Sunday, July 14, 2013

Anime Expo 2013 Part II ~ Glitter Arch

Hello Everyone!

So now onto Friday, I got up very early that day because I wanted to be sure I got a good spot in line for the first gyaru fashion show that day and still have time to browse the dealers hall. I was very excited about that.

My first try at agejo, still need to work on the makeup aspect. What do you guys think?

I set out around noon for the dealer’s hall, my god, it was huge!!! Again at least twice the size of Oakton’s if not larger, for a moment I just stood at the door with wide eyes and a gaping mouth at how much stuff there was and how many people there were! Even though I had a list of specific booths I wanted to check out I decided to just wander at first and not even try to find them, yeah big mistake! In less than an hour I found myself completely lost and trying to find an exit. >___<

While trying to find my way out I managed to find my way to the gyaru booths: Tralala, Liz Liza, Tutuha, MA*RS and Gold’s Infinity. I got a better look at all the clothes, everything was very cute and I was surprised to find out that A LOT of Liz Liza and MA*RS stuff is very plus size friendly! One problem with lolita fashion was always trying to find brand items that could fit me but with these brands it seemed like almost everything could fit me; this will make my transition to gyaru all the more easy. I decided on a MA*RS OP (rather reasonably priced) and a Princess Melody hime necklace. The shop staffs were also very nice and they liked my outfit. Mission, to buy my first real gyaru outfit: accomplished! ^o^

After that I wandered around a bit more, there was another booth selling very cute nail sets, phone cases and deco materials but WOW they were expensive! The cheapest nail set I could find was $39.95. I would have gotten a pair but I had other purchases on my agenda that I had to get.

Soon I was lost again but as I tried to find an exit again I found my way again to the Moon Stream booth that was also selling Kaya merch too. Their staff members are always so nice and they remembered me from Anext too, Tomo was also there as well. It was my intention to only buy a new shirt and maybe a cheki or two but their manager told me that they were doing a special for AX in which I could get a cheki with Kaya if I purchased $80 of merch, yeah I was on that so fast! In the end I still got the shirt and cheki’s along with a lot of new stuff, mainly gifts for my friends back on the east coast. Yeah, I’m sure I spent well over $80 that weekend! XD

And so I bought my items and said bye to Tomo and the other staffers. I was even more excited now for the concert that night but in the meantime, I had to find a way out of the complex maze that was the AX dealers hall and soon! At about 1:40 I had managed to find an exit and was on my way to the fashion show. However it seemed as though none of the staff members knew where it was; by the time I found it at last, it was about 7 minutes past the door opening time and while that may not seem like much the stupid idiot bouncer guy at the door was adamant that neither I nor anyone else be let in after 2pm on the dot. Boooooooo! >_____< Nothing I could say could convince him to let me in so I admitted defeat and left.

I still had a lot of time before I had to get ready for the concert so I decided to walk around the con for a bit and take pictures; here are some of my favorites:

Ursula and the Dark Queen from “The Little Mermaid” and “Snow White”. I took this pic for my dear friend Mauti who is doing Ursula sometime in the future.

Panty and Stocking! Very sexy! XD

Ralph and Vanelope! I love the car; it looks just like the one in the movie. <3

Steampunk style Disney Princesses (Mulan and Merida)! These are amazingly done! I took this for Mauti too and my other friend Timeeka.

And Shirayuki has a new friend! This is a gift for Camille, I’ve taken to calling her Utena but she may want to change her name when I give it to her. XD

By 3 I was done with the con and returned to my room for a little rest before the amazing night to come. Sadly while dressing my new dress’s zipper split! >___< This was fixed though with some pins and wrapping a shawl around my shoulders. I was worried about how it looked but I surprisingly received many compliments by other people in line and there were also many gorgeously dressed fans too.

Chocolat Kaya triplets! The school boy/girl look is so adorable!

And a very pretty Jasmine You! <3

Around 7 the doors opened; I was very thrilled at how close my seat was for the show, though I didn’t get why there was seating in the first place because really who’s going to sit at a jrock concert?!  LOL! After showing many PV’s the concert started. The band CELL was first and at first I really wasn’t really feeling their music but by the second song I was beginning to get into them. I didn’t know any of the songs but the band seemed to have a lot of charm and charisma. I’m not sure which song this was but at one point the vocalist was singing to what appeared to be a fake severed bloody head and even kissed it! Also at the start of their set they played a PV that better explained the “story” behind CELL’s music and it was rather interesting to say the least. By the end of their set I was a full fan! I just wish I could have gotten a CD from them. After their set was Moon Stream, now things were beginning to get good! :-D


Right before their set they showed a few of Satsuki’s PV’s, this was my first time seeing the PV’s for “Inside” and “Fate” in full and I really liked them, but I really do want to see a PV for “Twilight!” ;O;

Of course I thoroughly enjoyed Moon Stream’s set; their new support drummer RAANEN seems pretty awesome too! However I’m ashamed to admit it, but when they performed “Inside”, I actually did end up crying. All other times I’ve heard this song performed before I managed to keep it together and not shed a single tear, but this time I could not help myself. The way Satsuki delivered it this time was just too much for my heartstrings, I must say it has to be probably the best performance I’ve ever heard Satsuki give and just saying it was amazing does not give it justice. More like incredible. At the end of the song Satsuki pressed to his heart and said “This is my inside, of my heart.” I lost it then. While I was crying, it was not because I was sad, I was enthralled. Thank you Moon Stream for making me feel this. <3

Then they performed their newest song from Anime Next, and after that (I think) “After Glow”. The latter song is such a sweet and uplifting song and I love the hand movements that go along with it. Also, the band appeared to be having such a great time with the music and I loved their smiles! I think this is one of the reasons I like Moon Stream so much, in addition to them all being such wonderful musicians, they also seem to be good friends and it really shows on stage. At one point Satsuki put his arms around Poel and Tomo briefly and I thought that was so cute! But sadly after that there was only one more song left. Satsuki said it made him sad that there was only one song left but after that Kaya would be next. “So beautiful.” He said, yes I could not agree more! ^O^

The last song was another favorite, “Twilight”. A great way to end off a great set from Moon Stream. While I was slightly saddened that there were not more songs I was thrilled because Kaya would be coming out soon! And just like that, before I could say “Chocolat”, the PV for that song began to play on the big screen! *o* Afterward Kaya came on screen in what appeared to be a prerecorded comment video. He said that he would be performing next and for everyone to have a great time, “Let’s enjoy!” Oh, that smile of his all but melted my heart! After a remix of “Chocolat” played then the actual intro to that song began and Kaya appeared fully dressed in that lovely cream colored outfit from the PV looking like a beautifully decadent human cake, to put it lightly! Gorgeous as always. XD

His concert was wonderful, all that I dreamed and more. While not as visually appealing as AUSA 2009 (he had his full troupe of dancers then and did several dress changes too) it was certainly very exciting and thoroughly amazing. Kaya really didn’t really need any dancers or anything else to put on a great show, just his amazing stage presence was enough and I’m certain without a doubt in my mind that there was not a single person who left the concert that night with without a smile on their face!

Kaya’s movements were very elegant and graceful and his voice was absolutely on point too. Many times he would call out to the audience beckoning for us to scream and call out his name. “Do you love me?” He would ask slyly and then say again “Can’t hear you, do you love me?!” And then laugh and say “I love you!” So adorable! ;O; I also adored how he would dance and twirl around in his beautiful dress, the skirt of it bobbing and swaying oh so gracefully as he moved. For that moment Kaya practically owned the stage, along with the hearts of every person in the audience. And he knew it too!

The next two songs were two newer songs called "Marionette" and "Copelia" with the theme of dolls. This was actually my first time hearing both songs in their entierty and I really enjoyed both, especially "Marionette" After both songs he said that he would perform a sad love song, “Ophelia”! That song is one of my absolute favorites of Kaya and the song I made my cosplay based on. Hearing that song made me very happy but then after that song was an even sadder ballad called “Silvery Dark”. For that song I decided to sit in my seat and enjoy the beautiful, though heart wrenching song. Toward the end I felt like crying again but I pinched myself and told myself that once for a concert was well enough.

 When that song was over Kaya had a quick MC where he mentioned (with help of a translator) that it had been 5 years since he was last in California and asked if anyone saw him then. Obviously he meant PMX so I raised my hand enthusiastically along with a few others, “Oh really? Thank you!” He replied, looking truly happy. Also he said this was his first time wearing the cream colored “Chocolat” outfit overseas, “Kawaii? Cute? Thank you I know!” ;;>///////////< and finally he introduced the next song, his latest single to be released at the end of this very month! An infections and decadent dance track called “Taboo”!

I really like “Taboo”, it reminded me of some of his Schwarz Stein songs, had kind of a dark, somewhat erotic feel to it but also very catchy and infectiously fun. A perfectly fitting song for Kaya! Kaya beckoned us to dance with him and move out bodies but sadly I could only dance so much like I really wanted to with so many chairs around. Same problem with the next song “Epicurean” which is also a very upbeat dance tune. But still a lot of fun! The next song after that was "Kasha ~ Shining Flowers" another energetic song. Each time Kaya would call out "Jump!" I jumped up as high as I could, by the time all three songs above were done I was back in my seat thoroughly breathless and euphoric. OMG Kaya has so much energy, and really knows how to enthrall energy into others too! XD

The last song was “Glitter Arch” which is for sure my absolute favorite Kaya song out of them all! It is so uplifting and has such positive lyrics as well. My energy returned and I sang along to the lyrics along with him and I don't think I was alone. Nearly everyone in the room joined in with the waving of the arms and I don’t think Kaya ever stopped smiling even once; it was very moving and I could tell he was very happy to the point of tears. I was too. <3

Sadly that was the last song of the night. Kaya waved to us all and blew some kisses to the stage, thanking us all wholeheartedly and leaving us with a sweet “I love you!” Fans immediately began chanting for an encore and this continued for nearly 10 minutes before an AX staff member said there would be no encore and that we had to leave. Boooooo! >____< I was very sad about the concert ending, it was like waking up from the most amazing dream yet it was not a dream. It was real. I really just saw Kaya perform, after 4 years. Making it to AX had been quite a hassle in the past few weeks however when Kaya performed “Glitter Arch” that night I knew in my heart that it was all worth it, worth it if for just this one show, this one song, this one moment! I that instant I could not have been happier!

And so I left, while leaving I noticed staff members promoting another concert Kaya and Moon Stream would be having on Sunday! I had already made plans to go already though but I was really looking forward to another show now! XD Finally I met up with my new friend that I had met in line for the show and we went to AX Last Comic Standing. And that was Friday. Such a perfect day it was! ^o^

 Yours Jasmine

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