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Perfume city Tokyo January 2, 2014

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Music.
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Perfume でした。#prfm

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The last year or so has been, without a doubt, the best 13 months of my life. Capping off what can only be described as ‘Perfume year‘ was the holy grail: a pilgrimage to see the group in the motherland of Japan. 

The date: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The location: Tokyo Dome – the capital’s legendary baseball stadium and one of the biggest venues in the country. Perfume played here once before in 2010, but this time returned for 2 days, part of a 4-date ‘4th Tour in Dome’ that including a couple of nights previous in Osaka’s Kyocera Dome. 

:) #prfm

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Yet it was Tokyo that was the ‘homecoming’ of sorts, and the one that most international fans decided was the one to gather for (probably in no small part due to the coinciding Christmas holidays). Thanks to the World PTA fan club, for the first time we had a relatively easy way to purchase tickets to a Japanese concert. It was a lottery, but though many of us worried, practically all got tickets (and for those that didn’t, most of us had spares). I was lucky enough to draw a pair for both nights and booked my flight right away. (more…)

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Hanging out with Perfume on Google+ October 16, 2013

Posted by ayasawada in Music.
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Perfume Google+
Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade. And sometimes it just gives you the lemonade.

I’ll be honest, when it comes to Perfume, I’ve had a pretty amazing run of luck. After the incredible experience of World Tour 2nd, and having also drawn tickets to go see the group’s Tokyo Dome concerts in December, I thought my Perfume luck was pretty much exhausted. It seems not so. (more…)

Perfume World Tour 2nd: Dreams are made of this July 10, 2013

Posted by ayasawada in Music, Travel.
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OMG this is really happening! #prfm

Sometimes good things happen. And sometimes AMAZING things happen that make you feel suddenly connected and belonging to your life and your world.

After the miracle of Singapore, I vowed to see Perfume, my favourite Japanese group, again someday. But I was stunned when just two months later the group announced a European tour. They would be coming to Cologne, Paris…. and London.

I intended just to go to London, but my friend Andy (who I met at the Singapore live) and I got a bit nervous that the London tickets would sell out really fast (which they did). The Paris tickets went on sale immediately, so we got a couple of those just in case. When we managed to get London tickets too, Andy shrugged and said, “It would be rude not to go to Germany too…” :P

What followed was a whirlwind. Twelve months ago I thought I would never see Perfume perform live. If you’d have told me then that a year later I’d have seen them not once but FOUR times in four different countries, I wouldn’t have believed it. If you’d have said I’d also have met them in person, I’d have laughed in your face.

ALL THESE THINGS CAME TRUE. (more…)

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu February 24, 2013

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ありがとう@pamyurin。とっても楽し方! ロンドンはキャリーに大好きだ ^^ #kyary #kpp

Two weeks ago Harajuku superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu played in London. As I often say on this blog, it’s rare that any Japanese music comes to the UK so when a pop culture phenomenon who’s riding high in the Japanese charts comes to town, we’re in for an extra special treat.

In all honesty, I hadn’t heard of Kyary up until a few months ago, when a friend asked on the morning of the ticket sales if I was going. I bought one on a whim, figuring a) it’d be fun at least and b) I’m liable to like anything produced by the inimitable Yasutaka Nakata, the man behind my favourite group Perfume.

(more…)

Perfume LIVE: a dream come true November 29, 2012

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Untitled (2012-11-24 13:41:42)

On Saturday night, something I never thought would happen happened: I saw my favourite jpop group live. And it was a miracle that I got to be there.

I’ve been a massive Perfume fan for 3 years. But living in London, I accepted long ago that I would probably never see any of my favourite jpop acts live. It’s rare enough that any of them play outside of Japan, let alone make it all the way to UK shores. And even if some do, all-female pop groups aren’t generally at the head of the queue.

I was therefore excited to hear the news of Perfume’s first “world tour”, but somewhat disappointed to discover that it was actually more of an Asian tour. I was due to be on holiday in Malaysia at roughly the same time period, but my hopes were dashed when I failed to secure tickets to any of the 4 gigs through the online ballots, which quickly sold out anyhow.

Shoganai, I thought. I was thankful to already be going to Anime Festival Asia (AFA12), with its 3 nights of jpop live goodness attached to the weekend (blog post to follow). Little did I know the best was yet to come.

(more…)

Confessions of an AKB48 fan July 29, 2012

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Film, Music, Rave.
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AKB48

I love AKB48. This might not seem surprising for a self-confessed otaku and firm pop fan, but for the longest time I was dismissive of huge synthetic supergroups.

In my years of fandom, I was surprisingly unenamoured with the likes of Morning Musume, an odd mix of loli idols with constantly rotating members  — the extremity of what many dislike about the Japanese pop industry. When AKB48 came along, I thought, “Jeez, a group with 48 members — that really takes the biscuit”, then got on with my life.

What changed? (more…)

Perfume again, naturally May 1, 2010

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A quick shout out for the new Perfume single, which I finally received my limited edition first-press copy of (slightly delayed in the post due to volcanic ash).

Their first new single in over a year, it’s a double A-side from the girls and both totally outstanding songs. I’m leaning more towards 不自然なガール (Unnatural Girl) as my favourite, but ナチュラルに恋して (Naturally in Love) is really perfect for a sunny spring day ^^.

Both the PVs are excellent, with the usual Perfumeography. But I prefer the ナチュラルに恋して one here, if only for its imaginative use of a conveyor belt.

I also got the new Rie Fu album, At Rie Sessions, in my YesAsia order. Am still in two minds about it. Rie’s voice is spectacular as always and all the songs are interesting collaborations with people like YUI. Each is really nice, but I’m not completely taken with any one of them yet. Then again, I’m starting to enjoy it more through headphones bouncing around the streets than through speakers at home. It might well grow into my summer album.

The lazy round up post December 29, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Drama, Film, Manga, Music, TV.
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I’ve been kind of slack with this blog over the last few months, a combination of work, life and lack of motivation. Two of the most frustrating things about blogging are 1) you really have to make time for it if you’re to do a decent job; and 2) unless you’re in the mood, everything you write will suck (yes, some would say everything I write sucks anyway :P).

The result is I have a stack of draft posts on stuff that I will never get round to finishing off. So in true lazy ass Christmas holidays fashion, I am resorting to a round-up. For better or worse, here’s some of the things I’ve seen and done over the last few months: (more…)

Perfume September 7, 2009

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triangle

Perfume are a three-member Japanese technopop group from Hiroshima. I’d never really heard of them until their name cropped up in a few Jpop blogs I follow about a month or so before my recent Japan trip.

As it happened, my trip coincided with the release of their new album, Triangle, and, in my usual easily-persuaded-by-advertising way, I picked it up on my last day. And as it turns out, I love it.

Well, technically I don’t love all of it. Like a lot of my recent Jpop CD’s about half the tracks I’m ambivalent too (and a couple are a bit meh), but the tracks I do like I absolutely *adore* (and, unsurprisingly, they happen to be the previously released singles from the album). (more…)

Japan trip 2009: The otaku experience August 9, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Film, Friends, Gunpla, Japan, Personal, Travel.
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Gundam and I, Odaiba, July 2009

Gundam and I, Odaiba, July 2009

So, I’ve written all about my Japan trip. But given the nature of this blog, it’s the geeky things you want to hear about right? ^^

Otaku highlights include the 1/1 scale Gundam in Odaiba, seeing Evangelion 2.0 in a Shibuya cinema (review to come in a later post) and discovering the ‘Akihabara of Osaka’ Den Den Town. (more…)