(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)
XCity: I'm still surprised that you weren't thrilled about the exclusive contract. That's the dream of almost any AV star!
Ayu Sakurai: Because there's still so many companies and people I haven't worked with. Going exclusive would limit that desire of mine drastically.
XC: But you eventually decided on signing.
AS: Yea, but it dealt with how I wanted to retire. If I was only doing freelance, my options for a really good retirement title would be limited, but since I'm signed to KMP, my swan song is guaranteed to be great. The thing is though, even when I signed, I had no intention of even doing a farewell title, but the nice staff there convinced me otherwise. It'd be a waste now not to do one when the time draws near.
XC: What made you change your mind?
AS: It started when we were visiting Shanghai. My manager told me how when me and another member of the Million Girls joined, everyone else really started trying extra hard. We were kinda catalysts I guess? He went on to tell me he'd be really depressed if I didn't leave the industry with a bang. I felt for him and the other people there who'd benefit greatly if I went all out with a final release. That's what made me change my mind.
Imagine the view from behind...
XC: That's a very bittersweet story! Your wavering between staying on as a freelance model and going exclusive is not the kind of information we often hear from an active duty actress.
AS: Yes, and fortunately I don't feel lost any longer. Now that I'm part of Million Girls, I feel better than ever. One of my first real good friends after joining was Ayaka Tomoda. My first day of lessons saw me going home alone until she befriended me. We ended up hanging out for hours after it over dinner.
XC: That sounds great! What did you two talk about?
AS: I guess about how we needed even practice? I felt like what we were doing in the studio wasn't enough compared to the rigors that non-adult idols go through. I felt like we had to be as good, if not better than those other idols. This is what I ended up telling the boss and thankfully our practice time was increased the following month. Before that we only had one Million Girls shoot a month and that's nowhere near enough!
XC: Is it safe to say your goal now is less about being the top AV star and more about being the top idol?
AS: Of course either way I'm gonna try it with 100% conviction. So for now it's AV, but I'll switch gears soon enough without skipping a beat. I hope AV in general becomes more mainstream as we approach the 2020 Olympics.
XC: What do you want to do until 2020?
AS: I will retire from AV and set my sights on becoming an actress. I can't say if this will truly happen. I know what I'm going up against and also the weight of my past holding me down. Either way, I think what I learned from being an AV star will help me become a very competent actress…and if that for some reason doesn't work out, I can always open up a shop of some kind or become a real estate mogul.
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