Interview with Morning Musume。 ’18 at AnimeNYC

Image result for morning musume at animenyc

モーニング娘。 ’18 Interview – November 16, 2018
with Fukumura Mizuki, Iikubo Haruna, Nonaka Miki, Yokoyama Reina, and Morito Chisaki
Interviewer: Sherrily, Photographer: Johann Manzano

From November 16-18 2018, Morning Musume。’18 once again graced America by taking part in AnimeNYC, as well as performing at Anisong World Matsuri in New York City. During this time, Selective Hearing had the opportunity to sit down with some of the members to talk about their recent performances in North America, as well as their fervor of anime and manga.

Welcome back! It’s been 2 and a half years since your last visit to America! Although this time you not only perform in New York, but also in Mexico! How do you feel about performing in one country to another, back to back?

Iikubo: I’m very happy to be able to do concerts in both countries! Each country has a different feeling and kind of excitement from Japan, so I think it’s really interesting to be able to see and compare those aspects.


Welcome back! 2年半ぶりのアメリカですね!ただ、今回はアメリカだけじゃなくて、先週はメキシコでもライブありましたよね。こういう短いスパンで二つの国にライブするのはどうですか?



This time, you’ll be singing at Anisong World Matsuri along with other popular artists. How do you compare your appearances at anime events to your overseas solo concerts?

Fukumura: There are a lot of people cosplaying, and even some of our fans are as well, so we really want to dress up as anime characters too!!

Nonaka: On the other hand, there’s also a lot of people who are not our fans who will be coming, so I think this is a great chance for us to catch some new Morning Musume。fans!


今回はAnisong World Matsuriでのライブですが、普段の海外コンサートとの違いはありますか?




Are there any specific anisongs that you’d love to cover one day?

Yokoyama: *raises hand really fast* I’ve loved Sailor Moon since I was little. Even since preschool, I would sing Sailor Moon songs in karaoke all the time, so now that I’ve become part of Morning Musume。, I want to be able to stand on stage and sing it!

Iikubo: Well, I have two! First, we’ll be performing together with Shoko Nakagawa at Anime World Matsuri, and I’m really good friends with her. She does a lot of anime songs, but I especially love Full Metal Alchemist’s ‘Ray of Light’, so I want to cover that! Also, my member color is honey, so I also want to cover ‘Cutie Honey’!

(members laugh)



横山 *raises hand really fast*「私、小さい頃からセーラームーンが大好きなんですよ。カラオケでも幼稚園生、もうちっちゃい頃からセーラームーンをずっとカラオケで歌ってきたのでやっぱそういうのモーニング娘。になってステージでなんか歌ってみたいなって思ってます!」

飯窪「2つあるんですけど、まず一個は今回アニソンワールド祭りで一緒に共演させていただく中川翔子さんが私すごく仲良くさせていただいてるんですけど、中川さんが結構アニソンを担当されていて、その中で好きなのが「鋼の錬金術師フルメタルアルケミスト」の「Ray of Light」って言う楽曲が主題歌で歌われているのでそれをカバーしたいなっていうのと、私のメンバーカラーがハニー色なので「Cutie Honey」のが曲も!」

(members laugh)


How about songs you’d like to collaborate with the original artist on? Even 2D artists are fine.

Members: 2D!?!?

Iikubo: I’d like to collaborate with Love Live! or other 2D idols…

Fukumura, Iikubo: IDOLISH7!!!

(everyone laughs at their fervor)

Nonaka: I really like Gumi-chan’s voice…

Members: Gumi-chan??

Nonaka: Gumi-chan from Hatsune Mike and Vocaloid! Her voice is totally my type, so I want to sing along with her.

Iikubo: Like with a voice changer?

Nonaka: Yeah, I would love to try that!






(members laugh)







When people think of artists coming to anime events, the default idea seems to be about anime openings and endings. However, Morning Musume’s musicals for the past few years have also been based off of manga. Are there any works that you’d want to do a theater version of?

Iikubo: *grins* Oh, which one to pick~

Fukumura: Oo I have one! Pretty Cure!

Is there a specific character you would like to play?

Fukumura: Hmm…Hikari-chan from Futari wa Pretty Cure!

Iikubo: 2.5D musicals are really hot in Japan right now, and there’s a lot of plays based off of mangas. But one that hasn’t been done yet is Pocket Monsters!

Fukumura, Nonaka, Morito, all at Yokoyama: Pikachu!!!!!!

Yokoyama raises hand in protest: No, I’ll be Satoshi!(Ash)

(members laugh)

Iikubo: They’re doing the Detective Pikachu movie in America, right? So there’ll be a movie, but I want to do the theater version!

Then if Yokoyama-san is going to be Satoshi/Ash, what role will everybody else be?

Members: Eeeehhh!!

Iikubo: Hmm, who would I be~

Fukumura: I’ll be Purin! (Jigglypuff)

Other members, in understanding: Ahh!!

Iikubo: Jigglypuff, Jiggly~♪

Yokoyama: Ah! Iikubo-san does a really good Togepi impression!!

Iikubo: Ready? Togepriiiiiii~

That’s really good!!!
(We unfortunately could not include the sound clip.)

Iikubo, victoriously: Alright!!! Then I’ll do it on stage today!

(members laugh)

Nonaka: I don’t think I look like it, but I really like Kabigon! (Snorlax)

(members laugh)

Nonaka: It’ll be a role where I’m mostly sleeping, but I want to wear a big Snorlax kigurumi and do it. It’ll definitely be hot though so I want to do this play in the winter!



飯窪 ニヤケ「どれにしよう〜」





譜久村、野中、森戸 all at 横山「ピカチュー!!」

横山 raises hand in protest「いや、サトシ!!!」

(members laugh)













members laugh



One of the main appeals of New York are its broadway shows! If you had to adapt one of your musicals to English and perform it in New York, which one would you choose and why?

Members: Eeeehhh~

Fukumura: The first play I did after becoming a member is REBORN Inochi no Audition. In it, a lot of historical Japanese characters make an appearance, so I’d like to do an English version of that and show some Japanese history.

Iikubo: I didn’t appear in this one, but Trump.

Others: Ahh!!

Fukumura: Lilium?

Iikubo: Yeah, Lilium Shoujo Junketsu Kageki.

Nonaka: I’d like to do 11 Nin Iru!, which is based off of a Japanese manga. After all, I think sci-fi and space themed things would be popular in America. Also, there doesn’t seem to be many space themed plays in broadway so I’d like to take on that challenge!

New Yorkと言ったら、やはりブロードウェイだと思いますが、モーニング娘。が出演したミュージカルの中で英語版をここでやることになったら、どれにしますか?その理由も教えてください。








Lastly, many of your North American fans only know of your concerts and appearances here, but are also interested in visiting Japan for those exclusive events. How would you describe your events in Japan to them?

Iikubo: Well, we do a lot of handshake events. Whenever we put out a new song, we’ll do release events with handshakes. I think they really help in closing the distance between us and our fans, so I’d like for foreign fans to be able to experience that.

Fukumura: An event that everyone can have fun at is the Christmas events! We all dress up as Santa and sing Merry Christmas together!

Nonaka: I get the impression that fans can become really good friends at our concerts. Japanese people have an impression of keeping to ourselves, but since everyone has a shared hobby, they can become friends easily. So I’d like for foreign fans to come to our concerts in Japan and befriend our Japanese fans so they can all have fun together!

Yokoyama: And if you really like a certain member, you should definitely go to their birthday event since they’ll have solo talk corners and solo lives. Say if you’re like ‘I really like Fukumura-san!’, then you should definitely go to her birthday event! You get to hold up her color of penlight the whole time and meet everyone else who also loves her, so it’d definitely be a ton of fun!

Iikubo: You’re being surprisingly modest by not using yourself as the example!

(members laugh)

Morito: With bus tours, you get to spend the whole day with the member and all their fans. It’s probably difficult to attend for foreign fans, but you’d get to befriend other fans and spend so much time with the members. I think you’d come to love Morning Musume even more after participating, so I think it’d be a great experience to join one!

You’re also doing a dinner show with the whole group next year, correct?

Members: We are!

Fukumura: You could also use some time to sightsee around Japan, so I’d like for them to come to the event!

Iikubo: It’d be really nice if there was traditional Japanese food for the dinner show!

Yokoyama: That’d be so wonderful!

Fukumura: Yeah, like fish and stuff!!

Others: Fish and stuff!?!?

Fukumura laughs: Traditional Japanese! I mean traditional Japanese!

(members laugh)

Well, it seems like it’d be a lot of fun, so hopefully some foreign fans get the chance to go.

It was a pleasure to be able to speak with you all again, thank you so much for the interview opportunity today!








members laugh



全員 「はい!」






譜久村 「和食!和食!」



We would like to thank Up-Front Promotion, AnimeNYC, and Anisong World Matsuri for this interview opportunity.

Anime NYC, which welcomed a record 36,000 attendees to Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, teamed with New York City to create a special citation naming November 16, 2018 “Anisong World Matsuri Day” in recognition of the event’s popularity and its effect of bringing together thousands of fans from across the United States and other countries for New York’s biggest-ever J-Pop concert series.

Anisong World Matsuri at Anime NYC, which welcomed a record 36,000 attendees to Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, was presented through partnership between Anime NYC and leading Japanese entertainment companies including BANDAI NAMCO Arts, Inc., Amuse, Inc., and Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

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