Summer & Upcoming Moi dix Mois Concerts
Its already close to the end of August and I haven't posted anything on here...?( `-ω-)?

Theres various things I've wanted to post about, but I couldn't really think of how to make the entry interesting until recently.
Therefore, this is going to be kind of a mix. The first part will be about this summer, but it will transition into Moi dix Mois news and information afterwards. I say this so the people who are only interested in reading about Moi dix Mois can scroll down directly to find that portion.
Enjoy!

First of all, my birthday!



For my birthday, August 10, I decided to try something new!
Every year in Yokohama theres a huge "Pikachu Outbreak"event that lasts for several days. This time, however, the event included Pokemon Go! Since I already love Pokemon, its only natural that I enjoy Pokemon go as well! This year it was announced that several rare Pokemon would be easier to find in Yokohama, and the European regional limited Mr. Mime would be included. I really couldn't pass up this chance!!

A lot of people who read this blog may feel like Pokemon Go was a trend last year and doesn't particularly hold much relevancy anymore. Actually, while it's popularity really has more or less died out worldwide, its still relatively big in Japan!



If you click the panoramic image above to see the full scale image, you should be able to zoom up enough to see that even the bridge in the distance is packed with people!
To be exact, 2 million people participated in this event!
In this case, the picture depicts a Pikachu parade we were all waiting for which was absolutely adorable!!



There wasn't only a parade, but a huge variety of events...



In the end, I actually went 3 times to this event... there was something different each time, so it wasn't completely the same thing each time. On the first day I went, August 10, Rica Matsumoto (the Japanese voice actress of Ash/Satoshi) appeared and sang the Pokemon theme song as well as doing character voices. The voice acting industry in Japan is particularly huge, so I was surprised she made the time to come out! In fact, what was most shocking to me was that her looks are nothing like I had imagined. She looks like someone who would be immersed into visual kei! In fact, once I got home that night, I decided to do a little research and it turns out that outside of voice acting shes in a band of her own, so that really explains everything to me.

I watch the Japanese anime of Pokemon, but mostly because its something simple enough for me to continue to improve my Japanese listening and vocabulary skills with. I never expected to see someone like her in real life, so it made a huge impact on me! You could say this really felt special to me on my birthday!(人´∀`)


This summer has had a lot of big ups and downs for me, so this event created a lot of unexpected happy memories and I'm so grateful I got to experience it. It may seem simple and a bit childish, but sometimes that lightheartedness is something we really need!💙


Another thing I did this summer wasn't actually an event, but something I felt might be fun for Moi dix Mois fans and somewhat connected to a few things I want to say about the upcoming concert.

...Curry!!

Those of you who keep up with Mana's twitter may notice how much he posts about different kinds of curries hes bought or received. This might be a little bit out of coincidence(?), but theres a few things I wanted to say about it too!



Some weeks ago I went with a friend to a Hiroshima style okonomiyaki restaurant, and I noticed inside the shop connected to the restaurant there were various Hiroshima Carps goods (the baseball team of Hiroshima). Among them, I happened to find boxes of curry!

I wouldn't say I'm as wild as Mana about curry (isn't he sort of a curry maniac?), but I do love it!
In Houston curry is quite rare, so I don't think I had any idea of what it was until I was in high school. Some how at that point in time I got interested in trying it, but there were no restaurants around that served it. I ended up searching for recipes on how to make Japanese curry and as a result, I used to make it from scratch for many years.
Nowadays when I compare the curry I used to make at home to the taste of curry I buy in Japan, I would say the taste is basically the same, so I guess I must have succeeded at it!٩( 'ω' )و

Anyway, that brings us to the curry in the picture. I ended up buying the Carps curry because I wanted to know how it tasted. As far as I remember, it was a bit spicy but it was good!
Then a few days ago I went to Odaiba where a giant Gundam guards the local shopping mall called Diver City. Therein lies the Gundam cafe and shop (the Odaiba version, the original is in Akihabara). I go to Odaiba relatively often on my days off because I feel like this area is really relaxing and fun. Its a small man-made island in Tokyo that sits in Tokyo bay. Its only about a 15-20 minute ride by train from my apartment, so its easy to get to. If you may recall, earlier this year Mana posted pictures of some boxes of Gundam curry he received as a gift. When I entered the gundam shop I found those same boxes of curry so I decided to give them a try.

The red one on the far right-hand side of the picture is super spicy!!! It was hard to finish! But actually I loved the flavor!
The brown box was a more mild typical flavor, so it was easier to eat but not very surprising in flavor.

Of the three kinds I tried recently, I think ultimately the red gundam curry may have been my favorite. After living in Japan for some time I've come to realize the various flavors of curry. Of course theres still a lot I haven't tried yet, but I can't think of one kind I've had yet that I dislike. So I guess ultimately my verdict is they're all wonderful!!

In terms of these boxed kinds, they're very easy to make. It comes in liquid form inside a pouch once you open the box. You can choose to either stick the pouch in a pot of boiling water and once its hot enough just open it up and pour it into a bowl, or you can open the packaging and microwave the curry itself in a bowl for faster cooking time. If I have a choice, I prefer to boil it, myself.


Finally, that brings us to the Moi dix Mois news.

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The next concert is coming up soon! Recently I had some theories about this event that I thought would make a fun prediction on here.

Event Predictions

Experienced Moi dix Mois fans likely understand that Mana always throws hints into his posts on social media (or his blog) as the time gets closer to the day of the event. This one in particular will be special because its not only a concert, but a dinner as well! Its something that has never happened at a Moi dix Mois event before!
Therefore, I too have been keeping my eyes out and my mind open to what these hints could mean. So far, I have considered this to be my best guess:

Option A:
Today on twitter Mana mentioned that the menu at this event will indicate if there are any allergies contained in the ingredients of the food. This means there will in fact be a menu for everybody to choose from. If thats the case, one option in my mind is that perhaps the menu will be limited (maybe something like 2-3 choices or so?) and everyone will get to chose what they want. Upon choosing, maybe Mana himself will attempt to make everything on stage, almost like a cooking show, and each person who ordered that item will receive their dish as he finishes it.

Option B:
The menu could also be used simply as information as to what food is available. In this case, tables could be set up and everyone could choose what they like in sort of a buffet style manner. Mana and/or the other members could still be useful in this time, if they did as I explained in option one-- they make the food on stage in front of everyone like a cooking show.


Explanation/Notes:
I give these as my primary options/ideas because they seem to make the most sense. Mana keeps calling himself "Chef Mana-Sama" on twitter, so that certainly implies hes going to make something. Also, it would make no sense to have a dinner that none of the members would participate in. What would be the point? I think even Mana would come to that conclusion if theres no real participation from him and the others. Therefore, how could they be a part of this activity? I would be absolutely shocked if they actually decided to sit down and eat too, because Mana talked in the Digital Madousho about Hong Kong about how he doesn't like to sit down and eat a heavy meal before a concert because you can imagine how something like that could truly hinder a 1 1/2 - 2 hour performance. Therefore, I believe that thinking still applies to this concert as well. None of them would want to sit down to eat a big dinner with everyone and then just get up and perform afterwards. Its illogical.

Therefore, if they're not likely to sit and eat with everyone, nor are they unlikely to just sit around back stage during this part of the event, I feel like the only real option they would have left is to actually be an active part of the cooking/preparation process. If they do it on stage, they could still provide for the 200 people who will be there if they make something simple. This is why I brought up the subject of curry today! If they decided to prepare the ingredients before hand in bowls like you see on a cooking show, it wouldn't take a lot of time or too much effort for a simple dish such as that. Especially if there are various menu options, this also cuts time from cooking in too huge of mass quantities of one dish.
Also, cooking shows are something that active audiences go and see every day, so it would certainly make sense to do something like this. Its not only cooking and dinner, but a performance!! The other members can get in on it too by either helping out or even commentary on Mana's actions.


I'm curious, what do you all think? Do you have any interesting ideas on how this event may work out? To be honest, I'm a little nervous about it, but I think its going to be something fun and memorable.

By the way, the next concert after the Sept. 2 live will be Dis inferno XV at Shinjuku Reny on Saturday December 2!!
Preceeding ticket orders start Friday August 25 at 6:00 PM until September 11 at 11:00 PM.

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Shinjuku Reny seems to hold about 800 people, so for those who couldn't get a ticket for September 2nd should be able to get one without any problems for December!

I was kinda lucky this time around...unfortunately I couldn't win a ticket on my own for Sept. 2nd, but finally somebody offered me an extra ticket they were trying to sell! Therefore, I will be able to go and I can't wait to share all the details with you here!!


Sarah
Introducing my new jeune fille X!!


Introducing my new jeune fille X!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder how many people remember my entry from back in December?
It was at that time that I was able to order this guitar as a Christmas gift, but actually shops don't simply keep guitars like this in stock. Its was made-to-order so it took about the typical time frame that it does for this guitar, approximately 6-7 months to complete! Anyway, I was more than ecstatic once it arrived yesterday morning!!

Doesn't it look a work of art?? You could absolutely say it IS a work of art, which is probably why I've felt guilty about even touching it since I laid eyes on it.
Its still hard to believe this belongs to me...

I've been so excited about every aspect of it that I even made a short video trying to catch the details from bottom to top.

jeune fille X in detail

A post shared by Sarah (@mephistoangelo) on




I've been posting a lot pictures of it since I got it yesterday and its come to my attention through comments and messages that actually a number of people didn't realize you can buy a jeune fille! Since then I've been continuously getting questions, so I thought maybe its worth bringing some information to light on here.

First of all, I imagine most people would probably like to see detailed photographs.
Heres the unboxing process.

Also, feel free to click on any of the pictures to enlarge them!





Originally when I ordered it I decided to have it shipped to me rather than pick it up at the shop because I knew it would probably be kinda heavy. In the end I'm glad I chose that option! The guitar was inside a box which was inside a larger box that was almost the same height as me!(°□°)

Immediately as I opened it, the first thing I saw was a huge ESP case they sent complimentary with the guitar and a lot of newspaper protecting everything.
It took a while to take the second box out, which contained the guitar in it, but after several minutes of struggling, it was free!!
Thats when I opened the next box and inside was my new jeune fille all wrapped up like a mummy!
Finally there it was right before my eyes!! My first impression was "Theres no way this is mine...its too beautiful! and cool! Its amazing!! I could never own something like this!! But now I do!?"
Honestly its hard to describe how I felt. 15 years of dreaming of something like this...






For those of you who want to know more about the specifics, I decided to take pictures of the back side as well...in fact, I basically tried to take pictures of as many interesting points as I could find!
I think one of the most moving things for me to discover was the back of the headstock where it says "Designed & built by ESP"

Maybe I should explain a little about the model I bought for those who don't know.
Of course it was manufactured by ESP and came from there, but it may be worth noting that this one is the Edwards model.
If you visit the ESP official page at the link below you will see there are two version of the jeune fille X

ESP Official Artist Series MANA

The ones Mana uses are the guitars marked ESP, so in all technicality the Edwards is in some way or another a "replica" of the real thing. However, if you take a look at the specifics both versions match up completely aside from the price.

BODY : (Top) Hard Maple, (Back) Alder
NECK : Hard Maple 3P
FINGERBOARD : Maple(Black Paint), 21frets
INLAY : jeune fille
SCALE : 648mm
NUT : Lock Nut (42mm/R2)
JOINT : Bolt-on
TUNER : GOTOH SG360-07
BRIDGE : Floyd Rose
PICKUP : EMG 81
CONTROL : Master Volume
COLOR : Matt Black

To be honest I'm no guitar expert, so when I compare and see the exact same information for both the Edwards and ESP versions, I really don't understand the difference. I assume it has something more to do with the brand name being depicted on it, but its basically the exact same guitar. A lot of people who own this guitar do the exact same thing as me and purchase the Edwards since the ESP version is about 5x〜6x the price!!



Another detail I fell in love with seeing the name"jeune fille" written on the neck. Of course I've seen this many times at Moi dix Mois concerts/events, but being able to see it up close and examine it as much as I like feels like a whole new experience to me.



However, theres nothing quite like admiring it as a whole!
At the moment I really feel like this jeune fille is my most prized possession. To my surprise my Slayer concert tickets also arrived at the same time!



I really felt like I was on top of the world yesterday!!💙💙💙💙💙
In fact, I still do!!

I even changed my iphone lock screen to a perspective view picture I took, so now I can look at it from different angles if I tilt the phone up or down.

I wish screen shots were able to show perspective view, but you get the idea.

Since I've been a little busy lately I haven't had much time to do anything with my new jeune fille yet, but I think it would be fun at some time or another to maybe take pictures with it while dressed up in Moitie or maybe Mana cosplay or something....

Also, I've been asked a few times now to upload a video playing a Moi dix Mois song! I was EXTREMELY shocked to receive this kind of request!
I don't know how to play the guitar, but thanks to those of you who asked, I am now really motivated to try and learn! I was even given several suggestions of different MALICE MIZER and Moi dix Mois songs, so I will do my best!! \(//∇//)\
Once I can do it, I will finally try to upload a video playing a song!



By the way, we're close to one month away from the next Moi dix Mois live.

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I noticed more information has been revealed too. It seems that the dinner will start from 4:00 - 5:30 PM and afterwards there will be an event and concert. Pictures are okay to take during the dinner portion, but of course not once the event and concert has started. It made me laugh a little, but theres also a note written on the Moi dix Mois Official website that says "There is no dress code" ...Did somebody ask?? I never even thought about that!

Furthermore, this has already been stated many times before regarding this event, but it will only be for a limited number of people.
As I mentioned in the last entry, I always tend to be interested in some rather fine details with numbers and statistics when it comes to these kinds of concerts and events. Upon learning there would only be room for a limited number of people but the event would be at Duo Music Exchange, I thought it seemed a little strange...

For those who have never been to a concert in Japan before, Duo Music Exchange is a fairly decent sized venue that has a standing capacity of somewhere between 700 - 1000 people (it seems I couldn't find a consistent number online but these were the primarily debated upon numbers). I have never seen Moi dix Mois sell out at this venue before. When they perform at smaller venues that can hold about 325 or so people and its a special event then it seems they can sell out relatively easy. So why on earth say "theres only a limited number of tickets available at Duo Music Exchange"?

Well, as we now know, there will be a dinner with tables and chairs. Once again I became interested in how this will work exactly and what does it mean in terms of capacity this time around? It turns out Duo Music Exchange already has the means to set up this type of event and includes all the information one could ever ask for on their website. Furthermore, I found an interesting picture in reference to this very situation!

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I'm not saying this is exactly the set up we can expect at this upcoming concert, but I'm fairly certain it will be something along these lines. Based on my own calculations, it seemed to me the capacity would be around 200 people, but actually that depends on the size of tables and chairs (yes there is a choice). Based on other numbers online, some people claimed about 300-350 people could be facilitated, so I imagine the number of people who will get to attend will cap off somewhere around 300. Of course its only my guess, but its based off of real logic.

For people who can't go to the event, that may be a lot of monotonous information, but I've talked to a number of people who plan on going and we've all been speculating on the details. Everybody wants to know what we'll eat/drink, how many people will get to go, how it will be set up, etc. so I wanted to shed a little light on my findings of what we can likely expect on the day of the concert.


However...

Before I can truly look forward to the Moi dix Mois concert, this is one other thing I will be looking towards first...

August 10!
My birthday!!🎈
(Its Snoopy's birthday too🎈)

Is it really that time of year again...?

I don't know if I'm really all that excited about it, but I would like to do something special...
Who wants to do something with me that day so I don't have to celebrate completely alone??(/ω\*)
I'm taking off work!!( ̄▽ ̄)


Anyway, theres a lot to look forward to!


Sarah

Next MdM live + various info
I think a lot of us have been waiting patiently for info on this event, and it looks like its finally out!

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The next Moi dix Mois concert/event seems to be something very unique this time, so I thought I might take a swing at attempting to explain it a little.

You can find the original info in Japanese on Mana's twitter or on the Moi dix Mois Official website .

Event Title: "The Great ~La Kitchen Knife Aristocrat~ Special Dinner Live"
Date: September 2, 2017 (Saturday)
Location: duo MUSIC EXCHANGE
Time: (open) 16:00/ (start) 17:30
Ticket price: 11,800 yen

Official site preceeding tickets go on sale starting from Wednesday July 26 at 6:00 PM until August 2, 2017 at 11:00 PM on the eplus site:
http://eplus.jp/moidixmois-hp/

There are some extra lines on the flyer above as well that I feel like are worth translating, because well...you'll see...( ̄▽ ̄;)

Moi dix Mois 15 year anniversary special dinner "The one who colors the summer dressed in jet black, etc..."
An elegant meal at a table… with a limited special drink…


This information is all very interesting! It may only be a few lines hinting at what we can look forward to, but within those few short sentences I think there is a lot to be said. This may get long...

The important point most people are likely to be worried about is the set up of the event. I'm guessing it might seem a little strange? However, it seems to me a little like Kaya's chanson nights where he performs a little bit lighter music than normal at a bar/cafe that has a stage while everyone watches as they eat and drink at their own tables.
I'm assuming the set up might be similar to that, but actually this is at a regular concert hall rather than a cafe and its Moi dix Mois, so its hard to imagine how they could achieve the same affect Kaya usually does. To be fair, it probably wont be a complete copy of what Kaya does, but I use that example to give a better idea of what we can likely expect at this event. Don't expect Mana or the other members to come down and eat at a table with everyone; they will still be the performers, but the atmosphere is likely to be more restaurant-like.
I also imagine tickets are likely numbered as usual too, so for those who want to go with a friend it may be best to order tickets together so you can be seated together.

If I were to further dissect this limited information, I would also say the line that talks about the special drink may refer to some kind of cocktail Mana has created on his own.
Some may recall back at the Moi dix Mois 10 year anniversary live they had a raffle for a few people to win a special cocktail Mana made himself. I get the feeling this may be somewhat of a repetition of that on a larger scale. I don't know if I can say Mana is going to make the cocktail all on his own for everyone in attendance, but I think it will probably be a cocktail he devised on his own.

Another thing that could be worth noting is that this is a Moi dix Mois 15 year anniversary event, not exclusively a Mana 25 year anniversary event. Although I imagine those two concepts will likely be combined in this event still, I can't help but wonder if the other members are somehow going to be implemented in the decision making process in terms of whatever the meal will be. For instance, recently Seth has been taking cooking lessons and Mana tends to praise him quite a bit on his cooking skills. I wouldn't be surprised if Seth at least will have a hand in the "menu".

The one question that remains for me is how many people will be able to attend?
In terms of tickets and admission it seems things have resumed back to normal by ordering from the concert/event ticket website we always use. I say this because it contrasts the mess last time with the ESP event where Mana decided to do everything on his own and manually distribute tickets. I'm not saying that was a bad idea, but I think it became a messy idea and he ended up feeling guilty that not everyone could get a ticket. The eplus method is the typical ticketing system for concerts, but since this concert is only for a limited number of people, he has now eliminated the issue of being directly connected to whether someone wins or loses out on getting a ticket due to eplus' lottery system. Another words, it appears as a more equal and less stressful opportunity. Thats probably a good thing.

Honestly speaking, I think my question about attendance is not something that will be directly answered, but I'm always interested in the numbers and statistics of Moi dix Mois events. Thats probably a little meticulous for most people...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and if any more interesting information surfaces over time I'll try to update about it!!



Speaking of food, last week I tried another themed bar/cafe for the first time!

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This was at the Capcom bar in Shinjuku. You need a reservation to go, but its totally worth it!!
The blue drink is called "Blue Rose" and its supposed to be based on Devil May Cry. If I remember correctly it consisted of lemon water, blue syrup, and some other ingredients... The spaghetti and brain cake were both based off of Biohazard. Everything was so good and so cool looking! This was the best themed restaurant I've been to in a long time!! Its a little small, but the decorations are tasteful and they have various TVs with games set up so anybody can freely play whatever they like. I noticed nobody really played anything though...

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The staff were entertaining also! Whenever you order or finish eating and they start to take your empty dishes, they say things like "Next level!" or "Stage clear!"
In particular, when they served the brain cake to me, they said something along the lines of "I'm going to entrust you with this knife to save us and kill the brain!!" so she took a knife out of it's protective cover over the blade like she was unsheathing a sword and handed it to me and then moved the brain on the plate around telling me to kill it. I had to stab the brain and then once I finished she came around again and asked "Did it die?"(≧∇≦)

I'm in love with this restaurant!!


Also in the news!



It seems to be a trend that I always go to one concert outside of Moi dix Mois each year, but this year is BIG!!
As you can see, this is pretty different from the types of concerts most people know me to go to, but this is a special opportunity!!
I entered a lottery, and.....
I'M GOING TO SEE SLAYER!!!!

I wish I could see Cradle of Filth too, but tickets were expensive so I'm only going on the first day, October 14.
Also, Alice Cooper is another huge name so I'm excited to see him, and I think Emperor has great music as well!
I was able to get my hands on a priority ticket, so I should be in a really good place in this huge venue!!
I can't even begin to describe how excited I am!!(人´∀`)
October can't come soon enough!!


Based on my track record, at least online and at least on here, I wonder if anybody is surprised to know I listen to more than just VK?
I've probably listened to Slayer since high school along with a lot of other bands (Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, and yes Motley Crue for all you Mana maniacs). Eventually I sorta phased out for a while and focused primarily on VK, but after moving to Japan I went back to listening to more and more western music again. Now I think I like both western and Japanese music pretty equally these days. Its been a few years now since I got to go to a concert like this one in October, so it feels really exciting and refreshing to me!
Theres a few other artists I really want to see perform as well (both Japanese and non-Japanese) but at the moment this takes the priority.

Mana fans probably know Mana takes a lot of inspiration from Slayer so even from that perspective there are a lot of interesting things that could be said, but maybe I'll leave that for another day...


For me, things are about to get a lot more exciting starting from September and I really can't wait!!


Sarah
ESP Museum jeune fille display


Immediately after last weekend's Mana event, ESP has continued to keep the jeune fille display up as a special exhibition until July 2nd.
I think some of you might be curious about the exhibition, so I went to it yesterday and took lots of pictures and a video!!

Before going on with the pictures, it might be a good idea to explain a little about the exhibition.
Basically the set up is pretty much identical to how it looked at the event last weekend, so for those who checked out the previous entry I wrote on here theres no real surprise. The only major difference is the fact that the ESP staff last weekend tried darkening the room and set up blue lights. However, since the ESP museum is now restored back to normal, truly the only difference is that the guitars can now be seen a little bit more easily in color and detail.

I imagine a lot of these pictures might seem a bit redundant from last weekend's entry, but I still wanted to post as many detail shots as I could this time around for those who may have a bigger interest in the new guitar, jeune fille x Ferrum -Cross Ray illusion-.





I get the feeling there may be a few of you out there who are very detail oriented have noticed the plaque under the display in the first picture. Actually it doesn't say anything special but for your information it reads:

ESP jeune fille X Ferrum -Cross Ray illusion- Special display
Please do not touch. You are permitted to use cameras and mobil phones in this area
The display it up until July 2nd.


A friend of mine and I went together, and I really wanted to take a picture next to the guitar for commemoration but the iron gates with the roses on them seemed to make the space around the guitar kinda small. Unexpectedly however, this really nice staff woman I've seen working at the ESP museum before came up to me and said I can get right up next to it!

I was a little surprised but instantly she started ushering me into the area within the gates. Since it was all so close together, suddenly she just started rearranging the entire display for me!Σ( ̄。 ̄ノ)ノ
I really wasn't expecting anything like that and it made me a little embarrassed...(^◇^;)
To make matters worse, she wanted to make me pose in certain ways but she was moving everything around at the same time and the gate/rose display started getting entangled with my clothes. It was really really nice of her but I felt so stupid LOL.

We took several pictures, but in the end I don't really like how I looked, so maybe those photos will be forever stashed away... f(^^;

By the way, heres the video I made too!




You can get your hands on your very own jeune fille X Ferrum -Cross Ray illusion- for the low low price of 800,000 yen (approx $8,000 USD) while its on sale during the exhibition time period! (;゚∀゚)
I noticed the list price actually goes up to a whopping 1,000,000 yen (approx $10,000 USD)! I think I would need to win the lottery for this model...

There were a few things that surprised me about the guitar this time around.
Last Saturday I felt a little rushed in terms of taking pictures and checking out details because there were so many other people who wanted a chance to take their own pictures too. Also, like I said the room was dark at that time, so it wasn't particularly the most ideal situation to see everything up close.
Once I got a closer look yesterday I was a little shocked to notice that the guitar doesn't actually have a physical texture to it.
Looking at it in pictures and from a distance I really thought the surface would be kinda bumpy, but in fact the paint job just makes it appear that way. I know the term "illusion" is referencing the cross ray in the middle that changes colors, but I feel like its the paint that creates the real illusion!

Speaking of which, the ESP website posted a short video of the cross ray lighting up and changing colors, but based on the way it was filmed, it almost looks like a stained glass window. I think it was unintentional, but its a really cool effect!
jeune fille ESP page

I guess I shouldn't forget to mention there were other jeune filles on display too in a separate area. Unfortunately you're not allowed to take pictures of that display, but Mana posted it on his twitter!



For those curious, the tweet reads:
Exhibition of the guitars Mana-Sama uses at the ESP Museum for a fixed time until 7/2. There is a special display of the new model jeune fille X Ferrum - Cross Ray illusion - in a space where photography is permitted. Successive models are also on display. MdM goods are on sale as well.

All in all, the museum and jeune fille display are definitely worth checking out. For those who went to the Mana event, theres really nothing new to be seen, but its certainly a great chance to get better pictures of the new guitar up close! The glass display with the other jeune filles is worth a look too, because its something we didn't really get to see so much at the event (it was in the space where Mana was doing the meet and greet so you couldn't go and freely look at it). The exhibition is free, so anybody can walk in at any time and look around!

Since the exhibition is still going on until July 2nd, so if anybody wants to request any kind of special photos of the new guitar feel free to let me know and I might can try to go back one last time before it closes!

Sarah
Mana x ESP New Guitar Event
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At long last the the Mana guitar event was held today at the ESP museum!

To be honest, the event was extremely short, so I think my event review on here will be relatively small compared to my concert reviews

As I talked about in last night's entry, the event was divided up into 4 time slots. I asked for the third time slot originally, so thats exactly what I got.

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As I was getting ready today I started becoming extremely nervous!! This was really my very first time to go to an event completely on my own. Usually there are new people from all over the world trying to come to Moi dix Mois concerts and friends I've known for a while as well, so I would typically go with them, but this time I didn't really have anybody. Well....actually, I should say going to the event itself on my own. It turns out I accidentally went about an hour too early because I was a little confused on the time (and nervous, and overwhelmed...) and I happened to bump into a few of you who I know!! I was a little relieved about that, but it turns out nobody I knew had the same time as me!

Also, there was the situation that Mana accidentally gave me 2 numbers for this event.
It was a little embarrassing. When I walked in to the venue to check in, I was given two tickets for my numbers and then later on when I entered the event space somebody helped me find my seat, but then eventually the staff realized I was alone, so they came up and asked me if anyone else is coming with me. When I told them no, its only me, they were just kinda like "oh ok" and didn't do anything more, but I guess it was confusing? It couldn't be helped...

So upon entering the venue and finding my seat we still had some time before the event started, and I noticed lots of people were taking pictures, so naturally I tried taking a few as well!

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This is from where I was sitting. The seating arrangements were a little strange. Rather than being in clear rows, it felt a little like the seating was sporadic. Since I had tickets 6 & 7 some how my seats were in the second row, but there were no seats in front of me what so ever. Actually I sat in seat 6 because this seat had nothing in front of it, so I would have a clear perfect view right up front. Seat 7 was behind someone but closer to the middle. My seat was a little bit off to the side from the middle, but I felt like it really didn't matter. Anyway, eventually the staff announced the event and talked a little about the rules and the sequence of events. Finally they then asked everyone in the event space to yell out "Mana-Samaa!" and Mana appeared holding his new guitar.

You can see the picture I took above, although the room was dark so its a bit hard to see its color and style. However, it seems ESP posted a really nice picture on Instagram today!

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ESP Photo source

Today Mana was wearing a Moi-meme-Moitie outfit almost exactly the same as the one I wore at Dis inferno XIV this past year. For those who don't remember, it was sort of a blue and white marble looking blouse (although Mana's was black and white) with a long black gilet. However, Mana's had buckles on his; I believe its one they had released in more recent years. His make up and hair style were in the typical Moi dix Mois style, which was a little bit surprising. Usually at meet and greet exclusive type events he has a more subdued look. After standing at the front of the room, Seth was then announced as the person who would speak for Mana. Seth, in comparison to Mana, was extremely casual. He wore a black hat with his hair back in a ponytail, a plain black corset, and black pants. Ryux was also pointed out by Seth, but Ryux was standing in the very back of the audience filming the event. He was really far away from where I was sitting so I only saw him waving his hands up so everyone could see where he was.

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From Mana's Twitter

After that, Seth talked a bit about Mana's guitar, basically saying the same kind of information Mana has mentioned before on Twitter. Basically the Jeune Fille X Ferrum is very different looking from the past Jeune Filles with antique black and silver paints used, along with a new texture and the crossray light that shines multiple colors. It looked like the light has many more options than before. Rather than simply blinking or staying on/off this one can change its colors or stay in a certain array of colors. Even as it stayed on red in the photo at the top of this entry, it looked like it could also continuously shine in sort of a primarily blue light as well (still sort of with mixed colors though).

Once Seth finished briefly talking about the guitar, he then said Mana is extremely nervous today but he really wanted to play a song for everyone. At my time slot he played a short portion of Beast Side. According to one of my friends, he played Je l'aime at the 4th time slot (I'm not sure about time slots 1 & 2).
Unfortunately as he played Beast Side, he completely turned his back to the side of the room I was sitting at! (≧△≦)
I guess its a little understandable, because there were a lot more people seated on the opposite side from where I was sitting, but I would have loved to have seen him play a little! I wish he would have kinda turned to face each area of the audience so we could all see...
I kinda just ended up watching Seth as he watched Mana with his back turned to him. because Seth was standing directly in front of me...(´~`ヾ)

So then Mana finished playing after a few seconds and then Seth announced it was time for the autograph session. Mana immediately ran to a small area of the room next to me that was blocked off by a folding wall. The whole unveiling and display lasted probably about 5 minutes maximum, so there was hardly any time before the autographs began.

My number was called relatively quickly, so as I entered the room I noticed Mana kinda suddenly jumped/acted surprised and smiled at me for a second but then went right back into his normal composure. The blocked off area was still a part of the museum (it was at the back of the museum) so there was a display that Mana stood by (also with a table in front of him) that contained various other Jeune Filles and a large cross prop used for Moi dix Mois lives! When I approached the table, he basically just stood there and stared at me looking expectant like I should do something. I had no idea what I should do, so after a minute of both of us just looking at each other waiting for the other person to do something, I started getting nervous and took a gift I had for him and accidentally chucked it at him.(≧∇≦)
The way he grabbed it was like a football or something! I guess neither of us expected that to happen, so I accidentally then laughed a little out loud! He put the bag on the table and then autographed this picture for me:

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Once he finished, he slowly handed it to me and then shook hands. At that point he made some small noise. I think maybe he wanted to say Thank you but he stopped himself? I'm not sure... Also, maybe its worth noting, he shook hands again in the same way he shook hands with me in Hong Kong! Back then I explained in my concert report that the way he shook hands int he past was a little unusual. He would kinda wave your hand around a bit, maybe to seem more "mysterious" but in Hong Kong he finally shook hands with me for the first time like a normal person. This time the same thing happened again, so I was happy about that. While the image he maintains as a musician is nice, I really love to see Mana in a more natural light. Therefore, something like this has a bit of value to me.

After we shook hands, he then bowed to me a couple times and I headed out.
Before leaving I took the panoramic photo you can see above and another of the guitar itself.

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Then there was nothing more I could do, so it was time to leave.


By the way, before ending this entry I have a few extra photos to share!

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I noticed a small yet unique detail in the event space! The lights above the area where Mana stood were crosses! I wonder if anybody else noticed? I live for hidden details like this!

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I didn't take any coordinate photos this time because I felt like what I wore was extremely casual. It consisted of the Jeune Fille X Ferrum -Cross Ray Illusion- T-shirt, a puffy black layered tulle skirt and boots. I noticed people were sort of a mix of casual style like mine and Moi-meme-Moitie dresses. I knew the event itself would be relatively short and casual so I didn't really feel the need to dress up too much. In the end I think I was right in doing so too. At least for me personally it seems like a lot of effort to spend hours getting ready for something that only lasted a few minutes. Of course on the other hand it was interesting to see how everyone dressed for the occasion!


In conclusion, as I mentioned, the event itself was extremely short. I imagine the reason may be that both Mana and ESP were unsure how things would go with this being the first event of its kind, so perhaps in order for the timing to work out it was necessary to make things go quick. I was a little sad it went by so fast, but I also feel extremely grateful and happy to have been a part of this event! I hope there can be more Mana events like this in the future!

I hope everyone else who went had a great time as well! For those who couldn't make it, I hope this entry painted some kind of image in your mind of what it was like to be there!


dix Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Sarah
ESP Mana new guitar event tomorrow!!
As mentioned in my last entry, I really wanted to talk about this recently, but since today now marks the day before the event I feel like its now or never!!

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Just now ESP released this image of the new Jeune fille X Ferrum -Cross Ray Illusion- on their twitter and on Rakuten for sale!

ESP JF X Ferrum order page

Honestly I'm pretty shocked they've put it up for sale so quickly, but I suppose it makes sense that they would do it in time for the event tomorrow. Besides, those who order a Jeune Fille tomorrow have an extra opportunity for some kind of special event with Mana outside the guitar unveiling, talk, and autograph/handshake session.
I would like to note, however, even though this information was posted, I don't truly expect many people, if anybody, will do it...I kinda think its for formality, because only 200 people can come to the event and its feasible to believe these 200 people are those who either have their own Jeune Fille already or don't intend to buy one... Unfortunately had I known about this event sooner, I definitely would have waited to purchase my Jeune Fille at this event! (/ _ ; )

Anyway, speaking of the event!
I haven't written a lot of information on here, so I'm not sure how much I need to explain about the participation, but I will anyway for those who may not know.

A few weeks ago Mana explained that he designed a new T-shirt for the event, so once those shirts were released on the Midi: Nette shop website they were necessary to buy to participate in the event. Buying a shirt sort of constitutes as your ticket to tomorrow's activities. There were two kinds as well, a regular T-shirt and the longer "dress" version. I didn't know which one I would like better, so I ordered both.

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At the time of order, we needed to add a commentary during check out that we wanted to attend the event, and if we had any other remarks or requests we should include that as well.
When I say requests I mean that the event is divided into 4 parts. During each session only a maximum of 50 people can enter the ESP museum at a time, so we were encouraged to request which time slot we wanted to be in if we had a preference.

Originally there were only 3 time slots, so the maximum number of people altogether was to be 150 people. Since I ordered my shirts immediately I decided I really wanted to be in the last group if it was possible (I secretly felt like maybe since the 3rd group would be last there would be a chance for extra time during the meet and greet session). However, a couple days later Mana wrote on twitter that the event sold faster than he expected so within 24 hours the 150 people filled up completely! He expressed that it made him feel bad for those who didn't get a chance to enter their order within that short period of time, so he asked ESP if they could expand the number of people who could participate. In the end Mana and ESP agreed to a 4th time slot for 50 more people, now allowing a maximum of 200 participants. The reason it was only 50 more people is because basically they had no idea how many more people would want to go so they had to make a fast decision.

Aside from ESP, Mana has been the only person working on all the details and such for the event. He explained on twitter that after the whole 150 - 200 people participation fiasco, there seemed to be some more problems arising. The confirmation emails for the selected participants were sent out some days after it sold out, but it seems some people complained they never got a confirmation email when they should have. Mana has been manually sorting out and sending all the emails for the shirt orders and event himself, and even drawing up the seating arrangements for everyone on his own! (;゚∀゚)
Therefore, I kinda hoped maybe he would understand in my original commentary on my time selection for the event as I just really wanted to be in the last group. However, once I finally got my email with the seating arrangement he chose for me, it was still the 3rd group, rather than the 4th. I guess he only understood my request on a literal level. (´~`ヾ)

Well, its ok. Actually the numbers I got were 6 and 7 (yeah, he accidentally gave me 2 seat numbers too...lol) so depending on what the seating arrangement looks like, I'm guessing I'm in the first row? Or at least somewhere in the front since those numbers are pretty low.

After several issues had come to pass due to a lack of preparation or truly knowing how this event would work out, eventually an apology was released on Mana's twitter and blog. Personally, I don't think its necessary to apologize, but based on his reactions on twitter about everything, I think hes been feeling a little bad about so many mistakes. -- Its ok! Don't worry about it! The event will still be fun regardless!!

So as the event will unfold, we will go into the ESP museum and find our seats, then there will be a short unveiling with Mana (whispering to a staff person) talking about the guitar. If time permits and he feels like it, he may also play the new Jeune fille X Ferrum for everyone! Afterwards, there will be a meet and greet session with autographs. This time around Mana requested to be able to spend some form of extra private time with each person who comes, so based on what hes written, it sounds like there will be a portion of the museum blocked off for this and the room will probably be decorated in Mana-style. As far as I remember, the ESP museum was pretty small, so I'm curious to see how all of this is going to look and work out.

Anyway, theres not much more that can be known about this event at the moment, so now its only a matter of 24 hours before it all comes to light!

What do you all think of the new Jeune Fille? Although the design and concept is the same as always, the choice of texture and color is totally different. In fact, I'm a little surprised by the colors chosen for the cross in the center. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I thought it might light up like a French flag, but instead its simply multi-color. It looks kind of like Easter, doesn't it?
(*Extra note-- Actually "Ferrum" is Latin for Iron or the Chemical symbol Fe. While that makes sense for the guitar design to an extent, now that I think about it, could the cross in the middle actually be representational of some kind of Alchemical related meaning?)

I look forward to seeing it in person tomorrow! Of course, I will also be sure to write all about the experience on here too!

Until then!


Sarah
Finally June! -- Visiting Houston
Once again, I've slacked off a little on posting here...
I've been busier than expected recently, but that also means I finally have some content worth sharing!

So first things first...

I got some unexpected time off from work, so I've been able to take a break since around the middle-end of May (to be specific, around the 19th, but its still on-going until the middle of next week). In that time period, I decided to take advantage of my free days and attempt to do various fun activities.

HAKONE

First of all, I decided to come back to my home town for about 10 days, mainly for a class reunion. However, before coming back I decided at the last minute to try to go to Hakone for a day.

Unfortunately this trip ended up being a misadventure...

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Going to Hakone from Tokyo for a day should be relatively easy and only take an hour and a half. Not only that, the trip consists of a concourse already designed for travelers that only takes about 2-4 hours to do.
However, the countryside of Japan is something I'm still totally unfamiliar with so I went on the wrong train not once, but a few times...Basically, I took the right train but at a certain point I guess the tracks split off into two directions and I went the wrong way!

Long story short, that wasn't the only time during the trip that I took a train going the wrong way, and by the time I actually ended up at the top of one of the mountains in Hakone to start the real sight seeing everything closed down!! When I say everything, I mean everything! In the end I took those few pitures above and had no choice to go right back where I came from. It was completely disappointing...


KYU-FURUKAWA ROSE GARDEN

After the Hakone "trip" I was still determined to do something fun with my time off, so about a day or so later I went full out!
Early on in the day I made my way to the Kyu-Furukawa rose garden. Its only about 20 minutes away from where I live and it seems it was nearing the tail end of the rose season in Tokyo, so I thought it might be interesting to see. After all, they also boast a huge beautiful mansion at this place!

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Click the thumbnails for larger images

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This place was absolutely beautiful! The main display is the house which was used by the British embassy for a short time after World War II, but now they use it as a museum, cafe, etc and the outside has not only the European style rose garden, but a typical Japanese park/garden as well. I took pictures of that too, but they just didn't turn out as good as the rose garden photos. Anyway it was totally worth the short trip!

Afterwards on the same day I went to Odaiba for a short time to do souvenir shopping for some of my friends in the US.

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I also went to the beach as you can see...(´~`ヾ)

HOUSTON

The next day, after an extremely long flight I finally made it back to my home town!

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Basically this time around a lot of things have gone by really fast and its all sort of a blur to me.
In fact, as I'm writing this, I have to leave for the airport to return to Japan in a few hours!

Anyway, although I said my primary reason for going back home was to go to my high school class reunion, I really wanted to go on a short vacation too. Actually I'm not even sure if "short vacation" is technically the right word... my mom and I went to Galveston for two days total, but Galveston is a small island off the coast of Texas and approximately an hour away from where we live in Houston. Thats not really a true vacation, is it? However, we got a hotel to stay the night so we could do a few activities.

The first day we arrived close to noon, so we went to a popular seafood restaurant next to a famous landmark in the area.

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This landmark is known as the Tall Ship ELISSA. She was built in 1877 and traveled all over the world. Eventually she was docked in Greece and purchased by the city of Houston where she remains. The picture collage above shows the various rooms and the exterior of the ship, so you can walk on board and look around, but it doesn't actually set sail. However, the staff told us she sails around in the harbor area once a year for volunteers and people involved in keeping her in pristine condition.

For those who don't know, Houston is located at the Gulf of Mexico, so for those who are familiar with books and movies about pirates (might I say Pirates of the Caribbean?) may realize this gulf had a lot of activity in regards to those kinds of stories. After all, we really aren't located all that far from the Caribbean! I think the Flying Dutchman used to come to Galveston? If I'm not mistaken...

So we took a tour of the Tall Ship ELISSA and then boarded a smaller boat to check out the vicinity and came across several interesting sights!!

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The first half of the boat ride was used for dolphin sighting, but to our surprise the dolphins came right up to us! They were super friendly and did flips and such. The crew was equally as surprised as the rest of us because apparently something like this never happens. Actually, I kinda think it was because we were a pretty active group on board. The crew said if we make noise the dolphins might be attracted and get closer and apparently it worked!

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We also to see other types of ships and areas with historical significance, but I think my favorite was from this picture above. Its a half sunken ship! It was a concrete ship designed and created during World War I and used during the US Civil War. It remains today as part of the Texas Antique collection, but its pretty cool for tourists! I had no idea something like this existed.

Continuing on,
after our tour we went on to the hotel and the beach!

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We were worried it might rain, but actually it turned out to be a beautiful day!

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I haven't truly been to a beach or tried to go swimming for a long time, so it was extremely refreshing! Even though I went to the beach side of Odaiba only days prior, I didn't really get the experience to relax or go in the ocean. Galveston doesn't have the most beautiful beach in the world, but it was still a lot of fun!

The next day however, was a completely different story...

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It was pouring down rain with thunder.
hmm...doesn't that sound like something Mana always talks about he wish he could go see? Sometimes he talks about wanting to record the sound of thunder at the sea. This would have been a too perfect opportunity!
Regardless, it definitely wasn't a relaxing day for the beach, but we had other plans anyway. My goal had been to see the Bishop's Palace...

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Its a Victorian era house that overlooks a Catholic cathedral on the opposite side of the street:

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The house was owned by a wealthy family in the late 1800's and as you can probably guess by the name of the house and it's location, a bishop lived there too.
Oh, and did I mention, its haunted??(人´∀`)
Galveston island is famous for ghosts!!

But does that stop me from going inside and investigating? NOPE.

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As expected, the house was stunning! I think describing it does no justice, so I took a lot of pictures...

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As earlier, please click the thumbnails if you want to see bigger pictures! I think its definitely worth it for these!

They even had a sanctuary in the house that I completely fell in love with!

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Its probably pretty uninteresting, but I took pictures of myself as well...(´~`ヾ)

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The Bishop's palace and the cathedral were the last two places we visited before making our way back home, but they were totally worth it!! Honestly, I could go on and on with so many more pictures but I don't want to spam this blog too much. (^^;

The next day I attended my class reunion finally, but it ended up falling a little flat. Of course I was happy to see some of my old friends for the first time in many years though!

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Hopefully they don't mind me sharing this picture (´・ω・`)
but I was so happy to see them again! I had more friends who wanted to go, but most everyone dropped out at the last minute. We were kind of the outcast gothic kids in high school and it seems we haven't changed one bit! We all laughed about it when we saw the exact same situation unfold as it did when we were in high school. It was a little shocking to me, but some people I talked to seemed to know quite a few details about my life nowadays. I guess thats social media for you...(*ノωノ)
It also entertained me a little that one of my friends said "I really thought you would show up wearing Moitie!!!"
Just like how it is for many of you who read this blog, I even have sort of a reputation among my old friends for my love of Moi dix Mois, Malice Mizer, and Moi-meme-Moitie. I think Visual Kei, and particularly anything Mana related is probably the first thing that pops in the mind of many people who think of me... Its not really surprising, but it is funny to hear from friends I've known since childhood! (except for one friend who thinks of me as a pokemon master...why!?) I guess its just an inevitable fate I've created for myself, isn't it?


Well, with that being said, its not much longer now until I have to start making my way back to Japan.
I really wanted to write something about the ESP Mana guitar event coming up in only a few days but I think it will have to wait for another day. It hasn't even happened yet but theres already so much to talk about! I'll do my best to update about it soon!


Sarah