Just before their first cruising event! A direct interview with Ono Yuuki and Eguchi Takuya from the independently-planned unit Team YuuTaku!
First off, please tell us what made you decide on doing a cruising event.
Ono Yuuki-san: When we were doing “YuuTaku Fest in Sapporo” last May, when we were backstage with our guests at that time, Ono Kensho-kun and Ohsaka Ryouta-kun, the conversation went to something along the lines of “what kind of event are you going to do next?” At the time I’d blurted out something like “a cruising event, maybe!” We’d planned it out as we talked together, what if we did the event together as four people, but the problem with reality is that we don’t have the funds for that…(wry laugh) So we decided that just me and Takuya will try it out first. And then, one day I’ll call them too, because we all want to try a cruising event.
(Full translated interview under the cut!)
For events like last time’s “Animusical” at the Maihama Ampitheatre and such, were the ideas for contents, venues, goods, etc. did you come up with them yourselves?
Ono: They come from Takuya’s one-liners, comments around us, letters and e-mails from YuutakuMates (fans), from many different places. I pick stuff out from the comments we get, and am in charge of making them reality. Because of this, the venues and goods I choose are rarely surprising. Even when it’s out of season, it feels like I’m making wishes come true like Santa does. An eternal Santa (lol). Things like “I want those goods!” or “I want you to do an event here!”, I get various comments like that from everyone’s letters and recently, from Twitter, and feel all “‘Kay, I made it true!” The event in Fukuoka this May, that was from a YuuTakuMate’s tweet from year ago that said “please do an event in Fukuoka someday” that I replied to with “someday, I’ll definitely make it happen.” From then on I did various adjustments, and we’ll finally get to do it this may. When I announced the Fukuoka event, the person who sent the original tweet replied, saying “I’m so happy that I’m crying”. That they said that made me happy. Just like this, no matter how many years pass, Team YuuTaku will keep on making your wishes come true.
I think the fans appreciate you picking up on their tweets and replying to them. And also, as you said, you really do make their wishes come true.
Ono: But we also like maintaining some sense of distance with the YuuTakuMates; since we’ve already told them “you can do this”, I reply to everyone who I think kept the rules in check.
I heard that you had photos taken for the cruising event’s pamphlet, how was the photoshoot like?
Ono: We’ve been posing for and selling pamphlets since the first event, and every time the costumes change. Since we only do pamphlets for their specific events, honestly, the finalization and fitting of costumes are done on the photoshoot day itself. That’s why we’ll only get to find out “so we’ll do this that way, huh~” on the day itself. It’s something to really look forward to. We carefully conveyed the image of the costumes, and on the photoshoot day we saw the pictures taken, and I was glad with how they turned out this time, as well.
Eguchi Takuya-san: I can’t go into detail, but I wore a costume I wore before; I wore it, and I felt nostalgic starting from when I laid eyes on it. I thought it had just been a while since I last wore it, but turns out so much time had passed by in a flash (wry laugh). The new costumes they did this time were also perfect for cruising…
Ono: They’re really trendy. Even this body of mine looks toned in that costume (lol).
What is the concept for the costumes?
Ono: A secret! You’ll find that out on the day of the event. The concept for the afternoon and night parts are different. Since we’re having the event onboard, the costumes fit perfectly. I’ll leave them to your imagination. I think the people who’ll get to go to the event will go “so that’s what they meant!”, but unfortunately, for the people who won’t get to go, you can check with our tweets and event reports instead, I think.
We heard you did various poses for the photoshoot, please tell us what your favorite ones were.
Ono: There were good poses, and there were poses where Takuya and I were fooling around on camera. I still don’t know which ones they’ll be using for the pamphlet yet, but I think when you see it you’ll feel all hyped up.
Eguchi: There was a part where I was holding fruit like on a certain magazine cover. The small fruits were way too sticky, and because I was holding such odd things, the pose and expression became that way (lol). I hope they use that for the pamphlet, huh.
I’ll change the subject, but looking back on 2016 personally, and as part of Team YuuTaku, how was it?
Ono: For me, personally, it was “one year of training”. Since I started doing an early morning live show [T/N: OhaStar], I started sleeping and waking up early, and on the later half of the day I’d go to the gym and work out. As part of Team YuuTaku, five years have passed since we started doing this, but my feelings for it haven’t changed. It’s just that more staff members have coordinated with us, and the friends we’ve gotten to come along as guests have increased. Also, we’ve gotten to go to various prefectures. These five years have gone by well, or rather, it feels like it’ll continue going on well from now on. It’s an everyday thing.
So it’s like part of your life now, isn’t it. How about Eguchi-san?
Eguchi: Personally, this is my last year in my twenties, so I spent this one year naturally doing the things I wanted to do. Without restriction, I’d meet people I wanted to meet, cut down on my sleeping time, and challenge myself, going all “how much can I do this thing I wanted to do?”
Ono: It’s the same for me. But in a way that’s a bit different from Takuya’s. That timeline of activity…I feel that by the time I’d woken up and gone to work, Takuya had just gotten home (wry laugh). Then again, there are many ways for people to spend one year.
Eguchi: As part of Team YuuTaku, nothing changed. The scale just went bigger, but the thing we’d wanted to do stays the same. Just as he said, the number of people who’d gotten involved with us increased, and we’re thankful to the staff members and guests who go along with us. In last September’s event (The Great YuuTaku Festival) too, there were new people who participated. If they’ll continue getting involved with us, we’d like to have fun together with them again.
Well then, please tell us what exactly you’ll be doing in the cruising event this time.
Ono: It’s a secret! (lol) Or rather, we haven’t decided on it yet right now… First, because there were people asking about “lunch” and “dinner”, we’ll be serving food. So it’ll feel like everyone got dolled up and went on a ship. I think we’ll just be doing normal things. It’s just that, if you’ll come, it’ll become an enjoyable event.
Eguchi: Because we’re doing an event on a ship where it has to be a fun cruising event, I’ve been thinking if I should or should not think about the contents more. Especially since I haven’t decided on what I’ll do yet. It feels like the only thing we’d decided on yet is the place.
Ono: Yup, yup. If everyone goes there I’ll be happy, and it’d be fun, wouldn’t it.
Eguchi: Also, because the price is high…with that much, we’ll be serving delicious meals. Just think that we’re there alongside the meals (lol).
Ono: (lol) But yanno, I asked for a price reduction on that too. It’s really a bit expensive, isn’t it. I’d already tried my best to keep it at the rate it’s at now…
Eguchi: It’s not a bad price in the sense that you can enjoy lunch and dinner on a ship, and at worst, I think you can have fun even if we weren’t there! (lol)
I heard that the chances of getting tickets was also high, wasn’t it.
Ono: Thankfully we’ve gotten quite a bit of entries at prior stages, so the chances for this one are the highest we’d ever had. Despite this costing, I’d thought it’d be better for the people who’d wanted to come; even I was surprised that Team YuuTaku had become a project this large.
Thank you very much. Well then, lastly, please give your message to the fans.
Ono: 2017 is our sixth anniversary year (lol). This year too, as usual, we’ll do interesting things. We’ll start with the cruising event, and go to Fukuoka this May. This year is, how do I say it, we might be “making various things” up, so please look forward to the second half of 2017.
Eguchi: In the cruising event this time, first off, if you enjoy the boat, that’ll mean more [to us] than anything. Be careful not to get seasick. Or rather, it’s not a boat that shakes too much that you’ll get seasick, though. There’s also an event in Fukuoka, but I will say this over and over – there is nothing I am thinking of doing, and as I usually do, if I find something I’d want to do, I’ll do it. Surely, this hasn’t changed from all those years. I hope you continue to enjoy it.