Translation by pretty pretty GANG
GANG PARADE Tsukino Usagi, first interview “I want to be an idol in my own way without lies”
From 2018/03/12 ~ 18 the agency that manages BiS, BiSH, GANG PARADE and EMPiRE hold a training camp audition. In a harsh environment where everyday someone would be eliminated, marathons every day in the morning, dance examinations, on the final day 03/18 there was a free event on Osaka Castle’s concert hall where the announcement of the members who passed took place, and so 2 new members joined GANG PARADE.
One of the successful members was Tsukino Usagi, then known as Yokoyama Hina. Everyday that her name wasn’t called among the disqualified she would feel relief and then cry, “I don’t want to lie to myself” by deciding to believe in that she gained her spot in GANG PARADE. Miss ID to which she apply light heartily was the start, participating in WACK auditions, and so giving her first steps into the entertainment road, this is the first interview of Tsukino Usagi.
Interview and edition: Nishizawa Hiroo
Photos: Sotobayashi Kenta
I HATED THE FEELING OF “LET’S MAKE OUR YOUTH”
- Usagi-san, what kind of childhood did you have?
Tsukino Usagi: During kindergarten I was really shy, I had about only one friend. During elementary school I feel like I started having more vigor but, around the 5th or 6th year our class collapsed and I wasn’t able to pay attention to class at all, I don’t have much good memories. During junior high I joined the wind instruments club and played the bass clarinet but, because it was a really serious club I only have memories from it. Before the contest we would play everyday, and during the summer break practice from morning to evening. Thinking about it now it’s like wow I actually properly did that (laughs).
- Did you learned anything?
Tsukino Usagi: All 6 years of elementary school I went to the pool. Since early I hated to put my face in the water… My parents seemed to think that wasn’t ok, so I was forcer to go to a swimming school near home. I hated to the point of crying just by passing in front of the swimming school but, I became able to swim like everyone else so now I’m really grateful.
- In class, which was your position?
Tsukino Usagi: In elementary was more of a neutral position instead of hiding, but by no means I would stand out. During junior high, it wasn’t like I was gloomy, but on the other hand it wan’t like I was in the bright group either. All I did was club activities.
- What was your hobby?
Tsukino Usagi: Back then I was an anime otaku. I still wack anime but, back then I would collect things. I like shounen better than shoujo, my favorite is HUNTER x HUNTER. Since I got into it I love it.
- How were your days during high school?
Tsukino Usagi: It wan’t actually fun. I didn’t got into the school I wanted so, I couldn’t find an objective. During the 1st year I joined the dance club, but I hated the loose feeling and quit. So I turned my energy into part time work but, I lived the high school time without substance. Also, it wasn’t like I was bullied, and I also wasn’t an yankee or delinquent but, I would often skip school, until graduation I would skip school until the limit. During the 1st year we were a group of 6 people. A lot happened and the teacher got their eyes on us so when the 2nd year started, because there were 6 classes we were divided one in teach class. From then I didn’t couldn’t make friends, I also skipped our class excursion to Okinawa. I thought I couldn’t go normally to the field trip, so when the teacher brought me a souvenir I felt a little sorry.
- Seems like there wasn’t anything you could do enthusiastically during high school.
Tsukino Usagi: People often say that “High school is youth”, right? I can’t really understand that. I hated the feeling of “Let’s make our youth”. I think youth is not something you can build if you think about it, I thought this type of atmosphere was unpleasant. At least for me the high school wan’t my youth.
- I wonder from where this way of thinking comes.
Tsukino Usagi: Thinking about it now, I wonder what is it but, it’s like it sounds like a lie, maybe I thought it was somehow different. I felt an uncomfortable feeling since the 1st year, I thought about dropping school but, my parents said I should at least graduate from high school so I didn’t quit. Somehow I just graduated high school. I kinda accepted defeat around the 3rd year so I just went halfhearted.
- It would also be a reaction to all the enthusiasm put in club activities during junior high.
Tsukino Usagi: It could be so. Maybe I was shocked by this difference. During junior high I had a lot of complexes. There were a lot of girls on the wind instruments club I could look up to. There was a girl really good at her instrument, a smart girl, the girl who was the president and had leadership, a cute girl. Because of that I always felt an inferiority complex but, I was also fulfilled. Reversely when I entered high school I thought “Why are those people so empty?” so I had the sensation I went up myself. There wasn’t any people I couldn’t look up to. During junior high there were a lot of girls I wanted to mimic but, during high school I thought I didn’t want to become like them, that might have been hard.
AFTER I HUNG UP THE PHONE I FELT A FEELING SIMILAR TO DESPAIR
- After graduating high school which path did you decide to follow?
Tsukino Usagi: After graduating high school I thought about going to a technical school, during early summer I did the AO test to decide the speciality. But around the same time I had to pay for matriculation, it was around the same time the result for applying Miss id came out. I thought that if I win Miss id then I could refuse the school entrance but, I actually got the award. So I gave up on the technical school.
- That was a huge choice in your life. Why did you think about applying to Miss id?
Tsukino Usagi: I knew about Kaneko Rie-san, Tamashiro Tina-san and Kuromiya Rei-san for a long time, so I knew about Miss id. One of the judges, Kanno Yui-san tweeted about “The deadline is over but I’ll see some sliding” so I sent the application form after writing it in 5 minutes and passed it. Reading it later, because I wrote it in 5 minutes in a midnight tension, I basically only wrote things that sound like I was mentally ill. My 3 sizes I wrote randomly so I don’t people to trust that. I don’t want people to think that I’m that, so I’ll take this opportunity and say it out loud (laughs).
- Ahaha. But, that actually passed the judging.
Tsukino Usagi: Really, I was surprised all the time. I thought that if those were official I might pass but, after that there was also the video and camera test and there wasn’t any feedback from those. But I also passed that, and around that time I entered the semifinalist list. My profile was uploaded to the site, so my friends found out. After that there was another selection and I became a finalist, lastly there was an interview and then I won the award but, until the very end I was surprised.
- There was also a happy feeling, right?
Tsukino Usagi: Of course I was happy but, who would know I would go so far… this feeling was bigger. I was really surprised.
- No matter the start, what did you think about winning the Miss id?
Tsukino Usagi: Hmm. I always admired idols, but the occasion that made me decide I actually wanted to become an idol was Miss id so, I think it was a plus.
- So what was the start to apply to WACK audition?
Tsukino Usagi: After graduating high school I was a neet, so around when I was impatient about what I should do I saw a tweet saying “I’ll do WACK auditions”, so I thought I should apply and sent the application form. When I sent the form I wasn’t prepared at all for the training camp so, I think I actually applied casually.
- Not even in your dreams you thought about staying 1 week in an isle for a training camp audition.
Tsukino Usagi: I didn’t imagined it at all. I sent the for and did an interview but, after I left my part time job I received a call from an unknown number, I picked up and I was told “I’m Watanabe from WACK”, I froze for like 3 seconds. “Can you participate in the training camp?”. There I promptly answered “I will” but, after I hung up I felt a feeling similar to despair. Like “I will go to that training camp”. I saw some of it from last year but, since I thought it was really rigorous, I honestly felt nothing but fear.
- But, you didn’t refused it, right?
Tsukino Usagi: To me there wan’t the possibility of not going. During Miss id too, when I was told I had to shoot a video, I didn’t really want to go but, if I chose not to, then 5 or 10 years later I thought I would regret thinking “What if I went back then I could be in a different path now”. I hated that, so was like I’ll go and take the rist. The WACK audition too, in the end I went with the same feelings. Instead of not going, it’s better to take a chance.
I DECIDED TO TRY NOT TO LIE TO MYSELF
- And so you participated the audition. Looking back at it now, how was everyday?
Tsukino Usagi: There was a lot of things… But, I think the dancing and sining was fun. Until now I hadn’t singing while dancing but, I think I wanted to do this type of thing. Also, honestly there were hard feelings. But, the feeling of “I don’t want to go home” was the strongest of them all. During the camp I did my best to pass but, even though we were sleeping in the same room, I hated idea of sleeping knowing I had to go back alone tomorrow in the morning, on the next morning to be eat on my normal clothes, I saw girls like that I thought I definitely didn’t want to go home. I went trough with those feelings.
- In the first day 3 girls, on the next day 8 girls were eliminated. I think everyone felt the fear of the possibility of their name being called next.
Tsukino Usagi: On the day 8 girls were eliminated I was last on the 2 dance examinations. I thought, now, I will definitely leave. But, when my name wasn’t called I was relieved. That day I cried the most I think. After that I think I changed a little.
- I wonder what changed that day.
Tsukino Usagi: Because I received another chance to be seen, I became able to think about how should I behave in order to be seen and give my best. I went without being prepared but, it felt like then the resolution solidified.
- How was the personal experience to spend time with BiSH, BiS and GANG PARADE members?
Tsukino Usagi: Ah, I thought if that was really ok (laughs). Because I have always been a fan, I thought if it was ok to sleep and eat with them. But in a good way, I was relieved that idols are normal girls. I had the feeling that, surprisingly enough everyone is just a normal girl. Just that much I thought it was amazing.
- I suppose during the camp you gave your best thinking about how should you appeal to your best points.
Tsukino Usagi: Honestly, there wasn’t many point I could appeal about myself. I don’t have any ability, it’s now like my face is extremely cute, I’m not exactly funny. Instead of that, I would do my very best that was possible, and decided to try not to lie to myself. There were 2 interviews with Watanabe-san but, for the answer “Isn’t it ok if it’s now WACK?” I think the best answer would be “If it’s not WACK I don’t want it”. But that wasn’t my true feeling, I joined because I wanted to become an idol. I thought I should convey that without lying. I thought I should compensate my lack of character with my great effort, I did thought about doing thing having in mind I was being watched all the time.
- You wanted to become an idol that much.
Tsukino Usagi: I thought that I couldn’t work hard if I hadn’t a real goal in mind, I just distorted it a little. Of course those were my real feelings but, it was also in order to cheer myself up.
- How was the feeling while going to Osaka to the final results announcement?
Tsukino Usagi: Everything would end with that announcement so I was really nervous. It was like the anxiousness of the eliminated announcement every night became the greatest one.
- How did you feel when your name was called as a member of GANPARE, in front of 3000 people?
Tsukino Usagi: When my name was called I was relieved. When I looked back Maika-san was stretching her arms waiting for me. I was really happy.
- During the camp you did answer that any group would be fine when asked which one you wanted to join.
Tsukino Usagi: I was asked that twice but, both times I said “Any group is fine”. That was my true feeling, I didn’t chose anything inside myself, I really intended to give my best no matter the group I joined. So I was really happy when I was called to GANPARE.
I WANT TO WORK HARD SO I MYSELF CAN BECOME GANPARE
- What kind of group do you think GANPARE is?
Tsukino Usagi: I think it’s a group with a high level of dance and singing. Honestly, I didn’t knew much about GANPARE at first but, my first impression of them was a really good image. They’re the one of most consistency, it feels like a team.
- You will join GANPARE, what do you think is expected of you?
Tsukino Usagi: GANPARE is a group that had a lot of member changes and a lot of ups and downs, right? It might not be the best way to put it but, I think I’ll end up like receiving the leftovers of an already solidified foundation. But like that I’ll only hold everyone back so, I want to properly contribute to GANPARE. I want to work hard so I myself can become GANPARE.
- The Usagi-san from before and after the camp changed. Like you became stronger.
Tsukino Usagi: The impression of the training camp is so strong, I don’t really remember things from before it. I think I’ll change even more after debuting. Right now it’s like I’m halfway, I’m practicing but because I’m not performing in front of an audience I still don’t really feel it but, I think I’ll change more after I debut.
- After joining GANPARE, what kind of person do you want to become?
Tsukino Usagi: I don’t think I want to become an idol to the point of lying to myself. Of course I also think it’s amazing to become an idol that’s it’s not really like myself so far but, I want to show myself. I think I want to continue to be myself without any lies.
- Not lying to yourself, this is like a keyword to Usagi-san, right?
Tsukino Usagi: Lying is troublesome, I think if it’s really fun to do things to the point of doing that. I don’t think there’s anyone that’s completely real all the time but, I have this image of an idol who sparkles while showing who she really is, her true feelings, I think I was attracted to WACK because of that. I want to stay an idol like myself. To do that if I don’t give my life I’ll be overtaken so, I want to give my life to it!