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Hangry at AX '09 - P. Kristen Enos
pkristen
Hangry at AX '09
[Update Sep 3:  I decided to tag this as an honorary Active Voice column since it was what really inspired to start writing it again.  This story is about my latest/last encounter with Japanese pop idol Hitomi "Yossy" Yoshizawa, formerly of the singing group Morning Musume and currently of the duo Hangry & Angry (with Rika Ishikawa).  I would recommend that you google her  before reading this installment, or read my own summary starting at H&A at Sakura Con '09, Part 1: This really begins over 20 years ago.  At the least, it's enough to know that's she's VERY popular with women of all nationalities.]


Since this story overlaps with what would have been my final Sakura Con installment, I realized I needed to write this first and see what would be leftover for me to write to close out that first con experience.

 

This really began a few days before Sakura Con, when I had been visiting my lesbian friends in Eugene, Oregon. I came armed with videos of IshiYoshi and other H!P material to show what I was up to, and to balance out hours of Takarazuka musicals they were going to show me.

 

In the course of my five day stay, the ‘Zuka fan Rachel also became a Y wota. To the point that during the Elder Club’s “Thank You For Your Love” concert, she griped about how feathers didn’t belong in Y’s hair.

 

And when I finally arrived home from the trip, I left her a message that if she wanted a verbal play-by-play of my Sakura Con experience (instead of waiting for me to write it up), she needed to call me. She called the next day and I gave her the tantalizing details.

 

In the time between the two conventions, I had other H!P things to occupy my time. One of them was sorting through my almost 2,000 official Y photos that I had either bought directly from Hello! Shop or via Japan auctions. Of course, this included a lot of duplicates.

 

Since I’m not one to easily throw things away if I know someone would value them, I decided to compile a few for Rachel as part of a gift package. I sent Rachel an email stating what I had in mind and that I assumed she wanted pics of butch Yossy. Rachel responded emphatically “Yes! The butchier the better!”

 

So with that rule in mind, I started to compile a dozen or so photos that I determined would be good: Mr. Moonlight, Gatas, Kanashimi Twilight, etc. Finally, as almost a joke, I included this photo with the thought “Well, she did state she wanted BUTCH!”

 
flannel

 

When Rachel got her package, she sent me an enthusiastic email stating how much she loved the pictures. But her favorite one was the plaid shirt shot because Y was just so cute and adorable.

 

When I read that email, I thought incredulously “You’re kidding!”

 

(Mind you, this would have been the same reaction I’d have had if I had witness some person gush over R in her more bizarre V-U-Den costumes.)

 

So I laughed about it as just another quirkiness of the people I call my friends. Yet I admit I could see where Rachel was coming from, though I would not have rated that picture higher than the others I had sent.

 

Fast forward to AX and the announcement that Hangry & Angry would appear.

 

Like everyone else, I was thrilled, even though I already felt like I had the ultimate fan experience at Sakura Con. But when it was clarified that it would only be H, I relaxed a little. As I’ve stated before, Y without I (and vice versa) is not as interesting to me, but I wanted to be the supportive fan nevertheless.

 

Unsurprisingly, it was announced that H would do an autograph session that Friday, and that’s when the idea struck me to get the plaid shirt photo signed as a gift for Rachel. Doing that would give me a real goal to try to achieve at AX, especially since I wasn’t as passionate of an MM fan, though I really wanted to see them perform.

 

As AX drew nearer, I started to have some personal doubts with my plan. First of all, that picture would not be in the top 99% of Y pictures that I would want signed. But I had to remind myself that the picture is for Rachel and not me.

 

Second of all, I was honestly concerned that I might offend or embarrass Y in some fashion. After all, it’s not exactly a representative photo of her attractiveness, even during that time period. And I could see a more cynical person responding in a defensive manner. However, my gut instinct told me that Y was a classier person than that.

 

Third, this could possibly be the last time that I would EVER have the opportunity for her to sign something and I would be wasting it on something like this. I had to remind myself that up until that point, Sakura Con was the best autograph experience possible and I wasn’t expecting to ever top it.

 

Still, I can be stubborn when my mind is on a mission. But I did seriously think that I should learn how to say in Japanese “It’s for a friend.” Just in case.

 

So for my first real task of opening day at AX I had bought my FOURTH H&A CD just to secure an autograph ticket, (though I now only own three since I gave one to Rachel). I also read in the rules that “The artist Hangry will only sign ‘Hangry’” which was cool for me since I already had my ‘Hangry’ autograph from Sakura Con. And once I read that the autograph was guaranteed, I was able to participate in the rest of AX with low expectations and be grateful for whatever other good might come out of it.

 

After some infamous AX autograph line drama, I was finally in queue to get this photo signed. I had brought other Y pictures just in case I changed my mind at the last second (like I had done at Sakura Con.) 

 

So imagine things from Y’s possible perspective: You’re charismatic and hot. Women and men are crazy about you. And you’re signing item after item of H&A material with an occasional H!P item slipped in. You haven’t even looked up from finishing the last person when someone puts down a picture of you at age 18 when you’re in your chubby period and dressed in dyke casual wear of a t-shirt and a flannel over shirt…

 

Y just stared at the picture for a moment and declared a surprised “Wao!!!” (I think that was the sound.) She then looked at me, and I gave her a sheepish smile, which showed my very real embarrassment. And I decided to take responsibility by NOT mentioning that it was for a friend.

 

Then she just smiled and signed “Hangry”…

 

and I reached for the picture in thinking that she was done…

 

and then she also signed “Yossy” and handed it to me.

 

I was floored and managed to blurt “Thank you!”

 

(Now, some jaded fans told me that if you had just asked Y to sign “Y”, she would have done it. But the point is that I didn’t ask her to sign anything. She did it on her own!)

 

And so I left the autograph area thinking “I’m keeping this photo. What Rachel doesn’t know won’t hurt her!”

 

Every fan I talked to agreed with me. (And, Rachel, if you ever read this, I’ll find a way to make it up to you!)

 

But the real icing on the cake came when I checked the message boards and looked at scans of other people’s items that Y had signed as “Y”.  And I thought something looked… different

 

I really hadn’t studied her autograph since I had quickly put it away for safe keeping. It wasn’t until Sunday night that I finally pulled the photo out again and noticed what that difference was: she had put a heart in her Y sig.

 

signed

 

Sorry, Rachel, you are NEVER getting this picture…

 
* * *
 

Though, on an IY note:   I did point out to fellow AX attendee and IY fan DifferentStory12 that it was cute that Y signed the H&A poster not only with “H”, but also “A” with the heart as well. 

 
handa
 

Maybe that was a theme for her this weekend. ;)

 

(And congrats to the JPHiPsters for winning the poster in the charity auction!)

 

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