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:

Reminder to Stay Calm

I have to say, the announcer team shows great patience during Korokoro Viking, and at least one of the women probably also needs a reminder to calm down when announcing games, judging from her screams during this round. Actually, her excitement level sort of reminded me of Aiba-kun.

Announcer Team at Korokoro Viking

Speaking of Aiba-kun, he and Takahashi-san were responsible for the goal-scoring zone for Arashi. Will they be all right?

Arashi Team at Korokoro Viking

Kono Futari . . .

Next was Pinball Runner, with Ninomiya-kun running for Arashi, and he’s feeling so confident that even having a 40% handicap wouldn’t throw him off. He predicts a 150 pt get – can he do it?

Ninomiya Confident 1Ninomiya Confident 2

He picks Sakurai-san for the pinks, to Ohno-san’s mock consternation.

Sakurai Gets PinkOhno Feeling Less Special?

The runner for the announcer team was Kurada-san, who had wanted to enter Johnny’s when he was in elementary and middle school, so he has an extra reason to beat Arashi.

Kurada 1Kurada 2

He is actually invited to prove his dance skills, and does. I think he still wants to be in Johnny’s.

Kurada 3Kurada 4

We get a little break in the action for an update on the VS Arashi Middle School Championship . . .

Middle School Championship 1Middle School Championship 2Middle School Championship 3

. . . and Takahashi-san gets to do his plug . . .

Takahashi Plug

. . . then back to the show with Cliff Climb – probably my favorite VS Arashi game (unless they bring back Falling Pipe). The fact that Kurada-san has already done a lot of running and dancing is brought up, so Miyake-san, dai-senpai to all the announcers, decides to recruit the VS Arashi announcer, Nakamura-san, to take Kurada’s place:

A Brilliant Switch 1A Brilliant Switch 2A Brilliant Switch 3A Brilliant Switch 4

This is clearly a real surprise, and Nakamura-san tries to object, but Miyake-san quickly knocks the hesitation down by saying that he’ll take care of the announcing while Nakamura-san does the climbing.

Miyake Takes Over

So, Nakamura-san rushes down to do the Cliff Climb, still looking stunned and objecting as soon as he gets down to the studio floor:

Nakamura 1Nakamura 2Nakamura 3

I’ve sort of been waiting for this. Ever since VS Arashi’s old announcer, Itou-san, left, there’s been a need for the newbie to really earn his stripes. Finally, we get a chance to see what he’s made of.

Nakamura 4Nakamura 5

He’s seen Cliff Climb often enough by now to know some of the pitfalls, so can he use that knowledge to his advantage (of course, Sakurai-san has even more experience, and never seems to manage)? I’ll tell you what: it was probably the most exciting Cliff Climb I’ve seen in a long while. I wonder if they’ll take the damage Nakamura-san caused out of his paycheck?

Really, there was nothing Arashi could do to top that, entertainment-wise. They sure try to, though, putting up their two most . . . dynamic . . . performers: Aiba-kun and Sakurai-kun. It’s definitely not their best point-winning combination, though – Miyake-san (still announcing in place of Nakamura) points out that this combination has never gotten a perfect score in Cliff Climb.

Aiba and SakuraiThey've Had Troubles

So, they have a definite goal to make things interesting. Can they do it? At least there’s a chance with Sakurai-kun taking the easy part:

Sakurai Goes First

After all that excitement, we move on to Kicking Sniper, with Ohno-san, Takahashi-san and Ninomiya-kun up for Arashi.

Kicking Sniper 1

The announcer team had two women, both taking the “ladies zone” handicap, and Miyake-san.

Kicking Sniper 2

After the game, Nakamura-san mis-speaks about Miyake-san’s record in the game, and has to apologize.

Nakamura and Miyate 1Nakamura and Miyate 2

The final game is Rolling Coin Tower, and I’ll just outright skip saying anything about how that went.

The announcer team was a lot more fun than I expected them to be, thanks in large part to Kurada-san’s Johnny aspirations and even more to Nakamura-san’s participation. Nakamura-san’s effort made this a great episode.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi? Really, the announcer team was way more interesting than Arashi was. I think it has to be a tie between Sakurai-kun and Aiba-kun. They both had moments throughout, but this is mainly for their effort in the Cliff Climb, which was the most memorable game of the episode.