Excerpts from the BRODY interview…
Talk about acting projects
Q: How was your collaboration with Sawajiri Erika in “Ooku”?
From I first met her, she was already gentle and warm. I’m very shy and don’t initiate conversations but she spoke to me first. Basically all my scenes are with her, so as i waited for my parts i’d be with her. She’d show me photos of her dog. Because of her i was less nervous.
Q: Your kiss scenes with Sawajiri Erika are a hot topic..what was it like?
I think the audience also feels the same, for me it was quite shocking. When the first met, the first scene we filmed was the kiss scene.
Q: That’s a very shocking development!
When we just finished our greetings to each other, someone said “we’re getting ready to film!”, then it was the kiss scene…i was nervous till my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my throat.
Q: She was leading it?
Yes! Because character wise it’s also this kinda relationship,so i left everything to her. She portrayed the illicit affair very well. Although it sounds weird coming from my mouth, it felt very beautiful when i watched it on TV.
Q: Regarding genres like “Ooku”, which describe the complicated love between females…
I love it!
Q: Oh, you do?
Isn’t it very interesting? I’ve been watching it from young. My family also likes it. My sister is a huge fan of “Ooku” and was so happy when i was confirmed for the drama.
Q: Talking about relationships between the same sex, on ANN,you mentioned that you hated being called a “fujioshi”.
I think that’s because Otaku(s) are often likened to Fujioshi(s). Often people would say “Mayuyu likes anime so she is a fujioshi.” But i don’t watch BL….Maybe it’s cos everyone doesn’t understand the meaning of Fujioshi.
Q: In 48G the ones who like BL are Yamamoto Sayaka?
That’s right! Yamamoto san is a serious Fujioshi.
In the resting room, she’d watch these BL like it’s totally natural, it shocked me.
Q: The contents are very revealing?
Yes, it shocked me(laughs). She and Yuria chan would be laughing in the corner watching these. (laugh).
About being an idol
Q: I think that Watanabe san is very mysterious in the world of idols. We don’t get to see your private life..
I do try to keep that side a secret.
Q: Is it intentional so everyone can have room for imagination?
Not really. But it’s true that i intentionally try to keep it from everyone. I don’t like to show off my private life. Maybe that’s why it makes me seem mysterious?
Q: Do you value this aspect of yourself?
I think since i am lucky to be an idol, i should give everyone a dream. So i don’t show realistic parts of myself if it isn’t necessary.
Q: I noticed that in recent months you’re showing off the charms of a grown up woman. What has changed?
Recently, i’m growing more conscious of my fashion, hairstyles and makeup. In my teens, it was always pink and lace, and i’d be wearing youthful clothes in the style of “the idol”. But after passing the age of 20, i started to resist those clothes. Now that i’m over 20, i decided to change my style and wear more mature clothes. It’s totally different from my teenage years.
Q: Which actress do you lookup to?
I love Nikaido Fumi.Although she’s younger than me, her acting and lifestyle is very cool.
Q: She gives off a wild impression.
That too, she has a different side from me so i look up to her. From the female perspective, she’s an outstanding person. Her acting is also very good. Even though she’s younger, she has toughness and aura…i really respect her.
Q: Indeed, she also has a punk feel.
Yes. Her movies are good too.
-Skip chunk about movies and acting-
Talk about “Deai no Tsuzuki” single
Q: The coupling song “Magirashiteiru” was very cool.
Thanks for the compliments. There was a big reaction to this song. They said it was cool. Personally i also like it. Up till now, the songs i’ve sang are either ballads or idol. I’ve always wanted to try it. While discussing the tracklist of “Deai no Tsuzuki”, Akimoto san said i could pick my own coupling song.
Q: So there was a story behind it?
In the past, Akimoto san would decide everything, but at that time he let me decide. So the company sent me many tracks and i picked 4 after listening to them. However, “Magirashiteiru” wasn’t included in the initial list they sent. Later, the company told me there was something else which was pending Akimoto san’s approval. They probably thought it would be cut even if they sent it to Akimoto san because it wasn’t my style. After listening to it, i immediately thought “this is great!”
Q: You fell for it?
I definitely wanted it, so i told Akimoto san that no matter what i’d want to sing it. He said “isn’t it fine?”
Q: So because Akimoto san gave you the rights to decide your tracks, this song came about?
Yup. I love Ringo Sheena, so i often listen to her songs, thinking i’d want to challenge this style one day. But the songs that come to me are always idol style. It’s hard to get this kind of opportunity. In the end, because i was given the choice i can fulfill my wish. It’s great that my style has widened.
Q: I remember that you like THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT and similar? Do you still listen to rock?
Yes, i started listening to it from middle school. I’d want to try this style again someday.
Talk about AKB48
Q: On ANN, from time to time Sashihara will “attack” you, saying you don’t attend “gatherings” nor “have juniors whom you care for”.
Recently i’ve tried to improve relationships with members. Because on TV, Nakai san also teased me for “not having a friend” in AKB. But it’s not that i don’t care about them(laugh).
Q:Is giving out your clothes during handshake events one of the ways to get closer with the juniors?
Yes. I don’t have anyone whom i’m specifically close to, so i want to understand them more. I gave out my clothes as a chance to interact with them.
Q: Previously while talking to Takamina you mentioned that you’re unable to give advice to the juniors, and feel like it’s not right? Has her graduation given you a sense of crisis/anxiety?
Of cos her graduation brings me some insecurities about the future of AKB48. Nowadays, members come in after AKB48 got famous, so i think only me who understands the past can relay things to the juniors. For the future of AKB48, i’d like to do something positive.
Q: Amongst the things that Takamina taught you, what is most impressionable?
It’s something minor, but during rehearsals, members would bring in their cellphones to play. Takamina san used to lecture about it. I also think that bringing a cellphone to rehearsals is not good, so i stopped doing so. But now everyone started bring in their cellphones again (bitter smile). Because alot of the kids don’t know about her lecture, there’s already a generation gap.
During “THE IDOL” stage rehearsal, something surprised me. While dancing to “Ponytail to Shushu”, isn’t there an action in the front part which resembles a horse-riding action? The teacher said this action is supposed to express a riding motion, and the kids were surprised! Things like that don’t get passed down the generations. I was abit surprised as the juniors don’t understand the meaning behind these dance steps. I think if they don’t understand these meanings, the message can’t be relayed to the audience. Have to start educating them from these areas.
Q: During changing times like these, what are the things you’ve yet to accomplish or plan to do from now?
I entered AKB48 when i was 12. April would be my 10th year. Time really flies, i have the feeling i’ve been in this for a long time (laugh).
With Takamina’s graduation, i think this year will be a new start for the group. Most of the seniors are no long around, so i hope the juniors can at least work with the feeling of starting a new group. I hope to win the Japan Record Awards again with the new AKB48. As one of the remaining members, i want everyone to acknowledge us again.
BRODY magazine comes with more pictures and reversible poster of AKB48 Watanabe Mayu/Nogizaka46 Hori Miona. Purchase it below: