...which brings me to yesterday. My first Johnny's handshake event! As far as I know (which, granted, is not very far), handshakes aren't really what Johnny's does. I've heard of it happening before, Nakayama Yuma has had two or three now, and I think NYC had one where attendance was based on tickets in the Wonderful Cupid single (maybe?) but I didn't think it was a common thing. So, needless to say, both yomimashou and I, as well as the thousands of other girls at the event with us were at a loss as to what was going to happen. In fact, before arriving, yomimashou and I weren't even sure how many people were going to be there, if it was going to be on a scale of hundreds, thousands, or ten-thousands.
I don't have exact numbers, but there were a lot of girls lining up out front when we first got there, that's for sure. We waited in line outside for maybe twenty minutes or so-- not too long-- before we made it inside, where staff members were checking the CR codes for entry and handing out tickets randomly. We got D-471 and D-472, which turned out to mean we were in the back of the back; there were four blocks (A, B, C, and D) and each fit about five hundred people. Alas. At any rate, we were shepherded into a large convention space and into our block and then left to wait staring at a giant banner of Sexy Zone and watching their three PVs on repeat. Finally, after another half hour or so, they brought Sexy Zone in onto a stage... which we couldn't see from the back. Once more, alas. Three members of Sexy Boyz were also present (Jinguji, Amu, and Reia), as well as Iwahashi Genki, randomly. For some reason, they introduced Kento, Fuma, and Shori as "Sexy Zone" and Marius and Sou with "Sexy Boyz." After watching Music Station with Kento, Fuma, and Shori in white and Marius and Sou essentially dressed in the Junior costume, I'm a little perplexed as to the continued attempt to siphon Marius and Sou away from the group, but... I wasn't going to spend the event worrying about it. The group introduced themselves (and Fuma introduced himself as "Kiku-tan"... cute...?) and then announced that they were going to play some games with the audience before the handshake event began.
The first game they did was a "eye covering game" which was essentially Heads Up Seven Up, if you're familiar with that game. They drew lots to pick three audience members to come up on the stage, and then Fuma, Kento, and Shori (of course not Marius and Sou...) picked each picked one audience member while the audience member's eyes were closed. They then asked the audience members to open their eyes and stand behind the member they thought picked them, and it turned out that somehow, all three got it right. They got signed One Sexy Zone hoodies... lucky them.
The next game was, predictably, janken. yomimashou got out right away, but I managed to say in for three more rounds before losing. They eventually asked the remaining ten or so people to come onto the stage for the final rounds, and Kento was very excited to discover that one of the winners was a male fan. For whatever reason, Kento has decided that Sexy Zone's fans should be called "Sexy Girls," so when the guy got up on the stage, he was very excited to announce that there was also a Sexy Boy! (No mention of the fact that three of the Juniors on stage with him are actually Sexy Boyz). He asked who the guy's favourite was, and the guy answered that it was Kento, to which Kento was very pleased. Oh Kento, never change. This was the highlight of the janken tournament... the winners got signed hoodies again, nothing new or exciting.
After that, Sexy Zone performed Suki Sugite! It would have been great if I could see, but... I couldn't really, being really short and at the back of the back. I managed to stand on my toes and catch some of it, but mostly, I was forced to simply enjoy their really awfully off-key non-autotuned singing. It was beautiful... I like it better when they don't lip sync and you can hear their actual singing, bad or not! ^__~
After that, it was time for the handshake. By some miracle, they decided to start from D block, so we were amongst the first to get shepherded to where the handshake was happening. This is where things got really intense; as we got closer in line to where Sexy Zone was (behind the stage, I discovered), the staff members started first gently pushing us and then more like shoving us in closer to one another. By the time we got up to the line where Sexy Zone, Jinguji, Amu, Reia, and Genki were, they were literally manhandling us into place, and a staff member shoved each person down the line to keep them from taking too long with each idol. The entire handshaking experience took approximately two seconds, not exaggerating.
So... that was relatively traumatic, but it was still pretty fun to get to see them up close. The order of the line was Jinguji, Genki, Sou, Amu, Marius, Reia, Fuma, Shori, Kento (I think-- I was totally overwhelmed at first and in between Jinguji and Marius I remember almost nothing besides thinking Sou's outfit was cute...). Marius looked positively horrified and traumatized by the fact that staff members were almost literally throwing young women at him; he has this smile pasted on his face that clearly showed he was terrified. XD; Poor child. Fuma, Shori, and Kento were doing a better job of keeping it together and smiling at each fan, and I even got a bit of a sassy head-tilt out of Kento as he said "arigatou, ne~" to me... oh Kento, never change, seriously. I got a bit of a double-take from Reia and Fuma, but for the most part, I seemed to fly under the radar being half; yomimashou, who is white as a sheet and has bright red hair, got a couple of "Thank you"s in English.
And then that was that. We were shepherded out of the venue and handed some fliers, just like at any other Johnny's event. There was also a chance to reserve the Summary DVD again and this time get a poster; I was a bit annoyed since I reserved it at the New Year's concert and am going to get a clearfile instead... but I liked the poster. Such is Johnny's, I guess. But all in all, I had fun, I got to see(ish) and hear them perform, and I got to shake their hands... and the whole thing was free! What more could a fan ask for?
And now, to figure out what venue(s) to ballot for for the spring Sexy Zone concert... I guess it's just going to be a very Sexy Zone new year.