Minoringo (鈴木みのり) Watashikai Report

This is a special post written by one of our contributors, Archeezy

“Here’s the copy of the code for that upcoming Mikku event lottery,” I said, as I felt for and pulled out the CD case stowed inside my red shoulder bag. I carefully extracted a small, square piece of paper on which the codes were printed and handed it to Zeroblade, my hand shaking as I did so. Winter in Japan is about to end, and yet its biting cold remained unrelenting still. There were three of us at the Radio Kaikan back then—Koko was with him at the time.

“I can’t believe you wore that [Walkure 3rd Live] parka for like, the whole time,” Zeroblade commented as he took the codes. I smiled sheepishly. It’s true though. I wore it during my trips to Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka.

“mattvent never misses his chance,” I said with a laugh. “Always count on him for an errand so long as someone’s in Japan.”

It was an awkwardly brief meetup—I took the trains to Akihabara station from my BNB in Asakusa for this sole purpose. It was awkwardly brief, but it cannot be helped. I might as well do some shopping in the nearby Don Quijote while I’m at it, I thought. I was ready to bid the two of them adieu and go about my business, when Zeroblade stopped me with a question.

“Oh right, are you leaving [for the Philippines] tonight?”

“No, not yet. My flight’s tomorrow.”

“Ah. Let’s go to animate.”

I found myself keeping up with Zeroblade and Koko en route to animate. Apparently, unbeknownst to many people (or perhaps only to me), there was to be a Suzuki Minori meet and greet session at the Ikebukuro branch. To participate, one has to buy the Isekai Yuusha no Satsujin Yuugi manga, priced at 600 yen plus tax. Attached to the copies are tickets to the said event at limited quantities.

Isekai Yuusha no Satsujin Yuugi Vol 1 cover

Obviously, I got a ticket. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this report in the first place. Zeroblade and Koko

got theirs too, much to our joy. I found myself fast cla—no, just clapping to our sheer luck, considering we bought the manga so late in the day. It was also entirely possible that news of the meet and greet event simply did not reach enough people, but it was no time for elaborate theorizing; only celebrating. The event was still a few hours away, anyway.

The fateful Minoringo watashikai ticket

We did so by eating at the nearby Fujisoba, only to be stopped by Asahi TV for an interview about ramen. Apparently, we caught their attention as we, uh, admired the food choices display booth in front of the restaurant. Yes, that sounds about right.

Zeroblade tanked most of the interview, with Koko and I joining in every once in a while. This day got only more and more interesting by the moment. We then made a brief stop at Dera to check out some weab stuff, and then at Zeroblade and Koko’s BNB for a brief prep—gifts, letters and all that jazz. I wrote a quick letter for Minoringo, telling her that I attended the recent Walkure 3rd live, and that I wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Typical fan letter format.

We then made our way to Ikebukuro for the meet and greet event. There was already a line for the event. It wasn’t very long, but it was at least long enough for us to circle back several floors down after reaching the top floor by elevator and realize that there was, well, already a line. I surmised that truly, not enough people got the memo.

Moments before Minoringo’s appearance

We did not have to wait very long. There was a brief spiel from the host, and out came Minoringo and took the center stage amidst cheers and clapping. I had to admit—I was awestruck. Not only was this my first meet and greet event in Japan, but Minoringo was just so damn adorable. She wore a black, sweater-type blouse and a brown skirt while donning twintails.

MINORINGOOOOO AAAAAAAA (Source: https://twitter.com/minoringo_staff/status/969187034987286528)

She was a very charming character. She briefly promoted the manga—apparently, the said manga is going to have an anime adaptation, and she will be voicing a character; Kanon. She would later give out Kanon bromides during the actual meet and greet session.

What got me was when she noticed the awkward pose of an anime character statue to the side of the stage.

“His pose kind of looks perverted,” she commented with her trademark sweet voice, eliciting a roar of laughter from the audience.

As a bonus, five signed shikishi were to handed out before the session to five lucky winners. The contest was jankenpon; Minoringo while onstage, played jankenpon against all of us. Anyone who loses or ties with Minoringo sits down and loses their chance to win the prize. Zeroblade was a bit close to winning, but in the end, neither him, nor Koko, nor me won a shikishi. At the very least, at least the, shikishi were handed out by the staff, not Minoringo herself.

Then came the meet and greet session. All the while, Koko and I talked to kind of review the things we’ll say to Minoringo, which kind of helped calm my nerves. Zeroblade was a bit behind us as he got in a bit late earlier. All the while I would look at Minoringo at the meet and greet table, entertaining awestruck Japanese fans as the program went on. Actually, come to think of it, I think the three of us were the only foreigners in that place that time. And we were all wearing Walkure 3rd live clothing. Oh well.

I was right behind Koko and it was now his turn. I tried to chat with the marshal. “Is it okay if I chat with her a little longer?”

The marshal looked like he was caught off-guard. “I, er, well, you see…”

Then I saw Koko step out. “Oops, sorry, it’s my turn now,” I murmured as I quickly made my way to the guest of the night.

Standing right in front of Minoringo, separated only by a table, was an immaculate experience. This is, hands down, as close as I could ever get to Minoringo, and for a split second thanked all the known gods for this wonderful experience.

“Thank you very much for coming!” Minoringo said with a bright smile as she handed me a bromide. I stood open-mouthed for a brief moment and bowed. She had pretty big eyes for a Japanese, and that made her all the more adorable.

“Thank you very much!” I stammered. “I’m a fan from the Philippines.”

“Oh, like him?” she asked, pointing to Koko as he walked out of the room.

“Yes, I am with him. Speaking of which, you know, I’ve been to Walkure 3rd live!”

Minoringo’s reactions were animated. “Oh! Really? Thank you!”

“I’m even wearing the parka right now!” I continued. “I cried when you sang God Bless You, and I got so pumped up during RunePika, that my own rune might have sparkled as well right there and then!”

Minoringo burst into laughter.

“You have a lot of fans in the Philippines, you know!”

Minoringo clapped her hands to her cheeks. “Really? That’s great!”

“Yes! I wish you all the best in your current projects. I also look forward to your future lives—be it Walkure or a different one.”

“I shall do my best. Thank you very much!”

“Thank you so much!” I said and flashed out a Walkure hand gesture (kill me now). For a moment, I couldn’t hear anything—all sounds were blocked out, and only that brief moment of actual conversation with Minoringo remained. I could feel my heart fluttering, and I couldn’t help but smile like an idiot.

I found Koko just outside the room and joined him. We were mostly fanboying about Minoringo. In that one moment she skyrocketed up my personal seiyuu ranking (which I will not disclose to the public).

Zeroblade found us shortly after.  “Can we, like, buy another copy and fall in line again?”

We left Ikebukuro in high spirits. I parted ways with them at Ueno Station and made my way to Asakusa via the Ginza line. All the time, the chill of the last days of Winter blew across Tokyo and made nightly commuters clutch their scarves and coats a little tighter. But I hardly felt a thing. After all, as Zeroblade aptly put it, the weather was cold, but my heart was so warm.

The bromide given out by Minoringo herself during the meet and greet session

Minoringo’s Post Event Status