On Sunday June 12th, I attended 2 out of 3 shows of the Freedom Event (vol. 1) featuring Nakao Kenya, Kamimura Kaisei, Miyagi Koudai and Morita Touya. Originally I had only been planning on one show, but I managed to get last minute tickets for another too, so I ended up seeing it twice.
I’m writing this report based on both my own memory and filling in some gaps with reports from numerous Japanese fans, of which there are too many to name. I couldn’t have done this without them, though. Most of the actual quotes/conversations come from Japanese reports.
Show 1 (1pm)
The boys appeared. Here is what they looked like for the event:
They started by introducing themselves one by one, and then took a seat, at which point Kenya immediately knocked over his (thankfully closed) water bottle.
They began with a quick talk time about what they had been up to recently.
Miyagi: “Recently I’ve been doing various work every day, so I’ve been dilligent every day, but… just a little… my head. I think there are people here who are aware of this already but even though I love black hair, it’s become bright for the sake of work. The moment I have met anyone they’ve said “Ah! It’s so bright!” So, after two or three weeks I’ll go dark again, I think.”
Kenya: “Right now is a rarety, then.”
Kenya: “I’ve been in somewhat of a slump lately so I’m not sure why I’m starting with this kind of talk, but… I’m from Fukuoka, and because I love it so much I’m the kind who likes to get on the plane back to Tokyo only just in time. Like 15 minutes before.”
MC: “So you attack 15 minutes before?”
Kenya: “Yeah. But when I tried to board the plane I couldn’t get confirmation with the thing on my smart phone. I wondered why, and when I looked I realised I was trying to use the reverse Tokyo –> Fukuoka ticket. That’s the extent to which I love my hometown.”
Miyagi: “Have fun today and forget about it.”
Kenya: “I’m still about 20% in a slump right now.”
Miyagi: “That 20% will disappear before you know it.”
Kaisei: “I had two weeks vacation. I mostly spent it at home.”
Miyagi: “For two weeks? What were you doing there? Watching DVDs?”
Kaisei: “Things like watching movies. Oh, and I did mail orders. Mail orders.”
MC: “Mail orders… (lol)”
Touya: I’m a little unique myself, so I’m nervous… Recently, I… um, well I’ve been working hard at rehearsals, and doing things like playing games. I’m an indoor-type, so…”
Miyagi: “Me too!”
Kenya: “I am too, so we’ll let you into our group.”
First game was announced to be an intro-don (where they would play the very beginning of a song and they had to guess what it was). To begin with though, they had to choose teams. Because of my huge bias towards them as a pair, I was very happy that Kenya ended up paired together thanks to a janken battle. Of course, that meant Miyagi was paired with Touya. The MC asked them to come up with team names, which took far too long.
Miyagi: “What food do you like?”
Touya: “I like sweet things…”
Miyagi: “Ramen? Okay, got it! We’re the ‘ramens’ (ラーメンズ).
Meanwhile Kenya and Kaisei were doing a whole lot of not very much except that Kenya just kept putting his hand on Kaisei’s shoulder, so when the MC came to them…
MC: “How about you guys?”
Kaisei: “We didn’t really think of anything, so…”
Kenya: “Mash and Tsukushi”.
I don’t even know. The MC couldn’t even remember the team name and had to ask them what it was every time he had to mention it.
They brought out a table (I say “they”, actually the MC went for the table and Kenya tried to go and help him with it and got told it was fine and to leave him to it) and they had these electronic buzzers set up on it, along with a device the MC could press to create a jingle before each question. Unfortunately both of these things were so quiet even with a microphone put next to them for anyone to really be able to hear, so the MC told the guys to call out as well as pressing the button if they knew the answer.Miyagi would jump to his feet every time he knew one, slam his hand down on the buzzer and yell “hai, hai!!” at the top of his voice. Kenya settled with saying “ping pong, ping pong” when he pressed his. Touya and Kaisei were pretty tame in comparison. Kenya was so unconfident about his ability to answer that he made sure Kaisei’s hand was always on the buzzer below his own.
The songs played were:
- (I forgot, sorry!)
- Zankoku na Tenshi no Tēze (Evangelion theme)
- Heavy Rotation – AKB48
- 3 Gatsu 9 ka – Remioromen
- We are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Miyagi and Touya won the first two, and then Kaisei guessed the AKB48 one. Kaisei was so smug when he got a question right even though they were still behind that he gave the other team the most bratty look and hand gestures to show how awesome he thought he was. After that though, Miyagi and Touya got another question right, making it 3-1.
Suddenly Kaisei went off on this rant that because there was one more question wouldn’t it be so much more interesting if it was two-two before the final question. In the end, the MC took one point from the Ramens team to make it two-one, so Kaisei didn’t quite win his argument but he tried his best. It basically meant that the final question would decide the winner.
Both teams wanted this point so much but watching these four guys trying to get out the whole title of that song was kind of excruciating but super-amusing at the same time. They were so close but most of the time they were all just saying the same wrong things over and over with slight variations, until I think the MC just got fed up and gave Kaisei the point even though he still missed out one word (that’s what happens when you’re cute). Also worth noting was Miyagi’s attempt at remembering the artist name but thinking her name was “Tayley”. He tried.
Next, was the ‘etude’ section. Before the event, they had asked fans to come up with quotes or situations the boys would have to use in a skit. In their teams, they would each take one at random, and have to use them both in their skit.
Touya: “You like me, don’t you?”
Miyagi: “Will my office let this kind of talk pass?”
Their skit involved Miyagi as a doctor, and Touya as his patient. Touya wanted to ask the doctor about why his heart was thumping so fast recently. They went back and forth a little and Miyagi was saying “Ah, I think I know what it is” and Touya said that it had started happening very recently when he saw this guy with really bright hair and a stethescope. Miyagi tried giving him the stethescope if that was what he wanted, but then Miyagi was suddenly like “I feel the same way! The moment you stepped into the room!” and Touya said his line and they stood up and were all excited but then Miyagi said his line and was worried it wasn’t right for them to have a relationship and he decided he would have to shoot Touya in an “If I can’t have you, no one can” kind of thing. So he pulled a gun from his back pocket and shot Touya. The end. Such a tragic story.
Kaisei: “Can you give me back the 500 yen I lent you?”
Kaisei immediately took the girl’s wig from the prop stand, as well as some glasses which he hooked on his sweater, and Kenya took a white coat. Their situation was that they were on a date at a restaurant. Kenya ordered three different salads (all with no meat) and then girl!Kaisei asked for a caesar salad. Kenya pointed out that it had meat in and girl!Kaisei told him he knew that and asked for it again. Kenya said, “is it okay without the chicken?” and girl!Kaisei didn’t miss a beat and looked like he was losing the will to live as he said, “sure, I hate chicken…” Of course they got onto the topic of Kenya being a vegetarian and girl!Kaisei was pretending to take it so well but he kept turning away and his face would turn from “I understand, it’s good being kind to animals!” to “who the hell is this freak I’m sitting opposite?” I always have been, but I was so impressed with Kaisei’s acting skills. Anyway, it seemed at this point girl!Kaisei had gotten so fed up of this date that he asked him the question from his card, “can you give me back the 500 yen I lent you?” and Kenya told him he didn’t have it on him. At which point girl!Kaisei was basically done with life.
For the third section, they showed off their individual skills.
First was Touya whose skill was solving a rubix cube. He said it wouldn’t be interesting if he just stood there and solved it, so he challenged himself to complete the whole thing in the time it would take the other three to solve one side. Of course, he managed it easily, and the other three looked on the verge of throwing the cubes across the room. Kaisei glared at his angrily the entire time he was trying to solve it, where as Miyagi was a lot more vocal about his failure to even get close to completing it.
Next, Kenya showed off his singing. I’d been very curious about how his real singing voice was since in character as Akazawa he had to sing very low and rough. It turns out his real singing is quite a lot higher, and that he sings really really well. I figured he probably could if he was doing it as his skill, but I was still pleasantly surprised. The song he sang was SEKAI NO OWARI’s Nemuri Hime. He was really nervous when he was about to start, but he seemed to lose it when he started singing.
They took a break from the special skills to solve the problem of who had won their competition by doing a tie-break round. A table appeared with four hamburgers sitting on it, and the challenge was that the one to eat the whole hamburger first would win it for their team. The amusement began right from them picking up the hamburgers, because they all had a tissue on the plate below the hamburger, but only Kaisei used his to pick it up. The crowd laughed a little at him and he glanced at the others to find they were all just holding theirs in their hand directly, and he made this big show of putting the tissue dramatically back down on the plate again. His need to conform was kind of amazing.
They started eating. Kaisei looked like he was having the worst time of his life and when he saw that Kenya was doing pretty well with his (Kenya was the one who eventually won) he just put the hamburger back down on the plate and gave up. Touya looked like he was hating every minute but when the round was over he said the burger was delicious and he wished he could have continued. In the end, with Kenya the winner, Miyagi and Kaisei had barely even eaten half of theirs, although Touya had done a little better. This left Kenya and Kaisei’s team as the winner overall.
Back to the special skills, and it was time for Kaisei to take his turn. I had been wondering what he would do, forgetting that he had mentioned several times in the past that he liked dance, so of course that was what he did. He really is a great dancer, although the style he chose for his performance was a little weird to me. It seemed more of the kind of dancing a sexy woman would do than a little 19 year old guy. When he finished, Kenya, who had basically laughed his way through the whole thing (while Touya had spent the whole time cringing), called it “erotic”. Which probably was the best way to describe it, but I’m not sure that he meant it as a compliment. By the way, for his dance he took off his shoes and socks, and I’m not sure how but at some point Touya ended up just standing there holding Kaisei’s sock…
Miyagi had disappeared off stage before Kaisei’s dancing, to prepare for his own performance. It was pretty obvious what he was going to do since there had been this huge drum kit at the back of the stage throughout the whole show. For some reason he had decided a costume change was necessary, but he finally got back on stage and took his place behind his drums. He had a headset on that he would listen to the song through while playing but it turned out when he started his performance, he couldn’t hear anything so he stopped and they tried to fix it. The other guys were great and immediately stepped forward to keep us entertained while Miyagi and the staff tried to solve the problem, and when they finally thought they had it fixed, he started again. Unfortunately, he had the same problem but this time he just decided to keep going. The song he did was ONE OK ROCK’S Re:Make. He was working so hard, and although there were some obvious timing errors and a few moments where he just stopped to try and get his pace back, he made it through the song. You could tell he was really disappointed but it really wasn’t his fault and he did the best he could in the circumstances. I admired him quite a lot for that.
With all their special skills displayed, it was time for the punishment for Touya and Miyagi for losing the competition. Their punishment for losing was that they had to drink a cup of really bitter tea.
Miyagi: “This isn’t just some normal spicy thing? This is my first time with something bitter.”
Touya: “I can’t even drink normal tea, so…”
Kaisei: “Water is prohibited.” (this kid is a demon, I swear)
After they drank it…
Touya: *can’t speak*
Kenya: “Do you need water?”
Miyagi: “Saliva is okay.”
Touya: *still can’t speak*
The last section of the event was a present giveaway, during which the guys would pull a random ticket stub from a box and give a prize to that person. They were giving away their own belongings. I’m not sure this was done in the best way, because the tickets all had the name of one of the guys on (when we bought the ticket we were asked to choose our favourite) and so when they pulled them out they were commenting on the name on the ticket. They probably should have separated the stubs by actor so that the prizes went to their fans, but oh well.
Touya – The rubix cube he solved before
Miyagi – His drum sticks
Kenya – The white coat he wore for his skit
Kaisei – A hakama he wore for one of the photoshoots for the event
When it came to them doing their final speeches, Touya was standing next to the MC. He was so nervous and worried that he’d have to go first that he quickly moved himself to the other end of the line, but then Miyagi piped up…
Miyagi: “Okay, let’s start from the other end! Go ahead, Touya!”
2nd show (4pm)
I don’t need to talk quite so much as this one because a lot of the content was the same as the first one, with just the changes in songs and a few different happenings.
The main theme of their introductory talk this time was about the state of Kaisei’s physique. Miyagi mentioned how skinny he looked in the outfit he was wearing, and then Kaisei mentioned he only ate one meal a day. Everyone was shocked but he explained that he usually gets up late, so it feels too late for breakfast. Then he eats lunch late and so feels no need for dinner. Miyagi then commented on the fact that he hadn’t eaten a bento while the others had between the shows. No wonder this kid is such a weak pale little stick.
The game this time was a simple quiz all about stage and stage plays. Again, they played janken to decide the team, and this time it ended with Miyagi/Kaisei vs Touya/Kenya. The moment Kaisei realised he was teamed with Miyagi, he just said “yada…” which Miyagi was not particularly impressed with.
Team names took an equally long time to come up with as the first time. Touya and Kenya spent a whole lot of time admiring each other’s faces in an attempt to come up with something, and eventually decided on “Nakibokuro” (泣きぼくろ, which basically translates as a mole under the eye) because Kenya noticed that Touya had one. This is the extent to which they were looking at each other’s faces. Miyagi and Kaisei named their team “Sodeguchi” or “袖口” which translates as “armhole”. I’m really not sure how this one came about…
When Kaisei got the first question right, he jumped to his feet and danced around Touya and Kenya’s chairs while sticking his tongue out at them. Miyagi decided he may as well join in as well.
There was this one question in the quiz and I’m not sure what it was (maybe something about the 3 most important things you need to do on stage?) but it took them forever to come up with the answer. Kenya was especially eager to answer this one but he said so many different wrong answers that he eventually couldn’t remember what he had said and what he hadn’t and kept getting these moments of Deja Vu where he would just stop and go, “… I said that already, didn’t I?” and everyone kind of lost the will to live.
Next was the etude section again.
Kaisei: (I forgot…)
(When Miyagi pulled out kabedon, the first thing Kenya said was “who is going to be the wall?” That guy and his kabedon obsession…)
Miyagi’s choice of props for his and Kaisei’s skit was somewhat questionable. I don’t even need to describe it because a Japanese fan on Twitter was kind enough to draw a picture of it. Their situation involved it being Kaisei’s birthday party. Miyagi walked in and Kaisei was looking sad, because it turned out that Miyagi was the only one to come (“Why is it that even though I advertised on Facebook and everywhere else, only YOU showed up???”). Miyagi was doing his best to get the excitement level up and cheer Kaisei up, and he said he would get him a cake. He went to the props stand and of course there was no cake there so he ended up coming back with a rainbow afro wig, which Kaisei got super angry at and threw to the floor. “I don’t have a cake and only YOU showed up!” He was super angry and crying. And the he stood up and Miyagi struck him with a kabedon. Even this didn’t seem to make Kaisei happy. He was still crying when the skit ended.
Kenya: “Zoo animal and keeper”
After the first team finished their skit, Kenya commented that Miyagi was still wearing the tutu. Miyagi said he liked it and didn’t want to take it off, but they commented on how they wanted to use it for their own skit, so he was forced to part with it.
Touya managed to make an umbrella out of the tutu and the plastic hammer, which was pretty impressive. He was walking along the street, when he came across Kenya on all-fours wearing rabbit ears. Kenya was making these weird animal noises and then when Touya came close he started attacking him. Touya was super calm and revealed he was one of the zoo keepers and that he would take him back. He said the zoo was called the “Sunny Zoo” and so if he took him back the weather would become good. He said before he could take him back, he would do a health check. He suddenly said “Hey, can you speak…?” and Kenya just went “… yep.” in this really low voice. Then Touya checked his heart beat with a stethescope around his neck and said, “wait… you’re actually a human, aren’t you?” And Kenya told him he was, and finally stood up straight. Touya asked him why he had been pretending to be an animal and he just said, “I always wanted to be a rabbit.” For some reason Touya then pulled a gun from his back pocket and tried to shoot him. Kenya ran off stage, and for the longest time Touya was just standing there pointing the gun and yelling at him to “come out!” Eventually, Kenya came out and they made friends. What a nice story.
For Touya’s rubix cube this time, to change it from the first show, he challenged himself to complete TWO whole cubes in the time it would take the other three to complete one side. Of course, he managed the challenge easily again. Kenya was really frustrated with himself because he came so close. He only had one out of nine to change. He gave his cube to Touya who solved it within about two seconds, and then gave it back to Kenya. Kenya held it up triumphantly and shouted “I did it! I did it!” but no one believed him.
Kenya’s song this time was Futari goto by RADWIMPS. Somehow he seemed even more nervous this time than he had been the first time, but of course, he made it through the whole thing just fine and sounded wonderful just again.
Kaisei’s dance this time was a little less erotic this time (thankfully) but he still looked super fabulous and did a great job. Both times I watched him I couldn’t help but keep my eyes on him the whole time. Seeing the way he dances in real life made sense of the fact that during the dances in the musicals, his movements were always a little more elegent than everyone else’s.
Finally was Miyagi’s drumming. He chose a ballad to sing this time, ONE OK ROCK’s Wherever you Are. He still seemed to be playing with his headset a little bit sometimes in the middle of the song, but he definitely had a better time hearing than he did the first time and he put on an amazing performance again from start to finish. He was so happy when he got through it that he just yelled “thank you!” at the top of his voice the moment he finished.
Again with the special skills finished, it was time for the punishment for the competition. Poor Touya, who had already lost in the first round, had of course lost again this time, but along with Kenya this time. Touya seemed to drink his tea a little more easily than the first time, and even had the energy to cruely take both his and Kenya’s water bottles and hold onto them so that Kenya who was clearly suffering couldn’t drink anything. But Kenya thought quickly and made his way to the other side of the stage, grabbing Kaisei’s bottle and taking a sip of that instead. Kaisei was not at all happy.
Again, they gave away presents by pulling random ticket stubs from a box. Touya and Miyagi gave away the same items as in the last show since obviously they had multiples. Kaisei’s was bunny ears he wore in one of the photoshoots (and which Kenya wore for his skit) and Kenya was unsure what to give away and ended up giving away the hair bands he was wearing round his wrist (did he forget he has short hair now?).
And with that, they did their short ending speeches again, and then the event finished.