2015 December 25
Sakura Gakuin is gaining in even added momentum following the conclusion of their ‘Sakura Gakuin 5th Anniversay LIVE ~ for you ~’ which is a live performance celebrating 5th anniversary held on December 5th and 6th. Commenting on this 2 day live performance which displayed among a variety of topics, a surprise appearance by graduate students and a new song are the 4 members of Jr. High 3rd grader, Shirai Saki, 1st graders, Yamaide Aiko and Okada Megumi as well as Elementary school 6th grader, Hidaka Marin. Without getting too heavy and overbearing and in the backdrop of our Entame NEXT unique soft and gentle mood the girls talk about ‘How the 5th anniversary live show’ really was occasionally saying some silly and fun comments. With that, we hope you will enjoy the talk!
*The interview was carried out on December 7th.
–Thank you all for your hard work on the 2-day 5th anniversary live performance. I totally enjoyed all the shows over the 2 days, but especially the skit that was performed early in the first day show following the opening ‘Chime’ was really excellent. I am sure that other than the seasoned seniors there must have been many Fukei-san who were unsure about what is the truth and what is not concerning this remake of the performances of first the 2011 Nendo graduates Horiuchi Marina-san and Satou Hinata-san and then Kikuchi Moa-san and Mizuno Yui-san.
Okada Megumi – (Hereafter referred to as Okada) We practiced pretending to fail a lot!
Yamaide Aiko – (Hereafter referred to as Yamaide) That looked really hard to perform.
— The Sakura-demy <Play on academy> award winning level of performance made the Fukei-san in attendance scream out with spontaneous calls of ‘Megu!’ and ‘Megu, Ganbare!’ (Laughs)
Okada – That is true. Somehow or other I feel I need to say sorry….
Yamaide – Yes, but actually it is more difficult to perform a mistaken skit that a real one, you know (Laughs)
— That is so. To perform a song like this that has been presented so many times and to do it in such a dramatic way and deliberately make mistakes is just about unheard of.
Okada – That is so but in the end I myself felt I couldn’t tell which was real and which was the mistaken version (gives a wry smile).
— Absolutely. That situation where you start off with a mistake and go on to further fall apart was amazing and it seemed so real including your facial expressions.
Shirai Saki – (Hereafter referred to as Shirai) Yes! That was so well done!
Jr. High 3rd grader
3rd Talk Chairperson/member of Purchasing club
— Of course your FRIENDS BARI friendship performance after that with Yamaide-san was really impressive. Have you perhaps polished your acting abilities since receiving the Sakura-demi award at the School Festival?
Yamaide – Really? No, not at all, you know.
Shirai – However, Aiko also did a lot of training.
Yamaide – I was practicing up until 10 minutes before opening curtain.
Okada and Yamaide – (Voices in perfect harmony) We were practicing together!
— You lined up perfectly there (Laughs)
All together – (Thunderous laughter)
— OK, lets get back on track. Could you tell us your impressions of the 2 days?
Hidaka Marin – (Hereafter referred to as Hidaka) On both of the 2 days we were able to present our new song, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ <A sparkling shard> and I really felt like we ‘became unified as one’ with the Fukei-san who cheered us on at the concert hall and with the Fukei-san who were watching through live viewing. It all made me happy and I had a really fun time.
— Of course ‘Song for smiling’ which makes great use of your proficient English abilities was fantastic, but I personally was blown away by the scene where you sing after coming through the door when you are called ‘Wa ~tashi yo ~bu ~ koe ~’ <a voice that calls me>.
Hidaka – Thank you so much! (Said shyly)
Yamaide – I was able to perform with Megu (Okada Megumi) and there were many songs we performed for the first time in this show, but I was so very happy to be able to revitalize the song ‘Let’s Dance’ which is a particularly traditional song in the stock of Sakura Gakuin songs and was only performed once by the 2011 Nendo unit. Additionaly, the fact that this show was shown as an opportunity for people to watch in live viewing which is something we had not even imagined could be realized made us so happy to know that people all over Japan who wanted to see us live could watch the show!
Jr. High school 1st grader
Member of the cooking club, ‘Mini pati’ and the baton club ‘Twinklestars’
— I am sure that the Fukei-san living around the country and those in the Kantou area where you are not able to travel to so easily were very happy. By the way, of all the Sakura Gakuin songs the one that is perhaps the most difficult to dance to is ‘Let’s Dance’.
Yamaide – That is so. While there is also the song ‘Motte Ike! Sailor Fuku’ I am sure the coaches feel that this one is really difficult as well.
Okada – I also really practiced this at home. I am not so good at squating down and moving….on many occasions I asked my mother to watch my movements and give me advice. My grandmother would watch me and say, ‘You need to lower your hips more!’. (Laughs)
— You wrote about that in your diary as well, right? I find it hard to believe that someone like you who has studied how to lower your hips and move with your center of gravity lowered would find this too difficult. Regardless, I am sure that your mother and grandmother must have been able to watch this actual scene on the stage with ease.
Okada – Aiko also said the same worried whether I would be able to perform this part of the scene or not. But doing the performance… if at all possible I came to like Aiko even more.
— So, as we assumed you two are actually really fond of each other, right?
Everyone – (Loud laughter)
Yamaide – (Speaking shyly but with force) We are not so in love with each other’ (Laughs)
Shirai – But just this morning you were chopping at Megu, right?
Yamaide – Today she said ‘I am really busy so could you buy lunch for me?’. I bought what she wanted but in the end she forgot that she had asked me to do so and she went out and bought lunch on her own. That is why I hit her with a cross chop!
— I see. The chop is not like the ‘Bop on the head’ like you see in girl’s Manga but more like the graduate student Taguchi Hana’s chop ‘with both hands formed into one’. And recently I see so many pictures of the two of you together in your recent diaries.
Shirai – Recently they are in love once again.
Okada – Yes, recently we are in love, you know.
Shirai – (While smiling with a malicious looking smile) But, I am sure your period of tedium will come in the near future, don’t you think?
Everyone – (Laughter)
Yamaide – Meg getting all close to me…is ….you know a bit….yucky, you know (Said with a wry laugh)
Shirai – Ahh…that means that Aiko’s period of tedium has already arrived perhaps.
Okada – (Hugging Aiko sitting next to her with a look of surprise) Eh!
Yamaide – I am not good at her sticking next to me like this (wry laughter)
Okada – (separating from Aiko with a look of loneliness) I hear you.
Shirai – You both have to adjust to each other mutually.
— Shirai-san, you really seem to be grown up. When we got into the sticking love flow of talk just before, Yamaide-san seemed to try to not make eye contact with Okada-san. (Laughs) Well, let us try to be a bit conscious of the spacial distance with our partners, Okada-san. And so, next, on to the Talk Chairperson, Shirai-san!
Shirai – This performance the new Nendo members had a number of new songs to perform including ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ and ‘Let’s Dance’ as part of a really content packed performance. And although we had less time to practice than we had with the School Festival leading us to be running against the clock, I was so happy that we were able to perform all the songs without mishap!
— The songwriter and lyricist for the the new song that we mentioned before, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ is cAnON.-san. In the ‘OVERTURE vol. 005’ that goes on sale this month features a dialouge between Mori Yuriko-san and cAnON.-san in the Sakura Gakuin special. For that feature I asked a bit about this song and apparently this is ‘cAnON. Verse on full steam ahead and is created as a song perfect for the Sakura Gakuin 5th anniversary live show.
Shiari – It really is a great song.
Hidaka – It is a good song, you know.
Okada – It is truly a masterpiece.
Yamaide – Or better said, every song of Sakura Gakuin is a masterpiece!
— THAT is so true! By the way, when I asked them about this song in their dialouge they answered that it is a song that is a ‘summation of the 5 years of Sakura Gakuin’s history’. So, how about singing this song? When you actually sing it, is it a difficult song to sing?
Shirai – Hmm.. I wonder …. It is broken up minutely into parts with each grade singing a separate part and so I feel it is really interesting. Perhaps?
Yamaide – If you read each line one by one you realize that there is a lot of nuance included in the lyrics so you can read a lot of variation into it and so it is both difficult and at the same time, interesting.
— As we are now, we all hope you will plow ahead singing in the remaining live performances. We hope you will bring out your attractiveness to its full potential. Also, both day’s shows featured the surprise appearance of SG graduates. The 2013 graduates also seemed really happy and healthy in the video message they sent.
Shirai – Yes, they all looked so happy.
Yamaide – So incredibly happy! (Laughs)
— And especially it was so long since the last time that Sugisaki Nene-san showed herself to the Fukei-san, and it was so wonderful to see the initial Sakura Gakuin students of Miyoshi Ayaka-san and Matsui Airi-san come out and sing together with you.
Shirai – That is so true. But this time there were many graduates who are so busy that they could not come to the event. But that can not be helped.
Yamaide – True, but Nenedon came.
Okada – And, Raura-chan….
Hidaka – And (Honjo) Yunano-chan as well!
Jr. High 1st grader, Science club (Lojika?)
— And in the midst of their busy lives there are the Senpai who came to cheer us on at the concert hall and there are Senpai who are busy traveling along their own SuperLady paths who support us from the sidelines. I think the ‘Sakura Gakuin bond’ was conveyed firmly to the Fukei-san as well. Next, from your viewpoint of being a ‘presently active Fukei/Shirai Saki’, could you reflect on this 5th year anniversary live show?
Shirai – Wow, there are so many things to talk about. First of all, ‘Let’s Dance’. I think this was quite a highlight of this show. Since the average age of the members this time was so young, I frankly think that many people did not assume we could perform to this level. And so one stand out point was that we were able to show this gap between expectation and to what degree we were able to really sing and dance. Further, ‘Wonderful Journey’ which we sang as a medley is one of my favorite songs to dance and perform. It made me so happy to enjoy this song that I like so much as the Fukei-san waved their flags along with us. And so, next time I hope we can perform a full version of the song.
— I see. So in the end this ‘Raura problem’ was masterfully avoided and has not been resolved completely. By all means I hope that you will be able to perform in full someday (Looking somewhat towards the teacher’s room).
Shirai – Let’s do it!
Yamaide and Okada and Hidaka – Lets, lets do it!!
Teacher’s room – That is fine, IF you have a way to resolve the ‘Raura problem’.
Shirai – So, that is why I thought about this, right?!
Yamaide – Raura-chan could come and sing with us. Each time (Laughs).
— Just for 1 song?! Well, anyway, that could be the next graduate student appearance. Lets look forward to that perhaps happening next time (Laughs). But, she did come to teach you for ‘Let’s Dance’, right? Was she strict?
Shirai – Yes!
Okada – Yes, she was.
Hidaka – Bishibashi! (Doing a gesture like swinging a whip).
Yamaide – But, that is not actually true, don’t you think? I think she was really kind…
Elementary school 6th grader, Cooking club ‘Mini pati’
— Does that mean that she was scary when she was an active member?
Yamaide – It is not really like that (smiles wryly). There is an image that Raura-chan = scary regarding new students but rather I would say she kind of, ‘puts one into high attention mode’.
Shirai – It is true that all the new transfer students say that but in actuality it is not so, I think.
Yamaide – In my case it may be because I had one full year to perform and study with her that I felt she was extremely friendly.
Okada – Yes, she would teach us each part piece by piece in detail.
— From the viewpoint of the transfer students this Nendo she would perhaps come across as being a bit of an older Senpai and have a bit of a strict image. How do you feel, Hidaka-san?
Hidaka – (in a soft tone) Yeeees.
— For you, Hidaka-san, how was this 5th anniversary live performance?
Hidaka – A 5th year anniversary….(drops into deep contemplation as she moves her hands in mysterious way as if pulling something out of the air)
Shirai – We were often paired up in the songs we performed this time. That goes for the dance in ‘Mikansei Silhouette’ and the new song, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ as well.
Hidaka – There are so many times when I get paired up with C-chan, and when we make eye contact and sing, ‘I am about to be caught, I feel I am about to be swallowed up’, we grip each others hands firmly, ‘Gyuggyu’. (Laughs)
— Is that a secret type of play only for the two of you?
Shirai – You could say ‘play’ but it is more of a type of communication.
Okada – If we are going to talk about this, then I can say WE do it as well.
Yamaide – We do it ‘SOMETIMES’ only.
Okada – We do it ‘ALL THE TIME’!!
— What is this? Are you trying to make a plea for the ‘in love’ theme again?
Yamaide – No, I don’t want to draw attention to that (Wry smile)
Shirai – ‘Noroke’ <Showing off their love> (Laughs)
Yamaide – It is not something to draw attention to but the Sakura Gakuin members decide the things that they want to enjoy we each other all by themselves.
— You also face each other and make eye contact, don’t you.
Shirai – That’s right. In Sakura Gakuin we pair up and also often do choreography with the members all entwined together and these are things that I hope everyone will pay close attention to and enjoy in our shows.
— Next time we will pay close attention! By the way, recently Yamaide-san is really quiet and reserved. Before I think you were more aggressive.
Yamaide – Eh, really?! Personally I have no intention of being like that.
Shirai – She is not aware of it herself.
Hidaka – Eh, Aiko-chan is always so bursting with excited energy, right?
— Hearing that I would love to play the recording of our last interview for Hidaka-san. Especially in the open class on physics….
Shirai – That is true. In the past she was really talkative! (Laughs)
Yamaide – (Quite seriously) Just knock it off! I was a bit strange at those times. I was just
full of nervous energy…(Laughs quietly)
Okada – Ah, ah at that time Aiko was really going off the wall. I remember that!
— Well, anyway that is one of the special characteristics of the period of growth.
Yamaide – I have grown up! I don’t know how to express it but…(Laughs)
— Alright, lets return to the subject of the 5th anniversary live show. How many songs did you perform for the first time again?
Shirai – There were many.
Everyone in unison – ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Jump Up ~ Chiisana Yuuki ~’, Sleepwonder’, ‘Mikansei Silhouette’, Kirameki no Kakera’!
Yamaide – So, there were 5 songs we performed for the first time.
— Concerning one of those songs, ‘Sleepwonder’, last year Taguchi-san caused a stir by asking who would be in charge of playing the role of the ill mannered cat. Are you all OK with Maaya-san being chosen to do so?
Okada – ‘Nyannyan’ feeling (said like a car purring)
Hidaka – (With cat like gestures) Nyannyan.
— Why is it that Hidaka-san has jumped on the phrase that Maaya-san uses in her diaries so often? (Laughs)
Okada – This cat has a different kind of a Nyannyan feeling to it but it does resemble Maaya a bit.
Yamaide – Since Maaya can act out as an energetic cat as well as a silly cat she is really perfect for that role, I feel.
— Yamaide-san, didn’t you want to do that role?
Yamaide – If asked for directions this cat would not respond. It is kind of an ill natured cat, right? That kind of cat….
Shirai – What, do you mean your image would be tarnished if you did that kind of role?
Yamaide – That is not what I meant! (Laughs)
Everyone – (Big laugh)
Yamaide – Conversely I thought that image ‘would be suitable for me perhaps’ but cats have slanted eyes and that differs in looks from me.
Okada – You have droopy eyes. That is right.
— So that means that you are all convinced she was the right selection, right?
Everyone – (Again with voices in unison) Yes!!
— Speaking of first performances, we can not forget about the medley that came up a bit ago in Shirai-san’s comments. However, that was a totally new linkage. The editor of ‘OVERTURE’ was expecting to hear his/her favorites, ‘Otome Gokoro’ and ‘Kita!’ but the medley ended before they appeared. (Laughs)
Everyone – (Big laughter)
Shirai – Right, just he first part, ‘Uouuou’ (Laughs).
— When you practice for medleys do you practice each respective song in whole or do you practice with them lined up in connection?
Shirai – In a connected state. Since there are no gaps it is quite difficult to work out the breathing between each part.
Hidaka – Yes, you get out of breath…
Shirai – Also, you have to move into different formations one after the other.
Okada – But, it was a lot of fun.
Everyone – It was fun.
— As Shirai-san wrote in her diary it would be great if you can fulfill her desire to perform all of the songs in the good condition you are all in now.
Hidaka – I would love to make that happen!
Shirai – In a medley you do part by part including ‘Otome Gokoro’ (Laughs). It would be wonderful to at least put parts of each song in. That of course includes ‘Sakura Hyakunin Isshu’!
— If you do it in a ‘Otome Gokoro’ format bit by bit, it just might be possible.
Yamaide – Yeah, like just have the introduction play and not sing or something like that. (Laughs)
— Yes, just dance the first choreography and finish (Laughs). By the way, is there in existence a choreography for ‘Sakura Hyakunin Isshu’?
Shirai – Yes! It ‘seems’ there is one.
Yamaide – But, only Rinon-chan knows it.
Shirai – That is right. There are no video images of it.
— By all means please convey that to us by the time you graduate. I hope you will make part of your tradition from next year on!
Yamaide Aiko, Okada Megumi, Shirai Saki, Hidaka Marin