daigong sez: Had to coordinate my notes (scratched on a hotel notepad) with my partner Terrie, and painstakingly transcribed. So Yes. FINALLY it's done in time for the RIKA "25" aka CHUUCH OF CHARMY WEEK!!
Left the gang at the escalators and went to the interview room on the third floor or whatever. My mind was racing. I phoned up my best friend Kuno_Thunder, who did not pick up lol. I txt'd everyone whom I could think of, and got pieces of encouragement! Like Rei-chan telling me to GO GIT SOME type messages
I wanted to ask tenkei for question suggestions but he was like 'dude im drivin lol'
I paced. I pissed. I checked breath. I had no idea how it was gonna be. In my mind it was the sports type press conference: a table, a few rows of chairs for media and a mic. Walking up to the crowd, there was probably a half dozen peeps. I greeted and exchanged cards with this Ping look-a-like who was from AnimeCon website. Then I saw Terrie again, who was asking for an autograph.. I was like "How she know, where she come from..." There'd be many slick moves to Terrie I'd later discover
On gut instinct, as the lady was walking by with the pad of our names - I noticed was barely on there, scribbled on infact - so I said "She's with me" referring to Terrie and she was "Aight" DAMN!!!11 Dinny woulda killed me LOL but I felt sorry for Terrie missing the autograph session
Then the doors to the interview room opened and we filed in....DYAMN HOMIE it was just a typical board room. An oval table with 10 swivel chairs. Two thoughts crossed my mind. Get as Close to Rika as Possible and Get as close to Rika As Possible.
There was enough chairs for all. The room consisted of Hangry & Angry, Yaz - the US Rep/Translator, Mira - translator/host from Sakura Con, another white chick I didn't know - dem 3 were on Yossi's side. Then there was this dude aka Personal Assistant and a Japanese Lady, leather coat - short brown hair, very shiny. She sat on the couch. See diagram:
The interview table was so intimate, like a typical board room table, The interviewers were: Kimi and Stephanie
, a cosplay group, Anime Con Magazine
reporters - boy & girl, some white chick
with a nice journal, Terrie
then me - seated like at the edge closest to Rika!!
Yossi chatters excitedly "Suggoi minna." The Handler gave the girls Tully's
drinks, Yossi some iced coffee and Rika this iced tea. Rika appeared to be motioning to the chump like like she didn't want lemon ice tea and asked for another. Greets were passed around. "Wazzup"
"Shall we start?" asked Yaz, and the girls gave their greetings. "Who's goes first?" After hesitation, I said "Ladies first" followed with light laughter. The situation would be we take turns asking questions and so....
Interview: Hangry & Angry ♡ Sakura Con 2009 Q
(Kimi and Stephanie): "Do you have a favorite anime or manga?"A
"Ehh....." (Rika) "Many..." (person: "You can make a H&A anime" Yaz: "Yeah, hANGRY & ANGRY anime...")Q
: Have you thought of a online written blog?A
"...myspace...movie blog" (daigong: "...facebook...twitter...")Q
(AnimeConMag): Who's your favorite US Celeb?A
: Yossi: "Britney Spears, Michael Jackson" Rika: "OBAMA" (dude asks: "What is your favorite Michael Jackson Song?" Yossi: "Bad"; Rika (sings): "ABC.. 1-2-3" Yaz mentions that Yossi 'She likes Newbala(?) a lot (Spanish group, selling T-shirts downstairs.)'Q
(white chick): How much hair spray bottles used in your hair? (laughter)A
: Yossi: "One third!" (daigong: "...WOW holy cr....")
Around this time, the handler comes back and slips Rika a bag of sugar for her ice tea. Like super secret Q
(Terrie): So like, this is the first time in America you come here to the concert, do you have plans to go to other country? (The question was then interpreted as what places in the US do you want go to lol)A
: Yossi: "There's a scene like in the movie, Home Alone, the Christmas tree is in Chicago?" (daigong: "New York")
Yossi: "MGM! ahh...Las Vegas." Rika (thinks....): "Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls..." (daigong: "Canada. I'm from Canada")Q
(daigong): hANGRY & ANGRY has come to save the earth from global warming. How do you plan to do that?A
: Yossi: "Turn off the lights." Rika: "Unplug. Turn the water off, often."
Then Yaz makes a note, with photos save it for maybe after, but after next five minutes stop...until Yossi puts on her coat. (daigong: "So we can do it now?" I had no idea and it was so weird snapping it in their faces.) (laughter) here are the photos daigong took Q
(Kimi & Steph): H&A is based off h.NAOTO fashion designs, do you have input on your clothing. the design of it?A
: Yossi: "Always think of fashion first, what's the best for me to do my hair so that's how I put the input in wearing the fashion."Q
: Fans going to Japan, what is one place you recommend them to go visit? A
: Yossi: "harajuku. hANGRY & ANGRY shop." (laughter)Q
(AnimeConMag): What is something you try to convey in your music? (Not understanding...dude changes his question) What kind of Musical Background did u have when you were little?A
: Yossi (begins singing): "do-san, doooe-san..." (basic nursery rhymes) Rika: "Folk songs. I always listened to what my father listened to, like japanese pop songs." Q
(white chick): Where is Love Machine now?A
: Yossi (laughter) "My garage." Rika (repeating in english): "My garage."Q
(Terrie): Do you guys have any plans in singing in other languages other than Japanese. (Yaz: "What do you mean?") Like in English...A
: Maybe English.
By this time. I had like ZERO questions. I expected only ONE. So I dug in with a classic TOK Radio question...Q
(daigong): Cake or Pie?A
: Rika (in english almost instantly): "Cake." Yossi: "Cake." ("What kind of cake?")
Rika (in english): "shortcake. strawberry shortcake." Yossi: "Cheesecake." (daigong "New York Cheesecake")
Yossi: "YES!" (Terrie: "There's a Cheesecake Factory outside")
Rika asks "There are other kinds of cake at Cheesecake factory?" (daigong "I love it.") Q
(Kimi & Steph): What are you reaction to meeting your American fans?A
: Very sweet. Rika "Fashionwise. cosplay." Yossi: "They always up beat. They entertain themselves"Q
(Kimi & Steph): How was your trip here?A
: Yossi: "It's a lot of jet lag." Rika: "I'm hungry. I'm ANGRY." (we bust out laughing, eat the cheesecake...and Rika (in english): "Me only."
(AnimeConMag): Explain how you formed H&A?A
: Yossi: "Of course you know there was the h&A character before them, h.NAOTO approached them 'Hey we have the characters H&A. We design the costume, why not join together. Let's make it happen. That's how it happen."Q
(AnimeConMag): Give us a Japanese food you really like to eat. A
: Rika (talks excited): "There are so many but sushi. salmon, mackerel, uni, seaweed, squid. Recommend the belt conveyor sushi because I'm too hungry." (the dude "my record was 37 plates.")
Yossi: "Whooaaaaa..." (Rika asks the dude what's his favorite. the dude "utaki, uni" and Rika goes "me too, me too....yeah!" in english.
(white chick): How to relate to H&A and what do they mean to you in their own ways?A
: Yossi: "Well, we definitely relate to the H&A but we know this is a character, this is not ourselves ... and our real selves, not totally different from H&A character. But we really understand and respect the H&A character we are happy to act to collaborate with the project H&A - but our real character is very different. (?!) Rika asks Yossi something, and Yossi goes "Well we judge each other and from hANGRY, ANGRY's fashion is very cute." Rika: "From the ANGRY perspective of the hANGRY fashion, it's really punkish. really cool. When I'm wearing it, I don't think I'm good at it. Fashionwise, really cool and nice."
Terrie, "Is it possible to ask about H!P instead of H&A?" Yaz "Sure, but not to them individually."Q
(Terrie): So you just graduated from H!P, any plans, future?A
: Yossi: "Right now H&A is my life." Rika (answers in Japanese then in english): "me too, me too."Q
(daigong): When is the new H&A single coming out? A
: Rika (in english): "I dunno!!" FUCKING WITH ME... then in Japanese: "it'll be at the concert.." Yossi interrupts: "Sakura Con" (UFA peoples behind us remind them, debut on myspace.) "But still know the release date, but you can listen to it at the concert." (daigong: "Can't wait. Excited." Rika in english: "Exciting?" and then daigong busts the "Very happy." and Rika goes "Happy?" so daigong does the "Hap-pii" gesture. Rika goes in english "Hap-pii. I know."
(Kimi & Steph): Since you said H&A is very different from your characters, how do you prepare to perform in a concert? A
: Yossi: "Fashion, make. Of course I'm dressing up as H&A. Then the hair, make-up. absorbing and to see the audience. OK, I'm ready to ROCK ON."Q
(Kimi & Steph): I know it's the fashion, do they do the modeling. A
: Rika: "Fashion Show? In America?" "Definitely you should come down."Q
(AnimeConMag): What Japanese Bands do they listen to?A
: Yossi: "Morning Musume." Rika: "Sharan Q." Yossi: "Ongaku Gatas." Rika: "Biyuuden...all Hello! Project. I love it."Q
(AnimeConMag): I happen to watch Japanese dramas, not animated. What live action do you like?A
: (Rika 'eee nahh' Yossi...thinking.) (Yaz: 'Maybe new or old? Hard to answer') "...but I can watch American Drama." Yossi: "Prison break / 24" Rika: "Heroes, LOST..American dramas are such a long series, so I gave up on it." Yossi: "Jackass"Q
(white chick): When you look into the audience, do you see a sea of faces or individual people?A
: I CAN SEE EVERYTHING. Rika: "Well definitely I see everyone smiling, and how excited they are, then that gives me more energy to perform."
We were all still here rotating. I looks at Terrie. she says go ahead...I make something off the top of my head now...Q
(daigong): What is your favorite athlete at this moment? Sports?A
: Yossi: "Futsal." (daigong is going "Player? Like are you watching the WBC?"
) Rika: "Definitely wanna see Iciro." (daigong makes this gesture on his stomach: "He hurt himself, he's got like an Ulcer.")
Suddenly my phone goes off. None other than kuno_thunder
txt messaging me back!! To the ring tone of "Get Wild!" GENIUS! NON SCRIPTED!! I'm like "Excuse me!" Yossi and Rika begin singing a few bars and Yossi goes "Get Wild?" as she takes a sip of her drink. I go "Exactly." Rika asks: "Who is singing?" and I go "You guys." Rika touches Yossi's arm, has this huge surprised look
"Where is it from?" they ask. "That's from uhhh..(me being bad with Japanese names, shows) Futagari?" Rika bust out the wild clapping laughing tapping the table instantly exclaims: "UTA DOKI!" and we all start singing and chair dancing "Get Wild!" and Rika, looks at me in a joking tone: "Maniac, ne?" Then Yaz drops a "He's otaku" blast and Rika's like "Otaku?!" and I'm like "no-no-no." Yaz then asks, "What is that, J-P-H-I-P? What does it mean?"
Here comes the dilemma, how do you fucking tell your idol that this is a site that worships her ass. But without missing a beat, "uh...it's japan, hip, fun. We just take H!P" and I scribble on my pad:
and flip the paper. They were like "ahhhhh...ohhhhhh." I continue: "We love Rika, IshiYoshi." Rika says a bunch of japanese, something like present. OF COURSE, THAT wasn't translated. I'm guessing she remembers the present of T-shirts we gave them earlier at the autograph session. Yaz, moving things long, "OK, Otaku guy." and Rika mimics in engrish: "Otaku Guy!" (CLOWNED by Rika, how good is dat)Q
(Kimi & Steph): What hobbies do you have during your free time? A
: Rika: "Eat. I Love eating." Yossi: "graffiti writing"Q
(Kimi & Steph): Do you cook or always eat out?A
: Rika: "Yeah, I cook too, but I'm not good at it." Yossi: "Same."
Next group, "Give us a second." and they skip to the next girl.Q
(white chick): Your myspace had like 160,000 hits within the first three days. Were you expecting such instant success?A
: Rika: "No, not at all. We never really know they are international fans, before we came to Seattle. We look at it WOW (daigong, interrupts at the side "It's internet...brings the world together." Yossi and Rika chatter in agreement, 'sugoi.'
) Yossi: "Internet rules."
Terrie also passes along to me. This is me, making questions up outta my ass, mind you
At this point the one white chick then got up and left, "finished" with her questions. Q
(daigong): What do you plan to do in Seattle?A
: Yossi: "The first Starbucks." Rika: "Mariners aint 'here
"Mariners will be here on Tuesday - it will be home opener."[/i]) Q
(Kimi & Steph): What make up brand do you use to achieve your look?A
: It's the make up artists.Q
(Kimi & Steph): What hair products do you use so it doesn't get damaged. A
: Yossi: "hANGRY is a character, we don't care about anything but make up artists / managers said take it easy." Rika: "The more input things to, take off the make up. it will take time to take off."Q
(AnimeConMag): What's the best cosplay you seen so far?A
: Rika: "Sexy Chopper. one Piece. Showing the belly looks really sexy." Yossi: "I hear many people make their cosplay themselves. Really admiring very cute and very nice."Q
(AnimeConMag): Do you guys go out to drink, what is your favorite Very Osak drink.A
: Yossi: "Wine, champagne." and Rika repeats the same in english
"chardonnay" IF they drink. "sometimes"Q
: You two look like you always get a long, is there any times you don't get a long and how do you get over it?A
: Rika: "Ahhhhh....." Yossi: "NEVER FIGHTS. We been together for such a long time, so we really understand each other. It's more like a family." Rika: "She's like my older sister."Q
: Is there a cute habit you have, that some people think it's cute?A
: Yossi: "Rika makes these sleepy faces." Rika to Yossi: "I don't know...are you serious? It's kinda embarassing." Rika turns the tables, "hANGRY character looks punkish and boyish, Yossi likes small pinky, girly stuff."Q
(Terrie): Is there something you'd switch?A
: Yossi: "Angry easy to get angry when hungry." Rika: "hANGRY. Like the change in weather all the time. Hangry is like keeps everything inside, looks so cool. Angry, 'OK. Show everything.' everyone knows what she feels right now. It's really hard to know the real her. Add them together and divide by two and that's the best character."
Yaz, "OK, last question." and I laid out the hardball question of the century!Q
(daigong): What do you like in an ideal guy? Traits? (This question ends up being translated into 'fave male celeb')A
: Yossi: "Leonardo Dicaprio." Rika: "Too many. (and then in english, repeating
) Too many. Just one moment, please." (after much thought...) "Favorite Soccer: Fernando Torres....Favorite actor: Orlando Bloom...Favorite singer: Ne-yo." (Rika thinks...) "Japanese?" By this time, WE ALL clowning Rika including Yossi adds: "Tsunku? ..Haddo Gei." LMFAO!
Yaz wraps it up! "Hope you got all the information you need." In total, we had nearly 50 minutes in the there. hahaha SUCKA!
As we began to pack up the things, we went and suggested that "Can we take a group photo?" I didn't think that was possible but what the hell, THEY AGREED. All paranoid with the rules. Here I was already macking Rika, giving her our JPHiP bidness card, and had wrote my myspace address. "Add me."
Rika had no fucking idea what I was talking about but I was like explaining, here's our info, that I'm from Canada, my name is daigong, etc. Fuck my lack of Japanese skillz. Terrie was totally talking it up with Rika in Japanese!
Quickly we gathered to take the picture, everyone getting their turn with their own camera. I was so focused on posing with Rika but dude from the Anime Report site had took his place and refused to budge. I had literally was ready to toss him aside into the coat rack. Yaz and the handlers could not help but laugh at this insanity and I believe H&A felt it too cuz by the time they finally used MY camera, fucker obliged and moved aside. I slid in and put my arm around BOTH Rika and Yossi, Rika's black wig gently caressing my arms and my hand on Yossi's shoulder. Rika's shoulders were gentle yet warm, my face trying not to explode from jizzing.BOOM!! HOW PLAYA IS DAT?
Thank yous went all around, blah blah we double shook Yossi and Rika's hands. It was organized chaos, trying to be polite and respectable while not spazzing like fucking wota geis. I double pumped Yossi's hand Thank You Thank You Arigato and hadn't noticed my fat ass had backed Rika into the corner LMAO so I gently gestured Rika back to Yossi. I double pumped Rika's gentle, yet cold hands, and used what little Japanese I knew. Thank you Arigato. Staring deep into her eyes, trying to look beyond the ANGRY get up, her smile unmistakable, giant teeth with such warmth and sincerity. Rika then talked to Terrie who later told me that Rika had said she remembered her from past FC events. Savouring each second, just staring at Rika just casually talking to Terrie. How surreal it was. Like we were just best friends meeting up. What you saw on TV was exactly how they were in real life. From the near decade of watching them, reading about them, wanking to them. It all boiled down to the most EPIC moment in JPH!P HISTORY.
The handlers said GTFO! and so me and Terrie walked backwards waving as the doors shut behind us. HOOOOLY SHIT. It hadn't even dawned on me what I had just experienced. All I could do was hug and triple hug anything possible so I dived into a pile of girls Kimi and Stephanie along with Terrie and we just freaked the fuck out like a bunch of school girls. Kimi or Stephanie said "OMG Thanks for asking that question!" (The who are your ideal dudes) I was informed that the whole "Get Wild" moment was on video and we exchanged infos. We continued babbling that we lost track of time and Dinny came around. aww she was bummed when learned Terrie had got in on the interview and that it was so fucking long. So caught up in my own personal goals of groping Rika. I had to make it up to dinny. Help others experience what I experienced. With the theme of encouragement to SEIZE THE MOMENT.
Yet, it would be days, even months before I realized just how EPIC this was and what it meant to the JPH!P FAM as a whole.
The Guest Reception was a hour and half away, so we figured to drop shit off at the hotel (Dinny had bought a few figures) and I'd check the Merchandise table later. Plus to drop the latest happenings on the forum. I recall posting on the picroda of the group pic with "Who Da Man" as caption
I was just a complete mess. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could have met Rika, talked to Rika, and touched Rika. I posted a blur of babble. Triumphant WE WERE. Dinny came by and I took a pic of her and her autographed GATAS jersey and posted that too. WE WERE ON TOP OF THE WORLD.
We quickly headed down to the merchandise table and grabbed what we could. T-shirts, keychains, mini plushies - we ended up buying the last ones. We ran into Stark again and shit talked with him. Shall I get the one with the cutesy come hither pose and was pretty amazed how much he knew of jphip, the members, and H!P in general. Really nice guy, not a corporate honk or whatever. Kristen came up and met with us, she had safeguarded / put my signed posters in her car when we had split up earlier. Dinny had to meet a friend, to see if they could get in the recept so we split up for a bit to put the shitload of goods away and head to the Hilton, where the Guest Reception was held.
In just those 2 to 3 hours, I had done what I had set out to do: Put JPH!P on the map and convey the message to IshiYoshi that overseas fans love em. And of course, get up close and personal with Rika.
Quickly we found the throng that we had met up with at the autograph session. OpsMonkey had a pimp hat and suit. iceymoon and Bryan all cute. Ricker and alohellofan chilaxing. Dinny introduced me to her buddy Tony and we was chill. Munching on mints, we shit talked about the happenings - the interview, the epicness. When suddenly, I got this call...
"Is this <my name>? We understand you have the group picture on your website. Please take it down - this is for personal use only." Apparently, this was Yaz..I wasn't too sure at the time.
And they outlined the rules agreed upon, I apologized and explained, that I was just overwhelmed in fanboyness. They weren't mad, just like "be reasonable" type of tone. My mind had raced Is they gonna shut us down
but they were nice. That they did not want the negative reaction out of a few jealous fans that had begin to flood the boards.
Instantly I called up The Crack Staffer that I knew was on duty at this time: "Yo tenkei. take that pic down. Do it like NOW." I instructed him and he was like "aight, it's done." I then went on a manical patriotic rant that left him confused and speechless.
All that time, I had missed H&A entering the banquet hall and learned of it only when I found my way back to Dinny & Friends. She got the video anyways. BUTT FUCK. Well, all the better. I had to lay low from here on out. We gathered into the ballroom, and stood mid centre, left. Nice food. Deep ceiling and low light levels so it was hard to pinpoint where IshiYoshi was. But they were in the back, right on some seats.
stark did his thang, as Guests of Honor babbled, and we politely greeted and applauded. When Miyuji (Japanese rock band, opening act for H&A) yelled JAPANESE HENTAI!! I quickly reacted YEAH!!!! but went oshit, think they saw me? -- good thing Linna or Rick was covering me. Dinny and Terrie were seated up close cheering.
When H&A finally got up, jetlagged as hell - they were gamers. Rika went "Y'all Cosplayers Make us Feel underdressed!!" and Yossi zinged "Rika got JETLAG. NOW she ANGRY!"
True pros's pro entertaining us to no limit.
The food time began, and almost immediately the line for H&A grew. I grabbed a glass of chardonnay and BOOM drunk as fuck. I laid low and but kept pushing dinny to meet H&A - she so shy - so Terrie took her. I basically circled the room, not actually standing and stalking em, but viewing from afar. I did go up behind them and seated was a lady with short bobbed hair. I went in and asked if she was with the H&A crew. I introduced myself and owned it - the posting the photo, etc. and apologized. She said it was no big deal, just didn't want any jealous fans to go crazy. Totally nice sweet lady.
Terrie took me aside and said that was UFA CEO!!!!
Sure enough - same leather jacket - it was the same Lady that was at the press interview earlier!!
I did manage to sneak up around the back and took a pic of the back of Rika <3 before a handler motioned "No" by that time I was gone. HA I had a bit of food, but 2 or so glasses of wine. Just listening to Bryan go "mehhh. let's not bother them while they eat!" IshiYoshi are SUPERSTARS! I thought. "Do you think they'd go there hungry?" LMAO.
I saw Dinny managed to get in (the LAST person!) to talk to H&A!! SUCCESS!! And as they were wrapping up, I lunged from behind, instead of group hugging Terrie and dinny - I had my arms wrapped around YAZ
she was kinda surprised lmao then like WOOOSH. mini barracade and H&A were wisked off to their hotel room and I waved like a DORK.
We fangirled after that - dinny told H&A we designed these shirts and was like asking if she could shake their hand and THEY DID! They didn't eat anything, but was expected. Took random drunk pix with Miyuji and stark too.
Tired as fuck, we went back to the hotel. I think it was also then, we first met up with dinny's buddy T-Back aka Tony. But wasn't at the guest recept cuz he didn't get a ticket. Hollered at Ops and others to meet up early in the morning.
The overall feeling is that these two, IshiYoshi, HangrY & Angry - whatever you wanna call them: Rika and Yossi - are two of the most down to earth yet consumate professionals. They are here to understand the fans, the most sincere celebrities you would ever meet. I really took the whole thing like they were just my regular homies. To even connect with them on such an intimate level - now reflecting months later - is beyond me.MISSION FUCKING ACCOMPLISHED!!
April 10, 2009 would go down as JPHiP's FINEST MOMENT
...so far!STAY TUNED!!
For the conclusion. XXXclusive Video and Pictures! will be shared in #Rika25 room as we wrap up RIKA WEEK at