My issue with the female guests on this show (for information on the show’s format, see earlier posts) has always been that they are, more often than not, boring. Not all of them, just most of them. They’re always soft-spoken, polite, and . . . conforming. That was not a problem this time, which brings me to my main point: can Lola be the guest every time? Because, seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard during the V.I.P./Guest segment of this program. This is literally the best I’ve ever seen for this segment.

Himitsu no Arashi-chan Title

For those who don’t know, Lola is an entirely unique character in Japanese television, taking the “dumb blond” stereotype and turning it into a completely idiosyncratic art form. I say art form, because the way she does it, you can’t bring yourself to hate her, and you’re constantly wondering if she’s really like that even though you’re pretty sure it’s an act. I mean, she can’t really be like that . . . can she?

Lola

Anyway, if nothing else, Lola is energetic, talkative, and not afraid to embarrass herself, which means she fits in just fine with comedians and with Arashi. Even better, we had Aiba-kun in the room this time, so we got a real meeting of the airheads (no offense). MatsuJun played the straight man perfectly.

Let the hijinks ensue! First, MatsuJun gave Aiba a little tour of their new digs, and Aiba got comfortable:

Enter ArashiAiba Gets Comfortable

Enter Lola, who started scoring laughs right away. For instance, talking about Aikawa Sho-san, she implied they might not know him:

Talking about a guy called Aikawa Sho . . .

Then the issue of whether she ever used honorific/polite language (敬語 – keigo) came up (not doing so to social superiors in a major faux-pas among Japanese), and she insisted she did. However, she followed up by saying she used casual talk in fun situations and formal language in situations that aren’t fun. Of course, that’s even worse, because she essentially called all her social superiors boring/unpleasant. The Arashi members were appropriately shocked:

Do you use Keigo, Lola?Only when it's not funShock 1Shock 2Matsumoto Apologizes

When asked to give an example of polite language, she managed to get Aiba like this:

Embarrassed

And MatsuJun in disbelief:

That's Keigo?

She then referred to MatsuJun as “MatsuJun-sama” which is a weird combination of a casual contraction of his name (Matsumoto Jun) and the highest (and therefore most inappropriate) honorific you could stick at the end of it. All this might be a bit hard to understand if you don’t know about keigo and its usage, but its hilarious if you do.

After that, they get down to cooking – and it’s some serious cooking:

Cooking 1Cooking 2Cooking 3Cooking 4Cooking 5Cooking 6

Lola manages to make pretty much every step along the way amusing. She seems to be a strawberry munch-a-holic.

Ichigo

Then they cued Lady Gaga’sBorn This Way” and Lola started dancing, spatula still in-hand:

Lola DancingROFL

And she insisted Aiba do it, too:

Recruiting AibaAiba Dancing . . . Sort of

Aiba Dancing 2

I don’t think I’ve heard Aiba laugh so much in under half an hour, by the way. Just when you might think they were done, they brought in an exotic bird:

BirdLola Likes Bird

Which proceeded to clamp its claws deeply into Aiba’s arm:

Aiba in PainAiba in Pain 2

To which MatsuJun noted that it was to be expected:

Sasuga desu ne, Aiba-san!

And then they decided to take a photo together:

Taking a PhotoTaking a Photo 2Taking a Photo 3

And it turned out like this:

Result

You know, until now, I didn’t know what the point of Lola was. She didn’t really seem to contribute anything to other shows she was on. But now I understand: it wasn’t her, but all the other stiff people on the show. Next to Arashi, though, she serves the comic relief purpose perfectly. She makes Aiba look sensible. That’s talent.

After that, Mannequin Must-Item felt like a wind-down. It was MatsuJun and Aiba against the “Hancho Team.”

Mannequin Must-Item

Mannequin Must-Item 2

The must-item was sweatpants:

Sweatpants

That’s a tough one. What outfits did they pick? Who didn’t get sold? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Who had the outfit I would most likely wear? Surprisingly, Aiba-kun. And I’ll have to give him the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi prize to him as well – mainly for gelling so well with Lola and sacrificing his arm for the sake of humor.

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