VS Arashi (VS 嵐) is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi, who compete against a different team of actors or comedians every week. This week, it’s the Fuufu Team (夫婦 – married couple), composed of three couples. Honestly, they don’t look like much of a challenge for Arashi:

Fuufu TeamThe FuufusArashi

IZAM-san has been on Arashi shows before, and Takahashi George-san pops up on variety shows every now and again. IZAM-san’ wife is Yoshioka Miho, who is also a showbiz talent, but I don’t know about Takahashi-san’s wife. Sugimoto Aya has been in a few dramas and movies, but none that I’ve seen. Her husband looks like an eccentric artist.

Sugimoto Aya and Husband

The “plus one” guests added to the Arashi team were the comedy duo “Impulse”:

Impulse

While I wouldn’t call them top-tier, at least they aren’t gag-reliant comics (like last week’s plus one guests), so they shouldn’t be too much of a distraction.

Impulse At WorkRecently Became a Father

The first game is Pinball Runner with IZAM-san running and his wife calling out the numbers:

IZAMYoshioka Miko

They’re a photogenic couple, aren’t they? That won’t win them points in this game, though.

Domestic Stories

Running for the Arashi team is the person we would least expect – Impulse’s Tsutsumishita-san (堤下敦).

Tsutsumishita 1

When they ask if he’ll be alright, he assures them that he’s been running in the evenings recently. The crowd gives a monumental “eh~!” as Matsumoto-kun asks how much he runs. Tsutsumishita-san dutifully answers 500m as the camera captures his belly:

Tsutsumishita 2Tsutsumishita 3

He then says that having his comedy partner calling out numbers should be fine since they’ve been working together for 14 years and is used to the voice. Not failing to take this cue, his partner, Itakura-san, starts saying numbers in a voice that . . . well, that sort of fits him, actually.

It Fits

Despite the misgivings, though, I have to say that Tsutsumishita-san did a fine job running, which gives him an extra notch up in my estimation. Like I’ve said before, I tend to respect people who try their best in shows like this, and he definitely tried his best.

The next game was Dual Curling, and we get a format that we haven’t seen before in this game: 2-on-2. The reason, of course, is to have each couple up as a team. The first pair was Sugimoto Aya-san and her husband, up against Aiba-kun and Itakura-san:

First PairAiba and ItakuraA Definite Pair

If the comedic matching of Aiba and Itakura wasn’t good enough for you, we got Ohno-san and Tsutsumishita-san next, against Takahashi George-san and his wife:

Takahashi George and WifeOhno and Tsutsumishita

Bank Bowling was next, and they started to mix-and-match the couples, with Takahashi-san pairing up with Sugimoto-san first . . .

Takahashi and Sugimoto

. . . up against a warning stare from Takahashi-san’s wife:

A Bit of Pushback

By the way, Takahashi-san doesn’t just look the part of an avid bowler – he really is one, managing a 279 as his best score.

279

Of course, this game is very different from regular bowling. It’s also different from previous bank bowlings, because we no longer have the all-important red pin which made all the difference. Will Takahashi-san show that his skills work in bank bowling as well, or will that 279 score prove meaningless here?

Bank Bowling

In the second frame for the Fuufu team, it was Sugimoto-san’s husband and Yoshioka-san:

More Fuufus

For Arashi,  Ninomiya-kun was paired with Tsutsumishita-san for the first frame.

Nino and Tsutsumishita

And there was humor:

Humor 1Humor 2Humor 4

Really, Impulse did a much better job with the humor than I expected. Matsumoto-kun and Sakurai-kun took care of the final frame, and they were prompted to be stylish:

Stylish Pair 1Stylish Pair 2

The big problem with Bank Bowling was pretty clear here: there aren’t enough points involved to tip the balance in either direction. While the results are fun to watch, the game has no effect on the outcome of the episode. Removing the red pin only makes that problem more acute.

Next was Kicking Sniper, a game full of points that can make for a triumphant comeback. Team Fuufu had the three husbands up. Will they make their wives proud or embarrassed?

The Husbands

Itakura-san, Ohno-san, and Sakurai-san were up for Arashi, and Itakura-san mentioned that he was in a soccer club in middle school, though I think some of his further claims were overblown.

Itakura 1Itakura 2

What’s with the tension between Ohno-san and Sakurai-san, though?

Sakurai and Ohno 1Sakurai and Ohno 2Sakurai and Ohno 3Sakurai and Ohno 4

The show then takes a little break, going to a VTR feature about a VS Arashi pavilion (I don’t know what else to call it) where Ohno and Sakurai face off against Nino, Aiba, and MatsuJun in a round of Dual Curling.

VTR 1VTR 2VTR 3

Back to the show, we get the final game – Korokoro Viking. The Fuufu team is arranged conveniently with one couple to each zone:

Korokoro Viking 1Korokoro Viking 2

After that, the Arashi team faces the toughest handicap in this game yet. Aiba-kun is, as usual, the one that has to double-up with somebody, and this time it’s kindred spirit Itakura-san:

Kindred Spirits

How will it go? If Arashi scores big, will they have to retire the game because they can’t make a handicap large enough to give the visiting team a chance?

So, while the Fuufu team was a rather sedate bunch, they weren’t boring. Most of the comedy was handled by Impulse, who did a great job and generally bounced their jokes off of the Arashi members, so it all felt natural and integrated into what was going on.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi is a tough one, since none of them really had a big part in this one. I suppose the title has to go to Sakurai-san, dubbed a middle school uraban (裏番 – secret leader of delinquents) by Itakura-san. He also gets it for his oshare (stylish) moment during Bank Bowling.

Uraban Sakurai

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