Translated from SPICE - eplus
Interviwer・Text:Katsuji Umeda 梅田勝司
Photography: Maki Takamura 髙村直希
Translator's Note: won't be word to word because I'm not bothered, but the meaning will be there. Thank you Hielmiez for sending in the link.
Note: This interview will be posted across all three Aikatsu Wikis.
Aikatsu Budokan! 2 days, "Aikatsu! Music Festa" is the final! STAR☆ANIS & AIKATSU☆STARS Pressing Interview Before Graduation!
During February 4, the day where new information was released on the new Aikatsu! series, we have also learnt that STAR☆ANIS and AIKATSU☆STARS will be officially graduating. These two units which were formed for the songs in "Aikatsu!" and "Aikatsu Stars!" have been performing on stage for the past five years, definitely hyping up the new series. With this one last chance during February 27 and 28, will the "Aikatsu! Music Festa in Aikatsu Budokan" be the last time we will ever get to see these girls? This time, we have gathered the members of STAR☆ANIS and AIKATSU☆STARS to listen to their thoughts.
How did you feel when the announcement of graduation came?
Sena: As I've actually been spending more time with the members than with my family currently, I've been thinking about how I will spend my time after graduation.
Ruka: Though the decision was made quite awhile ago, we were told about it along with the Budokan performance, so it was quite the shock.
Waka: It was quite a strange feeling for the fact that I've been singing for "Aikatsu!" since the original series. But where there is a beginning, there is an end. Because at first we never knew when it was going to end, I feel very lucky that I was able to start this career and continue for five years.
Fūri: I was also one of the members that participated since the very beginning. To say that I was in a state of confusion would be my most honest opinion.
Remi: Because we've been doing it for such a long time, it'll definitely get lonely.
Miho: To sing the songs for "Aikatsu!" was the center of my life. It has become quite hard for me to imagine what will happen afterwards.
What did you take out from the "Aikatsu!" Stages?"
Today, we have chosen the representatives of each unit to provide us with an interview. From STAR☆ANIS, we have Waka (Ichigo Hoshimiya), Fūri (Aoi Kiriya, Seira Otoshiro, Mikuru Natsuki), Remi (Otome Arisugawa, Yurika Tōdō, Miyabi Fujiwara). From AIKATSU☆STARS!, we have Sena (Yume Nijino), Miho (Juri Kurebayashi, Nono Daichi, Yozora Kasumi, Kirara Hanazono), as well as cross-group member Ruka (Akari Ōzora, Hime Shiratori, Aria Futaba).
During our interview, while there was the discovery of the graduation, we also got a chance to see a recording of the rehearsal for the Budokan performances, leaving a very lively impression.
STAR☆ANIS and AIKATSU☆STARS! plays a major role in the anime and the Data Carddass games. As the voice actresses for the characters do not sing, the members act as different artists compared to voice actresses, combines the elements of their characters to perform their activities that include singing, dancing, events and live stages.
The main target audience for the TV Anime/Data Carddass "Aikatsu!" and "Aikatsu Stars!" are girls who are in primary school. Clothing and accessories are combined in order to deliver the world of view of the young, for girls to sing and dance on a stage, they are real idols in the eyes of the little girls. The game also has actual linkage with the anime.
Remi: At first, I actually wasn't doing too well with the dances, but as my character grew as an idol, I grew alongside her, and now I'm doing just fine.
Ruka: It is important that you never forget your smile. Because there were quite a few members in AIKATSU☆STARS! that get nervous easily, I can be always seen backstage saying "Smile! Smile!"(You can see that from the backstage recordings in the live video)
The live is divided into two types depending on target audience: the parents who bring along their children is known as "Family Time", while the one for gentlemen and ladies is known as "Night Time". During an event, we go for a more classic live style with the Family Area.
With the live for the ladies and the gentlemen, fans display their enthusiasm, and we would locate ourselves in different locations during all-member songs, unit songs and solo songs for fans to see. On the other hand, we would teach the children our choreography during Family Time, in which a role change for us occurs.
To the kids, they believe that you are the existence of the real idols that flew out of the anime. Would that be also a memorable point to note?
Waka: I am very cautious to not let their hopes down when it comes to us being from the anime. Because the children pour their lives into dancing with us during the lives, their cute little poses are just touching. I can't help but feel a warmth from them.
Miho: We'd go "Stand up and let's do it together!", except we'd tell the dads and the brothers to just sit down (laughs). I also do high-fives with the children.
And that will definitely be an unforgettable memory.
Fūri: On stage, I always think about what I want to deliver to my audience.
Remi: I suppose during Family Time, smiles just come out naturally.
Sena: Since I don't have any younger siblings, seeing the children gives me the feeling that they're my younger brother or sister. It's as if I really became an elder sister.
The feelings of the approaching Budokan 2days
On one hand, it can be finalised that the "Aikatsu! Music Festa in Aikatsu Budokan!" on February 27 and 28th will be in the mode of Gentlemen and Ladies' Time.
When did you guys know about the news of the Music Festa this year to be held in Budokan?
Remi: It was during a time where they gathered all of us for a photo shoot that we all ended up crying tears of joy.
Then that means you couldn't continue with your photos (laughs). By the way, please tell me about your first Budokan experiences.
Sena: For me, it was at Nana Mizuki's live concert.
Ruka: Ah! Me too!
Waka: For me, it was standing on stage as a backup dancer, thinking when I will be able to stand on that stage for real.
Fūri: I've only started going to live performances recently, so I've never been to Budokan. But I do always listen to the Live audio recordings of my favorite artists.
Remi: It was a school event for me (laughs).
Miho: Same here (laughs).
Now that you've mentioned it, it is indeed a venue that is often used for school events. Since the live this time will be two days, will there be any changes in the setlist?
Waka: The two days are composed of different structures and contents. With our feelings accumulated so far, the live will be including songs from the very beginning all the way up to recent ones. Among the songs, we build a setlist around the ones where we receive the most hype and response from the audience.
Miho: Of course just one day would be enjoyable, but being at both days creates a complete piece.
And so to conclude, from a fan's perspective, they'll have a better understanding if they watch on both days.
Waka: Since it's held on a weekday, I would say that it's "not" impossible (laughs). But even if you can just come for one day, we'd be glad.
To prepare for the Budokan live, please recommend some "Fankatsu!" to me
Waka: In terms of Fankatsu, well, either way just listen to all the songs from earliest to latest. If you can, you can also review the plot of all the anime episodes. It'll definitely increase your impression later on.
Fūri: Since Aikatsu! released best albums and BD-Boxes, do check those out!
Originally, the ladies and gentlemen's Night Time was basically "The fans also get hyped, so even for songs that haven't be performed in awhile will be cheered on", supported by fans who supported their "Idol Activities" with passion. Furthermore, the live this time in Budokan, STAR☆ANIS and AIKATSU☆STARS's "Aikatsu! Music Festa" will be our final performance. Fans that we've never seen before should also gather.
Lastly, please tell your fans to get them excited for Budokan in one sentence.
Sena: Everyone, do please come!
Ruka: Behind the stages during Budokan, I will be really busy changing outfits for characters. But I will sing with a smile till the very last minute.
Waka: I want this Budokan experience to be full of emotions. Maybe even an explosion of emotions.
Remi: Because I am in charge of so many characters, my style of singing changes along with that. Please listen to that carefully as well.
Fūri: For both you guys and for us, it will take some time for me to really come to my sense that this is the very last time. But anyway, let's all do our best as the Budokan awaits.
Miho: Some of you might have hesitated in purchasing the tickets, some of you might have rushed to purchase tickets in response to yesterday's announcement. But either way, let's all have fun.