Recently the walls of the RocketNews24 office have been echoing with giddy squeals of “Eeeeeee… Takamina!” at a rate of about once per hour. In between, we have been treated to a middle-aged man’s song-stylings of AKB48’s single Koisuru Fortune Cookie.

It all started last year when our reporter Mr. Sato had entered a dance contest to meet graduating AKB48 member Tomomi Itano, but despite his best efforts he lost out. Now, he has his sights on Minami Takahashi (“Takamina”) and the chance to see her and other members in an exclusive show only available to the winners of a contest held by Japan’s Wonda Coffee.

Always an AKB48 fan, never an AKB48 attendee

Mr. Sato had long been a fan of AKB48 and idols in general. As a young adorable cherub himself, he always felt that this genre of music spoke to him in a way that his uglier colleagues and friends just couldn’t comprehend.

However, his one life regret was that he has never attended a live AKB48 event despite working only across town from where they perform. The demand for tickets is so great that he could never get a hold of any. He would have to book in advance, and when your job involves eating copious amounts of food resulting in copious hours in the bathroom, it’s hard to plan ahead.

The contest

Japanese coffee producer Wonda may have provided a way for him to get there after all. By collecting stickers adhered to cans of their brand of coffee, he could enter to win access to a special event to which no tickets are sold. “Thish ish mai chansh,” he mumbled through a mouthful of bean paste from his suicide cake.

As any eternally poor lottery player will tell you, the key to winning is to get in as many entries as possible. Winners are announced weekly, so Mr. Sato would simply have to drink as much coffee as possible in that time frame to win. But where would he get the supplies he needed?

Office supplies

Mr. Sato explained his plan to his editor, and told him that he would require 100 cases of Wonda coffee to see Minami Takahashi live. While our editor agreed that unleashing Mr. Sato on AKB48 would indeed be entertaining, 100 cases was a tall order and the space it would take up could interfere with other work.

“Alright, I’ll give you 10 cases,” he replied, and placed an order. Mr. Sato’s face stretched to a big bean paste encrusted grin and he skipped out of the office singing “Yeah-eee yeah-eee yeah!”

Come and they will build it

Shortly after Mr. Sato arrived at the office to find 10 cases of Wonda coffee piled at his desk. “Just make sure you keep out of everyone’s way, okay?” his editor warned. Mr. Sato mumbled a “yes” with his gaze fixed on the coffee. It wasn’t 600 liters of water, sugar and milk he was looking at, though. This was the rich, dry-roasted road to Minami.

As his editor walked off, Mr. Sato snapped out of his daydream and started barking at all his co-workers. “You! Start making the foundation with these cans of black coffee. And you, prepare the café au lait for some flying buttresses!” Then clapping his hands he said “We have a temple to build people! Right here, in the center of the office.”

Mr. Sato had known that the center of the office was a power spot and his conduit to the gods of coffee. By lunch, Mr. Sato stood sipping on his fifth Wonda Morning Shot and with a twitching left eye watched as his co-workers put off their articles to help him finish his temple.

The Temple of Coffee

With the temple complete, Mr. Sato sat in the middle and absorbed the spiritual essence of the coffee gods. “Please! Please help me get near Takamina! I beg of you!” he wailed while rocking back and forth clutching his smartphone.

About 20 liters of coffee later, Mr. Sato remained in the temple… except when he had to go to the bathroom every seven-or-so minutes.

“Workinginthedivineatmosphere [gasp] ofthetempleofcoffee [gasp] Iwilldomybestexcept [gasp] duringbreakstoenjoyyourcoffee,” he would continuously blurt out. Strangely he hadn’t mentioned AKB48 or Minami Takahashi at all since his 24th Wonda Gold.

As of this writing Mr. Sato had not won a ticket to the exclusive AKB48 event, but he has until 7 August to claim one, and winners are announced on the Monday of every week. Quite frankly we’re not totally sure he’s going to make it until then, so if you’re an idol fan and want a chance to get in on this exclusive event grab a can of Wonda coffee and check out their contest website for entry. Mr. Sato would have wanted it that way.

Source: Wonda & AKB48 Special Campaign (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – AKB48

[ Read in Japanese ]