Interview with THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS

interview - 29.06.2018 19:00

Yui Makino, Ruriko Aoki, Rei Matsuzaki, Kotomi Aihara, Yuko Iida and Tomoyo Kurosawa speak about their characters, their ambitions, and what it means to be part of the IDOLM@STER franchise.

Anisong World Matsuri has swiftly made a name for itself by bringing the spectacle and ambition of Japanese anisong concerts across the Pacific to long-starved American audiences. Every event promises some big names, and few are bigger than IDOLM@STER. One of Japan’s most successful idol franchises, the series churns almost as many new idols as it does hit songs. CINDERELLA GIRLS in particular is packed with characters, and the vocal talents behind five of them have been selected to represent the series at Anisong World Matsuri 2018. JaME spoke briefly with the girls about their characters, their ambitions, and what it means to be part of the IDOLM@STER franchise.

What feeling do you get when you sing Onegai! Cinderella as the last song for a live audience? What do you think is special about this song?

Ruriko Aoki: At the end of the concert, I sing with full gratitude to the producers who came to watch. It’s been a song that represents CINDERELLA GIRLS since the early days and there are many parts that embody the emotions and attitudes of the idols, so I feel that “This is CINDERELLA GIRLS!” when I sing. Personally the part I like the best is "I cannot finish my dream with a dream."

Yuko Iida: When I sing this song, it makes me realize that I’m standing on stage as one of the members of CINDERELLA GIRLS and I’m filled with gratitude to all producers who accept me and Kanade Hayami’s performance! In the song Onegai! Cinderella, there’s a line that says “It won’t start with just me, we can change by connecting with your wish.” It’s my favorite because it makes me feel like I’m singing about our relationship with the producers who support us so much. I can look directly at the audience while I’m singing, so I always try to sing with gratitude at the end of a concert!



In what way do you personally connect with your characters? Do you ever find yourself acting like your character in your daily life?

Yui Makino: My behavior may be different from the character I portray, Mayu Sakuma. She has so much love for the producers. Especially, I think she has tremendous pride and ambition for her work as an idol. I constantly feel like I have to follow her work ethic with full respect!

Kotomi Aihara: For me, Shiki is a really perfect girl as an idol and no matter how much I try, I can’t be her. On the other hand, I think that I want to understand her “ordinary girl" side more than anyone, I believe I’m getting closer to that. There are parts of her where I’m quite similar to Shiki-chan, like how I relentlessly pursue anything that interests me or how I like anything that’s fun. Basically, in general I become someone who says “Oh well! Nyahaha~” We’re both blood type O and are not picky about things! We both have a strong sense of smell. However, one thing that I can definitely tell is different from her is that I’m not as gifted as her.



What is the biggest challenge for you to sing in-character? What changes do you make compared to how you would sing normally?

Rei Matsuzaki: I think about showcasing her cheerful and cute characteristics of course, but I’m always trying to show a new side of her as well. I challenge myself every time so all the P-chan listening would be happy and can feel Kirari’s cute smile.

Kotomi Aihara: Shiki's voice quality is a bit different from my own voice. I also sing in a voice style that I normally wouldn’t use. My emotions are not so different from when I’m acting, but what I keep in mind is "to sing like I talk". I want people to recognize Shiki-chan right away, so it’s my number one priority to bring her to life perfectly!

Tomoyo Kurosawa: Miria is a young girl, so I’m always trying to look like I’m having fun, rather than worrying too much about singing well. I focus on my emotions, so even when I’m singing, I laugh when I’m happy or express shock when I’m surprised.

If you could choose one song of THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS to perform, which one group song would do you like to perform the most and why?

Yuko Iida: Personally, there are many songs that I like to sing, but what I would like to sing as Kanade Hayami is Love∞Destiny! I think the music and choreography will suit Kanade. On the other hand, it can bring out a different side of Kanade because of the emotions conveyed in the lyrics.

Ruriko Aoki: It’s Shabon Song. I really like this song, so if I choose it, I might be to sing it.



What is one thing you’d like the whole world to know about THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS?

Rei Matsuzaki: I’ll be happy if people get to know the CINDERELLA GIRLS as full of personality and hard workers. Every single idol is shining!

Tomoyo Kurosawa: Even in games, animation, and concerts, I don’t know any other group as unique as CINDERELLA GIRLS, in spite of the number of idols belonging to one group. Even though it’s a one-group concert, I think that it feels like a festival because of the many unique individuals and that’s what makes the CINDERELLA GIRLS' live show interesting. I’ll be happy if you can feel that part! Let's have fun together!

Yui Makino: I think CINDERELLA GIRLS have a lot of cute, cool, and passionate idols. Those idols have so much charm, so please continue producing them. And please love Mayu Sakuma!

JaME would like to thank THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, Anisong World Matsuri and Resonance Media for this interview opportunity.

THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS perform live at Anisong World Matsuri at Anime Expo on July 7th, 2018.



Links
Anisong World Matsuri: http://www.anime-expo.org/anisong-world-matsuri/
THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS Official Website: http://idolmaster.jp/
THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/imas_official
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