Japanese girl group Scandal turns out to be rather staid
Just NAUGHTY in NAME
By Germaine Lim
November 13, 2010
STAID IN PLAID:
Scandal members Mami Sasazaki, Rina Suzuki, Tomomi Ogawa and Haruna Ono often dress in school uniforms.
PICTURES: ANIME FESTIVAL ASIA, MAY’N
AS NAUGHTY as the Japanese girl group’s name is, Scandal is anything but.
In fact, the singing quartet’s answers in an e-mail interview with The New Paper were bland.
When asked about the naughtiest thing the group has done, guitarist Mami Sasazaki, 20, wrote: ‘Well, we guess the naughtiest thing we’ve ever done is (naming) our group Scandal.’
The origin of the name was nothing sensational either.
Guitarist Haruna Ono, the 22-year-old band leader, said: ‘There was a place with a naughty name near the (dance and vocal) studio where we used to go to (in Osaka). It was called Scandal, so we used it as our group name.’
She added that naming themselves Scandal was ‘meant as a joke initially’.
But today, the name ‘reminds us not to care about scandals’.
Other members include bassist and vocalist Tomomi Ogawa, 20, and drummer and vocalist Rina Suzuki, 19.
Scandal, which was formed in 2006, will perform in Singapore for the first time this Sunday at the two-day I Love Anisong concert, which is part of the Japanese pop culture event Anime Festival Asia.
Other Japanese artistes at the show include Jam Project, angela and May’n (see report, right).
Scandal soared to fame last year after its single, Shojo S, became one of the theme songs of popular Japanese anime series Bleach.
Last December, Scandal was nominated for the Best New Artist title at the 51st Japan Record Awards, the Japanese equivalent of the Grammys, but lost to Korean boy band Big Bang.
Its recent single, Shunkan Sentimental, is one of the theme songs of Japanese anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Although the band has been associated with the Japanese otaku culture, which covers anime, manga and video games, Scandal isn’t concerned that this will limit its fan base.
Ono said: ‘Because of anime, we have had opportunities to perform live overseas (like in the US and France). We don’t think that this alienates fans. We believe this attracts people from other areas to listen to Scandal.’
The women wear school uniforms because ‘all of us were students and we were in school uniforms (when we started practising music) so we (believe this outfit) will make us stay (true to) ourselves when we are on stage’, Suzuki said.
Their fans, while fervent, don’t seem to veer too far from the staid tangent either.
On the most extreme fan act so far, Ono said it was when Hong Kong fans ‘memorised and sang our songs with us in Japanese when we performed there’.
In perhaps one of Scandal’s most ‘scandalous’ moves, it has boldly tagged itself as ‘the most powerful Japanese girlie pop group’.
Ono explained that the Japanese media had coined that tag when they performed abroad.
‘Girls are getting more powerful nowadays so we hope that our music can reflect this.’
I Love Anisong
Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 402
Saturday and Sunday, 6.30pm to 9.10pm
$55 for a one-day free standing pass, $118 for a one-day VIP pass and $198 for a two-day VIP pass from Gatecrash (www.gatecrash.com.sg or call 6100 2005)