Interview: [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLSby Kalai Chik,
Returning with new members, THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS gave fans a night to remember before the clock hit midnight. Featuring a new set of six talented performers (Yui Makino, Ruriko Aoki, Rei Matsuzaki, Kotomi Aihara, Tomoyo Kurosawa, and Yuko Iida), the all star idol group began the night with an explosion of energy. [email protected] Producers and fans alike waved their towels and light sticks along with the songs and elaborate skits during the group's performance.
Before their stunning performance, CINDERELLA GIRLS hopped off their plane and shared a conversation with Anime News Network. For some, this year's performance was their first ever performance outside of Japan and they expressed how excited they were to be at Anisong World Matsuri. For those returning to Los Angeles, the idols wanted to make sure they came back with a show that wouldn't disappoint.
ANN: For those who are here for the first time, what are you most excited about for your performance?
Ruriko Aoki: This is the first time I've ever performed in the USA. I don't feel any pressure or nervousness, which is great! As my introductory performance, I want to make a good first impression.
Kotomi Aihara: It's the first time for me too, and I'm really excited about it!
For those who came last time, what is it like to come back and what do you want to do differently this time?
Tomoyo Kurosawa: I feel like the setlist we brought to LA this time around is more focused on individual characters and each character's personality. Last time we were here, we only had group songs; no solos or duets. This time, we have three songs that are more tailored and focused for each individual character. I'm really excited to show more about the characters through the performance this time.
What is it like to perform as an idol on stage vs. when you're voicing your character for the anime/mobile game?
Yuuko Iida: There's not much of a difference between the medium regarding the games and the anime. Regarding when I'm performing live in concert—since I'm the realization of my character—I try to change up my standing position or my posture so that I look more like my character to not disappoint my Producers. Being and staying in character is something I'm constantly conscious and aware of.
What about your character would you would like more people, Producers and fans alike, to know about?
Tomoyo Kurosawa: We had a performance in Taiwan this year, and there was a track called “Vast World,” and through that concert performance, I feel like there's so many more global fans out there that we acquired thanks to that opportunity. Beyond Japan, I feel like we're becoming more known, and it's wonderful. I think that anime is already out there internationally, but the popularity of live concerts and music is still catching up to the animation itself. That's something I'd like to be able to be part and hope to see for THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS and for THE [email protected] as a whole.
Ruriko Aoki: There are about 190+ characters, which includes characters that haven't been assigned voice actors yet. In that sense, I'm looking forward to having more development through [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS.
What's your impression of THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS Producers (fans) here in America?
Yuko Iida: Last year I really felt that the energy from our fans is very powerful here in America compared to Producers in Japan. It's very straightforward with the Producers in America cheering and screaming, “I love you!” with their hands in the air. I could feel the hardcore intensity and love radiating from them.
Do you have a message for your fans who have come to LA this weekend for the concert?
Yui Makino: In response to Yuko's comment earlier, Producers out here are very powerful and straightforward about expressing their love towards CINDERELLA GIRLS. I feel like my character Mayu, in particular, is very very deep in expressing her love too. I want to be competing with that emotion from the crowd. There should be a battle of deep love and appreciation vs. big love and passion, and that energy is going to be so enormous it might set Los Angeles on fire.
Our thanks to [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS and Anisong World Matsuri for this opportunity.