Misato Maeda (27), one of the top idols selected as one of the six “Nitteregenic 2014,” a project to discover the next generation of idols, showed full nudity for the first time in her life in the FRIDAY (August 18 issue). Why did she challenge the expression of nudity when she is at the top of the scene? We interviewed her directly.
At the time, the Nichitelegenic contest was the gateway to success for idols, and was the object of admiration for all budding girls. The competition was so fierce that I honestly have nothing but memories of how mentally tough it was (laughs).
She was a member of “Idol no Ana 2014 – Nichitelegenic wo Sagasete! (NTV), an audition variety show where viewers vote to determine the “Nichitelegenic 2014” and she got her break.
During the broadcast, the candidates are challenged with various tasks, and viewers vote for the candidate they think is the best candidate to become a Nichitelegenic. The system was such that the member with the lowest points was eliminated each week, so I felt a lot of pressure during those three months, wondering if I would be the next to be eliminated.
I can say this now, but there were many all-nighters (laughs). The program aired late at night on Saturdays, and since I was competing in live chat at the time, I started live chatting immediately after the broadcast and participated in the program’s event on Sundays. Then I would go back to the studio on Monday to record the show.
She looks back and says that the “Nichitelegenic 2014” award she received was worth all the hard work she put in.
The moment I felt the greatest joy was when I appeared in the gravure issue of Young Magazine. I was so excited, thinking, ‘I’m going to be in a gravure magazine! I was so excited. I had always wanted to be in gravure (laughs). I really felt the strength of having a title. …… I was on terrestrial TV for three months straight, so I got a lot of work outside of gravure, and it was a busy but fulfilling time for me!
Nine years have passed since then. Nine years have passed since then, and you took on the challenge of being fully nude for the first time. How have your feelings changed?
I turned 27 this year, and I personally feel that I have not been able to do as much fulfilling work as I used to. I’ve been performing for more than 10 years now, and as I get older, I’m getting a little impatient. …… I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my name out there, so when I got the offer, I said, “I’d love to do it. I knew that I wanted to go back to the top.
As for nudity, I myself enjoy cameras and like being the subject of photographs, so I was willing to take on the challenge as long as I could be photographed in a beautiful way.
Her first full nude photo book, “A Drop of Memory” (Kodansha), is scheduled for release in September. When we finally asked her what kind of readers she would like to deliver her photo book to, she replied in her typical bubbly voice, “Fans who have supported me for a long time.
I want everyone to pick up the book, whether they are my old fans or people who got to know me through the photo book! I hope that fans will be able to see a new Misato Maeda in this book, and newcomers will be able to discover a new Misato Maeda by saying, “I didn’t know there was such a girl! For those who are new to the world of Misato Maeda, it will be a book that will help you discover her. Please take a look! Thank you for your support!”