Hi, it’s hokkuu. this time i’m doing the Aozora to Marry interview part from Kadokawa Special, thanks to @vansalzburg who suggested me to do this and did the QC for me, it helped me alot, thank you once again ❤ In here, we can clearly see how much they treasure each members now, like they once said, they used to take these 21 members senbatsu for granted, but now it seems like they have grown, with everything that happened within the group, they learn that each of those 21 members have their own special meaning in the group. Actually so many part in this interview touched me a lot, us fans, have been complaining about how much we wanted to see the 21 of them but its really nothing compare to their desire to perform on the stage once again with complete formation. I guess the best thing we can do now is to continue to support them, it’s really great to see kanji have become this strong, so whenever a member is taking a break, everyone already know what to do and whether they are complete or not, it’s still kanji keyaki, and they are still going strong.
Aozora to Marry, the “Royal road idol” style to change the atmosphere.
Wreath in a white dress, the song and choreography with a melody that is different with the usual Keyakizaka46 image, “Royal road idol” style, with the detailed attitude they are pursuing on the stage, Aozora to Marry.
“We want to show the gap from our usual songs.”
The existence of this unit was pretty early in Keyakizaka46. Aozora to Marry. Since Aozora ga Chigau, this unit had released 4 songs, second to the number of Kobayashi Yui and Imaizumi Yui unit, Yuichanzu, which have released 5 songs.
In this year’s anniversary live, Shida Manaka is taking a rest, Sugai Yuuka, Moriya Akane, Watanabe Risa and Watanabe Rika, these 4 people performed Namiuchigiwa wo Hashiranai ka?. Although they performed this song before on the mini live at the national handshake event, this is the first time they performed the same song on a large-scale live event.
Sugai : This anniversary live consisted of songs that are released after the 4th single (Fukyouwaon), will Aozora to Marry sing “Namiuchigiwa wo Hashiranai ka?” i thought.
Risa : Yes, I understand that. I thought so too.
Sugai : At the time of the tour last year, “Kokoninai Ashiato” i thought that this will be the next song. It’s a song that’s very Aozora to Marry-like.
Akane : This song has a strong image of the sea. For the MV, we also went to the beach and shoot it there.
Rika : I love this song, As expected the memories that were left behind when we shoot the MV was so enjoyable it left an impression, it’s my favorite song.
Risa : Just after our summer tour, we took the MV immediately.
Sugai : It was relaxing and enjoyable.
One song with such memories, when you performed that in a special place called Anniversary Live, is there something different from the usual feeling?
Akane : The choreography was also made for the anniversary live so that you can get excited along with the audiences, and dance where i could see their faces. I can dance in the atmosphere which i can’t do with the other Keyakizaka46 songs.
Sugai : I thought that i would show the gap from our usual songs. Because we were dancing all around when we sing, we abviously cant wear a flower arrangements on our head (laugh). This time the 4 of us walked on a flower road, i was thinking to do those kind of things that can only be done at such times, such as adding choreography that points to each audiences.
Risa : Because of the music, everyone runs pretty well (laugh).
Akane : That’s right (laugh). That was really fun as we could go near to the audiences. And we have 3 days concert this year, and we change the direction in each performances. I told myself that i’m going to try hard this time, Its different from “Abunakkashii Keikaku“, i was conscious of being able to try hard to make everyone excited by making a shout.
Sugai : In that sense, it was very exciting like a royal road of idol.
On the live performance of Keyakizaka46, where a dark world point of view is developed since the opening, to change the atmosphere these 4 people stand on the stage in a costume based on white color, and there is a very significant meaning to that.
Akane : Until now in a single live, Hiragana Keyakizaka was always responsible for such roles, we realized now this time that it’s difficult to do it only by themselves.
Risa : That’s right. Especially this time, we have to do the MC-ing all by ourselves. In the summer tour, it was really helpful for me to change the clothes while hiragana bought us the time while doing the MC. This time, we do the MC after 4 songs are finished, and in the middle of (Ballet to Shounen) members can handle from the stage, we will stay all the time until the MC ended. That’s why it’s hard to change the clothes afterwards (laugh).
Sugai : One time when we were in a hurry, Akanen didn’t show up right?
Rika : She didnt.. (laugh)
Sugai : “Where is Akanen~?” we were looking for her, you showed up but barely made it.
Akane : Sorry for that time (laugh).
Sugai : How was the change in your mind? in the middle of falling apart, After Aozora to Marry performance ended, does everyone not feel like they move with the time?
Akane : That’s right. The unit was second, but the preparation was really hard. But after that, we have a lot of songs performed with everyone, so it was a good feeling to switch over from that.
Risa : That’s right.
Akane : Back to the topic of Aozora to Marry performance, it was hard to change direction from the usual stage, we usually dance toward the front stage, but this time we dance on the center stage.
Sugai : The direction changes while we dance, but there was a moment where i couldn’t figure out where to turn to (laugh).
Working in Live while thinking about the fan service seriously
And because this time Shida was absent, the performance with 4 people went through a lot of changes in formation and singing part.
Sugai : It changed a lot during the halfway preparation. After the four of us decided to do it, the formation was divided with two people and two people, so it was difficult.
Akane : It seems like we’re doing it naturally, but looking at it closely, there are many parts that have been changed from when we are doing it with 5 people. The part where risa and shida were supposed to kiss, i’ll be the one doing it.
Risa : At first it was hard, but i’m glad it went well during the rehearsal period.
Rika : We always talked about the day before the live.
Sugai : Previously, i was pretty much doing just what i was being told to, but from this time, we wanted to do this by ourselves, “How about this?“, I talked to Takahiro Sensei about that.
Risa : It was a great live after our long break, because the number of the members were not complete we have a strong desire to do this live well even though we were only by ourselves (not complete 21 members). Because of thinking a lot “How could we make it more enjoyable?“, each of us move and share our ideas.
Akane : Especially this venue is the first time for us, as i walked on the flower road, the things i’m looking at were completely different, “Where can i see the audiences more often?” to reach the people who have a hard time seeing us, from the time of the rehearsal and talking to the dancers, they said “You can see it better if you wave your hands there“
So if you continue your activities as Aozora to Marry, what kind of songs would you like to do next?
Akane : What would it be?
Sugai : But, isn’t there a lot of love songs in Aozora to Marry?
Risa : Indeed. There is an impression that the audiences are excited of our songs during live, after all the coupling songs are all cool songs, in that sense we can change the atmosphere on our unit, and i want a song that that can make us excited and enjoy it with the audiences. Actually, that’s why it was great.
Rika : I like cute songs.
Akane : It doesn’t matter to me (laugh).
Again, looking back over the live. The first kanji keyaki concert, they went through it for 3 days, alone. A solo live performance at Nippon Budokan which was scheduled for January this year, was suddenly given to hiragana keyakizaka, it became a full-scale live since the last Nationwide tour in August.
There are situation where the members are not in a full team, what does that 3 days mean for them?
Risa : Not all members are present, but i think it was a live that made it become great by improving on other things, cooperating with each other, filling the gaps of the members who is not there.
Akane : It really made me feel like we got through it. While doing it, there were many opinions being discussed, the set list is hard, if you look at the members’ faces, everyone is really doing their best, so i’m going to do my best too. I really thought that it was a live where i could grow and that will lead to the future.
Rika : Because all the hard songs were on the end of the set list, Especially the last song was really hard (Fukyouwaon).
Akanen : Yes. Everyone went with one heart,”We want to make this live a success” and that’s very important. The feeling of accomplishment after it was very amazing, and it’s because of that i’m able to do my best.
Sugai : For the anniversary this time, the power of the audiences was really big.
Akanen : Ah, it’s very amazing. The cheering voice, we are truly grateful of that.
Sugai : Including the audiences, the impression of the live that everyone created in that place was amazing, especially this time.
Everyone : Yes.
Before and after the live, it was a different Keyakizaka46
Compared to the past “This is Keyakizaka46” with special confidence, i wonder have you guys have able to show it proudly?
Sugai : As expected after all, since everyone should think that they like it, even if you don’t have the confidence, i think that i would like to show that i am absolutely confident when i am standing on the stage. In anniversary live, everyone is conscious with the strong feeling that we wanted it to be successful, i wonder if we were able to become a different Keyakizaka46 before and after the live. That’s true even for myself, i can feel that as i watch the other members.
Akane : As for the singing, when the dances becomes too hard, it gets so tiring, when i hear the members voice, i will also do my best “Oh, i want to sing even more!” and i was able to do continue further. During “Kazenifukaretemo” at the latter half of the concert, even though it’s really harsh for everyone’s physical condition, but the audiences were also singing “That’s the way~” together with us, i could do my best.
Sugai : It feels like the 2 days after the first day, the second and the third day the singing voice grew steadily in each live. Although it’s not a synergy effect, the singing voice of the audiences also feels louder and louder in each day. That was really a pleasure.
Risa : I think that experiences have a great impact for themselves as well. It was a special three days.
Keyakizaka46 rushing to their 3rd year of their debut. The first year was the first time to experience many things, and it can be seen as a newcomer. They were lucky there were many things that made them move forward. However, as soon as they entered the 2nd year, they couldn’t finish something they do as a newcomer anymore. Sometimes there are many wall, and they realized that the difficulty has increased.
Now that they have overcome that wall, i wonder what Keyakizaka46, who entered their third year is seeking for. Or, what are those people who watch over Keyakizaka46 asking for?
Sugai : Keyakizaka46 is really a group that is fun and wonderful, “Eh, This is what happens!” that kind of things happened in here. Under such circumstances, we don’t have all of our members now, but in any kind of situation we wanted to deliver good performances on stage, entering the world of music and performing at risk, everyone is surely have the same feeling. Therefore, no matter what the situation is, i think that i want us to be together forever.
Akane : That’s right. That’s the best.
Sugai : What do you think Risa?
Risa : Yeah~. What it is…. but i think that i would like to do a live performance with the 21 of us as soon as possible.
Sugai : With full member, i wanted to show the perfect one.
Risa : Yes. Of course, even if there is a missing member, we will naturally do it with all our might, but when everyone is here, i think that you can see something better than what we have now. I want to show something more explosion on the stage.
Rika : I want to do a live with 21 members as soon as possible.
Akane : No matter what it would be better to have all of us than having missing members.
Rika : *nods silently*
Akane : Since we have worked in the form of 21 people in so far, i guess that kind of feeling (as a group) is stronger than usual. Because there is the strength, of course i am doing my best for the members who are not here now, to be able to show the feeling that all the 21 members gathered (it’s not like this), until then we will do our utmost to do what we can and grow more.
One month after the anniversary live, May 6th, Keyakizaka46 appeared on the Saitama Super Arena (for viva la pop!). In here, Hirate, Shida, Harada Aoi who announced suspension of activity due to academic priority, a total of 4 absence members including Imaizumi Yui who is on poor physical condition, 17 people stood on the stage. However, comparable to the live anniversary, they showed a powerful performance.
Many people said that it was their first time they saw Keyakizaka46 live performance, on that day. However, Moriya told the author who went to see the stage she wanted to tell everyone who came that time “If we went with the complete 21 members, it won’t be like that“. Because they have witnessed a number of miracles made by 21 people, so it’s probably an extra thought. Starting from June, the sakamichi audition will also begin, and there will be people joining Keyakizaka46 in the near future. In that case, will there be any changes in the meaning of their words?
Risa : I agree. I don’t understand at all… the things that will happen.
Akane : I can’t imagine it. I’ve always been doing this with 21 people, so i’m worried about how the current atmosphere will change. But i don’t think we should change what we are doing now, and i think that the desire to keep trying harder will not change as the members increase.
Sugai : It is understandable that changes are required as our group is in the third year. In fact, i know which things that will lead to growth, i also understand that it comes during this timing.
Risa : I don’t really know.
The feelings return to the beginning which started at live street performances.
Before the joining of the new member, Kanji & Hiragana keyaki outdoor live (Keyaki Republic 2018), was held for the first time last year and gained popularity among fans and members, in Fuji-Q Highland Skate Center for three days from 20-22th July. What kind of figure do they want to show in the next live as soon as possible?
Sugai : Even in the last one (Viva La Pop!), i intended to do it until my limit, i realized that there are many things missing from us yet, those 2 years were really blessed but when we feel again, there are a lot of walls. I like loud and fun live, but i want to deliver something more to the people who came to see us.
Akane : At Keyakizaka46’s live, the lyrics are displayed on the screen, aren’t they? I always put a value on such directing, because i want to deliver performances and songs that will reach the heart of the audiences as much as that, i want to cherish it from now on. I want to deliver the feelings i put in the songs through the performances, so i think it’ll be good to put more effort and express it well.
Risa : It would be the best for the people who came to our live to feel something sticking to their hearts from our songs and performances, or to notice something through our lyrics. After all, on “Viva La Pop!” the performer on that festival were not just us, even when we appear on a music program, even those who doesn’t know us so well, i hope in a short time would like to see the performance of Keyakizaka46 “i want to go to their solo concert“, i always want to keep that in my mind.
My last question, “i want to do a live at such venue or situation” i wonder if there is such a hope?
Akane : As expected, i want to do more outdoor live. I did it last year at Keyaki Republic, and i really enjoyed it. The feeling of the opening is amazing.
Rika : It was really fun last year. I’m looking forward to it this year.
Sugai : It feels really good to perform “Sekai ni wa aishikanai” outdoor.
Risa : There are many opinions from members saying that Keyaki Republic was fun, so i would like to challenge live outdoors more.
Sugai : After that, it might sound strange but…. i have a feeling wanting to return to the beginning and start from street live.
Akane : I think that it’s probably only those who doesn’t know Keyakizaka46, and there are times when i feel an honest response.
Risa : Actually, that should’ve been done before debut (laugh). I want to study and practice more.
Sugai : I want to taste such things more and more. I think that it’s absolutely difficult to boost and to show under the situation where many people don’t know about us.
Akane : That’s why, i’d like to try it.
Risa : There are a lot of people who never seen us, such as the big festivals, but the announcement was made beforehand on festivals. Some people will come to see Keyakizaka46 in particular. So feeling the ultimate live on the street. It will be difficult to make it happen, but i would like to try it someday.
Akane : But if i went to the street and 21 people suddenly popped out, i would be surprised (laugh).
Everyone : Hahahaha
Sugai : We will occupy the street! (laugh)
Risa : But i want to do that kind of thing.
Sugai : This feeling is getting stronger.
Risa : Yes yes. That’s right.
Sugai : I feel like i could do it with everyone (laugh)