Hey guys, I had some free time today and remembered a cool interview I saw of Ikoma and Miona. I liked it so much I decided to translate it to put on my tumblr ^_^
I thought it was interesting and I learnt stuff about them I didn’t know like Miona dropping out of high school lol I took out some parts because it was promo about Barette, not really relevant to them. Anyways it’s a bit long but enjoy x
─ Hori when did you first realise you were interested in the entertainment industry?
Hori Miona: I’ve always been interested in idols but i’d only ever done one audition before and my singing and dancing was really bad (laughs) [AN: Miona actually auditioned for AVEX pre-debut but failed]. Around that time, Nogizaka’s first generation had debuted so when I saw an announcement for the second generation auditions, I applied straight away.
─ Before you joined, what were your thoughts on Nogizaka46?
Hori: They have a classic ‘idol’ aura, it’s very refreshing. I loved them.
─ So, now you’re a member of a group that you liked originally…
Hori: Yes. It reminds me of the lyrics to ‘Seifuku no Mannequin’ where the members sing ‘if you don’t try taking one step forward, nothing will start’. Whilst listening to it I thought to myself ‘nothing will happen unless I take this chance’.
Ikoma Rina: Really? I’m glad!
─ It seems that as soon as you passed the audition for Nogizaka46 this Spring (2013), that you have left high school?
Hori: Yes. I intend to put my full effort into Nogizaka46. Of course, I won’t deny that studies are important but my feelings changed when I realised I would be moving away from Gifu and leaving my friends and family behind. I just don’t feel that studies are compatible with my situation right now.
─ And did your decision to quit go smoothly?
Hori: Yes, I decided it immediately without talking to the staff.
─ Well it’s a sign of how conscious you are of your situation and take it seriously
Ikoma: Yeah, it’s amazing. If it was me, my first thought would be ‘Why quit school? That’s such a waste’. But I understand her feelings and respect her decision.
─ Hori have you been having dancing and singing lessons? How are they?
Hori: It’s difficult but I’ve been practicing hard. I’ve been watching the choreography in videos and I write notes to take home with me.
Ikoma: Hori-chan has been learning the 7th single choreography as well as past singles. I think it would be difficult for some at the beginning because the songs all have very different tempos like ‘Tsuki no Ookisa’ and ‘Barette’. But she’s doing amazing just remembering all the choreography with us.
─ Ikoma what are your thoughts on the second generation members?
Ikoma: In the first generation we have members like Nakada Kana who really likes idols but most aren’t really into that and act very mature. When I see the second generation, there are many cute and child-like members that we don’t have in the first generation.
Hori: There is a lot of personality in second gen.
Ikoma: Yeah, the first generation are generally quiet. The second generation are very lively.
Hori: I’ve been hearing this a lot.
Ikoma: They are interesting. I’m really surprised by the second generation’s momentum.
Hori: I was surprised too.
─ Hori, I get a sense that you and Ikoma have become very close?
Ikoma: I think she’s very close with her generation, but with the first generation she’s still shy.
Hori: I guess…
Ikoma: But I think that will change when more second gen members join in and interact with us. When it comes to the first generation, our bonds are very strong. Maybe some members worried that their relationships would be broken.
─ At your handshake event in August at Makuhari Messe, the second generation members were introduced and performed in front of 10,000 fans. Was this the first time you saw them perform live?
Ikoma: Yes it was the first time. Watching them perform to their utmost with lots of energy made me very happy. It reminded me of our first performance…
─ Hori, did you ever get used to the idea that you’re a Nogizaka member after watching them on television and listening to their songs?
Hori: It took a while to sink in until recently. I asked myself if I actually passed the audition…
─ That would be shocking if you didn’t pass but got to appear in handshakes and live performances (laughs)
Ikoma: Like a huge prank (laughs)
Hori: After passing, I was at home in Gifu for so long that I started to think to myself ‘am I really a Nogizaka member?’. The initial feeling was warm and fuzzy, but now everything is becoming more real and exciting as I get to perform more and more.
─ By the way, what was your life like living in Gifu?
Hori: Pretty repetitive. I would just eat and sleep at home. Then do the same again (laughs).
─ I see (laughs). What about school?
Hori: I was only close with one or two people. We would play together. I was also made class president…
Ikoma: That’s awesome…
Hori: The thing is people have this impression of me because of how I look. I look quiet and serious but they didn’t know the real me. I became very unreliable over time (laughs). I would always think about going home to sleep.
─ Did you ever fall asleep at school? (laughs)
Hori: Yes a lot (laughs)
─ Any hobbies?
Hori: My hobbies are eating and going to the hot springs.
─ Your life must have changed a lot after joining Nogizaka?
Hori: Yes. I have to get up really early in the morning now and my local friends back home are really excited when they see me and always ask what’s happening…
─ Ikoma did you think any second generation members would enter senbatsu for this single?
Ikoma: Honestly, yes. I had been wondering who the center of the second generation was. I actually expected it to be Miona.
Ikoma: Just by looking at her i thought she would be center of second gen.
─ So, intuition?
Ikoma: Yeah, it was intuition. On that day, the second generation members came for the filming of ‘Nogizaka tte Doko?’, and I instantly thought a member of second gen would be chosen. Plus the number was increased from 16 to 17 members, yet the front row was changed from 3 members to 5. When they got to the last person, in the back of my mind I thought ‘yes it’s definitely Hori’.
─ Ikoma had the most refreshing smile during the announcement too…
Ikoma: I thought to myself, if I keep crying every senbatsu announcement, I would look pitiful to people. I would rather be kind to myself and not break down my confidence.
─ Is this mentality based on the Girl’s Rule senbatsu announcement?
Ikoma: Maybe. I probably shouldn’t say this but I may have become spoilt after being center for so long. But now I’m not, I’m relieved from the pressure I once had and feel a lot better now. I’m not center anymore, but it’s okay. It’s actually more fun.
─ Hori when your name was called as center, how did you feel?
Hori: I was confused. I had no experience, special merits or skills but I was made center. I was already shocked when I passed the audition, but during the senbatsu announcement all I felt was panic.
─ Apparently you called out to her Ikoma?
Ikoma: For Hori-chan, at the time she must have been very nervous and scared around the first generation members, so I decided to give her some words of encouragement.
Hori: I was really grateful…
─ What do you want to become in the future Hori?
Hori: Well, I would like to be seen as a fun character. I would like to have an important role for the group and help strengthen it as well as becoming a stronger individual. I would like to experience new things and enjoy my time in Nogizaka. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, you can’t project that feeling when you are performing live or appearing on television. It becomes unnatural. So, in general, I just want to be happy.
Ikoma: That was amazing, Hocchan. I’m so impressed! Really, Hocchan is very interesting. She came out with an instant answer…
─ With that said, do you think you have a chance at being Nogizaka’s sole center?
Hori: It’s too early to tell, I still have mixed feelings about being center now, but from this experience, I think it would be better for me to build up my self-confidence slowly.
─By listening to the two of you and your conversations today, I wonder if Hori becoming a senbatsu member has benefited Ikoma?
Ikoma: Yes, it’s definitely a plus. At first, I was confused. I was like “wow! a second gen member has come” but now I think, ‘Hocchan is great!’ when I see her. I felt like this talking with her today too.
Hori: I’m glad!
─It looks like Hori has now joined the first generation members, but isn’t standing on the same battlefield as them?
Ikoma: She’ll make us all collapse like in the Tsuki no Ookisa PV~
Hori: *evil laughs* Yes!
Ikoma: Now or Never!
Very nice interview! People, you should read it!