This one was released on October 3, 2016. It’s a shorter interview of Yabushita Shu, a member of NMB48 who recently announced her graduation, published in the “G (Gravure) The Television” magazine. She’s my ultimate oshi (and you can find her graduation speech partly translated on my twitter account). Here goes!
You only have half a year left of your high school days now.
That’s right. And third year students have few classes, so when you think about it, there actually only are about two to three months left.
Looking at your twitter feed, it looks pretty packed.
We had our school’s cultural festival the other day. Since there’s a couple of NMB48 members at my school, other members came to pay us a visit as well. But because Kinoshita Momoka came with a weird and gaudy hairstyle, some of those members went back home (laugh).
What did you do at this cultural festival?
Our class did a shaved ice shop! It was amazing. We sold out everything right away! There was a suuuper long waiting line for our shaved ice.
That might have been thanks to members being here though (laugh).
The first and second years were doing a bazaar in the schoolyard, and for some reason it looks like they were selling NMB48 CDs. Some people in my class bought them, and then played “Durian Shonen” in the classroom the whole time.
Even if you’re an idol, it doesn’t look like there’s much distance between you and the other students.
Yes, I’m making the most of my school day~. I’m the one engaging the conversation with the others, and when I see some of my friends doing boring things I join them. It might be self-proclaimed, but I’m at the heart of my class. I think how much you enjoy school only depends on yourself after all.
Exactly. But it looks like not all of the other members think that way.
Being a member of NMB48 at the same time, it’s impossible to go to school everyday, so I’m actually consciously doing efforts to combine and enjoy both. I mean, wouldn’t it be a waste to create a wall around yourself? High school is something you can only experiment once in your life, so it’d be a shame not to enjoy it. I’m even getting along with the teachers. Like I’m fine saluting the vice principal with a “Hey!”.
You’re really friendly!
In the morning, if I am to go to school, I’d first head to the vice principal’s room to say hi and discuss some of my plans for NMB48, then I’d go to my classroom.
That sounds like a lot of fun (laugh). Are you enjoying your NMB48 life as well?
Of course, I do!
You had a three-days long concert between the 25th and 27th of August, with two days of Request hour during the 25th and 27th. But on the 26th it was the “For how long are we going to rely on Yamamoto Sayaka?” concert, right?
First, regarding the Request Hour lives, I’ve managed to hog the stage for the three top songs! It was like being a superstar, so I was happy.
At the third place, it was you centering “Kataomoi yori omoide wo…”, then Yagura Fuuko centered “Fuyushougun no Regret”, and finally Ota Yuuri centered “Niji no tsukurikata”.
That’s right! And I was the only one people were waiting for during the MC (laugh).
You’re the only member who was singing in all of the three top songs after all. You had voted for “Kataomoi yori omoide wo…” where you’re the center too.
Yes. It didn’t get the first place but I was happy. And maybe it’s because it’s in my personal top 3, but I was also glad to perform Shabondama. I’m thankful for being able to sing the full version.
And then on the middle day, there was that “Yamamoto Sayaka…” concert. It was stated that if you managed to sell of the tickets, someone other than Yamamoto Sayaka would have been the center on your next single. But 221 tickets ended up unsold.
But I really thought we would fill the place! We completely did the day before, after all…
There’s also the fact that it was on a weekday, but the whole second floor’s seats of the Kobe World Memorial Hall were hidden behind blackout curtains.
The day before, we had a reversal there. And when we looked at the place, there were lots of other blackout curtains. Honestly, everyone felt pretty sad about it.
What did you talk about with the other members?
Humm… We were all like “Why did it turn out like this?”. There was someone however who joked saying “Wow, looks so bad it’s funny”, but (Shiroma) Miru retaliated “There’s nothing funny about it”. I was personally really shocked as well. More than frustration, I was really filled with sadness.
Three years before, the “Omoi daseru kimitachi he” BII stage, which you were part of, also had been the only one which didn’t manage to sell out.
That’s right. But it was a team stage, unlike this time where it was about NMB as a whole group which didn’t sell out, that’s why it was an even bigger shock. Not only that, but even if it was a weekday, the concert was held in our home place, in Kansai.
What about the fact that it was a concert without Yamamoto Sayaka?
First, there was a real feeling of unease when we got into a circle without Sayanee (Yamamoto Sayaka). Usually, Sayanee points out everything we have to look out for from start to finish. Akarin (Yoshida Akari) took on the job, but it looked difficult. After that, there were songs where I had been put into Sayanee’s singing position. It really made me realize she wasn’t here.
Despite everything, regarding the concert itself, it was excellent. It truly conveyed the members’ motivation.
Thank you very much. Everyone declared they were aiming for the center position so it was quite heated for sure. I think we all felt like we had to say what was on our mind.
Did you manage to say everything you wanted during those three days?
I didn’t want to create a heavy atmosphere. Aren’t live supposed to be fun after all? On top of that, the MC time I was given was right after the beginning, this is where you want to heat up the audience more than anything. And my character isn’t one who says heavy things. On this day, I did say “I want to become someone NMB48 needs. I’m always thinking about becoming center”, but I wonder if that was all I wanted to say?
Alright then, for your 6th year anniversary you will have another concert called 2DAYS in Kobe World Memorial Hall, right?
I heard so. I’m a bit uneasy about whether we will do full house or not this time, but I have no choice but to do it.
Lots of members declared they wanted to become center, but what do you think is necessary to be one?
You need to be “center-ish”. I mean, if you look around, aren’t there people who naturally catch the attention? Like you’re magically attracted to that person. I think that’s what is important. If we’re talking baseball, I would look at the pitcher. It would be weird if Shintaro Fujinami was second base, the mound suits him (laugh).
Do you personally think the center position suits you?
I get told I have this center feeling, but I wonder if it’s true? But I understand how much efforts the others are doing when I’m dancing on stage with them. This makes me want to do my best as well. I think I can shine thanks to the feeling that I “don’t want to lose to the others”, and that’s a spirit I want to keep up with.
That wraps it up. Shuu definitely comes off as happy girl, she’s adorable and I’m sure all NMB48 fans can agree her smile will be missed (and if you don’t, I’m going to ignore you). Keeping in mind this interview was conducted just a couple of months before her graduation announcement and before the team shuffle, I still think like lots of other people that it *is* the shuffle that did her. Of course there’s also the fact that she has to focus on her studies. But it doesn’t sound like she would have wanted to graduate any time soon to me…
Shuu’s photos in that magazine were hot, by the way.