Log in


I'm Ces, formerly sakura_041888 , and this is my new journal. I'm mainly a lurker in the communities I frequent in, so I'm really sorry if I don't bring forth downloads or anything for your pleasure. D:

As of October 17, 2011, this blog will be half-public, half-private. Posts done in public will be punctuated with the Japanese word ミツル    ("mitsuru") and will mostly consist of my essays and concert reports. Posts done in private will be marked with ヒミツ    ("himitsu" = secret) and will mostly consist of RL and private stuff.

Please do leave a comment if you want to be friends - don't worry I don't bite. :)

Layout: refutare
Double Art mood icons: Komi Naoshi (original manga work), himitsuru
Katekyo Hitman Reborn mood icons: Akira Amano (original manga work), nanabbang
今ばしょで: home
感じる: amusedamused
聞いている歌: Mune ga Doki Doki - High Lows

201.jpg 220.jpg
Thank you.

This year's tour finale is special to me in a lot of ways. Aside from my best friend who flew in all the way from my hometown to see me, I also had the chance to finally go to a NEWS concert with Filipino fans who were also from my hometown, both first-time concert goers. The pain in participating for the final, however, was slightly reminiscent of my very first NEWS concert last year, because like back then, I had done sightseeing for the first half of the day and ended up limping quite a bit when I got to the dome. This tour also gave me the opportunity to meet other fans who I interact only on Twitter and/or Line, so it was quite moving to see them at the dome.

So anyway, here's my report! Pic-heavy as usual and some other stuff. :D

[2016.06.12] Tokyo Dome, 18:00, Tour FinalCollapse )

And there you have it, my I-planned-this-to-be-short-but-it-ended-up-REALLY-long concert report! I'm pretty lucky I got to attend four out of its 18-or-so shows, even if I burned like most of my savings and now I'm pretty much back to zero, lmao. Will start saving again to be able to see my most favorite group in the entire world for their next live!
今ばしょで: Shunan, Yamaguchi
感じる: optimisticoptimistic
聞いている歌: NEWS - Departure
Hiroshima! I cannot express enough how awesome it was. The venue was great and I really had fun during the final show of the Hiroshima run - mostly because, my friend's got arena tickets. ARENAAAAA! Sure, it isn't really that great when you had taller people around you, but we had a lot of opportunities to catch our idols' attention try to stand out from the already-rabid crowd get luckily spotted by NEWS and get some fanservice.

For White I had made an uchiwa but wasn't lucky enough to get spotted. For Quartetto in Fukuoka I only managed to bring along the one I made for the Arashi Japonism tour. With work and all procrastination, hahaha, I wasn't able to really make another uchiwa... that is, until the day itself. I didn't know exactly why, but despite being bummed and tired from work, I sat up all of a sudden and decided to make an uchiwa at 1 am on the concert day itself.

I had a bunch of uchiwa ideas swirling in my head days before, but they all ended up forgotten the moment I decided to make an uchiwa for real ("Massu, you have a character though!" being one of them inspired from Hen Rabo's fourth episode). All I remember was a friend's uchiwa from last year about NEWS as strawberries... so I kind of stole that idea and started drawing a huge strawberry. And so this happened.

Yes you can start suing me for non-originality / uchiwa plagiarism, if there's even such a thing.

It was raining in Hiroshima, so as you can imagine it was quite a bit of a burden trying to bring an umbrella along with the luggage. Didn't help that the coin lockers were all full thanks to tourists + fangirls. Even with the rain, most of the fans still managed to put effort into their concert attire! And reasoning out that we were supposed to be really quite close, my friend handed me two more uchiwas with マ and ス on them (they were part of a four-uchiwa message that spelt out テゴマス), plus a pair of sunglasses with the same kana letters.

We got into the venue around 20 or so minutes before the concert started, and to our amazement we were only four rows from the main stage! Armed with now four uchiwas held back-to-back マス pair, my strawberry one, and Massu's Quartetto uchiwa), we awaited the show.

The setlist is still the same as the one for Fukuoka. I won't be giving a lot of detail here, as most of them were already in my Fukuoka concert report. Most of the new details are found in this show's MC. Please take this report with a grain of salt, as always.

[2016.05.29] Hiroshima Green Arena, 16:00Collapse )

Same with the other prior shows, NEWS didn't have a double encore for Hiroshima as well. It made me think how it would go for the dome, and if there is a slim chance the dome would have a bigger surprise in store. Unlike White which had the exclusive preview of their then-to-be-released Chumu Chumu single, Quartetto doesn't have a single announcement (yet) that would increase the chances of a double encore. Still, them filming the final arena show gives me hope that perhaps, they will do things differently in the dome (kind of like Arashi's Dome vs Kokuritsu for the Scene tour). I know I shouldn't expect, but I want to believe! We'll see how it goes next week! :D

今ばしょで: Shunan, Yamaguchi
感じる: amusedamused
聞いている歌: Arashi - To Be Free
So I'm back with another concert report, except that this one won't be filled with exact details, so if you were expecting more, I'm sorry to say that I will most likely disappoint you! My memory isn't too good, and coupled with the inability to comprehend Japanese and the lack of English concert reports this time around, this report will be mostly riddled with vague stuff filled with the good ones that really stood out the most for me.

I went to both Fukuoka concerts with my friend Shannon (h0bbitx3) who dressed up as Sailormoon. It was a bit funny going with her and getting a kick out of surprised exclamations from people on the street and having fangirls run up to us asking for pictures. We were able to get really good stand seats for the first day, and for the second day we were only one row below the aisle where NEWS were to go up to the higher stands during the last few songs of the live.

There were a lot of things that differentiated Quartetto from the previous tour, White, and I had to admit that these differences threw me off guard and made me decide that for now, White is still the better live. For one, some of the album songs were cut short (meaning, not having the second stanzas sung and going directly to the bridge), some of the songs in the set list had different arrangements (which was really interesting for me, seeing that this live had more of this inclination towards music and sounds in general), and the biggest letdown of all perhaps, not having a double encore. (My personal letdown is STILL not being able to hear Top of the World and Hello live, so.... well NEWS, sorry to say but I will keep on hoping in the lives to come, haha.)

So anyway, on to the set list! Please take note that I am fusing the reports for both days, and if there are moments that happened on a specific day, I'll mention it. Please don't take everything as 100% sure, my memory is just that bad.

[2016.04.29-30] Marine Messe Fukuoka, 17:00Collapse )

Unfortunately there was no double encore. I heard from friends that so far there hasn't been a double encore. I wonder why? Hmmm....

It was a really fun start to my Golden Week and I've never attended concerts two days in a row so it was quite an experience as well! I'm going to Hiroshima's concert in 25 days, so I hope I can remember more stuff and pay more attention this time. :D
今ばしょで: Shunan, Yamaguchi
感じる: satisfiedsatisfied

あけましておめでとうございます! A happy new year to everyone! I haven't been writing as much as I'm supposed to because I've been busy with some stuff (mostly pertaining to my hobbies - gotta preserve my sanity, after all) and I had my first visit home after a long while! Despite the lag in the internet connection, I had a good two weeks with family and friends and I could only wish I was able to extend my trip a little bit more.

Anyway, I'm back in Japan and I feel like I can finally start the year right! But of course a little review of 2015 is in order before I can truly look forward to what this year has to offer to me. 2015 had been a year full of surprises and I wouldn't have it in any other way.

  • Work had been really good. Sure, there was a few rollercoaster rides and a few bouts of discouragement and depression, but overall I feel I have improved and now I'm more confident with the way I deliver my lessons. A lot of new colleagues have made their way into the team and I'm happy to say that most of them have become really good friends, to the point of making me wish I live in Hiroshima. I have also been given a leadership role of some sort and while I feel awkward with the responsibility, I feel honored to have been given a task to accomplish. Everything has been enjoyable and I feel like I can still stay in the job for another year or so.

  • There was a lot of travel opportunities! This year alone I was able to go to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Hyogo. Most of these was because of concerts, but the other half was because of my friend who had travelled all the way from Korea to spend her summer vacation / Obon with me. I can only wish it wasn't as expensive for foreign residents (still wishing I could just travel all over Japan via the Shinkansen), but for now this is enough. I never thought that travelling can be so much fun and exciting! I never travelled as extensively in the Philippines simply because the transportation system isn't as friendly and it mostly requires me to go around asking people (or even try to bargain for lower prices...).

  • And speaking of fandom - I was finally able to go see NEWS and Arashi for the first time! NEWS simply overwhelmed me in their Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Tokyo concerts for the White Tour and I couldn't have it any better. I only got to see Arashi once in the Fukuoka leg of the Japonism Tour, and while it was only once, I had gotten an arena seat and I was able to watch the concert along with a NEWS friend. The fandom is really a wonderful place as I had gotten to meet so many friends and fans for the first time, and some of them were really kind enough to give me gifts and even give me a lift back home. I haven't been happy with the damage to my wallet, but after everything else, I can only grin, shrug and say "Who cares, I am happy!".

  • I guess I have been too preoccupied with happiness that I found myself not visiting any clinics and hospitals for the past five months or so. Maybe it's because of the vitamins I had received from family? Or being happy for the latter half of the year? Or.... something else? Hahahaha. That last bit I will prefer to keep a secret until a certain time, I guess.

For 2016, I can only hope for things to look even better, even with the impending doom of seeing my friends leave me behind... but as early as now I can definitely say that 2016 will be a year of change.

Recently, I had made up my mind to transfer to Hiroshima, and while the date hasn't been definite yet, I am prepping myself for the new environment I will be having, both in terms of work and residence. I am going to miss my quiet life in Tokuyama for sure, but I have felt that I needed to grow in terms of work performance and language progress. I have grown too accustomed to my schools (especially Tokuyama and Hikari), and I had NOT been able to touch nor opened a Japanese language book since I moved here. Sure, I had the language app and phone dictionaries to help me out, but I had not taken any step in formal Japanese language learning. Moving to Hiroshima might force me to finally take that step to avenging my failure in the last N4 JLPT exam.

And savings..... ummm, maybe that had been my biggest failure in 2015. I was only able to do short-term saving, only to blow it all off on my fandom hobbies / family matters / credit card dues / health issues. I hope to be able to save more this year, but seeing the extravagant idiot as I am, I don't think I will make any progress...... (I seriously think I need help in this area, haha).

That's it for now, and we'll see if I can finally manage to achieve these goals in 2016. I am going to try my best, certainly! With work and fandom, I am going to make my second/third year in Japan even more adventurous, crazy and fun. :)

P.S. Been addicted to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure lately (especially with Stardust Crusaders) - finished the entire anime franchise entirely in December. Now looking forward to the fourth arc in April. Shige, I finally understand why you like this series, lol.
今ばしょで: Shunan, Yamaguchi
感じる: excitedexcited
聞いている歌: JO☆STARS - Sono Chi no Kioku
I'd like to apologize about me taking a bit long to write this concert report because I've been weirdly tired these days - or maybe I just haven't experienced having a trip this big. About time, you might finally say, given that I NEVER travel and if I have to move from one place to another, it's mostly out of necessity and not out of leisure. Thank goodness Japan presented me with a reason to travel for leisure.

So yes, anyway, I made it to Tokyo! Booked accommodations and flights as early as January and April respectively, but in terms of travel and sightseeing plans, I never had any concrete thoughts. It was more like, "As long as I get to visit A and B and C and D, I don't care about my schedule or how to get there." The result was me panicking a week before the trip. I had printed out Tokyo's subway map but a friend told me that was still not enough to cover ALL of the lines and trains so I ended up all the more stressed, haha.

But let's skip my small Tokyo adventure (which involves clinics, hospitals, skyscrapers and One Piece madness) and go straight to what this post is supposed to be about - my first NEWS con in Tokyo Dome! Truth be told I was a bit nervous with the transport going there, mostly because I didn't know what station I would be coming from (no thank you, my inconsistent and ever-changing plans). Good thing there was Hyperdia to help. Ahh, the ever trusty Hyperdia.

Anyway, on Sunday morning I decided to wake up real early so that I could have time to go to Tokyo Tower, which I didn't manage to visit the day before. And it was a good decision, because I finished sometime around noon and I didn't want to leave. (Belle actually tweeted me "*waves NEWS ticket at you*" in reply to my "GUYS I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE TOKYO TOWER" tweet.) I rushed to Shibuya, took the obligatory Hachiko and Shibuya Scramble pictures, and dashed off in the direction of Tokyo Dome.

[2015.06.14] Tokyo Dome, 18:00Collapse )

From Jweb, we found out that Maruyama (from Kanjani8), Nakamaru (from KAT-TUN), and Sho (from Arashi) went to the concert, but I couldn't be really sure if they went for the Saturday or the Sunday cons. Sho's words especially touched me!

Pretty sure I have missed a great chunk of stuff but for now, some sleep! I'll add more (and cheesy stuff) when I remember them. Or better yet, please wait for the DVD. LMAO. I can't wait for the next live!

今ばしょで: Yamaguchi
感じる: accomplishedaccomplished
聞いている歌: NEWS - Ai Kotoba
Most of you already know the story of how I balloted for Hiroshima and Tokyo and ended up failing to hit for Hiroshima and getting Tokyo instead. I had to buy a resale ticket for the first time, which I regretted a bit a first (but then was glad for the chance later).

Well, fate decided to shove a bit of crap into my face days before the Hiroshima cons.

Monday before the Hiroshima cons started, FC decided to open performance seats. I assumed it was either because the venue was not sold out, or the layout allowed space for more seats. Either way, I was determined to try again. It was a stressful week with parents' observations and the waiting - and just when I was relieved from P.O.s, I got the bad news that once again I had failed the ballot for the first Hiroshima concert. (come on, Johnny-sama. I am about ready to offer you my liver here...) So anyway I had to wait through the entire Saturday so that I could finally come to the Sunday concert.

Sunday came, and due to my excitement I gave an "fck you" to the local train (which would have been just 3000+ yen roundtrip but would take me two hours) and took the Shinkansen to Hiroshima instead (twice the local train fare but only 30 minutes transit). I had gone to Hiroshima many times but I don't think I had arrived at Hiroshima station with so much giddiness before. I had always been there for work, and each and every time I had arrived at the station with apprehension, nervousness and dread. But now - I was almost flying through the ticket gates, I wouldn't have been surprised if I had sprouted wings right on the spot.

As I was a bit early for my meet-up with Hazel, I dropped by Hondori and got myself a Korosensei plushie. I had to admit I wanted to use it as a means to call attention to myself but I was a bit afraid of the consequences so I didn't push through. I then went back to the arena, got into the goods line with Hazel, and after getting the goods, we went back to Hondori again to eat lunch and meet my other friend, Ren, so that I could give her my extra Debikuro-kun book. After a bit of adventure at Book Off, we separated and proceeded back to the venue.

And well, of course, I had to take the chance to get a souvenir picture of the venue, which I wasn't able to do in Fukuoka.

We entered the venue together and separated to go to our gates - Hazel to Gate B, and I to Gate E. The moment I got inside I knew it would be different from Fukuoka.

[2015.06.07] Hiroshima Green Arena, 16:30Collapse )

At the end of the concert, I saw Shonae down on the arena and waved to her, before exiting and looking for Hazel. Hazel and I hung around a bit trying to look for one of our friends who had dressed up as Sailormoon, but she had already gone as she had to run to catch the Shinkansen back to Kyushu. So we asked for a couple of pictures with the Massu-look-a-likes, and then walked back to Hondori to search for ginger tea and stroll around the streets, eating matsuri food. :D
As Yamaguchi is nearer to Hiroshima, I was able to catch a Shinkansen before the last train, basking in happiness the entire time. Life is really good. I can't wait for Tokyo all last next week!
今ばしょで: Yamaguchi
感じる: cheerfulcheerful
聞いている歌: NEWS - Nyaro
I went to NEWS's White Tour in Marine Messe Fukuoka for the second show. I had originally planned to go to just Hiroshima and Tokyo, but I failed to hit the ballot for Hiroshima and luckily enough through a friend, I managed to snag a ticket to Fukuoka at the original price. Without hesitation I immediately jumped at the chance, because I was still sore about not hitting for the Fukuoka show at the last Arashi concert just that desperate to see them asap.

So I will warn you : there were a lot of factors that hindered me from remembering the minute details (which all boils down to physical fatigue and lots and LOTS of crying), so this is just a poor attempt at a concert report, so don't expect too much. ^^ I'll mostly write about the songs that stuck with me first, and then the random forgotten-where-in-the-sequence moments.

[2015.05.24] Marine Messe Fukuoka, 17:00Collapse )

I sped back to Yamaguchi on the Shinkansen and found an undelivered notice on my door for my Tokyo Dome ticket, and forgetting about the pain I biked my way to the post office and retrieved the ticket. My seat, my friends say, is a decent seat, so yeah, life is good! Can't wait to see them again in Hiroshima and Tokyo! :D
今ばしょで: Yamaguchi
感じる: ecstaticecstatic
聞いている歌: NEWS - Top of the World
31 December 2014 @ 11:39 pm

A few minutes more to go and we officially welcome 2015 - well, over here in GMT +9, that is. It's obviously a cliche to write a New Year's post to somehow recollect on what has happened this year, except that for this entry I choose to make it public instead of having to hide it away from malicious scrutiny.

When I wrote these entries at the start of 2013 and 2014, I wasn't expecting a multitude of blessings. I simply wanted to be free of negative people, negative environment, and health ailments. I clearly remember complaining about wanting to finish my thesis on time and opportunities to go work abroad, but I never expected that this year those complaints would bear positive fruit. All of my hopes have always been formless thoughts, and at the back of my mind, I had always put myself down by saying that these hopes would not come true. I guess the universe was simply fed up with my pessimism and slapped me with a bunch of positive turns in order to prove me wrong. God is really good.

So yeah, to sum up what 2014 has been, these had been the highlights.

  • I passed JLPT N5! It's not that big of an achievement compared to my other friends who had already passed the higher levels, but this has been something that I had wanted to achieve ever since I started studying Japanese on my own ten years ago. It was such a hard decision to stop my formal Japanese education due to financial concerns, but I guess it was all for the best, as shown in later months.

  • After five years, I finally finished graduate school and got a degree in Applied Linguistics. Sure, graduate school was fun and all that, but coupled with tensions at work and souring relationships, it had gradually begun to turn into a prison I wanted to break free of. I also realized that I had overestimated myself and I had given myself an academic burden I could not fully commit to. I have to admit that I still don't know just how much I love academics and how much of it I am going to embrace (in terms of emotional and intellectual growth), but for now I am contented to say I have overcome a major milestone.

  • I found work in Japan. This has to be my greatest achievement - not only for this year, but for my entire life. Since I took an interest in Japanese language in high school, I have always wondered if I would be able to experience Japanese life and culture up close and personal. If other people's dreams have consisted of a stable work, a family, a house and a car, mine was just to find myself as an independent entity in a country whose culture I have always been interested in immersing. It may be shallow, selfish and immature, yes, but these are my honest thoughts, I guess: to be able to put the language I've been studying to practice, to experience these people's way of life, to be able to reach the people who have made this dream possible, to be able to express my gratitude to them for having given me meaning no one else had.

  • My empty passport finally has served its purpose. Not only was I able to step on Japanese soil, but I was also able to travel and cross over to South Korea. I am still far from the ideal image of what a traveler is supposed to be (I am not into extensive backpacking due to my health issues), but for now I am content to say I have gone somewhere.

If anyone were to ask me if I'm happy with my place right now, I would say I am. Well, of course I'd be lying if I would say I am not lonely, but I had prepped myself for these sacrifices even back then. I can only be grateful that my family and friends have greatly supported and understood me with my decisions. I couldn't ask for a better support than them.

The only thing I am not happy with are my health issues - it seemed that I had gotten worse, but as to whether these changes were the culprit, I cannot fully say. Right now I'm dealing with a VERY bad back coupled with some recurrent headaches and stomachaches, and they have been the cause of my stress. I admit that I have been very afraid these past few weeks with these sudden changes, and while everyone is saying Japan is a great country in terms of medicine, their hospitals' and clinics' operating hours and insurance policies are driving me crazy.

But no matter, this year had been filled with a lot of great things for me just when I least expected it. I guess it is safe to say that this has been the best year for me so far. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish - like travelling to Tokyo, attending a NEWS concert (too bad with Arashi's this year), and saving A LOT for future projects. I can only wish medical appointments would stop sapping the hell out of my finances.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that everything will get even better for everyone in 2015!  あけましておめでとうございます!^^
今ばしょで: Gyeongju, South Korea
感じる: accomplishedaccomplished
聞いている歌: Tegomasu - Yume Tabibito

今ばしょで: Shunan, Yamaguchi
感じる: pensivepensive
聞いている歌: NEWS - Greedier