Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 33: Tsugunaga Momoko 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

Tsugunaga Momoko X Kumai Yurina


Momochi, from your eyes, do you think that Kumai-chan has changed recently?

Tsugunaga: She's changed. Specifically, she got good at singing all of a sudden. How good she's become at singing has even become a topic of discussion among the members.

Kumai: No way- I'm getting really self-conscious. I was aware that singing wasn't my strong point, but I wonder how it ended up that way? Personally, I don't think that I've changed in any particular way.

Tsugunaga: That's great. If possible, we wouldn't really like to raise the topic, and if we were to say 'Kumaicho, you've changed in this way!', you'd be conscious of it, which might make you veer off the course and fall short of everyone's expectations. 


By the way, Momochi, how did your way of referring to her as 'Kumaicho' come around?

Kumai: When we were still small, the name of the Imperial Household Agency, 'Kunaicho', happened to come up, and I was like 'Kunaicho? If you're looking for Kumaicho, I'm here', and all the members started calling me that.

Tsugunaga: So for a period of time, all of us were calling her 'Kumaicho'. Then at some point it reverted back to Kumai-chan, but I was the only one who missed the boat.

Kumai: The other day, by some chance, Momo called me Kumai-chan after so long, but it felt really out of place, like 'Who is she calling out to?' I won't turn to her if I'm not being called Kumaicho (laughs).

As for Momochi, you haven't changed in that sense (laughs).

Tsugunaga: That's right. It's also often said about my face and my voice as well. But last year, Kumaicho actually became the centre of a Berryz Kobo single ('Shining Power'. To be exact, it was released on the 10th of November, 2010), and she also became the lead role for a movie ('Ousama Game'), she was placed in a lot of high-pressure situations.

Kumai-chan, as a contrast, from your perspective, what hasn't  changed about Momochi?

Kumai: I guess it's her oneechan-like presence, and her intelligence. The first impression I had of Momo was in 'Koinu Dan no Monogatari', as Morita.... Umm, what was it?

Tsugunaga: No, no, it was Morishita Mao!

Kumai: Level-headed and cute, I thought of you like you were Mao-chan.

Tsugunaga: Kumaicho was really adorable as primary schooler acting all grown-up, with her hair seriously parted in a 7:3 ratio, like a salaryman. In my mind, you did your homework properly, and I remember you sticking your science printouts into your notebook, but there was a size mismatch, and you were like 'Eh, it's not matching up' while grappling with that piece of paper (laughs). 

Kumai: Momo was competitive. All the members were taking purikura, and in purikura, you look prettier when you're at the front, right? In my mind, Momo was always at the front.

Tsugunaga: Since that position's reserved for me (laughs). Kumaicho was the sole person who had always been calling me 'Momochi', but there was a time when she started calling me 'Momo'. Since 'Momochi' had been fine, I strongly pressed her for an explanation, and she said that she wouldn't use such a childish nickname with someone who'd already turned 18.


Kumai: She's been tickling me recently. At this age. Like, a twenty year old tickling an eighteen year old? (laughs) She'll immediately come and tickle me when we have breaks during rehearsals, I've really told her to stop it, yet she doesn't quit. At those times, when I say 'Momochi, quit it', she'll stop (laughs).

Then Momochi's the cause (laughs). Kumaicho, for you, what do you think of Momochi?

Kumai: She really is an oneechan. Putting her 'Yurushite-nyan♪' and the 'Koyubeam' aside, she helps me out when it's time to wrap a story up, like 'So Kumaicho, that's how it was, right?' She's my interpreter.

Tsugunaga: That is true, I might just be Kumaicho's interpreter. For me, Kumaicho is soothing. Maybe because I don't want her to become oddly mature, I hope that she never changes. Like I don't want her to become self-aware about the fact that she herself can't wrap things up. Since if she becomes oddly mature, with the ability to talk at the level where she can give a presentation, that soothing feeling will disappear, so I'd like to safeguard Kumaicho so that she remains as she is until whenever.


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