I went to see HKT48 Team H perform "Te wo Tsunaginagara" today. This is the 3rd time I have seen a 48-show, after Team 4 in the theatre last year and the first day of Tokyo Dome a few weeks ago. I thought HKT would be the easiest group to win tickets to, and that seems correct, as I got an enpou win on the 2nd show I applied for. I'm really glad I got to see a theatre show this trip, because whilst Tokyo Dome was epic, you can't see anything compared to the theatre where you are right up close, and after all, the theatre is the heart of what the 48-groups are about.
The whole process is quite similar to the AKB Theatre so I knew what was going on. Show email and passport and get a wristband and ticket and can then hang around the theatre area. There is a photo wall (quite empty with all the blank spaces now T__T ), coin lockers and a few AKB related posters. There is also a shop in the waiting area where I bought a tshirt. Many people bought light sticks here but I got two cheap disposable ones from Hawk's Town Mall (pink, as that was the closest they had to HKT red). Nearer the time they lay all the numbers on the floor and you go stand where your ticket says and eventually they let people in. Quite a few enpou people didn't turn up. All the families/ladies did and they all looked excited. I got ridiculously excited waiting in the last few minutes watching the videos on the screen.
The theatre itself is really nice. It's sloped downwards, no pillars and you get loads of space (more legroom then I could use, and space either side of your seat too), unlike AKB and Tokyo Dome which were both really cramped. It's luxurious. And multiple times bigger than the AKB Theatre. The lighting is amazing and they have smoke, lasers and confetti cannons. They filmed it with 5 cameras which I think they project in the lobby so you can watch. There is an extended circular stage protruding from the centre. This also rises up and spins. Enpou seats are the 3rd and 4th row at the front of this extended bit. I got one seat away from the centre of the 3rd row so was in an amazing seat. Families/ladies are the front two rows.
The crowd was really good. Most people had lightsticks. And all the mixes and other crowd interaction bits were really fun, there were just a couple of weak mixes and the encore chant took ages
to start. The little girl in front of me was doing all the arm motions to the songs which was nice. Her dad joined in with her often too. I kindof learnt the words to the 2nd mix during this show, but wished I knew more members names so I could join in with those bits too. Quite a few people were wearing HKT t-shirts and there were quite a few Sashihara debut single towels being worn as well. The crowd seemed a lot better than at the Team 4 show I went to and the section of Tokyo Dome I was in.
Anai Chihiro/ Ueki Nao / Kumazawa serina/ Kodama Haruka/ sashihara rino/ Tanaka natsumi/ Nakanishi chiyori/ Fukagawa Maiko/ Matsuoka Natsumi/ Miyawaki sakura/ Murashige Anna/ Motomura aoi/ Moriyasu Madoka/ Wakatabe Haruka
You'll note that this is only 14 members, they bolstered up to the full 17 with three from SKE48. I only recognised Saito Makiko. The HKT website
doesn't list the SKE members, but on a news item for the show on the 4th (I think) it says Kito Momona and Iguchi Shiori performed. I assume its the same. I can't recognise them from their profile pics. There was definitely one from each SKE team and one of the girls was really tall, dwarfed everyone.
You'll also notice that despite not having enough HKT members, they still bolstered up to 17 instead of 16. However, there were only a few songs where all 17 performed, usually one dropped out to make the normal 16.
The self-intro MC involved more members, a lot of them started conversations with Sasshi. And Annya even chose 4 members to dance for her whilst she sang a song. I still can't tell Anai and Aoi apart, and only could by noticing their hairstyles during the self-intro MC. They really could be twins (also, Aoi is really hard to pronounce). Sashihara had a lot of attention at the beginning, and really fits in well with HKT. She seems like a really good performer too and was one of the stand-outs. She did seem to have a massive bruise just above her right knee though. The other stand-outs were Anai/Aoi and Annya. Annya really seems like a great performer too and has some charm about her.
Halfway through the show I realised I was just staring at Haruppi the whole time. She was amazing. She looks quite different in real life and looks so stunningly beautiful. Like a model, but shorter. Her new hairstyle often meant that she had stray strands draped across her forehead but this didn't matter (quite a few people mentioned this to her at the high touch too). I only stopped staring at Haruppi when she wasn't in a song and I watched Sasshi instead. I think I'm going to have to change my official HKT oshimen on the website to Haruppi. She really won me over.
Before the final song, I thought they were going to do Gingham Check, but instead they did SKE's new single, “Kiss Datte Hidarikiki”, maybe due to the SKE members present. It was the first time I'd ever heard that song. Haruppi and (I think) Annya did the fake kiss. They were quite a way apart from each other. I can't even remember if it was Annya as I was too busy looking at Haruppi
edit: think it was Makiko now, Haruppi mentions that on her G+.
I loved the central protruding section of the stage as I was right in front of it. I got really excited whenever anyone went down there, especially Haruppi.
I almost forgot, but before the last couple of songs, they went to a VTR of a member I don't know the name of. She had some words written out in Japanese and two and a half minutes to write them out in English. She failed miserably apart from "apple". Bann =/= banana, erefant =/= elephant, etc etc. Was quite a laugh for me who can't understand the normal MCs.
What's nice is they let people who need to catch the Shinkansen go first for the high touch. They also announced Sasshi wouldn't be taking part in the high touch (I think) due to other commitments.
I got a good response at the high touch. A few good "its a gaijin!" reactions from them. Makiko pointed and shouted "hey". Anai and Aoi were very friendly. Haruppi was happy. Sakura turned and talked to Annya when she saw me and then grabbed my hand rather than just high touching. So I grabbed her hand back. That was cool. I watched the high touch afterwards and didn't see her do that to anyone else
It was cool watching the rest of the high touch and then waving and shouting when they left.
PS, note how the HKT theatre is within a few hundred metres of Yahoo! Dome. Maybe one day they can have a dream of a concert there too.... btw, Hawk's Town Mall is a bit of a dump, and you wont find it without looking up directions beforehand either. Also left Haruka Wakatabe a birthday message
All the photos I took in a gallery: http://imgur.com/a/V8eMS#0