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Ai's Renai Shashin interview at

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pon pon
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 10:58 pm Reply with quote
クムリウタ クムリウタ
Joined: 16 Jul 2006 Posts: 1011 Location: Melbourne, Australia
there is a new interview with Ai at the japanese excite website, with another great photo-shoot. up to excite's usual high standard. Love

excite interview | translation (credits to Celsius005)

download link for the digest video (32 MB, WMV)
download link for the comment video (23 MB, WMV)

all images used in the interview are now in this album in the gallery:

many thanks to Celsius005 for the translation below, and the work that involved. Smile

Last edited by pon pon on Oct 20, 2006 2:47 am; edited 2 times in total
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 2:13 pm Reply with quote
クムリウタ クムリウタ
Joined: 07 Feb 2006 Posts: 362 Location: Vancouver, CA.
Ahh the pictures are gorgeous, certainly meets expectations of excite's photoshoot. The simple and sweet style fits the song so well too. Meow
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 3:10 pm Reply with quote
恋愛写真 恋愛写真
Joined: 27 Oct 2005 Posts: 1245 Location: Germany
yeah, another excite interview!!! Boogie
thanks for the information ^-^
I always love the photoshoots from these interviews...and this time they're once more amazing Love
Ai looks so pretty and cute...especially on this picture: Pleased
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Planetarium Planetarium
Joined: 23 May 2006 Posts: 685 Location: USA
Thank you for posting the ever-so-anticipated excite interview, pon pon! Perhaps we can use these awesome pictures to give the layout a boost? Tongue Sounds like a good idea! This is definitely something to be excited about.

I will get to translating it tonight but I can't guarantee it'll be finished so soon since I've got a lot of homework and studying to worry about. At any rate, I'll share with you what's written as soon as possible.

EDIT: Dios mio, you won't believe what kind of stuff is written in here!! PWNED! EH!? Blasphemy!
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 9:04 pm Reply with quote
甘えんぼ 甘えんぼ
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 70 Location: Toronto, Canada
The pictures are so beautiful.

Love the polarid photos! =)
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 9:27 pm Reply with quote
大好きだよ。 大好きだよ。
Joined: 07 Dec 2005 Posts: 227
Thanks for the videos pon pon she's so cute~ Love her pictures as well, different look~ thanks again~
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 9:52 pm Reply with quote
フレンジャー フレンジャー
Joined: 27 Feb 2006 Posts: 844 Location: Canada
Haven't watched the interview yet but the images are amazing! Thanks for the upload. Pleased
I swear, she just gets prettier and prettier. Meow
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 12:58 am Reply with quote
Planetarium Planetarium
Joined: 23 May 2006 Posts: 685 Location: USA
Here's the translation of the interview! There's a lot about Ai's personal love life mentioned in here so be sure to keep an eye open for that as well as the extensive information regarding her new songs. Happy reading! Boogie
Credit goes to Celsius005.

Otsuka Ai - Interview with ai otsuka

Thus far Otsuka Ai has received two blessings as she celebrated her 24th birthday on the 9/9, followed by the 3rd anniversary of her debut on the next day 9/10. She first brought her latest song, Renai Shashin, to the stage at her commemorating concert [LOVE IS BORN ~3rd Anniversary 2006~]. She put “a lifetime’s worth of feelings” into this song to create a profoundly beautiful ballad. She believes that her latest composition has a very strong impact because she included much more of her personal thoughts and feelings; therefore, we can connect and sympathize. This song is a direct complement to the movie “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru”, hence the repeated lines “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru” (“However, I still love you”). We want to hear so much more about her work so she’s here with us now to participate in this private interview.

(Interviewer/Katagai Kumiko, Photographer/Furutani Kazumichi, Camera/Matsuzashi Naoki)

Q: [You sure were able to relax at your concert [LOVE IS BORN ~3rd Anniversary 2006].]
A: [Yes, indeed. I got to see my fans’ faces so clearly that day--they almost seemed familiar to me. It wasn’t so much of an “obligatory live perfomance”, more like a “Let’s all just sing” kind of performance. This is definitely a live performance in its most natural and purest form.]

Q: [Not only was this your 3rd anniversary concert, but the fact that it took place on your 24th birthday makes it even more special and wonderful.]
A: [Not quite. I actually did stress over the song setlist even though it should have been a simple thing to do. There were far too many songs I just couldn’t omit. The list kept getting larger, you know.]

Q: [I see. Well, thanks to the trouble you went through we were able to hear excellent songs and see your undressed face. It was really exciting.]
A: [Thank you very much.]

Q: [And you also sang the song from your soon-to-be-released single, Renai Shashin.]
A: [That’s right.]

Q: [This song is being used as the theme song for the movie “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru”. I’ve always believed that you made this song strictly for the movie but that isn’t the case, is it?]
A: [That’s correct. Some parts of the song are based on the movie itself, and others are not.]

Q: [After you sang Pocket (TBA), you mentioned that Renai Shashin is “100% representative of your own feelings.” Can you tell us more about this?]
A: [It’s completely natural that I wrote this song. I wanted to give a present to someone… I think it’s more of a “confession.” I really only intended for it to be a present, but it coincidentally had somewhat of a tie to the movie as well. On that note, I suppose I got lucky.]

Q: [Did you write it for the sake of this “someone”?]
A: [That’s the truth, but only to an extent… When I write my songs I want to reach out to everyone so it’s not so bland; however, it truly is only meant for one person. This makes the feelings I put into this song very powerful and effective. Compared to my other love songs, this one is much more… well, it’s much like a one-time shot at doing this.]

Q: [Did this person receive your feelings?]
A: [Yes.]

Q: [If you don’t mind, may I inquire you of his response?]
A: [Well, we were close during the time I wrote it. When came the time to pass it on, we were already separated… It’s rather painful to talk about.]

(Celsius005 wrote ~ That's so sad. No She spent all that time writing that song too.)

Q: [Er, I’m so sorry for asking. However regarding that matter, the pain is accentuated even more in the piano and strings arrangement, which is central to the entire song. It must be unbearable. Can you tell us about this arrangement?]
A: [(In her head) The main piano is like the sound of a crying animal and sings the melody. The world of this song is based on unification. One by one the instruments--strings, piano--join in to build up climax and melody to create a most beautiful song.]

Q: [You don’t usually put so much emphasis on the piano part of any of your songs. The reason for this change is.. ?]
A: [The piano is supposed to give a sense of pungent and sharp feelings. Each note was vital to the overall movement and sting of theses sensations in this song.]

Q: [This singing is obviously from within you, right?]
A: [Yes. I never really sang that song at the beginning. It’s been almost a year since I recorded that song, and since then there was only one moment when I discontinued it. Ever since the days grew empty, I decided to start anew. Time grew still afterwards.]

Q: [Was it necessary for you to adjust to this?]
A: [Time stood still until I was strong enough to hold back my tears. This is the first time I ever discontinued a song.]

Q: [Truly a tragic episode in your life. Since you didn’t continue recording this song, I’m guessing the only reason you’re going to release it anyway is because they called you about the movie tie-in.]
A: [That’s right. If they hadn’t talked with me about the movie, I may never have released this song.]

Q: [You just got finished with “Tokyo Friends The Movie” and now you’re working on another.]
A: [Yup. (laugh) But I really do feel that this movie is very well done despite everything else. Because of this movie, I can appreciate my song even more. My song is better off a legend framed in a movie since the feelings will stay with it forever. It’ll definitely show what it’s worth in terms of how heart-felt the connections are with the song.]

Q: [Have you seen the completed movie?]
A: [No, I haven’t seen it. I have read the original novel, however. The story really shows the differences between boys and girls.]

Q: [Differences?]
A: [Men and women have different ways of expressing love and acknowledging each other, and they contain their feelings until the time is right. In the movie, the man has no clue about the woman’s feelings and thoughts. The movie is rather choppy and they made mince-meat out of the story. (laugh) But for this reason, I suppose the viewers will be reminded of the one person most important to them.]

Q: [Speaking of which, the phrase “Tada, kimi wo aishiteru” from your song is identical to the movie’s title. Is this coincidence?]
A: [No, it isn’t. When I sent my song to the movie staff, the person in charge developed a great deal of interest in that line. They hastily changed the movie’s title to “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru” after that.]

Q: [Your song must really have an impact if they changed the movie’s title to fit the lyrics.]
A: [It seems so. It was very exciting.]

Q: [This must be a very special song to you. How did it go at the live performance?]
A: [Hmm… I can easily concentrate on the feelings and song when I’m recording it, but singing it in front of a live audience.. This is probably the most difficult or second most difficult song for me to perform so yes it’s difficult. This is exactly why I need to concentrate harder. (laugh) I believe that this song’s quality gives it merit to be passed as a legend.]

Q: [The B-side, Hanikami Jane, is being used for the LOOK Chocolate CM.]
A: [Yes. This song is pretty much playing during the whole CM and I think it gives it a nice light-hearted touch. I’m sure the catchiness will get people humming. It’s a rather cheerful song.]

Q: [When did you start it?]
A: [Quite recently. Sometime around August.]

Q: [Has it ever bothered you that this song is the B-side of Renai Shashin?]
A: [Perhaps a little. Renai Shashin is the main song I’ve always wanted to release, and I want to be sure that nothing interferes with it. I intended to have Hanikami Jane as a supporting song for the single, but I’m afraid people will like it more than Renai Shashin due to it’s lively catchiness.]

Q: [I read the lyrics for that song and my heart skipped as I read the lines “The kiss is very important, and so is the 'H'.” (laugh)]
A: [Eh!? Oh really? You know, that’s so random it makes me want to sneeze. Sneeze (laugh)]

Q: [Makes you want to sneeze, eh? (laugh) Well I bet you could relax a bit when recording this song.]
A: [Indeed. The recording went very well.]

Q: [Out of all your ballads, the image I get from this one is the strongest. Your single contains two tracks that are complete opposites of each other. Which of these two songs is easiest for you to sing?]
A: [Probably the more upbeat of the two, especially since I can talk more loosely. (laugh) It does depend. At the live over half of my songs were softer songs.]

Q: [Several days ago at [LOVE IS BORN], the majority of the songs you performed were accompanied with your own piano playing. Even for an album the number of softer medium-tempo songs were a bit excessive.]
A: [Ever since my debut I have had more medium-tempo songs than anything else. In the past I’ve had problems when I would ruin the balance and perform too many upbeat songs. It’s quite the hassle since most songs in albums are dark anyways. (laugh) I’ve always said “Everything’s dark. What should I do?” For everyone else I’m sure my upbeat songs become the pinpoint. (laugh).]

Q: [Do you tend to naturally write medium-tempo ballads all the time?]
A: [Yes, it’s always that way. This is why my upbeat songs really loosen up when they need to. (laugh)]

Q: [Haha. Then I assume Hanikami Jane is just one of those songs where you really loosen up and throw caution into the wind.]
A: [Of course. It wouldn’t be right if there wasn’t any light to shine among all else.. Though this does make things more difficult.]

Q: [You have also prepared a new version of Haneari Tamago in which you singling to your own piano accompaniment. What’s the story behind this song?]
A: [I haven’t done so much up until now to include piano versions of my songs in CDs, so I thought that Hanetama (Haneari Tamago) would make a nice choice since the original and the piano version are completely different. It’s very relaxing song that’s pleasant to listen to, so it would certainly prove to be just as nice as the live version. Lately the request for piano accompaniment versions of songs has increased greatly despite everyone’s enthusiasm for upbeat songs. For true listeners, I believed that a live version with piano accompaniment would satisfy them more.]

Q: [You’ve increased piano playing over these three years even though you claimed to have a nervous breakdown every time you do so. Have you gotten used to it all?]
A: [Oh please. (laugh) If I don’t do all sorts of things I’ll begin to hear voices telling me I’m wrong. It’s a constant war between these thoughts. (laugh) I have indeed increased my piano playing, but I don’t believe I have gotten used to it yet.]

Q: [You certainly have shown your charm in music and charm of a different sort in your artwork. The cover of your new single is intriguing.]
A: [The cover this time around looks rather simple and possibly bland, but I don’t think so. It’s got taste in it because it doesn’t have any.]

Q: [Your facial expression in this cover is not like any other I’ve seen from you. Pardon me for my intrusion, but I believe that this is the kind of face you would have shown to that person you loved.]
A: [Even I thought it looked different when I first took the picture. (laugh) I believe the idea behind Renai Shashin is portrayed in this photo. The feelings are seen and present in the picture possibly.

Q: [So do you have any plans following the release of this single? Soon enough it’ll be time for your 4th anniversary at the end of next year. Please continue to enlighten us in the future.]
A: [Yeah.. These 3 years have already passed by and I am truly grateful. Something new has happened everyday, much like a movie. (laugh) Humans have grown so much stronger since the old days--their minds and their characters. They walk straight ahead, occasionally breaking into a run. Though when they try too hard to achieve something, they often become selfish; however, I’ve felt that they’ve become much softer. I wonder if it will continue this way… Perhaps I don’t know what plans are in store for the future, but I know for sure that anything that comes by can only do me good.]

(Celsius005 wrote ~ Wow, I had no idea that Renai Shashin has such a tragic history. Since she wrote this song personally for her lover, we should do all we can to support her because it's obviously important and so disheartening all at once. She's definitely a very mature person--just look at how she handles the situation. Nod Inspirational, no? Three cheers for Ai! Yumekui)

Last edited by Celsius005 on Mar 25, 2007 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 1:12 am Reply with quote
フレンジャー フレンジャー
Joined: 27 Feb 2006 Posts: 844 Location: Canada
Geez, so that's where all the power from that song comes from. What an amazing story; I feel crushed for Ai though. :O That's weird, I've always kind of put Ai up on this pedestal but reading about how vulnerable and hurt she got just humanized her; what a reality check. Celsius005, your devotedness to Ai and this forum is truly impressive. Thanks for the translation. Pleased
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 2:02 am Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2005 Posts: 1975 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Celcius005, thank you VERY much. Love

It's so awesome you have translated yet another lengthy interview for us, and allow us to learn more and more about Ai each time.

I am so sad for Ai that her break up with her boyfriend was so hurtful that she couldn't continue producing the song... I'm so thankful for the movie because such amazing songs deserve to be enjoyed by others!

I can't wait for the LOVE IS BORN anniversary concert as well!! All those songs performed only with the piano....... *drool* We must get it on DVD! Surprised
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 4:56 am Reply with quote
甘えんぼ 甘えんぼ
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 Posts: 80 Location: Hong Kong
I kinda felt it coming, to be honest, especially after watching the PV. I thought: "It seems real. Unlike other PVs that seem surreal, this one seems extremely suiting for some reason."

Well, I got her feelings there! The power from the song crushed me and my heart. At least all is good for Ai now.
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 7:02 am Reply with quote
Planetarium Planetarium
Joined: 06 Oct 2006 Posts: 686 Location: Singapore
Really beautiful photos taken by excite! I especially liked the last one with the "Ai" stamp on it. Very very cute.

Thanks very much for the interview translation! It's interesting reading Ai's thoughts, and it is true that her story is very tragic. Crying I really can't wait to hear Hanikami Jane --> I think it will be just great!
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 3:40 pm Reply with quote
ユメクイ ユメクイ
Joined: 23 Sep 2005 Posts: 1137 Location: USA
Piano versions! YES! Smile

As for the interview, I'm in awe of her. Wow. It's amazing to hear what she has to say about her songs and her life and how mature and deep she truly is. Thank you SO MUCH for this translation. I feel like going to watch the Renai Shashin PV again now. Poor Ai. Crying
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 7:42 pm Reply with quote
さくらんぼ さくらんぼ
Joined: 01 Oct 2005 Posts: 48 Location: Singapore
Thanks a lot for the translation.. it makes me know more abt Ai and the songs "Renai Shashin".. Giggle .... hope there will be a DVD for LOVE IS BORN anniversary concert too
Posted: Oct 21, 2006 3:07 am Reply with quote
恋愛写真 恋愛写真
Joined: 27 Oct 2005 Posts: 1245 Location: Germany
thanks Celcius005 for the translatin!! Love

that interview really explains why renai shashin is such a touching song...but I thought, that the feelings described in the song, are Ai's own just feel it when yu watch the PV I think Smile
now that I know, how mature she is, I admire her even more...she's just a wonderful personality Love

I hope I can see this concert on DVD, it was certainly gorgeus...Ai playing piano ^o^
and I want to hear the piano version of hane ari tamago so bad, it will sure be beautiful Boogie
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