Friday, 30 June 2017

Tsugunaga Momoko Last Interview (Big One Girls No. 039)

This magazine will go on sale on the 30th of May. Exactly one month after that, it'll be 'Tsugunaga Momoko Last Live ♥ Arigatou Otomomochi♥'. How are you feeling right now?

It still hasn't hit me yet. I feel like I'll probably go on like this, not realising it even as it ends. I guess that it'll hit me as July comes along, having used up everything I've got on the 30th of June.

Have you finished planning out what's going to happen at your last live?

It's not yet set in stone. However, I'd would prefer to make it a cheerful last rather than a solemn one.

When did you set your heart on graduating?

When Country Girls was formed (in 2014), I joined in with them as their Playing Manager (PM). I made a public promise to grow together with the members for two to three years, until they were all able to stand on their own. And there's also the fact that the 30th of June marks exactly 15 years since I entered H!P. So I was resolute about carrying this out. But I can't pinpoint an exact time when it happened, if that's what you want to know.

I would think that it was a life changing decision though. 

That's true. I knew that my lifestyle would go through a complete change, but I also had no idea how things would pan out.

You had no worries about it?

I felt that somehow or the other, things would be all right. Having been an idol for 15 years, I've had a good education on how to be loved by people. Well, I've got a cute face, and I'm amiable, so honestly, wherever I go, I'll be invincible though. (laughs) So, won't I lead a happy life if I properly go through with my studies? Plus, I'm aware of my own strengths on top of that.

First of all, what was your reason behind choosing to go to the education department for university?

I've always really liked school in itself, and add to that my love of children, that's what made me want to go on to the educational department for university.

And as you studied at university, the feeling that you would like to go on the path of child education began to sprout?...

Well, actually, being tasked with the responsibility of being Country Girls' Playing Manager played a bigger role. It's not that I'd tell them something and they'd respond with even more than I gave them, but becoming Country Girls' PM led me to awaken to the joy of teaching and educating. And since I'd always had an interest in it from the start, I feel like I'd like to take up this challenge at this point in time.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Maruwakari Winter 2017: Tsugunaga Momoko

Normally, would one be an idol for 15 years!?
The universe's number one idol is eternal!

Q1. Please tell us about an incident involving ℃-ute members that left an impression on you.

I can't pick the best once since we've been together for about 15 years, but the time when we did three shows in one day at the Yokohama Arena was pretty memorable.

Q2. What's your favourite ℃-ute song?

'Momoiro Sparkling'. I treasure it as if it were my own song, so much that I change part of the lyrics when I sing it, to 'Yakedoshichaiso Momochichichi~♪' ♥

Q3. What do you think is amazing about ℃-ute?

Their dancing is intense and sexy ♥
I run out of breath doing just one of their songs, and my muscles will somehow be sore the next day.

Q4. Please place the members of ℃-ute into family roles (Father, Mother, Older Sister, Younger Sister, Pet).

Father → Maimi. In ℃-ute and H!P, she's unreliable but still gives proper support, so I'd like to convey my gratitude. Yo! Leader!!!!
Mother → Nacky. Since she's always supporting the clumsy leader.
Older sister → Airin. She occasionally acts like an adult when we're together in Buono!
Younger sister → MaiMai. Even now, in my mind, she's still the same first grader that I first met.
Pet (Dog) → Chisato. Since she's always yapping.

Q5. Please give a message to each of the ℃-ute members.

Thank you so very much for your roughly 15 years of hard work.
For me, you're like irreplaceable childhood friends.
Let's gather up as BeriKyuu at least once a year ☻
Please keep in touch with me as well, ok! (laughs)
Maimi, love you ♥ Nacky, love you ♥ Airin, love you ♥ Chisato, love you ♥ MaiMai, love you ♥

Q6. This year is the year of the 'Rooster'. So what specie of bird would you equate yourself to?

The resplendent quetzal. Since it's said to be the most beautiful bird in the world.

Q7. Please tell us who's a member whom you'd like to receive New Year's money from, and a member that you'd like to give New Year's money to.

If I'm going to get any, I'd like to get it from all of them!!!!
And I don't want to give anyone New Year's money!!!
'What's yours is Momochi's! What's Momochi's is Momochi's!!!!'

I'll throw my whole being into it!!
♥ Tsugunaga Momoko ♥
Hello! Project 2017 Winter - Crystal Clear Kaleidoscope - / Hello! Project

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Voter comments for Momochi's 15th anniversary album

Arigato Otomomochi (Momoko Tsugunaga 15th Anniversary Album) / Momoko Tsugunaga

1. Gag 100kai bun Aishite Kudasai / Berryz Kobo
Recorded on the single 'Gag 100kai bun Aishite Kudasai'
Released 23 Nov 2005

♪ If it's Momochi, it's this song!

♪ I like how it feels like I'm being hit with a barrage of questions during her solo part at the last chorus.
Momo-chan sings it a bit differently now than she did back then. Which is great too.
I'm already like a granny, but even when I'm more of a granny than I am now, I'd like to remember this song, and properly put on my blusher, to show that I haven't forgotten it. I chose this song with that in mind.

2. Moshimo... / Hello! Project Mobekimasu
Recorded on the single 'Busu ni naranai Tetsugaku'
Released 16 Nov 2011

♪ The lyrics are jam-packed with a depiction of a girl who's a bit self-centered, but still loveable. It's a perfect fit for Momochi's cute voice. I love this song ♥

♪ I think this is a perfect song for Momoko, since the melody, the lyrics, the dance, they're all flooding over with cuteness.
I like how it's like 'Cuteness = Righteousness'.

3. Hatsukoi Cider / Buono!
Recorded on the single 'Hatsukoi Cider / Deep Mind'
Released 18 Jan 2012

♪ A legendary song that is used as a representative of the idol world!
It's a song that can get even non-Hello wota pumped up, and this song immediately creates a sense of familiarity. And above all, I love the people who sing the song, so there's no other choice but Hatsukoi Cider!!

♪ When I realised that the girl who sang this carefree, high-pitched song was the Momochi whom I saw on the variety circuit, I immediately felt this sense of affinity. Here was a girl, the same age as me, spinning this heart-throbbing melody and expressing the slight sadness of a first love. This song is what led me to like Momochi. It's a really important song to me.

4. Ganbacchae! / Morning Musume。 to Hello! Project Kids + Goto Maki
Recorded on the album 'Koinu Dan no Monogatari Original Soundtrack'
Released 14 Feb 2003

Ganbacchae! is the Hello! Project song I have the deepest attachment to.
I've been a Hello! Project fan for about 20 years, but back then, Ganbacchae! was a song that featured tiny girls who were the same age as me singing with wide smiles on their faces. I really wanted to be like those girls!
They're all grown up now, but this is a song I love. For me, it's a song that brings me back to those days.
For Momo-chan's last. I definitely want to hear this song!

♪ It's the song that started everything, so I want to listen to it again. I want those who don't know about it to listen to it.
The words in 'Ganbacchae!' seems be directed to the Kids before their debut. But now, those words are like a cheer of support towards Momochi who'll be tackling a new path.

5. I Need You / Buono!
Recorded on the album 'Buono! 2'
Released 11 Feb 2009

♪ I like Momochi's first lines. And listening to it now that Momochi is graduating, the lyrics capture how the fans feel. 'Kimi ga inai Sekai ha ne / donna Sekai?' ('A world without you in it / How would that be like?') Just thinking about a world after Momochi's graduation forces me to hold back my tears.
However, 'Kimi ga dokoka ni iru dake de / Watashi nara Ganbatteikeru' ('Just knowing that you're somewhere / Drives me to do my best') and 'Itsumademo Daisuki / Kimi ga ite mo Kimi ga inakutemo / Omotteru' ('I'll love you forever / Whether you're around or aren't / I'll always think of you ')... I think that all the fans feel that way.

♪ Momochi sang this song solo at Buono! Live 2012 'R・E・A・L'
Just before entering the chorus, Momochi faced the audience and yelled out 'Come On!' into the microphone. At the moment, I remember feeling like time had stopped at the venue. Singing so clearly in a heartbreaking way from the A melody to the C melody, she had created a 'Momochi world'. And yet, all of the sudden, it felt like she was calling us into that world, inviting us fans to build to mood together with her, letting us join in with the fun of the concert, making us really fall in love with Momochi. We really fell in love with her. I'd always liked her to begin with, but at that moment, I fell in love with Momochi again.
So, I want this song, 'I Need You', to be included in the album that features the names 'Tsugunaga Momoko' and Momochi. I love Momochi, who's the cutest in the world!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Momochi interview (Hello! Project Station #224)

Tsugunaga Momoko will be graduating from Country Girls as well as Hello! Project on the 30th of June.
We held an interview with her to look back on her 15 years of life as an idol.

Tsugunaga Momoko x ZYX

[On 'ZYX', her first unit after joining the Hello! Project Kids]

The members of ZYX were picked out from the older members of the Hello! Project Kids.
Well, while I was older, I was completely inexperienced in both dancing and singing.
I was completely left behind.
I worked hard at the practices, but I couldn't get to the required level.
So that spurred me on to work even harder.
More than anything, I got to work with Yaguchi Mari-san.
That was when I knew how great our senpai were.
Time has run its course, and several years have passed since then.
Now the roles are reversed - In Country Girls, I'm now in the position that Yaguchi Mari-san was in back then.
With the passage of time, I realise that she must have had a lot of deep thoughts about it.
I'm truly grateful to Yaguchi Mari-san, the senpai who taught me so much things back then.

Tsugunaga Momoko x Buono!

[Being picked as a member of Buono!]

I got called to the lesson studio and was told that Suzuki Airi-chan and Natsuyaki Miyabi-chan and I would be put in a group...
Well, both Airi and Miya are well known for their singing.
So I was like, 'Why me?'
But since we were told at the same time that it would be an anime tie-up, given my naturally high-pitched voice, I thought that I had been picked for my anime voice.
But when things unfolded, we were singing nothing but these hard rock songs...
I really... was concerned if I could sing them well.
But that made me like singing even more.
And a lot of Buono! songs made people like my singing as well.
So it's really... hmm, hmm... Huge to me.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sweet Inspiration: A time when I slipped up (Tsugunaga Momoko, ℃-ute, Kobushi Factory) - Big One Girls No. 039

Question: Tell us of an unforgettable story where you slipped up!!

Inoue Rei
I woke up after napping on the sofa at home, and made it just in time for work. In my rush, I'd brought my luggage up two floors. My legs were worn out, you could hear the joints creak. After I was done with work, I went to the hospital. Turns out that I'd pulled a muscle. If only I had prepared properly.

Okai Chisato
This was at the New Year's Hello! Project concert two years ago. At the time, we had two different setlists. I was in the dressing room when a ℃-ute song, 'Love Take It All', started playing. I was dumbstruck, and then the singing started!!......
It turned out that we were doing the other setlist on that day. I only turned up when my singing lines started. Being in my 13th year at that point in time, I got a really good scolding, I'm really remorseful about it......

Ogawa Rena
In primary school, I was playing around with a shopping cart. I was too forceful, and the shopping cart ended up flipping over, with my head hitting the ground. I was bleeding and got carried off to the hospital. But it didn't hurt, perhaps because I was so shocked. Reflecting on it, I told myself that I shouldn't mess around with shopping carts. (laughs)

Suzuki Airi
When I was two or three, I went to watch my father at a golf game. The are fences at the golf course, right? I'd put my head through the fence, and couldn't pull it out! So I yelled out to my father in the middle of his match, crying out 'Papa, I can't get out!!' (laughs) Even back then, I was such a rascal,

Tasaki Asahi
During parent's day in my second year of primary school, the teacher asked us to raise our hands if we could answer a question. But not everyone raises their hands, right? I didn't know the answer, so I didn't raise my hand. But then the teacher said that it was fine to raise our hands even if we didn't know the answer. So I did raise my hand. Then I got picked. When I admitted that I didn't know the answer, I got laughed at...... I regret not having studied more. That's a story of when I slipped up.

Nakajima Saki
Before ℃-ute had even made our debut, we used to go around with Abe Natsumi-san on her concerts. We did skits at those concerts. I had completely forgotten one of my lines, so I left the stage in a rush and got a staff member to tell me my line. I said my lines without giving any thought to them, which is something I'll never forget. (laughs) It's something that I could do because I was still a kid. Did I cry on-stage? It's a memory that I really regret.

Tsugunaga Momoko
I don't fail. If pushed to say, I fail at failing. (laughs) Something's a failure only if you think of it as a failure. For example, I've honestly made mistakes while dancing at concerts. However, I try to make it not look like a slip-up. This technique is impressive: 'I didn't get it wrong, it was just that everyone else made a mistake'. (bursts in laughter) Do it decisively, with a confident face. In that sense, I don't fail. This question may be getting answered by all sorts of idols, but as a senpai in the idol world, I'd like to say one thing: Nothing's wrong with failing, but don't have regrets. Momochi-senpai would like to highlight this. That's how I'd like you to lead your lives.

Hagiwara Mai
When and we were performing 'Ganbacchae!' at a concert during our days as the Hello! Project Kids, my leg got caught on (Okai) Chisato's leg or something, which made me slip and fall. I bumped my head, and it felt like I got a concussion, I could actually see some chicks floating around. If I had fallen at school, then there'd be someone to help me. But at the time, I couldn't stand by myself.... Being in first grade, it was a huge thing to me to learn that I couldn't live by myself. (laughs)

Hasegawa Moemi
When I went to a theme park with family, there was an octopus (a ride shaped like an octopus, whose tentacles go up and down). But the moment I saw it, I thought that it was a monster and ran away. (laughs) I strayed away from my family and went missing for about two hours. My two brothers went on that ride, while I ran away... My father and mother probably had it tough.

Hirose Ayaka
I was asked by my mother to stir-fry some onions, so I cut them up and fried them. I had it going on a low flame, but I let my eyes stray for just a moment, and it ended up getting completely burnt. (laughs) I have to really sharpen up my cooking skills.

Yajima Maimi
I wet myself in my sleep when we were on the plane when I was going overseas with my family. (laughs) I was three, but I can still really remember the details of that incident. I cried a lot. There are photos from back then. My mother had her coat buttoned up, and it looked like she was wearing a dress. The cabin attendant was in a panic as well. I remember the seat being covered with a transparent sheet, and sitting on top of that.

Hello! Project 2017 Winter - Crystal Clear Kaleidoscope - / Hello! Project

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Country Girls feat. Maimi Yajima (℃-ute) Original Photo Book (UTB+ vol 36 Mar 2017)

Yanagawa Nanami
I'd like to go to the gym and build up my muscles

My lifestyle took a huge turn once I joined Country Girls. Up until then, going to school was my routine. But with the addition of work, I got to go all around the country for events, I got to eat all sorts of things for the first time, I got to feast my eyes on many sights, it's all added to myself. And hiking up Mount Fuji undoubtedly left a huge impression on me. As hard as it was to deal with such a huge goal, it left me with a great sense of achievement. Last year, I got to play the sax in 'Namida no Request' and appear on Pokemon shows. This year, I'd like to leverage even more of my interests and skills in my work. I'd like to go to the gym and build up my muscles so that it'll have a good influence on my performances. When I'd first joined, I was immediately paired with Momochi-senpai for the filming of the MV for 'Boogie Woogie Love'. It made me happy when she asked me 'Are you having fun, being in Country?' As she was giving me her attention, I felt comfortable talking to Momochi-senpai. I get so nervous with Yajima-san that I haven't really talked with her. She's awe-inspiring, she's a beauty, she exudes this brilliant aura. I'd like to become like her. There's still the 'HinaFes' in March, so I hope to talk with her a little there.

Funaki Musubu
I'll work hard at my studies even after Momochi-senpai has graduated!

Last year, I got closer to the members, and have been going out increasingly more with them during our private time. I met up with Ozeki-san at eight in the morning to go and watch a horror movie. That was fun, the two of us watched it through the gaps in our fingers. (laughs) I think I've improved at talking on-stage. At first, even coming up with a topic was already hard enough, but I've gotten more and more used to it. Now I'm able to talk in detail about trivial things. I enjoy doing the talk segments while letting my inner self show. And I'll be taking exams this year, so even after Momochi-senpai graduates, I'll like to keep firm and properly study. When I was doing my first recording after having joined, I was a nervous wreck. But Momochi-senpai wished me luck. At the time, I couldn't believe that she had talked to me, I was so happy. What I remember about Yajima-san is when ℃-ute-san did a Christmas event. In that event, they discussed a survey filled by the Kenshuusei. After mulling over how to answer the question, 'What is scary about ℃-ute?', I wrote and sent in 'Yajima-san's smile is so beautiful that it's scary'. And it wasn't taken in a positive light. I got found out since I put my name down as FM-san. (laughs) I'd like to tell her that it was a misunderstanding. I meant it in the best of ways!

Monday, 12 June 2017

℃-ute in Big One Girls (No. 039)

- You're breaking up.... Did you ever consider not actually going through with the breakup?

Hagiwara: Rather than wanting to halt the breakup, for us, it's more like...

Suzuki Hagiwara (in harmony): Are we really breaking up....?

Hagiwara: It hasn't really hit us yet. Our conversations are often like 'Huh? The way things are going...... are we really breaking up?'

Okai: I think that we might only feel it like a few days before Saitama Super Arena. But things might get crazy when there's like three days left.

- It'll hit you all out of the blue?

Okai: Yeah. We won't know how it'll feel like until it happens. It was the same with our debut. It feels like how things felt at the very start [when we made the graduation announcement].

- Have you been told that it feels like such a waste for you to break up?

Suzuki: We've been told that. The fans have protested against it, saying that they're opposed to our breakup~!!

Yajima: However, it instead makes me happy to be told that it's such a waste for ℃-ute to break up. It pushes me to show them something that's even more thought out.

- You're really approaching your breakup in a great mood, aren't you? When did you feel that the bonds between the five of you had strengthened?

Yajima: For me, it was our first Nippon Budokan......

Hagiwara: Me too.

Okai: Yeah.

Suzuki: Yup.

Nakajima: Me too.

Yajima: The path to the Nippon Budokan united our feelings. Every time we were out of town, we would gather up at someone's room and stay up talking about how to make the Nippon Budokan a success. That felt like the prime of our lives, like '℃-ute's the best!!' (laughs)

Hagiwara: It wasn't the first time, but the Nippon Budokan had been established as a united goal, and we were dealing with it seriously. And the Nippon Budokan also made me realise that people can concentrate so passionately on a single thing.

- That said, to break up in such a good condition, it's such a waste...

Yajima: We've always said that we'd hate to just fizzle out after getting to a place where we were satisfied. Since we've said that, I'm grateful that we'll be seeing the end at the Saitama Super Arena, a place that the five of us have dreamed of.

- You released your '℃omplete single collection' on the 3rd of May, a best-of album which contains all your singles. But it's also a reminder that the clock is ticking. As members of the group, how do you feel, releasing a complete single collection?

Nakajima: While I think that it's really great that we get to release an album like that, it also does serve as a reminder that the curtain is finally closing on ℃-ute.

Okai: When Berryz Kobo released their complete album, I looked at it objectively, like 'Ah, it's the last...' I knew that the day would come for us someday. And now, we're in that position. It was a bit scary to think that once this album got released, there'd be no more albums, no more new songs.

- Though you did want to leave behind this sort of complete album package.

Yajima: That's right. Doing it this way reminds us of what a long history ℃-ute has, of how many songs we've released! It's not a complete record of everything, but I'm really glad that we got to leave behind something in this form.

Hagiwara: There's also three new songs in it, so I'm glad that we can show you a new ℃-ute again at the very end.

Suzuki: What's more, I think that it's nice how there are all the coupling songs on [the regular edition], as well as rare tracks. I really remember 'Yuki ga Chirari', and I remember even the dance lessons for 'Come Together (℃-ute ver.)' and 'Juliet Juliet'. ℃-ute fans won't be able to attain full completion unless they get their hands on this album! So I hope that you check it out.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Juice=Juice Miyamoto Karin 'I am an angel'

We have a direct face-off with Juice=Juice, a Hello! Project idol group that just released their new single 'Jidanda Dance / Feel! Kanjiru yo' on the 26th of April.

Firstly, please introduce yourself to the readers! Tell us something about yourself that you would like the readers to pay attention to!

Miyamoto Karin: I often say this myself - I am an 'angel'.

Takagi Sayuki: Hey, stop that~

Miyazaki Yuka: Are you all right? This is our first time working with this publication... (anxious look on her face)

Miyamoto: It's all right! I'm in this to bring smiles to the faces of lots of people. I'd like to become a person who can heal those around me just by being there. So, I'd like to further refine my cuteness! Please keep an eye on me, to see how much I'll grow from now on!

Kanazawa Tomoko: I want you to watch how I move my hips while I'm dancing. My goal for the year is to polish my seductiveness. So I'm studying up on how to move and swing my hips. I'm working on increasing the range of my hip motions. So I hope you won't take your eyes off me at concerts.

Miyazaki Yuka: I often get told that I'm a vixen. So I'd like to treasure that 'cute and cunning' genre that I find myself in!

Takagi: I love singing, so I want to become good enough that I'll be acknowledged even by myself. At the moment, I'm not at the level where anyone listening to me would say that I'm good, so I should try to learn more things. I'd like to grow in that way, so I hope that people will observe that.

Uemura: I'm currently growing out my bangs, so I want you to observe that! Pay attention to my bangs!