「Featured post」~Guest feature: AKB48 @ Anime Expo 2010 & Mano Erina @ Club Nokia, my LA experience

A bit of editing has been done to this post as I’ve added a few more photos (a bit of cosplay, the meet & greet room, the second autograph panel, kimomo scans and cute candid shots of AKB48) and commentary throughout and may do a bit more in the future with more video hopefully!, also thank you to MB for keeping this post atop for the time being oh and I’m an-D, Andrew, Andy I’m called the latter much more though by those I’ve grown up with =). It’ll make much more sense after you’ve read MB’s opening just below. I’m still in search of a few more photos and especially the one where I’m shaking hands with the most cute idol Mano Erina while getting her autograph and also video of the second autograph session for AKB48 where I’m hoping to find myself in the footage as well and again, my writing here is being edited in a bit late so the rest of the post will flow much more naturally as it was written in a single happy swoop so to speak! There may be more to come in this post with additional editing so please check back!

MB: Hello~*, the following was written by guest writer an-D and this all resulted from a request or rather a lot of pestering and begging on my part to a friend as while I wouldn’t be able to attend this year’s Anime Expo my hopes~* were still to somehow acquire AKB♥ autographs and maybe even Manoeri’s♥….selfish I know (._.;)! And really from the very beginning none of this looked to be at all like it would come true.

Everything has been so much of a surprise for me as well, I mean not only did this friend go to the event, well after saying ‘no’ at first but he also managed so much more than maybe even was dream~worthy~*.

Please enjoy~* his written accounts of all that he experienced just below and it looks perhaps that there may be another making of a wota in the family after all……..hmm now if only I can convince him that Yukorin♥ is the most adorable member in AKB as she doesn’t even get a mention here (*≧▽≦)♪!!

Hehe after having a bit of “autograph” negotiations (more on that later) earlier today with MB here I am with my very first blog posting as she’s allowed me (with a ton of help of course on how to actually use this site! =) to write here most likely just this once, well you never know although blogging has never been for me. I’m a relative of MB’s and note the “disclaimer” just above that she made just for me, yep MB can be a bit weird sometimes but she just wants everyone to know that if I say something stupid it wasn’t her doing! Well actually the entire premise of this of trip was the promise from her that I’d have a friend to meet up with while in L.A. for the very first time and there I met CK, Chris as I preferred to call him, and I want to say a big thank you for all of your great hospitality, generosity, immense knowledge and unforgettable friendship which meant a lot to me during my trip. Both Chris and Vincent taught me a lot about AKB48 a group I’m just now getting to know and they’ve really made me into a fan, I can say that honestly thank you guys so much you both made my trip so memorable =). I would also like to say a big thank you to David Chan of UCLA Office of Residential Life, we met up a few times during the expo and hence me getting photos from the AKB48 concert when only media were allowed to take them thanks so much! Also video from AKB48’s second autograph session upcoming courtesy of David Chan, should be great footage and I wonder I may be on there somewhere. Oh and in advance sorry about the typos I didn’t edit any of this XD!
Day -2
“The idols you can meet” and I’m off to LA for my very first idol experience!
Here’s the 16 member AKB48 Dream Ambassador Team to LA!

Kuramochi Asuka Scan0012Kojima Haruna Scan0013Takajyo Aki Scan0014Takahashi Minami Scan0015Maeda Atsuko Scan0016Akimoto Sayaka Scan0017Itano Tomomi Scan0018Oshima Yuko Scan0019Minegishi Minami Scan0020Nito Moeno Scan0021Fujie Reina Scan0022Miyazawa Sae Scan0023Ono Erena Scan0024

Kitahara Rie Scan0009
Sashihara Rino Scan0010
Maeda Ami Scan0011

Well doing a little bit of editing here well adding just a few things since the original posting that came to mind later. Well I have just this one post so it may just keep getting larger in time XD.

In preparation for my very first trip to LA and with the one mission in mind of acquiring autographs from AKB48 and Mano Erina that and of course attending a great concert and film event!, surely I needed to have some sort of memorabilia, photos or just something for them to sign. So I did some bidding on this B.L.T. booklet on auctions and what was important was that it included all or at least most of the the AKB48 girls as I wasn’t really sure of whom would be attending (this being before the official AX website announcement of the beautiful “Ambassador Team” to the U.S.) and luckily this B.L.T. booklet actually includes every AKB48 Team member!!

The “Ambassador Team” is pictured here all in beautiful kimono and I later would learn that just one girl from Team B girl would be there (Kitahara Rie) although I would hear that Kasai Tomomi was there too? Although I’m yet to speak with anyone who had met here at the event. To the left are very special members for me with Kitahara Rie, Sashihara Rino and Maeda Ami, and you’ll have to read on to learn just why they became so endeared over this most memorable trip!

I originally was going to try to get this B.L.T. booklet signed but while in line for autographs I had noticed that many fans nearby were holding what I would later learn are these fancy board panels called “shikishi” and while you simply wouldn’t be able to display autographs contained in a booklet all at once these shikishi are readily easy to frame and display. So I tried at first unsuccessfully to purchase one from a nearby fan who had a few extra (just missing out as he needed 8 for the 8 girls who would be signing) but was so lucky to be offered one a bit later and for only $2, such a generous gesture!

I’ve added in a few additional photos found on Kondo Sayaka’s blog whom I learned from Chris is a member of the group SKE48 as she was present at every event taking personal photos and there’s even one very special photo of the “meet & greet” room, that will mean much more as you read on!

Day -1
It all started a bit hectic as I received a last minute call from the airlines informing me that my flight had been delayed from 9:15 pm all the way back to 2:10 am the next morning?! The airport resembled a ghost town with the looks of very tired workers who probably just wanted to go home but the flight itself was good and comfortable and I think I actually managed to fall asleep for awhile amidst the occasional turbulence.
Day 0 

Having flown in late it was pretty much straight from checking in and dropping off my suitcase to straight to the Los Angeles Convention Center where I would meet Chris for the very first time and through him Vincent and a few members of Stage 48. The line by then was already really long as it eventually began to zig zag like a snake all the way into the sun and wouldn’t you know there was this guy who later showed up selling ice cream, airport priced ice cream most likely and no wonder so many were made to stand in the sun for hours in this line of already epic proportions as the doors weren’t opening until 3 pm. and we had still a few hours to wait.


Finally getting in shortly after 3 pm I scanned myself in with my registration barcode and then was given a set of coupons including my name badge and events I would be attending at the expo (actually just one for the AKB48 concert) Received an extra bag of goodies and proceeded to stand in yet another line where concert tickets were being redeemed from our coupons and this is where it gets a bit redundant. While standing in that line for about 2 hours without us moving an inch I began to wonder why they didn’t just give us our tickets when we scanned ourselves in, them knowing precisely which events each one of us were attending wouldn’t that have been so much easier? Anyway. The staff doesn’t seem to know what’s going on as we questioned this one guy why our line wasn’t moving at all. Hi reply being something to the effect of our tickets being mixed up with the premier fan tickets. It seemed that the premier fans were supposed to get their tickets first (hence better seating for the concerts) but it wasn’t at all the reason given. Really confusing and by then my legs were both numb from standing in the same spot without moving for so long. Meanwhile directly to the right was a line for those AKB48 raffle tickets, more like a drawing as this girl was stamping each person’s name badge (so you don’t go more than once!) and then she’d hold up this black box with I think it was 500 losing tickets? and only 32 winning ones. Tough odds for sure! And originally they were said to be $100/apiece (I think many would have gladly paid it too) with a limited quantity available and now there was this. Eventually I slipped out of line to give the drawing a try as I heard the losing tickets were being placed back into the box therefore worsening your odds the longer you waited considering that every so often a winner was seen celebrating. But it was complete fail! Yep I was a loser and headed back into line to receive my AKB48 concert ticket for the next day.

Row “J” “seat 314” (in row 10!) turned out to be incredible!!!! as I was seated in the very center of the theater the next day for the concert!

The AKB48 meet & greet event 

Now about the AKB48 “Meet and greet” drawing, you see everyone who had previously lost (me included) began just hanging out in hopes that maybe there would be some extras not given away and what happened next was actually a bit hilarious! As the time was winding down getting closer and closer to the start time of the “meet and greet” event there still remained about half of the winning tickets in that box, so eventually the girl gave in and allowed everyone a second chance to get lucky. 2nd time pure fail for me! But wait the line soon changed from a sort of “L” shape into a complete circle as everyone who lost just continued on nonchalantly back into line for another try, it was so funny just to see and be a part of it. 6 pm was looming near and only about 2 minutes until the event with AKB48 would start and I was up for yep my 4th try. 4 times turned out to be lucky as I picked one of the last two (I think?) winning tickets out of the box and then it was a mad sprint for a few long blocks to find the JW Marriot hotel, atrium A whatever that was and it all worked out as I soon saw Chris just up ahead of me making his way there as quickly as he could too! We arrived at about 2 minutes after 6 and just in time to where they were just letting everyone into the room.

So here I am now sweating a lot, out of breath and not knowing what to expect to happen! Turns out this was just amazing!!!! There were eight of the AKB48 girls there all in those amazing “Iiwake Maybe” outfits which are probably the sexiest of them all with two seated to a table, four tables total with chairs for eight of us to a table along with a translator. You see it turned out to be a chance to ask whatever you wanted and unlike with the latter Q&A panel where personal questions weren’t allowed here in this room there were no real restrictions said. We were told that we’d get 10 minutes per table but it turned out to be for only 3 out of the 4 tables but I made sure to head to the tables where I recognized maybe one of them seated there making sure not to miss out! Here are the eight girls that were in the room:

AKB48 Sashihara RinoAKB48 Kitahara RieAKB48 Fujie ReinaAKB48 Maeda AmiAKB48 Akimoto SayakaAKB48 Takajo AkiAKB48 Nito MoenoAKB48 Kuramochi Asuka

The table with the wild girls
Sashihara Rino (Sasshi)
Kitahara Rie  (Kitarie)

The table with the young girls
Fujie Reina  (Reinyan)
Maeda Ami  (Aamin)

The table front left, closest to the door
Akimoto Sayaka  (Sayaka)
Takajyo Aki  (Akicha)

The table I missed
Moeno Nito  (Moeno)
Kuramochi Asuka  (Mocchi)

Thank you to Chris for helping me with their names as I only recognized a few of them. Nothing like sitting there suddenly in front of beautiful perfection and be sweating profusely from having run a few blocks, and I first was seated at the table with Sayaka and Akicha. The thing I can’t stress enough is just how immaculately pretty these girls are!!!! From the photos and videos I’ve seen so far nothing can do justice to just how beautiful they are in person, like living dolls. After this trip I have to say that Maeda Ami struck me the most with her looks, I loved that her eyebrows were so awesome and they complimented the girl in the room with the most large and beautiful eyes I think she’s just gorgeous! Okay a bit young, just saying though =).

A photo from Kondo Sayaka
I’ve added this photo above in to the post (found on SDN48’s Kondo Sayaka’s blog) and I was really searching to find myself in the room, with the angle taken though I’m either cut off to the far right as I was sitting at Sayaka and Aki’s table first or I’m just obscured by others being in front of me from this angle as I also sat at the tables to the far right and far left from this angle, still I’m there! Somewhere! I wish there were more photos of the “meet & greet” online and surely there must be video footage with me in it as the Japanese media were filming the entire event, there must be!!
The most beautiful member and whom would be most fun
to hang out with! Your soul mate and the girl you’d want to marry
So with 30 minutes who’d imagine that this would be a once in a lifetime perhaps opportunity to ask away whatever your heart’s desire and with the intimate setting we were all seated just feet away from the AKB48 girls!! The first two tables for me included Sayaka and Akicha and then as I was seated next at Maeda Ami and Fujie Reina’s table were a bit generic with the questions being asked with things such as the flight here to L.A. or what American music do they like to listen to and one of the girls at the first table I was at said Lady Gaga right away! I blame myself for being admittedly nervous as I didn’t ask anything until, well I got to yes dubbed by Chris the ‘wild girls’ table!!!!!! You see as I was seated at the previous two tables you couldn’t but notice how much of a ruckus was going on over there with Sasshi and Kitarie!!!!! There was singing, dancing and lots of shouts coming from the girls! Okay so this was my one chance to sit as near as possible as I headed to their table right away when time was given to move and there was one seat right next to Kitarie with Sasshi just to her right! Heheh beat this one guy to the seat just in time! Sasshi and Kitarie were by far the most interactive I thought and they even asked us questions like which Japanese groups/artists we like and names such as Hamasaki Ayumi, Utada Hikaru popped up, but of course at first most of us said ‘AKB48’ to which we were given the “dame” sign the “X” made by Sasshi’s arms so cute! I was more curious to know what other JPop artists/groups they liked to listen to and immediately Sasshi shouted out “Momoclo” and they both began singing their debut song in perfect unison complete with dance movements with their arms it was so much fun with them! Toward the end of our stay at this what would be our last table both Sasshi and Kitarie asked each of us one by one to say who are favorite AKB48 member was. It started from the opposite side next to Sasshi so I would be asked last by Kitarie to answer. Now there’s something about having a most beautiful girl ask such a question and all while being less than a foot away from her that captured me then, without hesitation I replied “ichiban daisuki na member wa Kitarie desu” seems I can speak a little broken Japanese when the time calls and to be honest she inspired me to dig to remember something I may have retained from a Japanese class back in high school well before I dropped it stupidly now thinking back. So the meet & greet turned out to be the most amazing 30 minutes!!! And just being this near to all of them an unforgettable experience for sure!

If there’s one thing I can say from the eight members that were in this room (with the exception of Moeno and Mocchi who I sadly missed being seated with) it’s that Sasshi is such an amazing and engaging girl she really stood out even during the later Q&A panel I thought just with how outgoing and expressive she is! In some ways I was telling a buddy at work today that she reminded me so much of some of our local girls here, haha some don’t hold back with shyness and Sasshi is all of that and much more! Sayaka definitely came across as the most mature of the girls we were able to meet and I can really see why she’s been appointed Team leader =). Still Maeda Ami. Girls don’t get any more beautiful I think! The girls were all so close, it was amazing! So in terms of idol daydreams I would have to say that Maeda Ami would be the girl you’d love to date while a girl like Sasshi could be your soul mate, your best friend, the girl you’d most want to marry.

Who loves Johnny?
And before moving onto day 1 I forgot to mention that both Sasshi and Kitarie love Johnny Depp!! While talk of recent favorite movies came up they both agreed that one Mr. Depp is most handsome! And they both loved him in the recent “Alice in Wonderland” Tim Burton remake! Not at all surprising!
Day 1

The red carpet

It’s now Thursday the day of AKB48’s concert! I try to get there early but sleep gets the better of me. Still I make it in time before the red carpet festivities have begun. Red carpet!! yes and all you needed to get in was your 4 day pass!! I was told that this was an unprecedented event as AX has never had such accessibility allowed for fans and media alike and the red carpet lived up to everything it could have been billed as. Every guest of honor (those that were there in time) walked out of this white tent and down the red carpet towards us. I found a spot next to some friends I had made in previous day waiting in lines and managed to snap a few photos. I was trying to get everyone in at least one photo but they passed us pretty quickly so I think I may have missed two of them, still there’s a wave from Takahashi Minami and a bit of eye contact with Sasshi! They were so close to us!!!!!! A moment I will never forget!

These were taken just before AKB48 exited from that great big white tent seen below leading onto the red carpet!

The original photos are quite large as I maxed out the mp’s so I can zoom in on them. So sorry MB! Yuko wasn’t looking this way when she passed us so cute though Acchan and Tomomi are holding hands =).

There are a few more photos but these were the better ones I could take. The opening ceremonies followed and to I think everyone’s surprise we were all allowed to take photos throughout the entire event as long as no flash was used =). I took video instead of AKB48’s complete appearance but I had a bit of lighting issues while filming so it’s a bit washed out looking for the first half until I figured out how to make it clearer, therefore I’ll spare you from my awful quality video clip as I imagine there are lots of great ones out there to watch. The girls basically introduced themselves one by one, stood for the media for a bit before exiting in preparation for their upcoming concert at Nokia Theater. And their producer Akimoto Yasushi made a brief appearance too, he appears to be a man of a few words heheh he was gone before you knew it it seemed!

Mano Erina event at Club Nokia 

I arrived a bit early and kept hearing about a red carpet entrance for Mano Erina but had no idea of the whereabouts and we were all waiting in line to get our tickets and then enter the event so I’m not sure if leaving to go find the red carpet would have been a good idea, especially given a little but important detail which showed up a bit a later! We were let in just about on time at 12 noon for the first showing of “Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror from Tokyo” (as the second showing would overlap with AKB48’s concert so I made sure to be at the first one!) and received a cute/scary keychain and some got posters too and to the right after entering there was a table area where Mano Erina goods were being sold. I managed to purchase the last t-shirt (really cute!!) which came with photos, two cute booklets and a photo set. Her goods seemed to be selling quite quickly although I noticed that many were bypassing the goods table completely, perhaps a choice that would come back to haunt some later in the event.

“Kai-Ki” was comprised of two mini horror stories, the first had so many seat jumping moments and the guys up front right in front of me were having their fair share of frightened moments!!! So much that there was this Japanese media guy I think he was, but he snuck up in front with his video camera and began filming for reactions to the film you know something really fun and candid that can be shared for sure and I’m thinking maybe it’ll be shown back in Japan on a t.v. program? Mano Erina was great as an actress I thought capturing the tone and mood of both of her characters as she also starred in the second mini tale of terror. The first story though was definitely the scarier of the two while the second story was a bit more on the sad/scary side, still well done I thought. Mano Erina seems to have an acting career going! One funny moment in during the first movie was when one of the school girls said something which was translated in English as being “….oh snap!” that really got a reaction it was too funny and unexpected! Now I wonder how does one say “oh snap!” in Japanese? heheh!

After the second story ended the credits began rolling and it seems that Mano Erina sings this ending song? as she walked out and caught I think everyone off guard and began singing the movie’s ending theme song. She is so tiny!!!!! And cuter than cute!!!! She wore a beautiful blue dress and performed two songs, the second (thanks MB for helping with the title as all I knew was that “Summer” was in the title) which was “Sekai wa summer party.” The audience even got out their red glow sticks which were given out earlier and began waving them, a most fun moment! Now we were specifically told that photos were not to be taken and yet I could see a few taking photos even from the front row and this one guy was even shooting complete video of her second song. So while trying not to be too obvious I took just a few and they didn’t turn out very good as I was rather worried about being thrown out so I didn’t take them as well as I probably could have, still I got in a few shots and here’s just a few of them below and for some reason my camera always makes it look as if I’m further away when I’m actually much closer why is that? heh:

CIMG0215CIMG0216Mano Erina @ Club Nokia movie event July 1st, 2010 CIMG0217CIMG0219CIMG0220CIMG0221


Mano Erina autograph chance!
So as I hinted earlier there was a little catch having to do with the Mano Erina goods being sold earlier, you see after it was announced that she would be giving autographs there was one stipulation, only those who purchased something earlier were eligible to be in the autograph line, furthermore only the first 25 would receive autographs!!! Talk about a limited offering!

Here’s where a bit of luck helped me, while I had already purchased goods earlier it became a case of sitting in the “right” place right then! I had watched the movie in the second row towards the far right of the seating and the autograph area turned out to be on the right side of the club! So while the entire audience moved like a collective mob heading in that direction I got there quickly and secured my spot about halfway of the 25 lucky to receive autographs.

I’ll cherish this photo forever!!!! it’s now my treasure!

I can’t tell you how special this meeting and autograph from Mano Erina was!!! Not only can I not stress enough about just how cute she is in person!!!! so tiny and her hands were so tiny too! and her voice was the most sweet you could have ever imagined!!!! While in line we were all told that there would be and I quote “no touching” that struck me as odd I mean who was going to try to touch her that would be rude! Well as I got closer in line I saw a couple of fans shaking hands with her so I thought well if she holds her hand out I’m in no way going to refuse! The writer of the horror stories was also present so I asked Kihara Hirokatsu to sign the back of my movie ticket given that I well didn’t come “prepared” with a photo of him XD! Mano Erina was so gracious and adorable more than imaginable of any human being I think as you can imagine I was so touched by her demeanor she was so happy and thankful for the fans being there and it really showed too lovely! Well, Mano Erina held out her hand after signing so we shook hands and when as I was turning to leave I felt her still holding onto my hand for what turned out to be maybe about 7-10 seconds and what I hadn’t realized is that the Japanese media were wanting to take a photo of me shaking hands with Mano Erina. Oh so I saw the flash and that’s how I realized it, if only I had known I would have posed or something just something much better and yet I know there’s a photo of me meeting Mano Erina floating around somewhere on the internet. I’ve been searching without much luck so far but I have to believe it’s going to be used somewhere for publicity for this event, I hope! While I’m keeping this one for myself, I have something very special for MB =).

The AKB48 concert

Happily Nokia Theater was so organized and fan friendly and we even were let in early to get set for what would be two hours of pure concert bliss!!!! I couldn’t believe how close I was, even with no premier pass I ended up in row 10 and in the very center of the theater. I’m sure many can document the show so much better than I, being much more familiar with the set list but I was so glad to recognize actually a lot of the songs their performed. The smaller unit solos were new to me but I have to say that seeing Yuko kick the mic stand in full rock n roll attitude was most sexy!!! Their outfits, the choreography, the MCs all so amazing!!!! AKB48 doesn’t just perform a concert, they put on a show! From their opening with “RIVER” till the closing encore with “Hikouki gumo” the energy was like nothing I’ve experienced before, given this was my very first idol concert still I can’t say enough of how impressed and immersed I was during the entire time! Thank you to Chris for the concert set list and details!

1 – River
2 – Aitakatta
3 – Iiwake Maybe
4 – Kuroi Tenshi
5 – Seifuku Resistance
6 – Bird – Takamina, Rie (Mariko), Sasshi (Maimai)
7 – Heart Gata Virus – Haruna, Ami (Nozomi) , Mocchi (Maimai)
8 – Blue rose – Sayaka, Sae, Yuko, Miichan
MC with Blue rose unit – Yuko and Sayaka want to go to the beach, Sae wants to go to Universal Studio, Miichan Disneyland.
9 – Boku no Taiyo
10 – BINGO! (English version)
11 – Oogoe Diamond (English version)
12 – Sakura no Shiori

13 – Namida surprise!
14 – Ponytail to Shushu
15 – Hikouki Gumo

There was a bit of impersonation/quiz like things going on stage during one of their MC’s and from matching faces it was Minegishi Minami who did something so cute with her impersonation of Winnie the Pooh! she said “I love/like honey” while holding her hands curled up to make like ears of a bear. Sae I think did Jaws and there was a t-rex impersonation too although I have no idea of what Yuko was doing. ???? The audience needed to guess whom they each were impersonating =). Nokia theater is an amazing venue, everything about the show rocked!!!! Stage presence wise I found Maeda Atsuko to really get your attention, she’s really an amazing dancer they all are but somehow Atsuko stood out so much I thought.

And while photos were not allowed as we were warned that we’d get kicked out with no second chances or refunds, media were able to take photos as long as no flash was used and luck would have it that a friend I had made during this trip sat right next to me and he offered to take photos throughout the entire show. Now my camera suffers without the use of flash and much of them turned out blurry, but there are really a lot of great photos in there!!! Thank you to David Chan of UCLA Office of Residential Life for doing something so generous as I know taking photos during a concert takes away so much from the enjoyment he could have had, thank you so much!!!!

Here are just a few of the almost 2 GBs of photos taken, oh and there are a couple of videos too one of their performance of “Sakura no shiori” but I may upload that a bit later.



The first AKB48 autograph session opportunity
So the concert ends and now it’s a rush to get to Petree Hall going upstairs back at the convention center and while we got there pretty quickly there was already a “U” shaped line from the door heading down the back of the hallway and crossing over to the opposite side where we made it into line. I felt we were in pretty good shape to get autographs and they even were allowing fans to take a photo as they entered the room just as long as it wasn’t up too close to the girls! Anyway long story short, towards the front of the line it seemed that a single person in line ended up having like 5 friends who then merged in with them all despite arriving after us who were further and now even further back in line. The AX staff didn’t arrive to control the line cutting until it was much too late and the signing started late and then ended early leaving many of us out of luck. Thinking back now I should have attended the ICE film screening which coincided in time, but also had the promise of Kasai Tomomi being there and maybe also Yuko? I haven’t spoken with anyone who attended as I imagine most of us were sitting in that long hall hoping for autographs, too bad the times coincided as I really would have wanted to attend both events and especially now in hindsight with the first autograph session becoming total fail.

While waiting in line there were a few staff members selling this edition of “Kamikyoku Tachi” which includes both a CD and DVD! but the real selling point turned out to be that it said on it’s back “Los Angeles, California” it’s a special L.A. edition! Must have I thought to help commemorate AKB48’s appearance at the Anime Expo!

Day 2
The AKB48 Q&A panel and a second chance at autographs!
The same girls who were present at Day zero’s “meet & greet” at the JW Marriot (see a bit above for the eight members) were also those giving autographs at both sessions and also were the ones present for the Q&A. Questions were not to be of a personal nature but some really good questions were asked by fans, well with the exception of a couple of them being overly long (you were only supposed to be allowed one question with no two parts).

I had arrived yet again late and had done some shopping earlier in the day as the exhibition hall didn’t open until 10 am:

Haha how can one not love the sight of cat ears for sale!!!

Cosplay was everywhere sorry for my poor photos.

I purchased three books and they were giving away a free little photo which turns out to be from “Kamikyoku Tachi” =).

The line to get into the panel was incredibly long as it traveling way down the hallway outside, I soon joined up with some friends and eventually ended up sitting in the fifth row center but to the left in an aisle seat. The aisle seat would turn out to be the charm for today’s last chance at getting their autographs!

The master of ceremonies resembled to me that of the Monopoly Man not in disrespect though as I like the Monopoly Man! Must have been his top hat XD. As the panel ended he announced that no one was to leave until “I release you” suddenly I felt as if I were back in high school, ‘release’ us? Then he made the announcement, there will be no autograph tickets handed out. You see, everyone was under the impression that there would be priority given to those would be ticket holders and that by attending this Q&A panel you were eligible to receive one, hence the reason why so many fans had arrived so early for this panel. Well that was a monkey wrench thrown into the mix no doubt. No autograph tickets anymore and meanwhile with this new announcement being suddenly sprung upon us I had noticed that well fans towards the rear of the hall were already busy ‘releasing’ themselves so I jumped up and so lucky to be in an aisle seat as there were no others to impede my exit at least from my row as had I been in the center of a row it would’ve taken much longer to get out into the open aisle! So the mad dash to get to the designated autograph area was on in full and while I had no idea of where exactly this location was I thought at first, just follow the stamped which was about to ensue!!! While we were getting clogged up together and slowing down while still in the room I noticed that I could freely cut across one of the side rows of seats as they had all cleared by then so I crossed over and was now in the far right aisle of the room and heading for the exit!! Behind me I could hear a girl’s voice saying in cute desperation “OMG AKB! OMB AKB!” so as I finally got out of the room I saw her take off down the hall and with her red backpack I was able to just about keep up with her as I just knew she must know where we needed to be. On the way the AX staff kept yelling at all of us “no running! no running!” while other event goers and cosplayers filled the hall and were heading in the opposite direction than us, the result? I nearly cleaned out or was cleaned out by three very close calls all while sprinting full blast just trying to keep up with the girl with the red backpack!!! And I’m thinking sorry AX staff but are we really supposed to be expected to slow down? You created this situation by not giving autograph tickets and instead making it a first come first serve affair XD! Meanwhile people in the hall watching us run frantically around and towards them kept asking us “where are you going?” “what’s happening?” It surely must’ve appeared that an axe murderer were chasing us all, it was that nuts really!!!!!

I managed to keep up with the girl with the red backpack until we reached the exhibition hall, where it was basically a gigantic shopping complex with hundreds of sellers and booths everywhere I weaved and ran weaved and ran as fast as I could eventually reaching the rear of the exhibit hall. And there it was. The AKB48 autograph line, all set up using those snake dividers you sometimes see in banks for the customers, only this snake line was extremely long. I think about 30 or maybe more fans had beaten me there, still I had managed to outrun even those who appeared to be much younger heheh I had run like the wind or well as fast as a breeze at least and had made it!

The fruits of my frantic running? It’s just below and this my gift to MB, AKB48 autographs. And all 8 signed so cutely and we all had a chance to chat just a little while they signed everyone was so friendly and cute! cute! cute!!!!! A friend I had made during these past few days, David Chan was able to shoot video of the entire autograph event and when I’m able to trade footage with him I may be able to share the video here so you can get a close up look at the girls heheh maybe I’ll be in the footage I wonder? Only time will tell.

You can see a portion of the crowd lined up above in the snaked sectioned wanting to get autographs from the AKB48 girls!! Again this is the very back of the exhibition hall where all of the anime vendors were set up, sort of like gigantic Hawaii “Swap meet” all for anime and with just about anything you could imagine for sale and on display! I’m in the “snake” line above somewhere and much nearer to the front as this was taken from the far opposite side to the front of the line, Sayaka is in the forefront as she signed for me last.

My treasure and just knowing how I had to run for this like mad to get in line early enough!! well now it’s MB’s XD.

A bit more shopping! AKB48 singles.

Gifts from Chris!!!! Thank you so much I couldn’t have done any of this without you!!!! You’re a wonderful friend!

On the way back to my hotel (I had to walk because the cab drivers must’ve been jaded by then with so many requests for “short fares” to and from the nearby hotels to the Los Angeles Convention Center :/) and I caught a glimpse of an outdoor concert underway, while I have no idea of who they were I just know that the lead vocalist wanted “more” of something as he kept screaming “motto motto!!!!! motto motto!!!!!) :O

The Staples Center, never thought I’d be so up close! Somehow it looks much more shiny on t.v. I wonder?

And look! it’s Magic Johnson across the street! Where’s Kobe though?..does he need one more ring to qualify?

And now from this AKB48 experience, my favorite members? I’ve now got my favorite three and so much had to do with actually meeting them in person and up close in the “meet & greet” event again sitting less than a foot from an idol and speaking with them has its special powers! =):


(please if re-posting any of the photos of AKB48 here, please credit back to this blog thank you =) ).

About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
This entry was posted in AKB48, Anime Expo 2010, Featured, Hello! Project and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to 「Featured post」~Guest feature: AKB48 @ Anime Expo 2010 & Mano Erina @ Club Nokia, my LA experience

  1. Awesome write up guest blogger! 😀


  2. I'm currently trying to get him to create his own Vox account….I'm thinking he'll be happy to be able to speak with someone who was also in attendance I'll see if he gets one so he can reply ^ ^。


  3. dychans says:

    haha, I never thought I would ever be mentioned on this blog.I guess its a small world since both you y'all are from hawaii.Hahaha, the back of my head is in a few of the photos too hahaha, Boy i needed a hair cut…Lucky! I didn't know you took part in the meet and greet :X I'm jealous. :Pthey wouldn't let me in even as press.A.H. , you going to have to thank me about the handshake with mano then. I was the one that started it even though they said no touching haha. I just stuck out my hand for the movie writer to shake hands with him to set the precedent to shake Mano's hand afterward lol. She saw me shake his hand so she must of innocently thought it was part of the deal.Worked like a charm. I'll see what press material i can release to you guys.D.C.


  4. spanusia says:

    You lucky, LUCKY man!!! Excellent report and great photos. I'm so jealous. Living in the UK means I have not had the chance yet to meet them in person. Please tell me Haruna Kojima is just as beautiful in the flesh as she is on the cover of magazines and CDs…


  5. an-D says:

    Hi thanks Anise & Cloves! Yeah I really couldn't take my eyes off of Atsuko, and even though they're all wearing alike outfits and doing similar dance choreography she was magnetic to say the least!! I'm new to the group but have read about her popularity and I say it's justified. I think the one thing that struck me the most at first is just how perfect everyone looks they're like dolls brought to life for lack of a better description. Luckily even without a premier pass I managed to sit with some friends I made at the event as a bunch of us requested the same row of seats together and that really made the event that much more enjoyable. By chance dychans was seated directly to my right and while no photos were allowed (how about that large message upon the screens before the concert!) he was there as a press member so he offered to snap away with my camera which was like a magical moment, didn't expect any photos and even got a warning as I took a photo before the show had started just to say I was in the Nokia Theater, my first time. We were really bummed by seeing so much line cutting during the first autograph signing and had stayed in the hallway for such a long time after the concert, in hindsight I would have liked to have attended their ICE movie screening as I heard that Kasai Tomomi would be in attendance although I don't know if she was really there or not. After their Q&A panel I really thought I was out of it again for autographs as I heard in previous panels you needed to be seated in the first three rows in order to receive tickets, funny but lucky how they changed all of that in an instance and then the mad dash began. It was funny how it worked out as I just happened to be seated in an aisle seat and therefore could get up and run right away without waiting for a row to clear out and while I had no idea of where to go I just followed this one girl who seemed to know where she was heading! I nearly fell twice by dodging oncoming cosplay traffic and when the AX staff was yelling 'no running' I was thinking you gotta be kidding right?Were you also at the Mano Erina movie event? I was sort of thinking it would be a concert but even with the two songs I still thought she was great! I couldn't get over how tiny she was, just really the cutest girl. I was surprised that she was only signing so few autographs as I thought they could have allowed much more. I brought the photo from home, I found it on auctions a week or so before the event and just in case I thought. I know I heard some negative remarks after the movie from around me in the back but I just thought Mano Erina did great at acting and that well no ones does horror like the Japanese it had me on edge for most of both stories although the second one was more on the sad side but the first mini story was really creepy!! I've heard that Mano Erina believes that Santa Claus lives in Finland from an interview she gave I think awhile ago and so funny that someone asked about that very thing! I wish she would have elaborated some more but I guess she's heading to Finland one of these days =)! Nice to meet you.


  6. an-D says:

    Thanks again dychans! I'll be sending the link for the performance of "Sakura no shiori" you shot at the concert shortly, just realized that they won't allow that size of file unless I create an account. Haha that file is almost 300 MBs I wonder why it's so large! I was sort of trying to be not so obvious and tried to snap away secretly and the end result was catching a lot of you guys in the front row ahead of me :P. I knew I should have read the manual before this trip as with a new camera I was quite lost about how to set it up for better photos but that's sort of me I usually just pop things in when I get them and try to figure them out that way. Must read instruction manuals more often. I think it was less than 4 minutes till the meet & greet event was going to start when I drew one of the marked tickets and then had to run and by the time I arrived I was then sweating heheh not really the impression I wanted to have when meeting such pretty girls! The most memorable moments for me was being able to ask direct questions to Kitahara Rie who was at the last table I sat at along with Sashihara Rino who were less than a foot away! They're all so pretty and perfect I couldn't get over how pretty everyone was!! Sashihara and Kitahara were by far the most engaging and talkative and animated they even began asking us questions one by one which was really amazing. And although Maeda Ami seemed really on the shy side I thought she was the most pretty of all the members, just love her natural eyebrows and large eyes. My message to Ami is never to change those eyebrows they compliment her looks so much! During the Q&A panel I couldn't stop gazing at her heheh I know that sounds a bit much but I must tell the truth and we made eye contact at least 8 times as I guess I was being a bit too obvious =). I really thought they'd throw someone out who tried to make contact with Mano Eri lol as I was standing in line for her autograph! A big big thank you! If I hadn't seen that she was shaking hands ahead of me I would've never got the chance and you're right as she must have thought it was part of the procedure as she held her hand out after signing my photo and she was so cute smiling and her voice, I wonder how you felt about it? I couldn't even imagine a cuter voice in the world and when she was saying 'thank you' it was like magically cute! Thanks so much for everything! The entire trip/vacation was a blast, my once in a lifetime chance to get so close to an idol group and an idol at one time!


  7. I'm relatively new to the fandom myself. I'm only familiar with about half the girls at most and some of the girls in attendance — I had no clue who they were. ^_^;; I think by the end of the show, I had a -much- better appreciation for some of the lesser known girls. :3


  8. Hey looky look~y who has their own Vox (*´∀`)♥!。。


  9. an-D says:

    Oh she is and they all really are! Haruna Kojima also stood out as the tallest I think of the girls here, but don't quote me on that as she just appeared to be the tallest. Every girl was pretty beyond words and I don't think even photos or video footage does any of them justice, they're stunning in person! I'm still sticking with Maeda Ami being the most pretty I think was partially hypnotized by her eyes but really they're all so pretty! Nice to meet you Spanusia and thank you! haha I'm not much of a writer though just sort of typed away here without too much of a format =). I'm wondering where AKB48 will turn up next, surely Europe, the UK must be in their plans to visit and spread their unique brand of music and idol group. I know Morning Musume was in France this very same weekend and I think their concert even coincided on the very same day as AKB48's? I'm sure they'll be in the UK soon!


  10. an-D says:

    I did a crash course with a lot of help from Chris (CK) with the girls' names and for what songs I should be familiar with as they'd most likely be performing those and it worked out so well as I recognized many songs with just the exception of those smaller unit group songs, still they were all amazing and I was able to get into even those songs I hadn't heard before. We were near to the end of the hall where the line first made a u turn on the opposite side from the door and at first it looked very promising but yeah there were just too many people cutting in line up front near the door as one friend would have 4 or 5 join them until it just grew into a small crowd there. The really upsetting thing was that the AX staff didn't control the line until much later when it was already too late. Happily at the second signing they had the crowd under much better control so I didn't see any cutting at least near to the front where I was able to sprint to from the Q&A panel, that was crazy all of the crowd coming towards us wondering where and why we were running like crazy people! I was disappointed too not to get in on the first autograph session as they announced late just before opening the door that everyone could take a photo upon entering the room as long as it wasn't from too close up, so missed out on that opportunity as no photos were allowed unless you were media at the second autograph panel. A friend I made there, dychans was there as a media member so he took some video footage of the second autograph panel so hopefully we'll get to see some of it and haha maybe I'll be in the footage too =). The "Kamikyoku Tachi" CD/DVD was an amazing bargain! For only $15 and I thought it was like a collector's item too as it says Los Angeles on the back where the licensing/credits are written. Sadly Takamina wasn't at the meet & greet but it's so great that your friend was presenting her a gift! I think that's so touching and I'm sure she'll be most touched too by the gesture and thought! Maybe you can tell your friend to follow her blog as I heard firsthand that the member's sometimes write about meetings and gifts from fans there in posts. Sashihara Rino! She reminded me of a local girl in many ways she was so outgoing and friendly and seated beside her Kitahara Rie was just as engaging in personality! I think they're best friends or at least that's the impression you got when you met them together in an intimate atmosphere. Sorry that was me! purchased the last one >_<; and with a second show I was really hoping that they had set aside more t-shirts for the second audience. I think they could have made much more money if they'd brought even more of her merchandise to the event. Also surprised that AKB48 didnt' have their own booth at the exhibition hall, but I did get to shop at the Kunakuniya? not sure if that's right as they had a small area with singles and books. There was this one guy next to me in line that mentioned a red carpet for Mano Erina but he wasn't sure if had happened already or where it was happening and while we were in line it didn't seem like a good idea to leave as I was thinking the merchandise and seats up front may be gone by then. I missed out on the smaller photos too and I purchased maybe the same C.C Lemon set? I had no idea that there were Hello! Project girls in the film besides Mano Erina actually I'm not familiar with too many of them, loved the movie too! Very creepy and I'm planning on getting the DVD when it's released no question! I was wondering if Mano Erina ate pizza too but I heard she didn't stay for lunch which is a bit odd I thought. That hiccup from the first story still haunts me now!So funny and cute that she believes that Santa lives there! And her speaking voice, too much like an angel!


  11. an-D says:

    =)! My Vox looks pretty sad compared to yours!


  12. dychans says:

    haha! Your vox aint that bad, I only made an account a while back to post comments. lolI must say you have good taste! I love natural looking eyebrows on a girl. It really brings out their eyes. Which is why Ami is one of my favs. I'm glad you told her to never change them. :DI'm not sure if you've seen this but someone at ax got her to do her trademark Mayuge booo~nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mjzoCXC5hw&feature=player_embeddedI got some pictures of mano's event too. I'll see what I can do to get them too you as well. If I read correctly, I think mano tweeted that she wanted to come to LA again next year lol.


  13. an-D says:

    Hahah I think if it's allowed I'll embed that just so that the "blog" doesn't look so bare XD! I've never quite understood why some girls will spend so much time plucking their eyebrows until there isn't much left and then they end up drawing them back in :O Well natural is best I think! Shaping is okay but just don't go and pluck everything out :O! I'm thinking that Ami will keep them for sure, it seems to be a popular point with her love that! I took a peek at Mano Erina's blog but I don't think I saw that post yet although using that funny online translator has it's funny effects. I wonder how the second show went with the fan turnout? When I was leaving I saw a crowd lining up where we entered earlier for the second movie showing, also if they stuck with the only 25 autographs policy that's a bit brutal and especially with so many fans in attendance. Also with the merchandise much of it was sold out from our showing so hopefully they had more stock to refill the table with. You just reminded me about Mano Erina's tiny hands, if hands can technically be called cute then that was it!


  14. Want this too~♥!! Aamin so pretty~* o(*´∀`)o゛♥♥♥!!


  15. an-D says:

    Hey that's just redundant :O!


  16. Guldari says:



  17. あたしも・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。!!凄く嬉しい!!。。もっとAKBラブ♥があるなら~*もっと素晴しい!そう~そうね~*っo(*´∀`)o!


  18. spanusia says:

    Love your photos from the red carpet, very candid – ace!!! AKB have been to France, perhaps my next best option would be to spend a couple of days there when/if they appear there again. Getting to see all the girls' personalities through watching them in many TV shows like AKBINGO etc, you can't help but love them all, they all have their own cute little ways. Have you seen any of the 600 Sec show yet? Yuko and Haruna's segments are so sweet Haruna with her dog is so kawaii.


  19. an-D says:

    Wow thanks! I was trying to capture all of the girls so that the photos could make a little slide show, unfortunately I couldn't take them quick enough and still keep them in focus properly. I was happy with the angle though, just wish I had gotten a few more in before they had passed us. Oh I had no idea that AKB48's been to France already that's really great!! I'm hearing that they have more and more t.v. programs! haha I could never keep up with all of them but first off I'm planning to watch their drama "Majisuka Gakuen" as it came highly recommended by CK. I may watch it streaming as I can't seem to find and download sites which are still active. Oh I haven't heard of that show heheh that's a funny title =)! Sounds like a personal type of show, sometimes the really candid clips are the very best!


  20. mousoufest says:

    Hey! Long time no see^^What a complete and loooong post! I am not too familiar with the AKB girls so sadly I can't understand all of the excitement, but it is great that you had tons of fun and good memories that will last you a life time!! 🙂


  21. Hi~*, I've been a bit slow in posting recently and so much to get to! Nice to hear from you! Oh actually this is a guest post written by a friend who was so so lucky~* to attend and meet so many of the AKB girls and also Manoeri!! He got to shake hands with her soooooo jealous!!! I hope you enjoyed his article and yes~ it's quite detailed ^ ^!!


  22. J-pyon says:

    Wow what an article loved the Mano part, not a big fan of AKB which has nothing to do with the girls since i do enjoy some of their music, and im glad they get to do what they love but im more of a old schooler and not into the otaku acts which unfortunately momuse has fallen under even though they are making attempts to get out of it. But im really glad AKB and Momuse have made it to the U.S. lets Japan know they have a Fan base here and maybe their items will become more easily available to us soon. Don't know if you heard but SPEED has reformed and is ready to make new music which makes me soooo happy, i really wished i could have collected all their singles but i am only able to get their full length albums but still im a very very happy man. I really hope SPEED can capture their former glory and really cannot wait to hear any new music from them ~ne (maybe they will tour in Hawaii to). Tell your guest author great job hope to here more from them in the future. ありがとうございます。じゃね(^0^)/


  23. Hi~* hi…I think you have a few new comments ^ ^。


  24. What's really awesome and in ways really unique is how AkiP is producing AKB to have an old~school music style as he's writing their songs with the direct inspiration of the 70's and 80's and with his connection to Onyanko Club I'm sure it's so endearing for him to recreate this sound for today's generations too. U~n! idols and J~Pop are becoming so much more in tune and accessible to the international fan community and now both AKB and Momusu have been to France and the U.S. along with NY for AKB last year which is all amazing and encouraging!! The opening of HelloStoreUSA was a huge leap too and it's now not so expensive to be a H!P fan which is wonderful….oh I'm a really big SPEED fan and I was lucky~* to have experienced their music from their debut in real time back then =). My main fan post is here~* only thing is that YouTube sadly ate all of my video clips although all of the audio files are still there. I was experiencing their music and witnessing their awesome success as it grew and grew back then so I was able to keep up with their complete discography….here in August of 2008 when I first learned of their re~grouping so funny as it was then not even their first re~grouping XD…first single of their second re~grouping!!….actually posted here when it actually arrived. Speedland was most amazing~* too!!!…just being able to relive all of their hits redone now with the girls all grown up….I'd recommend getting Speedland for sure! There's actually been more single releases~* and I was so meaning to post about "Himawari Growing Sunflower" as I've had both editions since April of this year but haven't gotten around to it yet and all of their recent releases~* have come with posters too which is always a nice touch. Well SPEED's current sound is much less J~poppy and much more R&B although they've explored that style in the past too…..and I guess that's why Speedland was so special~*, still I've liked everything new they've released since late 2008 as it's them evolving musically and I guess it would be silly of me to want them to still have their previous style and sound :P. I have music files in most of the posts linked above so you can listen to them and I hope~* you enjoy them! A~h I was just thinking that unless reply is clicked on towards an-D he's probably not aware of new comments to his post above……but now I've sent him a message so hopefully~* he'll respond ^ ^。


  25. Ugh~! I totally forgot to mention that SPEED also released a new concert DVD "Welcome to SPEEDLAND" live @ Budoukan!!! It actually was released on December 30th of last year and yet again I've been meaning to post about it as it's most awesome!!!!..but I still need to do that write up :/.


  26. u~nn… Sayaka Kondo is an SDN48 (SaturdayNight) member, the all-mature girls group.


  27. an-D says:

    Oh I messed that one up, sorry I've only known of AKB48 for about a month or so now. Heheh let me know if I fumbled any other names here!


  28. an-D says:

    Hey can I get an edit?


  29. edit? nani?…….oh, wait okay.


  30. Okay~* all fixed (*´∀`)。。。。was it just the one sentence? It's the only time I saw Sayaka's name in bold….Hm don't you work today?


  31. an-D says:

    Thanks!, I'm actually not sure if I wrote that more than once will check more closely. Nah not today but I got a night shift next week =).


  32. an-D says:

    I was thinking should I jam everything into a single write up? Well then I figured I didn't want to keep bothering MB to log me back in if I had done them in separate chapters or something (not being given the password >_<!) so it was all written in a single sitting. Thanks! I had a blast being in LA for the first time and everyone I met was really friendly, so yeah lots of memories happy ones!


  33. an-D says:

    Thanks so much! I'm not really sure but this may just be a one time write up for me, blogging never been my thing but I guess you never know what may change. Haha I may become inspired to in the future. I'm pretty much new to all of this so my perspective's a little funny I guess. For sure the Mano Erina movie/mini live was a highlight for me! When we first lined up to try to get autographs the staff were clearly saying stuff like 'no touching!' heheh I was thinking 'touching?' who was going to touch her and then get thrown out? But later I found out that a friend I had made there who was ahead of me in line started it all by first shaking hands with the movie's writer (producer? I can't remember) getting his autograph and then he said Mano Erina seeing that had then just stuck out her hand like it was part of the meeting. Such great thinking on his part so when I got up to her and she was signing the photo I had brought with me she just stuck out her hand and I couldn't believe how tiny and cute her hands were. Seriously the cutest hands I've ever shaken in my life and I still haven't found the photo of us together with the handshake but I know it's out here somewhere as the Japanese either media or staff took one which caught me off guard or I would have posed or something haha! Thanks again.


  34. J-pyon says:

    Ah you are so lucky to have shaken hands with Mano, she comes across as some one with such a kind and soft demeanor and those cute hands of hers also has the talent of playing piano so must of have been an honor as well. You wrote so well i though this was something did all the time lol but hey like you said you never know maybe MorningBerryz can make you a field reporter for her blog sending you to all the j-pop shows to report on it for her lol. (^o^)


  35. Rad♂ says:

    Holy, moly, MB. You were a few steps away from me during the red carpet (I was positioned right at the corner of the "L" just to the right off-camera), and you did such a great job on the concert photos! I really was just a fan at the concert, because I don't want to ever risk being taken out because of unauthorized pix, but again was probably a few seats to the right of you all, and one row or so back (row 6). It was a great, great concert. Regarding Manoeri, again we must have been almost shoulder-to-shoulder, and it was fabulous you got to get in the autograph line (I was a little slow, interviewing Manoeri's handlers and others). That was a big, big day … AKB48 in the early morning, Manoeri for lunch and AKB487 again in the afternoon, Thursday, July 1, 2010. A day that will live n infamy!


  36. Oh actually a friend wrote this as a guest feature, I wasn't able to attend sadly =( but he was so wonderful~* to get me AKB autographs and how he ran for them :O!! The red carpet looked so amazing!!!..like the Oscars with AKB entering and walking by so near to everyone. I'll let an~D know you left a comment for him as he won't get a notification from Vox for this post and I'm sure he'll be happy!


  37. やっほぃ♪。。。you have a new comment ^ ^。


  38. an-D says:

    Hey Rad thanks for the message! I guess we really were quite near to one another at these events, I was lucky to have met Chris there at the Anime Expo as I couldn't have done any of this without his help and expertise at these events. You know I was thinking that it would have been so much better to have been near the end of the "L" as I just saw how long the girls stayed there while the press and fans took so many photos and they were posed for too! Still I was glad to get a few snaps while they were approaching our area and it was the most unique experience for me, just nothing like it that I've ever been so lucky to have attended before. There's a bit of zoom on those photos as we were a bit further back but still great seats in row ten. I had made a friend earlier during the previous events and luckily he had a press pass so he was allowed to take photos as long as no flash was used. There's also a video of "Sakura No Shiori" but I haven't uploaded it just yet. I really enjoyed the Mano Erina horror movie a lot! I can't wait for it to be released on DVD as I'm getting a copy for sure and so special to have seen it at its world premier, again a first for me! It was just lucky to have sat towards the right side as the autograph line began towards that side and I had to move really quickly in order to secure a place in line, just surprised that she was only signing so few autographs. She was so cute!! It was really the highlight for me on this trip as shaking hands with an idol, again a first! Such a special day for sure!


  39. Rad♂ says:

    It was just a tremendous effort and those photos are really stunning of all the legendary AKB48 stars, including my beloved Ono who is graduating this summer (probably already gone), another victim of the acting bug. As for CK, we go way back, having actually been pictured on the DVD box set (we're small, but, yes, we're on there!) for H!P's Winter 2008 concert at Yokohama Arena. Plus, CK and I are seen plain as day during Ayaya's "Meccha Holiday" song; actually twice, once at the very start (at far right past Airi and Nakky) and near the end, over Ayaya's shoulder, and even my hand is clearly seen outstretched. Holy moly, to be at a live show with these girls is fantastic; to get on the DVD is utterly spectacular and certainly a lifetime achievement! Too bad there have been no Yokohama Arena concerts since the 2009 Elder Club graduation. CK and I are also clearly seen at the far left during the latter portion of "Bob Girl" just to the left of Sayu in the 2008 show. It's all amazing and well worth the expense and effort!


  40. an-D says:

    Can't believe that one of the girls are now leaving the group? Just looked up names and Ono was the one with the short hair funny all of the photos I see of her online she has much longer hair in them. Sad to hear she's leaving or already left? I hope she does well as an actress. That's incredible to be on the cover of a concert DVD!! And also in the footage as well!! Haha maybe one of these days I'll travel to Japan to see a concert in person but most likely it'll be for AKB48 =).


  41. Hi~hi~* just scanned an article on Erepyon here~*, it's from a short while ago so she still has her longer hairstyle she's really cute in these photos (*´∀`)!。。I'm not actually sure of when her graduation is or was as you're wondering.


  42. Pingback: ~~Eat Fresh~~! 「Site News」 | モーニングBerryz48…the morning after….. "Always wear protection before reading…(^q^)."

  43. philipleslie says:

    One of the best ‘events’ reports I’ve read! So vivid and detailed, I could easily imagine being there (even down to what it was like being in one of those queues!). What an amazing experience. I wonder if the event, filmed for Japanese TV, is available on YouTube or similar, because it must have been broadcast. Oh, to have been so close to Sasshi…And all those lovely autographs, too. Amazing. Thank you for a great post.


    • Andy says:

      Hey Philip thank you for your kind comment, MB informed me that you had left a comment here. Luckily I had written this not too long after the L.A. trip so the very details were still fresh in my mind, still a most clear memory would have to be that mad dash from their last day panel to the upstairs area where the autograph line was and if not for that little girl’s backpack she was wearing I may have never located the autograph area as that convention center is just huge, I’d get lost in there. Of course the meet and greet room was a surprise and just to choose one of those lucky tickets. One thing I can say for certain is that all of the AKB48 idols up closr in person are even prettier in peson and for those gitls in the meet and greet room they all had perfect complexion, were really petite and looked like dolls brought to life, I swear normal people don’t look like this, most beautiful girls I hav ever seen period. Of course MB would argue this as Yuko wasn’t in that room and I’m sure she’s perfect too but I did see her pretty close up on the red carpet and in the concert as well. Sasshi was the type of girl you’d want to hang out with all day she came across as a really sweet, colorful and fun person, I’ll always remember that. There were cameras in the meet and greet room so I’m sure there is footage out there somewhere and some staff guy even snapped a photo right as I was shaking her hand, softest and most petite hand I’ve ever touched. Getting the AKB48 girls autographs on the last opportunity was luck and that backpack being my guide there, all of the girls were extremely friendly and quite talkative and animated at the autograph session, it was all and more than I could have ever hoped for. Thanks for writing me.


    • Hi Philip,

      Earlier this year I discovered that I actually was e~mailed an Anime Expo video clip from Andy quite awhile ago which I had overlooked and so I posted it up and you can watch the second autograph session from the girls which was on their final day of participating in the festivities in this clip:


      I love that Sasshi & Kitarie were paired up together for both the meet & greet and the autograph sessions (or at least the second one) as they were such a perfect pairing back then being seen together quite often before Sasshi’s exit from the group =(.The video is from a media member whom Andy had befriended at the Anime Expo as he was able to film the girls in select events back then this is just one which he had shared with Andy.


      • philipleslie says:

        Hi Andy. Maybe some time you might like to blog more about any other idol encounters you might have had or will have! You’d make it very enjoyable to read about… Kitarie seemed so friendly and enthusiastic. Really enjoyed the video footage. It’s crazy that people would want to sell their autographs, especially if they’ve spent so much effort acquiring them. I have quite a few treasured actors’ autographs, usually obtained by writing to them via their agents, although the large signed photo of Kirsten Dunst I spotted in a music store became mine by swapping 40 CDs for it. (I knew it was genuine as there was proper documentation.)


        • Andy says:

          I can’t imagine parting with something which holds a personal memory like that. I’m not much of an autograph collector but the very few that I’ve gotten I would never think of selling them I don’t think. That was quite a trade, I like Kirsten Dunst and have seen most of her movies she’s really an exceptional actress. Kitarie and Sashihara were by far the most talkative and they even spoke some English too, they just stood out from all of the girls in the room easily. And not even magazine photos do any of them justice, again they were just like dolls brought to life. I’m probably not the blogging type with this being the only write up I’ve gone to the internet for, well not sure that I’d have the dedication for one. Still thank you for reading through, I had fun recollecting these days in L.A.


  44. Denny Sinnoh says:

    I actually own that kimono photo book from 2010!

    I bought it on eBay a couple years ago. Best 5.00 I ever spent. I keep it in my office. I keep it in my “Little Akihabara” drawer in my office at work, where I keep a lot of my collectibles. I like to get that one out every once in a while if I need reminded about what is good in this world.
    Also, it is amazing to see how the girls then grew into the amazing women they are today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a wonderfully photographed book! Wish I had a copy myself as everyone’s kimono is exquisite! At first this special B.L.T issue was going to be used for getting the girls’ autographs but it wouldn’t have been practical to frame and display and funny how Andy came to the realization of going after a shikishi when the moment of truth arrived and lucky someone had one to spare! I bet he has this issue in a safe place too as it’s a beautiful collectible!

      Un! How time flies and how everyone has matured so much since =).

      Liked by 1 person

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