Peaches, Mangoes and Udon : How I fell in love with Mocho

“From DD to TO”

As I prepare to trek through Akihabara, donning his datenshi Aikyan bag, my friend Maou asked me “Why are you hiding your bag? Are you ashamed of Mocho?” This hit me like a truck filled with shame and just answered “but it’s pink…” He then dismissed it and answered with a pfft…

Just who is Asakura Momo to me? It has always been a mystery to me how I fell for her. Is it because of her voice? Her cute look? Her personality? Frankly, if you would be asking a past me, I wouldn’t even bat an eye on her and place her as my least favorite Trysail. I believe, everything changed at that fateful December of 2016.

LisAni Live in Taiwan 2016

At this point in time, I was at my peak (in)famy as mango primus, a thirsty Aida Rikako fan. Originally planning to go to Aqours 1st Live, LisAni Taiwan was never in my plan. Playing with ticket wars for a friend Deric, I happened to get a decent seat. YOLOing as it is, I just bought it off and kept it. Who would have thought that this side trip would become one of the most magical days in my life.

I was originally a Nansu (Natsukawa Shiina) fan. Donning my three kingblades of pink, yellow, blue and later UOs, I was greeted with “Haifuri”. Watching them, slowly I look at this cute bubbly pink girl, twirling like a kid, being all lovely and all. As soon as they started with MC, I turned my attention to all three, being amazed at Tenchan’s (Amamiya Sora) mandarin proficiency, entertained by Nansu being bullied… and this cute Mocho, being amazingly funny with how she discovers Taiwan’s food, and enjoying mango iced tofu. I see myself unconsciously raising my pink more than I realized.

Throughout, I enjoyed LisAni Day 1, with my mind floating away how wonderful Mocho is. I have no basis of comparison what Love at first sight is, but this is probably it. However, my mind still rejects the idea.

TryAngle Harmony Special in Taiwan 2016

Of all the events I’ve been into, Torahamo is the most significant and the one that would change my life forever. To be honest, I don’t know what I should expect in this one, as my friend Zeroblade just happened to have spare tickets that can be shared to me and Deric (actually just Deric, and he made extra dealings to get one for me too).

On this talk, even with less sleep than before, my mind was alert, trying to follow their talk and it was worth it. The girls are very relaxed and at home, Tenchan being a bully that she is, and Nansu being adorably the straight man in the trio. What caught me off guard is how Mocho is being so honest with what’s in her mind. It struck me every single time when she talks, smiling when she talks of her favorite TW food, of her panics when she gets the wrong answer, of what she thinks Nansu’s fruit should be, and everything.

The voice acting session was fantastic. I believe it is a continuous story from their Age of Discovery tour. The three are sailing through the seas in search for their own treasures. On the part that Mocho eats xiaolongbao, is probably the final key that crumbled my whole perception of the past and decided that she is the one.

To a normal person, this is probably a simple talk with some performance but to me, this is the end of all my kimoi and pathetic notion of being THE BEST FAN (whom PH people fondly calls Primus), accepting the insults thrown at me. This is also the start of me being truly happy.

 

Million Live, Trysail and Beyond

Thinking it was just an infatuation, I decided to stop briefly my ideas and dug myself to work. However, no matter what I do, on everything I do, be it my work or my frustrations, Mocho always come to my life in the most unexpected of ways, cheering me at my lowest. I’ve gone to multiple lives thinking of her – Million Live Taiwan, Trysail Harbor x Arena, HOTCHPOTCH FESTIV@L – and everything is a fresh experience, filled with anxiety that will only be washed away with seeing her smile and hearing her talk or sing.

During what I can consider as one of my lowest points in life, there is just Mocho. Dejected by friends and family, bombarded with work, penniless and alone in Japan, I am in deep sadness. All I wanted was to disappear, walking aimlessly at Chiyoda. However, at the very point in time that I got drunk and lost in Tokyo, as if by amazing coincidence that I look at the Chu-hi and I see it as peach flavor. Tears run down my cheeks as I fell to my knees, remembering there is this one girl that made me smile, that gave me eventer friends who I can share my experiences with, that gave me so many fresh memories that I can cherish, that made me truly happy. That one girl is Asakura Momo. It gave me strength that I was able to take up courage to ask for help to friends whom I will forever be grateful to and to face all my problems.

It was the very moment that I am truly in love. She was there when no one was. She always finds her way back into my life, no matter how hard I try to redirect. She is and will always be the most precious girl in my life, saving me from the deep depression with her love for food and her bright smile. No matter what people might think of me – a delusional fan who gachikois to someone who never knew he existed – I can say with a straight face, I am at my happiest with Asakura Momo. Now, with head help up high, I can walk proudly with my life, facing my problems, improving myself and following my dreams, while keeping closest to my heart this cute peach that saved me.

So now, if you ask me who is Mocho to me? She is my sunshine and the love of my life.

I love you Asakura Momo.

-mattvent

Looking back: Cosplay Mania Day 1 – Riho Iida and the PH Community

This post was originally posted in nekoandcoffee.wordpress.com last November 4, 2016

First of all let me go back a bit, to April of this year. FLOW just finished their breathtaking full set performance. This made me look forward to the rest of the conventions for the latter half of the year. I was already anticipating which guests would be invited for Cosplay Mania Jam since they were able to show potential when Pile came over last year.

https://twitter.com/cosplayph/status/755294198811754496/photo/1
Cosplay Mania 2016. Cosplay Mania x I love Anisong

 

Fast forward to July,  thus the announcement, Cosplay Mania x I love Anison. This made people so hyped cause it meant a large pool of possible artists for the event. Yet the announcement must be taken with a grain of salt since this partnership is a sign of testing the waters, whether the Philippines is a viable market for Japanese concerts or not. A responsibility rested on the shoulders and wallets of the fans if they wanted more artists to come in the future.

Rippi’s flasta. The color theme was based on the jacket of her 2nd album.

A few months before the event, the community, spearheaded by several people and Riho Iida Philippines, began to make preparations. Button pins and Call books were produced and freely distributed to people attending the concert. Flowerstands were also presented to Riho Iida and Starmarie, which was completely crowdfunded through donations. T-shirts were also printed and worn exclusively by Riho Iida PH members. A huge tarpaulin was also printed, which can be seen near the end of the blog.

Callbooks were freely distributed online. Hard copies were given away at the Onegai Onii-chan Booth.

Sad to say, even with thorough planning, there were some disappointments and minor hitches that happened, especially with the Meet and Greet process. I’m no longer detailing on what transpired regarding the process since I want to make this blog as positive as I could. All I can say is, the organizers shouldn’t let the crowd run like that. Safety should always be first.

Nevertheless, the meet and greet did bear positive effects, especially to those who ran as fast as they could. All efforts previously mentioned above was duly noticed by Rippi, all thanks to the Kaigai eventers that were overheard by Rippi’s staff talking about the huge tarpaulin.

Concert

Translation:

It is my first time in Manila.
I was surprised that a lot of fans here were waiting for me.

Thank you,  I had a great time. ~ ☆☆

The concert itself is an experience to remember. The crowd has definitely upped their game this year. Almost everyone in the VIP section has a Kingblade and knows the chants to Rippi’s songs. It felt like everybody has thoroughly studied the call guide and knew exactly what they should do.

Near the end of the concert, Rippi said a short message that was translated by an interpreter. She apologized because she was not able to go to the Philippines sooner. She also said that she really had fun here and doesn’t even want to return back (to Japan) (帰りたくない). Sadly, we all know that it wasn’t quite possible but the emotion behind her words can be felt, that they were spoken from the heart.

The fan-driven effort was really amazing to witness. The community was able to make Rippi special and the staff were even impressed by the effort. Not to mention, kudos to the effort of Cosplay.ph for making Rippi’s short stay in Philippines a memorable one.

For an event that I looked forward to for almost 6 months, the wait was worth it.

Looking toward to better and improved conventions for next year.

Rippi setlist:

  1. Kataomoi Sekkin
  2. Sirius
  3. Heartache = Koi to Yokan
  4. KISS! KISS! KISS!

Encore: Hajimaritai Kanon