Title / Artist
Interview with THE HOOPERS
Date: 2016.12.27
Artist:   THE HOOPERS  
Hyper Japan Christmas Market came back to Tobacco Dock in London again for this year. Nippon Project would like to thank the organizers of Hyper Japan, THE HOOPERS and other press who conducted the group interviews on 26 November 2016.

What’s your thoughts of the popularity of Japanese music in UK?

Sena: Personally I didn’t think Japanese music was widely known in the UK so much unless you are someone like Utada but from what I had experienced on stage, people seem to be quite open and accepting something new such as anime and a boyish girl band like us. (They are a girl band who dress like boys) People seemed very enthusiastic and responded really well today. Japanese music may not be for everyone yet but surely it’s something everyone can enjoy.

You obviously have a Takarazuka influence. I really was interested how you were first aware of Takarazuka and how you brought it into your music.

I was always a fan of Takarazuka. I am fascinated by females acting as male figures. It has a special appeal. They are so sophisticated and gallant on stage giving out a totally different appeal to offstage. I wanted to become one like them. I watched their shows and DVDs over and over to learn how to apply their style to my performances.

In our agency, there is a senior boy band, Fudanjyuku(風男塾) and we were formed after them. It wouldn’t be particularly interesting if we repeated exactly the same concept. They came up with a few new ideas but they were searching for something new and Takarazuka seemed very cool and well-known to the world. Auditions started from there. That’s how we were formed.

So you performed to overseas audiences in Taiwan for the first time. How would you say it’s different from performing in front of Japanese audiences? And what was it like performing to the European audiences this time at Hyper Japan?

First of all, the scale of it was totally different. We felt nervous because it was about 10,000 people and we had never performed to such a big audience before.

Also I felt anxious that people might not understand the Japanese lyrics. Although I wasn’t sure how the audience was going to react to us, once we were on stage, everyone enjoyed our music. I felt the power of the music was crossing borders. I’ve seen the same thing this time in London. The audience here may not have totally understood Japanese and perhaps they’ve never heard our songs before but they seemed to enjoy our music and welcomed us. I was amazed.

What are the unique personalities and traits with each member onstage and offstage?

All: Let us talk about each other. Shall we start with Sena?

Makoto: Sena loves Anime. She usually does MCs. She is usually energetic onstage but backstage, she often goes quiet and concentrates on reading comic books. She appears quite different onstage to offstage.

Cecil: Sena is the core member. When someone is down, Sena comforts her to make sure she is happy. She is very kind and supportive. I am the youngest of all but Sena takes my opinions seriously. Thank you Sena, you are always like a backbone to us!

Sena: Mirai is the centre of the group. Her part is the main vocal. She probably has the most responsibility of all.

Cecil: About Mirai, she is the main vocalist. She provides us the overall support but she is actually funny offstage. She’s sweet and always makes sure everyone is happy. She solves problems by giving advice. She is great. And she loves karaage (fried chicken)!

Sena: So Mizuki, she is extremely focused. She is hard working. Her attitude brings people together. And she loves movies.

Cecil: Yuhi is like a mum in our group.

Sena She is the sub-leader. Onstage she is like a cool character looking beautiful but backstage, she is a bit…stupid. She unintentionally says funny things but sometimes these silly comments bring us together. And also she does lots of motherly things like folding clothes.

Tsubasa Cecil is the youngest member. She’s from Kyoto and as you can tell, she is a big fan of Takarazuka. She is a hard worker but quite considerate at the same time. Backstage, she uses the word “happy” a lot but I guess it doesn’t literately mean happy. She doesn’t moan at all.

Cecil Tsubasa is like my teacher. Onstage, she sometimes forgets positions where she is supposed to stand and so on but somehow she is quite spot on offstage. She listens to me and I praise her for who she is. She gives me advice for life as well.

Sena I would say Tsubasa is most likely to have the same persona onstage and offstage. In a good way!

Sena Ok, about Makoto. She is the oldest and is the leader of THE HOOPERS but she doesn’t force that role upon us. Her mental age is very young. Onstage, she cheers and supports everyone but backstage, she is super charming and behaves the youngest.

Cecil She really acts young!

Sena Makoto is passionate and focuses on whatever needs to be done.

Mirai Lastly about Haruki! Onstage, Haruki acts cool and plays almost like a narcissistic role but she is exactly the same offstage too. She checks on everyone and watches our rehearsal footage over and over again and then lets us know how to improve. She is so nice. Acts like a perfect gentleman!

Sena In that sense, she has a persona like a real man. She pulls everyone together. She is probably the closest to the concept what we are as a boyish girl band. She adores Mirai.
She’s also very forgetful. She oversleeps but not recently.

Makoto: He is cool onstage and offstage. I see her as just Haruki, not as a female figure or male. I still haven’t figured out whether she’s more like a male or a female. That’s how close she is to a real man.

Haruki/b>: Not recently! It’s been a while hearing people talking nice things about me.

If anyone made a video game about you, what would it be like?

All: Otome game (romantic dating sim) !

Sena: There is a game genre called Otome game. It is really popular in Japan now. You play the role of heroine, choose whoever you fancy and form a romantic relation with him. THE HOOPERS is perfect for that genre of game. If anyone is looking to create an otome game, please contact us.
Author: Meiko Kikuta
last update: 2017-06-18