Girls Be "Ai ni Oideyo" in Abeno Beruta

Event Girls Be "Ai ni Oideyo" Event
Location Abeno Beruta (Osaka)
Date 1997.07.06
Time 14:00 - 15:00
Cost 1575 yen (Girls Be Maxi Single at participating Animate stores)
Guests Toyoshima Machiko (˭迿)
Kuwashima Houko (ˡ)
  • Event report version 0.7 by Joe Petrow on 1997.07.06


On July 6th, 1997, I made my longest domestic trip since coming to Japan, to see the Girls Be event in the Abeno Beruta in Osaka, featuring Toyoshima Machiko and Kuwashima Houko. Since it was a four hour trip one way from my apartment to the event location, I decided to pull out all the stops. For the seiyuu I wrote a card, bought gifts, and wore a suit for the first time since coming to Japan, in the stiffling July Osaka heat (since Machirin says she likes guys in suits...)

I arrived at the event location just before 11:00, a little more than three hours before the scheduled start time. Unlike the Tokyo event from last week, where the event entrance number was determined by a random draw, this was based solely on your position in line. I found out that people had been waiting since 6:00, and I ended up behind a lot of people in line. When I eventually entered the event area, I had the number 100.

Also unlike the Tokyo event, there were seats for this event, and my #100 got me a seat in the center of the 8th row. I counted 200 seats, which was supposed to have been the exact number of people attending this event. But there were many people who had to stand in the back.

At 14:00, a representative from Victor Entertainment came out to make an announcement of a change in the event. They announced that Animate had incorrectly handed out 300 tickets, and 290 people had showed up. So he announced that the first 200 people would get the promised handshake and signboard. Those who had from 201-250 would get to participate in the handshake session, but would not receive a signboard. Instead, they were given a form to fill out with their name and address, and they would be sent something later. The rest of the audience would have to leave after the regular event, and could not participate in the handshake session. This caused a lot of complaining, and I almost thought they might end up cancelling the event. But eventually everybody calmed down, and the event began around 14:20.

Girls Be "Ai ni Oideyo" Event

The emcee for the event was a guy with the nickname "Monster", who hosted the radio show after the Girls Be show on Radio Osaka. He immediately introduced Kuwashima Houko (Hou-chan) and Toyoshima Machiko (Machirin) They wore the exact same outfits as at the Tokyo event last week, but Machirin's hair seemed to hang down a little more. When Machirin said "Konnichiwa!" the crowd yelled "Doomo!" and did a poor rendition of "The Wave" Then Girls Be sang the album version of "Girls Be" For this event, some fans passed out a "call sheet", that included the appropriate chants for certain parts of the song. I didn't end up getting one of these, but the chants seemed to be the same as last week.

The format of the event was exactly like the Tokyo shows, so next came the free talk session. Since the Girls Be radio show airs in Osaka, they spent more time talking about this than in Tokyo. They also talked about their upcoming album, "French Daisakusen", but only mentioned the "French Pops" portion of the famous description from Virtual Idol...

(BTW, except for the songs, there was no neo-lez activity at this event)

Then they held the question and answer corner. Before the event, the fans filled out questionaires that included a space to ask a question of the seiyuu. If your question was read, you would also get to take a Poloroid picture with Hou-chan and Machirin.

The first selection was from a 15-year old boy, who asked "What is the one thing you want most right now?" Hou-chan said she didn't really want any "thing", but what she really wanted was "yasuragi" (peace and tranquility) She said she enjoys work, but even during vacations, she ends up thinking about it, and that she would like some time where she could just forget everything. Machirin said she wanted a bicycle, because it is a five minute walk from the train station to her home, and she is afraid to walk it, but thinks she wouldn't be so afraid if she rode a bicycle. Houko said she had a ten minute walk. Machirin also said she wanted a personal computer, so she would have something to do at home when she was sad. (?)

Then for the second straight event, they called a girl! There were about two girls at each of those events, so the odds that this could happen by pure chance are about 5000 to 1, which leads me to believe that it was not pure chance. Anyway, her question was, "Your hair is so pretty...what shampoo do you use?" Machirin said she uses "Lax Super Rich" But she said she chose that because she likes to color coordinate her bathroom, and right now she needs blue bottles for shampoo. Houko said that lately she has been using "Vidal Sasson", and asked the girl what she used. I couldn't hear her reply, but Machirin said, "Oh, that's aqua blue color, right?" (^_^;)

Then they sang "Mayonaka ni Oideyo" Many fans participated in the double-hand pump part of the dance. After the song, Houko proclaimed it the "No Mistake Version!" After that they each said a brief goodbye. Machirin basically thanked the fans for coming. Hou-chan said, "This event feels different from the Tokyo events. It was such a warm feeling. Maybe that's because of the fans in Osaka?" Then they left the stage.

Handshake Session

About the main event concluded, the Animate people herded everybody with numbers 251 and above out of the event area, as they were not eligible to participate in the handshake session. About five minutes later, Hou-chan and Machirin came back on the stage, and people started lining up by their number. Unlike the Tokyo events, the fans were allowed to hand their gifts directly to the seiyuu.

When it was my turn, I handed my gifts and card to Machirin, who cupped her hands to her mouth in a cute look of shock (I noticed she had been doing this for everyone who brought gifts) She thanked me, then said, "Joe-san, you look nice in a suit!" I thanked her, not realizing until later that that was the first time she has ever called me by my name. While I was thanking Hou-chan for the event, I realized I had forgotten to label the presents when Machirin said, "Does it matter who gets which one?" Fortunately they were the same gift, so I said "Open whichever one you like!" I then received yet another Girls Be signature board, and left the event.

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