Anisong artist TRUE is busy preparing for her appearance in AnimagiC 2017 which will take place in Mannheim, Germany in August. Her new CD Butterfly Effector, the opening theme song for TV anime Hina Logic ~ from Luck & Logic~ will be released on 26 July.
MANGA.TOKYO had an exclusive interview with the artist, where she told us many interesting stories about music, art, and her favorite dish, curry.
‘I think that working as an anisong singer, I can convey my thoughts to anime fans all over the world
I’ve heard that reactions from fans overseas have been on the rise.
‘That’s correct. For instance, on the first day of my solo national tour, which took place between June and July, a fan from Hong Kong gave me a big bouquet. I truly feel happy when my overseas fans encourage me. I receive messages from various countries every day via Twitter. I read them all by using a translation app.’
Borders don’t mean anything for anisong singers nowadays.
‘I don’t feel any difference between Japan and overseas… I think that working as an anisong singer, I can convey my thoughts to anime fans all over the world. Therefore, I want to cherish my live performances abroad.’
You have had many live performances abroad, haven’t you?
‘I will take part in AnimagiC 2017 in Mannheim, Germany in August. I’ve taken part in many anisong events abroad so far. It’s a delightful surprise that audiences abroad understand what I say in Japanese and react at my live performances. I try to memorize at least some greetings in the local languages of the countries I visit. Audiences abroad let me stay the way I am on stage and communicate with them, as they enjoy my performances including my chat during a show.’
‘It can be a pop-song, a rock music, a ballad, or a danceable four-on-the-floor song depending on the anime. I love the fact that I’m allowed to sing different music genres!’
How long have you been singing anisongs?
It’s been 4 years. Since I started singing anisongs, I have stopped restricting myself to existing musical genres, like ‘I’m a such-and-such singer’, and just enjoy expressing myself in music. Anisongs are not confined to a particular musical genre. It can be a pop-song, a rock music, a ballad, or a danceable four-on-the-floor song depending on the anime. I love the fact that I’m allowed to sing different music genres.
You also work as a lyricist under your real name, Miho Karasawa. Do you feel such freedom in anisongs as a lyricist?
‘There used to be rules for anisongs, such as to put anime titles in the songs. However, anisongs are now created as an integral part of anime works. Everyone enjoys anisongs with their imagination to elaborate the thoughts in songs. Therefore, I write lyrics for anisongs spontaneously without restrictions.’
You write lyrics spontaneously while giving consideration to the anime…
‘When I write lyrics for an anime work, I consider what I felt from it and overlap that feeling with the anime.’
Do you overlap your feelings with those of the characters sometimes?
‘I do. I write lyrics as if I were the character to whom I want to focus on. Say, I input my feelings to a person and let him or her speak out. I consider what I want to convey through the anime and their characters. By seeing things from the character’s viewpoint, I sometimes find new feelings which I’ve never experienced inside me. This method is the same whether singing as TRUE or writing lyrics for other artists.’
Have you written lyrics without any restrictions?
‘When I wrote lyrics for Macross Delta, they let me express whatever I liked. In that case, I enjoyed finding what I focus writing on and challenged some unconventional expressions. I think such freedom is a part of the charm of anisongs.’
Your albums Joy Heart and Around the TRUE reflect your diverse musicality.
I enjoy such freedom in how I express my music. People say that creators experience growing pains to produce creative works, but I don’t think creating is painful job, because once a work is finished and released, it reaches to many people out there to be enjoyed. At that point, I instantly forget every difficulty and struggle I had while creating it. I honestly don’t think my job is hard work. I think I feel this way because it took so long to become the person I am right now. I started singing when I was 15 years old. I explored many possibilities and every time I failed, I tried another way. Finally, I have reached anisong, which allows me to stay who I am. It was a long winding road to come here, but I believe it was a necessary process for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be the person I am today.’
‘If you want to try many curry dishes, go to Kanda, Jinbo-cho, or Akihabara. They are towns with many curry restaurants which compete with each other fiercely.’
You are a renowned curry fan and often upload photos of curry you have eaten on Twitter, right?
‘I love curry. I’m going to Mannheim in Germany to participate in AnimagiC 2017 in August. Do you know if they eat curry? Is there a dish with sausages with curry spices? I want to go all over the world to eat curry, so I must check if there is a curry restaurant in Mannheim. If anyone knows about it, please let me know!!’
You are a real curry fan, aren’t you? I think there might be people who want to go to a curry restaurant which you recommend when they come to Japan. Could you share with us your favorite one?
‘My favorite curry restaurant is Hinoya Curry. It’s a restaurant chain, but each restaurant has their own subtle differences. Their prices are quite reasonable. If you want to try many curry dishes, go to Kanda, Jinbo-cho, or Akihabara. They are towns with many curry restaurants which compete with each other fiercely. You can try many varieties of curry dishes there.’
Perhaps, the secret behind your music is…
‘It’s curry that gives me the power to create music.’ [laugh]
‘Dream Solister’ and ‘Soundscape’ from Sound! Euphonium can be said to be depicting TRUE
You will take part in AnimegiC 2017 which will take place in Mannheim, Germany on 4-6 August.
My performance time at AnimagiC 2017 will be quite long, so I want to create a show that demonstrates how I’ve progressed. I’m also participating in the anime series Violet Evergarden which will be released in January next year with simultaneous streaming worldwide. I’ll promote the anime at AnimagiC 2017 as well.’
What kind of anime is Violet Evergarden?
‘It’s an anime about the importance of words. As a lyricist, I rediscovered the preciousness of words through the production process of the anime. The anime asks us how we spin stories from simple words which contain deep feelings such as ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’, and tells us about the beautiful sounds of Japanese words. I hope you’ll enjoy the anime.’
It must be difficult to convey the deep meanings of Japanese words.
‘Exactly. However, when an illustration, a moving image, and a song are integrated, they can convey more meaning. Violet Evergarden is a kind of anime which utilizes such power.’
Your new CD for ‘Butterfly Effector,’ the opening theme song for the TV anime Hina Logic from Luck & Logic~ will be released on 26 July.
‘”Butterfly Effector” is a lively song which pulls me up. The anime Hina Logic from Luck & Logic is a story about young girls leaving their nest, therefore I made the music dynamic and energetic to give them a push to the outside world.’
Let’s get back on track. At AnimagiC 2017, you said that you want to create a show that demonstrates how you’ve progressed. Do you have any particular songs to which you especially want your fans to pay attention?
‘I’d like the people who are coming to the event to wait until they listen to the songs. This is off-topic but the other day, at an interview with German media, I was surprised to hear that songs from light novels adaptations are also popular in Germany. Songs like “Dream Solister” and “Soundscape” from Sound! Euphonium. It can be said that these songs depict TRUE. No matter how many times I stumble and fall down, I will stand up and sing again. The stance which is depicted in the lyrics overlaps with mine. I say, you will enjoy it more if you learn the lyrics of ‘Dream Solister’. [laugh]’
That’s a great tip.
There will be an opportunity to talk face-to-face, including an autograph session, at AnimagC 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing my fans.
Anisong Liberates Your Mind
To conclude the interview, could you give a message to your fans?
‘I have more opportunities to go abroad and sing this year, and there’ll be more to come. I can’t wait to meet you face-to-face. I wish you have the chance feel my excitement directly. Not just my songs, but anisongs in general free your mind. Let’s listen to anisongs and break free!’
Gift from TRUE to Our Readers
We got some autographs from TRUE herself! If you want to win one, just write a comment down below under the ‘Forum’ tab. You need to be logged into the MANGA.TOKYO Forum to do it, so if you haven’t joined yet then you can do that here! (https://forum.manga.tokyo/)
We’ll notify the three lucky winners by sending an email to the address they joined the forum with.
Applications close at 12pm (JST) on 1 August. Good luck!
TRUE Official Website: http://true-singer.com
True will be appearing at AnamagiC 2017 in Mannheim, Germany this August
Dates: Friday 4 August – Sunday 6 August 2017
Venue: Rosengarten Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
AnimagiC Official Website: https://animagic.animania.de
Photo: Motoi Oonishi
Text: Tomonori Nagasawa