SKE Team S, 3rd Stage at Sunshine Sakae 6/15/11 Yagami Kumi B-day Show! After multiple attempts to win a show in Nagoya since the beginning, I finally won! So I jumped on the Shinkansen and headed to Nagoya Wednesday morning. The Shinkansen will run you about 10000 yen each way, and it takes around 100 minutes to reach Nagoya Station. From there you catch the city line, and a couple of stops later you are in Sakae. From Exit 8 the first thing you will see is the monitor viewing area, so the place easy to find! The moment I came out of the station the first thing I saw was what had to be a birthday committee working on some elaborate package. It dawned on me that Kuumin's birthday was just a couple of days ago. Wow, my very first SKE win was Kuumin's birthday celebration. If I wasn't already excited, this put it over the edge. I toured the neighborhood for a while before taking a short nap up in Nagoya TV Tower Observatory. Then headed back early because I wanted to see the entire SKE show process. I knew it was different from AKB's process, and I didn't want to somehow screw up and miss the show. There is no lobby of SKE's theater, just the bar itself that it sits in. So all the pre-show festivities take place outside around the building. They don't put "number sheets" on the ground either. Around 45 minutes before the show they just start calling for people to line up with a bullhorn. I had no idea where to go, so I asked and they escorted me to my spot. I was entry #106. 70 and up were all around the Tully's. I have no idea where the lower numbers lined up, or the enpou for that matter, The cancel machi were out on the sidewalk. A quick note: They DO have lockers, but I think you are better off using the lockers inside the station since they are so close to the venue anyway. Anyhow, they check your email confirmation (either a printout or the actual email) Since I didn't have either I took a photo of my winning email with my iphone, which they didn't have any problem with. You then proceed in a line upstairs where you show them your email again, pay, and go grab a seat. Some awesome things about the SKE theater... a) No Pillars of death! Jeez, was that a relief! b) cushioned benches. Very comfortable! c) tv monitors for people in the back to watch. Not that it is that big a place, but it does go a lot further back than the AKB Theater. I just think it is a nice touch. d) the staff is slightly more laid back than at the Donki, and they are REALLY nice! Another thing, the staff all thank you for coming as you leave the theater, and as you leave Sunshine! I got a seat in the second to last row, had my birthday kit (which consisted of three glowsticks, a little party hat, and instructions. Talk about elaborate! I was at the triple birthday show of Chaki, Chen and CinDy last year, and the combined efforts of those committees was less complicated. Luckily I just happened to get a seat next to the two captains of the birthday committee, so I merely followed their lead when it came to using the props. Yes, it is a very nice place to watch a show. And another thing, the volume seemed MUCH LOUDER than the Donki. Perhaps I was close to the speakers. As for the show... I thought it as odd when I saw Rena singing lead on Omoide Ijou. But when Jurina and Yuka came out and sang Ookami to Pride I knew something was up. They shuffled the units? Masanya is now the lead on Kareha no Station??? That was very cool! I guess they have been doing this for a little while now. I as wondering why I saw a Masanya "Kareha" photoset at the shop. Oh, in the first MC the last row was Kanako, Yuria, Akari and Mizuki, and the four of them had a great rapport. They had each other, and the audience laughing their butts off. They were doing some sort of manomane. The birthday festivities were great. Masanya read a personal letter to Kuumin, and by the end they were both crying. It was very sweet. And it looked like they brought out two cakes! I guess it had pics of all the members on it, and from what I hear it looked really cool. They don't do hi-touch, but it is almost the same. More like a "Hi-wave" goodbye. As I left I wanted to see if I could get any of the girls to react to the only gaijin in the theater, especially J and Rena. Nope, no big reaction there, although Rena had that usual big smile on her face. I thought Kanako would react given the way she acted at Yomiuriland, but she didn't either. But Masanya remembered me for sure!!! She sort of yelled "Heyyy!!" as I walked by. And Mizuki gave me a big reaction as well. "Whoa, Thank You!!!" I have set Masanya up well for the handshake event coming this weekend. I have seen a ton of her on this trip. So the relationship has been established, which will make for a better experience. I was so happy to get a chance to see this show! And so happy to experience Sunshine Sakae. Especially after being slightly disappointed about the Team "B" show I saw on Tuesday. The overall feeling in that theater has me wanting to return as soon as possible. Not that I am knocking the Donki. I love the good ole' 8th floor and all of its charm. But this was a really pleasant and COMFORTABLE experience overall. ----------------------- P.S.: I mentioned this already in the SDN threads, but I watched the 2nd half of SDN's show tonight on the monitors, and saw the "new version" of Futsuu no Anata. The "bleep" and the cross-armed "X" had everyone in the room laughing, including me. But it also ruined what I think is the best part of the choreography. So that is sort of a bummer. I also watched all the show winners come down the escalator, and I think you could count on one hand the amount of U-18's that were actually there. But at the end of the day even if I have always been opposed to the idea of opening the SDN shows to the younger crowd, I really hope that opening the show to everyone will push SDN to the next level of popularity. I grew tired of fans treating SDN as some sort of "Old Idol Purgatory" a long time ago. Now everyone will get to experience the awesome. And that is the silver lining.