Mari was a guest at the 23rd anniversary meeting of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization,
on May 27, 2000. The C/FO meets at the the clubhouse of the LA Science Fiction Society,
in North Hollywood. It's a small club--there were about twenty people there.
The event was pretty informal. Mari talked to various club members, held a short Q & A
session, and sang three songs. After singing, she sold CDs, T-shirts, and concert booklets.
She also cut the cake for the club's anniversary, and the club president gave her a gift certificate.
Question and Answer Session
Mari spend some time answering questions from audience members. Here's what she had to say:
During the auditions for the role of Minmay, all the other girls sang idol singers' songs
using karaoke. Mari wasn't into idol singers, so she sang her own songs while playing
the piano. That impressed the person doing the auditions.
At the beginning of the TV series, Mari recorded many songs in the studio. In the studio,
Mari was asked to sing some sort of sad song, so Mari sang Cinderella, a
song she had written. All the actors were standing around quietly listening as she sang.
(Cinderella was the first song Minmay sings in the TV series.)
Because of the popularity of Macross, Mari's name became identified with being the
voice of Minmay. At the time it really bothered her, although now she is really thankful
for Macross. She is a serious musician, but back then it seemed that nobody was
taking her seriously as a singer/songwriter. So, she decided at the time that she wouldn't
do anything any more anime voice work. However, she is now interested in doing voice work again.
Sometimes there was animation on the screen as they recorded the voices for Macross, but
when the animation people were behind they didn't have anything. There would be
a white screen with pencil lines as cues. There was also an acting director.
The entire cast got together every week at one studio to do the recording. When they did the
movie, there was almost no animation when they did the voices.
The actor who played Hikaru was like Mari's little brother. He came to the studio from school,
still wearing a school uniform. Mari thought it was perfect, because Hikaru was supposed to be
an awkward teenager, and the actor who played him was a teenager, so it matched. Her
character was a little more mature. When they weren't working, Hikaru's actor would ask Mari
The movie story with Hikaru and Misa was shocking for Mari. She thought it wasn't fair that
Minmay had to be so sad at the end.
The faces are different between American and Japanese animation. In Japanese animation, the
faces tend to be pretty, but in American animation they look more exotic. Mari likes
Dexter's Laboratory and Power Puff Girls.
When Mari made the Do you remember love? single, she was a little reluctant
to sing somebody else's song--she wanted to sing her own song, Angel's Paints,
because everybody knew the song would be a big hit. The arranger who arranged both songs
secretly told her that he liked her song better.
It's common for pop stars in Japan to have their own radio shows. When Mari was living in
Japan, she had two or three shows each week.
Mari went to an audition for a soap opera called Port Charles, but the character
wasn't supposed to have an accent.
Japanese media people like to take really young girls to make money from. Experienced
veterans have trouble getting support.
Mari's fans in Japan have been talking about putting money together themselves to pay for
Mari wants to get a record contract with an American company, but it's hard to do.
She did a gig at Genghis Cohen, a place that is famous for performances by new singer/songwriters.
She will do another gig on June 28. She wants to do gigs every month, she needs more people
to come see her first.
She had been writing songs since she was a fourth grader--at that time in Japan there were
many singer/songwriters. Mari listened to all those people, but her real influence was from
British pop music such as Queen and Elton John. Queen's music was similar to classical, and
Mari was trained as a classical musician.
Mari doesn't do karaoke, because she doesn't like the idea of a machine rating her singing.
Mari used to be a guest singer sometimes at Santa Monica Presbyterian Church. She wrote a
few Christian songs as well.
Mari's voice was in the Do you remember love? game for Sega Saturn, and she also
wrote a song that is used in the Playstation game Digital Mission VF-X.
Mari sang Cinderella, More than yesterday, and
Do you remember love? after the question and answer session.
This page was last modified on Jun 1, 2000 at 9:52 AM.