For this episode of HamaKisu (濱キス), Hamaguchi-san had a new challenge for the Kis-My-Ft2 members: the top ten most difficult bowling frames. Now, I’m not a huge bowling fan, but it’s fun to watch people who aren’t good at it. Watching pro bowling’s as boring as watching cows chew grass. But Hamaguchi-san doesn’t just want the idols to take on the challenge – he wants them to make it interesting to watch. As we quickly find out, that’s not at all trivial.

Kis-My-Ft2HamaKisu Title

I’m going to avoid tipping off who actually succeeded in each of the ten challenges, which is trickier than it looks, because the best screenshots always involved the reactions afterwards. I’m not going to be able to avoid spoilers about some of the failures, though.

We meet our cohort in the middle of a grassy field, where Hamaguchi-san reveals that they are going to review the VTR of their bowling challenge.

Opening

Reviewing the VTR

They started on the tenth most difficult bowling frame, with Fujigaya-kun up:

The Tenth FrameFujigaya Starts It Off

But Hamaguchi-san was not going to let him get away with simply going for it:

Matte! Matte! Matte! (Wait!)Making it Tough on Fujigaya (Hai - Yes)Making it Tough on Fujigaya (Aho ka!!)

He had a fellow instructor demonstrate the proper technique, including a lengthy pause for effect before the actual toss.

A Really Long Pause for EfffectAnd Getting a Laugh After Stepping Back

After the attempt, Kis-My-Ft2 was criticized for its lack of reaction (they just sat and watched politely, making a minimal noise once they saw the outcome):

Too Small a Reaction!Critiqued on Review

On the next attempt they were a bit more boisterous:

Improvement?Actually, Just Kitayama

But even though it was a success, they stayed seated:

Staying Seated While Giving High Fives!?

And Hamaguchi-san was understandably pissed that they didn’t stand up to congratulate their fellow member:

Hamaguchi PissedHamaguchi Really Pissed

Then we got a bunch of fast-forwarding through the ninth and eighth challenges (I’ll gripe about this later on in this review):

Fast-Forwarding . . .More Fast-Forwarding . . .

And then they get stuck on the seventh challenge, with even Hamaguchi-san himself giving it a try:

Tamamori DisappointedHamaguchi Takes a ShotHow Will it Go?

I won’t mention who eventually cleared it, but they eventually did. Then we got more fast-forwarding through the sixth challenge and the fifth challenge and a quick strategy session before taking on the fourth challenge:

Strategy Session

And in a wink, we’re in the three most difficult ones. They’ve been at it for two and a half hours, but I swear we didn’t get to see more than ten minutes of it. Number two takes more than four hundred tries! Unfortunately, this is how we got to see only a tiny fraction of all that effort:

Did We Really See All Of Those?Four-by-Five Fast Forward!And Even Like This, Less than a Twentieth!

Remarkably, after more than six hours at it, the Kis-My-Ft2 members are still going:

Night Has Fallen

And they manage to clear the second most difficult split! so, we’re on to the final challenge – the infamous 7-10 split:

The 7-10 Split

This one really keeps them going well into the night:

Time Flies . . .

And they eventually get beyond a thousand throws!

1000 Throws

At this point, it’s clear they are getting run down:

Not Doing So Well . . .

Will they make it? Will someone actually clear the 7-10 split? As usual, you’ll have to watch to find out.

The premise and execution of this episode was great, but there was a glaring problem: it was too short. They should have done the first six or seven in this episode and left the top three or four for the next. As it was, they fast-forwarded through most of the action and left the viewer unsatisfied. Heck, they practically skipped over some of the challenges, just showing the successful toss! That’s no good. It doesn’t build up anticipation. I don’t need to see every throw, but if the poor Kis-My-Ft2 members spent hours – and they did, throwing more than five hundred times on the top two – then it’s unfair to condense that down to a couple of minutes when we know there was a lot more video available.

Considering how many episodes they devoted to the senbei-eating, I think this could have done with two episodes.

Apart from it not being very viewer-friendly to fast-forward so often, it also cut short the time we got to see each member individually facing the challenges. In the end, only Fujigaya-kun and Tamamori-kun got significant screen time. The only exception was at the end, when all of them were shown failing miserably on the last challenge.

The preview for the next episode showed mountain survival training which is . . . totally different. I love that, though. Finally, a variety show with some real variety instead of the same segments over and over (I haven’t seen one quite like this since G no Arashi). I hope they give it the time it deserves, though.