March 19, 2008


I am now back in NYC after a thoroughly awesome trip. Sorry for the limited details while I was there, I was just too excited I couldn't write anything. Now that I am back, I will try and spend this weekend combing my brain to get the details out..

And yes, if you have read InsaneLampshade's Connichi report in Germany, it is completely true that Momoi's hand is the softest substance known in this universe, possibly deserving of scientific scrutiny. If you could hold a cloud, that is what it would be like. Queen of Akihbara indeed!

Contact with Tanaka from JTB (who was incredibly nice by the way) was made around 9AM. He provided Mandi and me with the pamphlets, badge, and maps that we would need for the following couple of days. He also mentioned that Momoi had already arrived and was hard at work practicing for the event tomorrow, but that the fans would show up later this afternoon. After that we couldn't concentrate on doing anything except anticipating everyone's arrival so we just wasted time at the beach. I bought my swim trunks the same day since it somehow never occurred to me to pack swim gear back in NYC. For lunch, we had curry udon since it is one of Momoi's favorite foods.

We met up with everyone else around 3PM in the Pacific Beach Hotel lobby. The fan club from Japan had just arrived and rested. While hanging around, we also got a chance to sign a special card that odessa brought for Takayama Saki, who played Momoi in the Haruko Update drama. After introductions, we went swimming at the beach to pass time until the main event: a welcome dinner at Beijing with Momoi. At around 6 PM, Momoi came in and waved to everyone. So many cameras went off at once I was almost blinded. Half the tour group even brought tripods to set up in the room and everyone had those handheld video recorders. She sat at our table with her manager Suzuki and an assistant manager whose name I forgot (even though he poured tea for me lol). She ordered a Blue Hawaii drink, so we basically followed her example. Another whole table of fans also cracked ultra-orange cyalume and put them in their beers. There was a big toast with Momoi thanking everyone for coming to Hawaii.

The dishes were: seafood soup, spring rolls, cashew chicken, BBQ pork and beef, fried rice with shrimp, and finally coconut gelatin for dessert. Momoi ended up eating only a little though, as her primary concern was giving as much attention to her fans as possible. After she finished appetizers, 90% of the time she was posing, commenting on photos, and moving between the three tables to chat up fans about whatever topics they wanted. During the middle of the dinner, Mandi showed Momoi the special fliers that fans made for her so she gave us her thanks for helping get them printed and distributed.

Other things of note were conversations about itasha, the ubiquitous ABC stoes, the adventures of "Hawaii Jenny", and a certain fan's Jenny cosplay (he pretended to be Sakunyan during a fake interview with Momoi at the table). I also learned that the photos from Momo-i quality were apparently from Hawaii when she visited many many years ago, and fans were making plans to go to the exact same places to take some pictures.

Because of all this, the dinner lasted hours. Near the end of the evening, Momoi tried to eat some more food but it was cold by then so she skipped to dessert after a few bites. After dinner was over, we went outside the restaurant to take group photos. Tanaka helped take pictures with everyone's cameras. Momoi also got a picture with the hostess at the door.

After an elevator ride down to the street, we stood around the corner to just talk some more (after blocking the elevator entrance by accident). At some point, Vesper pulled out a sukumizu for Momoi to wear. Although she obviously wouldn't wear it, she put it over herself in a mock pose. She also wrote on the front "Year 3, class 14, Momoi." and signed her name on the little tag inside. All this time, fans were going crazy with flash photos. However 20 people standing in a semi circle constantly taking pictures of a girl in the middle is a sight that attracts the curious, so our crowd ended up growing as passing tourists looked on in confusion. Some people asked for a photo with Momoi even though they weren't sure who she was, but the hype was just too strong for them to resist. Finally near 9:30PM, it was time to go. Momoi crossed the street while we (now including interested bystanders) all waved to her from the corner.

After this, we dispersed and began to prepare for the following day's concert.

Posted by Paranda at March 19, 2008 12:43 AM


Ya, I've never felt anyone's hands that soft. I thought Insanelampshade was exaggerating, but he wasn't, they really were the softest hands I've ever felt lol.

Posted by: PantsGoblin at March 19, 2008 3:45 AM

Ooohh.... it all sounds like a wonderful dream to me... hahaha. What I wouldn't do to shake Momoi-sensei's hand... @_@;;;

I'm just curious, was there a translator there or were all the fans just really fluent? @_@;;

Posted by: AnimeKittyCafe at March 23, 2008 11:21 PM

Hawaii is VERY Japanese friendly, and most of the desks and shops have Japanese signs or bilingual store clerks, so the fan club didn't really have too much problem getting around. Plus there was one Japanese guy who had fairly decent English because he had spend a year studying in Australia.

Posted by: paranda at March 24, 2008 1:13 AM

Ahh, how nice! Haha, even if I didn't understand half of what she was saying, though, I'd gladly pay to spend a day with Momoi-sensei, so... XD

Posted by: AnimeKittyCafe at March 25, 2008 5:27 PM

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