Friday, September 4, 2015

So you want to go to Symphogear Live 2016

I've gotten numerous emails and twitter/tumblr questions about the concert next year from people who are interested in attending. The process isn't exactly easy, but it's not impossible either. Basically, if you have enough money to get a ticket and get to Japan, then there's really nothing standing in your way. The problem is: getting a good seat.

First, confirm all the information and make sure you can get there:

Day 1 – Saturday February 27, 2016
Doors open at 4 pm, performance starts at 5 pm

Day 2 – Sunday February 28, 2016
Doors open at 3 pm, performance starts at 4 pm 

Location: Nippon Budokan (2-3 Kitanomarukoen Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-8321)

Tickets: 6,900 yen ($58 USD)

Now as for the tickets, there are multiple ways to get them:

Method #1: Enter the premium lottery for advanced tickets with good seats

To do this you will need a serial number. Numbers for day 1 are included with BD/DVD vol. 1 and numbers for day 2 are included with BD/DVD vol. 2
The serial number will come with instructions on how to use it, but usually you have to enter the it in on an associated website (likely as it was used for the 2013 live).
You will need to make an account beforehand. This will require you navigate the website entirely in Japanese as there is no English version. For this I suggest you get either rikaichan (Firefox) or rikaikun (Chrome) to help you determine the meaning of kanji you encounter. You can also try Google Translate, but I personally find that less effective. 

The site will generally ask you for the following information: 
  • 名前: Your name, in this order: last name, then first. You can do this in romaji or katakana.
  • 名前(カナ): The reading for your name in Japanese, in regular-width katakana.
  • 電話番号: Home phone number, with area code. In half-width characters.
  • 携帯電話番号: Cell phone number
  • PCメールアドレス: Your email address (gmail, yahoo, etc) 
  • 携帯メールアドレス: Cell phone e-mail (not required) 
  • 性別: Sex, choose: Male (男) or Female (女)
  • 生年: Year of birth. 4 digit format, ex. 1988
  • ログインIDの設定: Select your login ID from either your phone number or email address
  • パスワード: Create a 4-11 letter password
  • 確認用パスワード: Reconfirm the password
  • 支払方法: Method of payment. Select from: Credit Card (Usually won't accept foreign cards, but you can try), Convenience Store pay, or Online Bank Transfer. 
  • 住所: Your Japanese address (you can make one up, doesn't need to be real)
  • 郵便番号: Postal Code
  • 都道府県: Prefecture (pick from the drop down list)
  • 市区町村: Town/city and municipality
  • 番地: House number/street address
  • マンション・アパート名・部屋番号: Apartment name and room number (if needed) 
Anything else after that is usually about whether or not you want to receive an email newsletter so just click whatever and you should be fine, you can unsubscribe later if you make a mistake.

After you register an account and enter the serial number, you will need to navigate through some confirmation screens that will ask you to select which performance and time you want the ticket for (usually this is on a drop-down menu with only one option). You can also select the number of tickets you want, usually a max of 2 or 3 (note: selecting more doesn't improve your chances of winning the lottery as it's based on the serial number entered).  You can enter multiple serial numbers under a signal account to increase your chances. Lastly you will be asked if you want the tickets mailed to you, or if you'd prefer to pick them up at a convenience store. I do all my payments and ticketing through the convenience store, in eplus's case at 7-11. After that you'll be done with the entry process. Then you have to wait for the results, which is usually a few weeks later.

When the results arrive you'll get an email that says you've either won the lottery and gotten the ticket, or failed and got nothing. It will ask you to pay for the ticket by a deadline (usually within a week), if you entered multiple serial numbers it will ask you to pay for each number that was a winner, but usually you can just pay for the 1 ticket you want and let the rest expire without suffering a penalty.

After the lottery is finished, they will likely announce a 2nd lottery to give all the people who failed a second chance. To give you an idea: In 2013 I had 3 serial numbers. In the 1st round I was able to win with 1 for a single ticket. I entered the 2 remaining numbers in the 2nd ground, but neither of them won.

Method #2: Buy a general ticket when they go on sale with decent seats 

After the lotteries are over, the remaining tickets will be available for sale to anyone. Currently, the date for general ticket sales is TBA, but it is listed as an option on the website so don't worry if you can't get any serial numbers. To buy a general ticket, the process is usually the same as the lottery: you have to go through the specified ticketing service. Last year, as I mentioned, it was but there are other sites out there such as and You have to register an account and pay using the same options I mentioned above.

Method #3: Buy a ticket on the day of, at the event itself. 

Generally speaking the longer you wait, the worst the seats are. If there are any left on the day of they tend not to be very good, usually high up with a poor view of the stage. There is of course a risk of the tickets selling out entirely before the day of the event, which means this method might not even be possible. However it's not uncommon for some seats to be left and you can buy a ticket right at the door. The price is the same no matter which of the methods you choose. 

Method 4: When all else fails…

If you cannot find a way to pay for your ticket through the ticketing website, and you want to secure a ticket before you come to Japan, there are ways to do so. One of those options is to search Yahoo Auctions Japan. Tickets that people have secured from the lotteries often go up for auction and depending on the seat, can go for a very high price. This method is not advisable as sometimes the names on tickets are matched with IDs at the door in order to discourage people from auctioning off tickets to make money. Nonetheless, it is an option since you can use a proxy to make purchases through YAJ which you probably can't do with the ticketing website (of course, I've never tried). 

Of course the absolute last resort is to buy from scalpers who are selling their tickets at the event itself. Depending on the event it’s actually not uncommon for people to hold signs seeking to buy tickets from people who are willing to sell them at the event, but you have no way of knowing what the asking price will be and if it fits within your budget. 

In the end, getting a ticket poses multiple challenges for people who live outside of Japan. It's certainly possible to get them, but you may end up spending more than you have to normally. If you know anybody who lives in Japan, or will be visiting before the concert, I recommend you ask them to pay for and get your ticket. Depending on how many of my lottery numbers hit, I may actually have tickets to offer people if they are willing to send me money through paypal, but I'm not necessarily in a financial position to offer help to everyone that asks for it. All I can say for now is keep an eye on my twitter when the ticket lotteries start rolling around. Otherwise, good luck if you try to go on it on your own. You can search google for more resources, there are plenty of write-ups on blogs and forums that will help you more than what I described above. 

Oh, and I will be doing update posts regarding this when we have more information at the end of the month when the first BD/DVD volume is released. Stay tuned.  

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