When Kerrie spread word of the WACK train, I had to say, I was intrigued.
Did WACK make their own version of Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari?
Sorry to clickbait you into the rest of the article, but unfortunately, that is not the reality I was presented with.
WACK Densha is simply one of the many trains running on the Yamanote JR line in Tokyo, but it’s been decked out in WACK promotional material to announce their annual WACK Matsuri. The events are taking place on the roof of the famous Tower Records Shibuya. And it’s free!
As you can expect of a free WACK event, all the time slots are also extremely, extremely sold out. Way before I even had a chance to apply for a ticket. But no matter! I will do my best impersonation of a SoraNews24 reporter and walk you through my experience of riding the WACK train.
As stated on the website detailing the matsuri-related festivities, the train runs on Yamanote line 1 from June 16, 2022 all the way to June 30, 2022. The Yamanote Line is famous for being a circle running in central Tokyo, making it extremely practical for tourists and locals alike. As it runs in a circle, you also can’t really get lost, you are bound to get back where you started. A complete rotation takes about an hour. Yamanote Line 1 runs counter clockwise, while Line 2 runs clockwise.
I figured that if I wait about an hour at my closest Yamanote station, I was bound to encounter the elusive WACK train. Armed with my trusty umbrella, a portable fan and ice cold water, I set foot outside and walk to the station under the already intense noon sun. The weather feels like a solid 29°C with 69% humidex, and thus, I look as drench as Ayuni D whenever she gives it her all during a concert. As I set foot on the train platform, I am grateful my station and spot is shaded. I take in beautiful smell of the summer and appreciate the wind as the minutes pass. 10 transforms into 20 and henceforth. After an half-hour, I am starting to wonder if I am on the wrong platform and it’s actually going clock-wise. In any case, the experience would make for an interesting article, so I keep waiting. 50 minutes in, suddenly, the train arriving at the station has long blue stickers on the sides of the doors. At last, the WACK train!
Inside, no guerilla performance, just an absolutely normal train car. Except all the advertisements are just WACK. By the doors, it either promotes the matsuri itself or the latest/closest release of each of the groups. Over the seats, all three screens have special videos of an assortment of WACK girls telling you what they personally feel “Meeting” means. Occasionally, there is a brief video explaning the WACK history and what groups are part of WACK. The video loop was the same in the two cars I have been in. Of course, as BiSH is the most popular group, all the members are in the loop, alongside other people. The video screen above the doors, beside the station announcement, has a wider variety of girls and interview. The banner ads across the length of the train have either the matsuri visual with all the members (including Watanabe) or individual members in their blue matsuri haori.
Now, you’ll have the excuse the quality of the photos sprinkled through the article, I wasn’t alone in the train and I zoomed in from my seat in order to not disturb anyone as I was doing the WACK pilgrimage. You could (dubiously) argue the green grips add an immersive element to the photo.
That’s all there is to it! While I am personally a little over “WACK silly -ugly faces”, which are featured at the end of each interview, I thought it was interesting to read what the different girls thought about the meaning of “Meeting” and to meet new members I wasn’t familiar with. The WACK matsuri will no doubt be a success!