Special Translations

This category includes translations of interesting or news-related posts we do not regularly translate.

Morning Musume。’14 Live in New York

I was thereー!

I’m happy that all the songs were songs that I love~

Morning Musume’s performance was really stylish、

I like their professionalism!!

The cheers and excitement of the local fans was amazing、 it gave me goosebumps!!

And、 Michishige Sayumi-chan、 who’s preparing for her graduation、 was reliable as usual, a cool leader。

I was deeply moved while watching them on stage!


And、 the day before the concert, I went for lunch with the girls of Morning Musume~

They were all innocent cuties~

I also enjoyed getting to talk with Shige-san, it’s been a while!

I wish I could have talked more with the other members~

Next time、 I’ll try talking more with them!





Photo with everyone。

Morning Musume。’14、 and Country Musume。 and Masao-san。


Sent from my iPhone

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Notice related to the leader of Hello! Project

Presently、 the role of Hello! Project leader is an additional post held by Morning Musume。’14 leader Michishige Sayumi、
However, along with the graduation of Michishige Sayumi from Morning Musume。’14 and Hello! Project on the 26th of November、
From then onwards, ℃-ute leader Yajima Maimi will hold the additional post of Hello! Project leader。

From now on too Hello! Project will be humbly begging for your kindness。

Up Front Promotion

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Morning Musume。’14 New York Performance Ended without a Hitch! (Tsunku♂)

For Morning Musume。, this is their 2nd time on the American mainland、
But compared to last time, I think that the crowd was thicker with fans。

And、 I really felt、
That they were looking forward to the current, new type of Morning Musume。’14。

I may be singing my own praises、 but to for my music to be booming in the heartland, America itself、
Seeing the enthusiastic response with my own eyes、
It let me confirm my belief that I wasn’t wrong in what I had done so far、 what I had created。

The moment the concert started、 as the members appeared on-stage, the venue was filled with screams of encouragement。
There were also many female fans、 and the feeling of everyone cheering them on, Japanese-style
It was great, it was truly heart-warming。

Having said that、 it’s like something new will begin from now on、
That’s the hunch I have。

Until Michishige Sayumi graduates、 and for Morning Musume。 beyond that
I humbly beg for your kindness!





Overly stoic idol Miyamoto Karin talks about being an 「Idol Cyborg」

Juice=Juice have released their new single 『Senobi / Date janai yo Uchi no Jinsei ha』 about 2 months after their last release。

Based on how successful they are, you wouldn’t think that these girls were newcomer group hardly a year from their formation last year、 armed with their high performance quality。 This time, let us listen to Miyamoto Karin, known as the「Idol Cyborg」、 talk about Juice=Juice、 and about her personal activities。


-The new song『Senobi』、 is the most heart-rending song that Juice=Juice has done so far。 Please tell us about the highlights。

The songs we’ve had up to now have been songs about girls who are mature beyond their years、 but 『Senobi』 is a song about a girl like us who’s trying to stretch herself further、 so we sympathise with it differently、 but we understand the feeling。 For the chorus、  the words are lined up、 and expressing that was enjoyable、 if difficult。

-The chorus is distinctive。

At the chorus, the fans sing 「Whoa、 whoa、 whoa」 at the same time, so there’s this sense of unity。

-When you performed it LIVE、 how was the response?

We got a lot of opinions on the lines of 「It was mature, how wonderful」 through radio messages and blog comments。 Also、 there were a lot of people who liked our aqua-coloured outfits。 I enjoyed it since I hardly ever pile on the aqua in my personal dressing、 and it feels fresh since we haven’t had any outfits so far where all of us are dressed the same。 Since usually our clothes are all over the place。

-Please tell us about the highlights for 『Date janai yo Uchi no Jinsei ha』 too。

We unveiled this song at a concert、 but I’m happy to say that all the members enjoy this single。 At the intro and the outro、 everyone goes 「Oi! Oi!」 to get pumped up、 and part of the choreography has us jostling with our arms, which the fans do together with their neighbours、 it’s a song that pumps you up。

-It’s been 1 whole year since Juice=Juice was formed。

We commemorated it this time around by holding a fan club event、 but there were a lot of unplanned surprises、 like when the foods we disliked were lined up, we would help each other out by telling one another to「Eat」、 and I think that our teamwork is gradually getting better。  Even at MCs, we’re all helping each other out。

-Foods you dislike?

At the fan club event、 we were really expecting to get a 「reward」、 but actually as a「false reward」, we got the foods that we hated…。 I hate celery and bitter melon… But、 it did my best to eat them! I thought I’d be okay at challenging myself at celery、 but it really was impossible… Midway through I had to sprinkle pepper in my mouth。

-You also got a 1st year anniversary from the staff as well。

We were appearing in the 「Nama Tamago Show!」 , the recitals for the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei、 but after we were done with the rehearsals, the teachers brought us all together for a meeting… That scene had us feeling hopeless。 However、we were talking amongst ourselves 「Ah、 what did we do wrong?」… And with that、 the dance teacher said 「How about you guys try watching it?」、 and the singing teacher had criticisms for us、 and the teachers told us that we should watch our performance on the screen behind us. When we had a look, it was a video of the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei dancing to 『Are Kore Shitai!』… And when they went 「Happy 1st anniversary!」 , which had all of us members crying aloud。

-And talking about Miyamoto-san、 there’s the Engeki Joshibu Musical Koi suru Hello Kitty! So、 Miyamoto-san will become Hello Kitty!

I really love Hello Kitty、 and I often went to the Sanrio shop when I was small. I enjoyed the 「lucky draw」 so much that it was a must-do every time I visited!  I have no idea how I’m supposed to feel, becoming that beloved Hello Kitty、 it feels really strange。 In my mind, she’s the true 「idol」 。 However、 I’ve seen Mano Erina-san’s previous performance of Hello Kitty、 but I’d like to do a just-right Hello Kitty in  my own way。

-What preparations have you made in order to become Hello Kitty?

I’m really being careful about the way I use my words、 I’ve got to be courteous。 I occasionally inflect my words strangely、 so I’ve got to be careful。 Also、 I’ve got to improve the smoothness of my speech and speak clearly。

-It’s amazing how deeply you’ve thought about becoming Hello Kitty!

Doesn’t Hello Kitty come out in all sorts of forms, like dolls or in anime? And so、 because I’m going to be part of that、 I have to become like Hello Kitty。

-A lot of little girls will be coming to watch it。

Since Hello Kitty’s fans will be coming、 I have to do my best and not let them think 「This is no good」。

-Kanazawa Tomoko-san is looking cool playing the male role。

Since I like cute, stylish people…。 I thought she was cool when I first saw her at the photo shoot for the pamphlet、 and I thought the same seeing her at the event (blushes)。

-You’ll only be able to see that cool appearance during the duration of the musical。

That’s right! It’s really valuable, so I definitely want you to see it。

-Is Kanazawa-san usually boyish?

She’s really open hearted about it、 saying「I guess among the members, it’s got to be me if we’re acting」。

-And you’re on tour。

It’s really fun、 and I look forward to how places differ from one place to another every time。 The venues too have many unique characteristics、 like there are ones that span quite a distance from front-to-back、 or venues that have blind spots… We want the fans to enjoy themselves no matter what the venue、 and it’s fun when the members are all enjoying it。

-Do you alter every performance based on how the venue is like?

We make minor alterations、 like standing positions。 I’m short、 so I’ve got to attract attention if we’re doing somthing like getting on a platform。

-Compared to the halls used for Hello! Project concerts、 are there any differences with the concert halls for this tour?

They have their own strong points、 but where I really feel the difference is it that our expressions change depending on whether or not there is a screen。 Like your hands should be in this position if you’re being filmed by a camera、 or conversely, you put your hand in a different position at livehouses since you want everyone to follow the moves… It’s only a difference of several cm, but it drastically changes how it looks。 It’s something small、 but the members discuss it。

-Do those meetings get wrapped up by leader Miyazaki Yuka-san?

Well、 everyone contributes their opinions! Rather than Yuka-chan forcefully leading、 Yuka-chan’s the type of leader who checks to see ‘Is this girl doing all right? ‘ or notice if we’re not cheerful。 A leader that’s like a mother。

- Speaking about leaders、 Morning Musume。’14′s Michishige Sayumi-san will be graduating from Hello! Pro、 and Morning Musume。’14。 Do you have any memories with Michishige-san?

I really was under Michishige-san’s care at my first play。 I was a clueless primary school student and did nothing but be a bother to her、 but she introduced me on her blog、 giving me kind advice and taking photos with me… She really was nice to me。 At the Sapporo Hello! Project concert、 each and every member got a message card from Michishige-san… It surprised me that it was handwritten!

-Switching topics、 Miyamoto-san has been referred to as the 「Idol Cyborg」。 At our last interview, you made a sensation for having an overly stoic lifestyle, doing things like immediately doing yoga after getting up。

Fufu (laughs)。 Yoga’s a daily routine。

- Has anything been added to your 「Overly stoic lifestyle」 recently?

Yu~p、 recently I’ve been eating germinated brown rice! I’ve definitely got to have germinated brown rice for breakfast。 It seems that sugary stuff doesn’t really go well with me、 so I don’t really take it。 After that、 I’ve been reading and learning from health-related books。

-Germinated brown rice is good for the body?

It raises your body temperature! I get so warm that the members ask 「Are you all right?」, mistaking it for a fever。

-So you’re learning from health-related books。

I just read a book about 「Suturing the cranium」。 You can bind the cranium to make your head smaller!I was wondering how I’d get through the book since it was filled with extremely complicated kanji characters… But I’ll put it into practice somehow。 Also, since I’m short、 I’ve have to be careful about not getting bow-legged。 There’s also methods to loosen up the shoulder blades、 and I use dumbbells…。

-Eh? You have dumbbells in your room?

Ones that you can add up to 100 levels of water!

-You hardly ever hear about idols having dumbbells in their room。


-How would you like to be in the end?

I’d like to give good performances、 and as much as possible, I’d like to enchant  people when I’m in tip-top condition。 Also、 I’d like to become an actress who can do musicals in the future!

- By the way,  when did you start being called 「Idol Cyborg」?

It started from when we got mail from the fans through our radio show、 and it got mentioned quite a lot after that。 The first time I said 「I am Idol Cyborg」[sic]  was when Chouno-san came to an event。

-So you’re definitely aware of acting as an idol cyborg?

Well、 that’s not completely the case、 but it would be fine that way。 The fans hold expectations beyond what we ourselves hold、 so I’d like to pursue perfection as an idol。 In my mind, Michishige-san’s an idol cyborg too、 so I definitely would like to aim for that!

-In Miyamoto-san’s mind、 are there any other cyborgs besides Michishige-san

For me、 I love Matsuda Seiko-san, and I think she was magnificent as an idol! Her singing ability is superb、 and I’d like to aim for that!

-What’s your favourite song by Matsuda Seiko-san?

Ones like 『Denwa de Date』, 『Mizuiro no Asa』、 『Miami Gozen 5ji』…。

-That’s quite the enthusiast’s selection!

I’ll definitely sing them when I go for karaoke! Although there are times when they aren’t in the song selection…。 However、 when I go with the members, we sing Hello! Project songs (laughs)。

- Well then Miyamoto-san、 please give a message for your fans!

Juice=Juice is celebrating our 1st anniversary、 and we’re doing our best to slowly improve our teamwork。 For our previous single, we were labelled as 「Super aggressive pure-type idols」、 but while the aggressive parts、 the mature parts still remain, we won’t part with our pure, fresh parts either、 and I think it would be great if we’d do our best, recklessly, in our 2nd year。

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An announcement from S/mileage

4 and half years have passed since S/mileage made their major debut。
We initially started with 4 members、but after Ogawa and Maeda graduated one after the other in 2011、the survival of the group was in crisis。
During that time, the 2nd generation members joined. The 6 of us have overcome many things as a group and were even able to succeed at our dream of performing at Budokan。
That was a very big thing for S/mileage、and it was due in part to our confidence in ourselves。
We’re eternally grateful to our 4 2nd generation members。
Rather than stopping at our Budokan success, we want to make S/mileage even bigger。

From time to time, the 2nd generation members have expressed their anxiety about what will happen to the group when us two original members graduate. And so, after consulting with the staff,  it has been decided that members from Hello! Project Kenshuusei will be added to the group.
We hope that new members joining will be good motivation for everyone。
In order to establish ourselves as a brand new group, we’ve decided to change our name as well。We will be taking ideas for a new name from all of you。
If the S/mileage up until now was our 「First Chapter」、then we’d like to carve out the start of our 「Second Chapter」with the new members with a fresh new name。
We think we’ll be able to accomplish things we were unable to do in the past,  so we’d like to gradually challenge ourselves to new things。
Please continue to give us your support。

S/mileage’s Fukuda Kanon and Wada Ayaka
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Berryz Kobo Concerning their Suspension of Activities Next Spring

Thank you for always supporting Hello!Project、as well as Berryz Kobo。

Though it’s sudden、I have a report for everyone。
As was already announced by the Berryz Kobo membersduring the Hello!Project2014 summer concert『KOREZO!』held on (8/2)、
Berryz Kobo in spring 2015 will be entering an「indefinite suspension of activities」。

Though it’s extremely unfortunate as their producer as well、
the members who have been together for the same length of time since they were little talked about their futures among themselves、and this is the result they came to。
For me、I’ve been watching them grow along the way as I’ve developed many compositions for them。
And so、I think the next steps for them will be a great opportunity。

At the time they almost all debuted as elementary students、
since they were intent with the amazingly pure emotions of「I love to sing!」「I love to dance!」「I wanna try wearing cute clothes!」and jumped into this world、
I think they’ve been able to come to now remaining in the same group the whole time。
I’ve also supported these pure feelings from my heart、
and am very grateful to all the fans who have raised them to this point。

And so, I think it is my duty to keep watching over them as they flap their wings and turn toward their next new dreams。

Furthermore、concerning details about their upcoming schedules or what they’ll do after the suspension of activities、
we’ll announce them as soon as they’re decided。

For now, I’ve reported this right away。
From now on as well、please support this summer’s Hello!Project concert as well as the Berryz Kobo fall tour。

Berryz Kobo Producer

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℃-ute’s Okai Chisato talks about Morning Musume。’14 and her thoughts about Himuro Kyousuke

℃-ute’s 25th single 『The Power/ Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)』 is now on sale。

This double A-side that has gone on sale contains 『The Power』, a single different from ℃-ute’s usual fare、 and a rerecording of fan favourite 『Kanashiki Heaven』 as 『Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)』。 With a Nippon Budokan performance slated for this year as well, making it 2 years in a row、 ℃-ute are expected to make even greater strides。 We talk with one of their members, Okai Chisato, about their new songs、 as well as ℃-ute from now on、  and even more, her respect for Himuro Kyousuke。


-『The Power』 smacks of the Middle East, doesn’t it? It’s a song that’s unlike any of ℃-ute’s singles。

The first time I listened to it, I honestly went 「So this is going to be a single?」 in surprise。 For ℃-ute、 we’ve got a lot of songs that range from the extremes of ballads to intense numbers、 so how different this song was became the topic of discussion amongst the members。 But having taken a good look at the lyrics、 it leaves a girlish impression、 so I think it’s very much like the recent ℃-ute。 Also、 the Middle East? Me、 I can never remember that term, the Middle East!

- What do you mean?

At other interviews, I hear the members talk about 「Middle East」、so I thought 「I have to remember the Middle East」、 but I end up forgetting it。 Speaking about the Middle East、 basically、 I can’t remember it because 「It isn’t in my head at all」。 And so I explain it as being 「Oriental」。

- You can remember Oriental?

I remember Oriental thanks to Oriental Radio-san!

- You could probably remember the Middle East…。

Well、 I really don’t get the Middle East、 I think of it as technical jargon, like 「Kurikinton」 (potatoes mashed with chestnuts)。 But、 since you’re mentioning that it’s Middle Eastern、 it definitely is Middle Eastern!

- Okai-san、 rather than explaining the song, we’ve been just talking about the Middle East (laughs)。

I think that there’s all sorts of genres in music。

- You concluded it loosely (laughs)。

I can sympathise with the lyrics、 it’s a story about a person who can’t do anything, yet still talks big。 You know、 that’s just like my papa! While he says「After 3 years, I’ll have a house built~」, it’s already been close to 10 years and nothing’s been built…。

- However、 don’t the other members have different, strong feelings about the song?

Their thoughts are completely different! Maimi-chan  (Yajima Maimi) and Airi (Suzuki Airi) were saying that the guy in the lyrics is a person who’s really working hard~。

- Well then、 how about Suzuki Airi-san and Okai-san’s wildly popular twin-vocal song 『Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)』?

This song was originally a coupling track for 『Aitai Aitai Aitai na』, but I never thought that it’d become a single track! I love this song、 and other groups can’t pull it off. I love it because it’s an individualistic song where Airi and I are constantly harmonising while singing! Now that it’s turned into a single, there’s a lot more chances for us to sing it、 so I’d like make this song even more widespread。

- Okai-san stands out a lot in the song, right?

Well、 it seems that way based on our LIVE performances of the song or from the MV、 but actually the dancing leaves a great impression, since everyone’s impression is 「℃-ute can dance at that level?」。 It seems that the 3-person dance stands out、 and even my mother mentioned that 「The dancing at the back stands out」。

- What are the differences between the original song and the current recording?

For this one (the Single Version)、 it’s more mature。 Tsunku♂-san told us that it was calmer since ℃-ute have become adults… so I guess he made the song that way。 The 「singing」 stands out more than the music、 and at the beginning, when it starts, and  also at the end, there isn’t any music, just our singing vocals. That was really nerve-wracking。 There are lots of idol songs、 but I think this song is pretty awesome since there aren’t really any songs like it。

- To match Suzuki-san、 how much practice did you need?

Honestly、 we only had a single practice round for the original song. What’s more, we had no idea that the song would require us to sing in harmony before that practice。 And so、 I think that there probably are parts of the original song where we slipped up。At the beginning、 I was nervous about singing this song, so I made a ton of mistakes。 Airi has an amazing sense for sound, so she didn’t make mistakes、 but I made plenty of blunders…。 It’s a song that caused a lot of anxiety, with me often being asked 「Okai-chan, are you all right?」。 And so、 it was a pretty hard-fought battle。

- Drawing on from your experience、 did the recording for this 「Single Version」 turn out better?

Yes! Airi shouts out a 「Wao!」 in the second part、 but she seems to have regrets about it in the original song. So she was happy that the 「Wao!」 she does this time around is more like the 「Wao!」 she was aiming for (laughs)。

- By the way、 Okai-san has turned 20, right?

I haven’t really changed much though…。

- Have you drank any alcohol?

Alcohol… I drink it! Basically I do drink it、 I mean, wouldn’t it be a loss to not drink, since I’ve turned 20! I’m drinking to make up for the 20 years I’ve missed out on until now!

- What drink do you recommend?

The first drink that I ever had was champagne at my birthday, but that was bitter…  I drank Cassis and Orange after that、 but my mother was like 「You’ll get fat, stop it」… Recently I’ve been drinking oolong tea highballs。

- You’ve abruptly turned into an old man。

I brainwashed Nacky (Nakajima Saki) into drinking oolong tea highballs!Actually, I get embarrassed when ordering drinks at a bar since it looks like I’m putting on airs、 but when Nacky orders, I can order by just going 「I’ll have the same」。 But、 I basically drink alone at home。

-For ℃-ute no Hi、 you’ll be continuing on from last year with a Budokan performance。

I’m thankful for the Budokan performance、 and it seems like the members of Hello! Project are having a lot of chances to perform there。 There were times when hardly any spectators came around、 so I’m really happy! However、 we’re all rivals in the end、so I want people to say that ℃-ute is the best。

- After the Budokan、 the next step would be Arena class venues。

That’s right… The challenge is to see if we can completely fill up the Budokan this time around。 I feel like we had fans who came mainly because they wanted to congratulate us the first time around、 so the battle this time around is to see if we can sell out our 2nd Budokan。 It’s really nerve-wracking! I’d love to say that arenas will be next、 but I think I shouldn’t ask for too much。 I’d like to move forward steadily, step-by-step。

- The summer Hello! Pro concerts are starting in Fukuoka。

Honestly、 we’ve got lots of girls、 so I think that with that, we’d get more girls coming。 With guys and girls coming、 I think that’ we’d get to spread our influence further。 Even from our point of view、 Hello! Pro’s idols are pretty stylish! So far、 our juniors have been called 「Cute!」、 but recently they’ve increasingly been referred to as 「cool」。

- Hasn’t ℃-ute contributed a lot to the acquisition of female fans?

Doesn’t it seem like that? For Morning Musume。’14 and the others too、 their intensity is amazing。 I think that if they really come and have a look、 they’ll come to like them…。

- You don’t have a sense of rivalry with Morning Musume。’14?

We’ve got a burning sense of rivalry! I want to assimilate all of Morning Musume。’14′s good points。 For me、 I’m in charge of Sayashi’s position in my dance unit, Team Okai。 When I danced Sayashi’s part、 my body was completely sore the next day、 so I think that she’s really amazing。

- Please tell us about Team Okai。 Recently、 there’s been the 「Hello! Sta Dance Club」。 What’s the difference?

Team Okai hasn’t been active recently! Actually、 quite a number of girls from Team Okai have joined the Hello! Sta Dance Club!

- And so、 you’re in crisis mode。

Quite a number have joined them! Plus、 new members aren’t coming in…。

- The members who joined the Hello! Sta Dance Club should be completely cut off!

That’s right、 that’s on the nose! Since the girls who’ve gone to the other side have become our rivals。 For me、 I didn’t join the Hello! Sta Dance Club because I had Team Okai!

- So、Team Okai can’t grow careless。

I’d like to resume activities immediately、 but it’s pretty hard to line up the members’ schedules… Hello! Sta Dance Club gets to immediately perform at a Hello! Con、 that’s amazing。

- The Hello! Sta Dance Club has also appeared on TX’s The Girls Live。

Eh!? Is that so? Well、 we haven’t even got to appear…。 Team Okai doesn’t need cash for photo shoots or a warehouse。 We don’t want to be a bother to the company。 And so I’d like it if they could make more use Team Okai! But our military prospects、 Miyamoto Karin-chan and Takagi Sayuki-chan have also gone to the other side… Once we’ve replenished ourselves with new members、 we’ll catch up where we left behind!

- Recently、 the topic of Okai-san working with Dainoji Otani-san has come up、 please tell us about your future activities in the world of variety。

I’m doing well with Otani-san、 but he supports Maimi-chan、 and recently he’s been supporting Nacky as well… While on the other hand, he refers to Chisato as 「Keema Curry」。 Meaning that I’m something that’s good to have once in a while (laughs)。 But、 I’m sure that he likes Chisato! He just shows his affection in an opposite manner。 For variety、 I’d like to come up with a programme for ℃-ute! I’d like to come out with a programme like 「Shabekuri 007」 where we can just show each and everyone’s good points。 All of us in ℃-ute usually end up getting nervous and unable to talk。 And so、 I hope we get to appear on all sorts of shows、 and I want us to grow accustomed to it。

- The issue of who’ll succeed Michishige-san as Hello! Pro leader once she graduates has been garnering attention、 what are Okai-san’s thoughts about that?

Shouldn’t it be Captain (Berryz Kobo’s Shimizu Saki)? It’s kind of a bit too early for our leader (Yajima Maimi) ~ Since she immediately panics、 we can’t really leave it to her。 Basically、 when we have activities together with Berryz Kobo、 everyone looks for Shimizu Saki-chan。

- It’d be difficult for Yajima Maimi-san?

Because she has to fully focus on doing her own thing (laughs)、 and she’s also got air-headed tendencies、 so it’s kinda… However、 she’s perfect as ℃-ute’s leader。Everyone in ℃-ute resolves their own problems on by themselves、 so someone like Leader is great。 However、 occasionally Leader makes proper declarations、 and in those cases, Leader’s decisions are absolute。 Since she only says things like that once in a while、 we make sure to carry it out。

- Changing topics、 regarding Okai-san’s favourite Himuro Kyousuke、 he’s declared that he’s done with LIVE performances。

If he’s going to retire、 I’d like it if he settles on exactly how many days there are until his retirement! Since I need some time to brace myself! However、 that part of him is cool too (blushes)。 Well、 since Himuro-san has said it, there’s nothing I can do about it、 but、it’s really worries me since it was just so sudden! Just DVDs don’t do enough for me! I want to see it to the end with my own eyes!

-一 Yes、 but it seems like so far he’s only said that he’s retiring from doing LIVE performances…。

You know、 that’s the big question! Although he hardly appears on TV、 where should we go to see the real thing! We want to see him! We want to feel his presence! Isn’t this what happened during BOOWY’s time as well! Wasn’t everyone like ‘With this sort of timing!?’ when he quit? For me、 I wasn’t around for BOOWY’s breakup、 but now it’s definitely a 「With this sort of timing!?」 situation。 Yesterday、 I was keeping a constant eye on his official homepage。 Since I think that whatever I hear might not be accurate、 I definitely won’t believe anything until I hear a proper explanation straight from the horse’s mouth!

- But an explanation has come out on the official homepage、 hasn’t it?

Well、 if it’s not words from the man himself, I won’t believe it! Although it was posted by Himuro-san’s staff、 until I see the words from Himuro-san himself、 I still won’t believe it…。

- How passionate… Let’s end this talk about Himuro-san. To conclude、 can you please tell us what are Okai-san’s personal goals。

I think that Momochi’s appearances on television are spreading the word about Berryz Kobo。 So I too would like to become active in the variety circuit、and spread ℃-ute’s name! All of the members are doing their best at all sorts of things by themselves、 so I’d like to properly work hard on variety! First our new song、 then the Budokan! I’ll do my best!

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Juice=Juice’s Single 「Black Butterfly/Kaze ni Fukarete」 to be released on 7/30

Tsunku♂ Comments『Black Butterfly/Kaze ni Fukarete』

Juice=Juice’s 7th Single。
It has been one year since their debut。Though it has only been a year、I wondered about how I should express how much they’ve grown!?
As a result of thinking about it、the image of pupas growing into beautiful butterflies came into my mind
And so I wrote a song and called it as 「Black Butterfly」。

Firstly I started out by composing a piece of tango-like music。

When I was making the melody、somehow there was no image of a 「butterfly」、
but when I was in the middle of shortening the arrangement I pictured the girls flapping their huge wings and floating upwards 。

Even so、the image as for up to now is bright and full of energy!
Rather than a butterfly、sometimes a little lonely、but、to be able to also have a strong mind and spirit 、
Such an image came to mind。

And that’s how I might have arrived at 「Black Butterfly」。

At the dance choreography for the high part of the song there was the image of five of them merged together as one butterfly。

I tried to project the girls currently as if they are looking for a place with bitter honey、rather than sweet honey。

「Kaze ni Fukarete」
This is the other song。
It seems that the girls flapping their wings freely gives off a strong feeling。
This music gives a complete feeling of 「I want to be able to fly away into the sky」。

These girls were all selected from Hello Pro Kenshuusei since they were center members。
I think that after all 「honor students do exist」 which is similar to drifting into the atmosphere。

So、likewise I wanted to wipe away the images that we produced and made 、
and to wish for one to break out of one’s shell and crawl upwards、I was thinking in such a manner。

This song is about a girl falling in love and being able to display one’s true self very well as well as devoting herself、
even if she feels a premonition she still approaches the end。
Sometimes she is a good child、but sometimes that is not her real nature、
Do you regret that this story has turned out to be like this?!

Honestly sometimes we send such a feeling towards the girls、and then we feel regretful、
I think that the girls should work together as five of them and face all their fans
so that they can succeed and advance to the next round of this entertainment business world。

Miyazaki:Though she is very accustomed to her work、her face is still looking worried。
When she’s given a situation she is professional at handling it 。As for the music video this time her expressions were all very appropriate 。
But instead of just solely a feeling of darkness and gloominess、somehow there was a pure feeling、it was certain that this child was filled with pureness。
This child slightly resembles a firefly that is brightly glowing。

Kanazawa:I think that I may have written this many times already、but this child’s voice is now one of the features of Juice=Juice。
She always pretends to feign ignorance about this、but her voice is amazingly strong with power which leaves a great ambiance、her way of appealing to others is somewhat different、this child is able to bring out her sexy beam。
Her dancing too、she includes her eyebrows in her facial expressions、she really is a sexy beamer。

Takagi:She is the child who hides her competitive spirit in her heart。
This child was able to climb up when she was in Hello Pro Kenshuusei 、but it’s all thanks to her competitive spirit。
For several times her face shows she is timid、but she gives herself opportunities
to make a come back with a smile on her face。Surely it will be so from now on too。

Miyamoto:She really has a strong vision。
Previously、pherhaps the reason why she injured herself is related to the growth of her big heart。
Disappointments and frustrations make people grow。That frustration and disappointment is the source of her feeling she is a burden (regret)、I think the biggest difference is that she feels thankful for experiencing these situations that she is able to grow into a great person。
I feel that she is very reliable。

Uemura:This child makes me laugh with a bright smile even if I feel troubled or down。
Which seems like it will bring on a mature and adult-like atmosphere。But even so、she has many things to
talk about like being from Osaka、and she is also a natural airhead、
likewise、there are times where she’s over impulsive and her facial expressions just surprises us、I am looking forward to how things will be after this。

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【Berryz Kobo】 Sugaya Risako・ Talking about their 10 years and her vision of the future「The members are like lovers to me」

Berryz Kobo

Berryz Kobo

On the 3rd of March 2014、Berryz Kobo celebrated the 10th anniversary of their début。 They held their first independent Nippon Budokan performance in November of last year、and their 10th anniversary commemoration tour held in the spring was a success. They have released new songs and held a stage play、 and as they’re scheduled to hold a performance at the  「15th Japan Expo」 held in Europe in July、 they continue to run at the forefront of the idol world。

And so、 this time around, we’ll be having a talk with one of the members, Sugaya Risako、 about the 10 years up until now and her vision of the future hereafter。 In 2014、 while rushing into their 11th year from their début、Sugaya, the youngest member, will also be entering into the age of adulthood、 it’s a turning point where all of the members have 「Become adults」。 The past and the present、 and what sort of future she’d like to paint out、 she conveys her thoughts through this interview。

Sugaya Risako

Sugaya Risako

――You celebrated your birthday on the 4th of April 2014. Have there been any changes in your mental state from around the time you turned into an adult until now?

From the age of 19 to the age of 20、 honestly、 I didn’t really feel like anything much had changed。 However、 born in me was the thought that I should take responsibility of the things that my parents have been taking care of。

Also、 at Berryz Kobo’s post-event parties、 I’ve been drinking ginger ale so far. Although I don’t drink alcohol as I’m not a fan、 I feel excited to be able to enter into places where they serve alcohol.

――You drew a mug of beer on your birthday commemoration T-shirt, didn’t you?

I drew my image of what it meant to turn into an adult、 but I don’t actually drink (laughs).

―― It’s mentioned in the title of your new song、  but I think that getting to “10 years” is a huge landmark, even if you aren’t talking about being an idol. Celebrating your 10th anniversary、 breaking into your 11th year, do you feel that anything has personally changed for you?

I entered this world in my 2nd year of primary school、 when I was 8。 While devoting myself to my studies、 I had to wrestle with work as well。 Looking back at it, I think 『It really was difficult』, trying to make them compatible with one another。

When I was still going to school、 we had to present our report cards to the managers。 So it wasn’t just about work, they checked on whether we were studying properly as well。 I’m pretty bad when it comes to studies、 so even though I worked hard on my homework, my results weren’t great. I wasn’t scolded but I was told 『You’ve got to work harder at your studies, okay』。

But、 I really love this line of work、 and though I’ve had my fair share of enjoyable and painful events、 I wasn’t alone as I had the members、 and surrounding me were the staff-san who were supporting me from behind and my family、 that let me get through these 10 years.

――When you were in primary school、 did you get any help from the other members with your school homework?

In our free time, there were times when we did all go study together(laughs).

Berryz Kobo

Berryz Kobo

――Sugaya-san, as the group’s ”youngest child”、 from that standpoint、 were there any points where you felt there were changes in the group in things like the relationships between the members?

All of the members are from the same generation、 but there definitely was the sense that I was the youngest child、 and since I wasn’t good at striking up conversations, there were times when I had to be careful。

However、 I don’t remember this clearly、 but there was once where I had a moment when I spilled out my emotions suddenly、 where I told them my opinions and my thoughts like 『I want to do it this way』。 Up until then, a lot of the time I would ride on the coat tails of the other members、 but I became able to say things like 『For me ~、 so I think this is wrong』。

The members too、 for a long time ago we would only start making moves once we were told to by the adults around us、 but recently、 we’ve started gathering the members’ input on things like the song order and costumes for lives、we even did it during our plays.

――For example、 do you discuss among members what to do beforehand for things such as MC corners at lives?

We do。 For MCs、 Momo (Tsugunaga Momoko) and the other members think about it、 and come up with all sorts of ideas like 『Wouldn’t it be funny if we did it like this?』。 I tend not to think about the MC and organisation since I’m bad at it、 I’m more in charge of thinking about costumes and make-up.

―― On fashion in particular、 we can see your obsession with it everywhere, like on your blog、 but what spurred that awareness?

Some time ago、 I appeared together with my friend Kyary-chan (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu) in a magazine、 so it might have been then when I woke up to a new discovery,   『Even these types of fashions exist』。 It started with me wanting to challenge myself to try out all sorts of clothes、 and changing what I wore depending on the day、 I tried on girlish fashions、 I tried casual styles、 and how I felt on the day was totally different depending on what I wore.

―― Let’s continue、 talking about singing、 amongst the fans, the topic of  「In 『Otakebi Boy  WAO!』, the strength of your singing changed」 has come up、 was there something that started it or was there a reason behind it?

Up to then, I had followed the instructions of the recording director、 but for that song, Tsunku♂-san entered the booth together with me、 and standing by me, gave me guidance。 『Try singing the next one in that way』, 『Try putting in more breath here』、 he taught me all sorts of ways to sing at the time、 so I discovered new ways to bring out my voice from within。 And so、 from then on, you could say that my awareness and a lot of things changed.

―― Currently、 I think you’ve had chances to sing the songs from the time of your début、 are there any changes that you’ve noticed when you compare then and now?

At our 10th anniversary live (Held 3rd March 2014)、 we sang a number of songs from the time of our début。 Like for 『Fighting Pose ha Date janai』、 the 7 of us sang it energetically as we hadn’t sung it for a number of years. At its release, everyone’s voices were cute、 but having aged, the way we sing has more presence (laughs)

Even though we also thought 『We’d like to revive our selves fromthe past』、 and we wanted to mimic even the finest details of the song as much as possible、 it definitely was difficult to sing since it was a bit different than usual。 Still、 the fans enjoyed it, so I think that 『It’s good that we sang it』.

Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni / Futsuu, Idol 10-nen yatterannai desho!? (Limited A cover)

Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni / Futsuu, Idol 10-nen yatterannai desho!? (Limited A cover)

―― Did you try to reproduce the dance as close to that time as possible too?

We tried our best (laughs) However、 recently we haven’t had many songs that are brimming with youthfulness, compared to when we made our début、 and because our past selves were very young, 、the cuteness would ooze out when we danced. But while our current selves were wondering how we should dance it、 we tried to dance while maintaining as much of that awareness as  possible.

―― Dancing songs from your début, from ages ago、 how did the members react during the rehearsal held before your performance?

While dancing, everyone was going 『This is nostalgic』。 While watching a video of our dance lessons during those days、 all of had exchanges going『We danced like this』, or 『Ah、 how young』、 it really was nostalgic.

―― In connection with an episode from your 10th anniversary live、 you wept at the MC of your first independent Nippon Budokan performance held last year(Held on 29th November 2014). Could you tell us your feelings at the time and about the view that was reflected from your eyes?

Honestly、 I was really nervous before it started。 I definitely was tided over by all sorts of emotions、and I was already sobbing even before we went out on stage。 The song we were starting with was 『Anata Nashi de ha Ikite yukenai』、 and the moment we stood on-stage, the view really made me want to cry、 but since the tune itself didn’t have an atmosphere of shedding tears, so while I was frantically holding it back,  thinking 『I can’t cry』, I put up a confident face and sang (laughs).

―― The Budokan covered in the light of glowsticks and the roar of the crowd was amazing, wasn’t it?

It’s normally difficult for the cheers from the audience to go beyond our ear monitors. But when we were at the Budokan、 it got through、 you could really hear the cheers of the fans on a grand scale。 And so、 I was constantly in tears throughout the day。 At the final MC、 I was deeply moved by the fact so many people had come to see us even though it was a weekday. The enjoyable experiences we’ve had up until now、 and of course, the hardships and the tough experiences、 and then、 the faces of the people who had been supporting us came to mind. At any rate, all sorts of emotions just welled up、 so it had me crying at the MC.

―― Once the Budokan live was done with、 did you feel a sense of accomplishment?

I did。 But、 rather than feeling that I was done with it、 even stronger was the feeling of wanting to do it again.

―― In September of this year、 you’ll be preparing for a Nippon Budokan live again, right?

That’s right。 I’m really looking forward to it!

―― Within the 10 years since Berryz Kobo’s début, there’s been a clamour about the 「Idol Warring States period」、 and showdown events have also increased、 with the circumstances surrounding idols changing from moment to moment、 but as an idol、 have you felt any changes in the idol scene?

I think that there aren’t that many groups with individuality like Berryz Kobo has、 where each and every one of our members pulls in different directions、 and I mean that in a good way。 We’ve had more than a few thoughts about other idols、 but I think that our forte is 『Although we may be all scattered, we do what needs to be done when it needs to be done』。 I’ll hold on to this feeling to the bitter end、 but I don’t have a strong sense of rivalry with other idols.

―― Currently、you’re just facing the selves who are just in front of your eyes, without wavering。

That’s right.

―― Have you had any chances to watch other idols or artistes?

I’ve watched them through the television。 When I get the hint of an idea、 between the time our live performances are announced and before they actually start, I use them as references and make suggestions.

Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni / Futsuu, Idol 10-nen yatterannai desho!? (Limited B cover)

Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni / Futsuu, Idol 10-nen yatterannai desho!? (Limited B cover)

―― Turning to the topic of you new single that went on sale on the 4th of June 2014、 while it was a double A side, they had completely opposing vibes、 but to connect it with your 10th anniversary、 what were your impressions the first time you saw the lyrics of 『Futsuu、 Idol 10-nen Yatterannai desho!?』?

Honestly、 I truly felt surprised。 The title itself has a great impact、 and I don’t think it could be sung by anyone besides us。 Also、 although I expect Tsunku♂-san wrote the lyrics、 it really is completely packed with our thoughts and feelings、 and we were astonished, like 『How does he understand our feelings to such an extent』。 It feels like he hit the mark splendidly.

―― For the other song, 『Ai ha itsumo Kimi no Naka ni』、 what were your impressions?

Listening to the intro, my first thought was that it sounded like the opening for the drama 『Mitokōmon』。 The melody is majestic, like something out of a musical、 but the dance is characteristic as well。 At the beginning, our dance teacher told us 『Even the expressions on your faces have to be precise』。 The choreography itself wasn’t that difficult、 but since we had to make detailed expressions for every phrase、 there were parts where we were hard-pressed.

―― Let’s go back to talking about the group again. For Sugaya-san、 you’ve spent 12 years together with them, counting from the Kids era, so what is Berryz Kobo to you?

They’re like a second family、 like lovers to me。 Obviously they’re like air to me、 and I remember having moments of unease when I couldn’t meet up with them。 Even if I don’t meet them for two、 three days、 the loneliness that wells up in me is akin to one month’s worth。 Of course, when we meet, we interact normally、 but it’s a strange sensation.

―― The contrast between family and lovers is amusing .(laughs)

The trifling acts of the members make my heart skip a beat、 and there are moments that make me think, 『How cute』 about each member。 In particularly、 ever since Maasa-chan (Sudo Maasa) cut her hair short、 since she’s become boyish, so there are times when I think that she’s like a romantic partner (laughs).

―― You joined as the youngest in the beginning、 were you under the impression that the other members were like ”older sisters”?

That’s right。 I have siblings、 and at home I definitely have to be a reliable older sister、 but when I went for work, it felt like 『There are many older sisters around』。 And so, even now I’m still pretty pampered (laughs).

―― Now that all the members are now adults、 can you describe your view of the future for Berryz Kobo after 5、 10 years?

This year, through our 『Naruchika』 live tour, we’ve been going around to lilve houses at various places、 but on my blog there are a lot of comments on the line of 『Please make sure to come to our home town!』、 so I’d like to make our way to the places we haven’t been before、 and if we can, I’d like to have gone around all 47 prefectures。

Also、 I’d like us to have one more performance at Saitama Super Arena。 Previously、 we set the record as youngest performers there (Held on the 1st of April 2007、 they established the record amongst independent artiste performances with 「An average age of 13.8」)、 not immediately、 but I’d like to go back there in the future.

―― Finally、 as you continue to progress from now on、 would you like Berryz Kobo to continue on for 10 more years?

By that time all of the members will be in their 30s, and our individual circumstances may have changed、 but if we’re able to, I’d love to continue on.

―― You’ll certainly look forward to 「cha cha SING」 after 10 years.(laughs)

Don’t you know it? (laughs)  I’d be a bit worried about my body、 but since it’d be amazing if I could do, I think I’d continue with it.

―― In the midst of how busy you are today、 we’d like to thank you very much for spending your precious time with us。


In the midst of the changes from childhood to adulthood、 Sugaya talked about her relationships with the members、 and how the way she performed had changed。 Indeed, getting to that critical juncture of “10 years” in anything、 isn’t a simple achievement。 For  Berryz Kobo、 who are pushing forward as idols, and for Sugaya Risako、 what sort of changes will they achieve from now on? Through their music and their live performances、 let’s continue observing that process。


Berryz Kobo’s Shimizu Saki talks about the impactful title of the new song and Hello! Pro’s next leader

With its impactful title, Berryz Kobo’s single 『Futsuu、 Idol 10-Nen yatterannai desho!?』 is now on sale。

What are the members’ thoughts on this musical work? Let us hear what Captain Shimizu Saki has to say。


― Please tell us your thoughts about your new songs 『Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni / Futsuu、 Idol 10-Nen yaterannai desho!?』。 Firstly、 on 『Ai ha Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni』、 it’s turned out to be a majestic song。

You could say it’s militaristic… The song is cool、 and the first time I heard it、  I thought that it sounded like something out of a musical。 Even though it mentions 「Saa、 warae」 (So, smile)、 I don’t think that there’s anyone who’d smile just like that (laughs)。 I think we’re singing about something amazing。 The lyrics are packed with the word 「Ai」 (Love) 、 and I think that it’s a new song that Berryz Kobo hasn’t done before。

― Which part of it feels new?

The song itself does、 and the members are now adults who can contemplate the meaning of the lyrics while singing it、 it’s a song that we can sing since we’ve been doing it for 10 years。

― On the topic of 『Futsuu、 Idol 10-Nen yatterannai desho!?』、 could you tell us your thoughts when you first saw the title?

All of us were around when they distributed the lyrics、 and it felt like everyone immediately went 「Eh?」 and continued in silence、 it gave us that much of a shock。

― The lyrics have provocative words, like 「Make a business card and you’re instantly an idol」。 For this song、 I feel like it’s a song that can be sung because Berryz Kobo have been idols for 10 years。

You don’t need to put us on such a high pedestal though (laughs)、 but I think it’s got a very Berryz Kobo feel that can’t be expressed by other groups。 Taking a look at the lyrics、 there are parts that make us go 「Yup, it was just like that」。 I can really sympathise when it goes  「There are times when I’ve just cried into the night~」。 As a crybaby、 I was always crying。 Tsunku♂-san put those parts in the lyrics、 which really went straight to the heart。

― The lyrics 「Mama’s criticims were harsh」 also left an impression、 was Shimizu-san’s mother the same?

My parents never said much、 but when Sudo Maasa-chan’s mother watched us LIVE, she mentioned that  「It would be better if you went more like that at this point」。

― For 『Futsuu、 Idol 10-Nen yatterannai desho!?』  、honestly、 it seems like it doesn’t give a good impression at the beginning、 but did it grow on you while you were singing it?

The fans have said that、「The lyrics really touched our heart」、 so it’s become a precious song。

― Shimizu-san、 since you’ve been an idol for 10 years、 what is your reason for doing it?

The members of Berryz Kobo often display our inner selves、 so we’ve been doing things just as we are、 and I guess we ended up doing it for 10 years。 We honestly never thought that we’d continue for this long、 and before we noticed it, all of us were over 20… We’d become adults。

― It definitely isn’t like continuing a part-time job? (reference to lyrics)

That’s right、 it isn’t (laughs)。 During our school days, all of us wanted to participate in club activities or part-time jobs、 but I guess we didn’t want to since it would make us look like we were taking things too lightly、 doing two things at the same time。

― By the way Shimizu-san、 you look considerably different from the cover of the new single。

You see、 I cut my hair by 40cm! Without discussing anything with the staff、 I was like 「I’ll just cut it」 and I had it cut (laughs)。

― You know、 having your hairstyle be completely different on the cover compared to the day of release、that isn’t like an idol。

I had it cut without getting any permission! I was mulling over whether or not to have it cut、 but I cut it in the end!

― That kind of freedom、 it might be the reason why you’ve been doing this for 10 years。

That could be it (laughs)。

― After this、as Berryz Kobo has been around for 10 years、 will you continue on for 20 years、 30 years?

That’s right… I think I’d like for us to continue。 I think we’d like to continue as long there as fans who continue to support us。

― Have there been good or bad experiences throughout these 10 years?

If I wasn’t a member of Berryz、 I wouldn’t have the ability to bring people together、 so I wouldn’t be able to bring together people as a captain。 So、 it was good to spend these 10 years as captain。 For bad experiences、 there really aren’t any in particular…。

― Talking about being the captain、 Morning Musume。14′s Michishige Sayumi will be graduating from Hello! Pro。 I’ve heard voices giving support to Shimizu-san as the next Hello! Pro leader。

Is that so(laughs)。Once Michishige-san steps down、 I’ll be the oldest person in Hello!。 At this point in time、 I don’t particularly feel like 「I wanna do it!」、 but since BeriKyuu (Berryz Kobo、 ℃-ute) are the onee-san groups、 we have to be more reliable。 Our senior have taught us how great Hello! is、 so I’ve been thinking that I want to pass that down to the juniors。

― Presently、 within Shimizu-san’s self、 do you feel like you want to do it?

If the situation becomes one where someone from Morning Musume。 would be selected to do it… then I’d do it。 I have my pride as a senior, but if it were Maimi from ℃-ute、 Maimi’s in the same generation as I am and she’s reliable。

― Indeed、 after Michishige graduates from Morning Musume。14, they’ll be the youngest group。

That’s right。

― By the way、 what is the duty of the Hello! Pro leader?

There’s nothing really in particular (laughs)、 there’s things like giving words to boost everyone’s spirits before a Hello! Pro LIVE、 or to answer whenever something turns up… That’s the Hello! Pro leader。

― Boosting their spirits、 you do that to everyone?

Since it’s the leader’s saying it、 everyone gets motivated。

― So、 you do want to do it!

That’s right (laughs)、since this summer’s Hello! Pro concert will be Michishige-san’s last、 I’d like to keep a sharp eye on Michishige-san。 Since it’s precious, the time that Michishige-san is around。

― By the way Shimizu-san, what are you excited about in your private life?

Fashion。 I see clothes、 I buy them…。

― Have you done anything as part of TV Tokyo’s 「The Girls Live」 fashion segment (Where they coordinate clothes for all the members of Hello! Pro、 as well as groups outside Hello! Pro)?

I coordinated something up for S/mileage! I was fun、 but since I’ve never seen the S/mileage members’ personal clothes、 I had no idea about their preferences…。 Since all the girls in S/mileage have good figures、 going with white trousers looked stylish、 matched up with cute, pastel tops。

― I think that the fans that watch that show are all interested in the  「glue gun」。

The glue gun (laughs)。 Since the best way to put decorations on clothes is with a glue gun、 everyone always uses it。 Although I don’t know much about the details of the glue gun (laughs)、 it’s really easy to use。  You have to be careful since it gets hot。Why we use it all the time、 I really have no idea、 I guess the staff-san like it (laughs)。

― And、 you’ll be having a Budokan performance this year as well。

Nothing’s been decided yet、 but I’m glad that we’ll be standing on-stage there again。 It’s just that、 the hurdles have been raised higher than last year。 ℃-ute will be doing theirs the day before、so I’d like to pull off something more fascinating than ℃-ute。

― Is there any song in particular you want to get heard?

That’d be 『Succhaka Mecchaka~』! It’s a fun song that’s sure to fire people up、 so I definitely want people to listen to it! I teared up at last year’s Budokan、 but since I always want to end with a smile、 I want this year’s to end with such a fun song!