2014/03/22 Mini-live + handshake report:
So shortly after I landed in Japan and checked in to my hotel, I rushed over to Tokyo Dome City Attractions LaQua Garden Stage
for the Kamen Rider Girls "Exploded" album mini-live + handshake. The event started at 14:00 but they were selling CDs since 12:00 so I just got there as soon as I could. The stage was nicely set out under the rollercoaster at Tokyo Dome City Attractions - which was a nice setting - and Mitsuki kept looking at it every time it went past. Anyway, they had all these seats laid in in front of the stage which were all taken well in advance. The crowd was a mix of a normal idol crowd and kids holding Kamen Rider toys who were there with their parents.
At about 13:00 they did an on-stage rehearsal! This was really good and you were allowed to take photos of this (but not of the actual performance). This lasted about 15 minutes and they did two songs. They weren't in costume but still looked really great in their casual clothes (and if you see the pics, Mitsuki's weren't exactly casual). The real performance started at 14:00 and went on for about 35 mins. The handshakes lasted then until 15:10. It was really different seeing them in rehearsal and the real performance. It was like they totally switched-on for the real performance and gave it this great energy they didn't show in the rehearsal. Also they were switched-on in their idol ways, smiling, pulling faces at things and waving at the crowd - which they didn't do in the rehearsal. I've seen this with other groups since but was my first time experiencing that. They did a great bunch of songs - I can't remember them all but definitely EXA, Just The Beginning, and finished with Saite. All the girls looked beautiful but I was completely oshi goggles on Mitsuki for the performance. She was so cool. One thing about this venue is that the sound was quite low and the crowd weren't fully going for it, maybe because of the setting and all the random passers-by.
So this was a free event and basically then they had the handshakes. Before the performance I thought it was one album got you one handshake with one member - and since albums are expensive, I just bought one to handshake Mitsuki. Much to my surprise though - it was an all-group handshake, you had to walk down the line. Now I struggle enough thinking of enough things to say to one idol, let alone a whole group, so wasn't really looking forward to this. They are really really pretty and really small in person, but, like most idols, you see all their flaws and bad skin up close. I kinda struggled with most of them, after saying I was from England and I just arrived in Japan today, didn't know what else to say, I said they were cute and their performance was good, but then most of them we kinda stood there for a while a bit blank. Second from last was Mitsuki, who I was really looking forward to and she definitely gave the best handshake experience of the lot. Instead of the standing round blank bit after we ran out of things to say she did some crazy handshake thing to me ending with "and now we are friends". I don't watch the show, but people told me it was the Fourze handshake. It was good fun and made the whole handshake thing with her a lot more memorable.
Remember these pics are only of the rehearsal not in costume
- not the real performance.
We all got signed posters as well