Coming Closer: The First Aloha Advantage
It was in 2009 that I began to invest a little more in C-ute. Honestly it was for no other reason at the time than because of the Hawaii FC tours. By that point Momusu had come to Hawaii 3 times, and I had tried to be near their outdoor lives twice. It’s always a special thing that I’m sure people will argue about forever, but the FC gets to do so much while they’re here in Hawaii and being around those lives are kind of the only impression a local person can have of them. So of course given the chance I really wanted to go see it.
At this point in time the FC had already begun using a very convenient area for me as well. That said it was natural that I was going to go, and with the time coming up to then I also started listening to more of their songs, because I wanted to not just go because but because I wanted to like their music too. I’m pretty sure at this point I knew the whole Massara Blue Jeans thing, but I believe it was around when EVERYDAY Zekkouchou was coming out, so I had something to listen to.
I believe it was from that concert that something happened that stuck in my head (though I’ll be hoenst this story and the one from the next Alo-hello story could be interchangable in time). The thing that stuck to me during that event was the problems that happened. They weren’t bad problems, and it wasn’t the girl’s fault but rather a sound system error. I remember part of it because it was cute and definitely showed some confidence from the girls. I believe it was during a performance of Amai Wana that the sound system started freaking out and eventually cut out. It’s not something you’d see in the FC DVD unfortunately, because they edit that kind of stuff out now, but the sound stopped and while there was a bit of a trip up, they kept performing anyway. They eventually restarted the song and stuff, but the weird instant kind of got me for the way they took to it, and it was certainly something I like to think fondly of as a special Hawaii memory.
It was also that year that the Alo-hello C-ute DVD was them running around a very close by shopping center and theater doing a scavenger hunt and while I wasn’t looking for them at the time, it was nice to see them at places I know and frequent.
C-ute’s Musical Crescendo
After that point the Internet was way more stable in terms of seeing Idol things. C-ute started their Gree Blog around that time, and being one of the few ways to get first hand exposure to them when you’er overseas I began casually reading it (My Japanese is not as good as it should be for what I do for everyone ^^; ). And with my increased interest in C-ute, I did keep an eye on their music releases.
Dance de Bakoon! got my attention and when Christmas time came around I remember that Aitai Lonely Christmas was one of those songs that just caught in my head (16sai, C/C, Aitai Lonely Christmas… I think part of me just like repetitious lines in Japanese lol). In fact continuing from that, I fell in love with Kiss me Aishiteru after hearing it from a live. I remember hearing it from a performance before the PV because the outfits for the PV were surprising to me (lol). Even though “Knock me” is probably one of the lines that makes me laugh hearing it, the fact that it leads to the lyric about knocking on her window was kind of a weird point of knowing at least the words weren’t just arbitrary.
Kimichari, that is Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku was another favorite of mine, perhaps just because as I’m always learning more Japanese there was just something fun to me about having so many practical words in a song too. Train, bike, vending machine, can coffee lol. I loved the motif of the Kimichari shirts too, the whole “it’s a train map and each stop is a single release” was amazing.
2012 was the year of GakiGrad, and my first trip to Japan. It was about a week of time, though less than if you including coming in and leaving, but it was my first time going. GakiGrad was the primary objective of course, but thanks to my friend who helped me get my GakiGrad tickets, I was also able to go to C-ute’s Utsukushitte Gomen ne~ concert in Zama. Seeing them live in concert was amazing, the energy was electric, and it cemented my enjoyment of C-ute as a group forever. Going to Zama walking from the station to the concert hall almost felt like I was back in Hawaii to be honest, perhaps that what made the concert feel special to me too; it wasn’t a huge giant concert like GakiGrad had been, but it felt more home, more normal, and in a way it was what I needed during that emotional time. I didn’t have much money left for idol goods and bought very little goods. I believe it was mostly pictures and a microfiber towel. Thinking about it I’m not sure if I even bought a shirt!! (lol) But the goods weren’t the thing, it was the experience, it was like no other at the time and I treasured it immensely from the train ride there to the post-concert dinner with my friend and his friends at a yakiniku place.
I continued to enjoy the songs while following here and there. They were still young’uns to me because they are that much younger than I am but at the same time they had become more adults (at least closer to the age I started following Momusu that I liked) so I had come to accept them as another group I could follow. It’s true I never gave them as much attention as Momusu, but in a way C-ute enjoyment became a thing I could have just for myself. I didn’t feel the need to stake a place in the fandom, or gather up every single piece of media I could. I just enjoyed what I saw when I saw it.