White Scorpion Serialization: Final Episode – Aoi’s Dream Begins at Last | FRIDAY DIGITAL

White Scorpion Serialization: Final Episode – Aoi’s Dream Begins at Last

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

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After a six-month audition process called the “IDOL3.0 PROJECT” starting in April 2023, the idol group “WHITE SCORPION,” produced by Yasushi Akimoto, was formed.

They made their debut on December 7th, 2023, with the digital single “Gaze Sniper.” Releasing a new song every month, they dropped their 4th digital single, “Loneliness in the Crowd,” on March 7th, and their 5th digital single, “Satisfaction Graffiti,” on April 7th.

In this special series, we delve into their personal lives.

For the final installment of the series, in the 11th edition, we present a long interview with AOI!

AOI / From Tokyo, born on October 13

Heart Captivated by =LOVE Music Videos, Aspiring to Become an Idol

── What kind of girl were you when you were little?

“I started learning classical ballet at the age of three, and I always looked forward to the recitals. I think I was a girl who loved expressing myself on stage in front of people. My mother also loved the stage, so I was exposed to musicals a lot during elementary school. I have memories of going to see Takarazuka Revue and Shiki Theatre Company’s performances with my mother.”

── Did you have a desire to become a sparkling presence on stage yourself?

“I loved singing and dancing, so I wanted to pursue a career performing in front of many people in the future. That’s why I attended a training school from the 5th grade of elementary school to prepare for the entrance exam to Takarazuka Music School. However, I didn’t grow much in height during those four years until I was in the 2nd year of junior high. I was taking supplements every day that were reputed to help with height growth, but it didn’t seem to work as expected! (laughs)”

─ ─ Is there a height requirement for the entrance exam?

“There wasn’t a height restriction, so even petite individuals could apply, but the teachers at the school told me, ‘We think you would shine brighter on a different path.’ So, in the end, I gave up on applying to Takarazuka. That teacher also suggested that I might be better suited for visual arts, so I tried auditioning for dramas and movies, but I couldn’t achieve good results.”

“I think I was going through a period where I had lost sight of my life goals and was feeling down. While casually browsing YouTube, =LOVE’s music video caught my eye. It was for the song ‘Want you! Want you!’ The glamorous thumbnail image drew me in, and I clicked the play button. I was captivated by the members dressed in cute costumes singing and dancing, and my heart was stolen in an instant.”

──Were there any =LOVE members that caught your attention in particular?

“At first, I was drawn to Nagisa Saito’s cuteness, but as I watched more of their music videos, I noticed that there were other members who were not only skilled dancers but also had incredibly expressive facial expressions. After looking into it, I found out it was Eruha Naguchi. When I watched more of their videos, I couldn’t believe it was the same person. Eruha’s ability to show various expressions overwhelmed me, and before I knew it, I was completely immersed in their world. If I hadn’t watched =LOVE’s music videos at that time, I don’t think I would have pursued becoming an idol.”

──Did =LOVE inspire you to audition for idol groups?

“I applied for many auditions. I tried for the 48 Group, Sakamichi Series, Hello! Project, and even voice actor idol units. However, although I made it to the final auditions in some cases, I didn’t pass. I often found myself wondering, ‘What did I do wrong?’ or ‘What am I lacking?'”

─ You must have experienced many setbacks.

“There were times when I thought maybe I should give up on my dream of becoming an idol. I felt really hopeless, and I couldn’t even follow =LOVE’s activities anymore because it made me feel down. So, I distanced myself from idols for a while. But when I was about to graduate from high school, I found out about the ‘IDOL3.0 PROJECT’ and the audition for WHITE SCORPION. I thought, ‘I can’t stay like this. As long as there’s a possibility, I’ll give it a shot!’ So, I decided to take the audition.”


── What did you emphasize during the audition?


“There were two public auditions, and for the first one, I wanted to look back on my upbringing and explain why I decided to pursue becoming an idol. But I realized that wouldn’t have much impact, so I decided to introduce myself in a monologue style like in musicals. However, I came up with that idea right before the public audition, so I had to hurry to write a script and memorize it! (laughs)”

(Laughs) ─ Perhaps it was his passionate monologue that struck a chord with the judges.

“I was the first one to audition, and I heard some impressed murmurs from the audience. For the second public audition, I sang our debut song ‘Gaze Sniper’ with modified lyrics as my self-introduction song. It was well received, but my fellow members still tease me about it occasionally! (laughs)”

── How did you feel about the audition?

“I didn’t have much confidence because I’ve often fallen just short of success in the past. I also had anxiety about whether I would fail in the final round… As they called out the names of the successful candidates one by one, I started to think, ‘Am I going to fail again at the very end?’ But then, when they called my name as the tenth person, I was both shocked and overwhelmed with tears.”

── It’s great that you didn’t give up and continued to pursue your dreams.

“It really was. I’ve always wanted to perform on stage and move people’s hearts with my performances, so finally being able to stand at the starting line of my dream feels incredible. My mother has always encouraged me, telling me to pursue what I want to do with all my heart, so she was really happy for me.”

What are your days like now that WHITE SCORPION has started?

“I’m having incredibly fulfilling days, more than I ever imagined during the audition period. Every day is filled with new experiences like recording and shooting, and while there’s nervousness and anxiety, the fun outweighs all of that.”


── With a single being released every month, I imagine there’s a lot to learn, especially with choreography.


“It’s definitely challenging, especially since the musical styles change completely with each song, but it’s also fun because it allows us to try different expressions with each track. I’m someone who’s quite expressive with my emotions, often told that I have big reactions, so I’m hoping to utilize that aspect of myself. For example, in our debut song ‘Gaze Sniper,’ I consciously change my expression frequently throughout the song, rather than maintaining a single serious look.”

─ What are your strengths and what do you feel confident in expressing?

“I’d be happy if people noticed the flexibility in my dance, which I’ve cultivated since I was three years old through classical ballet. Also, during the audition period, many fans told me, ‘I love your voice, it’s so soothing,’ or ‘Your speaking voice is comforting.’ Until then, I hadn’t really liked my distinctive voice and it was a bit of a complex for me. But receiving praise from fans made me realize that it’s okay to have confidence in it. In the future, I hope I can become WHITE SCORPION’s ‘healing’ member! (laughs)”


From the fans: “Please say something that will make us sleepy.”

── In the group of 11 members, what kind of character are you?


“I might be considered a bit air-headed (laughs). I’m super directionally challenged. Despite being from Tokyo, I often get lost because I don’t know the subway exits, so I end up getting lost easily. Every time, I have to ask members from rural areas to come with me to the job site, saying, ‘I can’t find my way there.’ Also, I get lost even in studios where we work. If I move a little away, I can’t find my way back, so the staff members have to come and collect me as I wander around (laughs).”


── You give the impression of being a serious and hardworking person at heart.


“I might have a tendency to push myself too hard. Especially during the audition period, I felt a strong sense of needing to do everything perfectly! But I realized I couldn’t be perfect, and I started to dislike that about myself. There were times when I cried while doing live streams on social media.”

─ Did you lose sight of yourself?

“I did during the audition period. But now, I don’t force myself to play a character that’s completely different from who I am like ‘Let’s go with this character!’ Rather, I feel like I’m exposing everything (laughs). By being natural without forcing anything, I believe that my ‘true self’ will gradually emerge in our activities, and I would be happy if people could come to like those genuine aspects.”


──Do you feel embarrassed about being cute or doing cutesy gestures?


“If it’s requested, I’ll do it with all my might! Bring it on! By the way, at handshake events, fans have asked me, ‘Please say something that will make me sleepy.’ It seems like my voice induces sleepiness… Members often tell me, ‘Talking to AOI makes me sleepy’ (laughs).”


──Is your singing voice also soothing?


“It used to be airy, but recently, members have told me, ‘Your singing style has changed’ or ‘Your voice has become more powerful.’ I hope I can change my vocal expression depending on the song. If I ever have to sing a typical idol song that makes hearts flutter in the future, I want to give it my all and sing with a cute voice! I hope to be able to sing various types of songs.”

─ What are your future goals as a group?

“I want to perform at summer idol festivals. I see it as a chance for WHITE SCORPION to be known by fans of various idols, so I want to deliver a performance that captivates the hearts of many people there and leaves a strong impression!”




Born on October 13th, from Tokyo

Hobbies: Taking walks, watching anime and dramas, watching stage performances

Special skills: Doing a forward roll, getting eyelashes stuck in the double eyelid fold, finding look-alike people

  • Interview and text by Eiichiro Miyata Photographed by Yu Kumaki Stylist Yuri Kasahara Hair & Make-up Kurumi Komatsu

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