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24th-Jul-2008 10:29 pm - I Survived Comic Con 2008
I left for Comic Con at 5am and made it back home around 8pm. It was an all day crazy event. I went there for the sole purpose of seeing the cast of Twilight,but also ended up seeing Keanu Reeves, Mark Wahlberg, Ludacris, Dakota Fanning and Hugh Jackman, among others. I totally didn't know that any of those people would be there, so it was all a surprise to me!

When Keanu came on, the largely female audience cheered.

When Mark came on, the audience screamed bloody murder.

When Hugh Jackman, who was a surprise guest, appeared, the place DIED. Women running up the isles, jumping up and down, waving their arms, even the men were on their feet screaming. It was nuts! I had no idea he (and Wolverine) were so popular.

Dakota missed her panel but was able to make it for a few seconds after the Twilight panel concluded to say hi.

The Twilight panel was horrifying and amusing at the same time. The die-hard insane fans asked some totally inappropriate questions ("Boxers of briefs?" "How does it feel to be the most wanted man in America because I WANT YOU!!!!" And so forth.) The main actor, Robert Pattinson (Cedric in the HP movies) and Kristen Stewert seem totally unprepared for the insane fan response, especially Robert! He looked so frazzled and his hair was sticking up on his head by the time the thing was over from him running his hands through it. That and he drank an entire pitcher of water in the half an hour they were there. He coudn't put together a complete sentence, he was so out of it. (He doesn't seem capable of doing that in the first place, but it was particularly bad today.) I felt sorry for the actors the entire time.

I'm too lazy to post pictures. I doubt anyone is reading this and will see them anyway! If someone is/does let me know.
27th-Aug-2007 03:49 am - Back in the US
It is 4am US central time as I type this and I can't go to sleep, because in Japan, it's only 7pm. Oi. v_v

I made it safely to the US! Trying to make that connection in SFO was scary (I had no idea where I was going and the airport staff were totally unhelpful--they need to learn something from the Japanese about hospitality!) but I made it just as the plane started loading.

Now I'm back at school. I'm very happy that I got a single this year. Even though I have to take out a loan for my room, I was NOT going to put up with another room mate who partied, drank and then complained loudly outside of the door on her cellphone until 3am. The room in freaking big! I love it!

Now if I can just kick this let lag time difference thing that would be great. Really, really great.
25th-Aug-2007 07:05 am - Leaving Japan
I'll be leaving for the airport in about 2 1/2 hours. I have a connecting flight in SFO, but I'm a little afraid that I might miss it because of the horrible delays I've been hearing about, and the fact that I'm going from an international flight to a domestic. I'll post when I get back to the states!
22nd-Aug-2007 08:01 pm - Packing "Test Run"
I almost got everything to fit in my suitcases but I still have some things left over. Looks like I'll be making a trip to the post office tomorrow or Friday. I certainly don't know enough Japanese to figure it out, but I just bought an electronic dictionary so hopefully that will help! >_
*looks at all the stuff I bought while in Japan*

*looks at suitcase*

I think I'm in trouble.

On another note, I actually want to upload some pictures, but neither photobucket or Imageshack are working for me! : (
19th-Aug-2007 09:35 pm - a-nation report
So I left early for Kobe as I promised, and I followed the large group of young people to the concert, like I had planned. It wasn't hard to get there, just very long and very hot.

When you first get to the venue, there are the booths for goods, food, drinks and a mini stage where I guess Avex allows some new people to perform. All of this you can get to for free, without having a ticket. I watched this girl group called "Bright" for a little while--they weren't that bad actually--bought an ice cone thing and went to find my "seat" (a spot in the grass.)

As for goods, I bought the Koda Kumi key chain and a Tohoshinki fan--it's not that I'm a big fan of theirs (I only know maybe 3 of their songs) but it was hot, I'd forgotten to bring one and it was only 500 yen. The Koda Kumi towel was VERY popular, I saw a LOT of people wearing them across their shoulders.

The show was supposed to start at 3pm but at 2:15 they brought on some new/up-and-coming artists (if anyone cares, they were J-Min, some dude and May. I have no idea who any of those people are.) They all did about 2/3 songs.

Finally the concert started. Here's how it worked--between each artist there is a small, less than 5 minute break. Everyone generally sits down during this break and they only seemed to get up if someone they liked went up on stage. Before each artist is a little introductory video.

1. AAA--Came out on scooters and did 4 songs. The crowd jumped up and shouted as soon as they came on, and seemed to enjoy their performance.

2. My Little Lover--I was like, who the hell is this? O_O Apparently My Little Lover is a woman who looked to be in her 40's. She must be quite famous, because the crowd got pretty excited and everyone sang her songs. She did about three and left the stage. Her songs were ok, but I found her voice to be subpar like a cross between Ayumi Hamasaki and Ai Ostuka. Yuck.

3. Tenjo Chiki-- So, you know how I said that people sit down between breaks? Well, when Tenjo Chiki got on stage, very few people stood up for them. I was one of the few people that stood up in my section. It was so sad, no one cared that they were performing! The poor girls didn't even get to use the full stage--they were crammed onto one of the smaller ones on the side. When they tried to talk to the audience or get the audience to participate, no one did. SAD!!! Well, I had no idea they were going to be there so I was pretty happy. They performed Boomerang, The Club and whatever their new single is.

4. Anna Tsuchiya--All the people who were sitting on their butts for Tenjo Chiki leapt up when Anna got on stage. Girls were screaming "ANNA-CHAN!!!" and everyone was generally excited to see her. I had no idea she was that popular. She sang about 3/4 songs and had really good energy.

5. Somthing Satomi--I'm sorry, I have no idea who she is. All I know is that she did the song for that strange movie Koda Kumi was in with the SMAP guys. But she was pretty boring--her songs are just NOT summer concert material--but thankfully she only did two songs before she went away.

6. DBSK/Tohoshinki--So yeah, I was pretty excited for this one! When they came out, lots of people jumped to their feet and participated for the first song, but as they continued into other songs people started to sit down. I was surprised to see quite a few men getting into the DBSK performance, and one girl near me was obviously a hardcore fan singing all the songs and moving her hands around like a rapper. They sang the following songs, not necessarily in this order: [Some song I don't know, sorry!], Choosy Lover, Loving You, Summer Dream and O. Their singing and dancing was really good, and overall they did a great job.

10 minute break

7. Ai Otsuka--OMG SHE WAS SO ANNOYING. Well, of course the crowd jumped up for her but I remained sitting in silent protest. LOL. Her introduction video kept repeating "PEACH, PEACH, PEACH" like 50 million times before she FINALLY dragged her butt onto the stage. She did maybe TWO MCs, 6 songs and spent what felt like an eternity trying to teach the crowd how to do some dance. In other words, it felt like she was on stage FOREVER. By the end of her performance I was pretty annoyed and just wanted Koda Kumi to come on stage so I could go home.

8. mink--Ok, now, she has a beautiful voice and everything, but really. What were they thinking? No one stood up, no one was paying attention and to make it worse she sang some horribly boring ballad and a terrible rendition of Amazing Grace. At a summer concert. Right. She only did two songs and was gone. During her performance, however, lightning began to flash on the other side of the mountains. A storm was coming!!

9. Something-Something (Koma Koma? Kome Kome?) Club--Sorry forgot to write their name! LOL. Because this group used a large band, it took at least 15-20 minutes for them to start after mink was done! By then, the lightning had gotten worse, closer and the clouds had gotten darker. I was concerned that a storm would come before Kumi got on stage and that they would cancel the rest of it. Although their music was cool and they were fun to watch, THEY WERE ON THE STAGE FOREVER. 2/3 MCs, 6 songs, combined with the obscenely long time it took to set up their stage--dear god! All throughout their OVERLY LONG PERFORMANCE, the storm got closer and closer. I just wanted them to GET OFF the stage before it started pouring, because I knew Koda Kumi had to be next.

The singer, whatever his name is, was talking about how he was excited to meed Kumi and Ai and how Kumi and Ai Ostuka were going to join them on the stage and sing. The crowd was like "EHHHHHHHHH?!!!!!!!!" and got all excited. Well, "Ai" and "Kumi" came out--turns out they were just dancers who looked more like Kumi than Ai with big puffs of fake hair on their head. The singer even started singing a bit of "Cutie Honey" right in the middle of one of their songs! He must be a big fan. Anyway, this group must be super popular, because the crowd exploded when they came on everyone sang their songs.

9. Koda Kumi--So. After Kome Kome finally got their butts off the stage, there's this announcement in a scary male voice. I did understand what they were saying, but I assumed it was about the approaching storm. At one point during the announcement, the crowd went "EEEEEHHHHHHHHH?!!!!!!!!!!!" so I thought that there was bad news. I was freaking out--were they telling everyone that the rest of the concert was canceled and to go home?? Eventually they said something I understood--sit and wait. That left me with some hope.

Then, about 10-15 minutes later, FINALLY, FINALLY the introduction video for Koda Kumi came on. EVERYONE immediately got up and waited for her to come out.

The intro video played "We Will Rock You" but Kuu came out singing "BUT." The crowd clapped throughout the ENTIRE song--it didn't sell well but apparently people like it! From there she did "girls" AND "Sora." Umm, yeah. O_O For the first three songs, she wore a dark red see-through halter-top with a black bra, short short short black shorts and lace up black shoes. After Sora, she disappeared. I started freaking out, thinking that due to the storm, they had cut her performance short! By then, it had started to rain lightly but the lightning was now directly over us.

Then these dancers came out. They weren't dancing to Kuu's music, but Kuu's voice was scattered throughout the music so I figured that she was just changing her clothes and would be back out--I was right.

She came back out wearing a black outfit--a black shirt that showed her stomach, black capri pants and something that looked like half of a plaid kilt. She did Freaky~We Will Rock You~Freaky, Yume no Uta (shorter version) and With Your Smile. I was surprised that she didn't do a song from her new single since just about everyone else did.

She did an excellent job--vocals were ON SPOT, great dancing and she worked the crowd really well. She didn't blab on and on during her MC, probably because of the storm and unlike SOME OTHER PEOPLE she only had one MC period. The crowd loved her--everyone was moving to the music and participated when she asked them to--i.e. waving around their towels.

I left immediately after Kuu's performance, so don't ask me anything about Ayumi Hamasaki! I was NOT about to sit through a lightning storm for that crap, sorry.

So I'm pretty tired--didn't get back until close to 10pm, but Kumi did such a great job performing that it was worth it! People who get to see a full show of hers are incredibly lucky.
18th-Aug-2007 09:29 pm - Tomorrow . . .
Is a-nation! I think I'll get up early tomorrow and leave because I really am not exactly sure where I'm going. I know it's in Kobe . . . on that fake island . . . but when I get to that fake island I have no idea where it is. The a-nation website says 15 minutes from the train station (which I DO know) by foot and that's about it. Do I turn left or right out of the station?? Is it north, south, east or west?? Could they be any more vague??

I assume that since its an outdoor concert that I should be able to see the tents/stage/setup/whatever, since the island in Kobe doesn't have any tall buildings to block my view and the train that goes to the island is a bit high in the air. I also assume that there will tons of other people getting off of the train since there's only one that goes out there, and that I can just follow the large group of teenagers to the concert. BUT STILL, I like to know where I'm going before I go! : (

If you don't here a concert report from me by the next day, feel free to assume that I got lost, or that I walked so far across the island that I fell into the ocean and drowned.
6th-Aug-2007 07:10 pm - IT'S HOT!
My internship with the State Department is over.

I had to go to immigration to get a stay extension thingy for my passport, and I thought I'd just walk around and maybe do some things after I was done at the immigration office.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

Japan during the summer is EVIL. I had to go back to my room after a while because it was SO HOT that my asthma began acting up. I'm not sure which one is making my asthma worse--the fact that I have my air conditioner running 24/7 because its so hot outside or the fact that its hot outside. LOL.

If I have to stay inside all day because of my asthma for the next two and a half weeks this will be a very boring end to my summer.

Random: At the store getting dinner and some guy randomly walks by and is like "Hey how ya doin'?" in perfect english slang type speech and I'm like O____O . . . Yeah.
30th-Jul-2007 07:04 pm - A-NATION!!!!!!
I thought all the tickets for a-nation 07 were sold out, but I found a ticket place that still had some and I was able to buy one today!!! I got a nosebleed seat all the way in the back, but it's better than nothing!

The concert is in (boring) Kobe. That sucks because they're nothing to do out there before the show starts. LOL.
13th-Jul-2007 06:50 pm - Tokyo Day One
(Crappy pictures ahead. I didn't realize that I'd set my camera quality to low.)

I began my day as I promised, going to the Johnny's Entertainment store in Harajuku. The store was, as is typical with Japan, down some random alley but it only took me two tries to find the store. I got there at around 8:40am (the store opens at 10 am) and was expecting to see a line, but there wasn't one, so I figured I'd walk a little and come back. So I went for a walk and somehow ended up in Shibuya!

Shibuya was great, and I went into the famous Shibuya 109 building but the clothes there were all too expensive and WAY to skanky. LOL. Shibuya had tons of Harry Potter posters all over the place. Japan loves Harry Potter. These posters are EVERYWHERE.

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Then I went back to the JE store and GUESS WHAT--THERE WAS A BIG ASS LINE. ROFL. Still, I managed to get into the store a little after 10 am but the line to pay took FOREVER so I didn't leave the store until about noon. O_O I almost had a heart attack when I was in the middle of the line and suddenly realized that I'd filled out my forms incorrectly but I was able to correct the situation. Apparently you're supposed to have a new form for each JE group that you're buying a picture of. No one told me that! So I had all of the pictures that I wanted on one sheet. LOL.

I managed to escape the store only spending about $28 on 18 pictures and a fan--that's great compared to just about everyone else who dropped $200 on pictures alone!

Next I went to Shinjuku but I didn't really see much of anything there besides skyscrapers. There was a park there but I saw a lot of homeless people in tents so I didn't go through it. Haha.

After going back to the apartment to rest I went to Roppongi Hills. Roppongi Hills is like a shopping mall with office building and high-rise residences. It was actually really pretty and you can even see Tokyo Tower from there.

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