Japan Trip Day 7: Shining Side

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Finally, it’s time for 2nd Live!

The day at Disney ended up being exhausting and with the weather turning sour I was not keen on waking up early to catch the first train to buy live merch; I ended up sleeping in quite a bit.

Still, I was keen on seeing the Producer panels that were free entry so I headed to Makuhari Messe anyway.

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Makuhari Messe

Walking from Kaihin-Makuhari Station, the closer I got to the venue the more SideM merch I saw hanging off bags. Notably I passed a few MofuPs along the way.

I arrived at the theatre around mid-day and the line for the Producer panels was short but slow. It was about a 20-30 minute wait before I got inside, which was fine because it was fun to see all the different people and their itabags around you. I realised once I got into the venue why it was so slow; there’s a single line and everyone takes pictures of every panel, shuffling a couple of inches to the next one. The line got pretty large by the time I got out so I was glad I got there when I did.

I’m pretty disappointed that they reused the 1st Live panels because I wanted to put my name for the Beit panel this time round. At the time of 1st Live I didn’t put my name down because there was no way I’d see the thing nor did I expect I’d go to 2nd Live. Ah well…

On display were also the original illustrations of the Beyond the Dream jacket by character designer Sogabe Shuji. If you stare at the Beyond the Dream portraits for too long they being to look a bit weird because everyone’s just head and neck, but the original illustrations had shoulders to balance everything. No photos were allowed but I can confirm Pierre and Kanon look 100% cuter in the original illustrations.

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Although I skipped the first train for buppan, it didn’t seem like it was necessary. I had reduced my buy-list to two items; the pamphlet and a T-shirt. I had wanted the penlight sets too but they were the priciest items out of the three and I knew if I didn’t catch the first train there would be no chance of me getting them. The penlights were unsurprisingly sold out by the time I went in, but what was surprising was how empty the lines were (see left side of above pic); I was in and out in just a matter of minutes.

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Pamphlet and T-shirt get!

They were playing Minori’s solo Fun! Fun! Festa! when I was buying the goods. Unfortunately the Second Anniversary Solo Collection was something I had to cross off my list of things to buy due to low funds.

What was left was to get a penlight. I went back to Ikebukuro to track down でらなんなん, a place that sells AKB stuff and penlights. It was a bit hard to find since it wasn’t its own building but I found it eventually. Just as you enter there was a section dedicated to penlights usable for 2nd Live. They had a colour chart for the units, as well as a couple of hand-drawn illustrations. The staff were pretty helpful too 👍

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Ready for the live(viewing)!

I was in Shinjuku for the first day and had a couple of hours left to explore it.

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Eventually making my way to Hanazono Shrine.

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After the shrine I moved towards Marui Annex mall. I wanted to check out Animega which was having a Yuri on Ice campaign, but like all the other stores I visited there wasn’t anything in stock I wanted to buy.

At the same mall I found the pop-up iDOLM@STER Official Shop.

There were cut-outs on a different floor:

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The store had SideM kuji and goods but they didn’t have any cut-outs :<

After browsing a few more shops I made my way to the cinema.

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I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from liveviewing; I heard a few things here and there but I wasn’t fully convinced. Turns out that, yes, people really get into it; the lights are all out, the calls fully there. The performers weren’t in front of you but the crowd atmosphere was definitely there.

At 5.20pm they screened messages from the cast recorded just for the liveviewing. I can’t say I remember any of it; they had the usual “enjoy the show” comments but I remember laughing quite a bit too. I think they were in the outfits in the pamphlet too.

The show began around 5.30pm with opening words from a certain clumsy assistant. When the crowd realised who it was everyone waved their green penlights.

Sai, FRAME, and HighxJoker had new outfits, while Legenders, Altessimo, F-LAGS were the same as their release event outfits from what I could tell. DRAMATIC STARS wore the new outfits they previously debut at DRAMATIC MEETING. At the half-way point they came out in ORIGIN@L PIECES outfits. THEN for the encore they came back in the casual concert T-shirts.

Shining Side set list

  1. Beyond The Dream / All members
  2. STARLIGHT CELEBRATE! / DRAMATIC STARS
  3. 勇敢なるキミへ / FRAME
  4. 夢色VOYAGER / F-LAGS
  5. The 1st Movement ~未来のための二重奏~ / Altessimo
  6. Legacy of Spirit / Legenders
  7. オレたちの最強伝説~一世一代、破羅駄威棲!~ / Shinsoku Ikkon
  8. 和風堂々! ~Wonderful NIPPON!~ / Sai
  9. JOKER オールマイティ / High×Joker
  10. THE FIRST STAR / Nakamura Shuugo (Tendo Teru)
  11. ぴんとこな ~蝶よ華よ~ / Balletta Yutaka (Hanamura Shouma)
  12. Happy-Go-Unlucky! / Hama Kentou (Kimura Ryu)
  13. だいぶ・いんとぅ・にゅ~・わあるど! / Yamashita Daiki (Nekoyanagi Kirio)
  14. 流る々風の如く~和歌静寂~ / Nakada Yuya (Kiyosumi Kuro)
  15. Because / Uchida Yuuma (Sakuraba Kaoru)
  16. サイコーCOUNT UP! / Nogami Sho (Iseya Shiki)
  17. DRAMATIC NONFICTION / DRAMATIC STARS
  18. Never end 「Opus」 / Altessimo
  19. String of Fate / Legenders
  20. With…STORY / F-LAGS
  21. OUR SONGS -それは世界でひとつだけ- / High×Joker
  22. MISSION is ピースフル / FRAME
  23. バーニン・クールで輝いて / Shinsoku Ikkon
  24. MOON NIGHTのせいにして / DRAMATIC STARS
  25.  喝采! ~花鳥風月~ / Sai
  26. HIGH JUMP NO LIMIT / High×Joker
  27. 夜空を煌めく星のように / DRAMATIC STARS&High×Joker
  28. DRIVE A LIVE / All members
  29. 【Encore】 Beyond The Dream / All members

DRAMATIC STARS
Shuugo, Taku, and Yuuma are amazing to watch. The guys just have really good chemistry and you can tell they’re having a lot of fun. Taku was a bit rough at the start but he eventually eased into it.

“DRAMATIC NONFICTION” had an extended instrumental bridge where they guys busted out new dance moves. As for “MOON NIGHTのせいにして” there really isn’t any words. It’s AMAZING live and it was definitely the single song that had the crowd riled up the most. DRAMATIC STARS have that adult charm and they use it as their weapon. They teasingly started taking off their jackets during MOON NIGHT which caused loud screams from the crowd.

Shuugo introduced and opened the much anticipated solo section with “THE FIRST STAR”. Full of energy and smiles, Shuugo was joined by back-up dancers Chibasho and Machuyan. All the solos were preview-sized if I’m not mistaken and my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me. Although there was only a sample out of Kaoru’s “Because” it was easily one of the best solos, so when Yuuma took the stage by himself I was excited as fuck. Yuuma has such a good and powerful voice.

Also somewhere during the talk parts Shuugo and Yuuma held hands.

FRAME
When Seiji’s voice was announced everyone was surprised and amused at how deep it was. When Massan stood on that stage and opened “勇敢なるキミへ” I burst out laughing. I’ve heard the track hundreds of times yet obviously I wasn’t over it. During “MISSION is ピースフル” the group were on carts that travelled around the venue! The threw balls to the audience and touched their hands 😢 While liveviewing was a fine experience, being able to be near the performers would be the one thing I’d be jealous of.

Hama was very cute and with a bandaid on his face like Ryu. “Happy-Go-Unlucky!” had him falling down at the end of the song. The talk segment at the end of the solo section was between Sai and FRAME. Amusingly, all of Sai have solos and they all performed, meanwhile only Ryu has a solo from FRAME. Massan and Kuma-chan jokingly acted left out.

During the end comments Hama said “315 Pro Night” instead of the intended “315 Productions” and they patted him on the shoulder telling him it was over and to let go.

F-LAGS
During “夢色VOYAGE” the group had the official F-LAGS flag waving in their hands and by the end of the song they had actual full sized flags. “With…STORY”had another flag antic in-store; they directed each section of the crowd to red, white, blue to make the whole audience a flag.

At the end comments, Sanpei cried really hard. She shouted ‘プロデューサーさん!僕はここにいるよ!’; the opening line of Ryo’s “羽ばたきのMy Soul” and a declaration from Ryo to the world. She was thankful for the support for her and Ryo, and to be with such a welcoming unit. When you see the guys interact and posting their adventures together on Twitter you can feel they’re very close; she’s had a long journey with Ryo so it’s heartwarming to see she connected so well with the other F-LAGS members.

The unit also popped out their ‘F-LAGS pose’ whenever they could. It’s, um, unique.

Altessimo
Altessimo are one of the strongest units musically and they do not disappoint live.

“The 1st Movement ~未来のための二重奏~” is a gorgeous song that had a gorgeous stage to go with it. I remember all the gold notes that decorated the screen. “Never end 「Opus」” was super powerful. It’s a song full of painful emotions but also where one finds hope. The two put on an emotional performance, where they sing but don’t quite meet the other, until the come together in the end.

Yuusuke mentions how nervous he was but he honestly was spectacular.

Legenders
Booooooooy, where do I begin. Although they were the newest unit to join the series you really couldn’t tell they were the newbies. I was looking forward to Legenders a lot and they surpassed my expectations by far.

The beginning of “Legacy of Spirit” was wild – I’m not sure what exactly happened but it was just the start for what was to come. “String of Fate” had one of the most memorable choreo to me; they were pulling on an invisible string and the screen had a red string. I have to add that in both of these songs Jujun had very spicy moves – to quote from my notebook; Amehiko was BURNING.

There was a talk segment in the second half when they changed into ORIGIN@L PIECES outfits and they talked about how each outfit is unique. They each pointed to a part of their outfit they liked most and Jujun pointed to the star on his shoulder’s back. Although it was on everyone’s outfits it was his favourite because it felt like there was support right on his back; that Producers had his back.

Fuumin and Jujun ended up crying during the end comments, with Koma-chan the last to speak and trying to hold it together so it didn’t end up as the whole unit crying lol. Fuumin delivered a haiku through tears in response to today’s stage.

Throughout the whole night, Koma-chan was hilariously bringing up the ocean whenever he got the chance, taking a note from his character. Koma-chan also wrote a really heart-warming letter to foreign Producers on his Twitter ;-;

Shinsoku Ikkon
Shinsoku Ikkon was a unit with a great amount of energy that fed the crowd and vice-versa.

Their songs worked really well with the audience’s calls. In “オレたちの最強伝説~一世一代、破羅駄威棲!~” they directed a whole section call and response of ‘ファイヤー!/セイヤー!’

Machuyan even got the audience to say ‘BUUUUURNINGGGG’ with him. Fukamachi also tried to do some call and response, though Genbu doesn’t have a catchphrase like Suzaku so things got a bit odd..

Sai
Sai were SUPER good live. Sai’s songs are playful to match the eccentric personalities of Kirio and Shouma, with straight-man Kuro to balance things out. All three seiyuus have voices that fit so well with their character.

“和風堂々! ~Wonderful NIPPON!~” was ridiculous fun with the ad-lib parts acted out.

Surprisingly, all three Sai members performed their solos. At the beginning of every song the audience readies itself to change penlights but to the surprise (and relief) they were all in close proximity of each other, Kuro’s coming right after Kirio’s. “だいぶ・いんとぅ・にゅ~・わあるど!” is wild live; Daiking controls his Kirio voice so well during songs. What was also great about the performance was the choreography; back-up dancers Shiranii and Uryao were doing cat poses along side him. Yuuyu was ever elegant performing Kuro’s “流る々風の如く~和歌静寂~” on stage by himself, gracefully lowering himself down on the floor at the end.

At the end comments, Yuuyu cried! Daiking, who’s known for posting millions of pictures of meat on Twitter, gave a greeting along the lines of, ‘Thank you for today’s meal, your smiles were delicious.’

HighxJoker
While I didn’t think “JOKER オールマイティ” had the same amount of energy it did in 1st due lack of entering through the crowd, the guys still had everyone hyped. At the ‘ネコさん~’ line Naganyan did cat ears with his hands instead a cat paw like in 1st. “OUR SONGS -それは世界でひとつだけ-” showed off a different side of the Jokers. It’s not a song I find myself looping a lot but along with the backdrop of past event cards it was a touching performance.

I hadn’t heard the full version of “サイコーCOUNT UP!” but from the previews it wasn’t exceptionally notable. Seeing it live, though, I feel a lot fonder of it afterwards. Nogami is just a real joy to watch because he’s so energetic.

Hirohiro did his ‘ひろひろだよ’ intro and the crowd shouted it back, making him laugh at how many Hirohiros there were. Nyan was wearing the Yamanashi collab scrunchy on his arm at the encore Beyond the Dream.


OVERALL it was one hell of a night. It all went by way too quickly and before I knew it it was the last song. The announcements of the night was a renewal of the in-game SideMini feature and a new app in development titled LIVE ON ST@GE. Though there’s no further information about LIVE ON ST@GE I’m sure everyone is hoping it’ll be a rhythm game. I’m conflicted about the new app because a rhythm game would be a great development for the series, but at the same time I wouldn’t have time to play such a thing regularly unlike the original app which doesn’t require much focus.

It was about 9pm when the concert ended and I was basically just screaming on my phone from when I left the theatre till midnight lol. I had been in Japan for a week but that was definitely the most fun I had the whole trip –and there was still one more day of the concert to go!

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