During AFA2015, Singapore was graced with the presence of a number of up and coming young artistes from Japan – considerably notable of which were those who performed in the highly popular ‘P’sLIVE!‘ which gained immense popularity in Japan after two events were carried out in July 2014 and March 2015.
Needless to say, the performers which comprised MICHI, Yumiri Hanamori, Yurika Endou, Shiori Mikami, Maaya Uchida, Ayana Taketatsu, and Suzuko Mimori brought thunder to the Main Stage – bolstering the feverish cheer of Anisong fans.
J-network managed to obtain an exclusive interview featuring MICHI, Yumiri Hanamori, Yurika Endou and Shiori Mikami – providing insight to the lives and aspirations of the new generation of budding artistes from Japan.
Q: How many times have you gone overseas, and how do you feel now that you got to meet your fans outside Japan?
Endou: A year after I made my debut, I did go to Hong Kong once to an event for the anime ‘Ace of Diamond’. For this year, I went to China, Jakarta, and now Singapore. So I guess that makes it four times – for official purposes. I’ve never actually gone overseas other than that. After meeting people outside Japan, I came to realise that Japanese anime is also really popular overseas! And that really makes me want to give it my all.
Hanamori: Indeed, for going overseas, I’ve only went once as part of a school function. For this year, I had gotten the chance to go overseas thrice. The first Los Angeles, the second Indonesia, and the third is Singapore. I first sang overseas during AFA Indonesia, and though its the second time now in Singapore, I still feel quite nervous.
MICHI: For leisure, I’ve went to the Philippines once. For work, I went to Indonesia, and now, Singapore. As for how I feel about meeting fans overseas, I feel that the distance between me and the fans are closer than that of Japan – well, since there are a lot of restrictions during concerts in Japan. With that, I think I’m kind of able to say what I want to say and that makes me really happy. Also, during AFA Indonesia – since I was part of the promotion for ‘Rokka no Yuusha’, I was really glad to know that many out there are watching the show.
Mikami: The first time I went overseas was in 2011when I went to Hong Kong’s C3 event. After that I went overseas two more times for events regarding YuruYuri. I also managed to come to Singapore also due to YuruYuri. As for my thoughts on meeting my fans, I feel that theres a large world out there I’ve never seen which makes me feel quite sentimental.
Q: Now that you are in Singapore, what are your impressions?
Endou: Its my first time in Singapore, so – I guess its the same for every other foreign country I visit – I feel that the buildings here are very different. We haven’t had much time to look around, but I really have this feeling of something like ‘wow, I’m in another country’. In the future, I have this dream to construct this small castle – and that feeling of grandeur is probably what I’m feeling right now.
Hanamori: Yes – we haven’t got a chance to go sightseeing yet, but before I return home I absolutely have to go see the Merlion and after that buy a tonne of souvenirs. I was recommended to buy some herbal soap here.
MICHI: Right now, its really cold in Japan – so I think the warmth of the Singapore is really the best. From what I know, people from many nations come to Singapore – so I was thinking that if I lived here, I would be able to learn many languages. Other than that, I really want to visit the Night Safari and take a look at the Merlion.
Mikami: I was asleep when we arrived in Singapore, and I felt really bleary. When I got to meet the fans in AFA, the amazing atmosphere created by the fans was almost the same – that led me to think that the love for anime is really universal. I’m the only one here who worked one YuruYuri, but being able to come to Singapore makes me really happy and also I really want to see the Merlion. We also talked about it in the bus, but I heard there was a large Ferris Wheel in which you could have dinner – so the next time I’m here I would like to go there. We would love some more time to see Singapore.
Q: What do you do on your free time?
Endou: I stay at home for one whole day and play games. I drink sake and game. Recently, I haven’t got the chance to play Monster Hunter, and would really like to pass my time with it.
Hanamori: For my off-days, just like Endou, I really want to continue with Monster Hunter – but because I’m still a student, I have to complete report after report. Other than that, I’ve got to attend lessons. Before I arrived Singapore, I finished and submitted all of my reports.
MICHI: In Japan, there are places where you can rent comics. I just randomly rent a number and read them. Other than that I like to walk and run. My home skirts a river – so I look at the river and jog. I also shop and watch movies – I’m quite active. For October alone, I read 60 comic volumes. I kind of reduced my sleeping time to read manga and remain active.
Hanamori: Take a nap?
MICHI: I’ll take a nap (laughs).
Mikami: My rest days often begin with me sleeping and not having to stop the alarm clock – I guess its good to experience that kind bliss once in a while.
MICHI: That really is bliss isn’t it.
Mikami: After that I try to go back to sleep, but eventually I’ll wake up after 6 – I’ll do the chores and after that I’ll probably have lunch with friends and find nice things to eat, after all, among all things, I love food. I also want to find nice things to try in Singapore before returning.
Q: What are the anime titles you like, save for the ones you have worked on?
Endou: Of course, I love the anime I’ve worked on the best, but other than those, I like Steins;Gate a lot. Also, for the Shounen-genre anime, I like the shows that screen in the evening in Japan – Naruto.
Hanamori: Similarly, I love the anime I gave my voice to, but right now I like the one currently broadcasting in Japan – One-Punch Man – which I’m quite engrossed with. Saitama is really cool, Sonic is also really dark and cool. My sister and I sometimes wonder whether Tatsumaki is wearing any underwear at all. I even went and bought the whole manga collection for the series.
MICHI: Personally, I really love the shounen-genre battle anime and manga – like the ones from Jump. On top of that, those geared towards Fujoshi. I absolutely love ‘Free!’
Hanamori: You watch that kind of anime!?
MICHI: Yes. I’m really sorry!
MICHI: When I go to the office, there are posters of ‘Free!’ Now there are posters for ‘High Speed!’. When I see them I get really excited. Other than that… I like many titles, but for this season I guess its Noragami, Owari no Seraph. I also love the anime which made me want to be a singer – Guilty Crown. Egoist inspired me.
Mikami: For me, the anime which inspired me to become a voice actor is forever in my heart – they are quite minor works, but they are ‘PoPoLoCRoIS’, and ‘Saber Marionette’. Other than those, I haven’t been able to find any titles which stuck to me, but now I’m watching an anime called ‘Osomatsu-san’.