Hey gang! Our anonymous pal in Japan went right for the translation on the latest interview with Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da, offering it up before I even had a chance to sheepishly ask for the favor. What a human. Source:
— 音楽ナタリー (@natalie_mu) February 1, 2017
My favorite part is right at the end. Out of context, you get the feeling that Megumi is a stone-cold killer.
Two new members, Toga Ren and Mikuchiyo Mene, have joined Zenbu kimi no sei da.
November last year, Aza withdrew from the group and the following month, Gomochi did so too. Amongst the sad voices of the fans, the new members were quickly chosen and they hastily performed their first live in their new 5 member form.
Music Natalie, that previously interviewed the group with solo interviews, was quick to interview all the members. We asked about the details of the two new members joining in, how they felt about last years member turmoil, their thoughts on their biggest gig yet at Ebisu Liquidroom and the summary of their last year.
Even if there was 1 person with this type of characteristic
–Today we have the two members join us for this interview. Please introduce yourself.
Togaren: My name is Toga Ren. You could call me “Togare”. For some reason, people call me the goofy character..
Megumi: Character, or should we just call her a natural airhead.
T: People might say i’m dumb, but I’m still cheerfully doing my best.
–Is there any specialty that you have?
T: I’m a big eater
–A big eater?
Megumi: Late at night, she might have a portion that’s the amount of a male’s dinner. She might order katsudon and then order fried shrimp and japanese fried chicken to go with it. (these are pretty calorie heavy foods)
–Zenkimis costumes reveal your belly quite a lot, do you feel like you should care about your body?
Toga: Everyone says my belly is squishy (laughs). Of course I’m thinking about losing weight, but I also think that it’s ok to have 1 person with this type of characteristic
Megumi: But that’s not good if you’re an idol!
I thought i failed the audition
–There’s also 1 other new member. Mene, please introduce yourself.
Mene: I became the blue colored member. My name is Mikuchiyo Mene.
–Do you have a specialty?
Mene: I’ve played piano for a long time, but recently I’ve gotten into playing synthesizers. I did that because when Togare was announced as a new member, I thought I failed the audition. I thought that I should start doing something else, so I bought a synth.
–Toga Ren joined the group at the end of last year. That’s pretty recently, right?
Mene: Yes. I thought that I must have some sort of specialty to stand out.
Yotsu: That’s so airheaded!
–(laughs). How do you feel about playing the synth? Do you feel it could be your specialty?
Mene: I tried playing them with similar feeling like you’d play a keyboard, but it was actually really hard. The instruction manual was full of words I didn’t understand, so I bought a book that dealed with synthplaying and I couldn’t understand the words in that either. The playing style is similar to that of a piano/keyboard, but I feel that I must learn different playstyles.
–And that was all because you thought you failed the audition.
Mene: Yes. So not buying the synth would’ve been good too. (laughs). But it could become a specialty of mine, so I’ll try to continue playing.
Could you let that go for zenkimis sake?
T: I had originally thought a lot about becoming an idol. I saw ZenKimi at an event and realized that it had a personality that wasn’t in “purity-style” idols (referring to AKB etc. traditional idols) and there was a certain fascination to it. That’s why I decided that if i’d become an idol, I’d be an idol in a group with personality like ZenKimi.
–Did you attend auditions for any other idol groups?
T: I didn’t. My first attempt was ZenKimi. I was really happy when I passed the audition.
Mene: I had previously failed an audition for zenkimi. This was my second time auditioning for the group.
–Did the group leader Megumi take part in the member selections?
Megumi: Yes I did. In interviews I asked questions like: “If you joined zenkimi, you might not be able to spend time with friends you’ve made up until this point. Could you let that go for zenkimis sake? Would you put all your faith in zenkimi?”. The two girls who answered affirmatively two those questions where these two.
T: I had already dreamt of becoming an idol. When the chance to realize to graps that dream came to me, I said “yes” to those questions without caring about the status quo.
Mene: Since I had already once failed an audition, I thought I failed again when Toga Ren was announced as a new member, yet somehow I was selected as a member too. To join the Zenkimi that I adore, I thought I wouldn’t need anything else.
The fullpowerdness of zenkimi hasn’t changed
–How do the existing 3 members feel about the 2 new members?
Y: Since it’s the most rigorous time for zenkimi right now, I was worried if they could keep up with us during practice and so on. However, they learned dances and such without complaining or whining at all. Since they listened to our instructions diligently, it made us also serious about teaching them.
Mashiro: I think those two are really serious about this. Togare and Mone are both a bit airheaded, but I feel that they’re really serious about being a part of ZenKimi. It’s also interesting to see two new personalities join us that we haven’t had before. “We have these kinds, too” or to say it better, finding new variety of members.
Megumi: Mashiro always thinks people other than herself as Unidentified, Mysterious Animals (laughs).
Mashiro: No no, everyones a mysterious human!
–How do you feel, Megumi?
Megumi: Ren is a person that would believe any lie, so that is a worry of mine. But to say seriously, she’s fast in learning songs and choreographies. From the time we started practicing together, to her debut gig at Liquid Room last year, she put her all in learning even if there wasn’t enough time and there was a pile of songs to learn.
She felt like she was at home during the January 14th gig at Shibuya Eggman
T: Really? That’s great to hear!
Megumi: Mene can face any obstacle without being surprised at all. When she chose to become an idol, she understood the heaviness of that choice. I can feel that she has a strong heart giving her all for ZenKimi. She joined later than Ren, so even if she still has things to learn, I strongly get the feeling that she’s giving it all she’s got.
–With this new 5 member formation, where do you feel the fascination lies?
Megumi: There’s still the fumbling parts, but I feel it’s good that there’s a small change in our lives. I want us to be a group that keeps changing in a good way in the future, too.
Mashiro: The members might’ve changed, but the fullpowerdness of zenkimi hasn’t changed -like mindset is definitely true with our new formation. The word “fullpowerdness” contains different points, but I want people to see our fullpowerdness that is different from previous.
We’ll definitely continue on being zenkimi
–This is going a bit of a past talk, but Aza left in November and Gomochi left in December. How do the 3 remaining members feel about that?
Mashiro: When the pics of those two hanging around with fans started circulating, I was totally surprised since I wasn’t aware of this. I couldn’t find any words, I originally couldn’t even understand it. Since there was a period where we couldn’t meet Aza and Gomochi, there wasn’t any chances to hear their side of the story so there was a long period where you couldn’t really digest what was happening.
Yotsu: The love I felt towards those two and the feeling of “how did it come to this” were fighting. I thought about them during lives and when I was at home. When we were doing events with only the 3 of us, I felt like we should show ourselves that hadn’t changed from the 5 person lineup, but it was a bit rushed. There was a bit unreckless yet unable to calm down feelings were there. There was a period where it was really painful. I at points really forced my feelings on Megumi and Mashiro.
Megumi: I said this during our MC at Liquid Room, but my number 1 feeling was “please don’t stop”. After that was “are you kidding me”. Finally, it came to “please be happy from now on”. I had been working with Gomochi from before ZenKimi was formed, so the “why did it come to this” feeling was really strong. Even though we had just started to gain a foothold.
–That was because you had just moved onto the next level as a group
Mashiro: Our feeling was that we can’t return to things like this. We couldn’t give the impression that we were doing our all as zenkimi. There was a feeling that with these 5 we could go all the way to Nippon Budokan.
–What kind of discussion did you remaining 3 have?
Mashiro: We had very forward-facing discussions. Discussions like “even if it’s just us 3, we’ll do these kinds of gigs” and so on.
Yotsu: To be honest, dwelling in the past felt pointless.
Mashiro: yeah, it felt like the end would come.
Megumi: Only once, we had the discussion of “do we feel like continuing as this group?”. When we had that talk, all three of us said “yes, we do feel like it”. Even if Aza and Gomochi weren’t there anymore, we’ll definitely continue on being zenkimi. With that feeling we decided on continuing.
Mashiro: With the support of the fans, staff of codomomental, people involved in our music video production and other people who supported us brought us to the point we were in. The group wasn’t just our creation, but it was creation of everyone involved. So we felt like couldn’t just decided by ourself to end this. Even if there was only 1 fan that says “please don’t stop”, we felt like we should continue.
–The decision of leaving the group was the decision of those two, right?
Megumi: Yes, it was their decision. To the day until they announced they were leaving the group, we didn’t ask them what they wanted to do.
Yotsu: On the day of the gig where they announced they were leaving the group, they were talking with us like they normally did in the dressing room and so on. Aza was all smiles like she usually was. It wasn’t like she hadn’t reflected on her actions. Even with the painful reflection of what they did, Aza and Gomochi sent out the feel that they did their part in the group until the end.
It’d be ok if we died during this Oneman
–With all the withdrawals and all, you had your largest gig ever at Liquid Room with Tokyo gathering a large amount of fans to the venue
Megumi: We are thankful that so many people came to see us.
–How did you feel about that gig?
Yotsu: I wasn’t feeling healthy that day, but with it being Gomochi’s last day and being a turning point for Zenkimi, I stepped on the stage with the feeling that It’d be ok if we died during this Oneman.
Mashiro: Since it was our biggest live, having the largest audience we’ve ever had, the liquid room gig for us was definitely our biggest turning point so far. It was a gig with a bit different feeling than usual, it felt like Aza was on the stage with us even if she had already left the group. It also felt like Gomochi was the closest as she ahd ever been, so it wasn’t a gig that you recklessly could’ve faced.
Megumi: It was a gig packed with different emotions. It was a that one day and that one moment where all of the members gave their all. Out of all the gigs, this was the one where I looked at Gomochi’s face the most. During Mudai Gassho or songs where our eyes normally wouldn’t have met, I kept looking on at her. It was a gig where we were really close with the members and were really close with the fans too. We sent out a message to the fans that supported us until that day, “please support us from now on too”.
Mashiro: I tried to hold back tears, but the fans in the front row were crying.
Megumi: Seeing that you just couldn’t hold it back anymore.
–It was not only the last gig of Gomochi’s, but also the gig where Toga Ren’s joining was announced.
Megumi: It was good since we didn’t just show an ending, but also showed what was in the future. The still a bit recklessly going forward Zenkimi was displayed. It felt a good ending for a year of crazy string of gigs.
–The year passed on with laughs and tears.
–It was a year of many things, but looking back, what kind of year was it?
Megumi: Even if a lot of things happened, it was a good year. Even if the two members withdrew, it gave me a sense that we had grown.
Yotsu: The year passed on with laughs and tears.
Mashiro: It’s only starting from now.
–Finally, we’d like to hear from the new members what their goals will be from now on.
T: My number one ambition for this year is “To become a person that is loved”. Since I just joined, there are people who don’t “get” me or don’t even know who I am, so I’ll put all my strenght into becoming a beloved person.
–How about Mene?
Mene: I loved Zenkimi before joining the group, so I want to continue building it without destroying the feeling that I originally fell in love with. I also don’t want to stop learning to play the synth (laughs)