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!!


 

Maho Aikawa/相川茉穂さん

-About your latest single, I am asking each of the members to introduce one of the new songs we have chosen. May I ask you about “Itoshima Distance?”. What kind of song is that and what should people focus on when they watch the MV?

Contributor Wanted!!

Maho: Sure. he subject of this song is the Itoshima seaside in Fukuoka. People in Fukuoka perhaps know the place but I haven’t heard the name until this time. I suppose that the large number of overseas residents also know almost nothing of it. Having heard that Itoshima recently was revitalized to be a resort spot and became a fashionable town with great cafes, so I would like to many people to visit Itoshima after listening our song.

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– Have you guys ever been to Itoshima?

Maho: Moe has been there for shooting. I haven’t been there but yet there is a relationship between me and Itoshima. I asked my mother whether she knows the place when I told her “I’m going to sing a song related to Itoshima”. She is a good cook as she makes soy sauce at home and is using malted rice from Itoshima! Aikawa family produce soy sauce from Itoshima!

– Well, please produce the soy sauce as goods!

Maho: (Laugh) The lyrics sound ballad-like and using phrase “Suitouyo” (I love you). This is the first time to sing such phrases as ANGERME. It’s different from cheerful and powerful songs like “Taiki Bansei”, singing a love song with a ballad-like sound is challenge to us. Everything is new to me this time but I want many people to know that ANGERME can sing those kind of songs as well.

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-As it’s your first love song, Which phrase was impressive one for you?

Maho: The phrase “Suitouto” comes the first in the hook. I know it means “I love you” but it might be rare to have lyrics written in dialects. Since I am from Kanagawa prefecture, I don’t have any dialects, so the phrase “Suitouto” was very impressive to me. I hope that many people would remember it.

– Actually it’s rare. The lyrics with dialects must sound fresh for foreign fans too.

Maho: I think that there are many people interested in Japanese language, so I would like them to say “Suitouto”! (Laugh)

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– I hope they remember it. By the way I was surprised with the costume for this song.

Maho: It’s like a clown (laugh)! It gave me a surreal feeling wearing the costume for this calm and slow song. Having an image that the choreography would be done in a deliberate manner, but actually it isn’t, like doing choreography of riding a car. Since both the choreography and costume are different from the song’s image, so you might be surprised. This song might be easy to remember because it is rare to wear such a costume like “Taiki Bansei”, ”Gashin Shotan”、and ”Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” in a surreal song.

– I see. I guess this song shows ANGERME’s new side. Which song is your favorite one among the three?

Maho: Yeah. I surely like “Itoshima Distance” but we challenged rapping in “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku”. I am not singing the rapping part but ANGERME seriously worked on it. Since I do not rap this time, I just dance beside the members but I thought it was very cool! The MV is also cool. ANGERME sings various kinds of songs indeed, I think.

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– It would be great if you could show even cooler ANGERME to the audience. Now, please let’s us hear about “Kyuui Ittai” tour. Which parts do you think you have developed from the previous tour “Hyakka Ryoran”, matured, or have changed from the last tour?

Maho: The members changed this time. The previous tour was with 9 members including Kanon Fukuda since it was her last concert, and now we are 9 again but with a new member Moe Kamikokuryo. The most different point is that this is Meimi Tamura’s last concert tour. Since the new member joined, I became a senpai, so I have to teach as a senpai somehow. In my first tour, Kana Nakanishi taught me a a lot. Yet, I am still a new member and am not good at dancing and singing as if I feel I haven’t grown up even a bit. However, I really enjoy concerts. The more concerts. The more I came to think the concerts are fun and I can catch the audience’s eyes. So, this tour does not exemplify that I became a senpai but this is a tour that I have to grow up as a senpai. I am really working hard now with Moe Kamikokuryo. When Kamiko-chan (Moe Kamikokuryo) says that she cannot do this part, I sometimes think that “Ah I’m also not good at the same part”… so I want to do my best.

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-Would you tell me more specifically?

Maho: After Fukuda-san graduated, the singing parts and dancing formation have changed dynamically. When the 3rd generation members joined, I felt that the three members just joined the previous six members, but After Fukuda-san graduated and Kamikokuryo-chan joined, we had to remember a new dancing part afresh. I am thinking that I have to catch up as a senpai now. The fans may have thought that I was the worst in the previous tour…but I was actually really bad. Yet, passing a year since the last tour, I would like to show my growth to the audience.

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-Thanks. Achieving 2nd place on the Oricon Charts three times in a row as ANGERME but, what are you aiming for with this single?

Maho: 1st place! (laugh) But 2nd place is actually great enough, I think. With “Taiki Bansei” many fans said that they got cheered with the song, with “Nanakorobi Yaoki” we did new challenged making teams of the vocal group and dancing group, with “Gashin Shotan” we danced so fiercely, with “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” we rocked a lot, with “Donden Gaeshi” we sing about fighting….We are challenging various things after changing the group’s name to ANGERME. So simply I’m so glad to hear fans saying “I got so happy with your songs”. “Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru” is a love song written and composed by Tsunku♂-san, starting with Tamura-san’s the first line and ending with her solo part. The intro part has so much impact, so I would like you to pay attention to that parts. We’re again challenging new things with this single, so I’m glad if many people listen to them.

-Thank you. Tamura-san will graduate on the final day of the tour, so would you please share a message to her with us?

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Maho: Since I joined ANGERME as one of the new members, I felt that I am not good at dancing or singing. The other members of the same generation, Rikako Sasaki and Mizuki Murota, were really good since trainee days, so I was the only one who couldn’t perform at that level and got behind, even at the concerts’ rehearsal. I was understanding that situation, but I couldn’t do it, especially for dancing. Even when I could finally catch up with dancing, then I couldn’t be able to sing enough and made mistakes on my standing/dancing positions… However after the rehearsal, Tamura-san came to help fix my wrong points again and again. She was kindly teaching me and scolded me many times so I cried a lot. But the way she gets angry has a lot of love behind it.

Maho: When I heard about Tamura-san’s graduation, I felt a lot regret myself. I mean, I thought I could have matured more before she graduated as she taught me a lot. I want to get more and more skilled before her graduation. She still keeps teaching me and I feel kind of frustrated at myself as I’m making trouble for her, so I will do my best to mature more until Tamura-san’s graduation in May. It’s not just dancing and singing that she taught me, she also taught me lots of important things such as greetings, attitude, and business. I’m sure that I’m the best one who learned from Tamura-san, so it means it’s ME that will have to teach what I learned from her to my kouhai. I will learn more from her until her graduation and want her graduate with happiness.

-It’s really moving story, thank you for sharing it. Finally, do you have any message for your fans overseas?

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Maho: We can go meet meet fans in Japan but we can’t go meet foreign fans, but that’s because we have never been able to do perform a live overseas. I’m really glad that many foreign fans came to see us in Japan, from Iceland, America, Thailand…from everywhere both cold and warm places! They kindly share with me a lot the things I don’t know about overseas such as, “This food is really good in my country!”, and that makes me really happy. I want to go meet with the fans outside Japan and let them tell me about lots of tasty local foods and languages! I want to do my best to be able to make that happen, and at the same time, I’m really grateful to foreign fans. We’ll work hard more to get more of them!

Related links
ANGERME Official site : http://www.helloproject.com/angerme/
ANGERME new members’ blog including Maho’s blog : http://ameblo.jp/angerme-ss-shin

Photos by Mime Soga

Author
Ayaya
Ayaya

Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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