I apologize for making you wait this long.
As many of you might already know, I won the Animax Anime Song Grand Prix ( 2008 ) of Japan on sunday (September 21st, 2008).

I’ve been wondering how I should announce it and what kind of words to express along with it.

I provide you with links that I was given by various sources. thank you SO much to everyone who informed me of these things :

http://animaxshop.air-nifty.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/09/22/09_22_04.jpg

http://www.mainichi.jp/enta/mantan/news/20080922mog00m200025000c.html
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g89/DenkouNova/aoimenoanisonkashu/2008-02-22_The_birth.jpg

(a translation made by a friend, for the sake of people who can’t read the japanese text)

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-09-22/27-year-old-canadian-wins-aniplex-singing-contest

Of course it wasn’t something easy.
My emotions were very mixed during the past month.
And yet…I didn’t want to go to the finals with a half-hearted attitude.
It wasn’t all about winning or losing.
I wanted to make sure to give my best, despite my incredible nervousness.
I wanted to touch people’s hearts, even with only one song.
To have had the chance to stand on that stage, having all these people listening, industry people as well… and meet all these incredible finalists, I feel blessed.

I have to say that I really loved everyone.
All the finalists were SO nice. And talented of course.
I wish I had the courage to try to speak with them more.

Shimizu-san… who has such a strong passion… I admire him very much. He was very powerful.
Yuri-san. OMG. I love her voice so much. I wish I could have heard more….
Hikari-chan. She was adorable and SO nice to me, despite our age difference! Her mom was also so kind to me.
Airi-chan. Wow. She sure was popular in the audience. Hikari and Airi were both so cute.❤
The ST-AWAKE guys. Wow. They were SO funny. One of them kept joking around the whole time. Of course my level of japanese isn’t that high that I missed a lot of the things that were meant to be funny, but whatever I could understand really made me laugh. They were also VERY good. I wish they could have made it to the next round….I wanted to hear more.
Tanaka-san. I loved his voice too. He’s pretty ‘visual jrock-ish’ type. I’m not sure what I loved most though…his voice? or his looks? Haha. Okay, I liked both! He was very nice too.
Konomi-san was also very lovely. She was so cute in her dress. I still can’t believe japanese females can have such petite bodies. I’m so envious! She made the dress herself. WOW. Sewing talents too.
Oota-san. T_T I feel so bad because I didn’t speak with him much, but he was also another powerful singer. Way to go!!!

And last but not least…. Tagami-san.
I’m a bit sad. He was so nice and friendly. Honestly. He said ‘please come to Hokkaido!!’ But I didn’t ask him his e-mail.😦  He was a great singer too. I think it’s too bad he went first to sing. Obviously the judges will not give a high score to the first person because they have to start their basic score and need a range of work. Since you don’t know how the other contestants will do, you can’t give such a high score to the first one. But he also has a lot of potential so I hope he will keep trying to pursue his dream.

I just want to say that I’m very very grateful that I was able to get this opportunity.
I know that some of you who read this might think ‘bah, I knew you’d win’ and such….
But it was honestly not like that. It was nothing easy.
And even after winning this wonderful contest, things won’t be easy either.
Neither for my living, nor financially, emotionally, etc.
I am given this chance, but I need to earn the respect of people through my own efforts.
People won’t just accept me if I don’t make more efforts than the average person.
I know that. But despite my weaknesses, I came to Japan with this determination.
I chose to come here of my own free will, so I have to make the efforts that are required to prove myself to everyone.

But I want to let everyone know that your support means a lot to me. The japanese people. And the people from all over the world who heard me sing and supported me. Either people online or people at anime conventions, then acquaintances and friends online and the ones in real life. Thank you.
This was and is my dream, but not only mine. This is something that includes all the people who listen as well. Which means… all of you out there.

I need you all. And I will do my best to make you smile. And make you dream.

One of my goals has always been to touch people’s hearts with my singing. If I can move people, or make them smile… I will be extremely happy and satisfied. For me, it will be one of the greatest happiness in the world. I know that life isn’t easy for anyone, including me. We all have trials to go through and sometimes unfair things happen. But I hope that I can somehow sing for the sake of people who need a bit of comfort. Because I was also given a lot of comfort through music as well, and I’m thankful to the great artists that I was able to listen to, and get inspiration from.

I also really need to thank my close friends. You probably all know what kind of place you have in my heart, each of you, so don’t worry, your respective places are safe in my heart. I love you all SO much. Thank you for being there for me…

ここに見て、日本の皆さんへ、

アニソングランプリは本当に楽しかったです。
みんなと一緒に同じ夢を目指しているのは素敵な事だと思います。
みんなは夢を諦めないで下さい、本当に。前へ進みましょうね。
難しくなったり、大変なことがあったりとか当然だけど、本当の「負け」は諦めることです。
だから、これからも、頑張って下さい。今は最後のチャンスじゃありませんから。
私もアニソングランプリでその意見を持っていました、ずっと。。。
みんなはアニソングランプリで上手だったと思います。
お願いします、頑張って下さい!!

これからも、自分の道も色々な事情があるけど、強い意志を持って、本当に本当に頑張ります。
応援する人に感謝しています。
神様にも凄く感謝しています。歌うことが出来るなんて、とても嬉しいですよ。歌うことが何よりもしたいです。人の心を癒すために。。。幸せに与えるためにも、神様がくれた歌声で、ものすごく感謝しています。

ありがとうございました。
これからは新たの始まりですね。

Before I conclude this post, I just want to say a HUGE thanks to Nano, Yuki and Tamami who came to cheer me on and who are all dear friends to me. You girls are the best. Really. T_T❤ I was so happy you all came after all.

HIMEKA