WHITE SCORPION Serial [Part 6] COCO’s Ambition: “I Crave Recognition from These Eleven” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

WHITE SCORPION Serial [Part 6] COCO’s Ambition: “I Crave Recognition from These Eleven”

A special series of articles on the true faces of the idol group "WHITE SCORPION" produced by Akimoto Yasushi!

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Serial “WHITE SCORPION” [Part 6]: A special interview with COCO, delving into the personal side of the group, which was formed through the “IDOL 3.0 PROJECT” audition conducted over approximately six months starting from April 2023 and produced by Akimoto Yasushi. 

The group debuted with the digital single “Gaze Sniper” on December 7, 2023, and has been releasing new songs every month. On March 7, they released their 4th digital single, “Loneliness in the Crowd.”

A special series of articles on the girls’ personal lives has started.

In this sixth installment of the series, we present a long interview with COCO!

COCO / Born in Hokkaido on March 18

Aiming for Takarazuka Music School

── The music video for your debut single “Gaze Sniper,” released on December 7th last year, has surpassed 4.35 million views on YouTube (as of March 5th, 2024), attracting significant attention.

“It’s genuinely exciting to see so many people watching our music video. ‘Gaze Sniper’ had choreography by Takahiro-sensei and was directed by Kazuma Ikeda. We’re fortunate to have such amazing talents involved.”

── Both of them are top creators who have worked on productions for groups like Keyakizaka46, Sakurazaka46, and Hinatazaka46.

“Having such high-caliber creators involved in our first music video sets a high standard for us moving forward. We can’t afford to lower the quality from there, so we feel the need to push ourselves even harder. In that sense, there might be a bit of pressure or urgency compared to when we first debuted.”

── The music video for your 2nd single, “The Coyote ga Naiteru,” is also approaching 3 million views (as of March 5th, 2024). You must be receiving various reactions.

“When fans post comments on social media like, ‘This part of COCO was amazing!’ it’s incredibly encouraging to see. I also receive letters where they write about the parts they liked. My best friend from middle and high school told me, ‘The music video was awesome!’ She’s someone who really loves idols and has a great figure and is cute. She’s actually gone to the final auditions for Nogizaka46 and has tried out for various auditions before. Actually, she recommended me to audition for WHITE SCORPION.”


── Why did your friend recommend this audition to you?


“I originally aimed to enter the Takarazuka Music School, but I failed the entrance exams twice. During that time when I was feeling down, my friend suggested we audition together for this project. We made it to the fourth round together. In the end, only I passed, but if it weren’t for her recommendation, I wouldn’t have auditioned for this project, and I feel like my world changed thanks to her.”

─ What made you decide to pursue Takarazuka?


“My mother was a big fan of Takarazuka, and we often watched their performances together at home. We watched ‘Haikara-san ga Tooru’ together, and I got hooked. After that, we started going to see performances like ‘Sherlock Holmes -The Game Is Afoot!-‘ at the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. I was drawn to the world of Takarazuka and since I also loved singing, I thought, why not give it a try?”


── Did you not have much interest in idols back then?


“I was a TV kid, always watching television, so I naturally came across idols on music programs and also on TikTok. Singing to make people smile, to save someone through song… that resonated with Takarazuka, so I had a favorable impression of idols.”

── You were recommended by your friend to audition and you passed, and now you’re active as a member of WHITE SCORPION. Looking back at the audition process, what event was indispensable for you?

“The training camp audition held last August. It was during this camp that I met ALLY-chan, who I’m really close with now, and our distance shortened. Also, if it weren’t for the experience of creating one performance with the members of the same team in that short period, I don’t think WHITE SCORPION’s current 11 members could have created anything together. Including being questioned by the teacher with strong words like, ‘Do you really want to become an idol?’ I think because of that period and enduring it, I am who I am now.”



“Yes. First, on the bus heading to the training camp, we received a video of the dance we needed to learn, and at that moment, I thought, ‘This is difficult! Can I remember all of this?’ It made me feel anxious and almost like giving up. During the camp, I shared a room with ACE and practiced desperately to memorize the dance.”

──So, your determination to never give up, as listed in the special skills section of your official profile, played a role in pushing through?

“That, plus the presence of everyone else who was working hard alongside me, I think. With over 100 people at the training camp, seeing others putting in effort made me think, ‘If they can do it, I need to work even harder.’ I’ve always had a competitive spirit, and I really hate it when someone else can do something that I can’t, haha. Even when I was doing ballet for 14 years, I would think, ‘That person can do triple turns, so I hate that I can’t!’ and I’d practice until I could do it. I want to carry that same mindset into my activities with WHITE SCORPION.”

──In your official profile, it also mentions “the ability to make efforts.”

“I’ve been doing ballet for 14 years, so I’m good at sticking with something and putting in effort for a long time.”


──Could you tell us about the growth, experiences, and lessons you gained through the audition process?


“I used to think that auditions were about standing out more than anyone else, being more assertive, you know? It’s like having a solo performance, in ballet, during competitions, you’re on your own, and I think it’s similar in Takarazuka as well, at least in the beginning, where individuals are evaluated. But in this audition, it wasn’t about being alone; it was about working together as a group. Especially as the final audition approached, it became increasingly important to cooperate with each other. We found ourselves helping each other out, identifying areas where someone might be lacking and offering assistance. Through this experience in the audition, I learned that there are things we can only achieve by cooperating together.”

──Now that you’ve become a member after going through the audition process, I imagine you’re also prepared to carry the feelings of the participants who unfortunately didn’t make it until the end.

“Absolutely. I feel like I have to take it seriously. I believe WHITE SCORPION is meant to be these 11 members. I want to work hard to earn recognition from everyone with an attitude and performance that reflects that.”


──What aspects do you feel you’re lacking right now, and what do you think you could further develop to grow even more?


“There are many aspects, but I wish to improve my adaptability to work with others and my ability to consolidate opinions. I’ve always had this part of me that says, ‘This is good, so it has to be this way!’ I’m aware that I still have a lot to learn about compromise.”

──While you’ve learned the importance of creating something together, it seems you’re also feeling the difficulty of that now. Why do you want to develop the skill of consolidating opinions?

“At the moment, our oldest member, ALLY-chan, is the one who usually consolidates everyone’s opinions. However, it’s not something we can just leave to one person, so I want to be able to help out as well. Also, I want to become an idol who approaches any formation or position with a mindset of giving my best.”


I want to do a five-dome tour throughout Japan!

──What do you think is your current strength as an idol?


“I think it comes from my background in ballet. Many fans often compliment me on my precise hand movements and turns. I want to continue developing those aspects further. Also, I don’t want to lose the ability to persistently pursue something while putting in effort over the long term.”


──What’s your ideal future for the group?


“While WHITE SCORPION aims for the world stage, I’d love for us to start by performing in major venues across Japan. Since our members come from various places like Hokkaido to Fukuoka, it would be fantastic to have a tour of the five major domes! For members from prefectures without domes, we could perform at the largest venue in their hometowns! I imagine touring like this, enjoying delicious local food together along the way, would be the ultimate future! (laughs)”

─ ─ What do you tend to do in your private life these days?

“I’ve always loved dramas and movies, so whenever I have free time, I watch them. I enjoy watching slightly heavier romantic movies, and I’m into mystery dramas. I hope that by working hard with WHITE SCORPION, someday I’ll be able to appear in movies and dramas too. In mystery dramas, I sometimes feel like I want to solve the case, but being the culprit seems intriguing too! (laughs) To prepare for the day I get to act, I write down the names of my favorite directors in a notebook and study dramas and movies.”


──Has becoming an idol sparked your interest in other idol groups?


“I do pay attention to groups like Sakurazaka46 because they have intense and skilled dance performances, so I study them. I also keep an eye on Korean groups like TWICE because they’re great dancers too.”


──Your friend from middle school really changed your destiny.


“Yes, she’s still aiming to become an idol, so I hope we both succeed and get to work together someday. It would be amazing to say, ‘We went to the same middle school and high school in Hokkaido,’ wouldn’t it? It would be so emotional!”

Born on March 18 in Hokkaido
Hobbies: Watching TV dramas and movies, ballet, bars
Special skills: Contemporary dance, never give up when I decide to do something, and hard work.

  • Interview and text by Kazunori Okubo Photographed by Masaru Kumaki Stylist Yuri Kasahara Hair & Make-up Shiho Kato

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