This radio broadcast, aired the day before her graduation, marks Momochi’s last radio appearance. It’s been five years since the Puri Puri Princess broadcasts ended in 2012, after she had just turned twenty. If she includes the five years of Berryz Kobo’s radio show, Kiritsu! Rei! Chakuseki!, she’s been part of a regular radio show for 10 years – 40% of her life.
The show has received a huge stack of letters! The first one Momo reads out congratulates her on the return of Puri Puri Princess! By the way, what is she wearing right now?
That may have seemed to come out of nowhere, but back in the day, Momochi would describe what she was wearing, for the benefit of the listeners who would have had no way to see her. That slowly stopped happening, partly due to time constraints and also the lack of variety in her clothes. This time around, she’s fully equipped, wearing a pink dress.
Transitionary jingle: Hey Jiiya, where are the congratulatory flowers I got from Tom Cruise-san?
Momochi is an idol
Contrasting how Momochi would respond to a situation against normal idols
Situation: You’re asked where you’d like to go when on a date with a person you like.
A normal idol: The theme park in Maihama.
Tsugunaga Momoko: I always think that I’m on a date whenever I’m with the fans.
Yup, this is what she was looking for from this nostalgic segment! She remembered it as being a pretty lame segment, but now she’s pretty pumped up! Of course Momo always thinks of the time she spends with the fans as dates. That’s why she always wants to be at her cutest, and that’s why she’s always upbeat and excited any day she has a concert or an event.
Situation: You’re asked why you decided to retire from the world of entertainment.
A normal idol: I made the decision thinking about my future.
Tsugunaga Momoko: Because I’m so cute. If I stay any longer in the world of entertainment, it’ll cause a lot more people to give up as idols.
That’s true, isn’t it? Her fans have often informed that it’s close to impossible to find an idol like her. So she hopes that they’ll try out lots of other things, and find other hobbies that they enjoy. Even if it’s other idols. She would just like to warn her fans to not compare those idols to Momochi, and earnestly hopes that they consider and support the next girls they meet on their own merits.
Situation: You want to hold your last concert outdoors. But you’re asked: What if it rains?
A normal idol: I’m only worried that the fans will catch colds.
Tsugunaga Momoko: Wouldn’t that make it a legendary show?
Well, this actually happened. Momo wonders how the weather will actually be like? She feels that it’ll be good – after all, the weather has always been good to her. While she is concerned about the fans catching colds, she’s also just as worried about her hair and makeup getting ruined if it rains. It’s not a matter of her being vain – it’s for the fans. She wants to leave them with the memory of her being at her utmost cutest, at her most perfect at the end.
♫ Country Girls – Kimama na Kataomoi ♫
Transitionary jingle: If Momochi hits the table in the radio booth 5 times, she’s spelling out A-I-Shi-Te-Ru: I love you
The next letter mentions the ‘Moshi Moshi, Momochi desu’ corner, where Momochi would call up listeners for a chat. Whenever Momo would call up girls, the topic would inevitably turn to talk of romance.
Honestly, Momo doesn’t remember the romance-related conversations she’s had with girls. But she remembers one dude, who was so smitten with a certain someone that he wanted to dislike her. Turned out that the certain someone he was enamoured with was Momochi herself. Being everyone’s idol, Momo had to let him down gently. Other memories she has of that segment include listeners’ parents picking up the phone when she’d call home numbers.
Another memory she has of the show was doing recordings after Buono! concerts, where her voice would be hoarse after having rocked out. When she took a month off to do her practical teacher training, she also had to record one month’s worth of shows. Without any recent incidents to refer to, coming up with four episodes worth of things to talk about was difficult.
The limited edition Tsugunaga Constitution T-shirts were also unforgettable. They listed out 200 articles of the New Tsugunaga Constitution: 100 articles at the front, and another 100 articles at the back. There are still some fans who wear those T-shirts, though the gold letterings have faded after washing, rendering the articles of the Constitution unreadable.
Next letter doesn’t have a question, but just takes the opportunity to reminisce about the days when the listener used to save up their pocket money to buy and illustrate postcards to send to the show. Now, the listener is twenty years old, and preparing for a career in toymaking. They wish Momochi luck in achieving her dreams as well.
For Momochi, the tale of saving up pocket money and sending postcards really reminds her of the passage of time. After all, postcards have gotten even more expensive, haven’t they? But she’s glad to have grown up together with the fans.
Momochi used to talk a lot about her brother on the show, and the next letter asks if he still refers to her as ‘Neenee’. Nope, nowadays, it’s just ‘Nee’. The ‘Neenee’ has been split in half. He’s now in his first year of university. ‘Neenee’ sounds childish, though she thinks that ‘Nee’ is better than ‘Neechan’ or ‘Aneki’. He came to the Buono! Yokohama Arena concert, and the show struck a chord in him. Apparently he stayed up until four in the morning, crying while watching Buono! videos. He remains Momo’s sweet little brother.
The next letter asks her about her trip to Osaka. It was her first trip to Osaka by herself, to watch a concert by one of her favourite artistes. Because of the trip, she went through her first experience of actually buying a Shinkansen ticket. She was told to purchase tickets at the ticket office, but Tokyo station was so huge that she couldn’t find the ticket office. She was rushing for time, so she had to wrestle with the ticket vending machines. She successfully purchased a ticket, but the price for an Osaka round trip surprised her – she’s used to having tickets purchased for her, so had never looked at the prices.
As it was her first time alone on the Shinkansen, she was so worried that she ended up sitting in the wrong seat – despite being a frequent user of the Shinkansen for 15 years. She only found out when her ticket got checked by the train conductor.
Thankfully, she made it in time for her show. The trip was really tough, way more difficult than she had imagined, but she really enjoyed herself as well. She now understands better the difficulties and costs the fans face when going to concerts and events.
In contrast to the short hair she kept in the past, she’s been growing out her hair. The next letter asks her why she’s keeping her hair long. Part of the reason she kept her hair short was because she needed it at an appropriate length for the Momochi Musubi. Also, if she had grown it out, she’d end up looking like Hatsune Miku-chan. So she kept it at a moderate length. Now it’s okay for her to keep growing it out. And since she can’t be troubled to go to the hairdresser’s, she’s just left it to grow on its own.
Some have theorised that she’s preparing for marriage post-graduation because she’s grown out her hair and has been going to cooking classes (she still hasn’t gone to any classes this year though). But no, it’s just that she couldn’t be bothered.
This next letter is worth translating in its entirety:
Back when I was a student, listening to this radio show every week was part of my youth. I’ve had many letters read out by you, received a medal…
The medals! Momo found them to be such a pain to make. They were badges that she illustrated and signed.
…and in the call-the-fans segment, my dreams came true and I was able to appear together with Tsugunaga Momoko-chan.
Momo: Ah, I called you? (Unconvincing tone) I remember you now… (laughs)
I got to talk a lot with you, and I’m truly grateful. Now I’m a full-grown adult, working every day, but even now, those memories of my youth are my treasure.
Momoko-chan, it’s really sad that you’ll be retiring from the world of entertainment, but I love my current self. I became this sort of person because I encountered you, Momoko-chan.
My current goal is to become someone like Momoko-chan, who gives dreams, hopes, and energy to others, someone who can have an influence on someone else’s life.
Thank you very much for your 15 years of hard work in the entertainment industry.
Applauding, she thanks this listener. They say that fans resemble their oshi, like how dogs resemble their masters (Not that Momochi thinks of the fans as dogs though). And Momochi does see the similarities here. No one likes Momochi more than Momochi does. So it makes her really happy to read that this listener loves himself because of her.
♫ Country Girls – Peanut Butter Jelly Love ♫
Transitionary jingle: Can we stay together like this for just a bit longer?
Momochi no Happy Word Kobo
Where negative expressions are turned into positive ones
Negative word: Unphotogenic
→ The real thing is so good that the camera can’t do it justice
Nowadays, Momochi finds that photo-editing apps and purikura can go too far and start making the subjects look weird, like aliens. She prefers the purikura of the old days, where the editing was confined to backgrounds and such.
There are girls who, when picking out group photos to post on social media, will choose the ones that put themselves in the best light. Not that there’s anyone like that close to Momochi though. Momochi herself doesn’t really recommend that – it just reflects badly on the doer. She recommends that people pick photos that instead have everyone looking just as good.
Negative word: Tone-deaf
→ Good at composing
Talking about compositions, Momochi recently wrote lyrics and arranged a song, ‘Otomomochi Densetsu’. It was the theme song for her bus tour. There’s a set-up to the song which is difficult to explain, but she assures the listeners that it’s a really catchy earworm.
Negative word: The graduation of an idol I support
→ It’s now my turn to support myself
Now that Momo’s graduating after given the submitter many dreams, the support they gave to Momochi is now going to be directed towards themselves.
Momo: Good luck~!
♫ Berryz Kobo – Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai ♫
Transitionary jingle: It would be so nice if time would just stop like this~
Momochi judges the permissibility of listener-submitted situations
Situation: Saying that heavily edited shots for Instagram are photogenic, that they look good
Judgement: Yurusanai (Unforgivable)
Momo doesn’t do these kind of fashion things like Instagram or Wear, it’s just not her kind of thing. She feels that girls who take heavily edited photos for Instagram are from a different world. It’s too trendy for a Showa-style idol like Momochi. But now that she’ll be returning to being a member of the public, maybe she should learn about these things?
Situation: When someone starts scrolling through your photo gallery when you’re showing them a photo on your phone.
Judgement: Yurusanai (Unforgivable)
In this listener’s case, they were showing someone photos of Hokkaido’s scenery. The other person then started scrolling through the photos and stumbled upon their many cute pictures of Momochi. That made them panic.
Momo: Why the panic? Isn’t that great? Be confident. I’m at least as, no, even prettier than the scenery of Hokkaido.
But she kind of gets the desire to scroll, especially when she’s told to have a look at an album. How is she supposed to know where it ends? And if someone’s handed over their phone, well, she would expect that there wouldn’t be anything they wouldn’t want to show. Thinking about it again, it’s actually forgivable!
New Judgement: Yurushite-nyan (Forgivable)
It is a complicated situation. Actually, what she hates is when people close-up on faces in group photos.
Situation: People who scathingly badmouth others, and then follow up with ‘Well, not that they’re bad people’.
Judgement: Thinking… Yurushite-nyan (Forgivable)
Idols generally don’t badmouth people, okay? But when it comes to food, she does do that. Anyway, it’s okay, since it’s better than not following up at all.
♫ Tsugunaga Momoko feat. Berryz Kobo – Momochi! Yurushite-nyan ♡ Taisou ♫
Transitionary jingle: Even when we can’t meet, we’ll still always be Otomomochi
The fact that she’s graduating still hasn’t really hit Momochi, even though she’ll be graduating a day after the broadcast. To be fair, there’s still about half a month to go from the day she’s recording the show, so she doesn’t know if she’ll actually be all right by the time the show airs.
She’s had a lot of opportunities to look back over her long career, and it’s the same with this radio show as well. Reading out these letters has been a nostalgic trip for her, and these letters act as proof that she’s had fans since way back then. While the listeners may have become fans at different periods of time, it’s thanks to the fans that she went on for 15 years. She’s grateful for the support.
More than anything, Momo loves herself. She loves herself, whatever she does, be it presenting on radio, singing, or dancing. The many kind words that she receives from the fans through her work, telling her that she was cute or that they’re supporting her, fuels her confidence even further. Which has made her love herself even more.
While she may have been called things like narcissistic, she takes that as evidence that people were enamoured with her, even if they were calling her names. Even at times when the world seemed to be hating on her, there were still people who supported her, and there were people who started as haters but eventually ended up as fans. She’s really happy with the encounters she’s had with her fans.
Even though she’s mostly been playing recent songs on this episode of the show, she feels that everyone has their own memories associated with the songs she’s performed in. Even when she listens to her old songs, she’s thrown back to those days.
She’s sure that there’ll be people who’ll become fans of her after her graduation, but even if there’s nothing new from her, she’s sure that there’ll be a backlog of her work available.
Momo: I may have chosen a new path from now onwards. While I can’t report to all of you directly, I’d plan to live my life with my head held high, telling myself that I’ll do my best on my path towards happiness.
After all, Momo has luck on her side, and she’s got her charms and her cuteness. If you ask her, she’s more worried about the fans. What’ll happen when they can’t see Momochi any more? Will they turn into empty husks? Even when Berryz Kobo announced their hiatus, there were fans who told them that they would have nothing left to live for. Some of those fans would come to her handshakes and ask Momochi to help lift their spirits up.
She hopes that all her fans will become happy. Even if they don’t immediately find something they love as much as Momochi, she believes that they will eventually. So she recommends that they do their best at work and save up money – she doesn’t want her fans to be caught penniless when they do find a new interest. She hopes that even through the sad and lonely times after her graduation, her fans will keep on moving forward, one step at a time.
Momo: We may no longer be able to meet, but it would be great if we keep on doing our best, under the same sky. Once again, thank you for the plenty of support you’ve given over these 15 years.
♫ Tsugunaga Momoko – Momochi! Zutto Otomomochi ♫
New Tsugunaga Constitution Article #261
Do NOT forget about Tsugunaga Momoko!
Momochi: I won’t forget either~
She’s happy that this last, special episode of her radio show actually happened. She’s really amazed at the huge amount of letters she got, from long-time listeners and listeners who had just become her fans. She’s glad that people were excited about the show as well.
Momo: Well, I don’t want it to end~ But we’re at the end anyway. (laughs) But to you there, who’s listening to the radio with a sad look on your face. Tomorrow it’ll finally be Tsugunaga Momoko’s Last Live ‘♥Arigatou Otomomochi♥’.
Momo: To all of you who have supported me up until now, and to all you listeners who have joined me for this show today, I thank you very much. Your companion throughout this time has been ‘Momochi’ Tsugunaga Momoko. Come to Aomi tomorrow, okay? Bye bye~