October 16, 2012
Hello everyone, this is your humble servant Kikino, and this is gonna be a loooong entry.
tl;dr sorry for being a selfish scumbag lol
Ever since the first day I knew about YUI, it was my desire to share and let everyone to know about YUI’s amazing story of life. When I joined YUI-Lover in September 2008, I learned so much about her that an ambition grew in me and that ambition was to make YUI-Lover the best place for YUI fans around the world to meet and share their experiences. With this goal in mind I worked until now. YUI-Lover collaboration 3,4 and 5 arrived to YUI safely. She featured our “Shake My Heart” cover on YUI LOCKS!, we managed (in part) to push Sony to release the first full-lenght concert DVD, I had the privilege to design the T-shirt that was used by our members asisting to YUI’s concert in Hong Kong, which was after featured on TV, magazines and even in “Thank You for Your Love” book.
I don’t take all these achievements as my own personal victories, but I’m proud to say I was part of it to at least certain extent.
I repeat this trying to convince myself that I’m worthy of all that had happened to me, since there are many things I know I could do to make things better, but sometimes I think I don’t have the power to.
I apologize for that.
But above all things, I had a selfish desire inside me. To meet YUI personally. To look her in the eye and tell her “Thank you”. That was the dream of my life.
One time I was asked if I would quit YUI-Lover if I had the chance to meet YUI.
The answer was “Yes” from the very beginning.
Now I’m happy to say, that dream became true.
After all this time working for YUI-Lover, I managed to gain the trust of many fans in Japan, who gave me valuable information. I published most of these news in the fansite and forum. But as for some of this news, I had to keep them for myself, because at some times I feared I was getting too close to YUI’s personal life.
I started hearing rumours of YUI performing in secret since around August 2012. At the beginning everything was very confusing, and nobody was sure what was happening between YUI and Sony. But one thing was sure. She was having a “paralell career” with another name, and performing other songs, never heard before. I asked Jun to check for me whether these rumor were true or not. Suprisingly, they were very true.
since I have the privilege of working on an airline and that this allows me to travel for free wherever I want (yeep). I booked a plane and rushed to Japan as soon as I got the time for it. Everything was so perfect that I was able to be in japan for actually 3 consecutive lives in different venues.
You can call it destiny or just happy coincidence. Gotchi had her vacation in Japan scheduled exactly on those dates as well.
At this point, I was the only person outside Japan aware of all this. And Gotchi was the second. I was told by my “informant” to be very cautious and that I must not talk about this to anyone, so I had already broken my promise telling two people about it.
I need to apologize to everybody else. Cyclo, Kevin, Brad, Takatsu, Depyon… But I really didn’t have any other choice. I would’ve loved to have shared this with everybody and meet YUI with all YUI-Lover (YL) members as a whole group. But I had to keep my promise and pretend nothing was happening at all costs.
You have all the right in the world to hate me as much as you like and I deserve it, but Gotchi didn’t have any choice, so you can’t blame her for anything.
October 16th, 2012 – Shibuya gee-ge “Grateful Girls Vol 88”
Before getting there, Gotchi and I stopped for a second on the corner of the street. Next to a building already closed, the lights of Shibuya were glowing. A gentle breeze gave me the impression that I was in a dream, one of those dreams that feel like reality until you wake up. But in this dream I knew exactly what to do and where was I headed.
I took my present out of my backpack and we prepared one bag with all the presents we brought for her(YL Collaboration 5, a CD with Chilean music, a letter from me with all my “kimochis” and a postcard from Gotchi with a picture of Shingu beach)
We took a deep breath and we walked…
We took the stairs to the 4th floor. Even though we arrived before the official opening, about 20 people were already on queue. I was really frustrated by this, because we knew the venue was small and I really wanted to be on first row. We had to wait on the stairs leading to the upper floor for a while as people slowly started to get in. The hallway to the entry was only about two meters wide.
After two or three minutes Gotchi grabbed my arm, the elevator door had opened and a small figure appeared. She was wearing a warm pink blouse/sweater, had a ponytail and two tresses of hair fell from each side of her forehead. As she headed to the entry, we were standing about 5 meters back from the elevator, so I couldn’t see her face just yet, but the only sight of her back was enough for me to know.
That figure was so familiar. It was her.
The entry was blocked with people, so she had to tap a couple of shoulders to make her way in xD
“She is so small…”
“She is real…”
After a short wait, She appeared again heading out, carrying her guitar on a case and a bag. I could finally see her, We were already next to the elevator so she passed right next to us. She tried not to make eye contact with anyone, I tried to capture all her tiny details in one short gaze.
Gotchi looked at me, her eyes were sparkling. I didn’t know how to react.
I met YUI.
Gotchi said “Ando Jun” to the cashier and paid for the reserved tickets (Again thanks to Jun for the reservation). We got a bunch of flyers, pamphlets and a drink coupon.
Right now my first priority was to get as close as possible to the stage. I found a small table with two free seats, we got to sit in the second row. We were so close, being first row didn’t make much difference. On stage there was a grand piano, a drum set at the back, a chair and other music gears.
The ambience of the place was filled with a warm yellow light. Next to us was nothing but adult people, many dressed with office outfits, taking notes, others with recorders, cameras… The low table and benches were really uncomfortable xD
I pulled up an extra seat for Jun, who had not arrived yet, and left our presents on it.
Gotchi wanted to go for her drink. I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my legs and didn’t know what to do. I took a look at the menu and tried to translate the drinks for Gotchi. As she was getting her drink I started to look for familiar faces. A young girl on the next table caught my attention, but I had no idea who she was, she just looked different from all the other geezers xD
When Gotchi came back I don’t remember any particular talks. Eventually I went for a coke.
Teppei-san announces the beginning of the show. 6 artists performed before FLOWER FLOWER, all girls or girl-leading bands (female singer-songwriters). Most of them not really awesome? Just a couple I found really good (SPICE & Yukika Ishihara). Jun arrived around the end of the first half. He tapped Gotchi’s head and we made space for him. At this point Jun introduced me to some YUI fans who also knew about this.
At some point of the presentations, I looked at the back and we spotted AIMI (yes! from sutepo!) within the crowd, she was accompanied by some strange transvestite looking guy xD
She had to stay standing the whole time.
With Gotchi we thought. What the hell is going on in this place?! This is so surreal…
But jetlag fell upon us after a while and we felt really sleepy during some of the performances. Even clapping along with the Japanese was putting us to sleep.
Until finally, FLOWER FLOWER.
She was wearing a loose white blouse. you could see her full arms up to the beginning of the shoulders. She was not wearing any rings or wristbands this time. She had bulky white pants attached from her waist.
Shoes? I don’t remember. I do remember, though, I could see her ankles. (Always important detail)
1. Ai no Uta (a song she made for Rika’s brother’s wedding)
In the first song the guitar was giving a deep vibration at times so she had to start the song again. At the end she played the song entirely with this problem looking a bit pissed. We were all pissed because the first song didn’t turn out perfectly xD (feedback in the wiring – gotchi)
After this song ended, she changed to a friend’s guitar and replaced the mic also.
She said “I wrote this song today” grabbing a piece of paper. Everyone exclaimed “Woohh” the song has a cute whistle solo repeated in the middle and the end of the song.
Before this song she said it would be the last because it was too late. But the Gee-ge manager yelled outloud that it would be fine! so she said “OK! Two more”
MC: I don’t remember any details of the MC, but it was pretty much just random stuff like “Genki desuka” and thank you for coming.
4. Kaeritai Basho
We all sang together at the end Lulala lulu, Lelele lo le, gegege go ge xD
She always change the lyrics of the song depending on the venue shes performing at. this time it was “Kaeritai basho ha Shibuya gee-ge ni aru”
After the performance ended she stood up and went straight to the dressing room. On the way she talked with AIMI for 2 seconds and after a short while AIMI left.
We stayed there for a while, it was so crowded I thought there was no way to approach YUI in this place.
Then Jun went with Rika-san and he introduced us to her. Gotchi wanted to buy Rika and another girl’s CD so we ended up chatting.
We told her we were coming from Canada and Chile and that we were there because of YUI (I think?)
Even though we were not planning to buy anything xD we ended buying her albums and getting an autograph and a picture.
Gotchi lent me a post-it so I could write my name for Rika to copy, she already had one with her name in katakana as well.
According to Gotchi: “It was pretty awkward speaking with Rika at first due to language barriers and then she was talking with someone else so Jun helped me get the other CD…I ended up getting an autograph of the other artist Yukika Ishihara-san. She looked at my katakana post it of my name and was really surprised by my last name so I told her my story of being 25% Russian and who knew! She was too and was really happy about it so we high fived. She then would try to speak more with the limited English she knew and I with my limited Japanese. Ishihara eventually asked me if I had Facebook so I gave her my URL. I think Rika saw this entire interaction which was way more livelier than the one I had with her first. So when I finished giving my Facebook URL on a post it
Rika poked in and asked if I had twitter so then I gave her mine and she made a gesture like I will follow you and you follow me! Even though I already was.”
Jun asked Rikapon if she could hand our gift to YUI in our behalf and she said she would do it in exchange for buying her CDs. She left the present in the couch behind her next to her other things.
Something else should had happen in meanwhile, but the only thing I do remember is that eventually YUI came out from the dressing room. I was completely frozen for a second. Jun shook my shoulder so I could wake up. I didn’t have the present with me anymore. The first thing I thought was to tell Gotchi to grab her camera, but when she was taking it out, Jun stopped us: “No pictures!” It was the best decision, because her manager was there and attacking her with a camera was the worst we could’ve done as a first approach xD
Then, I looked back and the present was still in the couch. I rushed there and tried to tell Rika I was going to take it. I don’t remember if I actually said something, but that was the least of my worries at that moment.
She finished talking to a person next to the bar and I stopped in front of her.
Kiki: “Ah.. Konbanwa… Jitsuwa watachitachi, kaigai kara kimashita” (the truth is that we came from overseas, We came from Canada and Chile) “This is the first time I see a concert from flower flower, it was very good.
YUI: “Thank you very much”
Kiki: “This present..”. *gives the present to YUI* “This contains two CDs and letters”
Gotchi opened the gift an pointed out the contents as she pulled out the collab.
(All this was all spoken in Japanese… how did that happen??)
YUI opened the bag and she takes YL collab first.
Gotchi: This is the YUI-Lover collaboration cd for your birthday
YUI: Ah! I know this!
Kiki: You know this? (So unexpected I didn’t know how to react or what to ask… fail )
After that I don’t know what happened. I wanted to explain her about my CD with chilean music… something interrupted us!! I don’t remember what was it…
Maybe it was YUI asking if the trip all the way to Japan was too long. I replied “It was looong, It took three planes…” YUI made a >_< face. xD At some point I also said I was returning on Saturday… Gotchi tried to tell her she danced at Hong Kong’s concert.
Kiki: “We are going to tomorrow’s live too”
YUI: “Thank you very much” (She said thank you many times)
Kiki: can you give us an autograph? >_<
YUI looks at her manager (?) He’s like “no no no, because there is too many people here”
YUI then says “maybe tomorrow” manager says “yeah tomorrow”
At the end both parties agreed she would sign our stuffs after tomorrow’s live. I pointed at YUI’s manager with a “You better keep the promise motherfucker” expression. xD
Jun also gave her a mushroom (Nameko) keychain he got from an UFO catcher. She said “I really love this game!”
We shook hands.
We bowed and said thanks again, gotchi said “good night” then she replied “good night” in English to us and left. She shook each of our hands …it was a very gentle handshake she barely holds your full hand. Only holding your fingers instead of fully shaking with hand in palm.
Because we grabbed the gift away from Rika’s seat I told Rikapon that “I already gave the present to YUI”
My japanese was horrible but she understood, she said Yokkatta.. (I think)
I said thanks again and left.
I don’t know what happened next… I was on ecstasy… xD
How did we get home??? LOL
“Both of us talked about how unbelievable the experience was and how during the beginning performances (the huge chunk of the show ) we felt like very distanced from possibly connecting with YUI due to the cultural and language barriers. Even while YUI performed the thought of us as foreigners being there would make us feel a little disconnected but when she performed I was just lost in her music trying to absorb the entire atmosphere and experience. I swear she looked me in the eyes and I just couldn’t believe it! I had a dumb smile on me all night! But after meeting her and hearing her speak conversationally again she is so polite and patient with everyone wanting to speak and in receiving gifts from us and other fans.”
Yeaah I really can’t remember anything happening after that point lol.
Shibuya gee-ge “Grateful Girls Vol 88”