Friday, August 10, 2012
PSP1800 Part 2: Shou (Alice Nine) x Takeru (SuG)
This project is about getting you to talk freely for 30 minutes. The first session was with RUKI (the GazettE) and Shou (Alice Nine). It was Shou's first time talking with his senior like that, so he had the tendency to be nervous.
Shou: I did (laughs). But one would get nervous. He is my senior after all.
Takeru. That's right. I really look up to RUKI, so he's someone I would like to try talking to. Is he scary?
Shou: No. He's really straight-forward, and he's a really nice person, so even though it's odd for me, the junior, to describe him like this, he has a really cute personality. Since he's a person who was raised in a vertically-structured society, you really have to respect that about him.
Takeru: Yes. That's right. I understand.
You don't often get to see each other, do you? Even though you're from the same company.
Shou: We don't. Even if we do things like events and such together, we don't really have much time to speak.
Which is why we chose Shou and Takeru for this part.
Takeru: Thank you very much! I'm glad!
Shou: Likewise. He seems like an interesting person. I've always wanted to try having a proper chat with him. I did once do an interview with him and Shin (ViViD) for a magazine, but I don't know that much about Takeru. I want to know more about him.
Takeru: But Shou is the only senior in our company who would invite you out to eat!
Shou: Oh, right. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I asked and he accepted (laughs). But there are still many things that I don't know about him yet, so I'd like to take this time to have a proper chat with him.
Takeru: Sure! The pleasure is all mine!
Shou: I like history, so if I were to compare Takeru to a historical figure, I think he would be someone like Oda Nobunaga. If we were to talk about Kou U and Ryuu Hou, Kou U is the type with excellent abilities and great leadership. Although Ryuu Hou had no abilities, he's the type of person who is blessed with plenty of subordinates. If I had to say which type I was, I'd say I'm the latter, but I think that perhaps Takeru is the exact opposite of me. Is that right? I'm the kind to observe how the other person moves, but since Takeru is charismatic, he'd perhaps be the type to make the first move.
Takeru: I don't know. I can't really tell since we're talking about myself, but I do think I'm rely on my senses too much. I'm really bad at expressing myself, so I end up just making the first move. That's how it is.
Shou: I'm good at expressing myself. When I was a child, I paid too much to people's facial expressions, but I couldn't explain things well. That's why I constantly thought "What should I do in order to express this?". I read a lot of books too. That's why I'm good at expressing things to the other person.
Takeru: That's right. I can't really express things well. Or rather, I don't express myself. But when you take a look at things like lyrics, you can see that the way we perceive things and the way we express things are quite different. With Shou's lyrics, aren't there a lot of comparisons to things that aren't concrete, like space? But my lyrics are more about the concrete things. Shou mentioned earlier that we're exact opposites, but he might even be the person most different from me amongst all the bands in our company. Even though our band style is completely different, aren't RUKI's lyrics really realistic? He often writes lyrics in a straight-forward manner with respect to things that actually happened. I do often think that I want to write lyrics that are similar to Shou's lyrics, but I just can't write them, so I feel that our senses are different. I think the lyrics he writes are suited to Alice Nine. The lyrics don't paint the whole story. If I were to compare Alice Nine's music to films, I think it'd be like French films. Even if you can't see the whole thing, you still get a proper view from the fragments.
Shou: I see. That might be so. You actually pay attention to us (laughs)
Takeru: Of course! I always listen to your new releases! I always listen to both what my seniors and juniors release. I also watch all of their music videos.
Shou: You're so avid, Takeru.
Takeru: I'm just scared. If I don't collect such information, it seems like I wouldn't be able to catch up. It's scary. I'm a coward, you know.
Shou: You're a coward?
Takeru: Yes, an extreme coward.
You don't seem that way to me. But that's unexpected.
Takeru: Yes, very unexpected (laughs). But I do my best to not appear that way, and act brave and full of confidence (laughs)
Shou: I see. That'd admirable.
Takeru: I always set goals, like "I want to be like this at this one-man live" or "I want to take this single to those lengths", and do my best to achieve that, but I've never been able to achieve it. That's why I think I can continue being in a band. I think that a part of the avidity Shou was talking about is also cowardice. What makes me think things like "Should I do it like this?" or "What should I do so I can reach that point?" is cowardice, like "I have to this in order to reach that point" or "I can't reach that point unless I get past this. What should I do...?". I think that that cowardice sometimes appears to be avidity.
Shou: I see. The way I go about doing my band activities is with this feeling of wondering "How will this life I've lived affect the rest of the world?", so I don't experience what Takeru does. But I can really respect the attitude Takeru has. It's something I don't have.
Takeru: But people tell me that I think too much about things... That's also a part of my personality...
How do you see Shou, Takeru?
Takeru: Is it okay if I speak not from a junior's point of view, but as a listener of his music? I'm sorry if I offend you.
Shou: No, no. It's fine (laughs)
Takeru: Although Shou said that he's the type "with no talent, but blessed with subordinates", to me, I get the impression that Shou protects his band with his life. I've come to think that way even more so now than before. The first time I listened to Alice Nine was in "Kasou Musou Shi (A mini-album that was released in November, 2005)". At that time, I had given it a listen at a CD shop and ended up buying it.
Shou: Oh, thank you (laughs)
Takeru: Ahahaha. No, I should be thanking you; I'm always in your debt (laughs). I was interested in the music of course, but also the androgyny, and the blending of Japanese and Western style concept that they had. Ever since then, they've been recreating themselves, and I thought that was interesting. Just watching them gives you plenty of motivation. I think that bands are living creatures, and I think that Shou's band really is that way. I see Shou as someone who looks at the band objectively, and plans their course. Sorry for sounding so rash.
Shou: No, I'm really happy. I'm glad that I was able to hear an honest opinion rather than compliments that don't come from the heart. And yet last time, I was praising the GazettE to no end (laughs). But I could only say those things because I really think that way. Complimenting someone right in front of them is embarrassing, but I could only say those things precisely because I think the GazettE are a cool band. I'm not someone who can tell lies. If I really didn't think they were cool, I wouldn't be able to say it. I do think they're cool. I like what Takeru said because he wasn't lying. I think that's amazing that he's so direct.
Takeru: Thank you very much. I often get criticised for being too direct though (laughs). I also say things in a way that make people worry... I just can't express myself well.
Shou: It's because you're so direct that you become the target of criticism. I think that it's proof of just how much attention people pay to you, Takeru. It's a good thing. I always go about things in a round-about way, so I don't really get criticised (laughs)
Takeru: Ahahaha, that's right (laughs). Thank you very much. I'm glad that you phrased it so nicely. You said that you've always been reading books, but what kind of books do you read?
Shou: I read a lot of Agatha Christie's works. It's more like escaping from reality. I like the world of imagination. I also often read Edogawa Ranpo's works and Miyazawa Kenji's works. I like abstract things. I like mystery and fantasy.
Takeru: I really get why you like Agatha Christie and Edogawa Ranpo. I really like Edogawa Ranpo's works too.
Shou: Right. Huh? That reminds me, you haven't really tried to make me ease up today (laughs)
Because you're not overly formal today (laughs). I met RUKI after the talk you two had, and he was like "The next part is with Shou and Takeru, right? Tell me how Shou goes (laughs)!". He was very keen to know (laughs)
Shou: No, no, no, please don't (laughs). But RUKI and I did get carried away talking about the "care-free generation" (laughs)
Takeru: Everyone is confused by this "care-free generation". I think that it's more like our elders are like "We'll give you flexibility, so use this flexibility". I think that the people who make proper use of this flexibility are level-headed people.
Shou: Certainly. That's right.
Takeru: But I think that a great deal of change happened during our generation. It's the same with the "care-free generation", but with the rapid popularisaton of cellphones, you can really feel that people's values are changing at a remarkable rate. That's incredibly scary.
Shou: That's right. It's not like we don't know of teh changes, but the way you perceive those changes depends on what you experienced in your time.
Takeru: That's right. Those changes happened when I was a student, or rather, when I was a kid. Promising to meet someone suddenly changed from telling them face-to-face to telling them via e-mail. Now, even if you're late, people will forgive you.
You'll now be forgiven even if you're late?
Takeru: Yeah. When there weren't things like cellphones, you had to meet at the time you agreed to meet or else. But now that cellphones are popular and you can now send e-mails, if you sent them an e-mail saying "Sorry, I'm gonna be a bit late", they won't mind.
Shou: Well now that you mention it, that's true (laughs). I got my first cellphone when I was in high school, but before that, you wouldn't know what to do if the person you were to meet didn't show up at the agreed time (laughs)
Takeru: I know, right? It was a time where you'd see many changes happening every half year, so it was really scary.
Shou: You could also feel that lifestyles were changing.
Takeru: Yes. Someone born only three years later than us would belong in the digital age! The rate of change in the world is really something else!
Shou: I'd be dumbstruck if I talked to a younger person and they said they didn't know what "Dragonball" was (laughs)
Shou: I'd be like "Get yourself acquainted with "Saint Seiya" and "Dragonball"..." (laughs). Whether someone knows "Dragonball" or not might be a good indication as to whether I'll get along with them or not (laughs)
So it's been 30 minutes now. Why don't you make a promise to each other?
Shou & Takeru: Eh?! A promise?!
Takeru: Putting people on the spot again (laughs)
Shou: We weren't ready for that (laughs). Ah, right! How about when you go clothes shopping or something next time, you let me carry your stuff (laughs)
Takeru: What?! I can't possibly let you do that! I can't make such a promise!
Shou: It's just that I can't go shopping unless I'm alone. So it'll be like a practice run. I'm the type of person who can't go shopping with others.
Takeru: Ah! Me too! I have to go alone and focus or else.
Shou: Right. I know how you feel, so it's not like we're actually going shopping together. I just want to see what kind of things you would buy, so let me carry your things (laughs)
Takeru: Whoa~. That's quite a difficult promise to make...
Then why don't you take Shou shopping some time, Takeru?
Takeru: That's just weird!1
Shou: Ahahaha. Please finish the talk with thsoe words (laughs)
Takeru: No, no, no (laughs). But thank you very much for today!
Shou: Likewise. It was fun. Let's go out to eat some time again. Thanks.
1 Because Shou is the senior
NB: Most of the names that appear can be googled, save for "Kou U" and "Ryuu Hou", who were ancient Chinese generals dating back to about 200B.C
Part 3 will be with Takeru (SuG) and Hiroto (Alice Nine)
Credit translation to english: jaeho_x3