With a headache that was spoiling my third day in Tokyo, I went with Akiko to the Ghibli Museum on a Friday morning. It was her first time going there, too. Before I even set foot in Japan, I had to ask her to book tickets for us, since there was an admission schedule we had to follow. The scene replicas from the anime was a treat, among all else. I wonder why this wasn’t the sort of place I see people on my social media rave about.
Later that day, I was in line for another show at Zepp Diver City. Akiko went with me, and thankfully so, since it looked like navigation from where we were to the venue wasn’t easy to manage. Once I settled, I was by myself, along with a hundreds of idol fans, and not the sort with capes and light sticks, but in the trendy, streetwear inspired garb peddled by management, often with puzzling, sometimes crude text on it.
My entry number was 232, which did cost me more when I was liaising with a specialized for-foreigners service, that will join ticket lotteries for you. This time, I had them get me a ticket for a sold-out concert from auction sites. The lower the ticket number, the sooner you enter, the nearer you are the stage.
As before, I looked for an obvious foreigner, to find out if they knew more about the event than me. Found one, and despite being a white, blonde dude, when I told him where I was from, he started conversing with me in Tagalog.
The idol groups I was about to see were under WACK management, known for its anti-idol image, best described by the tagline of their flagship unit, BiSH: ‘punk band without instruments‘. There’s stagediving, crowd surfing, along to a pop-rock soundtrack, fronted by rough and ready mix of idols. I only brought a small camera for this trip, one I’m not used to when shooting photos of live performances, but it was capable enough.
Before the concert, I got myself the now iconic -for our ilk- IDOL shirt. This was an easy purchase, versus actual music merchandise. I have tried hard to get into the musical output of these groups, but the misses far outnumber the hits for me. As an entertainment source, as groups of diverse, distinct idols, they do satisfy very, very well.
Past 10 in the morning the day after, I’m at Shinjuku Club Science, a basement livehouse where there was another batch if idols to see -including NECRONOMIDOL again. The place will be a tight fit for 100 people, but we were probably a good half of that. I see a dad with his kid in tow.
I wanted to see Rhymeberry, a rap-idol trio. The last song I heard from them before leaving for Japan was undeniably Beastie Boys-inspired, and that was convincing enough for me to see what would be fifth and last idol show for the trip.
I met the girls after. Yuika went on naming all the Filipino entertainers she knew (Bruno Mars, Charice), and Miri asked if I was into rap/hiphop or idol. Sure, I said I like hiphop, I liked DJ Shadow, and I just started listening to Kohh. DJ Omochi had the longest queue of fans, and I was probably her last for the day.
NECRONOMIDOL on a smaller stage was a treat. I didn’t meet them after. I didn’t feel the need to start awkward conversations again.
This was my last day of planned activities in Tokyo. I knew of two more shows I could go to, but I gave myself some slack as my now pensive, overbearing, sentimental wave of emotions are in full effect. There was another BiS show, but there was also this Oyasumi Hologram thing that I could go to, and I did find that livehouse far out of comfy Shibyuya, but I was too late.
It was OK. I was OK. What I’ve done the past few days was OK. All the effort I put out, I’d rate that an 8/10. I unknowingly took a slow train to the airport Sunday morning. I had a last bowl of ramen after checking in, and I may not have even taken a photo of it. It was too apparent that all this, this entire trip, was a fuck-all undertaking, and the massive dose of satisfaction I got, I don’t think you can match it, even if I do go back.