Text Interviews » Kalafina Shanghai Cool Interview

Translation of the Kalafina interview in Shanghai Cool magazine (page 1, 2, 3). Thanks to Kerahna for the tranlsation!

[I’m skipping the intro stuff about who Kalafina is, KnK stuff etc etc]

Cool: When Keiko and Wakana first met, what were your impressions of each other?
Keiko: ahahaha, she…. overall had a very feminine feel.
Wakana: What can I say?…. Mostly a very energetic feel, a great personality.

Cool: When Hikaru joined, what were your impression of these two?
Hikaru: mm, everyone was very kind and very beautiful, and looked like idols.

Cool: Kalafina began as a project with no fixed member lineup. What triggered the three of you to stay together as a fixed group?
Keiko: Starting from last year we had the idea of having live shows and events like that to decrease the distance between us and the audience. We also want the music-lovers to see our individuality, so we thought it was best to show the three of us together in front of them. We also wanted to pass on the emotional feelings of the music to the audience, so we began contemplating, why don’t we do it together? That, and many other reasons. [Kerahna note: way to avoid the….]

Cool: The album Red Moon released on March 17 is your second album, with many new songs. Please describe for us what’s unique about this album, and what you’d recommend to everyone?
Keiko: In the past year we’ve started doing live performances, and have added the influences of the live experiences to varying degrees to this album. We hope everyone will carefully listen for the uniqueness in these. We also added a lot more warmth and excitement to the new songs.

Cool: Keiko was already performing live with Itokubo in 2005. How did those years of musical experience influence you today?
Keiko: With Itokubo, I realized the direction in which I wanted to develop, and it taught me to get up and try anything I wanted to do. Now having joined Kalafina and singing songs by Yuki Kajiura sensei, it let me realize my areas that still need improvement in terms of singing technique and musical feeling. It also let me relearn how to produce sound. At first I was worried whether I could even be able to sing such artistic songs well enough, but with the support of Kajiura-sensei and the other two, I persevered and always did what I wanted to do. It makes me feel very fortunate.

Cool: We’re really curious as to why Keiko likes Harry Potter so much. Who is your favorite character? What spell would you like to use the most?
Keiko: I actually didn’t really like reading that much, but in high school my teacher recommended Harry Potter to us, and we all found it really interesting, and from then on I realized the joy of reading. As for my favorite character, I’d say Dumbledore, and the spell I’d most like to use is the one that summon snakes.

Cool: Wakana, when you first went to Tokyo, what kind of mood and hopes did you have? What kind of stuff did you do at that time?
Keiko: When I first heard I passed the audition, I was really happy and really excited that I could do the kind of work I always wanted. I feel really fortunate to be able to sing as Kalafina. [I don’t know why Keiko answered instead of Wakana]

Cool: Wakana, why do you like sharks? Were you born that way or did some cute event take place?
Wakana: Yes, I really like sharks (audience laughs). When I was little I went to the museum and saw fossils of the oldest living things on earth. They were so big and I was impressed, and after that I research a lot of related information regarding them. I also like the giant mammals and other ancient animals. Those ages of the past, they let me feel the romance of no longer existing in the world.

Cool: I heard Wakana is good at reciting lines from Ghibli cartoons. What is your favorite line?
Wakana: The last line from Kiki’s Delivery Service, when she’s reading the letter. “Even though there have been failures, I still love this city”. I feel like I can relate to this line because when I first arrived in Tokyo, I felt really insecure. To see Kiki still be so lively in a foreign town gave me encouragement, so that’s why I love this line. There are many others that I like, but I’ll just say this one for today.

Cool: On stage, Hikaru is so open while singing but suddenly so quiet and shy during MC. What kind of person are you in real life? (Or let the other two describe you?)
Hikaru: In life? I don’t think I’m very different…. (blank stare—-)
Keiko: Yeah pretty much the phenomenon you’re seeing right now.
Wakana: She’s actually a really hard working person that always keeps running forward when faced with adversity. She always encourages us and is very reliable.
Hikaru: Thank you! (shy)

Cool: Yesterday’s live was a great success! I’m totally touched by your singing.
Wakana: Thank you!
Keiko: EEH? You went to see it?! (Cool: of course!) AH!! Sugoi! You actually went ne~~~ thank you thank you! But this is so embarrassing!

Cool: How do you feel when the audience sang along with you in Japanese?
Keiko: I didn’t expect it at all! We never meet this kind of participation in Japan, so I was really surprised. Because of the differences in language, we were really happy when we heard the audience greet us in Japanese. For everyone to be able to memorize such difficult lyrics and sing with us, we feel very lucky and thankful.

Cool: What was the most touching moment of yesterday’s live?
Wakana: We were so touched during the encore after yesterday’s performance. Everyone enjoying our music, we feel it matches really well and no different at all from Live in Japan.
Keiko: Yeah, the audience all knew what we wanted to communicate, and responded so well.

Cool: Do you observe your audience? Are there any particular audience members that gave you a deep impression?
Keiko: We saw a few really cute and pretty girls all dressed up. Working so hard to look good for a concert, makes us really happy!

Cool: The audience recommended you to go eat shengjianbao, did you get to taste it?
Keiko: Yes! It’s delicious.
Wakana: Very delicious! It’s a magical food!

Cool: What’s the most surprising thing about Shanghai?
Wakana: The buildings are so tall. In Japan such tall buildings only exist in the most busiest parts of town, but in Shanghai they’re everywhere.

Cool: What’s the #1 thing you want to do in Shanghai!
Keiko: Sightsee!
Wakana: Really want to see the aquarium!
Cool: Will you get to go?
Keiko: We have to go home tomorrow…. (pretends to cry)
Cool: You should check out the aquarium on your next visit.
Keiko: (to the show producer) yes yes, please take us next time!

Cool: What do you want to bring back to Japan with you?
Keiko: Ah… what do I want to bring… a lot of things here that aren’t in Japan, what would you recommend?
Cool: You can get frozen xiaolongbao.
Keiko: EH? Really! Xiaolongbao! If I could really take those back it would be great!
Cool: And crabs, tea, and souvenirs from Shanghai World Expo!
Keiko: Aah, I know! That blue thing…..(The mascot)
Cool: It’s name is Haibao
Keiko: Oh, Haibao! Thank you! I can go buy that today!

Cool: Each of you describe your relationship with the other two in one word.
Wakana: Hikaru has “warmheartedness”, and Keiko has “love”
Keiko: Wakana is “trust”, and Hikaru is “reliability”
Hikaru: This is so hard… let me think (Wakana: is it hard? I thought it was really interesting) Hmm, it really is hard, there is a really strong bond between us, so I think the word for everyone is “bond”.

Cool: Can you reveal to us the differences between your personas on stage and your actual selves?
Wakana: Although Hikaru doesn’t talk much, she’s a really hard working person and gives off an elegant feel. Keiko has this artistic kind of aura both on stage and in live (Keiko laughs with pride).
Keiko: Wakana talks a lot on stage, and talks even MORE off stage.

Cool: Who’s the most mature and reliable?
Kalafina (all three pointing at each other): Everyone’s pretty mature and relies on each other.

Cool: Who’s the most childish?
Kalafina (All three raise their hand): MIIIINNNNNAAAAAAAAAA, we are all very childish.

Cool: Who’s the most Otaku?
Wakana: I feel like I’m pretty otaku but I think we all are. I think I’m the most otakulike though, but those two are also otaku to various levels. Keiko is a music otaku, and Hikaru is an anime and book otaku. (Hikaru smiles and nods)

Cool: Where is Wakana’s otakuness?
Keiko: She memorizes so many lines from animes! And she’s really passionate about the things she likes. However I think everyone is like that.

Cool: Who eats the most?
Keiko: GET – READY – !!
(Keiko and Hikaru point at Wakana, Wakana points at Keiko)
Keiko: EEH!! Why me?! (Wakana: because you eat the most!) It’s clearly YOU! Look at how much you ate yesterday!
Wakana: Ahh, so embarrassing!
Keiko: But she is really cute when she eats. She likes desserts, puffs and cookies and everything, she can eat a lot.

Cool: Who’s the most fashionable?
Keiko: GET – READY – !!!
(Keiko raises her hand, the other two point at her)
Cool: That’s true, I’ve seen her in fashion magazines!
Keiko: Yeah! (proudly) Thank you, thank you!

Cool: What’s your most proud talent?
Hikaru: I’m good at managing my time, I guess I could say “my pace”. (Keiko: Ah yes yes yes yes, that’s how I wanted to describe you but I couldn’t think of the word, ha!)
Wakana: What I’m proud of, what could I be proud of..
Keiko: (Raises her hand) I know! Wakana, is REALLY good at ARGUMENTS. (Audience laughs)
Wakana: Ah.. arguments….I think that might be it. (shy)

Cool: What are you passionate about right now?
Wakana: I like cooking, and like to cook by myself in my apartment.
Keiko: I like to exercise. Last year I was really into tennis, and now I’m into golf.
Hikaru: If I have to say it, I’d say reading.

Cool: Say a word to the Chinese readers and fans.
Keiko: We are really happy to have a tour in Asia. We’re in Shanghai now, and the next stop is Hong Kong. We are all very touched to see everyone greet us so warmly. Nothing feels more wonderful than seeing everyone memorizing the lyrics and singing along with us in Japanese. We hope we will be able to meet everyone again in China, and continue our Asian tours and let more people hear the voice of Kalafina. Please take care of us in the future.