By Matthew Czubakowski
This July in Los Angeles, Anime Expo kicked off the second year of Anisong World Matsuri with a pair of concerts showcasing several of Japan’s most popular anime idol groups and anisong artists, including six of the voice actresses from THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS.
We talked with Hiromi Igarashi (Anzu Futaba), Rei Matsuzaki (Kirari Moroboshi), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Miria Akagi), Haruka Yoshimura (Mika Jougasaki), Yuuko Iida (Kanade Hayami), and Asami Takano (Frederica Miyamoto) before their first show in America.
What are you most excited about for your performance at Anisong World Matsuri’s Japan Kawaii Live in Los Angeles?
Haruka (Mika): We’re looking forward to meeting more Producers in Los Angeles, and we’re really excited, not only for the Producers, but for the other fans and people out here in the US!
Outside of the performance, what are you excited about doing in Los Angeles?
Asami (Frederica): I really enjoyed yesterday when we went to get burgers at In-N-Out!
Yuuko (Kanade): I went to see the Hollywood sign! It was really a ‘Wow!’ moment when I saw that this thing I always see in the movies really exists.
Every producer has their own favorite, but what are your favorite CINDERELLA GIRLS songs?
Hiromi (Anzu): My favorite out of the CINDERELLA GIRLS songs is “shabon song.” It’s really cute! (Everyone else agrees.)
What has been your favorite part of the 5th Live tour, and what are you excited about for the upcoming shows?
Tomoyo (Miria): Compared to the other tours and shows we’ve done before, I think this one is different and special. Normally, the director tells us ‘do this’ or ‘try that,’ but with the 5th Live Tour, we were more proactive about doing interpretations of the songs on our own. Even when some of us aren’t present for a specific performance, we can still really synchronize because we’ve thought a lot about our interpretation. That’s the reason it felt different this time around, and we’re really looking forward to doing something similar in the future.
Were there any differences in atmosphere between recording the original CINDERELLA GIRLS anime and CINDERELLA GIRLS Theater?
Rei (Kirari): There’s not much of a difference between the original CINDERELLA GIRLS anime and CINDERELLA GIRLS Theater when we’re playing our characters, but since Theater has about 90 characters versus only a couple dozen in the original anime, there’s a major difference in atmosphere.
What do you like the most about your character?
Asami (Frederica): I really like Frederica’s positivity, her strength, and her boldness.
Yuuko (Kanade): Kanade’s only 17, but she’s really mature for her age. It’s a tough and sensitive age for a girl, but Kanade acts really professional and cool, which makes me want to support her as a fan myself.
Haruka (Mika): Mika’s a ‘gyaru,’ but she always wants to be not only one of the top idols but #1 out of everybody, which is kind of rare for a Japanese girl. I think Mika also has a really clear and vivid vision of herself, and she makes a tremendous effort to be who she wants to be. That’s something I aspire to.
Tomoyo (Miria): Miria’s only in Elementary school within the Japanese education system, so she’s super young. She’s very innocent and pure, but she does great with her idol job, which I really like about her.
Rei (Kirari): Kirari’s about six feet tall, and she’s really into kawaii things like Harajuku fashion. She’s really sweet, and despite people online saying “Oh, you like that kind of fashion even though you’re that tall?”, Kirari is always true to herself. No matter what, she sticks to her favorite things for her style, which is what I love about her.
Hiromi (Anzu): Anzu hates working and loves sleeping, so a lot of people might see her as kind of a loser. When she’s actually participating in idol work, though, she’s really responsible and professional about it, which is something I really like. My favorite part is how Anzu’s actually really smart about a lot of things, too.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans in America and around the world?
Haruka (Mika): For the CINDERELLA GIRLS project, we have a lot of ideas about how we want to spread our songs and love outside of Japan and into the rest of the world. This performance in Los Angeles is actually making these dreams come true, and we’re really happy to be a part of it. We’re so excited for our Producers and fans in America to see us perform!
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Anisong World Matsuri continues with two shows at Otakon featuring JAM Project and T.M.Revolution on August 11th and Yousei Teikoku and FLOW on August 12th.
Anisong World Matsuri at Otakon 2017
Date: August 11 & 12
Venue: Washington, D.C. – Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Lineup: FLOW, JAM Project, T.M. Revolution, Yousei Teikoku