Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 28: Kumai Yurina x Suzuki Airi

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

Kumai Yurina X Suzuki Airi

When Kumai was tasked to play a lead role in a film, the person she turned to for advice was Suzuki, who was also playing a lead role. What are the common points between the two of them?

Kumai-chan, I heard that when you had any problems, you would frequently go and get some advice from Airi-chan.

Kumai: We were doing the movie 'Ousama Game' together, and I was very reliant on Airi. Since she was the closest to me.

Suzuki: I was by myself as well, and our positions were similar, so we had the same problems. Come to think of it, 'Ousama Game' was what led to us talking a lot, right?

Kumai: That's right. There wasn't anything I particularly needed advice on, but our normal conversations would lead to me asking for advice.

Suzuki: The both of us just talked about what was on our minds at the moment. But we were nervous, and there were lots of things that we were worried about, so we ended up talking about nothing besides that. We asked one another what we should do. Kumai-chan had lots of scenes in 'Ousama Game', so we didn't have much time together, but still, the person I was together with the most was Kumai-chan, so whenever there was something I felt uneasy about, just having a little chat would bring me relief. While it might not have been in the form of advice, on my end, there were a lot of things that I relied on Kumai-chan for.

I see. How is it like when the two of you have normal conversations?

Suzuki: Kumai-chan and I are both fellow B-blood types. When fellow B-types have a conversation, our points somehow get derailed halfway through (laughs). But that doesn't feel particularly out of place, and neither do we get irritated, so while we may not be sure about what we talked about at the end, our conversations end with us feeling like we've talked about all sorts of things (laughs). Last year, we had all sorts of BeriKyuu activities, so I got to meet the members of Berryz Kobo a lot through them, and I feel like I've gotten to know how they're doing now. It was then that I noticed that Kumai-chan somehow or the other had a similar air to me (laughs). In the past, I thought that you were cool and reserved. So when I tried talking with you, my perspective of you completely changed (laughs).

Looking back on the songs 
that they each performed at the auditions

Matcha is the foundation for us! by Airi

Kumai: Ah, but it's true that I might appear cool to others. Just appearances though (laughs), that's something I can't deny. Those who haven't really talked with me often tend to think that way. Up until we did BeriKyuu activities, we didn't really have opportunities to work together, so I hadn't really talked with Airi that much. What I thought about Airi was that anything she laid her hands on, she'd do it perfectly. But having been together, she has that part of her that really takes things in her own stride... Though who am I to talk about other people (laughs), but I guess you could say that Airi's at my level.

Suzuki: Ahahaha. The both of us won't lose when it comes to going at our own pace (laughs). Even at concerts, without us noticing, it would be just the two of us in the dressing room, wondering where the rest had gone.

Kumai: We're on the same wavelength, aren't we (laughs).

Suzuki: That happened a lot. When all of us had been called out, the other members besides us would be long gone, and there were times when they'd be waiting for us outside. There was a time when I thought that we had to rush out, yet Kumai-chan had just started eating a shingen mochi (laughs). She was like 'Ah, wait up~ I'm just getting to the good part'. I was like 'This isn't a good time for that part!' (laughs)

Kumai: Shingen mochi needs a lot of preparation before you can eat it (laughs). We got called when I'd finally gotten it ready to eat, so given that I had spent so much time readying it, I thought I'd just have a bite...... (laughs).

Actually, do the two of you really resemble one another?

Kumai: I've got lots of common points with Airi. We're B-blood types, and we also move at our own stride......

Suzuki: And then, we used to have the same member colours in the past. And we also don't like really flashy things. We go for bargains, we've got all sorts of common points. We also have younger brothers... Ah! And the two of us were born in Gifu.

Kumai: That's true (laughs)! I was brought up in Kanagawa, but I was born in Gifu. We found that out from talking, didn't we?

Suzuki: Since we move so much at our own paces, we never really asked about one another in detail (laughs).

Kumai: It was the same way with our love of matcha, wasn't it? We somehow or the other knew that we both liked matcha, but we didn't know that the other liked it to that extent (laughs).

Suzuki: When we were doing promotions as BeriKyuu, we were always together, so we talked about all sorts of things, and 'Matcha-zu。' was born (laughs).

Matcha-zu。, enrolment not open to the fans. 
What are the requirements to join?

That's right, Kumai-chan and Airi-chan, the two of you are also in the matcha-loving unit Matcha-zu。 Well, since you're here, let's talk about matcha as well!

Suzuki: Well, we'll get really overenthusiastic talking about matcha~ (laughs). I've always liked matcha from way back, but it's not like we have an immediate dislike of things that aren't matcha. But since I formed Matcha-zu。 together with Kumai-chan, I've come to like it even more, and I'm learning more and more about it...

Kumai: Actually, I used to avoid matcha. I'd have some if it was offered to me, but I always thought of it as something for grown-ups, so I wouldn't pick it for myself. But as I matured, things that were too sweet became less palatable to me, and then I awoke to matcha. Now, I don't think that there's anything that can beat matcha, it's entered my personal hall of fame (laughs)!

Suzuki: Our speciality is matcha tasting: when we eat matcha-based foods, we can tell whether the matcha was processed or properly made from powder. 

Kumai: Yup, we can tell. Just this morning, I had a matcha swiss roll, and that used processed matcha, it was a bit too sweet...... I didn't finish it. Processed ones lack the tastiness of the bitter taste.

The two of you are complete matcha critics (laughs). But matcha, that's quite a sophisticated interest.

Suzuki: That's quite true. It would be more idol-ish to like vanilla or strawberry (laughs).

Kumai: But there are increasingly more matcha flavoured items, so there might be more people who like matcha than we might expect.

Suzuki: There are fans who often say 'I like matcha, so please let me into Matcha-zu。 ' But in that aspect, Kumai-chan unexpectedly acts as a firm guard, saying no (laughs).

Kumai: At ℃-ute handshake events, apparently the fans will ask Airi to let them join in, but Airi's reply will be for them to ask me. And at Berryz Kobo's handshakes, they'll come and tell me that they'd been told to check with me, and I'll be like 'Ah...... No' (laughs).

We have quite a lot of things in common by Yurina

Are there strict requirements to join Matcha-zu。 !?

Suzuki: That's not the case actually (laughs), but curiously, Kumai-chan and I share a lot of common points, so it's kind of different from a love of matcha.

Kumai: Yup. I want to treasure the initial, original members.

Suzuki: We may be a matcha-loving unit, but matcha isn't the main role, Matcha-zu。is like 'If there's matcha between the two of us,  it's even more enjoyable' (laughs).

You may share many common points, but on the contrary, are there any characterisitics that completely differ?

Kumai: Do you like tomatoes?

Suzuki: I like them, but you don't, right? Also, you like umeboshi, don't you? I can't take umeboshi.

Kumai: You like milk, don't you? In my mind, I can really see you as someone who often drinks milk in the mornings, or before performing live (laughs). I can't do milk. I drank too much when I was small, I drank so much that I came to dislike it.

You're pretty divided on your food preferences beyond matcha (laughs). In ten years time, how will the two of you be like?

Suzuki: I'd like to see Kumai-chan appearing at the Paris Collection. It was a thought that just came to mind. The other day when we were talking about Berryz Kobo, we mentioned that we'd like to see Kumai-chan appear at the Paris Collection. And I'd like to go and watch her! I'd like to go and take photos!! Kumai-chan will definitely look good.

Kumai: Thank you. I'm glad, but...... I don't have that sort of confidence (laughs). I feel like Airi would flourish with her singing, and she might be an actress. She'll play golf as well!

Suzuki: I've been thinking recently that I should be playing golf. I'm sure that those around me have high hopes for my parents' DNA (laughs). But actually, I haven't been around a course. So I've got to do it a little.

A that time, will Matcha-zu。 still be going strong?

Kumai: Of course we'll be matcha friends, even 10 years in the future.

Suzuki: I'd like to have trips together, where we go around having matcha.

Even though in ten years time, Kumai-chan might have drunk too much that she dislikes it, just like how she's not a fan of milk!?

Kumai: That won't happen (laughs). Matcha is in my hall of fame, so I'll treasure having it!

Suzuki: Matcha is the foundation for us!

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