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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Related nonsense

The brilliant, glitchy Baby Blue! has been nominated for Best Pop Video 2005 at this years Space Shower TV awards. It probably wont win, but i'll take Space Shower over MTV Japan any day. I mean, at least Space Shower actually gives Japanese artists a chance to win something at it's award show. You can take a quick-ish look at the BB! video there too, which is a typically funky slab of low budget stupidity.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Interview (Part 1)


This interview with Haruka and Yukari appeared in January's issue of KOKOKU HIHYO MONTHLY No.289. (Advertising Review) On the front cover, and in the picture inside, they're both wearing nice kimonos. Hence the reference.

So, arn't you hungry at all?

Haruka Yeah a little, but i'll live. After all, you've come all this way to speak to us.

Thanks a lot for doing the shoot. You we're wearing that beautiful kimono. What happened to it?

Yukari Well those kimonos are pretty expensive. So I got into trouble just cos I spilt a bit of water on it. I was threatened and generally got into a bit of a mess (laughs)

You two are 16 and 17 now right?

H Yeah, I was born April 1988
Y And I was born July 1987

Thanks for letting us know (laughs). Arn't 16 and 17 are pretty delicate ages to be doing this?

Y Everyone says that but I don't really think so. Theres nothing too unusual about it.
H I just think of myself as a regular 16 year old.

So how do you split up your time between schoolwork and Halcali?

Y Its just like an after-school club. Just like when everyone practices hard at basketball or whatever after school, we just work at Halcali instead.

The Halcali club?

Y The Halcali club. You could put it that way (laughs)

What time does this club start?

Y P.E starts about 5pm.

So its like a part-time job at night.

Y Yeah I guess so. Although the way you just put it makes it sound kind of suspicious (laughs)
H Cos he said "at night"...(laughs)
Y Yeah, so lets call it a "late afternoon" part-time job.

Is this late afternoon part-time job more enjoyable than school?

Y Well it is, but theres fun things about going to school too, and all our friends are there.

You're taking classes then?

Y Yeah we are, but I don't really listen much. But today in Japanese class we had a lesson on fashion. We saw a video on Kawakubo.

It sounds like you're having fun in class.

Y I like complaining a lot in class for some reason. The teacher gets really nervous and stutters. Then its like, 'everyone drops their bottles' (laughs) *1


When you made your debut you were both still in Junior High School right? Before then, did you have any specific thoughts on how you were going to turn professional?

Y I had just planned on doing some regular, everyday job (laughs)
H I never thought that i'd end up doing something like Halcali. I came into this as a dancer, so thats what I thought i'd end up doing. Thats what I always used to audition as.

So the two of you met at Dance School and became friends, then you decided to enter the audition together right?

H The staff there told us that it'd be more fun if we went along together. So with that in mind we went along to the audition. There were five people in the group at first, but by the end there were only two left.

Its good that you were left out (laughs)

Y There's luck in the two of us being left out. And what if there was a group of 3? Then it'd be like 'HalcaliXXX' or something.
H If the girls name was Mai we'd have something like 'Halcalimai'
Y Sounds like a type of rice (laughs)

But why did you want to become dancers? The first started going to dance school when you were in Infants right?

H When I was little my mother always saw me singing infront of the TV, so I guess she realsied then that that was what I liked to do. When I first went I didn't much want to do it like the usual gymnastic type dancer. I saw the dance studio (that I go to now) in the newspaper. After I went there it felt like the place for me.

What about you Yukari?

Y When I was little I used to get sick quite a lot. Like i'd get bad fevers and have to take long breaks from school. Then my mother started talking to a dance instructor friend of hers about my health and so on. The instructor said "so why not make her exercise with dance?"

So how were things after that?

Y Well at first I really just felt like it was something I was being made to do. I mean, I loved singing at home by myself but I felt like I really hated doing anything infront of other people. But of course I kept going back, so I think I probably liked it really.

So it started to get more enjoyable after that?

Y Every year they had this recital contest (Happoikai), which I had a video of. I gradually became more and more confidant about performing infront of other people. It was like I saw the video and thought "shes infront of so many people, but she got used to it and shes managing it".

What did you think when you first met each other?

Y We were just like both friends with the same person at first. Back then I thought she looked a bit gaudy. Haruka had dyed blond hair and fishnet tights on. I thought she was a foreniger or something (laughs)
H Since I was in Infant school my mother had always dressed me up like that. At first it was a black perm, then she thought that didn't suit me so she changed it to a blond one. I have no idea why, but she made me wear fishnets and a mini skirt too.

Thats about the time you started to become friends?

H We were going to the same classes, but it wasn't just Yukari of course, we had a lot of different friends at the time.
Y There was a main group of about 5 of us. We thought "so lets all enter these contests together", and we ended up on a few different TV shows.

You were getting on TV shows?

H Yeah. There was a show called 'RAVE 2001' which had a segment called 'Summer Contest for Kids'. Then we entered the 'Twin Link' dance event, which we won.

So you were great dancers even then.

H Well yeah. Thats why I always thought thats what I would end up doing.

Y Thats what my dream had been too. I thought I'd be one of those background dancers you see on TV shows.

When was the idea of "singing" first brought up?

H About once a week. We were taking singing lessons at that dance school too.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
That'll do for the first half. I don't want to clog the site up with this stuff, so i'll get the rest dont later. No major surprises I suppose, except for details of Haruka's potentially disturbing early home life. The interviewers technique of making statements rather than asking questions is slightly annoying too.

*1 I have no idea what she means by this. It might be a reference to something. Heres the Japanese, if anyone feels like helping
先生がかむんですよ。そしたら持っているペットボトルを全員で落とす、みたいな。