Text and photos by Mike Sullivan
Hyper Japan came back to London for the sixth time and on this occasion the visitors could see a performance by Anna Yano. She first came to the public’s attention in 2010 when she modeled for magazines such as Used Mix and SEDA, and due to her appearances in Lolita fashion magazines she garnered a lot of fans. This was combined with a reputation for having a friendly personality.
In 2013 she released her first mini-album, Shape My Story, which became the opening theme song for an anime. During her busy day at Hyper Japan we were very lucky to be able to sit down with her for a chat, and we can vouch for the fact that she has an extremely friendly personality and was very patient with our questions!
Do you consider yourself to be a singer or a model first?
I wanted to be a singer first, and five years ago I really felt strongly about it, but as I have grown the brand I am more devoted to both areas than before
How was the album received in Japan?
The fans that were there already when I was a model, were kind of shocked ‘oh she can sing as well,’ then those people who found me when I became a singer were also impressed when they found out that I also do modelling. So there was a kind of mixture of two different kinds of fans combined together who enjoyed my music.
Can we expect a second mini-album or full album soon?
I have some ideas about that, but at the moment its a secret!
Your music has been used for anime, what do you think of the popularity of anime around the world?
I have always liked anime, and by having my songs in anime I am really happy. However, there is not only that, the real achievement is to make Japanese pop culture exciting and I want to get people around the world interested in that besides just anime.
As a model you are also famous for your fashion, which is really cool and interesting, what do you think of having your own shop and brand?
Well, right now I don’t have my own shop, but I think my fashion is really good for a certain kind of person. I have a lot of interest in fashion design and would like to get more involved with that.
What kinds of things inspire you in regards to fashion?
This is an easy question to answer, I am inspired by anime characters!
Talking of anime, what is your favourite anime?
I absolutely love Idol Master.
Editor’s note – This anime follows a group of thirteen pop idols from 765 Production studios and their goal to become the most popular idols in Japan
Where are you from in Japan?
I am from Kanagawa prefecture, you seem surprised – do you know it?
It is just that its a little unusual that you freely say that, other Japanese pop stars tend to keep quiet about their home areas…
I think that is up to personal choice, but for me I don’t mind saying where I am from!
Speaking of personal choice, what kind of Japanese food do you like most?
I really adore sushi.
How about English food?
I think it is really delicious. Actually though I want to go eat at Wasabi.
Will you be coming back to the UK?
I hope that I can come back every year! I have really enjoyed this trip.
Finally, what do you think about Hyper Japan?
I really like Hyper Japan. Personally, I love anime and music, but I am really happy that we can bring this kind of culture to other countries.