Two of these posts in a row?! Don’t worry we’ll be slowing content to normal soon enough. Today we have MatchaP, an American born Chihaya P who currently resides in glorious nippon. Matcha is a great example of how chance encounters can lead to lasting friendships; Matcha himself having been picked up by HPT at a Mingosu live concert when they noticed that he wasn’t Japanese (that’s how desperate we are to make friends). Matcha’s like a big brother to me, and I slept on his couch when I was in Japan for Nakamuland. When you think of Matcha it’s simultaneous with Uesaka Sumire aka Sumipe, and he himself is probably recognized by Sumipe by now with all the eventing he’s done. спасибо!
1. How did you first learn about “The iDOLM@STER”? What were your first impressions?
During university I lived on a Japanese language hall (basically a dorm full of weebs of various degrees). One of my friends at the time watched the anime on a whim and I mercilessly mocked her for being interested in idol nonsense.
Fast forward a few months later: Finals. Studying for twelve hours straight. Major exam 2pm the next day.
I hear the guy in the room next to me laughing raucously, so I go over to ask him to quiet down and find him playing this game on a 10″ TV. I invited him over to use my TV and speaker system, and proceed to watch him play iDOLM@STER 2 for about four hours. Then we watch the first eight episodes of the anime. Then I sleep, take my exam, and finish the anime. That night I bought the game off of CDJapan and went to GameStop to buy a PS3 the next morning.
Initial impressions? Dumb idol nonsense.
After exposure? Amazing idol nonsense.
2. Have you played any of the idolm@ster games? Which is your favorite?
I have played iDOLM@STER 2, One For All, Shiny Festa, and some Dearly Stars.
One For All is my favorite because its a little more relaxed but also has a skill tree. I’ve always felt that the games should have a bit more sim mode in them. Design live performances, radio shows, etc. I’d really like having to pick set lists, manage idol fatigue, all while keeping the fans pumped. It also opens the gate for a ton more DLC (pyrotechnics DLC!)
Very much looking forward to Platinum Stars.
3. Which idol is your favorite and why?
If we’re talking about 765, undoubtedly Chihaya. Because super secret private reasons.
Cinderella Girls… Anastasia. I love Anya for a lot of reasons. Sumipe delivers her lines in such a way that it really feels like her Japanese is dodgy, which is a thing I very much relate to. I’ve also been a big star/space person for many many years, so there’s that connection as well.
But, really, those are the things that lured me in, I actually fully supported Anya after the anime. Her relationship with Minami is one of the most mature and real character relationships I’ve seen in anime. They truly operate as a team and value each other. This stability and maturity becomes evident during Anya’s struggle with the decision to join Project Krone. I really relate to her position of “never having made a decision for myself,” and the way she (and Minami) handles that is spectacular.
For Million, Julia. I can’t really clearly explain why Julia speaks to me, but she does. Maybe because I can relate to her in some ways as well? Need more media to really be sure. Keep at it, Moy, we need that Million anime.
How much I can relate to them and understand/share in their struggles is a big part of it for me.
SideM is as-of-yet undetermined, but I’m currently supporting Ryo along with the dudes of SEM and Jupiter.
4. What is your favorite idolm@ster song and why?
There are so many idolm@ster songs, that choosing a solid set of favorites is nearly impossible. I’ll just throw some out there in no particular order.
For the Feels
- Aoi Tori
- Nebula Sky
- Kono Sora no Shita
For the Hype
- Fate of the World
- Nation Blue
- Jibun REST@RT
- I Want
- Machiuke Prince
- Trancing Pulse
- ∞ Possibilities / Study Equal Magic!
- Let’s Go Happy
- Believe My Change
Out of those, maybe Jibun REST@RT is my favorite? It’s the one song that really screams “This. Is. IDOLM@STEEEEEEEEEER!”, complete with someone kicking BaneP into a hole.
5. What’s your favorite aspect of the idolm@ster series?
Realism. I have a lot of problems with blind happy-go-lucky things, so the fact that iDOLM@STER (and WUG) actually address some of the more negative aspects of the idol industry. Most of the time idols fall under bread and circuses, but when you’re addressing some real social issues it makes it valuable as a form of social criticism. iM@S has this (as does WUG).
Other than that core item, I feel the characters are largely unique and developed. Each character has a unique backstory and outlook that is clearly conveyed and explored. Not every character gets the attention they deserve, but that’s an unfortunate side effect of there being So Many Idols.
Another thing I really love is the multimedia engagement.There are so many ways to learn about these characters: games, manga, music, drama tracks, etc. It’s a franchise that really engages you in all media forms and does it well in each one.
Also, the fanbase is large full of good people.
6. When and how did you become a “Producer”? That is, when did you consider yourself an idolm@ster fan?
It probably happened less than 24 hours after exposure, but it wasn’t until May 2014 I actually met any other Ps besides the guy who enabled me. It was then that I learned about all the culture that is present in the community. I also learned how great so many of these people are. The vast majority of my current friends I found because of idolm@ster, directly or indirectly.
7. Have you ever been to an idolm@ster live concert? Please share your experience or any particularly special memories if so.
I have been to 9th, CG 2nd live viewing, ML 2nd, 10th, CG 3rd, and ML 3rd (all stops [mostly live viewing])
About 9th, the biggest moment from that live was meeting up with everyone afterwards. We were all scattered about because of the way the ticketing worked, so it was primarily a solo experience during the live. But standing outside in a circle during the typhoon in stunned silence is something I’ll never forget.
CG 2nd was my first real experience with Cinderella Girls, so it was special in a lot of ways. Nation Blue, You’re Stars Shine on Me, etc.
ML 2nd was my first foray into Million Live, and I was pretty well enabled. Enough to want to go to Third, where I was well and fully hooked and dragged onto that particular shore.
10th. Sweet jesus, 10th. This is hands down one of the best experiences of my life thus far. Words cannot capture my feelings about 10th.
CG 3rd… the most memorable thing was Kei screaming “FUURIIIIIIIIIIIIN” so hard during NebaNeba that he fell backwards.
ML 3rd was Praline into Airu. Wait for the BD for this one, I won’t say more.
8. Do you play any of the mobile game series such as Cinderella Girls and Million Live?
I used to play Deresute. I dropped an obscene amount of money trying to gacha Chieri and Anya SSRs… around $2k. Didn’t get them. Quit immediately afterwards.
9. Did you watch the Cinderella Girls anime? What are your thoughts?
Amazing. Serious, funny, inspiring, some other adjectives.
I was worried at first, but they are executed it in such a way that 346 doesn’t feel like a rival of 765 in any way. They coexist.
I really don’t want to go into too much detail about the anime in case people haven’t seen it yet, but in short, it was one of the best things I’ve ever watched. Perfect mix of cute, funny, and serious. Miria/Mika sisters episode. Anya arc. etc.
10. Do you have any favorite seiyuu related to the idolm@ster series?
Uesaka Sumire (Anastasia) is #1 seiyuu. Not only is she an incredibly talented seiyuu, but she’s a fantastic performer, author, model, and general good person. She sees the value in using culture as a method to defuse tension and increase the strength of international bonds and uses her status to further that goal. But really the most important reason I’ve identified is that she doesn’t feel the need to hide behind professionalism. She loves things in the same way that we do and isn’t embarrassed about sharing in that with her fans.
I’ve had the good pleasure to meet her, however briefly at watashikai events. At the first one, in November of 2014, while I was attempting to stumble out words, she was happy to see she had overseas fans and even complimented my Japanese in such a way that I could tell she understood the second language struggle and appreciated it (as opposed to the usual generic “Your Japanese is so good!” you get from everyone). At that point I basically became a blob of nonfunctional human. The other comrades who were present still bully me to this day. Subsequent meets were not handled any more gracefully. Meeting your favorite seiyuu has some remarkable ability to instantly erase an entire language from your brain.
Also she likes guns, tanks, military, and vodka, is an otaku, and is adorable in general. I could go on for hours about how great she is. I’m pretty sure I irritate all the other guys in HPT.
Other than her… Imai Asami (765: Chihaya), Terakawa Aimi (ML: Julia), Nakamura Eriko (765: Haruka), Tachibana Ricca (CG: Kobayakawa Sae), Uchida Maaya (CG: Kanzaki Ranko) , Machico (ML: Ibuki Tsubasa), Ozora Naomi (CG: Ogata Chieri) are some of my other favorites, but really I love them all.
11. Shout out your love about the idolm@ster series, say anything you’d like!
This is a really weird thing, but I realize that most of the good things in my life right now can be traced back to that one night in the dorm where I was burnt out on studying and felt like trying something new. I really owe a lot to iM@S and the whims of fate.
12. Question from ToastCrust
Hm, haha, I don’t know you so well, so I’m not sure how appropriate this is to ask, but since I ended up talking about them a lot, how familiar are you with imas MAD’s? Do you have a favorite one? If that question doesn’t work, what fanworks of imas do you enjoy? Is there a favorite fanartist or doujinka you follow?
So I missed out on the nicom@s era, but my favorite video that could be considered a MAD is the PerfumeM@sterFestival – Bitter video.
I love Perfume to death, so the cross between these two, along with the editing quality of this video, really gets me.
I’ll answer the second question, too. My favorite doujin artists are Lunatic Joker and Chilly Polka. Also, apparently, whoever draws these damned card sleeves and mats I keep buying.
I consider Luna’s doujin about Ranko’s backstory canon. It’s so touching and fitting for her character that I’d probably reject any further official backstory.
13. Say something about the next interviewed person (Setsuna), also please ask them a question.
Thief, traitor, the incarnation of the best of us and the worst of us. The otaku we want to be, but the otaku we are terrified of becoming.
But really, Sets is a cool dude. Don’t trust him near your idols though… or their water bottles.
My question for Sets is…
Since I talked about this above, are there any common qualities amongst your favorite characters (im@s or otherwise, you filthy traitor)? If no, why are you such a DD? If yes, why those qualities?
You can follow Matcha on Twitter @matchap
<Better Know A Producer>
#01 – [Exciel]
#02 – [Kurotsuki]
#03 – [vota]
#04 – [Seraph]
#05 – [Shinikenshi]
#06 – [Erwin]
#07 – [JT]
#08 – [garbejP]
#09 – [KenP]
#10 – [YashaFoxP]
#11 – [omo]
#12 – [ShinP]
#13 – [Basu]
#14 – [karagea]
#15 – [vae]
#16 – [Frank]
#17 – [Robert]
#18 – [Landro]
#19 – [bbb]
#20 – [ToastCrust]
#21 – [Matcha]←Here
#22 – [Setsuna]