Thursday, 31 December 2015

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk: Tsugunaga Momoko x Okai Chisato

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

Tsugunaga Momoko X Okai Chisato

The 2 of them have asked their Hello! Project senpai 'How about making a unit with us?'
10 years ago they were as close as sisters, but now??

What was the sequence of events that led you to go around proposing such a thing to your senpai?

Okai: It was about 5 years ago, when they were making bonus footage for a concert DVD. The staff suggested that we try it out, it sounded like fun and we did it.

Tsugunaga: At the time, it was when Nakazawa (Yuko)-san and Yasuda (Kei)-san were still around, and there wasn't much involvement between the senpai and the kouhai, so I guess the idea came about as surely people would want to see us getting involved in all sorts of ways.The reason it was us who took on that role was probably due to our characters, that we'd forgive whatever the senpai said to us.

Okai: Actually, at the time, we called out to the senpai while reading the mood. However, while we called out to Nakazawa-san, Iida (Kaori)-san, Ishikawa (Rika)-san, our hearts were actually pounding. I wondered what would happen if they got annoyed. And, we did it once again about a year ago. It felt like a continuation from 5 years ago.

Tsugunaga: As there were hardly any senpai around, that time it was the kouhai. We'd go around to the H!P Egg girls, asking 'Who would you like to team up with?' We told them that not teaming up wasn't a choice (laughs).

Okai: That put even more pressure on them.

The 2 of you teamed up into such a great pair, but were you even closer when you were in the Hello! Project Kids?

Okai: If felt like she was like an oneechan. She'd stick to the backs of Chisato and (Hagiwara) Mai as we walked.

Tsugunaga: At the time, Chisato was in her 2nd year of primary school and I was in the 5th year of school, and you were really cute. More like a younger brother than a little sister (laughs), a mischievous kid who'd climb up a tree if you took your eyes off her. But when Chisato got a younger brother, you really acted like an oneechan, and it was adorable to see you work hard even though you weren't used to it.

Okai: Momo-chan was gentle, and even now I think of you as normally being gentle. There aren't many people who would caution me in ℃-ute, but only Momo-chan would caution me, like 'Hasn't your make-up been thick recently?' You watched me even though we were separated, that's Momo-chan for you.

I never was together with Momochi from the start (laughs) by Chisato

Tsugunaga: For me, Chisato's age stopped at primary 2nd, so I'm not a fan of you seeming to get more mature. So, I was glad when you cut your hair recently, and returned to the Chisato of the past. It even made me feel rejuvenated.

Okai: Why did I get dragged into this (laughs)?

"Tsugunaga→Natsuyaki" A history of transitions
There wasn't a period where they parted ways!?

Was it being split into groups that led to the 2 of you, who were always together, to no longer stick?

Okai: I think it was also age. Like, I didn't have such a need for an oneechan. If you were to ask me now, I'm like 'Miyabi-chan, Miyabi-chan'.

Tsugunaga: Honestly, I'm jealous. If I could somehow change history, I'd like to examine it and correct that. Certainly, it's not like there was a time when we parted ways. You know, since Chisato never said to me that we'd be separating.

Okai: What you're talking about completely makes no sense. Because we never were together from the start (laughs). How do I put it, at some point, Momo's existence disappeared, but it resurfaced during 'Gag 100kai bun Aishite kudasai'.

Tsugunaga: Which means it was quite a while back.

Okai: ... However, her presence disappeared again soon after as Buono! happened, and I was like 'Miyabi-chan's super cute'. From then on, Momo-chan's presence was no longer there.

Tsugunaga: So it started from Buono!? Wait up, although Miya and I are members of Buono!, isn't it weird that only my presence disappeared?

Okai: Presence-wise, the top-most was Miyabi-chan, immediately below her was Airi, and I was like, 'Momo-chan's in there?' I guess~ (laughs). But I know that the periods never overlapped.

Tsugunaga: Indeed, so I just resurfaced and disappeared of my own accord (laughs).

Okai: But talking like this today, it's been a while, so you've gone up a bit.

Tsugunaga: You were always high for me from the start. When I listened to Chisato sing solo after quite a while, you were so good, so attractive, it made me think 'She's so skilled'.

Okai: Eh, seriously?

Tsugunaga: It's not just that Chisato's good at singing, maybe I should say that it's captivating, I quite like it. But when it comes to dancing, at every BeriKyuu concert, you'd just keep getting told off by the teachers for the same thing. As an older sister, while I felt the nostalgia, I also felt 'Come on, we're already at the end of the tour' (laughs). But I shouldn't speak about other people, so I watched you from the shadows while thinking that we should work hard together.

Okai: I thought that I could pull it off myself. But it turned out that I somehow couldn't do it.

Tsugunaga: No, no. You were the only one moving when everyone was supposed to stop (laughs). But we felt sorry for you. At rehearsals, you'd get told off at things that you weren't able to do, so for the real performance, all of us would be watching Chisato, and your slip-ups stood out all the more.

Okai: That's right! That’s why they don't see when other girls slip-up, I'm sure that they'd make at least 1 mistake (laughs)!

Tsugunaga: I've got a tendency to make mistakes as well, particularly in Buono! With Miya and Airi, wouldn't I have to sing and dance well?

Okai: No no, I think that Momo-chan's really good at singing. I really do think so, for singing, yeah, singing.

Tsugunaga: Why are you emphasising that part (laughs)? At any rate, the parts where I mess up the dances are noticeable. The common point between the 2 of us is that 'We easily get told off by the teachers'.

Okai: The mistakes stand out, don't they?

Tsugunaga: They do. So I got good at glossing over them. Of course, I shouldn't just be good at doing that all the time (laughs).

Okai: But I can't gloss over it, since I'm upfront. It's troublesome~.

This comedic combination
Also have occasional times when they have serious discussions

You're talking about things from the past, but you really are on the same page.

Okai: It's like we're always doing a skit. There are times when we have calm discussions.

Tsugunaga: Eh? Since when?

Okai: Wait up~! Didn't we have one when I went to your hotel room before!? I thought that Momo-chan was amazing when you talked seriously about university. Despite your personality, you'd properly thought about your own life. It's amazing to be able to handle both work and university. That gap, that difference is great.

For me, Chisato still remains as her primary 2nd self by Momoko

So, from Momochi's point of view, what's Chisato-chan's gap?

Tsugunaga: Umm......

Okai: There's too much that you can't choose, right. You're in a tough spot, Momo-chan. (Laughs).

Tsugunaga: In the past, you just seemed to mess around, but you had a serious aspect to you. You're a girl who's really thought about all sorts of things. Also, let me see......

Okai: Anything about my charms as a woman? Something like me being good at cooking, despite my appearances.

Tsugunaga: Eh? Can you?

Okai: At the previous year-end party, I brought along some food I'd made!

Tsugunaga: But in my mind, Chisato would be disordered with your dressing room or make-up pouch, so a womanly image doesn't hit the spot.

Okai: I see. Because for humans, weak points are easier to notice....

Tsugunaga: Just like my dancing (laughs).

Okai: But I think that Momo-chan will watch over those weaknesses, even after this. Even though you've really grown-up, at the occasional time when I hit a critical juncture, you'd send me a message.

Tsugunaga: Indeed, I'd get to the point (laughs).

Okai: There was this sense of distance like you weren't too far away, you were watching over me, always worrying for me. Also, for better or for worse, I don't want you to change.

Tsugunaga: For worse?

Okai: Well, like doing the Momochi Musubi when you're thirty! But if that's the case, I guess that' s Momo-chan. Yet I think that there were times when it would have been fine to change in the 10 years so far. But if you're not going to change, I want you to do it your whole life. Because if it's Momo-chan, I feel that it'd be fun to watch. While my mouth would go, 'You're already thirty but still doing this hairstyle. Enough already, cut it~', it's true that I don't want you to change.

Tsugunaga: In this way, there's no hurt feelings since you're saying it with a smile, even though it's something that would make me go 'Eh?' if anyone else were to say it normally. Chisato, she can't make you feel bad.

I think that you really are an amazing pair, so someday, at a combined concert, I wish that you'd get the time and do a talk segment.

Tsugunaga: Well, after the talk show, we'll do a we-can't-really-pull-this-off dance show. A 'We're going to try to dance, but if we can't, Yurushite-nyan♪ show' (laughs).

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