At IdolZone, we meet a lot of sexy women (See for yourself – don’t take our word for it!), and we don’t know if it’s a sign of the geek-friendly times we live in, but there’s been an increasing number of cosplayers making the transition to gravure. This month’s idol, Ichigo, is one such convert – she can switch from sweet and innocent to downright sexy and sultry at the drop of a hat, and we are totally not ones to complain. After spending some time with Ichigo, you’ll agree that this is someone who is definitely comfortable in her skin.
After a photo shoot that got our hearts racing, we sat down with Ichigo to find out how she went from cosplay to full gravure idol, and discovered we had more in common than a love of anime!
IdolZone: Hi, Ichigo! You seemed very comfortable in our shoot. Are you just used to being naked?
Ichigo: When I trust the people I’m working with, I’m not ashamed of being completely nude around them.
IdolZone: What goes through your mind while you’re doing a sexy shoot?
Ichigo: I just think of the mood I want to portray for the specific theme and express it the best I can. It was difficult at first, when I started because I didn’t have a mentor, so I got inspiration from looking at other models and materials. After a while, I gained friends in the community, and they were the ones who helped me improve and get to where I am now.
IdolZone: We understand you got your start in cosplay. How did that happen?
Ichigo: I love anime and Japanese culture ever since I was a kid, and always admired people who cosplay, but I didn’t do it myself until much later. Back then, I only wanted to cosplay for fun, simply dressing up as the characters I loved. Now, along with gravure, it became a passion I want to excel in. To me, it’s more than just expressing the love for a character. It’s about giving justice to the character and bringing them to life!
IdolZone: Who are your favorite characters?
Ichigo: My 3 favorite characters to cosplay are Miku Hatsune, Rem from Re:Zero and Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Miku, because I admire and adore her very much. If you are familiar with her, she’s a virtual idol popular worldwide! Rem, because she is passionate, driven and very cute, and as for Homura, I feel a deep connection with her, love her character development and overall aura.
IdolZone: How did you make the jump into gravure?
Ichigo: Along with cosplay and an interest in Japanese pop culture, I was already also very interested in erotic cosplay or “ero cosplay” as they call it. So transitioning into gravure was easy for me but it did have some challenges like self-confidence and people I could trust to work with. What’s nice about the shift was, by the time I started to do it, there were already a lot of supportive people around me both supporters and fellow models.
IdolZone: These shoots are usually to turn on the people looking at them. Are you turned on while shooting?
Ichigo: This might sound odd but I’m more turned on by fellow girls than guys. So I simply portray what I think would turn me on: the pose, the face, the expression. Even character! I’m attracted to women in a way that is hard to explain.
IdolZone: Sounds like we have more in common than we thought! What do you find sexy in a woman?
Ichigo: In terms of looks, I adore petite girls. A cute face, small stature, petite body. Long hair is a plus, though short hair is cute, too! I guess I have a thing for innocent-looking girls! In terms of personality, someone I can protect, but at the same time, I can rely on, and would take care of me. And she has to be someone I can trust!
IdolZone: Ok, back to you. What would you say is your best feature?
Ichigo: People say I’m very friendly and they usually tell me about how positive I am, but if you ask me, I guess it’s my ass? Hahahaha!
IdolZone: We’re not gonna argue! How far would you go for a shoot? Is there such a thing as “too sexy”?
Ichigo: To me personally, I have no limits as long as I have my manager or companion present during my shoots. The reason I don’t set limits is because I want to bring out the best of each shot or concept. The etiquette of the photographer is especially important since that’s what helps set the whole mood of the shoot.
IdolZone: What’s the most erotic shoot you’ve done?
Ichigo: My own content. Specifically, my collaborations with fellow gravure models that feature girl on girl action, but even my solo shoots can be considered very erotic! But if I had to pick one, it would be one of my early erotic photoshoots where I did shibari, it was my most explicit shoot at the time! And it’s memorable because that was when I learned how the gravure business actually works, and how I have the potential to do it as well.
IdolZone: How’s the response been to your erotic shoots?
Ichigo: Very positive! I feel so much love and support – here are more people than I expected that are accepting of the art of eroticism and nudity. I’ve seen and met so many people who love and appreciate the art as much as I do. Though, of course, in these kinds of things there will always be some negativity here and there, but surprisingly, there really is so much more positivity than one would expect.