I wasn't sure what to write and what to leave out. Since I won’t bother writing different posts for my personal lj and tmrevolutionist, I’ll keep it honest while leaving out stuff to protect the guilty. I couldn’t sort out my feelings because sometimes I felt drained and stressed. But overall it was a great feeling to be there with you guys supporting T.M.R. the best I could and with an amazing group of people – sometime during the weekend the term “professional fan” was coined and I think that's hillarious.
Now, onto the good stuff... [WARNING: this was 14 pages as a Word document!]
My unofficial duties started on Thursday night, but I won’t get into that – basically I got about 3 hours of sleep because I had to wake up at 6 to be at the convention center at 8:30am on Friday. There we set up the T.M.R. booth which included a short platform for 4 T.M.R. costumes: ignited (Size 8 ½ women’s custom Puma boots. Thank you very much.), 2 Under:Cover costumes (yes, the hot pants were there!), and Takanori’s a.b.s. Nephilim PV outfit with the plaid man-skirt and pants.
There was a monitor playing a specially made DVD giving an introduction and history of T.M.R and Takanori’s other projects. It was on a loop all weekend. I heard it in my head on the train home even... The booth also sold T.M.R. merchandise: T-shirts, pin badges, and stickers all with a specially designed logo by Takanori for this event!
Before the convention was even open to the public, I met the lovely Alexis, Melissa, who I mentioned before, and plenty of others who were already asking about the autograph tickets! We were really surprised… So we decided not to give away tickets or merchandise until it opened to the public at 3pm just to be fair to people without VIP passes or other exhibitors. It was also agreed that on Friday we would give 50 tickets and the rest on Saturday morning. By 2:50pm there was a line forming, and by 3:05pm I think the tickets were done for the day!!
The rest of the day passed rather smoothly. Between telling people to come back for tickets tomorrow and me running back and forth from the lobby to the booth on errands and giving passes to tmrevolutionist members as they arrived, I was pretty busy but glad to help. (But while I was off giving tmrevolutionist members their passes, Takanori and his entourage passed by the booth. -_-; It’s probably better that way because I’m sure I couldn’t have handled it as calmly as the other girls. I would have stared and smiled and looked goofy.)
The best part about it was that I was constantly meeting new people and people I’ve only talked to online or have only heard about through other people. You guys really impressed me. This was the first official T.M.R. event I was attending so I didn’t know what to expect – I’ve had some scary experiences with other band’s fans before, but this weekend I didn’t meet one person I didn’t like and I didn’t hear of one incident, argument, or... anything!! We always hear T.M.R. fans are a chipper group, but we really are o_o;! Everyone was all smiles and hugs and laughs.
As the day progressed, however, the more nervous I got. By the end of the day I learned some disturbing things about the autograph session – only NYCC programs will be signed (although turbo members can have other things signed... it’s unfair but understandable since they came all the way over here – but that’s a different issue). I know many people were SO excited about getting the autograph so I felt really bad. I knew we’d have to tell so many people that they can’t get their favorite TMR thing signed. A lot of things were getting to me. After the convention closed that night, I was so upset that I walked across Manhattan twice then back again because I realized the best train to get home was on the other side of the island. I was thinking and thinking then I realized I was being a selfish and stupid idiot – epiphany time – the point of the whole thing was to meet Takanori, shake his hand, thank him, and watch him perform. Sure a signed cd or book would’ve been cool but the point is the concert and the opportunity to meet him (Or so I told myself so I could sleep, lol). Also, he’s signing for 200 people in one hour! If that’s what it takes to give him an easier time because of his silly 3-events-in-a-day schedule, then so be it.
Well, things worked out for most people anyway, but I’ll get to that later…
I got home really late because I walked until the trains started running on the late night schedule =/. With about 1 ½ hours sleep (because someone woke me with a 6:30 am call saying they arrived at the center but needed their ticket! Wow, Hardcore fans!!) I arrived for the big day at the Javits Center at about 9:15am. I was a bit early so I helped set up the goods and dress the mannequins again. I have a funny story about that:
So I’m holding the Under:Cover booty shorts clad mannequin and I'm really upset that it’s not agreeing with me (“stay on, damn you!”) then I stop and realize my hand is up the crotch of the pants... You know, I had trouble staying professional all weekend long but at that point I just gave up trying. I’m a stupid fangirl. I admit it.
After having a good giggle at that
The rush came at 10:00am when the con opened and we started out handing the rest of the autograph tickets. There was already a line at the booth starting by 9:50! But a little after we started handing them out, more tmrevolutionist people came! I ran to the lobby to handle that and by the time I came back THE LINE WRAPPED AROUND THE BOOTH. ...WHAT?! Then we had to start informing people of the rules for the autograph signing. =( Many people were upset but... well, I’ll get to that later, lol.
By maybe 10:30 the tickets were gone o_o;! Afterwards, there wasn’t as much activity at the booth and I kept getting called over to the lobby on errands or for revolutionist members. When I was at the booth, I would try introducing people to T.M.R. That task wasn’t really assigned to me but as I was just there policing people (“No touching! No flash photography!”) I might as well reel in the curious people walking by with “Hey! Are you familiar with T.M.Revolution? by the way no touching or flash photography He's one of the top artists in Japan and he'll be performing here tonight! ...Yes, HE.” I felt like I was back at school advertising our newspaper or honors society! LOL. Btw, eye contact and a smile work wonders.
The passers-by were really entertaining. We even started taking a tally of how many people were confused about his gender, and one burly black man commented that “she’s really cute”... we just let him walk away and stay secure in his sexuality...
By 11:45 I ran downstairs to the panel line which had grown really long. Luckily my peeps held my spot. I feel like a douche line-cutting, and I hate holding lines for others, but no one seemed to have a problem but me x_x;; I think. ANYWAY, *ahem*, we were seated, I finally turned off my phone as the lights went off, and the panel started with a video and introduction, then Takanori walked in. I was in second row aisle seat in front of him. This was the first time I saw him – as in, not on a tv screen or monitor. He looked so beautiful! I can’t remember what he was wearing except for a very silver shirt and a black jacket I believe. His hair was perfect and his nails were perfect.
The host Mr. Brian Nishi and Takanori talked a little, and then they showed another video, more talking, and another video but at least the videos were interesting. They were specially made for NYCC as introductions to his work as T.M.R. and his recent accomplishments outside of T.M.R., like “How to Succeed” and abingdon boys school, which got a lot of applause. There was a video with clips from all the PV singles. When “aoi hekireki” came up... man, I only wish I looked at his face! They even showed the part with the infamous rear end close-up too. Many people in the audience were like “whaaat? dude…”, “*giggles*”, or simply “...!”
I honestly can’t remember much of the panel other than the video preview of his upcoming movie “Corazon de Melon” and the Q & A part, and the fact that his English has improved greatly. The "Corazon" clip was SO CUTE. I simply have to see it. He plays a man that lives with his girlfriend and has an illness so he can’t work. It seems like a type of illness where he can’t really touch her... ? Because in one scene he's leaving home and just rubs her elbow – again my memory sucks and I should have had a notebook on me at all times, but whatever.
When the lights came back on he was hiding behind his perfectly manicured hands and his face was pink. So cute!! I hope his movie is really successful. Someone asked if it will be shown here – and he seemed really excited about that possibility! I know they show Japanese movies from time to time over here in New York and they have international film festivals too – I wonder if we can get something done. *strokes chin* hmmm... (we're working on it!)
Anyway, I got to ask a question during the panel, I asked my friend’s question thinking I’d have an opportunity to ask a second question, but I didn’t - everyone had a question, I was impressed! I should have asked mine: “Would you ever consider opening the official fan club TURBO to international members?”
Next time! But his answer to my friend’s question was really great: “My favorite part of my job is the singing and making music.” I was pleased by that answer – it tells me he still keeps it real. The feel-good, but possibly bullsh*t answer would have been “the fans,” so I’m almost glad he didn’t say that.
Kristen (littlenishikawa) also asked a question – “Would you ever consider performing in Florida? ...Please?” and he said “Sure! Invite me!” she said something to the effect of “You can stay with me!”, and then he asked for her number LOL! I nearly died and fell out of my chair – but I got worse when she actually started telling him her number!!
Another note about the panel, I'm sorry, I have to say it – I’m a bit annoyed with all the gundam fans. And by “gundam fans” I only mean those people who only care about T.M.R.’s anime songs or his involvement with Gundam. There’s nothing wrong with being a T.M.R. fan and a gundam fan but I’m almost positive that Takanori’s impression of American T.M.R. fans is that we love the anime theme songs more than his other songs. The interviewer guy, Mr. Brian Nishi at one point said “See? T.M.Revolution, Gundam, Gundam, T.M.Revolution – synonymous, really!”... um, NO.
I heard from people who saw the setlist that “CHASE/THE THRILL” and “Light My Fire” were also on the set list but were opted out in favor of more “American friendly” anime theme songs because of the time limit. Don’t get me wrong, I love all his songs, but I’d rather him feel free to sing anything and not feel obligated to sing the anime songs. And it doesn’t help that people STILL insist asking him dumb gundam questions like “how far does your involvement go with Gundam go?”, “do you have any say in [blahblah] aspect of Gundam?”, “when’s the next Gundam coming out? Will you do the theme for that?”
What part of “voice actor” and “performed the theme song” don’t you understand? He doesn’t make Gundam, ok?
After the Q&A part, he had to leave – but not before some random comic guy came on stage to give him flowers (for future reference, please remember the “comic guy”!). Then he said his final message to his U.S. fans... which of course, I don’t remember D8; …anyway, he left and turned to wave again from behind the curtain.
Right after was the T.M.R. autograph session. I got to the booth and Jocy, Sue, and I headed over to the autograph line. I saw many people had brought other things to get signed and I started feeling nervous. By the time we were close to the ‘finish line’ some guy said he got his CD signed and the lady snatched it and gave it back to him... but he was more than happy to autograph it. "WORD?" I said. Then I heard that only TURBO members could get other things signed (and I was wearing my turbo card on my necklace fortunately enough). I was... Relieved, pissed, happy, angry? I don’t know. SO MANY people had things to sign but weren’t able to – but many others just went ahead and did it. I was proud that people stood up to “the man” and got their stuff signed anyway, but what about those that followed the rules? That’s completely unfair and that’s what I was trying to tell staff the night before but I felt like I was burdening them with it.
The book I wanted signed was still at the booth and there was no time to get it =/ but Jocy being the sweetheart she is offered me one of her official Under:Cover posters that she had handy and LET ME HAVE IT. Wow... I felt lucky, but really guilty =/
Anyway, so I got up to Ai-san who was translating and collecting tickets and she introduced Jocy, Sue, and I as those who were working on the booth – but I was a little behind Sue, so I don’t know if he thought I was with them or not. To make me feel better I’m assuming he did. Then it was my turn and I don’t remember what I said in order… Something like: “Thank you, I love you, Good luck, blahblah”, he said IN ENGLISH: “No, thank you! I remember you from panel. Wow, turbo? [and I held up my card dangling from my neck and nodded] thank you!” and then he grabbed my hand *_*; and shook it. And I grabbed back with my other hand – yes, the two-handed shake that you only do to people you really care about. His hands were so soft and warm and beautiful. His nails were amazing. He looked me in the eye and I melted but kept moving. I remembered to grab my poster and didn't even realize that he signed it until afterwards.
I was one of the last people on line with a ticket – but I heard that even after the ticketed people were done, the other people would not leave, LOL. And of course he wouldn’t leave either so he signed their stuff for them too. He’s so sweet. And I heard stories of people offering him the program to get signed but he pushed it aside to sign the cooler item they brought; for instance, Melissa had an original T.M.R. vinyl record from back in the day – Takanori flipped out, pushed the program aside, had a flashback I’m sure, and signed it for her. I think the rules for the autograph session should have been stated MUCH sooner or not at all. It’s not fair to spring that up on people.
So, I went back to the booth! There I met with Teresa and Kira - I was so glad to see them, even through all the confusion and crazy crowds passing by the booth!
I honestly can’t remember what else happened from then to 5pm when other Winds-Turbo staff led by German fan Romy came to the booth to meet for the dance session. After about a half hour of confusion we went to the lobby – about 30 of us holding hands on our way out of the Exhibitors alley, LOL! We got strange looks. Then we went downstairs to a nice clearing in front of the Starbucks area for our dance session. I was surprised more people didn’t know the dances – or maybe they were shy… In any case, Mari and I became “professors” and helped Romy teach the dances. We went through “High Pressure,” “Hot Limit,” and “Wild Rush”. I think we did “aoi hekireki” too… wow, talk about complicated moves! By far that was the hardest! (…that’s a joke; the only move is making the “shikaku” shape with your fingers, like in the PV.)
Afterward, I sat down with my adopted family Teresa and Kira and
8pm came and there was a lot of tension! I don’t know how many phone calls I made until then trying to get all our group members and find out what happened to the no-shows and people who never called me. I made an official count, checked it twice, and again by Stevie (thanks!!). I called back and forth between “headquarters”, lol, and they relayed my messages and finally, at about 8:20-ish, Romy pulled me over and told me let’s go! We got the green light to just get on the general admission line and that when we got to the theatre doors we would be greeted by W-T staff and seated in our section.
I made one final count, and then we held hands again (buddy system!) and walked down to the line.
By the way, Jacob Javits center is about 5 blocks long. The line went from one side of the building to another! By the time we reached the end of the line we were in some dark corner somewhere in an unknown hallway!! GO T.M.R.!! 5 minutes later, the line started moving... fast!
When we finally got into the IGN theatre to be seated, Winds-Turbo staff was there for us and directed us to the taped off seating right behind several rows of official turbo members. Really good seats! But there was a problem... not enough seats!! I counted everyone several times to make sure I gave them the right number, WTH? Did people sneak in? I didn’t see anyone! My fellow booth-workers saved me a seat, but I wasn't going to sit until all my peoples had a seat - and I felt really bad for putting more stress on the W-T staff after everything they’ve done for us, but they came through again offering empty VIP seats to the right side and I directed the rest of the tmrevolutionist members there. I was still so nervous and I felt like something was wrong and I was a bit disoriented, and I got another phone call but ignored it 'cause I couldn't think. But then some staff or volunteer or someone (?! I can’t even remember who, I wasn't paying attention to anything) just told me to “SIT”, I think Jocy came over saying there were some seats?... but it was OK in the end because even though it wasn’t in the center, we had very good seats – I was second row-aisle seat (again?!) to the right. I kept looking back and checking our people to see if someone snuck in - I wanted us all to be together like in my dream =/. I started counting empty seats up next to us, but they were quickly filled leaving only one seat by the time I called the girls a few rows behind...
Finally, I put down my bag and said to myself what's done is done. If I stress any more I wont enjoy the concert. I didn't get to sit next to my girls but I was lucky enough to be able to sit with my 2 other good friends who really helped ground me in all the confusion of the day. I can’t thank you enough Teresa!
That's when I noticed they were filming the crowd and it was showing up on the screen! Some people held up signs and drawings and photos of Takanori. When someone held up a topless shot of skinny little Takanori from way back when, I remembered I had the Under:Cover book with me! I opened up to the page with the new and improved sexy, topless, "yes-i've-been-working-out" Takanori, somehow got the courage and balance to stand on top of my seat and hold it up... and the most hilarious thing happened, I saw dozens of other fans standing up and trying to get the cameraman's attention by pointing at me, LOL. It was pretty funny. Eventually sexy, topless, "yes-i've-been-working-out" Takanori was on the screen and I don't think I'll ever have a fangirl moment quite like that again. Or, I hope not! I felt so embarrassed because maybe 5 minutes later an announcement was made about standing on seats XD;;... I hope staff people didn’t recognize me (but how could they not – what other short black girl with orange shirt, orange cap, and light grey jeans helped work the booth x__x;;? damn)
A while later, after a lot of uncoordinated chanting of "Turbo, Turbo!!" and "T.M.R., T.M.R.!!", the lights went down and the guys came out! I was wondering all weekend who would be part of the support band. I knew SUNAO would be there 'cause him and Takanori stick to each other like glue, and I knew Shibasaki-san would be there. I wasn't sure about Ikuo and Jun-ji. But Ikuo was the first one I saw and I was so happy - then Shibasaki came out, then the drummer - not Jun-ji but someone named “Saipan Joe” according to SUNAO’s blog. It was his first T.M.R. support participation and I think he did a good job! ...and then SUNAO came out and that's when I finally felt it, like it was really happening (I had always sworn to myself that I would get a seat near Sunao’s side because he’s greatness incarnate, but I was actually by Shibasaki and Ikuo which wasn't bad at all. They rocked hard!). Then Takanori came out in his all black outfit, long coat, and leather boots. He looked so cool and happy!
After that, I can't remember the sequence of events, but music started and I just lost it. I gave them all my energy - as much as possible, then more. There were only 2 slow-tempo songs during the entire concert, so you can imagine how tired we were - but we didn't stop, not once, because he didn't stop. His energy is so infectious and he really knows how to pump up the crowd. I think he's a natural performer that can not only feel the crowd but can make the crowd feel him. Every smile, every spin, every clap of his hand on his bicep resonates, and you know he feels us too. I finally understood what is meant by “We Make Revolution.” T.M.Revolution really is ALL of us because we give as much to him as he gives to us - and we give as much to each other too.
Anyway, there are some things I managed to remember:
The band ROCKED! SUNAO’s smile ♥… that man was beaming the entire time. He clearly lives to be on stage – he was really feeling the music and pumping up the crowd a lot. Shibasaki is so cool. I don’t think he was shy but he wasn't pumping up the crowd. Instead, he concentrated on his excellent playing. At one point he looked back at me probably because I was being obnoxious and waving, so I blushed. He's so attractive! I barely saw Ikuo because he was in the back =(, but I did observe his snazzy dance moves from time to time, especially during “zips”. And honestly I didn’t really look at the drummer XD;;… I kept my eyes on my man Takanori most of the time!
Takanori was amazing. He looked amazing too, in all black, the real “New Yorker uniform”, lol – but he could have worn anything, I’m just glad he didn’t come out looking like the Statue of Liberty. He did a lot of MCs, mostly in English! And I understood every word (even if they were wrong. we’ve gone from “is that English he’s speaking??” to “I
He did all his signature moves: the spins, the microphone stand twirls, the bicep-clap, the "take-a-photo-and-put-it-in-Arena37C-mag
I also remember a little ♥ moment with SUNAO which made me happy, and a bit of ♥ with Shibasaki too.
I made eye contact with him several times and he pointed at me – bu then again you can’t miss a short black girl in the front wearing bright orange (represent!)... Especially when some people to the left in the front row were DEAD. Remember that “comic guy,” well, him and a friend and some other guy to his right were in the front row, VIP's. They looked catatonic. Apparently the same thing was going on on the left side with the press people until fans ran up the aisles x_x (security was useless since they were busy enjoying the concert too, LOL; but I’m glad the audience was showing enthusiasm, and no one was hurt!) but us tmrevolutionists, winds-turbo members, and turbo members kept the party kicking! Before I new it, I looked behind me and saw people pressed up against the VIP line o__o! There were even some people that came up from the sides and got to the front – most of them were quickly pulled aside and out of our way though.
Anyway, one of the best parts was when Takanori came over to our side during the final chorus of “High Pressure”, saw me dancing the HP dance, then did the “kime chatte” wave with me! He let us sing the “Takanori no…” part, and of course he changed the “Hot Limit” lyric to “New York deki ni mo ALL OK!” The encore songs just felt really amazingly good.
Thank you to Jocy who posted the set list last night. The songs were pretty amazing, it had shockers like “crosswise” and “mugen no kokou”. Then there was “Meteor” which he dedicated to us and “Resonance” which was amazing. I couldn’t get out of my head until yesterday because I was playing other T.M.R. songs all day. My only disappointment was not hearing “Light My Fire” or “CHASE/THE THRILL”, but it’s... ALL OK!
The band left and came back after uncoordinated “encore” and “T.M.R.” changing again. They wore the concert t-shirt, the guys in pink- blue and Takanori in pink-green (I had the blue and yellow one, though! Shoot!)
After the concert my brain died. I didn’t understand what was being said to me, and only partially because I couldn’t hear – those damn speakers were right next to me. I was drained. We hugged – I especially remember hugging Mari for a long time, some people cried, we had some sort of conversation (I think I was talking but I have no clue about what), took photos by the stage with my friends from school who I hope don’t think I’m a nerd after watching me rock out to T.M.R. with all the para-para moves, and then were ushered out of the theatre. Then everyone was chanting “T.M.R.” again and again! It was so great! It seemed like everyone enjoyed the concert, everyone got a good sweat going, Hahah! We once again said goodbye to our Japanese friends from W-T and many people in our group left. Then our group – now maybe 12, went to McDonalds to replenish ourselves. I couldn’t finish my Angus burger, but I drank a lot. As soon as I sat down I realized I couldn’t get up again! This is what T.M.R. does to you! Takes ALL your energy!!
We tried to talk about how sad we were that it was over but everyone understood and we didn’t need to say it. We talked about some memories from the concert still a bit stunned that they were now just memories… It was already over? It felt kind of anti-climactic actually.
Once we were done with our meal, another series of goodbyes =( - a final goodbye to our co-mod Gilly. Then, thank goodness, we said bye to this spastic guy that was at the concert too – I’m not sure if it was because I was delirious, but he didn’t seem to be making sense at all and I can remember asking him over and over again if he was high or drunk. We also said bye to a nice lady that wasn’t at the concert, but she said she enjoyed our company because we were so happy and good spirited and we brought her back to the good times of her youth – she just found out that her favorite aunt had just died =/… You see, We Make Revolution too! I hope she’s feeling a little better wherever she is.
After making sure Laura met up with her mom, she gave us remaining few a ride. I got off at 42nd street and instead of going to the subway like a sane person at 12:40 am, I went to stalk around the new Kinokuniya location across from Bryant Park – where the radio session would be recorded on Sunday.
Satisfied, I made my way home, realized I lost my metrocard, and finally got home at 3am.
I woke up late on Sunday so I arrived at the booth at general admission time. I helped out a bit, talked to people, introduced T.M.R. to some folks, but it was very difficult. It was “Kids’ Day” at the con which meant everyone was there with their big families looking for freebees – of which we had none and it also meant that there were a lot of conservative parents there. I couldn’t count how many people gave weird looks to his costumes and were like “That’s a man?! Ughh!” Fortunately, I was able to escape a little after 1pm with Laura to go to Kinokuniya for the Radio show recording at 3 o’clock.
We arrived at Kinokuniya by bus and met Danielle at the steps of Bryant Park, by the time we realized it was going on upstairs there was already a line, maybe 20 people were ahead of us already. Shortly, Kryzi, Mari, and company came too because the line was getting long. Then a hoard of Japanese fans came and seemed to be really surprised that so many of us had lines up already, LOL! The girls right behind us smiled but some others that came in later looked disappointed – it’s understandable, but hey, we rock that hard.
We were handed questionnaires about TMR and we got interviewed by… someone. I didn’t even bother to ask where she was from. She was interviewing a lot of people and I was upset that some “gundam/anime-only” fans didn’t have a clue about T.M.R., couldn’t name their favorite song (‘cause they didn’t know the names of the songs!), but were all “yeah we love TMR!”… so I asked for us to be interviewed too. Then as we looked at some of the questionnaires other fans filled out (those same people left their sheets on the clipboard instead of handing them in). I read some of their rude questions for Takanori… I was appalled and showed the rest of our group and I took it out of the pile discretely. =/ It really wasn’t my place to do that, but I felt embarrassed that an American “fan” would write that.
Another part of the questionnaire had a song request, stupid me thought he might perform a song acoustic and I enthusiastically
Aaanyway, soon we were let into the corner where the radio session would be held! Once we were
Sparkling Silver Pants. Wow. I was almost blinded, but that didn’t stop me looking at his legs and other bits. Tight and sparkly man-pants are a blessing. (I think he has a pair in every color – gold/tan from the boys-only live, black from I don’t remember when, and now silver. I’ll bet he’s got a pink one too.) He was wearing knee high boots as well, and a jacket and his gold ring. He looked perfect, like he had three weeks of rest and didn’t perform a concert last night. The rest of us looked like trash… How does he do it? (Actually, he answered that later…)
It was Mr. Brian Nishi interviewing and translating again! I like that guy.
Honestly, the radio session was my favorite part of the weekend right up there with the concert. I’m surprised I remember so much now – but of course not in order, so here is a list of information my feeble brain was strong enough to retain:
- This is about Takanori’s 10th time visiting New York City!!
- He visited Peter Luger’s in BROOKLYN and had a burger! *faint* he was on the same island I live on. Apparently a Japanese baseball player named Matsui was just in there earlier and the owner of the restaurant kept saying his name, but Takanori didn’t understand and thought he was talking about Matsuzaka, a type of Japanese beef – he was like “They sell that beef here?? O_o;” haha, silly Takanori. (We should have a meet-up dinner there – it’s not hard to get to and it’s in a nice neighborhood if you ignore the hipsters).
- He said that 4 years was way TOO LONG and 1 hour was way TOO SHORT. He wants us to make it possible for him to return. Mr. Ishi said that it was because of his loyal fan base here that he was invited to perform. ^_~ we know! By loyal he means persistent, and by fan base he means us! He encouraged us to be more vocal and strong and bring him back the same way we brought him to New York Comic Con.
- He looked so nervous sometimes, for instance, when they played both the A side and B side of “resonance” he didn’t know where to look or what to do, so he started singing the lyrics to himself, watching a video of himself in booty-shorts on the monitor, waving back at people, and adjusting himself in his seat. He tried not to make eye contact with people. Now I think I can believe him when he says he’s actually shy sometimes, but he turns it off so easily. T.M.Revolution really is like an alter ego! I think it gives him courage and energy too.
- Speaking of energy, someone asked where he gets so much energy before a live, and he responded that it was from us! Like before the concert on Saturday, we were chanting “T.M.R., T.M.R.” and it charges him with energy.
- His favorite anime is Gundam and he said if when he was a child someone told him that he would be involved with it as a voice actor or as the theme song performer he would have peed his pants – when this part was translated, he did a “wetting himself” motion by opening his legs and with his hands made a waving gesture from his crotch to the floor and I couldn’t stop laughing!!
- What inspires his music? Everyday life, his fans, and big experiences like being in New York. So everything and anything can inspire him.
- Then they asked Jessica’s question which was “What do you do to keep so beautiful?” LOL. He thought about this for a moment and apologized because he doesn’t have a straight answer - he just wakes up and *whoosh* he’s that beautiful. LOL, I think someone responded that they want to be able to do that and then he said just to wake up and “be”. How sweet!
- Someone else asked about his nails too. And he was so excited he started showing off his nails and he just went on and on about how he invites his nail designer friend over to his house to do his nails… then he stopped himself, apologized and took it back saying “actually, I just wake up and they’re that way” – we all laughed. He mentioned that he got many compliments and looks about his nails during the autograph session when they shook his hand and he seemed pleased.
- Mr. Brian Nishi was trying to ask a question but his intro to the question was too long, and Takanori just started pointing his microphone to him as if to say “fine, keep going, I mean, this radio show’s not about ME or anything!”
- At one point Mr. Brian Nishi messed up in the middle of saying “T.M.Revolution” and Takanori was faux-offended and shouted “WHAT??” in English. Then Mr. Ishi tried again. Takanori had this look on his face like “you betta’ reco’nize, fool!”
- Two guys from the podcast show “GeekNights” came to ask him some questions. They asked about gundam and if he would ever consider going on their show, and I believe they asked what’s the difference between American and Japanese fans… he had a really difficult time trying to answer this question actually, because he didn’t want to upset either group – he answered that we have a lot of similarities actually but he didn’t go any further with that because his Japanese fans “will be getting little jealous that he’s been doing concerts here before Japan.”
- My favorite question was “What is your advice to aspiring musicians” and his answer made me tear up because it’s exactly what I needed to hear. He said (major paraphrasing): “For Musicians …and artists in general, you always have to keep hope. If you always keep hope and never give up things in life will just fall in place. And if you’re thinking your work isn’t being recognized, you have to keep on going because eventually you will be recognized – Before I new it, I’m performing overseas for you in New York city. People will listen and pay attention, just don’t give up hope!”
- At the end, Takanori took a lot of pictures with the group – I tried to squeeze in but I doubt I’m in there, lol. I’ll be on the lookout for them though! They will most likely be posted here or here. *crosses fingers*
The radio session was recorded for Japan's Tokyo FM station and JFN affiliates and will be aired on Saturday midnight in the Tokyo area. If you’re in Japan, please record it! I’d love to have an accurate account of what happened and not just my mind playing influence on my memory. And plus, it was so damned funny. I really love that man.
After he left, they played the B-side to “resonance” I believe it’s called “Soul’s crossing” and it sounds just as fast-paced as “resonance”. The songs were on a loop so I didn’t want to leave. Also, I wanted to get pictures of the “stage” and Mr. Ishi – and we did. We talked to him for a while about the fan base mobilizing and how stupid we were that we couldn’t work cameras long enough to take one good picture of us. I also pimped tmrevolutionist to him… afterwards I was like “wth did I just do?!”
So then we were on our way out when I was pulled over by staff to help with something…
After returning to the booth the girls told me how horrible it had been during the day. Apparently it was illiterate people’s day because people kept trying to touch the costumes despite the signs and despite everyone saying so. Also it was kids day so I’m sure every child wanted to touch the fur and velvet on the U:C costumes.
At 5pm, the con was officially over and we took 2 hours packing up! We were thanked greatly for our hard work during the weekend. We were all so tired and just needed a bed. Everyone had a moment on the mountain of bean bag chairs at the next booth and we called it a day. After cabs picked up Japanese staff and we said our final goodbyes, Mari, Laura and I walked to the Karaoke Box!
We got to Duet 35 Karaoke at about 7:50 and met with other Japanese Winds-Turbo staff. There we met with Jessica and Lara. We got settled into our room which was very nice and big, I’ve never been in that room before.
Romy introduced all the Japanese members and we introduced ourselves (Romy translated everything the entire evening, sorry Romy-san!). Then we started typing in our songs. I don’t remember all the songs we did, but we started with a lot of T.M.Revolution songs of course! Lara and I did “CHASE/THE THRILL” which was a lot of fun. Mari did at least 3 or 4 other songs in Japanese and everyone was impressed and thought she was so cute! (she is!)
We did a lot of group performances like Jackson 5’s “A. B. C.” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was way too long, lol. After those, I’m convinced they think we’re crazy. And fans got up and did “Hot Limit” together – I can’t believe I messed up on the first dance move, though, wth! I “yo! Say!”-ed my neck.
I remember some Gackt goings on too – I was faux-upset because they had the Gackt videos on the screen but no TMR videos… that is, until “Aoi Hekireki” came up! I get such a kick out of that video! ♥ It must be the bejeweled jumpsuit...
At about 10 pm we prepared to leave – but the Japanese fans had a surprise for us! They gave us all gifts! How sweet of them… I had no words for their generosity. They even gave limited edition goods for an anime “Gurren Lagann”. (If you see that anime, please give us feedback to send to them, OK? A w-t staff member works for that animation company.)
They just kept giving gift after gift and we didn’t have anything for them but ♥ love. We exchanged many, many hugs and pledged to meet each other half-way the next time we came together. We promised to practice our Japanese and English. We finally left after much confusion because I can’t add properly or explain tax! -_- but it’s OK – everyone had fun.
After yet another quick goodbye to everyone and a McDonald’s run, it was only Mari, Spencer and I left – When I made my final, final, final goodbye of the weekend to Mari I just cried.
This was one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had and I’m so glad to have met everyone. I’ve been talking with many of you on lj and through email and chats, but nothing beats this weekend. That final goodbye made me realize I didn’t have a chance to hang out with you guys as much as I wanted… but we will have more opportunities in the future because we’ll make this happen again!!
So, you see, I should be on cloud 9 right now (“9”, lol). The thing is... as of April 19th, I've seen the three bands I've been totally living for (and now I can admit that TMR is #1 on that list). Right after the concert and again on Sunday after karaoke... I felt like it was all over, but it took me a day or two to realize my new goals.
1. I'm going to learn Japanese - I wanted to understand his words directly and I wanted to communicate with the Japanese fans but I couldn't, also, Takanori is studying English to communicate with us better so I want to meet him half way.
2. I also want to help T.M.R. come back to perform in the US again - I think this is one of his goals and I want to help him reach his dreams.
3. And finally, I will go to see him perform in Japan!!
Thanks for reading!
[EDIT] Interviewer guy = Mr. Brian Nishi (yes, i used his full name everytime i mentioned it here, lol. he's cool!)