I was told about his mother just before going in to the first show. My friends hesitated but in the end decided to tell me. It totally changed my mood and my feelings about the show. I felt really mellow, but more than that I was wondering how he would react.
When he first came out in Wonder Boy it looked like he had lost weight. His eyes looked really tired as well. For a while I thought maybe I was imagining all of it and just putting things on him. But the 8Ranger skit was hurried and there were times he seemed to be dragging. He did talk excitedly at the part where he complains about the other members. He said that he has the first line in Wonderful World, and we all clapped and cheered for him. He seemed pretty happy and kept talking about how great it was. He then said he had even better news – Hina is still in the second part! He said he teased Hina, but Hina being the positive person he is, just replied “I’ll do my best.”
The MC was a pretty safe topic. He just talked about the prefecture and avoided mentioning anything about his family. It didn’t hurt that he couldn’t understand the stuff that people were yelling at him and that took up a lot of time. One time he seemed to be getting frustrated so he asked just one person to yell. Some people raised their hands, but he kept saying just one person without picking anyone. Then, when he said “sei no!” a bunch of people yelled and he got mad. “I said ONE person!” (He’s done this before at other shows on the tour, what does he expect?).
Apparently something called jakokatsu (and jakoten – they sell it at the station) is popular there. They also mentioned taimeshi. Yoko asked where Ehime was, and thought that Kagoshima was nearby. But at least he didn’t say Ehime was in Tohoku. I think he thinks pretty much anything that isn’t Kansai is in Tohoku. Someone mentioned that Tokushima was famous for ramen but Yoko didn’t believe them. Yoko also talked about how they had this great candy from catering during a JaniBen filming. He worked up the nerve to go talk to one of the staff he had never talked to and asked them what it was called and where to get it because he wanted to try it. It is only sold in Nagoya apparently. Yoko said he was planning to stock up next week when he has the Nagoya shows. (BTW its called Koucha Lemon). He also talked about these sembei that you can only get in Osaka (or Kansai), and that he can’t find them in Tokyo. One of people I was with kept saying that she buys them, and she doesn’t like in Kansai.
When it came time for the last song I felt my heart drop. Yoko was standing on stage, alone, looking almost lost. He had a very bitter smile and said something along the lines of, “Thank you all very much. I’m sure some of you know, but, well.” People were shouting out to him to do his best. One girl not too far from me (I think) yelled for him to not push himself. He told us that he was OK. Already people were sniffling and crying. As Yoko sang he faced the screen. He had never done that, especially not for that long. He made it to the part where he talks (お母ちゃん僕は何してあげれた？) and left that entire bit silent. You could hear the fans sniffling. He came back in with the chorus, turning to face the audience (although his head was down) rather than the screen.
The second show he was much better. He seemed a bit happier and in better spirits. My guess is that he was pushing himself and trying to control things in the first show not knowing how he would react. Then, once he saw he was OK and could do it, he let himself go. He didn’t say anything like this, but that is how I took it.
Before Chocolate, Yoko has a short MC. He mentioned that in the first show people were talking about a famous food there, taimeshi. He said he looked it up and it really is different from what he imagined. He said that maybe he will have it, and asked where to go. No one seemed to know, but someone people asked “where are you going?” Yoko finally said he wasn’t really going to have it (but I don’t remember what he was going to have). After he talks a bit, Yoko calls the Veterans out to help him put on his coat, and a different mic and all. Sometimes Kunta jokes around or doesn’t do things right, so Yoko picks on him and gets mad. This time, Yoko was taking a while towling off, so he made Kunta talk. Kunta said “Hi, I’m Kunta.” And a few other things, before Yoko stopped him.
In the Ranger skit, when he talks about the other members, he seemed a lot more happy. When he mentioned the names and what they did, people would clap. He would get mad saying that they weren’t there and this was his show (he’s done this at other shows, and it may have happened at the first show too). Yoko mentioned that Yasu is now very very dark, and he was surprised at how black he is when they met. He said that Ohno did that once and got in trouble, so we will see if that happens with Yasu. They had the PV filming so Yasu will be very dark for that. When he said Hina’s name, one girl squealed and Yoko said he would pass her feelings on to Hina. When he came to the part where he complains about Red, Yoko went on for a bit. “If I had long hair, would I be able to sing the cool parts? I could toss my hair back like Red. I want to be cool like him. Doesn’t he look really cool when he yells Misetekure? I could never do that.” Someone yelled for him to try. “I can’t. It would be so normal. Misetekure. See, it’s normal. I can’t do it like him and lean back while yelling.” He leaned back like Subaru always does. I don't remember if this was at the first show or the second one, but Yoko said "Did you know that I sing the opening for Zukkoke. Of course you did. I'm the one who says 1, 2, 1, 2, uh!" But it sounded a bit bitter (although that could have just been the mood of the day, or a combination of many things).
I think this happened here (start of the ranger bit), not in the MC, but he looked up and noticed that someone was moving on the second floor. Yoko asked if they were going to the bathroom but then noticed they were going back to their seat. “Oh, you are coming back. I see.” He saw a few other people, and he would say something to them. One girl came back and her seat was in the first row. He said some things to her but she didn’t react at all. In fact she tended to ignore him during her long walk down the aisle. It was weird.
When the old woman goes to jump over the river, it looked like the staff was messing with it a bit. Usually it is low, but sometimes Kikuoka can’t quite get over the top. When the old man comes out he always complains about how he is itchy. This time, before Black goes off on his journey, he turned to the old man. “Are you not itchy anymore?” So, Bun had to go on and on about how itchy he was. He even made Kikuoka scratch his back. When Black meets the dog, someone messed up the lines a bit or something because Kunta’s part changed a little. Finally, before they go fight the demons, they started this “mokkuri” bit with Monkey!Bun (I think it was Nagasaki or Saga when it started). When he did it in the first show, Black told us all to look there, and Bun agreed. “Please look here!” Yoko made him do it again, with us all looking. When he said it, Yoko reached behind him and pulled the fabric of the clothes even tighter. In the second show when he said it, Yoko told him to look down. He was doing it in front of an older man/father who was there with three women (Yoko said they looked like his daughters). Yoko told him to do it again, and when Bun said his line, he added “just like his father!” at the end.
Yoko actually talked a lot in the MC, and this time didn’t spend the entire time polling the audience about what was famous. He mentioned, again, that he remembered coming there on the 47 tour. He also mentioned the castle again and said that as they were pulling up someone yelled “Lame!” (or something along those lines – how would you translate しょぼい? Boring? Dull? Would you do it more like がっかり? In any case, I thought lame fit.) In the first show Yoko said he couldn’t remember who said it, but in the second show he said he wasn’t sure but it sounded like something either Ryo or Subaru would say. He said he was thinking the same thing, but he didn’t actually say it.
Yoko said hi to the dad and said it was nice of him to be there with his daughters. The dad waved his arms and he was holding a penlight. Yoko said there seemed to be a number of kids there. He talked about old shows – Gakibara and Uso. He couldn’t remember who was on them, and he couldn’t remember was Uso was about. Some people yelled names and he couldn’t believe that Toma was on Uso (although I clearly remember an episode with Yoko and Toma going to see some dog nose taster lady). Yoko said he has been in the company for 14 years and asked if there were any people who were 14. Some raised their hands. He said they wouldn’t know Gakibara and Uso for sure.
Yoko talked about his weight. He said that he has tried a number of diets. He said his heaviest was when he was 25. But his lightest was during The Quiz Show. He said he barely ate during that time and was always hungry. He said sometimes if he was hungry he would eat these really light vegetables. He said a good way to help with a diet is to drink vegetable juice. It is supposed to help your body digest or something. He wanted some diet ideas and was passing on his own experiences.
Yoko talked about the venue. He said that Kanjani8 used to do shows in the Shochikuza. He said that the Ehime venue held about 2000 people, but the Shochikuza was only 1000. He said that must mean that if you cut the venue in half you would have the Shochikuza. But he thought the stage in Osaka didn’t seem quite that small. I don’t think he realized that the shape is different and the rows don’t go as far back or as far to the sides. Plus the hanamichi comes straight out, not to the side.
Yoko mentioned that one time in the Shochikuza they had some mic problems and the sound wasn’t coming out. But Hina spoke in a really loud voice. I think this was the time in Another’s Another when they did a special showing later (after the final show) and that day they also did a handshaking event with everyone there. Yoko also said that he was on stage a lot (over 300 times) in 2006. Dream Boys, Enbujo, FTON, Another’s Another and KanFuu (he left out the fall tour).
He also talked about the single and the PV. He said they did the PV filming and six magazines on Thursday (OK, so the PV may have been on Friday, I thought he said they were the same day, but maybe I was wrong or he was wrong, whatever - he was busy all week). He said that Maru especially was in good spirits. He said that whenever Maru gets hyper he shows his butt. He showed it to Subaru and Subaru put some toilet paper on it. Not too long after Ryo came in to the room. Ryo said “Hey! Maru! Show me your butt!” According to Yoko (who was watching the whole time), Ryo got on one knee and Maru put his butt near Ryo’s face. When Maru pulled his pants down the toilet paper was hanging there. Yoko then apologized for this talk.
Before Onigishi the atmosphere changed again. Yoko did a similar sort of talk. “Thank you all for coming. It’s been great. (pause) I know that some of you probably know. (pause, cue sniffling from the audience). I’m OK. I’m really OK. My brothers are OK. We are not alone. Yesterday the Veterans and Kiriyama came to my house. The Vetereans helped clean. Some of them stayed for dinner. Kiku and (someone else) had to leave early, but they did help clean. Bun was in the kitchen for some reason. But really, they were a great help. I have lots of people supporting me. We are OK.”
This time he didn’t spend the entire song looking at the screen and instead faced the audience, even looking up. He even made it to the talking part. But when he got to the “でももうそれも遅いんやんな？” he started to coke up. He finished the part somehow but couldn’t sing the next part. The audience immediately took it up for him until he could come back in. (We sang this part: オニギシが食べたいよオニギシしかだめなんだよ。ちょっとしょっぱいオニギシを作って
In both the first and second show, Muro Tatsuki (the oldest of the three brothers) came out holding Yoko’s signboards. The in the second show, after the second encore (the one where he sings Giga majime ga Fight) someone in one of the first few rows threw something on to the stage. When Yoko came out for the next encore he noticed it immediately. “What is this?” “It’s a present for you!!” He looked at it and put it on the stairs. We all sang Cool Magic City. And Yoko left his present. When he came out for the last encore (because we wouldn’t leave), we sang Zukkoke again (he had us sing most of it). And he left the present again.
It's been a while since I wrote one of these...... This is all I can remember at the moment.
Of course something came to mind that Yoko said in the MC *after* I posted, but oh well. Adding it as a PS here in case anyone didn’t see it.
When he was talking about his weight, Yoko mentioned that he tried to get slim for Haikei. But because of the character, he was told not to loose to much, and maybe even to gain a little. So he started eating more, and then the weight wouldn’t come off.