【MMN Interview】Event “KAKERU” Artists Interview -2/2-
February saw the launch of ASOBISYSTEM’s newest event: “KAKERU.” With “KAKERU” roughly translated to bridging in Japanese, the event spurs never-before-sighted collabs between artists coming from different creative backgrounds. Here’s our second half of interviews with the participating artists!
Photo：Atsushi Yamada / Interview: Sahori Hyaku
――What is your interpretation of KAKERU?
Neeko：Since everything’s a collaboration, I see it as an opportunity to reveal a new side to myself.
――Can you elaborate on “new”?
Maybe different is a better word for it. I usually do everything on my own, but since I’ve got a band with me today, I get to do something more rock, punk, pop. It’s a side of me that’s being revealed through a band set.
――Anything you’d like to do in particular at your performance today?
Neeko：I just want to have fun and keep it loose. I don’t want to feel restrained, like I have to do this or that, I just hope I can create something different along with the crowd who’s here.
――What are you looking forward to at this KAKERU event?
Neeko：I’ve got a lot of friends who are performing as well so I’m excited to see them on stage. Other than that, since I usually MC at ASOBI-hosted events, I’m excited to take part in one as an artist!
――Please give us a message to your fans abroad.
Neeko：I think Japan’s a super liberating country. There’s nothing you can do wrong, you can collaborate with whoever you want. It’s fascinating. Try it out in your daily life!
――What is your interpretation of KAKERU?
Yun*chi：I don’t get to attend an event where I can collaborate with people, so this was something very new for me.
――Anything particular you’d like to do for your performance today?
When they asked me who I wanted to collaborate with, KASICO-san came straight to my mind. He creates GIF animations called “Graphic Girl” and I thought it’d be fun to collaborate with him! Since it’s animated, the GIFs move.
Graphic Girl is quite new in itself — it’d be great if people get to know it along with a Yun*chi collaboration. I’ve actually previously done “Graphic Girl”, but we’re thinking of creating something new again. This time, we’re going to have the audience scan a QR code and carry home the artwork we’ve created on their smartphones!
――What else are you looking forward to at KAKERU?
I think each and every artist is planning on a never-before-sighted-collab, so I’m excited to see all the magic and chemistry that’s going to bring.
――Please give us a message to your fans abroad!
I’ve already announced a couple of dates for shows abroad, so I hope all of you will come and support me there.
――Where are you headed?
First I’m performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas this March. We’re currently deciding which countries to go to after that, but I’m sure the dates and venues will be announced soon. Keep in tuned!
――What is your interpretation of KAKERU?
NaNaHo：KAKERU is an event where people from different creative backgrounds (artists, models, etc.) get together. We collaborated with Yutaro-san (reader model), but it really gets you excited just imagining the chemistry that happens when two varying creatives bind together.
U-KA：Yutaro-san styled our outfits this time, and we got to transform into a different TEMPURA KIDZ through this event. That made me happy.
――How was the outfit?
U-KA：Santo nibunno ichi (the store where Yutaro-san works) was already daily gear for KARIN and P→★, but the rest of us hadn’t, so it was fresh to see all of us sporting clothing fromSanto nibunno ichi. It ended up being really cute.
――So you would go there to shop?
KARIN：Yeah, P→★-kun and I love our clothes secondhand.
――What got you into it Santo nibunno ichi?
P→★: I think it was Twitter. I’d always wanted to go, and we decided to go together for the first time. I think it was something like that.
AO：P→★ and KARIN are very close to the staff who work there as well. We were performing at an event when Yutaro-san suddenly appeared and announced the collab.
U-KA：We were told about this out of the blue!
――How did you feel when you first heard about the collab?
AO：It was exciting to wear our regular outfits on stage. Since we’re known for our crazy, flashy outfits, we never really have the opportunity to go on stage with what we normally wear.
NaNaHo：It was the first time we were ever on stage with a model, so I was looking forward to what exactly was going to play out on stage.
――What would you like to bring on the stage today?
NaNaHo：Since the lineup’s really diverse, I’d imagined the crowd would be equally as diverse. I’m sure there are people out there who’ll be seeing us for the first time, but I hope we all have fun!
U-KA：We usually dance and sing with the audience, making the performance really engaging. Since we’re performing at the very end this time, we’re set to make the crowd squeal with excitement!
――What else are you looking forward to at KAKERU?
KARIN：I’m excited for Una, Culumi Nakada and AMIAYA’S “KAKERU.” It’s exciting to see what a model collab would bring out.
AO：We’ve put up outfits that were styled by Yutaro-san on Twitter where Tweeters can vote for their favorites, so we’re excited to see who gets chosen.
KARIN：I’m curious how the crowd is going to react to our outfits when they see us come up on stage.
――Any goals you’ve set for the near future?
NaNaHo：There are still lots of places we haven’t been able to visit in Japan, so I’d love to keep discovering new ground. U-KA’S currently studying Thai. I also want to work on my English so I can communicate more with the people rather than just performing there.
――Please give us a message to your foreign fans!
U-KA：Up until now, we’ve traveled mainly within Asia, so without saying, there are still a bunch of countries we haven’t visited yet. Our final goal is to do a solo World Tour. We hope all of you can watch us perform live.
NaNaHo：It’d be a dream to have people enjoy us at first sighting or even if they spotted us by chance.
P→★: We’ve gone to Thailand eight times, but we’ve only visited France in the whole of Europe. We’re going to do our best to visit all the other countries we’ve never been to!
AO：We’re actually going to Myanmar next week. We’d like to have more and more people fall in love with what we do, so we’re going to continue giving it our all.
KARIN：We get a lot of comments from our foreign audience on YouTube, so we’re very grateful for that. There are lots of countries we haven’t been able to visit yet, so I’d like to study lots and keep working at it to prepare myself for when the time comes. Please continue to give us all your support!
[Interview] Popular Vocalist Chogakusei Releases Long-Awaited First Album ‘Cho’
Chogakusei is a vocalist who has attracted attention for the huge gap between the mysterious atmosphere of his Venetian mask and his aggressive voice. After releasing a single in January, the artist released his first full album Cho on February 15, 2023. We sat down to chat with Chogakusei about his current mental state as he continues to build serious momentum, and about his upcoming first solo concert scheduled for March at the Nippon Seinen-kan Hall.
The Theme of the 1st Album is ‘Diversity’
“The word ‘diversity’ can refer to utilizing elements from different people and cultures, but for the diversity used in this album, I focused more on breaking the rules and thinking outside of the box in a more general sense.”
“Since this is my first major album, I felt like it was the fulfillment of a promise. At the same time, I didn’t want to be bound by that feeling. As you listen to each track, I think you’ll find each of them very colorful. So many different people participated in writing the lyrics–for example, the song Ingel was written by Yu Shinda of BURG HAMBURG BURG, and the Vocaloid producers Surii and PinocchioP also contributed. I hope everyone who listens will take note of the diverse group of creators who worked on the album.”
Ingel – Music Video
Heading Towards his First Solo Concert ‘School Admission Briefing’
−You have to admit, it’s a pretty unique title for a concert, isn’t it?
“Since this is my first live performance period, I wanted it to have the theme of a self-introduction, so ‘School Admission Briefing’ seemed to fit, given my name. It’s an unusual title, for sure. (Laugh) I hope fans who attend will feel what it’s like to be a Chogakusei (Super Student). The details of the show are still a secret, though!”
A Vocal Style Inspired by Fan Comments
–You’re popular for your deep, aggressive voice. How did your vocal style come about?
“Honestly, I decided on this style after reading comments from fans posted around the time I released my cover of the song Darling. That’s when I started posting on YouTube more frequently and I got a ton of feedback. Like, people would point out the parts they liked–the minute and the second. After scrolling through all of that, I decided on my current style. In a way, how I sing was completely created by the fans.”
−Tons of international fans have commented on your vocal style. What’s the secret of your popularity?
“I’d love to know myself! (Laugh) Please tell me! In my head, I know that I have this slightly rough, low voice that leads to a more masculine singing style. I also put a lot of thought into the costumes and makeup for each song, so a lot of comments tend to focus on that too. They like my style.”
“I want to try styles from around the world.”
“I’d like to try a ton of unique styles from around the world in the future, like Chinese and Arabic styles. I’m up for the challenge of representing different countries and cultures! I hope to incorporate ideas from fans around the world too, so leave them in the comments. I don’t care what language you speak, please tell me about your country and what you’d like to see!”
Born in 2001, Chogakusei posted their first cover song at the age of 11. Ever since, he’s consistently posted videos online, currently posting at a rate of one per week. With over 300 million views on his cover tracks, his aggressive voice and mysterious masked appearance have caused him to gain traction with fans around the world. Chogakusei released his first album Cho on February 15, 2023, and his first solo concert, School Admission Briefing, is to be held at the Nippon Seinen-kan Hall in Tokyo on March 5, 2023.
Official Site: https://chogakusei.com
KAWAII LAB. Report #16 ~One Year of FRUITS ZIPPER~
FRUITS ZIPPER, an up-and-coming idol group from ASOBISYSTEM’s KAWAII LAB project, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” For the past year, the girls have been transmitting what they call ‘NEW KAWAII’ from Harajuku, an area known for fashion and individuality, to their growing fanbase.
Recently, we sat down with the members to chat about their first year as idols since debuting in April 2022.
ーWhat has the past year been like as members of FRUITS ZIPPER?
“The past year has been a year of love. I’ve learned so much about myself and see my own weaknesses more than I ever have before!
I’ve been able to encounter emotions I wasn’t even aware that I could, and I’ve even been able to recognize and verbalize a lot of new dreams and goals for the future!
Thank you so much!”
“The past year has been the most packed year of my life. There was something to do every single day–it was so hectic and so fun! I could only think about how thankful I was to be part of FRUITS ZIPPER. I’m sure that we’ve all become stronger over the past year, and I want to keep working hard and expanding our activities more in the coming years!”
“Every day seemed to fly by. I met and talked with so many people, and I was finally able to do the job I had always dreamed of doing.”
ーYou performed in Thailand this year, highlighting your slogan of ‘From Harajuku to the World.’ Can you tell us any fun stories from that time?
“I was so happy to see how many people knew about FRUITS ZIPPER–it was more than I could have ever imagined! So many fans told me how happy they were to meet me and it made me so thrilled!
There were some fans who came from Japan too, and they joined the Thai fans to become Team Yui! I really felt like we had shared Harajuku with the world at that moment. ♡
I hope that we’ll keep expanding this way and visiting fans around the world.
It was such a warm and special day.”
“This was my first time performing overseas and I was nervous about how the audience would react. We weren’t well-known in Thailand, after all–but when we started singing Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro, everyone sang along!
The concert was so warm and the fans were so sweet, I immediately forgot that it was my first big overseas performance. I was full of adrenaline and it just turned out to be so much fun.
That concert is still my best memory. I can’t wait to go back to Thailand to perform again.
Since our motto is ‘From Harajuku to the World,’ I hope that we can keep expanding to other countries soon!”
ーDo you have any goals for the next year in terms of overseas activities?
“I want to do a European tour!
I’m still studying German, but I’d love to try out my communication skills! 🥺 (I guess I could do that here too, but…)”
“I want to be friends with more overseas fans! 💖
Honestly, I’d love to become like Kyary, an idol who is now recognized all over the world!”
ーGive a message to your fans both in Japan and abroad!
“In 2023, I hope that I can spend more time with fans from around the world in person! I want to become stronger and care for those important to me while growing my natural gifts!
I hope you’re all looking forwards to a powered-up FRUITS ZIPPER!
Let’s make 2023 a great one!” 🤍
“Even though we’ve only just debuted, we’ve already been so blessed, invited to perform in Thailand and to spend New Year’s Eve in Taiwan. How have we been abroad so many times already? I want to keep the momentum going, spread my wings and aim for an even bigger stage! To all the international fans, just wait! We’ll keep bringing Harajuku to the rest of the world!”
Interview: MIOCHIN’s Kawaii Girl’s Guide to Tokyo
Many visiting Tokyo in the future will want to find the most kawaii spots imaginable, and we know just the girl to serve as a guide! In today’s special interview, we chatted with MIOCHIN to share her recommendations. If you haven’t seen her colorful pop pics on TikTok and Instagram, you’ll want to jump into the MIONOSEKAI!
Q. MIOCHIN, what store is a must-visit in Harajuku?
“That would be SUGAR HIGH at Harajuku Alta! You can find colorful sweets and cute goods from all over the world. I always stop by when I have time because they have popular snacks I’ve seen on TikTok, tons of jewelry, and things I can use every day♪
It’s also a really good spot for buying small souvenirs and gifts for people!★”
Q. What store in Tokyo really embodies your personal worldview?
“The minacute CONCEPT STORE at Ikebukuro Sunshine City. I’m actually the store’s producer!★
Not only did I design this shop, but I’m also selling cute accessories in collaboration with minacute!!”
“The store feels like a big toy box and it’s filled with so many items that kids would love. Not only that–you can find popular brands from around the world and tons of sparkle too★
We also hold workshops and events on weekends, so please come visit!♪★”
Q. What’s your go-to Kawaii Spot?
(The HARAJUKU Room)
“If you’re looking to surround yourself with everything cute, it’s all about MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS! Each room is perfect for snapping photos–I’ve visited so many times for parties and photo shoots★
There are four rooms: DOSKOI, HARAJUKU, ORIGAMI, and SAKURA, and each has a uniquely cute interior♪ If you’re planning on staying the night in Harajuku, be sure to check it out!”
Q. Where can the readers find cute clothes like the ones found in your wardrobe?
(Skirt, Jacket: grapefruitmoon)
“Check out grapefruitmoon, a vintage clothing store. They have so many neat items from the 60s to the 80s, and the designs and shapes are so unique. I’d recommend browsing their retro dresses and funky bottoms★Whether you’re into more monotone fashion or something more flashy and bright, you’ll find it!♪”
Q. Where do you buy your makeup?
“ANNA SUI. I just can’t get enough of the brand’s vision, and the cosmetics are really one-of-a-kind. Honestly, I buy most of them–I especially love the perfumes. I love the scents and the designs are just too damn cute! It’s my favorite collection.”
Q. To wrap things up, do you have a message to readers coming to Japan in the future?
“I’m so glad that so many people are interested in Japan. I post so many colorful things on social media and always want to share Japanese culture with the world!♪
There are so many interesting places that you can only find here, and fascinating activities that you have to visit to enjoy!
I hope you’ll come enjoy our food, fashion, and sightseeing spots. And don’t forget to shop for some kawaii goods!★
And I hope that once you do, you’ll love Japan even more!”
Active as an illustrator, TikToker, and streamer, MIOCHIN is known for her colorful pop world MIONOSEKAI. She has fans young and old from around the world and often broadcasts on YouTube and TikTok, recently attracting attention for her duet videos on the latter. Her original videos focus on everything from makeup and art to impressions.
KAWAII LAB. Report #14 ~Makeup Tips from your Favorite Idols!~
FRUITS ZIPPER, a new idol group from ASOBISYSTEM, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” Ready to transmit what they call ‘NEW KAWAII’ from Harajuku, an area known for fashion and individuality, to their soon-to-be global fanbase, the group consists of seven members: Amane Tsukiashi, Suzuka Chinzei, Yui Sakurai, Luna Nakagawa, Mana Manaka, Karen Matsumoto, and Noel Hayase.
A while back in Report #12, we chatted with Karen Matsumoto, Yui Sakurai, and Luna Nakagawa about their makeup routine and tips. This time, we’re asking Noel Hayase, Suzuka Chinzei, Mana Manaka, and Amane Tsukiashi to share their thoughts on makeup!
Tell us about your favorite lipsticks and what makes them special!
When I do my own makeup, I use b idol’s Glossy Lip No. 08 and then layer PERIPERA’s G Tint No. 06 on the inside. I’ve tried so many b idol lipsticks and I finally found one that matches my skin color perfectly. The tinted one was a gift but I love applying it on the inside of my lips–it gives this neat blood-colored look. It also doesn’t fade which is awesome.
I like THREE Lyrical Lipstick Bloom 11 RUN FREE.
The texture is soft, the color doesn’t fade, and the color is really cute. When I found it, I was so thrilled–it was the exact color I was looking for. Seriously, it’s the best lipstick! It’s honestly all I use in fall and winter♡
Jill Stuart’s lip oil!
We call the people who support us Soragumi, and some of them gave us these gifts along with letters and flowers after our first solo concert. We were so happy☁️
I love the colors and the cloth wrapping, but I feel like it would be such a waste if I ran out so I only carry them as good luck charms. (Laugh)
DIOR ADDICT 524 DIORETTE
DIOR ADDICT Maximizer 103 Pure Gold (This one was a gift🙇♂️)
04 rom&nd Dewiful Water Tint
I have so many favorite lipsticks, but lately I’ve been into layering this shimmery gold maximizer with brown, orange, red, and darker lip shades. It’s really cute!🤍
What do you use for your foundation?
I don’t put a lot on my skin, but I do apply a makeup primer called UV Idea XL Protection Tone-Up by La Roche-Posay first. After that, I use Dior Skin Forever Skin Correct Concealer to hide dark circles and redness. That’s all!
I moisturize with VT’s CICA cream. Depending on the weather, I’ll apply Chant a Charm sunscreen followed by The Skin Minimalist by Decorte. I put on powder last. I use CANMAKE’s Secret Beauty Powder or Elegance’s La Poudre Haute Nuance. No foundation for me!
These were also gifts, but I use Lunasol sunscreen, Dior primer, and foundation!
The bottle is really beautiful, with the engraving…❤️
I ran out of powder when I was in Thailand recently, so I’m just using what I bought locally!
I don’t know if it’s because it’s makeup from a really hot country, but it goes on so smoothly that it doesn’t feel sticky at all, even with a mask on. I’ve been using it even after I got back to Japan!
CHANEL Base Hydra Luminere
(I might upgrade.)
CHANEL Fluid Foundation de CHANEL B10
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer 0N
SUQQU Oil Rich Glow Loose Powder
clé de peau BEAUTÉ LE REHAUSSEUR D’ÉCLAT 105 (This was a gift! 🙇♂️)
What do you typically do when it comes to skincare?
First, I use &honey cleansing balm to remove my makeup. When I heard that you could cleanse and wash your face at the same time, I gave it a try and it was amazing, so I’m never going back. After my bath and before putting on my makeup, I use a complete skin care set like La Roche-Posay’s skincare set, which includes mist lotion, toner, and skin cream. It’s not cheap, but since I started using it my skin feels so incredible. Remember to always buy products depending on what kind of skin you have!
Before makeup in the morning, I always cleanse with Bioderma. If I don’t feel moisturized enough, I apply a lotion emulsion. After cleansing at night, I use Bioderma again and then a toner emulsion. Sometimes I like doing face masks, and when I do, I use Mediplorer’s CO2 Sheet Mask. It was recommended to me by someone with really beautiful skin and it’s amazing. I also use a Cell Cure. It’s crazy after how much dirt it removes. (Laugh)
I use lotion, then a face mask, then a serum!
When I used the MediHeal mask that Luna recommended, I was so surprised at how good it was that I started buying and trying tons of different masks.
I’m trying different things to see what fits and what doesn’t, and lately I’ve been buying a lot of Korean masks.
I haven’t been doing much skincare, but I have been moisturizing a lot lately since my skin gets super dry. On some days I’ll do a face mask and use steam. On the day before an important photo shoot, I use my favorite CellCure 4t Plus.
Oh no! You’re running late! You only have time to apply one product! What part of your face will you focus on and why?
I’d only do eye makeup. In this day and age, everyone wears masks, so when you meet someone, you always make eye contact, right? Besides, if it’s just eye makeup, I can get by without base makeup, and I can do the rest of my makeup whenever. (Laugh)
I just need sunscreen!
Sunscreen is life. It’s so important!
Starting when I was in junior high, my parents told me to wear sunscreen, so I can’t imagine not doing it now. No matter how busy I am, I put on sunscreen, even while walking to the station.
I was on the track team in junior high and I’d put some on every 30 minutes.
At the time I thought it was so annoying, but now I’m so glad my mom told me to do it.
(Strangely enough, my mom doesn’t wear sunscreen at all.)
On days when I actually have a whole day off or if I’m just at rehearsal, I don’t wear makeup. I hide behind a mask and a hat! (Laugh)
If I use anything at all, it’s sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen in it.
It covers my eyebrows and eyes so much that I can’t see at all, but I do want to prevent spots!!! (Laugh)
I always think that wearing eye makeup makes a huge difference.
I’d want to do my eyebrows too, but at least I can hide them with my bangs. Eyes it is!
Interview Series Vol.3: What Does ‘Kawaii’ Mean to You?
“Japan is such an interesting country, where so many cultures blend and evolve.”
Moshi Moshi Nippon is dedicated to sharing Japanese pop culture with audiences around the world. Recently, we launched a new interview series with foreign influencers active in Japan, and for the third edition, we’re chatting with Zhu Zhu! A popular influencer with over 2 million followers on Weibo, Zhu Zhu claims that since coming to Japan, her fashion has become ‘softer.’ We sat down to ask her what kind of Kawaii she’s found in Japan.
Q. Why did you first come to Japan?
“In 2013, I moved to Japan with my family because Beijing’s air pollution had become really bad. It’s already been nine years!”
Zhu Zhu when she first came to Japan
Q. When you first arrived in Japan, what surprised you?
“When I first came to Japan, what really surprised me was the wide use of the word ‘kawaii.’ It’s so interesting that literally anything can be called kawaii. Sure, it makes sense to call girls, animals, or clothes cute, but in Japan, people call things cute that people in other countries would never refer to in that way. I mean, I think calling things ‘cute’ when you mean ‘good’ is something really commonplace here. (laugh)”
Q. Tell us what you find the most Kawaii in Japan!
“There are so many cute things in Japan, but I think that the sweets take the cake. I was surprised by how small they are unlike in other countries. And there are so many kinds! Cakes, baked goods, wagashi, they’re all so incredibly kawaii!”
Q. How did your encounter with Kawaii culture in Japan change you?
“Since I first came into contact with the Japanese version of kawaii, I think my style has become softer. When I was overseas, I typically just worse really simple outfits and makeup, but now, I’m always conscious of looking girly and cute.”
Q.In Japan, what are you interested in right now? Where do you want to visit in the future?
“I recently read an article about Yufuin Floral Village, which is England-inspired. It looks so cute and I really want to go!”
Q. Do you have anything to say to our readers who want to visit Japan in the future?
“Japan is such an interesting country, where so many cultures blend and evolve. No matter how many times you visit, you can always find something new. Please visit!”
Zhu Zhu Profile
An influencer from China with 2 million followers on Weibo. Nicknamed “Big Cousin” on social media, she has been a favorite of many Japanese brands for years. Since moving to Japan, Zhu Zhu has actively shared fashion, beauty, travel, and food posts on social media. In addition to appearing on TV and in magazines, she has collaborated with a number of major Japanese apparel and cosmetics companies.
KAWAII LAB. Report #13: FRUITS ZIPPER ~From Harajuku to Thailand~
FRUITS ZIPPER, a new idol group from ASOBISYSTEM’s KAWAII LAB project, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.”
This summer, the group’s track Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro took off on TikTok with the music video racking up over 500 million plays, propelling the girls into the idol spotlight. Along with regular monthly performances, tickets for the girl’s first solo concert in September and their second solo concert in November were sold out immediately. FRUITS ZIPPER is scheduled to go on tour in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka in February 2023, and even the fashion industry has become obsessed, with the group serving as the seasonal ambassadors for Samantha Vega starting in August 2022.
Only six months after its debut, the members of FRUITS ZIPPER are already taking their first steps outside of Harajuku. Their first overseas trip was to Thailand, called the land of smiles.
FRUITS ZIPPER performed as one of more than 50 artists representing Thailand and Japan at the THAI-JAPAN ICONIC MUSIC FEST 2022 from October 21 to October 23. The music festival was held to commemorate the 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan.
Four different stages were set up during the event, and FRUITS ZIPPER managed to attract fans not only from Japan, but from Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Philippines, and other Asian countries. Many guests even knew the choreography to a number of FRUITS ZIPPER songs, including, of course, Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro. The audience was thrilled when the members addressed them in Thai, and a collaboration interview video shot with local idols was also taken. It’s now available on FRUITS ZIPPER’s TikTok channel, so check it out!
We sat down with the seven members of FRUITS ZIPPER to hear about their best memories from Thailand!
-How did you feel about your first overseas trip to Thailand?
“It was our first time performing in Thailand. Not many people knew who we were and we were far away from home, but people welcomed us with open arms. So many people came to watch us, and I was happy to see the audience dancing along to the songs!”
“When I became an idol two years ago, Thai fans really supported me. Back then, I told them I’d love to come to see them, but I never got the chance.
I’m happy that I was about to finally achieve that goal, or my dream, I guess, of going to Thailand to meet all of those fans. There were so many more people waiting for me than I could have imagined, and even though we couldn’t communicate very well with the language barrier, we could easily communicate through music. I was so happy.”
“So many non-Japanese fans came out to support us! Even though they didn’t speak Japanese, they did their best to tell us they were rooting for us, and that they loved us. I was so happy, I can’t wait to go back!”
“This was my first visit to Thailand, and part of me felt a little uneasy since everything felt so different when compared to live shows in Japan. I was allowed to take pictures and to really use my voice, and the stage configuration was really confusing. But everyone in Thailand was super welcoming and kind, and I was so happy to see them trying to learn Japanese. They’d listen to me talk and nod, looking me in the eyes, even if they didn’t understand what I was saying. It was a wonderful trip that reminded me how excited I am to travel abroad. I hope I can see everyone in Thailand again, thank you so much!”
“Even though I’ve been an idol for a while, this was my first trip overseas. Going to Thailand had always been a dream of mine, but at the same time, I was nervous. I didn’t know what kind of fans I’d find there, or if there would be any fans at all. But the Thai people were so unbelievably kind.
During our performance, a girl held up a board that said ‘Lunapi’ and waved a purple penlight. She shouted that she was looking so forward to meeting me, and it made me so happy.
We started to share information with the Thai people after our performance was decided, but it seemed that they had known about us before that. I felt that so many people had been excited about coming to see us, and now I just want to go to Thailand again to see everyone a second time. Kob kun kaa!”
“This was the first time I had visited Thailand, and I thought it was so beautiful. Seeing ICONSIAM was unbelievable–the biggest building I’d ever seen! I was so happy to see the fans, and so many told me that they had been waiting to meet us. Thank you so much.”
“Before going to Thailand, I wondered how many local people knew about FRUITS ZIPPER and how many would actually come to see us. When we actually took the stage on the first day, there were so many Thai people, and Japanese people too! Since I was able to use my voice to the fullest in Thailand, I was thrilled when the audience could sing along with the ‘Ne, ne, ne’ part in Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro! This live show was so unique to Thailand, and it felt so much freer than live shows are in Japan right now with all the restrictions. Since there was a language barrier, I wanted to put all of my feelings and emotions into my performance. I felt like I could communicate with the audience with my eyes, and those three days of performances were so unforgettable. We’ll be back and we’ll be even stronger, so wait for us until then! Kob kun kaa!”
FRUITS ZIPPER is on course to become a smash hit not only in Japan, but around the world.
Interview: Shakuhachi Player Yoshimi Tsujimoto Discusses Her Craft and the Upcoming Concert at Kumano-Nachi Taisha
Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.
To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform in the concert scheduled to begin on October 22 at 13:30.
Moshi Moshi Nippon sat down with Yoshimi Tsujimoto to discuss her music and, most importantly, her interest in sharing the sound of the shakuhachi with the world.
−How did you become interested in the shakuhachi?
My father loved the shakuhachi, and because of that, I grew up surrounded by the sound of it. That’s how it all began!
−What attracts you to playing the shakuhachi?
I love the timbre of the shakuhachi.
Those who play the shakuhachi often say that a single note has the power to bring someone to enlightenment.
Curiously, individual differences in tone are more easily discernible with the shakuhachi than with other instruments. That means that a person can express themselves in more unique ways.
−You’ve performed in many different countries. Do you get different reactions to the shakuhachi in other countries when compared to Japanese audiences?
I have a vivid memory of a time I performed a classical shakuhachi piece solo. This particular type of classical music is called ‘wabi-sabi,’ and it isn’t very loud or lively.
In Japan, when I finish a performance, people usually clap. But when I performed in South America, as soon as the piece concluded, there was a standing ovation with people shouting “Bravo!” That would never happen in Japan, and it left such a lasting impression on me.
−Are there any countries that have left a lasting impression on you, or that you would like to visit in the future?
I have good memories of every country I’ve visited, but I think that Cuba left the biggest impression. I just made me think about how incredible music can be.
I’d love to visit Bulgaria, Morocco, Armenia, Uganda…it’s tough, because I want to visit every country I haven’t been to yet. (laughs)
−You’re from Hashimoto City, near Mount Koya. How did you feel when you heard that this concert would be held so close to your hometown?
What I felt was pure joy.
Personally, I’ve always loved Mount Koya, and I went there many times as a child. It’s such a pleasure to be able to perform there.
−Tell us some of your favorite memories involving Mount Koya.
I go to Mount Koya at least three or four times a year. It’s not a particular memory per se, but every time I go, I love to eat vegetarian food, explore, and buy wheat buns and sesame tofu as gifts to take home.
−Are there any local foods or places that you’d recommend?
The fruit is delicious in Wakayama, and my hometown is famous for persimmons.They are so yummy, and I just want everyone to try them!
Mount Koya and Kumano Kodo are both World Heritage sites, and they are both absolutely breathtaking. Other than those, I’d recommend Adventure World! It has adorable pandas roaming around freely and the most wonderful dolphin shows. Everyone from around the country should visit!
−Finally, do you have a message for Moshi Moshi Nippon readers?
Japan is filled with incredible places and culture. The shakuhachi, a beloved traditional Japanese instrument, is one piece of that culture.
I want audiences around the world to hear the sound of the shakuhachi and to make it more familiar. If you have a chance to hear it, I hope you will.
Be sure to follow Yoshimi Tsujimoto’s activities going forward as she shares the beauty and culture of shakuhachi with the world.
Concert at World Heritage Site Kumano-Nachi Taisha (Wakayama)
Date: October 22, 2022 at 13:30
Venue: Danjo-garan Buddhist Temple
Interview: What Type of ‘Kawaii’ Did This Popular Foreign Influencer Find in Japan?
“Kawaii is marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul.”
Moshi Moshi Nippon is dedicated to sharing Japanese pop culture with audiences around the world, and today, we’re featuring a foreign influencer living and working in Japan! This time, we interviewed Etsuna, a popular influencer from China, discussing how Yume Kawaii fashion brings her comfort and the many types of ‘kawaii’ she’s found during her time in Japan.
Q. What brought you to Japan?
“After graduating with a major in animation, I was working at a university in Shanghai as a teacher, but I decided to enroll in Tama Art University’s graduate program to study for my master’s degree. That’s when I came to Japan, and I’ve been here for 15 years!”
Q. When you first came to Japan, what surprised you? Was anything different than what you had imagined?
“Everyone wore such bold makeup, and that really surprised me! When I first came to Japan 15 years ago, I think the gyaru trend was still big, and a lot of girls had that strong Harajuku style and big personalities. Heavy eye makeup and blush was the big thing. I thought everyone was getting ready to film for a TV show.”
Q. What do you think of when you heard the word ‘kawaii’ in Japan?
“MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, character cafes, and Yume Kawaii fashion…they are all so unique and so adorable! Those things are what I think of when I hear the word ‘kawaii.’”
Q. Did finding Japanese kawaii culture change you in any way?
“Before I experienced kawaii culture, I was a teacher, so I wore a lot of black, white, and gray every day. But after encountering kawaii style for the first time, I started experimenting with different kawaii subcultures, like the Mori Girl trend back in the mid-2000s. Eventually, I fell in love with Yume Kawaii (Dreamy Kawaii) fashion, which is filled with pastels and a fantasy-like aesthetic. I’ve been dressing in that particular style for about ten years now. To me, kawaii is like marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul. It’s very healing.”
Q. When it comes to Japan, what interests you now? Where would you like to visit in the future?
“Today, it feels like Japanese fashion is becoming more and more simple, and the Harajuku kawaii trend is starting to disappear. Is that because people don’t like standing out in that over-the-top way? Do they feel embarrassed if they dress differently than most people? I’ve met a lot of people who love Yume Kawaii fashion, but they might not have the courage to wear it themselves. That’s why I’m currently researching how to bring Yume Kawaii to AR. If I can bring it to the virtual world in a way that blends with the real world, I can create a brand-new experience for everyone. Using mobile AR technology, people will be able to transform their everyday clothes into something with more Yume Kawaii style!”
Etsuna’s Original Yume Kawaii AR Filter
Q. Please give a few words to those living abroad who are interested in visiting Japan!
If you really want to experience Japanese kawaii culture, stay at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS in Harajuku! There are so many fashionable people in Tokyo too, and if you hang out near Harajuku Laforet on the weekend, you’ll see people taking plenty of pictures. Come have a special trip to Japan and surround yourself with all things kawaii! Have fun!”
Born in China, Etsuna is a graduate of Tama Art University in Tokyo. In addition to sharing kawaii culture on her social media accounts, she founded her independent brand ‘Etsuna otsukA’ in 2011, which has been featured in a number of magazines. Her Weibo video channel TokyoGoGo, featuring uploads edited by Etsuna herself, has become incredibly popular. She is currently active as a designer and TV personality, mainly in Japan and China.
Attack on Titan Anime Creators Discuss the Series in New YouTube Interview
07.March.2022 | ANIME&GAME
In a new interview posted to YouTube, Yuichiro Hayashi, the director of Attack on Titan The Final Season, and Yusuke Tannawa, the CG Producer and Screen Designer for the show, are discussing the series’ incredible success. Both creators also chat about the struggles they’ve faced during production, their relationship with the original manga creator Hajime Isayama, and much more.
Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2 – Yuichiro Hayashi (Director) × Yusuke Tannawa (CG Producer, Screen Design) Special Interview
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 is currently airing on NHK General each Sunday at 24:05. It is also available to stream on dTV, d Anime Store, GYAO!, Netflix, TELASA, Hikari TV, and Amazon Prime Video.
©諫山創・講談社／「進撃の巨人」The Final Season製作委員会
Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2
Airing on NHK General Sundays at 24:05
Streaming on dTV, d Anime Store, GYAO!, Netflix, TELASA, Hikari TV, and Amazon Prime Video
Official Site: https://shingeki.tv/final/
Girl Group NiziU Named Brand Ambassadors for Visée, Introduce Limited-Edition Eyeshadows
Cosmetics brand KOSE has announced that popular girl group NiziU will act as brand ambassadors for a new collection of Visée eyeshadow, Glossy Rich Eyes N.
Visée Glossy Rich Eyes N – Available in 8 shades + 2 limited edition shades
「Visée AVANT」Limited Edition Seasonal Visual with MAYUKA＆NINA
The theme for this year’s campaign was ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ By trying all possible shades, even those which seem out of the consumers comfort zone, they will absolutely find the perfect color. For this photo shoot, NiziU applied makeup inspired by their respective member colors, showing off their individuality.
A special web movie and visual for Glossy Eyes Rich N featuring the NiziU girls is available on the special product website and through the official social media channels. The eyeshadows will be available at drugstores and other retailers, as well as online, beginning September 16. Members Mayuka and Nina will also appear in limited season ads for Visée AVANT.
An original movie featuring all members is also available to view on the official TikTok brand account and the Glossy Rich Eyes N special product website.
Interview with NiziU
Q1. Visée has partnered with a number of women before, each symbolizing the current era. What are your thoughts on being chosen as brand ambassadors for Visée now?
Mako: I’m turning 20 this year, and I’ve really wanted to show a different side of myself now that I won’t be a teenager anymore. I was so happy when I was chosen for this project, since it gave me the perfect chance to do just that!
Maya: We’re so incredibly honored to be chosen as ambassadors for Visée! I use their products regularly, but there are so many different colors of product available. I think this will inspire people to make use of colors they may not use often, and to try new things!
Q2. How did you feel after shooting wrapped?
Ayaka: It felt like something totally different than what NiziU has tackled in the past. I typically wear more cutesy makeup, but this time I tried to show something more mature. It was refreshing. It was a blast getting close-up shots taken of my eye makeup!
Q3. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ It calls on people to find a color that best matches their personality. After the first ad shoot, what were your impressions of your fellow members’ new makeup looks?
Riku: Maya was the one getting her pictures taken first, and she looked so gorgeous that Ayaka and I couldn’t stop staring at her! Honestly, we were staring at her so much that when she finally looked over at us, she did that typical Maya smile, and it was like we fell in love with her. (laugh)
Q4. This year’s visuals are impressive, with the NiziU members showing off very different expressions than usual. Is there anything you refer to or try to do personally, to find new facial expressions?
Mayuka: It can be really difficult, but I find it useful to look at photos of some of the more senior members and practice copying their expressions.
Q5. Again, this year’s theme is ‘Find the Color Just for You.’ Each of the nine members of NiziU have their own distinct personalities, so with that in mind, what do you think makes you stand out as an individual?
Rima: For me, it’s my different worldview. It allows me to converse in a very unique way, and to really adjust how I carry myself depending on the location. My member color is red, which also has many meanings: it can be powerful, or mature, or energetic, or mischievous. I’m like a chameleon. I hold many different personalities that I can switch to at the drop of a hat.
Q6. As a member of NiziU, you’ve had many different and unique experiences. Have you found any unexpected sides of yourself during your time as a member?
Rio: I used to think I was one of the cool girls, but during this photo shoot, I was given a makeup look and outfit that was more cutesy. That’s a side of myself I haven’t explored, and this is something that happens frequently during the many events and challenges we take on as a unit.
Q7. During the makeup shooting sessions, we were able to see very different sides of the NiziU members. Is there anything new you’ve learned about the other members recently?
Miihi: Compared to how we all were when we all joined, everyone is really starting to show their true selves! We’ve so close, there’s nothing that we don’t know about each other at this point!
Q8. The Glossy Rich Eyes N products that you used this time come in a wide variety of colors, making it possible for anyone to meet their perfect shade. Speaking of ‘meetings,’ what do the members of NiziU want to meet more than anything right now?
Nina: I want to meet with WithU (the name for NiziU fans). We haven’t been able to meet them face to face yet, and I hope we’re able to soon.
Visée Glossy Rich Eyes N
Release Date: September 16, 2021
Features 8 shades + 2 limited edition shades
Visée AVANT: https://www.kose.co.jp/visee/avant/
Official Site: https://www.kose.co.jp/visee/
Macaroni Enpitsu’s New Song ‘Tomason’ Features in Bourbon Chocolate Brownie’s Animated Commercial
Bourbon’s five-episode audiobook no doubt created for its Noukou Choco Brownie snack was released as an animated TV commercial last week. The video features Japanese pop rock band Macaroni Enpitsu’s new song Tomason which was written for the commercial.
The audiobook no doubt becomes a TV commercial
The no doubt audiobook was written by the popular Japanese author Yoru Sumino who is perhaps best known for writing I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. It tells the story of two boys who are in high school. They aren’t part of an afterschool club, and they don’t have part time jobs. They come to realise that this time will be what they look back on when they grow up. The characters were designed by Itsuka, an illustrator popular online.
The commercial features the song Tomason by Macaroni Enpitsu.
“no doubt” Animated TV Commercial
“no doubt” Recording Behind The Scenes
Japanese voice actors Hiro Shimono (Attack on Titan; Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba) and Yuki Kaji (Attack on Titan; My Hero Academia) voiced the characters in the commercial. Below is an interview with both of them on the commercial, part of which we have translated.
Hiro Shimono x Yuki Kaji Interview
A snippet of the interview, translated
Q1: How did your performances go? Tell me about your shoot.
Hiro Shimono: “The commercial portrays two boys who are neither adults nor children, so going through puberty I suppose. Their dialogue is elaborate, it was super interesting.”
Yuki Kaji: “Right up to wrapping up, the entire shoot was a lot of fun, including the intervals during our breaks.”
Q2: You both play the roles of high school boys. Tell me about a time from your youths.
Yuki Kaji: “One memory I have from school being young, which is like something out of a painting, was my time a the theatre club. You need real physical strength when it comes to acting, so before dress rehearsal, I’d run around the school building. That’s a memory that’s stuck with me. I’d change into my jersey, and go die– I mean, run to the nearby river embankment too. Being reminded of that now it’s too much like a youth film or something, it’s making me laugh <laughs>. “
Hiro Shimono: “I have a story from my youth too. It was on the day of the Culture Festival [at school]. After the festival finished, I was on my way home with some people, and there was a park with a water fountain in it. I said, ‘Well, it’s already raining, so why the hell not!’ Of course it wasn’t the thing to do, but we jumped into the water fountain and splashed about. That’s what being young is all about, right!?”
Q3: What’s your favourite Noukou Choco Brownie flavour, the regular or the rich milk?
Hiro Shimono: “Noukou Choco Brownie.”*
*Translator’s Note: Implying all of them
Yuki Kaji: “Me too! <laughs>”
Q4: Please give a message to fans.
Yuki Kaji: “I was lucky to have the opportunity to performance Yoru Sumino’s novel no doubt. I’m over the moon about it. The script was of course wonderful, and me and Shimono have known each other for a long time, so I think that comes across in the video with a pleasant atmosphere. The commercial is a youthful drama about two high school boys, and it’s linked to the bittersweetness of Noukou Choco Brownie. Be sure to tuck into one yourself while you listen to the story.”
Hiro Shimono: “[The commercial’s characters] Igarashi and Imai have a great conversation, and getting to do it with Kaji was a lot of fun. It made me think we’ve always had that kind of vibe with each other. Noukou Choco Brownie is the keyword, so please be sure to check out the audiobook to see how it plays its part.”
no doubt Synopsis
One day, high schooler Imai skips school by feigning illness. He is at home in his room, when all of a sudden another boy from his class, Igarashi, comes to visit him. He has the handouts to give to Imai from class, but the high school they go to doesn’t have that custom where a classmate has to give handouts to someone who’s off ill. And the two of them aren’t that class where Igarashi would suddenly pop to see Imai like that. Imai finds it suspicious. Igarashi is interested in the clay work Imai has in his room. Both of them have some free time, so begin to make a town together out of clay.
Noukou Choco Brownie TV Commercial
Initial Broadcast: April 13, 2021 (Japan)
Bourbon Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8UW0OHgo_FtkF4orKd2S4Q
Bourbon Official Website: https://www.bourbon.co.jp/chocobrownie/
TEMPURA KIDZ Members Announce Departure From Group After Their Concert in March
22.February.2021 | MUSIC
Four-member dance and vocal unit TEMPURA KIDZ announced on their official website on Thursday (February 18) that YU-KA, AO, and P→★ will depart from the group following their concert at Shibuya Veats on March 28, 2021.
TEMPURA KIDZ began their career as backup dancers for Japan’s queen of pop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu where they were known as the “Kyary Kids.” The original five-member line-up of YU-KA, AO, P→★, KARIN, and NaNaHo made their major debut in 2013. At the young ages of just 15, the group took their unmatched, high-energy dance performances across Japan and overseas. The big stage was ahead of them as they embarked on a world tour to perform in 17 cities throughout 13 countries, beginning with a performance at the Thai music festival TOFU MUSIC FES 2014 where they performed alongside the acclaimed K-pop artists 2NE1 and GOT7.
TEMPURA KIDZ at TOFU MUSIC FES 2014
TEMPURA KIDZ also performed at the world’s largest indoor arena, Philippine Arena, in Manila, Philippines for the 2015 New Year’s countdown event. In the performer line-up, TEMPURA KIDZ were just one act behind Chris Brown.
TEMPURA KIDZ at Philippine Arena in 2015
TEMPURA KIDZ have taken their exceptional dance skills around the world where they have hosted dance workshops to children at schools. One was hosted in Payatas in the Philippines as part of an Official Development Assistance (ODA) effort and was filmed to be shown on TV.
Over the course of their career, TEMPURA KIDZ have also lent their creative choreography to countless artists as well as for commercials and TV shows. In 2019, they performed their iconic “Puputto Fumutto Kaiketsu Dance” on Kōhaku Uta Gassen, an annual New Year’s Eve television special in Japan. The dance was created by the group for the animation series Butt Detective.
In 2018, group member NaNaHo graduated for the group, leaving TEMPURA KIDZ with just four members: YU-KA , AO, P→★, and KARIN. However, YU-KA , AO, and P→★ will now be graduating from the group at their solo concert together at Shibuya Veats on March 28, 2021 to focus on their own individual careers.
YU-KA aims to become a performer on many different levels and so wants to focus on enhancing her current skill. AO wants to become an actress, and P→★ wants to challenge himself to many new things such as being a DJ, model, and performer to arm himself with a talented skill set. The remaining member KARIN will announce her plans in the near future.
This March will be the final time that the four members stand on stage together as TEMPURA KIDZ. Tickets went on sale on Thursday (February 18), including special tickets that include signings from the members and an invitation to their rehearsal.
Comment From TEMPURA KIDZ
“We want to convey our utmost gratitude to you all for supporting us for so long. On March 28, at our solo concert, YU-KA, AO, and P→★ will graduate from TEMPURA KIDZ. Each member has decided to pursue their own paths. This of course means a big change for TEMPURA KIDZ, but all four of us will go all out to put on a hugely successful final show for you that captures out past 8 years together. Truly, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. And remember, this isn’t the end—we’re working super hard to get off to a new start, so we ask you kindly for your continued support.”
—From all the members of TEMPURA KIDZ
Each member of TEMPURA KIDZ also wrote their own handwritten letters to fans which you can read here.
TEMPURA KIDZ Solo Concert
Date: March 28, 2021
Time: Doors 14:30 / Start 15:15
Price: Reserved Seating ¥5,000 / Standing ¥3,500 + 1 drink charge
Venue: Veats SHIBUYA
Address: 33-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Buy Tickets: https://w.pia.jp/t/tempura-kidz/
TEMPURA KIDZ Solo Concert Rehearsal Tickets
Date: March 28, 2021
Time: Entry to lobby at 12:00
Price: Seating Anywhere ¥2,000 + 1 drink charge
Venue: Veats SHIBUYA
Address: 33-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Buy Tickets: https://w.pia.jp/t/tempura-kidz/
*Includes signed cards
TEMPURA KIDZ Official Website: https://tempurakidz.asobisystem.com/