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30 March 2008 @ 14:17
Thursday, the sakura bloomed.
Friday, I saw Bleach myu.
Saturday daytime, I went to the Tokyo International Anime Fair.
Saturday evening, I saw X Japan live.

...It's a bit like "Tonde! Mawatte! Mata Raishuu!", except a billion times better.

More sakura pictures:

Sakura 1

Sakura 2

Blossom 1

I wasn't supposed to go to Burimyu this time around. I had no money last November and so decided to give it a miss. However, a week ago, hinoai mentioned that she had a ticket to sell, so I bought it!

What could I say about this? I know almost nothing of Bleach outside of the musical and every time I talk about it, the conversation ends up centring around Tuti.

But really... he's amazing. A genuinely talented actor that really does something for me on another level as well. When he's on stage, I can't take my eyes off him. It's in his voice, his poise and the way he moves.

Tuti didn't really appear as much as I would have liked, but there were still some great scenes with him. My favourite was when he killed all the Taiin members during a song.

The final song was "Hallelujah Goodbye", cheer-led by Tuti -- it's a song which I despise (somewhat) because I can't do the dance. This time around, I didn't do too badly and maybe I didn't embarrass myself this time around. In about five musicals, I might actually be able to do it. And like it. :)

Oh, there's also another song which has special hand movements... and can only be performed with a specially purchased orange penlight.

Anyway, it was great meeting some new people. Hope you enjoyed it too.

The queue was massive. It stretched from the heart of the Big Sight, down the road, across the Dream Bridge and almost to Palette Town. It was so long that even professional staff photographers were taking photos of the man holding the 'end of queue' sign with the Palette Town ferris wheel in the background. I really wasn't keen on all those cameramen photographing the queue, to be honest.

We waited for so long that a couple approached us and sold us their ticket at the presale rate. They just couldn't be bothered waiting any longer.

It was crowded when we got in. So much worse than previous years -- I don't understand it. The booths weren't as good either. I feel we've got an informal deal here -- I pay attention to the latest anime they're promoting and possibly even mention it to my friends and they give me cool stuff and a PV. Seems fair, right? This year, the cool, free stuff seems very much reduced.

But, I did get some yaoi tissues from Suzuki-san The Yaoi Bear. I guess I'm happy. So, uh, watch Junjou Romantica. I also saw a PV for Soul Eater, which is looking good.

I also saw booths for Highlander and one that included Blade of the Immortal. I'll copy them down again in a more readable format, as promised.

Highlander is set in the near future, according to the posters, although the PV showed our hero "Colin" fighting robots. The Japanese for "There can be only one" appears in it.

Colin Macleod - Oguri Shun
Marcus Octavius - Yamadera Kouichi
Dahlia - Paku Romi

There are others, including Hayashibara Megumi.

Blade of the Immortal didn't have its own booth, just a few panels in a bigger booth. From what I could see, Seki Tomokazu stars, although that just means his name appears at the top of the cast list as I don't know the manga. Way, way down, Miki Shin'ichirou's name also appears.

Now for the bad news. I went to Wedge Holdings booth in a Quest for the Truth about Velvet Under World. In their words, "Tomachatta. *X sign* mata kondo". I suppose lesser beings might translate that as "not gonna happen" (or, charitably, 'suspended indefinitely'), but I want to believe...

Anyway, having gathered as much free stuff as reasonably possible, I headed to Tokyo Dome to meet hideincarnate

In my teens, I discovered X Japan through a random download of Forever Love and subsequently bought as many live albums as I could. The lives have an even greater power than the studio recordings. I sang along knowing I could never be amongst that audience. Never.

Until now. You can't imagine how much this live meant. It's a chance I thought I'd missed ten years ago.

hideincarnate contacted me at the last minute and told me where we were meeting up. There were a ton of cosplayers surrounding Tokyo Dome -- it was incredible! And there I was standing in my regular clothes I'd pulled on for an anime festival! Ah well...

hideincarnate told us that they didn't start until nine the previous night, but we went in at the right time anyway. As I was sitting down, I got talking to the person next to me, who was from Hong Kong. Turns out his favourite song is Kurenai too.

We were basically settling in for a long wait, but a little after the supposed start time, we heard shrieks coming from the stands behind the stage and then the entire dome went dark.

1. Forever Love

They sang the opening and just when it changes into a more upbeat song, the see-through veil covering the stage came down and jets of fire shot up in the air. I was a little surprised they played this one first, but it was one of the 'must hear' songs. Still one of the greatest.

2. Rusty Nail

From here on out, my memory gets rustier. I think this was Rusty Nail. What I do remember was that Toshi came out onto the catwalk nearest me, stopped parallel, crouched down and sung at whoever happened to be in that direction. Which was me. Just me.

3. Weekend

...I think. I know it was in there. Fabulous songs and another one I wanted to hear.

4. Drain You

Another great, although this one completely slipped my mind. hideincarnate reminded me.

5. Without You

They brought out chairs and sung 'with hide'. At the end of the song I heard sniffling around me. EVERYONE was crying. EVERYONE.

6. Longing (acoustic)

7. I.V.

They just decided to lie down on the runway! Anyway, this was great - the English lyrics appeared above the stage and we all sung along. We did the two lines and Toshi improvised around us. It reminded me of my live CDs. This time, I was there, singing along too...

8. Kurenai

LOVELOVELOVE. Red stage and everyone almost started moshing. The energy of everyone was incredible.

In between this one and the next song four or five full, unbroken Mexican waves went around the entire arena.

9. h.naoto ad...?

Err... I have no idea what happened here. The song was pretty good, but Not What I Wanted. I think only Pata took part?

10. Yoshiki's Drum Solo

I thought I was going to see the drummer die in front of me... He seemed to enter some kind of trance and kept going until he couldn't give anymore. When I've watched live DVDs, it's always been with the knowledge that everyone survived! Anyway, his platform rose off the floor and into the crowd until it was right in the centre. Water poured off it, Yoshiki fell over from the strain and got up again and the last beats coincided with fireworks from the stage. Incredible.

I have no idea how much of that he was acting.

11. Tears

The drums descended to the ground and Yoshiki sat on the stairs that led up to them, looking exhausted. On the opposite end of the runway, the singer appeared and sang the first few lines. The distance between them was amazing.

Then there was hugging.

12. X

I actually yelled 'yes' when this started up. We all did the 'X' sign. And when the 'X' was sung, we made it and leapt into the air. So much fun! So much energy!

If there was any downside, it was the massive gaps between sections and song nine. The rest is total love and literally a daydream come true. Unforgettable.
lastwaltzfirearchangels on 30th March 2008 05:38 (UTC)
Tomachatta. *X sign* mata kondo".

DDD: that sounds like bad news T_T

Reading your X Japan live report makes me want to listen to their songs now *_* Really happy for you that you got to go and have a good time! :D

Those sakura blossom pictures are amazing! Such a beautiful scene, I really would like to go to Japan during Spring one day.

Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 05:43 (UTC)
Doesn't it? I guess it might be considered free reign in a roleplay. It's so tempting...

Oh, you should listen to them again! I recommend X, Weekend, Kurenai, Forever Love and I.V. It's not really a coincidence that these are the ones they played yesterday though, haha.
sorasu on 30th March 2008 09:53 (UTC)
Congratulations on X Japan! I enjoy their music a lot, and I'm glad to hear you got to take part in such a legendary concert!!!

After waking up at 4 am and grabbing the 5:08 train, then waiting in line for 4 hours so I could get a ticket, I got into the seiyuu event! Ticket 302, 7th row from the stage, just SLIGHTLY off-center (putting me right in front of Miki-san and Seki-san)!!! Now if only my Japanese were better so I could have understood everything instead of only half!

Thanks so much for your comments and advice! ^_^
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 15:16 (UTC)
Thanks... I really thought Something would Happen and I wouldn't be able to go.

That sounds great... will you write a report?

Glad to be of some use! :)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on 30th March 2008 10:41 (UTC)
Next time we go to karaoke, I'll teach you Hallelujah Goodbye's movements!! ^-^

Seriosuly, if you want to get a fast start on the manga, I have it in english up through vol. 12 and that would be more than enough to get you a start on it and you could pick up the japanese ones after that~ ^^
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 16:33 (UTC)
I bought the first one in English when it first came out, but I didn't really like. I couldn't tell you why... it just seemed 'flat'. I suppose I could give it a try. ^^
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on 31st March 2008 00:02 (UTC)
Actually yeah, I will agree with you that the story in the beginning isn't very good. I watched the anime first and it took me more than 20 episodes to really get into it (but I kept trying for the sake of the musicals). So when I got the manga I found that skimming through it fast helped it go a lot faster. It's about book 7 where it starts to get interesting, I think..
nekojitanekojita on 30th March 2008 13:40 (UTC)
That truly does sound like such an incredible weekend! (long lines aside)
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 16:34 (UTC)
It was! I feel like my luck has done an about-turn! To top it off, your parcel arrived! Thank you so much!
nekojitanekojita on 1st April 2008 20:37 (UTC)
Yes! I was beginning to despair that it had gotten lost or rejected. Try any of the imps yet?
thewaywardrose on 30th March 2008 16:05 (UTC)
Hell yeah, X Japan! You're so lucky! ♥ I love "X"! I would've been freaking out if I saw them live.
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 16:35 (UTC)
It was amazing! Just thinking about it gets me a little teary. *embarrassed*
swirly_ayuri: Aya Grumpyswirly_ayuri on 30th March 2008 19:27 (UTC)
*cries for VUW* The website was down for a couple days, and for a while I was so excited that maybe new content was being added. Alas... ToT If my Japanese wasn't so terrible, I'd write to Koyasu-san's radio show and ask about what's going on. -_-

Thanks for the report! And hoping you'll put up more pix~ (I'm very curious as to what yaoi tissues actually are) ^___^
Williamgenkischuldich on 31st March 2008 14:41 (UTC)
I don't think you would get any answers from that, to be honest. Ah well... thinking of setting up an rp around it. Might be fun.

Basically, in Japan you often get people handing out mini tissues on the street with an advert slipped inside them at the top. This one had an ad for Junjou Romantica.
golden_bastetgolden_bastet on 31st March 2008 00:14 (UTC)
I'm very very glad you got to see X Japan. I have no idea what it is sorry, but there are a number of things I've missed out on that I wish that I'd taken advantage of. That you'll remember for a loooong time...

And VUW - wah. I wish I could send a letter to ask WHY?!?!?! too. >%^<

BTW - the videotape showed up. My sister had it. She never even thought about it when I first told that my tape had disappeared.
Williamgenkischuldich on 31st March 2008 14:56 (UTC)
Great to hear you have your video tape now!
scribblemoose on 31st March 2008 08:25 (UTC)
*hugs* That sounds like an amazing time. Happy Birthday. :)
Williamgenkischuldich on 31st March 2008 15:00 (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks!
Jess: X Japan - Eyeshideincarnate on 4th April 2008 19:42 (UTC)
Mwhahahah I am stalking you again! Maybe I should just friend you eh eh eh? XD *wiggles eyebrows* Sorry for the late call! DX I wasn't sure how long you worked and what with the live being late on Friday...but it all worked out ne! But Toshi sang in your face! *dies* God...I have such a...crush on that man, it's a bit embarassing...

I wanted to ask your advice on eikaiwa/teaching english jobs because I got rejected by JET so I am in need of other venues even though I probably won't end up in Japan until 2009...so any advice/suggestions? I know you've been with several different companies/organizations...
Williamgenkischuldich on 6th April 2008 07:25 (UTC)
Feel free! Yeah, Toshi was right in my face -- I couldn't quite believe it when he stopped parallel. Although, realistically, I doubt he could have seen much. But still.

Right now, there are two basic choices -- eikaiwa and classroom. I think that you'd be better off going for teaching in a school. Here's why... In eikaiwa teaching, you HAVE to teach on weekends and late into the night. People who've been there for years sometimes get to move to a Mon-Fri schedule, but it's rare. Some eikaiwa are more flexible than others - some have a fixed schedule and even lie to you, telling you you can't quit unless you find your own replacement. To find out more, try looking at eikaiwa. There are some real horror stories, but it can also be pretty good -- the pay is better and there are some genuine opportunities for promotion. As an ALT, you have to get up early, but you have your weekends and evenings free. Most concerts are scheduled around the idea that most Japanese people have Sunday off and a good number or so have Saturdays off. However, there is no room for promotion and the money can vary. Just remember the standard is 250,000 en. Before you go, try to get some experience with teaching children.