Since the big surprise for this episode was already previewed last week, viewers knew that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were dropping by to play Shotgun Disk (and, of course, to promote Men in Black 3), but during the shooting, Arashi apparently didn’t know (which is the normal situation for “plus one” guests). Or maybe they just did a sufficiently good job of pretending not to know. Either way, I was apprehensive about the two Hollywood stars appearing. First of all, the interaction with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz was totally awkward in their appearance, and I expected much the same thing here. Second, I know the big stars are busy, but the way they only come for a single game seems a tad condescending. So, I didn’t watch with high expectations.

Arashi looked sharp right from the start of the show:

Arashi Looking Sharp

They talked about their new single, “Face Down,” comparing Ohno-san’s moves to those in “Monster,” then introduced the Athlete Team which would be opposing them:

Athlete Team

I was immediately happier. As I mentioned in the post about the last episode, where Arashi faced the Women’s Volleyball Team, I like it when Arashi is challenged by physically competent opponents, and this Athlete Team was legit. It’s always nice to see Igarashi-san (五十嵐), not only because he has fifty Arashis in his name, but I also remember him fondly from a SMAP Ganbarimasu special.

After introducing their opponents, Arashi discovers that the mystery plus one guests won’t be coming just yet.

About the Plus One Guests

At the start of the first challenge, Pinball Runner, Arashi expresses consternation that their helper/helpers have not arrived:

There's still just the five of them

Eventually, this leads to Ohno-san standing alone as Aiba-kun’s supporter:

Aiba ConfidentOhno AloneThe Scene

Ohno says he’s not worried, but has some choice words for the delayed plus one guests:

Ohno FrownOhno's Words on Fire

Thanks to some prodding, Aiba-kun decides to put his two cents in as well:

Aiba's Words In Flames

With the first game done, I get a pleasant surprise – we’re going to Shotgun Disk next! We can get the Hollywood types out-of-the-way, and then get back to regular VS Arashi. I was afraid that they would keep Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for closer to the end.

So, cue the cool entry and the surprised faces as the big stars enter the studio:

Cool EntranceArashi Reaction 1Arashi Reaction 2

And wow, Will Smith was in a good mood. I mean, he was all smiles and was hugging everybody:

Will Smith Hugging

He even hugged Tommy Lee Jones, who was a bit more reserved. I think, frankly, that Mr. Jones looked extremely tired, especially next to his costar. Trouble keeping up with the young blood, huh? Anyway, Will got a bit of a surprise from the crowd’s uniform “Eh!” (エー) when Jones said he ate Japanese food daily:

Eh! Oh!Bikkuri Shimashita

That was hilarious. I guess he doesn’t do many Japanese variety shows, otherwise he’d be more prepared for that.

Then Nino-kun tried to get Aiba in trouble for the sniping he had done against the plus one guests earlier:

Nino and AibaNino and Aiba 2

And Ohno had to answer for his own words:

Ohno RecapOhno No Problem

I think Will Smith had about ten times the energy of anyone else in the studio, and it really showed when he got his hands on the bazooka:

Will Smith Armed and DangerousWill Smith Armed and Dangerous 2

We had three people tossing frisbees to Ninomiya-kun because, apparently, Tommy Lee Jones can’t catch:

Three People?Outraged

But he can still confuse the heck out of Nino with his talk about “international rules.” In the final frame, thanks in large part to Will Smith’s energy, the Hollywood participation turned out all right.

Promo Time

So, they got a little gift:

Gift

And we move on to Cliff Climb (which I would have really liked to see Will Smith tackle but, as usual, you can’t have everything). To everyone’s genuine surprise, though, we got another plus one guest, and this time, I won’t tell you who it is (unless you can read the katakana in the corner of the next screenshot, in which case try not to look). I think, though, if you watch enough Japanese variety shows, you’ll get a kick out of seeing who shows up. The guest helps out for the rest of the show, including doing the Cliff Climb alongside Sakurai-san. Arashi’s reactions to the guest’s arrival:

More Arashi Reaction

I guess the real question is: will Sakurai-san botch the Cliff Climb like he usually does? Watch and find out!

The final game is Korokoro Viking and there’s really very little to say about it. I’ll just throw in the requisite screencap:

Korokoro Viking

So, could Arashi win against tough competition despite being distracted by the high-profile plus one guests? Well, I think they at least won in terms of putting on a good show. All of the Arashi members had good moments in this episode, unlike the last month or so of episodes, where most of the action revolved around two or three of the members. Deciding who deserves Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi is a tough call, but I think Sakurai-san deserves it for conversing with the two movie stars, for tackling the Cliff Climb – his worst game, and for a very well-timed “Da!”

Da!

 

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