A nice comfy chat with Ceui and Shimokawa Mikuni
Well, not really that comfortable since we didn’t get any kind of refreshments, at least a cup of coffee (I don’t mind sharing with them), from the organizers of Comic Fiesta so that we might have longer time of conversation with these two singers from Japan. Ceui (pronounced ‘say-ee’) and Shimokawa Mikuni (pronounced … ah never mind) are amazing artists who made appearance in this year’s Comic Fiesta in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. Having their first time in Malaysia, it’s surely a rather new experience for them. We at Anime Shrine were glad to be given some room to meet them in-person just after their stage performance.
1. How’s it like first time being in Malaysia? What do you think about the crowds here?
Shimokawa Mikuni: When I got down from the aeroplane, it’s extremely hot in Malaysia since Japan is currently in winter season and wondering if it’s really December? And since it’s the first time being with the Malaysian crowds, I was a little bit skeptical about what kind of reaction I will get but I was very very happy that the crowds was very warm and I am amazed that the songs can be reached not only for Japan but also a wide audiences around the world. I hope I can bring more songs to Malaysia
Ceui: As I get into the car after getting down from the plane, suddenly there was a thunderstorm and very surprised with such kind of climate in Malaysia. It’s like the summer season is continuing in Malaysia. When I went to some shops and talking with the Malaysian people, I find that the people are cheerful and I am thinking that maybe in a hot climate like this the people are warm and hot!
2. What inspires you to make the music? What’s the secret behind these songs?
Shimokawa Mikuni: Basically, when I want to write a song, I will read or watch the anime so that I can try to deliver what I feel from the anime and write the song based on it. So, it’s not only about what I write with the song that I want to sing but messages that I want to deliver to the anime. It’s a tough job but very rewarding.
Ceui: Music plays a large role with my life. I found that by delivering music I give a lot of joy to the people. I also found that by singing fantasy based songs can bring one people to a fantasy world and that’s my basis on inspiration on how I sing or write the song. I want to create a kind of environment like My Neighbor Totoro movie, a kind of fantasy world, to my audience.
3. Apart from Malaysia, have you ever performed in other parts of the world?
Shimokawa Mikuni: My first concert outside Japan was in Taipei followed by China; Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Macau, Changsha, Singapore and then in Seoul, Korea.
Ceui: In October, I went to Guangzhou in China and then Hong Kong. Malaysia is my third destination outside Japan.
4. Given a chance to have a collaboration or duet apart from Japanese artists, who would you like to be?
Shimokawa Mikuni: I can’t pick one person. But anyone who cares to collaborate with my in any kind of theme song that would be wonderful.
Ceui: I have an impression to collaborate with Bjork and Libera (gospel choir from Europe).
5. What about stuffs you’re passionate to do and what can you do for people with your works?
Shimokawa Mikuni: After the earthquake and tsunami disaster earlier this year, I have been performing in several countries and I felt that a lot of them people giving supports and donations from all over the world to support Japan. I felt touched and that’s amazing that through anime songs people can feel so much love for Japan and extending so much supports for the country in such time. It may not be a very conscious effort for one to deliver of love but as long as it’s very natural hopefully through my song people will get to know Japan. I hope to be able to continue to do from now on.
Ceui: I find that listening to music to raise up my spirit. I feel that probably by singing, delivering the songs and listening to my songs may bring a lot of joy and happiness would help the youths to restore their courage to move on and carry on their journey. Hopefully that person can help the next person.
6. How did you first started with anime songs?
Shimokawa Mikuni: When I was young, I watched a lot of anime even until this moment. There are some older anime that’s still also valid to this time. How did I started? It’s more like my proposal to an anime song that really really good fit with my voice. It was a very good timing.
Ceui: I had no idea that I ventured into singing anime songs and It was so happened a person, in searching someone to sing an anime song, to hear my song and proposed me to get involved the project. I didn’t know I would ended up singing for opening and ending theme of that anime. When I first time watched it myself, I was very touched. I am very happy to be involved in creating a cool anime with my songs.
7. What would you recommend other anime apart from those you’re singing for?
Shimokawa Mikuni: I was not aware K-On! is another anime series and I first got to know about it when I read on magazines. Suddenly I realized that the followers of K-On! is extremely strong. I would recommend it to you.
Ceui: I got three. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Kuroshitsuji and for the girls, Itazura na Kiss. I highly recommended these three.
8. Who is the hottest guy on the earth right now?
Shimokawa Mikuni: Someone who possess the trait of rich guy, passionate, kind and would bring me to a nice restaurant to have a good food.
(interruption) Isn’t that what you manager did? (Everyone laughs.)
Shimokawa Mikuni: Anyway, it’s a secret.
Ceui: It’s somebody out of this world. I can’t think of anyone. But one that I can think of from anime world Irie-kun from Itazura na Kiss and Kuroshitsuji’s Butler. Sebas-chan~♥
That’s all the questions. Thank you very much.
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