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. After Kanjani8‘s appearance at the guests last week, who could we get this time?

Arashi ni Shiyagare Opening 1Arashi ni Shiyagare Opening 2

There’s no mini-game to start the show, and the Arashi members barely chat before introducing the guest. His name is Naganuma Takeshi (長沼毅), and I have never seen him before, but he’s introduced as the science world’s Indiana Jones. He certainly looks the part:

Naganuma 1Naganuma 2

So . . . how big of a drop in entertainment value are we looking at here? It would have been difficult for any guest to compete with Kanjani8, so I was expecting a slower episode anyway, but if this guy has to dress like Indiana Jones to get attention, that doesn’t bode well. The fact that he thinks the world might be entering a small ice age (氷河期 – hyougaki) doesn’t, either.

There's an Ice Age Coming!There's an Ice Age Coming! Run!

I generally can’t stand ice age advocates, because they always seem too enthusiastic about catastrophe (as opposed to global warming scientists, who generally look depressed because the real measurements of warming tend to exceed their worst predictions). Ohno-san thankfully defuses the topic by asking, comically, how the world will be:

How Will the World Be?

Anyway, Naganuma-san is clearly a science popularizer – which means he doesn’t actually spend time in a lab doing research – and while he’s not traveling the world, he does more than 100 lectures a year.

Traveling the WorldGiving Lectures

Ohno-san is enthused by Naganuma-san’s deep sea adventures, capturing rare specimens. I guess, to Ohno-san, it’s sort of like ultimate fishing – catching sea creatures no one else has caught before.

Fun!

We move on to the rumor segment, which should be interesting considering Naganuma-san’s been all over the place. Unfortunately, the first rumor is the one that an ice age is coming soon:

Didn't They Already Talk About This?

His evidence is based solely on periodicity – that it’s been hot for a while, so it should get cooler. They should take his doctorate away for such a flimsy answer. When Sakurai-san asked him to define “soon,” he said:

Ichi-Man Nen toka Juu-Man Nen

That’s ten thousand to a hundred thousand years, folks. And this is why I hate people who talk about an impending ice age. We have some very real global warming afoot, and here’s this guy confusing the public discourse. Sakurai-san responds with relief that Naganuma-san isn’t talking about the next year or two:

Oh, Good

The next rumor is even worse: that at 15:28:15 on Feb. 6th, 2036, the whole world will come to a standstill:

Rumor 2

Okay, I really hate this, and I’m getting to despise Naganuma. The idea behind this one is that computers will all breakdown because of a Y2K-like problem. The issue is that computers count seconds from the start of the year 1900, and that particular date and time would overrun 32-bits (it’s 2^32 seconds from the start of 1900). This is pure nonsense, of course, because we’re already shifting to 64-bit systems, and long before 2036, this issue will already be paved over. Heck, we’ll have quantum bits by then, and the entire logical structure of computers will likely be completely different. Even if there were some computers more than 24 years old still running by then, if their BIOS can’t be patched to count time from 2000 instead of 1900, it should be simple enough to replace them before there’s an issue. Only an idiot would say that this would cause the world to come to a standstill, especially after the non-event of Y2K.

Actually, we'll have quantum computing by then

While this is certainly keeping me awake with righteous indignation, I can’t call it entertaining. I skip through the rest of the rumor section because I don’t have the energy. This guy is a petty sensationalist with less to offer than his public stature should require. On to the challenges, our assistants for this episode are once again the two members of the comedy duo “Oriental Radio.”

Oriental Radio as Indiana Jones

Are these guys permanent, now? Anyway, the plot going forward is that the Arashi members dress up in lab coats and will act as Naganuma’s lab assistants. The lab coats . . . do they sort of remind you of something? Especially with Aiba-kun wearing one?

Natsukashii

Shouldn’t this be A no Arashi – the legendary segment in D no Arashi and G no Arashi (Arashi’s shows from years ago) in which Aiba-kun explored the universe (or something like that) in profoundly silly ways? If you’ve seen those episodes, then the appearance of ice on set should heighten the sense of deja vu, as the cold stuff featured heavily in those segments years ago.

Fresh From Antartica

This ice is direct from Antarctica, which I guess means that Naganuma-san made a slight contribution to the breakdown in the glaciers there. There are some jokes related to the release of ancient air trapped by the ice . . .

Ancient Air Turns Man into Ape

. . . but smelling old air is sort of . . . boring, isn’t it? Ohno-san looks like an air connoisseur here:

Air Tasting 1Air Tasting 2

A lot of Antartica ice talk follows, then we get a challenge that sounds more interesting: experience the water pressure of the depths of the sea.

Next ChallengeThe Apparatus

Naganuma-san asks Ohno-san to draw a portrait of him on a styrofoam cup:

Ohno Sketching 1Ohno Sketching 2

What will happen when they put it in the pressure chamber? I’ll leave that as a mini-surprise. The third challenge is to eat microbes (微生物 – biseibutsu).

Third Challenge

What could this mean? Well, before we get to that, it’s time for Sakurai-san to encounter the unknown. This time, the guest for this segment is actually someone I know – someone all English-speaking Japan enthusiasts ought to recognize.

Sakurai Meets the UnknownSakurai Meets the Unknown 2Peter Barakan

It’s Peter Barakan, host of “Begin Japanology” on NHK World (which used to be available on D-Addicts). He introduces himself as a broadcaster, and Sakurai-san responds that he knows Barakan:

Sakurai Knows Him (Of course)

Barakan is doing the reverse of what he usually does – instead of introducing the world to Japanese culture, he’s introducing Japan to a cultural feature of his hometown – London. He asks Sakurai-san what you can’t avoid seeing walking for five minutes in London, and Sakurai-san correctly answers a pub:

Pabu!

Sakurai-san is delighted when Barakan says the essential point is associated with pubs:

Yatta-ze!

Along the way, he has to make friends using the Beatles (because the Beatles are safe), and Barakan does a bit of a Beatles talk while playing “Twist & Shout.”

England=Beatles

To fulfill the challenge, Sakurai-san has to visit a English-style pub in Tokyo. Before we get to that, we get a glimpse of a commercial for the 24hr TV charity event that Arashi is hosting:

Commercial 1Commercial 2

The pub Sakurai-san goes to appears to be genuine enough:

Looks Like a Pub to Me

He arrives having studied a Beatles Dictionary, which is . . . sort of sad and dorky, really.

Beatles Dictionary

He looks a bit lost, doesn’t he?

Lost?

How will he do? Well, he’ll get fed, at least:

FoodThe Requisite Oishii

Unfortunately, his Beatles knowledge was practically nonexistent. He didn’t even know Ringo’s real name!

Richard Starkey

He’s told to come back after he’s brushed up.

Do Better Next Time!

Next, we got a glimpse of a few more 24hr TV ads:

Commercial 3Commercial 4Commercial 5Commercial 6

Compared to the Peter Barakan segment and the cute 24hr TV ads, do I really care what they’re going to eat with Naganuma-san? Not in the least.

It's Too Green For Me, Anyway

So, call this an episode saved by Peter Barakan. Ohno-san and Sakurai-san both tried their best as well, and deserve a joint Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi for this episode. I have to say, Aiba’s done far more interesting stuff in a lab coat than Naganuma-san had to offer, so I’m not surprised he wasn’t pumped up by this. I miss A no Arashi and the somewhat related Odoroki no Arashi specials. I’m off to watch some of it from my archives, starting with Aiba-kun going airborne on a giant kite.

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