Tuesday, 17 September 2013

[LIVE A LIVE] Reports from Denkyun Nightmare, Morinaga Mami events, Xi-lium, Dempagumi Hibiya

Hey guys, Mandi again with some supposedly brief reports from my adventures at concerts in Japan.

☆電波はっ☆キュン ないとめあっ☆ (denkyun nightmare)
 (I know it says day dreaming, but trust me, this is from the nightmare event!)

Denkyun is one of my favorite, if not my favorite reoccurring event I've been to since I came to Japan. Usually, the event goes from around noon until evening, but this time was a little different. Starting in the nighttime, this Denkyun turned the "daydream" into a "nightmare" by going from late night to early morning. Also, while daytime Denkyun features live performances, this event focused solely on DJs.

DJ time table

Overall, it was a blast as expected. The crowd was a bit subdued at first, but quickly heated up and went wild like usual. Also, while there were no live performances, due to denpa fans and denpa creators overlapping somewhat, denkyun regulars could recognize a few familiar faces in the crowd.

The setlists were rather varied: some DJs focused more on anime songs than your usual Denkyun event. DJ Ryouta made his setlist up of almost entirely songs with explicit lyrics - a decision he said he regretted as soon as he saw how many girls showed up for the event. Otherwise it was the usual wonderful mix of anything and everything denpa, from doujin to erogame to idol to... anything! One really funny moment was when a really familiar intro to anyone who goes to anime song club events started to play.... ETERNAL BLAZE by Mizuki Nana?? A good song, but what's it doing HERE? The audience had a mix of excitement and confusion - but as soon as the intro ended, the set list cut right back to denpa songs. Everyone had a good laugh about how they had just been faked out by the DJ. I was also happily surprised by a cluster of Dempagumi songs, including Nemukyun's solo song  コズミックメロンソーダマジック.

My favorite staff member at Unique Laboratory Roppongi.

I did all I could to have as much fun as I could while also conserving my energy for the next day's event, which started in the afternoon and went until evening, pretty harsh after an all nighter! Once the event ended I headed back out into creepy Roppongi, where even at 6am the street is full of drunk party animals who didn't get their fill after a full night of partying. Wait a minute... Maybe in a way, I wasn't so out of place after all, huh?

 ☆森永まみ主宰LIVE【クラブトルネード】コラボSP★ ~サブカルとか好きだと友達できないです~

Thankfully I managed to catch some Zs in a manga cafe before heading over to this 2 part Morinaga Mami event. Part one focused on the concept of Mamipyon trying to increase her small number of friends by inviting other performers. The usual Marvel Yell girls were there, plus a handful of guests.

(Look at the sign, not my reflection!!)

The live started out with Mami and the Marvel Yell girls, then went into guest time. The guests each sang 2 songs, then for their last song Mamipyon came out and collaborated with them before asking them if they would be friends with her. If they said yes (which they all did of course) then a power up sound effect was played.

For the first guests, (I forget if it was Twinkle Beat Stars for Splash!) Mami collaborated not with a song, but a skit! Mami arrived for auditions for their group only to find out they weren't actually holding any. She played up the dorky fan act which was really funny. They showed kindness despite Mami's awkward antics and agreed to befriend her instead. Next up was, buttёrfly.ねっと.  Mami sang one song with them while wearing angel wings to go along with the group's butterfly wings. After that クレヨン日記 sang a fun j-rock/metal-ish track. During their collaboration, Mamipyon ran around strumming on a broom air guitar style... I think! Next, I felt kind of silly cause I had never realized でかシャツ喫茶's name meant "dekai (big) shirts", I had always thought it was French or some other language when I saw their name on event line ups... but in fact they perform wearing big dress shirts and ties, a very cute look in my opinion. Mamipyon joined them in a big grey shirt, though no tie. The last guest, 七瀬由紀子, was an excellent singer. Mami strummed on her broom guitar once again while accompanying her lovely singing.

After the guests were done, Mami performed her solo part. My memory has flown off somewhere as usual, and I can't remember the set list. All I can really remember is it was awesome!

Afterwards, it was time for goods / handshakes. I still didn't have Mamipyon's カレーライスは飲み物です CD, and they still didn't have any in stock... Curses! But I was able to give Mamipyon a drawing I did of  her, and she was happy, so I was too! I also picked up  クレヨン日記's CD out of curiosity, though it didn't have the song I was hoping for.

My fanart of Mamipyon

 ★森永まみ主宰オフ会的LIVEカフェ★ 『ひみつきち』~カラダ夏にして~

I learned my lesson and shot this one from an angle!

A couple hours later, it was time for the next Mamipyon event - that's right, it was a double header. This one was a very unusual event: half off-kai meeting, half cafe, half live. (Hey, that's too many halves for one event..) The usual standing area now had tables and chairs, and Mami and the other Marvel Yell girls donned cute maid uniforms. Each table had a menu with a list not food or drinks, but songs! You could request songs off this list, as well as order custom drinks based on each girl. Either one came with a 2 shot cheki photo. When a song was requested, the staff would start playing it without warning the singer that their song was coming. So, in the middle of serving, they had to listen to the song intros and dash to the stage when their song was playing. Very chaotic! I anticipated a spill or two since the fans would also suddenly dash up to cheer for each song - but I didn't expect it to happen on the very first song! Overall there were 2 or 3 spills I think.

Song menu... What would you request?

Another big draw of this event was you could eat curry made specially by Mamipyon herself. So, of course the event started out with her song about curry. I was pretty excited that she had 2 Momoi songs on the list: Ichigo Go! Go! and Kujibiki Unbalance. Apparently before she had many original songs, she would sing those songs frequently. I quickly requested Ichigo Go Go, which Marvel Yell's manager found surprising. Yeah, I guess that song does have suggestive lyrics, doesn't it? But come on, it's Momoi!! In perfect timing, someone else requested Kujibiki Unbalance right after me. (And yes, I realize the irony of me going to this event instead of Momoi's event going on at the same time, and yet requesting a Momoi song....!)

Mami's dry curry rice

Mami's curry had an unexpected twist: it was "dry curry", not your usual goopy curry rice. Her song is called "Curry rice is a drink" so it was funny that the dish didn't actually match the song. I had only eaten a tiny bit since the early morning, so this really hit the spot. Very yummy and nice meat mixed in too. I also tried out Mamipyon's drink "Red Bullma" (A pun off of Red Bull and Buruma gym shorts.) A nice sweet drink, not sure exactly what was in it, but anyway, it was good! There was a special rule that if you order a drink, you had to say the full name of it, which could be kind of embarrassing to say to Mamipyon "give me your red buruma!"

Red Buruma!

Midway through, Mamipyon, Soramame Kotomi  Nikaido Aya, and Sakurada Mano put on a skit which was an adaptation of Mamipyon's previous mahou shoujo tryout skit. It was funny with just Mami, but with all 4, it was somehow even better. Previously, Mamipyon was auditioning to be a mahou shoujo, with the interviewer just being her own voice played via recording. This time, Aya and Kotomyu were also trying out and Manonya was the interviewer. Mamipyon made lots of hilarious expressions and pulled off her goofy character perfectly. I love her obsession with Homura and her creepy laugh. Kotomyu's cute but also vain act was a great addition. Aya just has to act the same as usual and she's already funny. Manonya surprised me the most with her spot on glowering face when the other girls stepped out of line. Not just saying this because I'm a fan - really hilarious act.

Lovely stage as usual

The last request was reserved for Mami since it was her event - so a fan went with her curry song again to finish things up. Overall I prefer straight out lives to cafe/off-kai type events simply cause I never know what to say to people - I'm already awkward enough, even more so when I'm talking to idols or whatever, and in the end I'm a fan based on singing more than anything else. Still, the atmosphere was pretty casual and I was able to enjoy myself with some friends too, plus hear lots of great and rare songs, so overall, a great event!

☆Xi-lium vol.31

This anime song club event is a regular happening at Akihabara Club MOGRA. What drew my attention this time? ななひら's live performance, of course! The rest of the event is great of course - the main gimmick is up to 18kgs worth of free glowsticks are handed out to the audience. But considering this is Denpa no Sekai, let's focus on Nanahira's performance. She was on the mini-stage off to the side of the DJ booth with the fans extremely close to her on that tiny stage. She's so tiny, and she looks even tinier surrounded by so many fans. Her outfit was a cute pink dress and kitty tights. She had about 20 minutes of performing time, which she mostly filled with signing anime cover songs, considering it's an anime event. She sang one original song - Jump Over!生物種, which was definitely the hightlight for me. Unfortunately, all the songs were short versions so she could jam pack in as many as she could. Though she also said she planned on taking up 10 of the 20 minutes just by talking, but she forgot what to talk about! I'm so glad she's performing live more often. If she ever does a full fledged solo live, I'll flip out!!

After her live, the event continued, but I had to split a little early to head to a Dempagumi.inc fan party.

 ☆でんぱ組.inc 「夏のパッション!」~みんながいるし、仲間だもん!~

Hambearger steak at Shibuya Maidreamin Dempagumi.inc pre-party.

Dempagumi.inc's latest solo live couldn't have had a more dramatic build up. Weather reports had been building up lots of tension - a typhoon was brewing and set to hit the very day of their Tokyo live! To make things worse, this was an OUTDOOR live - rain would be bad enough, but a typhoon ran the risk of cancelling the entire event for safety. Many trains were cancelled preemptively as weather reports called for a 100% chance of storms and strong winds were brewing. The night before, Dempagumi's website announced they would update on the situation of the live at 9am. Personally, I know my local train line ALWAYS gets stopped when it's windy, so I headed out to Tokyo first thing in the morning before the winds got strong. From there, I hung out at a friend's and slept until the 9am announcement, which said basically the live was still set to go, and they would make another announcement at 12. Back to sleep until 12! Rain was falling and wind was blowing, although nothing extreme. At 12, the announcement was basically the same: we're still preparing for the live as usual, but it could be delayed or cancelled depending on how the weather goes. Twitter was also ablaze with talk of all the events going on during the typhoon - Tamura Yukari and Sphere had fans lining up outside for goods, "risking life and limb" for their idols. (Though the weather wasn't dangerous at that point, reports kept saying it would get dangerous later so everybody was getting a kick out of seeing the fans line up.) Of course, Sphere and Yukarin events were indoors at least...

Mirin birthday instructions that came bundled around a red glowstick

Eventually I headed over the the venue, where they were doing sound check. Being an outdoor stage, you could hear everything clearly when lining up. I happened to walk by where they were filming for Dempagumi's online show "Dempa no Kamigami" and watched for a bit, but I felt kinda stalker-ish so I didn't stick around too long. There were tons of fans decked out in fashionable gear and cosplay, with some distributing cards containing chant lyrics, others collecting birthday messages for Mirin, and of course, handing out red glowsticks for a birthday surprise for Mirin (again.) I wore my usual stuff: happi and blue t-shirt. Happi's seemed VERY rare at the event. Not sure how hard they are to come by, and if they are really that rare, or they just aren't fashionable enough for the average fan..!? Unfortunately, I was too poor to pick up any new goods.

When I finally lined up, a somewhat older couple was behind me in line. They seemed kind of perplexed - "What's 2.5D mean?" "You know, like an anime character. Like they want to look like anime which is 2D." "OH! I get it!!" Eventually the lady spoke to me and asked me a few questions about how long I knew Dempagumi and if I went to Dearstage, and of course where I was from. She was really nice. I tried to give them some UOs, but they already had a bag full of glowsticks. I get the feeling they might have been the parents of someone, but they said it was their first time seeing Dempagumi, so maybe not one of the member's parents.

The line got moving and I found my seat: fairly far back and to the left, but due to the stadium seating, MUCH easier to see than the past 2 solo lives I attended. When they were at Liquid Room, I literally couldn't see ANYTHING the first 2 songs. However, to me the seating was still more of a downer - having chairs and stadium style seating meant no going wild. No running side to side, rushing the stage, and all the other crazy antics we're used to at a Dempagumi live. Yeah I didn't get bruised and exhausted, but when it comes to Dempagumi, that's part of the fun!

Instruction card side 1

Before the live began, they showed some Dempa no Kamigami clips and stuff for their Shiromajo movie. The Kamigami clips irked me in one way - they are always really over-dramatic and tried to make it out like their first live was a sad failure just because it didn't sell out. Their first live was AWESOME and very emotional, and a great time was had by all. Just because it didn't sell out doesn't mean it wasn't successful - it was a huge step for them, and the lack of numbers was made up for by the enthusiasm of the fans that were present.

Instruction card side 2

Miraculously, the typhoon blew over without more than some early morning rain, leaving a beautiful sunset which turned to darkness perfectly timed for the start of the live. Things got started with W.W.D right off the bat. Thanks to the King Blade x10 2 I was able to program the colors in the right order for this song, and show my support for every member without scrambling. Throughout the rest of the live, I mostly stuck with Eitaso and Nemukyun's colors, changing now and then for solo parts or just based on my mood for the song. For W.W.D.II, I also cycled through the colors on the parts about them coming together as one. That's symbolic, man!! I used 2 of my UOs on ORANGE RIUM and one on Eitaso's solo part on Kira Kira Tune.

The total setlist was as follows:

Future Diver
君も絶対に降参しないで進まなくちゃ (妄想キャリブレーション doing back up dancing)


Encore 2

 It's pretty hard to go wrong with Dempagumi, so overall a good setlist. They should really sing Mirror Magic though... I guess they want to make it "special" by not singing it much anymore? I dunno. I have to admit the Osaka setlist looked a little more to my liking, especially with the special guests including Masaya Koike. Glad to see they haven't forgotten him. They also gave some of their best performances yet. Great singing, dancing, and expressions. The hanamichi / catwalk coming off of the stage, plus the big screen behind them made it easy to see them from anywhere. The fact that it was outdoors gave it a unique feel. It's somewhat different to see the glowsticks lighting up outdoors at night rather than in a dark room. By the way, many  more glowstick users now. Fans used to focus on furikopi - copying dance moves - and few had lights. Now it's more the opposite. I'd like to thank the Kingblade for this, making it super easy to have all the colors needed, even Nemu's pastel green. Though honestly lots of people had regular chemical lights too. I was super lucky to have a seat along an isle... More room to move around! Overall the live was pretty short on MCs, with Risa and Mirin doing most of the talking as usual. During costume changes they hyped up ShiroMajo with some clips from it. I'm pretty curious to see what the actual movie will be like beyond the lovely visuals. I really never would have guessed they'd star in a movie.

 On the last track, Mirin's birthday surprise went off without a hitch. At the "BIG BANG" part in Den Den Passion, everyone broke out their red glowsticks and shouted happy birthday to Mirin. The staff had apparently heard of the plan and made some last minute adjustments to help with this: they suddenly turned the screen red, and (it seemed to me anyway) that they extended the silent part of the song to give more time for people to shout their congratulations before cutting the music back on. Mirin was choked up as usual and the other members got a kick out of seeing her so surprised. Some of the fans even made giant ASCII art out of glowsticks on a grid to send extra birthday wishes which was neato. They chose green lights to stand out among the red, I guess!

Birthday wishes for Mirin, looked larger IRL! (Photo from Nemu's blog)

Their "big announcement" was an additional live next month to make it up to the people who couldn't come this time due to the typhoon. Hey, what about an album announcement already??? There's still no album with the new members, and plenty of songs not on any album yet. Afterwards I talked to a few fans, the guy next to me said he had seen me in Dearstage a few times. Also met with some of the fans from the pre-party, one guy said he remembered the way I changed colors on my glowstick at Zepp too, which I found funny.

Magical glowing garbage you can find after any good concert

Anyway, overall, another good step for Dempagumi in their never ending quest to take over, I mean, save the universe. It doesn't rank as one of my top favorites simply due to the seating, but still, definitely a good memory, and great performance!

That wraps things up for this installment! See ya next time!


Unknown said...

I'm so glad I found your blog (・ω・)ノ it's so hard for me to stalk dempa activities and performances online T_T that's so nice you live in japan and blog in English about their concerts too I feel like being there by just reading your post ^^ I keep seeing people on Instagram posting dempa no kamigami pictures and got curious. So it's an online show? Btw I watched shiromajo on viki some months ago and that's how I got addicted to dempagumi ^^ gonna lurk on your blog some more to find anything dempa :D

mandichan said...

Hey thanks for the comment! Glad to know someone enjoys the live reports!

Denpa no kamigami is an online show, but it costs money to watch and they only take Japanese credit cards... (><) However it just got released on DVD too, so you can find those on sites like www.cdjapan.co.jp!

Thanks for reading, hope I can have a report of Dempagumi's Zepp Diver City live up soon!