Matsui Rena interview in Weekly Playboy 2014 No.11 (out 2014/07/28)
Will Bukiyou Taiyou be SKE turning point?
Will the group ever get a proper tour?
Will the juniors ever dare challenge front members?
Will Rena become producer someday? (/me says odds are rather good ( °w°))
Will she get a role in a big name drama before graduating?
Should I book a ticket for Barcelona?! (((o°^°o)))=3
You tell me!
Q - What was your initial reaction when you listened to 「Bukiyou Taiyou」?
Rena - I was surprised 「Eh? A ballad?」 . It’s the sort of song we never had for an A face before so it felt refreshing too. As for what it evoked, I personally would say the end of summer, with some passages feeling somewhat cooler…
Q - It’s true that until now passionate dances and fiery performances have been SKE48 trademark.
Rena - Hmm. And I don’t think it will change, but in order to touch a broader range of people I for one think this kind of “curve ball” is necessary. This song might well become a turning point for SKE48.
Q - Turning point?
Rena - I’m currently in concurrent position with Nogizaka46 so I’ll take an example I’m familiar with if you allow (laugh), but I wonder if this release won’t be similar to what has been 「Kimi no Na wa Kibou」for Nogizaka. With 「Kimi no Na wa…」 Nogizaka opted for a completely different approach from the typical idol songs they had released until then, making it a turning point in the sense that they made themselves known to a much wider range of people. Thus I hope「Bukiyou Taiyou」will reach those who didn’t listen to SKE48 before.
Q - I see.
Rena - And I also expect this song to present us as stars!(laugh) Some time ago one of our concert director told me 「After performing several cheerful and energetic songs, singing a more quiet song brings out a star aura」. If that’s so, we will definitely bring upon us that star aura if we were to sing 「Bukiyou Taiyou」 last during a live, don’t you think?!
Q - Certainly, I can perfectly picture the scene, with member dancing in a sea of penlights. On a side note, during the elections last June you proclaimed 「I want SKE48 to perform a nation tour」, exact?
Rena - I did. (laugh)
Q - Having inquired Imamura-san (SKE48 theater manager) afterward it his reaction was something like「She got us」. (laugh)
Rena - I impulsively said what came to mind when I got up on stage.(laugh) I guess it’s actually a question of timing to implement it, but to make up for all the time fans have been waiting, SKE48 won’t lose to any other group and should be able to present them the greatest of all show!
Q - Even if you can say 「nation tour」in a breath, concretely there are thousands of ways to conduct one. How do you picture it?
Rena - Starting last fall, SKE48 had a solo tour in 3 cities, Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya, which lasted until February. But as far as I’m concerned, 3 cities is far from being enough to call it a tour. What we need right now is to hold as many lives as possible, to convey to the charm of our group to as many people as we can around the country. That’s why even if it’s not in big venues, or rather medium ones would even be best, I want spectators to closely feel the burning ardor of members. This way the audience could get fired up together with members, and isn’t there the most basic way to enjoy idols? That’s at least what I think as an idol wota myself.(laugh)
Q - I’m sure that thanks to the time you’ve spend with Nogizaka or by mean of your solo career, you’ve gained an objective view of SKE48. So allow me to ask, what opinion do you have of SKE as of late?
Rena - I think that when it comes to dance or theater performances, our individual skills are on the rise. But in the other hand instead of challenging new things I have the feeling we give a strong image of being passive and cautious not to perturb the pre-established order. It’s not something new, it has been so for the past two year, hence I think it’s normal if seen from outside people think 「there are no change (in the group)」.
Q - What do you think you need most right now?
Rena - For me what’s the most important for an idol is “to show we’re giving everything we have”. I’m not saying that because I’m still a poor dancer after all this time (laugh), but it’s not about being able to dance or not, singing right or being tin-eared, what really matters is to show we’re giving it our uttermost. Looking at plenty of idols I’ve reached the conclusion that it was the most important.
Q - As expected from an idols enthusiast like Rena-san.
Rena - And then I’d be good for members to venture to self-appeal more. Much like Akarin (Suda Akari) and Umechan (Umemoto Madoka), showing off their personalities and characteristics without holding back. In public, no matter the circumstances, everyone is turning into a “good girl”, but when you’re standing in front of an audience there is nothing more boring than good girl. The idol industry in a “niche” (laugh), the spotlight will only turn toward those who have something other don’t. That’s why I want them to think harder about how to attract the attention to them and step forward with more force.
Q - Now, in 「gift」the movie actually showing in theater, you play the role of a cabaret girl who has been proposed 100 hours of her time against 1 million yens, a character differing markedly from the image of the idol we’re used to.
Rena - True. The character I play, Saori, has given up any hope she had in the society. She has a repelling mindset toward everything, convinced that 「this world is rotten」. But hasn’t everyone experienced this rebellious phase around the time of middle school? (laugh) I perfectly get this feeling too. My co-actor Endou Kenichi-san told me 「you can’t lie when acting」, so not only did I immerse myself in the atmosphere of the location and felt the words of my partner, but I spoke my lines like they were my own words.
Q - Your next goal?
Rena - I want to play in a serial drama showing nationwide! I also want to appear in more movies and get a role in a play. I yearn to act, in all possible ways. I also want to travel abroad, see this world I don’t know for myself. I’ve a special interest in walls (laugh), so I’d really like to visit Spain where there seem to be so many funny buildings!(laugh)