This week’s Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is sort of an homage to the kind of variety show I despise the most – the “gourmet” shows where people sit and eat the whole time. The intro to the show notes that these gourmet shows literally flood the television listings. I can already predict that half of the dialogue will be “umai!”, “oishii!”, and the like (except one of guests turns “umai” into “maiu”). Can Arashi manage to make this potentially boring subject interesting? Let’s find out.

Lots of Gourmet Shows

There are three guests this time, and they all apparently have experience making watching people eat fascinating. I only recognize the tallest guest – Ishizuka-san (石塚), but it’s not from a gourmet show. He’s on a game show called “Tokyo Friend Park II” and has also previously been a guest on Arashi no Shukudai-kun. The other two, I’m not familiar with at all.

The Guests

The Arashi members were told to come to the recording starving, so they quickly guess what the topic is supposed to be, and Sakurai-san makes a pretty close prediction of who the guests might be. Part of the point of the show is that the Arashi members are not told who the guests are, so they are forced to improvise their way through the show.

You Better Be HungrySakurai's Guess

Unsurprisingly, Arashi is going to learn the essential points of the ultimate gourmet report. Enter the first dishes:

Enter the Food

And interestingly, Arashi chooses to go with “kanpai!” (カンパイ – cheers) on their first taste of food:

Kanpai!

Do you think maybe they know that the audience’ll get bored unless they do something unusual? Well, we still get variations of “umai” from them after they take a bite.

Next up was Hokkaido Milk-Bread (北海道牛乳パン) which really looked delicious:

Hokkaido Milk Bread

I love fluffy bread (as opposed to, say, hard French Bread), and while somewhat expensive (367 yen = around $4.50), cheaper than what they had first. Call me crazy, but if I have to watch people eat, I’d rather they eat something that I can afford. The Arashi members went to “mecha umai” this time.

Mecha Umai

This was the third offering:

Third Dish

And here Sakurai-san prompted Aiba-kun, who took a taste and called for a timeout:

Time! Time! Time!Timeout

After the break, one guest had the collected production notes from his 22 years of work brought in:

22 Years of Notes

Now that would be interesting to flip through. Not really a TV thing, though, so back to food:

Sukiyaki Time

That’s serious sukiyaki, folks: it costs 9000 yen/$110 per person. The pro did some classic gourmet commentary, and dunked the meat in raw egg (why do they always do that?):

Tamago

Then he identified the key points of his presentation style. When asked who’d like some sukiyaki, only Matsumoto-kun put his hand up:

Matsumoto VolunteersJust Me!?

They must all want to eat – it’s practically a rule of Johnny’s that they always want to eat, and we already know they were told to come starving. So, it looks like the others just wanted to put MatsuJun on the spot.

The Others Laugh

He did a great job (of course), and managed to avoid “umai.” His comments afterward were so good, that the guests were suddenly in fear of a new rival (ライバル).

Raibaru!?

The next item was intriguing: ramen burgers! What the heck is a ramen burger? Well, at least it’s cheap:

Ramen BurgersRamen Burger!?

The guest who’ll handle this one wants to take it from his entrance:

Taking it from the Top

The other two get a kick out of how fluid he is in starting his report (it’s totally like a real report), and then we get to see the ramen burger (it’s got ramen in place of the buns):

That's What a Ramen Burger Looks Like

And then MatsuJun acts like one of those people who wave at the camera in the background of live shots:

MatsuJun Waving

To which our gourmet reporter quickly adapts, then moves on to eating:

Yum Time

Arashi once again feigns reluctance, though this time, the food isn’t nearly as appetizing as the sukiyaki (I’m not sold on ramen burgers, even at that low price). Ninomiya-kun gets chosen:

Nino's Up

How does he do? Well, it’s all over the place.

Who's That?

After that, it’s Ishizuka-san’s turn, and he reveals that he normally has thirty meals in a day of location shooting:

30 Meals a Day

Ishizuka-san reports on the final dish of the day:

Final Dish

Before we get Ohno-san’s rendition of the report, we have to take a little break to “Encounter the Unknown” with Sakurai-san:

Encounter the UnknownThe author of Mikeneko Holmes

Amazingly, it’s the original author of “Mikeneko Holmes” (Aiba-kun’s drama), Akagawa Jiro! And that leaves Sakurai-san wondering whether it would be better if he switches with Aiba.

Switch with Aiba?

We find out that the subject of the encounter is kabuki (歌舞伎), and I’m immediately thankful it’s not about more food. The particulars of what Akagawa-san tells Sakurai-san are probably worth careful translation. Sho-kun hasn’t been to see kabuki since his elementary school days, so it’s nice that he seemed to enjoy it:

Kabuki 1Kabuki 2Suge!Tanoshikatta desu!

It sure looked like a fun show. Back to food, Ohno-san gets his chance to do an entertaining gourmet report, and he totally lampoons the whole thing.

Ohno Gets His Turn

Unfortunately, it was cut way shorter than it undoubtedly originally was.

Altogether, it was a good episode. It would have been better if Ohno-san had gotten more time. The guests were pretty much as-expected, so the burden was on Arashi to make it interesting, and the episode moved at a fair pace. The kabuki really looked interesting. So, yeah, nothing to get too excited about, but still solid entertainment.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi member for this episode was undoubtedly Matsumoto-kun, who appeared to be in a good mood.