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Triumphant Return: Juice=Juice LIVE AROUND 2017 FINAL at Nippon Budokan Live Report!

情熱を解き放った先に何を見る:Juice=Juice7人体制初の武道館公演ライブレポート!
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Triumphant Return: Juice=Juice LIVE AROUND 2017 FINAL at Nippon Budokan Live Report!

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Juice=Juice held “Juice=Juice LIVE AROUND 2017 FINAL at Nippon Budokan ~Seven Squeeze!~” their second solo concert at the legendary venue on November 20, 2017.

It was the finale of their national tour “Juice=Juice LIVE AROUND 2017” which packed in 70 concerts over the course of 44 days. During that time Juice=Juice also went on a world tour in different 7 countries: Mexico, England, France, Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Additionally, they would be embarking on a South American tour which would take them to Peru, Chile, and Brazil in December.


Since the huge triumph of their first Budokan concert in 2017, Juice=Juice has experienced the addition of new members, the hiatus of Karin Miyamoto, and the world tour. Amidst all the excitement, leader Yuka Miyazaki surprisingly announced that the group would have their second Budokan concert in November. Hearing the news, new members Nanami Yanagawa and Ruru Danbara burst into tears while the original members were also visibly shocked.

The return to the Budokan came much sooner than expected. I was probably not the only one who was worried about whether or not the current form of Juice=Juice could surpass the overwhelming performance, amount of heat, and sensations given off during the previous Budokan concert. Still, what came to mind was that they could surpass what they used to be with the experiences that they have from overcoming many obstacles before.


Appearing at center stage with the introduction of “Wonderful World (English Ver.)”, the members wore pure-white costumes, the scene seeming to overlap that of the Budokan concert a year earlier. It strongly reminded me that this moment is the newest in their “Tsuzuiteiku Story”.

The group updated their story at a quiet pace, performing “Umaretate no Baby Love” and “Ijiwarushinaide Dakishimeteyo”. Orange and medium blue penlights showed the venue more vividly than before. Seeing the view, Yanagawa and Danbara seemed to become sharper as they claimed their appointed places, putting at ease any lingering sense of discomfort with the current Juice=Juice. They have fought with an overwhelming level of performance since their debut and the 7 young women on the stage embodied that fighting spirit.

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The voice of Eric Fukusaki resounded through the venue, announcing the long-anticipated performance of “Fiesta! Fiesta!”. This song can be said to be the tipping point since its debut at the summer 2017 Hello! Project concert, quieting the negative opinions towards Juice=Juice and the addition of the new members. The lyrics “Jounetsu wo Tokihanatou (Let’s unleash passion)” sung by Danbara who had worked hard as Hello! Project kenshusei for about 4 years moved the hearts of the audience. As the singing voice of the one who had come to be known as the songstress in Hello! Project echoed thorough the venue, I shuddered with excitement.

The latest tune “Tokyo Glider” is a funk tune created through a collaboration with Hiroshi Matsui also known as ROYAL MIRRORBALL. Lasers gaudily set the mood for “CHOICE & CHANCE” and “Jidanda Dance” on the center stage.

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Miyamoto, Yanagawa, and Danbara surprised the audience by jumping up from the stage and Juice=Juice performed “THE Power” (℃-ute Cover). “Senobi” settled down the audience and the group rushed into their other new track “Never Never Surrender” as the sounds of bag pipes and EDM mixed together.

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After a look back at the world tour via a short movie, the members performed “Ça va? Ça va?” and “Ai・Ai・Gasa”. The projection mapping helped the songs to create the atmosphere and the audience felt like they were watching a musical. While singing the updated lyrics to “GIRLS BE AMBITIOUS 2017” the members asked the audience to make waves that washed through the Budokan.

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The group rushed into a quick succession of 7 songs ranging from “Gin-iro no Telepathy” to “Kono Sekai wa Sutetamonjanai” and the concert reached its climax. The overwhelming performance, the emblematic aspect of the group, swept up the audience with huge enthusiasm. Answering the encore, Juice=Juice again appeared in front of the about 8,000 in attendance and performed “KEEP ON Jyoushoushikou!!” and “Goal~Ashita wa Acchidayo~”. The members then thanked the audience for making the concert a success.

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Ruru Danbara
Since I was a Hello! Project Kenshusei and an apprentice in Hiroshima, my dream was to stand on the stage of Nippon Budokan. Today, my dream came true with this awesome situation. It’s really like a dream and I am so happy to be on this stage (crying). I remember that I had many concerts after joining the group. I went around Japan and other countries and saw many Juice=Juice Family around the world. They thanked me for joining the group, which made me feel so encouraged. Making my dream come true one by one and seeing this awesome scene, I really thought that I have done my best without giving up. I will work hard in Juice=Juice for years to come, so please cheer for me! Thank you!

Nanami Yanagawa:
The reason that I could stand on the stage of Budokan shortly after joining of the group is because the current members have built up the reputation and fans have cheered for us so much. I thank you so much. Many things happened this year and many things changed around me, which made me feel complex feelings. I usually do not get nervous but I have been nervous for 2 weeks before the concert. However, seeing the audience cheering me on and medium blue colored penlights encouraged me. We have to bring a smile to the audience but actually you all make me smile, which I want to thank you for the most. I will keep working hard to see such a beautiful scene and to make my dreams come true.

Tomoko Kanazawa:
Juice=Juice used to be 5 members and I really loved the formation. So, at first, I mean at the very very first, I do not want to accept addition of new members. I am really sorry for saying that in front of the new members. However, hearing the new members saying that I will work hard for Juice=Juice with hopes and dreams, my mind was changed totally. Soon I became happy to perform with the new members. Only 5 months have passed since the two joined the group but they are so excellent. I thought that it would be wonderful to stand this stage so soon after they joined and I could not compete with these two. But still, I will do my best not to be defeated by them, so I would be happy if you keep your eyes on us. Thank you for the wonderful concert!

The last song to conclude the concert was “Romance no Tochu”. Although experiencing the Budokan concert, which every idol once dreams of, and even a world tour, Juice=Juice is still on the way to romance. New members Yanagawa and Danbara are the hope and future of the group, their additions promising that Juice=Juice would surpass what it used to be and the possibility of them earning the title of “Hello! Project’s No.1 Performance Group” just as ℃-ute was. This concert is just a prologue of Juice=Juice’s Tsuzuiteiku Story.

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Set List

01 Wonderful World (English Ver.)
02 Umaretate no Baby Love
03 Ijiwaru Shinaide Dakishimeteyo
04 Fiesta! Fiesta!
05 TOKYO Glider
06 CHOICE & CHANCE
07 Jidanda Dance
08 The Power
09 Senobi
10 Never Never Surrender
11 Ça va? Ça va?
12 Ai・Ai・Gasa
13 GIRLS BE AMBITIOUS 2017
14 Gin-iro no Telepathy
15 Karada dakega Otona ni Nattanjanai
16 Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no Kiss
17 Watashi ga Iumae ni Dakishimenakyane
18 Datejanaiyo Uchi no JInsei wa
19 Magic of Love (J=J 2015 Ver.)
20 Kono Sekai wa Sutetamonjanai

E1 KEEP ON Joushoushikou!!
E2 Goal~Ashita wa Acchidayo~
E3 Romance no Tochu


Here is the live report for Juice=Juice’s first Budokan concert!


Related Links

Juice=Juice Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/juicejuice/

Juice=Juice Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuiceJuice_uf

Juice=Juice Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JuiceJuice.Official

Juice=Juice YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/juicejuicechannel

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Author
ykmk
ykmk

Growing up in Akihabara culture, ykmk became an otaku covering idol, anime, and pop music.

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