notall have been steadily rising through the ranks of the idol scene since their debut in 2014, capturing the hearts of fans from all over the world with their unique concept of being “social idols” that are produced via crowdsourcing. Making their major label debut on Universal Music in April of 2017, notall received more good news as they won Tokyo Candoll, earning the privilege of performing at Japan Expo 2017 in Paris.

Tokyo Girls’ Update was fortunate enough to sit down with the members of notall to find out their mindset heading towards their European debut and their 3rd anniversary.

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ーCongratulations on winning the privilege of performing at Japan Expo in Paris.

All:Thank you very much!

ーSo in retrospect, what was “Tokyo Candoll” like for you? (Tokyo Candoll is the Japan Expo official tournament contest event where idols compete of the right to perform on Japan Expo in Paris).

Sato:The first battle started in February and it went on to quarterfinal, semi-final and final stage. It was a long-term competition so I felt a lot of pressure during the event. But our fans reached out to other people to come support us and they also arranged how to heat up the performance at the final. So I think we owe a lot to our fans.

Katase:For the final performance, fans arranged themselves to avoid gathering only in the center. They were scattered throughout the venue to pump it up with people who didn’t know how to participate. You know, our fans did all these things for us. At the semifinal, they cheered for us loudly so we were told that notall’s calls were the lopudest in the venue, which really pleased me. I really appreciate our fans huge support.

Watanabe:On the final day, we were at karaoke for a rehearsal until the last minute. And we were just like, “Enjoy the stage fully!”, rather than, “Win at any cost!” So I guess people caught the “fun and enjoyment” of us.

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Tasaki:I really enjoyed the final stage; I even don’t remember it (laugh). It was a 15-minute performance but it felt like only 1 minute, right?

Sato:Yeah, I know what you mean!

Tasaki:It really felt like it was only 1 minute.

Watanabe:Yeah, the heat was awesome.

ーI saw the video of the final stage and you guys looked like your were totally having fun. Were’nt you nervous?

Sato: Of course I felt nervous, but more than that, we wanted to enjoy the performance. So I guess that positive feeling was our advantage. It was like, “feel free to do whatever we want to do and enjoy ourselves, it’s the best”. I got really nervous at the semifinal, but other members took me as who I was. So I was very relieved.

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ーYou mean each of you felt free to express yourself on stage, right?

Sato: Yes, we let our feelings take control on the stage. I think that’s how the live performance should go.

Watanabe:You said it!

Sato: Performing at Japan Expo in Paris is just a checkpoint for us (laugh). No, I’m just kidding (laugh).

ーAnd now Japan Expo is next month.

Katase: So soon!

ーDo you have anything you want to try in Paris?

Katase: My birthday is on July 6th and I’ll be in Paris on that day. I’ve never spent my birthday abroad so it’s amazing.

Sato: What do you want to do on your birthday in Paris?

Katase: Well, I don’t know, what could it be?

Watanabe: Anything will be OK, only on that day.

Katase: Then, I’ll be a princess on that day so, I want you guys to do whatever I ask you to do!

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Watanabe: That’s what you’re always doing to us (laugh). The same as usual (laugh).

Katase: But I want to say all my orders in a commanding tone this time (laugh).

Sato: You can do that even if you aren’t in Paris (laugh).

Watanabe: But if you do that, you don’t know what’s going to happen right after midnight……

Katase: Then…I better not do that (laugh).

ーI think a lot of people will be seeing notall for the first time at Japan Expo. What songs would recommend for them?

Sato: It’s “Kirameke☆tweet girl!!” This song can get people pumped up even if it’s the first time someone hears it and it’s a towel song so I’m sure everyone can get hyped up together. We always perform this song so I want everyone to check it out.

Tasaki:Not only towels but anything will be OK to wave, right?

Tasaki: I wonder how French people react.

ーThey sing along and there are also many people who do wotagei.

Sato: Really? I’m looking forward to it! I can’t wait to see!

Tasaki: Yeah, me too!

Watanabe: “Kirameke☆tweet girl !!” is a kind of freestyle song, but there is a song “Filter”, which is a sort of anime song and has a minor pop feeling. So when we perform this kind of song, we look totally different. I hope we can show “notall” in many ways.

Tasaki: Also, I want everyone to check our new song “Kimi ni DA-DA-DAN”. It’s a really cute song and you can check the PV on YouTube.

Sato: As far as songs are concerned, “Usagi Tsunderera” is a song which everyone puts their hands up and sing together. So I want to sing it with everyone there. The chorus is like “Oh-Oh-“, so it’s easy to remember. It would be nice if we can sing together across borders.

Katase: “Usagi Tsunderera” is the only headbanging song for notall. So everyone bangs their heads during the chorus.

Tasaki: Don’t you think French are pretty wild?

Sato: I’m sure they are (laugh).

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ーAfter Japan Expo, you are going to have your 3rd anniversary live show at Zepp Tokyo in September, right? So could you share your thoughts on that?

Sato: We have been acting since at the end of the second year anniversary under the slogan of “notall is serious in the 3rd year too!” We went to all over Japan this year and released our first major CD. Also, we were chosen for Japan Expo so I feel like a good wave is coming toward notall. This summer, we are going to appear at TIF (Tokyo Idol Festival), @JAM (EXPO) and OTODAMA (SEA STUDIO) which we can enjoy together. So those summer festivals will be our steps toward September 10th and we want to bring our “seriousness of the 3rd year” on that day. I’m highly motivated.

Watanabe: Well, when we finished our second anniversary tour at Harajuku Quest Hall, I said “I want to have a concert at Zepp Tokyo, so please reserve it now!” (laugh). Of course there were no plans at that time, you know. Looking back, I was over the moon but I was sure we would make it. And I know having a concert at Zepp Tokyo isn’t the goal. First we have to make people want to come to the concert. So this year I want to devote myself to motivate people. I’ve met many people all over Japan so I hope they will pour in on September 10th. We used to perform at really small venues and there were would be only five fans there. But now we can perform at such a big venue so I want to appeal to everyone. I’m sure dreams will come true and you can do whatever you want to do. That’s what I want to demonstrate.

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ーOh, that really hit me right in my heart (laugh). You motivated me.

Watanabe: “Go Zepp, Good Tokyo” is our theme for now. Satoharu (Sato) also mentioned that it is the best timing for us to get us known. So we keep going and want to make this summer for notall. I want people who got to know us recently to come to Zepp Tokyo.

Sato: I want people who got to know us recently and also people who only knew us in the past to come to our live show. I feel like we are bonding with each other more than ever now. To tell the truth, I wasn’t that motivated last year (laugh). I know everyone goes through difficult times and mine was last summer. But around last autumn, the Zepp Tokyo live was decided and I became a leader. I was able to change myself by being a member of totall. So if you get through something difficult, I hope notall will be your catalyst to change yourself.

Tasaki: Please come (laugh).

ーYou just mentioned that you are bonding with each other now. So looking back the past three years, what do you think have changed the most?

Katase: I would say it’s our performance. I mean it’s not singing or dancing skills but live performance and fun of it.

Tasaki: Don’t you think our shoes have changed a lot (laugh)?

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Sato: Yeah, from pumps to sneakers, right? But the sneakers we were wearing last year were terrible, you know (laugh).

Tasaki: We were wearing pumps at the beginning. Like Perfume (laugh).

Sato: I guess our performance got really better after wearing sneakers.

Watanabe: Now notall can perform “out of the box” at a live. We used to perform in a very stylized way. It’s really funny to see the past live performances of our own (laugh).

Sato: I’m sure we’ll be better next year.

Katase: Shoes, right? (laugh).

Tasaki: Yeah we have to change them again (laugh).

Watanabe: We were chosen through an audition. The four of us who didn’t know each other got together and made our debut. We have been working together since then and now we are on our way to our third anniversary. We have gone through many things over the past three years and now each of us can show our individuality. We have strong bonds with each other now. In the first year, I thought if notall was over we would be separated but now I feel like we will get together even 10 or 20 years from now. It’s because all of us accept each other as we are. I think we are becoming more cohesive. On a separate note, we were born in spring, summer, autumn and winter respectively, you know.

ーSo four of you make a year (laugh).

Watanabe: You said it (laugh)! I hope everyone will like our frankness.

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ーI hope you will be able to create your own mood at Japan Expo and convey it well to the fans in Europe. So please share your messages to your fans as you head towards Japan Expo.

Sato: I think we can go to Japan Expo this time because of the strong support of our fans, so I want to bring all my appreciation to France and want to show the people in France and Europe that Japanese idols and notall are awesome. And I want to take something back from there and use it to be even better when I get back to Japan. Our first performance abroad was Thailand. At that time, I realized that there were many more places where we can shine, not only in Japan or Akihabara, which helped me grow up. So I hope I can have the same experiences in France too. I just want to say people in Japan and France, “please wait for us”!

Watanabe: Well, I know we got this opportunity thanks to our fans. And I think we should not forget about other idols who also did their best at the contest. So I hope everyone waiting in Japan and people in France think that notall was the best choice. I also want the earth to acknowledge notall, like “yeah notall is the one!” you know (laugh). I want to become someone who can move the Earth with my performance and attract all the people of this planet!

Katase: I’m going to have my birthday in Paris so I want to share with everyone in Japan and France my happy power. As a representative of Japan, I’d like to deliver the happiness to the world. So I want to give all my happy power to the people waiting in Japan and also people who don’t know notall yet in France.

Tasaki: I will go to France in good shape and come back in good shape too. That’s it (laugh)!


Related Links

notall Official site: http://notall.jp/

notall Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/si_notall

notall Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/notall_official/

notall Official Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/notall

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TokyoGirls'Update
TokyoGirls'Update

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