Pretty much, one could argue the title says it all :-)
Anyhow, this weekend was the end of the Sapporo Snow Festival, as well as the time for the SNOW MIKU LIVE! 2019 anniversary concert.
Those concerts seem to be not the easiest things to get on to, as I’ve had to book my ticket all the way back in November!
Moreover, it wasn’t just a regular «buy and off you go» kind of thing. You sign up to participate in a lottery, and if you get picked, then you have a chance to actually buy the ticket.
Probably, there is some kind of regular sale going on later, but considering the popularity of the events… I’d say the lottery is a way more reliable way, unless you have 20+ years experience in ebay sniping :-)
So, fast forward to the day of event and I come up to Zepp Sapporo to line up with all the other folks in a very well organized queue, totaling to somewhat about 5000 people…
Eventually we get all moved into the building, where I proceed to buy the penlight (it’s my first Miku event attendance, so how could I not!) and quickly move over to the actual concert hall.
The picture below is the only one I could take, not only due to pictures being not allowed, but due to the fact the flow of people into the room made me wonder if this is actually
tar cvf . - | gzip --best > Zepp.tgz. Even if so, they did a pretty darn good job at packing people in there.
The event itself was just astonishing. Seriously, I’m lost for words. The volume was a tiny bit on the harsh side, probably (to the extent that on some tunes I only heard the bassline, drums and that high frequency distortion your average DAC makes).
One minor thing is I’ve been outside the whole Vocaloid scene for quite a while. As in, buying a fer albums then making one playlist 6~7 years ago and not updating it ever since. And yet, they managed to deliver, by playing some good old classics for those of us who are stuck in time! In particular, that was wowaka — ローリンガール, iroha(sasaki)/kuma(alfred) — 炉心融解, NoriP — 右肩の蝶, and to top it off, kz/livetune — Packaged.
Dang it, if they added something like ryo — 積乱雲グラフィティ, I’d probably be already lying dead on the floor crying from all the nostalgia. They say that the 2nd day got some other classics, like Yellow or World is Mine, so good for them too :-)
Pretty much I’ve kinda got back a piece of my good ol’ 2012, except for that back then I was staring into source code while glancing at the video of MikuPa on the second monitor where all the fun happened, but this time I’ve got to experience the whole thing first-hand. The drive was extremely high and by the end of the event I could barely walk or think, as exhausted as if I were playing the whole set myself.
There were some people cosplaying and I’d surely come up and have a chat or a photo if it was not for the fact I was soaking with sweat, and it was somewhat around -10⁰C outside! I rushed for the subway and home as fast as I could, and then managed to survive the rest of the day along the usual weekend scenario.
The next Sunday and Monday, which I reserved a day off work for, were planned to be wasted on sleep and gazing at monitors, until a sudden change was introduced.
Enter Saya Scarlet.
Yep, exactly her who appeared in 「Youは何し日本へ？」 a couple of years ago, a video of which then went viral all over Japanese twitter.
Pretty much, that video was the only thing I knew about her up until that point.
As I said, I’ve seen some cosplayers on the event, and considering this is a Miku event, I’d pretty much be fairly sure she’s gonna be there, too. A quick glimpse of curiosity and a quick web search lead me to her VK profile and, not really thinking anything, I drop her a message asking whether she’s been there. A few texts later I learn that there seems to be a whole myriad of Miku collaborations all over Sapporo, which I blatantly never even heard of. And also that she is coming to Sapporo the next day.
Some texts later, she introduces me to some guy Aoiro-san who is apparently helping with all the planning and stuff. She said the best option would be to meet them at the airport, but making it all the way to Chitose at about 10AM, when it is already 2AM, is barely doable (not to mention fairly expensive). The next spot on their plan is Magic Spice… which turns out to be roughly a block away from my home.
Being the idiot I am, I’ve packed myself up with some cup ramen that morning already, so at the spot I’ve only tried their Miku soda thing and believe me, it’s something worth going there for already!
Moving along we go to Sapporo Factory, which greets us with all the possible Miku goodness you can imagine.
And some folks asking to take photos, who also did mistake Saya for someone who’s been on the concert the day before :-)
Those creatures, they just have such a dumb look on their face, you just see it and know it won’t survive in this cruel world with such a dumb face, it’s like crying to you: «Save me, take me home with you», how can you even resist!
(though I somehow resisted placing the preorder on this one, mostly due to real-estate concerns :-)
Few hours later, I leave Saya and Aoiro to the concert and go home for a quick rest. After the concert, Gleb comes up from the office and joins us, bringing some sweet Hokkaido Melon beer right to the spot :-)
We try to go to the Mirai.St cafè, but all the items on the Miku menu are sold out, so we just move on to the game floor and spend the rest of the day playing whatever. There was just one thing that left me puzzled, though, and that is, why did every time someone willing to take a picture with Saya came up to us, they asked the permission from me?
So, with a peaceful final, ends the day 2.
Or wait, it doesn’t really. Turns out Saya forgot her coat in my backpack. Right before having to go to a photoshoot near lake Shikotsu the next day. In the middle of winter.
And I realized that only while already approaching home, thinking: It seems to me I still forgot something today… and why is my backpack so heavy, btw?
Roll day 3.
While waiting for Saya and Aoiro to return back to Sapporo, I’ve been running some errands around Ōdōri, and decided to pay a visit to the snow festival finally, as we’d probably not have any time once they return.
What I can say… even «mindblowing» is not enough to express the scale and beauty of it!
The kiosk was right in front of the Snow Miku sculpture… made of snow, of course, which also got some colors once the sun has set enough for the lights to kick in.
Being famous is no easy thing in the streets, if you don’t get away on time you might as well be stuck forever in the crowd around you!
(dang it, just looking at this photo makes me freezing…)
There was also an official Snow Miku vending machine…
…which didn’t accept WAON.
I mean seriously, it’s quite common sense that a vending machine painted with the same artwork as the card should accept the card no questions asked?
Though there is a vending machine near Sapporo station which has WAON logo all over it but no WAON option on the card reader anyway, so it seems it’s common, even though it makes no sense.
Up next, Mirai.St cafe, in which this time we could get what we wanted, albeit not without an accident of sorts… I mean, I fully understand Saya’s disappointment when the menu turned out to be all out again. But the extra effort the staff made to go out of their usual way and actually do serve us that famous Miku parfait, it just reminds us how much Japanese people can do for their clients, which makes the Japanese service famous worldwide.
There was also this ハンバーグ (no idea of proper translation, not really a cutlet, but nowhere near something you usually call a hamburger, too) on their Miku menu, though I really have no idea how it is related.
Having had no breakfast and time being 8PM already, this was probably the best ハンバーグ I’ve had so far in my whole life.
And as you’d expect, there were lots and lots of Miku cosplayers at the place, too.
Because there is no such thing such as too much Miku, right!
And then off to the Norbesa’s ferris wheel with the Snow Miku cabin.
The view is a bit plain after JR Tower, but still it is dang gorgeous.
Time flies and so up next we walk back to the snow festival once again.
That’s something they call “projection mapping” and it looks way more fascinating than it sounds!
(sorry for the analog video, but the phone recording, despite being 1080p in resolution, doesn’t even have a fraction of the quality zoom a proper old camera does)
…and there we part our ways, them going further on their journey and me going back to the daily routine of office work.
By that day I have still not fully realized what all that was and what has happened throughout these 3 days. That is quite common for pretty much any event that is extraordinary from the usual days.
Even the concert alone was a groundbreaking enough change to the flow of weekends to shake things up a tad bit.
Spending the other 2 days with a real Miku, in a fully fledged atmosphere with a shade of cyan, is however the extra surprise I could never probably even plan for.
Huge thanks to Saya and Aoiro for the great time together! You guys are totally awesome! これからもよろしくお願いします！