Not too long ago, we had the chance to attend AFA 2014 in Singapore, and lucky for us, we also had the chance to interview ROOT FIVE! As you all might know, this is their first time in Singapore, though not much so for Mi-chan and Dasoku. Mi-chan have been to Singapore once a long while ago, he said in their introduction video for the Anisong stage, to attend a training camp with his tennis club. Dasoku, on the other hand, was here in 2011 to sing at a live show titled AFA Spring Taikai, also held by Sozo, together with Gero and Kaname.
This time, Mi-chan had troubles with his throat, and thus was unable to sing or talk. But even then he continued performing his parts on stage by lipsyncing, and in the interview, he typed on his phone or gestured so that his group mates could understand him and thus speak through them.
So what are their impressions about Singapore? Without further ado, let’s find out!
Hello, thank you for coming to Singapore! First of all, while some of your members have been to Singapore before, what do you think of Singapore so far?
Dasoku: Well, I love chicken rice. Since I arrived in Singapore this time, I’ve eaten it 4 times, and would like to eat more of it.
Mi-chan (through gestures that’s translated by Kettaro): I’d love to go to the casino.
Koma’n: My first impression of Singapore is the Merlion, but I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t have the time to see it… if it’s possible I’d like to come again and see it.
Kettaro: For us Japanese, the general impression of Singapore is that it’s a very clean, pretty country with really strict laws. But that’s not to say that it’s a bad thing, because I feel secure in here—it’s a very safe country. Also, there’s a lot of trash bins here on the roads, and I thought, it’s no wonder that people don’t litter here. I wish they’d do that in Japan as well.
Pokota: Singapore is a very safe, secure place. Also, in Singapore you have food stalls and hawker centers, which I find exciting because you get to eat outdoors. Well, in Singapore, it’s always warm, isn’t it? While in Japan, the cold can get pretty harsh, and sometimes the different seasons limit the time you can spend outside. So it’s not very possible for you to eat outdoors. I think it’s great that you can dine alfresco all year-round.
If you could be someone else in your group, who would you prefer to be?
Dasoku: It’s Koma’n. Because I’ll be younger.
Mi-chan (through Kettaro): Koma’n. Because he can play the piano.
Koma’n: Well, in reverse, I want to be Dasoku-san. I like wine quite a lot, but I’m the kind of who can’t drink a lot, while Dasoku-san can drink quite a lot. I wish I could drink as much too.
Kettaro: Hmm, it’s probably Mi-chan, because he’s the tallest. That’s it. (everyone laughs)
Pokota: Then, it’s Kettaro. It will be troublesome if everyone’s as tall as Mi-chan. Also, I tend to sing with a lot of vibrato, and even when I rap I have that vibrato, while Kettaro can rap without vibrato. I want to be able to rap without vibrato.
What do you usually do in your leisure time?
Dasoku: I sleep.
Mi-chan (through Koma’n): Fishing.
Koma’n: I drink alcohol.
Kettaro: I like to go eat nice food.
Pokota: I take care of my nails.
Is there any difference between your routines back as utaites (in Nico Nico Douga), and as ROOT FIVE?
Dasoku: Well, back when we were utaites we don’t really need to go outside (laugh). While as ROOT FIVE you have to go to lives and meet your fans. Back then as an utaite it’s completely possible for you to not even take a step outside of your house, and I liked that. (laugh)
Kettaro: I’m the same as Dasoku-san. (laugh)
Koma’n: Well, basically my answer is the same as Dasoku-san as well, I’m the kind who likes to stay at home and it’s alright to not do much.
Kettaro: Actually, I think everyone thinks the same, so is it okay if that just becomes everyone’s answer? (laughs)
Do you have any favourite artistes?
Dasoku: Hmm…. I like this band called Extreme, though people most probably won’t know it (laughs). It’s a minor band from America.
Mi-chan (through Kettaro): I like Hyde. As a solo singer, not as a member of L’Arc.
Koma’n: I like all idols. I don’t have a specific preference.
Kettaro: An artiste that I like…. I wonder what, lately. Hmm, I don’t really know… What about ROOT FIVE? Does everyone know? There’s a unit called ROOT FIVE in Japan! (laughs)
Pokota: Ah, for me it’s Gackt.
Kettaro: ….why is it only me who has an embarrassing answer? (everyone laughs)
Other than being in Japan, you’ve also been to Taiwan quite a bit. From your trips to Taiwan, have you picked up any Mandarin? For example, phrases?
Dasoku: Hmm, there’s nothing special, but I guess there’s, “Bu yao”, which means, “I don’t need it.”
Koma’n: “Qing tian tian qi hen hao”, which means, “The weather is good today.” I don’t really use it, but I memorized it somehow.
Mi-chan (through Dasoku): “Qing dai wo hui jia,” which means, “Please bring me home.”
Kettaro: He always says this back there. He doesn’t say this anywhere else in Taiwan. But no one took him home (everyone laughs). Ah, for me, it’s, “Hao zi.” (means delicious). And that you can repeat it into, “Hao hao zi.” to mean that it’s really delicious. I say this a lot too.
Pokota: “Beijing kao yao.” (means roasted duck)
Kettaro: he says this a lot as well.
Pokota: Because I like it. (everyone laughs)
What’s your most interesting experiences for you as ROOT FIVE? Do you have anything memorable that happened to you since you got together?
Koma’n: Well, initially we started out as individual singers, but after we get together as a group, we get to compose things and dance together. You get to experience teamwork, which is new for us.
Is there any difficulties that you go through as ROOT FIVE?
Kettaro: Dasoku-san doesn’t move much. While we all dance, he alone doesn’t, and I find it difficult to make him look nice on stage when he doesn’t move much. (everyone laughs)
Initially, you started out as solo singers in Nico Nico Douga, but now you’re joining an event like Nico Nico Douga Kunikaigi which is held abroad. What do you think about Kunikaigi?
Pokota: Up until now we go to other countries, for example Taiwan, and joined Nico Nico-related events, and you get this vague feeling of seeing the people beyond your screen, and it’s that kind of feeling. But I find it surprising that people in Singapore knows anime, for example, and it’s also kind of new for us to know that there are a lot of people in Singapore who knows and supports us.
Do you have any plans or goals in the near future?
Koma’n: We currently can’t really be sure of any plans as a group, because our schedule hasn’t been decided. But as for goals, we’ve been together for 3 years, and we want to step up our game and level up, especially in terms of singing and dancing.
What are your opinions about Nico Nico Douga when you just started out and how it is now?
Dasoku: Well, back when we started out it was just a website for you to upload videos, but nowadays you can do things like live broadcasts, and you get a lot of new features—you get to read the news and it’s more known as a Vocaloid site nowadays. It’s become something like a culture, and people who like this culture, comes over to Nico Nico events, for example like the Kunikaigi. Also, back then the site’s audiences were young—middle schoolers and elementary school kids, but then years have passed and the audiences grew older too, so that’s kind of a new generation.
Do you have any anime that you like?
Dasoku: This is tough, I like a lot of anime. Hmm, there’s this anime called Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu. I think not many people know it, it’s a very old anime. The seiyuus who filled in the roles for the anime became very famous after this.
Koma’n: Hmm, well, when I was a grade-schooler, Digimon was very famous, and since then I’ve watched every single series of Digimon.
Mi-chan (through Koma’n): Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of Gugure! Kokkuri-san.
Kettaro: To me, it’s Slam Dunk. I started basketball since I was a little kid, so I read it. But then, not everything in the manga made it to the anime, and I think it will be great if one day they make it into the anime.
Pokota: For me, it’s Rave.
We’re sure you’ve received a lot of gifts from the fans—can you please tell us the most interesting or memorable gifts you have received so far?
Dasoku: There was this one time I received a paper bag, and inside it was a zombie hand. When I picked it up, I realized it was a telephone. I was really surprised.
Koma’n: I received a lot of sailor-styled school uniforms. Of course I don’t use them.
Kettaro: I once received raw beansprouts. I didn’t receive it first-hand, and it was inside a cardboard box for some time, so when I received it, it was already rotten and it gave out a really foul smell. I think it was a terrible prank.
Pokota: I received a receipt together with a letter. The letter says, “I’ve already eaten the sweets, so please just receive my feelings.”
Mi-chan (through Dasoku): Nintendo 3DS Smash Brothers set.
Kettaro: He’s very proud of it.
And that concludes our interview with ROOT FIVE at AFA 2014 in Singapore! Let’s look forward for the next time!