[i’m back with Part 2! thanks for your patience guys!]
SOOOO. after much clawing and lots of neck-stretching exercises, we managed to get our precious tickets! (wow! finally!) the staff were all decked in the Akina Countdown Show t-shirt and it’s really one of the best tees i’ve seen. it’s something i would actually wear! well, that’s IF it was available in my size. the S-sizes were out so my M-sized tee is now chucked in my Akina cupboard, together with the rest of the “unwearables”. haha.
together with the tee, we were given a goodie bag from Phiten (sponsor for the event) which comprised of a Phiten newsletter (er… i was expecting at least a lil report on their collab with Akina), and some Phiten sample products (including a small vial of massage oil?… plus a couple of plasters that were perfectly sized and shaped for the nipples. to make them perky perhaps? hahaha!).
there were 2 merchandise booths (apart from the ticketing booth) – one for Music and Video items (all her recent releases); and another for the usual items like Tees, Tour Booklets, Caps, Postcards, Phiten & Akina Collaboration Necklace, and er, that hideous Akina Logo Monoprint Bathrobe wasn’t missing of course. but of particular interest was a little Bear (which Anthony got if i’m not wrong), and the 2008 Calendar (with a misprint on one of the monthly grids, but i’m not arsed about it cos i never hang them anyway. i only buy them for the pictures). and the HUGE Resonancia poster was only going for 500 yen (cheap cheap). in line with the tradition of weird behaviour, we couldn’t buy any merchandise cos they won’t “open” the booth until something like 8:45pm, when we were in the midst of our dinner. how thoughtful. anyway, big thanks to Ranbi for Q-ing up for us!
onwards with the dinner. it was very much like a wedding dinner. 10 at each table. there was no ambience whatsoever with the ballroom house lights fully on, which would have been fine by me if the people seated at our table weren’t so glum-looking. there were 2 vexatious ladies (one of them captured in digital glory below) who were grating my nerves throughout the dinner. for some reason, we must have got on the wrong footing when waiting in queue (in front of them) at the basement (refer to Report Part 1) – we were obviously excited (who wouldn’t? i mean we’re here to watch Akina! i’m not sure about them though. did someone force them at gun point to buy tickets?) and couldn’t contain our hyperactivities (i’m sorry if you choose to waste life being half-sedated); and as we were conversing in various foreign languages (Mandarin, English, Cantonese, and a bit of Espanol) they thought we didn’t understand Japanese – they started making rude remarks, skilfully masked under their plastered smiles, about Kenji, Sharon and myself. very childish remarks that could have come out only from country bumpkins themselves – such as “how rude, they’re talking so loudly”, “put so much pepper in his soup, he doesn’t even know how to eat Western food… hahahaha…”
anyway, after we discovered they were seeking pleasure in overtly ridiculing us, Sharon proceeded to prominently converse in Japanese with one of the waitresses, and i virtually emptied a quarter of the pepper shaker into my soup whilst staring at Boring Subjects A and B. thank you for your hospitality. i felt very welcomed.
you’d think that ordinarily, if you threw a bunch of people at the same table, who were there to celebrate their love for the same idol and music, on top of welcoming the new year, there’d be so much to banter and indulge in. but nada. zilch. kosong. what’s wrong with these people?
thankfully, i was with good company (Ranbi and Anthony were seated a table away), and we dug into the rather yummy food (much better than the X’mas Dinner Show fare). champagne wasn’t served at dins, but we were told there’d be some when we countdown with Akina later in the evening. fair enough.
each of us was handed a Lucky Draw Coupon (see picture) and table by table, we were called for a spin at the new Akina Slot Machine (to be launched soon). everyone’s a winner, and we each went home with a cute plastic mug/cup thingie with Akina cartoons all over it! but then, we also won something more than the rest…