Lol look.2

Putting everything on the line
to put smiles on people’s faces

Lol is a dance and vocal group comprised of five members – hibiki, honoka, moca, Naoto Komiyama, and Yusuke Sato. For look.2, I asked them about their thoughts on wearing stylish monotone garb, how each of them feels about lol, and their enthusiasm on doing a live tour for the first time in a long while.

Look.2 uses black as a base tone. The materials are light and the three-dimensional design stands out as you move. This is a mode look in contrast to look.1 with its flamboyant use of colors.

honoka: “The draping is pretty and effeminate, but not overly indulgent owing to the fabric texture, and it is stylish. It is elegant, and the black colored bucket hat and grey sneakers add a little casual, so in my opinion it was good to wear.”

hibiki: “I also like this fabric. This ensemble that integrates the jacket, shirt, and shorts all of the same fabric was cool. I want to try on Naoto’s shirt too.”

Naoto Komiyama: “I like to tuck my shirt into my pants, so the look.2 style is closer to what I normally wear. The pants have colors and patterns on the outside and the inside that draw your attention, so it is a simple ensemble but dressy.”

Yusuke Sato: “I often wear shorts in the summer, but this is the first time that I have put them on with a hoodie. The top is weighty in terms of the silhouette and stripes, and this is offset with heavy set sneakers. This is a good guide and reference for me!”

moca: “I often wear a one piece for ordinary wear, and a pleated design is cute and my favorite. The sense of height is perfect, it is elegant and adult-like, but there is also a nimbleness in how the silhouette changes when you move.”

This look that expresses their sense of unity also highlights their respective personalities. The informal mood that surrounds them is different from that of work colleagues or family. While each member freely expresses her own charm, they share in a single greater sensibility called lol. What is lol for the group members?

Sato: “In a word, it is school. While being looked after, you have the freedom to hone yourself in your own areas of interest. While you may get scolded once in a while, you make progress by learning each day.”

honoka: “What, school? So I am a student…”

moca: “I haven’t heard that analogy before (laughs). We are watching over Yusuke. My take on ourselves is simple – we are family. We spend more time together than we do with our actual families, every year we gain a greater appreciation of each other’s personalities and feelings, and we feel at ease around each other.”

hibiki: “Well let me see. For me it is ‘the major focus of my life.’ The five of us spent our teenage years together and we shared experiences and learned about society and the music industry from a blank slate. We are used to each other, but it is not something absolute like family, so I think we mustn’t become lax on making the effort to get along.”

honoka: “I consider lol to be ‘my alter ego.’ As Hibiki said, as long as we are part of this group, we are friends, family, and are tied at the hip. When we are grandmas and grandpas and look back on this time and think ‘that was time well spent,’ this is that time. As my life is lol, it is more like my alter ego. What about you Naoto?”

Komiyama: “It is like school.”

Everyone: “Whaaat!?”

Komiyama: “I’m not kidding, I really understand what Yusuke is saying. Because we are lol members, we can depend on those who are watching over us, we can try new things, and as it is work we may also be scolded from time to time, but it is a place where one is trained as a person. There are times when you take initiative for the sake of the group, and times when you can count on your team members to have your back because you are preoccupied. Oh, I’ve described a school after all (laughing)!”

moca: “Yes, I buy it.”

Sato: “Thanks for explaining that in greater detail (laughing).”

honoka: “When we first met, we were of an age when we were naïve and still being molded, so in a sense we grew up together. That is why we sometimes clash, and if an issue or theme comes up, we all think about it as if it was our own issue, so the distance between us is sparse. This is reflected in our performances and when we do interviews and MC.”

Komiyama: “That’s right. We are a girl and boy band with great range in showing ourselves with our singing and dancing, but it is because we are these five members that we are able to show ourselves well. We write songs for our girl band members, our boy band members, and can produce a special unit like hibiki and honoka singing ‘my bestie.’”

hibiki: “We work well together not because our personalities click, but because we have overcome various adversities together. Honestly speaking, we all have things that we dislike about each other, but we get along well together.”

honoka: “It’s like, ‘he’ll get over it soon enough.’ That’s how offhand we can be with each other. Our relationship is quite unique.”

Hearing them talk makes you see how they have deep ties. They merrily exchange words and joke while showing respect for each other’s feelings. This bond they have is not simply a result of having spent their teenage years together. It is a result of trusting in the power, sex appeal, and potential that is sparked when they get together. Lol is now doing a live tour – the first in about two and a half years. I asked them about what this tour means to them and for the future of the band, coming on the heels of the ongoing pandemic.

Komiyama: “lol went on tour from April. There are many people who are feeling down due to the pandemic. If they come to see our show and are inspired to put their best foot forward, that is the greatest compliment for me. When I was a student, I saw various artists and was inspired by them. Now it is our time to be a source of inspiration. It has been a while for us to be seen in public and see our fans, so hopefully we can make some nice memories for everyone involved!”

honoka: “Music is perhaps the most familiar thing you can lean on when you are feeling happy or sad, angry or enraptured. You can listen to a song about lost love when you are feeling sad, or an upbeat tune when you are feeling happy. I hope that our performance both entertains and connects with our fans.”

hibiki: “It has been two and a half years since our last live tour. It has brought back fond memories for our fans and for ourselves. We hope to make it a ‘welcome back tour’ to win them over all the more. With your support, I hope to see lol go on and on.”

moca: “The pandemic lessened our communication with the fans who have rooted for us, so now it feels like we are mostly communicating to them through our music. But as long as there is the music, we can connect with the fans wherever we are. I hope our fans continue to find a place in their hearts for lol.”

Sato: “After all, lol means ‘laugh out loud.’ Our ambition is to bring smiles to the masses. During the pandemic, I was feeling low and didn’t know what to do. But in order for the fans to feel blessed and joyous, we must put our best foot forward and cry and smile with all our might.”

hibiki: “Isn’t that a line from ‘Training Day?’”

Sato: “When the fans see our beaming faces, it will be like one virtuous circle of cries and smiles!”

honoka: “Has the homily begun?”

Sato: “lol can widen this virtuous circle. This will be that tour!”

moca: “Yusuke is saying some good things…but feel free to omit the last little bit.”

Direction : Shinsuke Nozaka
Photo, Movie: Masato Moriyama (TRIVAL)
Stylist : Kosei Matsuda (SIGNO)
Make : Marino Asahi(Y’sC)
Hair : Masaki Takada
Text : Hisamoto Chikaraishi(S/T/D/Y)