I arrived at Ecopa plenty early (it was the best weather I've ever gone to Ecopa in, so it wasn't as painful as normal, though a bit drizzly) and lined up to grab a few goods I hadn't gotten previously before heading inside once the doors opened! Our tickets this time turned out to be Row 18, which is the last row in Ecopa, OTL. Still, the venue is so small that you can honestly still get a great view from the very last row, so it wasn't a big deal in the end. Still, I'm slightly miffed that I was in row 18 for Neverland in Ecopa as well, sigh. XD;
From our seats all the way in the back, we did have a better view of the overall set than we'd had thus far, so we were able to see all of the stages better than we had before, as well as tracks used for the carts that moved around the outer edge of the arena. This was interesting to me, since most small venues don't use tracks or motorized carts at all, but have staff pushing the guys through the arena in small carts. They had the push carts as well, for getting from the stage to the larger outer-perimeter carts, but I was surprised that they had automated carts at all. Our seats were near the back of the arena again, but this time they were much closer to the side stage than the back, so we had a good view of the side stage on the left side of the main stage, looking from the front / Arena A side. It was a different angle than all of our seats thus far, so that was good, as well.
We noticed that this time, unlike in Miyagi, there was no mention of the need to hold hands in the opening message. I was surprised by this, but since I feel pretty awkward about holding hands with the person next to me if it's someone I don't know, anyway, I was hopeful this meant that they had reduced the number of hand-holding parts in the show. XD; Besides that, the rest of the intro with the safety video, etc, was the same, and then Epcotia opened the show with the guys coming in suspended in the air again!
Kingdom and Twinkle Star were much the same as they had been; Massu was near us this time during Tinkle Star, so at this pointm I've had a chance to watch basically ever member do the choreography from relatively close, which is nice. Then, moving into Akaku Moyuru Taiyo, I had a good view of Shige moving from the Arena A stage to the Arena B stage, and it's really cute watching him get really excited and trying to get the crowd excited too! Like in Miyagi, he was gesturing a lot to get the crowd to cheer and be excited, and especially after he was so tired the whole time during the Neverland tour, it's really good to see him so high energy ;__; ♥ During Live, as well, he was so energetic while he was attached to the wire it was almost scary to me, because he kept clearly throwing his weight around to make the wire swing him up and down and back and forth as much as possible, and kept trying to do back flips and front flips with varying degrees of success. The wires were attached to the front of them, so it was difficult to do a full flip, so he kept flipping 108 degrees so he was totally upside down, but then getting stopped by the wire and flipping around again XD; Either way, even though I know logically that it must be safe, I was really worried he was going to hit his head on the set or one of the other members! XD;
After Live was the same alien interlude, at the end of which the aliens get the audience to sing the intro to LPS. However, unlike the previous shows, they didn't only have us sing the first line of the "woah~" part of LPS, but the second line as well. Considering that Miyagi was already the second stop of the tour and I heard that there were changes between Sapporo and Miyagi as well, I was surprised how many little details were changed between Miaygi and Ecopa!
But then, leading into LPS, the guys seem to have accidentally (?) come out too early, so the aliens hadn't finished the end of their skit, but the screaming when girls saw NEWS coming out totally drowned out the end of the skit. XD; LPS itself was much the same as it had been in Miyagi, as was Nyaro. As always, the guys got off the carts and went back down onto the side stage for the beginning of Koi Suru Wakusei, but since we were on the correct side this time, we were able to see the dance from the verse, which was seriously so super cute. I know I've said this in all of my reports so far, but I can't get over that dance! The guys kept encouraging us to dance along with them, but the dance doesn't really lend itself to being done with a penlight in one hand and an uchiwa in the other XD; Like in the previous venue, Massu was a troll at the end of the song and got super close to Tego, making Tego get uncomfortable and laugh and not be able to sing his line. Then, all three of the others teamed up on Shige and got super close to him during his solo line, making him laugh as well! Koyama once again added Shige's name to his line, making it "how many light years to Shige?" rather than "to you" XD; It was really cute!
Next came Koyama's solo, which was the same all the way through the video, but then, when the lights came back up, he was still wearing his jacket, and hadn't taken it off during the blackout like he had previously. Instead, he stripped it off while dancing, and let his shirt fall off his shoulder like previously, somehow making it possibly even more sexual than before. XD; I sort of wondered what the point of the video was if it wasn't a chance for Koyama to change, but then again, I guess you don't really need a reason for a softcore porno of Koyama. XD;
Up next comes Sweet Martini, and this time, I was at the right angle to see Shige fairly close, so that was nice! I noticed tha the shoes that he was wearing are the same shoes that he wore for Silent Love, Mysteria, etc. in Neverland (with the striped black and white dress and the long pink vest, if you've seen the Neverland DVD). I really liked those shoes (sparkly-toed Louboutin men's flats), so I was happy to see them again! Because I'm a really cool person, I have really strong opinions of Shige's shoes throughout the show, lol, but maybe I'll save that for another post.
Once Sweet Martini finished, the guys moved to the back stage for Madoromi. Sadly, Shige had his back to me, so I wasn't able to appreciate him lip-syncing the words to other members' lines, but at least I was able to appreciate his singing! I seriously can't get over how much he's worked on his singing and improved over the past years. He's never going to be on the same level as naturally gifted people like Tego and Massu, obviously, but he's grown so much, and I'm so proud of him. Just in general, as well, I really like Madoromi as a song, and I really appreciate Tego and Massu's singing in it, too, so I just generally enjoy this performance... which is saying a lot, because I usually don't particularly enjoy ballads!
Madoromi lead into the docking sequence interlude, and then after the docking video came Chankapaana! While it had briefly gotten better and more organized on the second day in Miyagi, it was a hot mess again on Saturday in Ecopa, with the guys panicking and not knowing which direction to turn the selfie cam. XD; It's funnier that way, so I'm not sure if they intentionally were not doing it well again or what, but I really enjoyed the chaos. XD; The same as in the previous shows, when each of the guys had a solo line at the beginning of the song, they moved really close to the camera and acted as if they were kissing it or something of the sort instead of singing the end of their line. When Shige got super close to the camera, especially with his mouth to kiss the screen, it was very, very clear that he hadn't shaved recently (?!) I am not a fan of facial hair but I love him anyway, so mostly I just suffered as yomimashou laughed at me, ahaha. Seriously, I know he's been having sort of a shadow recently on his upper lip, but this was full on stubble!
When it came time for them to spin the camera around to say their "utsukushii koi ni suru" lines, they were struggling, and when the camera wouldn't come his way, Koyama got frustrated and started spinning around in circles in place like a child being fussy XD; It didn't make it in time for him to say his line, so he got put out and just passed it to Massu without being able to say "utsukushii koi ni suru kara," but Massu just looked pleased and said his line when the camera came to him. XD;; Then, during the part leading up to the last chorus (the "kasshoku no budou" part), similarly to before, Tego brought the camera around in a circle, "picking up" each member along the way, but he was going too fast, and Shige kept getting left behind outside the frame XD; Koyama spent the whole time trying to be sexy for the camera and doing the grapes thing with the mic that they often do for that line, and Massu just stood in the back waving awkwardly and smiling. XD; Somehow it was very... NEWS-like. XD;
After Chankapaana came Jump Around, Black Hole, Massu's solo, and then Shige's solo. Interestingly, Shige wasn't wearing the sunglasses that he had been wearing for the Miyagi shows, so I wonder if that was a mistake or if he decided he doesnt't want them as a part of the costume after all. He did better at getting the shoes on-- I feel like he's improving with time. XD; Also, this was later, but he mentioned during the MC that the person who comes in wearing the high heels and dances with Shige is a junior XD;
Next came Avalon, followed by It's You and Hoshi ni Negai Wo. This time, while the guys were sitting on the stage, Koyama leaned against Tego's shoulder, and then Shige looked like he was taking a deep breath and bracing himself, but eventually turned to sit in Koyama's lap. XD; Shige looked like he wanted to stay a safe distance from Koyama, but then Koyama put his arm around Shige and trapped him close to Koyama's body XD; Shige's face looked like he was suffering and wanted someone to save him... and meanwhile, Massu just looked glad that no one was touching him. XD;
Then it was time for the MC! At first, the spinning stage that they were on for Hoshi ni Negai wo kept spinning, and the guys were trapped XD; They waved at the audience a few times, but then were saying, "Let us off~!" and stuff until the staff stopped the turning stage. XD; They then went to get their drinks from the basket, but were surprised to find that the regular shopping basket had been changed to a shiny silver one with the Epcotia logo on it. Koyama got really excited about it in particular, and ketp praising it.
Once they calmed down about the basket and started the MC, they started talking about New Couples, and everyone said their "mune-kyun" lines from the show. Massu started making fun of Tego for mispronouncing the title of the show on the radio a while back, when it had been announced but they hadn't filmed it or anything. Tego said "New Couple S" or something along those lines, rather than New Couples? XD; But this whole time Tego was just acting crazy and silly and generally goofing off. Massu and Koyama were harrassing him and asking what he was doing and saying he never behaved himself during the MC recently, and Tego just shrugged it off and asked what Shige thought. Shige hadn't joined in with Massu and Koyama, and was just standing off to the side sort of laughing and drinking his drink, but when Tego asked him, he replied, "Get it together!" XD;
After Tego promised that he'd try to get it together and do the MC "seriously," he started talking about how he really liked concerts and feels that they're the time when he's the most "cool." The others asked him to explain, and he replied, "when you're with your friends, and they ask you when you're the coolest out of all your activities..." And the other three were incredulous and asked, "do your friends actually ask you that?!" XD; Tego just sort of shrugged that off and said, "I definitely think I'm the coolest when I'm performing in a concert... but what about you guys? Like, all of us have moments when we can shine, like when you're casting, or writing novels..." and Massu got irritated, saying, "Hey! You left me out!" XD; Shige asked Tego what parts of the concert he thought he was most "cool" during, but the other members all started answering for him, naming various cool or cute or sexy things Tego did during the show and making Tego get really embarrassed (since he always gets embarrassed when the members complement him, it's cute XD). Tego turned the question back around and asked Shige when he felt he was the most cool during a concert, and Shige replied that he thinks he's the coolest when he's waiting for his line during a song (so basically, when he's not singing and not the center of attention, but waiting for his turn)... because of course Shige would pick something like that XD; He also blushed and got embarrassed, but added that he feels pretty cool when he puts on the high heels. The others chimed in saying they were impressed with his ability to walk in the heels, because walking in heels seems really hard. Koyama mentioned a time when he'd worn them for a TV filming and nearly fell down because they were so hard to wear, and Tego also commented that since he often crossdresses, he always feels a lot of respect for women who wear high heels because they're hard to walk in. Shige replied that he'd had a lot of practice now, and demonstrated, standing on his tiptoes and doing a model walk as if he was wearing heels, which was really cute. XD;
This got them onto the topic of clothes, and Tego said that he felt like he didn't naturally look good in any clothes at all. He explained that it wasn't about his fashion sense or anything like that, he just felt that he didn't look good. This sparked a long conversation with the others saying that wasn't true, and talking about differing things Tego could wear, which included Koyama taking off Tego's jacket to show off Tego's tank top and saying he looked good like that XD; Shige jokingly suggested that Tego would look good in an elementary school hat, to which Koyama's eyes practically sparkled, and he exclaimed, "That would be so cute!!!" XD;; Tego didn't seem to believe any of them, and just remarked that he used to dress like a host, but he didn't feel like he should dress like that anymore. (And I hope he knows he looked great in his ridiculous host clothes and he should dress however he wants ;__;) But eventually he added, "But my face is definitely handsome!" XD;
As some point while Tego was talking, he knocked over his drink bottle and was like "appa!" in response, to which Koyama asked, "what the heck is 'appa'?!" XD; I've noticed that he says that a lot recently (similar to "po"), and it made me laugh that Tego still doesn't speak proper Japanese.
But eventually the announcement came on for one of them to do the task, and... Shige was chosen again! He fell to the ground and complained that he had been chosen more than anyone, but supposedly, they're chosen by a random lottery, so the others didn't give him much sympathy. XD; His task was to make an "aiueo poem" (a poem starting with sentences starting with each letter of a word or name) with the word "sawayaka" (meaning "fresh" or "refreshing"... like more as a feeling than an assesment of, say, the freshness of vegetables or something.) Shige whined that he didn't want to do it, but the voice came back over the intercom to say, "Captain's order!" in a strict voice. XD Massu commented that they had increased the number of recorded phrases that they had to give the captain's reactions and such during the MC. XD;
After a bunch of whining, Shige finally made up his poem, which was:
Sakka no (A writer)
Wakame no (Young-ish)
Yappari yoi (He's a good guy after all)
Kato Shigeaki ga kuruu (Kato Shigeaki is going crazy)
After that last line, Shige starting doing a really weird dance... then sort of collapsed and was clearly deeply embarrassed by his result. He complained a bit more and said it was really embarrassing, before the captain's voice came on again and said, "Well done." XD;
Then Tego got called and told someone had pressed the call button for the attendant, as usual, and went to get changed for his solo. As he was leaving, the others joked that they were going to talk shit about him while he was gone... but then once he left, they actually praised him, which was really cute.
While they waited for Tego to change, they talked about how Massu had done really badly on his task in the previous show (to come up with a title of a song that didn't make it onto the album). Massu is a sore loser, so he came up with a better answer and posted it on his J-web, but he wanted to reenact it on the stage too XD; He even got the voiceover to say the prompt again, so he could really fully reenact the whole thing, and the answer that he had come up with was "U-chu" (combining the word for outer space, "uchuu" with the kissing sound in Japanese, "chu." XD;) Massu and Koyama started doing like a song/dance of what a song with that title might be like, and eventually, Shige joined in as well, though looking embarrassed and like he'd rather not. XD; They also talked about how it should go on next year's album, except it wouldn't fit with the theme if the next album isn't space themed XD;
Massu then tried to think of other "chu" related things/groups who might be able to do the song, and suggested, "Kis-my-ft-chu" XD; The guys started reenacing She Her Her, but then were like wait, isn't there a different one where they say "chu chu chu" a bunch of times? Eventually, they figured out they were talking about "ki su u ma i" XD;
They started talking about members of Kisumai who they knew, and after Koyama and Massu talked about some members with whom they had jouned Johnny's at the same time, they asked Shige, "Do you even know any members of Kisumai?" Shige was offended and replied of course he knew Yokoo (they were in a Junior unit together back in the day), and added that the dog his parents own is actually the child of Yokoo's dog.
This got them talking about KisuMai members, and Massu started a sentence with "But the super busaiku guys..." ("sugoku busaiku no..." As I think most people know, "busaiku" basically means "extremely ugly," so it's not a compliment). Koyama and Shige cut him off, saying, "It sounds like you're insulting them!!" Massu replied that he just meant the members of Busaiku, but said it in an emphatic way ("bussaiku" with emphasis on the "s" part) that isn't actually the gorup's name and just sounded like he was insulting them again XD; Koyama and Shige cut him off again, saying, "No really, it sounds like you're calling them ugly, not saying their group name!" However, before this was resolved, they got cut off and told to get back to their seats for the second half. XD;
The second half started with Platonic again, and this time, Tego was on our side of the stage! However, he was too low down to see, since the aisle was probably around row 5 and we were in row 18. We did get to see the top of his head go by, though!
Then, after the Alien interlude came UFO and Emma, where it still seemed like maybe Massu wasn't doing the dance in parts (but hopefully it was just his costume hiding his body and not that he was sick or something?) and then Erotica. Shige was on our side of the stage for Erotica, which was very exciting, because I love that song and the dance is amazing. I really enjoyed watching him do the choregraphy, and not only did he do it well, it really looked like he was enjoying it, too, not just focusing really hard trying to do all the moves right. I was once again moved by how hard Shige has worked and how much he's improved with time ;__; Also, I mean, the dance is really sexy XD;
After Erotica came Megalomania, and then the flashback number where the guys were supposed to be jumping the space-time continuum and did parts of Mr. White, Quartetto, Neverland, and Epcotia. Then moved into the space-time continuum VTR, where we were supposed to do various things like clapping and stomping to bring the guys back from being lost. Previously, there had been a part where we were told to hold hands, but this time, thankfully, they took that part out! Also, there had been a part before that told us "whistle," but this time, it didn't only say "whistle," but explained what it was that we were whistling, which was the Erotica intro XD;; While I recognized the melody in the past, somehow it was funny that at this mildly serious moment, the song they picked was a song called "Erotica." XD;
Similarly to before, the clapping moved into the clapping rhythm fro 4+fan, and then the guys came back out to perform the song. This part was much the same as before-- they performed Koi no ABO and DTF while on the carts moving around the perimeter of the arena. During DTF, Massu grabbed Koyama's chin (like usual), and Koyama seemed to think that Massu was actually going to kiss him, but Massu didn't at the last moment. XD; They moved to the four corners to do U R Not Alone, and then sang Innocence as they came back to the main stage to thank the juniors and say their goodbyes.
The alien skit leading to the encore was the same, and once we all held hands and made "Happy Ending" appear on the screens, the guys came out to sing Happy Ending. I was really sad that Shige's hat was on backwards ;__; He had been wearing it with the visor part forwards, and it was extremely cute, but he had been getting really sweaty and his bangs became a total mess, so I guess he just wanted to pull all his hair back from his face. Still, he had looked so cute when he wore the hat in Miyagi that I was sad that he was wearing it differently this time.
At the very end, Cota the alien always has to knock down the E balloon so that they can change it to a W at the very end to hint that the next album will start with a W. It has to look like an accident so that people who are seeing the show for the first time don't realize that it was on purpose at first, but this time, Cota was having a really hard time knocking down the letter XD; In the end, he sort of had to basically jump on it to knock it down XD; Hopefully no one noticed... but there were still some cries of realization when they made the announcement at the very end about the W, so it seems like some people were still surprised XD;
I'm sorry this are all so behind! I'm at the halfway mark now with reports. XD; I still have to write up my experience in Nagoya on May 12 as well as the afternoon show and all last on May 20. I'm going to do my best though! Sorry again for all the lateness.