Mana at Sakura-Con 2018
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New information was released today that Mana will be attending Sakura-Con in Washington this year from March 30 - April 1.
This is not a Moi dix Mois event, but rather Moi-meme-Moitie and it seems no other information exists quite yet about what will entail. If I had to make a guess, I would say theres a likelihood of an Autograph and Q&A session, but we will find out more details for sure once they are released by Sakura-Con and/or Moi-meme-Moitie.

Sakura-Con Official Site

Since information is currently lacking on the event, this entry is going to be relatively short. However, I wanted to also include a notice that all tickets for the upcoming Moi dix Mois concerts in March are now completely sold out.
As I mentioned in the previous few entries, please take a look and post in the new Moi dix Mois ticket exchange Facebook group I created recently if you're looking to buy or sell tickets!


https://www.facebook.com/groups/MdMTickets

Lastly,
this is only blog news, but I added a "secret link" space on the sidebar here, so please check it out!!


Sarah
Mana Rendezvous in May
This is a topic I've been receiving non-stop messages on since its announcement, so I think its high time I posted about it on here.

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As I talked about in my previous entry, I'm moving away from covering Moi-meme-Moitie related information due to the owners, Tanaqro, as well as Wunderwelt, currently having a hold on information and updates posted in English. As an extension, Mana also posts this same news on his twitter in English. However, I did say I would write on here if the information was deemed as important. In fact, the Rendezvous is quite a big announcement seeing as this is it's first revival after a 5 year hiatus.

What makes this possibly even more important is the event details. For those who would like to attend, it seems the information on when and how to obtain tickets has been posted and that timing will be soon.
Please refer to the following post made by Moi-meme-Moitie:

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For those who may be a little confused or worried that tickets may only be distributed inside Japan, fear not! Wunderwelt is listed as a distributor for obtaining tickets. Wunderwelt is a site that caters to customers overseas, so as long as you follow through with your order on their site, you should have an equal opportunity to obtain tickets even if you're not in Japan right now. As far as I understand, ticket confirmations are going to be sent via email, so it doesn't sound like obtaining a physical ticket beyond that is going to be too big of an issue.

Good luck to those of you planning to go!

Its interesting, but perhaps not surprising, to see that Moi-meme-Moitie is now going the route of primarily depending on online sales. Seeing as it seems Rendezvous tickets have somewhat of a priority on the official MmM site compared to physical stores, I get the feeling this is a strong indication they're trying to phase out brick and mortar business. I wonder what you all think of this?
Even if you're not living in Japan, is it a sad prospect to think about, or is it a better move to make so that Moi-meme-Moitie can be more accessible to everyone? I have to say, I feel a little of both, but its something I've thought about for some years now.


**Supplementary Update**

As you can see below (now marked out) originally I wasn't going to be able to go to the Mana Rendezvous event. However, I wanted to make a note that since that update I have officially received an extra ticket from a friend and fellow fan.
Thank you soooo much for this opportunity. Your kindness has truly blown me away and rendered me totally speechless in the moment I received the news.

With that being said, everyone will now be able to look forward to an event review on the Rendezvous this coming May! I hope you will enjoy it!

As for me/this blog,
Unfortunately I will probably not be going to this event. I don't have enough funds to pay for this event + my personal living costs, so unless by some miracle I received a ticket without having to buy something, I have no chance at it. Of course by writing this I am not asking for a free ticket, so please don't take it the wrong way!! I just wanted to explain the reality of the situation for those who may have been looking forward to a report on here. Since it seems Moi-meme-Moitie is trying hard to reach out to more customers overseas, I imagine there will probably be quite a few new people who will get the opportunity and hopefully will be happy to share their experiences!



P.S.
To anyone who still wants to go to the Moi dix Mois Mana birthday concerts in March, general admission tickets are going on sale tomorrow January 28 from 10:00 am! Heres the eplus link:
http://sort.eplus.jp/sys/T1U14P0010163P0108P002005942P0050001P006001P0030063

Of course don't forget to check out the new group I built on Facebook concerning tickets in case you're looking to buy/sell tickets second-hand!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MdMTickets

I haven't had the time to do it yet, but sooner or later I would like to post a tutorial online about how to order tickets since I always tend to get a lot of questions about it.


P.S. 2!!

Today I went for a freezing walk in a certain favorite area and ended up taking a couple pictures I fell in love with!
sunsetmaryCroix.jpg moonmaryCroix.jpg

Its a little small, but you can see the moon in the second picture! The view was pretty breathtaking in that moment, because these two pictures were taken at the same time! The sun was setting on one side while the moon was rising on the other. I wanted sooo badly to have a panoramic of the entire scene, but unfortunately it wouldn't have worked out the way I wanted. Still, I was really excited to get photos that actually turned out well of both views!


With that being said,
I will, as always, continue to update as more information comes out!



Sarah
Updates! + Hatsune Miku x Moi-meme-Moitie Exhibition
Happy New Year!!

Its been a little over a month since my last update on here, but fortunately I come bearing a number of updates that may be long due.

First on the list is something I think will be the most important update to a large number of readers here.
Moi dix Mois concert tickets


https://www.facebook.com/groups/MdMTickets

This is a new group I made on Facebook to make the process of buying and selling tickets for Moi dix Mois concerts a little bit easier. Of course I hope this group can be utilized by both people inside and outside Japan, but my biggest objective here is to find a way to help out fans overseas who can't easily obtain tickets. For several years now, the largest majority of emails I receive come from people who are looking to buy tickets but don't understand how the system works. I really hope this group can provide a solution to that constant issue, especially as we look towards big events such as Deep Sanctuary later this year.

If you're looking to buy tickets for any upcoming Moi dix Mois concerts, please check out the link above and join the group for updates!


Second of all, I went to the Shibuya Marui shopping mall today to see a new collaboration between Hatsune Miku and Moi-meme-Moitie.


Click the thumbnails to view larger images

For those who may not know about this, let me catch you up to speed.
In December Mana and Moi-meme-Moitie announced a new collaboration between Kamijo, Hatsune Miku, and Moi-meme-Moitie.
Fundamentally this collaboration truly belongs to Kamijo and Hatsune Miku, but according to Mana's twitter, back in October of last year, Kamijo held a meeting with Mana to discuss this idea of Moitie contributing a design for Miku's dress. However, it should be noted, the design was illustrated by an outside source known as PEACH-PIT. Moi-meme-Moitie was essentially the producers of the physical dress.
....is that confusing enough for you?😂

For right now until the end of the month the dress is on display in Shibuya Marui, a big shopping mall in the center of Shibuya.



To be honest I saw this window display several days ago before the exhibition even opened and took pictures at that time. If I hadn't seen two jr. high school girls stopping and saying "how cute!!" they thought the characters were I probably would have never noticed. I guess thats strange to say, considering how huge this window display is in the middle of the city, but I don't tend to pay a lot of attention to my surroundings... Anyway, if you're in Shibuya, the display is so big you can't miss it!

Yesterday the exhibition opened for the first time to the public, so I went today because I got an unexpected day off from work.



The first things I noticed were a sign in front of the entrance and the elevator doors going up to the exhibition space




The dress is on display at the very front of the shop, which has a fairly small set up. Its what is considered a "pop-up shop," meaning a small temporary store that gets changed out regularly. Aside from the Moitie dress, there are tons of Hatsune Miku merchandise for sale and a TV playing a video of the characters which included a song Kamijo made for this collaboration.



Heres a couple extra shots so you can see the details of the dress.

This dress will go on reserve starting in February and the entire set together (the dress + headdress) will cost 71,280 yen.

Naturally I have my own thoughts and opinions on this dress and the event itself, but rather than speaking on my impressions, this time I leave it for you to judge for yourself. Do you like this kind of collaboration and the direction Moi-meme-Moitie is headed in? I'm curious to know what the general reception of this new approach is.

Speaking of which, I should probably mention that up until now I haven't posted so much about the latest on-goings of Moi-meme-Moitie on this blog or my site. I feel like Moitie's new direction has now opened up a door for them to communicate more directly with customers as they currently provide services and updates in English. Because of that, I see little reason to update about them anymore on here. Of course if there is vitally important information or events that I can report on that contain some level of value, I will post about it, but aside from that I decided there is little use for me anymore in those regards. For full details on Moi-meme-Moitie's updates and information, please check out their official social media accounts and website.


Finally, the last thing I wanted to update about.
This has pretty much nothing to do with Mana, which is why I saved it for the end.

synth

A few days ago I bought my first synthesizer!!
Words cannot explain how much I'm in love with it! I'm also a person who can pick up tunes very quickly by ear, so I've already taught myself how to play a number of songs.
But why do I need a synthesizer? Actually, I started creating a project of my own and this will come in handy. Is it music? or maybe something else?
Its something I want to talk about sooooo badly on here because its been years since I felt this excited and motivated about anything! But actually due to the nature of what I'm doing its a little hard to simply come right out and say what it is.
But what if I start leaving hints? Maybe those who are interested will eventually catch on...

All I can say is, keep your eyes alert!! (>人<)
masks


Sarah
ESP Mana Guitar Exhibit: Moi dix Mois 15 Year Anniversary
We're only a few days removed from Dis inferno XV, but a new Mana Guitar Exhibit at the ESP Museum is already underway for one week.

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The exhibit started the day after after the concert (Sunday) and runs until this coming Sunday, December 10. I went on Monday and perhaps one of the most exiting points about it this time is that pictures were allowed!

So pictures I took!
In fact, I took over 90 pictures!(;゚∀゚)
How will I fit them all on this blog??

Actually, just like I did after the Slayer concert earlier this year, I have decided to make a gallery of the entire exhibit!!!

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I present to you...
Monologue†Sanctuary・Mana-Sama.net ESP Mana Guitar Gallery

*The gallery works seamlessly for both computers and smart phones.

I think creating a photo gallery like this gives an opportunity for me to surpass long descriptions of guitars that are already familiar to Mana fans and gives all of you a more visual experience so you can feel like you're a part of it in some way even if you're not in Japan.

Notably, all of these guitars are "Jeune Fille X" in some way or another, and there are a total of 5 on display. Considering the X represents "dix" or 10, I think this was a rather clever way of celebrating 15 years of Moi dix Mois.



Also, I could be wrong, but I think if you look at the positioning of the guitars its supposed to represent "XV" the roman numeral for 15. You may have to use your imagination a bit on here, but notice how the Ferrum is positioned lower than the Gips and Lazuli, so if you looked from the order of Gips, Ferrum, Bronze it would be one side of the X and Lazuli, Ferrum, and X make the other side. The Bronze is also tilted as if to merge with the Jeune Fille X in order to create the "V" portion of the roman numeral. Some of you reading this might feel like this seems to be a stretch, but if you consider past entries where I talk about symbolisms and ideas used within Moi dix Mois, its really no exaggeration to believe this could be the case. Mana often tends to arrange things artistically that always seem just slightly "off" in order to subtly give clues towards concepts he wants to convey. The Jeune Fille X Bronze is what gave it away to me.

In total I took about 95 pictures, but some of them were pretty repetitive, so I sorted through everything and chose the best ones. There are close to 50 in the gallery right now, with a few surprise pictures at the very end as well!! There may be something hiding in there thats a must see!



By the way, I made a video of the display as well so you can see everything in action! If you turn the volume on, you can hear the Moi dix Mois music that was playing in the background at the exhibit.


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As I mentioned before, the exhibit is running from December 3, 2017 - December 10, 2017.
The location is at the ESP Museum in Shibuya and admission is free.

Its possible to take pictures of this exhibit, but there are also other guitars on display within the museum, including a couple other Jeune Fille guitars (if I recall, the blood splattered Jeune Fille X Blanche and the original Jeune Fille from Malice Mizer times), but those are locked away behind glass displays where photography is prohibited.

I definitely encourage anyone who can to go see it in person! I'm thinking about going back Saturday before it closes the next day and get a few pictures with my digital camera for higher resolution photos. If I do, I'll be sure to update the gallery with those photos!


Sarah
Dis inferno XV Live Report
Shinjuku Reny, a beautiful venue that holds around 800 people, was the setting for tonight’s concert, Dis inferno XV, the final concert celebrating the Moi dix Mois 15 year anniversary.



The concert started around 5:30 pm, but new goods went on sale from around 3:30. When new goods are released usually theres a bit of excitement about them, so some people arrive early, but this time I was shocked to see a huge line wrapped around the venue of people waiting to buy goods! Maybe it was just the line, but it felt like there were more people than normal at the concert today.

The venue looked really unique on the inside this time!

The stage looked pretty much the same it always does, with the big Moi dix Mois symbol in the background behind the drums and the two iron gates intertwined with roses on either side of the stage. One difference however, were two new flags with the Moi dix Mois symbol also on both sides of the stage. They were the same flags that were sold for the first time at the concert today! I also noticed this time around, the lighting on the stage was glowing purple on the entire set before it was time for the concert to start. Thats not something that usually happens so it was somewhat unique.

There was one other detail as well that was different from before!



The back and sides of the venue had “Moi dix Mois” scrolling across on huge signs!! I’ve never seen something like that before at a Moi dix Mois concert so I loved the effect!!

So finally it was time for the concert to start! Mana has been making a lot of hints on twitter about what to expect from this concert, so I wondered how it would work out. One thing I had a feeling may happen was that they would play songs that span through all the Moi dix Mois albums released over these past 15 years. It seems that assumption was correct.

Heres the set list from tonight:

1. SE The Pact of Silence
2. In paradise
3. The Seventh Veil
4. Shadows Temple
5. Beast Side
6. Twilight Flower
7. Perish
8. Silent omen
9. The SECT
-MC-
10. Detresse
11. SE L’intelieur dix
12. Solitude
13. Forbidden
14. Mayonaka Ni Kawashita Yakusoku (Malice Mizer— same as the dinner concert in Sept.)
15. Immortal Madness
16. Dead Scape
17. Material Death
18. Ange~D Side Holy Wings~
19. Je l’aime
20. SE En Lumiere
-Encore-
1. deus ex machina — Mana drum session
2. Night Breed


Another thing I had a feeling about that seemed to come true is the costume choice. Mana’s outfit resembled the earlier days of Moi dix Mois, completely in all black with long ruffled sleeves. The other members dressed completely in black as well to achieve a uniform look.
(Once pictures come out, I will post them on here)

For some reason it felt like it took a little longer than usual for everyone to come out on stage once The Pact of Silence started to play, but eventually, in the usual order, Hayato, Sugiya, Ryux, Mana, and Seth came out on stage with the crowd cheering getting louder and louder with each member.

Maybe this is a somewhat minor detail that I’m hashing out too much, but the usage of the venue during the concert was really great as well! In particular, I felt the lighting with the songs was different from normal. Its a little hard to explain, but I got the impression Shinjuku Reny must have more/better equipment than most venues I’m used to going to. At times the stage would go totally dark, but a few lights would shine similar to spotlights in particular areas around the stage. It seemed like a maze of lights, or something you might imagine seeing in a movie where someone is stuck in a dark atmosphere, like a cave, and they see glimmers of sun coming in from outside. I even noticed during Twilight Flower, the lights turned the entire background with the gates and roses green with hints of purple. There was such a strong correlation between the performance and lighting, I feel it would be a shame to not talk about! I can’t remember which song it was exactly, maybe somewhere around Perish or Silent Omen, but the lighting then became extremely concentrated into small beams shooting into the audience like lazers as well, and they decided to bathe the entire stage in red during Beast Side. Like I say, it may not be too important, but sometimes small things like this can make a huge impact and create a sensation that brings you closer to the full intention of how songs and messages are meant to come across.

As for the performance of the Moi dix Mois members, I didn’t particularly feel any big differences from typical Moi dix Mois concerts. There was a short MC where Seth announced that both Sugiya and Hayato celebrated birthdays back in November, so Mana had two bottles of Jack Daniels for the two of them to drink on stage. They were both forced to stand in the center, then suddenly they linked arms and poured Jack Daniels down each other’s mouth. I think everyone thought they would only take a small sip each, but I don’t think they knew how stop once their arms were linked, so Hayato really seemed to be chugging it down. I think Hayato was a little more gentle with Sugiya and Sugiya was with Hayato. Poor guy! In the past when Mana brought out Jack Daniels and drank it on stage for Dis inferno, it was revealed that Oolong tea was in the bottle, but this time around I’m not entirely sure if that was the case or not. Sugiya’s expression seemed a little disturbed after drinking, so I wanted to know so bad if this time it was real or not! (I hope not for their sakes). Everyone was laughing though and even Mana seemed to be trying hard to hold back a smile.

Of course during the main MC, there was a letter from Mana that Seth read aloud. Honestly speaking, it wasn’t particularly as fun as it has been in the past. I noticed they never asked if everyone was having fun, and instead went right down to business. Basically it was some pretty general information about this being the end of the Moi dix Mois 15 year anniversary and Mana’s 25 year anniversary as an artist. Then they discussed the 2018 schedule for Moi dix Mois. In this case, they announced the next 4 concerts, so I think it would be easier to just list the information on here:

March 17 & 18 — Mana’s birthday concert at Mt. Rainier Hall Shibuya Pleasure Pleasure, both days.
June — Dinner concert, similar to this year in September.
September 8 — Malice Mizer reunion live: Deep Sanctuary at Toyosu Pit
*EDIT
New information has now come up about Deep Sanctuary. You can see the full details on the flyer below:
MMreunion25.jpg

More information such as dates and venues will be posted later on Mana’s twitter.
Concerning the dinner concert, Mana made a note that this past year there was sort of an ocean blue type theme with the food, but next year it will be something different to look forward to! There was also quite a bit of excitement emphasizing Deep Sanctuary.
I think Mana has been going through a lot of thoughts and memories regarding Malice Mizer and the past this year, so I wonder if that means he has any special ideas in store for that concert? Only time will tell…

Speaking of Malice Mizer, I imagine it probably stands out to a lot of you that Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yasuyoku is in the set list. For those who read the report on the September concert where this song was originally played, it may not be too big of a surprise to see this title resurface. Mana had talked quite a bit on Twitter about how he wanted to bring t his song back again for a wider audience. However, it was a little unusual that it was just stuck in the middle of a Moi dix Mois set list. There was no big introduction or lead up to the song, it was just played.

With that being said, I did sense a different kind of feeling hearing the song in such an abnormal setting. To me it felt like a bridge between the worlds of Moi dix Mois and Malice Mizer in a more natural way. Up until now, any time a Malice Mizer song was played during a Moi dix Mois concert, there has always been a sort of grand unveiling of the song. The atmosphere becomes tense in the audience, and rather than simply enjoying the song, everyone seems keen on trying to hang on to every last note. This time, however, I didn’t really notice that. Instead, everyone enjoyed the song for what it was, and it truly felt like the song fit in with the rest of the performance. Essentially, if you hadn’t known it was a special song, you would have probably thought it was part of a usual Moi dix Mois set list. While I value the times when Malice Mizer songs are treated with the weight that they hold, I’ve always dreamed of hearing Malice Mizer songs in a more laid back setting. Thats what I would imagine it would have felt like if you regularly attended Malice Mizer concerts when they were active, so thats a feeling I never thought I would be able to truly experience in my life. This was a very small taste of what I have always wished for.


Continuing on with the concert, Immortal Madness is a song that always always contains a new “keyword” for the night. Instead of yelling “dix sight” from the original lyrics, everyone is always asked to yell something unique to each concert depending on the theme. This time Seth first asked everyone to yell 好き好き好き好き好き好き好き好き好き好き (pronounced “suki”, meaning “like”). Basically the intention was to say “I like like like like like like like like like like [Moi dix Mois]” ten times. Then we were asked to rotate that out with “Moi dix Moisが大好きdix!” (Moi dix Mois ga daishiki dix! - I love Moi dix Mois), so there was a continuation of these two phrases back to back.


From there, the rest of the concert resumed to normal, until everyone walked off stage after Je l’aime (and the SE).

However, since this is Dis inferno, of course Mana still had to play drums!!

Thats when the session and encore began. Mana walked back out on stage after some time wearing a Matin Mana t-shirt with spikes around his arms, a long black half skirt and boots, and a Hiroshima Carps baseball jersey (number 25, representing his 25 years as an artist). He also had a pair of Hiroshima Carps noise maker bats that he threw into the audience as he walked out. He then immediately went to the drums and soon took off the Carps jersay as the other members walked out wearing navy blue and silver Moi dix Mois 15 year anniversary T-shirts.

Funny enough, it seemed like Mana was really rushing to prepare himself before the song started to play. Seth came out and talked a little to the audience, but I noticed the entire time Mana was making some pretty aggressive gestures to try to communicate with the technical crew back stage. It seemed a little problematic because it was going on for a while; I wondered if they could really understand all that insane arm waving.(*´꒳`*)

The session song was deus ex machina. Sadly this was exactly the same as last year, and the performance itself felt nearly the same as well (Mana was even wearing the same Matin shirt as last year!). Its not a bad thing, but in the past Moi dix Mois always used to play cover songs of famous bands such as Slayer and Motley Crue. Over the past few years however, its been nothing but Moi dix Mois music…

Anyway, Hayato and Sugiya played guitar, Ryux was on Bass, and Seth sang vocals as always.

I remember last year Seth made everyone shout out “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4…” which in some way worked well with the song, but I had a feeling we were really counting for Mana to hold the beat on the drums. This year the same thing happened, but unfortunately it wasn’t as much as last year.

Hayato got especially invested in this portion of the concert and jumped down into the area between the stage and audience. He started giving everyone high fives and touching hands across the entire first row, but once he got to the end of the line, he seemingly didn’t know how to get back up on stage. He kept searching for ways to go back but couldn’t do it, so eventually he ran and tried jumping back up.

After Deus ex Machina, Night Breed played and all the members went back to their original instruments. This year Mana brought his white BC Rich Warlock guitar that originally debuted in Moi dix Mois at Dis inferno in 2014.

Balloons started floating into the audience as well, so as they came out everyone got a chance to hit them back into the air.

In fact, I brought two home for myself!


One of my friends also gave me a Mana pick he caught! Thank you!!!

I don’t even know what to do with these balloons…

Mana, as always, was super aggressive with the balloons. He would hit them with his guitar, kick them, and sometimes throw them as hard as possible. Fortunately for me I was in the second row between two girls standing in the front on Mana’s side. One time when Mana threw a balloon especially hard, it hit the two girls in front of me right in the face and it kinda looked like it hurt. I’m sure there will be an apology tweet coming soon, just like every year.

At the end of the song, Seth wanted all the members to get together and for some reason they all started sitting at the bottom of the drum stand and Seth was the only one standing up still trying to get them together.

As they finally stood up in a line, Seth also asked everyone in the audience to hold hands and on the count of 3 everyone together would make a single leap for the end of the year. I was really shocked that one of the girls standing next to me suddenly grabbed my hand!
Maybe it sounds stupid, but it made me really happy. Usually it seems like most people will hold hands with their friends and maybe if they make a positive acquaintance with the people around them they will, but nobody has ever done that with me before. At the end, we smiled and laughed together. I honestly really love it when I can connect with other fans I’ve never met before, even in a small way! Japanese fans are shy, and I’m shy too, so it truly felt like a very rare, special moment. Maybe you don’t know/read my blog, but thank you!!! I was so happy!!💙

At the end of the jump, suddenly the song Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 played to bring in the end of the year. Usually each band member walks off stage one by one, but this time, they each jumped down into that small space Hayato did earlier and decided to run their hands along everyone’s hands in the front. Some how, they found their back up to the stage at the end of the line and then walked off to the back, but Mana was the last to do this, and rather than touch hands with everyone, he started taking balloons that got stuck on the ground and threw them all into the audience, hitting people along the way in some cases. Strangely, however, the concert ended with a bizarre twist…

As Mana had been throwing balloons into the audience, he did so pretty slowly, taking the extra time to enjoy the last moments of the concert with everyone. As he walked down the end of the line, from my point of view it became harder and harder to see him. However, whats so strange about that is, it looked like at some point he had bent down to pick up a balloon and I never saw him stand back up again.

In fact, it seems almost nobody saw where he went…

The concert ended in……………? Where is Mana…?

Even as the ending song played on well past the point when all the members would usually be gone, nobody seemed to understand if Mana had some how walked out somewhere or what happened exactly. Even as the venue went quiet and we waited for the lights to come on to signal we can leave, everyone was still looking around for Mana!

This was probably one of the most confusing exists I’ve ever seen at a concert before. Where did he go!??????

So I guess you could say, the concert tonight was…



…………………………………??









Sarah
ファミ通
Ahhhh!!!!
I had just finished writing this entry and FC2 completely erased it!!
Its the one time I didn't make a backup of the entry before posting it either. Damn.

Let's try this again...

Yesterday Mana posted on twitter that he made an appearance in the famous Japanese video game magazine, The Weekly Famitsu. I had suspected this may be the case about a week ago when he made a vague reference to it, and it seems it was true!
This time there are no photos of him included, but the article contains artwork of him along with a commentary he made for the 20th anniversary of the manga ドキばぐ (Dokibagu), which has a connection to the Famitsu.




Click the thumbnails for larger size images

Translation:
Given an appearance in the times of a legend
A congratulatory comment from Mana-Sama (Moi dix Mois/MALICE MIZER)!


Mana-Sama, an artist who is active as a guitarist and music producer showed a firm love for video games with “Dokibagu” in the past. We got a congratulatory comment from him for the 20th anniversary of “Dokibagu”!


“This has been my favorite story in the Famitsu ever since childhood, so I had always wished to be in the manga and I got to be twice! I was really happy about that!
I had a photoshoot at Ami Shibata’s house, and when the Xbox raided Japan I didn’t go out to the market, so she came and showed me the real thing……I had tears! “Dokibagu” put forth an “Even this is in here!” type maniac content, and the story was always so interesting; it’s single-handed execution was nothing short of a catharsis! Congratulations to “Dokibagu” on it’s 20 year anniversary! “




Although it was a short statement, I could really really feel Mana's enthusiasm upon reading it! As far as I'm aware, Dokibagu is not a manga that ever surfaced or saw official translation in the US. From what I could find online, it doesn't look like it was ever released anywhere except Japan, actually. Many times when Mana talks about particular titles such as this, it makes me want to look into it more myself. Some how it always makes me feel like I've completely missed out on an aspect of Japanese pop-culture for the soul reason that it was never made available overseas. I often feel like I should take advantage of the fact that I live in Japan, and try to get my hands on these things, but the sheer amount of content made only available in Japan feels a bit overwhelming sometimes...

Anyway this is going to end as a relatively short entry.
Theres a lot more I wanted to talk about actually (which thankfully I did manage to save!), but at this point I feel like its probably better to leave out of this entry. Tomorrow, well technically today, is Dis inferno, so I feel like it would be information overload if I continued this and then wrote a full live report later on too.

Maybe some of you can guess what the content is that I want to discuss because theres quite a bit I haven't addressed recently. I feel those things are still important to cover on here, but I will do it for sure when the timing is better.

Until then, please look forward to that entry, as well as the Dis inferno live report that will go up after the concert!


Sarah
Schwarz Stein 15 Year Anniversary Live + Secret Guest Mana


So how many of you believed me when I said Mana would be the secret guest at the Schiwarz Stein 15 year anniversary concert even though it wasn't officially confirmed? ƪ(˘⌣˘)ʃ

I'm joking! I know it was something that was obvious outside of my posts, so I think everyone already understood from the start.

With that being said, the concert was held tonight so I can finally write about it!

Before I begin, theres a few things I want to address:
I think this entry is going to cater to a different variety of people than normal. Some of who are aware that this is my first time to a Schwarz Stein live so they probably want to hear my impressions, some who are interested in Schwarz Stein and want to hear about the concert, and of course a bulk majority who are here for Mana related content. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to try my best to appease everyone, but generally speaking I'm not usually as detailed with non-Moi dix Mois concerts. Since this is my first Schwarz Stein concert, I don't really have anything to compare it to, so I apologize in advance if this entry lacks in detail that I would usually go into.

Now let's get into it!

The venue this time, Shibuya REX, is a very small concert hall that usually fits somewhere between 250-300 people. Ever since the moment we all understood this is the concert Mana would be a special guest at, I had been watching and digging into as much information as I could. I was surprised to see for the longest time that tickets hadn't sold out at all, but that finally changed only a couple days prior to the concert date.

Tonight's concert is the beginning of a Schwarz Stein 15 year anniversary 3 city tour. The next two cities they will perform at are in Nagoya (special guest Mako from Deadman) and Osaka (special guest Kozi from ZIZ/Malice Mizer). Talking to a few regular Kaya/Schwarz Stein fans, it seems they were all happy and surprised to see a sold out concert tonight! However, realistically speaking the reason for that was because tons of Mana fans showed up. Thats not to say that they otherwise don't care Schwarz Stein; I think its more or less because Mana being there was a bigger incentive to make more of an effort to go for a lot of people. I have to admit, I was definitely a part of that crowd too, but I have certainly liked Schwarz Stein ever since the beginning of their activities 15 years ago!!

As for the show, I was so happy to hear so many nostalgic songs and to finally see Hora for the first time in my life!!

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Kaya (left) and Hora (right)

Of course he wasn't covering his mouth like he did in this picture. What can I say?? His demeanor was a little different from what I expected! For some reason I always had this image of him as a serious, more secretive kind of person, but actually he has a very nice personality! In fact, I feel like he balances Kaya out well since Kaya has such a huge flashy personality. Hora was a lot more laid back but had great interaction with the audience and seemed very comfortable talking and making jokes with everyone. I found myself in instant admiration of him. I finally feel like I understand why people love Hora so much!

Their performance style was also very different from what I had imagined. Of course knowing Schwarz Stein's music for years now, I realize they play more electronic/dance style music, but I didn't anticipate the show itself to feel like everyone should be up dancing at a club. Funny enough, since this is Japan nobody really dances. They basically stand and watch like a normal concert but kinda move their heads to the beat or do various hand movements. I don't know...it felt kinda strange for the style, I guess. Some how I imagined the stage to be decorated differently as well. To be honest, I think my image of Schwarz Stein comes from their early days, not within recent years. But all in all, it was great and I have no complaints what so ever! In fact, the energy was so good I felt extremely refreshed! There may only be two people on the stage, but they completely fill it with their enthusiasm!

Thanks to a friend, I already received the full set list from the concert!!

1. SE. Testament
2. Queen of Decadence
3. Perfect Garden
4. Release me
-MC-
5. GENUINE -Recurrence-
6. Profane Gone
7. Current
8. PREDICT -Rosen Clarion-
-MC-
9. Lilith
10. Hakobune
11. **New Song** Apocalypse -eclipse ring-
12. Creeper
13. Remind (SE)
14. Transient (Gt. Mana)
15. Beautiful the Virgin (Gt. Mana)
16. Sleeping Madness
17. Syphilis and Disorder
18. New Vogue Children

Encore 1
1. **New Song** Haven
2. Last Hallucination

Encore 2
1. Succubus 2014 (Keyboard Mana)
2. SE the alternation of generations
3. -increase-


There were also a few MCs during the night. The first one was more or less a simple introduction and advertisement/information for the next upcoming shows. Kaya tried to talk about tonight's performance and the "secret guest" as sort of a mystery but everyone started laughing because it really wasn't much of a secret. Even Hora said something along the lines of "you all know who it is, I even see many of you who look like/are dressed like him" to everyone's entertainment. Actually, Hora really wanted to just say it was Mana several times, but Kaya kept stopping him and saying things like "not yet!!"

During the second MC they talked a lot more about this being the 15 year anniversary of schwarz stein, their start as Rudolf Steiner and much more. At the beginning Hora couldn't help himself from saying "Theres so many people here, its like an arena!!"
I think both Kaya and Hora were truly excited to see such a full venue and seemed so thankful for everyone who came to see them tonight.

They played a few songs after the second MC and eventually they cut to some type of seemingly intermission type music where they were just kinda standing around on stage and then suddenly without warning or introduction, Mana popped out on stage!

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He ran to the front center where he held his arms out wearing a long chiffon gilet that looked like a cape at first by the way that he was holding it up. If I'm not mistaken, I think that gilet is actually something he used to wear years ago in the earlier years of Moi dix Mois. This time he also wore a blue frilled Moi-meme-Moitie blouse with a longer skirt/pants. You can see how he looked from the picture above.

He stood there for a good minute or so, until he eventually walked over to the left side of the stage (from the audience point of view; right side from stage point of view). That may seem like a minor detail but I was wondering if he may go to that side of the stage this time because he always stays on the opposite side for Moi dix Mois concerts. I guess its also a give away that Hora's keyboard was on that side so it would be impossible for Mana to play there, but anyway I already had that feeling before I even entered the venue.

As he walked to the side of the stage where he would play, his Jeune Fille had already been sitting at the edge for him to pick up. He took a moment to tune it and then instantly Transient started to play. Instantly everyone in the audience started screaming and tons of people started pushing to the front of the stage. I stayed in the back this time, so I only watched from a sort of small platform above the main floor but even people who were standing behind me started rushing down to the front.

It seems Kaya and Hora's interactions during concerts aren't limited to talking and joking with the audience, but they actually touch peoples hands a lot. They tend to touch the audience hands and give high fives among other things, so to follow suit in that style, Mana started doing the same. Thats when the audience started getting really crazy. I noticed a lot of people started pulling on his hands and arms and at one point I thought he was going to fall in (actually I couldn't tell if he was falling in or wanted to crowd surf by how he acted). It was intense.

Of course it was a rare sight to see Mana playing as a guest for a different artist. I don't think I can put into words how special it felt to see something like that! But at the same time, as wonderful as it was, it also felt a little strange to me. I think Mana has become very comfortable and rehearsed in his own setting (Moi dix Mois), but I didn't really know how to take that portrayal in Schwarz Stein. As I watched Mana perform, I started thinking "I guess Mana-style is Mana-style, but this almost feels a little too much like Moi dix Mois for Schwarz Stein". It didn't quite feel like Mana's performance style matched up completely with Schwarz Stein's performance style, if that makes any sense. If I were to paint a picture in your head, just imagine watching a Moi dix Mois concert, but turn off the music and play a full Schwarz Stein CD instead.(≧∇≦)
Basically not only were his movements the same as during Moi dix Mois concerts, but so were his interactions with the crowd and Kaya and Hora, as if he was trying to dominate the stage. There are many times in Moi dix Mois when Mana will go up to the various band members and try to play back to back with them (literally, he pushes his back against the other members like hes showing himself off with each person); he was doing the exact same thing this time too.

Its not particularly bad, but it was enough to make me scratch my head a little.(;゚∀゚)

After Transient, they played Beautiful the Virgin. Since Schwarz Stein plays electronic music that doesn't normally include guitar, Mana basically played guitar to the main chorus parts of the songs. I felt like this methodology really showed through the most in this second song. In Transient I felt like it was a little hard to distinguish the guitar sound from the rest of the music, but Beautiful the Virgin included an added portion for Mana to play a guitar solo in. Its probably needless for me to say, but it sounded great together!! I'm sure its only a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be nice if Schwarz Stein released a single with Mana playing these parts in the songs? Or better yet, how about a single/mini album with Mana, Mako, and Kozi's parts included into whatever songs they perform!!
It would be nice....

Immediately after, Mana bowed to everyone and ran back off stage and the rest of the concert continued.

After the main concert, there were two encores!!
The first included a bit more talking from Kaya and Hora about random things and then a few songs. Then to my surprise eventually a second encore came where they brought Mana back out on stage. Previously neither Kaya nor Hora would actually say Mana's name on stage, but would only refer to him as "the secret guest". I was a little concerned, thinking "They're seriously going to take things this far and just totally refrain from saying 'Mana'? Thats kind of ridiculous..." so I was relieved to eventually hear Kaya say "Mana-Sama"

With Mana's return to the stage, they had one more song planned for everyone. However, every time Mana showed up on stage things felt a little awkward. Mana seemed nervous the entire night as he kept folding his hands together and whenever he bowed to the audience he seemed rather rushed in his actions more than usual. Funny enough though, whenever he actually played he totally stole the limelight from Kaya and Hora. Really, was this a Schwarz Stein concert or a Mana concert?? Of course thats to be expected since this was highly anticipated. Anyway, one of the most awkward situations came when Kaya needed to do a bit of talking on stage while Mana was there. Actually, Kaya straight up said "I'm so nervous" a few times, but I think when he said he was nervous he meant along the lines of he doesn't quite know what to do with Mana on stage. The problem is, Mana doesn't talk, so Kaya wasn't really sure how to do interactions with him publicly. He wanted to ask Mana a question that wasn't really a yes or no question, and Mana seemed to have no idea what to do about it, so he kinda froze and stared at Kaya and Hora in a panic. I don't remember what they were asking him, but if I recall I think it had something to do with Mana playing Hora's instrument.

For those who don't know, Hora plays keyboard but he wears it similar to how you would a guitar, with a strap over your shoulder to hold it up. As Mana stood there like a deer frozen in headlights, Hora took his guitar and tried holding it up for Mana to take. Eventually he did, and then they asked him to try to play something on it. Suddenly Mana turned it on and started playing the intro to MALICE MIZER's Saikai no Chi to Bara!!!!
Suddenly the audience started screaming, and Kaya did too!! This part seemed to be totally unplanned because in an instant Kaya went from one of the performers on stage to a complete fan and couldn't stop saying things like "That was so great!! That was so amazing!!! I can't believe it!" etc.

Once Mana showed off his keyboard skills, the song Succubus started to play! Mana played keyboard the entire time and Hora just kinda danced and jumped around on stage, as well as screamed a few parts in the chorus. It was interesting to see Mana play a totally different instrument such as a keyboard in this way on stage, but I got the feeling that even though he played a little, he also used a kind of prerecorded loop that automatically plays particular parts so he didn't have to memorize the entire song. I also wondered how planned out that song really was with Mana playing it because it seemed like Mana kept forgetting he was holding a keyboard and would repeatedly treat it in the exact same way he does his guitars. Its hard to explain, but he tends to be somewhat rough with his guitars by swinging them around or shoving them into the audience. Everything he does with his guitars he was doing to Hora's keyboard. I hope it didn't get damaged at all...

Once again after the song ended, Mana ran off stage just as he did before, and that was about the end of the night.



..........HOWEVER!!!!
It turns out there was actually an "after concert event" if you were willing to pay an extra 2,000 yen (approx $20 USD). I noticed this information either yesterday or the day before that and decided I would do it even though there were no details about what would happen. I assumed if Mana was a special guest at the concert, theres a good chance he might appear in the after event as well.

It turns out I was right!!

Not everybody decided to stay and I was nervous that it might not be something really worth-while, but I'm so glad I did!
I asked around to people who have gone to these kinds of Schwarz Stein concerts/events before what they thought it could be and how long it might last, but it turns out I guess each time is different.

Fortunately the event didn't last too long (since the concert started later in the evening I was worried about the end time). Basically Kaya and Hora showed about 10-15 minutes of video clips from Schwarz Stein lives at the very beginning of their band activity. The footage was old and projected on to a screen so the quality was a little bit hard to see, but it was so fun to watch! Kaya and Hora made some commentary as we watched and named off what year and venue the concerts were held at. Hora made some jokes at Kaya calling him a grandma now; they really seemed like two brothers together. Also, it was shocking to notice how young they looked in those old videos! They seemed like kids!

Here is the information on all the video clips shown during this part of the event:

November 3, 2003 @ Shinjuku Liquidroom
Queen of Decadence
Succubus

December 15, 2004 Shibuya O-East
Perfect Garden
Current

Roppongi Y2K (Kaya’s first solo concert)
fester love

March 29, 2004 @ Shibuya O-West
New Vogue Children
Last Hallucination


Finally for the end of the night, Mana was called back out one more time. It was a little funny when he came back out because this time Kaya had the venue play some kind of very cheesy sounding classical music. It didn't quite depict "Mana music" if you ask me, so I had to laugh a little(≧∇≦)

This time Mana had a commentary prepared for Kaya and Hora, which Kaya read aloud. Basically he just congratulated each of them on 15 years as Schwarz Stein and their time as artists. He said when he first saw Kaya he couldn't tell if he was a man or a woman or what kind of flashy person he was, but in the end Kaya is Kaya. He also made mentions about Rudolf Steiner and the beginning of their careers, being a producer for them, and other things like that.

I think Kaya and Hora were deeply touched to have Mana there with them tonight, especially with such a deep connection they have together. Not only that, Mana has never done anything like this in many many years so I have no doubt this was a huge treat to them.

Also, once the event ended there was a flower bouquet presumably sent from Mana outside the concert hall!





By the way, if you looked into the big bubble near their name card you could see a cut out of the embryo image used on their album "New Vogue Children"



Also, I didn't particularly take any pictures of my coordinate this time because it was relatively simple, but I took at least one picture for commemoration of the night.



Oh and before I forget!!
As I was leaving the venue I saw Seth standing incognito near where I had been standing!! I wonder how long he had been there? I never saw him during the concert itself, but I've heard he likes to make escapes before people notice him when there are breaks... Well, just as I suspected.

Anyway, it was a fun evening!! I was deeply impressed with Schwarz Stein so I hope to see them again some day, even if Mana isn't there as a special guest!! I have to make that effort!٩( 'ω' )و


Sarah