First off, thanks to FallenAngel for buying/scanning this Second, the article in question is apparently from "Josei Jishin", a weekly women's magazine, (possibly from 1996?) so obviously, it is not the greatest source. Thirdly, and this is the most important, a lot of it is rumors and second-hand information (cleared with Flowers, though), so stay tuned until the end, when Mana and Itoh themselves are interviewed. And please correct me if you see something in the article that I translated wrong or in a misleading manner D: An interview exclusive to this magazine... The first discussion of his "seven-year love with a female manager" MALICE MIZER MANA "Before our records were selling, the manager worked as a hostess and supported me"! "Right now, Mana and Gackt are mutually antagonistic and are far apart in terms of musicianship. Although their records were selling well, I thought they had just run into a wall, and so it would be fine if they split up due to their musical differences, but it seems that one of the office managers was involved...." These are the unclear words of a person connected to the musicians. Since their summer debut two years ago, Malice Mizer have swiftly come to the forefront of visual kei bands. This popular group of five have grown to have a fanclub membership exceeding 20,000, and their single sales regularly sell above 400,000 records, but lately an unusual dissonance has come to be heard. "Mana and Gackt are almost exclusively in charge of composing songs. When you get two people that talented together, of course there will be disagreements. But because Mana and the manager, Ms. Itoh were lovers, wouldn't he become almost unable to speak with the other members as well?" (The previously quoted person with connections) The office that Mana is associated with is called "Midi Nette", but the person in charge is a 27-year old woman, Ms. Yukie Itoh. In the past, she and Mana were lovers. "The fans took it as a matter of common knowledge. It felt like she had sort of kicked Miho Nakayama [?], and she seemed to be a very intense and serious person. Once we heard a rumor that they had a child together, and that was a topic of discussion among the fans for a while." (A fan). The relation between the leader of a popular band and the female manager of his office. To be an accomplished production manager at the young age of 27, what kind of a person is Ms. Itoh? A music director who has known Malice Mizer since the days of their debut testifies: "The two of them have been friends since childhood, so I guess they've had a relationship for over 20 years. Mana came to Tokyo about 7 years ago, and while he was stuck in the lower social circles, she really helped him out and looked after him, all while working as a hostess in Ginza." He also says he thinks that from the beginning, Mana wanted to make his debut on an independent record label. "In the beginning, all of the band members at the time and Ms. Itoh pooled their money together to release a record. That sold out, and suddenly people started to take notice of Malice Mizer. And for their next record, she was fully financially invested in it. I've heard that after that, supported financially only by her relatives, she founded the current office. Her reasoning for it was that she thought that "Malice Mizer would become rich", it seems. It's like she wanted to make Malice Mizer into a means to make money." (The music director) The female office manager who helped out the man she loved while he was down on his luck by working as a hostess--If we leave it at that, it is indeed a moving tale, but if we look at the reputation of their current circumstances, it's not so simple. "The base pay of each of the members is still about 150,000 yen per month. Even now they all live in large, old apartments, although Gackt is the only member who owns a car." (A person connected to the office) So you could say that all of this has happened thanks to manager Itoh. At any rate, to find out about their relationship, we decided we would go and ask them directly. We visited a simple apartment house within the area, and when we requested an interview, Mana willingly OK'd it. When we asked about his ties to manager Itoh, he hesitated a bit at first, but he soon said the following clearly. "My association with her is more than the usual ties between men and women. The things we aim for and the things we value are one and the same. And that is why we are still together." It's been seven years since he was struggling to make a living. Mana refutes the idea of their being in a relationship, saying he is tied to her by strong bonds that are "greater than the usual man and woman connection". And regarding the whispered rumors about manager Itoh being the cause of the members' discontent and discord, he says, "Of course various things have been said about it, but never think for one minute that I would abandon Midi:Nette." From manager Itoh's side, she denies it as well, saying, "That kind of thing (the two being lovers) has never happened", but when we told her that Mana confirmed their connection, her reaction changed. "Well, because I am a woman, I don't know if I should talk about that sort of thing..." As to be expected, when we asked regarding the rumors that she and Mana have a child together, she gave in to a laugh. Are these rumors simply the kind of slanderous statements that so often accompany a person's rise to stardom? At the end of the interview, this is what Mana said: "For me and for her, our meaning is completely the same, body and soul. Because the truth is that it's something within the heart of each and every person."