Archive for July, 2012

Sprout Ep 04 Review

Sprout (スプラウト) is a half-hour teen romance series based on a popular manga by Nanba Atsuko. It stars Chinen Yuri as Souhei, Morikawa Aoi as Miku, and Lewis Jesse as Katagiri Hayato.

Sprout Title

At the end of last week’s episode, Katagiri confessed his love for Miku . . .

Katagiri Confessing

. . . and Miku seems to remember the moment fondly:

Miku Delighted 1Miku Delighted 2

Continuing in her memory of what happened after the confession, we see that Katagiri knew that Miku liked Souhei, and was willing to give Miku time.

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Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is a variety show featuring Arashi as hosts and famous male guests from a range of backgrounds. This time, as occasionally happens, the guests share the same background as Arashi. Kanjani8 are a fellow Johnny’s group and in the middle of promoting their “Eight Ranger” movie and the single based off of it. They’re also just as competent as Arashi in the variety show business, so this should be a lot of fun. Realizing that, the producers saw fit to make it a 90-minute special.

Arashi in Title Sequence

The episode begins with a balance ball challenge, with Kanjani8 observing and commenting on who among the Arashi members can stay on a balance ball for the least amount of time. (Arashi themselves told the crowd unequivocally who would do the best.)

Balance BallsKanjani8 WatchingBalance Ball 2

By the way, Kanjani8 were spot-on in their predictions. After the challenge, they make their entrance:

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Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団 – Naniwa Juvenile Detective Team) is a mystery series with a humorous bent based on a novel by Higashino Keigo. It centers on mystery-obsessed elementary school teacher Takeuchi Shinobu (Tabe Mikako) and her cohort of similarly curious students. This episode begins with Shinobu putting her usual overabundance of energy into softball training with the kids.

Softball 1Softball 2Softball 3

Meanwhile, a suspicious old man looks on:

Suspicious Old Man 1Suspicious Old Man 2

Shinobu at least cleans up her mistake, though rival teacher Haruna (Kimura Fumino, who is also playing naïve teacher Haruka in Kuro no Onna Kyoushi this season – how many teachers are you allowed to play in a single season?) isn’t very grateful.

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Kuro no Onna Kyoushi (黒の女教師 – possibly “the female teacher(s) of darkness”) is a school drama centered on three “dark” teachers who handle problems at their school in a cold and purely for-profit way. If you thought Great Teacher Onizuka was too cheery and optimistic, this is the antidote.

Kuro no Onna Kyoushi Title 1Kuro no Onna Kyoushi Title 2

Our story begins with a scene that actually occurs in the middle of the story, with the troubled main character running up to the school to implore the three dark teacher for help. Their response is to ask if she has the money, which she does, though she hates them for wanting to be paid to help.

Pleading for HelpThe Dark TeachersThe PaymentShe Hates Them

After the credits, we flashback to the normal flow of the story to find out that the main character is a new teacher at the school. We see her on her first day, busy rehearsing her introduction as she walks onto campus. Immediately, we know that she’s one of those cheery teachers who will have the full force of reality brought down upon her.

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VS Arashi 2012.07.26 Review

VS Arashi (VS 嵐) is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi, who usually compete against a different team of actors or comedians every week. This time, though, it was the Gasshuukoku Sansanzu Team (合衆国サンサンズ), a team of announcers for a summer expo where there’s a VS Arashi pavillion. I don’t know much about it, but here‘s the Japanese-language website for it.

ArashiAnnouncer Team

The “plus one” guest added to the Arashi team was drama actor Takahashi Katsumi-san (高橋克実), who didn’t get much of a reaction from the Arashi guys. He was on VS Arashi two years ago (2010-12-09), but I’ll refrain from taking a look at how that appearance turned out.

Takahashi KatsumiNo Reaction

The first game was Korokoro Viking. Before we get started, though, the announcer team had a bit of fun with the announcer for VS Arashi, Nakamura Mitsuhiro-san (中村 光宏 or, as Arashi call him, ni-dai-me 二代目 second generation/substitute) who is also a “Sansanzu.” Apparently, Nakamura-san gets a bit worked up/nervous when announcing games, and has to have a reminder to calm down posted under his screen:

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