If you really think about it…
we’re sill closer to last year’s Christmas than this year’s Christmas 😀
(thanks to digiroko for QC!)
Finally, the long-awaited third and final part to Aida Rikako’s special long interview from the January 2018 issue of Seiyuu Animedia! (Parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t read them yet~)
Some notes before we start:
– （笑）, generally used to indicate laughter in transcribed Japanese interviews were transliterated into (xD) for this TL, ’cause lol why not (“lol” could work too I guess …)
– (苦笑), a more distinctive marker for when interviewees display what we’d call wry smiles (usually when they’re talking about something embarrassing) have subsequently been transliterated as (´∀｀;)
– words found in parentheses are either words that I put in to clarify certain things, or words that I add to make up for nuances and inferences in the language.
When I have a family (of my own),
I want to give them lots of Christmas memories!
In my childhood I was a pure little girl who would believe anything!
— Well then, from here on we’d like to hear about your observations during this photoshoot, as well as a couple of things about your private life. First off, you chose the three different sets of clothes to wear for the photoshoots — is there about (the process) that you could tell us about?
『 The theme was “Christmas”, so I chose; a Santa-like outfit*, something that had a more “party” look*, and also some loungewear*. As for per my preferences, it’s always like this even with the photoshoots we had now but, as much as possible, for people to enjoy the many sides to me, I chose clothes that I don’t normally pick out for myself. 』
*Note: This, This, and This. In that order.
— Certainly, the image you have when you came in for the interview is different from when you were wearing the loungewear.
『 Right? My wardrobe consists of more casual attire. That’s why this time around, while photos were taken of me kind-of relaxing in the middle of a room, if it was in my own home I probably wouldn’t be wearing such cute clothes (xD). 』
— What would be your kind of loungewear?
『 Mostly jerseys (´∀｀;) The thought behind that is “It’s not like anyone gets to see me in my loungewear”, and rather than looking cute I end up prioritizing functionality (xD). 』
— Do friends not come over and play or something?
『 Mostly not, no. That’s because for me, my own room is the place where I can relax the most. Which is why if I were to have someone in there, conversely, I wouldn’t be able to calm down. As such, it’s actually a good thing that nobody comes over, and I don’t have to think about what I’m wearing either……. I have some cute items too but a majority of those were presents from my friends (xD). 』
— I see. Well then, we’d like to hear about the theme this time around, which is Christmas. Until how old were you when you believed in Santa?
『 I think it would be around second grade. Up till then every year I’d write a letter for things that I wanted and sent ’em to Santa. Thinking about it now, I guess even I had such a cute phase like that (xD) I’d entrust that letter to my mom who’d say “I’ll get this to Santa, ok?”. Despite that, a couple of days after, I happened to see that the letter was still inside my mom’s bag. At that time I thought “Maybe, there is no Santa……..”. 』
— Until then you didn’t have any doubts?
『 Not really, no. I really believed it after all. Also, my mom kinda realized that I had found out about it at the time — because she stopped asking “Where’s your letter to Santa?” in the years that followed (xD) 』
— That was pretty dry huh (xD)
『 I also think, if that incident didn’t happen, I’d surely be believing (in Santa) until much later. 』
— Are you the type that’s quick to believe?
『 Ever since I was a child that would be the case, yes. My mom told me that tapioca was actually frog eggs, and I’d believed that until only recently (xD) Nowadays if I have my doubts I’ll try to make sure first. But, in the past I really was pure. That being said, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized it though, I think (xD). 』
— (xD) Well then, to that pure Aida-san — when you were a kid, a Christmas present your received that made you happy was a…?
『 A Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon bicycle. When I woke up in the morning, it was just there in our veranda. I still remember very well how excited I was even to this day. Now that I think about it, that big thing must’ve been bought before Christmas, so I wonder where it had been hidden — it’s still a mystery to me. 』
— That’s certainly a show of a parent’s love. Going back to this though, when you were in elementary school you lived in America — what was Christmas like overseas?
『 My friends and I get really fired up during Halloween but during Christmas a lot of families quiet down for the most part. Just, the houses over there had a lot of lighting and decoration. They would become so dazzling it almost felt like being in a theme park — I would ride in our car with my mom and she’d drive around so we can see. After that there’s…….. This is now a story (of us living) in Japan but, a while back we lived in a house that was next to a cake shop. That shop had put up a tree at its storefront, which had real cookies dangling underneath it as decoration. I ate those (xD). 』
— Ehh~ Was there anything that said “Go ahead, feel free” or something?
『 None that I can remember (xD) They were dangling underneath (the tree) for show after all. One day I touched them for the first time to see for myself, and I thought “Ah, they’re real!”. Just, they didn’t really have much flavor, so I figured they must’ve been cookies meant for decoration. Thinking about it now it’s not really something one should do since, they (the cookies) had been hanging outside for how many days at that point, and hygiene-wise it would’ve been pretty bad too — but it still became a good memory that I now have with me (xD). 』
— Then, what kind of memories do you have of Christmas from when you became an adult?
『 For a long time, I didn’t have the type of friends around me that would get together and do whatever comes to mind. As a result, I only really have memories of doing part-time jobs. Jobs like (working at a) family restaurant or a fast-food joint; I even worked at a call center; so really I did a lot of different things. I’ve also worked at a vegetable stand once as well. 』
— That’s a rather uncommon job eh? How long ago was this?
『 Tell you the truth it still went on for quite a bit even after I debuted as a voice actress (xD). That’s why, I readily accept big projects and the like now. 』
— You mean to say (you worked until) only a few years ago?
『 Yes. From the Christmas season up to the last day of the year, a lot of people come and buy ingredients they need for New Year’s, so I didn’t get much off time. To that end, given any other period of time, having heard about loans was really a lifesaver. Also, the place (where we sold vegetables) was a stone’s throw away from our house, and it was big. I had to be there early by 8 in the morning, but I’d fall asleep about 5 minutes before (xD) For me who loves sleep, this was just the best state to be in. 』
— Well then, what are your plans for this year (2017’s) Christmas?
『 I still don’t know yet but, if I do get some time off then I want to go climb a mountain. Actually, I’d made plans to do so last year with a friend. There are a lot of people all over the metro during Christmas, and I don’t really do well (in crowds), so I said “let’s go to a place where there aren’t a lot of people”. 』
— There certainly won’t be a lot of people there, but climbing up a mountain is again, rather an unexpected choice.
『 It’s a place where anyone, even beginners, can get to; and there’s a hot spring there as well, so it’s not that big of a deal really. It’s just, I had work to do in 2016 so in the end we couldn’t go — which is why I want to challenge this again for 2017. 』
— That sounds really fun but, aren’t you totally breaking away from the Christmas festivities? (xD)
『 Kinda am (xD) But, from the start I never really had much interest in such (Christmas-like) activities. Right now there’s an event involving my work so it’s been really fun but, in the past oftentimes before I knew it Christmas was already over (xD) That and, rather than events like that, I feel that I treasure more the times when I get a some days off and I get to spend time with my friends. 』
— Then, do you not have an “I want to spend Christmas like this!” sort of ideal?
『 Let’s see now……… I say that, but for instance when I have a family of my own, I’d surely change my way of thinking. I don’t really mind it as much myself but it’s sad if a child doesn’t get to do anything for Christmas. When that time comes I’ll do my very best to make the greatest memory for them (xD). 』
— Basically what kind of stuff would you want to do for them?
『 It’d be nice if we could spend time together at our house, then we’d make reservations at a slightly expensive restaurant and go eat together as a family…….. There’s also “going to Tokyo Disneyland” that everybody aspires to do. There’s sure to be a huge number of people so it’s going to be very tiring, but , at least for that one day in the year, I’d want to experience that. 』
***Thoughts and Takeaways
– I’ll start with this — and this is the first and probably last time — that I bring this particular topic up. Now, before I started doing these translations I of course followed the work of other translators (as that’s how I would primarily come across idol-related content) so I’m more or less privy to what other fans have been able to …uncover, about these idols by reading between the lines said in interviews and what have you. Some of you may already have a pretty good idea as to what I’m talking about so I’ll leave it at that (if not, it shouldn’t take much to find a certain thread of speculation that ties in to a lot of what comes up in this here interview). I’m only bringing this up (albeit vaguely) because it really does corroborate a whole lot of what has been made known to us thus far, and as such, so as to put my final stamp on it I say — Yes, I surmise that the subject of much speculation a couple of months ago regarding Aida Rikako, may very well be true.
– That said, this interview in particular went from being fairly cute; to being very real in the middle parts; before ending on just the sweetest note ever <3
– In Episode 63 of Uranohoshi Girls’ High School Radio, Rikyako mentions that she once got her bike stolen. I now wonder whether or not that bike, and the one she talks about here, is actually one and the same (which would make what used to be a random and funny anecdote slightly less funny considering how much the thing meant to her)
After a month and some change, we have now officially gone through the entirety of the main interview portion of Rikyako’s first 30-page special feature! *clapclapclap* (I have to say “first” now ’cause there’s a new one already out, lol). As the first “big” translation project that I took on (if you could call it that) I’m happy that I now finally have this under my belt. I feel like my Japanese improved a bit by having done these, and I got to know a bit more about my favorite Aqours seiyuu too, so it’s really a win-win for me — but I do hope you guys enjoyed these interviews as much as I did (and of course, there’s always room for improvement, so if you spot anything wrong here, please please point ’em out)
I’m still not totally done with this issue just yet, but I already have a couple of things on the docket as far as potential translation projects are concerned (some even not Rikyako-related again), so unless life hits me hard all of a sudden, as life is wont to do at times, expect to see me around TLs for a bit longer still.
‘Till I see ya next!