On November 28th, 2018, The Hoopers will release their second album “FANTASIC SHOW”. Two years have passed since the release of their first album in 2016, “FANTASIA”. In addition to the singles “Shirotsumekusa”, “SHAMROCK”, “Vampire Kiss”, and “Jewel no Kodou ga Kikoeru ka?”, this release includes upbeat toe-tappers, romantic ballads you’ll lose yourself in, vocal leader Mirai’s solo song, subunit “The Hoopers -4roses-” new release and even more in its enchanting 15-song tracklist. Disguised in their splendid phantom thief costumes, we spoke with The Hoopers’ Mirai, Sena, Tsubasa, Haruki and Noa about their new album.

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– Congratulations on the release of your second album.
In the two years since your first album “FANTASIA”, the group has undergone several major changes like graduations, the addition of new members, and so on. Do you think that there are also big differences between your first and second albums?

Mirai: I get the feeling that our quality in general has gone up. Of course in regards to the songs themselves, but I think compared to our previous album, each member’s power of expression and performance ability has leveled up.
Also, after going through graduations and the addition of new members, I’ve really felt the bond within the group has gotten stronger.
When I first experienced a member graduation, to be honest, it was a big shock. It made me realize that we’re a group that members will graduate from.
But after that, with Noa and Lee joining, The Hoopers felt a new wind blow. It really motivated the rest of us.
Noa has a cute face and beautiful style, and she’s getting prettier all the time. She’s getting more aware of fans watching her, and compared to when she first joined, her performance techniques have improved.
Lee’s dancing is steadily improving too, I think both of them are really cool.
So that we don’t get left behind by those two, we’re all working together to lift each other up and improve ourselves. It’s synergy. The drive to do our best has only gotten stronger since Lee and Noa joined.

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Noa: I’m glad!

– I’m sure you felt a lot of uneasiness about joining the group, but it must be nice to hear something like this.

Noa: I’m really happy to hear it. I feel lucky to have met everyone.

– Now I’d like to ask everyone a question each.
Starting with Mirai. Between your solo tour in August and the limited digital release of your EP “MIRAI COVERS”, your solo activities have been increasing. For the first time, this album includes your solo track, “TOMOSHIBI” Please tell us what to listen for.

Mirai: When I perform my solo lives, I really feel that I’m only able to sing because of everyone who listens to my songs. So I always try to keep the people I’m singing for in mind when I perform. “TOMOSHIBI”’s lyrics are all such a complete reflection of the contents of my heart that I wish I could say I wrote it myself. “You’re my reason for living,” “I put my feelings and wishes into song,” more than just singing these words they’re how I’ve always felt.
As far as what to listen for, the fact that my feelings are all included in the lyrics, and when I perform it live, I want fans to watch the facial expressions and emotions I put into it.

– Thank you.
Next, Sena. You chances to appear in stage plays have increased, and you were able to perform the role of Sailor Venus (Aino Minako) in the musical “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live, including a performance in Paris. With your theater experience I imagine your method of vocal performance has changed, would you say there’s a difference compared to the first album?

Sena: To be honest, personally, I don’t feel like there’s been a change. I do feel like I’ve built a better foundation in my vocal performance, but I haven’t particularly changed the way I sing or anything. That said, fans who’ve heard me perform as well as recording staff have been telling me “It’s changed.” The quality of my voice used to be more on the weak and soft side, but I’ve been told it’s getting stronger. Also, I’ve been told my reciting of lines has improved.

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Mirai: I think (your reciting of lines) has gotten really good.

Sena: Really?

Mirai: Your singing has seriously improved, and I feel like your power of expression has grown, too.

Sena: Also, I’ve gotten physically stronger, so I don’t run out of breath during lives anymore. I don’t know if it’s my metabolism increasing or what, but I also sweat more during lives now. [laughs]

– Thank you.
Next is Tsubasa. The first press limited version of the album includes a DVD digest of October’s “TOUR FANTASIA 2018 – Yume no Tobira” encore performance in Tokyo. Do you have any special tour memories you’d like to share?

Tsubasa: The tour took place in the middle of the summer so it was really a trial of stamina for both members and fans, but we managed to get through it without anyone collapsing or anything! I think the fans were satisfied with our concerts. I hope everyone can watch the DVD while remembering the lives they attended. Please watch it a lot!

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– Thank you.
Next, Haruki. Congratulations on your return to the group. After your poor condition was announced, you spent about 5 months away from the group. In the time you were apart and since you’ve come back, can you tell use what kind of emotions you’ve felt?

Haruki: While apart from the group, I worried about whether I could come back, but my feelings of wanting to grew stronger every day. In June, the ninth single, “Jewel no Kodou ga Kikoeru ka?” was released, featuring Zucchan (i☆Ris’ Shibuya Azuki) as a temporary member, while I was watching and listening to this all from home. For the first time, I was able to look objectively at this group that I’d always been a part of, and it made me feel emotions I’d never felt before. I was able to feel, “The Hoopers are really a great group, huh,” all over again, and because of that I started thinking, “When I go back, I’ll do this and that,” and positive thoughts kept surging forward.
When I came back, fans and members and Zucchan and staff all met me with a warm, “Welcome back,” and I really felt that I was able to return because of how supported and loved by others I am. I made members and fans worry a lot so by no means was it a good thing, but that period of my life was a very important time for me. From now on I want to remember my feelings at that time, and connect them with my future as I continue on.

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– An objective point of view is very important. Have you been able to put the things you wanted to do once you returned into practice?

Haruki: I have with my style of singing, expression, and performance, yes. But the number one thing for me was in regards to members and fans, thoughts like, “if I did this, would it make them happy?” or, “I want to do this for them,” have increased. I’ve become able to do things that the me from before wouldn’t have done.

– Other members, how have you felt?

Mirai: It’s been clear to me how strong her love for us is. Because she had the chance to see us from an objective perspective, she’s become able to help each of us individually think about our performances and so on. Of course she’s always thought about ways to help us improve, but now she can convey her thoughts to us more easily.

– It sounds like the group’s bond has really strengthened. Thank you for your answers.
Next, I’d like to ask Noa a question. Noa, this is your first time participating in an album since joining the group in June 2017. Is there a song on the album that you feel particularly strongly about?

Noa: My favorite song on the album is the second track, “Cheers!” which features Shibuya Azuki as a special guest vocalist. I really love this song, from the very first time I heard it I was overwhelmed by how much I liked it, so I definitely want everyone to hear it live. There’s a part in the song where we go “Kanpai!” (“Cheers!”) and I want to make a toast with all the fans using their penlights. I’m confident this song will fill venues with happiness when we sing it!
This is the first album for me so I want to treasure every song when I sing them.

– I really like “Cheers!” too. The piano intro’s playful jazz melody matches perfectly with Mirai’s voice when she starts singing. It makes me think, “Something wonderful is about to start!” and gets my heart pounding!
What was it like to try singing it?

Mirai: It’s a song that naturally makes you smile. Everyone records separately so I haven’t seen it myself yet, but listening to the finished song, everyone’s fun facial expressions were conveyed through their singing voices. It’s definitely going to be a song to get everyone excited during lives!

– Do you have any interesting stories from the recording studio?

Mirai: I heard from staff that everyone was moving around in their recording booths more than usual.
Also, each member’s individuality comes out in the way they say “Kanpai!” I was the first to record, and just said “Kanpai!” at a normal level. But then from the second person on, the variation ended up decreasing. Everyone was thinking, “the person before me said it at this level, so saying it a bit higher would be good,” so everyone’s voice was just getting higher and higher.

Sena: No one even tried to say it in a lower voice.

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Haruki: Mirai was with me during my recording session, and gave me advice like, “Cecil and Lee will probably say it in a bright and happy way, so you should say it cooly.” So I tried doing it with a deeper voice.

Mirai: You should definitely try to identify each of our voices when you listen!

– The costume theme this time is phantom thieves, and up until now you’ve tried out a lot of different images to go with your songs. Are there any fantasy styles you’d like to try someday?

Everyone: There are so many!

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Haruki: Sherlock Holmes.

Everyone: Detectives, nice!

Haruki: If we were detectives, what should our catchphrase be?

Mirai: “I’ll sneak a peek at your heart.”

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Everyone: That’s good! Our next theme is decided!

Mirai: I want to try being bartenders.

Sena: Zoo theme, with everyone personifying different animals.

Mirai: Doctors!

Sena: Our catchphrase would be “I’ve diagnosed you with lovesickness.”

Everyone: Great!

– You’ve all got lots of ideas, huh!

Sena: We’ve gotten the chance to do so much already, and we’re always looking forward to what’s next.

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– I’ll be looking forward to next time, too. Thank you.
On November 24th and 25th, The Hoopers will appear at an event in Taiwan, as well as your first overseas one-man live. Can you tell us what you’re looking forward to?

Sena: It will be our second time in Taiwan, and the venue was really fired up when we visited two years ago. This time we’ll be performing in a festival as well as having our own concert, so we want to make the festival even more fun than last time and give everyone in Taiwan a chance to experience the world of FANTASIA to their heart’s content during our one-man live. We’re working hard making preparations, so to everyone who can join us, let’s have lots of fun together!

– Finally, please give us your message to foreign fans.

Haruki: There are a lot of countries we haven’t been to yet, but if you feel like, “I want The Hoopers to come here!” your country could absolutely be a candidate for a future overseas live, so please send us a message on social networking sites! We’re doing our best to expand The Hopers’ hoop worldwide, so please wait for us! And keep supporting us in the future, too!


The closeness between members and the deepness of their bond has shone in this interview. Particularly during the question of costume themes, hilarious ideas kept bursting through amidst endless laughter. It was clear that each member loves The Hoopers, and genuinely enjoys their activities in the group.
After their live in Taiwan, The Hoopers will begin release events in Tokyo, Aichi, and Hyogo starting on November 27th. Let’s go have our hearts stolen by beautiful phantom thieves!

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Concert / Event Information

TALE “Arabian Nights 2018”
November 24, 2018
Open – 11:30pm Start – 12:00pm
Open – 4:30pm Start – 5:30pm
Jack’s Studio (Taipei)

FANTASIC WORLD in Taiwan
November 25, 2018
Open – 12:00pm Start – 12:30pm
Jack’s Studio (Taipei)

2nd Album “FANTASIC SHOW” Release Event
November 27, 2018
Start – 6:30pm
HMV & BOOKS TOKYO (Tokyo)

November 28, 2018
Start – 6:30pm
Niconico Honsha (Tokyo)

November 29, 2018
Start – 6:30pm
Tower Record Shinjuku (Tokyo)

November 30, 2018
Start – 6:30pm
Sunshine Sakae (Aichi)

December 1, 2018
Start – 2:00pm
Start – 5:00pm
Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens (Hyogo)

December 2, 2018
Start – 1:30pm
Start – 4:00pm
Niconico Honsha (Tokyo)


Buy Item

Fantastic Show / The Hoopers
Fantastic Show / The Hoopers
Fantastic Show / The Hoopers

Related Links

The Hoopers Official site: http://thehoopers.jp/
The Hoopers Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/the__hoopers
The Hoopers Official Blog: https://ameblo.jp/the-hoopers/

Interviewed by TAKYU
Photos by Junko Azeyagi

Author
TokyoGirls'Update
TokyoGirls'Update

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