A month ago, I was frantically searching for pre-sale tickets to what was supposed to be the “largest” J-event in Bali, second only to the upcoming Dewata Anime Festival. I even tried resorting to petty politics just to obtain free tickets. My efforts failed. I was unable to procure cheap tickets and decided to just wait for a random nice guy to sell their pre-sale tickets.
But then, today happened. A stream of evidence showing that the event, Seni2Negeri Natsu Gakuen, is on the verge of failing before it even starts.
Now, I’m not pointing any fingers here. There’s supposed to be an official explanation of what’s going on and customers who have contributed to the hype and bought pre-sale tickets deserve to know what’s going on. But let me show the signs of imminent failure for the event.
Expectations: ERMAHGERD JKT48
Seni2Negeri was expected to be the first and largest J-event held by Dewata Otaku Academy (DOA). The poster boasted Bandai as an official sponsor, along with Pocari Sweat and Suzuki. Holy shit, that’s a lot of dough. Also, they promised a load of awesome guest stars like JKT48, J-Rocks, and famous Indonesian anime dubbers.
You know what’s the kicker? Pre-sale tickets went for as cheap as IDR 25K (that’s less than USD 2!) during the initial sales. Now, pre-sale tickets have doubled to IDR 50K (USD 4). Even AFAID doesn’t have tickets THAT cheap! So, the thing going on in people’s minds is “when else can I drool over JKT48 for only 25K?”
The event was expected to be held on 20 June, which is just shy over a week from now. A month ago, I and a bunch of other friends were patiently waiting for the event. I even tried to persuade Kevin Wilyan, the head honcho at KAORI, to come and cover the event.
Reality: Everything Falls Apart
Nearing the 20th of June, everything seems to be falling apart. Let’s start with a few exhibits.
First, I present Exhibit A: tweets from the official Twitter account of J-Rocks, the second main guest star of the event. As you can see, the tweet was tweeted 20 hours ago. It mentions that J-Rocks has NOTHING planned for the 20th of June, indicating that the event organizer of Seni2Negeri Natsu Gakuen has yet to conclude an official contract with J-Rocks. It would be impossible for DOA to get J-Rocks over here in time; the contract process would take too long.
Next, I present Exhibit B: JKT48’s event calendar, straight from the official website. It shows the activities of the boner-inducing idol group during the month. Notice that there is NOTHING scheduled for the 20th of June, indicating that once again, DOA has yet to conclude a contract with JKT48. This is a disturbing predicament for the hyped fans.
Those are the two strongest evidences pointing towards the imminent failure of the event.
Here’s where it gets more interesting. Just this morning, the event consultant, Kotakotak Organizer (KKO) published their MoU with DOA. By the terms of the MoU, KKO’s only responsibilities are to “provide” guest stars for the event ONLY AFTER DOA completes all the tedious financial matters related to the contracts. This means that KKO is acting only as a middleman between DOA and the guest stars.
In the Facebook post, KKO also states the following:
Bahwasanya pada saat ini kami benar-benar tidak mengetahui jelasnya tentang acara tersebut (simpang siur) baik dari segi manajemen acara, ataupun pelaksanaan, kebingungan yang kami rasakan ini kami anggap sebagai kegagalan sebuah profesionalisme kerja yang sempat tertuang pada surat kerjasama yang sempat dibuat.
Mulai dari :Segi Publikasi Acara, Penjualan Tiket, Jumlah Pengunjung, hingga segala macam tindak kegiatan yang kami anggap merugikan pihak kami (KOTAKOTAK Organizer), mulai dari kesalahan penyebutan penempatan dalam poster, jejaring sosial, pembayaran jasa konsultan, hingga pembayaran kepada calon artis yang akan diundang dan dengan ini kami memutuskan untuk membekukan perjanjian hingga pihak yang berkaitan mampu meluruskan dan menyediakan kebutuhan yang tertera pada surat perjanjian kerjasama.
In summary, KKO officially terminates their MoU with DOA until DOA can sort everything out. This means that KKO will not provide guest stars for the event or any of their other services by the terms of the MoU. No JKT48 for you, weebs! Anyway, this is a really serious blunder on DOA’s side. The event is supposedly a week away, and everything is falling apart!
If things couldn’t get any more suspicious, the admin of the official FB page for the event has suddenly started purging their newer posts. I can’t really tell what’s actually going on.
With High Expectations Come Great Responsibility
This catastrophe is a big stain for the track record of DOA.
Hyped people are already demanding explanations from DOA. Disgruntled ticket buyers are already regretting their purchase. And there are people like me who are suddenly grateful they didn’t buy tickets.
My forecast for the event stays the same as before: it is doomed to fail. There are too many blunders and inconsistencies for it to actually happen. And even if by a miracle the show goes on, it will be a largely down-scaled event with local bands and a very small audience. This means no JKT48, no Bandai, and no J-Rocks. If the event does fail to get off the ground, I strongly hope that DOA has the humility to return everyone’s money, no matter how big their losses might be. It’s the only right thing to do. At least it shows that they are fully committed to their customers.
And if they chicken out, I’ll be here, watching an angry mob run them out of town, boycotting their future events, and staining the community for all eternity.
Of course, let this be a lesson for all: it is never wise to bite off more than you can chew.