In May of 2010 S/mileage made their major 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!!


 

Meimi Tamura/田村芽実さん

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-Thank you for sitting down with us today. Today we’d like to ask you to introduce your new song, talk about the current tour, as well as your graduation at the end of it.

-Let’s begin with your new music, where it’s been decided that each of you will be in charge of going into detail about one song. I’d like to ask you about the two songs “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” and “Koi nara Tokku Hajimatteru”, so would you mind telling us what they’re like and what we should listen for?

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Meimi: One part to look out for in “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” is ANGERME’s first rap, which we’d also never had in S/mileage, and something else would be how well this song fits ANGERME right now. Last year Kanon-san graduated and a new member, Moe-chan, joined our group, and now I’ll be graduating myself- So when you look you at it from that angle of ANGERME currently going through a lot of heavy line-up changes, I think this song really fits. As for the second, as I’m graduating, they let me sing the “kawari tsuzukerareru you na yuuki” (“the courage to keep changing”) part, as well as first generation member, Ayaka Wada, singing the “kawaranu mama soko ni aru shinri” (“the truth there remains unchanged”), and I think these two lines carry a deep meaning that I definitely recommend listening for. Another interesting part is that we expanded on the meaning of the “zoku zoku” (“on and on”) part of “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” to include the thrill of your heart racing.

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-That’s not surprising, coming from Ameko. (Note: Ameko Kodama wrote the lyrics for “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku”.)

Meimi: Right! It’s very interesting. Since Ameko’s been assigned to ANGERME, she’s written a lot of lyrics for us. We all love the lyrics she writes.

-It seems like her lyrics and the group have great chemistry. I think she really outdid herself this time. And regarding the next song, “Koi nara Tokku Hajimatteru”, is it a graduation song?

Meimi: That’s right, it’s the first song Tsunku♂ has composed and written for ANGERME. When we were S/mileage he always wrote our music, but since we became ANGERME many different people have written songs for us. I’ve always loved him since S/mileage, so having gone on so long without him, there might be a noticeable difference.

-You make it sound like you’re talking about a boyfriend!

Meimi: That’s right! (laugh) That’s because I’ve really missed Tsunku♂’s songs and Tsunku♂, too. Until now Tsunku♂ has been in charge of Hello!Project, and during that time he always came to our concerts and rehearsals, but recently he hasn’t been around very much like that. So I really miss him. That’s why for my last song, I’m so glad to be singing in the center of a song that he wrote.

Also, this is the first love song we’ve done since becoming ANGERME. Being given my first solo speaking part, I re-did it over and over and really did my best so it would resonate the most with our fans, and even though it’s a love song, the solo speaking part that Tsunku♂ wrote really matches me.

-I see. What kind of meaning does it hold for you?

Meimi: Well, the song itself is a love song, but especially parts of it like “tometari wa dekinai” (“you can’t stop it”) echo my own feelings toward my upcoming graduation, and I think Tsunku♂ wrote it like that intentionally.

-I see. Well going off on what you’ve shared, I think you’ll be singing quite a lot during the rest of your upcoming tour dates, so please do your best! Regarding your last tour, is there anything you’ve been especially paying attention to or thinking about?

Meimi: Well, it might seem obvious, but I’ve been cherishing each and every one of our performances, and I think that’s the most important thing. Four of the girls are my juniors, and I feel like there’s still so much to teach them, so I’d like to do that.

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With this live tour we’re visiting places we don’t usually visit, so there have been a lot of people saying, “Today is the last time I’ll be able to see you,” during our handshake events. So I’d like to cherish these last moments with all our fans.

-That’s right. With each location there will be those who will be seeing you for the last time. You must be feeling so many things right now, like sadness about your upcoming graduation, and the desire to do your best as you take on what’s next.

-In my mind, when you first joined you came off as very innocent, young, and a bit of a troublemaker, but recently you’ve become more grown-up. What moment in ANGERME caused you to mature the most?

Meimi: Hmm, let’s see. I think the period I’ve spent in S/mileage and ANGERME has been the most important in my life, and there are many ways it’s made me more mature, but I think where I’ve most matured since joining ANGERME is my way of thinking. Since I spend almost every day around adults, I really think it’s that. On the other hand, since joining ANGERME I haven’t been able to make very many friends my own age. I have friends at junior high, but besides those friends, I’ve made friends with a lot of people my mom’s age.

-Your friends are around the same age as your mother?!

Meimi: That’s right! I just seem to get along well with people that age. My hobbies and things like that are pretty tame. I like sewing and stuff like that, so a lot of my friends are people my mom’s age.

-Wow! You’ve definitely grown up a lot more than I had thought!

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Meimi: I still have a lot of childishness left in me, though! That hasn’t changed one bit.

-I see, then. Well thank you for that. By the way, do you have any memories, memorable people, or thoughts that stand out during your time in ANGERME?

Meimi: Hmm, well they’re all memories, and I have memories from when I first joined, all through the middle, and now as well, but I think I’d have to say it was during junior high when I was going to school and working at the same time. I’m originally from Gunma Prefecture, and every day I would finish at 8:00pm and then I’d ride and change trains until I got home a little before midnight. Because I did that daily, it was the busiest time for me, which is why I felt like I was really on fire. Junior high school lasted three years. When it came to studying, I wanted to do better than the other girls around me. I would get really sleepy in class, but made an oath not to fall asleep during class, and I didn’t during those three years. Because of work I couldn’t really make very many memories with the other girls in my class, but I was able to enjoy each day with the members of S/mileage to make up for it, and I think keeping up that balance was big for me.

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-Certainly it wouldn’t have been something you could have experienced if it weren’t for you working. By the way, would you mind telling me if you have any personal goals for after you graduate?

Meimi: After graduating, I’m aiming to become a musical actress. Personally I’d like to play Éponine in Toho Musical’s Les Miserables, so I’d really like to appear in that. I want to be just as famous as ANGERME so I won’t just be referred to as being “former ANGERME member”, and I’d like for people to discover ANGERME through me. I’ve been indebted to ANGERME and S/mileage for about five years now, so I’d like to be able to contribute something myself.

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-Thank you. Well, with your upcoming graduation, is there anything you’d like to say to the other remaining members?

Meimi: Well, hmm… Well, Ayaka, who is first generation, said she’ll really miss me when I’m gone. I feel bad about making her feel that way, yet I’m also happy she feels that way about me. Also this sounds out of place since I’m graduating and all, but I really want ANGERME to have a long life.

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-You mean you want the group to continue on for a long time, right?

Meimi: That’s right, I think continuing on is the hardest part of all, so I want them to keep living a long, long life.

-Like Morning Musume。, who have been going on for about 17 years.

Meimi: Yes, they’ve been around for 17 or 18 years.

-It would be great if ANGERME could make it just as long, stick around for 20 or 30 years. This might be a difficult question, but how would you describe ANGERME in one word?

Meimi: One word?!

-Well, it doesn’t have to be just one word.

Meimi: ANGERME is well… It’s “everything”. It’s been everything to me. I joined S/mileage during my first year of junior high school with the intention of giving it everything I had. I definitely think I give it my absolute best during my time as a S/mileage member. Every day has been centered around ANGERME, and ANGERME has been the center of my life, so to me ANGERME is everything.

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-Thank you for your words. Finally, could you please give a message to your overseas fans? I think maybe some of them will be there to see you on May 30th.

Meimi: Since about two and a half years ago the group has wanted to do a concert overseas, but that wish of ours hasn’t been fulfilled yet. I’m sorry to all our fans overseas since we couldn’t go before my graduation, but there are many of you who come over to see us. I’m very thankful for all of your encouragement, and knowing that I had fans cheering me on no matter how far away has been encouraging to me throughout my idol life, so I really hope you’ll come on May 30th. It’s my dream to appear in musicals after graduating, so if I’m able to appear in one with an overseas performance, I apologize that it might be rather late, but I dream that I can meet all of you then.

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

Photos by Mime Soga
Translated by Jamie Koide

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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