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“Resolution and pride as an idol” -- Murota Mizuki TopYell Interview

Posted by Lurkette, in Interview, Translations 09 July 2017 · 1536 views

Seeking the honesty of today’s shining idols!

Right now, ANGERME is entertaining us as a group that embodies an aura of uniqueness, even among Hello!Pro acts. One reason for that may be the overwhelming personalities of each of the members. Maybe we could feel that intensity, as this magazine has conducted several individual interviews with ANGERME. Wada Ayaka, Tamura Meimi, Katsuta Rina, Aikawa Maho, Kamikokuryou Moe, Kasahara Momona… And now for a direct conversation with the person I want to hear from, the thriving Murota Mizuki, who talked about her particular idol philosophy!

Pictures: Takahashi Sadaaki
Write-up: Tsuchiya Keisuke
Translation: Lurkette

Source images: 1, 2, 3

She almost had her heart broken both in the Kenshuusei and in ANGERME

--You joined the Hello!Pro Kenshuusei in 2012, and in 2014 you began working as an ANGERME member. Out of all the idol work you’ve done so far, where was the turning point for you?
M: I had two turning points. When I joined the Kenshuusei, it honestly felt like I was in crisis. The rehearsals were harsh, the teachers and managers were scary (laughs), but because I didn’t want to give in at that point, I decided to keep going for at least one year for sure. During that time, though, I gradually came to feel more like it was fun rather than hard. Realizing how much I had grown during that time was the first turning point.

--That’s very positive thinking.
M: Yes, I’m an optimist at heart. The other turning point was when I joined ANGERME. I didn’t feel like I had much of a character when I would think of my own position in the group. But I was told that a character is something you establish, it’s not something you can just make up, so I figured I would go with who I am and not create a new character, because that’s just me. When I first joined, though, I was shy and still couldn’t put myself out there. But my seniors dispelled any sense of hierarchy in the group, in a good way, so as we talked to each other, step by step I started to adapt, and I became able to show who I am.

--You really didn’t think you had a character?
M: I didn’t. There isn’t anything I’m outstanding in. Like, my body isn’t particularly flexible, and I’m not an especially good singer. That’s why I decided to let myself develop over time. I think idols, and people in general, are best when everything is a part of a whole.

--Your singing ability is strong, but did you not have confidence in it?
M: I didn’t. On the contrary, I lost any confidence I had when I joined ANGERME.

--Wow, why was that?
M: If you really get to know the members, ANGERME members are all really quite cute, I think (laughs). That’s why I rapidly lost confidence in myself.

--The more you got to know the other members, the more you were affected by their own strengths.
M: That’s it.

--You said before that you didn’t have a character, so you put your energy into finding your own strengths, then.
M: Yes. When I was a trainee I thought I would try to mimic the people I admired, but after I debuted, I chose to look for things that would suit me specifically. I decided that I definitely wasn’t going to grow my bangs out. That’s because I want to keep a hairstyle that looks good on me. My head is hopelessly square in shape. I decided to do only hairstyles that wouldn’t draw attention to how square it is. I also want to do my makeup that way, too. Like, these days, putting some blush under your eyes is the trend, but it doesn’t look good on me so I gave up on it.

--Do you try these things at home, once?
M: Yes. You won’t know if you don’t try it, right? So I do that, I search for things that suit me. I like trying out different things. When music starts playing, if I think the person singing is good, I’ll end up singing out loud. When I watch dramas, if I think the acting is great then I’ll try doing it myself.

--Is there anyone you use as a reference?
M: People like Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus, because I liked the show Hannah Montana. I thought it was so cool how she was living both as a singer and as a normal girl. I realized how great idols are because of that show.

--You seem to like foreign dramas.
M: I love them. I love fantasy, and I like zombies, too.

--(laughs) Is that your parents’ influence?
M: No, I’m the only one like that in my family. It’s Disney Channel’s influence (laughs). I also like Cartoon Network. Oh, and I love Crayon Shinchan.

--What about Crayon Shinchan appeals to you?
M: Oh, you’re asking about that? I’ve liked it for a long time, and I’ve grown to love Shinchan like he’s a part of my family. I have a lot of Shinchan videos on my phone, and I’ll watch them when I’m feeling gloomy or before work, and they make me much more cheerful. I’ll feel more energetic when I wake up in the mornings, too. I think Crayon Shinchan is what gives me the most encouragement.

Growing feelings about being in a group that changes lineup

--I head that you had to confront feeling sick and getting an IV for the Nippon Budokan show in May, did Shinchan cheer you up then, too?
M: I didn’t watch anything then.

--Oh, is that so? (laughs)
M: It wasn’t the time. I had felt awful the morning before Budokan, and we had a new song, “Ai sae areba nannimo iranai,” but my throat hurt and I couldn’t sing at all. I went to the doctor and got 2 IV drips, and then I went to sleep and felt much better when I woke up the next morning. But my voice cracked partway through the show. I was too excited and danced way too hard. I did my best to put on a smile and get through it. Thinking about it now, though, I’m glad I pushed myself to the limit.

--No one could tell how bad you were feeling by your performance, though.
M: About two years ago, I decided that at every live I would try to get people to think that it was a good performance, that I was a good performer. Budokan is a place where tons of people come to see us, so it was completely unacceptable to me to be unable to give a perfect performance there. I get so upset if I think even one person changed their mind about how good I am, and that’s still something I have some regrets about.

--That means your sensitivity to wanting to put on a good show is getting higher. Going back a bit, but when you joined the group with Sasaki Rikako and Aikawa Maho, there were a lot of expectations, so did you feel any pressure from that?
M: I did feel some at first, but I directed my feelings toward the need to improve myself instead. That said, I think there may have been way more pressure on Sasakki (Sasaki Rikako) from becoming center as the youngest member.

--Afterwards, Fukuda Kanon and Tamura Meimi graduated from ANGERME, and Kamikokuryou Moe and Kasahara Momona joined, which are some pretty extreme changes, right? How did your feelings change during all of this?
M: At first, when I heard Kamichan (Kamikokuryou Moe) was joining, I honestly thought it was a bit soon. But, since I was a trainee I had experienced other people joining and graduating, so I was quick to accept it. I figured, if I were joining as a new member by myself, I’d be thrilled if I received a warm welcome. That’s why I would go out with Kamichan so that we’d become acquainted faster. I’m glad she became friendly with everyone. Kassaa (Kasahara Momona) joined after that, but I was already used to this situation by that point. When Fukuda-san graduated and then Tamura-san was set to go next, I was worried about the two of them leaving because they were the members who held up the singing level of ANGERME most. Since then, I’ve realized that we’re all indispensible after spending this whole time with the current members. I don’t want to lose any one of my four seniors.

I’ve decided to do every show with a great performance so that people think I’m good.

--Is that a graduation ban for your seniors? (laughs)
M: Yes. I think that’s about how much I like the members as they are now. But at the end of the day, being an idol means that back and forth of additions and graduations, right? Naturally I end up thinking a lot about how I have to look towards the future.

--Also, I think ANGERME has a unique atmosphere out of all the Hello!Project groups. The MCs are loose and free, for example, and is that because members turn into that after they join, or is it because those are the kinds of people gathered into the group?
M: I personally think it’s probably because they joined ANGERME. It’s because ANGERME is very independent, in a good way… Although sometimes we’re a little too free and people get mad at us (laughs). ANGERME is always noisy in the dressing rooms, and even in private we talk loudly. When the last Budokan was over, we all received a text from Wada-san saying, “Let’s keep working together in my beloved ANGERME,” and then Sasakki said, “I love it,” and I wrote back, “I will follow Wada-san,” things like that. I think so often about how glad I am that I joined ANGERME. I don’t think there are normally many groups that get along like we do. I want to thank all my seniors who created the group atmosphere to be this way, and I want to keep it going without ruining it.

--Meaning that Wada’s presence is huge in the group.
M: Wada-san’s presence is enormous. I’m working hard to learn from her, her performance persona, but even beyond performance, the way she carries herself, the way she takes photos, every little detail. Watching her has made me think that I have to study myself more. As I talk about her more, I guess it’s also how she’s thinking about the group as seriously, as profoundly as she is, and from there I realize I have to work on myself even more. Our leader is, after all, very reliable.

--Like you realized how much weight the leader carries.
M: Right. I would love to become that a senior like that someday.

--On the singing side of things, I think that soon, you’ll be carrying a major part of it, but what do you think?
M: I have received some of Tamura-san’s parts. She sings in a way that can touch people, with so much feeling, so I don’t think I’m that good as I am now. I pay super close attention to the rhythm, and I’ve gotten to where I can properly get inside the world of the songs.

Murota Mizuki’s picture of an ideal idol

--You’ve put out your first photobook, at the same time. How would you say the finished product is?
M: Huh~~, it’s good stuff (laughs).

--(laughs) Was there anything you had to work on for this?
M: I went to the spa. I build muscle easily in the front of my thighs, so I thought I would get that taken down.

--Can you even get that slimmed down?
M: I did not (laughs). Also, there were definitely going to be swimsuits, so I decided I wanted to tighten my butt, so I did high knee exercises and focused muscle training.

--Did anything interesting happen while shooting that you want to talk about?
M: It was my first time shooting in Okinawa. The weather was sunny, and I have so many memories of like how good the ice cream was, but above all else it was freezing cold there. When I did the pink bikini shoot, I had to jump into 10 degree water. But it was fun. The food was good, too. There are also some expressions that even I hadn’t seen on myself, so I think it was awesome. I think I need to research my expressions, too.

--So then, what is your image of the ideal idol?
M:I think I want to be like Suzuki Airi-san, like an idol that’s more like an artist. In the future, I want to try doing more than singing or dancing, but for right now, all I end up thinking about is how to go about being a part of ANGERME.

--Well, how do you want to be a part of ANGERME?
M: I want to do as much as possible with what the current members can do. I don’t feel afraid of anything with Wada-san as leader. In any case, I want to go to different places for lives, and I want people to watch me, but maybe just a little bit more than that, I want lots of people to know how good ANGERME is.

--Also, ANGERME lives are a lot of fun, but I’d like to hear from you directly on why they are so entertaining.
M: The ANGERME members just get along with each other from the outset. We mess around with each other, and I feel like we show that to the audience, in a good way. The members are also distinct in each having our own characters and way of singing. I think that’s one thing you can enjoy about us. Another would be that there are things that you can only see on that given day at that given show. We ad-lib parts of every MC, and we had a small accident at Budokan the other day, didn’t we?

--You fell down.
M: Yes (laughs). Stuff like that, and the love of the staff members is amazing, too. At the end of the Budokan show, silver streamers popped out, right? That was a surprise from the staff members, we didn’t know about it. We stood arm in arm and screamed, and that was a genuine reaction. There are lots of things where you have to be there to truly enjoy them, and I think that’s wonderful.

--Finally, your favorite saying is, “Natural gifts are limited, but effort is unlimited.” Please tell us why you like that phrase.
M: Natural talent has a definitive end, but if you put in effort there’s no limit to how much you can grow, right? I think that’s incredible. That’s why I want to keep putting in hard work with no regrets.

I don’t feel afraid of anything if Wada-san is leader

Wow! Thanks a lot for the translation! That was such a good read!

thanks so much!

Thanks so much! ♡

There were parts were I legit choked up, this is such an amazing group. 

Oh god thank you so much!! I feel like crying, Murotan is awesome and Dawa is such a great leader with the help of the 2ki she was able to turn Angerme into a really fun and warm group, I agree with Murotan, they need to have a graduation ban XD

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