I guess time flies when you… ENJOY! (xD) But before I get into it, welcome back again to what is now the fourth week of TriviAqours — a profile-slas-trivia series of posts that feature the nine women of Love Live! Sunshine!!’s idol group Aqours. A project by Al (from SliceOfAlfredo) that I’d been invited to lend a hand in making, in an effort to introduce you guys (or re-introduce, if you’ve come here as a fan already) these bright and shining Sunshines by sharing our favorite facts about ’em.
We did a school yard pick to see who gets to write about who and while she does find herself as the last of my picks, that does not by any means imply that Aiai deserves the least amount of your attention.
Ｆｕｒｉｈａｔａ Ａｉ(降幡 愛)
- Born February 19th, 1994
- Has taken the nicknames “Aiai” and “Furirin”
- Her image color is Hot Pink/Magenta
- Lists “Drawing” as her special skill
- Hobby is “taking photos”
- Favorite Food: Salted Beef Tongue
- Voices Kurosawa Ruby from .
＃１ Ａｃｔｕａｌｌｙ ｈｅｒ ｎａｍｅ
Unbeknownst to some (albeit in a different manner than I’m making it sound as), Aiai is on the short list of people using her real name as her stage name, joining the company of Kobayashi Aika, Suzuki Aina, and Komiya Arisa. She confirmed this in an interview she did in a program called KaneTomo Seiyuu Lab (which you can watch here!). This is interesting to me because, well, an idol literally named “Love” is too good to be true right? (xD). She does note however that her surname gets mispronounced a lot because of the variation in reading of the characters (where Furihata gets mostly mistaken for Orihata, much to Aiai’s chagrin).
Despite being Aqours resident imouto by being the voice of the younger of the Kurosawa sisters (and by looking the part in emulating Kurosawa Ruby for most of her onscreen appearances as part of Aqours), Aiai is actually an elder sister in real life to two younger siblings. More than that, the other members of Aqours have noted Aiai to be fairly mature behind the scenes. Arisha recounts one such instance where Aiai encouraged her to continue working hard while patting her head when the former had a bit of a rough day.
On the subject of names, you’ll notice that I almost exclusively call her “Aiai”, but Aiai actually has more than on nickname in that she’s also called “Furirin”. yujachacha has written at length the entire history as to how this came about (read the fruits of her research here), but to give you a condensed version of the events as they have transpired; Aiai initially had “Aiai” as a nickname voted on by fans when she’d asked them for one (a common practice in the idol industry), but as her activities with Aqours began to increase she made the change to “Furirin” (arguably to not cause confusion with the fact that there were multiple in the group that had “ai” in their names), a nickname that also came up through fan suggestions. However, enough time had passed in between that people (as well as her fellow Sunshines) already got used to calling her “Aiai”.
＃４ ”Ｓｅｘｙ Ｈｏｍｅ Ｔｕｔｏｒ”
To many, Aiai’s claim to fame (lol), came in the form of one of her ad lib performances for an acting prompt during an episode of their monthly Nico Nico Douga broadcast show 1~2 Sunshine!! back in April of 2016. In it, Aiai as part of the subunit CYaRon! were tasked to do a skit showing how they would cheer on someone who was studying over summer break. The catch? They had to incorporate “Sexy Home Tutor” to their act. Shukashuu took on the role of the distressed student, and Anchan a msyterious benefactor introducing the services of a legendary home tutor (that also happens to be sexy) whom Aiai was left to perform as. The rest, as they say, is history.
＃５ ”Ｓｔｕｆｆ ｌｉｋｅ ｔｈａｔ ｈａｐｐｅｎｓ ｓｏｍｅｔｉｍｅｓ”
A bit of a catchphrase for Aiai that ironically is better known through the other Aqours members’ impersonations of Aiai, rather than from Aiai herself, as she apparently says this phrase quite a bit when conversing with her backstage — most notably by her fellow CYaRon! members, as well as Arisha who has a fairly respectable Aiai impression in her own right.
＃６ ”Ｏｕｔｌｏｏｋ ｏｎ ｌｉｆｅ ｈａｓ ｃｈａｎｇｅｄ”
While we’re talking about catchphrases, Aiai actually comes up with one on her own during Aqours’ first trip to LA as part of their activities for Aqours Club. In one of her social media updates she attached the phrase “Outlook on Life Has changed” with no other context apart from the phrase being used in a Twitter reply thread between the Aqours First Years. It appears that she didn’t mean for it to be more than what one can understand on the surface (in that she really does mean that her worldview has changed after going overseas as part of Aqours) but just her usage of obscure yet grammatically sound English was enough for the phrase to be played off as a bit of the gag even for Aiai herself.
＃７ ”Ｙｏｕ ｗａｎｔ ａ ｔａｓｔｅ， ｒｉｇｈｔ？”
As a bit of a theme to how I (and I’d assume a number of her fans and LL!SS!!/Aqours fans in general) appreciate Aiai as a personality, another phrase added to her continually growing lexicon of notable one-liners is one that she threw out not to long ago at one of the stops during their Japan-wide Fan Meeting Tour in what many consider the most legendary segment Aqours has ever come up with — the Ikemen (colloq. “Pretty Boy”) Challenge. In it, the members battle it out to see who’s the most Ikemen of them all through 1-on-1 contests as they try to woo one of their own, with the fans/audience judging their performances. Aiai, the resident Ikemen practitioner of the group was every fans’ favorite to win the whole thing, but.. she had other ideas xD
On multiple occasions in different platforms (be it in interviews or her own social media updates) Aiai has expressed her deep passion for what she says to be her most cherished hobby – photography. This is one of those things where, while it’s not really all that “special” of a fact to bring up, but I also do appreciate her appreciation for it. She’s the only member to be repeatedly featured in a publication that specifically caters to photography for one (even holding a seminar of sorts for them), and she also sports a pretty hefty piece of equipment that appears to be more for the experienced crowd. She states to have been into photography ever since having held a camera as a kindergarten student.
＃９ ”Ｔｈｅ Ａｒｔｉｓａｎ”
Yet, my favorite fact about Aiai is of course, her drawing ability. Again, not really something stellar (in the sense that it’s not a skill unique to her as a performer and as a person) but I do recall how absolutely amazed I was the first time I saw her speed drawing abilities in an episode of 1~2 Sunshine!! (with a marker no less!).
This is a girl who has legitimate artistic capabilities, so much so that her fellow Aqours members have taken to calling her names such as “great artist” and “artisan” (albeit both in a half-joking manner) for her work. She also has gone on record saying she wanted to be manga artist primarily growing up, before a particular (and thus far unknown) event involving a classmate served as the impetus to her pursuing a career in voice acting. Some might see this as a waste of her more pronounced talents (where she only really gets to showcase her drawing skills in live broadcasts as part of Aqours), but I for one think that it’s awesome that she always kinda has this in her back pocket — and I’d even go so far as to say that in itself is who Aiai is as a performer; someone who doesn’t play to her strengths necessarily, but rather finds ways to continue to enjoy them wherever which way life takes her.
This one was actually pretty hard (xD) as I realize as I was doing this that it’s hard to capture Aiai’s appeal but I hope I did a good enough job to get you at least interested in her as an artist.
If you’ve been keeping count, Al and I are now four a piece in TriviAqours posts, and since there are nine members of Aqours…
Well, you do the math and we’ll get back to ya 😀