Special interview with the worldwide famous “Samurai Guitarist” MIYAVI!

11.August.2016 | MUSIC

MIYAVI has been called “Samurai Guitarist” for his slapping play style of Taylor acoustic guitar, and for his genderless appearance. Since 2010 he has been performing not only in Japan, but also globally from 2010.

 

In 2014, he also appeared for the first time in a Hollywood film, Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie. This time MIYAVI visited his home country a year and a half after he has moved to the United States, to introduce his brand new double A-side single to the audience in Japan prior to its global release. (The interview was carried out in mid-April.)

 

MIYAVI’s extraordinary guitar techniques along with his danceable tunes as well as his character all contribute to his global tour, yet he does not find it graceful to emphasize the Japanese culture or his Japanese identity. The guitarist, MIYAVI, aims to transcend cultural boundaries as an original presence,In the title, The Others, he has collaborated with the grammy winner producers, Drew & Shannon, who worked with John Legend in the past. From his newest title and after, he has started collaborating with the young producing and music writing team from Los Angeles, where he centers his musical activities, enabling the cutting-edge sound-making of the US.

 

-Can we ask how you are working in the US, as we don’t hear as much news in Japan?

 

I’m taking it very easy. In the US, everything is in much larger scale. Not just the distance; beats are huge, things are done in much longer periods. How do I synchronize my heart rate to that kind of difference is the matter of question, I think. It’s like the difference in the length of man’s stride. That synchronizes with the length of breadth, length of melody, BPM, and so how do I synchronize them as an Asian? That’s where I am right now. It will take some more time. I started to be conscious of not just myself, but also my roots, including my ancestors. How your body vibrates your voice, your walking forms, your DNA, etc. Not just the music, but all sorts of things that my ancestors have piled up from the past.

 

You’ve been working tough, and you still feel such a difference. We should be talking about a huge difference, is it?

 

Yes, certainly. Location, weather, and also the difference between race of hunters and that of agriculture, that’s substantial. We had been using different muscles, in a posture like this (crouching,) and we had no opportunity to look up. That’s still the same today, especially in a modernized city of Tokyo, we have no chance to look up at the sky. Then our chest shrinks, and then there’s smaller space for the air to breathe out, though I don’t mean to support the entire western life style. Language is also different, even at the level of its rhythm, but I think the boundary will vanish very soon. I hope my generation gets to witness that moment, or become the one to break such boundary, especially by the means of music.

 

Do you feel that you need to change your body itself to a body with such mentality in order to break the boundary, and to gain the reality in your music?

 

That’s right. I won’t be able to speak about the world if I stayed in the well without crossing the ocean. I may realize later on that the ocean was actually small, but not until I swim across. From here on, it doesn’t matter if I am Japanese or not. It’s only the matter of how I fight. Up until now, I had been focusing on how I can fight with a sword when a tank came and shot at me. But actually, there are more than one tank, or there are billions of tanks. Then what do I do? That’s what I’m thinking about right now. So my battle for the first stage was a battle against a tank, but now I’m trying to imagine what’s behind these tanks.

In other words?

 

To speak short, entertainment field has wide skirts. I worked for my last work in Nashville, and this time I’m working at Howard Benson’s studio in Los Angeles with his team, including young producers and music writers around age of 22 or 23. Everyone here belongs to a modern music scene, and I have different perceptions from what I had in Nashville.

 

Your last album, The Others, was quite self-reflective. Is there any change in your mind regarding how to fight with music?

 

It’s similar to what I have just said; the fighting style is gradually changing. I am currently reassessing the reason why I’m fighting. I’d like to explain more about this when my next piece comes out, but I am trying to make a California roll right now. You know, California rolls aren’t real sushi to sushi chefs; I don’t eat them either, to be honest. But I still recognize its significance, I mean, I recognize the role it has played. We wouldn’t have so many sushi restaurants in LA if hadn’t we have those California rolls. So those California rolls played the role of a bridge, and that’s what I want to create, even if it might take a long time. I have wasabi with me. Soy sauce, other sushi ingredients, vinegared rice, and salmon as well, but no avocado. That could be the pop part of the music, could be the melody or how the English words ring in the music… I don’t care if we can call that sushi or not, but I just feel that we can have something like that, or rather we need something like that. That’s my role, and I want to do it through music. I don’t mind if it’s well-known or not, but I will change my direction to something new, like “NEW BEAT, NEW FUTURE.” My guitar doesn’t have to be rock, well it is rock, but it doesn’t stay in the category of rock because that’s the role I feel I need to play. First I learn the manners, and then I remove them. I won’t be able to remove them if I’m too familiar with those manners, though.

 

Are you saying that you feel the necessity to change your guitar approach?

 

Not quite, but I do feel the difference in perceptions we have between Japan and outside. We don’t hear guitar music on radio, do we? Neither on Grammy awards. Then who is rock musician? If I had to choose one, I would say, Twenty One Pilots, but there’s no guitarist. I played with them in a gig in Hong Kong and Taiwan last year, and their vocal plays ukulele or bass from time to time, but not guitar.

 

Alabama Shakes won five Grammies, but they are categorized as alternative.

Right. There are so many attractive bands, but none of them play guitar music. I myself came along as an guitarist, proudly serving my sushi with lots of wasabi on a table saying, “There!” But it turns out, people start saying “wow, this is too hot.” If I can’t make them feel that they want to continue eating it, I can’t call that a victory.

 

In that perspective, you are playing guitar in your latest piece, and I felt your policy of how to fight in the US music scene is clear.

 

How much avocado do I add, and how much vinegared rice? Breads won’t do it. Afraid To Be Cool sounds a little bit like breads. This is an exaggeration, but people wouldn’t accept hamburgers from me if I try to bring hamburgers from Japan to the US. I see lots of made-in-Japan hamburgers in current music scene. They do taste good, but those are not what we want.

 

I understand. In that sense, I sort of recognized your message in your latest single that you are going to fight in the current mainstream music scene.

I do suppose that the way people feel the beats might be different from what I’ve seen in Japanese music, but things won’t change if I don’t force myself to lead it through. Otherwise, I should just stay back in Japan and make another piece. I will charge through in this style.

 

The other song, Raise Me Up, in your double A-sided single has a magical balance: your Telecaster is very effective, and though it is medium-tempo, there is this edginess.

 

Like the balance between pop and edginess? I think it’s getting close, including the drive it has. Half-time beat and its traps. These days we don’t hear so many fast-tempo songs in the first place. Most of them are half-time tracks or R&B. Maybe Mark Ronson’s the fastest?

 

(Laugh) Isn’t Japanese rock double in BPM?

 

Right, double. I mean, Japanese rock is different in its details, its strides. Even our heart rates might be different. The scale of supermarkets is totally different; the speed of music release is different. I feel this about myself, too, but skeletal structures of Japanese or Asians are flat. There’s difference in how much we can enjoy the beats and their depth. Western people enjoy slow beats as well because they can taste that depth of those slow beats. Talking about us Japanese, I don’t think we are able to taste that depth as much. For instance, we have very fast BPM music like Para-para, and the only parts of our body that are moving on beats are our wrists and hands! But I don’t intend to offend that because that’s one of the identities Japanese music have. If we try to make that a common language with the Western music scene, that’s tough, though. If I play at 180 BPM and no one was dancing to the music, what’s the point? It’s not a matter of which one is better. That’s what I feel about the difference in BPM, and my guitar playing style has been changing as well, in view of my identity besides slapping. Slapping is like a sprint.

 

It’s an impressive performance for the audience, too.

 

Yes, so it’s the wasabi. But you can’t keep eating only wasabi, so we need sushi rice. I need to be able to sing more on my guitar. The solo part too, in my own style, in my own expression. I learned these in my last piece.

 

On the other hand, you also use your guitar as a material.

 

I’m trying to transform the guitar itself, and to be honest, what I’m trying to do right now is a little bit off course, in perspective of the guitar rock history. But I still feel it’s worth it if I can accomplish that with the interpretation of the new generation. If I can get people to feel it’s cool, then I win, and if I don’t, my attempt ends up off course.

 

By the way, the music video for Raise Me Up has been produced by Fantasista Utamaro, and I found the video is also linked closely to its artwork.

 

That’s right. I asked Fantasista Utamaro for something brand new. An image that evokes something ahead and not behind is what I’m after. I feel that this piece is going to be my blood and flesh. So it’s going to change my performance, too. I need to be able to push harder in a team. I’ve always thought that I’d fight and slash my enemies even if I’m alone, but I realize now, that won’t do. Especially if I’m fighting against tanks, that’s endless. So how should we combat in a team, like setting bombs on a tank or other tactics, we are still trying to find the best answer. When we finally find it, that’s the moment we’ll truly win this battle. Tanks might change the direction they shoot their canons, or maybe we might not fight them at all. Still, we’ll continue to hone our swords, not to compromise but to prepare them in a new form.

What motivates you to change your attitude so much is the real difference you feel in the daily life in the US compared to that in Japan?

 

Definitely. Even in airports or supermarkets, I feel the difference in national strength, its resourcefulness, etc. I suppose that comes from education, from the attitude of those who are involved in education, and also from their conversation skills. On the contrary, I realize that what we can call the strength of Japan is its insanity and hospitality.

Could we also call that a sensibility?

 

Yes. When I’m having a session with other Americans,I can sometimes feel that, well, I don’t say they are afraid of me, but they are wondering “what’s MIYAVI thinking about?” Or maybe even other Japanese people might feel the same way too about me.

 

That’s strength.

 

Yes. I don’t know any other nationality who eats this many kinds of food uncooked. Raw eggs, raw fish, and even raw beef!

 

(laugh) We can do that because we know what’s risky and what’s not.

 

I know, but non-Japanese would call that insane. I think that’s the Japanese sensitivity- the sensitivity for details that ultimately connects to their hospitality as well.

 

Perhaps insanity and hospitality are head and tail of a coin.

Jonny Dope did the remix of Raise Me Up.

 

Yes, for the same reason as the reason I requested working with Fantasista Utamaro. I would love to be influenced by younger generations, and I’d love to learn from their generation who does not stay in the frame of conventional theories.

 

Your Japan tour starts in September.

 

It’s been awhile after my last tour in Japan. After all, Japan is my home country, and though I’m so far away and still in the middle of my training in the US, my fans in Japan still support me and trust me. I’m very happy about it. That motivates me to push myself harder. I’m using the restaurant metaphor again: suppose a sushi restaurant that refuses first-time customer closes for a month or two. Customers still come back when the restaurant reopens. Why? Because there is that trust. In those two months, I would want to learn and present something new, and these customers would come to accept that. I don’t mean to limit it to only Japan, but I would like to play constantly in Japan, as it is my home country. I want to play the role that I need to play, showing them “we can go further.” I learned how to chop up the bullets, so maybe how to destroy tanks is the next? I’m back to that metaphor again, well, if I can present that as a Japanese, I want to share the power, the energy, or the excitement of this country with the audience. If a Japanese audience saw me and said “OK, he’s still playing,” that’s not enough. I graduated from that stage. I want to show them what comes beyond it.

 

 

RELATED ENTRIES

  • KANDANIEL Releases New Single Featuring Miyavi, Announces Japan Tour

    22.August.2022 | MUSIC

    KANGDANIEL is a member of the Korean idol group Wanna One. The artist has won a number of awards since making his solo debut in South Korea in 2019, also starring in the Disney+ drama Rookie Cops. KANGDANIEL will digitally release the song TPIR (feat. Miyavi) from his long-awaited debut EP Joy Ride in Japan on August 17, and a lyric video has already been released.

     

    TPIR stands for ‘The Pain Isn’t Real,’ and the digital single proudly features samurai guitarist Miyavi. The track reminds listeners that no matter how painful things may be, it’s not the end. Miyavi’s guitar sounds incredibly emotional, and fans will be able to see a side of KANGDANIEL they haven’t seen before. 

     

    To celebrate this distribution, LINE MUSIC has started a playback campaign! Those listening to TPIR over 1,210 times by December 10 (KANGDANIEL’s birthday) just need to post a screenshot on Twitter, with 10 winners being selected by lottery to win an autographed photo signed by the artist himself. For more information, see KANGDANIEL’s official site.

     

    The lyric video for the song was shot during a visit to Japan while the artist was snapping artwork for his debut EP Joy Ride in the suburbs of Tokyo. The video was shot with a smartphone in a vlog style.

     

     

    KANGDANIEL will hold his first Japan tour, ‘KANGDANIEL: 1st EP Release Tour: JOY RIDE THROUGH JAPAN,’ on October 15 and 16. Fan club tickets for the shows at Zepp Namba (Osaka) on the 15th and KT Zepp Yokohama on the 16th will go on sale on August 20 at 10:00.

     

    The fan club is also offering a special prize for those who purchase the EP Joy Ride. Those selected will win a Meet & Greet with the artist to be held during the Japan tour. By pre-ordering the EP at select stores, fans can also grab some special bonuses! These will be announced at a later date, so keep an eye out for more info.

  • Miyavi’s New Song ‘Fearless’ Chosen as Theme Song for WOWOW European Soccer

    12.August.2022 | MUSIC

    WOWOW will be broadcasting an incredible amount of European soccer matches during the 2022-23 season, including the Spanish LaLiga starting August 13. The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League competitions will decide who is the best on the continent, and many are ready to tune in. 

     

    The WOWOW European Soccer Theme Song for this season will be Fearless by the globally popular performer Miyavi, known to many as the samurai guitarist.

     

    Fearless was written by Miyavi himself. The artist formerly played soccer for Cerezo Osaka and channeled his memories of the competition and supporters into his music and lyrics. The song will begin airing during matches starting with the UEFA Super Cup 2022: Real Madrid vs. Frankfurt match on August 11. This season will be even more exciting than usual, with the World Cup scheduled to take place this November and December in Qatar.


    Comment from Miyavi

    “As a child, I wanted to become a professional soccer player and I practiced kicking a ball around every day. As a soccer fan, I imagined a song that would be played in a stadium and that everyone in the audience could sing along with.

    I created the music and melody to inspire listeners to feel a sense of unity and to soothe the soul.

    When I’m about to perform live or participate in a photo shoot, I always feel that sense of nervousness before a fight–that fear of failure before a challenge. I think that’s something everyone has felt at some point. All we need to do is put in the energy and work to overcome it. I hope you’ll sing along with the song, even at home in front of your TV.”

  • 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

  • Trilingual Singer MeiMei and MIYAVI Release New Song, Music Video

    02.February.2022 | MUSIC

    18-year-old trilingual singer MeiMei has released a new track, ‘Strangers feat. MIYAVI,’ in which the popular Japanese performer takes on the role of a samurai guitarist in the music video.

     

    The killer tune blends MIYAVI’s shredding guitar and MeiMei’s strong yet fragile vocals. Curiously, MIYAVI accepted a direct offer from musical newcomer MeiMei to participate, and this song came to fruition. 

     

    The music video was created by MeiMei, who speaks Chinese, Japanese, and English, and MIYAVI, a world-renowned guitarist. Sayaka Nakane, a LA and Tokyo-based video creator, served as director. The video itself portrays how young people will shape the future as they deal with anonymous ‘unknown adults’ who hit them with cruel words both online and in real life. 

     

    Strangers feat. MIYAVI

     

    MeiMei was selected to participate in the ‘Tokyo Tower Red Light-Up 2022’ diplomatic event and has served as a link between China and Japan. With the Beijing Olympics approaching, the artist is sure to find more work!

     

    With diversity and borderlessness at the heart of her music, MeiMei aims to make music that transcends gender, age, or nationality. Listening to her voice, it’s hard to believe that she’s still a teenager!

     

    Comment from MeiMei

    During my time spent in both China and the US, I listened to MIYAVI’s music and saw his videos. I was a huge fan. It’s a miracle and an honor for me, a new artist, to be able to work with him. I still can’t believe it’s real. I’m too happy!

     

    I learned so many things from MIYAVI, and he really inspired me. I want to become a better artist because of him. He gave me a lot of friendly advice and he feels like a big brother I can rely on. I hope that this song will inspire and give courage to those who are going through tough times. Everyone should be confident and live their life how they want. Please enjoy the song!

     

    Hope everyone will love this song and support it, Let’s rock the world!!

     

    Comment from MIYAVI

    Music can connect people across borders, across race, and across language. 


    Age and career are completely irrelevant. 

    I hope that Mei’s fragile, beautiful, and supple voice will reach as many people as possible. I’m so happy and honored to be able to support her. 


    The world is going through a difficult time, and I hope that this kind of music can connect people as we all make our way through it to a brighter future.


    Let’s go Mei, let’s rock the world!!

  • NFT Platform Kollektion to Hold ‘Month of MIYAVI’ to Celebrate Performer’s 20th Anniversary

    11.January.2022 | MUSIC

    Kollektion, a global platform connecting artists and fans through the sale of NFTs, will hold the ‘Month of Miyavi’ during the month of January 2022. NFTs and other items commemorating the 20th anniversary of the rock musician will be available.

     

    MIYAVI started selling NFTs on the platform in October 2021 to positive fan response. In addition, fans who become holders of MIYAVI KLKTN Passes through the purchase of an NFT will be invited to a private Discord channel.

    More details were announced during the Virtual Holiday Party on December 25, 2021. Fans from all over the world are invited to take part in this exciting sale!

     

    1. MIYAVI KLKTN Pass
    These NFTs were available for 24 hours only on January 2, 2022. Purchasing one gives fans access to over 380 MIYAVI NFT airdrops in the future. This also gives access to the private Discord channel.

     

    2. Moments
    These ‘Moments’ can only be seen in Kollektion, and include behind-the-scenes footage of MIYAVI’s music production and private life. This time, each NFT has been sorted into one of three levels of rarity: Common, Rare, and Legendary. 


    3. ArtKards
    These NFTs were inspired by MIYAVI’s album ‘Imaginary.’ Extremely limited and featuring a serial number, each item comes with a digital autographed photo card NFT and a raffle ticket for a personal video message NFT. 


    4. Kodex
    Introducing a new way to enjoy music in the modern era, cover art, lyrics, and liner notes will be included in each purchase.


    5. Fender Official Guitar NFT (MIYAVI TELECASTER®)
    FENDER and MIYAVI have come together to create a one-of-a-kind guitar NFT. Winners in the raffle will win a real signed guitar and other items!


    6. Special Editions from the Hush Hush Music Video
    A part of the limited-edition music video for MIYAVI’s song Hush Hush has been made into goods and are on sale now! Each comes with premium extras like photo cards and extra commentary.

     


    Comment from MIYAVI
    “To celebrate the 20th anniversary since my solo debut, Kollektion will be holding the ‘Month of MIYAVI!’ I want to continue to take on new challenges and use the power of technology to better connect with my fans in both directions, not just one way. Don’t miss out!”

    KLKTN aims to create a new experience that deepens the connection between fans and creators, thereby increasing the enjoyment of fans and creating an environment where creators can enjoy their creative activities more.

  • Girl Group NiziU Named Brand Ambassadors for Visée, Introduce Limited-Edition Eyeshadows

    10.September.2021 | FASHION / MUSIC

    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

     

     

    Photo Shoot

     

    「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.

  • Macaroni Enpitsu’s New Song ‘Tomason’ Features in Bourbon Chocolate Brownie’s Animated Commercial

    20.April.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    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 TitanDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba) and Yuki Kaji (Attack on TitanMy 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.

  • Interview: Ohashi Trio Discusses His ‘Milk and Sugar’ Duet Music Video With Mone Kamishiraishi

    18.February.2021 | MUSIC

    Ohashi Trio released a music video on his YouTube channel on Tuesday (February 16) for Milk and Sugar duet with Mone Kamishiraishi. The song is taken from his upcoming new album NEW WORLD which is set to drop on March 3, 2021.

    Ohashi Trio – “Milk and Sugar duet with Mone Kamishiraishi” Official Music Video

    Ohashi Trio – “NEW WORLD”

    Ohashi Trio and Mone Kamishiraishi in the recording booth

    The music video features the actual footage of Ohashi and Kamishiraishi recording their respective vocal sections for the duet. We get to see the two artists’ faces in a more relaxed and natural environment. It’s also layered with cute animated illustrations and artwork which express the content of the lyrics. The song is a refreshing, up-tempo number that captures the beauty of both singers’ voices. It’s also available to listen to right now worldwide on all major music streaming and download services.

     

    Stream & Download Here

     

    An official interview with Ohashi Trio and Mone Kamishiraishi was also released where they talk about Kamishiraishi’s involvement on the song, both of their thoughts about it, and more. It’s a must-read for fans, and MMN Has translated it into English for our readers.

     

    Ohashi Trio and Mone Kamishiraishi Interview

    “I’d go as far as to say that breaking something down can lead to great things” (Ohashi)

     

    ──I had the opportunity to peek into your recording session not long ago, it seemed like a very positive, harmonious atmosphere.

     

    Ohashi: Because she’s great <looks towards Kamishiraishi>. I’m usually not like this.

     

    Kamishiraishi: <Laughs>

     

    ──I interviewed you last year where the two of you were talking about performing together, and here we are already. Could you talk again about what originally led you to working together?

     

    Ohashi: “My first time being involved with Mone was on her album ‘note.’”

     

    Kamishiraishi: “I was already a huge fan of his, so I thought, I’ll give it a shot, and asked him to come on board.”

     

    Ohashi: “You make it sound like you never stood a chance <laughs>. I wrote the song ‘Little Birds’ [for the album], and at the recording session, she was really kind and said, ‘I’m a huge fan.’ I remember thinking how great of a singer she was. After that, I thought about what we could do together if I invited her on my own album. Since it was the actual writing of a song that I did for her, I made sure to respect her style, but I was inviting her to my side, so I’d go as far to say that I decided to break all of that down. I thought by doing that, it could lead to great things. So I sent her the offer. She was super busy with shooting a drama series and other stuff but she was kind enough to make time each day.”

     

     Kamishiraishi: “Not at all. It was very kind of you.”

     

    I thought, “Aw yeah, a challenge!” (Kamishiraishi)

     

    ──So things were broken down this time, Kamishiraishi.

     

    Kamishiraishi: That’s what happened <laughs>. When I heard the instrumental, I thought, “Aw yeah, a challenge!” It had a kind of melody that I’d never had the chance to sing over before, same with its overall feel. It felt like a step up, like I was discovering a new way of singing, which really excited me, so I really sang my heart out prior to the recording.”

     

    Ohashi: “You were so involved, you prepared so much despite being so busy. You’re great. Hard-working.”

     

    Kamishiraishi: “I’m a fan, so when you release a new song, I memorise it straight away. This felt like the same thing. LIke I’m the first to hear it and learn it. So it didn’t feel like work needing to learn it, but when I first heard it, I thought, ‘He’s been kind enough to drawn attention to my new parts.’”

     

     Ohashi: “It makes me happy hearing that.”

     

    “I don’t think I’ve seen someone like this girl before” (Ohashi)

     

    ──What do you like about Kamishiraishi’s voice, Ohashi?

     

    Kamishiraishi: “Thank you for asking that <said quietly to the interviewer>.”

     

    Ohashi: “<laughs> I thought, this character is someone who puts 100% of herself into the songs she sings. And that image I had held true when I met her, plus she has real talent. Her songs are great. I thought, I don’t think I’ve seen someone like this girl before.”

     

    Kamishiraishi: “Wow… <speechless>

     

    Ohashi: “It was the same during ‘Little Birds.’ She’s so busy, and yet I really got from her that she’s going all out to put her all into it. She was so quick to respond to the request too. She has real physical strength as a vocalist. There are people out there whose songs are good, but rarely do I meet someone who can adapt as well.”

     

    Kamishiraishi: “You’re too kind. I don’t really have things said like this about me while having the opportunity to sing, so I’ll lap up everything that’s said here today and take it home with me. It will be engraved in my heart.”

     

     Oashi: “No, no, I should be saything lots of wrong things anyway.”

     

    “You won’t find someone like Ohashi out there even if you looked” (Kamishiraishi)

     

    ──What do you like about Ohashi’s music, Kamishiraishi?

     

    Kamishiraishi: “First of all, I love his voice. I really like his melodies and how the instruments sound in his music too. You won’t find someone like Ohashi out there even if you looked for them.”

     

    Ohashi: “Wow, that makes me happy.”

     

    Kamishiraishi: “He has a warmth, sense of style, and coolness about him that you won’t find in other people. I get the feeling that you’ll find all of those things in every one of his albums, and I love that about him. He invited me to one of his shows recently. It was the first time seeing him live, and, well, he was just super cool! The show title said “Ohashi Trio Live,” but every single one of the band members there felt like one of the main cast. There were too many amazing things to see and point out, but unfortunately I don’t have enough eyes for them all <laughs>. I wanted cameras to be recording each one of their parts! It made me realise how amazing music is. It was testament to the fact that your ears can forever be happy as long as you’re listening.”

     

    ──What a great comment!

     

    Ohashi: “You’ve conveyed everything I’ve always thought I wanted to have. I’m super happy.”

     

    Interview/Original Text: Hiroshi Takaoka

    English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    Be sure to check out the music video for Ohashi Trio and Mone Kamishiraishi’s duet on Milk to Sugar (“Milk and Sugar”).

  • Interview: NiziU Discuss Their Favourite Moments in Life For Coca-Cola Japan’s New Commercial

    06.January.2021 | FOOD / MUSIC

    Coca-Cola Japan launched a new campaign and commercial on Monday (January 4) titled “Kono Shunkan ga, Watashi,” which roughly translates to “This Moment is Me.”

    2020 saw tremendous changes in the lives of people around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and those changes continue to this day. Coca-Cola Japan’s new campaign aims to spread positivity with a mindset that says enjoy yourself to the fullest is the right way to go precisely because things have changed. It’s a campaign for loving those moments spent with friends and family in whatever way possible.

     

    The new commercial posted alongside the campaign’s launch features the members of the Japanese girl group NiziU singing and dancing to the tune of their new song Take a picture. The commercial shoot took place over the course of two days, and it’s reported that the set had a bright and positive atmosphere as NiziU greeted staff with smiles, vim, and vigour. On the first day they shot the dance and rooftop scenes, while the second day took them to the house studio. There’s also a scene of the group giving MAYUKA’s a surprise birthday celebration her birthday had fallen on the day before.

    Coca-Cola Japan has released limited-edition NiziU bottles as part of the collaboration which feature a QR code on them. When scanned, you can access the campaign website to sign up to win access to a special Coca-Cola x NiziU online event, a NiziU-original QUO card worth ¥1,000, and points for the LINE app. A total of 200,000 lucky winners will be chosen. There are 10 bottle designs to look out for.

    Additionally, a special 35-meter long ad poster is being displayed for a limited time at Shinjuku Station connecting to the East and West exits.

     

    NiziU Interview

    ―Your names are written on the limited-edition NiziU Coca-Cola bottles. How do you feel about them lining the shelves in stores?

     

    MAKO:
    I am super happy that our names get to go on the Coca-Cola labels! I hope lots of people see them and are filled with positive vibes.

     

    RIKU:
    It doesn’t feel real to me yet either that our names are featuring on Coca-Cola products. When they hit the stores I kind of want to go searching for my own name <laughs>.

     

    RIMA:
    There’s a QR code on the bottles when might land you something if you scan it with your phone, so be on the lookout and try finding my bottle.

     

    ―When do you find yourselves wanting to drink Coca-Cola?

    RIO:
    I’m personally a huge foodie, so I like to drink it together with people when everyone’s eating their favourite food.

     

    MAYA:
    I definitely find myself wanting some when I need a kick of positivity or need some energy.

     

    ―Please give your thoughts on the commercial shoot.

    MAYUKA:
    When went on the rooftop with everyone, and when we were practicing the dances, we were drinking Coca-Cola. I feel the shoot had a completely different air to it than our usual practice. Everyone said “Cheers!” [with their drinks] on the roof. It was a lot of fun.

     

    AYAKA:
    It was hard to convey the appeal of Coca-Cola [during the shoot], so we thought to convey its delicious taste how we would convey the appeal of [NiziU]. We showed ourselves really enjoying its delicious taste.

     

    NINA:
    The shoot for this commercial was so much fun, there’s so many great bits in it! It looks so tasty watching everyone gulp down their drinks. It was a great time, I like everyone’s facial expressions in it. Be sure to check it out.

     

    ―Give us each of your thoughts on the “This Moment is Me” campaign and how it relates to yourselves.

    MAKO:
    I feel the most me thing is when I’m writing in my diary. I write in it at the end of every day, it’s my favourite moment.

     

    RIKU:
    When I’m eating something. I feel only happiness when eating; I forget all the bad things and can concentrate just by eating something tasty. It’s a moment I can be myself.

     

    RIMA:
    I really love steady and straightforward work, like puzzles, so when I’m concentrating on one thing I really get in the zone, to the point where I can’t hear people even if they call my name. I think that kind of moment is most me.

     

    RIO:
    For me, it’s when I’m dancing. It’s something I’ve done since I was little, so I think working hard and practicing to improve in that is my most me moment.

     

    MAYA:
    The moment which is most me is when I’m cooking. I find it so much fun and love seeing people enjoy the food I cook for them.

     

    MAYUKA:
    It would be when I’m playing with my cat. I have two cats at home and can be my true self when playing with them.

     

    AYAKA:
    When I’m video calling my mom. We talk about the silliest things and laugh, and that’s when I feel most like myself. I love those moments the most.

     

    NINA:
    The moments I love the most are when I’m drawing. I don’t have to think about anything when I’m drawing and can relax, so they’re definitely my favourite.

  • Hulu Japan Announces Weekly Long Interviews With NiziU Members

    28.July.2020 | MUSIC

    NiziU is a nine-member global all-female group which formed via Nizi Project, an audition programme co-produced by Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Labels, and JYP Entertainment (JYP). NiziU’s first music video, Make you happy, has over 63 million views on YouTube (as of July 2020). Released at the end of June, the iconic jump rope dance in the video has already become something of a social phenomenon.

    In the run up to NiziU’s first anniversary, Hulu Japan will begin streaming long interviews with each of the nine members in a show called NiziU 9 Nizi Stories, beginning on July 30, 2020, where they will talk about their experience in the Nizi Project, as well as life in Tokyo and South Korea. They will discuss in detail why they wanted to be part of a girl group, what troubles they have gone through, what the other members think of them, their impression of J.Y. Park, what kind of artists they want to become, and so on.

     

    ©Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc./JYP Entertainment.

  • Interview: Airbnb Japan Managing Officer Hidetomo Nagata & Sanken Kogyo President Mori Iwata discuss raising Japan’s value through new and exciting creativity

    01.February.2020 | BUSINESS / FEATURES

    Japanese art and culture is recognised the world over, but recently, it feels like the pressure is being put on by countries like South Korea and China. But what you perhaps didn’t know is that the businesses that work to promote Japan’s culture to the worldーthrough that creativity and those servicesーare actually thriving. We had the opportunity to speak with a certain two individuals: Hidetomo Nagata, Managing Officer at Airbnb Japanーa company that increases the value of real estateーand Mori Iwata, the President of Sanken Kogyo, which creates value from zero.

    *This is a shortened version of the interview

    ——-I’d first like to ask you both to explain what it is that both of your companies do.

     

    Nagata: I work for the Japanese subsidiary of Airbnb. Airbnb was first established in 2008 as a platform for helping people to match various conditions for their trips. Services began with accommodation; today, we have over 7 million locations listed in 191 countries. Past statistics show that over 500 million people have stayed as guests, and our revenue from Hosts, who rent out their houses, exceeds 8.8 trillion yen. We are also expanding our services on the side to offer more things, like our Experience and Adventure services. It’s a comprehensive platform for travelling.

     

    Iwata: So you have not only accommodation, but experience-based services too?

     

    Nagata: We began the Experience service in 2016. To give an example of what it is, [we are partnered with] people who are skilled in things like traditional Japanese crafts, and they will give [travelling] foreign guests the chance to learn about those skills. 2020 is the year of the Olympics, so we are offering experiences in conjunction with Olympians too. You can learn about various rules from an Olympian, ask them about competing, experience their sport hands-on, and so on, in the hopes that people will come to enjoy those particular sports more. We’d also be overjoyed if the Olympians made use of these experiences as a second career.

     

    Iwata: My company makes prototypes. While I say prototypes, it actually constitutes a variety of things, for example, office automation equipment, cars, medical equipment, stationery, toys, and so on. We make a wide range of different prototypes. Stationery, for example, is something we all use daily, isn’t it? But what we make is the prototype. So it doesn’t get released into the world, but is instead used as the basis for it to then be mass-produced. Our prototype products don’t stay around, but it’s very rewarding.

    ——-Tell me about your strengths that make you competitive to other companies.

     

    Nagata: Airbnb’s vision is ‘Belong Anywhere,’ meaning that no matter where you travel, you too will feel like you are living in that place. We learn about a region, have locals tell us about places to eat, and so on. We value the things we learn through our hosts. This has created a new lifestyle for people, as well as a community. We have a lot of hosts who have said to us that their lives have changed after starting with Airbnb. By opening their doors, and communicating with the people of the world, their worlds expand, they acquire knowledge, and they gain more income. For me, that’s a valuable thing.

     

    Iwata: We’re a really small company in our warehouse. In the past, there were lots of small companies, but they have since been weeded out and disappeared. The businesses I bump into on my way to work are all huge, but our strength lies in the fact that the warehouse, office and business are all in the same place. There aren’t many companies out there on this scope with all of these things firmly in place. The speed at which we do things can’t be done at a major company either. I can work right there and then during a meeting or appointment. We don’t have strengths and weaknesses; we can make anything. That, and our shop staff who interact with customers are first-class. Our perspective is that we can absolutely make what they’re after, and at a reasonable price, so I think they’ll choose us. We can do anythingーmetal, resin, plastic. I’ll go ahead and say that we’re probably the only ones who have come as far as we have.

    ——-Sanken Kogyo opened a subsidiary overseas too, didn’t you?

     

    Iwata: I mentioned earlier how I went to America. Well, I set up a subsidiary in Chicago last year. We are the third prototype company in Japan to have done so. We don’t have employees there yet, but I’m excited!

     

    ——-On the other hand, Airbnb is a service that began outside of Japan. Do you ever pour all of your energy into Japan?

     

    Nagata: Homeshares and homestays aren’t common but more and more people are wanting to give it a go. For us to be able to think about things like homeshares and for it to become a normal choice for people, we’re creating new services and designs related to accommodation, not just internally, but with our seventeen Airbnb Partners too.

    The hotel MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS in Harajuku was renovated from a 50-year-old or so building. By carrying out renovations, they are able to create rooms with a strong design aspectーrooms that are expensive to rent out. They combine accommodation with Japanese culture, so I believe they’ll be able to embrace homeshares.

     

    ——-The two of you give rise to value with your businesses, but what does value mean exactly for you personally?

     

    Nagata: I think value is relative. It determines a person’s subjectivity, and it can end up changing how you look at something or your way of thinking. I believe Airbnb is bringing about a new sense of value when it comes to real estate. If we’re talking leasing property, then how new building is and how close it is to the station are conditions with value. On the other hand, if it’s hotel accommodation, a building that’s 100-years-old is itself a valuable condition, and reviews that highlight it as a good aspect increase trust, even if the location isn’t ideal. Even if the price range increases, users will still stay there. I believe that the way in which you draw value from the same piece of real estate can change depending on how you think about it.

     

    Nagata: How about you, Mr. Iwata? Listening to your story, I see the speed of your interactions and communication bring value for you.

     

    Iwata: You hit the nail on the head. The speed of our staff is tied to customers’ trust. When we’re making a deal, our estimations gradually end up going in a different direction <laughs>. We have times when things don’t go well in the end, like when we’re taking in various opinions while cobbling together a prototype. But I know those times, so I’ll do things like go and work on something else at the same time instead. If our estimations go well in the end it’s good, so our staff’s qualities, like their quick-wittedness, ties customers to us. It’s the same thing as the machines we use being for building prototypes. I think in the end, communication between people is the newest way to create value. Especially since the industry in Japan has no life in itat the minute.. I want them to get in the spirit more.

    ——-Sanken Kogyo opened a subsidiary overseas too, didn’t you?

     

    Iwata: I mentioned earlier how I went to America. Well, I set up a subsidiary in Chicago last year. We are the third prototype company in Japan to have done so. We don’t have employees there yet, but I’m excited!

     

    ——-On the other hand, Airbnb is a service that began outside of Japan. Do you ever pour all of your energy into Japan?

     

    Nagata: Homeshares and homestays aren’t common but more and more people are wanting to give it a go. For us to be able to think about things like homeshares and for it to become a normal choice for people, we’re creating new services and designs related to accommodation, not just internally, but with our 128 Airbnb Partners too.

     

    The hotel MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS in Harajuku was renovated from a 50-year-old or so building. By carrying out renovations, they are able to create rooms with a strong design aspectーrooms that are expensive to rent out. They combine accommodation with Japanese culture, so I believe they’ll be able to embrace homeshares.

     

    ——-The two of you give rise to value with your businesses, but what does value mean exactly for you personally?

     

    Nagata: I think value is relative. It determines a person’s subjectivity, and it can end up changing how you look at something or your way of thinking. I believe Airbnb is bringing about a new sense of value when it comes to real estate. If we’re talking leasing property, then how new building is and how close it is to the station are conditions with value. On the other hand, if it’s hotel accommodation, a building that’s 100-years-old is itself a valuable condition, and reviews that highlight it as a good aspect increase trust. Even if the price range increases, users will still stay there. I believe that the way in which you draw value from the same piece of real estate can change depending on how you think about it.

     

    Nagata: How about you, Mr. Iwata? Listening to your story, I see the speed of your interactions and communication bring value for you.

     

    Iwata: You hit the nail on the head. The speed of our staff is tied to customers’ trust. When we’re making a deal, our estimations gradually end up going in a different direction <laughs>. We have times when things don’t go well in the end, like when we’re taking in various opinions while cobbling together a prototype. But I know those times, so I’ll do things like go and work on something else at the same time instead. If our estimations go well in the end it’s good, so our staff’s qualities, like their quick-wittedness, ties customers to us. It’s the same thing as the machines we use being for building prototypes. I think in the end, communication between people is the newest way to create value. Especially since the industry in Japan has no life in itat the minute.. I want them to get in the spirit more.

     

    ——-For my last question, please tell me about your visions for the future.

    Nagata: Personally, I want to expand the possibilities for new lifestyles, ways of living, and design, which we have done through shares. I was originally a politician before this, so I’m aware of the problems of how to move our society and regions forward. I think sharing is one of the ways to solve it. By sharing vacant houses around the country, we can give rise to nonresident populations, and if elderly people use these kinds of services, they’ll have a great time. I think we’re still lacking on the design side of things, so we will create by working with other businesses, and I hope we can pave the way for new lifestyles and ways of working.

     

    Iwata: Whether it’s in Japan, factories in China, or the US, I want to work hard to get our prototype workshop out there. I think the Japanese industry has plenty left to give, so I want to challenge myself to that. I want the world to see more of Japan’s industry!

     

    Nagata: Mr. Iwata, I can see you’re active in the work place and having a good time in your position. I think it’s a wonderful thing that you’re paving the way for new things in response to the crisis of your industry.

     

    Iwata: Thank you. I’m kind of embarrassed hearing that <laughs>. I’ve learned a lot listening to your story too.

    Sanken Kogyo, an exciting production business bringing about value and promoting Japanese craftsmanship to the world. Airbnb, a company raising the value of real estate, and expanding its travel services across the globe. From zero to one; from one to a hundred. I feel the infinite expansion of these two companies. In lieu of repeating the services that already exist, their work allows for constant challenge, and thus enables them to grow. I look forward to the future growth of these new creative industries and services, which will astonish the world.

     

    Interview & Text: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • We Interviewed The Creators Behind Sanrio’s Popular Enjoy Idol Series

    20.January.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    Are you aware of Sanrio’s “Enjoy Idol Series”? For idol fans, it’s an essential part of your concert trip for the ultimate experience.

    Uchiwa Fan Case (10 Varieties): ¥880 (After Tax)

    A cute case to protect your precious uchiwa fan from damage. You can even stick it on your wall!

    Concert Confetti Storage Keyring (10 Varieties): ¥550 Each (After Tax)

    Want to keep living the memory of confetti bursting out from the sky at that concert? Store one in this keyring!

     

    Idol uchiwa fans. If you’re in Japan, you’ll have definitely seen these around – a round fan bearing a large picture of an artist or idol in the centre. From cute Sanrio-themed items to decorate your idol concert merchandise to even a keyring that preserves concert confetti, Sanrio’s Enjoy Idol Series is full of must-have items for concert-going idol fans. However, there seems to be no other secondary use of these items that cater to the non-concert-goer. What a niche market.

    Fan Memory Notebook: ¥550 Each (After Tax)

    This is an easy way to keep your notes on activities you do to support your idols.

     

    Just how much do idol fans love these items? After conducting research among friends with over 10-years of experience as an obsessive idol fan, it seems that these are more popular than one may think. A quick visit to Sanrio’s official website revealed that the series is so popular that many items sell out quickly.

     

    Despite trying to reach out to what might seem a small, niche market, these items seem to be in high demand among idol fans. Just what kind of person came up with such an idea? Curious to find out, we met up with the Enjoy Idol Series project planners for an interview.

     

    Q1: It’s a pleasure to have this interview. We at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON love Sanrio so much that it’s not often we go long without releasing some kind of news about you. One of the most fascinating Sanrio merchandise series has to be the Enjoy Idol Series for its high demand in such a niche area. Our first question is: From what idea or initial thought was this series born?

     

    Project Planner: The Enjoy Idol Series is managed by me and one other person. Both of us are avid idol fans. We noticed not only lots of fans at concerts using Sanrio merchandise, but also many idol fans on social media using Sanrio characters as profile pictures and as stickers on their photos online. For quite a few years now there’s been a connection forming between idol fans and Sanrio characters in several ways.

     

    We also noticed that although merchandise aimed at idol fans is steadily increasing, there still wasn’t anything cute for them out there. That’s why we started designing this series. The other project leader and I often go to concerts and watch DVDs together. That’s when the ideas started flowing. Eventually, we were packing our project full of ideas and it was really fun. We thought of how we could combine Sanrio characters and idol fans to create something incredibly cute

     

    Q2: It’s wonderful to hear that you are both idol fans yourselves. When you first had these initial ideas running through your head, were you confident that your series would become popular among other idol fans?

     

    Planner: We were very excited to have created this cute Enjoy Idol series and we were certain that other fans would feel the same. And the reaction to it exceeded my expectations. Even people who don’t usually go to Sanrio shops buy something from the series because of their love of Sanrio which made us really happy to see.

     

    Q3: Having seen all the sold out products on your website, it’s clear that many people appreciate what you’ve done. How does it feel to see idol fans using merchandise that you designed?

     

    Project Planner: We’re just so grateful to see people using items from the Enjoy Idol Series to make the most of their concert experience. A lot of people buying products from the series buy specific items based on strongly associating their idol with a certain Sanrio character. We’ve now learned the reasons behind the choices fans make when purchasing from the series which has been a real eye-opener.

    Silver Decoration Case (7 Varieties): ¥660 (After Tax)

    A box to save your concert confetti

     

    Q4: After some research among a number of friends who are idol fans, it seems that your series is a big hit. Many are excited to see what you are going to knock up next. Do you have any new ideas you’re warming up to?

     

    Project Planner: I cannot reveal any specific details just yet. We are still in the process of creating our next items. You can expect them to maintain Sanrio’s cute style. As an idol fan myself, I am committed to making sure these items are of high functionality for our users.

     

    Q5: I’m sure that many people will be over the moon to hear that you are developing yet more cute items. Do you have any final words you would like to say to idol fans and Sanrio fans?

     

    Project Planner: I would like to thank you all for your continuous support for the Enjoy Idol Series. We are delighted to improve your lifestyle and we hope that these items help you make the most of your experience as an idol fan.

     

    When you have something to adore, you lead a fulfilling life. I’ve heard the stories of friends who are idol fans and can feel their excitement towards the release of our new products. I’m so happy to think that these products are improving the quality of life for many idol fans.

    Diary Stickers (7 Varieties): ¥275 (After Tax)

     These stickers are full of words perfect for idol fans but of no use to those who are not idol fans!

     

    Just seeing some of the specific words and phrases written on the idol stickers shows just how much the project planners understand and feel close to other idol fans. It is enough to warm your heart.

     

    The two project planners put their love of idol fans at the centre of their design proposal, creating a merchandise series just for them. Each item connects idol fans through their mutual love. This eye-opening interview showed the true strength of shared passion when catering to a niche market.

     

    Despite not being an idol fan themselves, our interviewer could feel the love poured into each item in the series. What item will be released next? We’ll be just as excited as the idol fans are, waiting eagerly for its release.

     

    ⓒ’76, ’88, ’89, ’96, ’01, ’05, ’19 SANRIO. 著作(株)サンリオ

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US