ASCA × spira spica from SACRA MUSIC [Interview][Comic Fiesta 2023][CF2023]【インタビュー】

ASCA × spira spica from SACRA MUSIC [Interview][Comic Fiesta 2023][CF2023]【インタビュー】

Comic Fiesta 2023 was the first time ASCA and spira spica came to Malaysia.
Our team had the privilege of engaging in an exclusive conversation with both ASCA and spira spica.
Join us as we delve into the world of ASCA and spira spica on what they had brought to Malaysian shores during this momentous occasion at CF2023!

[For ASCA] The Sword Art Online (SAO)(ソードアート・オンライン) series boasts a massive global fanbase. Did you experience any pressure or excitement knowing that your song would be linked with such a widely beloved franchise?

ASCA: In truth, I was already familiar with the SAO series long before being involved in its music. My knowledge extended beyond the anime and manga to include the series’ music, such as the opening and ending theme songs. When I received the call that my music would be featured in a series that had significantly influenced my own musical journey, it felt both unbelievable and made me question whether I was truly deserving of such an opportunity and also thought to myself if I am worthy of this..

[For spira spica] “Sono Dress-up Doll wa Koi Suru” (その着せ替え人形は恋をする) presents a distinctive and captivating premise. How did you approach crafting the opening theme “San San Days” (燦々デイズ) to encapsulate the essence of the series? Furthermore, what led to your collaboration with this particular series, and how did the partnership come to fruition?

spira spica: Actually, I was already a big fan of this series before being approached to create the opening theme. The joy I felt upon receiving the offer to compose the opening song was exhilarating!! While working on the series, I faced the challenge of encapsulating my extensive feelings as a fan into a single song. I think it is very tough to put my whole feelings into a single song. I liked so many parts in the series. The series had so many elements that I admired, with its uniqueness being the most appealing. During the songwriting process, I decided to concentrate on the core aspect that made “My Dress-Up Darling” stand out—expressing your feelings openly toward the things you love and enjoy. As spira spica, it aligns with my performance ethos to connect the shared sentiment between “My Dress-Up Darling” and myself, translating those emotions into the song! Those feelings of what you liked, what you loved into the song!

[For ASCA] “Watashi ga Warau Wake wa” (私が笑う理由は) boasts a unique title. Could you delve into the story behind the song and its connection to the world of “Buta no Liver wa Kanetsu Shiro” (豚のレバーは加熱しろ)?

ASCA: In the creation of this song, I took on the responsibility of crafting the lyrics entirely on my own, I wrote all the lyrics by myself. It was a composition intended to encapsulate the essence of the work. Prior to embarking on the project, I immersed myself in the original manga, delving into the journey of the protagonist, Jess. At the outset, Jess lived for others, but as her narrative unfolded, she gradually learned to live life on her own terms and express her true self freely and more honestly. Throughout the manga, there were scenarios and instances where Jess genuinely smiled from her heart, embodying her authentic self, rather than conforming to others’ expectations. To be candid, I think, too, used to smile infrequently in the past, so I felt a connection with Jess, sharing a similar experience. The focal point of the song thus became the theme of smiling (warau) and the reasons to smile.

[For ASCA] What was the experience of collaborating with Yuki Kajiura and Reona on the 10th Anniversary Theme for Sword Art Online (SAO)?

ASCA: First and foremost, the fact that I was singing a song so close to my heart for SAO was a profound experience to me. The chance to collaborate with Yuki Kajiura and share the vocals with my labelmate Reona was truly special. Through this collaborative effort, I hope to draw more people into the captivating world of Sword Art Online!

How do you maintain a connection with your fans, and could you share any memorable fan interactions that have left a lasting impression?

ASCA: One particularly memorable fan interaction occurred last year during my initial overseas event post-COVID. During that time in Japan, restrictions on vocal performances were slowly easing due to social distancing laws. However, when I ventured abroad for an event, I was delighted to find that many countries had lifted restrictions earlier than Japan. It brought me immense joy to share my music and perform during these challenging times, connecting with fans through meet-and-greet sessions.

spira spica: While most of my performances have been in Japan, I am grateful for the opportunities to perform overseas a few times. I stay connected with my fans through social media, and even before my arrival in Malaysia, numerous Malaysian fans expressed their excitement about my performance. I am eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s show, eager to finally meet my Malaysian fans face-to-face and deliver a performance just for them!

Anime often showcases diverse and imaginative worlds. How has the world of anime influenced both your musical style and the creative process behind your songs?

ASCA: In my songwriting process, given my experience composing numerous songs for Anime titles, I make it a point to immerse myself in the source materials before crafting the lyrics such as referring and read through the Anime source materials. It’s not just about mirroring the anime’s themes but also integrating my personal life experiences into the lyric-writing process. This fusion results in the creation of music with depth and resonance. Moreover, I think my involvement in Anime songwriting has opened doors to overseas performances, allowing me to connect with fans and people I otherwise wouldn’t have met. It’s not an exaggeration to say that without anime, there wouldn’t be ASCA.

spira spica: I think having ventured into creating anime songs, I discovered a new aspect of myself that I might not have encountered otherwise. Anime, with its fantastical adventures absent in everyday life, enables me to envision entirely new worlds with my own presence within them. This exposure to unique works has been a wellspring of inspiration that I wouldn’t have accessed otherwise.

What are the top three highlights of your experiences in 2023?

ASCA: In 2023, my first significant highlight occurred in February when I underwent surgery to remove polyps from my vocal cords. The subsequent rehabilitation period forced me into a singing hiatus, as I was not able to sing, this event making me realize the profound importance of singing and the power of my voice.

Secondly, amidst challenging times, my overseas performances allowed me to bring back revitalizing energy to Japan

As for my third highlight, I have been to many places that i have never been to before and this year was quite a travel for me! I went to many unfamiliar places, with Brazil being the most memorable. As Brazil was on the other side of the globe from Japan, so it was known to Japanese that it is the furthest point or the furthest country away from Japan. Performing on the other side of the globe and overseas and connecting with warm and loving fans made me felt the global impact of my music.
[Translator: We still have two days in Malaysia so there is still the chance!]

spira spica: Counting them off—one, two, three!

My first highlight centers around my deep love for performing in concert halls; this year, I indulged in numerous performances, considering and making it a treat to myself!! Additionally, I’m thrilled about the prospect of performing in Malaysia!!

My second highlight was a unique event where I sang the opening theme for the TV Anime: “Sono Dress-up Doll wa Koi Suru” (その着せ替え人形は恋をする) during a fireworks show. Watching the fireworks alongside with the Seiyuu (voice actors/actresses) and fans made it an unforgettable experience.

Actually my third highlight was something personal and it involved fulfilling a long-time desire to go fishing. I think I caught a fairly large fish, then proceeded to cook, and savoring my own culinary creation added a special touch to my year.

Currently, anime holds a prominent place in Malaysian trends. What are your thoughts on anime music serving as a bridge for cultural exchange between Japan and Malaysia?

ASCA: I believe that by singing and performing songs, we can carry our culture overseas. Through anime songs and performances, we not only connect Japan to Malaysia but also create a connection with the whole world. Using Anisongs as a medium, I think we have the potential to foster a deep cultural understanding on all ends.

spira spica: As this is my first visit to Malaysia, and fresh off the talk session on stage prior to this interview, I think of Anime as a catalyst for cultural exchange. Adding to the impact of singing, performing, and the live experience, anime serves as a key factor in bringing cultures together. Without Anime, I wouldn’t be on this stage, and the shared love for Anime provides us with a common topic to discuss and talk about it, and globally.

How do you find the responses to the exhibition and the overwhelming and enthusiastic fans in Malaysia?

spira spica: “I Am Happy!!” Even before the stage session, I took a moment to stroll outside the venue to soak in the atmosphere. To my surprise, someone recognized me and stopped me. The moment of happiness of me being recognized prompted me to spontaneously engage with fans, offering handshakes on the spot!

ASCA: On my social media, I received numerous messages urging me to come to Malaysia. Finally, I am delighted to be here and fulfill their requests to see ASCA in Malaysia. This visit coincides with the eve of my 6th performance anniversary, and I am eager to make tomorrow’s performance truly unforgettable as a token of appreciation.

How do you stay updated on current trends, and do you incorporate any of them into your songs?

spira spica: I think that the recent trends are likely similar in Malaysia? It’s convenient to catch up on trends through platforms like TikTok, where content easily goes viral. I explore TikTok for its catchy and easily digestible music, incorporating elements like viral introductions or choruses into my own music-making process.

ASCA: I think recognizing the importance of awareness and staying attuned to trends is crucial. My team and I actively stay connected to the pulse of current trends. Throughout my six years as ASCA, it’s not just about producing music I love, but also ensuring that the audience can thoroughly enjoy it. Therefore, striking a balance between creating music that pleases the audience and aligns with current trends is key.

What is your opinion on the evolving trends of anime songs as a distinct music category? Do you still consider it part of the J-pop genre?

ASCA: I think there is now less distinction between J-pop and Anisong as genres. The scope of Anisong has expanded beyond its initial boundaries, and it’s not limited to Anime songs alone. There’s no clear definition that confines Anisong to a specific genre, especially with mainstream Japanese bands contributing to anime songs and soundtracks. Due to the diverse range of artists performing Anisong, it’s very difficult and challenging to classify them under a single genre. Anime songs have transitioned into a more commonplace and mainstream form of music, gaining popularity as a medium.

spira spica: I think more people get to experience Anime and becoming more and more common with different diversity the definition that makes Anime becoming more and more and i think it is a wonderful thing and wonderful phenomenon!

Can you share your experiences in the recording studio, and do you have any specific methods or mental preparations?

spira spica: Personally, I find the music creation process can be challenging at times, especially when struggling to formulate lyrics or envision the desired performance. However, the driving force behind my recording sessions lies in thoughts of my fans and those who appreciate my music. Imagining the faces of fans during performances provides the energy needed to navigate through the creative process. This acts as the crux or the power to fuel my recording as I received the energy from imagining the fans that would enjoy my music and to further motivate my creative process.

ASCA: I think the crux of my creative process also stems from my fans. I vividly recall my first solo concert, witnessing the fans immersed in the atmosphere. I still remembered and recognizing the somewhat solitary nature, a fairly lonely place in the recording booth, I visualize myself on stage during song recording sessions as if I am on actual stage. This mental exercise, where I picture singing to my fans, infuses my creative energy and introduces a human touch into the otherwise inorganic recording space.

Fans in Malaysia are eagerly anticipating your performance at the SACRA Music Festival. Can you provide a glimpse or share any special moments they can look forward to during your set? Is there a particular song you’re excited to perform?

ASCA: Given our specific visit to Comic Fiesta for a performance, it’s a great opportunity to test the waters and gauge the preferences of Malaysian fans. I’m eager to see their reactions and discover which songs resonate most with them.

spira spica: In my earlier talk session, and during a part of the stage talk session, there was a game where we engaged in a lively game of rock-paper-scissors, and interestingly, I have a song titled “Jaken King” that features rock-paper-scissors in the chorus. Considering the fun atmosphere during the stage talk session, it might be a delightful idea to perform “Jaken King” at the SACRA Music Festival!


ASCA, born on September 5 in Aichi Prefecture, emerged as a rising star in the anime music scene. Under the name Asuka Okura during her junior high school years, she made waves as one of the three finalists in the 5th “Animax Anison Grand Prix,” catching the industry’s attention among 10,000 applicants. Her debut on November 22, 2017, with the first single “KOE,” marked a significant moment as the closing theme for the TV anime series Fate/Apocrypha Season 2. The song achieved gold certification with over 100,000 downloads, establishing ASCA as a noteworthy artist.

Continuing her success, ASCA’s fourth single, “RESISTER,” served as the opening theme for the TV anime series Sword Art Online: Alicization Season 2, released on February 27, 2020. Her latest offering, “君が見た夢の物語” (The Story of the Dream You Saw), released on January 26, 2022, serves as the theme song for the anime “The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note.” With an enchanting singing voice and captivating live performances, ASCA has garnered global attention, solidifying her position as a standout artist in the anime music realm.


Mikiha, better known as spira spica, is the charismatic solo project led by the ever-smiling and cheerful singer Mikiha. She burst onto the scene in 2018 with her debut single “Start Dash,” the ending theme for “Gundam Build Divers,” and quickly became synonymous with uplifting and encouraging anime songs. Her 2022 hit, “Sun Sun Days,” as the opening theme for “My Dress-Up Darling,” solidified spira spica’s status in the anime music scene.

Since then, she has achieved a major debut in 2018, released numerous successful singles and albums, and made her mark with energetic live performances. spira spica’s story continues to unfold, resonating with fans through Mikiha’s infectious brightness and unwavering dedication to creating uplifting and heartwarming music.

Special Thanks to Comic Fiesta!


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