Here’s a relatively long (and very interesting) interview to Yuria!
A lot of things to get to know here…
From her perception of her new life in Tokyo, to the members she keeps in touch the most with and the AKB members she got the closest to, from her struggles and achievements in Team 4 and the words Ooshima told her, to her honest opinion about the differences between AKB and SKE, going through the genius’ negativity and her decision to avoid thinking.
Please enjoy! And if you don’t already like Yuria…you can always start now! :)
And check this link for other interviews and articles.
[Living alone for the first time]
Interviewer: We last interviewed you on March, right after your transfer to AKB48’s Team 4 was announced during the Big Reformation, which means…5 months have passed from your last appearance on BUBKA! Have you grown used to your life in Tokyo?
Yuria: Ever since I came in Tokyo I’m living with the constant feeling of being determined not to easily believe in things. It’s not a coincidence that the phrase I use to say more often is [No way!] (laughs)
Interviewer: I actually feel like you already used to say that when you were living in Nagoya (laughs).
Yuria: That’s true, but now I feel it much more strongly (laughs)
Interviewer: Has something happened?
Yuria: No, nothing particular. But I mean…I’m alone here in Tokyo, and I feel like easily believing in everything would be likely to lead to something potentially dangerous, so…
Interviewer: You’re watching out for yourself, aren’t you?
Yuria: Yes, I’m living with unceasing wariness.
Interviewer: Well, you ARE living in Tokyo, after all.
Yuria: Now it’s almost 4 months! The other day I even did some major clean up to my room! I cleaned it all right before my parents came. If I don’t show them that I can do okay even by myself, they won’t ever be able to let go of their daughter. I’m one of those who really wants to become independent from their family, so even when I still was in SKE, I strongly wished to become an adult in that sense as soon as possible. So if they don’t manage to let hold of me, I risk to keep ending up depending on them forever.
Interviewer: However, it’s understandable for your parents to be worried about you.
Anyway, have you found some places you particularly like in Tokyo?
Yuria: During the first period, I thought I really wanted to go to Takeshita avenue, but as I actually went, turned out there wasn’t anything I wanted to buy that much…
Ah, I often go to manga cafè!!
In the end I’m doing exactly the same things I used to do when I was in Nagoya (laughs).
So I’m honestly not one of those being all like “Oh yeah, hooray for Tokyo!”
Interviewer: So there were no big changes regarding your lifestyle.
Yuria: Only the fact that now I’m free to do what I want, I guess. I can stay up ‘til late watching TV or reading manga without getting scolded. I can take my bath and I can go to sleep at whatever the time I want!
Interviewer: Take in mind that there’s people that end up becoming good for nothing because of this!
Yuria: I must admit I’m kind of becoming one of them (laughs)
Which is why, thinking I’d become a good for nothing girl if I keep going like this, I sometimes clean my room or go to the super market buying food!
Interviewer: Ah, do you actually cook?
Yuria: When I buy ingredients I’m sincerely driven by the desire to cook something, but then I can’t avoid noticing how their expiration date is soon to get past…
Interviewer: Oh I see…Well, you didn’t have to worry about things like expiration dates before, after all.
Yuria: That’s right. I’ve always used to think that everything we had home could be just normally eaten at any time. Now every time I feel like cooking something, I get like “Nonono, wait! Let’s first check the expiration date!” and after I do that, I happen to get a bit too much composure… (laughs)
Interviewer: Which means your refrigerator must be super filled with food.
Yuria: Exactly: However, chances are most of them are past their expiration date (laughs).
Interviewer: You did write something about this on Google + some time ago. It was pretty much about you spending days asking the food in your refrigerator that had past the expiration date “Is it really already too late!?”
Yuria: Right. I wonder what was wrong with me in that period…
I guess it was because, after only a month since I had moved in Tokyo, I was feeling kind of lonely.
So I’d talk to the food getting like “What? Are you going past your expiration date too!?” (laughs)
Interviewer: I can imagine you saying things like “Hey, isn’t it too early for you!? Come on, hang in there a bit more!”
Yuria: I also often talk to the television.
When I went to Paruru’s house and we were watching TV together, I would often say things like “No, not like that I say!!” or “What!? Seriously!?”…and Paruru told me “Wait…why are you talking to the television!?”
Interviewer: But don’t worry, that really isn’t anything special or weird (laughs)
Yuria: Hm, I guess. When you’re alone, the time you spend thinking increases considerably and you don’t have that many chances to talk with someone… But anyway, with the personality I have, I very quickly forget about anything anyway.
Interviewer: I remember you were a bit nervous about being able to grow familiar with Team 4.
Yuria: I kept thinking that I would eventually grow familiar with it…
However, I unavoidably end up making up barriers, especially during the first meeting with people.
I feel as if I need to cross over at least 3 walls every time I talk to anybody, which makes it hard for me to be spontaneous, so I think that surely is one of the reasons…
And as for what concerns the others, I think they were confused as for how they should behave with me, as someone who used to be an SKE senbatsu member.
In any case, recently all that has considerably decreased!
Interviewer: For the extra footage of [Labrador Retriever] you had to film a close-up report behind the scenes of Team 4’s Music Video, hadn’t you? I think it might’ve been a really positive thing that you were given a chance like that to, even if “forcibly”, take communication with all the others.
Yuria: You know? It was the 3rd time for me to meet the girls when that shooting actually happened…
Before approaching them that day, I even had to make sure about what their name was, so I was really really nervous. Yet I agree it’s been good that I received such a chance. It would’ve been terrible without it…
Now they all got able to call me [Yuria-chan], so I must say things are proceeding great!
Interviewer: That’s how the idea you suggested, of the [Use of the “san” honorific] ban, was born, right?
Yuria: I didn’t know what a vice captain was supposed to do, but I’ve always wanted to take care of the members on an emotional and psychological level. However, in order to do that, it was necessary for us to establish relationships that would actually allow such a thing, and that would’ve taken a lot of time.
So I didn’t know what to do. But since I was assigned with the role of vice captain, I firmly decided I wanted to make use of it in what I thought was the best way, so I suggested to use the “chan” honorific to refer to seniors too.
Interviewer: Were there any good results?
Yuria: There actually were, yes!
As we were having a group conversation on LINE all together, I suddenly said: [It’s forbidden to use the “san” honorific!]. Thinking there sure were some who would’ve been against it, I also added [Those who think they can’t do it no matter what, please contact me in private].
Nanachan kindly started to call me [Yuria-chan] really immediately!
Mikichan was very fast too!
Interviewer: Nishino does look like one who would be fast to do such a thing (laughs)
Yuria: Mikichan lately often disses me, you know? Saying things like “Your writing sucks” or “You’re dumb”. But I must say it kind of makes me happy to be dissed by members…
Interviewer: How is the combination with captain Minegishi working out?
Yuria: Right before the tour, Miichan came to my place every day.
While discussing with the staff, we decided the set list.
We put it together while thinking, more than anything else, about what fans would’ve wanted to see, and what would’ve shown Team 4’s greatness the best.
It made us so happy to hear the fans get fired up and get like “Ohhhh” every time a new song would start! I’m sure we felt that way even more because it was us who decided the set list!
Interviewer: I bet it’s really different form just performing a set list you’ve been assigned by someone else.
Yuria: Exactly. When I was in SKE I didn’t ever get to express my opinion on such matters.
Interviewer: Then, what about performances? We last interviewed you right after you watched Team 4’s Stage and you were very nervous wondering how it would become with you being there too.
Even after the beginning of the activities in the new Team, you openly expressed your distress on Google +, writing things like “I keep being sluggish ever since the first performance”
Yuria: I used to feel very troubled…
Every single thing troubled me.
I couldn’t dance AKB’s songs nicely, as the style is really different compared to SKE’s one.
I also was left kind of perplexed by how I was assigned to a sexy song such as Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate for the first time, so yeah…
Interviewer: How was it to stand on the same stage with Nishino? During the last interview you told us that you thought Nishino’s performance was “2 to 5 times the level of the Sudachan of the first times!”
Yuria: Mikichan’s performances tend to vary a lot depending on the day, but anyway – also being that young – she constantly gives her very best. There’s something you can perceive even in a much stronger way being close to her. If it’s about stability, then Nanachan’s on a higher level!
Recently, Yuuko-san came to watch Team 4’s Stage and kindly gave advices to each one of us and I felt like many of the things she said were really accurate!
Interviewer: What did Ooshima tell you?
Yuria: She praised my turns.
She also spoke very well of my [Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate].
That made me very happy. Of course she also properly told me all the things she thought weren’t okay.
The [Idol no Yoake] Stage is really focused on members looking at each other and having fun together while dancing and about this Yuuko-san told me: “I think your smile is really amazing. However, in the very moment you get to turn to the audience, it disappears.”
Interviewer: Is there some good side of SKE you tried to bring in Team 4?
Yuria: You see…Team 4 already has something similar to SKE48.
But when it comes to performing an AKB48 Stage as an AKB48 member…it gets really hard to show off SKE’s essence…
Both fans and staff members told me they want me to bring SKE’s essence to Team 4, but I don’t know what which is the direction to move on, which is the right thing to do…
Yuuko-san told me: “Your turn is really incredible, so please do teach it to the other members”, but it’s not like I can go like “Hey everyone, come here! We’re gonna do some turn practice!!”, can I? (laughs)
So yeah…it’s very hard on a lot of aspects.
Team 4 already has its great points and maybe the members don’t even wish for any change to happen at all in the first place…
When I start thinking about this kind of things, I really end up being unable to stop.
Interviewer: But aren’t you currently about to sneak out of that tunnel?
Yuria: Well yeah…I decided to stop thinking.
And it’s maybe because of that, that lately I feel so much more at ease.
Ever since I came to Tokyo I’ve been thinking and worrying and troubling…
“What should I do? I can’t go on anymore. Come on, I’m not talented at all…”
I’d go like that every single day.
I tend to be basically very negative, so yeah…
However, if one just keeps on worrying like that, no answer is going to come out.
That’s why lately I decided to go on living my days without thinking.
Interviewer: Speaking of people to ask for advice to in Tokyo…Would that one be Minegishi, after all?
Yuria: I pretty much always give a phone call to Ogichan (laughs)
But to be honest, the member who lately kindly listens to my worries the most is Sudachan I think.
As soon as I have some time I immediately get in touch with her, we go out to eat and she even often comes to my place.
Sudachan is a member I’ve gone through all kind of adversities woth, so we discuss each others’ worries and we also release our stress together.
Interviewer: The 3rd generation’s bond is as strong as usual, but having transferred to AKB, haven’t you also started to interact more with the senbatsu members?
Yuria: Oh, yeah. They’re all surprisingly kind! (laughs)
Interviewer: Surprisingly…!? (laughs)
Yuria: Well, you know…They have kind of that image…
I really had no chances to interact with them when I was in SKE, so, to make a couple of examples, if I had Kojiharu-san dancing right before my eyes I’d feel like “Wow, her clothes look great!”, and listening to any single word coming out from Takamina-san’s mouth, would make me feel like “Oh my, she should so become Prime Minister!!”.
I used to be like this pretty much regarding every other senbatsu member.
In the dressing room, Sashihara-san would always kindly react to whatever I say….
But anyway among them all, the one I like the most is Yukirin-san.
I really really like her.
Interviewer: Kashiwagi tweeted saying this about you: “We give out kind of matching vibes…I like her”.
Yuria: Yukirin-san always keeps me in mind and takes care of me.
When I normally go and approach her saying something, she properly listens to me and reacts saying things like “Oh, you’re so dumb!” and she even went as far as tweeting some of the things I said calling them the “Yuria Legends”.
After that all, I became able to greet and talk to her in a very comfortable way.
Interviewer: You’re also close to Yokoyama, aren’t you?
Yuria: Oh sure! I’m so damn close to Yuichan!! She’s amazingly funny!!
The other day, as we were having a long break before performing in a music show, I’ve been talking with Yuichan and Sayanee the whole time and we had so much fun we looked like idiots, seriously.
To the point that’s probably been the day in which I laughed the most this year!
Interviewer: I’d love to listen a radio show with these 3 members!
Yuria: Then, how can I not mention Takamina-san?
We once had a talk during a certain show, and I honestly got so surprised by how, despite being there so many members in the group, she had been properly observing me as well.
She had even gotten a grip of my personality, and she was so accurate!
I seriously want for her to become Prime Minister.
Interviewer: Also…didn’t you use to look up to Watanabe Mayu?
Yuria: When it comes to Mayu-san,
to me being able to even just gaze at her is more than enough.
I look and wonder “Oh my, why is she so cute…?”
So, honestly…I’m not even able to go talk to her…
Seriously, no matter when you look at her and no matter from where you look at her…she’s so cute!!!
Interviewer: Now that you became part of AKB, what are the elements that, more strongly, allows you to perceive the differences with SKE48?
Yuria: For example…when AKB48 members appear in a music show, they really focus on trying to appear cute and making as many fans as possible think they’re cute. But SKE48 members, on the contrary, focus it all on just how much intensely they can dance while disheveling their hair with all their might. Additionally, in AKB48, the members don’t meddle much with each in the dressing room.
But in SKE…it’s enough for a member to leave for a bit that someone goes like “Why isn’t she here!?”
AKB members really don’t show any interest or concern in case someone’s missing…
Interviewer: There’s a lot of individualism in AKB48…that’s why I guess.
Everyone is being independent on her own.
Yuria: Yeah… But personally I think SKE48’s sense of unity is a positive aspect too.
Interviewer: To mention one big event that happened after you reached Tokyo…that would be your appearance in the TV series GTO. Did something change after you could appear in the series?
Yuria: The number of my female fans increased!!
Also, as I went to the shooting locations together with my manager, I noticed that would kind of weirdly make me stand out and well, that was a lesson learned too.
It made me understand so very clearly how much of a blessed environment AKB48 is…
I’m being protected inside AKB48, but that’s not what normally happens to people working on a shooting location, so I once again realized how I really must try not to get used to this privilege.
Interviewer: There’s also the appearance in a movie – Zakurozaka no Adauchi – starring Mr. Nakai Kiichi…You’re really riding a very favorable wind lately!!
Yuria: I’m really doing nothing but having the chance to learn so, so many things!
Interviewer: I’m so reassured seeing how much you’re steadily improving even after moving to Tokyo!
Yuria: Really? Then, as a reward, please let me be on a cover of the magazine together with Sudachan, just me and her!!!
Interviewer: Eh…!? With Suda!?
Yuria: Oh well, if you really want for me to do it alone, then I’m okay with that (laughs)
Interviewer: Well of course you are (laughs).
Yuria: But still…Since now the chances for me to work together with Sudachan have decreased considerably…even something like a talk with her would be nice! I’d love to do it.
That or…I don’t know, a cover with all the 3rd generation members would be nice too!
Interviewer: Got it. But for the time being, I’ll just bring these ideas home with me.