Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 57: Shimizu Saki 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.

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

Shimizu Saki X Sugaya Risako

Do you remember your first appearance as the Hello! Project Kids, at 'Hello! Project 2003 Winter ~Tanoshinjattemasu!~'?

Shimizu: We were still so small back then, so we did it without thinking. The 15 of us made our appearance dressed as angels......

Sugaya: Watching it now, it's like, why angels!? (laughs).

Shimizu: That's right. It had a strong impact (laughs). At any rate, I remember doing just what we were told to do, with everything we had. 

Your first concert as Berryz Kobo was 2004's 'W Standby! Double U & Berryz Kobo'.

Shimizu: At the time, there was such a feeling of nervousness. There were members who couldn't stand on-stage because they were hyperventilating.


Shimizu: Tsuji (Nozomi)-san was concerned about us, and was open for advice, 'If you've got anything, Non will listen to you!' As for rehearsals, Berryz Kobo would rehearse with Berryz Kobo, we had but a few rehearsals together with W-san, which was also worrying.......

Sugaya: I had to sing together with Kago (Ai)-san, but I couldn't sing well, and I kept being taught by Kago-san. I remember that well, even now.

And, you had your first concert on your own with 'Berryz Kobo Live Tour 2005 Shoka Hatsu Tandoku ~Marugoto~'.

Shimizu: It was a dream for us to do concerts on our own, so I went full throttle. What's embarrassing is that I went full throttle even at MCs (laughs). Watching it now, I think that it would have been better if I had been more relaxed. My face was full throttle too. It was almost scary (laughs).

Sugaya: I was pretty much nervous at our first concert. At the time, I couldn't remember how to dance and sing at the same time, so I really caused problems for everyone. I was desperately trying to keep up. It was really tough.

Shimizu: We were nothing but nerves at the start, but I started to get the fun of performing live once we started doing it. Handshakes were another way we could come into contact with the fans from closeby, which I thought was such fun.

Sugaya: It was the same for me. Once we'd done it, I found out how magnificent live performances were, and the sense of unity was great. It was around when (Ishimura) Maiha graduated that the members' way of thinking changed, and I feel that the concert atmosphere changed in all sorts of ways.

Shimizu: I agree. At our second live concert tour ('Berryz Kobo Live Tour 2005 Autumn ~Switch ON!~'), Maiha graduated. Maiha was always smiling, so I didn't think it was real until the day of her graduation......

Sugaya: That's right. It was around then that we started being able to bring out our emotion on-stage, and we worked even harder, to make up for Maiha's part. Also, at the very beginning, Berryz Kobo felt like innocent-style idols, but gradually we became a group where the emphasis was on our uniqueness (laughs). But I think that we went in a good direction.

Which concert left a deep memory in you?

Shimizu: I was really happy at 'Berryz Kobo Live Tour 2006 Haru ~Nyoki Nyoki Champion~', which was the first time that I got to do a solo dance. Because I love to dance. The sensei at the time was super-duper scary (laughs).

Sugaya: That's right! That sensei was scary (laughs).

Shimizu: I really did my best at that, and once it ended, I felt drained (laughs).

Sugaya: The first time I got to sing solo was really scary. I had no confidence, and at first, it was scary to sing and dance by myself. I was full of worries, like how would I appear in the eyes of the audience? It was so scary that words couldn't even begin to describe it. At the time, I was really concerned about people watching me. When I actually tried going at it alone, I realised that it felt amazing. That built up confidence in me, something changed inside me. What left an impression on me was 'Berryz Kobo Cobcert Tour 2010 Shoka ~Umi no Ie Otakebi House~'. After the concerts, Tsunku♂-san said to me, 'Sugaya, your singing has gotten stable'. I wouldn't have known about it, but that made me really happy.

We're currently talking about stories of dancing and singing, so from Saki-chan's point of view, what song performed by Risako-chan has left an impression on you?

Shimizu: At some point, Risako's singing became really powerful. In the past, she used to sing like a baby. And even now, I remember when Risako performed with ZYX at a Hello! Project concert ('Hello! Project 2003 Natsu ~Yossha! Bikkuri Summer!!~' 27th July Yoyogi National Gymnasium). It was captured on DVD, and you were really cute (laughs)!

Sugaya: Eh- When I watched it myself, it was revolting. Really, it was revolting (laughs)!

Shimizu: That's not the case at all (laughs)!


Well then, Risako-chan, from your perspective, what impression do you have of Saki-chan's dancing?

Sugaya: Captain's dancing is really stylish! One performance that I like was when she performed 'Love Like Crazy' with Takahashi (Ai)-san and Kamei (Eri)-san ('Hello! Project 2010 Winter WINTER Kachou Fuugetsu ~Shuffle Date~'). Of course, Takahashi-san and Kamei-san were really good, but watching that made me a believer......

Shimizu: Wha, what? You're scaring me (laughs).

Sugaya: Captain was so captivating that she wouldn't lose to them (laughs)! My eyes were glued mostly to you. What's more, in the past, you had this strong image of coolness, but now, you've become cool and sexy. At our spring tour (Berryz Kobo Concert Tour 2012 Spring ~Berryz Station~'), Captain and Miya and Momo sang 'Atarashii Hibi', and at the interlude, there was a part where the 3 of you swung your heads, which was really cool & sexy.

Shimizu: Thanks! Risako, you always mention that.

Sugaya: I'm serious, I'm serious. It's true! Niigaki (Risa)-san will be graduating from Morning Musume。-san in a bit, won't she? And with that, if you were to ask who leads Hello! Project in dancing, it'd be our Captain!!

Shimizu: I'm glad for your words of praise, but I still think that there's still a ways for me to go. Ideally, I'd be acknowledged by anyone, and people would admit that 'It's frustrating, but you're good'.

From Risako-chan, is there a song that you'd associate with Saki-chan's dancing, and conversely, for Saki-chan, is there a song that you'd associate with Risako-chan?

Sugaya: There are lots. Recently, Captain's super seductive when she's dancing to 'Shy Boy'!

Shimizu: The seductive one is you, you!

Sugaya: While I may be singing, my eyes will unintentionally get drawn to Captain who dances in front of me. Also, this isn't a Berryz Kobo song, but at the interlude to High-King's 'C\C (Cinderella Complex)', you look really sharp. Your sharpness is amazing!

Shimizu: As for Risako, it's got to be ballads. At 'Koishiteru Toki ha Itsumo..', I like how you finish off the song with that one phrase at the end. When we're singing it, Maasa will be in front of me, but I'd glance at Risako while looking at Maasa (laughs) . 'Real Love' shows Risako's strength in ballads in another way. It makes one wonder if you're really just 18. I think you're a capable woman. Sugaya Risako is a capable woman (laughs)!

Sugaya: Wha.... What are you going on about (laughs)!

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