Endless Shock 2019

Hello! I’m going to start sharing reports, translations, observations on my fangirl life in Tokyo.
Even though I’m not as “crazy” as before, I have never really stopped following Koichi and the boys around him.

Poster for Endless SHOCK 2019

As soon as I know I failed to secure my ballot for Endless SHOCK 2019, I just had to find other ways to get hold of tickets. With the previous experience of getting my tickets checked for “Knight’s Tale” last year, I wasn’t going to take any chance by getting tickets that come with “names”. It’s a good thing they have tickets sold via other public channels, so they don’t come with names…

So for the first show from Koichi this year, here’s my report for the 7 Feb 2019 show!
(It’s just too bad there is no KinKi concert on 1/1…)

It’s a little rare for me to go for early shows when the first show just started on 4 Feb, so you can imagine the cast are still adjusting to the entire rhythm of the show, plus it was the 2nd show on 7 Feb, so the cast seems a little tired too. But well you can’t complain especially I didn’t even win the ballot in the first place.

Full entrance view of the Imperial Theatre

There were a couple of significant changes for the show this year, with a lot of focus on live orchestra music, more musical singing replacing the lines they used to say, and cutting off some small comical scenes. Overall the tempo became much faster, and more explanation given to make the story easier to understand.

View from my seat on the 2nd floor

Just some observations for the scenes that left an impression on me.

[ACT 1]

OVERTURE
SHOCK OVERTURE

The live orchestra starts 1-2 minutes before 18:00 which is the start of the show, bringing us into the world of Endless SHOCK, playing a medley of familiar music. I actually felt a little overwhelmed with this thinking how many years have passed since my first SHOCK attendance in 2005.

Scene: 1 SHOCK OPENING
OPENING CONTINUE

Invitation to the Theatre (Owner’s greetings)

Koichi appears with the rest of the cast, glorious as usual! It’s good to see Uchi again after seeing him in Osaka in 2014. He’s a very handsome young man for sure and I like his new hairstyle/colour. It’s also nice to see Beverly Maeda back playing as the theatre owner again this year. It was a different actress in 2018, and I felt that Beverly has a stronger presence as the owner.

Scene: 2 Off Broadway’s Show
So Feel It Coming
The Company
NEW HORIZON

The usual music we are familiar with, but the main difference is that we have the live orchestra playing all of the music. I think it’s a brilliant idea and live music is just so engaging. I think they removed the part where Koichi will appear “magically” from those big panels with his photos.

Scene: 3 At the backstage of Theatre
Yes, My Dream

Scene: 4 Rooftop of the Theatre
ONE DAY

Rika was played by Ayaka Umeda, who’s an ex NMB48 / AKB48 idol. I read that she watched SHOCK some years ago in Fukuoka and even got introduced to Koichi at the time, but not sure if it actually helped her secure the role this time. Before this scene, there was a small musical part where Uchi / Rika sang about their feelings, Rika towards Koichi, Uchi towards Rika.

Scene: 5 On New York’s streets
It’s A Wonderful Day
Don’t Look Back

This year from “For you”, we have Fukuda and Matsuzaki… It was meant to be Koshioka, but he hurt his foot and cracked his toe bone just a few days before the start of the show, so they had to replace him with Matsuzaki which I think it’s amazing he can pick up with just a few rehearsals. There’s a scene after Koichi and Uchi had some argument, and after Uchi left, Koichi asked Matsuzaki to follow up with Uchi and stay by his side no matter what happens… There were some additional lines here to show how Koichi cares for Uchi.

Scene: 7 Imperial Garden Theatre
Introduction
Dancing On Broadway
Memory of Skyscrapers
Rock The World
SOLITARY

I got a big shock (no pun intended…) when they replaced the Jungle scene with Memory of Skyscrapers! The new song sounds like Koichi performing in some dinner shows… (if you know what I mean) It has a very “grown-up” feel of course. Unfortunately no chance to enjoy the bare chest/muscles of Koichi anymore….During Solitary, they changed the lines a little for the part when Uchi had to run out due to some stage problem.

Scene: 7 Backstage
Missing Heart

After Solitary, usually Koichi will drop to the floor and there’s a cleaning lady part, but they removed this scene this year and it went straight to the scene where Uchi and Koichi have some argument.

Scene: 8 Japanesque Show
Japanesque組曲

With the 20-member live orchestra this year stationed at the front of the stage, there were some structural changes to the stage, with no stairs leading to the audience or no way they can lower the front bit of the stage, so there are some significant changes to the show, with one having Koichi appearing at the back of the stage after Uchi shot his arrow, instead of the front where Koichi will appear among the audience and walk towards the stage.

Also after the terrifying part of him rolling down the big staircase with his bloody face, he had to end off the scene at the stage, instead of the stage lowering down. They also have the 2 members of the Japanese drums playing on stage while the battle scene goes on, which is actually very distracting for me because there are too many things to watch at the same time. They used to be stationed at the side of the stage…. Maybe this means I should go for a 2nd show???

[ACT 2]

Prologue
Invitation to the Dead
DEAD or ALIVE

Scene: 1 Shakespeare Theatre
Bach Mass in B minor
Symphony No. 5 (Mahler)
Requiem (Verdi)

Significant changes to the lines spoken by the cast in this part to link back to the whole story, the tragedy. I like how refreshing it is to have different cast like Uchi or Rika interpret their lines differently from other cast in previous shows.

Scene: 2 Owner at the backstage of Theatre
Don’t Look Back
New York Dream

Scene: 3A Imperial Garden Theatre
Higher

Right after Higher, the usual part of the reporters crowding around Koichi and co is removed.

Scene: 3B Backstage
Japanesque(BGM)
Don’t Look Back(BGM)
ONE DAY (Reprise)

Scene: 4 It’s A New World On The Earth
New Show Introduction
MUGEN
USA TAIKO
Ladder Flying
Intermission
Mask
Yoru no umi
Oozakura

One of the best parts I always enjoy in this show. Lots of energy, entertainment, and power from the cast. Yoru no umi is as beautiful as ever. I’m glad they have kept this song since the beginning since the song/lyrics is such a central reflection of the story progression, and nearing the end of Koichi’s role.

Scene: 5 Finale
CONTINUE

Ever since they started the new version of this song, I think this year it was actually easier to listen. Not sure if it’s because I got used to the overlapping melodies.

Curtain Call

Koichi with the cast expressed their thanks and also mentioned some changes to the show this year.

Congratulatory bouquets from various artists and agencies

Overall I really enjoyed the show, and it revived the fangirl in me each time I watch Endless SHOCK. It’s really my favourite performance from all of Koichi’s works. Wishing the entire SHOCK company good luck and no accidents all the way till the last show at the end of March. It will mark the 1700th show for Koichi!

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