How do you people do it? I only went to Hyper Japan for one day, not even for the whole event, and I slept for 12 hours and I lost a quarter of the skin on my feet! How you people manage to go for three days and not die is amazing.
My intentions for Hyper Japan were kind of thwarted; I applied for a press pass a long time ago with the intention of interviewing DEADLIFT LOLITA, but when I didn’t hear back from them within a week I figured “well, no harm in going normally,” bought my tickets, only for them to respond just a couple of days before the event with my pass. “Is a chat with Deadlift at least still on?” I asked. “Nope” they replied. But you know what my press pass did entitle me to at least? Special VIP access to the very front of the stage for photography purposes and by gum am I going to take advantage of that!
Prepare for lots of photos!
There are a lot of them; be patient while the whole thing loads
First things, an idol we don’t cover here but really should, London Blue. To be honest, I’d never even heard of them until this week, so it shocked me when the announcer said they’d been active for five years. When I read that they were inspired by British rock I got a little bit excited; I was expecting another Bellheart to be honest. Alas, they were more on the Buono! end of “Idol Does Brit-rock” than the Bellheart spectrum. But Buono! were still a great group, and so are London Blue! I was made a fan pretty much on the spot. They were cute, energetic, and really deserve all the attention they get. I’m proud of them. A group of Anglophile Japanese girls performing in the UK to a crowd of British weeaboos? It’s beautiful, honestly.
Additional highlights: the two toddlers who were dancing at the side of the stage, and Kyoka, the girl who caught my eye the most during the show, calling me cute at the meet-and-greet. Congrats on your position as London Blue oshi.
Then it was time for arguably the main event, Deadlift Lolita. And holy moly this was a packed crowd. And no wonder! This was the most fun idol gig I’ve been to, even if I had to maintain a degree of professionalism and take photos like a good girl instead of joining with the wotagei. They are certainly one of those acts who are far better seeing live than listening to recorded. Trust me, even if you don’t actually like their music that much, just see them live if you get the chance. I had a big smile on my face the whole time. I got smacked in the face by Beard’s pigtails at one point.
Then things escalated!
Well, that was something! Their show was interrupted by this dude who called Reika a muscle-nugget (now that’s a great insult) and a wrestling match broke out! The drama! The violence! How can you not be invested? I don’t even like wrestling! It was wild!
After they beat his ass, the Buff Buddies continued the show as normal, and then it was time for the meet-and-greet. Here’s my chance! If I can’t interview them then I will at least meet them, damn it!
Even that was close to a let-down! The queue was so long that a staff member actually had to go down the queue telling us not to get our hopes up. But I managed it! I hugged the Beard! I hugged Reika! I was nourished by their adorable swole energy! Reika is very short and cute but could still probably snap my neck! Ladybeard was a magnificent beast and he called me gorgeous and cute even though I’m actually a small blobfish.
By that point all the Deadlift merchandise had sold out so afterward, I bought some OG Ladybaby merch from JPU Records next door instead. I wish I could have interviewed them, but just this short meeting was enough to know that Deadlift Lolita are absolutely lovely. I hope that one day I can get a proper sit-down with them and discuss the possibilities of a full-blown idol wrestling league (Reika has already brawled with Up Up Girls Pro-Wrestling!). There was a public Q&A session in the evening but sadly that ran too close to my last train home so I can only imagine what went off there.
Let’s round this article off with a short rant that’ll probably get this site destroyed by half of the internet. JPU were literally the only J-Pop merch stall at Hyper Japan, yet there was a crazy amount of K-Pop booths. What gives? Couldn’t we at least get a “Babymetal and Kyary and AKB48 appreciation society” booth to almost balance it out? Ah well. Maybe it’ll improve next year. Thank you JPU for being the place to be for Japanese music!