[GANG PARADE] Terashima Yuuka's first interview: "I'll die someday, but I don't want live complicit in that fact."
GANG PARADE, an idol group running out of a name change from POP. Following the withdrawal of Shigusawa Ao and Inukai Maaya, new member Kyan Maika joined at the Nagoya one-man live on October 2, and in a blitz attack, on October 6, it was announced that the 3 members of the former group SiS--Terashima Yuuka, Yui Ga Dokuson, and Coco Pertain Coco--would be joining, as well. GANG PARADE, at the center of that upheaval, released their first album following their name change (recorded by 4 members, not including the new 3 members) for high-res distribution. We will be publishing the first interviews with the 3 new members in 3 parts. The debut live for the 7-member build will be a one-man show at Shinjuku BLAZE on November 13. How about you give the album a listen and head out to see the show?
INTERVIEW: Terashima Yuuka
She's a woman of few words and has mysterious elements about her, but she's fired up on the fighting spirit she hides in her heart. Terashima Yuuka is a person with strong feelings, despite her appearance. She failed the BiSH audition, and she failed the reborn BiS audition that she had undertaken at Watanabe Junnosuke's behest. She was offered a helping hand and joined BiS' official rival group SiS, which the stopping of all their activities the day after their first live show, plummeting her into a pitfall of despair. And yet Terashima was not heartbroken, as she began her path in procuring a position in GANG PARADE, where she could continue her idol work with people who had the same circumstances surrounding them. That is the Terashima Yuuka I interviewed.
Interview and text: Nishizawa Hirou
Photos: Jumpei Yamada
I thought that nothing would change if I stood still
--When you did your individual interview with Watanabe Junnosuke, the producer, for the BiS audition, you talked about "feeling strongly about changing" yourself.
Terashima Yuuka (onwards, Yuuka): At that time, my whole life was going to prep school every day because I had failed my college entrance exams. I stopped going to high school around my third year and spent my days not doing anything, and I didn't like to be around people much, so I lost sight of why I wanted to keep on living, which was pretty terrible.
--When you were going to prep school, what kind of career path were you thinking of pursuing?
Yuuka: My ambition was for pharmaceutical school. Pharmacist is a stable job, and I thought I could make decent money that way. Even though I also felt like some part of that wouldn't sit well with me.
--That's when you find the idol auditions.
Yuuka: I found out about the BiSH audition when I was looking at Twitter. I didn't feel like applying at first, but at some point I felt compelled to and boldly applied. I didn't think they would even get past my paperwork so I was shocked when I got the email saying that I had passed the first round. They did a first interview round in Osaka, thankfully, so I went to that one. I don't think I would have gone if it were only in Tokyo.
--So it's not like you applied because you absolutely wanted to be an idol?
Yuuka: I'm not good at being in front of lots of people, so I felt like it was an odd choice for me to try being an idol.
--How was the feedback you got during the audition?
Yuuka: For the BiSH audition, I was together with Go Zeela. There was also a blonde girl who was good at singing and did a lot to promote herself, so I figured I was out. I had the image of idols being girls who had self-confidence and applied, but I still got through despite not really having any confidence at all.
--But it takes bravery to do an audition.
Yuuka: It's because I thought that nothing would change if I stood still.
--Once you actually got going, did anything change?
Yuuka: I've given up a lot of things quickly until now, but once I went to the audition, I didn't want to give up for anything, I think maybe I got to a point where I wanted to take it all in.
--In the end, you sadly failed the BiSH audition, and you participated in the BiS audition based on a recommendation. What were you feeling when you got invited to the training camp?
Yuuka: I was shaking. I knew I had to go!!
--By the way, did you talk with your family at all about trying out to be an idol?
Yuuka: I spoke with them after I passed the first BiSH interview. At first, my mother was opposed to it, like "WHAT!" but then when I said, "The next interview is in Tokyo," she sent back something like, "It will be a chance for you to learn how the world works, go on and go." She was also against the training camp at first, but she gave me permission to go when I said that I wanted to do it.
--Was that the first time you said what you wanted so strongly?
Yuuka: I think so. I didn't talk with my parents at all about school, and we would fight, so I never got my determination across to them.
The devastation exceeded that of failing the BiS audition... It was past the point what I felt at the training camp.
--Looking back now, what memories do you have of the 4-day, 3-night BiS training camp audition?
Yuuka: I don't know if it made me a better person or not, but I think it was a good experience. Even though the Nico-Nama cameras were filming us at first I didn't make myself appealing at all. And so I was dead last in the Nico-Nama voting rankings for the first day... I realized what a pinch I was in, and I did my best to start playing it up for the camera a bit more.
--What were you feeling when your name wasn't called during the results announcement?
Yuuka: In the end, Pour Lui called out the names and said, "That's all," and it was like... this is the end for me. I didn't even cry, and I didn't feel sad or have any regrets. I was first just emotionless. When they said, "(Those who failed the BiS audition) will be doing SiS," I felt more like, cut it out, but when I returned to my room and settled down, I realized I had been rejected and the tears came out.
--Were they tears of regret for the things that went wrong?
Yuuka: I wonder. I questioned if I could have done more, and I thought about why I failed.
--What were your thoughts regarding the announcement that they were going to do SiS?
Yuuka: I thought, stop messing around with me, and it seemed like it was just kind of thrown together. But I didn't want things to end there, that was the big thing.
--At what point did you decide to join SiS?
Yuuka: In my heart I had decided to go ahead and do it the day it was announced who had passed, but the next tay I went to BiS' first live. When I saw them performing I felt so mortified, and on stage I felt so strongly that I wouldn't lose to BiS.
--In other words, you found the desire to start in SiS.
Yuuka: I was thrilled.
--Then SiS, it was announced that the group would be ceasing activities the day after your first show. At what point did you learn about the end of SiS?
Yuuka: I had planned on finishing things up after the show was over, but I got word that we were having a business meeting so I was taken to the office. Mr. Shimizu and a now-bald Mr. Watanabe came out and said, "SiS is not going to continue." Like... what?
--It's a totally unimaginable situation, but how did you feel?
Yuuka: The devastation exceeded that of failing the BiS audition... It was past the point of what I felt at the training camp.
--Do you remember how the other SiS members reacted?
Yuuka: Yui Ga Dokuson asked me, "Is this a prank?" and even thought that it was a joke, but it wasn't. We even went so far as to go, "Oh, you got us!" (laughs)
--You couldn't accept reality at that point.
Yuuka: It was like, "Oh, oh! Oh, oh..." Yui Ga Dokuson and I said, politely and bowing, trying to get Mr. Shimizu to keep going with us, but we said, "That's okay, then." A few days later the SiS members got together and talked, and we were in agreement that we wanted to do something with Mr. Watanabe, so we stormed WACK and went to eat with him, and we pleaded with him to get where we are today.
The other four are doing much harder things than we are, so I definitely don't want to grow weak
--You had fallen into despair, but you mobilized yourselves and that has connected you.
Yuuka: Both Paripi (Coco Pertain Coco) and I have no desire to go back to our hometowns, and I thought it would all be over if I went home, so I didn't tell my parents about the breakup. They found out through the announcement on the SiS official Twitter and so they called me, but I couldn't explain myself or the situation so I ignored them...
--But you can't ignore them forever.
Yuuka: When I didn't answer my phone they called and asked the company. At first I thought they would tell me, "Come back to Osaka," but instead they asked me, "What do you want to do?" and so I said, "I want to do something together with Mr. Watanabe. I'm meeting him today so we're going to talk about it," and they responded, "Is that so, then go do your best."
--They supported you.
Yuuka: That made me so happy.
--Yuuka, you failed the BiS audition despite having it recommended in the BiSH audition, your helping hand in SiS came to an end, and I don't think that it would be strange for anyone to be left heartbroken from that series of events, but why is it that you were still able to want to keep going after all that?
Yuuka: When I failed the BiS audition, and when SiS broke up, I thought, "My life is over," but I was desperate to not stay as I was, so maybe that's why I wasn't heartbroken. Even I was surprised by how fired up I could get.
--Your fighting spirit doesn't show on the surface, you're hiding how fired up your thoughts are.
Yuuka: It doesn't come out and nobody around me could see it, anyway. The playboys (Gang Parade fandom name) wrote to me on Twitter, "You don't look like you have any energy," and "You should quit," so I guess my facial expressions aren't quite good enough, but it's not that I'm not trying.
--How do you feel about joining Gang Parade?
Yuuka: I want to be successful now that I'm in the group. I feel like I'm definitely going to sell!!
--You're doing late-night practices almost every night, aren't you?
Yuuka: Yes. But the original 4 members have had it harder, I think. Formations for 4 have suddenly become 7. The 4 of them have it much harder than we do, so I definitely don't want to grow weak.
--What was it like when the 4 and you all met for the first time?
Yuuka: We met at WACK, and I thought, "Wow, it's really them!!" (laughs). They have a lot of fans, too, so my first thought was how to go about this the best I could.
--The three of you went to Kawasaki Club Citta to watch their event, and there seemed to be a wall or something between the 4 of them and you. Have you started to break that wall down?
Yuuka: I think we have, probably.
--Shortly before the 3 of you joined, Kyan Maika joined Gang Parade, but she quickly perfected the dances. I think that created another hurdle for you, but do you feel any pressure from that?
Yuuka: There is pressure. I think you can plainly see how normal that would be for what we're doing. When we first started dance practice with Gang Parade, I understood how amazing Maika is, like it's completely different between seeing and doing.
I want to be the kind of member where it can't be Gang Parade without me
--What do you want to do as a part of Gang Parade?
Yuuka: I'm still not completely a part of the group, so I want to be the real thing. I want to be the kind of member where it can't be Gang Parade without me. For that reason, I want the members in the group now and the otaku to recognize me as one part of Gang Parade.
--Do you have any special feelings towards the two members you've experienced so much joy and suffering with?
Yuuka: It's difficult to put the expressions into words, but I feel like we've established a relationship that wasn't there before, like the 3 of us all had our lives changed all at once.
--Can you tell me your feelings going towards your first live on November 13?
Yuuka: In addition to wanting Gang Parade to get bigger, I think it's important for the 3 of us to figure out how to get better at everything. All I'm thinking about now is November 13, to fill Shinjuku BLAZE full of people, the people who watched the BiS audition, the original Gang Parade fans, and I'm thinking of any other way I can get more people to come.
--What do you want to do in your shows?
Yuuka: First of all I want to take it all in, and then I want to establish my position cleanly and smoothly in dancing, singing, and in formations. I think I have to show everyone my good side, as well as the good sides of all 7 of us.
--The shot of the 3 new members doing almost like a skit for the photoshoot today was quite funny. You were doing slapstick, you were noisy, and we couldn't stop laughing (laughs).
Yuuka: I guess my humor is going to be in high demand (laughs).
--Funny, rather than cool or cute.
Yuuka: It must be the effect of all those auditions (laughs).
--Funny just might become the standard for you (laughs).
Yuuka: It's just that, whether I live seriously, or if I live halfheartedly, I'm going to die someday, but I don't want to live complicit in that fact. I'm still engrossed in thinking about how I will build myself up as an idol, but I think I'm going to do it just a little bit at a time.