From Pictures to Words – First Fan Party [The Filler Series]

So reading some blogs recently, inspired me to try and write a proper, blog, kind of post. Mostly verbal, but about one helluva night last June in Tokyo.

The premise was roughly as follows: it was a rainy Thursday thus my skating buzz was completely killed and I spent the day sleeping, being online on my phone, sipping brew, and just generally totally dicking around.

From stage right- the past weekend I went to my first and only anime convention over there, but despite pretty awesome luck there I missed the reason I even bothered going so-to-speak: trying to get a hold of one of the very, very few niche celebrities I like and try to follow to my best ability after a completely random bump into each other back in DC three years ago.

From stage left- my awesome friend bloggers, with whom I’ve started collaborating for about half a year (once again, lucky random bump that grew into so much more), texted me saying that they went ahead and set up a party for some of my fans to come out and mingle with me or bask in my presence. Here’s the real kicker- it was for that Friday night. Less than 24 hour kind of notice. As grateful as I was, real smooth planning guys…

And center stage: running out of ideas and being completely bored out of my mind, I got the crazy idea to see if I could find my celeb’s contact info of any sort and try my luck at getting a hold of her. That ended up being, twitter. Love it or hate it, sometimes it ends up being the only way. I shot the message along the lines of, “hey, wondering if you’re remember that one guy you took a pic of in the States 3 years ago. I’m that guy. How ya been?” And after that, proceed to continue rotting from utter and complete boredom.

And so, the prelude act: later that night, she actual gets back to me. Whaaaaaaat?! And says that she remembers me and is glad I got in touch. Totally awesome. That alone improved my bored and buzzed mood quite a bit. Being, well, me, I go ahead and ask her if she’d like to come out and hang the next night and strategically link the blog post with the party info.

Now time slowed down. Quite a bit. Wait wasn’t particularly killing me since I knew I was just trying my dumb luck and chances are it was just in vain. Or was it?

She actually gets back to me saying that she’s busy as hell, but she can spare the time tomorrow night and asked if my blogger guys even knew who the hell she was. The real, whaaaaaaaaat?!! Now things got really kicked up a notch if not two, so I went ahead and told my guys the big and surprising development. They pretty much nodded and said cool. I went to sleep a pretty happy camper.

I decided to kick off the next day bright and early- 3PM to be out the door by 4 or 5. Motivators? Having to be in Shibuya at 9PM sharp and not having any cash nor debit on my Suica to get there, so a Citi bank run was a priority. Downsides besides having to walk it to Tokyo station area from Ueno, the relatively humid evening that almost sent my shower down the drain by the time I made it. Nothing exciting about the commute save me getting to ground-zero about 2 hours early. So, what do when you’re THAT early? Hit up Golden Bowl for some empty-stomach, pre-game beers! That and to change in their tiny, but very familiar bathroom. Lastly, to let them know I’ll be back later that night with quite a few heads.

Now fully equipped to defy almost every public conduct and cosplay rule out there, I’m swagging back to the station in my full getup. Something I didn’t quite expect happening on the short way there was being stooped by a few groups of your typical Shibuya girls for some pics and such (and damn, should’ve gotten their emails and digits instead of just saying I got places to be…).

Got to Hachi-ko. Calmed my nerves with a smoke. Awaited my crowds. My bloggers rolled in first and we managed to spot a few of my fans who rolled in as well. So the main question on my mind- my lovely celebrity and her appearance after all or lack there of. My guys told me that they reserved a pretty cool izakaya place for 10PM, so we had about an hour to kill/get there. I kept stalling our lift-off for the very obvious reason.

Phone bleeps a text message/email. “Hey, I’m running a bit late, so I’ll be there in about 10 min.” My heart skips two beats and I tell them that we’re just about set for our epic crusade.

Longest 10 minutes of my whole trip, I swear. And at long last I spot her making her way towards us. Super excited and happy- she physically made it!

We catch up as best we could with my broken Japanese against her equally broken spoken English, and part one of the night went really well. Izakaya was fun, but semi-uneventful save everyone being impressed by how I was just demolishing the unlimited beers (and rightfully so- I don’t waste my opportunities!). Then I get an email from one of my fans that she ended up being late, but made it, and wanted to know where we were. I told her the name of the place and had one of my blogger guy try to call her to explain it any better than I didn’t. She ended up making it in and we made room for her.

Now comes the only, but a pretty epic fail I had the whole trip. Take it, as best you can, from a Japanese perspective since its just not nearly as epic otherwise.

Half of us, this fan of mine included, proceed back to Golden Bowl for an after party kinda deal. Cool. Here’s where the twist came into play- my sash. It was tight as, well, you imagine whatever you want regarding that topic. About a total of 6-7 beers from my beginning of the night on a completely empty stomach. I was perfectly fine too. As time was nearing midnight, my lovely lady told me that she had never stayed out the whole night out in the town and I proceeded to assure her that since she was with me, I got her back and it’ll be lots of fun. Until another fan of mine wanted to do a beer race. Would I back from such a simple challenge? As if.

So 2 slow chugs and a half of the third glass later I finally choked. Bathroom was occupied and apparently I didn’t quite make the wait in line. Next thing from dying of waiting that I remember is waking back up on a stood right outside, with my crew and one bartender I knew checking if I was alive. Real smooth. Blacked out for 5-10 seconds, but at that point it gets unnecessary worry and attention. And that after me spouting off that I had my shit and my fan’s well being for the night together… real smooth. Ironically, my lifeline order of takoyaki was ready around that same time.

After puking some of my guts out (since taking care of my sash didn’t quite occur to me at the time) and pounding 10 delicious octopus filled balls, I was on my way to a slow recovery. I think a glass of water was somewhere in that equation as well.

Now with even less people left, we went to get some food (probably to help me recover) and I went ahead and had my saving grace beer there, really nurturing the guy.

So what’s the real kicker of the night? When I posted a question of extending my stay for three weeks per free place to crash and plane ticket change not being an arm and a leg, the girl I feel I made an ass of myself on the first meeting was the only one who actually came through. I really must have the devil’s luck, in Japan.

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