ChouCho is the singer of many recent anisongs, including songs for Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Heaven’s Memo Pad, Glasslip, and Mashiiro Symphony. She got her start singing Vocaloid covers on Nico Nico Douga and quickly established a successful solo career in recent years.
We started off by asking her about a sandwich from the Hard Rock Cafe (the concert was held there) she tweeted a picture of the day before, marveling at the size of it:
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— ChouCho (@choucho_) January 16, 2015
What do you think about size of the food here in the US?
It’s double the size of Japan’s.
Aside from American food, we understand you’re from Osaka. What kind of food from Osaka do you like?
I want to eat takoyaki sometimes!
Let’s go back to the start of your career. You sang anisongs even as early as high school.What anime did you like back then?
I used to copy J-pop songs then [actually]. After graduating from high school with the band I had, that was the first time I copied anime songs.
Any particular ones?
Evangelion and Aquarion–songs by Yoko Kanno and Maaya Sakamoto.
What inspired you to post videos on Nico Nico Douga?
When I was in an anime song cover band, we entered a local anime song event in Osaka. And the other band’s vocalist was posting their songs on Nico Nico, which was the first time I heard about anyone doing that. That inspired me to do the same.
Any particular Nico Nico artists you liked?
Vocaloid composers, like supercell.
Any favorite supercell songs?
The most played song on Nico Nico was “Hajimete No Koi Ga Owaru”. [ED: Below is her cover of the song.]
Did you feel you were adding something unique by covering Vocaloid songs? They start out as a software voice, after all…
Hatsune Miku is a machine, so it doesn’t have emotion. Even without vocals, the song itself has enough charm to convey [emotions] directly, so when I did the cover, I was thinking a lot about how to convey the charm of the songs through my performance.
Tell us about how you got chosen to do the KamiMemo OP.
They were looking for a singer to do OP for KamiMemo, and I was selected from various candidates. They saw my NicoNico videos and that’s how I got vetted, and I feel I was very lucky.
How do you prepare for a performance like the one you just did?
I practiced at home a lot, and practiced English MCing. I studied English in Canada for a half year. But that was 5 years ago, so I almost forgot all my English. It’s been a long time since I went over English and I was nervous about it.
The anime you sing for features a lot of cute girls. Who are your favorite cute anime characters?
It’s difficult to say! I put a lot of energy into each anime I sing for, so it’s hard to choose. If I have to choose, it’s Alice from KamiMemo.
Do you have any image in your head when you sing?
Since it’s main theme song, I have to become the character’s feeling, in order to express.
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— ChouCho (@choucho_) January 12, 2015
How’s your pet rabbit Sanagi doing?
It’s very cute and tsundere! Normally, it’s cool (tsun), but when it’s hungry and begs for food, it’s cute (dere).
How did you name Sanagi?
My name is ChouCho (“butterfly”), and Sanagi means “cocoon.”
What message do you have for your American fans?
I now understand that our songs are loved even across international borders. Through this concert, I will try our best, so we can come back to the USA again.
So, last question: are you gonna gamble here in Vegas?
Probably, if I have time tonight!
Michael Huang conducted the interview, with on-site translation help by Raymond Hu. Rome Yamashita translated the interview from the Japanese.