MikuPa and Kanshasai Final
This page chronicles the main goal of the trip which was to attend Miku no Hi Daikanshasai. The event consisted of four concerts over two days, with the concerts on each day being repeats for the benefit of allowing more fans to see the concert.
With two Hatsune Miku concerts over two days, allowing people from outside Japan to see two concerts for the price of a single trip overseas, this was a perfect chance. Of course, the Sega side being termed "Final" was a concern as well - I would have regretted not seeing Sega's last show, if it really turned out to be the last.
March 8 - Hatsune Miku Live Party ("MikuPa")
The first concert, Hatsune Miku Live Party ("MikuPa" for short), was held on the 8th of March.
We rocked up to the venue shortly after the goods corner opened.
Within a minute after joining the goods queue, Reuters are on top of us with a huge video camera. I guess the hair works at attracting attention (both of us had attention-grabbing hair.)
Reuters' female reporter asks us why we came to the concert and what we like about Hatsune Miku. I try to answer this while the queue is shuffling along at a constant rate (Japanese efficiency!) but the first answer to their first question goes to waste. The second answer to their first question was a bit rushed so it came out different to what I intended, so I regret it a bit (it ended up sounding as though I thought the concert was Miku's last instead of Sega's last.)
My answer to their second question ("She gave a lot of people that didn't have a voice, a voice to express their feelings and thoughts") was fine (to be honest, I had thought it up well in advance of the event, but I was hoping it was to be said to some official concert reporter) and ended up being printed in the media.
Furinkan's answers to the question appear to be unused, which is unfortunate as I think the Vocaloid community is also worth liking. One will never be able to predict what the reporters will like on the day.
Note for next time: don't get rushed. Show up earlier and get mass media out of the way before the queue is moving. Preparing the answer in advance helped a lot, so if you ever think you might get hit by a camera somewhere, it can help to be prepared. I think in my case, I should have practiced saying the lines out loud so that it would be even easier to rattle them off in front of a camera. As someone mentioned afterwards, the line was spoken relatively eloquently (I realise I'm saying that myself... orz). I think that lines which are smoother and waste less time probably also take priority when a reporter is choosing what to use, so more practice should increase the chance of getting used. Of course I was lucky that the question they asked was one of the ones I had an answer for. :)
Once Reuters were back on their way to hassle people in a less troublesome location, the goods queue started moving again. But we started to hear what they were saying over the megaphone, which was announcements of what was sold out. Once we got within one bend of the megaphone it was fairly audible, but I regret that my Japanese listening skills are still not up to par... In any case, we figured out by the time we got in (just after people from the previous concert were making their way back out) that most of the things I really wanted were already sold out.
The queue behind us wasn't any shorter than it was when we joined, so everyone behind us is going to have the same complaints which I am about to make here.
Concert organisers, this is what you must realise. Merchandise are not just products people buy at your events, but form part of their memory of those events. So if people can't buy what they want to buy, you are effectively depriving them of precious memories of your events.
I really wanted a t-shirt. I will for the moment forgive the lack of XL size as an option (L does actually fit me now, though I prefer XL for the additional length.) I wouldn't wear it very often. It would be saved for important occasions where it's relevant (perhaps including future concerts) but otherwise be cherished as an important memory of the concert. But by the time we got in, all black t-shrits were sold out. Not just one size, but every size. The LED light would have been nice too, but it sold out as well.
By the way, practically the entire rest of the list was sold out as well, including some of the glow sticks, which means that there were people in the audience who weren't swinging a stick because they had planned to buy one at the venue and couldn't. These things are so cheap to make, and I'm sure there is no difficulty in getting rid of them at the end, yet they ran out.
I do realise that these things are hard to predict, but the numbers seem to be off by so much that it wasn't even funny. Actually, it was extremely upsetting and still causes me grief. I'm sure others are in the same boat, because of the huge queue still behind us at the time.
Also, while we were on the way in, there was megaphone chatter about maximum quantities (3, right?) If the goods were so limited, why did the concert organisers let people ahead on the queue take 3 of each? That just makes a bad situation even worse. At least limit people to one each before the concert and let people buy the multiples to their heart's content after it. Or, you know, actually produce enough goods that letting people grab 3 of everything doesn't pose a problem.
What I did succeed in buying was a handful (literally, grab as many as you can with one hand) of pin badges and the official concert pamphlet. Among the pin badges, the Daikanshasai 2012 happened to be in there, so that was lucky. The pamphlet is also quite nice. Maybe a bit pricey for what it is, but in the absence of the things I really wanted to get, I will take it.
On getting out of the goods queue, we found ourselves with a few hours to burn so we wandered around Tokyo Dome City to check the place out.
Nearby there was a Miku Flick demo going on, but the queues were kind of evil and given what I had heard about the game, it didn't seem like I could have actually tried it without failing in a huge way (it effectively consists of a rhythm game where you input Japanese to the beat.)
I spent a bunch of time gathering Miis via surechigai, as there were really a ton of people with 3DS in the area. I got over 100 in a day, all at the concert and the only thing limiting me was that stupid limit of 10 Miis per collection.
Eventually we wandered back and went looking for convenient coin lockers for a bit (finding none at the time.)
There was a girl standing alone and looking quite sad, with a sign in Japanese basically reading "can someone spare a ticket to the concert?" I felt bad for her and got all kinds of bad ideas about how to exploit this situation.
There was a takoyaki stand nearby with what looked like a temporary price marker for "negimayo" takoyaki. "OK," I thought, "this feels exploitative but I will buy it anyway!" It was quite delicious and helped stave off the cold a bit.
After eating, the queue had already formed and it was raining... good job, our favourite ame onna, Hatsune Miku!
Concerts in Japan (or even events in general) seem to have this thing where they force you to pay 500円 for a drink. I'm not sure what that's all about (there are more than enough rants about it on the Internet, so search for it some time when you're bored.) We knew it was coming so the 500円 coin which was already readied was exchanged for their drink token. Feeling like I had to make the most of it, I got a gin and tonic with the token. Well, I wasn't the only person getting alcohol, so why not? It was a nice touch that the menu at the venue had English written along under each line as well. Not that I can't read drink names in Katakana, it just takes some of the effort out.
Introductions were done by Fujita Saki (voice provider for Miku) and Asakawa Yū (voice provider for Luka.)
They introduce StylipS, a four-girl idol unit which (by coincidence? I suspect not) has three motion capture artists for Project Diva in it. Ogura Yui's voice is still really cute but I wonder how real it is now. They do their song. The microphones seemed to be up a bit too high but other than that it was fine. Some extreme wotagei crazies came out during it though. Watching those guys do OAD at full power like that makes it hard to call anything during the concert itself wotagei at all. In fact, let's just say it isn't.
Saki and Yū return to chat a bit more before switching into talking about the concert. They check to see which colours of stick we have on us and give out various rules, such as "no long light sticks like light sabers" and "no raw negi" (eeeeeeee?)
This leads into the concert itself.
The Concert Itself
I won't complain, but this MikuPa was very similar to the MikuPa concerts of 2011. Roughly the same music line-up was used and even some of the effects were very reminiscent of previous ones.
The Miku model being used for MikuPa has all the neat frills like lighting on the costume and animated lights on the skirt. Occasionally they do some neat tricks with the rendering to make it look like Miku is being lit from the back or standing there, glowing in the dark.
The entire show was good, but here were the things which stood out for me:
- E? Aa, sou. this time also had the "fuck" uncensored in the lyrics. I think I probably made an XD face when it came out. It feels childish to react to this, but wow. It was amazing.
- The light show used for Hatsune Miku no Gekishou is even more amazing in person than it was on the 2011 Bluray.
- Time Machine is still a great song.
- Every song Ryo ever made is still amazing.
For some mysterious reason, the two seats immediately to my right remained unoccupied for the entire concert. When we arrived, there were bags holding the spot. The bags were picked up later and the owner vanished along with them. So there were seats which sold but weren't actually taken? What's up with that? Still, it was good to have a bit of freedom to not worry about the person on one side.
Nobody in the row behind us stood up for the entire concert so it wasn't possible to stand up. Seeing as I had a gin and tonic at the start and didn't bring anything except an energy drink for rehydration (which I downed immediately as Len appeared, since I knew I could reduce my power output during Len songs) it was probably a good thing that we didn't stand up during this particular concert.
On getting out of the venue, it was a pretty uneventful walk back to the station, although my 3DS was chiming about picking up more Miis...
March 9 - Kanshasai Final
The second concert, Kanshasai Final, otherwise known as 39's Giving Day (pronounced, of course, "Thanksgiving Day"), was held on the 9th of March, which any Miku fan knows as Miku no Hi. Only the evening concert had the Final moniker attached, with the concert earlier in the day simply being called Kanshasai.
This time around I learned from the mistakes of the previous day. I had stocked up on energy jelly and made sure to buy a real drink with my drink token instead of booze (most overpriced bottle of Aquarius ever, though.) It mostly lasted the concert but taking a second one would be a good idea. For both concerts they give you a strap to hold the drink but I had nothing to strap it to so next time, some kind of lanyard would be useful.
On this day, due to various reasons, we showed up just in the nick of time to see the opening act starting.
This time around, Fujita Saki was joined by Shimoda Asami (voice provider for Rin and Len.) They seemed to have much more fun than the previous day's pairing for some reason, acting out their respective characters a bit more in some amusing ways.
They quickly introduced DANCELOID. Well, I know DANCELOID pretty well already, having paid attention to them from the days when they were a trio, and it was great to see the current incarnation even though Minka Lee is long graduated from the group (Minka was my favourite. Kozue is my second favourite though, and she is still cute.)
DANCELOID got time for multiple dances, which was fantastic. They had the entire crowd standing up, even people in the row behind us who would later on turn out not to stand up during the concert itself.
Their stage time ended, and Saki and Asami returned to do the same drill as the previous day. Unfortunately there is still a ban on raw negi (eeeeee?)
The Concert Itself
This concert was just amazing. It did share some similarities with previous productions but it all felt quite unique and fresh. It's a shame that this half is the half which is most likely going to disappear, but we can hope that Sega will change their minds.
The Miku model being used for Kanshasai is definitely my preferred one. The skirt lights still move, only much more subtly (we couldn't see it from our seats but it's visible on the recording.) The model as a whole just looks better though. If only they could combine the strengths of the two...
The entire concert was pretty amazing, but as for what stood out for me:
- Tell Your World as the opening song. The net was murmering something big about the opening song but I managed not to spoil myself so it was a pleasant surprise (even if we knew it would appear at some point for sure.) And damn, the song is good.
- Po Pi Po was used at MikuPa as well, but for Kanshasai it was a full version and Lamaze-P seemed to be going off even more on his harmonica.
- Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu was super high energy as always. After it, I was drained of energy so I took a moment to chug my supplies (sorry, Meiko... but it was effective. :3)
- SPiCa was superb and the giant explosion of streamers nearly reached our balcony. A few people were grabbing for them and nearly got some. :D It was the one song where it would have been nice to have more cyalume to work with...
- Every song Ryo ever made is still amazing. I realise I said this for MikuPa already, but it's so important that I thought I had to say it twice.
Melt got used at both concerts but Koi wa Sensou was used at neither, which felt unfortunate.
During the encores I had a huge excess of energy so I tried to burn it all up. I was definitely above the floor a few times when cheering during those last few songs.
The schoolgirl duo to our right were doing their best the entire time. The girl immediately to my right only had a single green cyalume and I felt bad for her. Next time I should bring spares in case it happens again. :3 She was particularly emotional at the end. "I love you, Miku! Come back again! I'll definitely come and watch you again!" My sentiments exactly. I'll be back.
At the end of the concert, people near the front of the arena were standing around, waving up at the balconies. I figured I would wave back with the cyalume in hand. Hi guys, I'm the weird, green-haired foreigner. :) It seems that the camera for the stream was being pointed at them the entire time.
Some radio reporter intercepts us on the way out asking how we enjoyed the show and what we would like to see happen. In the future. We said it was great, of course, and that we hoped Miku could one day have a concert in Australia.
I ultimately failed to burn off the rest of my energy and by the time we got to the train station I was still overflowing with it. It took a good hour or two to realise that it was over.
It was over.
The set list for both concerts concerts can be found here.
If I have the chance, I will definitely do it again. I'm not sure if I would go anywhere other than Japan for it, but if they do another one in Tokyo I will be fighting for tickets all over again. Next time, I will take electronic light sticks and a few more supplies and maybe try to get off the floor a bit more. :D