Aine Fujii from Flower Notes and Serika Hinata from ICE CREAM SUICIDE were the recipients of the Individual Prize at the Chu Chu Fest!!! ~Agametate Matsureya!! Idol Kohaku Dai Gassen!!~ held on December 2, 2016. Despite both groups only having debuted this past summer, they beat out other longer-running groups in order to clench the prize, and in this special collab interview, we’re taking a moment to learn more about their appeal.


-Now that we’ve got both of you here, could you please introduce yourselves?

Serika: I’m Serika Hinata, the Honey Yellow leader of ICE CREAM SUICIDE. It’s nice to meet you!

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ICE CREAM SUICIDE is a six-member group based around the Shibuya area, with a concept that focuses on uniting all of our different personalities into one unit.

The group name was something we all decided on. All of us love ice cream, and since our personalities and appearances are all different, we likened it to us being different flavors of ice cream. “SUICIDE” means “jisatsu” in Japanese, which I think a lot of people might find a little frightening, but we added it to mean “killing off the parts of yourself that you don’t like”, so you could say it’s like a “positive” kind of suicide. (laugh) As a group, we come up with our own costumes and pursue the things we like.

Aine: I’m Aine Fujii, or Ainetty, the youngest member of Flower Notes. It’s a pleasure to be here.

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Flower Notes is a unit that created in April 2016 by Nippon Columbia’s idol label, Label The Garden, and following a member selection process in September, we debuted as a group in December. Although we were never trying to be “unorthodox idols”, many people refer to us like this.

-Can I ask you about your thoughts on your major debut?

Aine: We made our major debut on December 7th with the single “Renka”, and I was really glad to see all our hard work from the auditions take shape when CD shops were displaying it. We even got a surprise present from our fans on the last day of our release event! It made me so happy!

-How was Chu Chu Fest!!!?

Aine: Because there were so many amazing idols we were really nervous, but it was also a lot of fun. I felt such an intense amount of energy there, much more than at our usual events.

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Serika: Because were split into white and red teams, and because I can’t appear on the real (NHK) Year-end Song Festival, I imagined that this was my very own version as I was singing. (laugh) Since it was my first time competing during a concert, and there are so many of us negative-mind girls in the group, I kept telling myself to try my best not to bring everyone else down. And because there were so many amazing idols there, I decided to take advantage of my position a little to get close to them for free. (laugh)

-I see, so you also like idols, which makes you both half fan/half idols.

Both: (Laughs) Yeah, we both love them.

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-This time they upped the number of individual awards to two, and your both received them with high praise. How did you feel when you heard your names called?

Serika: Since we’d just debuted, I never thought for a minute that that I’d be chosen… I often chew Mintia (a brand of mints), and while I had one in my mouth I heard them calling my name. I was like, “Oh crap! I have to swallow it right now!” so I immediately downed it. (laugh) But it was truly an honor to receive it, and I was really glad.

-Among the judges, ICS (ICE CREAM SUICIDE) in particular scored really high marks, especially for your visuals and performance. Everyone was surprised, like, “Did this girl just re-appear in the idol world again?” and I completely agreed with their decision to award you the individual prize.

Serika: I’m happy to hear that.

Aine: Because of the time, I was watching from behind (instead of on stage), thinking, “Whose name are they going to call? Who will it be?” and looking forward to the big reveal, so when I heard my name, I was in so much shock that I don’t really remember much about it. (laugh) But at the same time I had been entertaining the delusion of what would happen if I won just a little, so I was really overjoyed.

-Your singing ability was by far superb, and to think that a junior high school girl could be that good, the decision was unanimous.

Aine: On the contrary, the only thing I can do well is sing. I’m terrible at dancing, and just looking around at all the other idols, I could almost cry at how plain Iook… So getting the award made me feel happy that people were paying attention to other areas besides just looks, and it gave me some confidence.

-When I interviewed you back in August of 2016 as part of seeDream, Serika and ICS were just getting noticed, meaning both of you were pretty much at the same place. Out of all the participating groups at the concert, the two with the least amount of experience got the prize. Especially when performing, you’re both about the same height at 140 centimeters or so, but despite your small statures, your performances left big impressions. What kind of things are you conscious about of when you perform?

Serika: Because I love idols myself, I get the most enjoyment from fans who are enjoying themselves, and focus on making eye contact and paying attention to every person there. Also I did karate for about six years, and feel like I have that to thank.

Aine: I try to pay attention to my facial expressions, try not to smile too much during “Renka”, and because I’m not very good at dancing, I try to change my expression with each song in order to pull people in. Since I’m so small, I try to appear bigger with my dancing. In addition, I try to meet the audience’s gaze, lean forward as I’m doing dance movements, and things like that.

-I think the two of you met for the first time at Chu Chu Fest, but did you talk to each other while you were in the dressing room?

Aine: I didn’t have any time at all since we went on at different times. I just watched Serika on stage, thinking about how cute she was.

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-In that case, now that you’ve had a chance to talk now, what do you think of each other?

Serika: She (Ainetty) has such long eyelashes, her short-style hair looks really good on her, she has a really small face, her skin is so fair, she’s slender, and just listening to her during the interview I have nothing but respect for her, like, “Wow, she’s really an idol!” Even though I’m older, meeting someone so well put together (and someone so cute at that), makes me wonder if I’m even worthy of being in the same universe…

-Oh no, your idol fan side is totally showing! (laugh)

Aine: First of all, I was super shocked that someone could be even smaller than me. During Chu Chu Fest I thought she was cute, so I went on Twitter and zoomed in on her picture. (laugh) I’m really happy to get to meet her because of this interview.

Serika: That someone this cute would say such nice things about me… I can’t stop grinning…

-I’m not sure if I’m interviewing idols anymore, or just plain idol fans! (laugh)

Serika: I’ll gladly become a fan of Flower Notes. I’ll even go to their show. (laugh)

-Tell me about some idols and artists you look up to.

Serika: Nogizaka46 are who I want to be like. They look cute, their style is great, and as soon as you lay eyes on them you know they’re idols. I’m both envious and in awe of the things Nogizaka members have that I don’t. Asuka Saito is my favorite. My cellphone background and everything is of her, so if I were to ever perform with her, I’m training myself to say, “Not to be random, but I really adore you! I have a ton of images of you saved!” when I’m at home. Not only if we were to perform together, but even if we just happened to meet on the street one day!

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-You’re really just a big idol fan at heart. (laugh)

Aine: I really love Morning Musume ‘16’s (now ’17) Masaki Saitou. Although her persona is usually referred to as being kind of strange, her sheer gap between how cute she is and how cool she looks performing on stage is just too incredible. Also, the mannerisms she takes when she performs, like her natural hand gestures, body movements, and expressions, don’t look made-up at all and I really like that about her.

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When I’m at home I just watch videos of her, and research how her expressions compare with images of her before, and since “Renka” has many movements and gestures that I can base off of hers, I’m researching and incorporating them in.

-Thank you for your answers. Moving on, could you tell me about each of your personal and group goals?

Aine: As far as group goals go, I want the label Label The Garden to be on part with the 48 groups and iDOL Street. In order to do that, as the label’s first major debut group, we’re trying to add to our momentum, get people to remember us at group concerts, and draw people in with our performances. I’m 15 at the moment, but no matter what age I am, I want to keep aiming upward. As far as venues go, I’d love to do a Zepp (live house) tour, but my current goal is to perform at Akasaka Blitz. I don’t know how long it might take, but I’m willing to work hard!

Serika: We don’t have any goals we’ve purposely set out to accomplish. Whenever we achieve something, it ends there. We’ve been talking about how we want to go as far as we can. But talking about getting bigger, I’d love to perform on a big stage like Zepp.

-I hope that winning the individual prize gets both of your more attention. With such graceful performances despite your petite frames, your singing ability, and your incredible visuals, it’s hard to fathom that your skills as idols are so high when you’ve practically just debuted. What do you think your charm points are when trying to appeal to your audience as idols?

Serika: My charm point… or something I’m good at… Hmm, what could it be…? (laugh) A lot of people around me often say that my dancing is graceful. For what I lack in height, I want to make it seem as if I’m just as tall as the average person. I’d like to improve on my dancing even more… So as for what I’m good at… I’m not really sure there’s anything. (laugh) Even now I can’t believe I got this prize. You could say I’m still in shock, but with all those other cute idols out there, even until this day I still have no idea why they called my name…

-No, no, you’re quite cute enough! I think you have a lot of charm points.

Serika: Um, well thanks… I guess I’ll go with my looks, then…

Everyone: (laughs)

Aine: Mine would be the songs. When I was in seeDream there were many cutesy songs, but many of Flower Notes’ debut songs like “Renka” and “Lilac” are ones that’ll make you want to listen. Because my voice is rather low, I think this type of song is a good match for me. It’s the only type where I can excel and best represent myself, so I hope you’ll given them a listen. Also, since we change the way we sing depending on the song or day, I think it’s something people who come to see us live can appreciate. When I perform with other idols, so many of them are better than me at singing, which makes me wonder if I can really say I’m good at singing or not, but since it’s the only thing I can really do, I’m doing it with pride.

Since both of your groups were on the winning red team, the memorial concert is just up ahead. Are there any idols you plan on inviting as guests?

Aine: These are my final two, but I’m stuck between picking Niji no Conquistador and Lovely☆DOLL. Recently I’ve been watching nothing but Lovely☆DOLL on YouTube, and they’re just so cute! I’ve got the music videos to “Setsunatsu, Diver”, followed by “Calendar Girl”, in my playlist on repeat. I see Niji no Conquistador a lot during group shows, and just before we performed together for the Kawaiian TV concert. Moe Tsurumi is my favorite, and she let me take a picture with me at TIF. Later when I followed her on Twitter, she followed me back, and in the dressing room she remembered me and said hi! I was so happy she recognized me that she completely stole my heart. It’s my big wish to profess my true love to her (in words) as she sits in the audience during “Triangle Dreamer”.

Serika: I love You’ll Melt More! and Kamiyado, so it would really rile me up to have them as guests! Kind of like, “I have to get out of here!!” I just love Ano so much I want to get to touch her up close… without it being a paid event… (laugh)

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Aine: I also like Kamiyado! I just love their song “Harajuku Sentai Kamiyado Ranger”, and at the “Yatto kita!” part where Hinapu (Hina Koyama) does her little wave gesture, her smile is just total love! Sometimes I just sit there and play that part of the video on repeat.

-You guys are really head over heels. (laugh) Is there anything you want to try out in particular for the memorial concert?

Serika: I’d like to ride around in a plastic pool and dive into the seats of my idol guests. But no, on second thought I’d be too happy to keep singing, so I’ll just stick to looking their way.

Aine: I’d like to do a collaborative stage performance. At the end I want everyone to come out together. Then do a really exciting song and get everyone pumped up as the finale. If we could do “Triangle Dreamer”, because it’s so emotional…

Serika: I’d like to do a song exchange.

Aine: Oh! Me, too!

-I wouldn’t mind seeing the two of you come together to make an individual award unit.

Both: We’d love to!

Related links
Flower Notes official website : http://columbia.jp/artist-info/flowernotes/
Aine Fujii Twitter : https://twitter.com/aine_ltg

Flower Notes 1st Single “Koibana” Now On Sale!


ICE CREAM SUICIDE official website : http://www.icecrms.com/
Serika Hinata Twitter : https://twitter.com/ics_serika

ICE CREAM SUICIDE 1st Mini Album “I.S.C.R.E.A.M” Now On Sale!

Translated by Jamie Koide
Cover photo by Kenji Harada
Interview photos by Watanabe Taishi (Tokyo Idol Net)

Author
TokyoGirls'Update
TokyoGirls'Update

We bring the latest news of Japanese girls' culture from Japan to all over the world! Here are hot topics about KyaryPamyuPamyu, AKB48, Hello!Project, and other cute Jpop artists. Everybody wanna be KAWAii, and wotaku in whole world, cheeeeeeeer UP!

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