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I Met Nana Mizuki

If you didn’t know already, yes, I won the lottery. I must once again thank my friends who bought the album through me. I managed to get a total of 7 tickets, which is obviously the perfect number. I actually had a bit of a scare at first because of the rules regarding applying only through a smart phone and needing to show the winning email on your phone but Japan dumb phones are still pretty good. Anyway, I’ll skip other boring stuff and go straight to the event.

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After I got my ticket and phone and ID checked, they gave me my seating ticket, which was completely random. I didn’t think much of it at first and then realized…I was 2nd row, dead center. Literally the only better spots were right in front of me. They were handing the tickets out from like a bucket of disorganized cards so it was definitely random and I was hardly early, so I can only thank luck. Also note that this stage was small so the distance between the front row and the stage was maybe 20 cm. So handshake aside, I would be really close to her for a good amount of time. Also, the hall had a balcony-like area behind me for a total of maybe 300-ish people.

Lights go out and Mishi-P comes out on stage. He says how it’s Friday which means there’s school/work and stuff soooo no we totally didn’t skip. I mean, maybe we left a little early but no we totally didn’t skip out on real life responsibilities. I just moved all my Friday work to Thursday. I am a good student. Then he says how the earlier sessions (because there were 3 sessions on Friday, 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30pm, where I went to the last one) had a lot of people who admitted to taking a “holiday.” This producer schedules stuff in the middle of the day and then tells us we shouldn’t be taking holidays for it pfffft. After that, he signals Nana to come out onto the stage.

1st Floor, 2nd row, dead center.

1st Floor, 2nd row, dead center.

Nana was wearing a pretty cute white dress. But oh my god I was so close to her. Definitely already was closer than ever before, by far, maybe 2 meters away. She and Mishi-P mention how when they talked about where to hold the event, she decided it had to be here, Yamaha Hall, where she held her first concert ever in 2000. Then she invites some special guests, Itaruvic and Tom-kun. I was unsure but that confirms it, she was going to sing. She says she will sing a song from that first concert: Thermidor. I admit Thermidor is better with its full version, especially that full orchestra but still, hearing it with Nana like 2 meters away from me was just like omggjghjghg such goddess. So beautiful. It’s a completely different experience having Nana singing literally right in front of you. I could actually distinguish between her actual voice and her amplified voice through the speakers, I was that close. I was sad at not winning tickets to any small venue but this was actually the smallest venue I could hope for and I had one of the best seats…it was just such a perfect experience. Afterwards, she said she wanted to sing one more song, this time from the new album (!). Since we were in Yamaha Hall, it is a fitting song. (OH MY GOD FATE PLEASE) Then she says it’s Ai no Hoshi. Well, I do absolutely love this more than any of her ballads so okay Nana, I’ll take an acoustic rendition. [Update: Turns out she sang FATE at the Osaka and Nagoya events. SIGHHHHH] Afterwards, Nana says how she will go now and meet us later ehhhhh. Mishi-P says how we will be escorted outside to the lobby and line up for the handshake, starting from the back, so us front people are last. “We get to be together for awhile.” lol. He talks about stuff like Live Flight and the youtube channel and the Akio Winter Festa jokes (“for those who weren’t there, there was a bit of an ‘incident.'” lol). Then he mentioned something about some awesome fan and a guy in front and to my right is like “oh that’s me.” And the two talk real friendly as Mishi-P asks what sort of present he has for Nana. So he actually unpackages the gift to show everyone. It has a pic of Nana from like middle school or maybe high school lol. That’s pretty amazing. He also made a really nice New Year’s card but I must’ve missed something cause New Years was awhile ago…then Mishi-P is like “okay guys I have a question. Who here is Nana’s biggest fan?” The guy next to the previous fan says he’s been a fan for x years. I didn’t catch it but probably more than 10. Well, I thought I heard 17 but is that really possible lol? A second guy says something I didn’t hear but people didn’t seem that impressed. And then…and then I raised my hand. “I’m American.” Mishi-P is like wait what really? What’re you doing here? I say how I really love Nana so I came to Japan. He repeats me and the crowd is like woooooah this guy is an actual crazy stalker, and then he asks me what my parents thought about me hahahaha. Then my Japanese just died as I tried to explain and then I just stumbled over words combined with what is Japanese and…wow I regret that moment so much. Mind went totally blank and I completely missed my chance to ask Nana’s producer about sending her to U.S. for a concert. I have failed all American Nana fans.  Also this whole thing was recorded on camera so I am going to be so embarrassed if it ever gets published…I don’t really remember what happened after cause I was just thinking well I suck at this talking thing @_@

nana mizuki, supernal liberty

Art by でーぜる

Fast forward to the main event. I hear Nana talking around the corner. Such a cute and perfect voice. I turn the corner, and I can see her interacting with the fans ahead of me. One guy says she is very cute. Yeah of course she is. It’s right before my turn. I’m pretty sure I could not stop smiling. I keep reciting the planned lines in my head so I don’t mess up. Then it’s my turn. I tell her I’m American and she’s like “ohh really?” as I shake her hand. Just FYI, Nana has the softest, gentlest, warm and tender, kindest hands ever. I tried to tell her how I moved to Japan so I could go to her concerts (cause I just told Mishi-P this, so obviously I have enough practice). Nope can’t even get out more than that first line before I start uncontrollably stuttering, all while she just stares at me with the most patient, kind eyes and smile and thanks me. As the staff ushers me out (they only gave me like 10 secs, which is understandable but didn’t help when you factor in my inability to speak), I try to tell her to come to America but I still stuttered a lot and butchered the Japanese. Sigh. I really suck at this talking thing.

Anyway that was how the event went. Actually, getting to talk to Mishi-P was a really exciting part, and hopefully, despite my failure, America won some points in places Nana will eventually hold a concert. Other news: twitter account for Live Flight, further implication that Nana’s PR team is actually going to be using social media like this and youtube more often. Concert BDs are in a month, and to my extreme delight, both the Mika harp duet and the Hikasa Yoko duet will be specially added to the BDs! Definitely can’t wait to see those performances (even though I already saw the latter live hehe). Live Flight begins shortly after, and as I said before, I will be attending the first and last concerts. Also I have like a million presentations/reports to do urgh.

 

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Supernal Liberty Review

My thoughts on Supernal Liberty at BtT. Also I won the lottery.

Nana Mizuki Updates

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I need to dedicate a post to all the Nana updates because there’s actually so much happening right now. Album, summer tour, lotteries, and more. First, summer tour is, as everyone should know by now, June 1st – August 3rd. Now originally, as in like 2 years ago, I was just like “oh yeah I’ll go to every concert cause Nana.” Sadly, due to lab schedule, that is beyond impossible. There was also financial reasons since…7500 yen per ticket + transportation/lodging heh. So I aimed to go to the kickoff one on June 1st, the most accessible small venue on July 6th (so close to Nana day…), and of course, the finale on August 3rd. This also would make for a nice spread, with 1 concert a month. Results: got tickets to the first and last concert but not Miyagi, sadness. I guess I can’t win all the lotteries, but hopefully next year I’ll get another chance. Anyway, looks like I’ll only be able to attend 2/14. That’s kinda depressing, to be honest. Doesn’t help the last concert isn’t a double weekend. There’s supposed to be that second Taiwan concert later this year too, but I most likely won’t be going, which means…Live Grace III 2015 please happen. Please.

Turns out just like last year, Nana and Calbee potato chips are doing a collab for 10 people to once again meet Nana backstage! Last year I was super sad I couldn’t participate, but I had the slightest feeling it would happen again. Well, now I have my chance to gorge on potato chips for a minuscule chance to meet Nana. I can’t even imagine what I’d do if I won… *recalls the Blood-C event* nononono I’m way calmer than that. Yup, Kaze no Reitetsu, you could say. Anyway, I don’t expect to win since 10 winner lottery. I was lucky enough with Winter Fes and 10k winner lottery. But if I do win…@_@Regardless, the Yokohama Stadium concert should be extra fun since ils is coming~ If anyone else is coming, uh, let me know? I need more Nanatard friends =P

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But before the tour, there is Nana’s 10th album! Less than a month until release now, and needless to say, I am hyped. Nana was slowly releasing title songs and recently, the full setlist was completed. The album name is Supernal Liberty, which fits nicely with the theme of Live Flight. I think whoever is in charge of these album names is finally going to back to something between “normal” and “lol.” I mean, Rockbound Neighbors was just the most lol random name ever. Supernal Liberty? Kind of cool sounding. I like it. The first track is VIRGIN CODE. Okay, let’s bring back the virgin jokes from Junketsu Paradox. I’m expecting this to be one of the better songs, on principle of Agematsu Noriyasu. Second track is GUILTY. Well, lyrics are by Sayuri so I wonder if that means anything…probably not? As if we’ll get another Yakusoku so soon >< Not sure what to think of it, honestly. アパッショナート and  アンティークナハトムジーク are just like haaaa these katakana names. I don’t know. I expect them to be kind of slow songs based on transition between what comes before and after. Of course, while I lazily not finish this post, the latter gets leaked. I must say this is a really interesting song. Never would’ve expected something like this, but still has the sort of fast paced-power feel that I love.  This does reinforce my suspicion that the former will be a slow song. Don’t really like the random voice in the background though. Also lol the French. In between those tracks is 笑顔の行方 which is a cover song we’ve already heard her do. Fun Fun★People was already leaked. Definitely a fun song, but nothing super amazing. Seventh track is called FATE. How Nana can a Nana song get? All of my hype based on 7+Feito alone.  Vitalization -Aufwachen Form- is next which gets all of my nope. Did they learn nothing from Synchrogazer Aufwachen’s ranking? It’s not an improvement. Well, maybe they learned and will actually improve it this time? I doubt it. I expect the same lazy crap they did before. 哀愁トワイライト as the ninth track. This sounds like quite the interesting song. I can imagine it being a powerful yet somber song. Really looking forward to it. セツナキャパシティー at number 10. Hmmm I want to say this will be a catchy-cute song. Fun Fun People was catchy too but this will probably be the cute song of the album. M no Sekai themes tend to be catchy so shouldn’t be too different from what I expect. Next is Ladyspiker. Yeah it’s a nice song and different enough for Nana that it was definitely a pleasant surprise, but lacks the super power-energy that I have a penchant for. Rock you Baby! is number 12. Kinda expecting this to be in the same vein as Fun Fun People? Million Ways = One Destination. I loved the preview. Pretty hyped for the full version but the preview was short so I might be deceiving myself. 僕らの未来 is number 14. Maybe a slow song as transition between Million Ways and the ballad finale? And yes, the finale is… 愛の星 -two hearts-. Mixed feelings, honestly, I LOVE Ai no Hoshi, and getting a duet between Mika and Nana makes me very excited. But I was hoping for a new ballad as the ending song, soooo eh, I’ll love it but lowers my hype for the album. Honestly, overall, I’m not as hyped as I would’ve expected to be. Maybe that’s due to the lack of blood-pumping previews? Last time the previews were like Linkage->Get my Drift?->Kiseki no Melodia so hype. Oh well, <1 month until its release. Also the tokuten this time around have some really pretty pictures of Nana. Nana \o/

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And with the purchase of the album comes…a lottery ticket! Of course, that’s pretty standard. But this time it’s a lottery ticket to a handshake event! It was funny because literally 2 days before the announcement, a friend was like “I’d think Nana would have a handshake event soon, maybe for the new album?” And I was just like “ehhhh don’t get my hopes up.” WELL NOW WHAT’S THIS? Honestly, I don’t care about the handshake itself so much as proximity to Nana and getting to see her smile up close. I’m pretty sure Nana has like the most heart-warming, perfect, beautiful smile in the world, so I’d love to confirm that theory in person. So anyway, I’ll be trying to lottery my way to that too…seriously using up a lifetime’s worth of luck this year (errr, unless I just don’t win anything orz, which is likely orz).

Furthermore, after the album, there’s the concert BDs in May. About time details were announced. So looks like they combined Seibu Dome Day 2, Taipei Day 2, and Winter Festa Day 2 into one glorious BD set that will cost over 9k yen. I guess that makes the most amount of sense. I still wanted Hikasa Yoko duet though =/ Still can’t believe how much I actually enjoyed that performance. Also no double harp duet with Mika makes me sad. I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be getting that after the Taipei BD announcement but still really disappointing. I really want to see Mika live, so hopefully she appears at Yokohama this summer. Been really wanting to re-watch Live Circus too. Such great memories. Doesn’t come out until end of May though. A bit late but I guess the staff is busy with the album release too? I just know I’ve habitually streamed new concert releases on day of Sungod, which means they come out early May normally. Unfortunately, I actually risk getting arrested if I do that while in Japan, so no more Nana concert streams for awhile.

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Finally, Nana was chosen by the government as the “Rookie of the Year in the Popular Entertainment division.” Yes, rookie is a really strange thing to call Nana. I think it has to do with the awards already having said names and it was the “best fit” for Nana. More importantly, I’m really pleased to read how Nana is described as a “revolutionary presence.” I’ve been claiming that for years! I feel so justified.  #1 Oricon -> Kouhaku -> Tokyo Dome, what seiyuu has ever done that? Oh right only Nana. I’m really so proud to be a Nana fan right now. Last time I felt this way was Ultimate Diamond topping Oricon. I’m so happy Nana is being recognized for all her hard work. Nana~

Cellular Engineering

So I figured I’d write a little about what I’m actually doing in lab. I can just say cellular engineering but that probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone. In a sentence, I suppose something like finding stuff to treat everything? Not really, but not entirely a joke either. I’m going to assume people are not science-literate  and keep this as simple as possible. Protein interactions are a huge cause of most anything in your body, be it good or bad. In context of disease, you can usually identify at least one protein doing something it shouldn’t. So if you stop it from doing whatever it shouldn’t be, you’ve effectively treated it (I’m simplifying this a ton; the science in me is very angry at this). Anyway, the theory of disease treatment is the easiest part. I mean, curing cancer is pretty easy on paper too. The hard part is actually finding what can do that. Stopping protein interactions has been done before and is a major form of drug therapy. Unfortunately, it takes a ton of time, money, and research to identify even one drug that can do its job effectively (also without bothering the rest of your body).

Normally the process of finding good drugs for protein inhibition goes computer modeling->testing in lab->testing in cells. So, very tedious and reliant on computer program accuracy. Stuff that works in step 1 or 2 often don’t work in reality. So I’m going to skip both step 1 and 2 and start at step 3. I basically induce cells to produce special proteins where they express diseased proteins which cause cell death. Then I’m going to throw a few million molecules at the cells and the cells that live means there was protein inhibition, and you’ve found new drug. That was beyond simplified. Anyway, I’m starting with rabies since it’s simple to work with genetically but also deadly. My research is more proof of concept – if it works, it should theoretically work with anything, making it a lot easier to find new drugs for most things. Would be a pretty big impact  on drug development. In theory. Too bad nothing ever works according to theory.

I’ve lost track of the number of things that have gone wrong already. Standard research. At the moment, growing some special cells which a previous lab member worked to genetically create and that I’ll be using a lot. Hopefully nothing major goes wrong…ha…probably will. Oh so at least I haven’t died. Last month or so, some experiment blew up and the building had to evacuate. Turns out the guy was working with acetonitrile, which, as you might have guessed, can explode. The guy ended up losing his hand, so I heard. Organic solvents are scary. The worst thing I work with is like…ethanol and fire, which I suppose is still a bad combination if I was careless. Oh I also get to deal with liquid nitrogen sometimes. Easy way to freeze off your fingers. Actually the most likely way I would die is carbon dioxide poisoning. Since cells are kept in 5-10% CO2 incubators, I would die before I knew what happened! Well, we monitor the gas concentrations so that’s unlikely. Anyway, hopefully my research goes well. I keep running into problems… At least spring is here. Yay sakura~

Sakura

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Nana Mizuki Winter Festa 2014 Day 2

I’m going to skip a lot of stuff so just be aware that pretty much everything not mentioned was the same as day 1. Although that said, I once again missed out on a lot of what was said. Sorry ><

Dramatic Love

The concert started with Dramatic Love once again. This time I was on one of the ends so I had a better view of Nana and it also meant Nana would eventually be coming up to the perimeter. However, I was also higher up, right next to a certain exit, so I guess it was about an even trade-off.

Ano Ne~Mamimume Mogacho

So I had actually just watched a live version of this song from re-watching King’s Night a couple nights ago. I say it was in preparation for Nana but it was really because my internet had died and I had nothing else to do. Anyway, it’s not a favorite really, but hey, it’s a fun song, and it was nice to hear a song I don’t hear much but was unexpectedly fresh in my memory. And since this was a live performance, it meant some crowd interaction which made it even more fun.

After the songs, Mishi-P comes on stage as before. They do a lot of the same introductions but then he says how today is the 19th. So tomorrow is the 20th….and yes, the day after is…the 21st! The staff bring in a birthday cake and we all cheer. Nana says something like she didn’t expect it because nothing happened yesterday? Anyway, the lights go out and the entire stadium sings happy birthday to her. Yay I finally got to sing happy birthday to Nana-sama!!! I am a bit sad that I’m in Japan on the worst years with her birthday falling on Tues/Wed in 2014/2015. I have to wait several years before another concert falls on her actual birthday. They repeat a lot of the same talk, probably semi-scripted. Nana goes into more detail about her trip to New York. She visited the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. Real standard NYC tourist stuff. There was some minor incident with her mom and she had to say “soree, soree,” to someone cause Engrish. Nana please I want to hear more of your Engrish. After Nana leaves to do costume change, the crowd starts cheering…not for Mishi-P but for…AKIO!!!

Mishi-P is just like when did you guys start calling me Akio? Then we ask him to sing and he’s like “I thought you promised to forget about yesterday!” But the cheering continues and he’s like “This is Nana Winter Festa. NANA!” Then a few people in the crowd are like “AKIO WINTER FESTA DAAAA.” Oh man this was so hilarious. I’ll say it now, the Akio calls continued throughout the entire night to the point it might as well have been Akio Winter Festa instead of Nana. Japanese fans, how do they do this. Akio (yes, from henceforth, I shall be calling Mishi-P Akio) asks who was here yesterday, and of course I was! A lot were apparently (leads me to believe most people who got a ticket got both simply because hardcore fan into multiple Nana Clips 6 copies into win). He asks us to please pretend we don’t know what’ll happen and to act surprised. So with that, #10 is…”ohhhhhhhhh!!!!?” says the crowd as he’s like “yes yes like that!”

Nana #10 Power Gate

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I was expecting the same outfit as yesterday but then Nana appears dressed as Cure Blossom! I forget if Akio or Nana suggested it but they decided Nana would do some Blossom acting. She does the normal line after her transformation scene, hand motions included of course. She explains “matsuri dakara ne~” Then Nana starts Power Gate. Yup never getting tired of this song. I wonder if it can maintain top 10 in 7 years though if it’s dropped down here. Probably not, unfortunately. After Nana leaves, the crowd starts chanting for Akio to sing again. He’s just like nope nope. This joke just wouldn’t stop.

Nana #9-8 Tears’ Night and Bright Stream  

Live Museum_Dress

This time Nana is wearing the lolita dress from Live Museum. Honestly not a fan of this outfit but if nothing else, it was another nostalgic outfit. So since I’m on the south side this time, I got Nana to come up to the edge while singing Tears’ Night. It was…even more beautiful than the previous day. Like I said before, the balance of beauty and energy in this song is so good, and I feel that’s a big reason it made top 10. And then having Nana gracefully waving at me with her perfect beauty…ah it was so great. I also enjoyed Bright Stream more on day 2. I’m not sure why myself but for some reason Nana’s voice sounded more pristine. Either way, I’m really glad I got to hear these songs another time. They were definitely high on my must-hear list.

Nana goes back and once again, the crowd cheers for Akio to sing. He refuses, but then a staff member runs up, hands him what inevitably has the lyrics to a song. Akio throws his regular script to the ground as he accepts and gives us a maji de look. Then the band starts playing a song and he actually sings! Karen Moyou! It was surprisingly not bad. I wonder how much he practiced for it haha. After a little bit of it, he stops and we ask for more but that’s all we get.

Nana #7-5 Innocent Starter, Ai no Hoshi, and Pray

So even though it was inevitable, the setlist turned out really, really good to the point I did not mind it all being the same (except Ano Ne). Getting both Innocent Starter and Pray plus Bright Stream previously, three of the best Nanoha songs (excluding the obvious Eternal Blaze) that I was hoping for from Circus.  I definitely wouldn’t be satisfied only hearing them once (okay, probably not satisfied only hearing them twice) so the fact the songs were all the same was really good. But yeah, since it’s top 10 that’s not really a surprise at all. As for Ai no Hoshi, I’ll keep saying it: easily one of my favorite Nana songs now. Such amazing and pure, graceful singing…contrast to the epic high-power energy of Pray. I really don’t think Pray should come after such a beautiful song lol. The other way around might work better.

Akio goes around and asks the band the same questions as before but different people. When he gets to I think it was Shu, Shu answers Etsuraka Camella with a mischievous smile. I’m pretty sure that was not an honest answer. Just as expected, the entire crowd cheers for Akio to sing in response. He refuses but a staff member runs up and gives him the lyrics yet again. The band starts playing and Akio is just like, “hey stop that! Is this really happening?” He actually ends up singing this time! Except it was a lot worse than Karen Moyou lol. He kind of struggles after a couple lines and the band keeps playing as he’s just like “eh are we still going?” lol. After a few more lines of hilariously fail singing, he quits for good. But of course we don’t care and cheer for him and ask for more but I think he was permanently scarred.

Nana #4 Kakumei Dualism

So if you remember, my seat was right next to a certain exit. And during this song, Nana comes into the audience. So the song begins and Nana comes out…in the same place as before, opposite me. Heh, I was hoping she’d give equal treatment and visit the other side on day 2 which would have been right next to me, literally. Unfortunately, she went on the same path as the day before so I was even farther from her than before. She was wearing the same Live Circus outfit too so this was pretty much the same. At least Nana didn’t miss the first lines this time! Oh right, Akio also mentioned before and after the song that this was a duet between Nana and the fans! Except they still played Nishikawa’s part. Heh, almost a duet but not quite.

So I don’t actually remember when this happened, but at some point the crowd does a mawatte call for Akio. It seems he’s finally given up resisting our selfish demands and he does…I don’t even know what lol. It certainly wasn’t a mawatte. He kind of jumps in the air and flutters his arms but his body doesn’t spin. It made me think of a fish out of water. Akio please. Learn to mawatte from Nana.

Nana #3 Crystal Letter

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Nana is wearing the same butterfly outfit for this song. She mentions something about the wings that I didn’t catch but sort of shows them off. So I got to hear Nana’s beautiful ballad voice again. I’m honestly just so impressed by this song probably because it’s not one of the songs I think of first when I think of Nana ballads. Since I honestly haven’t been a Nanatard for that long, I didn’t discover it until I started listening to her older music. But yeah hearing this beauty despite it being an older song is just proof of how…perfect her singing has been even back then. I really wish I had discovered Nana sooner, although my wallet disagrees…

Nana #2 Eternal Blaze

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Nana is wearing a red dress from Live Diamond. She notes how sexy it is and then Akio says how the audience can see her bare back due to the 360 degree crowd. She’s slightly embarrassed because of that but “matsuri dakara ne” hehe.Then a mawatte call is started and Nana does a “sexy” mawatte showing off her back. She does a mou ikkai too before proceeding to singing Eternal Blaze. So um how is this song so good? I think it gets even better the more I hear it at lives, though I wonder how that’s possible in the first place. Nana’s vocals are just so unbelievably perfect in this song. Recording does not even begin to do this performance justice.

Nana #1 Shin Ai

Nana comes out wearing the same Live Grace dress. A lot less changes in this latter half but this dress is certainly fitting for Shin Ai. The girl next me literally broke out in tears when she saw Nana wearing it. Live Grace does that to people. So this time the party ball descends before the song. Nana goes up to pull the string and…she can’t reach it HAHAHA. Nana is too short and she struggles to touch the end of the string. Akio is about to help her but then she manages to grab hold of it just barely. She successfully pulls it revealing the winner Shin Ai! Good job Nana. You make us short people proud. Once again, Nana sings Shin Ai, and well most beautiful ballad in Nana’s entire repertoire what else is there to say? Now that I’ve heard a few ballads from Nana, I’m definitely becoming more of a ballad person though I’m still partial toward hype songs. I also still consider Ai no Hoshi to be one of my favorites over Shin Ai. All I know is apparently Nana can sing anything and it’ll be amazing and perfect.

Akio goes over some different statistics today. The top 10 songs by blood type are shown. It’s actually  not that diverse but apparently type-AB got Astrogation up to 10. That was the only one that really stood out. The rest had just a little variation if I recall correctly. However, then the voting based on age was shown. Younger people really like Vitalization, Synchrogazer, and Kakumei Dualism. Akio comments they really like Tsubasa. I guess it’s one of Nana’s better recent roles though the average is pretty questionable quality…However, old fans (40+) really like Ai no Hoshi. Akio references Yamato and the old fans cheers. Yeah, with Yamato being from the 70’s and the remake being pretty much one of the best anime released in quite some time, that makes sense. Maybe older people also like the pure love song of it but…Yamato was just so insanely good, and I think the fans really appreciated such a well done remake coupled with Nana’s song. There were definitely other variations but those were the two Akio commented on so I remembered them the most. Akio notes the time and how there’s still plenty of time. I guess they’re supposed to end their event by 9pm-ish but since this day started an hour earlier, there’s an extra hour of Nana today. The lights go out and the screen shows…Smile Gang! Not a surprise after M no Sekai the day before but still nice. Nana reminds us how she had asked Misato if she wanted to come to Winter Festa and we find out her answer is…yes! Misato enters the stage; it can’t be Smile Gang without our favorite co-host. Now, I admit I don’t follow Smile Gang as religiously as M no Sekai, but I do not recall Misato being such a cutie lol. I pretty much know her as the one who suffers but I suppose the suffering is cute.

The two reminisce about how it’s already been 12 years since they started. Wow that’s a long time. When they first introduced shassu, they didn’t think it’d catch on. They decide to have us do a shassu call and response. Nana asks who here is from specific prefectures/areas like Hokkaido and Ehime and gets people to respond to each one. I’m just sitting there sad because I’m not from any of them. I was doubtfully wondering if she’d ask about overseas people. And then she’s like “By any chance…are there any people from overseas?” And I’m just like OMG YES SHE ASKED and I yell out as loud as I can and a bunch of Japanese people turn around and give me this “what really?” face. I heard at least 2 or 3 others, but there were probably no more than 5 or 6 in total. Nana gets super happy and is like “woah amazing!” and asks where we’re from. I yell out America but I don’t think she heard me. She was paying attention in a diagonal direction of me, which is where I heard one of the other voices. I was pretty sad she didn’t even look in my general direction but just knowing I got to respond to an overseas call made me really happy. Especially because since the event was mostly lottery rather than her larger lives, I think she wasn’t really sure if there would be any of us there. So I was really excited and happy to be one of the few to help represent overseas fans.

After the introduction, they introduce it is time for some batsu games! Nana shows us a very large die (probably about 50 centimeters per side) and we see it has 6 kanji on it: North, East, South, West, Mi, and Na. These represent who will have to do the batsu game. This means the audience too! So depending what side you sitting on is how you are grouped, and of course the Mi and Na are the kanji in Misato and Nana’s names. Then they introduce the first batsu game: you have to repeat some embarrassing phrase twice. I couldn’t understand some of the phrases but they all involved really bad pick up lines. The first one was something like “Don’t you want to see heaven?” followed by a phrase I didn’t know but based on the theme, it was something really cheesy. Nana rolls the giant die and it lands on….south! Oh god that’s my side. Misato gets us all to stand and then the entire south side repeats that phrase twice. At least I don’t even know the second half so it’s not embarrassing! Everyone laughs as we sit back down and then they introduce the next line. I honestly don’t remember this phrase but Misato rolled the die and it ended up being the northern side. The next phrase was something like “the only present I have for you is (blow a kiss)” hahahaha oh god that’s so bad. Nana picks up the die and everyone starts chanting Nana. Come on Nana! Nana blowing us a kiss….and the die rolls on…Mi! Leave it to Misato to get the biggest suffering one yet! Nana gives us a “yatta” pose and Misato literally goes orz.

NanaFes4

Then Nana says how in addition to saying it twice, she should blow a kiss to all 4 sides. “What no!” “It’s only fair, right everyone?” Of course we all agree. So Misato says the line and blows a kiss to the south and west side once each and then just a kiss to north and east. Then they are going to move on but the timekeeper or someone signals they have time for one more. So they introduce the next line which is this fail combination of English and Japanese: “I am 世界で一番number one イケメン.” which I suppose a rough translation would be “I am the coolest number one guy in the world.” Misato rolls it and we chant Nana again and it lands on…south! Wait what again? Sighhhhh. So we all stand up and then they point out we should do a pose too. Sighhhhh. So they convince us to do a pose along with the line and we do it twice. Probably the one time I hope the camera didn’t catch me.

Moving on, they introduce the next batsu game. I understood very little of this one. Nana pulls out a picture and we’re like dare? She says it is “obviously” Crystal (?) the Olympic something, I guess? So you are supposed to introduce yourself as her and talk like her, in theory. (I’m going to find out later I’m completely wrong and my Japanese is even worse than I thought) Nana rolls the die and it lands on…east! Whew not me again. The east side all stands and they introduce themselves. Nana is like “wow there are so many Crystals! 2500!” This next part I suspect involved Japanese culture or common knowledge I do not know. Nana and Misato would talk about something and pretend there is a word on the tip of their tongue and the eastern people would have to respond as Crystal would. This went on for like 4-6 times and each time we’re like “still more!?” hahaha I guess the east side ended up being worse than the south side even though we got rolled twice. Anyway, the last one is Nana and Misato wondering what Crystal’s favorite pasttime is and everyone is just like uhhhh no clue. So then Misato is all “NISEMONO DA!!!” hahaha it was all a scheme.

The next batsu game was mawatte! So obviously we all want Nana to do it. The die is rolled and it lands on…south! WAIT WHAT NO STOP. Nana and Misato are just like lol south again. So once again, we in the south side all have to stand again. Nana notes to spin slowly and be careful. Okay Nana. We all spin clockwise and after one rotation, Nana’s cheering tells me we still have to continue. After about 4 rotations, she finally says we can stop. The entire time she was all like “kawaiiii,” so I guess it was worth it. Then the crowd calls for a mou ikkai….sighhhhh. Nana asks us if it’s okay and I’m just like okay but only for you Nana. So this time she tells us to go counterclockwise and we mawatte again. Nana kept saying we were kawaii so yeah, it was worth it although I was a little dizzy after all that spinning heh.

Then they introduce the final batsu game: air chair! That’s actually pretty suffering. Misato rolls the die and we’re all hoping for Nana and it ends up on…north! Wow north and south sides being screwed by rng. Then Misato is like “woah woah wait didn’t you see how the die was kind of on Nana before finishing landing on north? I think Nana should do it too.” hahaha yes good logic. Nana quickly agrees! She says how it’s no fun if it ends without her doing anything and how she is an adult (I question this latter part sometimes hehe). Anyway, it seems Nana will be taking part in the air chair batsu game! Misato tells her and the north side to start. Misato casually walks over to the south side and starts talking about yakiniku. Yumm delicious. She’s just like “yeah we should eat some.” etc. Meanwhile, screams of pain from Nana. “Misato…please…Misato come back…” After Misato finishes her yakinuku talk, she runs back to the stage “Hold on Nana!!!” and then stops midway and is like “hmm how are you doing Nana?” So cruel. Finally she goes up to Nana and says she can stop. Nana literally collapses to the ground. Let’s be fair here, air chairs are actually legit suffering if you do it properly. Granted, Nana was cheating for the sake of maintaining it but still. Nana comments how painful it was especially since she’s in heels. After Nana manages to recover, they start round 2. Misato goes over to the north side this time and starts talking to them. Just casual conversation as Nana is in agony lol. Once again, Misato finally comes back and tells Nana to stop and Nana collapses even more than before as she just lays on the ground in pain. Since it’s almost time for Smile Gang to end, they make some closing remarks. Misato pulls out a hand drawn picture and no one knows who it is. “It’s Nana.” As expected from Misato’s drawing skills, that did not look even remotely close to Nana. I guess it at least looked human though so that works out.

Anyway, Akio comes back to announce the new album a second time, as if anyone in the crowd didn’t already know heh. And of course, Nana sings Lady Spiker again (was hoping for another new song but I guess that’s too greedy). I don’t know what else to say about this song. I like it for sure but it just seems to be lacking that extra excitement. Maybe Nanatards need a little time to create some choreograph is all. Akio clarified the song name as Lady Spiker (he even drew out a spike with his finger) and said it pretty clearly multiple times. So many incorrect guesses since the day before lol. And then he said there was actually one more announcement…

SUMMER TOUR!!! LIVE FLIGHT 2014!!! 14 concerts in 11 locations! Starting June 1st and ending on August 3rd. That’s actually pretty bad timing for me. Definitely can’t attend even half even if I did manage to get tickets. Last report I said how I still need to see Nana flying, so what better time than Live Flight!? She better give me some flying. I do need to make my way to a small venue concert though so I can actually be close to Nana the entirety of the concert. The tour is also back to ending at the biggest venue (unlike Circus) which is a Sunday so I should have no problems attending that one at least.  I’m hoping to realistically go to maybe 4 of them but I haven’t looked at the location and timings yet. I kind of want to do a small Osaka trip and hit up that concert weekend but I don’t think that’s feasible due to the date. I also don’t have my spring presentation and report schedule yet which will play a big factor. Anyway, I’m glad to see another huge summer tour from Nana. It also assuages my paranoia of Nana making a U.S. debut while I’m in Japan. Definitely no Nana at AX this year. Although speaking of July, I’m sad I missed my chance at Shichigatsu Nanoka on Shichigatsu Nanoka last year. Now I have to wait like…4 more years for even a chance. Oh well, really glad to see this announcement, and I’ll make full effort to go to as many as I can.

So with Live Flight 2014 announced, the event officially came to close. Nana went around the perimeter again thanking everyone as usual. When she got to south side, she was all “sorry everyone for all those batsu games.” Wow I got to sing happy birthday (with thousands of others) to Nana and I got Nana asking about overseas fans and asking where I’m from and calling me (and thousands of others) cute and apologizing to me (and thousands of others) all in one night. That’s practically a personal conversation! Right!? Yes, I’ll just tell myself that. Living in denial.

Anyway, I realized while writing this that I forgot a lot of what happened already orz. Like I definitely left out some Cherry Boy’s conversations that I at least understood at the time. Brain overload from these reading all these research papers. Like I said in the previous report, I have 2 huge presentations to prepare for right now, and I also got end of the term assignments thrown at me so life is really hectic. Honestly, I’ve already pushed a ton of work off just to attend the event. So bad, but Nana. Anyway, the highlight of the day was definitely Smile Gang and then there were all the Akio jokes. And of course the Live Flight announcement, although it wasn’t much of a surprise so much as confirmation. Nana slowly reaching her goal of conquering all of Japan! Anyway, I’ve written way too much lately, so I probably won’t update for awhile. Yay Nana!