TGU GLOBAL CONNECT is a project that connects Japanese idols and foreign fans through Skype video chat. This time, Marina Nagasawa, also called as “Marichu”, from Houkago Princess has come to visit as the 8th guest!

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-First of all, how was the Skype video chat with foreign fans?

Although I had various chances to talk to fans abroad through fan meeting events, It was the first time for me to talk to them one on one so it was fun! Also, I felt that they had great individuality.


-Is there any country that was particularly interesting?

Hmm, let me see (laugh). I talked to a French person for the first time in my life. I have the impression that people from Thailand are really knowledgeable about Japan.

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-I recognized that there were a lot of them at TIF (Tokyo Idol Festival) as well. Do you get replies from foreign fans on Twitter?

Yes I do! But I can’t read it at all. I become like, “what language is this!?” (laugh). Also, I feel that their Japanese is imperfect.

―When did you feel the increase of your foreign fans?

I think it was through the Miss iD YouTube video, since the number of views increased drastically. I’m not sure why, but it became popular among the people in Russia, then spread to other countries. I really appreciate it.


-I believe there wasn’t any Russian today. Do people from Russia reply in Russian?


I wonder how Russian is like (laugh). Sometimes I get replies in languages that I can’t read, so it might be that (laugh).

―People from abroad come to fan meeting events as well right!

Yes! There’s a lot of people from Hong-Kong! They’re filled with love, they even come to minor events like fan restricted events. Even if they don’t understand Japanese, they’re really kind and call me “Marichuu~!”, I’m really grateful. People from China and Hong Kong often come to our lives as well.

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―I see! Do you want to do a live abroad?

Yes, I do. Houkago Princess has done a live abroad before, but that time I was a cadet so I couldn’t go. I want to go to Russia, Thailand, and America. I heard a rumor that I’m better known in America than in Thailand, maybe because the population is larger!?


―Is there any other topic apart from music that you talk with foreign fans?

A lot of people all over the world love Star Wars, so it heats up the conversation when I talk about it, like “You like Star Wars!? Yay!” (laugh). I was wearing a lot of Star Wars goods when I went to Guam for the shooting of my photobook, and the immigration inspector said “Wow!” (laugh).

―Who’s your favorite character?

I like all the main characters including the villains and masters, but I respect Yoda the most. Recently, I get commented that I look alike, and I’m taking that as a compliment (laugh).

―What triggered you to like him?

Yoda is small, but has a big presence. He’s endeared and respected by everyone, and no one dislikes him. I also have a small body, but I want to be liked by everyone and show a strong presence like him.

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―Is your love towards Star Wars the influence of your parents?

Yes, my dad was watching episode 2 in the living room, and I was like “This is so good!”, and started borrowing the series at the video rental shop, bought the DVD box, up till now. Now I watch it once a week.

―So you’re a big fan of it. Now, I want to go back to talking about idols, but why did you want to become an idol in the first place?

I was interested in the job of entertainment since before. But I didn’t have much chance to come to Tokyo, and I was the kind of child playing freely outside. I was thinking about what I could do about it when I was in middle school and high school, and that’s when I got scouted by the agency that I’m in right now. Then, they asked me, “There’s an idol group called ‘Houkago Princess’, but are you interested?”, and I decided to join thinking that it was a good opportunity.

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―September 22 was the last day for you in Houpuri Youth right?

Yes, it was my last. It’s sad. I was there from when Houpuri Youth (Cadet of Houkago Princess and Cadet Apprentice unit) was created.

It was the style of gaining experience through our own lives, so it was really fun and I made new discoveries each time. Although I was a cadet, I have so many memories. There were depressing incidents like the withdrawal of a member, and there were times when I lost my way, but it all became a good memory so I was moved to tears that day.

―Is there any ideal image that you want to be in Houkago Princess?

I believe that Houkago Princess is a mainstream idol group from an objective point of view. We don’t do anything too weird, and I’m the one in the tomboy position (laugh). But I made use of that and became Miss iD, and came to the point where I had my own photobook made, so I hope I was I was able to contribute to my group in a my own way. There’s no one else who’s a tomboy in Houpuri, so I’ll continue this character.

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―How is your career as a gravure idol? When did you start gravure?

It’s very fun! It’s been a year since the first time I appeared on magazines. Between the season of the semi-final and final competition of Miss iD, I was called by Young Jump and was able to appear on the opening page. That’s when it started.

I didn’t know how to pose at all in the beginning, but being a gravure model became really enjoyable. I was extremely happy when I saw myself in a magazine. One of my goals this year was to make a photobook, so I’m glad that I was able to make that come true too.

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―Going back to the topic of you as an idol, which points do you want people to look out for in the new song “Himitsu No Tiara To Gelato” released in October 12?

I want everyone to look out to our performance. At first we’re dressed up as a cheerful citizen and are excited about the new world that we got to know, and the dances are lively. But at the end, we turn back into a princess so we change our performance to become more elegant. It was really hard for me though (laugh). Even if we have the same choreography, the one in the end is more elegant. The lyrics also change from being lively going out in the town to being more conscious of herself as a queen. I think that’s the point I want everyone to watch out for. I was moved by the formation where the three members who raised their position from a cadet, including me, received a tiara!

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-I’ll watch out for the details! Now that you have ended the Zepp One-man live, what is your next goal?

The first Tou-Mei-Han (Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka) tour! I don’t have much opportunity to go outside Tokyo, but when I went to Sekigahara Idol Wars in Gifu prefecture, so many people lined up for our cheki! I was really happy that many people knew about us. It’s a great chance to let people who cannot come to Tokyo know about Houkago Princess, so I will do my best so I can go to various places more frequently.


―Thank you so much. Finally, can you give a message to the fans abroad?

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I believe there are tons of people who I have not met yet, but I will do my best so I can go abroad through Overseas live or my solo job, so please come see me that time if you are interested. Please keep on supporting me from now on too!


Buy “Hatachi no Yakusoku”

Nagasawa Marina First Photo Book "Hatachi no Yakusoku" / Inomoto Koji

Marinazu Densetsu / Marina Nagasawa


Buy “Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato”

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Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]
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img_houpuri_4th_Yamaguchi
img_houpuri_4th_Kizuki
img_houpuri_4th_Maika
img_houpuri_4th_Shirosaki
img_houpuri_4th_Michishige
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Related links
Houkago Princess official website : https://houpri.fanmo.jp/
Marina Nagasawa Twitter : https://twitter.com/nagasawa_marina

Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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