Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 64: Shimizu Saki x Okai Chisato

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 Okai Chisato


The two are you are both the smallest in your groups, aren't you?

Okai: Undoubtedly so (laughs).

Shimizu: I suspect, however, that Momo (Tsugunaga Momoko) might be smaller (laughs) (Tsugunaga Momoko's 'officially announced' height is 149.9 cm).

Were you conscious about your heights from the time that you were in the Hello! Project Kids?

Okai: Since I thought that I'd grow eventually, it didn't weigh on my mind. But when we took photos together in large groups, I started noticing how small I was compared to the rest.

Shimizu: While the other Berryz Kobo members have gradually gotten bigger, I haven't grown at all, and I wondered things were alright. My grandad said that I'd get bigger by drinking milk, so I had milk every day. But I didn't grow bigger at all (laughs).

Are your families on the tall side?

Okai: My sister's close to 160 cm, so I think that there's something there. Mama's small, but my Papa's roughly 170 cm. So I expected that I'd grow (laughs).

Shimizu: Ahaha, that's what you'd expect. My mother is small, and now I'm already taller than her. My father's normal, and my older brother's really tall.

Okai: You drank milk as well, right? Isn't it strange!? The Okai household is strange as well (laughs)!!

So you were in an environment where you could still keep your hopes up on growing a bit more. For the two of you, would you like to have some extra height?

Okai: In general, I do! Ideally, just under 160 cm. The taller girls tell me that it's cuter to be small, but I definitely would like to be borderline 160cm!!

Shimizu: Yup yup yup yup! My thoughts exactly (laughs). About 160 cm would be just right. (Natsuyaki) Miyabi and (Sugaya) Risako are both just about 160 cm, and I think that level would be the best.


Don't the both of you think that you're cute at this height!?

Okai: Well, under normal circumstances, when I look at ShimiSaki-chan, I think she's cute and tiny. And what's more, when she's dancing, ShimiSaki-chan doesn't seem small at all.

Shimizu: I think the same way about Chisato. Ever since the auditions, she's had this huge presence, so I don't feel that she's small.


Currently, Saki-chan's taller?

Okai: By about 3 cm. At one point in time, we would compare heights whenever we met. And we'd comment to one another about how much we'd grown.

Shimizu: We did compare heights (laughs).

Okai: But we gradually lost interest.


Shimizu: But, there was a time when (Hagiwara) Mai suddenly shot up...

Okai: Yeah! That was a surprise~ (laughs).


Well then, if the two of you look back over the 10 years up to now, what do you think?

Shimizu: I took the audition itself as I was invited by a friend, so I never thought that I'd pass. What's more, I made a lot of mistakes during the judging. I slipped up with the lyrics, and didn't sing the first part (laughs).

Okai: You just chose to disregard it (laughs)?

Shimizu: Yup, I just resigned myself (laughs). Even now, I have no idea why I passed.

Perhaps you were evaluated as having guts, since you were bold even after making mistakes!?

Shimizu: Maybe that was the case (laughs)?

Okai: I really didn't think about for about the first five years, I feel like I spent my time in a state of 'nothingness'. Someone asked me halfway through if I would be quitting, and I gave it some thought. But now, I think that it was great that I continued. We had all sorts of problems back then, didn't we?

Shimizu: Ahahaha, all sorts.

Okai: We were kids, so we'd fight over the silliest things, we'd get mad over the most meaningless things. But it's also thanks to that that we are who we are now.


Looking at one another, has the impression you had of one another changed over these ten years?

Okai: She changed. ShimiSaki-chan was in the older group, so I didn't really get involved with her at first. We actually started talking roughly from last year's BeriKyuu concerts ('Berryz Kobo & ℃-ute Concert Tour 2011 Aki ~ BeriKyuu Island~'), and I hadn't pegged you as someone who liked to talk. But when we went for a meal together, we talked, and talked (laughs).

Shimizu: You could say that (laughs). It was the same with you. I thought that you were endearing in the past, sticking to (Yajima) Maimi and the gang, but then I found out that you were actually quite the talker, plus you were funny. When I'm talking with you, my sides really stitch up, so much that shapes up my abs.

Okai: You get a workout (laughs)?

Shimizu: I do (laughs). But you really keep an eye on your environment, you're caring, you're funny, it's fun to be with you.


For Chisato-chan, what sort of time has these ten years with Saki-chan been like?

Okai: I started talking with her properly only recently, but ShimiSaki-chan's dancing also catches ℃-ute's attention when we watch it, and in that sense, you've always been a presence that's on our mind. Even in Berryz Kobo, you have presence. The members often comment on how seriously amazing your dancing is. I think it's really amazing how expressing yourself through dance, you bring out your presence. 

Shimizu: While Chisato's a bit different from how she was in the past, talking about presence, you really bring this sense of relief. You can talk when we're counting on you to talk, and you can sing and dance. This came to mind as I was talking, but whether something's good or bad, you're able to get it through in words. That's where I really feel that you bring this sense of reassurance. I think that after this, if Chisato's around, I'll be able to feel calm, and enjoy myself. We've often talked about going to hang out somewhere, but we still haven't been able to make it a reality at all. Let's make it happen, okay.


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