Japanese idol group Wasuta (The World Standard) has released the music video for their new digital single “Tapioca Milk Tea”.
The song’s theme was inspired by Taiki Kudo from Da-iCE, who played a part in providing music for Wasuta’s recent solo live concert. After the performance, Taiki gave the members tapioca milk tea to drink, sparking the new collaboration with lyrics and production by SHIROSE from WHITE JAM — whose work includes over 20 #1 hits and songs for top artists AAA, SUPER JUNIOR, KAT-TUN, Ms.OOJA, KARA, and others — to create a high-energy, “kawaii” pop song perfect for summertime.
Watch the video here (w/English subtitles):
わーすた / タピオカミルクティー MUSIC VIDEO （Wasuta / Tapioca Milk Tea） - YouTube
Wasuta’s colorful costumes, designed by Japan’s “Kawaii Ambassador” Yu Kimura, feature caricatures of tapioca milk tea brought to life. Pulling influence from Asian culture (including Taiwan, the birthplace of milk tea), the girls’ dance outfits are inlaid with bubbles of “tapioca”, finished off with a straw “tail” to convey the delicious excitement of the popular drink.
For “Tapioca Milk Tea” (Wasuta’s first on-location MV shoot), the members took a stroll and danced through Harajuku, the birthplace of Japan’s kawaii culture, in full costume with their trademark cat ears. Wasuta enjoyed giving a special surprise treat to many international tourists who took photos and videos of the group as they danced with tapioca milk teas held high through busy locations like Harajuku’s main street, JR Harajuku Station, and Ura-Hara Cat Street.
“Tapioca Milk Tea” will also be included in the group’s upcoming mini-album JUMPING SUMMER, scheduled for release on June 20.
On April 11, Kamen Joshi member Tomoka Igari was hospitalized following an accident where a sudden gust of wind blew over a signboard which collapsed on top of her, causing injuries to her head, legs, and spine.
After several weeks of private discussions with Igari, her family, and her doctors, Kamen Joshi’s management issued a statement this week on the group’s website:
“Regarding Tomoka Igari of Kamen Joshi:
Tomoka Igari was involved in an accident when a strong wind smashed her spine and caused a serious spinal cord injury. She is currently paralyzed in her lower body and cannot move her legs on her own. She will be in a wheelchair from now on, and will be hospitalized for three months to begin rehabilitation. Tomoka will continue to be a member of Kamen Joshi and we will support her wishes. We are truly sorry the report was delayed. Please support Tomoka with us.”
Tomoka gave an extensive first-hand explanation of her situation on her personal blog, detailing her positive outlook on life and her goal to become Kamen Joshi’s first wheelchair performer.
(full translation below)
It’s been a while. Hi. It’s Tomoka Igari of Kamen Joshi.
I’m terribly sorry I caused so much worry after my accident. On April 11th, I was crushed by a sign blown by a strong wind. It was a very windy day. It seems it was reported on the news that every part of Japan was windy that day.
I was taking a walk as usual. Then I felt a strong wind and saw the huge sign collapsing toward me. The signboard was so big that I could not get away quickly.
It smashed on top of me. I did my best to scream “Help…!” as much as I could. Everything was dark, and I was in pain and trying to get away from it. I guess it wasn’t long after that someone lifted up the sign and I was in an ambulance.
I heard later that the signboard was carried away by the wind and it jumped over the barrier and fell, covering the whole sidewalk.
After an emergency surgery, I was kept in the ICU and then they moved me to the HCU later. My injuries included eyelid laceration, head trauma, fractures of my legs, ribs, thoracic vertebra, and hip bone… and serious damage to my spine which has caused paralysis in my legs.
I’m still in the process of accepting things myself, and I did not want to shock people and make them really sad by revealing that my both my legs are paralyzed.
This situation is taking time to accept and I didn’t know what to say to my fans. I couldn’t write or express my feelings, so I’m sorry for the late report and for keeping you waiting.
Being disabled and going back to my life, there are so many things I have to know and learn. My doctor said “We cannot say you will be able to feel your legs again. Maybe it’s possible. Keep up with the rehab.”
Because I didn’t fully understand my situation, I was laying in my bed hoping, “Maybe in few months I’ll be free to go?” “I can’t wait to see my fans from the stage when I come back.” “If I can do an opening pitch ceremony again, this time I’ll throw the ball directly to the plate with no bounce!”
I wasn’t imagining a future without those moments, without standing on my feet.
A few days after my surgery, I was talking about my future plans with my elder sister and my father. When I mentioned about the opening pitch ceremony, my father said “Yes you can do it, from the wheelchair”. I said I want to do it when I’m fully recovered, but my father just said again, “Let’s keep going with your rehab.”
I am disabled. I cannot walk or even feel my legs now. The chance of recovery is very low. I will be in a wheelchair the rest of my life.
Beside my legs, my other parts are recovering and I’m working very hard on rehab so I can be more independent being on a wheelchair every day. I will be out of the hospital after three months, they say.
I really wanted to tell everyone who is worring about me that “I am alive!” but I couldn’t. It took time for me to understand my condition and accept it.
What should I say?
I had a sit-down talk with my psychiatrist, too. A patient like me who is forced to make a dramatic change in life like having treatment for a damaged spine always meets with a physical doctor and a psychiatrist.
I guess my family, my agent, and my doctors are taking the best care of me they can. When they moved me to the HCU, I realized that my situation or recovery process was different from what I was thinking. That day, my mother and my older brother came to see me. I had this doubt inside me and was afraid of knowing the truth, but I made up my mind to ask the question.
Me: Mom, is there a high chance that my legs won’t ever move again?
Me: Were you hiding this from me the whole time?
Brother: No, the priority was for you to live.
Me: Oh… I see…
Mom: But the doctor said if you keep doing the rehab, a miracle could happen. Let’s believe in the miracle and keep working on that.
I know I was never good at dancing or singing, but I really loved being on the stage, seeing my fans smiling, and then that made me smile and then they smiled back more… because of you, my fans, I was able to become an “idol” and be “Tomoka Igari”. I really love and miss that time. That is why I felt so motivated to get back to the stage.
But… then I learned the truth.
No singing, no dancing = graduation from Kamen Joshi… I couldn’t imaging a Tomoka Igari who couldn’t dance anymore. Then why do I exist? What can I do now?
It was like looking down to a very, very dark hole.
Before the accident, walking and dancing was like breathing. I never, ever thought this would be taken away or my legs would be numb and feel like someone else’s were attached. And I never thought I could quit Kamen Joshi.
I kept thinking and my heart guided me in a very natural way to decide that I would like to become the “Kamen Joshi member in the wheelchair” and become the new Tomoka Igari. The only reason I could feel hope is because of the people who are supporting me. “Even in a wheelchair, you could give someone hope and make people happy.” “Tomo-chan brings people joy and makes them happy, so even when things change, I want you to continue to be you,” my family told me. “I’ll take you places! Let’s keep having fun until the day we become grannies,” my friends told me.
“The brightness you can spread will be a light to others who are suffering and going through rehab too,” my teacher said. “The entire staff is waiting to work with you. We will make your wish come true. Tell us what you want to do!” my management said.
“No matter how it takes, we will wait for you. We will keep the stage warm until you come back,” my fellow members told me.
My dear fans… I know you came to the theater making banners, sang my song holding up your yellow light sticks, and prayed for me. You made 1209 folded paper cranes wishing for my recovery. I counted them one by one. I read your #GanbareTomoka tweets every day. Every. Day.
I guess there were more without the hashtags… I received letters too. Your warmth and words saved me when I felt lost during the lonely nights on my bed. I have all of your prayers with me. Arigatou from the bottom of my heart.
“I want to be someone’s light in the tunnel.” This feeling never changed. I feel the same way. I am thinking of what I can do and what I want. I want to be a songwriter for Kamen Joshi. I want to be the MC for radio and events and write a book about what has happened to me. Every day I think of more and more things to do going forward.
The wind is blowing me in a direction I never expected, but I will stay connected to the world where I was living before. And lastly, I don’t know what it could be, maybe from God or a miracle… I would like to believe that someday I will be able to sing and dance as an idol again.
I am fortunate that so many people are waiting for me, and that is my new backbone. It may take time. I may not recover fully, but someday I will say “Long time no see” with a smile.
My mind is not looking at the past but toward the future. Please do not worry about me anymore. Please walk my life path with me until I come back. That is my biggest wish.
JaME UK x NekoPOP Maison book girl UK Tour Ticket Giveaway! — please visit Facebook for details.
(courtesy of Read The Air Records)
Japanese idol pop group Maison book girl has announced “Bath Room – UK Version” as the AA-side track on their forthcoming single, available on limited-edition blue 7″ vinyl May 18, 2018. The single will be the first release on new J-pop dedicated UK label Read The Air Records.
Video: Maison book girl “Bath Room”
Maison book girl / bath room / MV - YouTube
The group has also announced their first ever UK performances, with live appearances in May at Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, and a London headline show at Boston Music Room.
5/16 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds – tickets
5/17 – Brighton – East Street Tap (The Alternative Escape) – tickets
5/18 – Brighton – The Arch (The Great Escape) – tickets
5/19 – London – Boston Music Room – tickets
5/20 – Kingston – Banquet Records In-store – info
Maison book girl comment:
“We all are sooo happy to hear that our debut A-side 7” single ‘KARMA/BATH ROOM – UK Version’ will be released in the UK! These songs are very popular among our Japanese fans, and we’ll be so glad if our UK fans like them too. We can’t wait to play at The Great Escape Festival 2018 and we’re really looking forward to seeing everyone in the UK. Please come to see us!”
Read The Air Records is a collaboration between UK independent label Alcopop! Records and Japanese independent label Vinyl Junkie. With a growing appetite for Japanese music from the UK audience, the aim for the new imprint is to help share some of the best artists emerging from the Japanese scene.
Formed in 2014, MBG are part of the so-called “new-age” wave of J-Pop groups sweeping Japanese culture that are creating slick, smart, contemporary pop music, comprised of vocalists Aoi Yagawa, Yui Inoue, Rin Wada, and founding member Megumi Coshoji.
With musician and producer Kenta Sakurai as their core songwriter, producer and music director, the group not only perform and record music but also regularly appear in movies, collaborate with designers, and are constantly looking for new creative outlets and partnerships to help promote fashion, art and street culture.
About Maison book girl
Taking influence from everything from Scandinavian dream-pop to Japanese classical music, modern ambient minimalist, chiptune and video game soundtracks, Maison book girl’s music is a multicultural melting pot of ideas, textures and soundscapes that’s typically upbeat and sugar-coated, but also ventures to the more experimental corners of pop that the likes of Sigrid, Christine & The Queens, and St Vincent are toying with to great success.
Their debut album, bath room, was released in Japan in September 2015 to critical and public acclaim, playing their first headline show in Shibuya, Tokyo at the 700 capacity venue WOMB. The group sold out their second headline show the following year at Shibuya’s WWWX in less than an hour, subsequently signing with a major Japanese label and releasing their debut single “river (cloudy irony)”.
Early 2017 saw the group release their major label debut album image, alongside their first Japanese headline tour taking in six cities including Tokyo. They released a slew of follow up singles including “412” and “cotoeri” late last year, with a single launch party held at the 2500 capacity venue Zepp Divercity in Tokyo.
An all-star lineup of nine Japanese anime song performers will take over L.A.’s Microsoft Theater on July 4th, 6th, And 7th. Anisong World Matsuri (AWM) and Anime Expo (AX) have announced the complete lineup for the three-day music festival to be held in conjunction with AX 2018, the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America.
Created in association with BANDAI NAMCO Arts, Inc., Amuse Inc., Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., and other leading Japanese entertainment companies, Anisong World Matsuri at AX 2018 will present a powerful collection of fan-favorite performers including Aimer, AKB48 Team 8, THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, i☆Ris, Yuki Kajiura, May’n, Shoko Nakagawa, and Sanketsu-girl Sayuri. In addition, school idol group Aqours (Love Live! Sunshine!!) will perform their first-ever full-length solo concert in the United States.
The once-in-a-lifetime selection of music groups and solo performers promises to deliver exciting on-stage collaborations and unforgettable moments for anime music fans.
Anisong World Matsuri at AX 2018 Concert Lineup
Wednesday, July 4 – 6:00pm LOVELIVE! SUNSHINE!! Aqours World Love Live! in LA ~Beyond the Pacific~
Aqours (full-length concert event)
Friday, July 6 – 7:00pm Japan Super Live
Saturday, July 7 – 5:30pm Japan Kawaii Live
AKB48 Team 8
THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS
VIP Package includes (details subject to change):
Anisong World Matsuri VIP Badge
Priority entry to the concert
VIP Seating (front of the audience)
Special Goodbye with artists after the concert
Ticket sales dates will be announced soon.
To attend any of the Anisong World Matsuri concert events, AX attendees will need to present both a valid AX badge and a concert ticket. All one-day and pre-show badge holders will also be able to purchase tickets to attend the AWM concert events on July 4, 6, and 7.
SPJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to popularize and educate the American public about Japanese entertainment and pop culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit http://www.spja.org.
About Anime Expo
Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the US, and all over the world for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Taking place every year since 1992, Anime Expo features the best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion, and video games. For more information, visit http://www.anime-expo.org
About Anisong World Matsuri
Anisong World Matsuri is an event made possible through the collective efforts of Japanese companies that focus on animation-related contents. The event aims to transmit Japan’s animation/anisong culture, and to maximize its value throughout the world by delivering Japan’s anisong concerts worldwide in the highest quality. Anisong World Matsuri has delivered anisong to fans in Washington D.C., Shanghai, and returns to Anime Expo 2018 for its third consecutive year.
2016’s AWM featured “Japan Super Live,” a four-hour long, festival-type live event featuring eight popular ANISONG artists such as JAM Project, T.M.Revolution, and sphere, “Japan Band Battle” featuring FLOW and OLDCODEX, and special events focused on Love Live! Sunshine!! and One Punch Man.
In 2017, AWM presented a total of eleven acts across two days of performances. “Japan Super Live” included ALI PROJECT, angela, Mashiro Ayano, Minori Chihara, GARNiDELiA, and Konomi Suzuki; “Japan Kawaii Live” featured Aqours, JUNNA & Minori Suzuki from Walküre, THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, and Wake Up, Girls！
Erina Kamiya (Kamen Joshi)
Interview by David Cirone
April 23, 2018
Your YouTube channel became super-popular as soon you started, and you’ve created some outrageous, crazy videos. How do you come up with the ideas?
Erina: When I was little, I would imagine swimming in a pool filled with pudding, or filling a bath full of hot chocolate into bath and jumping into it. I used to share my thoughts with my mother like “Can we walk on the surface of water?” and my mom would give me a look like, “What is my daughter saying?” But I never changed. I still have a lot of curiosity. I’ll keep sharing my thoughts on YouTube, and I hope everyone will enjoy what I enjoy, too.
Erina: Not at all. All humans have a gender and a type of physical figure. Some people are born with breasts, some people are born without. I’m happy I was born with this figure. The appearance of breasts trigger natural human instincts, but I don’t think I’m pushing the limits and trying to be too sexy or aggressive like some America celebrities. We call breasts “oppai” in Japanese, and yes, like that video, I believe “oppai” can save the world. “Oppai” is peace.
When did you start riding motorcycles? How did you get interested in them?
Erina: It’s been an year since I got my license. I started to get interested when a magazine was looking for an idol who wanted to get a motorcycle license. In Japan, we have different kinds of licenses for motorcycles. The easiest one is a license for moped, and usually you can get that license in one day. But I failed that test not just once but twice! So when I got the offer to ride a real bike, I was a little afraid of taking the job. Now I’m getting used to it, and I’m working with some bike magazines like Zokeisha and I collaborate with Suzuki motor shows. I’ve been really busy these days so I’m not riding much recently, but I would love to go for a ride on a big bike like Suzuki Hayabusa and go down Route 66 like in American movies.
Recently, you went to the red carpet premiere for Umi ni nose ta Gazu no yume. What was that experience like?
Erina: I thought I would be nervous, but it turned out not to be stressful at all. It was the first red carpet event I ever attended where I was the main guest. The weather was bad, so it all wrapped up pretty fast and I didn’t really have as much time as I would have liked to enjoy it. It was just “walk walk walk smile” and that was it! Actually, I was more nervous another time when I walked the red carpet back in 2014 for the premiere of a film called Outlaw. I had to walk the red carpet really close to Samuel L. Jackson, and i had no idea what I was doing. It was the same type of thing, it ended very quickly. They tell you to walk from here and say “Go”. It looks like it’s long when you see the report on TV but it actually feels very short. Mostly I was like, “That’s it?”.
You performance in the film got a very positive response. What was the biggest challenge for you to prepare for the role?
Erina: It turned out to be much easier and relaxed than I thought it would be. The director told me and my cast mates to come over and asked us, “What is your real feeling when you say this line?” and “How would you really react if someone said this to you?” Sometimes he changed the whole scene to fit our natural reactions, so I was able to feel very creative and productive. My scenes took ten days to film, and the director gave me so much support the whole time.
You’ve also acted in the “Alice Films” short films project. Which project did you enjoy the best?
Erina: There is a short film called Ame futte chi uruou. It’s about a girl who grows up unhappy. She was carrying a lot of pain inside her and she was only 20 years old. Plus, that character was getting married to her friend’s father. It was a very unusual type of character that I never performed before. Before this role, most of the characters I was playing in movies were similar to me, or they had the same kind of dream or background. It was easy to identify with those characters because of what was already inside me. But for this story, the mood was so much heavier and it was really hard. I had to dig deep inside myself to see if I could find a true connection to those feelings. But this movie opened my eyes to a different way I could perform as an actress, and it made me stronger, I think.
Your YouTube channel and Facebook page receive many comments from overseas fans. How do you feel about becoming an idol who is popular worldwide?
Erina: I’m really grateful for all the positive comments and messages. All of the work I’m doing — idol, modeling, YouTuber — everything is important to me and I’m giving my best no matter what the focus is. I’m not sure if there’s any one way that people find out about who I am… maybe it’s through Kamen Joshi, or maybe from YouTube, or maybe now it could be because of films. I would like everyone to see my multiple sides, and most of all I would be so excited if people could see my live performance so I can share my energy one hundred percent. I really want to put a smile on your face!
Japan’s top maid cafe chain maidreamin will perform their first Canadian service at Montreal’s Otakuthon, August 3-5, 2018.
maidreamin will perform on the event’s main stage at the Palais des congrès de Montréal Convention Center, featuring a live music concert followed other fun weekend activities including an autograph session, fan Q&A, and panel discussion on authentic maid culture with popular Japanese maids Peace, Kaori, and Hazuki.
maidreamin has appeared internationally at Anime Expo, Ani:Me Abu Dhabi, and Middle East Film and Comic Con Dubai. maidreamin has also collaborated on promotions for video games Dx2 Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation, Goddess Masters, and Kurokishi to Shiro no Maou.
Otakuthon will be the first visit to Canada for Peace-chan after being crowned maidreamin’s Moe Kawaii Queen for the third year in a row. “I’m so excited to visit Montreal and Otakuthon for the first time,” says Peace. “We’re looking forward to sharing maidreamin’s special moe kawaii culture with all of our Canadian Masters and Princesses! See you soon! Nyan nyan!”
maidreamin is the No.1 Maid Café restaurant in Akihabara. Founded in 2008, maidreamin has become the largest maid cafe chain with 16 locations and over 400 cast members from Japan and around the world.
maidreamin has become a symbol of Akihabara, famous for unique menus (available in multiple languages) and serving meals and drinks with cute magical performances.
maidreamin’s restaurants have won multiple awards from Trip Advisor for their family-friendly service and fun activities for every master and princess who enters the maid café dreamland. Each restaurant is designed around a different creative visual theme, and features daily live performances from the most energetic and talented maids in Japan.
maidreamin performs at multiple overseas events, where they demonstrate the traditions and excitement of maid cafe culture. maidreamin created the official Anime Expo theme song in 2017.
maidreamin is happy to welcome new customers every day as their popularity and influence continue to expand, bringing smiles to Japanese culture fans everywhere.
Erina Kamiya (Kamen Joshi)
Interview by David Cirone
April 8, 2018
How long have you been a member of Kamen Joshi? How did you get your start?
Erina: It’s my sixth year now. I came to Tokyo hoping to become an idol and was looking for an audition. On YouTube, I saw an idol group performing and it captured my eyes and my heart. This was an idol group I auditioned for before I became involved in Kamen Joshi. I tried out for the group, and was really surprised that I got accepted! But since my parents didn’t approve, I had wait for another year until I become 20 years old so I could make my own decisions and move to Tokyo to start a new life.
How do you feel about Kamen Joshi’s visual style? Was it scary for you at first?
Erina: When I learned about the unique concept of this new idol group, Kamen Joshi, I immediately felt, “Yay! This is something I want to become!” And I felt so lucky they chose me to be part of it. I never really fit in as the typical “cute idol”, so hiding our faces and being promoted as a group, I thought that would be really cool. I kept thinking we should do this and get famous as an ensemble, not individually.
When did you start thinking, “I want to be an idol?”
Erina: I’ve always loved idols who were behaving like idols, but that wasn’t me. I wanted to be “kakkoii”(cool) more than “kawaii” (cute). When I was a student, I thought I would grow up to be the type of person who likes to work back stage as a staff member, not the one who stands in front of people. If someone said to me few years ago that I would end up as a performer in a group like Kamen Joshi, I would have probably said, “No way! What are you thinking? No- no- no! That won’t happen!” But that’s the real me — right now, today — the girl who loves being part of Kamen Joshi. And I feel more and more that I’m enjoying my life the way it’s meant to be.
How many shows a month do you usually perform? How do you balance a schedule of performing, rehearsing, modeling, and shooting videos?
Erina: I usually perform on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Twice on weekdays and three times on weekends. I don’t do scheduling, that’s my manager’s job! (laughs) But the most important thing for me is to get lots of rest and focus on what I’m doing at the moment, not worrying about what’s coming later today or tomorrow.
What’s your favorite part of performing live at Kamen Joshi’s P.A.R.M.S. Theater concerts?
Erina: I’m not good at dancing. Singing… well, I think my level is so-so. (laughs) What I enjoy most is interacting with our fans in the audience. When we all join our energy together, the happy feeling is amazing! Form the stage, I get to see each and every smile!
Why do you think the Kamen Joshi fans keep coming back so regularly, sometimes two or three or more each week?
Erina: We’ve performed so many shows that I don’t know how many, I could never even try to count. But one thing that’s great for sure is every time it’s a different show! Different songs, different combinations, the MC is always spontaneous and new, and our fans get to talk to us during the show, so we don’t know how they’re going to respond, either. The more times you come to the show, the better we get to know each other!
Erina: Recently we made changes to our groups, and I’m a new member of Alice Juban, so I’m learning their songs from scratch. I belonged to Steam Girls for 5 years, and I was the eldest and the most experienced. Now in my new unit I have elder and much more experienced members than I am, so I’m happy to absorb their experience and grow. It’s a dramatic change. I used to feel that I was holding the flag as the leader and had to guide everyone, but now I can relax and think about my performance or have time to learn something new.
With so many shows a year, how do you keep the concerts fresh each time?
Erina: Again, every time it’s a different show. It’s a different formation, with different fans and a different vibe. We have events and celebrations about different things, because each member of Kamen Joshi is involved in different activities beside being an idol. We share our news about being a voice actor, actress, MMA fighter, and so on! It’s never dull. Our members play pranks on each other a lot, so there’s a lot of laughs. Speaking for myself, I never felt bored singing the same songs over and over because all of our Kamen Joshi songs are great. Every song pops out a different memory. And depending on my mood, my favorite song changes all the time, but there is a special song for me that will always always be important — it’s “Open my eyes” by Steam Girls. This was written when I had my eye problem. It’s a song of a girl overcoming the complex and trying to grab the future. In those days I had no confidence and really hated how I looked and how I was behaving to hide it. Even when I was selected as an idol, my mentality was very negative and not happy. I especially love the lyrics when the chorus sings:
“It’s not easy / Absolutely not
But SAY GOOD BYE to tears
I want to believe / I want to proceed
I want to go forward with my feelings”
Kamenjoshi『Kamiya Erina The day before the surgery』JUNKETSU - YouTube
Your eye problem led to you taking a break from performing for a special surgery. What changed for you after that?
Erina: It was a long journey for me to discover what was wrong with my eyes. Many doctors didn’t know what to do. Finally I found a doctor who could perform the surgery and surprisingly he was a doctor in Shizuoka, where I grew up. After the surgery, I felt like “Hello world! I can see you!” Before, I had narrow nearsightedness with heavy astigmatism and everything looked double. Then, after the surgery, everything was sparkling. The fans… I never even tried to see them before but now I could see their faces. In the past, I was pretending to enjoy things, but never felt we were really united. Because I could see better, I could feel things so much deeper, too. The first live performance was brilliant! Everyone’s normal was not my normal before… but when I was able to see what they were seeing, I said to myself “Was everybody seeing this view the whole time? It’s so wonderful!”
You’re also a popular gravure model. How do you get in the right state of mind to prepare for a photo shoot?
Erina: Hmmm… let me think. When I’m a model I get a lot of support from staff who are working on the project. They put blanket on me, make sure I’m not too hot or too cold. I try to be professional as I can so can follow the plan of the day’s production. It’s a different type of collaboration than working on our stage show. I try to deliver what they’re trying to create. So it’s just about concentrating and working hard, not turning a switch to put myself to a “model” mode.
If you look back at your first days of modeling, what’s the biggest difference in your style between now and then?
Erina: In the past, because of so many reasons, I didn’t have confidence so I was avoiding looking into the lens. I guess I was acting pretty weird in front of the camera, not knowing how to pose or move my hands or body. I studied modeling by checking out anything I could find with gravure models. I’d check out the angles to see how to make my butt look round. I checked SNS too — a lot! Once I found my favorite model and the search page started suggesting similar photos, so I looked at them for hours until someone told me to stop!
You felt a lot of pressure to lose weight in the past. Do you feel more confident about your body now?
Erina: Controlling my weight… Wow. “Control.” (laughs) I’m really bad when it comes to diet. I eat a lot and I don’t like leaving anything on my plate. That’s how we grow up here in Japan. Compared to when I was 19 years old, I like my body a lot more. Diet has more meaning than it used to. I do some training too. I train and stretch to keep my butt and stomach in shape. When I eat three times a day I start to lose weight, so it takes time to get used to, but I try to eat only three times when I need to lose weight. By the way, I love potatoes. I can survive just eating potatoes. I put a potato into the microwave oven, and after I hear the beep, I rush to open it and put some butter and soy sauce on the potato and eat! My dream is to make mashed potatoes to fill the bathtub and take a mashed potato bath. I’d be so happy I could die!
PART 2 of our interview with Erina Kamiya coming soon!
GARNiDELiA takes a giant techno step into the dystopian future for their music video “Error”, the opening theme from the anime series Beatless. Vocalist MARiA shows off some deftly mechanized dance moves backed by her personal group of hIEs (human-like robots).
“Error” is also included in the group’s new album G.R.N.D., along with other anime themes “Speed Star” (from The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie), “Aikotoba” (from Anime-Gitaris), and “Desir” (from Fate/Apocrypha).
May 17 – May 19 – Brighton, U.K. – The Great Escape
May 20 – London, U.K. – Koko (tickets)
May 22 – Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theatre (tickets)
May 23 – Köln, Germany – Die Kantine (tickets)
June 18 – New York, NY – Playstation Theater (tickets)
June 20 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom (tickets)
June 22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre (tickets)
Momoiro Clover Z has announced the release of their first greatest hits album on May 23, 2018, commemorating the 10th anniversary of their career. The special edition contains three music CDs and two Blu-ray discs, box packaging, and a photo booklet. The Blu-rays contains documentary footage and the group’s live concert held on January 21, 2018 at Makuhari Messe.