Riding on the roaring wave of success that is the release of the movie adaptations of their Love Confession Committee series; Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita and Ima Suki ni Naru, CHiCO with HoneyWorks returned to sunny Singapore again this year for Anime Festival Asia 2016! While their main illustrator Yamako was unfortunately absent this year, the team of singers CHiCO and Sana with composers Gom and Shito provided their share of down-to-earth charm during the interview.
Q: Congratulations on the release of Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita! With the release of Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita, how does it feel having the Ima Suki Ni Naru arc having its own movie as well?
Gom: Um…well, the second part [of the series] is going to be released within two months. That movie would be Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan o which would incorporate Ima Suki ni Naru, so in that sense it’s something everyone can look forward to.
Q: Since these movies are centered around the theme of ‘kokuhaku’ (love confession) what are your ideal confession scenarios like?
CHiCO: That’s…pretty difficult isn’t it? (laughing)
Sana: I want that person to tell me directly.
Gom: When you hear it from your friends there’s also that feeling like, ‘doki-doki (nervous) is it true or not?!’
Shito: Well, this is kind of impossible now but, I’d be in the baseball team right? And maybe the girl would be in the tennis team. And then we see each doing what we do in our uniforms and stuff and then she would come up to me and confess to me. That’d be quite nice.
CHiCO: There’s no specific scenario, but to be told ‘I like you.’ in a serious way, that’d be nice.
Q: How was HoneyWorks formed?
Shito: Gom and I used to be in a band, and we started out covering other peoples’ songs. But then, we decided that we wanted to create our own original music as well so that’s when we started to use Vocaloid to create that music. That’s how HoneyWorks came about.
Q: How does it feel having HoneyWorks getting globally recognised with sphere performing one of the songs from the movie at Anime Expo and the HoneyWorks movie being aired in AFA?
Gom: There’s a bit of a language barrier, since Japanese isn’t very widely spoken in Singapore. But music, anime and manga bring people together and it’s interesting and heartwarming to see that happen. Hopefully, we can continue doing this and bring even more people together.
Q: Is there anybody who influenced your style of music?
CHiCO: Um, anime…(pauses, trying to think) For anime song artistes, like LiSA – I think that the way she performs, and her voice is very powerful. I was inspired to be a performer like that because seeing her perform live feels powerful.
Q: Between last year and this year, have you ever thought of using other Vocaloids in your music? (HoneyWorks mainly uses GUMI and Hatsune Miku)
Shito: The Vocaloid FUKASE (a voicebank based off FUKASE from J-Rock band Sekai no Owari) isn’t a character who has been confirmed yet but we think that his voice is really nice so we would consider using him.
Gom: But, you’d notice that we still use GUMI often.
Q: Do you intend on continuing the series of works set in the Confession Executive Committee Love series universe with new couples etc.?
Shito: Hmm…well, the Suki ni Naru Sono Shukan o movie does contain some hints with regard to that question so you should go watch it.
Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Shito: I…wanted to say something cool here and impress everybody but…you can imagine me sitting in front of the computer and thinking desperately for ideas. Ah, I try to look for ideas in dramas and stuff though.
Q: Many stories centered around romance these days are very dramatic and bittersweet, even if they are set in high school. However, the stories of the couples in the Confession Executive Committee Love series are comparatively quite light-hearted and fluffy (fuwa-fuwa). What made you want to write these kinds of stories?
Gom: Our other member, Yamako (their main illustrator) has a more shojo style in her illustrations so that probably ends up influencing the storyline too.
Q: Are there any particular anime or manga you were inspired by when thinking up the Confession Executive Committee Love series stories?
Shito: We’re huge fans of Sakisaka-sensei’s (Sakisaka Io, the mangaka behind Ao Haru Ride and Strobe Edge) works like Ao Haru Ride, so those works were a huge inspiration when we were creating the series.
Q: Out of all the pairings in the Confession Executive Committee Love series, which are your favorites?
Shito: Sana, how about you?
Sana: I like Haruki and Miou because…I can see the pure love between them, and I like that.
CHiCO: As for myself…I like Akari and Souta because Akari is more…she just doesn’t ‘get it’ sometimes and she’s kind of ‘off’ in that sense and Souta is trying so hard on his end. I think that’s very cute.
Shito: (resolutely) I like Akari. Her face is my type. She’s very big in my heart right now.
Gom: I like Natsuki and Yuu. I see a lot of myself in Yuu – since he’s an ikemen. (laughter)
Q: Your music has been described as ‘positive rock’. Have you ever considered trying out other genres?
Shito: EDM, maybe. Hopefully you’ll be able to listen to that soon…this is when you’re supposed to laugh. (we laugh)
Q: Last year, you told us that you were interested in creating new song series based on the world of idols. Are any of you fans of any particular idol group?
Shito: Nogizaka46. I like them a lot.
Q: Are the characters in the series based on your ‘types’ of girls and guys?
Gom: Of course, the kind of people we like might play a part but we also take into consideration like – ‘what kind of girl would be good in this sort of situation?’ and then create the characters.
Q: For CHiCO and Sana, what do you usually do in your free time?
Sana: I like to draw!
CHiCO: I like to game, stuff like Final Fantasy! I really like RPGs – I’d spend New Year’s playing for six hours straight.
We’re looking forward to seeing more from HoneyWorks! For those interested in learning more about them, we interviewed them last year too, and you can read their interview here!