Firstly, the non-spoilery stuff.
This year, alongside Kaicho, F9 consists of YOU, Takumi, Sato, Val, Hayato, Taya, dancers Wang and EGA and Shinnosu.
Before the show, the F9 senpais serve in the school canteen. If you buy food or Stargacks from a senpai, you get a little card with the senpai's name written on it. During the show Kaicho will announce the name of the senpai who sold the most and any fan that has that senpai's card can have their photo taken with them after the show.
On Saturday it was YOU-senpai. On Sunday it was Takumi-senpai. Me and a few other OGYD members were able to get photos with Takumi-senpai on Sunday (squee!)
Now onto the show and the spoilers!
Both shows started about 45 minutes late. On Saturday I was 11th row and on Sunday row 41, which was about halfway back.
The show started with school bells chiming and a female announcer welcomed everyone to the school festival. This is all done exactly the same as they do it in Japanese high schools (I work in Japanese high schools!) and we were asked to stand for the school anthem.
After this, the vice-principal skipped onto stage (he's one of GACKT's staff) and explained the Gakuensai a little with emphasis on the specific words to use (shall we call this Gakuen-ben or something....)
Next, Seito Kaicho arrived by walking through the crowd, down the centre aisle, on a red carpet. He hadn't followed the lead of his idol GACKT by cutting his hair and instead still had longer black hair (GACKT is wearing a wig).
Kaicho greeted the students and welcomed them to the Semete, Semete, Semenasai. He announced the winners of Miss and Mister Camui Gakuen. The winners came up on stage and received a sash and handshake from Kaicho. On Saturday Miss Gakuen could hardly look at Kaicho and the winner on Sunday dropped her sash. On Sunday, Mr. Gakuen was a young boy and Kaicho had a little trouble getting him to respond the way he wanted.
Next was the introduction of our F9 senpais (minus Shinnosu-senpai). Kaicho introduced them one by one and asked them to do their best. The senpais threw their ties to the crowd and Kaicho left the stage. One senpai was called on to shout out to the crowd. On Saturday it was Sato-senpai and on Sunday Val-senpai. F9 then danced a short section from Paparapa before also leaving the stage.
Shinnosu-senpai came down the centre aisle in his MOON SAGA outfit and spoke to some fans. He killed a bit of time before Takumi-senpai, Val-senpai, Taya-senpai and EGA-senpai came out dressed as MOON SAGA characters. YOU-senpai, Sato-senpai, Hayato-senpai and Wang-senpai came out in the red training outfits. This is the variety game section of the Gakuensai and Kaicho is not involved.
From here it was different both nights, so I'll start with Saturday first. We were shown a video of GACKT talking about MOON SAGA. It was Hayato, dressed as GACKT, wearing shades and imitating him. The four senpais in the training outfits were challenged to quickly change into other MOON SAGA costumes. Sato-senpai had to change into Tomoe's clothes, Hayato into Yoshitsune, YOU into Hiyori and Wang into a character nobody actually knew.
There was a changing area on stage behind a screen and a medley of GACKT songs played as they changed. At the end of the allocated time, towels were thrown behind the screen in case any senpai needed to cover up and then the screen was dropped. Wang-senpai and Hayato-senpai had managed to change. Sato-senpai was half in Tomoe's outfit but had a towel covering his chest. YOU-senpai had changed into a towelling robe, an afro wig and had a big glass of brandy. This was a play on someone else called Hiyori but I don't know who.
On Sunday, it was Val-senpai in the GACKT mocking video. Takumi-senpai, Val-senpai, Taya-senpai and EGA-senpai were challenged to act out one of Yoshinaka's more dramatic scenes and remember the lines. They'd had prior warning of this and given chance to learn the script.
Despite that, and after some trouble with the spotlight, Val-senpai couldn't get past the first line. Taya-senpai did really well and acted it all out but failed on the last few words. Takumi-senpai really acted well, but failed on the last line. EGA-senpai said the first word "naze" and then did an interpretive dance. So, they all failed.
On both nights they did some mock MOON SAGA fights. On both nights it was Hiyori (YOU-senpai) vs. Saburou (Val-senpai). Val-senpai blasted YOU-senpai with an energy blast but instead of dying, Hiyori turned demonic with the same sharp claws as some of the demons in the play. Hiyori killed Saburou but Saburou healed himself so Hiyori killed him again. They repeated this a few times. They also showed a video of YOU-senpai doing the mock GACKT interview.
Each night there was a batsu game. On Saturday it was Taya getting hit and on Sunday, Val-senpai. The variety show finished with a MOON SAGA Vol.2 plug and a short dance to Koakuma Heaven, complete with the video screen.
After an interval, it was time for the main event - Super Excellent High School Students in Japaaaaaaaan. SEX Japaaaaaaaan is the name of the cover band that performs in this second half. For most of the live performances the band was Kaicho, YOU-senpai, Takumi-senpai, Sato-senpai and Val-senpai.
On Sunday we were asked to prep the glowsticks before it started. On Saturday there was no such advice and nobody knew what to do with them so the glowsticks weren't really used until the last song.
Song 1 - Thrill / HOTEI
This was a pretty straightforward performance. On Sunday, Wang and EGA danced around half naked for a little while but they didn't do that on Saturday.
Song 2 - White Breath / TM Revolution
Halfway through the song, Hayato and Taya came out with a fan and streams of white paper. They used these as cheap effects and covered Kaicho in the flying white paper. You could barely see Kaicho on Saturday through the paper and on Sunday, some of it got caught around his throat.
Song 3 - B'z Ultra Soul medley
On Saturday there was no explanation but on Sunday, Kaicho explained that whenever he sang "ultra soul" (or anything ending in soul, actually) the crowd should jump and yell "hey!" As the medley started, the members of F9 that aren't in the band wheeled on a big board. Kaicho looked confused. On the board was the name of the B'z song being performed. After a couple of lines, they'd flip the board to say "ultra soul" (or something soul) and the song would change.
The basic story of the performance was that Kaicho wanted to perform more of the songs, so each time the board was flipped and the song changed, he became more frustrated. He didn't manage to sing more than two lines of anything. For Itsuka no Merry Christmas, he didn't even sing a word. On Sunday, he angrily flipped the board himself on that one.
Song 4 - 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou / Siam Shade
Kaicho introduced this as being Jun-ji-senpai's favourite band (Jun-ji plays drums for them). On Sunday we were asked to remove our ties and ribbons so that we could swing them in the air. Kaicho also wanted the crowd to do a pose as the song started and made YOU-senpai and Takumi-senpai demonstrate it. Before he fully finished explaining it though, Kaicho called for the song to start. He then stopped the song after a couple of notes saying he'd got it wrong. The crowd really teased Kaicho over his mistake (GACKT very rarely gets things noticeably wrong on stage, so it was quite a surprise and worthy of teasing!)
Song 5 - Jounetsu no Inazuma / GACKT
There is always one song by Ga-Ga-Ga-GACKT (as Kaicho introduces it) every tour and this was it. Everyone has the cat ears on for the performance. There are no video screens with the dance routine on, so Kaicho had to explain and demonstrate it. There was a lot of hip shaking.
On Saturday Kaicho got the dance routine out of order and had to correct himself. On Sunday, he couldn't remember if the chorus line had two claps or three claps. He was muttering to himself "two? Three?" and had to quickly run through the routine to himself to remember if it was two or three. This made the crowd yell "kawaii!!" at him and instead of reacting in mock anger and denials as GACKT usually does, Kaicho just replied "I know!"
Kaicho mimed this (as GACKT did at BOB) and the senpais that were not in the band were on stage to demonstrate the routine too. If you want to actually dance the routine correctly, do not follow Kaicho's lead. He misses things occasionally!
Song 6 - Seasons / Ayumi Hamasaki
The band all wore coats for this. Kaicho had his big (fake) fur coat on and was complaining about being cold. He had a cute pretend conversation with an imaginary girl. He asked her what her name was and it was Ayumi Hamasaki. When he did this conversation on Sunday, some fans knew where it was heading and called out the name before he could say it. Kaicho proved again that he is surprisingly good at singing songs by female singers. On Saturday Kaicho began the song by singing acapella but he didn't do this on Sunday.
Song 7 - I LOVE YOU / Yutaka Ozaki
You might remember that last year GACKT presented a TV show about a singer that had passed away. That singer was Yutaka Ozaki. For this, only Kaicho was on stage and he sang to a pre-recorded piano backing track. It was a beautiful performance.
An audio skit aired between Kaicho and Taya about female students... and the "female" students took over for the next section.
Song 8 - Mr. / Kara
The girls for this song wore the female Gakuen uniforms. On Saturday it was YOU, Takumi, Sato and Val. On Sunday Hayato joined them. On Saturday it was difficult to see who was who due to the wigs, but on Sunday they addressed this by introducing them. Also on Sunday, the "girls" came through the crowd down the centre aisle. I was close to the aisle on Sunday and damn, those guys make some hot girls up close!
Song 9 - Fantastic Baby / Big Bang
The girls in this song were wearing AKB-esque outfits. On Saturday it was Hayato, Wang, EGA and Taya. On Sunday, it was Wang EGA, Taya and Seito Kaicho. I never thought I'd see GACKT dancing around to a Big Bang song in a short AKB outfit and long ash blonde wig. Kaicho was working it up there!! He had to though as he was dancing with professional dancers. They changed many of the lyrics so that it was 'Camui Gakuen Baby'
Song 10 - Gangnam Style / PSY
Shinnosu plays the role of PSY and he was backed up by Val, Hayato, Wang, Taya and EGA, still in their school girl outfits. Again the lyrics are changed so that it's Camui Style.
Another audio skit was played. Taya-senpai called Kaicho, and Kaicho's ringtone was GACKT's new song. Not RIDE OR DIE, but the other one. Sounds kinda ballady, but not a totally slow song. Anyway, Taya-senpai was upset and worried because Chacha-senpai was in France and couldn't do the X-Japan set. Kaicho wasn't so concerned and eventually hung up.
Song 11 - Rusty Nail / X-Japan
The voice over introduced the band.
"On guitar, YOU-senpai! Takumi-senpai! On bass, Sato-senpai! On drums, Seito Kaicho!"
Each member came out dressed as X-Japan dressed back in the 1980s. Kaicho had his usual Yoshiki outfit on, but this year also had a long wavy blonde wig too (that looked terrible)
Then the vocalist was announced. "Toshi-senpai!!"
The band launched into Rusty Nail and then yes, TOSHI FROM X JAPAN RAN ON STAGE.
The real Toshi. From the real X-Japan.
The hall went crazy. And stayed crazy for the whole set.
Song 12 - X / X-Japan
Instead of shouting "X!" the crowd shouted "sex!" Toshi-senpai played along with the Gakuen theme and introduced the other band members as senpais or as Kaicho. He did the "yoroshii ka?" bit too. The whole thing was beyond amazing. On Sunday I had many people seated by me that had not been there on Saturday and seeing their reactions to Toshi appearing was amazing. He received the loudest reactions of the night. Kaicho was the last to leave the stage and he threw his drumsticks to the crowd.
A cartoon style video aired of Kaicho and Taya-senpai discussing the encore. Taya-senpai suggested SMAP again and Kaicho showed his displeasure at that...
Song 13 - Starlight / Hikaru GENJI
For this performance, all of F9 wore cheesy silver outfits, had glowsticks attached to their mics and were on rollerskates.
Rollerskates. Just like the video I posted.
Some band members were better at this than others (Kaicho) and some members may have over shot where they intended to stop (Kaicho) but it was really well organised and performed. It was a ton of fun and most members had a solo singing spot.
The song finished and Kaicho wished us all a safe journey home.
So yeah. Awesome show. There were a lot of tweaks and improvements between the shows. I can't wait to see how it continues to develop!