Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Nara’s Kakinohasushi Hompo Tanaka for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project

09.June.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

In April, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu made a big splash around the world when she performed at Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States. 

 

The second half of the singer’s 10th anniversary nationwide tour 31-show has begun, gaining even more momentum following the announcement of a solo concert at Nippon Budokan in October. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. As with past concert locations, a new collaboration has been announced following Kyary’s June 5 performance in Nara.


During the late Meiji period, persimmon leaf-wrapped sushi became a local delicacy during the summer months in Nara after the delicacies began popping up at a shopping district near JR Gojo Station. In 1973, Kakinohasushi Hompo Tanaka officially opened its doors, selling this delicacy for dine-in or carry-out. Kyary has collaborated with this famous local treat, transforming the shop’s logo into a new version inspired by the singer’s 2014 song Kira Kira Killer. The jacket art originally featured Kyary with a collection of bizarre hairstyles, but these have been turned into persimmon leaves for the collab.

During the collaboration period, fans were able to buy specially-branded packages of Kirakira Persimmon Leaf-wrapped Sushi. While the leaves themselves aren’t edible, they act to preserve the sushi for days without refrigeration. This version contains mackerel and vinegar-soaked rice. The sushi was sold in limited quantities at Nara Centennial Hall, the venue of Kyary’s June 5 concert.

A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks only starting June 3. Support Japanese businesses and pick one up while you can!

RELATED ENTRIES

  • CA4LA Releases SPY x FAMILY Hats Inspired by Loid and Anya

    25.June.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Hat brand CA4LA is taking preorders for two unique hats inspired by Loid and Anya Forger from the popular series SPYxFAMILY! Whether you want Loid’s Trilby or Anya’s Beret, be sure to place your orders before July 27, 2022.

     

    Loid Ver. Trilby

     

    Antique Silver Pin with Organization Motif

    Lining with Loid Forger Embroidery

    Adjustable Size using Velcro

     

     

    Anya Ver. Beret

    A Stella Star Pin, Merits at Eden Academy

    Original Lining with the Eden Academy and CA4LA Logos

    Adjustable Size using Velcro

     

    Loid Forger is an undercover spy who acts under the codename Twilight. The hat he often wears in the series has been perfectly reproduced by CA4LA, with a slick design featuring an antique silver pin with the logo of his organization and his name stitched inside the lining. 

     

    Anya’s adorable beret is based on her Eden Academy uniform. This hand-stitched hat is available in either child or adult sizes! The Stella Star pin, considered a merit at Eden Academy, accents the side of the hat. The inner lining features a unique pattern perfect for fans!

     

    Enjoy being fashionable while also showing off your love for SPYxFAMILY!

     

    ©遠藤達哉/集英社・SPY×FAMILY製作委員会

  • Rilakkuma Teams Up with SpoGOMI to Sponsor National Cleanup Competition

    24.June.2022 | FASHION

    In an effort to clean up areas around Japan, everyone’s favorite lazy bear is teaming up with the Social Sports Initiative’s SpoGOMI! Rilakkuma is currently on his own nationwide tour, traveling from the northernmost to the southernmost points in Japan over 18 months. Guests visiting each event will be able to find unique prefecture-based environmentally-friendly merchandise. 

     

    SpoGOMI is an entirely new sport started in Japan, combining a traditional sport with trash pickup! It’s always more fun to turn a chore into a game, and participants compete to see who can pick up the most garbage. 

     

    Merchandise at a Glance

    Mug

    Pin

    Fan

    Round Coin Purse

     

     

    Merchandise (Exclusive to the Hokkaido Area)

    T-Shirt

    Canvas Tote Bag (S)

    Hand Towel (M/L)

     

    Along with the standard rules, a new version of the game inspired by Rilakkuma will be introduced, perfect for both children and adults to enjoy.

     

    After helping to clean up, why not enjoy some delicious local food and sightseeing? Join Rilakkuma in his efforts to clean up Japan and connect local communities. 

     

    ©2022 SAN-X CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • KAWAII LAB. Report #3: Introducing Two New Members of IDOLATER–a Long-Haired Model and a Gambler who Sings Too Well

    24.June.2022 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    KAWAII LAB. is a project spearheaded by ASOBISYSTEM with the aim of introducing the world to popular Japanese idol culture. Announced at the group’s solo concert ‘New IDOLATER’ on April 24, Fuuka Oishi and Ririka Satsuki joined the lineup consisting of Ayu Okuda, Kurumi Tsukishiro, and Yukino Fushiki.

     

    Today, we’re introducing the two newest members–Fuuka Oishi and Ririka Satsuki.

     

    Fuuka Oishi

    ▼Social Media Accounts

    Twitter https://twitter.com/idolater_fuka

    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/idolater_fuka/

     

    ▼Birthday

    July 25, 1999

     

    ▼Height

    163cm

     

    ▼Blood Type

    B

     

    ▼Birthplace

    Chiba Prefecture

     

    ▼Favorite Foods

    Cheesecake, High Cocoa Chocolate (86~95%), Beef Tongue, Skirt Steak, Yakitori (Gizzards, Gristle)

     

    ▼Favorite Musical Artists

    SEKAI NO OWARI, SKY PEACE

     

    ▼Favorite Manga/Anime/TV Shows/Radio Shows

    One Piece, Naruto, Kotaro Lives Alone

     

    Best Way to Spend a Day Off

    Netflix、YouTube、Hanging out at a cafe

     

    ▼Favorite Phrase

    Different Strokes for Different Folks! Everyone is different and everyone’s great. 

     

    ▼Places She’d Like to Visit

    Wherever I can see the beautiful ocean!

    Korea, France

     

    ▼Favorite Part of Herself

    The fact that I laugh a lot–and everything else!

     

    Color

    Light Blue

     

    Born in 1999. With her characteristic long black hair and dainty yet listless atmosphere,
    she’s a model who has been attracting attention from all sides. Supported by creators and
    having appeared as a model for fashion brands, she has also starred in TV commercials and in music videos. 

     

    I Want to Die – Centimillimental

    https://youtu.be/d2LFIclsT7M

     

    Although she has no experience singing or dancing, Fuuka brings her natural cheerfulness
    to the group.

     

     

    Ririka Satsuki

    ▼Social Media Accounts

    Twitter https://twitter.com/idolater_ririka

    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/idolater_ririka/

     

    ▼Birthday

    August 17, 2000

     

    ▼Height

    158cm

     

    ▼Blood Type

    AB

     

    ▼Birthplace

    Fukuoka Prefecture

     

    ▼Favorite Foods

    Ramen, Gingko, Gyoza

     

    ▼Favorite Musical Artists

    Avril Lavigne

    Lady Gaga

    Namie Amuro

     

    ▼Favorite Manga/Anime/TV Shows/Radio Shows

    Tokyo Revengers, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Haikyu!!

     

    ▼Favorite Way to Spend a Day Off

    Sleep, go to the movies alone, play slot machines (Juggler machines are my favorite!)

     

    ▼Favorite Phrases

    ・There is always light beyond the clouds.

    ・Stick to your guns. 

     

    ▼Places She’d Like to Visit

    Hokkaido, Guam, Dubai, London

     

    ▼Favorite Part of Herself

    Opening my big mouth, my smile.

     

    ▼Goal for the Year

    Performing live at Zepp!

     

    ▼Color

    Yellow

     

    With a powerful and husky voice, Ririka previously appeared on TV Tokyo’s ‘The Karaoke
    Battle U-18 Utauma Koshien.’ In 2019, she appeared on AbemaTV’s ‘Koisuru Shuumatsu
    Homestay’ and became incredibly popular with middle and high school students. Recently,
    she appeared on Nippon TV’s ‘Monomane Grand Prix,’ and is active in a number of other
    activities. 

     

    Ririka Satsuki’s strength lies in her singing ability. 

    Be sure to check out her song covers on TikTok!

    https://www.tiktok.com/@satsuki_ririka

     

    Ririka also enjoys gambling, preferring the Juggler line of slot machines. She’d like to keep
    it up in the future, if she’s able. 


    Her powerful, husky voice has created a kind of chemical reaction in IDOLATER. 

     

    Stay tuned for the next installment of the IDOLATER series!

     

    Next week’s KAWAII LAB report will focus on FRUITS ZIPPER. 

  • FRUITS ZIPPER Releases Music Video for Popular TikTok Track ‘Watashino Ichiban Kawaii Tokoro’

    23.June.2022 | MUSIC

    FRUITS ZIPPER, a new idol group from ASOBISYSTEM, has a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” The girls have just released the music video for their 2nd digital single Watashino Ichiban Kawaii Tokoro (The Cutest Thing About Me).

     

    The group is ready to transmit what they call ‘NEW KAWAII’ from Harajuku, an area known for fashion and individuality, to their soon-to-be global fanbase.

     

    Watashino Ichiban Kawaii Tokoro – FRUITS ZIPPER 

     

     

    FRUITS ZIPPER has been going strong since its launch in April this year, appearing at numerous idol events and selling out tickets to its solo shows immediately after they went on sale.

     

    The song Watashino Ichiban Kawaii Tokoro has exploded in popularity on TikTok, racking up over 200 million plays.

     

    The song also ranked on the TikTok HOT SONGS list and charted on Spotify’s viral chart for three weeks in a row.

     

    Initially, no music video for this song was planned, but due to fan response and the track’s huge popularity, the decision was made to produce one after all. The video is filled with the ‘NEW KAWAII’ that FRUITS ZIPPER wants to be known for, so check it out!

     

    To commemorate the release of the music video, a playback campaign is currently underway on Spotify from June 23 until June 29. Fans will be able to see a different member on Spotify Canvas for each day of the campaign.

     

    Don’t miss the share campaign! Seven winners will be chosen by random drawing to win an autographed Polaroid snapshot of the FRUITS ZIPPER members.

  • FamilyMart Starts Pokemon Campaign, Pikachu Pineapple Frappe Now Available

    23.June.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    FamilyMart stores nationwide have started a campaign in collaboration with the free-to-play mobile game Pokemon Cafe ReMix! From June 21 until July 18, visitors will be able to pick up some special treats and exclusive merchandise.

     

    Pikachu Frappes

    A new addition to the Frappe series, customers will be able to enjoy Pikachu’s Pineapple Frappe starting June 21, featuring Pikachu in a cute cafe uniform. Made with golden pineapple pulp, the drink is perfect for summer, offering a refreshing sweet and sour taste. There are three cup designs available–one with Pikachu in red, one in blue, and another in green.

     

    Original Merchandise Campaign

     

    Part I: June 21, 10:00~ / Original PP Coaster (4 varieties)

    Part 2: July 5, 10:00~ / Cafe Menu Design Original Memo Pad (4 varieties)

    *Sample Images

    A goods campaign is also underway. Customers purchasing three qualifying products will receive exclusive merchandise–while supplies last, of course! The event will run from June 21 at 10:00 through July 18.

     

    Stamp Campaign

    Left: 5 stamps, Original Lunch Bag / Right: 10 stamps, Original Plates (Set of 3)

     

    Collecting stamps on the FamilyMart app can also net fans some special prizes! At the same time, Pokemon fans can use the app to win tickets to Pokemon GO Fest 2022 Sapporo.

     

    © 2022 Pokémon. © 1995-2022 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
    Developed by Genius Sonority Inc.
    ポケットモンスター・ポケモン・Pokémonは任天堂・クリーチャーズ・ゲームフリークの
    登録商標です。Nintendo Switchのロゴ・Nintendo Switchは任天堂の商標です。

     

    ©2022 Niantic, Inc. ©2022 Pokémon. 
    ©1995-2022 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. 
    ポケモン・Pokémonは任天堂・クリーチャーズ・ゲームフリークの登録商標です。

  • Japanese Artist VERDY Releases Minions Collaboration Collection

    22.June.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    To commemorate the upcoming film Minions: The Rise of Gru, a new apparel collection has been unveiled! The new items were made by VERDY, the artist behind popular projects like Girls Don’t Cry and Wasted Youth, both of which have been noticed by celebrities overseas. Prior to the collection’s launch online on July 1, fans can buy items from the limited-edition collection at Universal Studios in Los Angeles starting June 17 and at Universal Studios Japan starting June 24. 

     

    VERDY is an incredibly popular artist who has garnered attention around the world, and his products are often seen with celebrities and big names in Japan and abroad. He has collaborated with a number of top brands in the past.

     

    Collection

    The first collaboration between the two, Minions x Vick, was released in 2020 to huge popularity, selling out within one minute of release. This second collaboration was created to satisfy huge fan demand, offering up tons of items featuring Otto, a Minion who will appear in the new film, and VERDY’s signature character Vick. Fans can purchase T-shirts, hoodies, long sleeve shirts, hats, keychains, skateboards, and more. 

     

    This is the only time you’ll be able to snag these unique items, so don’t miss out!

     

    WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ WBEI. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22)
    Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2022 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
    Universal Studios Japan TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
    © Nintendo

  • Attack on Titan Inspires Collaboration Folding Bike from DAHON

    21.June.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    The world’s largest folding bike brand DANON has revealed a new collaboration with the popular series Attack on Titan! This bike features unique branding and coloring perfect for fans of the long-running manga and anime series. 

     

    Dahon is the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bicycles with a two-thirds market share in 2006. The company was founded in 1982 by David T. Hon, a former laser physicist, and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with assembly factories in China, Macau, and Bulgaria. Full-scale production started in 1984.

    Attack on Titan Bike: ¥89,100 (Tax Included)

    The bike will go on sale at the PCPSHOP on June 20 at 17:00. Only 139 units are available, and fans of the Scout Regiment will be happy to see its color and badge displayed proudly on the bike’s body. A special bag is also included. 

     

    Grab one as soon as possible if you’re interested!

     

    Ⓒ諫⼭創・講談社/「進撃の巨⼈」The Final Season製作委員会

  • MARiA from GARNiDELiA and luz Release Duet Track, Music Video

    20.June.2022 | MUSIC

    GARNiDELiA vocalist MARiA released the music video for Cafe Latte no Uta, her duet track with luz, on June 15, 2022.

     

    The track will be included in the singer’s second solo album Memories, which will go on sale on June 22 and is now available on streaming services. Cafe Latte no Uta was composed by PENGUIN RESERACH’s kemu with lyrics written by both Horie and luz.



    Cafe Latte no Uta feat. luz


    A release event has also been announced, scheduled to take place on June 22 at Tower Records Shibuya. The singer will hold a solo concert at Toyosu PIT on July 3. In exciting news, MARiA will be performing in an upcoming stage play, Quantum, which will be performed in Tokyo and Osaka for 23 total shows.

     

    Although still very active in her work with GARNiDELiA, MARiA has been breaking new ground in her solo work, collaborating with a number of artists and creators. Keep an eye on what she does in the future!



    Comment from MARiA

    “I had a meeting with luz and kemu, and when we started chatting, we decided that since our voices are more adult, it would be perfect if we made a more sexy song. 

    All three of us have lived our lives as part of internet culture, so this song really shows off our history with all of its strengths!

    This is a song best listened to with headphones on–we really used our breath a lot, especially in the gaps between the music.

    Be sure to enjoy the perfect harmony between me and luz!”

  • UNIQLO Releases UT Collection Inspired by the Great Museums of the World

    20.June.2022 | FASHION

    UNIQLO’s graphic T-shirt brand UT has launched an artful new collection! The Museums of the World collection of men’s shirts features beloved museums like the Tate Modern, the Louvre, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and more. This valuable collection was made possible by UNIQLO’s continued art initiative, as the company has continued to work with museums around the world to share the wonders of art with as many people as possible.

     

    A Collection Allowing Customers to Enjoy the World’s Best Museums as Part of Their Daily Lives

    This collection brings together some of the world’s most beloved museums, with designs inspired by the exteriors of these well-known homes of art. The Louvre design fully captures the iconic pyramid, while the contemporary MoMA is expressed with simple lines. The name of each museum is also printed on one sleeve for extra style.

     

    UNIQLO’s Art Initiative

    UNIQLO has partnered with some of the world’s leading museums over the years. Through free admission programs, sales of collaborative products and various events, these museums aim to provide opportunities for more people to experience and deepen their understanding of art.

     

    May 2013 – Present / The Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA) 

    March 2016 – Present / Tate Modern (London, England) 

    September 2017 – Present / Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA) 

    March 2018 – Present / Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Barcelona, Spain)

    February 2021 – Present / Louvre Museum (Paris, France)

     

    Don’t miss this unique collection! Which museum would you like represented in your wardrobe?

  • Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science to Hold Dr. Stone Collaboration Event

    20.June.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science will hold a collaboration with the anime series Dr. Stone starting June 21! The project will include mini-exhibitions, character audio guides for permanent exhibits, commentary panels with collaborative visuals for permanent exhibitions, and collaborative goods! The event aims to convey a deeper interest in science to the younger generation. 

     

    Mini-Exhibition

    A mini-exhibition will be held to explain the world of the first two seasons of Dr. Stone from a scientific point of view. The science used by the show’s protagonist, Senku Ishigami, and his friends in the Kingdom of Science will be explained in an easy-to-understand manner through specimens and materials from the Museum’s collection of natural history and the history of science and technology. 


    Location: Earth Building 1F 

     

    Exhibition Details at a Glance

    Fossilization Exhibit – How are Living Things Petrified? 

    Archaeopteryx Fossil (Replica)


    For example, in connection with the scene at the beginning of the anime in which all humans are petrified by a mysterious beam of light, the process of fossilization will be explained scientifically. An Archaeopteryx fossil replica will also be on display.

    Music Exhibition – How are Records Recorded and Played Back? 

    SP Record Player (ELECTROLA No.4) / Manufactured by ELECTROLA GESELLSCHAFT

     

    In connection with a scene in the anime showing the characters crafting a record player to listen to records made at the bottom of a glass bottle, a scientific explanation of how records are recorded and played back will be on show. A German-made SP record player (manual portable phonograph) will be on display to help visitors understand. 

     

    Character Voice Guides for Permanent Exhibits

    Voice actors Yusuke Kobayashi (Senku Ishigami) and Kengo Kawanishi (Gen Asagiri) will provide their character voices in special commentary on ten of the museum’s permanent exhibits. 


    The voices can be played back by scanning the dedicated QR code located in the museum with your smartphone.

     

    Explanatory Panels with Collaborative Visuals for Permanent Exhibits

    Explanatory panels with collaborative visuals will be specially installed in five permanent exhibits to introduce visitors to recommended exhibits around the massive museum.

     

    National Museum of Nature and Science x Dr. Stone Collaboration Goods

    Original goods featuring collaboration visuals were created exclusively for this project, including posters of the periodic table and crystal growing kits!

     

    Where to Buy: 

    National Museum of Nature and Science Museum Shop (Over-the-counter sales only)

    Location: Japan Hall B1F / Hours: 9:30-Museum Closing Time

    https://www.kahaku.go.jp/userguide/access/shop/

    TMS Entertainment Online Shop

    https://www.tmsshop.jp/

    *In-store sales of the collaboration goods are scheduled to begin on June 3.

    *The date for online sales will be announced at a later date.

     

    ©米スタジオ・Boichi/集英社・Dr.STONE製作委員会

  • Sanrio to Create Original Character Inspired by Boy Band JO1

    19.June.2022 | FASHION

    Sanrio and LAPONE Entertainment have teamed up to launch the JO1 x Sanrio Character Development Project to create a new character inspired by the globally popular boy band JO1.

     

     

    The new project combines JO1’s creativity with Sanrio’s beloved branding to create a character embodying the member’s strengths. JO1 announced the project during the 2022 SANRIO FES at Pacifico Yokohama North on June 12. A teaser has also been posted on the official JO1 YouTube channel. A special program will closely follow the project and new episodes will be posted on YouTube in the future, so be sure to watch!

     

    Teaser Video

    JO1’s marketing department has been tasked with making the group’s fans feel even closer, and the new character will be a kind of ‘alter ego’ of JO1. It’s unclear what kind of character we’ll see at the end of this, but fans are excited to find out!

    ©’22 SANRIO 著作(株)サンリオ ©️LAPONE ENTERTAINMENT

     

  • KAWAII LAB. Report #2: FRUITS ZIPPER Group Interview ①

    17.June.2022 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    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.

     

    Three members of FRUITS ZIPPER sat down with us for an interview. 

     

    “Could you introduce yourself?” 

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “Hi, everyone! I’m the youngest member of FRUITS ZIPPER, Noel Hayase, and I’m 18 years old. I’m half-German and half-Japanese, but I attended an international school, so I’m pretty good at languages. I speak Japanese, English, German, and a little French! I like to play games, watch videos, and just hang out with friends, but I also love dancing and moving my body. I also like to work with technology, and edit my own videos and songs.” 

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “Everyone reading this on Moshi Moshi Nippon, it’s nice to meet you! 

    My name is Suzuka Chinzei, but you can call me Osuzu!

    I spend about ⅓ of my waking hours thinking about food, especially gyoza 🥟and fried tofu. I’d prefer my gyoza with a thin skin and filled with veggies. I’m a big fan of pairing alcohol with my food too!

    I grew up in Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture. Fans of the anime series The Melancholy of
    Haruhi Suzumiya will be familiar with the town–I used to do the dance from that show all the
    time. I’ve loved dancing since I was a kid. My mom told me that once when I was young, I
    started dancing to the song Kawaii Kakurenbo, but I was crying because I didn’t WANT to dance–I just couldn’t help it. I guess I just want to dance on a cellular level. 

    I started appearing on NHK Educational TV’s Tensai Terebi-kun MAX when I was in 5th grade.
    Since then, I’ve started appearing on different variety shows, and I’m currently working on
    Nyanchuu! Uchuu! Housou Chu-! and German for Travel

     

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “Nice to meet everyone!

    I’m Mana Manaka–nicknamed Manafy–and my member color in FRUITS ZIPPER is light blue!

    Previously, I worked at KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU, and I did my best to transmit ‘KAWAII’ from Harajuku to the world❤️

    This is my first time working as an idol, but I’m going to work hard to embody the idea of ‘KAWAII’ and to create the ‘NEW KAWAII’ that FRUITS ZIPPER has to offer through music, dance, and by sharing Japanese idol culture!”

     

     

    “A question for Mana–what is KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU?”

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU is part-restaurant, part-entertainment venue, part-art installation. It was directed by Sebastian Masuda, the ‘king of kawaii,’ and guests can order really unique and colorful dishes in an amazing space designed to look like the inside of a monster’s belly!”

     

     

     

    “Nice to meet you! Here’s a question from readers: why did you decide to become an idol?”

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to be center stage. When I saw an artist performing live, I started to think “wow, I’d love to see what they’re seeing,” so I decided to pursue a career in the music industry. Thanks to some of the connections I’ve made over the years, I’m now able to pursue the idol life! I’m glad that I chose this path because I love being on stage with the other members of FRUITS ZIPPER.”

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “I decided I wanted to be an idol a long time ago when I ended my time on Tensai Terebi-kun MAX. Right after, I was photographed in a school uniform for Shueisha’s Aoharu Magazine. The problem was that I was already in my mid-teens at that point. I thought it was too late to become an idol, so I just put those feelings away.

    After that, I had so many different opportunities to appear in different plays and variety shows, but there was always this nagging feeling in my chest. It’s hard to describe, but I just felt like something was missing. 

    During that period of stress and confusion, there was a lot of discussion about my joining ASOBISYSTEM. When I looked at their website, I saw that they were recruiting members for a new idol group. I started freaking out, and my mom–who was standing next to me at the time–
    said that I should talk with them about it. I went to the person in charge and asked them about what it would take to be an idol. I realized, in that moment, that I didn’t want to go the rest of my life without trying it out. Now I can say that I made the right decision, I guess. (laugh)

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “Harris, the content director of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE and the current manager of FRUITS ZIPPER, contacted me out of the blue and asked if I was interested in idols. When he brought up the subject, I followed my gut. I instantly knew it would be fun, so I decided to just take a leap of faith!” 

     

    “Moving on, tell us about what you’ve worked on the hardest up until this point in your life.”

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “When I was a student, I tried to balance my studies with my performing arts activities. I had done a little modeling work before I started working as an idol, but once I joined FRUITS ZIPPER I got incredibly busy. My final exams coincided with my prep period and my idol debut! Once I
    overcame all of that and successfully graduated, I felt so much stronger. (laugh)

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “In my teens, I wanted to find a balance between being ‘normal’ and being ‘special.’ 

    From a young age, I had been working in a space where I was surrounded by adults. I think that made me feel special, compared to my peers. 

    But living in that world was difficult as well. There were so many things that I felt I was missing out on–things that I felt I couldn’t catch up to. 

    One day, I was riding the bullet train alone. I lived in Hyogo Prefecture, but I commuted to Tokyo at least three days a week. When I passed by Nagoya, I suddenly got really sick with a fever, and my parents rushed me to the hospital. 

    I remember wondering how adults dealt with things like that. There were so many days that I would call my mom from Yamagata as a fifth-grader, crying my eyes out.

    The world of entertainment is so vastly different from the real world, and I desperately wanted a sense of normalcy. I needed that comfort. I’m not sure what the definition of ‘normal’ is, but I
    guess I didn’t want anyone to take away that innocent childishness from me. Looking back, I worked so incredibly hard to protect it.”

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “During my time as a poster girl for KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU, I worked hard to create a space that people could enjoy. I wanted everyone to leave satisfied and smiling and I wanted them to come back again. Looking back on those days, every day was so happy and the space was just so welcoming. I don’t think that the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE could have been successful without the team members who worked so hard to create the best possible experience. Every moment was heaven.” 

     

    “Thanks for sharing. FRUITS ZIPPER’s concept is “From Harajuku to the World.” If you end up
    going abroad, what would you like to do?” 

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “I’d love to do a special concert in each of the countries I’ve been to. Each concert would be created for each country–we’d wear unique costumes and have unique sets. At the same time, I feel like we can bring Japanese idol culture to the world by staying true to ourselves. I can dream. I want to do something really spectacular!”

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “Right now, I’m working on an educational program called German for Travel. I’ve learned so many phrases, so I’d like to try them out in real life–things like ordering a meal and explaining my thoughts about the food to the waiter. I do a cute dance on the show too, so I’d like to do that with the waiter too! I’m still a little too nervous to try it alone, so I’d ask our half-German member Noel Hayase–who speaks 3.5 languages!–to be next to me the whole time. 

    I’d also like to lay down in the middle of the Sedona desert and see a UFO!”

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “I want us to appear in a major festival! 

    After that, I’d love to represent Japan on the world stage at something like Japan Parade or Japan Expo. I want to spread Japanese idol culture to the world through ‘KAWAII,’ something that’s so universally loved! 

    Personally, I love musicals and theme parks, so I’m hoping to travel a lot in the future.” 

     

     

    “Last question. What is the most important thing about being an idol to you?”

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “Being an idol means always having a goal. It’s more fun and more useful to keep thinking about where I want to go and how I want to be. If I were to take part in idol activities without a goal, I’d lose sight of why I’m doing what I’m doing. I started down this path because I had a goal in mind, and I intend to keep doing so.”

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “I think the most important thing is to make everyone happy and to increase the Earth’s
    vibrations! Human beings can’t be happy-go-lucky every day–we all have our own problems and negative feelings. But I hope that our music, our videos, and our live performances can support everyone during those difficult times. 

    I also think that ‘fun’ is something that spreads from person to person. When I’m performing
    live, I’m truly enjoying myself from the bottom of my heart. The other members can sense
    those honest feelings, and they carry them home to their families, to their friends at school, and maybe to their grandparents who they haven’t seen in a while. That sense of ‘fun’ is contagious–it lets us connect with people. I want everyone to have fun more than anything. Maybe we can make the entire world happy, in time. (laugh)

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “FRUITS ZIPPER wants to give everyone strength and happiness through our activities. Above all else, I value always being energetic and positive, and I always want to have fun!” 

     

    “Thank you so much for chatting with us. Is there anything you’d like to say before we
    conclude?”

     

    –Noel Hayase

    “It’s only been a short time since I debuted and I have zero experience as an idol, so there’s a
    ton that I don’t know. Even still, I have a dream that I want to achieve and I will do my best to achieve it. Because I want to show everyone my dream, I’ll do my best to make it come true
    with energy and a smile. I hope you’ll come along with us and support us as much as you can!”

     

     

     

    –Suzuka Chinzei

    “FRUITS ZIPPER will keep spreading ‘NEW KAWAII’ around the world in all kinds of ways!

    I hope that we can awaken the ‘NEW KAWAII’ that’s been inside of you all along!” 

     

    –Mana Manaka

    “We’re just getting started, but we’re going full speed ahead! I can’t wait until we can travel and meet fans around the world. Through Japanese idol culture and our ‘NEW KAWAII,’ we hope to
    connect the world and bring happiness to everyone we meet!

    From Harajuku to the world!!!”

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