I want to be as smart as Sashihara-san” – Miku Tanaka takes over “HKT48’s character” to be the new W Center. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

I want to be as smart as Sashihara-san” – Miku Tanaka takes over “HKT48’s character” to be the new W Center.

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HKT48 released its 17th single “Wear a Bucket! was released on December 20. The title song features 5th term students Satoru Ishibashi and Kurumi Takemoto, who joined the group in 2006, playing the double center roles. Five years after their debut, the long-awaited center role was finally taken.

This is also the last single for Miku Tanaka, who has already announced her graduation. The message of the song is to “encourage the steps toward the future.

About the single “Bucket on your head! We interviewed Ishibashi, Takemoto, and Tanaka, the center of the group, about the song. They talked about the song, Tanaka’s impression of the double center, and the future of HKT48.

Kurumi Takemoto (left) and Satoru Ishibashi (right), the new double center, flanked by Miku Tanaka (center), who is graduating PHOTO: Yutaka Matsushima

─ ─ In this work, “Wear a Bucket! Ishibashi and Takemoto, both 5th term students, were chosen as the double center. First of all, please tell us your frank feelings.

Ishibashi: “When I celebrated my 18th birthday, I told my fans in a members-only mobile mail that I wanted to be the center while I was still in high school. I am very happy to have made that dream come true.

Takemoto: “I think this song is a milestone for the new HKT48, so I am very happy to be chosen as the center at that time. I would like to thank the fans and my parents for their support.

─ ─ I think there must be a lot of pressure, not only because you are the first 5th term student to be chosen as the center, but also because this is the first single without a 1st term student.

Takemoto: “Last time, we had first-term and second-term students, and I was partly dependent on my seniors. This time, five 6th term students, who are my juniors, made the selection, so the view I see is completely different from before. Now I feel that I have to be firm and lead them.

Ishibashi: “I rarely feel pressure. Fans often say to me, “Miku (Tanaka) is graduating too, so please take care of her from now on.

─ ─ Isn’t the presence of each other among the center members also a big part of that?

Takemoto: “That’s right. At first, I was worried about how the fans would react to us, but because Satoru (Ishibashi) was there, I was relieved.

Ishibashi: “Everyone tells me that Kuru-chan (Takemoto) and I have opposite personalities. I am the type of person who runs when I decide to do something, and Kuru-chan is the type of person who thinks about what will happen later and goes carefully. So when I’m about to go too fast, she stops me (laughs). Kuru-chan is two years older than me, so she supports me a lot.

─ It seems like you are working together in a good balance.

Ishibashi: “Yes. We are able to compensate for what we don’t have, so I think we are getting along well together.

─ What is your impression of the title track of this single, “Bucket! What was your impression when you heard the title track of the single “Bucket on the Bucket!

Ishibashi: “I was surprised at the strong impact of the title when I heard it. I was surprised. Mr. Akimoto (Yasushi) describes it as a bucket, but if you listen to the lyrics properly, I think there are many ways to understand it. I would be happy if, when you are feeling a little down, you listen to this song and it becomes a song that encourages someone to say, “There is definitely someone who will protect you.

Takemoto: “I was surprised at the title at first, but I think it represents the current HKT48. We are also facing difficulties after the graduation of many of our seniors, but I thought the message of the song was, “Let’s try, and even if we fail, let’s change our minds and start over again. I hope this song will encourage people to take a step forward.

Tanaka: “My first selection was ‘Sakura, Minna Datta Ate’, which is also a rather shocking title, and my graduation single was ‘Bucket! I thought that HKT48 has many unusual song titles (laughs). (Laughs.) But the lyrics are really good. I especially like the phrase “so that your future won’t be injured…” I am graduating, so when I heard this lyric, I felt a sense of calmness.

───Though it was not a guess from Akimoto-sensei, you took it as a message as well.

Tanaka: “Akimoto-sensei sees more of HKT48 than we think, and he sometimes talks with us, saying, “This is what happened to you, I was deeply moved by the fact that we were given this song in the midst of the ongoing graduations of our members.

─ Then, do you have any advice for the two center members?

Tanaka: “If there is anything I can say, I would say that activities as a center go by really fast, so you should chew and cherish every moment of it. Do you have any concerns about ……?”

Takemoto “Yes! Is there anything the center can do to make HKT48 more exciting?”

Tanaka “I think it is important to always have confidence. If the center lacks confidence, it makes the members in the back uneasy, so I want them to be confident only when they stand in the front or in the center position.

Takemoto: “Thank you!

When the three of us get together, the synergy of beauty is amazing. ……

─ ─ Because Ms. Tanaka has been active as the center of HKT48, her words are very persuasive. So, since this is your graduation single, could you tell us again how you feel about your graduation?

Tanaka: “I am very happy to hear from fans “Thank you for being in HKT48 until now” or “Good job. I am glad that I have done this for 10 years. Now that HKT48 is moving forward into the future, I feel that I was able to graduate at the right time.

─ ─ Do you have a goal to become the kind of person you want to be after graduation?

Tanaka: “I have been friends with Ms. Sashihara (Rino) in private and admire her, so I want to become a smart person who can see everything around her from a bird’s eye view like Ms. Sashihara. I also want to be someone like Murashige (Anna)-san, who will be very active after graduating from HKT48.

─ I think fans are looking forward to seeing you two perform together after graduation.

Tanaka: “That’s right! I have performed with Murashige-san and Sashihara-san before on the show, but I would like to perform with them again after graduation.”

─ ─ Once again, from your point of view, what do you want HKT48 to become in the future?

Tanaka: “I want HKT48 to remain bright and sparkling. Even after I graduate, I will still come to see HKT48 live as a fan, so I am very excited to see how the group will look from the outside.

Miku Tanaka announced her graduation. This song will be her last single.
Kurumi Takemoto plays the center role for the first time.
Satoru Ishibashi, who is playing the center for the first time
Ishibashi and Takemoto, who received advice from Tanaka on how to be prepared as the center, aim to make further progress!
  • Interview and text by Tatsuya Kawasaki PHOTO Yutaka Matsushima

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