July 2, 2007

Mission to make Momoi cry

Remember this post?

Well, it looks like at least we did our part. Good job North American fans. Thanks to all the fans die-hard enough to wait with our group so early in the morning...we thought we would be the only ones! To anyone who was there, you may have seen us, as we were helping the Japanese fan club hand out a big stack of Momoi concert "call" pamphlets (while wearing Momoi t-shirts and Momoi headbands). At the panel, I think it was a good show of love for Momoi. I'm really happy nobody complained about the cancelled autographs thing, and still cheered as hard as they could. She seemed to be really moved at the end when the gift-giving started, and it was excellent. I was kind of afraid that the SOS signing event might have eaten a lot of her crowd, but the turnout was pretty good and I love that all the fans were crazy about her. "Pinnacle of my life" guy...perfect line. Perfect reaction. BUT...there is much more left to be done, and here's why:

A lot of people are pretty curious about the sudden "serious speech" Momoi gave in the middle of the panel regarding a contract dispute and why she canceled all of her appearances afterwards, and almost canceled the 7/2 concert. Well apparently, while her fans were great to her, AX in general was a very different story. Momoi was treated pretty badly and she is quite upset with AX's handling of her own, and other guests' events, as shown by a recent update on her blog. Although the details are unclear, it seems that she was not treated with any respect at all.

I am not sure what exactly broke the straw on the camels back, but its no surprise Momoi is dissatisfied. Apparently there were fuckups starting all the way from getting her hotel room ready, to cutting off her music, to constant reschedulings and lateness, and overall mishandling.

Although too engrossed in my euphoria at the time, looking back, the first concert was indeed severely mishandled. First of all, they started the whole event late and made Momoi wait forever in order for Bang Zoom to plug some shitty ads that everyone had already seen from the SOS concert. Second, at the Momoi concert (as well as the SOS one before it), the entire audio was out of synch, much to the horror of her staff who watched on helplessly. And third, after Momoi specfically invited everyone to "come up!! come on up!" (i.e. to the front of the stage), security, apparently unable to understand a damn word, blocked everyone off and forced us back to the seats section. Momoi saw this happen, and decided to try AGAIN by motioning all the fans to come forward and yelling (in English by the way) to come up. Yet again, security blocked anyone from trying to advance despite the huge amount of free space being wasted up front. The fans weren't allowed to go wild. Not allowed...at a Momoi concert? That's ridiculous!

Momoi's panel explanation for the autograph cancellation was basically that she would be working hard to communicate her exact wishes to the event handlers so the next concert would not have so many problems. Momoi was angry, not only that she was thrown aside, that her co-workers and friends in the industry were thrown aside (she said some were crying, but didn't name any names), but also angry from the fact that her American fans that she flew over specifically to perform for, were the ones who didn't get the performance she planned. In this, I believe she was totally right to cancel her events and work exclusively on setting up for the next performance. It's her last chance before heading back to Japan, so of course IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT. Tell me, oh true Momoi fan, do you really want some autograph you can buy off Yahoo Auctions, or do you want a PERFECT CONCERT!? The answer should be obvious.

Even just from my personal observation of the SOS events alone, this entire convention was badly managed. In those respectively, Minorin was absolutely humiliated at both the panel and concert and looked like she was going to cry. Gotou also seemed kind of pissed, although she was way too much of a veteran to show it as obviously. And Hirano...well as much as I hate Hirano, even she didn't deserve that tasteless joke about casting-favoritism, especially with the HUGE Arts Vision scandal going on that I'm pretty sure every seiyuu fan knows about (It's inexcusable that Bang Zoom, which glorifies itself as a major anime voice acting company of North America, would script in a joke like this without thinking of its connotations.) I will probably post a more detailed rant about how things happened, but for now I will work on posting more POSITIVE comments on how awesome Momoi was before I start bashing AX.

I'm glad that Momoi decided she would continue the concert for the fans despite the bad experience with AX, so, with that information...let's try extra hard tomorrow to make sure our positive impression is cemented into Momoi's mind and never let her feel any doubt for the North American fans' support her. As a group we need to make up for AX's shortcomings.

Note: If you can, please please please get glow sticks for the concert. I think it would make her very happy to see so many fans take her suggestion seriously and start waving the sticks and doing all the calls. If you absolutely can't find any, we have bought about 20 extra sticks and bracelets specifically for this event and are happy to give them away.

Also, even if you are angry about this, please refrain from displays of anger on her blog, and complain to AX instead. Some 4channer posted the "America is superior..blah blah blah...New York" comment on Momoi's blog. What the hell? I'm fucking from New York and probably the most annoyed by all of this, but that type of comment doesn't really reflect too well of us at all, and is not going to convince her to "Come to New York." It just makes us look bad.

Extra note: At the panel, Momoi apologized for starting late even though it wasn't her fault. I love Momoi.

Posted by Paranda at July 2, 2007 4:03 AM


oh my god... this sounds really bad for poor momoi-san >_># i think it's very disappointing for her to see that the world outside japan is still not ready for her :.(

a big "thanks" to all of her fans and concert visitors at AX for being nice to her and showing some respect! ^__^

i hope that she is not that pissed that she will cancel her concerts in kassel/germany O_o i bought the tickets just to see her! XD
the connichi seems to be a bit smaller than the AX, so i hope that the management is nicer to her! XD

(please ignore my bad english ^_~)

Posted by: yokohama at July 2, 2007 5:05 AM

Hi, thank you for writing this blog. I finally understood what was going on. I am sad to see how horrible AX staff and crew mishandled the situation they must have underestimated who Halko Mamoi is and her popularity. I hope that the Monday Concert goes well and that she gets to perform for her awesome fans. I am moved by her voice and I enjoy her personality, I would not want her to be sad or not be able to perform. Please let me know more information on her upcoming performances or happenings. I can't read japanese, so your site and reply is important. Thank you.

Posted by: Audrey at July 2, 2007 2:36 PM

Great post. Thanks. Is it possible that this is prejudice against animephiles by the hired staff? Who are the people behind AX? Are they animephiles or just conference organizers running another show? Did they have to hire a certain crew of inept technicians? Were the technicians prejudiced against the content of the con, being used to more "adult" conferences? Does American otakudom need its own liberation movement? Or is it just that this was too big a thing for a comparatively amateur group of organizers to manage. Not an easy job.

As for Halko's "come on up," that may be against the conference centre's rules or something. All this stuff has to be worked out in detail ahead of time, even if it requires more translators and more organizing staff.

Posted by: hashihime at July 2, 2007 3:04 PM

I'd like to read your impression of the SOS concert, especially on the bit about Minorin being humiliated.

I'm sure Gotuuza-sama is more angry because her grasp of English is better than the other guests in the list......

Posted by: houkoholic at July 2, 2007 10:39 PM

Yeah no one who was there at the Momoi panel could feel any hostility towards her actions becouse it was clear to see her only interest was towards giving the fans the greatest concert she could.

The AX idol fiasco just reaked of a marketing plug for bang zoom, I mean seriously presenting an award to their own staff member on a professional J-Idols time

In general you the translators seemed to be pretty poor (seriously the Japanese guests are all professionals and you should hire professionals to deal with them - Ichikawa seemed to have had her own translator) Anyway I could rant for hours - and have been writing such a rant on my very very long trip home.

Lampshade and I managed to get to the front row for the whole of her performance next to the Japanese fan group. ^_^ - she was increadible and despite the AV problems, the security people, and the unbeliveable *insert something nasty here* of bang zoom - she still managed to make me almost cry with the overwhelming joy and euphoria of that first performance.

Matt_D/Mr Trainspotting

Posted by: Mr Trainspotting at July 5, 2007 5:45 AM

I was at the concert and for most of the panel. (I so feel sorry for the people who waited in line for the S.O.S. autograph session, as I would have been there too instead of the panel.) Uh, yeah, I am pretty upset that the autograph sessions were killed off and I'm upset that she was given the worst day of the event. Momoi-san was the reason I went down to Long Beach. The concert was a blast though. I will rant off my AX experience in a few days.

Posted by: Bata-kun at July 7, 2007 3:29 AM


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