Original Article and Photos from BARKS here.


Hamasaki Ayumi’s way of settling down after a concert: “Grape Juice” — 『A3D II』 Premiere Showing Session

The stage greeting and premiere showing for the 2nd chapter of Hamasaki Ayumi’s Full 3D Digital Cinema Concert 『A3D II ayumi hamasaki Rock’n Roll Circus Tour FINAL ~7days Special~』, in cinemas 3 September, took place on 31 August at TOHO Cinemas in Roppongi Hills. Hamasaki Ayumi made an appearance, together with 6 dancers.

The stage greeting event was initially scheduled only to take place at Shinjuku Wald 9. However, due to overwhelming participant response, an additional session was added at TOHO Cinemas in Roppongi Hills. The total capacity of both cinemas is 1,049, as opposed to a total of 4,900 applications received for the initial event at Shinjuku. (For the Roppongi event, tickets also sold out minutes after sales opened at midnight).

For this greeting session, the audience were in for a surprise, being told at the very start that they were allowed to take pictures of Hamasaki Ayumi freely. When Hamasaki Ayumi appeared at Roppongi’s event venue, all 644 fans gathered cheered altogether and started taking photos with their mobiles and cameras. ayu, though shocked by the screams, also took this chance to get close to the fans, stretching out her hand and happily posing for the cameras. The event proceeded just like an encore session during one of ayu’s lives, with ayu’s troupe and the ayu family, spent in harmonious atmosphere.

By the way, how is the normal Hamasaki Ayumi like? That was what the fans wanted to know. As if reading the fans’ thoughts, event host Souguchi Akihisa asked the dancers “What is Hamasaki Ayumi like?” Just as the dancers were about to answer, ayu looked at them with upturned eyes and commented that “I’m the type who will remember your answers.”, eliciting “so cute!” screams from the audience, and giving the dancers wordless pressure to think through their answers. The dancers, buckling under the pressure from ayu…… or rather, the atmosphere of the crowd, the dancers gave their answers one by one, sharing their perspectives as people who share a stage with Hamasaki Ayumi. “A person who doesn’t miss a single thing, no matter how small. She is very detailed. In a more important sense, a troupe leader who considers the worth of everything” (SUBARU), “Messing around when it’s time to have fun, but totally unforgiving of compromises when it comes to work. She is very human…… Heh.” (SHU-YA)

There was also a special session at the premiere event. The microphone was passed on to dancers ZIN and SUBARU (the latter was wearing a sash that read “Japan’s best emcee”), and they hosted the promised corner “I want to ask Hamasaki Ayumi this~!!” Normally a corner where Hamasaki Ayumi would answer questions posted in by fans, ayu had to answer questions posed by her dancers and performers this time.

Out of the various questions, one that stood out was the question “Do you like blazers or gakuran more?”. To this, ayu answered “I like blazers”, which elicited comments of “That’s unexpected!” from the crowd. Hearing this, ayu asked the audience what was unexpected about that, “Is it because I look like a delinquent?”, and received an answer that “Yes, that is just like Hamasaki Ayumi when she was a student”, and everyone laughed. Another question asked “What is the first thing you do after a concert to settle yourself?”. ayu answered that she drinks beverages after a concert to settle down, and that the beverages change all the time, a trivia tidbit that only ayu’s closest staff know about. She also revealed that recently, her preferred drink is “grape juice”, and that “it is surprising for me, because it’s such a cheap drink”.

The 2nd chapter of Hamasaki Ayumi’s Full 3D Digital Cinema Concert 『A3D II ayumi hamasaki Rock’n Roll Circus Tour FINAL ~7days Special~』 is a 3D rendition of the special 7days performance at National Yoyogi Gymnasium from Hamasaki Ayumi’s nationwide Arena Tour in 2010. All cinemas except Shinjuku Wald 9 will start showing it from 3 September.

“When I was arranging and producing this movie in LA’s movie theatre, I always cried no matter how many times I’ve watched it. So everyone, please prepare your towels. For those without towels, please borrow a corner of your neighbour’s towel. Please enjoy!” – Hamasaki Ayumi

Hamasaki Ayumi has released her latest mini-album 『FIVE』 on 31 August. This mini-album consists of 5 songs, including 「Why…」 featuring JYJ’s Junsu’s elder brother JUNO, and 「ANother song」 with guest vocal AAA’s Urata Naoya.

text and photo by ytsuji


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