We’ve had the privilege of interviewing Yuuhei Satellite during AniManGaki 2019, the vocal and instrumental arrangement circle who became famous for providing the music for the popular Touhou anime short “Fantasy Kaleidoscope – The Spring Snow Incident” produced by Manpuku Jinja. We got to interview Toa and Yuzurisa who are both vocalists and Saga Asuka who is the representative of the group.
This interview is mixed between a group interview that was conducted along with our exclusive interview with Yuuhei Satellite. So, here’s all the need-to-know and insider information on what’s what on Yuuhei Satellite.
Disclaimer: Answers may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.
Q: What is the origin story for the name Yuuhei Satellite?
Asuka: We are often asked about Yuuhei Satellite’s name. Firstly, you separate the two words. Starting from ｢Yuuhei｣, it means trapped or an enclosed space. Satellite is the English word as is, and it refers to transmitting or sending things, which could also refer to the Internet in our current world.
When you combine the two words, it means that even from an enclosed space, our musical creations can still be transmitted throughout the world which is what our circle represents. In other words, even if we are working alone, we are still connected to the people of the world, and that is the image we created our name on.
Q: From our understanding, Yuuhei Satellite is comprised of many members and not all of them are here today. Can you tell us about the members that are here today as well as any other important members who are not?
Yuzurisa: The members present today are the vocalists Toa and me, Yuzurisa, the guitarist Ikuo. Our vocalist who has sang many of Yuuhei Satellite’s signature songs, Senya, and our trackmaker, Iceon, are not here today despite really wanting to come. If there is another chance, they will probably come to Malaysia next time. Also, here today is our representative Saga Asuka and our drummer, Maou.
Q: Do the members of Yuuhei Satellite do this full time or are you involved in any other work or musical production?
Toa: Everyone has a real job unrelated to Yuuhei Satellite, but we all do music as a hobby. There is, however a member who works as a composer outside of Yuuhei Satellite as their real job.
Q: Tell us about your process. How long does it typically take for Yuuhei Satellite to come up with and album?
Yuzurisa: First we play the Touhou game, and figure out which original song gives us the best image, and choose it. Then we take about 2 weeks to come up with a demo song before proceeding to write lyrics and start recording. The estimated time it takes to complete an arrangement is about 2 months.
Asuka: If you want to talk about our inspirations when it comes to the current Touhou arranges, it is playing Zun’s games, listening to the BGM with the characters appearing, and then thinking about what would happen if we made a song in another way; it might be possible to appeal more of said character, or maybe expand the Touhou world.
Maybe if this character danced or moved like this to this song, it could look and sound really nice. Through that kind of thinking, we pick out songs that we think are particularly nice, we try out the corresponding games one more time, get stimulated, and start discussing with each member involved in the music-making, and make adjustments based on the results of our discussion. That’s where the girls give it their best to sing to better match the character or atmosphere of the song.
Q: What is the biggest challenge so far you have faced in your career?
Toa: This is a personal story from me. So after my 3rd year being with Yuuhei Satellite, a music game by Konami called Sound Voltex had my songs playable at the arcade. Non-Touhou fans, fans who liked said music game could also get to know about our music, so the fact that fans who knew nothing about Touhou had the chance to get to know about us is really big to me. Also, last month I partook in a stage performance for an anime called ｢Tenchi Muyou｣ as ｢Ryoko｣, and it felt like a complete occupational change to me. It was a stage with no song, just actions and lines and although it was very hard for me, it was a very fulfilling production.
Asuka: Yuuhei Satellite did have difficulties during one concert in China and also Zepp Tokyo, a concert where over 2000 people attended. Zepp Tokyo had a lot of preparation and operational difficulties while a few problems occured during the concert in China.
Q: Does the group have any plans to expand out of Touhou and into animes and games?
Yuzurisa: If there are any interesting plans we’d love to try and challenge them all at least once. Up until now we have actually been in charge of various things such as smartphone games and main anime songs. So if you have a music request for Yuuhei Satellite, please feel free to ask us!
Q: We’ve heard that Yuuhei Satellite has started venturing outside of Japan to do concerts. Is it safe to assume that this the next step moving forward for Yuuhei Satellite as a circle?
Toa: We’ve recently been going overseas a lot, but we’ve actually started going overseas since 7 years ago. Other than Malaysia, we’ve been to China, Taiwan, Europe, France, America, and more. The fact that Yuuhei Satellite and Shoujo Fractal have a lot of fans overseas is probably what enables us to go, and for that we are extremely grateful.
Q: Which songs of yours would you pick to introduce to new fans?
Yuzurisa: My personal recommendation would be the first song I’ve ever done when entering Yuuhei Satellite and also one of my favorites, ｢Meikyo Shisui｣. Normally, you would just sing what the composer makes for you, but for this particular song I was slightly involved in the making from its early stages, such as tweaking the development of the song and what kind of lyrics did I want to use. I would discuss it in advance with the composer and the whole thing remains a good memory to this day.
Toa: I would also recommend my 2nd song since being a part of Yuuhei Satellite, ｢Mune No Naka De Dare Ka｣, as it is also a good memory for me. Every time I perform at a concert I would sing this song, and it’s a very good song to liven up the crowd. When I’m standing up on stage I can see the reactions from the crowd, and I become very happy.
Also one more song that is extremely popular, even taking first place quite often at Japanese karaoke, ｢Iro Wa Nioedo Chirinuru o｣. Even in Japan it’s popular because it has an olden classic style to it, and Japanese people find it nostalgic, and I think that even foreigners might take an interest in it.
Q: Since you mentioned olden classic style, are there any songs that are also enjoyed by the older generations?
Toa: This is what I heard from Senya but when she sings ｢Kacho Fuugetsu｣ at shopping malls, elderly people do get captivated and compliment the song.
Q: Finally, what is your impression of Malaysia so far and is there anything that you’d like to your fans in Malaysia to know?
Yuzurisa: We’ve only just come yesterday night, so we haven’t been to many places yet, but I loved the Nasi Goreng and Nasi Lemak that I ate. I learned a little bit of Malaysia’s greetings, and when I say them the locals become very happy, and I get happy too when they befriend me! I’m also very excited for the concert tomorrow.
It was amazing to have the chance to interview Yuuhei Satellite and getting to know a lot of things about the band from themselves. We definitely can’t wait for them to back in Malaysia to perform once again!
If you haven’t already, check out Yuuhei Satellite on their official website: