Monday, 30 November 2015

Momcohi no Kimochi: Gossip (Essay #4/22)

The other day, I met a staff-san who asked,
'Momochi san, does your family live in poverty?', 
Which really gave me a shock.

When I asked back,
'Why do you ask that?', 
They replied
'It was on the Internet'. 
I immediately tried looking it up,
And there, the lookup keywords were
'Momochi Mechaike',
'Momochi university ',
'Momochi poverty ', 
They were lined up that, just like it was nothing.

Once again, I got a shock!!
Furthermore, when I investigated into it,
Many rumours about poverty came out of the blue,
Like 'She uses a close-by river to bathe',
Or 'She stole the bicycles of members of Berryz Kobo', et cetera......

Of course, everyone tells these quirky tales,
But since there are also some people who believe it,
Gossip can turn out to be scary, right?

However, while it's scary when's it turned on you,
It's so fun to do
That it's not easy to quit,
So even I'm troubled about it ♥

More from this book

Tsugunaga Momoko Photo Essay "Momochi no Kimochi" / Momoko Tsugunaga
Momoko Tsugunaga

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The important feelings of leaving behind her beloved H!P that she'd like to convey to her beloved Kumai-san - Top Yell November 2015

Amongst the readers. there may be people who have no idea why Kumai-san is here. Please give an explanation, even a brief one would be fine, of the extent that Kumai-san has an essential place within Fukuda-san's life as an idol.

Fukuda: That's right...... The first thing that made me like Berryz Kobo-san is their ages, that played a big part. Up to then, idols had been like older oneesans, but [Berryz Kobo-san] were in my generation, people who I might have been friends with had we gone to the same school, they were shining. Seeing that, it gave me a push, like 'I should do my best too'...... They gave me courage. Among them was Kumai-san...... Before I knew it, my eyes just kept following Kumai-san. It's always been that way, ever since the times of 'Anata Nashi de ha Ikite Yukenai'. I'm fickle when it comes to idols, immediately oshihen-ing. However, why is it that Kumai-san's the only the only one I've continued to oshi? I thought about it a week ago, while I was on the Shinkansen. What I noticed is that, idols change and develop, in looks, expression, and singing, right? But for Kumai-san, despite going through those sorts of external changes, within her, since the days of her début, her core of being Kumai Yurina-san has never wavered. I think that it's because of that that my support for her has never changed. If it were an anime, it would be fine to remain unchanged, but part of the attraction of idols is that they change. But, as a fan, there's that delicate line of not wanting them to change as well. On that point, Kumai-san always treads exactly on it, keeping to that line.

Although I said that you could be brief (bitter laugh). However, Fukuda-san, you're very knowledgeable about idols in general. What was it that made Kumai-san special?

Fukuda: Even though she's such a wonderful person, she doesn't put on airs! Even though she has a cool look on her face in photos, when you talk with her, she's airy and adorable. Being the pioneer for that gap got me excited!

Kumai: It's kind of embarrassing. It's like Kanon knows me from head to toe. Even when I think about myself, I'm unable to put it that well in words, so instead, this is a good reference for me (laughs).

It's been 11 years in the past since Fukuda-san entered in the 1st generation of the H!P Eggs. Kumai-san, surely you didn't have an impression of Fukuda-san at the time?

Kumai: Ah, but I remember that in the middle of the Yokohama Arena rehearsals, Kanon talked with Maasa, who's good in the field of stage-acting.

Fukuda: I joined in primary 4th, and the system was that those in primary 3rd and below couldn't appear at concerts, so I was the smallest. There, everyone talked to me. As Eggs, there's virtually no opportunities to interact, so it made me really happy when a senpai would talk to me. Like, 'The people I've watched on TV are talking to me!'

You weren't scared of Berryz Kobo at the time?

Fukuda: I wasn't scared at the time (laughs).

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Momcohi no Kimochi: Senpai (Essay #3/22)

The awe-inspiring Hello! Project senpais,
It would definitely be unthinkable 
To strike up a conversation with them.

But recently, I've finally become able
To start talking to them on my own.

I talked to Abe Natsumi-san the other day,
And I informed her of this great discovery I made.
'Ah! Abe-san♥ Did you know?
People whose nicknames end with a 'Chi' are popular people.
Nacchi, Momochi..... right?'

Then, after Abe-san had frozen for a moment,
She said with a smile
And made a hasty escape.

What an original response.....

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Shimizu Saki x Kumai Yurina

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hello! Project Kids in 2012, a book entitled Rival - 12 shoujo no 10-nen monogatari - (The 10-year legend of the 12 girls) was released. The book contains 2-page discussions between various pairings of the girls, covering all 66 possible combinations. In the process of reading this book, I'll be putting up some highlights as I read through the interviews.

Special Crosstalk Book "RIVAL 12 shoujyo no 10 nen monogatari (10 years stories of 12 girls)" / Berrz Kobo / Cute

Shimizu Saki X Kumai Yurina

Saki-chan, from your point of view, in these many years, do you think Kumai-chan has changed?

Shimizu: She has!

Kumai: Eh, is that so?

Shimizu: When three of us, Kumai-chan, Maa, and myself, performed in the 'Real Etude Minna no Ie' stage-plays, I had a talk with Kumai-chan, who found performing in the play 'really distressful'. I think that everyone had their own worries, but I think that Kumai-chan had never said something like that by herself. But, becoming able to talk about something like that, I think it was a change. Kumai-chan, recently, you're like, 'I'm Kumai Yurina! I'm here!' You're able to be insistent, in a good way. It felt really good to see that.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

[2ch] Things that would happen if Momochi was a primary school teacher

1 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:15:55.68
    The students would read Momochi Zukan (Illustrated encyclopaedia) in science class

2 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:16:49.11
    Unexpectedly serious

4 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:24:26.91
    It would be filled with fathers for Parents' Day

11 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:30:07.60
    Plus, it'd be full of pink T-shirts

6 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:26:51.99
   They'd do the Yurushite-nyan Taisou at dance lessons

8 :名無し募集中。。。@\(^o^)/:2015/07/09(木) 12:28:09.69
    They'd have a lecture on how to do the Momochi Musubi for homeroom

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Suzuki Airi x Hagiwara Mai

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hello! Project Kids in 2012, a book entitled Rival - 12 shoujo no 10-nen monogatari - (The 10-year legend of the 12 girls) was released. The book contains 2-page discussions between various pairings of the girls, covering all 66 possible combinations. In the process of reading this book, I'll be putting up some highlights as I read through the interviews.

Special Crosstalk Book "RIVAL 12 shoujyo no 10 nen monogatari (10 years stories of 12 girls)" / Berrz Kobo / Cute

Suzuki Airi X Hagiwara Mai

The discussion starts on the topic of blood types. Airi's a B-type, while MaiMai's an AB-type.

Suzuki: Mai-chan definitely goes at her own pace (laughs).

Hagiwara: Is that so? (laughs)

Suzuki: At your pace, in a different sort of way [than mine]. Mine is the type where I'm slow to take action, where I can't follow along at times when we have to match. Whereas for Mai-chan, you do what you want to do when you feel like doing it, and at times when you don't want to do something, you definitely won't do it, that's how you follow your own pace. In Mai-chan's case, you carry yourself, making a sense of atmosphere.

Hagiwara: Ah, I kind of get what you mean (laughs). Airi, you go at your own pace, while Mai's the kind of person who'll just move of my own accord. I don't think it means that I move at my own pace, but I just get tired of things and move on. But Airi, you have your own, unique air to you. With Airi around, we get carefree. Do you see it, can you follow?

Suzuki: Maybe Mai-chan goes along with the people she's with, the type that naturally gets intimate of her own accord. You talk a lot when you're with all of ℃-ute, but when it's just the 2 of us ,we spend it leisurely. Maybe it's because I'm slow? I feel like everyone gets relaxed when they're with me (laughs).

Hagiwara: Well, doesn't that mean that Airi-chan makes her own atmosphere (laughs)!

 Airi-chan is a B-type while Mai-chan in as AB-type, do you feel the characteristics of your blood type?

Hagiwara: My mother is B-type, and there are some similarities with Airi. Airi, you dislike conflicts. Mama's really like that too...... While I say that, Mai does get into fights with her though (laughs), but when when Mama drops into something like that, I think that she says the same things that Airi does.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Receiving advice from senpai Aichan (Natsuyaki Miyabi auditions)

{From the 'About Miyabi' page from Natsuyaki Miyabi's new group audition website, we have a discussion between her and former Morning Musume。 member Takahashi Ai}

It's the new group of my cute kouhai Natsuyaki Miyabi-chan
Ai:I've known you for about 10 years, but this is the first time we've done a shooting together, right?
Miyabi: Right, I'm a bit nervous (laughs). Shooting in plain clothes, it was fun thinking up how to coordinate outfits.
Ai:There's a mini 'Goes well with sneakers' theme, right? Ever since I saw how Miyabi-chan had coordinated it, I thought about how to make it match. Fully clad in white, it's cute ♥
Miyabi: Aichan's clothes are stylish, I like them. You're adorable as well today~♥ Please go shopping with me next time!
Ai: Right (laughs).  Miyabi-chan, you'll be putting together a group in the future?
Miyabi:That's right. Aichan, from your perspective, what sort of girls would make it a good group?
Ai: I guess individualistic girls, girls who wouldn't lose to Miyabi-chan's character~ Also, girls with good personalities! This is pretty important (laughs)!
Miyabi: Indeed (laughs).
Ai:Also, their goal to make a group with Miyabi-chan would be the same, so wouldn't girls who like singing and dancing be all right? It'd be even better if they're girls who can bring out Miyabi-chan's good taste, who are good at being their own producers.  I look forward to seeing a Miyabi-chan that's different from what we've seen so far~!
Miyabi:Right! Hearing Aichan say that has got me looking forward to it as well ♥ I wonder what sort of girls will appear~ I want to sing on-stage soon~. We'll be waiting for your applications!!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Influential senpai (H!P Maruwakari Summer 2015)

The HaroPuro MaruWakari Books are released in conjunction with the twice-yearly Hello! Con tours. The contents usually take the form of questionnaires to the members, mainly asking about other members.

This one, which came out for the 2015 Summer Hello! Cons, would be the first without Berryz Kobo, and the first with Kobushi and Tsubaki Factories. As new entries into H!P, the members of the two Factories also got a 'New Face Maruwakari Special', which has additional questions for the girls.

Q5. Senpai who had an influence on me

Yajima Maimi: Yasuda Kei-san. When ℃-ute was formed, we had the opportunity to discuss the topic of global warming though a play, but before the performance, we weren't concentrating and were having laughs. At the time, she told us off, 'You're not going to get the meaning across'. She taught us how to get the message through. We really felt her passion.

Nakajima Saki: Takahashi Ai-san. I respect everything about her! When she was flourishing in Morning Musume。, her singing, her dancing, the way she dealt with the staff, it left an impression on me. Now she's flourishing in the field of fashion, which makes me think about how important it is, the way you accumulate things every day.

Suzuki Airi: Takahashi Ai-san. When it comes to this, I won't waver. I love her personality and her looks, but above all, I was enchanted by the way she performed. When I say I love her, I don't say it lightly. I respect her. Athough I'd like to surpass her, I also wish that she would always be walking ahead of me! That's the kind of senpai she is.

Okai Chisato: Fujimoto Miki-san!! I love her singing, and I love her personality too~♥ Even now, I love her, of course!!

Hagiwara Mai: Goto Maki-san! I've always looked up to her. I love her even now.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Tokunaga Chinami x Sudo Maasa

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hello! Project Kids in 2012, a book entitled Rival - 12 shoujo no 10-nen monogatari - (The 10-year legend of the 12 girls) was released. The book contains 2-page discussions between various pairings of the girls, covering all 66 possible combinations. In the process of reading this book, I'll be putting up some highlights as I read through the interviews.

Special Crosstalk Book "RIVAL 12 shoujyo no 10 nen monogatari (10 years stories of 12 girls)" / Berrz Kobo / Cute

Tokunaga Chinami X Sudo Maasa

Though they enjoy pranks, the 2 of them are polar opposites in both personality and actions.
What happens when that Tokunaga and Sudo each look back on 10 years of being together with one another?

When I was looking for common points between the two of you, I found out that the 2 of you enjoy pranks.

Tokunaga: I like fun things (laughs).

Sudo: Eh, I can understand that for Chinami, but me!? But it's probably because I do feel up people's butts on-stage (laughs)

Maasa-chan, molesting (laughs)? Given your personality, it's kind of unexpected. Well then, how did the 2 of you first meet?

Sudo: Actually, during the 4th stage of the 'Hello! Project Kids Auditions', we met at the washroom (laughs). Chinami-chan and Momochi talked to me about a lot of things, but since I was shy, I couldn't reply.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Natsuyaki Miyabi x Sugaya Risako

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hello! Project Kids in 2012, a book entitled Rival - 12 shoujo no 10-nen monogatari - (The 10-year legend of the 12 girls) was released. The book contains 2-page discussions between various pairings of the girls, covering all 66 possible combinations. In the process of reading this book, I'll be putting up some highlights as I read through the interviews.

Natsuyaki Miyabi X Sugaya Risako


Were you close since 10 years ago?

Natsuyaki: That's right. Even the fans said that 'Risako and Miya are always together', and if you were to look at photos from the past, there really are a lot that capture the 2 of us, we were together so much that we really were like sisters. I think it's amazing that we've continued that way since we were small.

Sugaya: In Berryz Kobo, I really get spoiled by Captain and Miya. Captain spoils me, but Miya would say 'Do it properly!, just like an oneechan.

Natsuyaki: When I'm mad, I'm mad. Like 'Risako, that's no good', in a serious tone.

Sugaya: You'd scold me, but you'd also listen to what I had to say and sympathise with me. I'm the oldest girl at home, so I think it would be really great to have an oneechan like this.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Country Girls and the New Members

Courtesy of Barks, we have coverage of what happened over at Country Girls' formation 1st anniversary event. I'll be focusing on the 2 new members in this translation.

If you're more of a video person, I've put up a subtitled version of the Jijipress coverage on the event. It includes a clip of the existing Country Girls members being informed of and welcoming the new additions, but not the closing comments from the members. I've been told that the video may not be available to US viewers though, so your mileage may vary.

This'll be out of chronological order, but I think it flows better given that we know the final outcome.
Quick note: from what I understand, the years are counted from when they start rather than when they end. So the day after your first anniversary, you enter your second year rather than starting on your first year. I guess the natural numbers start with 1 in Japan.

Letter from Country Girls Supervisor Satoda Mai

Everyone, a very good evening to you!
This is Country Girls Supervisor Satoda Mai.

Celebrating a whole year today, on the 5th of November,
Country Girls will be making a new start.

As the original goal was to be a group that's growing to face the world stage,
And thinking about how to power it up further,
I had exchanges with people from the office,
Including Playing Manager Momochi.
A proposal to add new members was made,
And I approved of that proposal.

Taking into account their habitual training, the outcome of their lessons, and their future prospects,
We chose 2 names for the new members, Yanagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu, from the H!P Kenshuusei.

To the fans who have been cheering us on, we beg for your continued kind and warm cheers of support.

And to the 2 new members, please blow a new wind into Country Girls with your energy and freshness.

From now on, I'll be watching over the 7 of you!

November 2015, Satoda Mai

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Momochi, welcome back! Also, let's get to know the new Country Girls!

On Thursday, Country Girls celebrated the anniversary of their formation, where we received some huge news concerning Country Girls:

Momochi has officially recovered!!!

That's right, she's been given the okay from the doctors to continue with her singing activities!

For those not in the know, everyone's idol was diagnosed with vocal cord polyps. She took a break for a while, but slowly recovered to the point where she could appear at events in as a MC. She even joined in a Halloween Parade. But as of Thursday, she's officially made her singing comeback.

Of course, I'm sure that all of us will gladly welcome back the presence of the Playing Manager, a paragon of stability in these turbulent times.

Also, another related and similarly momentous announcement was made on that day as well: Momochi would be growing the ranks of her loli minions Country Girls would be welcoming two new members from the H!P Kenshuusei - Yanagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu. Just as a yardstick, both girls are slightly older than Momochi's idol career. While Funakki is a familiar face, Yanagawa Nanami's fairly new. In a bid to get to know them better, I'll be translating a little Q&A done by them, from the Kenshuusei portion of November 2015's Top Yell coverage of the September Nama Tamago Show!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

H!P Maruwakari 2015 Summer DVD

Having finished the questions in the Winter 2015 Maruwakari Book, I'm currently in the process of working though the Summer 2015 Maruwakari questionnaires. With 10 questions for the 51 Hello! Project members, plus 9 questions for the 14 new faces among them. it adds up to 636 questions. To tide you over while I work on the translations, here's some clips from the DVD that came with the book.

Throughout the DVD, each of the members were asked what they'd like to do in the summer. Also linked are their answers to the same question for the PokeMo questionnaires, translations courtesy of Rokun. This'll also allow you to make a consistency check, whether or not it actually their answers are actually what they want, or are they just coming up with an answer on the spot, as it were.

What they'd like to do in summer
PokeMo answers

Maimi: Marine sports - banana boats, wakeboarding

Nacky: Camping - she's never gone camping before

Airi: Every year she says that she'd like to go to a summer festival, or play with fireworks, so this year she'd like to add BBQ-ing to that

Chisato: Take pictures of sea fish - she goes to the sea every year with her family, and since she sees lots of fish while swimming, she'd like to take pictures of them

Mai: Go to the sea and watch fireworks - she hasn't gone anywhere this year, so she'd like to go and watch fireworks in her private time

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Sudo Maasa x Sugaya Risako

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hello! Project Kids in 2012, a book entitled Rival - 12 shoujo no 10-nen monogatari - (The 10-year legend of the 12 girls) was released. The book contains 2-page discussions between pairs of girls, covering all 66 possible combinations of them. I'm currently in the middle of reading this book, and would like to share some highlights from some of the interviews.

Sudo Maasa X Sugaya Risako

While you're in the same group, I think that the two of you specialise in different fields. Firstly, from Maasa-chan's point of view, what do you think of Risako-chan's singing?

Sudo: I've always thought that Risako was amazing, even from when we were in primary school. Her singing is so intense that it makes you see visions, your eyes get drawn to her, like 'That's a great expression she has on her face.'  I particularly like her facial expression when she sings 'Makenaiwa' in 'Baka ni Shinaide'. It's great how she looks straight at the camera (laughs). It's like you're really acting out the world of the song, and your voice draws us into that world view.

Sugaya: I had no idea about that. There's so many other things I'm thinking about, like what's the next line, or how do I do this move, so I can't even think about the world of the song....... (laughs).


Well then, from Risako-chan's point of view, what do you think of Maasa-chan's acting?

Sugaya: Maa gets lots of cool roles. You were really cool in the play 'Thank You Very Berry', where you came out wearing a sarashi wrap and a gakuran. It was a role that only Maa could do. You can't do cute roles, huh?

Sudo: Yup, I can't (laughs).


Sugaya: I was together with Maa for 'Mini Moni The Movie Okashi na Daibouken!', and we became close. We were quiet at first and didn't talk at all, so I have no idea how we linked up (laughs). But she was the oldest among the members that were in the movie, so she was like our mother, bringing us together. We've always been together, and I think Maa's the only one I haven't quarrelled with. We've maintained our good relationship, and 10 years have passed in the blink of an eye. For me, Maa is Berryz Kobo's vice leader (laughs)*. [...] Miya was like an oneechan too, but there were times when we were forsaken by Miya (laughs). We often got told off. That made me happy though (laughs).

*Natsuyaki Miyabi was nominated sub-captain of Berryz Kobo in 2013, a year after this book was published


Sudo: For me, [Risako] is a really soothing presence. It was that way even during 'MiniMoni......', but everything you do is so cute, it's like I'd forgive whatever pranks you'd pull. It made me happy that you came to me with a 'Mama, mama', in order to be spoiled. Now you've grown-up, that little devilishness has increased (laughs).

Sugaya: Little devil? Not a devil (laughs)?

Sudo~:  A little devil (laughs)! Don't change that part of you that always soothes me, okay?


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Momochi no Kimochi: Vehicles (Essay #2/22)

I get motion sickness, so when I'm on a plane or the shinkansen, I want to stay by the window!

On trains, the seats at the end are good, but recently, I've found a place that's even better. That would be the seats 2 rows away from the end.
That's exactly where the corners of the glass windows are, so it's easy to put your head on the rim.
It acts as a nice bolster when I'm sleepy, and there's a greater likelihood that it's empty compared to the end seats, it's one of those hidden spots.

I often ride taxis for work, but on taxis in Yokohama, you can get oil-blotting paper!
That makes me really happy, and when 'Yokohama' is written in my schedule, I get excited thinking 'Ah, I guess it's going to be an oil-blotting paper day?'
But to that extent, when I don't get them, I feel a bit betrayed though.
Momoko Tsugunaga