My interview with Mikako Joho was scheduled during Hirano’s concert so I had hoped for an engaging fifteen minutes to make up for the sacrifice. While I must admit disappointment in missing half of the concert, I have no regrets.
Joho seemed nervous and somewhat shy. She would look down and to the side on more than one occasion. Her hands would play with each other most of the time as she gestured sparingly, preferring to convey herself via facial expressions which remained thoughtful throughout. Mr. Oba, her manager, took an active approach to his job and was not bashful about proffering more elaboration.
The Paper: Thank you for having Anime Diet for the interview.
Mikako Joho: Thank you.
TP: What are you listening to now or lately?
MJ: Lady Gaga, Norah Jones and Taylor Swift.
TP: You have a new single coming out. Has a release date been set?
Her manager: Please allow me to answer. I am her manager. We’re working on the deal right now for “Kimi ga suki datta”. Hopefully, we can release in the course of this year, sometime in the fall. Trying to release it in Japan first.
TP: Speaking of the single, can you please tell us more about the song?
MJ: [She gives a very generous answer with specific details that I have been asked to leave out.] The song is born from my regret at not confessing my love to a classmate I liked in high school when I had the chance.
TP: What was the last anime you watched?
MJ: I watch Sazae-san a lot with my family.
TP: Tell us about your song writing process.
MJ: I write diaries and I recall my feelings when I wrote those entries. I also watch movies and think about how the main character in the movie would feel.
TP: Do you write in the diary everyday? How often do you write?
MJ: My goal is to write everyday but usually just once a week.
TP: Do you prefer to play solo or with a band?
MJ: Singing solo is fun but band music and working with everyone in a band is fun as well.
Manager: She plays in three fashions. She plays piano solo; she plays in a trio; or with percussion, electric bass, electric guitar and keyboard in a band. She would pick the style depending on the venue and space.
TP: Ah, so the band members change?
Manager: Yes, we hire more supporting members.
TP: What are your thoughts regarding intellectual property with regards to the music industry?
Manager: Unfortunately, we don’t have enough knowledge regarding copyright laws so we can’t make a comment. I am sorry.
TP: Of the shows you have played with a band, which one was the most memorable?
MJ: June Fourth of this year. I was doing a trio performance playing the piano. The other band members were bass and percussion. It was fun because in this trio, we thought alike and produced good music together.
TP: For the last question, what message do you have for fans?
MJ: It’s my first time attending a big anime convention like Otakon. Despite my first time performing before an American crowd, everyone cheered me on and that made me happy. I want to attend more cons like this and play overseas more. I will continue to write new songs so please check them out.
TP: Again, on behalf of Anime Diet, thank you for having us.
MJ: Thank you so much.
Her manager conveys that she played at the Live House in Daikanyama on June 4th which is the next station after Shibuya. She graciously posed for photos afterwards but not before her makeup artist briefly arranged her hair.