Wednesday, 8 September 2010

SMAP, part III- Concerts in Japan

Update on the Hitler SIL situation- Haven't talked to her, nor her to me. Grandma got miffed last night because Ash didn't go to the in-law's house after dinner. Asked Ryota to bring Ash to the school last night because I didn't want to see SIL, he's not talking to her either, so he didn't give any explanation but she must know we're pretty pissed with her. Who knows when the next encounter will be, I might send her a mail with my thoughts on the situation, it would still be nice to give her a piece of my mind...

Right, done with her though, there is a much more pressing issue at hand- the insane phenomenon that is, a concert in Japan!!
I haven't been to that many concerts in Japan and the majority I've been to have been festival type thingies (summer sonic) or bands more popular in the western world (prodigy, bloc party) and then I've been to SMAP- twice. (Never again!!) I've heard English speaking bands taking the piss out of Japanese fans (oasis were well nasty!) but really, I don't blame them, it is bizarre to say the least. It's like every fan (except me) got together before the concert and choreographed moves with their uchiwa/light/head towel/other random object. It's not just random bobbing, or individual rhythm bobbing, it's full-on. rehearsed. dance moves!
How are these dances decided? Who makes them up? Why doesn't everyone just dance the way they want??
As I was gawking at all the people at the SMAP concert (although was a little prepared as had been 2 years earlier) it reminded me of that movie ANTZ, or was it Bug's life... I always mix them up... But it was 1000's of people ALL doing the exact same moves and honestly, it really freaked me out! It was seriously like looking at 60,000 robots, with every fucker in the place (except for the gawking gaijin) so caught up in the dance moves that they didn't realise how ridiculous it was.

Another thing that makes me slightly sick is the "goods" corner. This is one of those things that just make me think, 'fuuuuuuuccckkkkk people in japan have waaaaayyyy too much money.' It's the whole status thing in Japan I guess, where the more shite you buy, the better you look, but fuck me the cash that must have been forked out for all that crap is ridiculous. I'll admit, I did buy a fan and a light, but only because a) The fan was 500 yen, pretty reasonable I thought, and b) the light was a present for Ash who likes to act like a little guard man of late. Justifiable...? Maybe not, but better than buying every useless crappy souvenir they had. *cough SIL cough*

The next thing I noticed on my journey of concert discovery was the hoards of desperate fuckers wanting tickets. Really? You are that desperate you'll doll yourself up to look like a whore and write a cute sign begging for tickets to a SMAP concert!? And I felt bad for the ugly ones! They weren't getting any love from people willing to sell their tickets for a profit, only the cute girls were getting any offers.
I have a cunning plan, (wow, I really miss black adder... note to self- buy black adder DVD after writing blog...) next SMAP concert, I'll tell SIL I want to go, go with her to the stadium, sell my ticket to one of the ugly desperados for double what I paid, then tell SIL to get fucked and enjoy the concert sitting next to the ugly woman! Perfect, no!?

Among the desperates, were also the scalpers. Does everyone else call it scalpers or is it just an Aussie thing?? Scalpers in Japan are ALWAYS the same kind of dude though, what's the best way to describe them... Old. Dodgy looking. Sleazy. Upper class homeless. Shady... Yup, all of those work. They go around muttering under their breath that they have tickets, yeah like any person of authority isn't going to pick them out of the crowd!?
What I didn't get though, was why the cute ticket mongers (or ugly ones for that matter...) didn't hook up with the dodgy scalping occhans?? They could have made a beautiful business deal and then gone on their merry way but I guess the occhans were ridiculously over charging and the desperates thought they had a better chance with a normal person... this, along with everything else about Japanese concerts baffles me, it really does.

So, this ends the SMAP trilogy, I hope you've enjoyed them, because this will be the last time I drag my arse to one of those bastards! If you've never been to a J-concert I definitely recommend it, if for nothing else to be amazed first hand at the sheer creepiness of it all.

Will keep you updated on any more SIL fireworks, but bound to be lots of boring passive aggressive ignoring from now on I think... I do like the Kimutaku defacing suggestion though, I was thinking this year's uchiwa would hit the hardest, he's poking his tongue out so maybe I should just pencil in some discreet vomit coming out of his mouth...


  1. Hello, I'm an Arashi fan girl, and the whole thing about the Japanese fan girls buying all that merchandise, I pay double just to get it shipped back to my country. Not to mention the international fan girls who pay 80000yen just for a ticket off ebay.

    If you think the Japanese fans are crazy, there are some crazier people out there.

  2. Oh I love the dances, mainly because I'm a total dag - there's a proper word for them but I can't remember what it is. I think they actually get send out in the fan club letters but some of them aren't "official", just sort of spring up. I kinda think of it as like being at the footy or the cricket and doing all the whole Mexican wave or "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" thing going on.

    I'm a sucker for the merchandise too. Although I do get totally carried away in the Johnny's shop in Tokyo - I think mainly from being in an very overcrowded space with tiny ppl - and bought a shitload of photos then was like what the hell do I do with these? Put them in an album and look at them? But some ppl were buying absolute shitloads and you could pretty much bet they buy every set that comes out. I'm taking 150 yen per photo X a couple of hundred!

    I've actually heard the scalpers work for the man - the man being Johnny, because it looks better if the concerts are sold out.

  3. Maybe the cute ticket mongers are trying to get one free? Or for 'favors'? That's why they're not paying big bucks to the scalpers.

  4. the dancing at SMAP concert went to years ago really bloody threw me off. I felt so alone :D
    I have been fortunate to be on the club scene in prime 'para para' Japan dance era - hmmmm, thinking back. 13 years ago one exchange at varsity in Kyoto. Was very bizarre but amusing at same time.

    I MAY buy a light up ARASHI fan in january - but probably mainly for Marina as she likes pretty fans and ones that light up will get me super brownie points. My friend (who is ARASHI fan club member) will buy the works.

    I do like the atmosphere though. A few beers and it is well enjoyable. laughable even. much better than sitting at home looking after three small children.

    Your SIL is still a silly bitch though. Do the email thing - if not for anything other than seeing what the dog humping cow writes back :D

  5. How does your SIL feel about you being married to Ryota? I mean, your baby is not full Japanese! She must be having palpitations.

  6. LOVE your blog!!!

    Sorry about your SIL.
    There are books here in the U.S. that tell you how to tell someone off in Japanese...I think you ought to get one!!!

    Seeing SMAP in Tokyo next week!! I don't know any of the dances...guess I'll just stand there and balk...

  7. I gotta get me some tickets and either go/sell them at a neat profit! Seeing as I haven't been to a concert in Japan yet i think i might do the latter depending on the former experience :)
    Trilogy SMAP was grand - kudos!
    Oh and we South Africans call them ticket scalpers too!

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed the 3-part SMAP series. You tell a mean story!