Approaching the weekend, I once again was unsure of my team, so I simply emailed everyone in my phone again. Most people didn’t reply and the few who did had already formed teams. This weekend was the very last Tougeki qualifiers (aside from the last chance quals the actual day of SBO, in which entrants are selected at random, meaning there’s no guarantee that people will get a chance to enter). Saturday would be the B-7 block final and Sunday would be the C-4 block final at Shinjuku Sportsland. However, I would only be entering the Sunday tournament because Saturday I had a ticket to see Children of Bodom live!
Friday night, I stayed in Gunma because Amy, one of the other ALT’s in my town, would be going back to the
Much to my surprise there was no after party planned, so Cynthia and I figured we would organize one last minute. We convinced a bunch of people to go do Karaoke. Amy couldn’t go since her boyfriend was meeting her at the train station soon, but the bus dropped about half the people there off at the Karaoke place. It was the same place that had the panty vending machine in the lobby that I had been to before haha. We drank a ton more beer at the Karaoke place and stayed for I think about 2 hours. I invited Liz to join us since the place wasn’t all that far from her apartment and I had made plans to drink with her some more after the 2nd party. After that, Cynthia, Liz and I, met up with some of Cynthia’s friends who were other ALT’s who came to visit. We went to some Izakaya place for a few more beers but I don’t really remember much after that. Cynthia was in the bathroom for a really long time and she ended up passing out on the toilet haha. Eventually it was time to go, so Cynthia went with her 2 friends and I went with Liz to her place to crash on her couch, since getting back to my apartment at this point was pretty much impossible.
The next day I woke up like soaking in sweat. It was a very hot day and Liz didn’t have air conditioning on. I immediately took a shower and changed clothes. Liz called her family back in
We eventually arrived in
When I arrived at he venue (Studio Coast in Shin Kiba), they had already opened the doors. They were selling Bodom merchandise in front of the building. I wanted to get a shirt, but they were all out of medium size and they were selling them for 3500 yen which is sorta expensive so I ended up not getting one. I went inside, got my mandatory 500 yen beer, and headed into the concert room. Tons of people were already in there. Almost right away I ran into Ai (one of the metal insanity event night regulars at Current) and her brother. They said this would be their first time seeing Bodom live (while for me its my 3rd time as I have seen them, twice back in
Bodom played fucking awesome as always and the sound was pretty good. The keyboard could have been turned up a tad bit higher but it was still audible so it was all good. I don’t remember the exact order of the setlist but the songs they played were…
Silent Night Bodom Night
Hellhounds On My Trail
Follow the Reaper
Living Dead Beat
In Your Face
Banned From Heaven
Mask of Sanity (at this point they introduced the band in the middle of the song and then continued to play)
Someday You Will Cry
Angels Don’t Kill
Hate Crew Deathroll
…after that, they keyboardist, Wirman, started to play the intro to some Michael Jackson song as a joke, and Alexi was like, “sorry, but I don’t think that shits gonna fly here, what else do you got for us?” and then he started playing the into to ….
…which was the last song. Alexi stressed how much he loves coming to
After I was finally cleaned up I headed for Vegas to play some more casuals. Kyle had called me earlier and said he was gonna go there to meet up with me for some games. The place was packed with all the big name players such as Imo, Mike, Kazuki, HH, Kifa, Oguma, FAB, Osaka B, Basara, En-slayer, and several others, just to name a few. At one point I was getting some change over near the Super Turbo machines and this one kinda randomly came up to me and asked me in perfect English if I was that guy who has that blog online. I assumed he was talking about this blog so I said yes. At first I thought he was Japanese but he was actually an Asian-American who used to live in NY and played at Chinatown Fair. He’s mostly just a Street Fighter player. He said to just call him Z. He said he found my blog on accident on a google search trying to search for information about G-Port Las Vegas game center lol! Anyway, hes here in
Matt and I ate at a restaurant near Current and had a good meal, he agreed to team with us tomorrow. We then went to Current. I was hoping that Children of Bodom might be there but they weren’t there when we arrived. There were, however, a TON of other people, most of which were people that I knew and were frequent regulars, and like more than half the people there were girls haha. It was a pretty awesome night at Current honestly. Drank a ton of beers, chicks were like making out and stuff, people were just getting wild and having a kickass time. Chip was there also, and he told me that Kunko and the entire staff of Lemon-ya bar in
I woke up in the morning to find an email on my phone from Matt, saying that at some point I guess he found out that Megu has a boyfriend after all, most likely the dude in that Dust and Bones band shes always traveling around Japan to see. Also, he said that he woke up on the Yamanote line after leaving Current, at Shinjuku station… which would mean he rode the entire line at least once around (the Yamanote line goes in a big circle around central
Eventually after what seemed like a really long wait, our first match was called. We were to play against a team of I-no, Ky, Venom. Suzume went first with his Johnny against I-no. The first round he was about to get perfected and I-no was just throwing the shit out of him but he started to come back. He still lost though. The 2nd round was a bit ugly too and he lost. I asked our Millia player how he was vs I-no and he said he wasn’t sure so I said I would try. The first round was close but I lost. I managed to win the 2nd round but in the 3rd round I had another narrow loss. I was pretty bummed at this point figuring our final SBO tournament chance was already as good as over. At this point I had no idea how good our Millia player was but not only did he take out I-no, but he proceeded to beat Ky AND Venom for the win! He was just mixing everyone the fuck up and had extremely good footsies! What a great Millia player! This sorta caused me to gain a new hope and I vowed to fight hard! I played a few more casuals and eventually they called our next match which was against a team of Zappa, Slayer, and
After I lost I told Matt I hadn’t eaten yet all day and suggested we get some food. He said RTL from dustloop was there too and asked him if he wanted to join us but he wanted to stay and watch. So Matt and I went to get some grub and then returned. I pretty much played casuals the rest of the time I was there. I honestly don’t even know who the team was that won the whole preliminary. I wasn’t watching and it was so hard to get near the brackets I couldn’t check who they were. I got to see a few matches in the finals but it started pretty late and I had to leave after seeing like 2 matches. I saw Minami Chipp’s team beat some team and I saw Mike OCV a team. I told Matt to send me the results on his phone. In the end, Ogawa’s team went undefeated but Kifa’s Faust almost took out his team. He beat Imo and Mike and came close to beating Ogawa and pulled off some crazy double pogo bomb combo but it wasn’t enough. So Ogawa’s team is the final team to qualify for SBO!
On the way home I pretty much slept the entire time. When I arrived back at the train station and went to my car which was parked at the town office across the street, I noticed that the battery was dead! I forgot to turn the light off inside my car when I was driving there earlier! Doh! So I called my girlfriend and asked her to come save my ass and drive me home just before my phone died. She picked me up and drove me home and I walked to work today. Im gonna head to the town office by train and get my car back shortly. So yea… in the end, my SBO qual experience was great and I feel like I did my best. I don’t feel ashamed for not qualifying espessially since so many increadibly well known and talented players didn’t qualify either. There’s just only so many spots and it’s a brutal set of tournaments. Im still gonna try for the last chance qual but theres no guarantee ill get to play, just like with last year, so who knows, no real expectations. In any case ill be at SBO to watch and give a full report! Next weekend I will get to play Tatsunoko vs Capcom and my girlfriend, Ryoko, will go to Current for the first time ever! Should be fun times!