02 April 2013
Melos' Report on JKT48 Trainee Performance 130330
I (Melos) flew over to Jakarta the past weekend with a couple of other Singaporean friends to watch a JKT48 theater show. Being in the army now, I am not allowed the freedom I previously had to chase idols, but I was presented with a chance last weekend due to the Good Friday holiday to finally travel over to Jakarta and finally catch JKT48.
When my friends and I found out that there was only shows on Saturday for the whole weekend, we were in dismay, especially that it was a Trainee show. Of the 6 of us, 3 have seen a JKT48 theater show previously and their oshimens were in Team J. However the flights were already booked and we went forward with the plan.
I must state that I don't understand any Bahasa Indonesia. This is also my first time watching a JKT48 performance live or hearing any AKB48 stage song remade in Bahasa Indonesia. That was kinda strange at the start but eventually I got used to it.
JKT48 Trainee Pajama Drive Stage
30 March 2013
14:00 / 19:00
Alicia Chanzia, Cindy Yuvia, Della Delila, Dena Siti Rohyati, Dwi Putri Bonita, Jennifer Rachel Natasya, Lidya Maulida Djuhandar, Natalia, Noella Sisterina, Novinta Dhini, Octi Sevpin, Ratu Vienny Fitrilya, Rona Anggreani, Sinka Juliani, Thalia Ivanka Elizabeth, Viviyona Apriani
One of my friends applied for Super Enpou tickets for us but it was only until later that we found out that he could only get one Super Enpou seat for the whole trip. We thus applied for Far tickets but lost for both. Luckily we managed to win the General tickets but that meant we had to leave it to luck for our seating positions.
And for the first stage we were sitting all the way at the back, just before the standing area. It was a huge disappointment but now that I think of it it wasn't so bad. Since it was the first time for all of us to watch the trainees it gave us a broad perspective and a chance to get to know the members more before picking who we liked. Getting to know 16 members from scratch was difficult but in particular Rona caught my attention for most of the show. My friends also found a liking to Alicia, Della, Dena, Dwi and Noella.
Rona caught my eye from the start, even though most of the time she was on the opposite side of the stage (we were seating on the left back of the theater and she was mostly on the right side). That girl just sparkles like a gem. Although I was trying to look at every member evenly I kept being drawn back to her. I have a feeling she will be one of the center figures for JKT48's Team K when it finally forms. As for the other performing members, I was equally impressed by them. I have seen AKB48 and their sister groups perform before in Singapore and I have to say even though they are only trainees who debuted 3 months ago, they definitely can hold our on their own.
The fan chants came as a culture shock to me. Usually for slow songs you don't shout the MIX but in Indonesia the fans shout it for almost every song. And apart from the usual tigerfirecyber... There was also urya-oi which you might hear in other idol groups but not AKB48, as well as other stuff I didn't catch. It took some time adjusting but eventually I got the hang of it and I had a fun time.
For the 2nd show, we were extremely lucky and managed to get the front row seats. I have never ever gotten a front row view for any of the AKB48 performances in Singapore and so I was quite excited. Even better when the stage lights finally came on and Rona was standing right in front of me. In the words of my friend, I was seduced perfectly by her. Hook, Line, Sinker. I didn't expect to choose anyone on my first trip but I think what I experienced was enough to call her my Oshimen already. I hurriedly wrote a her a letter right after the show and I hope the staff did pass it to her. I apologise for the biased-ness of this post towards Rona but she did make a huge impact on me.
Now lets get on to more serious stuff.
In the second MC of the 2nd show (the one right after the unit songs) Dena suddenly fainted. There was no warning whatsoever, she just dropped onto the floor.
At first most people thought it was part of a joke. Before she fainted 3 other girls were doing a manly rendition of Tenshi no Shippo and even for me who didn't understand anything I thought it was lolwtf. And then Dena fell down. You know, like how those Japanese comedians "fall down" when the joke is so bad. But when she didn't move after a while even after the members prodded her, the whole mood of the theater changed. Fans started shouting Dena's name and eventually a staff member carried her backstage.
The rest of the girls continued the MC after that as if nothing happened but it was obvious that they too were worried about Dena. She didn't appear for the rest of the songs after that and was replaced at times by another trainee. Instead of the usual encore chant, this time the fans shouted Dena's name to call her back out but still there were no news about her. Ultimately at the final goodbye she reappeared back out on stage but had to be supported by 2 other girls. She explained to us that she wasn't feeling well at the start of the show but decided to continue performing for her fans.
Seriously man that scared the shit out of me. You hear about these stuff happening to AKB48 members once in a while but to see it right in front of your eyes is a whole different thing. If not for her appearing on stage at the last moment I don't think any of us could have left the Theater in a happy mood. Please girls take care of yourselves. Making us happy is important to you but we can't be happy if something happens to you girls. I wish all the best to Dena to recover so she can get back in stage soon.
Points to improve upon:
Their current bingo system is quite unorganized. Shortly before the bingo starts, The fans will just start crowding outside the theater. The is no indication to to where which number stands at, everyone is just standing everywhere. Furthermore the man announcing the numbers sometimes doesn't get heard by those standing towards the back. And finally if you might miss your number and not even know it because there is no record of the numbers called.
My suggestion would be to tape the floor with lines so the people with a certain number will be attending together. The announcer could use a megaphone and maybe they could type the numbers into the screen to reference.
The sound system was quite bad too, often the music was too loud and drowned the girls' singing. My hearing didn't feel right after I left the theater, I think I partially lost my hearing on my left ear for a while. The rest is just minor technical difficulties like the music getting cut for a few seconds. I could be unlucky for that day though because I was told it was new sound engineer.
Other than that, I had a blast for the whole show. As I said earlier, I was quite impressed by the quality of the performance the JKT48 trainees provided. I was told by my friend that there is still a large gap between Team J members and the Trainees. If that is true then I can't wait to see them next time I go back to Jakarta maybe in May. But personally I think they are already ready to compete with the main Team J. I hope Team K gets formed soon and the girls get their own stage because they really deserve it. Thank you JKT48 Trainees for the awesome weekend. It will be a memory I will treasure.
I was told that Rona was from the outskirts of Jakarta and for her to perform in JKT48 she had to move in to those one-room apartments. She said before in some MC that her apartment doesn't have an air con or even a fridge. So my friends and I have came up with this fabulous idea that is the #FridgeForRonaFund and the #AirconForRonaFund. Please make this a tending topic in Twitter.