This is an interview with Shiroma Miru, found in the 2014 version of the Senbatsu Election Book. Interviewer is in bold, Mirurun’s answers are in quotes.
Dependent like a puppy and whimsical like a kitten: when you become a fan of Mirurun, you want to protect her and be teased by her so much, you don’t know what to do! But there you have one of the unexplained mysteries of the world. Right now, the number of people who want to become her prisoner are rapidly increasing.
The same as Yamamoto Sayaka and Watanabe Miyuki, Mirurun is a founding member of NMB48. She’s the orthodox idol type who seems like a dependent little sister one would like to protect. However, in the past 3 elections she’s participated in, she’s never ranked. Up on that stage, her own name has never been called.
“Honestly, in the 3rd and 4th elections, it wasn’t that much of a shock to me. I wasn’t able to stand out from the crowd, I wasn’t able to imprint myself on everyone’s hearts, and I couldn’t even really say I tried my absolute hardest… that’s why I felt I didn’t rank. But instead of feeling frustrated, I was sad about my state of affairs”.
The turning point was last year’s election. NMB48 names were called again and again.
“The candidates had increased for those 64 ranks, so I got in a defeatist mood, thinking ‘I probably won’t rank in this year, either…’ But then (Yoshida) Akari-chan’s and (Yabushita) Shuu-chan’s names were called for Future Girls, and they hadn’t ranked in previous years. Because of that, my heart started to pound in excitement. After that, Fuu-chan (Yagura Fuuko) and Keicchi (Jounishi Kei) were called up for Next Girls, and at that point my heart really started hammering.
My hopes were lifted. What should I do if I’m called!? Tons of people are watching this live on TV, what should I say in my speech!? But then (Yamada) Nana-chan was called for 28th, and after the announcement that the Undergirls ranks would start to be called, I came to the realization: ‘Ah, I guess I’m not going to rank this year, either…’. I was getting my hopes up all by myself. I was an idiot for getting excited. That’s when I started to feel just how cold the wind hitting my skin was, and I shivered in the chill. And for the first time, I seriously felt ‘frustration’. My tears just wouldn’t stop. Looking back on it now, it’s embarrassing enough to make my face turn red….”
What you were left with were feelings of impatience and frustration. You wanted to break out of your shell somehow. But first, you resolved to do something about your handshakes, which you lacked skill in.
“I like meeting fans, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make handshake events fun, and I wasn’t very good at them. But I thought, ‘It can’t go on like this’.”
How were you able to change it?
“I started to do this run run run♪ thing, and shook hands by crossing my arms, I tried coming up with some different things to do. And then I started speaking in a loud and energetic voice, and jumping in little hops. When I look like I’m having fun, it also makes the fans happy.”
The impressions posted on the internet by fans who shook your hand quickly gained you the reputation of a “handshake goddess”. Hearing of this, the number of people lining up to shake hands with you skyrocketed. Recently, you’ve become popular enough to be a contender for NMB’s Top 3.
“My confidence level has gone up a bit thanks to that. Handshakes, the thing I was worst at, have now become so much fun every time!”
After your change, a chance opened up for you in NMB48’s single “Takane no Ringo” which was announced in March. Aside from being a senbatsu member for the A-side song, you were also chosen as center for the coupling song “Yama e Yukou”.
“I was so, so happy. After the shooting was over, I wanted to tell my fans right away. Because I hadn’t been able to repay them at all… . And then there was my family. Because I haven’t been very visible in media up until now, when I showed them the MV at home, they were incredibly happy, saying ‘What happened that you’re so up front and center now?!’ We watched the MV together over and over (laughs). And behind them, all the while, I was grinning like mad while we watched… and I felt a prickling behind my eyes.”
Now, finally, the election will answer the question of how much you’ve grown this past year. In this book, you’ve been placed at 16th!
“Eh!? Wait, are you being serious? Wow, I’m really happy. Yes, I really want to make something of this chance. I hope I can at least make Undergirls… . I’m going to bank everything I’ve done up until now on this challenge!”