Juice=Juice's Nippon Budokan performance was a huge success.
We talk with central member Miyamoto Karin about their activities so far, and about the future.
- The drama broadcast happened as you were in the midst of your busy live tour.
Inside, I was really worried about the drama, because it touched on topics that shouldn't be treaded on by idols. What if people who watched the drama came to associate my role in the drama with me? Would the fans who watched it come to dislike me? It made me uneasy. We were given quite a difficult theme to wrestle with. I think that idols shouldn't be like that... doing things like falling in love, or not keeping up a constant level of cuteness, for example. But the drama presented areas that aren't like that... Having acted out my role, I feel that I'm better at bringing out the inner 'Miyamoto Karin'. Ever since the drama started, I feel that I've changed in how I approach MC segments at concerts.
－Your MC segments changed as you went through the drama?
Yes. I became really direct. I started to make fun of the fans. (laughs) I started to say things that a good girl wouldn't say, things that I definitely wouldn't have said before.
－How was the response to the drama?
The other members would get asked if they were from 'NEXT YOU' (the name of the group in the drama), but that never happened to me. (laughs) But many people at handshake events told me that they became fans after watching Budokan. A lot of them were girls.That made me happy.
－Did you enjoy acting?
Seeing how actresses mould their roles in dramas, I was honestly unsure if we would be alright. I was really worried, but we received fan letters for our roles, and I knew that it would be good to have firm support for 'NEXT YOU'. However, there was a period of time when I was really worried, perhaps because we had hit a rough patch during the shooting. So if you were to ask me whether I would like to give acting another try, I'm not in any condition to give an enthusiastic reply. There are still things I have yet to learn, and there are aspects of acting that can be connected to Juice=Juice's performances, so I do feel that I'd like to rise to the challenge again. But at this point in time, the desire to act isn't something that's on my mind.
－What did you find difficult?
You have to develop your role during the shoot, right? My normal daily life is like a robot... I'm so much of an idol that I get called the 'idol cyborg'. (laughs) So acting is a challenge, as you have to put on multiple masks. When I look back on the drama, I see some glimpses of my own self that don't jive with the role. People who can fully jump into their roles truly amaze me.
－Did your parents say anthing when they watched their daughter in a drama?
Hmm, they didn't say anything in particular, but I'd often watch it together with my mother. Somehow, I ended up watching the kiss scene in the sixth episode with my mother. (laughs) I felt like my body really twisted up as we watched it. My mother was half-laughing as she watched it... At the same time, she was analysing it, telling me that it would have been better if I'd done things slightly different. It was strange. (laughs)
－She analysed it.
It ended with a cut, so rather than touching on rhythm or tempo, she explained how I could express myself when it comes to a camera cut, in other ways besides reading out my lines. It's something that I need to think about myself.
|Third photobook 'Sunflower'|
The members say that it's the best one so far! I'll be graduating from school uniforms once I turn eighteen. When I first joined, I said that I couldn't wait to do school uniform shoots, and yet, before I knew it, I'll be graduating from school uniforms...
－Do you enjoy solo work?
I enjoy it. There is the Miyamoto Karin who has been established through being in Juice=Juice, and since that's how I am, I don't plan to aggressively highlight my personality. But when it comes to events such as birthday events, events that feature only myself, I have to pursue my own style, I have to think about what everyone wants from me.
－What's your favourite sort of solo work?
Dancing and singing are what I love the most, so I guess it'd be birthday events. I start thinking about them about a year in advance.
－You mean that you're already thinking about next year's birthday on your birthday!?
That's right! I think about all sorts of things, like what songs I should pick for the next one. I enjoy expressing myself, so I love singing and dancing.
－ Are you not interested in aiming for a solo debut, for example?
Hmm, while I'd of course like to take up the challenge of being acknowledged as a solo artiste, I'd firstly like to chase after my dreams even more in Juice=Juice, that's my dream. If I'm asked to sing for solo jobs while I'm doing that, I'd like to do so.
－What's the difference between Juice＝Juice activities and solo activities?
I think that the biggest difference would be in the performance aspect. Juice=Juice can't perform if there isn't any harmony around us. So while maintaining that harmony, what's most important is that we also have to shine in order to make the song good. Each and every one of us has to properly think about how to make it a performance where everyone shines, the five of us have to be moving in the same direction. For solo work, if I want to express something in a certain way, I'll have no one else to refer to, so I'll have to go through it alone. So there are times when I'll head in the wrong direction, and times when I'll hit on the best solution.The members are there when I'm doing activities with Juice=Juice, so it's easy to hit on the correct answer. But in a good way, it's a bit of an adventure. That's what I think is the difference between solo and Juice=Juice activities.
|18th birthday event|
That's right. In the future, I'd like to stand on-stage, I'd like to sing, and of course I also would like to perform on-stage solo. But I strongly feel that in Juice=Juice's current state, we have to mature even more, so I don't really feel like going solo. I'd prefer it if my solo activities were connected to the efforts I made in my activities as Juice=Juice.
－ Miyamoto-san, in your mind, how far do you think Juice=Juice can go?
Juice=Juice really enjoy holding concerts. When we don't have concerts for a while, we get restless, wanting to do some sort of performance. (laughs) So we'd like to hold even more concerts, obviously at places where many people can gather... I want to perform at the Budokan again, and I would also like to perform at even larger stages... But more than where I'd like us to perform, I often think about things like how to make our songs or performances even more fascinating. So I strongly feel that I want us to become a group that keeps on moving forward in our performances.
－What efforts do you make in order to ensure a good performance?
I do things like yoga. I also often think about how I can express myself when it comes to the songs I'm performing. Also, I've decided to make a routine of doing things like going to the gym and doing muscle training, or doing sit-ups and push-ups at home.
－You fully think through your performances. But there are other methods, such as exploding in popularity on TV as an idol, for example.
Talking isn't my strong point, so rather than saying something amusing, I think about how I'd like to express myself. I think that it's wonderful to be told that our performances were amazing, that they looked good. It'd be great if we could become popular by doing so, popular enough that our tickets would sell out. Since that was how it was done by the artistes whom I admire. I'd like to become an expressive person, an entertainer whose facial expressions can pique people's interests. We're still fledglings at our current activities, but I'd like us to be acknowledged by everyone someday.
－A new regime of idols.
|Her favourite 80s idol|
MiyamotoThe 80s idols that I like were popular for doing that, accompanied with their staggering merits. They really crafted each of their songs together with the creators. However, in this day and age, not much time is devoted to that. But despite that, I think that it's important to see how far I can make the song my own.
－Juice=Juice have actually had a successful Budokan performance, and your performing ability is high. I feel that you're in a position where you're able to show us a new form of idol, expanding in popularity as people watch your performances.
There is the fact that Hello! Project's performances are amazing, and when I myself watched the activities of the senpais who had been in Hello! Project from way back, I wanted to be like them. I hope that I will become someone who makes others think like that as well. It would be best to become a group that even regular girls would like to come and watch. That our performances would generate enough interest that they'd want to come and watch us again. That it would become a habit.Our vocal trainer has also told us that people won't give a single glance to something that isn't new. I agree with that statement, so I think we have to make something new. We have to do something new while maintaining the traditional parts that we've had so far. That the difficulty of the challenge that we face.