wait for hours upon hours…not to mention that the members present are usually senbatsu girls + some others, so yeah.
For SKE48/NMB48/HKT48, the tickets are found much more easily (even months after the CD went on sale. have you ever seen sudden rises in months-old 48 CDs? The reason is simple, a national handshake event is coming)
Both AKB and sister groups do a kind of mini live on the morning of the actual event. The contents vary but if you want to watch it you’ll have to present yourself to the event place kinda early (usually before 10 AM), trade your ticket for a “live viewing/handshake ticket” and go to the area assigned to watch the live. The SKE especially do some kickass unit shuffling during them, so IMO they’re worth it. Because of the following reason too….
With these live viewing/handshake tickets, you can go for a handshake right away after the mini live. (depending on the number you received. The staff calls numbers in order, like “from 0 to 500” then “500 to 1000” etc. ).
After that, you’ll have to wait until 2 PM or so to begin using normal handshake tickets. The members are generally split in lanes of 2/3 (with some notable exceptions, like Rena/Jurina/Churi/Akarin in SKE handshakes), and one ticket lets you talk/shake hands with each one of them for roughly 3/4 seconds. So yeah, pretty much all you can do is say something/ask a simple question, obtain a reply if she’s witty enough, and off you go.
In my experience they can go either very good or very bad. If the members in the same lane get along well together it’s going to be a blast of a ride. If they don’t…things can be awkward. But it’s generally good fun. I don’t recommend going there thinking of talking about serious stuff or wishing to communicate important things…the place is noisy, members are generally noisy, wotas are noisy too.
National Handshake events usually end at 5/6 PM. Towards the end lanes get thinner and security staff tend to be more lax, so it might be a good idea to wait to win some precious seconds.
OK this has gotten pretty long already…I’ll talk about Individual handshake events in the next post. Got any questions, doubts, insults for this poorly worded wall of text? Find me on twitter and I’ll answer right away, to the best of my knowledge. (or find convincing excuses)
Again big thanks to Hentaishinshi for writing this article.
2nd part for individual handshake event:
Here we go again!
(Let me set the mood with a song first. http://www.youtube.c...h?v=dyGZBRnibFI )
<Individual Handshakes events>
Aaah…individual handshake events. Laughter, tears, oshihen a go-go.
The biggest difference between national and individual is that, as the name kind of suggests, ALL members (KKS included) participate in individual handshake events.
And while SKE/NMB/HKT events only feature members from their respective groups, AKB individual handshake events feature ALL members from ALL Japanese 48 groups. (who shouted “sales doping?”)
These tickets are sold with the so-called “theater edition” of the single, which costs 1000 JPY (as opposed to the regular version’s 1600 JPY) , and contains only the single’s CD. (it’s called theater version because IIRC the first individual handshakings were held in the AKB theater, and the theater version was acquired there too, well like the JKT are doing now)
Nowadays to acquire a theater version you’ll have to access one of these sites:
https://akb48.chara-ani.com (AKB48 singles theater version)
http://shop.mu-mo.net (SKE singles theater version)
http://ch.chara-ani.com (NMB, HKT, Nogizaka etc theater version)
All of them have exclusive rights to the theater version’s sale.
Usually 2/3 months before the particular single goes on sale, the “booking period” (divided in a series of “phases”) starts on the website. You log in, read through the ToS, then a screen appears with a list of the members and their handshaking blocks/periods.
The structure of the individual handshakings is this: the event itself is divided in blocks o, or periods, of 1 hour and a half starting from 9:00 or 10:00; 1st period goes from 9:00 to 10:30, 2nd from 11:00 to 12:30, then there’s the “lunch period” (usually populated by KKS and less popular members), then the 3rd period, etc.
The more popular a member is (read: the more tickets she sells), the more blocks she has. Senbatsu class girls are available all day, while KKS/not-so-popular girls have only 1 or 2 blocks.
Anyway, when the selection screen I mentioned above appears, you get to choose the day (these events are usually held 3/4 times), the member, the block and the number of tickets you want. You can only pick up to 3 tickets in the 1st phase, around 10 in the second, then 50/unlimited in the rest. Members like Oshima Yuko, Matsui Rena and Yamamoto Sayaka usually sell out all their tickets in the 1st phase.
Phases usually last one day or two. The day after one ends, you will receive an e-mail informing you if you were lucky enough to get all the tickets you chose or not. Needless to say, with popular members it’s likely not to get even one ticket…it’s all based on luck.
After all the phases end, you will be prompted via e-mail to choose form of payment: credit card, payment via convenience store or payment upon receipt.
Fast forward a couple months…it’s the day before the single’s release date. You’re chilling at home, when the doorbell rings…it’s the postman! With 3 huge brown boxes! Yes my friend, your 150 copies of (insert single here) have arrived. (the CDs are packaged in boxes of 50 copies max)
Inside the boxes you’ll find the CDs (duh), photos (depends on the group. NMB and HKT don’t give photos with the theater edition IIRC. AKB has been doing it for a long time, and SKE started recently? cmiiw )
Then you’ll find a piece of paper like this:
With your address (in the whited-out part), name, the day you applied for the tickets, their price and a list of members/blocks/etc. Kind of like a receipt. When you will actually go to the handshaking the lane’s reception staff will check this paper, if it matches with your name/address on your ID, then draw a black stroke depending on how many tickets you mean to use.
The tickets themselves are like this:
These are 2 KFC Anai Chihiro and Matsuoka Natsumi tickets that I, alas, could not use (don’t ask why please)
As you can see the member’s name, block, date, is written on then. Needless to say, they can be used only on the particular block of that particular day. (Unless the member is absent/sick or there were huge delays in transportation, in which cases they do special treatment to let you use them another day)
The lane reception staff will scan the barcode on the ticket and draw the aforementioned stroke on the receipt. You will then proceed to the member’s booth: before entering you will hand your ticket(s) to a staff person who will count them, check your hands (telling you to remove any accessories like rings), then letting you go inside, while announcing to another staff person inside the booth how many tickets you have given.
While you have the time of your life chatting it up with your angel of a member, the staff person at the entrance will keep the time, announcing when it will be almost up and when it is over. Once the “time over” call comes, the whitely gloved staff behind you will gently touch your shoulders and guide you towards the exit. (one ticket nets you roughly 6 seconds nowadays. Though there might be differences depending on how much the lane is packed, how strict the staff is, etc etc)
On your way back to the front of the lanes, don’t forget to take a peek at the other lanes, you might be lucky enough to see other members and their casual clothes…
OK, this has become long enough too. The greatest hurdle in individual handshakings is that you need an address in Japan connected to your name…some Japanese wotas trade receipts and IDs, but it’s nigh impossible for foreigners isn’t it?
Anyway, if you have any further questions you know where to find me. Sorry if it’s hard to understand, I tried my best but it’s kinda complicated :/