Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Maruwakari Summer 2016: Tsugunaga Momoko

Completely blowing away the age difference!
The representative idol of idols
Q1. Who is your favourite H!P member (including OGs)?
Yasuda Kei-san ♥ The legendary teasable character that continues to be loved by everyone!! Her overpowering perfume is lovely as well ♥ (laughs)

Q2. What H!P song would you like to sing solo?
'Momoiro Sparkling' (℃-ute)
It's a perfect fit for the summer!! It's a perfect fit for Momochi!! ℃-ute, any time now please.

Q3. Among the (current) H!P members, who would you like to go to the sea with, and what would you do?
Juice=Juice's Miyamoto Karin-chan.
I think that the both of us will be more than concerned about getting tanned, so I'd like us to eat yakisoba under a parasol ♥

Q4. Who is the 'summer girl' amongst the (current) H!P members?
Morning Musume。´16's Iikubo Haruna-chan. Her skin tone is always cocoa brown, so she has that summer feel regardless of the season!!

Q5. If you were to come out with a photobook, please tell us where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do.
I want to go to a snow country ♥ A pure-white world goes really nicely with a fair-skinned beauty ♥ It's snow magic ☆

Q6. What is your treasure?
Obviously, it's the fans who constantly support me♥♥
Momochi is here because of you ♥♥
Thank you for the smiles and the energy ♥♥

Q7. Is there anything that you'd like to make a start on?
Muscle training!! Currently, I can't even do a single push up, and I'm no good at sit-ups either, so I'd like do to my best and get my abs into a six pack!!

Q8. Please make a new unit by picking a person from each group.
℃-ute's Hagiwara Mai-chan
Morning Musume。´16's Makino Maria-chan
ANGERME's Aikawa Maho-chan
Juice=Juice's Miyamoto Karin-chan
Kobushi Factory's Nomura Minami-chan
Tsubaki Factory's Tanimoto Ami-chan
A unit made up of people with 'M' in their names ♥
A group of cuties brought together by this coincidence ♥
By the way, for Tsubaki Factory, it's the 'M' from Tanimoto AMi!!

Q9. Please tell us what's the best thing about your own group.
Our cuteness ♥ It's not just that our songs and outfits are cute, but all of us have sweet characters, which is fascinating ♥ Well, that's because they've got a good PM ♥

Finally, please give a message to all the fans

We'll do our best to become a group 
that scores A's 
on our report cards ♥ 

♥Tsugunaga Momoko♥

Hello! Project Maruwakari BOOK 2016 SUMMER / Hello! Project

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Maruwakari Summer 2016: Song you'd like to sing

Hello! Project Maruwakari BOOK 2016 SUMMER / Hello! Project

Q2. What H!P song would you like to sing solo?

Yajima MaimiAme no Furanai Hoshi de ha Aisenai Darou? (Morning Musume。)
Nakajima SakiWatashi no Miryoku ni Kizukanai Donkan na Hito (Mitsui Aika/Morning Musume。)
Suzuki AiriOmoi Afurete (Matsuura Aya)
Okai ChisatoOmoi Afurete (Matsuura Aya)
Hagiwara MaiAkai Freesia (Melon Kinenbi)
Morning Musume。´16
Fukumura MizukiHaru Beautiful Everyday (Morning Musume。)
Ikuta ErinaAishite Aishite Ato Ippun (Morning Musume。)
Iikubo HarunaToki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (Morning Musume。´14)
Ishida AyumiMy Days for you (Mano Erina)
Sato MasakiTokai no Neon ga Odoroku Kurai no Utsukushisa ga Hoshii (Okai Chisato/℃-ute)
Kudo HarukaChikuteku Watashi no Shun (Juice=Juice)
Oda SakuraHareru Ame nochi Suki♥ (Morning Musume。 Sakuragumi)
Ogata HarunaDate janai yo uchi no Jinsei ha (Juice=Juice)
Nonaka MikiOne and Only (Morning Musume。´15)
Makino MariaSeventeen's Vow (℃-ute)
Haga AkaneAme no Furanai Hoshi de ha Aisenai Darou? (Morning Musume。)
Wada AyakaAme no Furanai Hoshi de ha Aisenai Darou? (Morning Musume。)
Nakanishi KanaTachiagaaru (S/mileage)
Takeuchi AkariTanpopo (Tanpopo)
Katsuta RinaTanpopo (Tanpopo)
Murota MizukiDaite yo! Please Go On (Goto Maki)
Aikawa MahoYuugure Koi no Jikan (S/mileage)
Sasaki RikakoIke! Genki-kun (Hagiwara Mai/℃-ute)
Kamikokuryo MoeJishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobidatsu kara (Takahashi Ai / Morning Musume。)
Miyazaki YukaTasogare Kousaten (Mano Erina)
Kanazawa TomokoTsugi no Kado wo Magare (℃-ute)
Takagi SayukiOnly You (Zoku Biyuuden)
Miyamoto Karindearest. (Matsuura Aya)
Uemura AkariKoi-ING (Morning Musume。)
Country Girls
Tsugunaga MomokoMomoiro Sparkling (℃-ute)
Yamaki RisaAishite Aishite Ato Ippun (Morning Musume。)
Morito ChisakiSamui ne (S/mileage)
Ozeki MaiLove Namida Iro (Matsuura Aya)
Yanagawa NanamiLalala no Pipipi (Michishige Sayumi / Morning Musume。)
Funaki MusubuFirst Kiss (Aa!)
Kobushi Factory
Fujii RioSmile Ondon (S/mileage)
Hirose AyakaHitorijime shitakatta dake na no ni (℃-ute)
Nomura MinamiRomantic Ukare Mode (Fujimoto Miki)
Ogawa RenaSabori (Berryz Kobo)
Hamaura AyanoZutto Suki de Ii desuka (Matsuura Aya)
Taguchi NatsumiTsuugaku Vector (℃-ute)
Wada SakurakoNamida no Iro (℃-ute)
Inoue ReiElegant Girl (Himuro Ibu (CV Sugaya Risako / Berryz Kobo))
Tsubaki Factory
Yamagishi RikoBishoujo Shinri (℃-ute)
Ogata RisaHatsukoi no Anata he (S/mileage)
Niinuma KisoraOoki Hitomi (Morning Musume。)
Tanimoto AmiJitensha Chiririn (S/mileage)
Kishimoto YumenoMushoku Toumei na Mama de (Morning Musume。)
Asakura KikiHoshi no Hitsujitachi (Buono!)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Juice=Juice and Tsubaki Factory's thoughts on ℃-ute's breakup (Top Yell November 2016)

Though interviewed separately, Juice=Juice and Tsubaki Factory were asked about their thoughts on the impending graduation of H!P senpais ℃-ute. Here's what they said in the November 2016 issue of Top Yell magazine.

℃-ute announced the surprising news that they would be disbanding in June next year.

Miyamoto: Just as it was with Berryz Kobo-san, it's sad. It feels like an important piece of Hello! Project will go missing. It'll be up to us, the kouhai, to fill that up and go even beyond them, so we've got to absorb all sorts of things from them. Once ℃-ute-san are no longer around, we'll become the group with the highest average age. So honestly, we're feeling the pressure.

Kanazawa: We're both 5-people units, and the fans have often told us 'Set your sights on ℃-ute and do your best'. I really bear a sense of admiration towards them. In the first place, I entered this world becaused I looked up to Suzuki Airi-san, so you could say that I'm here thanks to ℃-ute-san. Even now, I still can't believe that they won't be in Hello! Project. Their presence was familiar, seemingly absolute.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Tsugunaga Momoko looks back on Country Girls as they enter the tribulating third year

Armed with her 'Momochi' nickname and her charming personality, Tsugunaga Momoko is flourishing on variety programmes. The group that she was attached to, Berryz Kobo, is currently in a hiatus, but she currently acts as Playing Manager for Country Girls. She spearheads the members through friendly competition, despite a nearly 10-year age difference. This time, with the release of their 4th single 'Do Datte Ii no / Namida no Request', we ask her to talk about her activities as part of Country Girls and as Momochi.

- Your 4th single 'Do Datte Ii no' is a nostalgic, rockabilly-style song.

Just the title might make you think that it's a reckless song. But it's a really forward looking song, the lyrics talk about a person who doesn't really care about things beyond what they believe in. The titular 'Do Datte Ii no' phrase appears more than twenty times, so the song really sticks in your head. The melody has a rockabilly taste to it, but ever since our debut single, we've been singing songs that have a hint of nostalgia in them, so this is just an extension of that. 'Cuteness' is the main thing that Country Girls pushes, but this song seems to question whether we can pull off cool, not just cute. So we're giving it a try!

- Did you know what rockabilly was when it was first mentioned?

We touched a bit on rockabilly during our previous single 'Boogie Woogie Love', so I knew what it was.

- Though you say that it's nostalgic, it'll bring up a sense of nostalgia for people who are roughly in their fifties or sixties.

Our outfits have us wearing red pumps, and we incorporate the twist in our MV, so those who watch it can enjoy the nostalgic feel.

- Nakajima Takui-san did both the lyrics and the composition.

Yup, it's a first for Country Girls.

- I had a look at Nakajima-san's liner notes, but he wrote about complicated, music-related things. Little Richard, the Beatles... Are you following me?

Nope, not at all (clearly). That's pretty much 'Dou datte ii no' to me, I don't really care about it.

- (Laughs) Nakajima-san's a natural-born musician, so he's passionate about it.

He himself harmonises in it, and Takui-san himself was also focusing on certain things when he made this song, so I'd like to properly live up to his expectations. More than anything, I'd be happiest if those listening to it think of it as a good song.

- In the past, have you interacted with Nakajima-san?

On the topic of interacting, I just happened to be at the office when Takui-san was doing an Internet broadcast, and was told to sing on it (laughs). And I appeared on the broadcast, somewhat unsure if I should be there. Ever since then, we have friendly chats whenever we meet at the office.

- You work together for 'Satoyama & Satoumi he Ikou' as well, right?

It's an event where everyone in the company talks about the wonders of the mountains and the sea, so we're often together in those. We'll be having a 'Asobu. Fureau. Taiken suru. Satoyama & Satoumi Aki Camp in Isumi' in Chiba Prefecture on the 10th of October, so everyone, please come!

- You'd like fans of Takui-san to listen to the song as well, right?

Please listen to it. The instrumental is packed with Takui-san's voice!

- So Takui-san's fans should buy it just to listen to the instrumental.

Yup, it's even got him whistling!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Messages from Fukumura Mizuki's 20th birthday goods

30 Oct 2016

20 years old

I've finally turned twenty~!!♥
I joined when I was 14... Time flies >_<
I'm already an adult, so I'm aiming to be a proper grown-up,
To bring out my Mizuki-ness,
I'll keep on doing my best
Keep on always supporting me, okay ☺

Mizuki Fukumura

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Nakae Yuri: No longer a stand-in, I'll be taking over (LoGiRL)

As part of LoGiRL's 2016 feature on Tokyo Joshiryu, they had solo interviews with each of the girls. The interviews have the girls looking back on their tumultuous 2015 - in which they declared that they were 'artistes', and lost member Konishi Ayano - as well as touching on their thoughts about the future.

Here are some translated excerpts from Nakae Yuri's solo interview.

2015 was a year where Tokyo Joshiryu went through all sorts of incidents. Let's start first with your (5th January) 'Artiste declaration'.

While starting off the year with that announcement on Ustream must have been a huge shock for the fans, it was a huge shock to us members as well. At the very start, I felt like 'What's up with this?'

And what did you mean by 'what's up with this?'

It's not like we'd declared that 'We are idols' before that, so I was questioning if there was any need to expressly make such a declaration. The way we'd been going, there wouldn't have been any problems if we were seen as idols, nor would there have been any problems if we were thought of as artistes. I'd be happy if people thought of us as artistes in the future, but to expressly make such a declaration, it kind of leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Twitter Tidbits: Momochi graduation announcement reactions

Various reactions on social media on Momochi's graduation announcement:

Blog post by Shimizu Saki, Berryz Kobo captain and H!P Advisor
Blog post by Nakazawa Yuko, MM OG

Natsuyaki Miyabi (Pink Cres., Berryz Kobo, Buono!):

I went to Country Girls' Live event 💕 Congratulations on the 2nd anniversary of your formation ✨💓✨💓
All the members were adorable, it was a fun Live event 🎀
And Momochi made an important announcement today。
She announced that she would be graduating from the group as well as Hello! Project on the 30th of June next year, and retiring from the world of entertainment。
I want her to finish things up in her own ♡Momochi♡ way until the very end 💓💓
Momo!! Do your best until the very end 👑✨ #TsugunagaMomoko#CountryGirls#BerryzKobo#Buono!#HelloProject

Mano Erina, actress:
I think that people who make their own decisions
And people who forge their own paths
Are really cool。

So I've always really respected her from way back。

I was glad that she told me directly with her own voice,
Instead of writing it out。

It really is sad
But I'd like to continue to watch her, always moving ahead of me。
Senpai、 you are really really wonderful。

Konno Asami, reporter, MM OG:
When she made her debut about 15 years ago, she was such a tiny kid during the film Koinu Dan, and yet…☺️ She's actually got a proper teaching licence, that's Momochi for you 😊 I'd like to cheer on Momochi who'll be advancing on a different path 👏💓 (Konno Asami)

Quick translations of news reports on Momo's graduation announcement

Here's just some notes I gleaned from news reports. Not in the right state of mind to proofread, so apologies in advance if some things come off as a bit odd.

Compiled from various sources:

At the press interview before the concert:
Momo: 'I, Tsugunaga Momoko' will graduate next year on the 30th of June. The 30th of June is the day I passed the Hello! Project auditions and became an idol. I'll be celebrating my 15th year as an idol, so it's a big decision. I've had an interest in studying child education, so I hope to do that someday.
As her motto is 'For an idol, better to have a smile than a tear-stained face', she didn't cry at the press con.
Momo: 'I've made a great decision for when I hit my 15th year as an idol'
Momo: 'I thought that I'd like to help the members grow for two, three years'
Momo: 'They've all gradually started to behave like idols, and while I'm happy about that, I also felt that I should let them be independent from this parent, though it's sad'
Momo: 'They've all grown a lot, so I thought that it should be my turn next. This is in agreement with the office, they're not shooing me off. It was something I decided upon, thinking about my future. These are my pure feelings'
Momo: 'Seeing the Berryz Kobo members moving on the path towards what they wanted to do, it also gave me a big push'

On the specifics of what she'll do after graduating:
Momo: 'It's still unclear. I'll study properly, do my research, and I'd like to find an area I'm interested in the midst of that'

On going on towards being an educator:
Momo: 'I really love being an idol, being in the same space as the fans, but I love children just as much. I've given a push to the members to go ahead on their own paths, on what they want to do. I'll love singing and dancing my whole life, so I'd like to discover even more about the things I've gained through my idol activities, and involve myself with lots of children.'

Q: With your decision to go on hiatus, it'll be a big loss for the world of entertainment 
Momo: 'Not just the world of entertainment, I think everyone around the world will be saddened. I'm sure about that. But I love you all, and for making you sad, Yurushite-nyan ♪ So because of that, with the remaining time, I'd like to go full blast so that there won't be any regrets.'

Tsunku♂'s reaction:
When Momo contacted Tsunku♂ about graduating, he jokingly asked if she was having a dispute with the office.
Momo: 'How much of a 'troublemaker' image do I have? (laughs)'
After Momochi explained that it wasn't the case, his reply: 'Thank you for your hard work up to now.'
Momo: 'I'd like Tsunku♂-san to watch my valiant figure with his own eyes, until the very end'

What she'd personally like to do in these remaining 8 months.
Momo: 'As an idol, as an entertainer, I'd like to do my best to not leave any regrets. I'd like to leave behind a legend in the idol world. I'd like to make a perfect 'Idol Momochi' with everyone'

Member comments:

She'd told the members about her intention to graduate two weeks ago.

Risa: 'While it's sad, I'm honestly not surprised, I thought 'The time has come'. I've always been watching the sight of the sparkling Momochi-senpai, so I'd like to take into account the components that I've absorbed from Momochi-senpai up to now and properly develop myself. In the remaining 8 months, I'm determined to learn from Tsugunaga-san'

Risa: 'We can't joke about the fact that there's a ten year difference between the oldest and the youngest any more. (Momochi: 'Don't use your senpai as joke material!') We'll be thinking about all sorts of things after this

Ozeki: 'I think I'm the cutest amongst the members, but Momochi-senpai says the same thing, so it collided with Tsugunaga-san's cute character. But it's sad that a huge rival will no longer be around. I'll do my best to inherit that cuteness'
Momochi tsukkomis with an 'Oi Oi'.
Momochi: 'How reliable! The perfect successor to Momochi-isms'

Funaki: 'She was like Country Girls' teacher. She even told me off when I once got bad marks on a school test. She told me that I had to balance being an idol with studies. So until Momochi-senpai graduates, I'd like to get good marks!

Morito: 'I would be nervous each time we'd meet (Momo: 'You're making me sound like a scary senpai!') But, now we're so close. I'm told that I'm the worst when it comes to MC-ing, so until she graduates, I'd like to watch, capture, and inherit Momochi-senpai's amazing talk skills'

Yanamin: 'It was like a bolt out of the blue. Tsugunaga-san was like a being from above the heavens at first, and I'm really happy that we're so close now. Momochi-senpai is like the incarnation of cuteness. I'd like to absorb Tsugunaga-san's stance that an idol has to be cute.

Satoda Mai comments: 
'It's like I relied on her so much that I didn't have to do a thing, I'm sorry!'
'She earnestly deals with everything, she puts in so much effort, as an idol, she's a professional who does things to completion by herself. I may be 8 years older than her, but I have a lot to learn from her, I'll always respect her.'
On Momochi being attached to the reborn Country Musume: 'It was really reassuring, and I was really happy'
'She's given confidence to the members that she's polished up from the core in these two years, and I hope that they'll boldly go on as Country Girls'
'For Momoko who's been doing her best for the group up until now, I'd like her to get a good rest, use her time for just her own sake, and do what she likes to do'

Translator's current mood: 

Morito Chisaki's 'Member I'd like to stay over with' ranking

More from this ranking series:

——This is a 'Top 6' ranking, but let's set aside your announcement of who's first and sixth until the very end. And with that, let's start from fifth place!

Morito  Fifth would be Funaki Musubu-chan. She's a new member, and we've only worked together for just four months, so I don't know how her home situation is like. Staying over would suggest a close relationship, wouldn't it? I feel like we're still at the point where things are still a bit awkward... And so, she's fifth. But she's not at rock bottom! Funaki-chan's from Osaka, and I really like Osaka. I like how, when we're talking backstage, Funaki-chan will slip into Osaka-ben. Imagining how she's like when she's in off mode at home makes my heart skip a beat. I'd look forward to hearing Osaka-ben if I were to stay over with her!

——It would be nice if you could stay over at her place someday! Well then, fourth?

Morito Fourth is Momochi-senpai!

YamakiInabaOzeki  Ehhhーー (with looks of surprise on all their faces)

Morito I seriously put some thought into where I should place Momochi-senpai, but to start with, since she's a dai-senpai, I don't think I could stay over at her place! But then I continued with my thoughts! Since this was hypothetical, I'd be able to see everything, like how her home environment is like, or what she does before going to sleep. I can't even begin to imagine Momochi-senpai being in off mode, she's a mystery to me (laughs).

——By the way, how do you think Tsugunaga-san would be like before she goes to bed?

Morito Well, she's constantly an idol, so I think even her pyjamas would be cute ♥ That's for sure!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute Cross Talk 15: Tokunaga Chinami x Natsuyaki Miyabi

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

Tokunaga Chinami X Natsuyaki Miyabi

They have similar fashion senses and food preferences, and they even start getting hungry at the same time. These two close friends are the same age, and with their preferences at the front and centre of this discussion, they look back on the past ten years.

I get the feeling that the two of you really enjoy fashion. Have you gone shopping together before?

Tokunaga: We often do. We go to places like Harajuku and enter all sorts of stores. We tend to like the same clothes, so we also like to go to the same stores.

Natsuyaki: At stores, we'd both think about how we'd match the clothes, and on that note, we'd coordinate. Like what sort of clothes and accessories we'd use to bring out the style we'd like.

Tokunaga: Like we're store assistants (laughs). Whenever I hear any news about our favourite stores stocking new products, I'll generally get in touch with Miya immediately, and invite her to go the next day.

Natsuyaki: That's right, Chii will bring me along to stores that she'd like to recommend. She pretty knowledgeable about those things. She's very good at finding her way to them as well.

Tokunaga: If I see a store in a magazine that tickles my fancy, I like to look up where it is. I get all sorts of information from my sister who's two years older than me.

Natsuyaki: I circle the places that I'd like to go in the magazines I read as well, but it often doesn't materialise. Having done that, Chinami will know the store, so she's a real great help.

Tokunaga: That's important. Having properly made arrangements, I figure out how to fully utilise the limited time we have.

Natsuyaki: And so, things fit quite well. Chii makes the plans, and I'll just follow along. I don't really try on clothes, but I'll properly try things on on the days when I'm with Chii, who'll keep on telling me that it'll work. That's really helpful.

Did you always have an interest in fashion from way back?

Tokunaga: I always thought that Miya was fashionable, ever since we were small. When we first met, her hair was blonde, and she was wearing an in-fashion sun visor. It felt like she was a camisole-wearing, outgoing girl.

Natsuyaki: Chii has really changed. At the start, she wore rainbow trainers (laughs). She was so plain that if you were to see how she looked like now, you'd wonder what was up with her.

Tokunaga: When I was small, I generally liked colourful things (laughs).