We scored a special interview with middle school duo Naonetty, なおねってぃ (consisting of Nao Tachibana and Aine Fujii), who especially stood out from the successful candidates of Columbia Idol Audition 2015. During the interview, we talked about their true faces and enthusiasm for what their future has in store for them.

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Nao: Hello, my name is Nao Tachibana. I’m 13 years old and from Tokyo. Please take care of me.

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Aine: Hello, my name is Aine Fujii from Kanegawa. I am 14 years old. Please take care of me.

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ーFirst, what made you want to enter the Columbia Idol Audition?

Nao: I saw someone I know, an idol, performing and I thought it was so cool! It sparked my interest and I decided to enter. To be honest, I chose Columbia because I coincidentally stumbled upon it. (Laughs)

Aine: I’ve wanted to be an idol since I was a kindergartener and wanted to become one before taking high school entrance exams so I frantically searched for a way and came across Columbia Idol Audition. I’ve been told I’m great at singing since I was little and I’ve always enjoyed dancing so I thought I would try out.

ーThis audition and judging took place through SHOWROOM, which is a little different from other auditions. How did you feel about it?

Aine: Because of my age restriction, I had to deliver by 8PM. I performed since 6:30 AM, before school, but it was difficult for me because I’m not a morning person.

ーThat’s early! It’s tough for the people watching, too (laughs)

Aine: I ate dinner a in 5 minutes and performed as much as I could before 8 to improve my ranking as much as I could! The fans would watch me sing and dance during my show and I was really grateful for all the advice I received. I even did radio gymnastics in the morning (laughs).

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ーBroadcasting radio gymnastics during an audition is unique (laughs)

Nao: I don’t have any experience dancing, so while I practiced my older sister would tell me how terrible I was at it. I faced some difficulty because I was a little late in broadcasting on SHOWROOM. I was also limited on my broadcasting time. I was busy with practice for my club in the morning and couldn’t participate until after my club meeting at night. I was kind of all over the place but I had fun talking to the fans. I’m not the best at studying and there are a lot of Kanji I can’t read, but fans were taught me, we talked about studying and songs I like.

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ーWere you nervous during round 2 when you performed your singing and dancing?

Aine: It was bad. It was difficult to breathe when I entered the site…

Kaizuka P: I don’t think that was the case (laughs)

Aine: Everyone was watching….

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Kaizuka P: Well it was an examination (laughs)

ーAmong the candidates, it looked like Ainetty wasn’t nervous at all while Nao-chan was abnormally nervous, but I guess Ainetty was nervous too.

Aine: That’s right. I was the most nervous during my self-promotion.

Nao: My most memorable moment was when I forgot the lyrics….

Kaizuka P: Lyrics were forgotten, mics weren’t used, and there was an excess of time during the self promo (laughs)

Nao: I was handed the mic but once I stepped on stage, I completely forgot about it. I only realized I had the mic in my hand when I was told “use the mic!” I was surprised!

ーSo you were surprised, not nervous?

Kaizuka P: You didn’t use the mic during SHOWROOM either

Nao: I didn’t see the mic.

ーThe mic was right in front of you!

Nao: When you’re nervous, you lose sight of things.

Kaizuka P: The staff also worked hard to pick up on your voice, and because of that, it seems like Nao-san was the most memorable of the candidates.

Nao: Yocchi-san held my shoulder at the time so it really helped me out. When I laugh my body shakes left and right to the point where my friends tell me I shake too much.

ーHow did you like the panel of the judges? Judges included Kuro-chan and Marika Kitazawa of Akamaru Dash☆.

Nao: Kuro-chan’s voice was surprisingly high… (laughs)

Kaizuka P: Kuro-chan’s voice is like that on his private time. He even flirts with employees in that voice.

ーLet’s skip that topic with these two (laughs). Since Nao-chan’s voice is low, you could use that as your marketing point.

Nao: I see.

ー “I see” (laughs) How was Kitazawa-san?

↓Left : Kuro-chan, Right : Marika Kitazawa (Maarin)

Nao: Maarin-san was super cute! And even talked!

ーWhat did you talk about?

Nao: Nothing special.

ーDoes that count as talking? Do you have any other memories?

Aine: Kitazawa-san was sitting next to me during the broadcast. She had a nice floral scent and I was really happy.

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ーWhat was your first impression of each other when you met?

Nao: I thought Ainetty was really cute since the moment I saw her! Her hair was nicely curled. If I don’t properly set my hair, it flips outward.

ーIt’s nicely curled inward.

Nao: Even my hair is nervous…

(Everyone laughs)

ーYou’re nervous?

Nao: I’m so nervous that my big toe hurts.

ーWhat was your first impression of Nao-chan, Ainetty?

Aine: She’s tall and looks mature. I’m only 148cm but I want to be 150cm. She’s a year younger but taller.

Nao: I’m 158cm but I want to be taller because I want to be in the back of the group. I’m not very talented in singing or dancing so I shouldn’t stand in the front… I want to be behind everyone and make them stand out more. I’m practicing singing and dancing, but I would rather be in the back.

Aine: I don’t want to be in the back. I want to be in the front and center.

Nao: That’s awesome!

ーWhose point of view are you saying that from? (laughs) You’re two completely opposite people. How did you feel at the end of the audition when they announced the results?

Aine: I thought about taking a nap on the day of the results, but I couldn’t fall asleep because I’ve worked so hard up until this day. I’ve auditioned countless times, but I really wanted to win this time. When they announced all 11 votes were the same, I knew it couldn’t be me… but they called my name.

Aine-mom:I was watching with her, and I thought the same thing, but they called Fujii Aine. When I looked back, she was crying.

Aine: I had no hope that they would call my name, but my fans wrote “It has to be Ainetty” and put me under a lot of pressure (laughs)
I was really glad that all of my effort finally paid off. There have been times where I’ve made it to the final round but left without any results. I felt that I had to leave some kind of results this time so I feel super accomplished that I came in first.

ーWhat do you think put you at first place?

Aine: Umm, I think it has to be my singing. I couldn’t lose in that category.

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ーWhat about you, Nao-chan?

Nao: I was also considering taking a nap on the day of results… but I was actually able to sleep (laughs)

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(ーEverybody laughs)

My friends who were cheering me on came over to my house, and we all (mom and dad included) watched the results. As we talked about how I probably lost, I received a phone call with the results and thought “yes!”

While I was on the phone in the hallway, my dad, mom, and friends were jumping with joy. After I hung up, I was also jumping with joy. My heart exploded! And then my big toe started shaking.

ーAgain with your big toe (laughs) Do you show off to your friends?

Nao: Everyone at school knows I entered the audition.

Aine: Everyone from first year till third year, including the teachers knew at my school.

ーHas anything changed since entering the audition?

Aine: I’ve been running lately, but my senpai has acknowledged me by “Ainetty” When I leave early, my teacher and friends say “Idol? Work hard!” Little things like that make me so happy. My friends cheered me on during the result day and it made me want to do my best!

ーWhat kind of idol would you like to become?

Nao: I look up to Momoiro Clover Z. I’ve loved them since elementary school. I think it’s amazing how they can sing while performing those intense dance routines and how close they are with each other. It seems so fun! I hope to be close to the people in my group too. My dad showed me “Hashire” and “Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo” and dance Koko Natsu at home.

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ーSo your dad is a Momoclo fan? (laughs) Do you aspire to stand on a stage similar to Momoclo’s?

Nao: Because I’m in a club, I’m confident in my stamina so I would like to perform an intense show. Right now I’m in basketball, but I’ve been learning kendo since nursery school.

Nao: I also like µ’s, especially Minami Kotori and Kayo-chan.

ーMinami Kotori’s voice actress Aya Uchida-san is also under Columbia so you’re labelmates now.

Nao: Oh! I also like Nogizaka46. Nanase Nishino is beautiful and bright! She gives off such an aura.

ーDo you have any goals?

Nao: As of right now, it’s to remember all of the lyrics during a show!

ーDo you have any groups you look up to, Ainetty?

Aine: I love Riko Nakayama from Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku! Her smile and voice is so cute I watch videos of her on Youtube everyday! I’ve always loved idols and I look up to BABYMETAL, Angerme, and Kobushi Factory. Their performances are so great and I’d love to learn from them.

ーDo you have any goals?

Aine: My current goal is to perform in TIF! I’ve never been to one before, but I’ve always watched from videos and it seems like a lot of people come to watch. After that, I’d love to do a Jeep Tour…

ーDo you mean Zepp Tour?

Aine: Oh, you read that as Zepp (laughs)

Kaizuka P: It would be pretty entertaining to tour the nation in a Jeep. Let’s do a Jeep Tour (laughs)

Aine: After that, I’d love to do a YokoAri (Yokohama Arena) show!

ーIf you could do an overseas concert, where would you like to go?

Aine: Los Angeles. I’ve seen videos of BABYMETAL and LADYBABY’s shows and they’re so enthusiastic about Japanese music.

Nao: I love cold places so somewhere like Russia… I’ve also liked koalas since I was little so I’d like to go to Australia. My school offers an opportunity to study abroad in Australia so I’m thinking about studying English.

ーLastly, do you have a message for the fans reading this site?

Aine: I would love to be a multi-talented idol who can sing and dance and even appear on variety TV and be able to perform in everyone’s countries. Please look after me!

Nao: As a newbie to the idol world, there are a lot of things I have yet to learn so I would love it if everyone can teach me! Please support me! I would like to do my best so my big toe doesn’t shake!

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Related links
Columbia Idol Audition 2015 : https://www.showroom-live.com/event/columbiaidolaudition
Aine’s Blog : http://ameblo.jp/712391112/

Photos by Nathan Gey
Translated by Misato

Author
itaru9Z
itaru9Z

I am the Chief Idol Officer of Tokyo Girls Update, known as "Hiroro Ojisan" who loves Maachan. I produce the MV, art works, promotions, and tie-in campaign of idol groups such as "Team Syachihoko" and "Negicco". Please contact me if you know any "hanare-me" (wide-set eyed) idols.

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