♫ Suzuki Airi – Zansho Omimai Moushiagemasu ♫
We start with general letters! This month’s theme is ‘It’s summer!‘ The first letter comes from Dance-san, who also requested the previous song.
School starts a week earlier in Hokkaido than it does on the main island, and Dance-san’s younger brothers are getting Dance-san’s help with their homework. Homework reminds Dance-san about their research project in primary school – a papier-mache creation. Following up from that, Dance-san asks Maimi if she still remembers her research projects, and if there were any projects done by her friends that caught her eye.
Maimi once made a papier-mache savings box, but she feels like she probably got a lot of assistance with making it, as she’s pretty bad with that sort of hand-crafting. Moving on to projects that caught her eye, one of her friends used ice-cream sticks to make a savings box in the shape of a house. The roof could be opened by a hinge, giving access to the stored money. The girl who did it was really artistic.
Maimi takes the opportunity to talk about another project done by the same girl. It’s difficult to explain without seeing it, but it involved using papier-mache bricks held together with a steel frame, and a good use of colours – reds and browns. Maimi enjoys looking at that friend’s artwork.
By the time of broadcast, the kids in Hokkaido have probably started schooling. For the Kanto region, school would generally start in September, so Maimi feels that there are likely to be a lot of kids currently rushing to finish their homework. Maimi gives them a friendly reminder to not stay up late, take care of their health, and wishes them good luck.
Next is a letter from Akai Senshi-san. Akai Senshi-san’s memories of summer involve sports club training camps. The kouhai would have to get up earlier than the senpai, or risk getting a scolding. A day’s schedule: Early morning training, hill dashes, breakfast, morning training, lunch, afternoon training, dinner, end of day. (Maimi: ‘That’s really unforgiving‘) They’d end the training camp with an endless relay, and everyone would be fast asleep on the bus back home. Akai Senshi asks Maimi what she thinks about training camps, whether she’d be interested in trying one out.
Maimi envies Akai Senshi, as training camps sound like fun to her. Sure, the training can get a bit relentless, but it helps develop bonds and foster teamwork. The senpais’ scolding of those who woke up late might actually be the senpais keeping them in check.
Maimi herself has never participated in training camps despite having been in sports clubs, so stories of training camps sound like fun to her. When she was small, she’d joined the baseball club, where they’d have weekly training sessions, and there’d been a training camp. It was nothing as harsh, since they were still kids. Her memory’s a bit fuzzy, but besides training, they went river-boating and played with fireworks at night. She suspects that she probably has photos at home. Since the team was parent-coached, there were families around, so she had fun with the team and their families. Lots of people jumped in the river and played around, but Maimi couldn’t take the plunge.
Next letter is from Kanako-san, who is in charge of the shopping district’s haunted house. Each and every year, it’s a success. Often, there would be kids who would pump themselves up before entering, only to exit in tears, a soothing sight. For Kanako, summer brings to mind the unique music of the haunted house and the shrieks of little kids.
Maimi: I’m bad with haunted houses. Was that unexpected to all of you guys?
Maimi: Not at all, huh?
Maimi lives her life without thinking about scary things. Unlike the other members, she’s fine staying alone at hotels. But if she has to bring herself to enter scary places, she can’t help but overthink things. The last time she’d been in a haunted house in her own private time was in middle school with her siblings, where she swore to stop going to haunted houses.
And also, when she went to an amusement park with her best friend, they entered a limited-time-only haunted house. For that, you had to hand over a ring at the end, and the ghosts’ eyes would follow that ring. Maimi was okay with it at first, having forgotten how bad haunted houses could get. The moment they entered, they were regaled with a background story. She got really scared, but could accept it as it fit the atmosphere of a haunted house. Then, she heard the door being shut behind them as they entered, and Maimi was like, ‘Nope, I’m outta here’.
There was also the time she entered a haunted house attraction at her brother’s school, probably with her best friend. There, she couldn’t continue walking. Instead, she crouched down and hit the ghosts with her bag, screaming ‘Don’t get close!’ She admits that she was a burden, as they couldn’t let the next group through if she didn’t advance.
Anyway, she’s sure that ghosts have their own troubles as well. She’s glad that the Kanako got to make fun memories of summer, and thanks Kanako for the letter.
Request: Sing ‘Natsu Doki Lipstick’ while mimicking Tsugunaga Momoko
At Country Girls’ tour, Yamaki Risa was scheduled to perform Natsu Doki Lipstick, but as Yamaki was away due to sickness, Momochi sang it as her replacement. With a smug look on her face, Momo had said, ‘I’ve surpassed Yajima Maimi’, which obviously got playful jeers. Indeed, the listener reports that Momoko sang and danced with a composed look on her face, which made the listener think ‘Tsugunaga-pro is amazing‘.
Momo had mentioned it to Maimi before, but Maimi herself hasn’t seen Momo perform it, so she’s got to imagine it. While she prepares for it, here’s the next song.
♪ Walk the Moon – Shut up and Dance ♪
Preparations done, here’s Maimi’s attempt at Momo performing Natsu Doki Lipstick:
Right everyone, I’m Momochi ♥
Let’s all get your hearts pump pump pumping for Momochi♥~
Summer summer lipstick, it glistens
Hey Hey You’re getting closer to Momochi
Summer summer lipstick, it’s what I admire
Hey Hey My heart pumps towards the sun
Momochi’s the best!~
(laughs) I’ve got no idea…
Maimi’s not really good at imagining Momo when she’s singing, but Momo’s really articulate, so Maimi can imagine her singing with a composed look on her face. Maimi tried to sing in an invigorating way. And while we might not have been able to see it, Maimi had her pinkies up.
Maimi: Please forgi-… Yurushite-nyan♥ (laughs)
Good luck! Section Chief Yajima!
In this corner, associated with ℃-ute’s ‘The Middle Management ~ Josei Chuukankanrishoku~’, Yajima-kakarichou will listen to the problems of her cute cute juniors (i.e. listeners who sent in letters) and give advice from a boss’ point of view.
The first letter comes from Mii-san, who started working in April. One thing about Japanese names is that you can never be sure how to pronounce them, and Mii is no exception – their name can be read out in 3 ways, and it just so happens the correct reading for Mii is the one that’s least used. Thus, Mii would always get called the wrong name when they would meet people for the first time.
The problem is that the most senior person at Mii’s workplace calls Mii by the wrong name, but Mii naturally responds to it. As that person is quite senior, Mii hasn’t had the opportunity to correct that person. Mii’s all right with it, thinking of it as a nickname, but that senior keeps calling Mii the wrong name. Mii asks Yajima-kakarichou for advice, whether the senior should be corrected, or should Mii just continue to keep quiet.
Maimi understands the situation. It looks like there’s no one else to help point the mistake out, and Mii has likely missed the best time to mention it – at the very start. Maimi suggests that at times when it might affect Mii deeply, Mii could try ‘Excuse me, I’ve intended to say this for the longest time, but…‘ It would be better than the more direct, ‘Actually, that isn’t my real name’, which could come as a surprise. Maimi recommends that Mii look for the best time to make that correction.
But these things do happen, and there are some people who just give up. Chisato is brought up as an example. There’s a member of staff that they’d been working for the longest time with, but Chisato has got that staff’s name completely wrong. Maimi noticed Chisato talking with that person and referring to them as ‘Endo-san’ and Maimi was like ‘Eh, that person isn’t Endo-san‘. However, that staff member was responding normally to Chisato. Maimi, a bit worried, checked with this member of staff, who confirmed that their name wasn’t Endo, but they didn’t mind being called that.Next one is from Chabudai Hikkurikaesu Meijin, which loosely translates to ‘Master at coffee table flipping’. Based on the contents of the letter, I’m guessing that this person’s a she, and will be referring to her as CHM.
Anyway, CHM finds wearing high heels difficult. It’s not just heels, but even with business-use pumps, she finds that her whole lower body gets sore when she walks after standing up for long periods of time. CHM asks Maimi if she knows any tricks for standing or walking in high heels.
For Maimi, when she’s dancing in heels at concerts, she naturally puts power into her toes in order to seize the ground. So, in order to bring out the power, she constantly keeps her legs braced as she dances.
But she also feels that heels naturally force you into a good posture. They’ll make you stand up with your back straight, and your gaze will be kept high. Though it might be that keeping up that posture is what’s tiring CHM out.
Maimi showers praise on their outfitters, who can come up with all sorts of schemes for the many shoes that the girls wear. For example, they’d pre-emptively add anti-slip measures for shoes that had previously seemed slippery. Another would be adding felt or cushioning in shoes to help avoid shoe sores. It’s things like these that help the girls get through their concerts.
Maimi recommends that CHM figure out the source of the pain, and come up with some trick to relieve the strain. Although she feels that you normally wouldn’t need to wear heels, she suggests that CHM try to coming up with something for when she has to wear heels.
♫ ℃-ute – The Middle Management ~ Josei Chuukankanrishoku~ ♫
Today’s theme is ‘Ah, it’s the end of summer’.
Summer will be ending soon, won’t it?
How did all of you spend your summer?
My summer was really productive.
I did all sorts of things~
I feel like I got more tanned than usual this summer.
We appeared at all sorts of outdoor festivals, and it was really liberating to dance and sing while drenched in sweat.
At the Rock in Japan Fest, I got to watch other artistes live while feeling the night wind.
The fireworks that launched suddenly as we were headed back were really pretty.
At the Otodama concert that was held at a beach-side live house, we continued our annual tradition of using water guns to splash everyone with water.
At the concert, we were dripping with sweat, and we’d be virtually without make-up.
With the time in-between shows, we’d go into the sea, and we enjoyed the feeling of our bodies being buoyed up every time a wave passed.
The warm summer, and picking up trash on the coast, they were good memories.
In this enjoyable summer, the days passed by in the blink of an eye.
Thank you very much for this year’s summer, another summer that I don’t want to forget.
♫ ℃-ute – Wasuretakunai Natsu ♫
Back to letters – this one comes from Kanesada-san, who collects people-related big data for work. On a previous broadcast, Maimi had mentioned that she’d like a relationship chart in the H!P Maruwakari Books. If you’re not familiar with the Maruwakari Books, they’re released twice a year, to coincide with the Hello! Con tours. The contents are in the form of a questionnaire to H!P members, generally about the other H!P members.
Back to the main topic, using the questions in the in the latest Maruwakari Book (Summer 2015), Kanesada had made relationship charts. (Maimi: ‘The relationship charts were sent together with the letter, they’re amazing. It’s full of lines, but what do they mean?’) The attached diagram was based on the names mentioned in the Maruwakari Book as the member they’d like to have as a girlfriend and as a boyfriend, linked by arrows. Blue lines indicate who they wanted as a boyfriend, while red lines indicate who they wanted as a girlfriend.
What the listener noticed was the mutual relationships between members, that is, situations where member A chose member B as the person they’d like as their girlfriend, and member B chose member A as the person they’d like as their boyfriend. There were only 3 of them:
Kudo (boyfriend) x Hagiwara Mai (girlfriend)
Ikuta (boyfriend) x Inaba (girlfriend)
Maimi (boyfriend) x Airi (girlfriend)
Those don’t feel out-of-place to Kanesada, and he feels that there are other insights beyond that. Having made discoveries by looking at the Maruwakari Book through a different way, he’ll keep on cheering all of the girls on, while being amused by the many relationships within the H!P collective.
From the diagram, Maimi notes that Morning Musume。´15’s Kudo Haruka clearly has a mass of blue lines converging on her. Maimi tries to enumerate them, but there’s too many that she loses count. It still amazes her as to how large a proportion of the 50-ish members would like Kudo as their boyfriend.
Kudo does have this cool guy charater. Her face itself is amazing, her droopy eyes, her fair skin, it makes her very girlish. Then she has that husky voice, that short-cut hair, her candid way of speaking. Yet there are still are parts of her heart that are a maiden’s. Maimi thinks that it’s all of those that make the others sqeual in delight when it comes to Kudo.
During rehearsals for the Hello! Project concerts, they noticed that Hagiwara Mai had chosen Kudo as the member she’d like as her boyfriend, and Kudo Haruka had nominated Mai’s name as the member she’d like for a girlfriend. The question also asked how they’d make their confession, and here’s what Kudo had written: Riding on a Ferris wheel, Kudo would ask, ‘Won’t you take Kudo as your family name?’
When Mai saw it, the girls teased her, like ‘Mai, you did it‘, or ‘Mai got snatched away‘, and in front of Kudo, they said ‘Mai, your family name has become Kudo’. Nearby was Morning Musume。´15 Haga Akane, who hadn’t just put Kudo’s name as the person she’d like as her boyfriend, but also as the senpai she admired, the senpai she liked. They noticed her staring, and informed Mai that she had a rival. They then went to Haga and explained the whole thing to her. They wished her luck, and Haga replied that she’d do her best.
Closing up with a mention of Kudo’s popularity, Maimi would also like everyone to keep an eye on the relationships within Hello! Project.
The last letter for the day comes from Meru-san, who went for ℃-ute’s Otodama concert for their first time this year. When they arrived at Yuigahama beach, it was riddled with people wearing ℃-ute T-shirts. Meru even got to promote ℃-ute when some unknowing person asked ‘Whose concert is it today? Everyone seems to be having such fun even before it’s started‘, to which Meru responded ‘The idol group ℃-ute, they’re really cute, they’re good at singing, they’re amazing’. The venue was packed, but there was a ladies area, so Meru could get to the front row. Meru enjoyed the concert and hopes that they’ll be able to perform there next year.
Meru closes off with some words for Maimi, asking her to practise properly, as her water gun didn’t really shoot well. Also, included with the letter was a photo of Meru with her daughter, who also went to the event.
Maimi finds it nice how they went as parent and child, she feels that it probably multiplies the enjoyment. On to the topic of water guns, ℃-ute had used water guns throughout a single song. Even though they had made preparations, the water gun Maimi had couldn’t shoot out much water. The water gun probably had a leak, and while Maimi tried being conservative with the water, she eventually gave up and picked up a replacement. Which also turned out to be unable to shoot. Third time was the charm, as she finally got a water gun that worked. Maimi suspects that those in the front row would be the ones who’d get the most drenched.
It’s an annual thing that only happens at the summer Otodama concerts, so Maimi hopes that Meru can come again next year. The mention of lots of people having fun at the sea before the event, having food at beach huts, it sounds like fun to Maimi. The girls also got to go in the sea and have fun, which Maimi enjoyed.
♫ ℃-ute – Kacchoi Uta ♫