VS Arashi (VS 嵐) is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi featuring a different team of actors or comedians competing against them every week. Whether the show turns out good often depends on the opposing team and the “plus one” guests that are added to the Arashi team.

VS Arashi title

This time, the opposing team was there to promote a movie (兄弟 uchuu kyoudai – space/cosmos brothers), so we had serious star power on set. The two most recognizable names were Oguri Shun-san (小栗旬) and Okada Masaki-san (岡田将生), who were both in the popular drama Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. Oguri-san was also in the even-more-famous Hana Yori Dango with Arashi’s Matsumoto Jun, and he’s a longtime friend of Arashi. He’s also one of the quietest personalities in Japanese entertainment, so don’t look to him for much excitement in this episode.

The Space Brothers Team

The “plus one” guests were a step up from last week. This time it was the hilariously unfunny Kanou Eikou-san and the genuinely amusing Yanagihara-san (柳原). For some reason, Yanagihara-san tended not to do any of the challenges on her own – doubling up with different Arashi members in each game. Maybe it was because there were seven on their side altogether while there were only six in the opposition.

The Plus One Guests

The first game was Bound Hockey – one of my favorites because it’s so unpredictable, and I like surprises. Right from the start, Kanou-san is getting picked on, which is pretty much his contribution to comedy. He does a good job in this show, though, I have to say. I’m not totally sure what was going on between Kanou-san and Aiba-kun.

Bound HockeyKanou EikouAiba's reply

Next was Korokoro Viking, which Arashi has had a lot of trouble with in previous episodes. Will they fall flat again this time? You’ll have to watch the show to find out. (By the way, it’s on youku if you haven’t seen it already).

Korokoro Viking

The new game, Shotgun Disk, came after that. I’m still not sold on it. We got some Aiba-Kanou interaction again, as they debated who should go where based on their arm length.

What's arm length got to do with it?

On cliff climb, we get Oguri-san and Okada-san for the opposition, then Ohno-san and Aiba-kun for Arashi. I would have liked to see Kanou-san try the climb – it would have been worth a few extra laughs, anyway. Get a load of the support staff for the two Arashi climbers, though:


Five people!? If you look in the bottom left corner, you can see that the graphic really can’t fit all their names. It’s pretty rare that they need five extra hand-holds for the climb, and even if they did, you could just rotate supporters. Why stuff five people up there, I wonder?

The last game is Kicking Sniper, and events shape up in such a way as we get Matsumoto-kun and Ninomiya-kun doing a one-off gag (一発ギャグ) with Kanou-san:

Ippatsu Gag

This was probably the highlight of the show for me. You’ll have to watch to understand why – there’s no way to put it into words. It’s really about the combination of irony and embarrassment.

Well, after practically getting the night off, Yanagihara-san seemed to enjoy herself:

Yanagihara Looks Happy

Altogether, it was a pretty average episode. It could benefit from subtitling, though.

The Most Omoshiroi (interesting) Arashi for this episode is a tough one. It really comes down to MatsuJun and Aiba-kun, with Aiba dominating the beginning and MatsuJun taking over in the second half. Still, I thing the M.O.A. has to go to Aiba-kun.