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The Final LIVE

 Hey all! D here!


So, this will be the final LIVE post on CRLIVEOSAKA.livejournal.com!  It was really fun trying to keep a blog amid doing crazy things in Japan. I wanted to post a lot more but I thought it more beneficial to experience instead of sitting in front of a computer all day. I have a few back-logged entries I will post once I come home, but for now.... this is the end. Thank you so much for reading this blog and commenting. It was a lot a fun. I love you all and hope to see you soon after I get back to America.


My flight leaves at 6:35 PM JST (4:35AM EST). I'll be home tonight! I'm praying for a safe and quick flight back to you!


Peace!


Much love & pocky,

D
 夕暮れに君と見た       オレンジの太陽
泣きそうな顔をして       永のさようなら
In the evening, I saw with you the orange sun
You looked like you were going to cry eternal goodbye... ~ Orenji no Taiyou by Gackt & Hyde


Dが「Tightrope」で私は一緒に歩いた. 私は京都と大阪市と彦根と神戸に行った. 私はたくさんめっちゃ美味しかった食べ物を食べた. 私はよかった友達達に会った.

I walked with D on the "TIGHTROPE". I went to Kyoto, Downtown Osaka, Hikone and Kobe. I ate a lot of delicious foods. I met many awesome friends, both Japanese and from around the world. I passed all my classes. I have packed up and only now is it hitting me. This is it. Four months ago, I arrived in this not so foreign land a different person. It seems like forever when we were all still mesmerized by everything we saw and did. Now, we can fondly look back on those innocent days while dreading what is to come.

それでも, 今, 私の時は終ってる.

All weekend, my friends have been watching each other leave. Now tomorrow, I get to do the same thing. Although I'm happy to be coming home, I really don't want to give up all I have here. Unlimited access to indulge my otaku fantasies, a nicely paced lifestyle, little conveniences that aren't available back home, good friends and drink, and a vitality. Sadly, it's time to leave that stuff behind. I will definitely return to the Land of the Rising one day. The dream isn't finished yet. This is only the end of one chapter and a beginning to a new chapter. What will my experiences in the last four months lead me to accomplishing in the future? It's only a matter of time until the result manifest. Until then, I will keep fighting back the tears. My dream has been realized and it was a lot a fun. It time to come home to my friends and family. But I will be back; I promise. I will see all of my new friends again really soon; I promise. So, until that day, as Rukia  said in ROCK MUSICAL BLEACH:

『ありがおう. ありがとう. ありがとう.』
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."



日本....
Japan....











『さようなら.』
"Sayounara."


敬具
Sincerely Yours,
~D

Never Cry - The Final Fantasy in Osaka City

I have exactly 1 day, 20 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds left in Japan as of typing this sentence. Four months have gone by soooo fast. There is so much I was able to see and do and yet there were still somethings I never got around to doing. I have met many cool people that hopefully, I can keep in contact with. I have learned so much and I know I have grown (ever so slightly) as a person. It's been a wonderful if not difficult experience and I'm thankful I had the opprotunity to do this (though it cost me missing the second greatest snow storm to hit the D.C. area since 1996! >_<) NOW WITH ALL THE MUSHY, PHILOSOPHICAL JIBBER-JABBER OUT THE WAY... Here is the lowdown on what has been happening these few precious days left in Japan. FRIDAY (NO BOYS ALLOWED TO READ THE FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS Perverts!) Friday, Pat-chan and I finally got around to going to Kuzuha Mall just north of Kansai Gaidai. It's pretty big with three different parts. A white guy dressed as Santa was passing out candy (of course he was thrilled to see two fellow gaijin... kinda creepy though...). The mall was awesome, lots of cool stores and stuff. We went into a lingerie store to learn about Japanese sizes. We came to the conclusion that despite our best efforts, Japanese girls are just way too small. The rule of thumb when buying lingerie in Japan is to buy two cup sizes bigger than your U.S. size. For example, if you are a B cup then you can upgrade yourself to a D cup in Japan (Yay!). Although I will admit, even on me, that D cup didn't look like it would quite fit. If you're really top heavy then good luck. The largest cup we found was H75  (centimeters not inches). While the cup size was okay, the back portion wouldn't have reached all the way rendering the bra useless. So girls, when traveling in Japan, make sure to bring plenty of U.S./European bras with you unless you are the right size to squeeze in a Japanese one! We also versed ourselves in the latest trends in panties. They had very nice patterns (stripes and frills and even red plaid <--- it wasn't that bad at all). Our favorite pattern was the "CHEWIEROTIC" pattern. While the silken ivory colored bikini cut panties and ultra padded full cup bra were fine, we were most amazed by the fur parts on the front panel of the panties and between the two bra cups. That fur was 100% Yeti imported from Nepal. It was really soft and curly. In other words, we were HORRIFIED! Why the hell would a girl want to wear Wookiee fur on the front part of her panties and between her chest?! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING (or not thinking) JAPAN?! LOL. We laughed really hard, then left. To this day, we're still sorta in shock about that. After that learning lesson, I helped Pat-chan shop for her little sister who LOVES Hello Kitty stuff. We had fun doing that, saw lots of Peanuts stuff too. I brought another suitcase to haul stuff home in (and by the way, it still isn't enough. I have too much >_<) and then we went to the food court to grab a snack. We ate crapes. While eating, two girls sat at the table next to us. One of them then commented on my Jacket I was wearing. Pat-chan and I were both a little shocked. The girl was speaking English. We thought she was another gaijin. Then her friend returned and they started talking in Japanese. Low and behold, we find out that both of them are native Japanese but their English is RIDICULOUSLY good. To make it even more awesome, both are seniors at Kansai Gaidai, they both like Korean things (boys, music, dramas) and their English is CRAZY GOOD. We were conversing about all sorts of things for a short while and even took pictures. It's too bad we couldn't exchange information though. Why do you always meet the most awesome people before you leave? Pat-chan and I had been pondering that question since last week only to have our worst fears realized that night. One more story from Kuzuha Mall. I brought an authentic kimono (I said I would). This happened because I wanted tabi. The kimonos were on sell as a set (choose your own kimono and obi) for $100 USD. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. The lady even let me try on my set. The first obi I had was cool but I tried on two others and fell in love with the second one. The kimono is black with white and pink lilies on it. The obi is this weird but awesome, futuristic silver plaid style. The belt to go around it and the sash beneath the obi are orange. I have geta I can wear and a pair of zori that came with my yukata. The people running the store were amazed at how cute I looked in it (they said that often) and were surprised by Pat-chan's sugoi Japanese speaking skills and our depth of understanding Japanese culture and stuffs. They store owners liked us so much that we received free tissue holders as a Christmas present! So in the end, I got my tabi and a kimono! YAY! SATURDAY IN OSAKA On Saturday, Pat-chan and I paid our final respects to the awesome city of Osaka by visiting Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Sanada Yukimura and all the other warlords of the Sengoku Period at Osaka Castle. Unlike Hikone Castle, Osaka Castle is more of a museum in castle shape than and actual castle (that's because the real castle was burned down during the Meiji Restoration). It was fun though. We learned a lot of history, I studied a bunch of new clan flags, the views from the top of the castle were to die for and we had fun shopping in the souviner shop. Then, we went to Namba, the most famous area in Osaka. We saw all the landmarks (go look it up on Wiki) and did more shopping. Pat-chan even had some awesome crab soup. I saw the Final Fantasy XIII ad to end all Final Fantasy ads (the biggest darn electric billboard ever) and I attracted the attention of two kakkoii (cool) looking Osaka guys (yay! ^^;) It was fun, even though my feets were hurting for much of the time in Namba. Then we walked to Shinsaibashi to catch the train, found all the host clubs and ladies bars we'd been looking for, and briefly relived a certain Friday night in December (without me being on a concert high lol). It was a great way to end a great four months in Japan though we were both really sad on the train ride home. There are so many little things we are going to miss. But we are really happy we came to the Kansai area instead of going to Tokyo. Although EVERYTHING is in Tokyo, if you wanna have true fun, you need to hit the Kansai area. We've got hot boys, cool history, awesome food, great tourist attractions and friendly locals and famous people come play with us at OSAKA BIG CAT or OSAKA MUSE (plus the live houses in Kobe, Kyoto and Hiroshima). So if you want all that and more, come to the Kansai area. You will not regret it! A HAIKU (a slightly better one than before) Reflecting on the past Thinking of only the good things I will not shed tears

Cooking with Gas...

... I've had to do that twice now. Finally, in my last 10 days here in Japan, my host family has let me use the stove. Unfortunately, it's a gas range! I've never cooked with gas before (we have electric power back home). It's actually not so scary. You just hold down the button and the burner lights. Then you just push the button when your done cooking and everything is turned off. I will admit that gas burners heat more evenly and quicker than electric ranges but I still prefer the electricity to gas. At least electricity won't blow up on you (normally anyway).

Also, on the topic of cooking with gas, WHY THE HECK IS TODAY WEDNESDAY?! WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY AND TUESDAY AND SUNDAY FOR THAT MATTER?! My time in Japan is almost up!!!!


*watches materia roll by* <____< -____- >_____>

*falls to knees*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

LOL. While it is sad that I have to leave in six days, I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and sleeping in a bed with a matress! But I still don't wanna go. Life here is so much more interesting than in the States. And I just discovered there's football here (American style that is) and they are really good!!!

Hey, it only took half a quarter of a lifetime to get here. So when I have my quarter life crisis (age 25), I'll be sure to return!

However, I will say there is one itty-bitty little distressing thing about being in Japan right now. I DIDN'T KNOW CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK! Where are all the lights and decorations, and Christmas carols being played 24/7 and the Christmas trees and the parties and the spice rum and all that good stuff?! Non-existant. Well, there are a few houses with lights up and an entire apartment complex put net lights on all the bushes and trees but other than that, nada. You can still reserve your bucket of Chicken in time for the 25th through MOSBurger. KFC has sold out. I've seen many Christmas cakes too. The ones at the 7-11 are out doing the ones at Kintetsu! (Kintetsu is this high-class department/grocery store).

That reminds me... I'm going to miss Japanese 7-11. They actually had things I was looking for at slightly cheaper prices. The staff was friendly, the steamed pork buns were always hot and delicious, THEY SELL LIQUOR everyday (of high quality ingredients for under $20), you don't have to worry about being mugged! *sigh* Seriously, 7-11's in Japan along with all convenience stores and of course Makudo ROCK Musical Bleach my sox!

Yeah. Forgive me if I seem ever so slightly out of character. I'm almost finished my finals and I'm celebrating just a bit before the fat lady sings! ^_^

7 Days Countdown

私が家に帰るまで7日間と2時間と10分と5秒ぐらい残ってある. すごいなやん.
There are approximately 7 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds left until I return to America. WOW. Here's what I have to go through on my seventh day,

On the 7th day left in Japan, my true love gave to me... a 7-page report to write, 5-page report to write, two more anthropology questions to answer and one Japanese final exam!!! (no joke)


Seriously, finals weeks! Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii... would like to play, but first Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii... have to finish writing three papers. >_<


頑張ろう!
I'll do my best!

Finals Week

OMG! The end of the semester is upon us at long last. This week, for myself and many of my friends, is our LAST WEEK in Japan! WTF?! Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday when we arrived in this country and wandered around aimlessly, entranced by all we saw. Now, we're old pros trying to relive our youth before we leave! IF ONLY WE DIDN'T HAVE TO TAKES TESTS THIS WEEK!!!!

Yes, today is Monday and it is the beginning of finals. Fortunately, I don't have a final today my week is booked until Friday. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked to this weekend (this happens every semester) so now I much work,work,work until Thursday @ 4PM. After that, I can enjoy my last four full days in Japan in peace. I'll try to keep it together but as Kaname as so brilliantly pointed out, this week "it might kill me".

I promise I wont get distracted (too much). I WILL get all my papers written and submitted in a timely fashion. I will practice my English more because I can't speak it so well these days. My katakana English is doing good though and so is my Engrish. Matter of fact, I'll end this post with the closing line of most of my text messages.

KUMA MAKE YOU HAPPY. (insert bear pic here) v(=^_^=)v

D Day

"Dreams that never come true always do..." ~ me

"My dear rose, you are all of me in this world. In now, the past, and the future... I sing for you." ~ D: Yami Yori Kurai Doukouku no A Capella to Bara Yori Akai Jounetsu no Aria


These are my thoughts as I sit here trying to figure out how to explain about D's concert on Friday, December 4th, 2009 at Osaka BIG CAT in Japan. I guess, like all good stories, I should start at the beginning.

It was raining off and on Friday. I found out I had two over due library books. Pat-chan was still shopping for accessories to wear to the concert. I went home to prepare earlier then expected and met Pat-chan at our old dorm. We spent about an hour getting ready, the excitement and anticipation growing. We set out just a few minutes after 2PM to grab lunch at Mos Burger (a Makudo knock-off). Then we hit the train at 3:22PM. The ride to Yodoyabashi was really long. It was deepest penetration into Osaka I had done my entire stay in Japan. At Yodoyabashi, we caught the local Osaka subway to Shinsaibashi.

Osaka city is nothing like the rest of Osaka prefecture. The streets are wider, the buildings are taller and it remained me of home a lot. There are so many high-end fashion stores, it's ridiculous. America-mura (America Town) is also in Shinsaibashi.

So we set out looking for our venue. Stupidly, I forgot to print out the map on the website. All I knew is that Osaka BIG CAT was supposed to be near the Apple Store. We walked several blocks past the Apple Store and didn't see it. As we have done for most of our stay in Japan, we went to the police for help (try doing that in America!!!!) We talked to the guards outside of the Korean Consulate. They had no idea what we were talking about as they scowered through their map books. One officer whipped out his keitai (cell) and looked it up. We found out that our BIG CAT was INSIDE of a building called BIG STEP. XD No wonder I had no idea what the outside of the venue looked like; it's inside a freaking mall!!!!

Thanking the police officers, we headed back toward the Apple Store and turned down the street where Makudo was and low and behold, we see a small sign that says BIG CAT. Destination found. Taking a brief side trip, Pat-chan took me to this awesome J-rock store that I later found out was actually the Like an Edison store. I brought the October issue of D's Mad Tea Party Magazine and some other huge magazine full of photos (I haven't read it yet). It was a very awesome store tucked away on the third floor of a building housing two men's fashion shops.

IN THE BIG CAT


Anyway, around 5PM, we headed back to BIG CAT. We saw some of "our people" (and I don't mean other African-Americans either! LOL) and the excitement grew. We got up to BIG CAT (on the fourth floor). Only to find no line, and very few people. We were shocked. I was expecting uber line and instead was greeted with 10 people tops at first. The people running the live house eventually made us early birds line up on the stairs. The wait wasn't that long, about 30 minutes. I was still suffering from a cold so I couldn't talk much without hacking out several terrible sounding coughs. Instead, Pat-chan and I read the magazine I brought amid stares from the other Japanese people. There was one fellow gaijin there but we didn't talk to her. Around 5:30 or so, the line started moving. I didn't know if it was for the concert or not. It wasn't. It was to buy all your lovely D goodies before the concert. BRILLIANT! Although I had the money to buy everything I saw on that table, I decided to be conservative, still overwhelmed and in a state of shock. I brought my lovely flags for "Night-Ship" D that I've been pining for ever since I saw D's first live a few years ago. I also brought a tour pamphlet, photo set B and a 2010 calendar. As I reflect back now, I should have brought some more of Asagi's bath scents, the coffee mug (I'm still surprised I didn't buy that) and the other photo set (and whatever else was on the table).

After getting our goods, we were shooed out of BIG CAT for about 45 minutes. For 30 minutes, people were milling around aimlessly. More people started arriving around 6PM. Of course, most people were decked out in their finest, rockable gothic lolita wear. There were even a few cosplayers dress as members from the band (naturally). Most were dressed in D's "Tightrope" gear but there was a group dressed in "Sleeper" wear and one person cosplaying Tsunehito from the "Dearest You" days. Much to Pat-chan's surprise, there were even a few girls dressed in sweet lolita wear (we're talking the very cute, very pink and white lace-filled dresses and stuff complete with oversized pink bow in flowing blonde locks).

Pat-chan got hungry and left me alone for a bit. As soon as she got on the elevator, it was time for the real line to form. This was the slightly confusing part. A dude from BIG CAT put up side ranging from A1~A300+. At first, I wasn't sure if we were lining up by ticket number or what. All the instructions were in Japanese of course and I was alone and freaking out so I just got in line in the 50's section since our tickets were numbered 41 and 42 respectively. Pat-chan returned quickly as we wondered what was going on with the line. Eventually, we moved up to near the top of the stairs. We figured out that they were letting people enter BIG CAT by the number and the letter on their tickets. Our letter was C; letter A had tickets past 300. So we waited near the top of the stairs and got out of the way of all the A ticket holders. While we waited, a Japanese girl came up to us to ask us questions for her school project (researching gaijin and J-rock and D; very awesome research). We gave her our names and answered a few questions but the wait in line was not long and soon, we were inside BIG CAT.

BOARDING THE SHIP: COUNTDOWN TO IGNITION
BIG CAT had a nice lounge feel to it. Our tickets included one free drink (o-sake anyone?). I got water. Pat-chan got something that was supposed to be liquor but it didn't taste like it. BTW, unlike in America, everything was on time. We started entering BIG CAT just before 6:30 just like the ticket said we would! Back to the story, I went on another shopping spree in the name of getting poster. I brought D's newest single "Day by D" (both A and B types) and I finally got my hard copy of Tightrope (A type). I got the posters too. We wanted to shove our stuff in a locker but my stuff wouldn't fit at first. Therefore, we went inside of the venue area.

The stage area was a large room blacked out with curtains with a stage at the back of the room. Although it looked like 50 million people were in line, the room wasn't that crowded. Matter of fact, there was plenty of room. Pat-chan eventually went back to store what little of our stuff would fit in a locker. Almost as soon as we found each other again and jockeyed for position a bit, the concert started.

TIGHTROPE TOUR
The name of the tour is "Tightrope". The very first stop is Osaka BIG CAT in Osaka City, Japan. The lights cut out. The beginning rifts of Tightrope play and the curtain rose. The crowd screamed and rushed forward. Hiroki was first on stage followed by Hide-zou, Ruiza, Tsunehito and finally Asagi himself. Asagi rallied the crowd for a few moments and then the concert began with the title of the tour, "Tightrope". I would so totatlly give you the playlist in order if I could, but I don't remember. ^^;

The first set consisted of three songs and one MC before the band departed stage for Hiroki's drum solo. It was nothing epic (compared to Yoshiki's 10+ minute solos back in the day) but it was magical as all eyes, ears, and hearts focused on him. Wait! I'm forgetting something. So after Tightrope, Pat-chan and I moved up seven spaces until we were about five rows away from the front. Being the gaijin that we were and the Japanese being as short was they are, we could see perfectly. Actually, we were really kind of close to the stage. For once, I was dead center though I floated between center and just off center to the left.

To lay out the stage for you:
BACK CENTER: Hiroki
FRONT CENTER: Asagi
FRONT LEFT: Hide-zou and Tsunehito
FRONT RIGHT: Ruiza

Luckily for me, I was on the side near my favorite member, Tsunehito! He was the first one I got a good look at (besides Hide-zou) during Tightrope as he came to the edge of the stage to play. I am totally in love with Tsunehito's base work. Thank God BIG CAT has the most awesome sound ever. You could hear his expertise clearly with no distractions. Actually, BIG CAT's sound was really awesome. It wasn't too loud or too soft, you could hear Asagi singing even during the really heavy instrumental portions and Hiroki's drumming sent pleasent shockwaves up and down your body starting from your toes all that way up to your head. It was surreal.

After Hiroki's drum solo, Asagi did another MC before they started playing some really old songs. I had tried my best to predict what they would play. I figured, they would still be playing most songs from their recent "Genetic World" album and of course all of the singles they've done since going major. However, I was wrong. Seeing as how this tour is based off of a single, it was a free-for-all when it came to the song and they pulled out a lot of oldies but goodies. Surprisingly, there was only two slow songs (one really slow one that I still don't know what it is) while the rest were driving rock songs. All but a few of my favorites were played during the course of the concert.

(and I just randomly tried to recreate the play list. This isn't the exact thing but at least this lists all but 1 or 2 songs played)
  • Tightrope (first song played)
  • Taiyou wo Okuru Hi (second or third song played)
  • Rebellion
  • Drum Solo
  • Dangan
  • "Night-Ship" D (was a lot of fun)
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Bloodberry
  • Yami Yori Kurai Doukoku no A Capella to Bara Yori Akai Jounetsu no Aria (sounded even more beautiful live)
  • Hanamadoi (This is the song we couldn't figure out how to sing the arm movements to, lol)
  • Shikoku no bi no houkai (I like this song)
  • Guardian (Hiroki's message was hilarious. This was also a lot of fun)
  • Day by Day (first encore song)
  • Sleeper (Encore, surprised me! To hear the song that started the love affair live.... Tsunehito and I were mouthing it the entire time ^_^)
  • Yami no Kuni no Alice (Encore, I thought they weren't going to play it)
  • EDEN (encore finale- the moment we had been practicing for and waiting for)
COMMENT SECTION
Tightrope: So, I was a little out of it when they played this. I don't remember what it sounded like live at all. I just remember everyone going into convulsions as they rocked out and in the end when we all did the syncro head bang like in the PV. The ending was the best of all.

Taiyou wo Okuru Hi: I was expecting newer songs but instead, they went right back to Tafael Anatomie! I had just listened to that song on the way to school. I was surprised but enjoyed it.

Rebellion: Always fun. Kind of long.

Drum Solo: was so short! But it was good. This time around, Hiroki did a soothing rock bit; nothing too strenous. Pat-chan said I must of enjoyed it a lot. I had a blissful look on my face and my hands were clasped over my heart.

Dangan: A Live staple. It's not a D concert without it. I just can't remember if this is the whip song or not. But I did get to see the whip and the gun live!!! '

Night-Ship D: The moment I had waited for my whole D-loving life. When I invited Pat-chan, I taught her the movements to the song. Only the day before did we realize that some of the moments were different from what we had thought. However, come live time, we did just fine. (My training paid off). It was so fun being a part of the sea of red and black D flags and seeing the huge D flag in person. I still want the big one Asagi gets but I like my two little ones. The best part was, the members and the audience waving back and forth. \\\\\\\ /////// \\\\\\\\ /////// <-- us waving

Tightrope Single: All the songs from the single were played. Bloodberry and Shikoku no bi no houkai were my favorite. I remember Asagi introducing them both.

Yami Yori Kurai: Pat-chan fangirled on this one. She became a fan of Asagi's falsetto when I let her listen to it earlier. OMG, he did it so beautifully live. And the last note he held for just a long as the lights faded out. The crowd was stunned into silence and for a solid moment after the last note stopped echoing, we just stood there holding our breaths. It was simply amazing. It also happens to be one of my favorite songs to so you know I was happy. OMG, that final note. It was so clear and so high....

Hanamadoi: So actually, I never really listened to this song, like... really listen closely. It was hard to get the arm movements and head bangs synced but it was still a good song.

Guardian: The 4:46 song that usually get lengthened into a 15 minute rock fest. This is the song where Asagi roams around the stage to get each member to say something. This time (I guess cause we're in Osaka), they were mostly talking about Osaka and its people. Hiroki though just kept apologizing saying he couldn't think of anything to say and that he had to keep drumming! LOL.

Sleeper: The second encore song they sang after intermission and the free talk. I was nearly floored. This is the song I listened to way back in 2006 that got me hooked on this band. It sounded so good this time around, Asagi was really on target with the vocals. Tsunehito has a habit of mouthing the lyrics to songs as he's playing. This time around, he was looking in my direction and we were both mouthing the lyrics. I think Asagi might have seen that too.

Day by Day: Newest single from D, first song of the encore. The song its self has more of a pop edge and is yet another one of those oddities in D's discography since going major. Actually, I kind of like the song (the PV was interesting) and it looked like they had a lot of fun performing it. It was smiles all over the place. We even got to shout "day by day" a few times! LOL.

Yami no Kuni no Alice: YAY! I got to hear that live as well!


EDEN
I don't know where to begin with this song. Eden is the traditional final song of D's concerts (unless Snow White is in the line up too). I really thought for a moment they weren't going to play it because after Yami no Kuni no Alice, they disappeared off stage again. However, I shouldn't have so little faith for the band return one last time. I almost teared up when they came back on stage. I knew that the end was coming after the shortest 2 hours of my life. I held my tears back for a little while and scooted a little closer to stage for this one. It was really pretty (Tsunehito's bass work!!!!! *melts*.....) The first time Asagi song "tada boku wo..." I felt the tears come back. It faded into the instrumental and I knew it was time. This was the second thing I taught Pat-chan before hand. She would half to sing a portion of the song and our time was quickly approaching. It got to that verse again and Asagi started us off before holding out the mic. He closed his eyes as Ruiza and Hide-zou strummed quietly behind him and the crowd sang.

tada boku wo tsutsunde atatakana hikari to sono koe to sono ai de
mou nanimo mayowanai kono subete sasageyou
itsumademo itsumademo tomedonaku


We sang that verse, how many times??? three, four times. I know there were two times were Asagi was singing with us. I know on the third time we sang it alone with the band members listening to us. So yes, four times because Asagi sang with us again and then continued the song. I will not lie, I cried at the part when it was just the crowd singing, no Asagi and no music, just our voices and Asagi, Tsune, Hide-zou, Ruiza and Hiroki listening. That was magical. I can't even describe the emotions that went through me at that moment. I was so happy, I know that much for certain. Afterwards, the song continued and I couldn't stop crying, especially as the song reached the end with Asagi's beautiful vocals echoing into the night our hands reaching out for him. As Hiroki drummed the last few beat, the tears really did flow down my cheeks, even as the crowd cheered. Yet, my tears were stayed by a happy event.

It is custom in Japan that at the end of a concert (at least in the rock concerts I've seen), everyone holds hands (including the band members) crouches down a bit and then jumps up. I had been looking forward to that moment too, I've always wanted to do it (since you can't do that in the States). I got to hold hands with a very cute girl dressed in country lolita wear. We said "yoroshiku" to each other before hand. She was adorable!!!! Anyway, we jumped and then clapped.

KISS FROM A ROSE
At the end of the concert, as you know, all the members of the band throw out various things for the crowds to fight over. Hide-zou and Tsunehito were tossing out picks. Ruiza was too. There was a few water bottles thrown that I saw a group of people fight over. Then Asagi came up to toss out what roses he hadn't damaged during the performance (there is a song where he always has a bouquet of rose that feel the brunt of his pent of anxiety! LOL, I'm kidding about that part but he does usually crunch and pick off petals of roses doing the song. Every once in a while, he'll eat one too. Rose petals are high in fiber and are good for vampires to consume in between meals XD LOL). He tossed a few here and there before getting some more.

I'll always remember the moment. He return to the front of stage a few more roses. He tossed out one or two. There were three left in his hands. He kissed them and threw them out. I had been reach for stuff all night. I saw a rose coming toward me, not expecting to catch it, and jumped up. The rose was in my hand and in the hands of two other girls. One girl let go. I held fast. The girl behind me wouldn't let go but I turned around and challenged her. Pat-chan rescued me by putting her hand near mine making it two black gaijin girls against one Japanese girl. The Japanese girl let go. The rose was still in my hand.

I had already started cry for the mere fact my hand had touched it to grab it out of the air. But it the fight was over and that rose was in my hands alone, the dam broke. I cradled it closely and kissed it on the opposite side of where Asagi's lips had touched it. I have never caught anything before in my life despite being close (almost got Yuki's drum stick at Versailles' concert). To end up with a rose kissed by the lead from one of my favoritest bands of all time was beyond a dream come true. Perhaps it was fate that the month before, I went on a benge of listening to music from Cinderella (the one with Whitney Houston and Brandy). Truly, impossible things are happening every day and that by far was the most impossible thing to happen to a poor gaijin girl.

I was so entranced, I didn't even see Asagi leave the stage. I saw Hiroki pitch his stuff and a few roses way back in the back (that kid has arms man!!!) and then the show was over. Everyone in the crowd was hugging each other and crying and those who caught roses were fangirling (or fanboying, a guy caught one too and he seemed pretty happy about it). Pat-chan gave me a really big hug as I continued to cry and hold my rose. We walked out of the now dark live area with huge smiles on our faces. It was a very awesome concert. Sure, it was decked out like all the finals that make it to DVD but it had that nice homely feel and of course you know, we Osakans know how to rock.

In the hall, Pat-chan and I reflected on the concert. She was surprised and just how hard everyone rocked out, especially everyone in the EGL were. Who knew girls in pink dresses with huge bows in their hair could rock out just as hard or harder than everyone else! We were also surprised by the amount of space we had. You know in America, when people push forward toward the stage, you will be squished until the concert is over. Not in Japan. Yes, they crowd near the stage when a member is on the edge but then they receede back to their spaces just like waves lapping at the shore. Also, we weren't squished. We had plenty of room to move around, stretch etc. It is also interesting to note that at the rock out moments, everyone forms a chain link to keep from falling over as they headbang. It was a pretty awesome spectacle to behold.

The MC's were really funny too. Hide-zou kept going on and on about the pants for the Tightrope costumes. Ruiza was making some reference to the sound of cellphones in Osaka and played the tones on his guitar. Tsunehito was talking about his costume and how the little chain on his belt was actually the clock pictured on front of "Day by Day". Hiroki talked really fast so I have no idea what he said. He was in the back with his drum set the entire time despite the crowds beckoning him forward. He did say something about the masking tape back there (it was a force field he couldn't escape). Asagi was asking if we were hot and something and something about "Day by Day".

As I mentioned before, Japanese girls are really short. I'm only 5'3'' but I could see everything so clearly (except Ruiza who was further to the right than my vision could pick up). All the members were really pretty in person. Tsune hair was indeed red but needs to be dyed again; you can see his roots showing through, lol. It didn't look bad at all though. Hide-zou was awesome looking. Ruiza's hair is SO BLONDE!. Hiroki was hiding in the back so I couldn't see him until the very end of the concert when he stepped up to throw out some stuff. His arms are really muscular 0_0. Kakkoi comes to mind.

Asagi is very pretty in person. He's so slim (what's with me and slim guys anyway???). His tattoo looked really awesome. His eye (the one not covered by hair) was so expressive, even though by the end of the concert I was worrying for him. The rest of his eye started to become the same color has his red contact o_o. I could feel his pain though, I had to keep my eyes from drying out during the concert too though its nothing compared to a) not being able to see b) wearing contacts c) performing on stage under hot lights with said contacts d) having sweat run into your eyes in the process. >_< I could never be a rock star. Also, what make-up do they use!!!!! I want it! Even my really good waterproof make up pales in comparison to their superior product! But yeah, Asagi is so slim. And I have a weird obsession with his neck >_< And when he took of his coat after Hiroki's drum solo, I could see some of his chest through the mesh shirt he was wearing. And his hands are really nice too. So are his shoulders. Okay, enough enough. Just a few things I noticed. Oh, but the way he kneels before the crowd when he sings... and the roses!!!! >>_<< Okay, seriously. I'm done. Go Asagi! And go Tsunehito!!!!! YAAAAAAYYYY~~~ Oh and the whole Asagi and Ruiza solo thing was awesome. There was even one time where Ruiza was soloing and Asagi was standing behind him, back to back. Awesome. And Tsunehito and Hide-zou had fun playing with each other too. They worked my side of the crowd really well. In the end, Asagi ended up acting like a cat which was the cutest thing I've ever seen. And all the members have nice smiles. Seeing them smile makes me happy!!!! ^___^

After the concert, we sat down to give our feet a break, when to an arcade, played Tekken 6, took pictures and went home. The entire time, I could barely keep my eyes off the rose. Having the Rose Bride as a staple cosplay, loving the flora in general and catching it from one of my favorite bands ever, that is one special rose ne?




SO IN TRUTH, My TRUE objective for coming to Japan is uberly completely. It went better than I expected; far exceeded my expectations. My true mission was to come to Japan to go to a concert. I did just that and got a prize in the process. The whole "coming to school to finish my degree" stuff, yeah, the most clever BS I have every come up with!!! XD While I wish I could be as nonchalant about school as that, unfortunately, this week I must focus on pre-finals with true finals next week. At least I got to have fun beforehand and I have something to keep my happy as the stress skyrockets!

So that is the story of D Day, the day D went to go see D and got a rose from Asagi! (I'm sorry if I keep stressing that but serious, didn't think it was going to happen and still can't believe it did happen. Dream I can never wake up from!) I'm sure I left something out (like that name of that mysterious slow song they played that I don't seem to have... or don't recognize it when I hear it) but this is mostly all that happened.

So long live D! ALL ABOARD THE NIGHT SHIP D!!!!

STOUT MIND! HONEST MIND! FAIR MIND! Nothing is impossible when you lose your fear of death! ~ D: ""Night-Ship" D"

Two Week Notice

Hey Everyone!!!

It's almost Friday here in Japan. I can't believe we're already 3 days into December. What happened to November?! Matter of fact, what happened to all of 2009? It seems to have gone by very fast, right? (or maybe for some, not fast enough). With time speeding up and all, I've become painfully aware of my own "time limit" here in Japan. There is just about 2 full weeks left for me here!!!

*falls to knees* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

While I AM happy to be closer to coming home and catching up with friends and family, I'm really saddened to be living "the anime mecca of the world". There is so much I still haven't done but I am happy for what I have accomplished and will accomplish still before I spend half of an eternity on a plane exploring the fringes of Russia LOL.

So this is just a friendly reminder to all those in the States, D will be home for Christmas about 19 days!!!! YAY!

Tomorrow will be a big day. Finally, I get to go see D (the band) in concert in Shinsaibashi, Osaka!!!! The tour, named after their recent single, "Tightrope" is kicking off in Osaka before traveling across Japan and ending somewhere up north. I can't wait to compare and contrast the differences between a Japanese concert in Japan and in America. I already know it won't be nearly as wild but I am prepared to be pleasently surprised if need be! I'll try and snag some before and after pictures since I'm pretty sure photography isn't allowed in the concert hall.


I had all-you-can-eat-and-drink Tuesday night in Hirakata-shi Station. It was metcha oishikatta. I'm going to miss grilling my own meat products in a resturant. (Did that sound weird???) Finals are coming up, and I'm trying to fight off getting the piggy flu. Give me luck and boost my immune system please!!!!!


Love you all!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

To everyone in the U.S. of A


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!


This is a holiday that isn't celebrated in Japan. Therefore, no big feast for us American international students. Plus, we're all too poor to afford to eat a lot at the really cheap restaurant. But if it is in consolation, we did have a pretty big and filling lunch. MMMMM... curry!!!!


Miss you all!!!

D



A Thanksgiving Haiku (it's a really bad haiku)
Almost starving to death
Tohoshinki on TV
anpan is delicious

Gaidai Festival Part 1 + Memories of VAMPS

Today is November 20, 2009. Today the 44th Annual Kansai Gaidai International Festival began. INFEST (as it is called) is a three day celebration of everything Japanese and foreign. There is lots of food, all of the school's clubs do special things, and exchange students from around the world give presentations about their countries (Japanese students who have also traveled abroad give presentations too).

Kansai Gaidai has a lot of talent. Today, I watched three of the many hip-hop street teams perform. They were really awesome. Although hip-hop is not really my thing, I feel I must comment as a fellow African-American; THEY DID A GOOD JOB! The leader named Chie was especially cute and genki. After the performance, she came and talked to my friend Ashlee and me too. She's really sweet. I would steal her back to America if I could. The girls danced to a variety of hip-hop song and in the end, they did a tribute to Michael Jackson which was just pure awesomeness. It was a little awkward though, being the only black person watching the show. When the groups noticed I was there, I swear they decided to step up their A-Game. Afterwards, Ashlee and I (the only foreign students present at the event) were greeted like honored guests. There were a lot of "thank yous" being thrown back and forth and the students were definitely asking me for the official "afro-american seal of approval", lol. They won it and they deserve it. Kansai Gaidai has about 30 different street teams and half of them are really, really good!

There was also to boys named Yasu and Taka who did a dance routine. They were really awesome combining hip-hop moves with a little break dancing and crazy "country" style moves mixed in. They totally rocked the classroom we were in too.

The rest of the festival was about eating food. I had tempura ice cream for the second time in my life. This time, it was green tea flavored and most delicious. There was okonomiyaki, enough takoyaki to go to bed with and cotton candy too. It was great seeing all these "hard-core" J-boys roaming around with huge sticks of pink cotton candy; that is the very image of manliness. LOL ^_^


I cut out of the festival early today since I plan to spend most of Saturday there. I went to Tsutaya (the steriod filled version of Boarders) trying to find the next volume of Sengoku BASARA. Instead, I ended up buying a few magazines, the 30th Anniversary Edition of the Gundam Character Encyclopedia which now goes all the way up to Gundam 00 Second Season, a non-anime DVD and the most important thing of all, VAMPS's photobook of their tour in America.

BALTIMORE REPRESENT!

Okay, now that's out of my system. But seriously, I was happy to see something local included in a photobook. The concert looked awesome else where in the country but we all know the Baltimore gig was special. In the back of the book, all the members of the band are listed and then there are special photos of Hyde and Kaz being silly. The most intriguing and erotic portion of the book is ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK and features Hyde... alone... in a hotel... doing his nightly ritual of bathing. 0_0. With or without angel wings, that man's back is awesome. Words cannot do those five pictures justice enough, it's just something you're going to have to order. GO GET IT ELLY, SABIRA and SAM!!!!
Ah, sweet memories of a very awesome summertime event. <3

Speaking of concerts, I plan to see a few of Kansai Gaidai's rock bands tomorrow. And there is only 2 weeks left before I go see D in the wonderful Osaka BIG CAT!!!! Oi, I'm so excited for that one. I definitely wanted to see a band while I was here in Japan but I didn't think it would be one of my favorite bands of all time. THANK YOU ELLY FOR KICK STARTING MY FANDOM all those years ago! I really can't wait and now my best friend over here gets to come with me (so I won't get lost on my way back cause I might be doped up afterwards,lol) According some reports I found, BIG CAT's sound is supposed to be really good and the entire venue has a club lounge type feel. You also get drinks too!!! ^_^

The days are winding down here in Japan but there is still plenty of excitement left before I come back home. BTW, I don't know if it went public or not but my trip in Japan has been cut short by a few days. I should be back on the East Coast of USA just after midnight on December 23, just in time for Christmas!!!! YAY!

Three day weekend this weekend! YAY HAPPY MONDAY SYSTEM. It's Labor Thanksgivings Day on Monday.