Nakajima Saki X Hagiwara Mai
You're now able to speak pretty freely [when Mc-ing]. However, when you were small, did you have to make arrangements, like 'You should say this here'?
Nakajima: Even back then, I wondered why we had to follow the script. Why couldn't we say what we wanted to say? I can talk about it now, but there honestly were times when I thought about deviating from the day's script.
Hagiwara: And for those people who were coming to watch us several times, they'd hear the same lines each time, wouldn't they? It would seem like we were only thinking about the same things, but we were just following the script... It was a dilemma.
Nakajima: And in the midst of that, I guess the staff members noticed that we'd grown up, so we'd have our own take on things, and they left things to us. The scripts went away about 2~3 years back. They would set the programme, but they left it to us to speak our thoughts. We were free to choose our words, so it became absolutely more fun.
How did the fans respond?
Hagiwara: It went over even better than before. We were told that there were too many inside jokes, but we were also told that it was enjoyable, that it was very '℃-ute'.
Nakajima: Even if we were to rehearse our free talks and set things up like 'I'll be saying this here, so make a retort, okay?', it ends up feeling strangely rehearsed, and not very funny.
For example, when you watch variety programmes on TV, do you learn from the discussions between entertainers?
Nakajima: I do watch them bearing that in mind. But, while I do learn from how they choose their words, it might be ill-fitting for me to use what I've just learnt, so I end up not using it.
Hagiwara: I just watch them for my own enjoyment (laughs). I've always liked to talk, so I'd like people to listen to me, while I talk as I please. I talk while feeling out how people are reacting, like 'Today's discussion is going swimmingly' or 'It's funny'. I'm like 'Yeah, go on and laugh'.
The main feature of concerts are dancing and singing, so do you think the quality of MCs are connected to the quality of concerts themselves?
Nakajima: I actually think that MCs are the most important part. Songs and dances are set in all sorts of forms, but MCs aren't set in stone. Depending on whether it wraps things up or doesn't, it can decide whether or not a concert will go smoothly.
Hagiwara: There'd be no problems if our singing and dancing were the same at each concert, but MCs are the only time where it'd feel out of place if things were the same all the time. We change them, start anew each time, and it's quite a lot of trouble since we have to build up a good atmosphere through our MCs.
Mai-chan, you're quite straight to the point when you talk, but did you talk like than from when you had just joined?
Nakajima: I don't think so. Isn't it a recent development?
Hagiwara: Nope, I've been like this for quite a while. I'd frequently tell the members about things that happened at school, for example. But since I'd talk like a machine gun, talking about this and then about that, what I talked about was fairly unmemorable, and it probably left a shallow impression on Nacky (laughs). I thought of Nacky as a quiet kid at the very start, but I'm glad that Nacky turned out like this. If it was the 'Nakasaki-chan' of the past, conversations would end in 5 minutes as she wouldn't reply. Now we can have fun conversations normally.
Nakajima: I was shy before, and even though I had my own thoughts on things, there were times when I found it tiresome to put them in words. Because of our debut, and turning into a 5-person group, I believed that I had to firm up, as I thought that it would be no good to go on as I had, in a position where I'd unexpectedly have to rely on the others.
In 10 years, the two of you will be 26 and 28, so what sort of conversations do you think you'll have? Not just limited to MCs.
Nakajima: I think it'll be no different from now. We'd talk about movies we'd like to see, or the current craze.
Hagiwara: But I think we'll be independent by then, so we'd talk about things like furniture and stuff.
Nakajima: At the moment, clothes are the only thing we buy ourselves, but we'd be buying our own interior items, huh?
Hagiwara: If that happens, maybe we'd be talking about furniture in MCs (laughs). I have no idea if the fans would follow, but I'm sure that we'll just be talking about what's on our minds.