TGU GLOBAL CONNECT, our Skype Video chat project, is one that connects overseas fans and Japanese idols. Previously we’ve had guests notall and Iketeru Hearts, and now for our third round we’ve got four members from Akishibu Project (Saori Funaki, Yuuna Arakawa, Natsumi Ishikawa, and Ami Iseki) joining us today! 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.

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– How did you like the Skype chat?

Everyone: It was so much fun!

Natsumi: It was our first time to do a Skype chat like this with our fans overseas. We don’t ave the opportunity to go abroad very often, so we were really happy. We were honestly really worried about whether people would actually join in or not! (laugh)

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Yuuna; A lot of fans spoke Japanese, so I was really surprised! I guess a lot of them like idols and/or Japan?

– Do you ever get replies to your tweets in Japanese from overseas fans?

Everyone: Yeah, we do!!

– What kind of comments do you get?

Natsumi: Well, as far as the blog comments we get go, a lot of them say things like “Ganbare~!” (“Do your best~!”) or “Matteru yo!” (“We’re waiting for you!”)

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Ami: Whenever we post a picture on Twitter we always get lots of replies.

– Your next overseas performance is from June 17th to June 19th, right? What do you think about visiting Hong Kong for the first time?

Saori: It doesn’t feel real yet…

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Ami: But some of the fans we talked to in the chat today said they were going to be there, so it was really heartening to hear that!

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Yuuna: Since we’ll be performing with idols from Hong Kong, I’m really curious to see what idol culture is like over there. I’m really looking forward to it.

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– Is there anything you’d like to try and challenge during your concert there?

Saori: I’d like to learn enough of the language to communicate when we give our greetings and self-introductions.

Natsumi: In addition to the concert we’re doing a handshake event, but so far I’ve only got the self-introduction down… But it’ll be a little disappointing if that’s all I can say by then, so I want to learn some simple phrases like “How old are you?” and stuff like that before then. This’ll be our third time performing abroad. Before we couldn’t speak any Thai and our English wasn’t all that great, so I hope we can learn and understand some of the language there.

– That makes sense. Were there any memories that left an impression on you from your past two concerts abroad (in Thailand and the Philippines)?

Saori; Language was important, of course, but the fact that people thought we gave a good performance despite it. We’re going to do our best to speak in Hong Kong, but even if we can’t express ourselves well, I hope that people like our show regardless.

Natsumi: Also when we were in the Philippines, the amount of cheering we got was really amazing! It felt like we were big shots or something. (laugh) We could hear people going “Waaaaaah!” throughout the whole show. On the last day we even came out for an encore, which felt unbelievable, but ultimately something we weren’t able to do because of time restraints. But even while just greeting the audience a little the audience would respond very enthusiastically. Whenever we would make gestures it would be like, “Woahhhh!” (laugh) That made me really happy. I think their enthusiasm may have even rivaled Japan’s! (laugh)

– Was anything different from Japan?

Yuuna: There were so many differences, but when we did things like the calls or the MIX, they would do them in Japanese. Quite the opposite, we were surprised at how similar it was to Japan. I felt like idol culture was something universal.

– Were there any foods you enjoyed in the Philippines or in Thailand, or any fun memories you made?

Yuuna: In both countries the fruit smoothies… or juice? was really good.

Ami: Everyone went crazy for the watermelon juice they sell in the Philippines. (laugh)

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Natsumi: In Thailand they had juice with watermelon in it, too!

Saori: The seaweed in Thailand was so good! It seems like over there they eat it as a snack. They had cheese and spicy flavors. I bought a lot of it as a souvenir, but it got eaten up so quickly that I wish I could order more of it from Japan. (laugh) It was really delicious!

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Ami: Also, the sausage-like food they sold at the convenience stores in Thailand were great! It was just regular sausage, but the staff inside the store will cut it for you. We were always passing it around. (laugh) There were so many fun things at the Thai convenience stores.

Natsumi: Oh, and Thailand had a lot of sweet-flavored drinks! They put sugar in the green tea. I thought it would be the plain, unsweetened kind like in Japan, but I was surprised to find it was sweet. It looked like most of the tea there had sugar in it, which was surprising! (laugh)

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– I hope you find lots of good food to eat in Hong Kong, too!

– From April 29th you began on your second tour, but is there anything you want to do over or challenge this time?

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Saori: I felt there were a lot of things we weren’t able to do during the first tour. We definitely had the spirit, but we have to raise our performance level. We have to make it even more professional.

Ami: I think if we don’t improve from our last tour, it’ll be hard for our fans to follow us, so we’re working hard to increase the level.

Natsumi: I feel like we were able to make each one of our performances more special this time around, and that our bag of tricks have grown… So it would be great if more people knew our name, or if more people came than last year.

Yuuna: Now that we’re just seven members this time we’ve been thinking about it as a fresh start, and working again on our spirit and skills together. On last year’s tour we always performed two act or three act shows with guests, but this time it’s our first solo tour, so we want to give it our undivided strength and do our best to take things up a notch.

– Thank you for your comments. Finally, please give a message to your fans overseas!

Yuuna: Even though there’s a lot of physical distance between us, we can really feel the wave of your support through Twitter and the comments you make on our blog, so it feels like you’re right there with us. How can put it… No matter how far away we may seem, you’re always there in our hearts! (laugh)


Natsumi: Now it’s not all that uncommon for Japanese idols to go overseas, you know? But we’re glad that out of all those idols you picked us, and that among all those idols you feel that Akishibu Project is great or that you want to come and see us, so see you at the airport!

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– The airport?! (laugh)

Natsumi: Yeah, it’s the best when fans come and greet us at the airport. There are even fans that cry when they see us. So, um… we hope to see you there!

Ami: Even if we can’t communicate perfectly in words, I feel like we can communicate by thought. Like even if we speak different languages, our feelings are the same, and that makes me really happy. I hope all of you will watch for us in the future!

Saori: We’re not close enough to meet you all right away, but it feels like we’re able to through all the SNS messages we get, and because of all the positive thoughts you send us, we want to give it our all when we go abroad. Also, we don’t want you to regret being our fans out of all the other idols out there, so we want to work hard so that you grow to love us even more.

Information
Akishibu project official site : http://akishibup.net/

Akishibu Project Five Major Cities National Live House 2016 Tour 【Shingitai Mushashugyo “Kai” 】Final
Date: June 15, 2016
Venue: TSUTAYA O-EAST
Time: Opens at 6:00 p.m. / Starts at 7:00 p.m.
http://www.hipjpn.co.jp/archives/40469

June 18th (Sat.)【TALE Festival in Hong Kong】
■Venue: HIDDEN AGENDA (Address: 香港牛頭角大業街15-17號永富工業大廈2樓A室)
■Performers: Akishibu Project / FES☆TIVE / READY TO KISS / Yumi Suzubara / Ariel Project / NO-C
■Time: Vol.1 (Afternoon) opens at 1:30 p.m., starts at 2:00 p.m. Vol.2 (Night) opens at 5:30 p.m. starts at 6:00 p.m.
■Ticket Reservation : http://goo.gl/forms/6ijj9EpoA9

June 19th (Sun.)【Akishibu Project Hong Kong Solo Concert】
■ Venue: HIDDEN AGENDA (Address: 香港牛頭角大業街15-17號永富工業大廈2樓A室)
■Time: starts at 6:30 p.m., starts at 7:00 p.m.
■Price: Advance tickets: 220HKD Day-of tickets: 280HKD
■Performers: Akishibu Project with guests: READY TO KISS, FES☆TIVE, and Yumi Suzubara
■ Ticket Reservation: http://goo.gl/forms/jDeh8fRlxZ

August 22nd (Mon.) Akishibu project 5th Solo Concert
■ Venue:ZEPP TOKYO


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TokyoGirls'Update
TokyoGirls'Update

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