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:
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.
...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)
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...
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.
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.
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.