In May of 2010 S/mileage made their major label debut with their single “Yumemiru Fifteen”. Then in October of 2011, S/mileage sub-members Kana Nakanishi, Akari Takeuchi, Rina Katsuta, and Meimi Tamura became official members of the group, and S/mileage had their massively successful first solo concert at the Nippon Budokan. In December of 2014, with the arrival of three new members, Maho Aikawa, Rikako Sasaki, and Mizuki Murota, the group changed their name to ANGERME. During their November 29, 2015 performance at the Nippon Budokan, first generation member Kanon Fukuda graduated, new member, Moe Kamikokuryo, joining the group on November 11th.

Although Meimi Tamura has plans to graduate at their next Nippon Budokan performance on May 30th, ANGERME will release their fourth single “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku”/”Itoshima Distance”/”Koi nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru” on April 27th. Since this will be their last single with all nine members, Tokyo Girls’ Update sat down with all of them to ask them about the music video shoot for “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku”.

Contributor Wanted!!

Contributor Wanted!!


Akari Takeichi/竹内朱莉さん

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– First, tell us about the new single and the tour. We’ve been asking each member about a particular song. Can you tell us about “Itoshima Distance”? What kind of song is it?

Contributor Wanted!!

Akari: This song is based on a place named Itoshima in Fukuoka prefecture. So, in the lyrics there are many famous things in Fukuoka mentioned. At first, our members didn’t know about many of the things and wondered “what is this? where is this town?”. But if somebody related to Fukuoka listens to it, I think they would all know what we are singing about. It should be fun for people from Fukuoka to listen to it.

– Have you ever been to Fukuoka?

Akari: I’ve been there for concerts and events but I’ve never really had much time to go sightseeing. There was one time where we had a little bit of time and we went to a place called Tenjin. it was right after we received the song, so we were excited to actually be there.

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– When you were in S/mileage, you had a song called “Aa Susukino” about Hokkaido.

Akari: We started to become popular among people in Hokkaido after we released the song “Aa Susukino”. When fans here the intro melody, they get excited. It was our first time seeing that kind of excitement in the crowd and the members were chuckling a bit when we started the song. So I hope “Itoshima Distance” will be loved by the people of Fukuoka too.

– I though the costumes are very cute.

Akari: Based on the song, I expected a more grownup kind of costume but it’s actually the complete opposite from the song, kind of like a colorful clown. Normally groups would wear cool costumes for a cool song, but ANGERME tends to play around a bit. This was how it used to be since we were S/mileage, like having funny moves in a cool song. So I think at good that we still have this kind of character. If you just listen to the song, it sounds very soothing but if watch the MV, you’ll get to see a whole different world in the song, so please check out the song in many ways.

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– Next we would like to ask you about the tour. in the last tour”Hyakka Ryoran”, it was the first time for ANGERME to go around the whole country. The upcoming “Kyuui Ittai” tour will be the second time, has anything changed from the last tour?

Akari: Fukuda-san has graduated, and Kamikokuryou-chan has joined the group and its the first tour since we’ve become the new 9 members. The biggest difference is that the new members, Mizuki Murota, Maho Aikawa, and Rikako Sasaki have become sempai. I feel that the three members members have grown up much more than before. I never felt my self growing up but I could tell that my kouhai were becoming sempai. It just comes by so fast. but it hasn’t even been a year yet since those three members have joined, and I think they still have many difficulties. Since a new member joined, I thought we were the ones that were going to be busy, but the 3rd generation members taught Kamikokuryou-chan most of the stuff. They must have been very busy with just themselves, but I think it’s good that they’ve become able to care about kouhai at the same time.

– That sounds good for ANGERME as a group. Getting back to the single, since you’ve become ANGERME, you’ve reached 2nd place on the Oricon singles chart for two songs in a row. Maybe the next song will be in 1st place.

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Akari: Yeah, but our kouhai have already gotten 1st place lately, like Kobushi Factory and Juice=Juice. I really wish that we can get 1st place but I can’t imagine what it’s like. The highest we’ve got done as S/mileage is 2nd place. It’s not that we are desperate to get 1st place, but if more people could become happy by listening to our song, I wish we could get 1st place. But it doesn’t have to be in the near future I guess.

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– In May, Tamura-san will be graduating. Since you two joined at the same time and have been together for a long time, can you tell us about some memories and anything you want to do before she graduates?

Akari: I can’t really imagine her graduating yet. We’ve been together basically everyday for the past five years. It’s unbelievable the one of the four members that joined at the same time will be leaving, but Mei has a dream of becoming a musical actress. So, I want to support her and make the last concert great so she can get a great job after she graduates.

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Akari: Mei was also the one who was teaching kouhai the most. If anything was wrong or somebody wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do, she scolded us and when we do good, she praised us. I think getting angry at somebody requires a lot of courage. I try to point out wrong things as much as possible too but, I’ve never told anyone straightforward. The way she gets angry has a lot of life behind it. so when a member like her will no longer be here, I worries me a bit as to who will do her part. I know I should do it but it’s difficult. There will be even more new members coming in, so I should learn from her. Also, Mei is really enthusiastic as a professional and stoic with her practices. I’ve seen her practicing by herself all the time. When she starts practicing, it made us feel cautious too and started practicing. So she really is an important member of the group. I really have to learn a lot from her before she graduates.

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– I hope you can get as much as possible out of her during the rest of the time. Next are some questions about you. We heard you are good at shodo (Japanese calligraphy). If there is a character you want to write for the fans abroad, please tell us what it is and why you want to write it.

Akari: I want to write the character “samurai”. If I get the chance to write for people overseas, I would chose this letter. I write the letter “tamashii” (soul/spirit) often, but I think “samurai” will have a bigger impact. But I really do wish I could do shodo abroad! I would love to write someone’s name
and give it to them as a present.

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– That sounds great! You will be a university student starting from April, do you have any goals?

Akari: I want to study even more about shodo.

– Do you want to be a professional?

Akari: Not exactly…

– You want to do shodo as studie?

Akari: Yeah, like Wada-san is studying art, I want to study about shodo deeply. I’ve wanted to go to university for a very long time but after getting in to high school, many people praised me for my shodo. It’s ok just doing it as a hobby but I thought, why not become better? So I hope I can learn from many people and get even more better in university. On the towels sold for the “Kyuui Ittai” tour, I wrote the words Kyuumi Ittai, but I thought if could write even better, maybe someday we can use it for our cd jacket. I hope I can investigate more deeply about shodo and I’m really excited about it.

– You’ll do great. Lastly, can we have a message for the fans abroad and readers of Tokyo Girls’ Update?

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Akari: We really hope we can go abroad this year! We’ve been saying that our goal in 2016 is to go abroad. So we really will make this come true. It’s not a just a dream; we will make it come true.

– What country do you want to go to?

Akari: There are many countries I want to go to. although we haven’t had the chances to go, there have been many people who came to us from Thailand, Paris, America, and so on. So many people have come, so I think we can go anywhere. I really wish we could go everywhere.

Related links
ANGERME official site : http://www.helloproject.com/angerme/
ANGERME America Nikki including Akari Takeuchi’s blog : http://ameblo.jp/angerme-amerika

Photos by Mime Soga

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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