[INTERVIEW] Aqours At Anime Expo 2017

Anju Inami (Cast as Chika Takami)

Rikako Aida (Cast as Riko Sakurauchi)

Nanaka Suwa (Cast as Kanan Matsuura)

Arisa Komiya (Cast as Dia Kurosawa)

Shuka Saito (Cast as You Watanabe)

Aika Kobayashi (Cast as Yoshiko Tsushima)

Kanako Takatsuki (Cast as Hanamaru Kunikida)

Aina Suzuki (Cast as Mari Ohara)

Ai Furihata (Cast as Ruby Kurosawa)

 

 

– Please introduce “Love Live! Sunshine!!” and the character you represent.
Anju: Love Live! Sunshine!! takes place in Uchiura, Numazu-shi, Shizuoka where the nature is rich. Nine girls form a school idol unit to run towards their dream.
Chika Takami is a leader who founded Aqours. She’s an energetic girl whose smile is very attractive. She’s clumsy and awkward, too, but she always tries her best!

Rikako: Riko Sakurauchi is a mature girl who loves playing the piano. She’s scared of dogs and she sometimes shows her clumsy and childish side as well.

Nanaka: Kanan Matsuura is a daughter and works at a diving shop. She’s an athletic girl and she goes jogging every day. She’s very considerate about her friends.

Arisa: Dia Kurosawa is a student council president at Uranohoshi Girls’ High School. She’s Ruby’s older sister, and she is very strict towards all the students, but also clumsy. She’s very humane. Secretly she admires school idols so much, but she was hiding that fact.

Shuka: You Watanabe is a tomboy. She’s very good at what she does, but she’s also very awkward. She has a very maiden side, too.

Aika: Yoshiko Tsushima is a girl that has lots of unlucky events happened to her to the point that she starts to believe that she must be a fallen angel. She has a symptom of chunibyo (Delusions of Grandeur), but she also has a good girl side of her as her name represents.

Kanako: Hanamaru Kunikida loves reading books. She’s a child at a temple, and because of her dialect, she often says “zura”.

Aina: Mari Ohara is an energetic and shiny girl. She’s also a Director at Uranohoshi Girls’ High School. She’s sensitive to other people’s feelings, and she has a kind heart.

Ai: Ruby Kuorsawa is a younger sister of Dia. She loves school idols, and she joins Aqours with Hanamaru. She’s a hard worker.

– This is the first time to come to Los Angeles with all 9 members together. How do you feel being in Los Angeles with everyone?
Nanaka: Last year, we came with 6 members, but this time we could come with all 9 members! We performed our first oversea concert at ANISONG WORLD MATSURI ~JAPAN KAWAII LIVE~ last night, and I had a great time with our fans!

Aika: My first time in America! Of course my first time having a concert in Los Angeles. First time to have an oversea concert. First time to spend time together with 9 of us outside of Japan. There are lots of my first time experiences, which made me a bit nervous. But I’m glad that we could bring happiness, excitement, shininess of what we are to fans overseas at the concert!

– How was the Anisong World Matsuri yesterday? How did you feel seeing the response from American “Love Live! Sunshine!!” fans?
Rikako: Last year, we had a panel with 6 of the members, and I remember I was surprised by everyone’s loud cheers. Fans cheers from last night were way stronger and louder than that. I’m so glad that I came.
Arisa: It was our first time performing with 9 of us outside of Japan, so I was half excited and nervous. But when I actually stood on the stage, everyone taught us that music is really a universal language. We had an amazing time, and I’m so glad that all of us could come.
Ai: There were many fans with Aqours goods or in Aqours cosplay yesterday, and it made me happy to see that. Everyone was great with their Japanese, too. Some fans said “Ganba-Ruby(Rubesty)” and I was very impressed. We received lots of energy from them.

– Which scene is most memorable from the 1st season of “Love Live! Sunshine!!”?
Rikako: Riko’s first appearance in the episode 1. Suddenly she undresses her school uniform, and she’s about to jump into the ocean, and this scene was very shocking to me. That’s where she met Chika for the first time, too.
Nanaka: There’s a scene where the third years members conciliate with Kanan saying “Let’s Hug” in the episode 9. Until this episode, Kanan never shows her smile, and she was being stubborn. But after reconciling, she smiled for the first time.
Aina: $1000 worth “Stewshine” per bowl!

– What is your favorite song from “Love Live! Sunshine!!” and why?
Shuka: Koi ni Naritai AQUARIUM. It’s a very important song for me and You.
Aika: Waku-Waku-Week! sung by the first years. This song literally makes me waku waku excited!

– Fans around the world voted and decided on the “Love Live! Sunshine!!” World Poster Girls. Mari is in charge of USA. How do you feel being voted for the ambassador of USA and why do you think you were selected?
Aina: Mari is an Italian-American half girl, so I’m happy that she got chosen as the ambassador of USA!

– It’s already half way through 2017, what has been your most memorable activity this so far?
Ai: We did our first concert for 2 days early this year. I felt like it was over in a blink of an eye, but I still remember these two days very well. When we turned around towards the audience at the intro of Aozora Jumping Heart, there was a sight that only 9 of us could see at that moment. This memory is my treasure.

– Are you excited for the Love Live! Sunshine!! Aqours 2nd LoveLive! HAPPY PARTY TRAIN TOUR? What kind of live do you want it to be?
Anju: Our first live tour, so I’m happy that we can get to visit many cities! I’m looking forward to making hot summer memory with our fans!

 

Fandom Post
– ”Love Live! Sunshine!!” takes place in the town of Numazu and Uchiura, known for its coast line with great views of Mt. Fuji and they attract a lot of tourists. I’ve actually had the opportunity to travel to this area myself a few times and really enjoyed Awashima Island. Please name one spot you would recommend.
Shuka: Numazu and Uchiura have so many great spots! It’s hard to pick one, but I would say Izu-Mito Sea Paradise! There’s Uchicchi, Izu-Mito Sea Paradise’s cute mascot character, so please visit and go meet him!

My Anime List
– Ai, what do you like about Hanamaru?
Ai: Hanamaru is Ruby’s best friend. She always listens to and tries to understand Ruby. Although their personalities or hobbies are not similar, they get along very well. She is always so warm to her. I also like when Hanamaru eats noppo-pan (bread)!
– Kanako, what do you like about Ruby?
Kanako: Ruby is super super cute! She’s like “the ultimate cute girl!”

Doki Press
– In the first season of the Anime, what challenges does your member overcome and how did it help the member development?
Nanaka: Kanan and the third years overcame their own past. They think about each other too much, but it ended up having so much struggles. So I felt that they grew up when they could resolve after 2 years at last.

Anime Herald
– Have you ever been surprised by your member in the first season of the Anime?
Aika: Before the anime started, Yohane’s impression was only about the fallen angel. So I was surprised that she actually knew that there’s a non-fallen angel side of her through TV series. She’s considerate about other members as well.

– Finally, please give any words to your American fans.
Anju: We appreciate all of your support! Someday, we want to have our own solo concert in America. Until our dream comes true, we will be keep working hard, so please keep support us! Thank you very much!


Aqours

Aqours (pronounced “aqua”) is the school idol group formed in Uchiura, Shizuoka, for the multimedia project “Love Live! Sunshine!!”. The project started in April 2015 and spread across various media including CDs, live events, magazines, and mobile apps. The first single “Kimi no Kokoro wa Kagayaiteru kai?” was released in October 2015. The TV anime aired in summer 2016, and they had their first live shows at Yokohama Arena on February 25 and 26, 2017, which attracted 12,000 fans each day. Their future project “”Aqours Next Step! Project”” includes a second anime season, tour, and CD releases.

Official Website: http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/uranohoshi/worldwide/
iTunes US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/aqours/id1045917820

 

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