Introduction to Earphones
A short introduction about Earphones for the uninitiated. Earphones is a seiyuu unit group formed directly from 2015’s ‘Sore ga Seiyuu‘ (Seiyu’s Life!), which is an anime based on the 4-koma doujin by Masumi Asano. The story revolves around 3 rookie seiyuus and follows their journey on surviving in the industry, recording sessions, and eventually forming an idol unit.
Takahashi Rie (Rieri) is perhaps the most prominent member of the group, and became popular after back-to-back main roles in Konosuba (Megumin) and Re:Zero (Emilia). Her unit colour is yellow, and her stage position is usually on the left (from the audience point of view). She is referred by the other two as the leader of the group, and her official position is ‘Sister Leader’.
Kouno Marika (Marinka) has grown in prominence lately with main roles in Mitsuboshi Colors (Sat-chan) and Uma Musume (Silence Shizuka). Her unit colour is blue, and she is usually the center of the group. Her position is ‘Noise Beauty’.
Nagaku Yuki (Gakkyu) often goes unnoticed but I do think she compliments the other two well. Her most recent lead role was in Hajimete no Gal (Yukana). Her unit colour is pink, and she usually stands on the right of the stage. Her position is ‘Strawberry Princess’.
Their debut song is Mimi no Naka e (Lit.: Into your Ears) and they refer their fans as Komaku-chan (Eardrums).
This was the last leg of their 東名阪 (Toumeihan – Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka) Some Dreams tour, and it was held at Toyosu Pit.
Pre-live (Buppan, queuing)
This was actually my first time attending a live in Japan (
It was an impulse trip). I heard of the crazy long lines for buppan (物販: merchandise sales) for some of the artistes before. I reached at around 11.30am, 3 hours before the start time of 1.30pm. As expected, there was a queue already, but thankfully there were only about 50 people ahead of me, so I went to sit down and stoned for 3 hours under the hot summer sun. (It was raining the day before, and the next day, I’ll talk about this in the live notes later)
At around 12pm, they started to set up the caravan selling the official food(s) for the event. Of course there has to be food to make the experience a more complete one, right?
The staff came to reorganise the queue at about 1pm, and at this time I was doing some image training of myself speaking in Japanese for my orders lol. The sales started at 1.30pm sharp, and I had to tell the staff that she made a calculation mistake for my orders lol. After that, it was time to queue for the food. Each member of Earphones had an item named after them. I got Marinka’s kakigori (shaved ice with syrup) and Gakkyu’s tebasaki (chicken wing tips) since I couldn’t eat beef. (Rieri’s diced beef cubes) The food wasn’t fantastic, but I’m thankful for the caravan because it meant we didn’t need to go elsewhere to find food.
Outside the venue, there were fans preparing their handmade gifts for the girls, and also some fans who were recruiting Komaku-chans to join the uchiage party (offkai, after party). Being there alone and having a limited command of Japanese made me apprehensive about joining that. I would like to join one of these in the future though.
At around 4pm, the gift boxes for them were brought out. There was a box for each member, as well as a collective box for the group. I dropped off my gifts for them (salted egg fish skin and chips) and continued to wait for the event to start. At 5pm, the staff brought out queue stands. My ticket was from the general sales, so I was in the last group, C.
At 6.45pm, my number was called and I rushed in. We had to pay 500 yen for a drink coupon, which I promptly exchanged for a bottle of water. Also, courtesy of Lumica, we were each given an UO (ultra orange, super bright light stick which lasts for 2-3 minutes). I took a quick look at the flower stands and entered the hall.
The hall was split into 3 parts, the rear, the center aisle and the front main stage.
I made the grave mistake of getting tempted by a pocket of space on the right and slotted myself in (Takahashi Rie’s position was on the left). Then, the hall darkened, and 月蝕會議 (Gesshoku Kaigi), the live band, started to play the overture…
M1. 新次元航路 (Shinjiken Kōrō) lit. New Dimensional Route
M2. 理想郷物語 (Risōkyō Monogatari) lit. Utopia Story
Earphones came out in their pirate outfits from their 2nd album theme! The live opened with 2 songs from their latest album, Shinjiken Kourō had the girls using 16 different voices for the song itself. The songs were picked to start the live as it meant the girls being on their new paths towards the future.
M3. 一件落着ゴ用心 (Ikkenrakuchaku Goyōjin) lit. Cased Closed, Be careful
M4. 宇宙刑事ギャバン (Uchū Keiji Gyaban) lit. Space Sheriff Gavan
The voice of Kushida Akira boomed behind us, and they started to sing Ikkenrakuchaku Goyōijn. This is the opening song for the anime, Akiba’s Trip, and got everyone pumping. During the song, Kushida-san walked down the aisle and ended on the main stage by the time the song ended. After thanking Kushida-san, they actually gave us a surprise by saying they will do one more song with him! They sang Space Sheriff Gavan which is one of Kushida-san’s songs.
After the song, Earphones once again introduced themselves. There was a funny moment when Rieri wanted to hype up the crowd and shouted in her trademark speed burst, “1,2,3,4,5,6,5,6” instead of 7 and 8. After that, they led us to the next set of songs..
M5. ミーチャイキュットンティーガプリウテグバンコ (Mi-chai kyutton Ti-ga Puriute Gubanko)
M6. あたしのなかのものがたり (Atashi no Naka no Monogatari) lit. The Story Within Us
M7. Fuwa くちゃ Dreamer (Fuwa Kucha Dreamer) lit. Fluffy Messy Dreamer
Song #5 was a song based on some anagrams, while I like the dialogue based song, Atashi no Naka no Monogatari, which is more like a story than a song. Before the 3rd song, Rieri jokingly reminded everyone not to fall asleep during the next song titled, Fuwa Kucha Dreamer.
M8. 現象のブレイド (Gensho no Bureido) lit. The Phenomenal Blade
M9. 林檎もぎれビーム (Ringo Mogire Bi-mu) lit. Apple Plucking Beam
Before the next song, they changed into the gothic outfits from their 2nd live tour and introduced the band members, Gesshoku Kaigi and I thought they had amazing presence for a newly formed band! (2017) Next, Ōtsuki Kenji-san came out and they sang their collaboration song, Gensho no Blade before Ōtsuki-san told everyone that this was the first time he actually sang the song live. Cue Earphones to say, ” Us too!” Just like Kushida-san, they sang the next song, Ringo Mogire Beam together, which is the opening song for season 3 of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Everyone had fun shouting BI-MU together!
M10. 予め失われた僕らのバラッド (Arakajime Ushinawareta Bokura no Baraddo) lit. Our Lost Ballads
M11. ウィッチクラフト 《テオフィルの奇蹟》 (Uicchikurafuto) lit. Witchcraft
M12. Yummy Yummy Party
After Ōtsuki-san left, the girls said they will use their own strengths to continue with the performance. The atmosphere soon turned Gothic due to the nature of the 3 songs, including the catchy Yummy Yummy Party. I really like the dance choreography for Witchcraft and Our Lost Ballads.
M13. サントウセン！(Sanki Tousen!) lit. Three with the Power of a Thousand
M14. 未来泥棒 (Mirai Dorobō) lit. Future Thieves
After that, they teased the end of the live, by saying the fun times passed almost too quickly, which was met with a resounding “EHH?” from the crowd. Then, they hyped everyone for the next song…Sanki Tousen! (My personal favourite earphones song). This song is one of the ending songs for Akiba’s Trip, and the reason why I like this song so much, is because the entire lyrics of the songs are more or less, memes of Akibahara. From phrases like, “Are you a fan of DOS? Or perhaps Windows 98?” to “Fans, DDs gather!“, this song has it all. For now, there are no English translations yet, but I plan on doing it in the future. You can meanwhile, find the Japanese lyrics here.
The real highlight of the song came after the rap portion, when Marinka starts singing, “UO焚いたエモめの景色 Ctrl＋S” (Press Ctrl+S on the emotional image of the UOs lighting up) In an instance, everyone broke their UOs and the sight was spectacular! This time, UOs were given out at the entrance so it overwhelmed the sight at their 2nd live tour. (<Do click on the link to watch this clip!)
After the high of Sanki Tousen!, they announced that this will be the last song, and brought out the producer, Nagai Rui-san, and asked him to give himself a nickname as part of the customs. He settled with Rui-chan, and it was revealed that he will be performing the guitar as well for the song. They ended the MC by thanking everyone who supported them, and they will continue to carve a road to the future. Mirai Dorobo with all 3 members of Earphones exiting the stage, and Nagai-san doing a guitar solo to end it off.
EN1. それが声優! (Sore ga Seiyuu!) lit. Seiyuu’s Life!
After about 10 minutes of the crowd chanting ‘I-YA-HON-ZU’ and clapping, the lights came back on and the 3 of them emerged, wearing the live t-shirts. After thanking everyone for the encore calls, they said they wanted to make a special announcement regarding their future activities. I was very nervous at this stage, considering the recent announcements for Wake Up, Girls!. To our surprise, they brought out another special guest – Hello Kitty! She came out with a board, and they announced a special collaboration live with Sanrio Puroland on the 16th of December!
Next they proceeded to promote their live goods, making good use of the center aisle as a catwalk platform. First Rieri strutted down with the cap, drawing loud cheers, followed by marinka in her parka and gakkyu with the tote bag. Finally they went back again, this time together with all the goods except the blades and small items.
Before singing Sore ga Seiyuu!, they talked about how it was raining recently, but today was exceptionally sunny, thanks to the power of Earphones. Because of how blessed they were with the weather, they congratulated their ‘founder’, Asano Masumi-san on her marriage and dedicated the song to her.
EN2. 応援歌！(Ouen Uta!) lit. Cheering song!
While singing this song, Rieri got overwhelmed by emotions and started crying. Everyone enveloped her with claps, while Marinka and Gakkyu comforted her. She said this was a really special moment because July 7 was the first broadcast date for Sore ga Seiyuu! and the show that they debuted in.
Next, they called out everyone to take a group photo, including Kitty-chan!
EN3. ヨロコビノウタ (Yorokobi no Uta) lit. The Song of Joy
Just when it seemed like that was the end of the live, they said they seem to have just one more song that they have not yet sang today. After asking everyone if we wanted just one more song, Earphones roped in everyone, including the guests to sing along. After the guests all left, it was time for the girls to share their final thoughts.
Rieri: “From this moment, as Takahashi Rie of Earphones, I will continue to work hard in order to bring lots of laughter to everyone! Please continue to follow along as we move towards our 4th year!”
Gakkyu: “When we first started, I didn’t think we would be able to do a solo live right here, in Toyosu Pit. Moving forward into the 4th year, I don’t know what kind of music, what kind of shape we will take up, but please continue to support us as long as you can!”
Marinka: “I hope that the reason why everyone is smiling today is because of Earphones! And, if I can be a little greedier, I wish for everyone to continue smiling with us from now on!”
Since it was 7 July, which is Tanabata in Japan, Marinka made an additional wish for the realisation of the 2nd season of Sore ga Seiyuu! which everyone roared in approval to. Then as quickly as it began, the live ended.
This had been a blast. When I was writing this report, all the emotions came back to me as thought the live was only yesterday. I look forward to the 4th year of Earphones and will continue to walk along with them!
I also hope that I will be able to make more like-minded companions so that we can go to their events together. Towards the future!