Friday, June 29, 2012

EXILE Spectacular - Sapporo Dome Tower of Wish Concert 24 December 2011 Part II

So we last saw the Evil One literally flying into Paradise as she managed to snag a precious photo with the fake Atsushi-san. Still, the REAL deal himself (thinner, hotter, sexier!?) awaits within the concert arena. After satisfying our stomachs with a relatively blah dinner, which improved Samurai's mood significantly (the man gets grouchy when he is hungry), we rushed in to take our seats which is somewhere in Section 55-56 (I forgot our exact seat numbers). The first thing that greeted my eyes as we entered the arena/stadium was this cavernous space that extended outwards in a circular direction and this MASSIVE stage in the centre, like this:

A more elaborate stage than that for our National Day parade!

Not surprisingly, since the concert was called "The Tower of Wish", the centerstage was hogged by a ginormous lighted tower which throughout the concert would change into a myraid of different wonderful settings, from a chimney with a climbing Santa Claus - for the Christmas song segments, to a Clock Tower in "Anata E" (to die for moment), to a space station, a sun monument (for "Rising Sun") - such a spectacular feast for the eyes. Unfortunately due to VERY STRINGENT patrolling around the arena, I was unable to take many pictures during the concert to showcase these wonderful stage marvels. You would not believe the number of mobile phones that were confiscated during the concert (which we saw being laid along the corridor on our long march out - post concert). No matter how one tries to hide, the concert police with their super sharp eyes could find you and your handphone!!!! 

The number of concert goers was also jaw-dropping awesome. Obviously the capacity of our own Indoor Stadium is significantly less and my latest Anzenchitai concert had only about 7,000 - 8,000 people. The biggest concert I attended was probably the Michael Jackson one (may he RIP) at our old National Stadium and that was very crowded, but I could hardly remember anything of it. Here at Sapporo Dome, all 50,000 seats were sold, and they sold out for two nights!!!

Just a look at the crowd. Excuse me your HEAD!

Needless to say, the atmosphere was electrifying. We had the fortune (or misfortune?) of sitting in front of a gaggle of teenage (I think) girls who screamed over any and everything. "Nani? nani, nani???" (i.e. "What's up? What? What?") all throughout the concert and with every change of the stage setting or costumes, etc. It was funny if not a little irritating.

The concert itself? Sigh. It was truly the BEST concert I have EVER attended. And I didn't even know ALL the songs (now I do), nor have I learnt sufficient Japanese to understand what my darlings onstage were talking about (10% maybe). And they were so far away! But the Evil One was beyond delirium, "So long as I am under the same roof and breathing the same air as Atsushi, I am happy." But it was a magical three hours. EXILE was, needless to say, beyond amazing with their live energetic performances and solid heavenly vocals. Atsushi and Takahiro, small and far away as they were, were PERFECT - perfectly handsome, perfectly muscled in all the right areas, perfect voices. The ever morphing stage sets, the laser lights, the glittering costumes, the committed dancers and enthusiastic but orderly audience gave me a night I would never forget. I think I spent half the time with my mouth hanging open with my senses assaulted on every front (in a very good way.)

I screamed and danced as if I was 18 again (and paid the price with aching bones and muscles the following day.) When "Choo Choo Train" came on, the Evil One and I went ballistic. We were definitely louder than the teenage girls behind us, and the Samurai probably wanted to slink under his seat and pretended he never knew us. But please! we saw adult men and hordes of Obasan attending the concert too - surely we were not the only crazy (old) ones in the house. However, it was my turn to want to disppear when the Evil One started sobbing!! when Atsushi sang his solo piece "Ittsuka Kitto". Without a doubt he sang it beautifully, although I was more moved by the earlier "Anata E", but the Evil One cried as if Atsushi has just proposed to her. Momentarily I was worried she would faint from overwhelming happiness and emotions! But I could moderately understand her feelings. Her year long dream to see him finally FINALLY came true. It was surreal, and fantastic at the same time.

During the concert encore, we started to blatantly take photos again. Think the one on screen was Atsushi.

Objectively speaking, even if I was a non-fan, I would rate the EXILE concert as one of the best ever based on their awesome production values. Can you imagine the cost of shipping that DAMN tower overseas if they wanted to hold an overseas concert? It certainly did not made financial sense. And with such a fervant domestic market, it is no wonder J-pop acts hardly need to pander to overseas fans. Which is sad. But it matters not at that point, since Rome could not come to us, we went to Rome instead! And what a worthwhile trip. And what a once in a lifetime experience!

Thankfully I now have a copy of the concert video (legally purchased at SGD50) to relive every joyful moment. Thanks to the Evil One and her boundless determination, and thanks to EXILE for the memories, and thank GOD for a most wonderful Christmas Eve.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fat Geisha is in Korean Craze Mode

Omo! My bad! I realised it has been TWO MONTHS since I updated my blog. I feel so embaressed. Sumimasen, my secret admirers. As usual, work took over my life, and Japanese homework became too dreary to look forward to - at several points I was on the verge of quitting but I told myself, "You have stuck with it for TWO years. What's a few more?" LOL. Probably my sanity. It is really, REALLY difficult to study when you are old.
And the last few weeks, Fat Geisha is in Korean mode, watching K-dramas by the truckload. Like seriously the reason why I don't watch many Japanese dramas is the utter lack of GOOD LOOKING or charismatic actors. What is this Japanese obsession with weak, skinny, girl-like (or drug addicted) FLOWER boys? (The hilarious thing was when I googled "Japanese Flower Boys Images", all the images that came out were those of KOREAN stars! Ironic or not!?)

Just a sample of the pictures I found on the net. Like ERM........NOT doing anything to Fat Geisha's hormones.

Fat Geisha needs a MAN PLEASE! Or at least someone that is considered traditionally good-looking? You know like TAKAHIRO?! And even though I don't have the hots for Atsushi, I would have preferred him over a "flower boy". Please just clone Takahiro a zillion times and put him on Japanese TV. Onegaishimasu! Even when you have a mature hunk like Fukuyama, you put him in a boring historical drama like Ryoma. Even the Samurai, who devours 50-episode historical dramas from China and Korea, could not make himself complete the series because it is JUST.SO.DRY. My dear fellow Japanese, can you learn from the Koreans, please?? Chaebal?! Oops I am already turning half Korean here.

So I am going to break my own blog rule and talk about my latest K-drama craze. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you to go watch. A shout out to QUEEN IN HYUN'S MAN (shortened to QIHM thereafter). Best K-Drama EVER. And that's saying a lot since I have been watching K-dramas for 10!!! years!

Fat Geisha, despite her dubious occupation in the entertainment industry, is (er-hem) a romantic at heart. She LOVVEES reading romance novels and watching romance dramas/films, etc. So I have basically come across all types of flawed or supposedly perfect heroes, heroines and the gazillion complications that they have to overcome to get their happily ever after. QIHM is a fantasy time-travel fusion sanguk where the hero is from 1694 Joseon dynasty and the heroine lives in 2012. Their love story is straightforward and comes with none of the bullsXXt baggage (class/wealth differences, hate-at-first-sight, hero-has-yet-to-grow-up, heroine-is-naive-and-innocent, parents-hate-each-other, etc.) that you see all the time on TV until you can write the script yourself. A drama detailing the process of falling in love devoid of fuss and with cackling (and by cackling, I mean the "fry-your-computer" type of chemistry!? I don't remember watching something like that. Add that to the element of time-travel complications which is intelligently thought out and makes the viewer invested and thinking. It is comedic, romantic, dramatic ALL at the same time. Wow, that hits me in all the right spots and I am officially declaring it as a PERFECT 10 in the pure romance genre. Oh and throw in the absolutely PERFECT MAN ever written/shown of my dreams:  A scholar who is book smart (he loves libraries) but at the same time has superb EQ and great observation skills, able to fight, RAWR!!!, is courteous, tender, loving, humourous, kisses LIKE A DREAM - DOUBLE RAWR!!!! Has a pair of long legs that stretches from here to eternity - TRIPLE RAWR!!!!! No flower boy, my Kim Boong Do. Oh and the heroine? For once, I did not want to shove her over a cliff despite her hogging the luscious lips of MY boy - so that surely counts for something. Ok, just go watch the damn show. Seriously.

Below are some of the pics that I stole from the Facebook International Fan page, done by fans of the show who are equally if not more obsessed than I am. Separately I promise I will finish up my EXILE Concert Part II post SOON (Once I can get my mind out of those long legs...hmmm.)

The Cause-and-Effect Couple

Such mind-blowing chemistry. I am refraining from posting kiss pictures. You can find them elsewhere.

Definitely not a flower boy. No siree!

I find men in libraries the HOTTEST. 

Did I mention long legs?

Ok right, this is gratuitous. But I am sure The EVIL ONE will like.To quote the perfect man himself: "How can I not like it? It is all very LUSTFUL and good."