Rena solo interview from Hot Express

Where Rena-chi talks about Aishiteraburu, elections, her metamorphosis(?!) and says some daring things ( *///)…

Enjoy!

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Matsui Rena, one of the two WMatsui who is leading SKE48 which last single 「Aishiteraburu」 has been a big hit, makes her entry!

- Last spring, Jurina whose condition had worsened had to enter the  hospital for some time. With this, half of the “WMatsui” who had pull the group so far had disappeared, how did you deal with the situation?

Rena - It wasn’t the 1st time Jurina was down because of a poor physical condition, so I knew that if she rested enough she would eventually come back. Myself and the other members had in mind that we needed to set-up things in order to support her when she would come back.
If you look at it as an isolated event, it may look serious, but now Jurina has come back and she is in great condition. Rather than a pinch, I see it as something that united us more.

- On the same vein, right before that it was announced Jurina would be holding two positions as she would also enter AKB48 team K.

Rena - Right after the announcement we didn’t know the details yet, we were all worried that the SKE48 we all had given so much to build would change dramatically. We all gathered , crying, encircling Jurina. At that very moment, I think SKE48 real feelings were lay bare.

- This summer will mark the 4th anniversary of SKE48 formation.

Rena - It was really slow, but I get the feeling we kept going forward. I’m very grateful to those who support us. Through our performances and actual feelings, I want to do my best to answer the feelings of the fans who cheer for us. I have a strong feeling of gratitude toward them.

If we make another step forward, myself and all the members, I’m sure SKE48 will grow again to reach a new level.

- Also since a few months ago members can communicate via Google+, it changed the distance between fans and yourself, no?

Rena - I don’t think it change much for me. Until now there was the blog where I could read comments. Simply on G+ replies come really fast. For me it’s an additional place, with lot of potentialities, to exchange.

- Right now, Rena-san knows a huge popularity during handshake events. Did that gave birth to some sort of self-consciousness?

Rena - Nothing of the sort (laugh). During handshakes fans always inquire 「Are you ok? Your line is so long!」 but since we are isolated in our own partitions, I’ve never seen my own line or the one of other members.

I always only have in mind to talk to each person who comes in front of me, I realize there are lot of people coming, but I never compared with other members.
I only hope for the people who come to have a pleasant time…. That’s something I wish would never end.

- In January was released in theaters 「DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on」, presenting all the members in real conditions. For example the situation during Seibu Dome performance was  quite alarming, even shocking for the spectator.

Rena - It was indeed a complicated situation, but after experiencing this kind of stress again and again we naturally get used to it. In the old days for asingle concert we would train a lot, for a whole month but now we barely have the chance to meet all together and we only train in between our other jobs.
…That’s also true that compared with before, I make a lot less of basic mistakes (laugh). Making good use of those progress, if we could perform again in large venues like Gaishi Hall the other day, I’m sure new challenges would present themselves to us. Coping with them would be the real difficulty in my opinion.

- Rena-san despite appearances… How should I say that…You’ve a lot of guts don’t you?

Rena - Thank you (laugh). But, I’m not one of those skilled persons, compared to other members I think I’m unsteady… During rehearsals for example I make a lot of mistakes (laugh). And so when my time comes to perform I summon my courage「I can’t fail there!」, new environments are exciting for me. So right now I think I live on top of an exquisite balance. It may sound like a weird expression, but it’s like standing on a bowling ball on top of a sharpened lead.

- Isn’t that fragile? (laugh)

Rena - But I don’t see that as a bad situation. Rather I think it’s amusing. The moment the balance will break, that will be the time for me to advance to a new stage. What if the fallen ball made for a robust foundation? That’s something we won’t know before it actually happens, so while I focus on my works one by ones, I want to keep on enjoying that feeling of tension.

- Now let discuss about the freshly released 「Aishiteraburu」. It’s said Rena-san was the one to decide on this title.

Rena - Nothing like that (laugh). Originally there were two titles possible 「Aishiteraburu」 and  「I Love Shiteru」, and at first 「I Love Shiteru」 was picked.
But all the members agreed that “Aishiteraburu” sounded better, that it sounded better to the ears. So I thought 「If it keeps on like this, everybody will be gloomy until the release!」. So I summoned my courage and sent a message to Akimoto sensei 「Everybody agree “Aishiteraburu” would be a better choice.」, to what sensei replied 「If so let’s go with “Aishiteraburu”」. That’s how the title was decided.

- The other day, while there was a strife following rumors of censorship and time regulation on Google+, you commented on said time regulation. Can we conclude you’re the type of person to speak up?

Rena - I wonder (laugh). Simply, there are a lot of issues that won’t be resolved if you don’t address them directly. There is a lot we don’t perceive in relation to our fans, and we are told about and often taken aback by, via fan mails or during handshake events. It’s a chance for us to be able to interact in close range with our fans but I want to be able to improve the communication between us too…. maybe that’s why I tend to speak up (laugh).

Q+ Rena - […] about Aishiteraburu being a perfect summer song […]

- So far SKE48 songs were mostly about one sided or hidden feelings, lyrics often about how to find the strength to confess…

Rena - I was really surprised, the 1st time I read the lyrics. I thought the final verse would be 「…that was just an illusion」 , or something of the sort (laugh). But I think such overwhelming romance is cute too. A bit more and they would make ice melt…You want to tell them 「Get a room!」* (laugh). (tln : literally “Do that at home!”)

- Ahahahahahah! That’s severe! (laugh)

Rena - But isn’t it more interesting to look at it this way?! (laugh) Anyway, those lyrics are amusing. The choreography is somehow comical and pleasant to perform.

- Speaking of the shooting, the setting was superb this time! I personally love the sport-oriented and vigorous SKE48 type of dances, but this time we are given the chance to see the cuteness of everyone.

Rena - Thank you very much! The shooting was fun. But we only started learning the lyrics and dance once we reached Saipan, with barely no time it was quite the situation. I was thinking 「What do we do now? I need to focus!」 , that was thrilling (laugh).

- I want to seize the chance of interviewing you by yourself today to ask you about shirogumi coupling song 「Nante Gingawa Hakarui no darou」. Is it right to say you have the leading part in the song?

Rena - Looking at the introduction and closing part, you could have this impression, but in the MV itself, that’s not the case at all. The refined set was enough to get me excited. As the clip ended being beautiful, I’m very satisfied with the result.

- In the end, this single presents all sort of facets and charms of SKE48.

Rena -  […] More talk about the single. […] By becoming center, I’m sure you show another facet of your personality, given the number of our members there is a huge potential here. If we manage to make the best use of this potential, I’m convinced SKE48 will become more powerful.

- And then this June will be hold AKB48 general elections. For the first time Maeda Atsuko won’t be taking part in it. What is your state of mind as the day of the results is drawing near?

Rena - Since this is the 4th time it is now a well established practice, a bit like a cultural festival, I’m looking forward to it. For me the most important thing is to properly receive everyone’s feelings and to use it to move forward.

- Latest AKB48 single 「Manatsu no Sounds Goods」, which encloses  the voting tickets for the elections, has the particularity to have 36 members participating in. With the elections coming, do you feel that too marks the start of another big transformation?

Rena - Surely right now SKE48 research students are working extremely hard , they have in mind 「We have to give our best too!」. During their stage performances, they’re doing really good! Our 5th generation is really something! That’s also a great source of motivation for us, I think it’s good that we mutually raise each other level by boosting our spirit. (tln : Don’t ask me why, but Rena totally dodged the question there. She is well decided not to speak about AKB at all, so so be it!)

- Now, putting SKE48 aside, tell us about your goals as Matsui Rena.

Rena - Waaa! (laugh) Let’s see… Right now, I feel like I’m going through a huge metamorphosis. Among the fans who support me through that phase, I can feel both anxiety and expectations, by lumping it all together, I’ll do my very best as to be told 「That was positive / You did great*」, in the end. (tln:「良かった」 in the text).

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    It’s amazing how Rena draws these comparisons with certain situations sometimes. She really has a way with words.
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