Singers JUNNA and Minori Suzuki sat down for an interview at this year’s Anisong World Matsuri in Los Angeles, California. JUNNA (real name Junna Sakai) and Minori are two of the singing voices behind anime idol group Walküre who appear in the series Macross Delta, the latest foray into the Shōji Kawamori created Macross universe.
It’s already been a year since you made your debut, but what has changed the most within that year? How was everyone’s reaction?
Minori: I did the voice acting and singing voice for a character, Freyja Wion (from Walküre). As for acting, I learned to carefully consider the character’s feelings and situation. I always wondered why she said such a line in this situation, and I learned the importance of fitting myself into the character’s shoes.
As for singing, I wasn’t sure what was special about my singing at first, but one time, Yuma Uchida, who voiced Hayate Immelmann (Macross Delta protagonist), told me that singing conveys people’s emotions through songs. Since then, I strive to become a singer who can convey my true feelings through singing.
JUNNA: We had lots of opportunities to perform at so many places within a year. Thanks to those experiences, I started to think about how I can entertain the audience and make them smile.
Minori: I was always telling my family and friends that I would become a singer, so when I came through the audition, everyone was so happy for me.
JUNNA: My mother was always with me for the audition, so of course she was very happy about it. But when I came through the audition, of course she was very happy, but she instead told me that this was the start for my career, so make sure to be prepared.
Walküre has a catch phrase, “Music is ○○!” What is music to you in one word?
Minnori: Music is myself!
JUNNA: Music is life!
Who is your type out of the male characters who appeared in previous Macross series?
Minnori: Ozma Lee and Brera Sterne from “Macross Frontier.” I like older brother types.
JUNNA: Keith Aero from “Macross Delta.”
[To Minori Suzuki] I heard that you’re originally a big “Macross Frontier” and Megumi Nakajima fan. When you had a second concert at Yokohama Arena, you performed Seikan Hikou with Megumi Nakajima as a surprise guest. How was it performing and “kira”ing with your idol ? Were you nervous?
Minori: When I first heard about this collaboration, I sure was happy, but I was more anxious. I was anxious not because I would perform with Megumi Nakajima, but it was because I wasn’t sure if people would accept me singing Seikan Hikou which is loved by so many people for a long time. But when I stood on stage with Megumi Nakajima, I was very moved, and my anxiety finally disappeared.
I used to dance to Seikan Hikou and teach the dance to my friends when I was at elementary school 10 years ago, so I was very happy that all of my effort paid off at that time. Seikan Hikou was the only song that I could dance to, so I’m glad it was a success!
Your nickname is Minoringo (Minori + “ringo” which means “apple” in Japanese), but was it a coincidence that your character, Freyja also loves apples? Or did they add that feature after you came through the audition?
Minori: For the final round of this Macross audition, there was a voice acting audition as well, and there was already a line which shows that Freyja loves apples. My friend gave me a nickname, Minoringo back when I was watching “Macross Frontier” 10 years ago, so when I first learned about Freyja’s favorite food, I thought it was a fate.
[To JUNNA] Congratulations on your solo debut! The title of the albums is “Vai! Ya! Vai!”, and when I saw the lyrics of this song, it made me wonder if this title referred to the slang, “yabai “(used when you’re surprised or impressed both in a good and bad way).” How did you come up with this title?
JUNNA: I have a habit of saying “yabai” all the time especially when I’m nervous. The producer heard me saying “yabai” and he thought it would be interesting if that were the title of the song.
Your Twitter and Instagram account name is “junnarockyou.” Do you listen to rock music? Do you have any favorite bands?
JUNNA: I do like rock music. I especially love One Ok Rock. I also heard that “rock you” means “shake your soul,” so I named it “junnarockyou” hoping I will be able to rock someone’s soul someday.
Is this your first time coming to America? Is there anywhere that you would like to go or anything you would like to do during your stay?
Minori: Yes, it’s our first time. I want to eat hamburgers. Everyone else already had burgers while I was taking a nap earlier.
JUNNA: I already made that dream come true. Only if I had more time, I wanted to go to Disneyland.
Lastly, what is your kawaii, kakkoii, and sugoi thing?
Minori: It might be very personal, but I’m addicted to a Japanese idol group, Keyakizaka46, lately. They are very cute, but when they perform, it’s super cool. I simply think they are amazing!
JUNNA: One Ok Rock! Their MC is very cute, but during the show, they look very cool! I want to become like them in the future.
JUNNA & Minori Suzuki from WALKÜRE
From the TV anime MACROSS DELTA comes the most powerful tactical music unit in the Milky Way, Walküre. Since the TV anime premiered in April 2016, the group has released two digital singles, two singles and three albums. Their debut album, Walküre Attack!, took out the “Animation Album of the Year” at the Japan Gold Disc Awards earlier this year. Walküre performed their second set of solo concerts on January 28 and 29, 2017, at Yokohama Arena, gathering 22,000 fans in over the two days. On May 31, 2017, the group released the concert Blu-ray Walküre ga Tomaranai. JUNNA is the singing voice of Mikumo Guynemer. Minori Suzuki performs both the voice acting and singing of Freyja Wion.
Anisong World Matsuri Website
Anisong World Matsuri will be making its east-coast U.S. debut at Otakon 2017 in Washington, DC on August 11-13. For more details visit the Otakon website.