On February 14th, live DVD/Blu-ray of “Sakura Gakuin-Sai ☆2017,” (※Gakuin-Sai refers to School Festival) which was held on November, 2017 was released. Sakura Gakuin-Sai is one of three major events for Sakura Gakuin held every fall. Unlike other Sakura Gakuin concerts, each members showcased individualities through a skit “Sakura Academy Award for Best Actress?!” and a play written by Mori-Sensei, who plays role as a Sakura Gakuin homeroom teacher. With the great performances, “Sakura Gakuin-Sai☆2017” was full of entertainment.

This year’s Sakura Gakuin-Sai was filmed and set to release on DVD/Blu-ray. It’s second time for Sakura Gakuin-Sai concert DVD/Blu-ray to be released since year 2013’s Sakura Gakuin-Sai. Only singing part was included on the last release as “Live Edition” yet, not only singing part and also skits are featured on this version.
It’s the first time to include every detail of the event.
We interviewed the members in advance of this highly anticipated release.


― Congratulations on the release of “Sakura Gakuin-sai☆2017.” It’s been five years since the last Sakura Gakuin-Sai DVD/Blu-ray was released.

Aiko: That’s right.

― I’d like to ask about the event, “Sakura Gakuin-Sai☆2017” that’s on the new live DVD/Blu-ray. We could see personal traits of four 1st year junior high school members through the concert. Let me hear thoughts, Momoe from 1st year junior high school. We were blown away with your “Moe-Moe Ho.”

Momoe: This was my second time participating in the Sakura Gakuin-Sai. I was new in the group when last year’s school festival took place, so my focus was only not to mess up while dancing and singing then.
This year, I had better understating of each songs and dance move, so I focused more on delivering the message of each songs to Fukei (refer to Sakura Gakuin fans).

― Kano from 1st year junior high school students. You pumped up the event with your gorilla howling! What did you think about the show?

Kano: This was my third time. I get nervous every year, but I had great time with the twelve members again this year. Everyone including the Fukei on the third floor seemed to enjoy the show. I felt we and the audience became together as one.


― Can you see the end of the venue?

Aiko: Yes, we can.

― Now, let me ask questions to the 2nd year junior high school students. Maaya, you won the first day “Sakura Academy Award for Best Actress?!” How did you feel about receiving the award? (The group was divided into two groups and six members performed skit with adlib on each day)

Maaya: This was my third time performing at Sakura Gakuin-Sai. Until last year, I was nervous and so shy that I tended to step backward, hide the real “me”, but this year, I didn’t want to be shy anymore because I wanted to get the award, so I was very glad about the result.


― You were aiming for the award this year.

Maaya: Yes.

– So, the character was very closed to who you are?

Everyone: (laugh)

Maaya: (a bit getting bashful) I didn’t mean that! I just wanted to express myself without being so nervous, so I played the role, putting a lot of thoughts.

Megumi: So was it real or not?

Maaya: (troubled expression) Hmm…

Aiko: You were playing the role, right? She expressed the real self as she played the role. I thought Maaya was great! It’s my 5th year, but I still feel shy. I respect Maaya.

― Yuzumi, you received Sakura Academy Award on the second day, how did you feel?

Yuzumi: I always liked acting, and my dream is to become an actress. “Sakura Academy Award for Best Actress?!” is a chance to deliver with my word in front of a large audience, so I wanted to give the best performance.


― Congratulation. Continuing from last year, you received the award twice in a row.

Yuzumi: Yes that’s right.

Everyone: Wow! (Applause)

― Good luck on winning the award three years in a row!

Yuzumi: Yes! I’ll do my best!

― Megumi, you were in the same group as Yuzumi on the second day. How did you feel?

Megumi: I thought this girl (Yuzumi) took everything, and I was very frustrated. I really wanted to win, so I practiced with Momoko, but this girl (Yuzumi) stole the spotlight.

― Momoko, what did you think about taking on a role of boy?

Momoko: If I were a boy, I would be like “Thanks so much!” We had never been in the situation where members play co-actors as a boy. It was my first time disguising as a boy, but I did my best to be that boy.


― Megumi, you also played the boy’s role on the first day, how did you like it

Megumi: When I first heard about the disguise, I never imagined I would be the one doing it, so I was surprised when I heard the news. We made the script of the small skit that the two of us (with Yuzumi, who also played the boy’s role) did when entering the stage. We got into the character, right?


Yuzumi: Yup. We got right into the role.

― Everyone nailed each character!
By the way, how did you feel about Mori-Sensei being frolic on stage?

Aiko: He was wasted.

Everyone: (laugh)

Megumi: Mori-sensei enjoyed the most, and after the Gakuin-sai, his voice was hoarse.

Aiko: He gets cavorted even though he stands on stage much shorter than us. He gets tired and loses his voice every year. “Perfect combustion” is the right word for him.

Miki: I was surprised to see him frolicking. That’s quite different from the way he usually is.

― Next question is for the transfer students, Miku and Miki.
The performance did not look like you two hadn’t had any experience in singing and dancing before. It was your first Gakuin-Sai. Top of that, the venue was huge! How did you cope with standing on the big stage?

Miki: Before I went up on the stage, I felt much more nervous than usual and worried if I would make mistakes, but once I got on the stage, I saw many support from Fukei, so I could switch my mind and enjoy.


Miku: I usually don’t get nervous, but since this was my first Gakuin-sai, I was very nervous. Fukei warmed up the event. Thanks to them, I had lots of fun.


― From the audience seat, it’s fun to wave the flag and cheer up. Especially when you are seated at the back, the whole seats look like a sea of pink, and it’s beautiful.

Aiko: It’s also beautiful from the stage! Especially during the last song of the second day, “Yume ni Mukatte”, it was amazing.

Everyone: Yeah, it was beautiful!

Aiko: Fukei raised their flags all at once at the end of “Yume ni Mukatte,” so the whole venue turned pink in a moment. It was just so beautiful. That made me happy.

― Fukei wave their flag perfect timing.

Everyone: Yeah!

Aiko: I’m happy.

― Now it’s time to ask 3rd year junior high school students. At the Gakuin-Sai, you were giving your full energy and enjoying the stage as much as you could. It was your last Gakuin-Sai. How do you feel?

Aiko: It passed in a blink.

Megumi: The two days of Sakura Gakuin-sai as well as the time from the beginning of this semester to the Gakuin-Sai passed really fast.

Aiko: This year’s Sakura Gakuin-sai was held in mid-November, which is a bit later than usual, so I am supposed to feel the time until the event was longer, but I didn’t. After the school festival, the commencement ceremony comes really quickly. One year is very fast, but I think that I feel that way because I have accomplished a lot of things and spent quality time.
In fact, the rehearsal for the show was quite fun. For example, I enjoyed the process of figuring out what we could do for better performance after our dance coach pointed out some part need to develop. I was happy to find many things we could do to make it better. When I felt like the rehearsal was long, I tried to find tasks because finding what we should do makes me feel time passes fast because that was enjoyable.


― That’s amazing.
At the show, there was a skit linked with a song, “FRIENDS.” I almost thought they Aiko and Megumi were fighting for real on the part that they were arguing because the tension between them looked high.

Aiko: Heart of the skit was the need for acting to be believable, so I’m happy with the reaction.

Megumi: I’m glad how it turned out, too.

― I felt the sense of tension and to be honest, it was even scary. (laugh)

Megumi: Everyone was also acting as if they were scared, so that made it even more believable.

Momoe: We were scared for real.

― How is the relationship between Aiko and Megumi like in real life?

Megumi: We’re lovey-dovey.

― Next question, Tsugumi and Soyoka from Koubaibu performed a new song. How was it?

Soyoka: It’s a first song ever since the current Kobaibu was formed, and I felt it fits perfectly to us. I enjoyed the lyrics and the choreography.

Tsugumi: We performed the song for the first time, but I was happy to see Fukei dancing with us. In the middle of the song, other members joined us, and I enjoyed dancing altogether.


― As Sakura Gakuin, the new song of 2017, “My Road” was performed. What did you think when you first heard the song?

Marin: Every year, cAnON. writes new songs which symbolize that year’s Sakura Gakuin, so I can always relate to the song. The lyrics often catch my heart, so I cry listening to the new songs of cAnON. every year.


Aiko: In the middle of the song, there is a part like a rap, and I was surprised when I first listened to it. Some of out songs had rap parts such as “Hana*Hana” and “Sakura Hyakunin Isshu” but not as fast as the new song. I was worried that Fukei won’t be able to catch the words, but we received good feedback, so I was relieved.
It’s such an exciting song, so I can’t wait to perform at a standing concert. I want to get into the spirit with Fukei!

Everyone: Yes, definitely!

― Now it’s time to get ready for “Road to Graduation”.
Marin, with your great English skills, please send your message to Fukei living abroad.


Marin: We will do our best!

Everyone: Wow!!

― Miki, can you express your enthusiasm for the show in English with your EIKEN(English proficiency test) Grade 2 level English skill?

Miki: Enjoy!

― Thank you so much.


Buy Item

Concert Information

■The Road to Graduation 2017 ~Houkago Anthology Let’s Standing~
March 20, 2018 (Tuesday)
Open – 5:15pm / Start – 6:15pm

■The Road to Graduation 2017 Final ~Sakura Gakuin 2017 Nendo Graduation~
March 24, 2018 (Saturday)
Open – 4:00pm / Start – 5:00pm
Nakano Sunplaza (Tokyo)

Related Links

Sakura Gakuin Official site:http://www.sakuragakuin.jp/
Sakura Gakuin Official Twitter:https://twitter.com/sakura_shokuin

Photos by Junko Azeyagi

Translated by Kayo


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