Behind the Scenes of Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda’s Selection as the Main MC of “Poka Poka” and Her Complicated Inner Thoughts | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Behind the Scenes of Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda’s Selection as the Main MC of “Poka Poka” and Her Complicated Inner Thoughts

Aika Kanda: Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York [Serialization] Part 3

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Fuji Television’s “Poka Poka” started at the beginning of the year. With the support of the two members of Haliichi and the staff, I have managed to exist. The show is full of room for growth, and there is tremendous activity behind the stage every day.

The first time I was asked to be the main MC was last year, in late August when the cicadas were still singing. The chief manager and manager were approached by someone from Fuji Television on purpose. Soon after that, I heard about it.

Photo by Kazuki Shimomura

My manager and I usually have a rule that he only tells me about jobs that have been finalized. This April marks 11 full years since I went freelance. Surprisingly, the entertainment industry has a very large number of requests for temporary work. For the first seven to eight years after I went freelance, those tentative jobs turned into a bumblebee bumblebee bumblebee bumblebee bumblebee.

In other words, I kept my private schedule open for jobs that may or may not come in, but they disappeared a few days in advance and disappeared all over the place. Each time, I wondered what I hadn’t done enough, or who else had been chosen for the job, and I felt incredibly depressed. I felt that I could not mentally sustain myself if I kept thinking like that, so instead of entrusting all of my time to my current manager, I asked him to let me take on more and more temporary jobs without consulting me, and to only tell me about jobs that have been finalized.

In other words, the manager decides when, where, and what kind of work I will do. I promised never to say no to their decisions. However, this time, a few hours after I was approached, I heard about it.

I was told, “Excuse me, Mr. Kanda, I need to talk to you about something at ……. Can you come to the next room?”

The manager looked stiff.

I thought to myself, “Wow, I wonder if FRIDAY has taken any pictures of me.”

I thought. However, I was not surprised to hear the following words

I have been asked if I could ask Kanda-san to be the MC for a new show at Fuji Television starting at the beginning of the new year. ……

I was naturally surprised. Naturally, I was surprised. What? Me? was my first reaction, but I immediately thought, “Hmm? A job offer? After hearing from the serious-faced manager for a while

God “ Is that a serious request?”

Ma “ No, it’s still at the stage of preliminary discussion.

God A request? Then, even if I say I accept it here and now, it is not a definite request, is it? Isn’t that something you shouldn’t let me hear?”

Ma “ Eh! Ah, but it was a big story.”

God “ No, that’s why, isn’t it?”

Ma Oh, yes.”

God “ Let’s not talk about it anymore until we get a real request.

So we decided not to have this talk at all. I still say this, but to be honest, I was already concerned about it. On the one hand, I felt that there was no way that such a big story would be decided by me, but on the other hand, I would be hurt if it was lost, and even if it was decided by someone else, I would never want to see it again.

I’m the one who really wants to ask what’s going on after that. The manager, who is aware of my true feelings but doesn’t say anything. Weird silences began to form during the car ride.

He kept asking me obvious questions one after the other.

After a few weeks of this, I finally received an official request. I was prepared to think that the request had already been sent to someone else because so much time had passed, so when I heard from the manager, I was relieved inside and answered coolly, “Oh, I see,” with a blank expression on my face.

But I couldn’t resist, and the thoughts and doubts that had been building up in my mind for the past few weeks erupted in a burst. How does this work with the regular TV show you’ve invited me to? Why am I being asked to do this? Are you ready to fight and die together?” And so on. …… You’ve been thinking about it a lot, haven’t you? He asked a series of obvious questions.

It has been a month and a half since “Poka Poka” started. There are people who like it and people who don’t like it. But now is the time when I think that what is being said, both good and bad, is meaningful. I was asked to be a player, not an announcer. I am 42 years old, a woman, Aika Kanda. Her first challenge continues.

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently appears regularly as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television).

From the March 3 and 10, 2023 issues of FRIDAY

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