— For this feature, we’d like to have you two writers discuss the topic of “lyrics in Hello! Project music.”
Asai: I actually printed out all the things I’d like to touch on today. I’d hate it if I forgot to mention any of it.
Yuzuki: Wow, that’s very admirable of you. I remember when the two of us did a talk event at the Aoyama Book Center back in March 2014, and we came out on stage dancing to “Ai no Gundan.”
Asai: This was just after the “Dance Shot Ver.” PV of the song had been released. We couldn’t help but imagine how we’d look if we went in there while doing that choreography… I think a lot of people in our audience were left in a state of shock.
Yuzuki: What makes you say that?! Didn’t we get some compliments?!
Asai: This is what you get for being someone who, like, “seriously” wants to attend a talk show by writers of all people.
From the mature works of Tanpopo’s “Last Kiss” and “Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru,” to the children-oriented songs of Minimoni’s “Minimoni Jankenpyon!,” “Minimoni Telephone! Rin Rin Rin,” Goto Maki’s “Te wo Nigitte Arukitai” and Pucchimoni’s “The★Pucchimobics (Medley Version),” all the way to the strangeness of 10nin Matsuri’s “Dancing! Natsu Matsuri” — we sat down to talk with the man who is behind all these wide-ranging arrangements along with many more: Konishi Takao.
— Could you start by telling us about your beginnings in music?
Konishi: I think I first came to like music upon hearing all those TV anime songs as a child. You know, Mazinger Z and Ultraman and all the rest. The first record that someone bought for me was “Taiyou ni Hoero! no Theme.” That’s also when I became interested in stuff like Pink Lady and kayou kyoku. It was only in junior high school that I started listening to Western music: Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, the Eagles…
— Did you play any instruments?
Konishi: I played the piano up until junior high school, but I can’t really play well or anything. I like to think that I have a black belt in arranging, but only something like a brown or a green belt in actual playing. (laughs) Then I got into fusion in high school, and so I started listening to stuff like Takanaka Masayoshi. I also started a band around the same time and we figured we should probably play something with vocals on it as well, so we’d do covers of artists like Kadomatsu Toshiki and Kubota Toshinobu.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/01/04(水) 01:10:43.10 0.net
And for that, I thank you.
2: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/01/04(水) 01:11:10.08 0.net
3: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/01/04(水) 01:11:21.77 0.net
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6: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/01/04(水) 01:12:02.56 0.net
Hey, screw you! Just how many years do you think I’ve been an idol wota?!
Natsuki Mari, Katori Shingo, Fukada Kyoko, Ogura Yuko, Miura Rieko, Nomoto Karia, Negicco, etc. Konishi Yasuharu is a musician known for having produced or contributed songs to all of the aforementioned artists and more. While the only song he arranged for Hello! Project was Matsuura Aya’s “Ne~e?“, it’s a song that continues to pop up in conversation even today when talking about some of the best songs to have ever come out of Hello! Project as a whole. It was a question on everyone’s minds at the time of the song’s release: “What? Konishi Yasuharu?! How? Huh?“
— Please tell us about when you arranged Matsuura Aya’s “Ne~e?” What led to you working on it?
Konishi: They simply approached my office with an offer. “Please let your guy arrange our song.” Naturally, I said “okay.” Until that point I’d pretty much just met Tsunku♂ a couple of times while we were doing Pop Jam on NHK, back in the Sharan Q days. I didn’t really know him that well, to be honest, and I’m pretty sure he’d only just heard of the name Pizzicato Five up until that point.
— So they approached you pretty much out of the blue.
Konishi: Yeah. And that’s why I first just went, “but why me of all people?” They were like, “well, we want something that sounds French — aren’t you the guy to go to when it comes to French-sounding stuff?” (laughs) Their offer was very specific, so it was easy for me to get on-board, too. “Ah, okay. Gotcha.“
1: いち和食 ◆gohanXuCP. 2016/12/29(木) 23:17:37.46 0.net
I think it’d have to be the ones for Otona na no yo.
8: 名無し募集中。。。 2016/12/29(木) 23:23:27.42 0.net
All of S/mileage’s outfits were cute.
3: 名無し募集中。。。 2016/12/29(木) 23:20:23.77 0.net
The outfit Sayu was wearing at her graduation when she was reading her letter.
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Those suit-like things from Berryz’ last Budokan concert.
14: 名無し募集中。。。 2016/12/29(木) 23:28:43.05 0.net
S/mileage’s Mystery Night. I would’ve loved to see Kamiko wearing that.
Fresh Michishige Sayumi pictures are hereeeee━━━━━从*･ ｡.･)━━从从*･ ｡)━━从从从━━(｡.･*从从━━(･ ｡.･*从━━━━━!!!!
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/03/17(金) 12:06:13.59 0.net
The Michishige Revival is at hand!!!
Here… have a picture.
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4: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/03/17(金) 12:07:03.37 0.net
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42: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/03/17(金) 12:12:12.79 0.net
Cha, Cha, Cha…. Chayuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!
— Today we’d like to ask you to name and discuss your favorite Hello! Project album songs.
Yoshida: Are you going to include in this book information about the Kamome Jidou Gasshoukan album that Nacchi was featured on? (Note: Abe Natsumi appeared as a guest on their album Yaita Sakana no Bangohan on the track “beautiful.”)
— Seeing as she only had a guest appearance on that one, it’ll probably just appear as a column later.
Yoshida: That really ought to be in this book. It was a collaboration with Kamome Jidou Gasshoukan, which means there is now a direct link between Hello! Project and Sakamoto Shintaro (who released the song “Anata mo Robot ni Nareru feat. Kamome Jidou Gasshoukan.”)
— I see that you’re immediately going to begin this feature with a curveball… (laughs)
Naka G: Alright! Listen, guys! I want us to talk about Berryz Koubou!
Yoshida: Yes, I was prepared for that eventuality, what with it being you and Minewaki in the room with me…
Beginning with Tanpopo’s “Koi wo Shichaimashita!,” Watanabe Cher has since gone on to arrange songs like Matsuura Aya’s “Tropica~l Koishite~ru” and “LOVE Namidairo,” Fujimoto Miki’s “Sotto Kuchizukete Gyutto Dakishimete” and Minimoni’s “Himihamuzu no Ai no Uta,” among others. Originally known by the name of WATA-BOO, the keyboard player in DANCE☆MAN’s band — where he played a large role in his arrangements as well — he went on to becoming an accomplished Hello! Project arranger in his own right. What has this masterful musician learned after having had a hand in such a lengthy succession of important works for Hello! Project?
— The first song you arranged by yourself was Tanpopo’s “Koi wo Shichaimashita!,” right?
Watanabe: Right. That was a bit over a year after I first became involved with Hello! Project — right around the time “Renai Revolution 21” had just been released. Hashimoto Shin called me up and asked “would you like to do Tanpopo’s next single for us?” I was going, “you’re going to let me arrange a song for a group that’s selling like crazy right now?” I loved the sound of “Otome Pasta ni Kandou” and so I was thinking “oh no, they’re going to make me go after Nagai Rui…” I remember feeling quite under pressure because of that.
— The group’s lineup and image had changed quite drastically with their previous single. Did they tell you that they wanted to keep it pretty much similar to that style with the next song?
Watanabe: They just told me they wanted something 60’s-like. No… actually, the first thing they said was that they wanted something Motown-like. Like, “Otome Pasta was British… so let’s go to America with this one!” It’s not like that genre was my strong suit or anything, but more than having that actually be the foundation for the whole song, I figured they’d asked for me just because of the stuff I’d done in the past — like the strings in “Renai Revolution 21” for example. So that’s the kind of thing I tried to give them.