So yesterday I attended the J-Series Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. The festival is actually a big deal since it has been held in Thailand for two years beforehand. Since Indonesia has a long history of diplomatic relations, there’s often Japan festivals held in Indonesia, Jakarta especially. Other than that, there is a huge Indonesian fan base for almost every popular mainstream Japanese artist. This time around, there was the JSeries Festival which is dedicated to promote Japanese Dramas and entertainment. The ticket was free yet limited to around 500 people only, so by the first 2 days of registration, it has all been booked. Funny thing though is that they didn’t really promote this event, so if my fellow ‘I no Arashi’ (Arashi fan club in Indonesia) members didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t have known about it. So on the first day registration was open, I was lucky enough to get a ticket. My sister who wanted to register as well was 2 days late and there we no tickets left. Since the main guests in this event is Furukawa Yuki and Kiritani Mirei. But there were other stars such as Valshe, Dolls Element and AKB48’s local sister group, JKT48. On the day, the door opened at 2, but I got there at around 1.30 and the place was already packed! The die hard Furukawa Yuki fan club was there since morning and were using modified ‘Damn, I love Indonesia!’ t-shirt’ that read ‘Damn, I love Furukawa Yuki!’. The event was held in UpperRoom, Annex Building, Jakarta. Since I got there quite late, I had no choice but to get the back seats. Damn. But here I was excited to go in!
The event started at around 3 PM. The door actually was said to open by 2.00 PM, but since by 1.00 PM it was quite chaotic, they opened the door at 2.30 PM. The event started off by using an animated hologram of an anime girl as a host. After that, they showed a series of promotional videos of Japanese Dramas hosted by Indonesian students currently studying in Japan. This was before any guest stars arrived. So for about 30 minutes they showed clips of various top rated doramas, among them are: Hana Yori Dango and Itazura na Kiss: Live in Tokyo 2 (which received the most hysterical applauses). I’m guessing because of MatsuJun and Furukawa Yuki. After the series of clips ended, it was time to introduce the main hosts which were an Indonesian MC, Ocha, and a Japanese MC who speaks Indonesian very fluently, Hiroaki Kato. They then welcomed the main guests, of course, Furukawa Yuki and Kiritani Mirei, for the talkshow. So here are what I remembered regarding the questions and answers they had for the guests during the talk show:
MC: Kiritani-san and Furukawa-san, is this your first time in Indonesia?
Kiritani: This is my first time in Jakarta, however I have been to Bali once for a photoshoot for my photobook.
Furukawa: This is my second time in Jakarta, my first time was for a movie audition. [currently wondering what movie Furukawa auditioned for, and did he get the part or not?? My guess is probably The Raid or Killers which has been released a few years back]
MC: Please tell us what are your impressions on Indonesia, and what is the thing you like most about Indonesia?
Kiritani: I really like the food! Especially, mee goreng (fried noodles). It’s really delicious! At first, I was really surprised actually that people in Indonesia know me. When I was walking down the street yesterday, somebody called out my name and I was surprised. It really makes me feel like I must work harder through my dramas. I’m really thankful and happy to meet fans in Indonesia.
Furukawa: Yappari, the food is the best. I really like sate (beef/chicken skewers). I’m also really surprised because when the VTR was showing all the promotional videos of the dramas, they were cheering really loud. It means that they must be really open to Japanese dramas.
MC: What kind of dramas do you like?
Kiritani: I really like romance dramas [audience cheers loudly, mostly the girls]. Right??
Furukawa: I like suspense dramas.
MC: Have you ever faced any difficulties in playing your roles? and why?
Kiritani: I think, when I was doing Shinigami-kun, I had to play a really tough and mean person, and that was tough for me. So I had to keep studying and practicing to get the role right.
Furukawa: Usually I don’t really face any difficulties. However, when I was playing in Itazura na Kiss, it was hard because my partner was a beautiful girl and there were a lot of kissing scenes.
MC: What kind of role do you want to play in the future?
Kiritani: Since I’m 25 right now and I will be 26 soon, I would really like to play a more mature role, such as a mother or a tough office employee.
Furukawa: I’ve always been playing a student role, so I would like roles that are a little more mature. I want to play in a detective series, or play a villain. [audience goes ooh…]
MC: Do you want to play in an Indonesian drama?
Kiritani: Of course if I get the opportunity to do something like that, I would like to play in an Indonesian drama.
Furukawa: I’ve always wanted to work outside of Japan, so if I get a chance to work in an Indonesian drama, I will do it.
MC: So lastly, please tell us, why should we watch Japanese dramas?
Kiritani: There are so much variety of Japanese dramas, so it is suitable to be watched by anyone, and there is always a drama that is suitable for all age groups. I think also in Japanese dramas, you not only learn about the story but there are many things you can grasp from Japanese dramas, such as moral lessons.
Furukawa: Same thing. There is a variety of Japanese drama for everyone and you can definitely learn something from these dramas. So, please keep watching Japanese dramas!
MC: Oh, Furukawa-san, it seems you can speak English quite well if we’re not mistaken… [audience cheers for him to say something in English]
Furukawa: [in Japanese] Well I don’t know what to say right now… But since I have spent a long time living in Canada and America, I can speak English quite fluently.
That’s about all I remember regarding the talkshow. I’m pretty sure there are more but I couldn’t record it all in my memories. After the talkshow, there was a performance by idol group Doll Elements. They sang two songs, one of them is their single Kimi ni Sakura hirari to Mao 君に桜ヒラリと舞う. I’m not really familiar with DOLL ELEMENTS, but it seems they had quite a number of fans in Indonesia. The following day (7th June), they had a meet and greet with fans at the Ambassador Cafe, Jakarta. The next day they mentioned that Indonesia is the first country they’ve been to outside of Japan and they were quite happy with the reception they received here. They were also quite shocked since there are also a lot of female fans in Jakarta so they hear a lot of “Kyaa, kyaa..” while in Japan they hear a lot more of “Oi, oi!” from men.
Valshe was also there and sang 2 songs, one of them was Butterfly Core, quite popular and well known as the theme song for Detective Conan. During her preformance I was so much in awe. Her voice and performance was amazing and there were so many fans waving their uchiwas in the air following the beat of her music. She also tried very hard to speak in Indonesian the whole time during her time onstage, and she forgot some words and some fans were saying “Ganbatte!”. I really liked Valshe’s performance during the event. It was probably the best out of the three. I have to note this was VALSHE’s very first overseas appearance and I am so happy and proud to hear that! There were quite a number of her die hard fans who brought banners that read: “VALSHE, Welcome to Indonesia!”. stage, and she forgot some words and some fans were saying “Ganbatte!”. I really liked Valshe’s performance during the event. It was probably the best out of the three. I have to note this was VALSHE’s very first overseas appearance and I am so happy and proud to hear that! There were quite a number of her die hard fans who brought banners that read: “VALSHE, Welcome to Indonesia!”.
And after the two artists’ performance we had the performance of AKB48’s sister group in indonesia, JKT48. My personal opinion, I am quite happy with JKT48’s appearance in Indonesia as the first overseas sister group of AKB48. Cause at a time when K-pop is dominating Asia, J-pop is still dominating in Indonesia and JKT48 somehow bridged that gap between Indonesia and Japan. JKT48 sang a total of 4 songs and Indonesian rendition of the AKB songs Flying Get, Gingham Check, Kokoro no Placard, and Koi Suru Fortune Cookie. They were very energetic to watch! The event then ended by giving away prizes, and it turns out the lucky winners had envelopes under their seats! Unfortunately I did not get anything, but 2 seats beside me and behind me, a guy and a girl got signatures of Furukawa Yuki. There were also prizes from sponsors such as tshirts from Olive des Olive and mascot dolls from 5 Japanese television stations: Domo-kun from NHK TV, Rafu-kun from Fuji TV, Go-chan from Asahi TV, BooBo from TBS and Banana from TV Tokyo. So the lucky winners who got the mascots got the chance to take pictures with Furukawa Yuki, Kiritani Mirei, Dolls Element, Valshe and JKT48.
Well, that’s about all the reviews I have and it was quite exciting to be there! Here are some photos from after the event: