TGU GLOBAL CONNECT, our Skype Video chat project, is one that connects overseas fans and Japanese idols. For our fifth round we’ve got two members from Akamaru Dash☆, Marika Kitazawa and Nayu Onish, joining the event! Fans from different countries around the world also joined in, and they had a great chat with them. Now that the chat has concluded, we’d like to ask the members what they thought, and about their upcoming overseas activities.

-So, how was Skype chat with fans from oversea today?

Kitazawa: It’s fun !

Onishi: We usually communicate with many fans through internet, so it was fresh experience to talk to individual fan with speaking in different languages. I’ve enjoyed it.

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Kitazawa: I felt amazing Maru chan’s such popular in oversea country.

Onishi: I was wondering how come she became so popular. (laugh)

Ohnish: We have released 3rd single “Another You” in last February, and then we visited Thailand in November last year, Korea February this year, and Thai again in June to join the event “J Series Festival. As in the lyric “how nice it would be if spread to the world”, I have opportunities to perform with this heart in oversea countries.

-Do you see any differences between performing in Japan and in Thailand and Korea?

Kitazawa: The cheering fashion is totally different between Japanese fans and Thai, Korean fans. Korean fans tend to sit listening calmly, but Thai fans try to excite with everybody even they don’t know the song but heat up and applause without delay. (laugh)

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Onishi: Thai fans applause in Japanese.

Onish: Ma-rin (Kitazawa) was called “O—Re—No—! Marika!” for the first time in her idol life at our second visit in Thailand.(laugh)

Kitazawa: I was moved by called so in Thailand for the first time in my life that made me think it might be nice to migrate to Thailand.(laugh) I was choked up by called “My Marik” for the first time. I was about to say “What?” through microphone.(laugh) “Did you say my Marika now ?”(laugh) That really made me happy.

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Onishi: I remember Thai fans tried to applause evenly. My mind went almost blank because the live heated up too much, but I clearly remember “my Marika”. I don’t remember well other things though.(laugh)

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Kitazawa: I could see Japanese Tabetomo-san (Akamaru Dash☆’s fan), and they are noticeably showing ways to applause “say like this now, and do like this” to Thai fans.

Kitazawa: Fans were communicating each other, and Japanese Tabetomo-san said “OK, now !“ for something like alternate call in “Wonderful Smile”(laugh). Then Thai fans also could cheer us without delay. It was heartwarming.

-Come to think of it, Kitazawa-san likes anime songs, don’t you?

Kitazawa: Not only anime songs, but if I felt it’s good song I listen to anime songs as well. In anime, I like “Madoka Magika” and “Bakemonogatari”. I found many comics, magazines, and anime figures which are popular in Japan at Animate in Thailand, so I felt like I’m in Japan?”(laugh)

Onishi: I found many comics that is surprising. I also like comics, and when I found the comic I’m reading in Thailand it pumped me up. Actually, I can’t read them though.(laugh) I should have bought some comics in Thai.

-Any other countries you want to visit?

Kitazawa: I’d like to perform in Shanghai.. I feel like it’s fun. I believe Japan has penetrated Shanghai because AKB48 is active there. I’m wondering how Akamaru will be received.

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Kitazawa: I personally want to visit pyramid in Egypt. I’m interested in seeing real world heritages which I only see on TV.

-How about world heritages in Japan?

Kitazawa: I like temples. I had an opportunity to learn Buddhism at school, so when I visited temple after school my mind was purified, and I feel “temple is cool”.(laugh)

-Onishi-san seems to have thorough knowledge of Zen world or universe.(laugh)

Onishi: I like universe very much. I don’t mean I want to go out to space but I like to think of universe such as if there is end of space or what is universe. Something like this.

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One of my hypothesis “Universe could be like this” is “Universe is someone’s possession”. For example, Universe is someone’s snow dome, then there is earth in the dome, and tiny ourselves are also there…… I sometimes imagine like this. The earth is a wonderful object human created, but I think there is similar planet to the earth in several hundred million light-years away in the space. I also think……there might be alien spies in earth.

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Additionally, I like stories of SF and series of pass through time. I like the novel “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and the movie “Back to The Future” as well.

—There might be someone who could understand each other abroad.

Onishi: Since long ago, I think of universe time to time, and I felt “Oh, it’s fun” when I talked at certain opportunity. Ma-rin(Kitazawa) is spoiled at most time though.(laugh)

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Kitazawa: I’ve never thought of it.(laugh)

Onishi: I have tried to call UFO in the radio program.(laugh) I learned say “Yun Yun Yun” to call UFO. I have tried, but it didn’t come.(laugh)

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−I hope it will come sometime.(laugh) Do you have any news after one-man performance in March?

Kitazawa: There are several chances to be on stage by we 2 now, and we are feeling Tabetomo-san(fans) are trying to heat up more. The choreography called “Akamaru Train” in the song “Uwasa no Japanese Boy” which everybody put their hands on other’s shoulder to make one line is becoming popular, and the live performance became much more excited.

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Onishi: The passion we tried hard to make one-man performance successful spread to fans after the event made me happy, and the passion to try harder is becoming bigger rapidly.

Kitazawa: After one-man performance, I’m more motivated to have live event. When I don’t have live on weekend I say “Huh? Don’t we have live ?”

Onishi: It’s really so. When we don’t have live for 2 weeks I wondered “What should I do?”(laugh)
It stays in my heart I could share delightful time with tabetomo-san (fans).I want to have that feeling again.

Onishi: Simply, we don’t have much chance to have solo event.(laugh)

Kitazawa: I want to have events by we 2. I’ll do my best !

—Did you completely accomplished one-man performance ? Did you find any issues to improve?

Kitazawa: Honestly, we are feeling “we need more ability to attract, as just suspected”. It was difficult situation that ticket sales was not as planned before one-man performance, so we were wondering if it is right to continue one-man performance under this situation.

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Onishi: During through rehearsal at the venue on the day of event, I was afraid that only front row might be filled by audience.

Kitazawa: We were talking “we do utmost if front row is filled.” Finally, we have welcomed many audience, but we convinced we should have much ability to attract audience at first.

—What do you think it’s important to improve audience attraction?

Onishi: We haven’t reached finding the exact answer of gathering more people for our concert, but after 3 years, and I realized it is the way of idol to keep looking for the solution.

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Kitazawa: Now we have more chances to perform by 2, so I think it’s good to have comfortable live environment when other 2 come back.

Onishi: As just Ma-rin(Kitazawa) said, non Tabetomo-san(fans) are joining “Akamaru Train” that makes me happy more than anything else.

Kitazawa: You are right, I want to be an idol that audience say the live is attractive.

—How about solo activity by Kitazawa-san?

Kitazawa: I would like to steadily try if I have chances!

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—How did you start solo event?

Kitazawa: I thought over what could improve Akamaru’s future after one-man performance. Sure enough, I like to sing, so I talked to manager I want to try to perform solo. I thought it’s nice audience come to Akamaru Dash☆ after they listen to Kitazawa’s solo and like it.

—How do you feel after performed alone?

Kitazawa: I realized how important the member is. Because I’m not good at MC, I sometimes feel “It’s good to have a member” It is difficult because the type of fan is totally different from Akamaru.

—I hope solo activities will influence in good way to the group. OK, finally, please say a few words to fans abroad.

Kitazawa: Every time I go abroad, we felt by ourselves quality of Akamaru Dash☆ improved.
I would like you to see growth of Akamaru Dash☆.


Onishi: Akamaru Dash☆ is a group to take time to boil down to simmer.(laugh)

Kitazawa: We are too much boiled and in the mid of simmering.(laugh) I hope Thai fans could also feel “Oh, Akamaru Dash☆ became much better than last time”.

Kitazawa: Also, I want to hear “Ore no Marika (My Marika)” again.(laugh)

Kitazawa・Onishi: We want to steadily heat up the world with our songs!
(Toward the pot) Boil down and simmer.

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Related links
Akamaru Dash☆ official site : http://www.maruchan.co.jp/aka-midori/idol_project/
Akamaru Dash☆ Twitter : https://twitter.com/akamaruofficial

Author
Ayaya
Ayaya

Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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