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In STATION IDOL LATCH! (commonly known as LATCH!), the Yamanote Line’s station employees become idols after work. The station staff idols from each of the 30 stations entertain passengers (fans) with songs and talks.
This time, we talked to the station staff Jun Kasama (Ueno Station) and Junta Terashima (Uguisudani Station), who together create a highly unique atmosphere at their two stations located in the northeast area of the line.
―First of all, what did you think of the LATCH! Project when you first heard about it?
Jun Kasama: I think this content is going to continue developing far into the future. I was so happy to see all of the characters that were created from the Yamanote Line stations that so many people use regularly!
Junta Terashima: I’ve been using the Yamanote Line often since I came out to Tokyo. That said, I haven’t gotten off at every station yet, so I was happy to learn a lot about the various stations thanks to this project.
―Please introduce the characters you each play.
Kasama: You Ameya is an artist with a keen eye. You’ll understand more if you listen to the voice drama, but he has an extremely “suspicious” atmosphere about him. (laughs)
Terashima: Yuta Negishi takes his job very seriously at the station. That said, in the voice drama there’s a hint that he’s not so good around You Ameya, and there’s a line in there that suggests a certain level of subservience. It made me think “There’s something more to this guy than you notice at first.”
―Have you both used Ueno Station or Uguisudani Station?
Kasama: I’ve just used Ueno Station for work so far, but I think it’s an interesting place that’s both a tourist destination and also a commercial area, such as “Ame-yoko”.
Terashima: So far I’ve only gotten off at Uguisudani Station once or twice. From inside the train you can see the bars and hotel streets but you can’t get a good enough idea of what it’s actually like without actually getting off there… so I’d like to take this opportunity now to become more familiar with the area!
―Please tell us about your unit song “Sekaiichi Yuutsuna Oji”.
Kasama: When I first listened to the sound source, I thought “This is going to be tough.” It was a pretty loose tempo to have to go back and forth between high and low-pitch singing.
I’ve never performed a song that uses falsetto quite so much, and being able to do it as a duet with Junta Terashima who is also a solo artist, was a great experience.
Terashima: Oh, come on now. (laughs) It was tough to sing the song because both the lyrics and the melody are really powerful. I thought that if I tried to get around it using tricks in my singing it would probably just not work out, so I decided to tackle it head-on and sing to my limit.
―A music video using the song was released on YouTube.
Kasama: With such a magnificent background, I was impressed by how much the individuality of the two members was expressed in the video.
Terashima: Dressed quite unlike a typical idol, I rushed in while refraining from thinking “This atmosphere is just insane!”
―STATION IDOL LATCH! 1st LIVE “All aboard!!” will be held soon, in March.
Kasama: I just want to focus on my performance of “Sekaiichi Yuutsuna Oji”. If possible I’d like to sing while standing still with a stand microphone. (laughs)
Jokes aside, I’m looking forward to sharing the stage with Junta-kun.
Terashima: Since there are a lot of performers, I don’t think there will be a lot of songs for each person, but “Sekaiichi Yuutsuna Oji” is such a difficult song that I want to make sure that I give it my all. I think it’s the first time for me and Kasama to sing together, so I want to make sure I enjoy it as much as we can!
―Do you have any stories from the railway you’d like to share?
Kasama: I lived in Hiroshima prefecture, and there was a Sanyo Shinkansen train center nearby, and when I was a kid I used to go there with my dad. Also, back when I was a student I used the “Seishun 18 Ticket” to travel out to Kochi prefecture and stopped at every station, and I really just like using the train as a means of transportation in general.
Terashima: When I have work that’s far away, getting on the limited express trains makes me excited. The amenities and layout of the train cars are more comfortable, and next time I’d like to take a sleeper train!
―What do you want to do with “LATCH!”?
Kasama: It’s a little early to say this perhaps, but I hope that similar projects will start up with not only the Yamanote Line but on other lines as well. And I’d like to interact with the station staff!
Terashima: I’d like to do a broadcast at the station like a station employee, and I also hope that I could get the opportunity to make an announcement in the train car like a conductor.
―I’m under the impression that there are many retail and specialty stores located in and around Ueno Station and Uguisudani Station. Are there any retail or specialty stores that you both often use (or used)?
Kasama: For me, it’s a second-hand bookstore. I like to read art books and photo books that are out of print. I like books that give you a glimpse of the past.
Terashima: I like collecting hard-to-find clothes, so I sometimes go to a store near “Ame-yoko” and look around. I like looking around for clothes that stand out, like embroidered baseball jackets and T-shirts with the kanji for “Japan” written in the center.
―Please give us a final message.
Kasama: This project is linked to the real world very directly and is a lot of fun. If you have a station employee character that’s your favorite, I hope that when it’s possible to do so you could visit the station.
Terashima: With 30 different station staff characters, there’s certainly a lot of units with other characters along with ourselves. I think there’s no reason for it to not keep expanding, so I hope you’ll keep a close eye on the project moving forward!
＜Interviewer・Photos / Dandy Saeki・Article wording (editing) by Repotama! editorial department＞
『STATION IDOL LATCH! 1st LIVE “All aboard!!”』
Date: March 6, 2022 (Sun)
【Tokyo】Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa・Hiten
Time: 【Afternoon Performance】12:45 Open/13:30 Start 【Evening Performance】17:15 Open/18:00 Start
Ticket Price: All seats reserved; Tickets included with limited goods: 9800 yen (tax included) / Standard tickets: 8,000 yen (tax included)
Ticket Sales Period: Beginning February 19, 2022 (Sat) from 12:00~
※Up to four tickets per registration
※Preschoolers cannot enter
JY01 Tokyo/ Rion Shouji (CV: Kensho Ono)
JY02 Kanda/ Rihito Kayama (CV: Yukitoshi Kikuchi)
JY03 Akihabara/ Yusei Raiden (CV: Yuto Suzuki)
JY04 Okachimachi/ Mario Takara (CV: Youhei Azakami)
JY05 Ueno/ You Ameya (CV: Jun Kasama)
JY06 Uguisudani/ Yuta Negishi (CV: Junta Terashima)
JY07 Nippori/ Ryou Tonari (CV: Tomohiro Yamaguchi)
JY08 Nishi-Nippori/ Miharu Suwa (CV: Masahiro Ito)
JY09 Tabata/ Hayate Kita (CV: Shogo Yano)
JY10 Komagome/ Satsuki Hanabusa (CV: Tomohito Takatsuka)
JY11 Sugamo/ Daichi Takaiwa (CV: Yuki Inoue)
JY12 Otsuka/ Rui Utsusemi (CV: Tetsuei Sumiya)
JY13 Ikebukuro/ Aohazuku Mikado (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki)
JY14 Mejiro/ Rei Soma (CV: Masaki Ota)
JY15 Takadanobaba/ Yuta Taketsune (CV: Ryota Aoyama)
JY16 Shin-Okubo/ Shio Momose (CV: TAKUYA)
JY17 Shinjuku/ Yuki Shindou (CV: Atsushi Tamaru)
JY18 Yoyogi/ Aoi Momino (CV: Nayuta Fukuzaki)
JY19 Harajuku/ Kyuto Tskeshita (CV: Tomohiro Iwasaki)
JY20 Shibuya/ Kousei Hachiya (CV: Yuta Hayashi)
JY21 Ebisu/ Tsumugi Aeba (CV: Hidenori Takahashi)
JY22 Meguro/ Miyabi Fudo (CV: Hiromu Mineta)
JY23 Gotanda/ Akira Godai (CV: Hiroaki Miura)
JY24 Osaki/ Shinichi Osaki (CV: Hisayoshi Suganuma)
JY25 Shinagawa/ Hazime Ichijou (CV: Issei Furuta)
JY26 Takanawa Gateway/ Izumi Orchid Aren (CV: Syuta Morishima)
JY27 Tamachi/ Toshisato Haburi (CV: Tsuyoshi Koyama)
JY28 Hamamatsucho/ Wataru Minato (CV: Syo Karino)
JY29 Shimbashi/ Tetsumichi Udaka (CV: Kazuhiko Inoue)
JY30 Yurakucho/ Yuri Takanashi (CV: Gakuto Kajiwara)
■ Limited First Edition (CD)
Part Number: LATCH-1007
Price: 2,200 yen (tax included)
■Normal Edition (CD)
Part Number: LATCH-1008
Price: 1,850 yen (tax included)
【Limited First Edition/Normal Edition CD Contents】
1. 「Everybody! Say!!」
Kousei Hachiya / Shibuya (CV: Yuta Hayashi) , Kyuto Tskeshita / Harajuku (CV: Tomohiro Iwasaki) , Aoi Momino / Yoyogi (CV: Nayuta Fukuzaki)
Lyrics: K.J / Tomoki Tamatani Composition: K.J / Tomoki Tamatani / Sora Tansho Arrangement: Sora Tansho
Rihito Kayama / Kanda (CV: Yukitoshi Kikuchi) , Yusei Raiden / Akihabara (CV: Yuto Suzuki)
Lyrics: Yuki Tsujimura Composition , Arrangement: Yuki Tsujimura / Ken Ito
3. 「Sekaiichi Yuutsuna Oji」
You Ameya / Ueno (CV: Jun Kasama) , Yuta Negishi / Uguisudani (CV: Junta Terashima)
Lyrics: Yukinojo Mori Composition: Funk Uchino / Toshiya Hosokawa / Gigi Arrangement: Toshiya Hosokawa / Gigi
4. Voice Drama “Our Debut Event’s Conference”
Kousei Hachiya / Shibuya (CV: Yuta Hayashi), Kyuto Tskeshita / Harajuku (CV: Tomohiro Iwasaki), Aoi Momino / Yoyogi (CV: Nayuta Fukuzaki)
5. Voice Drama “Our Hahon wo Saku Renodearu”
Rihito Kayama / Kanda (CV: Yukitoshi Kikuchi), Yusei Raiden / Akihabara (CV: Yuto Suzuki)
6. Voice Drama “Yuta Negishi Observation Journal”
You Ameya / Ueno (CV: Jun Kasama), Yuta Negishi / Uguisudani (CV: Junta Terashima)
【Limited First Edition CD Contents】
Bonus Track “Yamanote Line Voice Relay #4”
【Limited First Edition Included Bonus Items】
Other Jacket, 3 types
●「STATION IDOL LATCH!」Official Site
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●「STATION IDOL LATCH!」Official YouTube Channel
●「STATION IDOL LATCH!」Official TikTok