Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 30: Sugaya Risako x Hagiwara Mai

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

Sugaya Risako X Hagiwara Mai

Risako-chan and Mai-chan, you're both the youngest in your respective groups. How old were the two of you when you entered the Hello! Project Kids?

Sugaya: I was eight, and Mai was six.

Hagiwara: My first impression was that a girl who was cute like crazy had showed up. So cute that I had to ask myself, 'What's up with this girl?' Her skin was oh-so-fair, pure white, like snow.

Sugaya: You're exaggerating (laughs). Mai was really tiny and adorable. While the first time we interacted was during the movie 'Mini Moni。 jya Movie Okashi na Daibouken!', I got the impression that you were always running around. The tiny voice you used when you spoke was also adorable, you were such the little sister.

Being small, did you face any hardships?

Hagiwara: What I remember was dancing. Our teachers told me that since my body was small, I had to dance in a big way, another person's worth, so I danced in such a huge way that it was almost unnatural.

Sugaya: I've never been told to dance in a big way, but I remember being really bad at it. So I feel like I caused trouble to the rest, as they had to follow along.


Hagiwara: I'd never done dancing before, so I'd be a bit out-of-step from the others at first, and I generally couldn't follow along. I felt that if I went to lessons, I'd only get scolded.

Sugaya: In my group, everyone's so quick to learn the moves, so there's really quite an obvious difference. But everyone was so mindful that we did it together, which was a great help.

Hagiwara: In my group, everyone cooperates as well. They'll follow along when we have to start practising from zero. I was grateful for that.

Sugaya: It felt tough, and I honestly wanted to quit, but the fact that I continued on is definitely because I received support from those around me.


Hagiwara: When it comes to how [Risako] is inside, personality-wise, I think it's really nice how you seem to follow your own path. In a way, you go along the path that no one treads on, and in the best of senses, you aren't like an idol, you're like an artiste.

For the two of you, as members of your own respective groups, what sort of role do you think you play?

Hagiwara: I think that Risako is a presence that Berryz Kobo requires, so if Risako weren't around, I think that the group itself would be completely different.

Sugaya: For c℃-ute as well, perhaps it's because of Mai's presence that they have that soothing part to them. Just with the presence of a younger girl, the group atmosphere changes. If Mai weren't around, I think that the members would feel that something was missing.

Hagiwara: Risako, the volume of your voice is amazing. I'm told that in ℃-ute, my voice is loud, but your dancing is super sexy, it's just so nice to watch you.

Sugaya: I like to see Mai's face when she's suffering.

Hagiwara: What, wait up, what do you mean by that (laughs)?

Sugaya: Sorry (laughs). I'm going to sound like such a sadist, but since you're not good at hitting the high notes, they come out so desperately. While your voice doesn't get raw, you're really working hard, so it makes me want to cheer you on with a 'Good luck!'


Are there things that happen which remind you of your position as the youngest in the group?

Hagiwara: I always think about it. I always think of the rest as oneesans. And because of that, I'm not really careful about what I say around them though (laughs). Since we're all members who passed at the same time, there's no hierarchy, and perhaps because I'm more at ease, it possibly makes things easier to do.

Sugaya: I don't really think about it. I don't really get the feeling that the rest treat me differently for being younger, and the times when I remember it, it generally happens to be when we're asked to line up in age order. That's usually when I remember that I'm the youngest. We've generally been together for ten years, I've never felt like there was a hierarchy.


Sugaya: In my group, everyone besides me and Kumai-chan will be in their twenties this year, and when Kumai-chan turns twenty, it'll end up with me unable to go for drinks. Putting aside whether or not they'll actually go and drink alcohol, for example, after we're done with a concert, it'd really suck if if we all go for a drink and I'm the only one who can't. It'd feel like I alone was being left behind, and I'd really hate it if I couldn't join in the next day, when everyone talks about how fun yesterday was.


One thing that came to mind as I listened to the discussions between the two of you is that you really don't want to be treated as kids.

Sugaya: The members have been doing their best over the same period, in the same way, so I don't want things to be split off just based on age. But having worked with all sorts of grown-ups over ten years, and compared to other girls of the same age, I don't think I'm that childish. Mai, you're younger too, but you don't seem that childish either.

Hagiwara: Even when I talk with girls of my age, I often think that their way of thinking is still childish, to the point where I even think that when I talk with people older than me.


In ten years you'll be 26 and 28. Unmistakably, you're already grown-ups.

Hagiwara: I feel like Risako will definitely be married,

Sugaya: Everyone says that.


Sugaya: I feel that Mai still won't be married. But perhaps, you might have a boyfriend that you'll have dated for a long while, and your daily life will be fulfilling in both love and work. But while you'll keep on saying that it's too quick to get married, one day you'll declare that you've grown tired and that you'll throw in the towel, and that'll be what leads you to tie the knot.

Hagiwara: That's quite a detailed set-up! How far does your imagination go (laughs)?

Sugaya: However, I feel that our relationship won't have changed by that time.

Hagiwara: Regardless of work, we'll really be normal friends. We don't have to be on our toes when we're with one another, and we'll always talk about trivial things (laughs),

Sugaya: Even when we've grown-up, I think we'll need friends like that.

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

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