Kanda translates Joshi Spa: Tsurugi Mikito on Matsuura Aya, Nov 2011

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Tsurugi Mikito deleted the original tweet I QRTed, but here’s a quick and dirty summary thread of the interview he did about Ayaya that got her final album “Click you Link me” to the top of the iTunes charts at one point 4 years after its release. Takeuchi Mariya and her husband Yamashita Tatsuro both talked about her on the radio, saying “she’s the most talented singer amongst 20 year olds now,” and mangaka Egawa Tatsuya also made a comment on Facebook leading to a resurgence of interest in Matsuura Aya.

Click here for the first half
Click here for the second half

Some things to consider:
-The interview takes place in 2014, just as Morning Musume ’14 started their “second break,” and C-ute was on their way up.
-Matsuura Aya made her last appearance at the 2013 H!P countdown concert.
-Ano koro was just published in May 2014.

-This is not a direct translation, but rather a summary of the interview.

Tsurugi is like me: we both stepped away for a bit, but he returned in 2012 (I returned in 2017). He feared people were starting to forget about Matsuura Aya, and decided to create a place for her to be able to return. At the time, he decided to change his TV Bros. serial to praise Matsuura Aya as much as he could; he didn’t want her, at 26, to be seen as “someone from the past.”

What really turned Tsurugi on to her was a surprise appearance at “FACTORY,” a TV show on Fuji TV. The guests that day were STRAIGHTENER, Tokyo Ska Orchestra, and DRY & HEAVY: this meant the audience watching the recording that day were hardcore rock, ska, and reggae fans. All of a sudden, as a secret opening act, a 15-year-old Matsuura Aya comes out to sing an acoustic cover of Arai Yumi’s Hikoukigumo and her own LOVE Namida iro. Rock fans still knew who she was, so at first they were heckling her like crazy.

But as she continued to sing, it was as if Matsuura was putting out their fire: it got really quiet and everyone was just watching her. After she finished, she introduced the show with her usual Matsuura Aya-like personality, to which the studio welcomed the main event. Tsurugi was highly impressed with how she was able to sing straight to this rock audience’s hearts and be able to make these rock fans care about idols: he felt it was something God-given and limited to people who have that particular talent. The fact she was 15 years old was wild, and she’s continued to improve into her 20s.

Aside from her endometriosis diagnosis, Tsurugi thinks Matsuura slowed down due to a difference in artistic direction: it started with songs like Sougen no hito (lyrics by Misora Hibari) and Hyacinth (lyrics/composition: Tanimura Shinji), which created a completely different Matsuura Aya than one would expect as an idol. She may have thought she couldn’t continue to keep that image, even at 18: Tsurugi suspects she may have started too early.

Tsurugi also calls Matsuura “his sun” and “savior,” who saved him from dark days. The odd thing about Matsuura is while the entire image of an idol is built upon their imperfections, Matsuura already felt complete from her debut with her “pro idol” image—this might be why fans of other acts in Hello! Project couldn’t find an interest in her.

Tsurugi talked about potential for a comeback (remember: 2014), and the interviewer compared her to Moritaka Chisato, who has been able to continue her activities as long as she has at her own pace. Tsurugi mentions wanting to see GAM make a comeback with the two as married mothers—he’s gone as far as going to the company to present on how/why Matsuura should make a comeback when her marriage (to Tachibana Keita) was announced. Everyone felt the same way, thankfully: they hope one day she’d decide to make a comeback to bless people with her voice.

In regards to UF, he’s heard the complaints about them needing fresh blood since they do everything on their own (CD releases, marketing, live planning, management, etc.), but at the time, Tsurugi felt they’ve been full of creatives and taking in outside talent as necessary.

He’d like Matsuura to appear at Fuji Rock Festival rather than Rock in Japan or Summer Sonic, and compares her to being able to do what Nikaido Kazumi does, who once said, “I’m a singer, so I want to express what people write lyrically and musically.”

Finally as a recommendation, he circles back to her Factory appearance (search <<松浦亜弥 Factory>>—two videos are still up at the time of writing).

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