Macross Singer Mari Iijima Discusses Regrets Over Quitting Piano Career
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Singer and voice actress Mari Iijima wrote a series of blog posts starting from last Saturday discussing her past history as a piano player in high school. She had once been very skilled at the piano, to the extent that she thought she would make a career out of it, but her fate changed when she took the audition for Super Dimension Fortress Macross and landed the role of Lynn Minmay. To this day, she still feels some regret over how her life's direction completely changed.
"Back then, I was just as much—no, even more—of a perfectionist towards music than I am now," she wrote. "No matter how much practice I did or many awards I got, I was never able to play perfectly. In truth, even professional pianists feel the same way, but I felt like I was the only one who was lacking. I was always stepping off the stage with a frumpy face. Just when I was at the point when I could have made it as a pianist with just a little more work, I made a demo tape of almost 100 songs and escaped into the world of pop music. I feel regret when I think about it now."
She notes that she's always had something of an identity crisis over her image as an artist, and expressed frustration over comments insinuating that she only became a singer due to her success as a voice actor. If she had continued as a pianist, she would never have had to struggle with her image. On the other hand, she is glad that her singing voice was able to soothe people in some ways.
The impetus for the posts was a comment she received on a video she uploaded on 2007 showing herself playing the piano as a high school sophomore. She thought that she had privated the video long ago, so she was surprised that it was still up. She was also recently reminded of the passing of two of her former piano teachers last year. The posts detail her journey as a musician, from her middle school days to when she gave up on an exchange trip to Germany and dropped out of university, and she reflected on the strong impact her music teachers had on her.
Iijima is perhaps best known as the voice of Lynn Minmay, the pivotal idol singer in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross television anime, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? film, and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 original video anime. She wrote her 1983 debut album Rosé herself, and Ryuichi Sakamoto produced the album. Since then, she has released 25 studio albums. Her latest album, Chaos and Stillness, shipped in January 2018.