Here is the report of my 4th and final meeting with CLAMP in Paris, and it was a very special one.
My favorite meetings with them were the first and last ones. The first was at the opening of their art expo. It was special because it was the first time I saw them and there weren’t so many people there, so I got to see them from very very close and I even exchanged greetings with Nekoi and Mokona (surreal).
Japan Expo was great and everything but it was much more distant since I didn’t win a ticket for any of the sign sessions.
My last meeting with CLAMP was very special because there were even less people than the party, I could talk to them, give them presents and much more.
The meeting was arranged by my friend, Anne. She works at an important place in Paris in which people can schedule visits. Basically, she invited CLAMP to visit her workplace.
Anne then invited me and other two of her friends (who are also CLAMP fans) to join the visit. The visit was scheduled for Sunday morning on July 5.
We arrived at the place at the scheduled time and they came immediately after.
A middle-aged man entered the reception room where we were at and my stomach sank as I heard him spoke the word “manga” (it was one of the few words that I could understand of his french). He was telling the receptionist that he had a scheduled visit with a team of manga artists. He was the president of Pika, the publisher of CLAMP’s mangas in France.
Almost as soon as he finished talking, Nanase Ohkawa entered in the reception room (with all her glory xD). OMG. She was wearing a purple short dress with a white scarf and her hair was tied up like she’s being using lately. I was very nervous but happy and couldn’t believe myself. It was a weird mix of feelings.
Soon the other CLAMP members entered one by one, I don’t remember the order but when I realized all of them were there.
Apart from CLAMP, there were 5 members of their staff, the woman translator that was in Japan Expo and Pika’s president.
The visit lasted nearly an hour and it was totally incredible since not only the place was beautiful but also CLAMP was there!
Mokona was visibly the most enthusiastic one. As you know, she really likes antiques and the building we were at was over 200 years old. During the entire tour, she was always the last one because she couldn’t stop taking pictures ^^ She kept taking pictures with her cellphone and her camera, and she took pictures with her Gundam figure too. That was very funny XD
There was a moment when I turned around and I saw Mokona aiming with her camera somewhere above my head. I dodged away because I thought I was getting in her way to take the picture, she saw it and seeing my reaction she told me “daijoubu! daijoubu!” (it’s okay! it’s okay!). And I smiled back, embarrassed xD
At one point, someone from CLAMP’s staff was going to take a picture of the 4 CLAMP members, but Ohkawa called everyone to be part of a group picture, and so we (happily) did. The staffer took two pictures with her camera. My friend Anne got to be in the same row as the CLAMP members and Satsuki put her arm over her =)
When the visit was done, I ran with Anne back to the reception room because both of us had left some presents for CLAMP in there. By the time we got back, they were signing stuff for the two friends of Anne.
I wrote my name on a paper and gave it to one of their managers, then I handed him the limited Shikishi that I bought at Japan Expo for them to sign on it. I heard their manager spelling my name to Ohkawa as she wrote it: “a, eru, e, ekkusu” xD
I was dying of joy. Here are the autographs:
Next thing I saw, Anne was giving them her presents. She gave them “La Maison du Chocolat” chocolates (which she knew they liked) and a bottle of champagne. Ohkawa’s reaction was a mix of surprise, happiness and “oh, but you didn’t have to!” xD
Then it was my turn.
I had studied how to talk to them in japanese in case there was an opportunity like this one, and I was trying very very hard not to mess up xD
Chibi Yuuto: CLAMP-sensei, hajimemashite *soft bow* (CLAMP-sensei, nice to meet you!)
CLAMP: hajimemashite *soft bow* (Nice to meet you!)
Chibi Yuuto: Eto… Boku wa CLAMP-sensei no tame ni dake Burajiru kara kita. (I came from Brazil just because of CLAMP)
Chibi Yuuto: Douzo! *gives package* (Here!)
Ohkawa took the package, inside the package there was a pack of Brazilian beer. They were all “Biru! Biru!” and I added “Burajiru no biru!” (Brazilian beer).
I had another package in my hands and Satsuki turned around to take it. She took it and extended her hand to shake hands. I shook hands with her but I also went for a hug xD She hugged me back~!
After this the other members of CLAMP came one by one to thank me for the presents and we hugged too xD It was a very awkward moment because when they would give me their hands I would hug them and when they would hug me I would give them my hand LOL Also this moment was filled with “arigatou”s xD They looked slightly shy because of the presents but also very happy so it was a cute mix of feelings X3
The other package which Satsuki took had a bottle of Brazilian sugar cane alcoholic drink known as “cachaça”. I also gave them a flyer with a recipe in japanese on how to make the Brazilian drink “Caipirinha”, which uses lemon and cachaça as main ingredients:
I saw Nekoi checking out the flyer that I made myself and my stomach sank once again (OMG Tsubaki Nekoi of CLAMP is checking that thing that I once did on Photoshop!).
I saw their translator saying something about the Caipirinha, it seemed like she knew about it because of the expression on her face (the expression of someone who has drank it xD) and also because the way she said it was perfect, no accent at all.
After this, Anne ran out to call the taxis that would take them back to their hotel but upon seeing that she was going away, Ohkawa called her back and they all thanked her and hugged her for her presents. I think this was extremely nice of them because Anne was a little shy when she gave her presents, so CLAMP didn’t thank her properly back then.
Each one of the CLAMP members also thanked the other two fans (friends of Anne) who were there, which was very nice of them.
When they were about to leave, waiting for the taxis to arrive, we took another group picture.
As we were putting ourselves into place for the picture, Ohkawa was sort of telling everyone where they should be (you couldn’t expect less from Ohkawa, the leader xD) and I was PRAYING, I was HOPING that she would call me, and HELL SHE DID! *-*
She looked at me, said something in japanese and TOUCHED MY ARM as in “come here”.
I died at that moment and went straight to heaven LOL But then I reborn to realize that it was so extremely kind of her to put me beside her in the picture because I was a fan. It was definitely a dream come true.
When we were saying goodbye, they were extremely lovable and kind. They bowed to us and we bowed back to them at least 10 times saying more “arigatou”s and a few “merci”s xDDD It was one moment of politeness overload, so cute xD
That was definitely one of the best days of my life.
Apart from being the professional and talented artists that they are, they are also extremely kind with their fans, I can say it as I was fortunate enough to experience that myself ^__^
I’m very, very thankful to Anne and everyone who has made this meeting a reality.
Edit: Here is a very cute drawing made by Fabrissou (who was there) which illustrates that day very well xD