Berryz Kobo x ℃-ute
A 12-person human drama
It's been 11 years since they met one another - a conflict where neither will yield
Top Yell September 2013 opening blurb:
These bunch of primary school girls were assembled because of their admiration of Morning Musume。 11 years have passed since they started activities, and before anyone knew it, they've become groups who shoulder the burden of being the central pillars of Japan's idol scene.
Berryz Kobo and ℃-ute are called Hello! Project's Minister of the Right and Minister of the Left. With ℃-ute announcing that they would be advancing upon the Budokan, their rivalry heated up beyond anything that had been seen before, but what's really happening inside? The gong has finally rung on this extremely stinging round-table discussion that could only be pulled off by this magazine!
Top Yell + H!P Compilation 2014 version:
The story of the rivalry between BeriKyuu that started with the announcement that ℃-ute would be advancing to Budokan became a staggeringly huge topic in 2013. Being overtaken by a group from their own generation, Berryz Kobo's Captain Shimizu Saki expressed her determination through her blog posts. Three weeks after that, Berryz Kobo's Budokan was announced......
In the midst of all sorts of speculations happening amongst the fans, in the September edition of Top Yell, we pressed ahead with a hard-hitting interview with the members of both groups caught up in the maelstrom.
Looking back, they were partners who were always there. Now both groups motivate one another, but that doesn't imply that they had a rivalry from the very start. In 2002, when they were assembled as the Hello! Project Kids, they were a group of people who were united in the goal of making their debut. The four of them look back on those times.
You weren't broken into groups at first, and there wasn't any sense of hostility. When did you start thinking of one another as rivals?
Okai: It somehow came up naturally...... I guess. At the start of the Kids, just remembering the choreography had me grasping at straws, so I think that I couldn't look beyond myself.
Shimizu: That's true, there wasn't any rivalry between us before the formation of Berryz. We were just friends, playing tag together..... If I had to say, it felt like being with my usual friends.
I think that the formation of Berryz Kobo in 2004 had a huge effect on how your relationship changed. At the time, there was talk that there would be a rotational system, with 8 names being nominated as Berryz Kobo's starting members.
Shimizu: Yup, so at the time, I probably might have felt a stronger sense of rivalry towards those who were in Berryz. I remember thinking that I might get dropped if I were to lose to another girl. Just that thought was terrifying to me!
Natsuyaki: I didn't think much of it...... I didn't really feel it in particular. Even with talk of the rotational system, I felt that it would be a group that would change according to Tsunku♂-san's moods, so I didn't feel a sense of tension. Even if someone were to drop out or someone were to come in, there would probably still be a chance for people to make a comeback. I guess I kind of accepted it..... In the end, it felt more like a club activity back then.
You weren't concerned about the danger of being dropped?
Natsuyaki: ... I wasn't (laughs).
Shimizu: Well, that's Miya (laughs). The ones who felt it the most were the girls who were on the edge.
Natsuyaki: Eh~! But back then, there wasn't an established centre or an ace, right?
Shimizu: Nope! I may have been Captain, but it wouldn't have been strange for that to change. I was constantly in fear. Whenever the staff would call us, that's when I got the most nervous. I thought that the time had finally come..... (laughs).