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 time, the opposing team was a group of stage actors promoting a play, 大江戸緋鳥808 (Oo-Edo Chou 808). I’ll refer to them as the Edo 808 team, since that has a nice ring to it.

VS Arashi Title

Before introducing the guests, Arashi reflects on how their middle school competition has led to a great many tears being shed:

Middle School Tears 1Middle School Tears 2

Then Sakurai-san brought up the scene in the back room just fifteen minutes before the start of the show, and Matsumoto-kun said that everyone was napping.

Napping 1Napping 2

Aiba-kun and Sakurai-san preferred to nap sitting upright, while Ohno-san and Ninomiya-kun sprawled horizontally across three chairs. Ohno-san corrected MatsuJun, pointing out that he had actually taken four chairs.

And Proud of ItReally, it was four chairs

Sounds like they’ve been busy. Anyway, here are the members of the Edo 808 team:

The Edo 808 Team

Apparently, lack of sleep causes some members of Arashi to mishear the description of the drama, somehow hearing “breasts” (o-chichi) instead of o-shichi (not sure how to translate this).

Clean Out Your Ears 1Clean Out Your Ears 2Clean Out Your Ears 3

The main member to watch for on the Edo 808 team is Azuma Mikihisa-san (東 幹久), who has been on VS Arashi three times, most recently in the June 7th episode, where he almost accidentally did the splits while chasing after a big yellow ball:

Azuma, VS Arashi ProThree Times = Pro?Interesting Move

The “plus one” guest added to the Arashi team was the comedy duo しずる (Shizuru) made up of Murakami Jun-san (村上純) and Ikeda Kazuma-san (池田一真).

ShizuruShizuru 2

They’re not gag comedians, and they look energetic, so their participation should be neutral or a net plus.

On to the games, we get the slowest one – Rolling Coin Tower – out of the way first. Daichi Mao-san starts it off with a strong “ganbarimasu”:

Ganbarimasu

Azuma-san points out that Arashi has had ten consecutive victories:

Time to Break a Streak?

That’s . . . both amazing and disturbing. That means we haven’t seen a Most Dame Arashi in a very long time, and I’m a firm believer that this show is best when the Arashi members are tested. Will they get a fight from Azuma-san, Daichi-san, and their fellow actors?

Nakamura-san asks Azuma-san to give advice on Rolling Coin Tower to his teammates, as the VS Arashi Pro, but he doesn’t remember having played it before:

Azuma 1Azuma 2

Nakamura-san confirms that he actually hasn’t.

Azuma 3

Murakami-san claims to be part of Arashi, which draws a roar of “eh~~!!” from the crowd:

Murakami's Claims 1Murakami's Claims 2

The explanation is that he constantly gets mistaken for Nino-kun, but I don’t think the audience is buying it:

Murakami's Claims 3

After a reasonably high-scoring round of Rolling Coin Tower, the show moved on to a much more exciting game – Cliff Climb.

Cliff Climb

Up for the Edo 808 team are Azuma-san and Harada-san, with the remainder of the team supporting:

Azuma and Harada

This time, Azuma-san is sure he hasn’t played the game before (sort of hard to forget something intense like climbing a rock wall in front of a studio audience).

Definitely the First Time

Harada-san has been training with “kids barbells” – that is, lifting kids. He demonstrates on Azuma-san:

Harada's Workout

Well, this is where we find out how competitive the Edo 808 team will be. How will they do?

How Will They Do?

They might have to do some renovation on the cliff climb set – there seemed to be bits falling off everywhere. How much will come off when Ohno-san and Murakami-san take their turn on it?

Ohno and Murakami

Ohno-san and Murakami-san are roughly the same age, which prompts a discussion of who else is in their year. It turns out Choi Hong Man (the 7-ft-2 Korean kickboxer who co-starred with Ohno-san in Kaibutsu-kun) is one of them, and so is Mongolian sumo wrestler Asashouryuu, prompting Sakurai-san to note that Ohno and Murakami are rather undersized for their year.

Too Small for their Age

After another look at how the middle-schoolers are doing on Rolling Coin Tower . . .

Back to the Kids 1Back to the Kids 2Back to the Kids 3

. . . it’s time for Kicking Sniper, with Daichi-san, Yamasaki-san, and Shimada-san up for the Edo 808 team:

Kicking Sniper 1

Yamasaki-san claims soccer experience, which may or may not help in this game:

Kicking Sniper 2

The Arashi team representatives were Matsumoto-kun, Ninomiya-kun, and Ikeda-san:

Kicking Sniper 3

Ikeda-san seems to have some soccer under his belt, and Matsumoto-kun has been brushing up. Nino-kun? He’s watched some World Cup prelims recently.

That's Good Enough, Right?

These three are also within a year of each other:

The Younger Generation

And I find myself between the Ohno-Murakami generation and the MatsuJun-Nino-Ikeda generation, closer to Aiba-kun than Sakurai-san. Are they going to cover us middle kids, or are the older brothers and younger brothers going to get all the attention? Ah, well, let’s see how the little brats kick:

Start!

I think Nino-kun was on the floor more than he was standing during this game. I’m sure he was happy to move on and announce the start of Pinball Runner.

Pinball Runner!

Sakurai-san was running for Arashi, with Aiba-kun and the Shizuru pair supporting.

Sakurai in Good FormAiba and Shizuru

I get to find out my own contemporaries, but Sakurai-san only mentions swimmer Kitajima Kosuke-san, declaring Sakurai-Aiba-Kitajima to be the “big three” (御三家 – gosanke). That’s . . . a disappointment. Was it a weak year or something? (just kidding) Anyway, after Murakami gets some more “eh~~!!”s from the audience, Sakurai-san has his go at Pinball Runner.

Top ThreeSho in Pinball Runner

Interestingly, the runner for the Edo 808 team is Takashiro Kei-san (貴城けい). It’s pretty rare that we get to see a woman as the runner when there are men on the team. I give the Edo 808 team a big thumbs-up for this move, though it seems like it was a no-brainer – Takashiro-san was in the top four in an all-Japan athletic meet when she was a kid, and that sort of athleticism sticks with you. The crowd was certainly impressed.

Ready for ActionTakashiro's Record

Her supporters, though, might be over-thinking how to call out numbers:

Over-Thinking

The last game was Korokoro Viking and, as usual, the games were close enough so that they have to take this one seriously. The Edo 808 team is up first, and Daichi-san is confident that their teamwork will win through.

Edo 808 in Korokoro VikingGood Teamwork

They’re certainly spirited:

Ei Ei Oh-!!

On their turn, Arashi faces the -50 point slot handicap they introduced in the last episode:

Yeah, but they're too good to ever hit it

Since they won the game in spite of it last week, I guess it’s the least they could do as a handicap, since they’re getting way too good at this game.

The Edo 808 team insists that the -50 point slot isn’t necessary . . .

Iranai Iranai

. . . but it stays. By the way, I thought that MatsuJun had introduced it into the game last time, but I must have missed Ohno-san mentioning it first, because the announcer gives him the credit.

Mr. -50

While they’re thinking over whether to keep it and what other point arrangement might be possible, Sakurai-san messes up “high risk, high return” – the saying Aiba-kun pulled out a few episodes ago. He says “high risk, high pattern” instead:

Sho's Flub 1Sho's Flub 2Sho's Flub 3

That got a smile out of me. Well, all that’s left is the end. Can Arashi make it eleven in a row? Do we really want them to? Honestly, with a ten week winning streak, they need to make some major changes, and I think it starts with throwing out Korokoro Viking and reviving Falling Pipe. Just my bias, of course.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi has to go to Sakurai-san, for creating our birth year’s big three, and for “high risk, high pattern.”

Altogether, it was an okay episode – nothing really amazing, but still entertaining. Cliff Climb remained the best part of the show. From the preview, I think next week should be a good laugh, so I’m looking forward to that.

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