Again, I apologize for my lack of original pics and any confused details. I’m still very tired and I’m working entirely from memory, but here is THE HANDSHAKE EVENT!
I’m still reeling from that.
Mercifully, Bro and I got to sit down!!
We were filing out, but grumpy security pushed us back into the hall and told us to take a seat for the “high-five”. We finally found seats near the top of the stands and I have never been so grateful for chairs in all my life. Bro and I must have chatted but I think it wasn’t much more than, “I can’t believe we made it” and “that was awesome”.
I started wondering what I was going to say to the girls, if I’d even get a chance to say something. I was so worried about it. All I knew for sure was that I was going to tell Zukki her smile was the best. Bro, composed as ever, told me not to worry about it, but it was agonizing whenever I thought, “This is my only chance!”
The girls came out in concert t-shirts to much screaming and fanfare. The stands were full. There must have been a couple hundred people and the hand-shaking started pretty quickly, the grumpy security being efficient despite their impatience.
Being up near the top of the stands gave us a lot more time to watch the girls. I was also happy for the chance to rest because I was going to be travelling for another 11 hours almost as soon as the show was over. It was funny to watch Masaki-kins shriek with laughter or see her slip briefly into her “you gross me out” face before snapping back into a smile. Then there was Mr. Taller-than-Taller-than-Bro, who was dressed head to toe in Haru-kins colours, and you could see them all exclaiming about how tall he was. Fuku-hime kept reaching for people, like she was trying to subtly hurry things along. She was doing this, I think, because Sayu was so tired.
At one point, Sayu actually left the table (at least I think she did). Things halted for a moment and that was probably the best moment ever because the girls started waving at us and since there were only five or so stands left, we could hear them very well. It started, I think, with Iikubo making heart signs at us and we all mimicked her, because, you just don’t even think about it, really. Then came the peace signs and waving and a girl to my left bellowing, “HARU-KAAAA” to mixed results. A lot of us screamed for Zukki but she didn’t seem to hear.
Masaki-kins yelled, “YA HO!” and we all yelled back and then did her fan-call with her. Fuku-hime was shyly waving out peace-signs and I swear I locked eyes with her. She gave me a peace-sign and I gave one back and we both waved and jumped happily. Even if I imagined it, it was a wonderful moment.
Sayu came back, wrapped in a blanket and waved politely, but I think she was spent by that time. Always professional, but not nearly as exuberant as the others.
By the time I actually got into the line, I was shaking again, so nervous and excited.
Haru-kins was also incredibly pretty and so, so small. I still couldn’t talk, just looking between them. It was like they were shimmering. She said thank you in Japanese and I felt almost intimidated. She really does have a husky voice. BOSS was totally the right nickname for her. She’s going to be the scary tsundere-senpai for sure.
Masaki-kins gave me a double-high five and a “yaaaay”. Then she shook my hands properly. It was awesome. She’s so adorable.
When I got to Ayumin, the girl in front of me was crying and I accidentally bumped into her, so Ayumin and I sort of paused and looked awkwardly at each other for a sec before the smile came on and she shook my hands. I said, in terrible Japanese, that she had been really cool, but I don’t know if she understood me. Then the line paused again and I blurted out that she was cute. We giggled nervously at each other. Is this the Daishi feeling?
I don’t remember anything about Iikubo shaking hands with me. She must have said thank you and I recall huge eyes and a pretty, derp face, but I was still in a bit of a daze and Zukki was right there.
Zukki and I had a moment. She is pretty in photos, but I wasn’t prepared for how pretty she is in person. Honestly she gives off such warmth and her smile is completely disarming. The second she took my hands I said, in my terrible Japanese, “Your smile is the best! Thank you so much!” She said thank you in English and then in a quiet, shy voice, “I love you?” And I squealed, “I love you too!” We laughed and waved and my Zukki fandom was invigorated to the point where I thought I’d cry.
Riho was, in Bro’s words, “running for president”. I never once saw her look tired, or drop her smile, at any point during the handshake. She greeted everybody with same enthusiasm and a sort of desperation. I mean that in the best possible way. It didn’t feel like she was trying too hard, only that she desperately wanted everyone to know how happy she was that they had come. She took my hands and said, “Thank yooooou!” and all I could say was thank you because the greeting was so warm and I wasn’t remotely prepared for it. I’ve jokingly called her Ace before, but this event showed me that she really has worked hard and earned that title. Professional, but still warm and a powerhouse on stage. I appreciate her so much more now.
Eri-pon is so very small. I mean, Haru-kins was small, but Eri is honestly so tiny it’s unbelievable. Did anyone else know she was that short? And she had that face on, the one she had in all those early pvs where she looks so nervous that she’s clenching her teeth. She shook my hands and said thank you and her voice was so strange and high-pitched that I didn’t know what to say except thank you. It was over so fast that I didn’t have time to even look back before Fuku-hime had reached over and grabbed my hands.
Fuku-hime really looks like a princess. She’s beautiful in a serene way and I could barely get a word out. I was wracking my brain for how to say, “you are beautiful” and I think I mumbled something along those lines. She just smiled and said thanks.
Shige was exhausted and you could see it. She stayed wrapped in her blanket and whenever she was done shaking hands she looked sort of blank. She smiled and said thank you to me, after I babbled “thank you for many things” or something like that, but that was all.
I felt so rushed by that point. Grumpy security was already pushing me away. I wished I had said something better, but it can’t be helped. I got such a sense of professionalism from her. I wasn’t upset that she didn’t seem that happy to shake hands with me. Rather, I felt like I was imposing myself on her and despite her obvious exhaustion she was still there, smiling and being gracious. She really gave a lot of herself. She was doing her best for her fans.
I still can’t believe I got to shake her hand. And guys, she’s honestly as cute as she says. It’s alarming how cute she is, even when clearly exhausted and cold.
When I stepped out of the hall, grumpy security pushed me out of the path of the door because I just stood there, floored at what had just happened. The merch table was bare except for photo sets. Bro stumbled out, as dazed as I was and we snapped up some photos, not even upset about the entire lack of t-shirts or towels.
I couldn’t bring myself to take off my wrist band. It hit me somewhere outside of Syracuse, on the bus in the dark, that I had seen the Momusu that I love so much, live, that I’d met them and they’re real and work their arses off.
I cried a little, I’m not gonna lie. The exhilaration and exhaustion hit me very hard and very much out of nowhere. I was so satisfied and yet I wish it had been even longer.
This experience made me feel like I want to suport Zukkiri and Ayumin now. Riho deserves her Ace spot. You can tell, in every thing she did, that she was fighting for her position, but I never got the sense that she wanted to knock down anyone on her way and I respect that. Zukki’s smile lit up the whole venue and her performance was fantastic to watch (and she loves me!). I’ve already said Ayumin is talented, but let me just say again that after seeing it live, she’s hands-down the best dancer in Momusu.
So far, I can’t choose between those three. I will miss Shige, but you can see how much professionalism and work ethic she’s instilled in these girls. They must have been dead by the end, but they worked so hard. They gave me an amazing experience.
I’d do it again in a heartbeat, only this time I’d have messages for all of them. I think I must have sounded like a crazy person (I certainly felt like it was an out-of-body-experience), but I got my moment with Zukki.
I am so tired, so sore, and so grateful.
Glow-sticks aren’t glowing now, but I’ll never get rid of them.