Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda, “New Alcoholic Girl” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda, “New Alcoholic Girl”

No.52] Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration drawn by Kanda-san

(From the previous issue) A group called “Aruchu,” formed by male and female students in the same department during college. The leader of the group got married and decided to host a home party at his place. However, on the way there, Aika remembered that he used to keep a ferret as a pet during college. She psyched herself up, dressed in leather pants and an ultra-luxury bag, but what if there were animals there!?


When visiting a home with pets, there’s always a flow of “Aren’t they cute? Want to hold them?” from the host. Guests can’t refuse and react with “Is it okay!? So cute~♡” This interaction is inevitable and a matter of etiquette. Aika wants to avoid being unprepared for this flow due to her attire. Normally, she would confirm the presence of animals beforehand. Yet, she forgets to ask when visiting the leader’s house, who, of all things, used to keep a ferret as a pet. (Wait a minute. Now that he’s married, they likely have a dog or a cat due to his wife’s preferences!)

They arrive at the house. The door opens, if it was a dog, it would have rushed out immediately, but there’s no sign of that. If it were a cat, someone should be trying to attract attention, but there’s no sign of that either. (Alright! No pets!) While thinking this, she asks, “Are there any animals?” The wife responds, “We have a sugar glider, and it’s napping right now.” (A sugar glider!?) A surprising answer leaves her speechless. Apparently, the wife brought along a female sugar glider she had been keeping since before they got married. (Considering the compatibility between the leader and his wife, did they really have the option of a sugar glider!?) Aika felt embarrassed by her lack of imagination. And thus, she felt a strong sense of destiny in their marriage.

Of course, I don’t know the behavior of sugar gliders. Will it suddenly fly or lick me? (It should be fine since it’s probably in a cage.) I reassure myself and the party begins.

But after a short chat, with the voice of the wife saying, “The nap is over,” the sugar glider finally appears. No cage in sight! (Where on earth is it!?) Eyes wide open, upon closer inspection… (There it is!!) It’s sitting in the palm of the wife’s hand. Yes, it was indeed allowed to roam freely!

As soon as I returned to my seat, the inevitable flow started. “Would you like to hold it?” She placed the sugar glider wrapped in a blanket on my lap. Surprisingly calm, with its round eyes, it was quite cute. Though a bit nervous, it was such a rare opportunity that I wanted to touch it directly. When I asked, “Can I remove the blanket?” the wife smiled and said, “Because it might suddenly poop or pee.”

Momonga vs. Aika Kanda

(Eh!?) If that gets on my leather pants, it’s over. It’ll be a stain that I can never get rid of! (I absolutely won’t remove the blanket!!) I held it with both hands through the blanket. But in a moment of carelessness, it slipped out. and landed on the floor with a *nyu~* sound. Suddenly, it pooped! (Oh no!! Just barely safe!!) I screamed in my mind.

After a while, the wife brought out some luxurious strawberries I had brought. “Wow!” voices exclaimed from everyone. Honestly, I brought them because I like them myself. But I couldn’t be the first one to reach for them. (Come on, someone start eating already) I looked at the strawberries and grabbed one, putting it in my mouth, but before I could chew, it stared at me while munching. (The first one to eat the luxurious strawberries was the sugar glider!) It seemed like those innocent eyes could see through my envy.

It’s fine, it doesn’t matter. If I were to compare to humans, she’s around my age. We’ve lived through the same number of years. If we could communicate, I’d want to say, “You showed off your cute performance, so why don’t you show a bit of a service spirit and fly around at least once?” 

The leader’s wife and the sugar glider. Both of them are types that weren’t among the female members of Aruchu before. With the birth of the NEW Aruchu girls, I felt both happy and uneasy about the addition of these eccentric members.

©Kazuki Shimomura

Aīka Kanda, born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from the Department of Mathematics at Gakushuin University, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003. She left NHK in 2012 and became a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently appears as the main MC on the daytime program “Pokapoka” (Fuji TV).

From the May 31, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Illustrations and text by Aika Kanda

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