Ikuo Minewaki about Moa Kikuchi on Entament
The President of Tower Records, Minewaki Ikuo-san speaks passionately about Sakura Gakuin’s Kikuchi Moa-chan once again! (Complete article/First section- calling a storm)
An article that we ran on this site in the early days of 2014 created quite a stir amongst not only ordinary viewers but also ardent fans, “Tower Records president, Minewaki Ikuo-san speaks about Kikuchi Moa-chan for 90 minutes!”. This theme comes back and it is powered up.
Our media coverage team visited the head office of Tower Records to cover the “The Idol Award 2014-Minewaki-Shachou determines the best of Kikuchi Moa award” which is reported in our 2015, February edition of “Monthly Entertainment”. The one we were waiting patiently for was the response from Minewaki-shachou who was waiting for us prepared to the teeth to deal with our coverage.
This year as well, the president’s passionate talk exceeded the time allotted for our media coverage. But, that is OK, We will present the whole version of his talk. So, Mr. President please talk to your heart’s content.
Q: Before we get into the main topic and looking back over last year, how do you feel Kikuchi Moa-chan has grown over the year?
Minewaki- “After becoming the student council president she kind of stepped back a bit. Before she took on that position she was the type that liked to go to the front and lead everyone. But, this year, Moa-chan held herself in reserve in live performances and in SG classroom’s as well, and she often lead other members into the more visible positions. The current 3rd year team is very kind and they allow the younger members to perform freely as they want. This is due to the techniques employed by Moa-chan that creates such an atmosphere and that creates an environment that allows them to all carry out activities that they wish to perform. She has taken on a sense of responsibility and has grown immensely.”
Q: She is still only 15 though. (laughs)
Minewaki- “I think that Moa-chan is at her end as the student council president as she did the most she could do going to the places she needed to go to, but with her overseas excursions with Babymetal she could not carry out completely every task she had been assigned with. Also she could not be present for the Fan club limited performance. She missed about 1 out of every 2 public performances. I was unable to watch the Haiku public class as regrettably I had to attend the Oosaka T-Palette thanksgiving festival that day. At the public classes Moa-chan also did not try to stand out and helped others to carry out their performances.”
Q: That ability to create such an atmosphere is also a great thing.
Minewaki- “And now in 2015 the real “The Road to Graduation” begins.”
Q: Are you ready mentally?
Minewaki- “I wonder how 2015 will progress…. I still don’t have a firm grasp on how this year is going, but this spring Berryz Koubou will take an indefinite break and Moa-chan will graduate. With these “2 big things that I love” dropping away I feel a bit empty. Of course even after she graduates Moa-chan will continue to support Sakura Gakuin. And Babymetal is scheduled to perform at the Rock festival “Rock on the the Range 2015” in Ohio in May.”
Q: In 2014 Babymetal performed on March 1st and 2nd at the Nippon BudouKan.
Minewaki- “I went to both day’s performances. I was really surprised on the first day when Yui-chan (Mizuno) fell off the stage. And then in “IDZ” Moa-chan fell down. “Live performances are the best!” but I get so worried about those two. After the first day’s performance I went to eat with my wife, and we were talking excitedly saying, “Will Yui-chan be able to perform tomorrow?” and “Do you think she injured her leg?”. I am so happy that she was not seriously injured.”
Q: Let’s get in to the main topic. Let’s start with the 5th place entry.
Minewaki- “I was thinking about this until 2 O’clock yesterday.”
Q: Thank you for staying up so late for us.
Minewaki- “5th place is Moa-chan’s February 15th diary.” http://ameblo.jp/sakuragakuin/entry-11772092273.html
Minewaki- “On this day there was a Sakura Gakuin live performance at EX Theater Roppongi, and it was the date of Moa-chan’s 100th diary entry. In it she wrote 100 items about herself and it being February and the fans are cold waiting in line to buy merchandise so she wrote this diary entry so the fans would not have too much free time on their hands. And so the title was, “Please read this as you wait”. This is truly an exceptional demonstration of caring for her fans. In the first column where her name is introduced she puts a circle around “Chi-地-land” so it will not be mistaken for “Ike-池-pond” in the Kikuchi part of her name. In the 3rd column she has a picture showing her height with it written as 157 cm. In column 4 she says, “when I entered SG my weight was equal to 2 koalas but now it is that of 4. In other areas of the diary she says she is an only child, that she wants to become “Super Moa-chan” and that she love anime. I think writing 100 items was quite a chore.”
Q: Just thinking about writing so many items is quite an exhausting chore.
Minewaki- “As I said last year, you can really see that she thinks about her readers when she writes her diary. And moreover, this was written specifically for fans who were waiting. The contents are quite detailed so reading it is quite a task as well. This really shows us Moa-chan’s character, she really has her stuff together. Hey! Look here! She has two less bottom teeth than ordinary people!”
Q: Shachou, please settle down (laughs)
Minewaki- “Sorry. But, when you read this you can understand that she has a small jaw because she is short 2 lower teeth. It is because she writes things that you would ordinarily not be able to understand at all that her fans are so pleased with her diaries. And following this diary entry we had planned with “Monthly Entertaiment” to do a “100 questions for Moa-chan (2014 August), right? When you read this together with that it is fantastic!”
Q: Those questions were thought up by several adult writers and they apparently had quite a hard time coming up with 100 questions.
Minewaki- “If you read both of these even if you are just getting interested in Moametal, you will be able to understand Moa-chan very well.”
Q: Thank you for slipping in a bit of advertising for us.
Q: So what is 4th?
Minewaki- “Moa-chan and Yui-chan were not present at the 2014 TIF, right?”
Q: Yes, they couldn’t attend because they were touring as Babymetal with Lady Gaga on her live tour.
Minewaki- “However, they appeared on the screen for “Yume ni Mukatte”. And so, Yui/Moa who were not expected to be in attendance seemed to be singing together with the other members.”
Q: Their sense of presence increased even though they were not there.
Minewaki- “True, their sense of presence stood out due to not actually being there. It was that sort of stage. I felt like I was standing in the presence of a truly great people. (laughs)”
Q: What great people do you mean (laughs).
Minewaki- “The Moa-chan in my brain was supremely cute when they synchronized with the other members! I thought how can she be so cute even though it is 2-dimensional. I burned the 2-dimension Moa-chan into my brain, and in front of all of us were the 8 actual members plus the 2 graduates of Iida Raura-chan and Horiuchi Marina-chan acting as assistants performing “Yume ni Mukatte”. And without doubt Yui/Moa were there as well.”
Q: In the July 30th diary entry of Moa-chan, she wrote that she was “not present at TIF”.
Minewaki- “This was where Moa-chan debuted so the TIF events are of great importance to her. Every year, the members of TIF get into fights amongst themselves and then they reform into new units. For Sakura Gakuin it is kind of like a ritual that the members must pass through. It is interesting to think that they could not attend because they were opening for Lady Gaga.”
Q: And a 15 year old girl feels bad about that (laughs)
Minewaki- “Speaking of Lady Gaga, you know she is a global pop icon (laughs). In this diary entry she writes passionately about her feelings for TIF, and there are pair photographs with everyone in the end of it. I think this is one of her great entries. Any Fukei who reads this and then gets angry that “Yui/Moa are not present at TIF” is not a real Fukei!”
Q: Yes, like, “Don’t say such an absurd thing” (laughs)
Minewaki- “Even though they are not there you can see them (laughs). And remember, more than anything else, the student council president is saying, “Even if we are apart our hearts are one”. Of course since we have to support them the same as the previous year, the 2014 TIF was a Sakura composition. The performances by Sakura Gakuin were a bit less than usual but I was able to able to watch each stage that the members performed on.”
Q: But of all those “Yume ni Mukatte” was the best.
Minewaki- “Yes, I was so excited. It goes without saying that Idols are cute, that is a given, but in my thinking the songs also have to be good. This song was a trigger to change that way of thinking for me. “Kawaii” can at times surpass the song.”
Q: So, you were reverted back to the basics of liking Idols, right?
Minewaki- “Composers can be broken easily! For a long time I also used to say, “I can’t like a performance if the song is no good”. Sorry for thinking like that. There is no need for me to make excuses!”