Ito Miku’s 10th single “Ao 100 Syoku” was released on Wednesday, April 6. The main song was written and composed by Kawamoto Makoto, a singer-songwriter known for her hit songs such as “1/2.” It is also the opening theme song for the second season of the TV anime “Komi Can’t Communicate.”
Ito Miku had celebrated the 5th anniversary of her debut as an artist in October 2021, and will release her 10th single, which will also mark a milestone. Beautiful “blue” has gently been there for her.
Interview, text, and photography by Yoshino Kuranosuke
Hair and makeup: Okubo Sana Stylist: Kawabata Maiko
Brand name: mite
◆A song linked with “Komi Can’t Communicate”
— This is your memorable 10th single right?
Since I have been releasing albums regularly, I was surprised to hear that this is my 10th single already! I think it is a happy coincidence that the release of the 10th single goes with the 5th anniversary of my debut as an artist and it is a piece that shows glimpses of freshness, while still retaining the character of Ito Miku that you have seen in the past.
— The lyrics and music for the main song “Ao 100 Syoku” were written by Kawamoto Makoto-san, who is also famous for her hit songs such as “1/2,” but what was your impression of the lyrics and melody when you first heard them?
The melody is very fresh and youthful, and the lyrics are filled with sparkling yet novel words that express the frustrations of love, and I was again delighted to sing a song written by Kawamoto Makoto-san.
The song begins with the phrase “Words thrown to the sun, shattered and shining,” and although it does not seem realistic, the words bring to remind dramatic scenes, and the chorus, “Falling in love one centimeter at a time,” is a reference to the anime “Komi Can’t Communicate,” and you can imagine their love as their distance gradually shrinks. I sing the melody of the song, picturing an expanding space in the chorus, and towards the end of the song, you can feel Kawamoto Makoto-san’s strong sense of style in this song, making it one worth listening to.
— The characters in “Komi Can’t Communicate” are all very unique and funny, aren’t they?
I like that many of the characters are too unique, and that it’s not a normal coming-of-age story (laughs). The main character, Komi, is also frustrated by her inability to communicate her thoughts to others, and her inability to take action even when she wants to. The song “Ao 100 Syoku” is a song that speaks for her feelings.
— By the way, what was your youth like, Ito-san?
I didn’t go to a swimming pool with my classmates during summer vacation like Komi-san did (laugh), but I went to a fast food restaurant after school with my friends and ordered only large fries and chatted with them, or lent or borrowed notebooks to study. That was fun, and when I think back on it now, I think it was my youth.
— That was around the time you started working as a voice actress. Wasn’t it difficult for you to balance student life and work?
But I think it was a totally normal high school life. It was not a performing arts high school, and I commuted to school by bicycle. But I think I learned how to manage my time then. I had to study on the train and do sound checks in between classes. I think I was able to allocate my time better than I do now (laughs).
— On the contrary, if you could go back to high school in your current state, what would you like to do?
I believe I could have done without “being unable to communicate” and making friends with all kinds of people (laughs). I have more opportunities to talk through my work, and I am now able to chat with new people without being too nervous, so I hope to be able to go back to high school with that presence of mind.
◆”Blue” is “the color that has been with me for a long time”
— The MV is impressive with the blue windmill spinning in the background and the beautiful glow of light coming in from above.
This music video was shot on a set in a studio, and I felt the staff’s best work, as the art staff handmade 100 windmills and 100 photos of the sky and sea, all different from each other, into objects in reference to the “Ao 100 Syoku”.
The music video for the second single “Shocking Blue” was also based on “blue,” and the director and I talked about how we wanted to show a different shade of blue this time, so I hope you enjoy the changes in the situation.
— Is “blue” a color that is particularly familiar to you in terms of your past songs and your color?
Well, yes. When I started in the voice acting industry, my unit’s color was light blue, and when I appeared at solo event, I often had fans cheering me on with that color. So for me, “blue” is a color that “I have spent a lot of time with over the years.”
— The following are some of the things associated with the color “blue,” but is there anything that often applies to you?
In these, I like “peace”, so I think it applies. As for “masculine,” I like power rangers, and I am especially attracted to the cool Blue.
— You like Blue, not Red, the leader, don’t you?
But in my case, I am not like children who say, “I want to be Blue!” I am cheering for the heroes not out of a longing to be protected by them, but out of a desire to be protected by them, so I may be a little peculiar (laughs).
— I see (laughs). Do you also have an element of “melancholy” that you are teased about in the radio programs you appear in?
Maybe so! More like …… “emptiness” (laughs).
— (Laugh). “Emptiness” tends to have a negative impression when you only look at the letters, but I think it is actually a very sympathetic word.
I don’t have a negative impression of “emptiness” at all either. I think there are many people who feel empathy (laughs).
— Also, speaking of “Komi Can’t Communicate,” do you have any thoughts about your own nature as a person with a “__ syndrome”?
I have a “syndrome of not being able to work hard for myself.” For example, I can’t do my best unless I can see some purpose such as “For my dog, Pino!” or “For my fans!”
Also, the staff around me seem to think that “I can’t communicate” just like Komi-san (laughs). I know that I have to take the first step to get along with others, but there are still times when I tend to think with hesitation, “What if the other person rejects me……?” I think I have a cheerful personality, but because of this tendency, I am a “cheerful person who can’t communicate” who does not get many friends (laughs).
— On the other hand, it is because you think of the other person first that you have this tendency. Your dog, Pino, also appeared on the Pyxis channel (YouTube with Toyota Moe), didn’t she?
When we put Pino on YouTube, her hair had already grown out and she was in a very shaggy state. But everyone still thought she was “cute!” But you don’t know she is even cuter after the trimming! (laughs)
Since she came to our house, I have really enjoyed every day with her. She runs around a lot, so when I go for a walk, I get a good workout too. She is such a comforting presence that if I were asked to sing a new song in the future while thinking of Pino, I would be so filled with love that I would not be able to stop grinning (laughs).
◆I want people to say, “You haven’t changed,” even when I turn 30.
— How would you describe the coupling track “La-Pa-Pa Cream Puff”?
When I was thinking about the concept of this song, I already had a live concert scheduled for April, and I wanted to make it a song with a groove that “everyone could enjoy even if they only clap their hands,” as call-and-response is not possible even in this day and age. I asked lyricist Mizuno Genki-san and composer Mutsuki Shuhei-san what I wanted to do with the content of the song: “I wanted it to follow the atmosphere of my previous songs without being too voraciously,” and they came up with another great song.
The song is full of cute phrases that make you feel more femininity just by singing them, and the lyrics, “What I miss is the recipe for the beginning,” are also linked to “Nanairo Cookie,” a song that I myself have sung in the past, which made me feel nostalgic and and also made me feel the commitment of Mizuno, who has been involved with the song from the beginning.
— He has been involved with your work since your debut as an artist. I know that five years may seem like a short time, but do you picture yourself by the time you are 30 years old?
If I could choose, I would say that I want to “stay the same.” I am very happy in the “moment.” I have been given many works, and I am now able to express my own opinions in my acting as an actor and in my artistic activities. I hope that I can continue to brush up on what I have gained so far, and continue to live in the “now”.
— The most difficult thing is to stay the same.
I would like people to say, “You haven’t changed at all,” even when I turn 30, and I hope I can still have a little bit of leeway in that regard.
— And your most recent major event is the “What a Sauce!” live tour coming up on April 9 (Osaka) and April 16 (Tokyo).
I hope that the concept of “What a Sauce!” will create a friendly atmosphere, like a show that everyone can watch while eating together. Also, this live tour will include the new additions of “Ao 100 Syoku” and “Pasta,” so watch out for how those two songs will be performed!
— I am looking forward to the first live show of 2022. Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
This single contains two songs that are perfect for the 10th single, as they will bring back fresh memories of your youth just by listening to them. Do enjoy it with the anime “Komi Can’t Communicate”!
01. Ao 100 Syoku [lyrics by Kawamoto Makoto, Hiyoshi Maruko / music composed by Kawamoto Makoto / arranged by Mizuguchi Koji].
02. La-Pa-Pa Cream Puff [lyrics by Mizuno Genki / music composed and arranged by Mutsuki Shuhei]
03. “Ao 100 Syoku (off vocal ver.)
04. La-Pa-Pa Cream Puff（off vocal ver.)
■DVD included in the limited edition
Music video “Ao 100 Syoku” and a behind-the-scenes