Reader warning: No eye candy in today’s post because NOTHING, I mean NOTHING, can possibly convey the feeling of the memories I made today!!
I don’t like to talk much about Morning Musume @ Anime Expo. That’s because a lot of stupid ass wotas ruined it for me. Stupid ass wotas camping the panel room, wearing their retarded matching shirts, taking all the autograph tickets from AX and from the MM booth because they have no lives and think they can have Hello! Project all to themselves whereas I, having a schedule of actual work and duties at the con, got screwed.
I would not make that mistake again.
Oh, I still had work and duties at New York Anime Festival, but I made it clear to the guy I work for that there is a reason for me traveling to an East Coast convention for the first time in my life and no it’s not to take pictures of freaking Naruto cosplayers. I was there to lay down my life and soul for AKB48.
When he offered me the opportunity to interview the members of the group, I jumped.
When they reshuffled the schedule so that I would be the ONLY! member of the press interviewing them privately (the other press had to come in groups), I screamed.
And I reminded him, plz sort out something with the convention management regarding the autograph session, because I am not going to get in the fucking autograph ticket line with all the other stupid ass wotas at 6 a.m. They already ruined Morning Musume for me. They would NOT ruin AKB48.
Saturday, September 26 finally came. I arrived at the Javits Convention Center an hour before the scheduled interview time just so I could psyche myself up. This involved writing the following mantra into my notebook:
I deserve this.
I may be a stupid ass wota
But I can write coherent English sentences
And I turn things in on time
Which is why I deserve to interview AKB48!
Not a bunch of idiots who are just here to jump and up down to their songs!
They can GTFO!
FOR THE GLORY OF HELLO! ISLAND
At the time of the interview, I was informed that they were running late, and then the staff guy came out and introduced himself. I tried to maintain my composure and we went over the particulars of how the interview would be conducted. I had a notebook of OVER 9000!!! questions I wanted to ask, but I knew I would end up straying off the plan at some point anyway. XD
About 2 minutes before the interview, the staff guy spotted me shaking my head to cool my nerves, and he asked me if I was nervous.
“Well,” I said, “I’m a big fan, so … I guess I’m kinda excited.”
He gave me a friendly pat on the shoulder. “Don’t worry. You’re a very lucky guy. You’re going to be the only one in the room interviewing them. [Everyone else had to share.] And you’re going to be interviewing the main girls in the group.”
The main girls? …
Finally, I was admitted into the room, and I greeted the staff. Then they came in, every bit as beautiful as I had seen them in TV, magazines, and photobooks. And now … just a couple of feet in front of me.
MY (other) WAIFU!!!!!
Minami started introducing herself, but she started stumbling over her English, and so I just jumped in and fired off at them in quick succession: “Takamina! Acchan! Yuko-san! Kojiharu!” They were fucking THRILLED. They all went like WHOOOOAAAA this guy already knows who we are! And I’m like, damn right I know who you are! I think about BINGO!-ing you every night!
The interview went … like most other interviews I’ve had with Japanese arts/entertainment personalities at conventions. You know, you ask them a question, and they say about 20 words, and your interpreter gives you back 5 words.
The point is:
After the interview, we thanked each other profusely, which is standard procedure, and then the girls walked up to me to give me some gifts.
Wait, isn’t this going the wrong way around? Aren’t I supposed to be the raging fanboy who gives YOU gifts?
Never mind that! I am the interviewer! I deserve this! I deserve to get closer to the girls than any of those goons from ***bleepity-bleep forums*** ever will!
I received CDs of:
Team A 5th stage
Team K 5th stage
Team B 4th stage
And then — the most important thing — which I would later learn was not given to anyone at autographs — handshakes.
I just had my very own private handshake session with Maeda, Oshima, Takahashi, and Kojima.
And when she came up to me last … I looked straight at Haruna’s sweet, beautiful face, and knew that I had just looked into the eyes of MY WIFE.
(But only cos Minegishi wasn’t around.)
((And I finally got to figure out if Harunyan was taller than me or not. Turns out we’re just about the same height.))
But I wasn’t finished with this shit yet. I had to beat the stupid ass wotas one more time at their game. I wasn’t too worked up about the Q&A panel — in fact, I purposely chose to refrain from asking questions because I had already had my fun — but I still had to twist a few more arms and pull a few more strings.
I went straight to the guy who runs the con.
I reminded him how special I was, of the special relationship between my organization and his, and he promised me this: front of the line for the autograph session.
“By the way, the official people might have trouble taking you seriously if you’re in cosplay like that.”
“I know. I want to make an impression.”
I had worn the gray shirt and green tie to the interview. But now I armed myself in full Vocaloid regalia — the wig, the headphones, the armwarmers — just so I could stick it to all those stupid ass wotas who were wearing themed shirts (was that guy SRSLY wearing a “Haruna Kojima in NY” t-shirt with her FACE on it? dude, your mother would do a better job dressing you) and other sorts of stupid ass wota clothing that looked like the last time they shopped for clothes was 5 years ago.
(All right, so the last time I shopped for clothes was ALSO 5 years ago.)
((But to be fair, I was wearing a tie. At least it looked like I put in some EFFORT. It was a goddamn Full Windsor knot. How many people do you even know under the age of 45 who can still tie a Full Windsor knot?))
The effort worked. Two o’clock came, I got my privileged front-of-the-line spot, chatted with the other front-of-the-line person who had actually had to line up for an autograph ticket … and then they led me in.
Maeda. Kojima. Miyazawa. Oshima. Akimoto. Takahashi.
Acchan and Harunyan were pointing at me in surprise. “あれ？あれ？！！” [That guy?!] Yes, it was me again. I waved at them, and flashed a peace sign. They laughed.
I made Acchan and Harunyan laugh!!
And as I made my way down the autograph table [they weren't signing any merch, just an A4-sized signboard/card], I knew I had made my impression. I told Haruna I loved her. Yuko remembered me and said “Good question!” [in Engrish] Sayaka said I looked “Sugoi.” And … oh yeah. They were rushing everyone through so NOBODY got handshakes. No photos either. That means …
Of all the stupid ass wotas at NYAF … I was the only one who got handshakes.
FOR THE GLORY OF HELLO! ISLAND!!!!!!111~
I came out of the autograph room walking on air. All the people in line wanted to know what I got. I pumped my fist in the air, holding the autograph signboard, then flashed it at the fans and said out loud:
“I got MY WIFE’s autograph, so I’m happy!”
Some people even asked to take a picture. Of the signboard, of me, I dunno, I don’t care. I had won. I had left an impression. I had my interview, my free CDs, my handshakes, my autographs. I had the smiles, the laughter, the memories. I had made September 26, 2009, the Best Day Of My Life.
P.S. Short “preview concert” was short.