Friday, 15 March 2013

「両国国技館座長公演“水樹奈々大いに唄う 参”」

Zachou Kouen hajimarimasu~!
I was going to be really fast with this entry and actually got to a very good start during my long waiting hours between my flights on the 4th.. but after I got to Finland my me time has been very restricted. Gomen. orz In any case here it is now! Sorry if it's a bit lacking in detail, remembering everything like lines etc afterward was not very easy. (^-^;)

Also, before I start my report, I would like to thank the few great friends who offered to help with the Zachou Kouen lottery by giving me the code from their copies of ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS and made it possible for me to attend the event! Thank you so much! You have no idea how much I appreciate it. I really didn't think I would win a ticket to be honest, so I really am grateful. Love you all~ <3

I wasn't able to go to the presale this time, as it clashed with an event that my school was holding, so deviating from my norm I went on the morning of Zachou Kouen. I was going alone again so now, to conquer the time, I came equipped with a book - Haruki Murakami's  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I managed to read half the book by the time I got to the booth. xD If it had been in English instead of Finnish, I probably would've even finished it haha. Not a bad way to kill time at all. Luckily the queuing time was shorter than it is at concerts, as I expected. I also managed to restrain myself pretty well, so I didn't buy much. I couldn't resist the shirt though when I saw that the picture on the front was of Nanette. (>_<) But since I had thought about getting the towel, I just got the shirt instead of that then. Problem solved.

"O hi~!" ... yup couldn't resist that. orz

Of course, I neither could resist food lol. Nana dorayakiii~ /o/

Since I was done with the goods pretty early, I decided to go home in between since I was dying pretty bad (only had time to sleep a few hours the night before and the event at school yesterday sucked me dry orz) even if it wasn't the smartest thing to do time/money-wise. I really needed that little nap though + this way I could have a little Nana celebration by finishing the curry my friends had given me the other day. \o/ 

Inside Ryogaku Gokugikan
I didn't have big expectations from my seat, since I had only won one from the lottery. It was on first floor and seventh row, but the seat number was 1 so I figured it would be sort of close but totally to the side or something. I didn't realize how the unique seating system of the sumo hall worked so I was totally blown away when it dawned on me that my ticket was actually RIDICULOUSLY good. Well, in my opinion anyway. I have never had this great of a seat before. :3 I was located on the section directly in front of the stage, on row 7 on mat 8 which was nearly smack bang in the middle of the row AND my seat 1 meant I was sitting on a front pillow on the four person mat. I was only 10-15 meters from the stage. This is the closest I would be viewing Nana on stage so far.

When the time came for the event to begin, the lights went out really suddenly and instantly Nana showed up with Team Yoda and it was time for a mini live~~! Starting with....

01. Lovely Fruit
I-TA-DA-KI-MA-SU LOVELY FRUIT!! Oh my goodness, the excitement I felt! Definitely no better way to get me super pumped up in my near death state. Thank you so much for this Nana! <3 Even Nana's outfit was pretty close to the waitress outfit, really really cute! At one point during the song lots of bubbles were shot out and I kept getting quite a few of them on my face for the next few songs to come. xD Also, seeing them do the tray dance without the trays just somehow really made me want to join in. I should start practicing when I get home...

Big surprise! Though, have to say it was the best possible choice as continuation from LOVELY FRUIT. I was totally in heaven when I got to do the pointing/shooting move from the chorus back to Nana while she was doing it to us. Somehow I felt that it made Nana really happy too that everyone was doing it back to her too. Considering these choices of songs, I feel like Zachou Kouen itself will be more happy happy yay too compared to the ones before.

-Mishi-P Talk-
Mishi-P joins Nana on the stage to talk about Zachou Kouen. They talk about how they are happy to be doing a third one now and how actually doing a Zachou Kouen has been something that Nana has wanted to do ever since her debut. I am so happy that she got the chance to make that dream come true and not only once! \o/ They also talk about what has already been happening this year and what's to come - like the collaboration song with T.M. Revolution! Yay! The way they were talking about it almost made you feel like that song would be coming next, which would have been a bit weird I think... And sasuga we get instead...

In honor of the release of the second Nanoha movie being around the corner + also the Lyrical Party, we get.... SECRET AMBITION! To start the song off, Nana walks to the back edge of the center stage and rips off the cute skirt she was wearing to reveal extremely shiny and sparkly silver shorts! Weee~! /o/ I was actually admiring them from under her skirt during COSMIC LOVE so I am really glad she brought them out for full viewing. xD

Nana asks us to wait for the song with T.M. Revolution a bit longer! Then...

04. Get my drift?
Oh. My. God. Without any warning, all of a sudden.. Get my drift?!! Nana how can you do this to me... I totally was not ready. The moment that starting base sounded, my body started trembling. Ahh, and the red flashing lights - the atmosphere was so perfect! I nearly forgot to move my penlight due to being so absorbed in Nana and the song. I think she made a slight mistake at one point, but fixed it pretty smoothly. Go Nana! During the later half I could feel my eyes get teary once again (wahh don't look my way Nana when I am getting emotional orz!!). Reminded me of the first time I got teary eyed at a Nana concert - was during HIGH-STEPPER. Kind of weird song choices to get teary during, but what can I say.. I love these songs so much. :3 Plus, Get my drift? is a special song for me for a couple of reasons~

Nana asks how we liked that and since the Cherry Boys weren't here today she said to look forward to it in the summer.... so Get my drift? should be in the summer tour set list I suppose? I sure hope so! 

It is now time for another song and Nana asks us to participate in the singing by calling her name, which made this thought process go through my head: "What? How? Which song?" and turns out it was....

05. Happy☆Go-Round!
Oh my god this song was so incredibly fun to hear live. Nana was clever and changed the "LaLove" in the chorus to "Nanaa~" and she made this very obvious to us by always pointing at herself when she sang it first and then pointing her mic to the audience when we were supposed to say "Nanaa~" for her right after. I was totally into it, which probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. xD If she keeps this as a tradition, this song is well on its way to becoming one of my favorite Nana live songs haha.

-Mishi-P talk-
Nana exits the stage and Mishi-P comes back to talk since the actors need time to get ready. Everyone starts shouting "mawatte" to Mishi-P to help pass the time haha. After some grumbling, he decides to do it for us, after which we of course continue with "mou ikkai" to which he again complies. xD Afterward he says to the cameraman to remove that footage so it doesn't end up on the BD/DVD hahahaha. This nicely makes the talk flow to the BD/DVD release of LIVE GRACE x UNION. The footage of the two concerts is about 8 hours in total. He hopes people will find time to watch it and then makes a joke about how people like us in the audience always have free time. xD He then goes on to say how it'll be much fun to do the audio commentary for so much footage and joked about how he might just sleep again and let Nana carry on a monologue without him. xD Then he starts talking about the opening video of LIVE GRACE -Opus II- and says that since it is so awesome and cute, we get the treat of seeing it again! And thus the lights go off and the opening video of LIVE GRACE -Opus II- starts rolling on the big screens in the four upper corners of the hall. Again, if you want to know what the opening video is about, you can read about it in my entry [NANA MIZUKI LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II- 1月19日]. What Mishi-P didn't tell us though was that....
 ... we'd get to see the opening song, Zankou no Gaia, as well!!! (*-*) Ahhh~! Everyone quickly took out their pen lights and the video met with nearly as much enthusiasm as if it had been live. It was really great seeing it again and really really makes me not able to wait for the BD/DVD release! May come sooner!!

After that..... Zachou Kouen begins!

(Side note: I might sometimes be mixing up Yasumura and Konishi in scenes, so if that is the case my humblest apologies. orz)

<Scene 1>

The first person to show up on stage is [Fukuen Misato]! She calls for a princess saying the coast is clear, and the princess then shows up with her face covered. Could it be Nana? Of course not, it would be too soon for her to show up - it is [Noto Mamiko]. The princess seems to be looking for a certain place of promise at a festival. However, bad samurai show up and surround them. They start their assault, of which the most notable moment was when the bad guy with a rope swung at Misato and she jumped over it in her kimono. xD So... Whatever will become of our damsels in distress?

Never fear, two heroes are here! Namely, [Yasumura Makoto] and [Konishi Katsuyuki]. From the clothes they are wearing probably every Japanese person can already tell who they are supposed to be - I will get back to this after this particular scene though, so bear with me. With their appearance and the confusion it causes, the women are able to escape from the midst of the enemies and join the heroes at the back of the stage. The two heroes prepare to take care of the enemies without fighting, but then realize that they have forgotten the important [inrō] - another thing I will get back to really soon. They call for their friend to come and bring it to them. Cue in DISCOTHEQUE melody to make us think that Nana will be showing up next, but instead we get [Sugita Tomokazu]. xD

No inrō on Sugita either, so Konishi and Yasumura send him off to fight the bad guys alone, telling the women that he'll be fine. And thus start the endless stream of nicknames for Sugita's character lol. The character he plays is called Hajibe, and ever so often Sugita will call himself something Haji, the first being gakkari Haji (=disappointed Haji). He runs into the midst of the enemy, only to get beat up and returns to the others. Konishi and Yasumura make him return to fight though, so he goes, gets beat up again and runs away.

Time for another character to make an entrance. It is obviously a woman, but again her face is covered - this time by a hat. Perhaps it is now time for Nana? Hahaaa, nope - this time it is [Sawashiro Miyuki]! Her character is a female thief / kunoichi and she starts kicking the enemy's butt big time and then joins the rest of the good guys at the stage at the back. At this point the women escape and finally our two heroes decide to step up and take it from there. After kicking some ass, the two run off the stage after the ladies.

After this, the stage goes dark and on the screens we see.... the credits roll!

Tokugawa Mitsukuni ・ Mizuki Nana (lots of merriment and laughter here, I'll tell you why soon xD)

Sasaki Sukesaburō ・ Yasumura Makoto

Atsumi Kakunoshin ・ Konishi Katsuyuki

Hachibe ・ Sugita Tomokazu

Ogin ・ Sawashiro Miyuki

Yashichi ・ Asanuma Shintarō

Matsumoto Minamoto Tarōzaemon ・Matsumoto Yasunori

Kurenai ・ Nazuka Kaori

Shirogane ・ Miyano Mamoru (lots of cheers here from the audience xD)

Hikari no Himemiya ・ Noto Mamiko

O-Hane ・ Fukuen Misato

(and narration was done by Maki Daisuke)

~Background info~

So now for some background info... as the line up of roles at the latest made obvious - this is basically a Nanafied version of [Mito Kōmon], one of the most popular jidaigeki on Japanese television which is about the adventures of former vice-shogun and retired daimyo Tokugawa Mitsukuni in disguise and his two samurai retainers, Suke-san and Kaku-san. They always get out of fights by showing the inrō that reveals Mitsukuni's true identity. Here's a small clip from the jidaigeki, if you are interested: [clicky]. And yes, Nana is in other words playing a really old man ho ho hoo. xD I should also mention that the flower symbol on the Zachou Kouen goods is actually the same or at least very similar to the symbol on the inrō in Mito Kōmon.

There is also a Mito Kōmon festival in Mito each summer, which probably inspired the festival theme of this Zachou Kouen

Now back to what's happening now... it is time for.. 「光圀-Meet,come on!-」

<Scene 2>

After the lights go back on stage, Konishi, Yasumura and Mamiko show up on the stage. Misato and Miyukichi are somewhere else for some reason. Sugita appears soon after as well panting from all the running away he's been doing. Now he's calling himself ukkari Haji I think (careless Haji or something like that).

Suddenly we hear someone shouting "Oooiiiiiiii~!" and finally it is the time everyone has been waiting for - there is no mistaking that voice!

And thus we see an excited Nana running to the stage! And holy hell, is she adorable! She is wearing a very similar outfit to Mitsukuni in Mito Komōn, except it is much cuter with stars on it and whatnot. And she looks so small somehow haha (oh wait, she is a tiny person... :3). Seriously too cute. (>_<)

The Mito Komōn Mitsukuni outfit

Nana is eagerly talking about a festival, but Konishi and Yasumura aren't paying much attention to her, I think because of her being so tiny and nobody noticing her lol. When Nana moves closer to Mamiko, Mamiko tilts her head to check Nana's cute little bottom for a tail because she apparently thought she was a monkey??? xD Nana of course is riled up and exclaims she is no monkey. After the monkey business has died down, the talk turns back to festivals and Nana brings up Ehime by saying the festivals there are the best to which everyone else starts recommending the festivals in their home prefectures.

Next the talk switches to Miyukichi and apparently she has gone to take a bath. Konishi and Yasumura decide to go take a look and when they have left, Nana sends Sugita after them to stop them and foil their peeking mission.

<Scene 3>

Props for a bath door have appeared at the back part of the stage and we see Miyukichi making her way and opening the doors to reveal.... a bath tub lol. A steaming bath tub. Miyukichi walks through the doors and closes them and we see her obi as she flings it on top of one of the doors. Yasumura shows up first and being all for the ladies starts imagining the scenario of him opening the door "by accident" and witnessing the naked Miyukichi and what happens from there. This is all very funny. xD At the end of his fantasizing, Konishi shows up too and they end up opening the doors....

And BAM! We are greeted by one of the funniest sights ever hahaha. Instead of Miyukichi, we have a topless Sugita in the bath tub looking mighty smexy with pieces of cucumber covering his nipples. Oh my god I nearly died of laughter. xD

Sugita gets out of the bath tub and after some disappointed talking they all leave, though Yasumura makes sure to take Miyukichi's obi with him for sniffing lol.

<Scene 4>

Time to meet the main "villains" of the story - [Matsumoto Yasunori] and [Nazuka Kaori]. The scene this time takes places in Matsumoto's room. The pair start plotting, in the midst of which Kaori gives Matsumoto a box of Nana dorayaki with the cover oover the bottom part on the bottom. After looking at the dorayaki and noticing that they have "Nana Mizuki" written on them he ends up looking at the cover of the box anyway and thus sees Nana's picture on it exclaiming that she's very pretty. xD

Suddenly [Miyano Mamoru] shows up all bubbly and saying how he can help the two do what they want to achieve. The two are very suspicious of him and they make him prove his worth... by pretending to be a certain kind of koala? lolwut. After a few failed attempts to even begin, he managed to pull the koala impersonation off and Matsumoto is sold and is ready to accept Miyano's help. Kaori is not convinced though and after some further discussion Miyano pulls out a scroll from inside his clothes and offers it to her. She asks him what it is and he replies in English: "THIS.... IS..... JAPANESE..... MAKIMONO!!" ahahahaha oh my god... so hilarious!! xD Well, that last word definitely wasn't English though as I am sure you can tell, but yeah it was the Japanese word for scroll. After this Kaori looks over the contents of the scroll while Miyano lists what all details about him it has on it, like for example the three sizes of his first love lol. Kaori is now finally convinced and the three prepare to leave, when Miyano randomly remembers that he was hurt and pulls a massive shuriken out of his leg before exiting the stage. (o_o;)

<Scene 5>

Matsuri time! People dressed in festive yukata and whatnot show up on stage to set up quite nice and comprehensive festival props. Our heroes arrive to take part in the festivities and our happy Nana Mitsukuni makes her way to the prop in the middle of the main stage, which then rises up with her on it. It is now time for her to sing... 

06. お祭りマンボ (= Omatsuri Mambo)
Oh wow, this was incredible! I was really moved to finally be able to hear Nana sing enka live; a truly magical moment. I really liked this song and the fact that it allowed us the audience to take part in it too. What more could you ask for really than getting to sing enka with Nana? Totally an amazing experience. I really loved the playful feel of the song. :3 If you want to hear the song to get an idea of it, here's a link to it sung by Misori Hibari-san: [Omatsuri Mambo].

After Nana's song, the samurai from the first scene raid the matsuri, this time with Miyano, Matsumoto and Kaori with them. Nana makes a comment on Miyano's uncomfortable collar and he runs off trying to rip it off as he goes. xD After, more baddies show up - this time, soldiers with guns. They take aim and shoot.... Nana. She falls to her side and the prop she's on gets lowered back down to the stage floor. Konishi is devastated and runs to her side. Everyone else has run away. After desperately trying to shake Nana awake, Konishi is ready to throw in the towel, Nana is gone forever..... except she is not. Nana gets up just fine all of a sudden. xD Tadadaa, super woman~!

<Scene 6>

Scene switches to Misato, Yasumura and Sugita - the ones who made their escape. Turns out Sugita got injured in the skirmish as well. Very badly. He stumbles along for a bit and then falls to the ground. Seems like now he is dead. Yasumura gets very frustrated and exclaims that this cannot be happening because it is the same as the last Zachou Kouen! Konishi shows up now too and also reaches the conclusion that Sugita is gone..... except... he is not. He was just tired and dozed off. xD

<Scene 7>

It is time for the last epic showdown. The villains are about to have their way with princess Mamiko, but Nana shows up in badass mode. She has changed her outfit and has her weapon - this woman means business. Miyano is also on the stage again, but makes an epic run into smoke at the back of the stage and it is revealed that..... he was Miyukichi in disguise! Revelation of the century! lol Yasumura, Konishi and Misato are on stage too. Nana is about to go into proper god mode, staff member brings out one of the support pedestals she's used in lives to fly (LIVE UNION, LIVE CASTLE -King's Night-) and Misato asks who this person is to which Nana replies it is a staff member. Misato then says "otsukaresama" to the staff member. xD

Then just as Nana is about to strap onto the pedestal and let loose divine judgement, Sugita zooms up  nearly to the ceiling strapped onto two wires. xD He hangs there for a while waving his arms and legs about and shouting things. Nana starts to sulk since Sugita stole her spotlight and the staff member takes the pedestal away unused. 

New character, a ninja, shows up to fight the villains on the main stage - it is [Asanuma Shintarō]! He is doing fine until he realizes there are many people watching him (the audience). Turns out he is extremely shy and can't handle being looked at. When he is in agony of everyone watching him, Misato asks "Kono hito wa daijoubu desu ka?" (= Is this person okay?) and this made me laugh really loud..... but no one else did. So if you hear some random dork laughing at this point in the BD/DVD, you'll know it was me. orz So ehum.. Asanuma is about to run away but Nana stops him by promising him some churu churu paya pa. This guy seems to be obsessed with DISCOTHEQUE. xD He returns to fight and the melody for DISCOTHEQUE starts playing. Every time it is time for churu churu paya pa he pauses the fighting and we say it with him haha. After his little fighting episode, everyone starts participating in the fight and we see an epic fight between Miyukichi and Kaori and also Matsumoto and Nana. Nana's weapon pole was actually a sword and she does epic maneuvers with the sword and the sheath! Kakkoiiii~ (*-*)

In the end all the villains are beaten and peace is made. Princess can go to matsuri! She forgives everyone! Everyone is now friends! Happy days! To celebrate this conclusion everyone else leaves the stage so Nana can sing.. 

7. 千年の古都 (= Sen'nen'nokoto)
Another stunning enka performance by Nana. A really really beautiful finish to Zachou Kouen for sure. I was completely mesmerized. Absorbed in the moment. I think a couple of days later Nana mentioned on her blog that this was the last song her father taught her, giving this much more meaning now in hindsight. Again, if you want to hear the song, here it is sung by Miyako Harumi-san: [Sen'nen'nokoto].

<Thank Yous>

After the song, it is time for everyone to come take a bow and say their thank yous. All the main characters gather in a row on the main stage and each says some words about Zachou Kouen. Mainly about the crazily tight schedule everyone had and about how they were honored to be part of it and want to be a part of it again in the future. Seems like the everyone was pretty much rehearsing at different times and only yesterday was every single person present lol. Whoa. Miyukichi gets teased. Don't remember the details.

Afterwards everyone leaves the stage, apart from Nana and Mishi-P joins her on stage again to present us.... THE LIVE CIRCUS ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER! Ooohhhh the excitement! The butterflies in my stomach! As everyone probably knows by now the dates and venues are as follows:

July 7, 2013 - Ehime Budokan, Ehime
July 14, 2013 - Osaka Castle Hall, Osaka
July 15, 2013 - Osaka Castle Hall, Osaka
July 20, 2013  - Sakura Hall Cultural Exchange Center Kitakami, Iwate
July 21, 2013 - Cultural Center Sukagawa, Fukushima
August 3, 2013 - Seibu Dome, Saitama
August 4, 2013 - Seibu Dome, Saitama
August 10, 2013 - Miyazaki Municipal Culture Hall, Miyazaki
August 11, 2013 - Kagoshima Shimin Bunka Hall, Kagoshima
August 17, 2013 - Nippon Gaishi Hall, Aichi 
August 18, 2013 - Nippon Gaishi Hall, Aichi 

And last but not least, I shall leave you with a picture of the main cast~!

So many awesome people in the same room~ (*-*)

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