notall (ノタル) - Exclusive Interview - Underrated Idol Spotlight

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention for a few minutes.

Can I introduce you to a new brand of idol. A brand that uses social media to their advantage to help produce their music and other aspects of their production style.

The groups name is Notaru or notall in English. The group currently consists of four members, each with their own personality and tastes.

Group Information

Date Started: 2014
Agency: Wallop

Name: Narumi Katase
Birthdate: July 6th, 1992
Twitter: @knrmy2

Name: Reina Tasaki
Birthdate: March 8th, 1995
Twitter: @tasakyon0308

Name: Sato Haruka
Birthdate: February 6th, 1992
Twitter: @Haruka26s

Name: Chiko Watanabe
Birthdate: October 4th, 1991
Twitter: @Chiko_1004

Discography Information

July 26th, 2014 - koi no sumasokura (Love of Sumasokura)

September 19th, 2014 - Ready Girl / Boku no kakera (My Piece) / mirai chikygi (Mirai Globe)

December 26th, 2014 - Re:notall

February 25th, 2015 - Penguin Human

July 13th, 2015 - my baby. my lover

Update (April 19th, 2016) - Since release of this article and update on July 12th, 2015 the group has released two more singles since then that have been pretty outstanding to say the least. Those singles would be: 

November 25th, 2015 - Just Now

March 8th, 2016 - Thanks A Million / Arigatou

For the single Re:notall, the group held a contest to create a remix for their first two singles and the winning songs were compiled into that single.

Music Video Information

The first music video I would like to show you is from their first single, titled Love of Sumasokura

I really enjoyed this song personally. When I first heard it, I couldn't help but hum to the tune for a couple of days straight and when I woke up in the morning, I would start to sing to it as well. Call me crazy.

The second video is for the song Ready Girl.

As well as the previous one, this is a great song to listen to. It is very catchy and can get stuck in your head for quite some time.

For the third one, I will show you My Piece.

At first listen, I kind of didn't like it but it grew on me. The song is actually pretty good because it hits hard with the rock aspects and the choreography is very good as well.

Last but not least, is their latest video Penguin Human.

Now for this one, I couldn't help become a big fan of theirs with this one. The song is extremely catchy and the PV is top-notch with the comic book effect and all. I actually showed this video to my friends and family because I enjoyed it so much. I listened to this song over and over and over.

Update (July 12th, 2015)

Since my interview with the group on May 2nd, 2015, they released their MV for the song my baby, my lover. Here is that PV:

Update (April 19th, 2016): Since my last update on July 12th, 2015 the group has released one major music video and that would be for Thanks A Million / Arigatou:

As you can see, this has some fan involved material in it. This music video was part of the co-creation where fans can select different things in the song and collaborate to make it perfect like this music video.

How Did You Find notall?

A couple of months back, a certain website named Tokyo Girls Update posted a article about this group. They were introduced and they were wearing their penguin outfits and I thought how cute they all were and after watching the video for the song, I was hooked.

I did research of the group but kept holding off on writing a article on them, just in case I can get a interview with them.

Pre-Interview and Interview

When I was planning on visiting Tokyo for my birthday, I decided I wanted to interview a group for this blog. Thus, I started to contact the group for the interview.

A day after I contacted the group, they graciously accepted my invitation and I was set.

After discussing the date a little while later, it came time for the interview.

The day of the interview was probably one of the most nerve wracking days I have ever had. I made it down there early and I stopped just outside the station because I got so nervous.

I found Wallop Studio but I couldn't walk in because my heart was seriously racing. I walked around the block a couple of times and stared at the Sky Tree for a little bit to calm my nerves.

I entered the building and sat on the first floor. After a while had passed, I began to wonder when i would get the chance to do it. Unbeknownst to me, not having mobile Wi-Fi was about to ruin it all, because they sent me emails asking if I had made it etc.

Anyway, their manager Mr. Shingo Yamamoto-san came down to greet me and we headed up to the fourth floor so I could see the group.

As soon as the door opened and I saw them, I actually started to tremble a little bit. As we introduced ourselves (mine to the best Japanese I could muster), I gave them the gifts I purchased just for them.

Their looks are not deceiving. They are very, very pretty in person and super nice to talk to. Also, Sato Harukas' English skill is pretty good. (She will deny it when she reads this)

As we moved down to the first floor lesson room, I became so nervous that I couldn't talk.

Now on to the interview. I posed about 17 questions, so get ready to read.

Question #1: How was the group formed?

The unanimous answer was they were formed through a audition.

Question #2: Did any of the members know each other before formation?

I got the firm answer of no they did not know each other at all.

Question #3: What is the ultimate goal of the group?

I got a combination of the fact that they hope that the group will continue and hopefully make their world debut.

Question #4: How was the feeling after your first live?

They responded with the answer that they were nervous, excited, and that they were really happy and enjoyed it since it was the first time.

Question #5: Are any of the members competitive against each other?

They stated as a whole that in order to grow the group they need to cooperate with each other.

Question #6: What has been the greatest achievement of the group thus far?

The members said that due to having a Japanese connection in Thailand, that having a live there would be great. Mr. Yamamoto stated that getting first place on Amazon MP3 distribution would be a great achievement.

Update (July 12th, 2015) In late May, they attended the Cheerz Connect Japan Festival in Thailand to a huge success.

Question #7: What made you want to become a idol?

Katase stated that she wanted to become a idol due to the wide range of entertainment benefits and relations. Chiko chimed in with the fact that when she was little, she loved to sing and dance, so why not take those talents into show-business.

Question #8: Other than being a idol, what is your dream job?

Haruka, Chiko, and Katase said that they had no idea what their dream job would be, while Tasaki stated that she wanted to become the future Prime Minister.

Question #9: Who are your favorite artists to listen to?

As a whole, they state that they love Momoclo or for those who don't know, Momoiro Clover Z. Chiko said that she likes Nicki Minaj and Tasaki enjoys listening to Chris Brown. Tasaki even showcased her rapping skills to Chris Brown. She did her best.

Question #10: Do you plan to release any new material for your fans?

They said that they are having their First Anniversary Live at Shinjuku ReNY on July 12th. So, be there or be square.

Question #11: What would you like to say to your current and prospective fans?

I guess you could say the answer to the above question and also they want to create a new idol style by co-creation and hope to be embraced by new fans in the future.

Question #12: You're called "social idols", and on your website it says fans can take pictures of the group during performances, has that ever been distracting?

Katase stated that the Notaru fans are kind and that they enjoy taking pictures. Mr. Yamamoto said that they were thought to be no good because of their style.

Question #13: I noticed on their Facebook that they had collaborated with Alice Project and I asked them how that was.

They told me that they were very excited to collab with them. Chiko said that it was crazy while Haruka commented that it was a unique experience. Their manager said that both groups have had a upsurge of fans telling them they were terrible.

Question #14: Would you want to tour America and what would you want to do?

I got a variety of answers including Haruka wanting to go to San Francisco as a idol and that they want to create a song together with the American people, which includes costumes, music and also making a PV. Katase told me that she wanted to go to New York and learn how to drive there but she is to busy at this moment.

Question #15: What is the best/worst part of being a idol?

They said that the best part about being one, is the fact you get to meet a lot of people and they are given vigor, courage and love. They also said that the worst part about being a idol is that sometimes they are tired and that can be seen by fans.

Question #16: In the opening for Penguin Human, Katase is shown drawing a penguin. I asked if she did that herself including the writing of the title.

I was told by Katase herself that she loves to draw penguins and animals alike but the writing happened to be a ghost writer, fellow member Satou Haruka.

Question #17: What are your favorite TV shows and movies?

I got multiple answers from this question including Chiko saying that she loves Spongebob and 90s cartoons. Tasaki stated that she likes Doraemon, Biohazard (anime) and zombie shows and movies. Katase and Haruka said that they both like Harry Potter (mostly Hermoine). A few other ones came up such as Pixar movies (Toy Story) , Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Big Hero Six and of course Frozen.

That finished the interview and I asked if they had any questions for me and I answered them to the best I could.

Official Links

Official Website
Official Facebook
Official Twitter

I got the chance to take a photo of them and with them, so that was pretty cool.

I thanked them a lot for allowing me the chance to do the interview.

I can't technically say who my favorite member is because they will read this, so I like them all.

They left a lasting impression on myself and I can not wait to come back and see one of their live shows.

I still want to thank them for allowing me the opportunity to interview them and I wish them all the best in the future. 

Please support this group and share their music around the world.

You can follow me on Twitter or comment on this page. I do not mind either way.

And as always Please Wherever You Are Or Whatever You Do, Enjoy Life To Its Fullest And Have A Fantastic Day!