During their concert that took place on the 8th floor of Ikebukuro Tobu Department Store on November 21, Stand-Up! Hearts revealed that they were changing their name to Iketeru Hearts, and would be releasing their major debut single “Let’s Stand Up!” on February 10, 2016.

A little over a month later on December 23th, the group released their first MV. Tokyo Girls’ Update dropped by their shoot to ask them about their thoughts on their first MV as well as the MV’s highlights.

Contributor Wanted!!


Madoka Usami

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– Could you tell us more about the group’s name change to Iketeru Hearts?

I don’t know if I should say this or not, but I cried. I was like “No way!” (laugh) Why “Iketeru Hearts”? (laugh) Until the reveal I kept wondering what I was going to do, but when I checked Twitter after we made the announcement, the reaction from the fans was great, and it made me realize that it was a good name for uniting the group and our fans.

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– What are the MV’s highlights?

During the chorus of “Saa Tachiagaru zo” there’s a scene where we all form a circle that we’d like everyone to pay attention to. It represents the desire of Stand-Up! Hearts to keep standing from the point of our major debut onward, and also the feeling that we’ve stood through everything we’ve been through up to this point. It’s the happiest point for us, so we’d love it if those watching would stand in unison with us.

We’re still an amateur group making our major debut, but thanks to the many opportunities we received to sing anime songs I think we’ve gained a number of overseas fans, and in the future I hope our fans overseas will get to know us through our original songs.

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Karin Ochi

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– How do you feel about your first MV shoot?

First of all I was really happy to actually be shooting an MV. This is our first original song, so I’m really thrilled that we’re doing an MV. I think our fans will also be surprised by just how cute and stylish our costumes are.

I did my best to make those who knew me from our debut concert and even before that, to think, “Wow, Karin’s really awesome!” when they see the MV. Both our group name change and the release of our new single were announced on Twitter, but I really wanted to show everyone how exactly we’ll be changing, and really hope everyone watches for that in the MV.

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– As Stand-up! Hearts you all had poses for your self-introductions, but what about as Iketeru Hearts?

We don’t have any yet, but we’d like to come up with some. We’ve discussed making a huddle and giving a shout before starting each concert our signature move, like, “Everyone, are you feeling awesome today?!”… (laugh) We’d really like our fans to huddle up in a circle as well, like they did at our first solo concert.

– What did you think of your new song “Let’s Stand Up!” when you first heard it?

There’s a verse in the lyrics that goes “Hajimatta seishun hajimatta story yume ga fukuramu” (“The beginning of our youth and the beginning of our story builds our dreams.”), and right now I consider my second year of high school to be height of my youth, but I’m willing to give my whole youth to Stand-Up! Hearts and Iketeru Hearts, so for me this verse really resonated with how I feel. This is where our real starting point begins, and I hope that everyone will help us build our dreams.

Before our major debut was decided at our first anniversary concert, I would just focus on the next show, but like with this song, I want to be able to cherish every little thing we do. Because of this song I’ve developed a new, deeper appreciation for music. Its 16 beat rhythm was something that I had never encountered before, and I felt a new transformation inside of me. I started being able to enjoy a lot of different music I hadn’t listened to very much before, including Tsunku♂‘s music, and I became much more interested in it.

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– What do you think is your best feature?

Even when I’m feeling a little down, I’m usually able to cheer myself up. I think the title “Let’s Stand Up!” really fits me, and I try to go about each day with that kind of feeling.

– Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Going to JAPAN EXPO was my first time abroad, and I’d never interacted with people overseas before that, but from now on I want to do my best to so that more people get to know us, even if that just means one person. While we were overseas many people asked us if we had any CDs for sale, and told us they’d buy it when it comes out, so I’m glad that we’ve finished our new song and we’ll be able to be able to show it to everyone overseas.

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Rie Tachibana

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– What did you think of your new song “Let’s Stand Up!” when you first heard it?

When I first heard the lyrics and the melody to “Let’s Stand Up!” I thought, “This is so us!” because of how much it described us and how close the lyrics felt. I felt like with this single, we were able to create a song full of hope saying that no matter what’s ahead of us, we can overcome it together.

– Which part really made you feel that way?

It was the line “kyandoru no suu ga ki ni naru” (“feeling anxious about the number of candles”)…

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– It’s very realistic, isn’t it? (laugh)

And the part “Nigenai yo kantan na hou ni nagasaretari shinainda”. (“Don’t run away! Don’t let yourself be swept away by the easy way out.”) At first there were around 20 members, and even after the girls I was really got along with left, I decided I still wanted to pursue being an idol, and fortunately I was able to believe in myself without getting swept away.

Also with the part about running in the lyrics… I’ve never gotten sick but I hurt my knee while running… All I could think of was myself and it made me cry, like, “How can they know that kind of think about me?”…

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– What are the MV’s highlights?

It may have not made the cut, but the scene where it focuses on our lips as we sing with all our might. It’s like all of us are pretending to be in an MV, and we practiced forever on it, so please check it out! Also I think it’s fun to watch all of us look at each other and make eye contact with the other members during our group dance scene.

– Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

I think it’s amazing that overseas fans were able to discover us. Even though we hadn’t made our major debut yet, a lot of people recently found us somehow, and I want to work hard to keep meeting everyone’s expectations!

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Yuyu Arata

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– What kind of song is “Let’s Stand Up”?

I think the lyrics really reach out and touch you. It feels like a dream that Tsunku♂, who’s like in a completely different world than us, wrote the song for us and I was really moved. I could really see ourselves reflected in the lyrics, and this might just be my personal interpretation, but I felt that maybe this was a song that Tsunku♂ wrote about himself. It made me think about Tsunku♂ running in the park, and I thought, “Could this possibly be about him?”

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– I agree that if you listen to it with that in mind, it sounds like a self-motivational song. It’s very deep, isn’t it? How did you feel about the MV shoot?

When we did the scene where it focuses on our lips I really felt like, “Wow! We’re actually shooting the kind of MV that other idols do!”

– Other idols have even shot MVs in the same studio.

I know! It’s really… I don’t know… It’s really amazing… I love idols, so being able to shine on the stage myself is like a dream come true.

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– Do you have a favorite idol MV?

I like Afilia Saga’s “Hiko Jisshu”, and the part that really stands out to me is their main costume and their other, two-patterned costume. Everything about it is cute and crush-worthy, and even though you can’t see it for very long, it really stands out! Becoming an understudy for Afilia Saga and having Tsunku♂ write a song for us was totally like a dream come true. From now on I’d like to study idol MVs even more!

– Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

My skill is Chinese, and I tweet in Chinese on Twitter and have a Chinese circle on YouTube, but lately I would feel grateful to be able to be able to visit a lot of countries like France and Singapore. We have many different opportunities to connect with fans through Twitter, internet radio, and the like. Because I communicate in both English and Chinese, I want to do my best to become a bridge between international idol fans, and hope for your support together with the rest of Iketeru Hearts.Please enjoy together the idol scene in these days, thank you very much!

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Kotone Uchida

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I’m Kotone Uchida, or Kotone. It’s nice to meet you. I’m not really all the great at speaking, so I’m a little nervous. (laugh)

– What kind of song is your new song?

I’ve always liked Hello!Project, and have grown up with Tsunku♂’s music for as long as I can remember. The first CD ever bought was from Jyunin Matsuri, and since elementary school I’ve brought CDs from all of the groups soon to have come out from Hello!Project. I started imitating the dances from around third grade, and I would teach my friends.

When I first saw the score for our new song written by Tsunku♂, “Let’s Stand Up!”, I thought, “This is something we can really sing!” because of its 16-beat composition. When I first met Ms. Ayubee from Canary Club, who created the choreography for us, I immediately told her, “I have your CD!” (laugh)

I studied close-up shots from MVs by Morning Musume., Afilia Saga for the expressions and side-glances, so I hope everyone pays attention to the close-up shot during the “kekkyoku yaseta keredo” part during the MV.

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– Was it difficult?

I’m good at holding expressions, but I’m not good at smiling and that was hard. Idols have to be good at smiling. I got plastic surgery to make my face smaller, and it hurt even more than going to the dentist. (laugh) I also cut my hair. When I first joined Hearts I had a bob-style cut, so I went back to that.

– Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Although we were able to perform abroad in France and Singapore, there are still a lot of places we haven’t been able to visit yet, and we’d like to go to all of the places of everyone reading this interview. We’ll do our best to be able to meet all of you in person, so we hope you’ll keep supporting us.

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Nijika, Yuno Yurano

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I’m Nijika, the youngest in Hearts. I’m Yuno Yurano, or Yuno-chan, from Hearts.

– Could you tell your thoughts on the group’s name change to Iketeru Hearts?

Nijika: When I heard about it I was surprised, but I think it’s good because it’s important for idol groups names to have an impact, and the word “iketeru” is one that everyone uses so it’s easy to remember, and personally it was a little annoying to type out Stand-Up Hearts! On Twitter so I like it. (laugh)

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– How have your feelings changed since your major debut?

Yuno: Stand-Up! Hearts was an understudy unit so it didn’t really have anything special about it, but now that our name’s changed to Iketeru Hearts and we have a song of our own, I think the biggest thing that’s changed is our ability to see our future more clearly. I think individually each member had their own goals, but as I group I think everyone feels we’ve bonded, and I think we’ll start thinking more about the other members as we continue our activity.

With the different personalities of Heart’s members coming together like this, I feel like this is our best point. I think our fans feel the same way.

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– Are the two of you close?

Nijika: We really are.

Yuno: We might be the closest members.

Nijika: Any time I go clothes shopping I always invite Yunocchi.

Yuno: We’re always getting carded on weekdays during the afternoon. (laugh) We’ll bring a small rolling suitcase with us, so people often mistaken us for runaways. (laugh)

– You’re still just a young girl..?

Yuno: I’m self-styled 16. I’m really eternal 16 years old but everyone tells me “there’s no way you’re 16”. But age isn’t something other people decide, but something you decide yourself, so I guess I don’t really mind…

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– What do you think about the MV shoot?

Nijika: Shooting a MV was one of my dreams, so I’m really glad I got to do it. But I learned just how hard it is to make a MV. I practiced at home for the MV shoot! Every day after a bath I’d blow dry the front first and while blow drying my hair I’d sing “te wo tsunagi♪” and it turns out that was really helpful (laugh)

– What should people listen for in your new song?

Yuno: The very beginning verse that goes “te wo tsunagi goal suru nante, sonna tsumori wa nai kedo, makenai yo, yume wo tsukamu made isho ni ue wo mezasunda”… (“We don’t plan on reaching our goals while still holding hands, but we won’t lose! Until we reach our dreams we’ll be aiming above and beyond.”

Nijika: Sniff… (Tears)

Yuno: Don’t cry. (laugh) I think all of the members don’t want to lose, but on top of this feeling, there’s also one of wanting to do our best from now on as Iketeru Hearts, and this verse is one that makes me feel like crying. I feel like this verse is full of all of our feelings of hard work this past year.

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Nijika: When everyone heard it they all cried.

Yuno: I’d like our fans to cry when they hear it, too. I think it’s a song that will make them feel glad about supporting Hearts all this time… Even as I say this, I feel like crying.

Please tell us about the details of your costume.

Nijika: There’s a big ribbon on the back with a star on it that I really like. It hurts to touch it, though. It’s sharp. But when my finger itches it feels amazingly good! Also everyone had said they’d wanted to wear white boots and it was like, “They’re finally here!!!!” (laugh)

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Yuno: She got a little carried away there. (laugh)

Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Nijika: We’ve changed our name to Iketeru Hearts and finished our song “Let’s Stand Up! We’ll keep doing our best, so please keep watching over us and supporting us.

Yuno: Up until now I’ve always said I wanted our overseas fans to come to Japan and see us, and following our major debut I can’t say that we’ll won’t be able to go and meet you all, so I want to tell you all that from now we’ll become an even more “amazing” group so please follow us!

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Kazune Manami

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– Could you comment on your name change?

When I first heard the news, I was shocked. I thought having an English name was cool, so suddenly having that change to “Iketeru” in Japanese came as a surprise. But recently we’ve been saying the phrase “We’re awesome” for whatever we’re doing, so now I think it’s a really good name. If we didn’t have “iketeru hearts” we wouldn’t be very awesome and we’d be done for as a group. (laugh) We were glad to see all of our fans write “iketeru” before their names on Twitter.

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– What should people listen for in your new song?

The “Saa tachiagaru zo” part of the chorus has our old group name in it (“tachiagaru” means “rise up” or “stand up” in Japanese), and I think it’s full all of our feelings from this past year that we’ve been understudies, so when we all heard a number of us cried or were left speechless.

he song includes Tsunku♂’s signature 16-beat composition, and until now we’d only been familiar with two steps. (laugh) I’m not all that confident that I’ve got it down yet, but I hope that by the time the MV comes out I’ll be familiar enough with the rhythm to have mastered it.

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– What are the MV’s highlights?

It was my first time doing an up-close lip scene, and everyone said “You’re doing great!” so I’d like everyone to confidently ask everyone to pay attention to that part. I like taking pictures, so I think I did a good job with the poses.

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– Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

When we had the opportunity to perform at the previous JAPAN EXPO we didn’t have any original songs of our own, so it would make me happy to see it reach everyone overseas. I hope you’ll listen to it a lot!

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See Other Backstage Photos:

Photo by Nathan Gey
Translated by Jamie Koide

Related Links:
Iketeru Hearts Official:http://stand-up-project.jp/hearts.html

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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