In celebration to Ogura Yui’s birthday and the completion of her first solo live tour, we have decided to translate this interview as a present to her and to each of her international fans. Please enjoy! ※ We also plan to translate the others within the year, at least.
Note: If to be taken out, please link to this post instead of reposting. Thanks!
YuiKaori’s 11th single “Ring Ring Rainbow!!” will be released on August 5th.
The title song, “Ring Ring Rainbow!!” is an opening theme for the TV Animation “Joukamachi no Dandelion” (Castle Town Dandelion) which both Ogura Yui and Ishihara Kaori also appeared in. Alongside a bright guitar sound, they sing in resonance about “Please look at me properly”, “I want to respond properly”, a song made for the siblings who are candidates to becoming the next King complete with a touch of comedy. As for Ogura and Ishihara, this song is also an answer song for the fans who supported them in their live in Chiba’s Makuhari Event Hall during the end of 2014. So we ask them again about their reasons and attitude going forward.
Interview-Text / Narimatsu Tetsu
What kind of “Family” does YuiKaori think of?
—On the previous interview, you said that both of you have started to actively participate in the song’s direction and taste, and the message of the lyrics since the production of your single in January “NEO SIGNALIFE” (Source: YuiKaori “NEO SIGNALIFE” interview).
Ogura Yui: That’s right. Before, the only thing we could do was to perform our best, and it was the fans who leads us, but since around last year’s tour, both of us started to realize and thought that “Now, it’s time for us to lead the fans”, that kind of awareness.
Ishihara Kaori: The staff understood the change in our awareness, so during the tour and “NEO SIGNALIFE” meetings they started to ask something like “What do you think?” and heard our voice.
—And then, about this time’s “Ring Ring Rainbow!!” it has steadily stepped up since then, or should I say, it has become a song that you wanted, huh?
Ogura–Ishihara: Thank you very much.
—Alongside the hard dance beat, you sang “Do now, I know TARGET” for “NEO SIGNALIFE”, and grammatically had “I” = “watashi”. On the other side, “Ring Ring Rainbow!!” is a kind of cheerful with a good contrast song. It has a sing-a-long part such as “Let’s go!” and “Let’s sing!” As for this one, the subject is “us” = “watashitachi”. The target for singing became wider, and you are trying to involve the listeners.
Ogura: This time, it’s also because we are in charge of the opening theme for the anime “Castle Town Dandelion” which has ‘family’ as the setting, but certainly it’s because we are aware of “as YuiKaori” like we talked about before, Kaori-chan and I, myself, our relationship is like a family, we also think of our fans like our own family, so I feel that this song should be a song that can involve a lot of people. It’s not like, we sing this song only for the anime, and not only for ourselves either. It became a song that could be taken in various ways, and I think that’s really good.
—This time is your 3rd time taking our interview, but certainly your relationship is more than friends, it feels more intimate.
Ishihara: It’s a relationship where we can stay being frank with each other, right?
Ogura: It’s because we can be ourselves, as we are with our own families, so we don’t feel a wall between us. That’s why we could also know the parts of each other that’s really easy to understand (laughs).
Ishihara: Yui-chan is really easy to understand (laughs).
Ogura: I also know when Kaori-chan isn’t in a good mood, like “Ah, just now, she’s not very energetic isn’t she?” and such (laughs).
—But you aren’t related by blood, so to speak, you are a business partners, right?
Ishihara: We have been doing activities together ever since before we formed YuiKaori, and during those times we were together for almost 365 days so I feel like maybe we could be like this because of that, too, and I also feel it’s because we are business partners that we could become a family.
—What do you mean by “It’s because we are business partners that we could become a family”?
Ishihara: It’s because what we do is a job, so there are times and then, because we built up that kind of atmosphere around us, the staff around us are guessing about “Ah, so their relationship is like that”.
Ogura: Yeah. Both of us are showing both good sides and bad sides to each other, so the staff could also understand our current condition and such properly, and I can also feel that they could see that coordination.
The “Oh! So it became like this” kind of Chorus Work
—It’s also like this for “NEO SIGNALIFE”, but “Ring Ring Rainbow!!”’s lyrics has also become a new innovation for YuiKaori, isn’t it? To cheerfully agitate the listeners with “Migi te ni yuuki wo, hidari te ni ai wo, hoka ni wa nani mo iranai (Courage in my right hand, love in my left hand, I don’t need anything else)”.
Ishihara: But I could sing it straight without worrying about anything. I look plain when I’m in front of Yui-chan, but when I’m making a work to be delivered to people, I will be a bit different. I’m the type who can’t make anything if my switch isn’t turned on somewhere, or something like that. Certainly, to sing is a big matter, but when I sang this song, I thought “Oh, so we will sing this kind of song” and my switch turned on so I could think “It would be great if we, and everyone else could think like this,” and sang it frankly.
Ogura: I think it went smoothly for me. That, and I also felt that I need to lead the fans, I realized that since the tour last year, we received a lot of power from everyone, and I’m grateful of it. Since then, I always think of “I want to repay it with something”, and this time, I could convey it with this song. I think that this song could properly become an answer song to everyone, and I felt glad over it so I didn’t even feel anxiety nor hesitation.
—At first sight, this song seems straightforward, but the chorus work is……
Ogura: Even amongst YuiKaori’s history, I think the difficulty is on the top-level, or something like “Oh! So it became like this” (laughs).
—“Aka mo ao mo shiro mo kiiro mo (Red, blue, white, and yellow)”, that phrase is fairly trivial and on top of that, it split to “Aka (Red)” and “Shiro (White)” for Ogura-san, and “Ao (Blue)” and “Kiiro mo (and yellow)” for Ishihara-san to sing in a high-speed duet, as for “Amaetakunaru (I want to be spoiled)” on the 2nd chorus……
Ishihara: I sang the “ama” part (laughs).
Ogura: And I sang the “eta” part (laughs).
—And then you sang “kunaru” together (laughs).
Ogura: Fufufufufu (laughs).
I want to pass around the “red”, “blue”, “white”, and “yellow” batons
—Huh? How did you sing it? First you sang “amaetakunaru”, you cut “ama” for Ogura-san and “eta” for Ishihara-san……
Ishihara: Not with that way of cutting, just like the length of the line, I only sang the “ama” part (laughs).
—Did you do something such as going to the recording booth together to record it?
Ishihara: We didn’t do that too. I recorded this song a long time before Yui-chan did, but I didn’t have any problems at all.
Ogura: It was easy to sing.
—“Isn’t it difficult to put your feelings into the sound “ama” and “eta” which doesn’t have a meaning as a standalone, and on top of that, to sing and synchronize your mood like a solo vocalist?” or so I feel.
Ishihara: Somehow I could intuitively know that “If it’s Yui-chan, I think she will go like this”. We have been singing together for a long time as YuiKaori, and there are also times when we are together on the same place for anime recording, we have a lot of lines in-sync. Because I knew that during this situation Yui-chan will sing with this kind of tension, so somehow I know that I should sing like this. Practically, when I get to hear mine after it gets piled up with Yui-chan’s, I went “Ah, it’s just as I expected” and “We fit in each other” (laughs).
Ogura: I also went with my imagination (laughs). “I think Kaori-chan will go with this kind of approach”, I expected something like that. I did the recording a long time after Kaori-chan, so when I heard Kaori-chan’s “ama” before taking it, I went “Ah, like I expected” (laughs).
Ishihara: You got me (laughs). I don’t know why but somehow we just know it, right? In contrary, if we think about each other too much and get too conscious over it, I feel that we couldn’t fit at all.
—“What if, after the recording the two of them need to do punch-in or punch-out on the live, how will they sing?” I also have that kind of thought……
Ishihara: I think we also need to sing just like we did in the recording, on the live (laughs).
Ogura: And then, I really look forward to do it. Especially the “Aka mo ao mo shiro mo kiiro mo” part, we are doing a duet like we are passing batons to each other, and I thought that it would be fun to pass the batons to the audience, too.
—And after passing the colored batons, alongside the shouting part “Let’s sing!” you plunge in it together with the audience, right?
Ishihara: Not only that, during the live, I will have Yui-chan standing beside me, passing batons to each other, which is completely different from during the recording. I feel that a new nuance will be born and it will be interesting.
Yui who closes the curtain, and Kaori who doesn’t know the curtain could be closed
Ogura: That’s why I really look forward to the live, the recording was also fun…Ah! But I felt much more embarrassed that the Director and the Sound Engineer were sitting outside of the recording booth.
Ogura: During the shouting parts like “Let’s Go!”, “Let’s sing!”, “Se~no!” to be seen while doing that is a bit……(laughs). During the recording, at some point I was singing while drowning into the imaginary world where I am thinking about the people who buy the CDs, or go to the live; but the world on the other side of the glass’s booth is the reality, isn’t it!?
—Everyone is working hard, after all (laughs).
Ogura: That’s right. On top of that, whenever I see the directors talking about something, it makes me to think “Aah, looks like it wasn’t good……” That’s why I always close the curtain whenever I am inside the booth, this time I felt that I closed it a bit too fast (laughs).
Ishihara: …….Wait, so it’s okay even if you close that curtain? I just learned about it now (laughs). Certainly, I also feel embarrassed during the recording. There is also “because I put my feelings while singing” or “because I imagine doing a live” and such, I also make a lot of expressions even though it’s only a recording, other than that, because I’m the type who easily gets caught into rhythm, I often move my hands, so I always sing while thinking of “Ah, I got seen again”, “It’s embarrassing~”……. Next time, I will close the curtain! (laughs)
My shine, and my friends’ shine
—The coupling song, “Calling Calling” is the same with “NEO SIGNALIFE” which is an electric dance tune, but you sang it by striking down the tempo and the mood, so it means……
Ogura: It’s a little bashful (laughs).
—About “Shourai no yume toka iu kedo honto ha jishin nai, kowai yo (I’m saying things about my future but I actually have no confidence, I’m scared)” and “Kirakirashiteru tomodachi tottemo urayamashii ii naa (I’m envious of my friends who are shining brightly, how nice)”. Is it a fictional song?
Ishihara: No. I think it’s also a song that can be applied to us.
—But after such a long time, I can’t imagine about both of you being uneasy of your future, or getting envious of other people……
Ishihara: If you are talking about me, now I am a 4th year university student, since around last year, my friends have been doing job hunting, and soon they will start to decide on their career.
—But as for Ishihara-san, you could say that you are already done with the job hunting, or should I say, you already have a job, right? Wouldn’t it be alright not to think about it again? Or so I thought.
Ishihara: During job hunting, everyone is doing their best to face themselves, and they also think of what to do from now on, aren’t they? When I saw them, I feel like I was left behind. “Would it be good if I also face myself earnestly?” it made me to think like that. I also talked about it on the radio (Bunka Housou “YuiKaori no Mi♪”), so I thought the staff also considered it and it became this song.
—on the other hand, Ogura-san is a 2nd year university student……
Ogura: (intercepting) No, everyone is already shining so brightly! I think about it every day!
—But you had a live in Makuhari Messe during the end of 2014, and also Saitama Super Arena’s “KING SUPER LIVE 2015” last June, aren’t both of you already shining brightly?
Ogura: We aren’t like that at all (laughs). Even though we are shining, but I think we do it in a bit of a different place with our friends. Because both Kaori-chan and I, with our state, could be proud with our job so everyday feels fun, but our friends also have their own worlds, so I thought that is the part where they shine.
Ishihara: They shine in their own ways, right?
Ogura: Compared to our friends around us, our experience in being a student is low, so when we look at our friends who shine as students, there are times when we desire it. Our friends gets anxiety, compared to theirs we have more anxiousness too, but I thought that there is also a place which we can shine. Now it’s surely the time when like our friends, who are shining, everyone can shine as well. So I thought that “Calling Calling” is sung while thinking of that. That’s why I thought it could be applied to us as well.
Ishihara: I also thought “Why did they got me!” and sang it, shocked (laughs).
Because we had that experience, we could sing “Calling Calling”
—Just like it said, you sang “Calling Calling”‘s “Jishin motte kao agete ikou!! (Have confidence, raise your head and let’s go!!)” and “Hane kaese pressure (Kick back the pressure)”.
Ishihara: I think that we could sing it because we have had an experience in witnessing everyone job hunting. To singing is like voice acting, both needs experience. It’s okay if you didn’t experience 100% exactly like the lyrics or the anime but if you have no experienced, even if you recall the closest experience to it, it would not be as convincing. This is why I think I could sing it now.
──Did Ogura-san too, sing it “Jishin motte kao agete ikou!! (Have confidence, raise your head and let’s go!!)” honestly?
Ogura: I guess. It’s not like I know all about the world where my friends do their best. So I turned upon “It will be okay if I do my best in my own world!” (laughs). I think that I could sing the way Kaori-chan did when I realized about it.
The single which became a good start-dash for the 22-year-old
—This time the single will be released in August 5th. It’s the day before Ishihara-san’s birthday.
Ishihara: On the making of the PV, I jokingly said “Tomorrow is my birthday, so please celebrate it” and such, and when I thought that everyone will really greet me,, somehow I feel embarrassed (laughs).
—I’m sorry to make you feel embarrassed like this (laughs). Will this single become the summary of your 21-year-old self? Or rather, the beginning of being 22 years old?
Ishihara: It rather has an image of a ‘start’ to me. That’s why the pressure is also big…….(laughs).
—Even though you sang “Migi te ni yuuki wo, hidari te ni ai wo, hoka ni wa nani mo iranai” (Courage in my right hand, love in my left hand, I don’t need anything else) and “Stand up! Let’s go!” you should properly stand up with the courage and love in both of your hands, and go forward (laughs).
Ishihara: That’s right (laughs). But with a new year ahead, I’m really happy that we could sprout a new bud that YuiKaori didn’t have until now. Next year, around this time, if we’ll be looking back to this year, “Ah, ‘Ring Ring Rainbow’ was a nice start-dash, wasn’t it?” I’ll do my best so we can say it!
Translations: Orihara Rurei
Translate Check/Proofreading: Satsunyan
Source and Photos: Natalie Power Push