Saturday September 15th 2018
Tickets sales for Eternal Twilight started at 3:00 pm on April 8th. Long before 3:01, VIP tickets were sold out. I could only manage to buy a Regular ticket. Luckily, in July Mana decided to offer upgrade tickets and I was able to also buy the Meet & Greet. Back in April, I had not yet decided to go to Helsinki. I knew DSVI would be very expensive, but once I learned Mana and KAMIJO would be in Helsinki on the same day, I had no choice. I expected surprises, and I was right.
On September 15th at 9:00 am I walked to Gloria with my friends, who patiently remained in line all day for KAMIJO’s concert. Around noon, I left for Paasitorni Congress Center and the magic started. The location was beautiful: huge, elegant, with big stairs and tall ceilings. VIP were already there and I waited for my turn with my new friend Nami.
Once Regular tickets holders were let in, I noticed the stage, the blue catwalk and the several exhibitors desks. Surprisingly VIP tickets holders had decided to sit in front of the catwalk and not under the stage. I could not believe it. So Nami suggested to immediately take those empty seats. We ended up just in front of the four chairs for the guests.
The room was getting crowded, everybody was wearing incredible outfits. It felt like a movie set or a star wars summit (some Lolitas were rather exotic). The Lolita Tea Party in Milan (2013) and Eternal Twilight in Helsinki (2018) will always remain my best Lolita memories.
Once all the participants had arrived, the presenter walked the stage and the event begun. Mana was invited onstage. He wasn’t backstage, he entered from the back of the room like a God or a Goddess, you choose. He was wearing the new green blouse and very high platform shoes. I could not believe how often I had seen him this year. He walked past us and sat onstage. He was joined by a lady from Hellocon and a lady from Moi Meme Moitié. One chair had remained empty, but even “I” had no idea about what was going to happen. DSVI had let me hopeless about any public interaction between Mana and KAMIJO. The presenter announced the Q&A and she said that, for the occasion, a special Guests would join the stage to be Mana’s voice for the day. She then said KAMIJO’s name. Even then I wasn’t sure I had heard it right. It was only when I noticed his blond hair approaching behind the Lolitas that my brain processed what was really happening. I started screaming, just as the rest of the audience. KAMIJO was warmly welcomed by everyone. I turned towards Mana and bowed to thank him. He was looking my way and he noticed I was on top of the world. I certainly didn’t expect it. I texted my friends at Gloria “He’s here!”.
KAMIJO set next to Mana and they both seemed perfectly at ease. Occasionally speaking in each others ears. The Hellocon lady started making questions to Mana in English, the Moi Meme Moitié lady whisper them to Mana, to which he responded by whispering in KAMIJO’s ear, then KAMIJO would tell the answer in Japanese and the Moi Meme Moitié lady translated it into English. Mana was asked more or less 30 questions and more came in the second Q&A that took place after the Moi Meme Moitié’s fashion show. I only remember 23 of them though. Too much excitement affected my memory. If you are interested, you can find them below. All participants had been asked to submit questions for the Q&A. I was very happy to find out Hellocon had selected 4 of my questions (14, 16, 21!!, 22)
- What inspired you to start Moi Meme Moitie? He basically said he had noticed that the Lolita scene in Japan had many different styles except a darker and gothic version, so he came up with the idea of creating Gothic Lolita style. He found great inspiration in Gothic architecture.
- Why is blue your favorite color? He said that when he was a child he has a blue snoopy blanked and, as he liked that blanked a lot, blu became his favorite color.
- What is your favorite flower? Cherry blossom.
- What is your favorite country? He luckily (and wisely) replied Japan. It could be absolutely true though.
- Do you prefer rainy weather or sunny weather? Sunny weather because on sunny days it is possible to walk and enjoy nature, take walks in the park…
- What is your favorite season? Summer.
- Is there a country you would like to visit? He said Greece, because of the beautiful sea landscapes, even though he does not swim.
- Do you prefer coffee or tea? Coffee, from expresso machines, as the one he has at home.
- What is your favorite type of bird? Planes, though I am scared to fly.
- What is your favorite animal? Hattiwatters from Moomins.
- If you could have a super power what would it to be? See spirits. I have never seen one and I wish I could.
- What is your favorite food? Okonomiyaki (I am not sure of this answer. Can anyone confirm this?)
- What is your favorite fruit? Pineapple.
- What is your favorite book or what do you like to read? Scientific readings, especially about planes, and cookbooks.
- Have you ever had a pet? I am not good in taking care of animals, but I once had fishes and enjoyed watching them.
- What is your favorite pastime when you have free time? Go to shrines and wash my hands in the (dragon?) fountains. It makes me feel great.
- If you could go back in time in which era would you like to go? My late childhood/early adolescence. He mentioned games, ruffles and candies. He said it was a very happy and peaceful moment in his life and largely misses it.
- What is your favorite Lolita item? Crosses necklaces.
- Is there any chance for a new picture book such as (I’m sorry I don’t remember that name, could have been Bara No Rondo, Livre Ros’e Blanche, Bara No Higeki, Merveilles or Philosophy)? Maybe.
And now, the spicy moments…
20. You have accomplished a lot with your fashion brand. What could be the next step for Moi Meme Moitié? Mana whispered to KAMIJO’s ear and KAMIJO said “Really?!”, sounding shocked and surprised. It turned out the answer was: “Lingerie”. I applauded enthusiastically and made sure Mana noticed. How could I not want to wear Lingerie designed or approved by Mana?!
21. What’s your favorite place in Japan? Again, Mana whispered to KAMIJO’s ear and he replied in English with a super sexy voice “My bed!”. I thought I would faint. Of course he meant his own bed, but the double meaning implied was powerful (as they had skipped the regular process of waiting for the translator to answer). Some girls in the back giggled. I though it was really nice. A bit of humor and naughty jokes felt good. An informal moment out of the cages of cautious schemes.
22. What is your biggest dream? Moi Dix Mois World Tour (how can this be if he hates flying?)
23. What is your favorite drink? (And here we go with the most shocking reply of the day). I thought he would say Jack Daniels. Instead he replied “Pineapple juice”. Another innocent answer? I wanted to disappear from the face of the Earth.
After the Q&A KAMIJO kneeled in front of Mana and left the venue to reach Gloria. I could not stop but wondering whether Mana would make a surprise appearance during KAMIJO’s concert that night. Unfortunately he didn’t.
However, the two of them looked very close and amused, exactly the opposite of what they looked like at DSVI. I wish I knew why. Is it really so mind bothering to them the idea of playing together? Why? Is this really the last frontier now?
Moi Meme Moitié fashion show followed. I loved it. I counted at least 30 girls. They walked the stage in couples. The couples were selected in such a way that each girl would have the same height. Some held hands. They all looked like goth sisters, very powerful. The soundtrack included a different Moi Dix Mois song for each couple. I lost contact with reality.
After MmM fashion show, there was a second Q&A to Mana. This time he would not need a voice, because he would draw the answers on a piece of paper. The audience was asked to guess his replies and after that he would show his drawings. I enjoyed a lot this part of the event. It felt informal and funny. Very useful to learn something more about Mana. Concerts are great but they leave short room for surprises nowadays. The double Q&A was pure fun. I am so glad the organizers came up with this idea.
After the second Q&A we could enjoy the second fashion show with many different Lolita brands (I do declare, AliceHolic, Puvithel and probably others I can’t recall now), and I must say I deeply enjoyed this one as well. The outfits were stunning and the soundtrack very inspiring (Cosmic Storm by A. Himitsu).
In between all these incredible moments, we had time to visit the exhibitors desks and buy lolita items. I wish the day would never come to an end, but in a while we would be in line for Mana’s Meet & Greet, just before rushing to Gloria for Kamijo’s Meet & Greet, Concert and Checki. Doesn’t this sound too much for a human being to endure in a single day?