The group that's been the center of everyone's attention has finally debuted!
Nogizaka46, the group that was branded as "Official Rival of AKB48", will release their first single "Guru Guru Curtain" on February 22, 2012. A hot topic even before the debut, here we will show you their personalities.
-- Introductions first. Please tell us about the person next to you - what they're good at and what they are terrible at.
Ikoma (talking about Shiraishi): Maiyan has a pretty face and a nice body, so she has what every girl wants. She is also really funny and jokes a lot. But she's kind of incompetent - she went into a haunted house for one of the shows, but she was too scared, got down on her knees and ended up not completing it (laughs).
Takayama: She's pretty much "The Girl". Likes sweets and dislikes spicy food....but oh wait, is it alright for me to speak out of order (laughs)?
Shiraishi (talking about Matsumura): Sayuri is very knowledgeable about anime. She is from Kansai, great at carrying a conversation so we let her do the talking. But when she gets back to her room, she takes off her pants and they stay in the same shape on the floor until she puts them on again.
Matsumura: But it's super convenient when you want to put them on right away (laughs)! [Hoshino] Minami has eyes that can convey strong emotions, and she's been called "magical girl" since 8th grade (laughs). She's terrible at picking up the mood of a conversation - there were times when she would burst into laughter by herself during a serious conversation.
Shiraishi: She's always smiling or laughing.
Hoshino: Ikuchan (Ikuta) is from Germany, she can sing, dance and play piano really well. But she is very strict when it comes to dance moves.
Ikuta: I notice small things, like "hey, don't start from the left side!"
Ikoma: that's when we think "Ikuta-sama is really scary." However, Ikuchan's moves are perfect so we have nothing to say.
Matsumura: Whenever we ask her something, she always teaches us by saying "because it's like this, so if you do that, then you'll improve."
-- So if Iku-chan is around then there'll be no problems?
Takayama: Despite being younger, she is dependable.
Ikuta (talking about Takayama): Kazumin is very proper when answering, and always answers with "I think it's good", regardless of the question.
Takayama: But I really think it's fine, what else am I supposed to say?
Hoshino: Well what do you think of this costume?
Takayama: It looks good on you.
Ikuta: Just like that (laughs). She's good at giving the right responses and isn't two-faced.
Ikoma: She's the type that would agree vehemently on the side, no matter who's doing the talking.
Ikuta: She's just trying to make the discussion more lively.
Takayama: Ikoma-chan is really good at dancing and giving interviews - but it's such a waste because she doesn't have a lot of confidence. It would be great if she can be more positive.
-- Coming from someone clumsy like you?
Takayama: Ah I see you know me very well! But at least I am a positive thinker!
-- So, what kind of song is your debut single, "Guru Guru Curtain"?
Ikoma: It's probably not something for Heisei-era idols. It's not really about love, but more about close friendship between girls, and that might be something new these days.
Shiraishi: the costume is also something rare - the skirts are long enough to cover our knees. The lyrics are cute, as they describe girls hiding behind curtains to share their secrets, and it's a very happy, bright song.
Ikuta: The dance is also unique. It's very cute where you can peek into the skirts like curtains.
Hoshino: The music video was filmed without anything special.
Matsumura: We were just having a good time as usual, and they were actually filming us the whole time, then we heard "CUT!"
Ikuma: Because of the technique, this video shows Nogizaka's natural aura and what we are really like.
"It'll make us really happy to have as many people listen to us as possible"
-- So you are branded as "Official Rival of AKB48", do you have ambitious thoughts like "let's make this song #1"?
Ikoma: Personally, I thought that it'd be nice to get the #1 spot. However I'm not really thinking about it too much. It'll make us really happy to have as many people listen to us as possible.
Matsumura: But it's still nice if we can get to #1. We worked very hard during the lessons, and it would be great to repay our supportive staff and fans if we get the #1 spot.
Shiraishi: I agree. Getting #1 is not everything, but it will help with our confidence in the long run.
-- You guys are pretty laid-back. Again, just what kind of group is Nogizaka 46?
Ikoma: The concept for Nogizaka is "no concept". There isn't a defined model, so we're able to face many challenges and the possibilities are endless.
Matsumura: We don't even know what will happen to us from here on.
Shiraishi: I wonder what kind of songs are waiting for us?
Matsumura: Probably something weird, like we'd have to sing in a body suit or something.
Ikuta: You say that now, it'll be really scary if they really do go ahead with this idea~ (laughs)
Hoshino: That's up to Akimoto Yasushi (laughs).
Takayama: Because we were chosen by Sony Music, our dream is to become a representative for Sony Music one day! ...is that too much?