“I Will Become a Saiyajin!” Maaya Takeda Issues Promise During Last One-Man Live With GEM Before Her Journey to the West!
GEM, iDOL Street’s sparkling dance and vocal unit, held their last one-man live with their current 10-member formation before Maaya Takeda left on her 2-year long quest to power up in Los Angeles.
Titled “GEM Live Mixture 2016 〜Best 10ct Forever〜”, it was a dazzling performance that showed the group at the peak of their current abilities. “Girls Entertainment Overture” boomed out of the sound system and the floor area lit up with the glow of penlights and the voices of the “GEMily” (GEM fans) cheered for GEM as they took their dance solos.
A roar of delight erupted as the familiar melody of “Speed up” began playing, the members moving with perfect synchronization to the splashing beats and swirling strings. Maho Iyama called out for the fans to get more excited and they answered by jumping along with her and GEM to the breezy “BFF”. Up next was “Tears in the sky”, a club-style tune with pulsating synthesizers and several rapping parts set off by Nana Minamiguchi and Maaya’s soaring vocals.
Leader Yuki Kanazawa commented how it was GEM’s first time at Shinagawa Stellar Ball and expressed the members’ surprise at how many people had come to see them when, adding that they almost started crying. Rana Murakami was so excited that she stuttered while trying to say how nervous she was.
Accompanied by the sounds of falling rain, the members of GEM returned to the stage in their white outfits from “Fine! ~fly for the future~” and holding Star Ruby (Maaya’s gem) red umbrellas for “Dance Mixture”. Gliding across the stage and rocking back and forth while wagging their fingers, they appeared to be drifting on an imaginary spring breeze.
The misty mood evaporated as Maaya moved to center stage and began “EMERGE!!” a mid-tempo rock song. The floor area lit up with Star Ruby red lights as she sang her heart out; the others dancing by her side, spinning and swinging their arms.
Flecks of light bounced off of the mirror ball as the mood changed once again with Maho and Maaya starting off GEM’s first ballad “Clarity”. A song packed with graceful modern jazz dance choreography and smooth vocal harmonies, it rendered the audience speechless as they watched attentively.
Maaya and Chisami Ito stood side by side at center stage, trading off vocals to the fragile intro of “departure” as the others twirled around them. With each of the members taking turns singing while surrounded by dancers, everyone shined brightly as the spotlight turned towards them. “departure” shows that GEM still has many sparkling facets to show the world as they continue to be polished.
Chisami, Maaya, Maho, Kako Oguri and Yuu Morioka remained on the stage and talked about the mix of old and new songs they had just run through. Maaya confessed that when she saw all the red lights, she was so happy that she felt like flying away. When it was revealed that Kako was in charge of the choreography for “departure”, she shared that she had fears about having to be in charge of the other members since everyone were already good dancers. Adding that she was moved to tears when they thanked her and the fans Tweeted about how much they liked it after seeing it in Osaka, Kako declared that she wanted to do it again.
Yuki, Rana, Nana, Jurin, and Sara Hirano returned to the stage in their new black outfits accented by the colors of their gems as the others went offstage to change. Yuki explained that there were elements of outfits from previous singles fused together to create the look. The final stretch of the live kicked off with their anthem “We’re GEM!”, the members rocking from side to side and the fans shouting out in heated support. Lead by Maho’s enthusiastic calls, the excitement kept building with “Do You Believe?”, the fans jumping and shouting along.
Transitioning right into the symphonic “Star Shine Story”, the members of GEM kept marching forward as the 10 different colored penlights waved steadily.
Chisami’s voice rang in “Baby, Love me!” and the others shouted out for the fans to get more excited, Yuki injecting some extra power as she ran across the stage and scolding them for not being loud enough. The medley roared to an end with “Fine! 〜fly for the future〜”, fueled by the passionate cheering of the fans.
Maho declared that the live only had 2 songs left, asking the fans to raise their voices, get more excited and let the sweat fly one last time. Beams of white light sliced through the air as GEM took to the skies with “FLY NOW!!”. Moving into a heated dance break, the members unloaded with their finger guns, locking and popping until Rana and Maaya brought the song back to its hook. The audience erupted again as GEM sprinted towards the finish line with “Can’t Stop Loving”. When it came to the dance break, seemed that Sara and Jurin still had ammunition as they playfully shot at each other. Giving their thanks and taking a bow, GEM jogged offstage as a “G.E.M.” encore call began right away.
After a few minutes, GEM returned to the stage and jumped right into “Party Up”. Twirling and thrusting their hands high overhead, they brought the fans back to life with the power of uptempo rock. Yuki reminded the audience that it was the final one-man live for GEM’s 10-member formation and the members took their turns sharing their impressions of the day. Struggling to maintain her composure as the others spoke, Maaya began to wipe tears from her face. Reminiscing how all of the members had been working so hard to make their dreams come true, Maaya vowed that she would become a Super Saiyajin (the high level transformation of the Saiyajin race from Dragon Ball) by the time she returned. With the mood lightened by laughter, Maaya asked the fans if they liked Saiyajin and was met with loud cheers.
Struggling to introduce the final song of the day, GEM’s precious treasure and debut single “We’re GEM!”, Maaya asked the fans to sing along with them one last time. The members threw signed balls far into the audience one by one but, when it came to Kako, her ball bounced off the edge of the stage and barely made it into the front. Reaching Maaya’s solo, the fans called her name louder than ever, causing her to bury her head in Yuki’s chest as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Sniffling away tears of her own, Yuki gave thanks once more, her words halting ever so slightly. The commemorative picture was taken and the members took their final bow. Maaya remained behind to thank the fans one last time, flashing a smile before bowing deeply and walking off the stage, asking them to wait for her because she would definitely become a Saiyajin.
GEM shined brightly at Shinagawa Stellar Ball, showing how far they had come and grown in 3 years; an impressive feat considering that they had long held a reputation for a group with performance skills surpassing most other idol groups in Japan. It took almost 7 years for the first Super Saiyajin to appear in the Dragon Ball universe but that was before Maaya Takeda was born. Just as Dragon Ball Kai cut out a lot of unnecessary filler, it’s likely that Maaya’s path to becoming a Super Saiyajin will happen a lot sooner than expected. Do you believe?
00 Girls Entertainment Overture
01 Speed up
03 Tears in the sky
04 Dance Mixture
08 We’re GEM!
09 Do You Believe?
10 Star Shine Story
11 Baby, Love me!
12 Fine! 〜fly for the future〜
13 FLY NOW!!
14 Can’t Stop Loving
E1 Party Up
E2 We’re GEM!
Photos by Kenji Harada
GEM Official site: http://girls-entertainment-mixture.jp/
GEM Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/avex_idol_gem
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