Mana Rendezvous 2018
You're here for a Rendezvous event report, right?
Well, as promised I am here to deliver!

This was the first time Mana has held a Rendezvous in several years now, so in terms of how it all works there were no true surprises, but interestingly the location was at the Vampire Cafe. I think this is the first time its ever been held there, but I was happy about it because I've felt for a long time this would absolutely be an ideal place for such an event.

Everyone's meeting time with Mana is extremely short, so I feel like I could easily get to the point and make this a super short entry. However, whats the fun in that?
If you only want to know what happened when I met Mana, I will bold the section where it begins so you can scroll directly to that.
In the mean time, let's talk a little about my account all the way until that moment.

So there was a little confusion at the beginning. I actually didn't buy a ticket for myself— a friend of mine gave me a free ticket. That being said, my friend had his name on the tickets and emails and our times to meet Mana were totally different. The event was organized similar to the ESP Jeune Fille event last year in that there were 4 time slots to participate in. Whichever time slot your given by the staff is the time you can enter the cafe. My friend's was at 12:45 whereas mine was at 1:45. We were worried if the staff would even let me in since my name wasn't printed on the email, but after talking to them everything turned out fine.
That means when I showed up with my friend around 12:45 I had an hour to kill on my own. Fortunately another friend was ending his time at the Rendezvous as I arrived so we walked around and talked a bit until I could finally enter.

I was starting to feel a little stressed by the time I could go to the vampire cafe, but fortunately yet another friend happened to have the same time as me!! Both of us were extremely nervous so we were doing anything we could to calm ourselves. The staff was kind and talked to us a bit, surprisingly in English (honestly I don't know how I feel about that on a personal level after living in Japan as long as I have now, but I recognize they're just trying to help). Finally we were ushered to a small elevator and up we went to the 7th floor where the Vampire Cafe resides.

One by one, the staff asked to see what number we were given on our ticket and we had to sit accordingly to that. Vampire Rose was there, sadly he didn't greet me like usual this time, but he was working hard trying to set tables making sure everything looked presentable. Each seat was set with a blue drink produced by Mana, a Moi-meme-Moitie clear folder, and an advertisement for the Vampire cafe.



The drink wasn't bad. I think it was basically a gin and tonic with syrup in it. Relatively simple.




The straws were shaped like a cross, so I was holding the flyer behind it so it was easier to see in a picture.

As soon as everyone was seated at their respective tables, finally the staff started going around and letting everyone know when it was their time to go meet Mana.



Heres a short video Silvia (my friend who I went in with) took. Was she spying on me???(≧∇≦)
(by the way, this video is marked as unlisted as it was originally a private video I asked permission to share. So you can only see it on here!)


The waiting time went by somewhat slow, so I pretty much just entertained myself by taking pictures and playing Pokemon Go.



Try as I may, I just could not look like a normal, decent human being in any of these pictures. I was way too nervous! I look like the awkward seal meme! LOL



One thing I noticed while waiting was the music inside the vampire cafe. I believe it was Bach, but what was interesting was the CD that was playing just kept repeating the same few songs over and over again. Particularly one song kept playing that I realized contained a part of a later Malice Mizer song (Bara no Seidou era)!! Which one was it, though...? I'm going to try to figure it out and post about it once I find it!!

By the way I wore a moderately casual EGA look this time so I didn't get a full coordinate picture. I tend to feel like EGL just doesn't suit me anymore as I get older...maybe some day I'll wear it again, who knows, but I don't feel confident in it like I used to. Thats life, I guess.


Meeting Mana

So finally we get to the part where I met Mana! I think nearly an hour went by, but finally I was called back. I had to wait a few minutes in a line of about 3-4 people and to be honest, when the person right in front of me went, I could see everything that happened!(/ω\*) I tried to look away somewhere else because I felt a bit guilty about it. I could see that Mana was wearing all black EGA this time. In fact, he posted a picture on twitter today!




Translation:
Today at the “Rendezvous ~Temptation of Crimson Blood~” the atmosphere in the venue was so fantastic it felt like time totally spent in an illusionary world.
Even right now I'm unable to forget your warmth…
I definitely want to do the rendezvous again next year!



Anyway, as the person before me left I was finally allowed in.

Theres a veeryyy small entry way between the hall and where Mana was located and you had to walk down two small steps to get there, but basically as soon as I walked through the entry Mana was standing right there.

My first impression seeing Mana in person again was a bit of a shock for me. It wasn't anything about him personally, but my own feeling. This all felt so familiar!! Of course it was, I've gone to the Rendezvous many times before and met Mana over and over again repeatedly for the past 8-9 years I've been living in Japan now; it shouldn't be a surprise at all! But truly my feeling was something like, “Alright here we are! Let's get going as per usual!” as if its something totally normal.😂 What!?

I say all this in a positive tone though. I'm glad I can feel this sort of familiarity. In fact, maybe my feelings of familiarity with Mana now have gotten to a point that...well...I'll explain it in a moment.

So he stood in front of me and showed me how he wanted me to hold my hands out and then he quickly grabbed at them with one arm around my back. He ushered me to a sofa thats basically like 2 steps away and gestured for me to sit. I did so and then he sat down next to me and autographed a photo of himself located on a small table immediately to his left. It takes him a while to write and at this point I never know what I'm supposed to do. I just kinda looked around at the area (it wasn't really set up in any special way actually, just a small empty room) until he finished and gave me the autograph. At that time he just looked me in the face, I guess in case there was anything I wanted to say or do. As always, I never have anything to say, so I just gave him my usual smile and a nod as sort of a “Thanks and ok, let's go!” but this time he wasn't having it. Instead he did the exact same back at me! I didn't know what to do so I started glancing around and tried nodding again like “Are we going anywhere or doing anything yet...?” and instead of acting on it, again he just sat there and mimicked me. He looked like he was about to start laughing too.😂 This is where I was saying maybe I'm starting to get too familiar with him, because in that moment I nearly said out loud “Now what??” but I caught myself right before I opened my mouth and just stayed silent.

Then finally Mana stood up and had me stand up too. Thats when things got...strange..!
So as I stood up, suddenly Mana lunged over and hugged me, but this hug wasn't like any hug I experienced from him in the past! At first he gave the usual hug I anticipated from him— whenever I went to past rendezvous usually when he hugged me he either gave a really light hug and patted me on the back or it was a little more firm, but still just about the same every time. This time he started with the light hug, and then he started holding onto me tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter...what the hell was happening!? At that moment I thought to myself “This is different from usual!” and since he wouldn't let go, I ended up hugging him back really tightly because maybe he needed it😂, but he kept hanging on and wouldn't let go. Finally the tension settled down and he started to let go, but actually....NOPE!!!

He hugged me AGAIN! Just like the first time, as tight as he could and as long as he could! I was a little confused then, but I thought “Ok two hugs then...” but he started really getting a death grip on me after a while. Eventually I thought it was all over....but...NO!!!!! OH NO. NO. NO. ITS NOT OVER YET.
This must have happened somewhere between 4-5 times!? 4-5 death grip hugs that felt like they would never end! What was going on!? What was I supposed to do?? This is also where my feelings of familiarity were starting to kick in again too, because I was about one second away from blurting out “What you doing!???” but as my mind raced I knew that might sound bad, so I laughed a little because I wasn't sure what else to do at that point. Thats when Mana started laughing in the exact same way as me. An audible laugh echoing my own as he continued to show no sign of letting up from the aggressive hug attacks. Of course I say all of this with amusement and happiness, but I won't lie, I was pretty confused at that point!

Finally after what felt like an eternity, he grabbed my hands again and walked me to the location I entered from. The entire way to the entrance/exit he wrapped his arm around my waist and started petting my hair from behind. Why does he always pet my hair...( `-ω-)?
As I started walking up the first step to get back to the main area of the cafe, which is where Mana began to let go of my hand, but suddenly my boot hit the step and I almost tripped, so he reached and grabbed back onto my hand again, which caused me to trip on the second step going up too! (;゚∀゚) I looked back at him and he seemed a bit worried, but I made it back and reluctantly he let go. After that I ran away to gather my belongings and leave the event space.



Truth be told, I was pretty surprised with the outcome of the event today. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I didn't anticipate any of what I got out of it. Thats a good thing.


Personal Reflection

From the bottom of my heart, I thank my friend who gave me the ticket to go to this event. It wasn't something he was obligated to do, but it was something he felt I should definitely be a part of and so he gave me this ticket out of the kindness of his heart. The memories that were created today never would have happened without him and they are memories I will cherish for a lifetime. Thank you so so sooooooo much Maddy! I could give you 100 death grip hugs in return too!!(≧∇≦)

That brings me to the next thing. To be honest with all of you reading this, I just haven't been feeling myself for I don't know how many months now. Mentally, emotionally, physically...I haven't been feeling great, so if anyone is wondering why things like blog entries, translations, news, etc have been slow, thats the truth of the matter. Its just personal stuff, really. Its not something I really want to dwell on in this entry but its something thats been on my mind due to the content I've wanted to post on here but just haven't yet. I'm still not entirely sure what I feel now. I don't know, I just feel a little lost lately. But, today was a happy day and I was surprised by such a positive interaction coming from Mana. It gives me a little more strength to carry on with things I've been neglecting. By saying all this, I wanted to make note theres still more things I've been meaning to write about on here and fortunately Mana's energy today has helped me to want to get those posts published on here soon.

I promise I will try my hardest to add translations from Rock & Read and photos from a certain small Moi-meme-Moitie exhibit at Marui that I went to a few weeks ago!

In the mean time, enjoy these scans I made of my Mana autograph and the Moi-meme-Moitie file I received.






P.S.
Lately I keep hearing similar requests from multiple friends lately saying, "Come to Europe!!"
I've come to a realization in my life recently that I think majority of my friends are from Europe now, thanks to Mana/Moi dix Mois. It was a dream of mine since I was really young to be friends with people all over the world and now I've noticed that dream has become a reality. Truly I must come visit you all in Europe some time!! It would absolutely be a dream come true, so I will try my hardest!!💙
I also received a few requests today about the content I make for this blog and my site. I think they were really good ideas, so I'm thinking about how I can implement them now! Thank you so much today!! I really feel more and more inspired because of you all! Including aggressive death gripper as I mentioned earlier!


Anyway, please look forward to the next entries coming soon!!



Sarah