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[Interview translation] BiSH~Rock'n Roll Swindle~Episode 5 Momoko Gumi Company's first interview "I don't want to be like groups that are just cute"

Posted by Lurkette, in Interview, Translations 01 September 2015 · 1703 views

Episode5 : Momoko Gumi Company's first interview

She's so different. She does idol mannerisms and says she hates handshake events. She wants to be an entertainer, she does foolish things, and she has an extremely clever side. And yet, after Yukako left, she had a side that cried until morning... She'll likely be an important aspect of BiSH as a group, a type that if she weren't in BiSH, I'm not sure what they would become. Honestly, however, I'm worried about her... lol

Interview and text: Iida Shinichirou

Thinking about hating something is stressful, isn't it?

ーーWhat sort of child were you, Momoko?

Momoko Gumi Company (Henceforth, Momoko): I was popular in my class from 1st through 3rd grade. I hate saying this myself but in class popularity contests I got #1.

ーーSo people liked you?

Momoko: In lower elementary school? But it didn't feel like that. My heart is full of scars from the past.

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Momoko: I was picked on in elementary school... I might cry so I don't want to go too deep into it...


Momoko: Around 4th grade.

ーーWhat started it?

Momoko: Even now I don't know, but at first I was super good friends with this girl, and then we stopped being friends and she started to tease me. She would hit me, push me into pools, things like that. This was in elementary school, so I don't really remember what started it...
What was it?

ーーHuh? Were you thinking of something else just now?

Momoko: Heeheehee (laughs).

ーー(laughs). We're in the middle of an interview, and we got into some pretty deep topics.

Momoko: Yeah, I'm sorry! I'm really sorry.

ーーBut surely you think you're a pretty good person.

Momoko: I don't!

ーーAre you a little mean-spirited?

Momoko: No, I don't think so. I don't dislike anybody.

ーーBut surely you dislike the people who made fun of you?

Momoko: I don't. I don't think anything of it. Thinking about hating something is stressful, isn't it? That's why I'm totally fine with everything.

ーーDid you become an idol to get back at those kids?

Momoko: Nope. That's not it at all.

It's so scary to have people hate me, and it sucks not being able to say anything back

ーーWhy did you become an idol, then?

Momoko: I've always liked idols. Not even idols, I just wanted to work in TV.

ーーGoing back to the earlier subject, you started getting bullied in 4th grade, and then what happened?

Momoko: Between 5th grade and middle school, my parents moved to Niigata.

ーーWas it smooth sailing from there?

Momoko: I did feel like I was an outsider, coming from Tokyo, but that was only at first, Compared to my teasing in Tokyo, it was totally fine. But I hated school. I had friends, but going to school was a chore. The snow in Niigata made it awful.

ーーAfter that, you went back to Tokyo after you started middle school, was your bully gone?

Momoko: She was there. We were even in the same class. I went to the principal to ask we be separated but we ended up going into the same class!

ーーWhat?! They didn't listen to you?

Momoko: My mother even went to go ask about it, and I don't know what the situation was with the number of students, but we were in there together. But I was also in the same class with the person I had the biggest crush on. I liked them all the way from 2nd grade until my freshman year of college. Even when I got other crushes, they were behind him, he was like a god to me.

ーーWas that your first love?

Momoko: It wasn't my first love... I didn't think anything of him at first, but then I heard a rumor that he liked me and then I started to become aware of him. He was really funny to talk to, he was good at soccer, and he was good-looking. Being funny is important to me.

(Manager Watanabe comes in to bring her the morisoba she ordered)

ーーYou've been waiting, so go ahead.

Momoko: Really? I can't eat in the middle of an interview!
Watanabe Junnosuke (Henceforth, Watanabe): You can eat.
Momoko: What! Really? Thank you. Look how much there is. Thank you for the food.

ーーYou changed your mind so quickly... how's the food?

Momoko: It's cold. Cold.

ーーThat's because it's morisoba. Isn't that a little much all at once?

Momoko: This noodle is so long
Watanabe: Someone really eats that much in one bite? (laughs)

ーー(laughs). That's what we get for messing around. You either have really strong mannerisms, or you completely understand your character.

Momoko: Nah, nah, nothing like that. It's just so scary to have people hate me, and it sucks not being able to say anything back. When I was in 4th grade, too, I wouldn't cry or get flustered no matter how much I got picked on, and my personality was such that I couldn't say anything back.

ーーSo how much did you like that soccer guy?

Momoko: How much? Hmm... as much as a god! But it didn't work out in the end.

I'm shy, I'm tough on the outside but weak on the inside, I'm anxious, and I'm afraid of talking to people, but I still want to stand out a little

ーーWhat sort of high school student were you?

Momoko: I was the kind of person who would sit behind couples and glare at them. I wasn't popular at all, and there weren't many boys at my high school, it had so many cute girls in it.

ーーWas your high school life peaceful?

Momoko: The high school I went to was a little different, and there were lots of returnee students, who got like super excited about things around them, like, "Yay! Are you on Facebook?!" I wouldn't do all that, so until summer of my freshman year, I had friends but not any that really understood me so I hated school, but then I made a best friend and I had fun every day. We laughed so hard.

ーーWhat did they say when you joined BiSH?

Momoko: I haven't said anything about it yet.

ーーYou haven't told the people close to you?

Momoko: I think it might be better not to say anything. I told a few people that I was becoming an idol without telling them BiSH's name, but the only people who know the whole story are probably just my parents.

ーーThey didn't notice it was you from the press picture?

Momoko: My face looks totally different in that picture so I don't think anyone realized it. My hair is short and I look like an alien (laughs).

ーーIs there anything from your childhood that made you how you are today?

Momoko: I guess so... My personality probably hasn't changed much since 2nd grade. I'm shy, I'm tough on the outside but weak on the inside, I'm anxious, and I'm afraid of talking to people, but I still want to stand out a little. I talk so much when I'm around friends and a small number of people, but I'm also the kind of person who will get all red in the face and not say anything in front of people. That's still the same.

ーーThat can't be true, can it? You were so funny during the audition.

Momoko: I tried so hard!

ーーIs that so? You said in the interview that you wanted to pursue a career in comedy, but did you originally want to be an idol?

Momoko: I did. Saying I wanted to be in comedy, it's because so many of the people I look up to are in entertainment. Like Downtown's Matsumoto, or Robert's Akiyama, or JaruJaru's Goto, people like that. I'd listen to Matsumoto's radio show every night. I also love Sakura Momoko. I love her the most. I thought I wouldn't be able to meet her if I didn't join the entertainment industry and stand out.

ーーShe isn't in the entertainment industry, though?

Momoko: I thought if I stood out I could maybe meet her. It's one of my primary motives for doing this.

ーーWhat do you like about her?

Momoko: I love Chibi Maruko-chan, and I've always been told I look like Maru-chan, so I felt like we would really understand each other. She's also funny, which I love.

ーーWho's your favorite character?

Momoko: Nagasawa-kun.

ーー... What musicians do you like?

Momoko: YUI, among others.

ーーDo you like YUI or Matsumoto more?

Momoko: I like them both the same.

ーーWhat about BiS and Matsumoto?

Momoko: Matsumoto.


Momoko: I think we would understand each other. Maybe everyone thinks that, though.

ーーHow much do you like BiSH?

Momoko: BiSH? We've only just started so I don't know yet. Right now I like all the members and the staff and the songs.

I just know the idols who get big

ーーThe other day Yukako Love Deluxe announced that she was quitting, how did you feel about that?

Momoko: I was up until 3 in the morning, crying.

ーーYou cried!

Momoko: I cried because I guess I felt bad about it. I hadn't cried in about 2 years but I couldn't stop. I felt sad, and thought, "We've only just started!" I haven't given up on her yet.
ーーYou want to try and stop her from leaving?

Momoko: Yes.

ーーWhy is that?

Momoko: It's simply because it feels more like a subculture that way, or maybe just because BiSH would be more interesting with her in it.

ーーNot because she's your friend?

Momoko: As a friend, too; I just feel more comfortable with her around. She's the one I sympathized with the most.

ーーWhat do you think of the other members? Sentochihiro Chicchi, first.

Momoko: I like her. She's so cute and fluffy in appearance, but she's actually incredibly reliable. She has the strongest sense of justice, like, she only auditioned for BiSH after she quit the idol group she was already in, and I think that's an amazing thing to do. I go to college, but she's only doing idol work, and even though there was no guarantee she'd make it into BiSH she still quit beforehand, so like if she hadn't passed, she wouldn't have anything left, would she? I think her resolve is so awesome. If it were me, I'd be too scared to do anything, so I really respect her.

ーーAina The End?

Momoko: She's funny. I adore her. At first I thought she was a little scary, though. Because she wears these hip clothes that show so much skin.


Momoko: But when I tried talking to her, she was cool but she's like, "Woo!" and all excited and funny, so I think that having someone like her in BiSH will help pump us up. She's also really nice.

ーーHug Me?

Momoko: She's a bundle of tolerance. Like a goddess. She's self-established, isn't she? You might say she's older, but she's relaxed, and when we're all running around like crazy because of a problem, she'll find a simple solution all on her own.

ーーBy the way, when we talked about Yukako, you lost your words and started to get teary-eyed.

Momoko: Yeah, I really adored her. I could relax around her. I want to stop her from quitting and I want her to think about BiSH as a whole and come back, but I think it's a personal issue, which is why it's so sad for her, but I think the next time I talk to her will be my last chance.

ーーVery well then. You have the vision of a producer, so do you talk a lot with Watanabe?

Momoko: Is that it? I just know the idols who get big. I watched Momoiro Clover Z right from the very start, and I watched You'll Melt More! from the time they were 3 members.

ーーDid you audition for BiSH because you thought it would get big?

Momoko: I didn't think that at the time. I hadn't looked about anything about BiS before. I just heard a lot of people were applying for it.

ーーWhy did you want to be that sort of idol?

Momoko: I think that all girls want to be idols. Of course cute girls do, but I think even girls who aren't cute would do it if they had the chance. So one day, I went to see the AKB documentary before work, and I realized that I wanted to be like that, but then cute colleagues of mine said, "They'll make you do such-and-such." That's when I realized that maybe everyone didn't want to be an idol, and if that were so, I wanted to become one and that I might even stand a better chance.

ーーBut you put out this attitude of, "I don't like idols."

Momoko: I really like idols. I only go see movies if I have time. But I don't want to be the same as those idols who can only be called cute. I like special effects. Like the 5-person Power Ranger squads.

ーーWhat Power Ranger do you like?

Momoko: I like the mega rangers. I like yellow, and in ranger shows, yellow can be for a man or for a woman. I like that sort of androgyny it has. I don't think I'm suited to being too feminine. That's why my hair is so short.

Basically, being at home is the most fun for me

ーーIn our interview earlier you said you hated handshake events, but how do you feel now?

Momoko: I can't imagine it. Whenever I think about myself acting all cutesy and shaking someone's hand, I feel kind of gross.

ーーYou also said you didn't want to touch the otaku, have you not received any backlash?

Momoko: I haven't received that much negative feedback directed at me, but when I looked it up on Twitter, people had written things like, "Someone like this shouldn't be an idol," and I was like, "What?"

ーーThe fans are relentless, so given how you feel, don't you think your handshake line would be the quickest to end?

Momoko: That would suck!! Being ranked like that sucks...... That would just hurt my feelings. I guess I asked for it, though.

ーーWhat part do you sing in "Spark"?

Momoko: I don't really sing.


Momoko: In the last, like, what was it? The second "Fuan da na~." Maybe.

ーーDid you even listen to the song?

Momoko: I did!

ーーWhere do you want BiSH to go from here?

Momoko: I hope we can each put our individual personalities out there. I don't know about our appearance or Twitter, but some of us are funny and some of us are level-headed, and I think it would be more entertaining if we could put more of our human side out there. A documentary or something would be good. Watching things is fun. But I don't know about myself. I don't know where I stand within BiSH.

ーーWhat do you want things to be like in 3 years?

Momoko: I want BiSH to be selling.

ーーWhat does selling mean, essentially?

Momoko: Appearing on Downtown DX.

ーー(laughs). And after that?

Momoko: Anything is fine, really. I want to lock myself in my room and write a book. I want to talk on late-night radio. Basically, being at home is the most fun for me.