Makoto and Ai of Yoneda 2000 have attracted attention with their unique stories and artistic style, and are active not only in award shows such as “M-1 Grand Prix” and “THE W” but also in variety shows. In June of this year, they successfully held their first unprecedented solo live performances (in Osaka and Tokyo), starting with a portable shrine and drum performance.
What is the origin of their “go their own way” stance? We asked the free-spirited girls about their frank thoughts, including episodes in staging solo live performances and making stories, the reason why they started dancing the parapara in their comedy act, how they handle variety shows and live performances where comedians gather, and their goals for the future.
It would be fun to do a lot of encores and give them all
–The June solo live performance “Haikoh Pokim Live! was seen by the audience. Opening with “Ojamajo Carnival!” (theme song of the anime “Ojamajo Doremi”), and it was cool to see Ai playing the drums to the song.
Ai: I thought I could do it if I had learned to play the drums on “Yoneda ni Love Song wo…” (a program distributed on docomo’s video distribution service “Lemino”). There was some discussion about doing twin drumming with Makoto, but we both have our strengths and weaknesses, and we didn’t have much time to practice, so it was decided that I would do it alone.
I was taught to play the drums by Mr. Aoi, the drummer who had gained attention on SNS for his work on “Yoneda ni Love Song. I had a drum solo score written separately from the show, and I practiced hard.
–Makoto appeared on stage riding on a portable shrine, and it is rare to see a solo live performance by a comedian that ends with the two of them throwing autograph balls together. The mikoshi performance and the drum performance reminded me of Momoiro Clover Z’s live performances when they had five members.
Makoto: Wow, I didn’t realize that! Our solo live performance was more like a festival than a showcase of our material. When I think of “festival,” I think of a “portable shrine.
Ai: We had talked about “filling it with things we like. It’s the same every year, but we wanted to make it a live show with a lot of entertaining material rather than a show of serious material. This time, I wanted the opening to be exciting, so we decided that I would play the drums and Makoto would ride on the portable shrine.
The autograph ball is supposed to be given to “about 10 people in the audience. So we thought it would be fun to do a lot of encores and give autograph balls to everyone. In the end, the encore, where the autograph balls are thrown, was longer than the main event (laughs).
Makoto: At NGK (Namba Grand Kagetsu), we did it for about 20 minutes. I wanted to make a joke by handing autograph balls to everyone.
When they feel like they should do something, they do it, no matter how goofy it is.
–Makoto: Yes, there was a difference in the number of people in Osaka and Tokyo.
Makoto: The number of people was different. It was our first solo show in Osaka, and it was a lot of fun. When Ai-san came on stage on drums, the crowd was so excited that it was like “America? When Ai-san came on the stage as a drummer, the crowd was so excited.
Ai: That’s true. The audience was like, “Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! The audience was like, “Wooooooooooooo!
Makoto: NGK is designed as a comedy theater, so we could hear everything. I was really excited. I was so happy.
Ai: I was surprised that it was more than I had imagined. It was the first time that that many people gathered in Osaka just for us. I don’t know if I will do a live music concert in the future, but it was a lot of fun, and I personally would like to continue drumming.
Also, Shingo Katori, who I performed with in “7.2 A New Window” (ABEMA), sent flowers to our solo concert under the joint name of “New Map” (Shingo Katori, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Goro Inagaki). I was very happy because he is my favorite person.
–The material at the solo live performance was in full bloom with its own surrealism. Especially in the first one, “Ai-san is hitting a high-tech robot while Makoto-san is making rice cakes in England,” there was quite a bit of time when the two of you were not in contact with each other.
Makoto: I liked the time when the two of us were doing different things and not communicating with each other. I think I made it from the point that we could watch each other even if we were doing different things. At first, it wasn’t about making rice cakes, but I like it when two people are doing different things.
I am not really good at analyzing things. If I think, “Let’s do it,” I just do it, no matter how bad it is. I think, “This will be fun,” then, “This will be fun,” then, “Everyone will understand.
Ai: And “I believe in it” (laughs). Usually, that part is much shorter. If I do it alone, I don’t have to worry about the length, so I just do the whole thing. So we did about 4 or 5 minutes of the part where the two don’t communicate with each other.
–It reminded me personally of the “Downtown no Gottsu Ekimae” (Fuji Television Network) “Businessmen’s Championship” (a surrealistic comedy in which the two basically don’t mix with each other and show a match with unknown rules).
Ai: Ah, but I watched “Gottsu” too. So maybe it is subconscious. I really like doing something different.
I felt bad about having zero stories, so I said to the gal, “Tell me para para!” She said.
–Makoto, you have been watching The Drifters’ comedy and “Gotttsu-ee-eki” since you were a small child under the influence of your father. What was it about them that got you hooked?
Makoto: What part of it was fun to watch ……, very much.
Ai: You are so shallow (laughs). Sorry, really.
Makoto: I’m sorry! (Laughs) My parents were the ones who made “Mr. Bean” (a TV comedy series that became popular in the UK in the ’90s and was also made into a movie). ), but I don’t think they watched much else.
It wasn’t like he was showing them to me, but I just kind of watched them. I thought it was interesting and watched it, but I didn’t say, “I compared this one with this one and got hooked on this one,” but I was already watching this one. So there were times when I couldn’t talk with my classmates at all.
As for variety shows, I watched “Lincoln” (TBS). I think I also watched “Hannelo Tobira” (Fuji TV) and other comedy shows in real time, but “Gottsu,” “Lincoln,” and “Mr. Bean” are more memorable. I must have spent a lot of time watching them.
(Makoto) — Considering the two of you are of that generation, it must have been during your childhood when Koriki Choshu was dancing the Para-Para in his comedy shows.
Makoto: (Surprised) Ah!
Ai: But the parapara is …… by Makoto (laughs).
Makoto: The gal I used to live with was a gal. One day, I said to her, “I have a new material live the next day, so let’s meet up for the material,” but I couldn’t come up with any material at all. I felt bad if we met without any material, so I asked her to teach me how to do para para. I asked the gal to teach me how to dance, and I learned to dance. I thought she would praise me more for “para para 1” than for “zero material. Then Ai told me, “That’s not how it’s supposed to be” (laughs).
Ai: At that time, I wasn’t in that kind of tension. He should have explained it to me like he is doing now, and then he would have done para para, but he was like, “(in a drunken tone) I memorized para para at 2 am, so look at it. I thought to myself, “What the …… are you doing?
Makoto likes gal. So, I think he thought Parapara was interesting while absorbing a lot of gyaru elements, so he included it in the comedy.
Makoto: I have a longing for gyaru, and I have a longing for ……. I think there is something in the fact that today’s gyaru can dance the parapara that was popular in the past. I am envious.
When I saw Makoto dancing the whole time in a groove, I seriously thought he was a little crazy.
–Makoto: You have been gaining exposure in variety shows, but were there any occasions when you were jealous of your skills?
Makoto: Even with variety TV personalities or the same comedians, I have never thought, “They got me! I have never thought to myself, “I could have done that. There are times when I say, “I could have done this,” or “I should have shaken it a little more like that,” but I never say, “If only that person hadn’t been there.
Ai: That doesn’t happen at all (laughs). (laughs) There are times when I think, “I could have done it here,” or “I should have done it there,” but I never say, “If only that person hadn’t been there.
–Ai: In variety shows where comedians gather, do you basically wait to be asked to do something?
Makoto: The tension is really high. Even at a live show, there are times when the performers are all yelling at each other, but they are just dancing. It’s not like, “Oh, I can’t get in, what am I going to do? What should I do?” Instead, I enjoy just dancing in a place where it doesn’t matter.
Ai: That’s exactly what Makoto was doing at the concert the other night. It was a big stage and there were quite a few people there, so we were apart from the other teams. When I looked over at him, I saw that he was dancing to the beat the whole time (laughs). And we were a little further back than the other performers, so no one was touching us. Seeing that, I really thought they were a little crazy.
Makoto: But it’s a lot of fun. Even if you don’t put it in.
Ai: Makoto chooses not to enter. I thought it was amazing that he was really doing it like this (imitating Makoto’s dancing in a groove), when anyone could have done it if they just went “wow. But I thought, “He is a good person.
Makoto: I’m glad to hear that. Was that funny?
Ai: It wasn’t funny, but I was just so embarrassed (laughs).
Makoto: It was like, “I’m enjoying it. Of course, there may be occasions when that doesn’t work, so I’m happy to learn then.
I want to make all mankind laugh. We are almost Momo Kuro.
–Makoto: You are currently very active in award shows and variety shows.
Makoto: I want to make all mankind laugh. Once I have made all mankind laugh, I will think about it. Well, even if I say “all mankind,” there will be more and more people born one after another.
Ai: Indeed (laughs).
Makoto: I think there is no end to it, but that is what I want to aim for. It is not that we want to make people laugh with our stories in English. It’s not that we want to make people laugh with our stories. If the worst that can happen is that the person farts and laughs, that’s all that matters. We want as many people as possible to laugh at us, even if it’s just a funny face.
Ai: I feel the same way. It doesn’t have to be a live performance.
Makoto: In one of our projects, we were asked “What is your goal for the future? Makoto: In one of the projects, we were asked “What is your goal for the future? I was happy to see the two of us together.
–It was a coincidence that it was linked to Momoiro Clover Z’s goal of “bringing smiles to people’s faces.
Makoto: We are almost all Momoiro.
Makoto: Our image colors are blue and green. Not surprisingly, they are colors that Momoqlo doesn’t have now (laughs).
–(laughs) – and then I realized that they were the colors of Akari Hayami (blue) and Anka Ariyasu (green), who have since left the group (laughs).
Ai: I guess our feelings were synchronized (laughs).
The paid version of “FRIDAY GOLD” offers a closer look at the true faces of the two, including “female comedians, love and marriage,” which have not been touched on much before, as well as multiple photos.
For more details and multiple photos, click here↓.
Interview and text： Asahi Suzuki
Freelance editor/writer. Former band member, former broadcaster. Loves all kinds of entertainment. Published "Shimura Ken Theory" (Asahi Shinbun Publishing) in April 2021. Currently updating his personal website, "Immortal Writing Blues. http://s-akira.jp/