The March issue of HongKong Walker featured AKB48 members on the cover, as well as a separate A4-sized booklet with interviews from these members and some information about the AKB48 Official Shop in Hong Kong. At the end it also contains a list of upcoming AKB-related events in Hong Kong.
This post includes translations first two interviews. Part 2 will include translations of the remaining interviews and the list of upcoming events in Hong Kong.
First up is Maeda Atsuko.
"Belongs to Team A of AKB48. She ranked 1st in both Japan and Hong Kong Senbatsu Elections. Became an actress in 2007, and was given leading roles in 2008. She portrays a person with a disability in Ending Planner, a Japanese drama that is currently being aired. Recently she is working on losing weight."
HongKong Walker: You are portraying a person with a disability in Ending Planner. Have you thought about what roles you might be given next?
Maeda: Actually there are no roles that I particularly want to portray. But because of this mentality, it's like a surprise every time and makes the shoot more enjoyable.
H: Will you become a full-time actress after you graduate from AKB48?
M: Maybe, but I don't know for sure and I haven't really thought about it. (laughs) Even though I've been in AKB48 for 7 years, I still want to improve.
H: Looks like you really enjoy being part of AKB48. Have you thought about what you might have become if you weren't able to join AKB48?
M: I love it here! (silence, thinking about the question seriously) If I wasn't able to join...I've never thought about this. (H: Is it stressful being center most of the time?) Not really!
H: So, you always look different. Do you have a favorite hairstyle?
M: No, maybe I'm just easy-going, so I like them all.
H: Where do you go on your day off?
A: I like movies, so I go to a DVD shop and buy movies whenever I have time.
H: Have you been to Hong Kong as a personal vacation before?
A: I think...maybe...yes. (thinks very hard) (H: What was your favorite Hong Kong food?) (continues thinking hard) Food....hmmm...(H: What was your impression of Hong Kong?) Hmmm, I would love to go again! Either a handshake event or even by myself. Hong Kong is not that far from Japan, so I would really like to go soon!
H: Finally, how about choosing a song for fans in Hong Kong?Next interview is Oshima Yuko.
A: Well...of course our new song, "Give Me Five!" Don't forget to listen to it!
"Belongs to Team K of AKB48. Ranked 2nd in last year's Senbatsu Election in Japan, and 3rd in Hong Kong. Was already a child actress in 1996, joined "Light Music Club" during high school and played bass. She attended International Jewelry Tokyo, a jewelry exhibition, and won "Jewelry Best Wearer Award" in January 2012.
HongKong Walker: Your first bedroom scene was in "The Reason I Can't Find My Love". Were you nervous during the shoot?
Oshima Yuko: Frankly, I was not nervous. (laughs). There were a lot of staff, and since I did a lot of swimsuit shoots, so I'm used to exposing skin, therefore I wasn't too tense. However the opposing actor (Hiraoka Yuta) was very nervous!
H: Oh yeah? (laughs) You've been in AKB48 for 7 years, how do you feel about this?
O: 7 years is quite long, but on the flip side it's getting close to 10. I hope we can do an Asia tour.
H: That would be great for fans in the region. You are also a member of "Not Yet". So, is there anything that you have "not yet" done?
O: I'm the type that likes to play video games or games on my phone whenever I have free time... (plays dumb) So I need to learn how to manage my time better and work on my concentration.
H: Many people in Hong Kong are like that too, playing video games whenever they get the time. So do you do nothing else?
O: No way. (laughs out loud) I like to go hiking and visit spiritual/sacred places, like Tochigi Prefecture, which is where I am from. Please come visit - I highly recommend cities like Nikko, it's quite fun!
H: Ok, we'll make sure to tell everyone. Since you're so popular, have you been recognized on the street?
O: Yeah, sure! This one time I was recognized by an old lady at a hot spring, and she said, "Aren't you so-and-so from AKB...?" I was surprised that she knew about us! (laughs)
H: What is your impression of Hong Kong?
O: I was reading a magazine the other day and apparently it's a place where dragons pass through. This year is also the year of Dragon, so maybe it's calling out to me. (laughs) I hope to visit Hong Kong personally this year and check out the view at night, which I was not able to do last time.
H: Final question - what song would you like to choose for the fans?
O: I hope you guys will listen to more of our group stage songs!