[Exclusive] Anime Expo 2015 – TheAkiba Ayano Mashiro Interview

Ayano Mashiro began the Fate/Stay Night Event at Anime Expo with her debut single, “Ideal White”, the opening theme for the widely popular and critically acclaimed anime “Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works” produced by ufotable. She was in character, as her voice carried the nervousness and apprehension of an artist who has just set out to find her ideal self, matching the protagonist of Fate/Stay night: “So I’ll keep searching for a tomorrow that’s mine alone, forever!”

It’s hard to believe that Ayano Mashiro debuted only 10 months ago, when her dazzling and passionate stage presence had all of the fans locked onto her every movement. With just the rise of her arm, she brought a theater of a thousand into a frenzy; chanting and rocking their light sticks to the mood, whether it’s the pulsing, sensual bridge, or the searing intensity of her chorus.

After introducing herself, she immediately moved onto the second track of her mini-concert: a cover of “Oath Sign” by LiSA, another prominent anisong singer. This unexpected turn of events was a blessing for fans, as if an angel answered their prayers. Contrasting her first song, this one began with pulsing chords, whose pieces harmonized with the resonance of Mashiro’s voice, which eventually lead to a crescendo that resulted in melodic overtones and a grand finale.

At Mashiro’s private panel, attendees were given the opportunity to watch segments of the promotional video to both “Ideal White” and her second single “Vanilla Sky”, the opening to the anime “Gunslinger Stratos”. Matching the theme of birth, purity, and discovery, her promotional video to “Ideal White” features her inside a brilliant white cocoon, befitting of her name “Mashiro”, which translates to “pure white”. As an added bonus, fans were treated to a live performance of the opening to “Gunslinger Stratos: Reloaded”, a single that will be released later this summer. In the end, attendees left the panel with Mashiro’s genuine nature, approachable personality, and a smile knowing that everyone shared the same trait: in the end, we’re all otakus.

During my trip to LA, I was given the opportunity to have a private interview session with Ayano Mashiro where she answered some more questions about herself as a singer and her trip to LA.

Here are some snippets from the interview:

Q: Who are your favorite contemporary singers and what genre of music do you like to listen to on your own time?

A: Obviously, I listen to a lot of ani-song, but I also listen to a lot of rock music. My favorite artist is Avril Lavigne and I really enjoy listening to songs that have meaningful lyrics.
Q: What aspect of American culture would you like to experience during your time in LA? Like visiting landmarks or trying out In-N-Out Burger?

A: Actually I just visited Hollywood! I really love colors that are bright and pop out so I wore a hat with the Star – Spangled Banner. I actually also really enjoy eating vegetables so I had a lot of salad last night. Actually, I have a question. What is In-N-Out burger? Me: It’s a really famous burger joint in California! It’s really popular and delicious, you can even have your bun made out of lettuce. You should definitely try it out

Q: Did you grow up watching anime and did you plan to debut as an anisong singer?

A: Actually the first ever CD I bought was an ani-song CD. At that time, I just liked singing, so it wasn’t like I wanted to become an ani-song singer. But now that I think about it, it’s almost like fate that I ended up where I am now. Q: Thank you so much for your time today! Would you like to leave a message for your fanbase? A: Thank you for listening to all my music. I haven’t been about to go overseas a lot, but I’m really glad to have been able to come to LA (It’s her second time overseas!). I want to see you guys more so hopefully I can come back and perform for you guys again.

While Ayano Mashiro’s trip to LA may have ended here, fans can continue to follow her journey as an idol via her Twitter or her Facebook page.