Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 53: Yajima Maimi 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

Yajima Maimi X Sugaya Risako

This may sound rude, but I get the strong impression that the 2 of you forget lyrics. Are the two of you aware about this?

Sugaya: About five to six years ago, I'm sure that I forgot lyrics due to nervousness, but that hasn't been the case recently. Actually, I now have so much fun standing on-stage that I don't skip lines, but there are times when I slip up a little (laughs).


Sugaya: In cases when I slip up, the usual pattern is that I'll feel something's off, even though I might not know what it is. It's only once I've finished singing that I'll realise I made a mistake. But since I've already sung that part, I feel like the only thing that I can do is switch it up next time, to show the fans a good performance. 


Well, instead of songs, have there ever been times where you couldn't get your dance moves down?

Yajima: Previously, at ℃-ute's fan club bus tour, we had a set-up where we'd draw lots to see what song we would sing on that day. We thought about reviewing all of our songs since we'd have no idea what song would come out, but we had so many songs that I couldn't keep up. So I was the only one who didn't know my positioning on the day itself. Since at concerts, our positioning changes depending on the stage, I end up getting all mixed up.

Sugaya: But the others can remember theirs, right?

Yajima: Yup. So I really think that they're all amazing. 

Sugaya: I keep making mistakes until the last moment, but I can pull it off at the real thing.

Yajima: You're the kind of person who's strong when it comes to the real thing. That's nice. I envy you.

Sugaya: Since I can't pull it off at rehearsals, I panic, but I review the performance by watching the DVD before going to bed, and then I end up being able to do it at the real thing. 


How about when it comes to remembering lines in a play?

Sugaya: Maimi-chan, you don't forget, do you? Previously, when we were doing the play 'Sengoku Jieitai' together, you made virtually no mistakes. And you got the lines really quickly. It amazed me how you were ready to immediately start practising without the script.

Yajima: In plays, we've got a stage-viewpoint, so I don't make eye contact with the audience like I do at concerts, so I can just concentrate on what's happening on-stage. 


Sugaya: Since I've got all the others with me at concerts, I think that there's some part of me that relies on them. But in plays, I'm on my own, and I can't rely on the others since we each have our own roles. When I'm in the middle of a play, I concentrate at a level that surprises even myself, so I don't forget my lines.

Yajima: Risako, you were amazing from way back. We'd just joined the H!P Kids when you appeared in a short drama ('Bishoujo Nikki III Shounan Kawarayane Monogatari'). Though your role had hardly any lines, your acting got conveyed through your facial expressions.

Sugaya: Eh, really?

Yajima: I watched at on the TV with my mother at the time, and we talked about how amazing and capable you were, given your age. Even when we performed in a stage-play together recently, it was amazing how you entered the world of the story, so I think that your power of concentration is high when it comes to that. 


Risako-chan, do you remember Maimi-chan from when you were in the H!P Kids?

Sugaya: I thought that Maimi-chan was a girl who didn't speak at all. 

Yajima: I was shy.

Sugaya: But when we were together at concerts, I talked with Maimi-chan, and found out that she was actually a gentle girl.

Yajima: Yeah, I don't remember that at all (laughs).


Yajima: Up until the 'Hello! Project Kids Audition', I'd never used makeup, and even when I applied for the auditions, I was a really unrefined kid. When I first got to the auditions, I thought I wouldn't pass since there were so many fashionable Tokyo girls. And in the midst of that, there was Risako, who was a cute as a doll. I was startled, I didn't know that such a cute girl existed in this world.

Sugaya: This isn't from when we were small, but my impression of Maimi-chan is that you're always running at full throttle. Like at rehearsals, most people would normally hold back a little in preparation for the real thing, yet Maimi-chan would be the only one who'd go at it full power. [...]

Yajima: Full power... I have no idea. I feel like I go through the rehearsals normally without thinking about it, but I'm often told that I'm running at full power.


[10 years in the future], how will the two of you be like?

Yajima: I think that Risako will be an actress. Maybe it's because I can imagine her as one... I think that even now, she's already an actress.

Sugaya: Really?

Yajima: I feel like you could just turn up in a drama or a movie, and since you've got a beautiful face as well, I feel like you definitely could do it.

Sugaya: Maimi-chan, in 10 years time, how would you like to be like?

Yajima: Let me see. I think that I'd like to sing as I do enjoy singing, but I don't think I'll be able to move for it. We won't be able to dance as we do now, right?

Sugaya: For me, I'd really like Maimi-chan to be an actress. You're really good at acting, and you're cool in fight scenes as well, so I think it would be great if you could act together with truly leading figures, and be seen more by the general public. You're really good, so there'll definitely be people who like the actress Yajima Maimi even if they don't know about the idol Yajima Maimi. 

Yajima: But Risako, I'm truly awed at moments when you enter into your role. It feels like my eyes get drawn to you.

Maybe there'll come a time when the actress Yajima Maimi and the actress Sugaya Risako star together in a movie.

Sugaya: That would be amazing.

Yajima: When that happens, we'll keep the fact that we used to easily forget lyrics a secret (laughs).

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