I want to start this post with three huge thank yous, to the following people:
Em-chan, for letting me go with you on this amazing journey!
R-chan, for helping us with the tickets!
Tackey & Tsubasa, for holding these two events for their fans!
And then I also want to say that even though I'm posting this report so late, it has been written down in handwriting since the day after the event. So it is written as if the event has just taken place, in case you notice that some details are out of date by now...
Me and my friend Em-chan, who is the bestest ever and gave me her second ticket to the event, arrived to Yokohama rather early in the morning, so we spent some time at a small café some distance from the station. Shortly after 9 am we went to Yokohama Arena, and by then they were just starting to get people to gather in the section closest to the doors. We arrived just in time to be let inside at the back of the section. And I have to say: I have never before experienced a calmer, more relaxed and non-crowded queueing! We all had plenty of space and everyone stood quite calmly talking to their friends. The morning got even better because of the wonderfully blue sky and the bright sun, it was a perfect spring morning! The rest of the fans in line behind us were moved on top of the stairs that led down to the area in front of the arena, and the line seemed to have no end!
The Japanese seem to be very punctual. At 10 am the doors were said to open. At 10 am the doors did open and we were let inside. I was once again amazed that there was no pushing; everyone walked calmly through the ticket checkpoint and the purse inspection. We followed those in front of us, and just inside in the entrance hall came the first shock for my poor heart. Already by the doors we could hear Takki and Tsubasa talking, but it wasn’t until I noticed some almost hysterical fans in front of us that I realized that they were sitting where we would pass by! Me and Em-chan caught each other's hands and clung to each other, and off we went. We had bad luck and ended up in the line at the back, the longest distance from the table where Takki, Tsubasa and a radio host were sitting and doing a morning radio show broadcast. We were waving like idiots, and it felt so unreal! I had dreamt about seeing them for real, for 6 years, and now I went past them, waving at them while they were broadcasting a radio show! And they looked so great! They were dressed in t-shirts with a 10th year anniversary symbol on them – of course Takki's t-shirt was pink and Tsubasa's was blue. Tsubasa has short hair now, it looked really nice, and Takki also has dark hair for the moment. Usually I like it best when he has rather light hair, but this colour was really good on him. Not black, but it glimmered in—I don't know, copper brown? Dark. Really, really nice in any case. And they were so sweet as they sat there smiling and waving at the fans!
Then we went around looking for our section. It turned out that our seats weren't at all as bad as we feared they would be. Section F, row 14 – it turned out to be the second narrow section counted from the main stage, on Tsubasa's side (I was so happy for Em-chan!), 8 rows from the floor. As usual there were several stages (one large at the back of the arena and a small one right in the middle) with runways between them, this way and that way and on the sides. There were also a lot of tv screens. On them they showed Takki and Tsubasa during the live radio broadcast, and the fans that went past waving. A big part of the interview consisted of them answering questions that were sent by the fans that applied for the tickets. Now I didn't understand much of what was said, only small bits and pieces. That's also the case for the event itself. That's why I am so glad and thankful for the parts that Em-chan translated or summarized for me.
Takki and Tsubasa were super sweet to each other during the whole interview! And they could really have a radio show together, just sayin'… One of the reasons being that they are so good together, and both of them like to talk. There were so many fun and cute parts during the broadcast, and I'm trying to remember as many of them as possible. Unfortunately I don't remember the correct order, thanks to my overwhelmed state of mind, but here's a list of things that I remember:
- They talked a little about the first of April, but I don't know exactly what they said about it.
- Tsubasa doesn't drink champagne, because it doesn't fit with his image…
- Both of them (apparently) sleep wearing a t-shirt. Interesting, huh? Of course it is!
- Some fans got to call them live asking questions, but the connection was really bad so they could hardly be heard! One girl only managed to introduce herself before her minute was over. Another girl asked her question several times without Takitsuba being able to hear it, so the host asked her who was her favourite. When she said Takki, Tsubasa didn't look as happy any longer, haha!
- Wonderfully cute moment #1: They got a question about the photo session for the covers of 愛はタカラモノ, where they are looking at each other from a very short distance. And for some reason they started some kind of staring game, and just sat there staring at each other. The host constantly repeated that they mustn't laugh, but they could barely keep from laughing the whole time! Anyway, the cutest part was when Tsubasa after a while lifted his index finger and pointed at Takki. He then moved his finger closer and closer to Takki's face, and Takki kept looking at it until he was all squint-eyed. Tsubasa stopped right in front of his face, only an inch or so away from it, and Takki shook his head as if trying to get his eyes into the right position again. It was so cute! But I was almost a little disappointed that Tsubasa didn't go even further and poke Takki between his eyes or something funny like that…
- Wonderfully cute moment #2: They got the question who has the biggest hands, so of course they had to measure. So there they sat holding up a hand against the other's hand, for a long while, while they were talking and being filmed from different angles to really see who had the biggest hands (that was Tsubasa, btw…). Suddenly Tsubasa close his hand really quickly so that he and Takki had clasped hands! And all the fans went "awww!" And Takki looked so embarrassed, and Tsubasa looked so pleased with himself when he let go after a few seconds! It was so adorable!
We thought they would disappear and change clothes some time before 11 am, because the event was said to start then, but they stayed until 11:15, and then the event started some 10 minutes later. They really can change clothes quickly…
Let me start by saying one thing: I am really happy that I bought a penlight in the Johnny's shop! I would have felt so stupid and halfnaked without one. It was bad enough that I didn’t have a towel to wave with. But my penlight was perfect to have!
They had a red-and-white-striped curtain in front of the stage, and of course it also had the anniversary print on it. And then the moment came that I had been waiting for. The lights went out, the curtains fell, and on top of an elevated part of the main stage Takki and Tsubasa emerged. They were dressed in their 愛はタカラモノ costumes (as I like to call them): white costumes with feather-bouquets on the left side of their chests. Rather logical, since that was the song they sang first. I was so excited, because I love that song so incredibly much and it's one of the dances I know best. So I sang and danced and had tears in my eyes from happiness. The feeling I got when I finally, finally got to sing and dance their songs together with them, I can't describe it. And they looked to fantastic, especially in those clothes that I love! The next song was Journey Journey and my happiness knew of no limits. That song means so much to me, and I admit that I cried during the whole song. I was just so happy!
And then it was time for the first song that gave us another reason to shout of joy: Hey Now! I especially love the live version of it. But the reason to shout was all the ラブラブ! It started so wonderfully with the two of them taking each other's hands and jogging to the small stage in the middle of the arena while singing. And then one aww-moment after the other came: it started innocently with them looking at each other and moving closer and closer. At one moment, Takki stroke his finger along Tsubasa's chin. Some time later Tsubasa went behind Takki and put his arm around him! Really put it around him – around his shoulder and across his chest! It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen! And at some point after that Takki fell down on the floor, pretending he fainted… Adorable! And at the end of the song they took each other's both hands and started jumping around in a circle, like they use to do…
After that they sang 山手線外回り, which is another of my favourite songs. And now they ran around on the runways along the sides of the arena as well, beneath us were we stood. It was so fun to dance along with them on this song!
And so it was time for the Takitsuba call. For me, I would have liked better to be on Takki's side, but it was fun to shout in any case! As usual it was much more fun live than watching it on DVD. After a few calls, Takki asked for two Takki calls in a row. Tsubasa didn't want to be worse, so he asked for three Tsubasa calls in a row. Takki copied him, asking for three calls. Tsubasa added one and asked for four calls – and Takki gave up… Instead he found a guy who got to call out alone. And then Tsubasa found a security guard who called out alone – and received a hug from Tsubasa. Takki was very upset… There were a few more calls, where Takki found a Tsubasa uchiwa – and then Tsubasa went into the crowd to find a Takki uchiwa which he waved and jumped around with, and then kissed before he returned it to the fan. And of course Tsubasa made Takki mess up in the end! They were on their way back to the main stage and Tsubasa started walking and posing in a really funny way, making Takki laugh so hard that he couldn't go on…
After this it was time for an MC part where they talked about their time as juniors until 10 years ago. And then there was an amazing section, where they sang and danced to songs that they were backdancers to during that time! They showed videos from back then on the tv screens. It was so amazing to get to see and hear that, especially for me who had never done so before! The songs were PGF, ガラスの少年, 恋はあせらず and 恋よ. And I'm always so amazed every time I see Tsubasa dancing. He dances like a god! Not that I know how a god dances, but he is simply amazing! He almost makes Takki seem clumsy, and Takki is not a bad dancer.
Then they had another MC part about Takki's birthday three days earlier, when he turned 30. Tsubasa said the whole world wanted to wish Takki a happy birthday, and he showed a VTR he had edited and put Japanese voices to. Takki had already seen it the day before, which explains why he didn't react as much as I thought he would. But it was fun for us fans! There were a lot of news clips from festivals around the world, and there were Japanese voices wishing Takki a happy birthday.
Part two of the birthday MC was fantastic! Takki seemed to believe it was over, but then Tsubasa said there was more. Takki was surprised, and Tsubasa brought out a table with a cloth over. When Takki lifted the cloth there was a Takki action figure under it!! A Kabuki figure this time (he got a Kakumei figure in Osaka), and it was so amazing! It looked like Takki dressed in his onnagata (=woman) costume. Takki was so excited and went around it again and again, commenting the details, that it looked so authentic and exactly like him, all the right fabrics and everything. He was so happy! And Tsubasa told about the Kakumei figure from the day before.
After that a group of juniors joined Takitsuba on stage. It was fun, now I've seen juniors live for the first time as well! Together with Takki and Tsubasa they sang Queen of R and HEY! LISTEN TO THE MUSIC while they went around throwing pink and blue balls into the audience. I liked that they had parts of the runways that could be moved up and down, so that some fans higher up could also catch balls. Takki and Tsubasa went off stage to change clothes and the juniors went to get the fans who had caught the balls. A game leader entered the stage and explained the contest. Those on our side were Tsubasa's team, the other side was Takki's team. The chosen fans would stand along the runways, as stations for Takki and Tsubasa. The winning team would receive clearfiles and the participating fans would receive a make-up kit of the sort that Takitsuba has made a commercial for (24h Cosme).
I think there were two or three stations of "hug and pop the balloon between you" and two stations of three-legged walking where you bind your leg to your partner's leg and try to walk to the next station. Before the contest started, Takki and Tsubasa demonstrated the stations (now dressed in their anniversary t-shirts). The balloon popping must have one of the best moments ever! Tsubasa really twined his arms around Takki and they hugged so hard, and still had trouble popping the balloon! When it finally popped, there were a lot of mini balloons falling out of it, and then Tsubasa said something about a lot of mini Takkis being born (since the balloons were pink), and Takki was really embarrassed! And so cute!
So, Takki and Tsubasa went out to the small stage in the middle and started preparing. Takki by boxing in the air, Tsubasa by imitating a runner – ready, set, bottom up, bottom down, bottom up, bottom down… When the race started, Tsubasa had no chance against the much faster Takki…
The fans that participated were very varying – from a little older women to little girls, the youngest was perhaps 4-6 years old. She got to walk three-legged with Tsubasa and they were so adorable! He tied the ribbon so carefully and counted: "ichi, ni, ichi, ni!" and they walked steadily forwards. It was so funny to see the difference between Takki and Tsubasa here. Tsubasa took his time with each and every fan. He gave them a mini balloon or a ribbon when their station was finished, shook their hands or patted them on their head. But Takki, that competitive man, left his fans where they were standing and rushed off to the next station! Poor fans in Takki's team! Aw, Tsubasa was so cute towards his fans!
It was so fun when they reached the last station in that part of the contest, it was a balloon popping station on the main stage. Tsubasa had troubles with his, they were hugging for a long while. Takki had the same troubles, but was more desperate… After a while he gave up, jumped up and put his legs around the poor shocked woman's waist! Oh how the fans screamed (after the initial shock)! And the woman looked more shocked than anyone I've seen – and I understand her! What if it had been me? I mean, who is prepared to get her arms full of Takki – not just a hug but all of him? I would probably have almost fainted afterwards! I almost regret wishing that no ball would come in my way, because none did… Just imagine getting to hug or walk three-legged with one of them! Those fans down there were very lucky indeed, and it was so fun to watch!
The next part of the contest was two giant flags being moved into our level of the arena. A Tsubasa flag on our side, a Takki flag on the other side. They were to be moved from the main stage to the back of the arena. They arrived there almost at the same time, but Takki's team was slightly faster than us. When the flag had arrived at the back, Takki and Tsubasa got two giant light balloon balls each. Those were to be moved from the back of the arena to the main stage, across the audience in the middle. Takki did rather well in the beginning, but then the balls got stuck by the runway across the middle of the arena and Tsubasa caught up with him. And here's another Takki fail: He hurried to help the balls cross the runway – and fell over backwards! He ended up lying there for a few seconds before he sat up and remembered that the contest was still going on… So he got up and started transferring the balls, with more success this time. Meanwhile, Tsubasa's team had got troubles just before the main stage and somehow Takki's team caught up and he won. Tsubasa thought that the fans on his team also should receive clearfiles, but no, Takki didn't think so. But in the end all fans received one…
And then it was time for the final part of the event, a long medley with several of their hit songs. They were 夢物語, Venus, ホッサマー, 空のスクリーン and Journey Journey a second time. There was a confetti shower, a streamer shower and a shower of pink and blue balloons. I am so sad that I didn't get hold of a blue balloon! But at least I got a pink one, and three streamers. That's better than nothing.
Suddenly the event was over. Takki and Tsubasa thanked all of us for coming, waved and went off the stage hand in hand. But of course they didn't leave the stage without arguing which way to go. Takki pulled in one direction, Tsubasa in the other direction – and totally unexpectedly Tsubasa surrendered and followed Takki. Takki looked surprised, haha! Takki usually never wins this!
On stage several people were talking and there was a lottery of make-up kits for fans in the audience, but I didn't understand what was being said. I didn't care so much either, because I was fully absorbed by the tv screens. That's because they had started letting people out – and by the doors Takki and Tsubasa were standing on an elevated platform, shaking people's hands. I started shaking until I noticed that only young children and physically disabled got that honor of a hand-shake. When the rest of the fans were let out, they put a barricade between Takitsuba and the fans, and the fans got to pass by waving, as when we were let inside earlier. But that's more than enough, really! I am so amazed and happy and thankful that they stayed there waving to all of us – letting us all outside again probably took 1.5 hours and Takitsuba stood there waving the whole time and looked to happy, saying "Arigatou" to the fans who passed them by. Some fans got a few extra words. Other fans made themselves being noticed some more, like the person who made "Takki's binoculars" and received the same sign from Takki in response.
Our section was emptied rather late (I'm fascinated by the Japanese organizational skills, and once again there was no pushing) so I had plenty of time to be nervous. It's not easy not to be nervous, knowing that soon, soon you'll get to walk by these amazing guys one last time, and it could be the only chance in your life to get noticed by them! I decided to say something to them – and I had about an hour to decide what I would say… In the corridor it took a long time to reach the stairs. But that was mainly because I had a theory: the biggest chance to end up in the line closest to the guys was if we kept to the right-hand side of the stairs… So we tried it out, me and Em-chan, and kept to the right from the beginning. Those to our left went forward faster than us, but I kept to my theory. Walking through the corridor felt like an eternity. Finally we reached the stairs and I felt my legs almost folding beneath me. I managed to walk down the stairs – it felt like so many steps, yet so few steps! A security guard was standing down there, dividing the group of fans. I ended up to the right. I took a few shaky steps, slightly confused because there were no fans directly in front of me (they were some distance in front of me so I didn't really notice them), but the guards nodded at me to walk on. So I took some more steps, the line turned slightly to the right – and there they were. So close, and so damn beautiful so that I just felt like sitting down right were I was and just stare at them. Tsubasa was closest to me, and I don't know what happened. I was totally set on Takki, but now when I saw Tsubasa and there was no one else right in front of me, I grabbed the fence and called out to him, in Japanese, that I came from Sweden. He heard me, looked at me slightly surprised, then he smiled and said "Arigatou!" The guard pushed me along, quite understandable since I had grabbed the fence – but that was mainly to keep myself upright… So I felt a little stressed when I got to Takki, since the guard in front of me almost blocked me from him, but I still called out the same thing to Takki, that I came from Sweden – and darling Takki heard me and noticed me! He looked straight into my eyes with a surprised look on his face, his mouth forming an o, then he smiled, and I smiled, and he said "Arigatou!" And then it was over. My few seconds of eye contact and exchange of words with two of the most amazing persons in the world, were over. I don't know how I managed to get out of the arena, still standing straight, with enough presence of mind to accept the clearfile and calendar card from the juniors and thank them using correct Japanese. But I managed to do it.
When Em-chan caught up with me (I think she was two persons behind me), I had to lean on her the last distance through the doors and away from the entrance. My legs were shaking so bad and I was so weak and shocked. She was also shaking because she had a similar experience with her favourite, Tsubasa. When we had been spazzing for a while and tried to get out of shock again, everyone gathered by the fence at the entrance, so we hurried to get there too. We were told to sit down, and shortly after that Takki and Tsubasa came outside with megaphones. Of course Takki had trouble with his, but it was just funny! They talked for a short while but I didn't manage to hear a word of what they said, unfortunately. But I guess they thanked us again for coming, hoping we had enjoyed it, or something like that. Then we did a handclap-thing together, apparently Tsubasa had done that before. I think it's so amazing that they went outside to say goodbye a last time, when they had just waved goodbye to all of us for 1.5 hours! And had been so active at the event from 10 am, that's 5 hours! As if that's not enough, this whole event was a gift to the fans – they didn't get payed at all, the tickets were free. If this event has changed my view of and feelings for Takki and Tsubasa, it's only for the better – I love them more than ever and I'm so amazed and thankful for how amazing these guys are!
I apologize for the length of this report, applaud those who have managed to read all of it, and once again want to thank Em-chan for letting me experience this amazing event!
02. Journey Journey
03. Hey Now!
09. Queen of R
10. HEY! LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
11. Medley (夢物語, Venus, ホッサマー, 空のスクリーン, Journey Journey)