For those of you who didn't hear, this was a "standing live" event at TV Asahi's EX Theatre Roppongi. You can see images of the space at the website, but just to clarify; a standing live differs from a regular Johnny's concert in that there are no seats or assigned spaces. Like if you're in the tachimi, or standing spaces, at an arena concert, every ticket has a number, and you're let into the venue in that order, then once you're in, it's a mad dash with pushing and shoving to get to the best spot. This has been fine for me in the past with a non-Johnny's artist, but with overzealous Johnny's fans, this meant utter craziness.
yomimashou and I got to the venue at about 11:30; the doors were supposed to open at noon, but we weren't sure how they were letting people into the venue. Since there were 1,500 people waiting to be let in in number order into the standing area, we were wondering how that was going to happen, but when we arrived, we were shepherded into a waiting area behind the theatre. There were areas blockaded off for numbers 300-500, 500-800, 800-1100, and 1100 up. We didn't see any area for 1-300, but it seems like they must have started letting them in quite early. At about 11:45, they started letting 300-500 in, so it's pretty safe to assume that 1-300 was let in significantly before the listed opening time. They then started calling the numbers by twos and letting people file into the venue in order. We were in the mid-500s, so once they started the 500-800 block, we got in pretty quickly! Already, girls were pushing and shoving trying to get ahead, but we held our ground XD Once they tore our tickets, though, all hell broke loose. yomimashou got goods while I ran for it, but girls were elbowing and running at breakneck speed and occasionally wiping out. We had to run down like 3 flights of stairs to the basement, and I'm sort of amazed no one died. Then, there was a mad dash for coin lockers, but luckily, we were prepared and left all our stuff in a locker in the train station. We managed to get into the standing space about 15 rows deep of people back from the stage, so a decent view, except for the fact that I'm really short (153 cm) and can never see anything, sob.
The setup of the inside of the space was a wide, flat standing space with one step up in the middle with a railing. Girls had chosen to stand at the railing rather than push in close to the stage, but there was already a sizable crowd there, so we opted for closer to the stage. Then, behind the standing space were two small boxes with a few rows of seats where people's managers and family members were clearly sitting (it was a kankeisha section, but not for Johnny's, only their families and managers), and then there was a balcony, where there were about 250 seats for fans. There were also two side boxes where there were a ton of members of the press; it turned out that we were at the show when they did the TV recording. But more about that later!
There was a large curtain obscuring the stage from view, but as it got to be fifteen, ten, five minutes before the show, movement was clearly visible behind the curtain, making the crowd scream and get really excited. First, it was just the curtain moving as people walked by, but soon, there were hands pressing against the curtain and stuff. It was super unprofessional, but then again... when has Johnny's ever seemed professional? |D;
The show opened with Jesse announcing and welcoming everyone in English, and then the curtain fell, revealing Jesse, Hokuto, Hanzawa Akatsuki, Masuda Ryo, Yasui, Jinguji, Genki, and Miyachika. I spent the first number struggling to see and not get trampled, so I honestly don't remember much about it, but soon, they introduced Sexy Zone, and they did their medley from Kouhaku. They're really trying to squeeze that in whenever possible. |D; Backdancers were mostly the usual; Jinguji, Genki, and Miyachika represented Sexy Boyz (Kishi was absent), then Reia with Kakuta Yusei and Takahashi Kaito were there also, and Amu, Fu, MatsuMatsu conbi, Kaoru, Okamoto Kauan, some of the kids from JJL (Motodaka? Muraki? Takahashi Rin? Sugeta Rinne? I honestly don't remember. There were a lot of people onstage), Vasayegh Hikaru, Tajima Shogo, Inaba Manaya, and probably more that I don't remember. Sexy Zone introduced themselves, and then Jesse did an odd little routine with a globe, before the older set (Hokuto, Jesse, Hanzawa, and Masuda; I think Yasui must have not been able to make it to rehearsals, because he wasn't in many of the group numbers) did a few group numbers. Jesse and Hokuto had solos, and they did a number where we were supposed to follow along and mimic the juniors with our penlights. Reia demonstrated the penlight and was super adorable. ♥ Even if I had to super strain around the girl in front of me to see him.
Next up was Sexy Boyz and their crowd, and a large group (Sexy Boyz, Reia3, Amu, Fu, Kaoru, MatsuMatsu, a few others) did "Don't Stop Sexy Boyz," which seems a bit off considering that it's only the four now, but I like that song and whatever, it was adorable. Then, Sexy Boyz each had a solo; first was Miyachika with a stirring rendition of "Music for the People" with Amu and Fu as his featured backdancers. Amu and Fu stuck around when Genki came on to do "Ai Nanda," but then were replaced by MatsuMatsu when Jinchan reprised his solo of "Star Rider" from Shounen Club. I was very excited to see this live, since it's utterly hilarious, and Jinchan thinks he's really sexy. XD; After that, Reia with Kakuta and Takahashi Kaito did a song, but I don't remember the song title and it wasn't one I was familiar with. Sexy Boyz were dressed in those pink outfits from all the publicity; Reia3 were in their outfits from Johnny's World (Reia in pink, Kakuta in yellow, Takahashi Kaito in turquoise, all with white suits). Reia did skateboard and Kakuta did skates, and at one point, they both hugged Takahashi Kaito and Reia kissed him in the cheek. Takahashi Kaito, for his part, looked like he was going to faint. XD That lucky guy!
Up next were Sexy Zone's solos; Shori did "Onaji Sora no Shita" with MatsuMatsu, then Kento did Candy with Jinguji and Iwahashi. Jinguji seemed a lot more good natured about it than last time; when before he seemed grumpy to be forced to say "Love Kenty," this time he was laughing and doing fanservice with Kento. At one point, Kento followed him to one side of the stage where Jinguji did a hip roll and Kento perved on him while Genki cracked up at them. XD; Jinguji also kissed Kento on the cheek at one point during the number. Kento cutely poked Genki's cheek once, as well, and Genki seemed like maybe he wasn't too nervous. But then Kento prompted each of them to say "Love Kenty," first Jinguji, saying "How are you feeling right now?" to which Jinguji shouted "LOVE KENTY!!" Then, he asked Genki, "And you?" But when Genki went to shout, he managed "Love K--" before his voice cracked and he blushed. It was adorable, and Kento told him he was cute, so hopefully he wasn't too embarrassed. Up last was Fuma doing "rouge" (not "FaKe;" not sure why) with Hanzawa, Masuda, Jesse, and Hokuto as his backup dancers, and he and Hokuto kept looking at one another the whole time, it was utterly adorable. They knew they couldn't turn their heads because of the choreography, but you could just see their eyes in the direction of one another several times during the number. In the middle of the dance, however, there was a part where all the backdancers were supposed to lean in close to Fuma, and Hokuto's choreography was apparently to grope Fuma's thigh with his face practically in Fuma's crotch |D; I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did. He looked like he did.
Then, Kento and Shori came back for "Bad Boys." Fuma and Kento were clearly supposed to do fanservice, but they bumped into one another by accident, causing them to burst into giggles instead. It was also funny seeing them doing Bad Boys in their solo costumes. At one point, Kento kissed his lollypop and then tossed it offstage XD;; At the end, everyone in the cast came out to backdance, which was surprising, since Bad Boys usually doesn't have backdancers. But Hokuto seemed really happy to be performing Fuma's song right next to Fuma. They kept looking at one another. ♥ And Reia made a super adorable bad boy~
After the song ended, Sexy Zone announced that there was a surprise for us... a press conference! They took a publicity photo of themselves all holding their Gamushara J's Party signboard, which they'd all signed their named on. Reia's name was adorably in pink and had a heart drawn at the end of the last character ♥ They had us make a "J" with our hand and said "Gamushara--" so that we all could say "J!" Kento said it the first few times, and kept saying "Gamushara... J...esse!" to which Jesse got annoyed and said "It's not Gamushara Jesse!" XD Then he made Jinguji say it once and Amu say it once. Jinguji also tried to say "Gamushara Jesse," but it was cute because he said "Gamushara... J...esse-kun!" XD As they posed for the photo, Miyachika did something silly, and Genki swatted him on the head adorably~ They were cute together in this. And... you can see my hand in the photo that's in the newspapers, I'm pretty sure! But I have yet to find a good photo of the newspaper, rather than squinting at the video, so I'm not sure and can't point it out here. XD; Also, at one point, fans kept screaming "Jesse! Jesse!" and Jesse finally responded, "Yes, I'm Jesse." XD;
The press conference was super awkward and felt more like an MC than a presscon. The juniors (and also Kento and Fuma, really, but mostly the juniors) clearly don't have much practice at staying on topic and answering the questions concisely. There were some high points, though, such as the TV announcer calling Yasui the "number one big brother" here to say he was the oldest, and Kento and Fuma saying Yasui was the "final boss" of their video game; once you defeat Sexy Zone in battle you have to beat Yasui. XD Yasui kept telling them to stop, but then they teased him about how much of his chest you could see, making him even more embarrassed. XD; They also mentioned that they plan to hold another Gamushara J's Party in March. Genki had a mic and not Jinguji, which tickled me pink (people with mics were Sexy Zone, Yasui, Jesse, and Genki), and he did his call and response so we could show him we loved him. It also came out that apparently, he and Fuma lived close together when they were kids and their elementary schools played baseball against one another, so Fuma and Genki met before they were in Johnny's. XD They asked Genki what Fuma was like, to which Genki replied, "He had brown hair and was really cool," but Fuma responded, "There's no way you can remember that long ago!" XD; The interviewer called Jesse the "leader," which made Jesse nervous, and he rambled on about how he talked a lot because he was nervous |D;; At one point, Fuma was asked to talk and said "ore" (a more rude word for "I" that guys tend to use) before getting embarrassed and correcting himself to "boku" (a more polite word for guys to use for "I") and it was adorable. He talked about how he was close with a lot of Juniors, and Hokuto stared lovingly at him the whole time. They also asked Kento to explain what "EX" stood for in "EX Theatre" and Kento basically didn't know, so he said Shori would explain. But then Shori didn't know either, and it was awkward |D;; At the end, they took more photos, and so they asked Reia, who was kneeling to hold the signboard, to stand up and blow a kiss with everyone else (Sexy Zone kneeled to hold the sign), and it was adorable, because when he stood up he was right in front of Jinguji, sort of blocking him from the audience. Jinguji looked pouty, and Reia looked back at him, then sort of ducked, trying to let Jinguji be seen. ♥ Reia is so adorable and attentive to Jinchan~
After the press conference, Sexy Zone did a short talk while the Juniors changed, and they mentioned their album coming out soon (I was hoping for a concert announcement, sob.) However, before they announced it, Shori and Kento were joking that it was something ~secret and embarrassing, and kept looking at one another and giggling, and it was really adorable. Then, they asked Fuma if he didn't have a movie he wanted to announce, and Fuma was like "Oh right! Kamen Teacher!" XD He forgot. He also cutely said, "Well, they're not here right now, but Kishi is in it, and Kyomoto!" He told us he and Jesse had a lot of scenes together where they fight one another, and so "Fuma and Jesse fans should be pleased." XD;;; Kento then announced his movie, and said that the other people in it were good, but asked people to please only watch him. |D;;; Oh Kento. Then Kento and Fuma did something fanservicey (I forget exactly what, but Kento said something and it made Fuma laugh), and Fuma pointed out that all of this was unrelated to Shori, to which Shori responded, "Please stop." XD;;
The second half opened with a rehashing of Johnny's World; they did the Olympics song (I forget the title already, "something no mirai" or something) which has my favourite "Let's go to the tonitoni" lyrics. XD Reia did skateboard again, but since there was no ramp, it was a little sad. XD; Kishi wasn't there, so Hanzawa took his solo lines. Up next, Sexy Zone did "Congratulations, and then Jesse, Okamoto Kauan, Masuda, and Hanzawa (filling in for Kishi) did "Winter Lover" again.
It then moved to Sexy Boyz again, and Jinguji sung about 2 solo lines (and oh my god his voice is hilariously high!) before Genki and Miyachika appeared as well, and all the others of the middle age group. They then moved into "Haruka na Yakusoku," and at one point when Genki and Miyachika were crossing to opposite sides of the stage, Miyachika touched Genki on the back, and it made Genki smile ♥ Adorable.
Up next, Sexy Boyz left, and Reia3 performed Ai no Beat. If it hadn't been clear before, it was clear here that Reia is definitely the center of the three; he was really featured and stood in the front and center the whole time and was painfully talented and adorable, skating and dancing. This time, Kakuta Yusei seemed like he was flirting with Reia XD Also, when they finished, there were a lot of screams for Reia (including me XD), which made me happy. ♥ It's really good to know he has vocal fans still!
After Reia with Kakuta and Takahashi Kaito finished, Yasui performed "Takeover," as a solo, and then Vasayegh Hikaru and Tajima Shogo each had a short solo before MatsuMatsu had a duet together. Masuda performed a solo with stunningly good vocals (that guy is seriously an amazing singer, and he knows it XD He was grinning the whole time) before Hokuto performed "Gomen Ne Juliet," like on Shounen Club. Hokuto is an amazing dancer, but he's really awkward when he doesn't have choreography, so just standing there and lip syncing was... an interesting choice. The last solo was Jesse, and then they introduced the older juniors, Sexy Boyz, and Reia3 before moving into the last spurt.
They did a few songs I don't remember/didn't recognize, but the biggest number of the last spurt was Sexy Zone's "We Gotta Go," which they sang while playing the PV in the background. Kento spent the whole number either waving at the crowd (I think he may have seen me? idk it was hard to tell in such a crowded spave) or flirting with the others, included Jesse (who seemed really uncomfortable XD), Reia (with whom he hip-bumped and then put his arm around and danced for a bit), and of course, Shori (with whom he had a really cute moment where they grinned at one another and put their arms around one another and sang together). Amu and Jinchan had an adorably derpy interaction as well, because they're super awkward bros (think the summer matsuri from JJL).
Before they left us, they did a full introduction, introducing everyone in random groups. At one point, Reia and Jinguji were together in the back of the stage, and they met eyes and smiled at one another, and Jinguji put his arm around Reia briefly before it was his turn to move forward. When he went to the center of the stage and they called him name, Reia held his arms out, as if proudly showing him off, and it was seriously super cute. Reia got a lot of screams again, which made me happy. ♥ And then, before they announced Sexy Zone, Fuma and Hokuto were whispering together, which was adorable! But after they introduced Sexy Zone, they left... but left the house lights out, so it was clear that there would be an encore. XD
They let us call for maybe a whole 30 seconds before Jesse and Masuda came out and sang a duet to begin the encore, and then everyone reappeared and sand "Yuuki 100%" together. It was in the encore that yomimashou thought Kento saw her, so either he was spotting the foreigners or he's just good at making everyone think he saw them. Kento flirted with Matsukura Kaito this time, which seemed to please Kaito, but then he went and threw an arm around Reia, which was also super adorable, since they're school friends~ Kento also made Amu sing at one point into his mic XD; And then Fuma and Hokuto seemed to be continuously looking at one another, and Hokuto was mysteriously missing his jacket when no one else had changed costumes, so... I wonder what was going on there~ XD
And then that was the end! We tried to call for a second encore, but we got kicked out, despite the fact that the show was really short D: They sent a staff member out with a megaphone to tell us to leave. |D;;;; Awkward.
In other news, EX Theatre has announced the details for Gamushara J's Party 2, and I'm annoyed that there isn't a matinee on Wednesday. My parents are coming into town on that day, so I really can't ditch them for a concert, but I can't stand the thought of missing a Junior event like this. We're tentatively going to try for the evening show and then rush back to Gunma after... >___<;; My life is so hard. |D;;;