Shimizu Saki X Natsuyaki Miyabi
When we asked the members of Berryz Kobo about Captain, they said that while Saki-chan's role was to bring them together, when it comes to the things that are difficult to say, Miyabi-chan would support you from the shadows.
Shimizu: She often helps me out when we're dancing in particular. She'll mention what she notices without any hesitation, like 'Isn't this part of the dance like that?' or 'That part was a bit out of sync'.
Natsuyaki: When we're doing cool songs, there are lots of things that make me feel like 'I want it to look like this', so that's what I'll say. There are times when we've gotten into arguments over things like that, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that dancing in-sync is definitely nicer.
Shimizu: And by tightening things up that way, she helps me out. You'd think that the leader of the group would be the one to take control and give out warnings, but I end up wondering what people will think of me if I say those things, and so I don't give out warnings.
Natsuyaki: Captain does hold herself back in that way. Perhaps you could say that she restrains herself too much (laughs). But if I were the captain of the group, I think that whatever I'd say would end up becoming a huge thing. Captain has that gentleness to her, and I think that's why Berryz Kobo has our enjoyable group atmosphere.
Shimizu: But at times, I'll ask things like 'Did I say too much just now?' or 'Did I go overboard?'
Listening to your stories, it sounds like Miyabi-chan is like the father, while Shimizu-san is like the mother. When did that relationship between the two of you start?
Natsuyaki: About 2~3 years ago perhaps? Captain and I and our dance teacher, the 3 of us were discussing about concerts. There, our teacher said something on the lines of 'When it comes to performances, I want the 2 of you to lead'.
Shimizu: While Miya would perform really freely, I would perform very firmly, so our teacher told us 'It's because the 2 of you have different styles, and I'd like everyone to have the good points of both styles'.
Natsuyaki: I wanted to lead, but I received power from our teacher through that discussion. So I feel like I might have gone overboard in conveying the things that were on my mind to everyone .
Shimizu: But you were pretty shy at first. You got rid of that at some point, and became a person who could lead anyone.
Natsuyaki: Everyone was saying that it was difficult to talk to me, so I guess it was when I felt that I should just make my move. I don't really remember though.
Shimizu: But there are times when I feel that your frankness is amazing. I don't really express my own opinions, so I'm more comfortable if there's someone to turn to. Even when I'm hanging out, I'm much more calmer when I can just agree with someone whenever they suggest going somewhere or eating something, so it's comfortable to me when Miya is saying this and that. Even when we're hanging out, I just follow along with what's she decides, having fun.
Natsuyaki: When Captain's around, I feel like I have to take the lead (laughs). When I'm with Chii, I'll follow Chii when we hang out, but when I'm with Captain, I feel like I have to shape up. It depends on the person though.
You 2 are such an exquisite pair, have you always been close since the past?
Shimizu: Yes. The very first person I got close to at the auditions was Miya.
Natsuyaki: And we've always been friends since then.
Shimizu: When we had the acting test, we had to work together for our roles, which got us talking. But since you had blonde hair, you didn't seem like you were younger than me at first, and once I had asked your age, I was like 'Say what?' (laughs). But when I talked with you, we were really in sync, and it was fun to be together. We've been friends since then. We haven't really had big fights, and if anything turns up, I feel like I can immediately discuss it with you.
Natsuyaki: Even when Captain has worries, she ends up letting them pile up.
Shimizu: That's right, I won't mention them to others. As a result, many things don't get resolved, but I'm really bad at saying things out. I hate it when I say something, and the other party puts their guard up, like 'I see, that's what Captain thinks. So, I'll have to do it that way'.
Do your worries often come from having to bring together the group as Captain?
Shimizu: Yeah. Whatever I say, I constantly think about how sucky it would be to be disliked.
Natsuyaki: But while you don't say it in words, you indicate it through your behaviour, you bring out this aura of 'Let's all do it properly'. I think that it's an aspect where you've grown, where you've changed.
Shimizu: I see. I never intended it consciously, but perhaps I thought that if I couldn't say anything, then I'd have to indicate it through my behaviour.
When it comes to discussing your worries, does Miyabi-chan go to you?
Natsuyaki: Of course. The biggest thing was that, wasn't it? When I kind of felt like quitting the group......
Shimizu: We cried talking about it.
Natsuyaki: We did, we did!
It feels unexpected to hear about Natsuyaki-san crying. Is it fine if we ask about what you talked about?
Natsuyaki: I love our work, but there are lots of times when things don't really go that smoothly. There's a ton of things that we have to do in a limited amount of time, and while we try our best, at times when it doesn't turn out as well as you'd thought, you'd think that perhaps this isn't the right thing for you, and that would tie in with the heavy feeling of wanting to quit...... When I mentioned it to Captain, she could empathise, going 'There are times when that happens. So the same thoughts also have also occurred to Miya', and we ended up crying through that discussion.
Shimizu: Miya really doesn't show her tears. She doesn't show the various things that she worries about, but I think that she actually does a lot of worrying at home, so when she showed me her tears when we had that discussion, I hoped that it would make her a bit more at ease.
The both of you really rely on one another.
Shimizu: When I talk with Mama, she really says that I'd be useless without Miya. I think so too actually (laughs), and I really felt it when Miya was unwell and took a break the other day. Meeting her after so long after she had recovered, it felt like we hadn't met in a year, that's how our bonds are like (laughs).
Natsuyaki: It was really sad to be apart.
Shimizu: We don't only associate at work, we talk about anything even in our private time, we can have discussions, and we can hang out without being on our guard. I think that marks a really good relationship. Even when we're no longer working together in the future, I think that I'll always keep company with Miya. I became friends with Miya at the auditions, and I think it'd be great if I would remain friends with Miya even when we're grannies.
Natsuyaki: Captain's so important to me that I don't think I'd be able to continue without her.