This was a special live episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, reformulated as part of the 24-hour TV charity telethon hosted by NTV and combined with variety show Shabekuri 007. For more information, see the article on the first part of the telethon here. The second part of the telethon was Ninomiya-kun’s drama, and this was the third part.

This review will focus on the two hours that were Arashi-centric. Part four of the telethon was more on the Shabekuri side of things, and will be covered in the next article on the 24-hour TV event.

Instead of the usual arrangement, the members of Shabekuri 007 welcome Arashi as the guests onto the Arashi ni Shiyagare set:

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Sakurai-san looks positively stunned. I think he expected to be handling the MC duties as usual:

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The main personalities on Shabekuri 007 are the Neptune trio (Nagura Jun-san, Harada Taizo-san, and Horiuchi Ken-san), the Cream Stew duo (Ueda Shinya-san and Arita Teppei-san), and the Tutorial duo (Tokui Yoshimi-san and Fukuda Mitsunori-san). Ueda-san handled the MC duties . . .

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. . . but Sakurai-san had to look out for cues, as well:

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Here’s the full title for the show:

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What a mouthful. I have to say, Sakurai-san is all over the place at the start of this, glancing around and fidgety as if he’s worried something’s about to attack him (which isn’t out of the question on a variety show special):

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Ohno-san reveals the first plan of the day, though whoever made the scrolls apparently didn’t account for the ground being in the way:

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That says “watch an embarrassing clip.” Oh, this should be fun. We get the top ten embarrassing clips from Arashi’s past:

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I’m not going to detail what happens in each clip, but here are the intros to each and a brief glimpse, starting with number 10 and Aiba-kun:

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Number 9 was Nino-kun from the last time Arashi hosted the 24-hr TV telethon in 2008:

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Sakurai-san was sixteen years old in embarrassing clip #8:

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Ohno-san’s first turn came from a show all the way back from 2000:

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Then it’s MatsuJun-kun at #6 in the infamous Mayonaka no Arashi in 2001 (I wish I could find these episodes):

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Back to Aiba-kun on #5, but this time when he was 18:

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Number four is Sakurai-san, also at 20, and in Mayonaka no Arashi (I swear, seeing these clips and not being able to watch the whole episodes is like having an itch I can’t scratch):

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Ohno-san’s out-of-control in #3:

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But Ninomiya-kun is not too far off in #2:

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Matsumoto-kun tops the list, again from Mayonaka no Arashi (*sigh*):

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Considering how far back they went to get the clips, this was a treat. It’s always tough to get stuff from the earlier days of Arashi, and segments like this remind us of how the group got its start – that is, the hard way.

Oh, did I mention there’s a panel of comedians in-studio as well:

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I’m not sure what they’re supposed to do, but hey, the more the merrier. Aiba-kun pulls down the next scroll:

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This one says “compete with medalists.” Yay! I love it when athletes challenge Arashi. Time for Sakurai-san to call for a set change:

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Again, poor Sakurai-san kept looking around like a squirrel. Did he drink a tankard of coffee or is the set arrangement so different that he doesn’t know where to look?

Anyway, here are the medalists:

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And Sakurai-san’s face:

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Introducing the medalists, we have the phenomenal Yoshida Saori-san, who has won three consecutive gold medals in Women’s Freestyle 55 kg class Wrestling, and once held a 119 international match winning streak:

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Then there was the slightly less impressive Tateishi Ryo-san, bronze medalist in the 200 meter breaststroke:

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Finally, they had soccer defender Iwashimizu Azusa-san, part of the Japanese National Team that won the 2011 World Cup and the silver medal at the recent Olympics.

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The first competition is a rope climb:

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The match-up is between Sakurai-san and Yoshida-san. Maybe Sakurai-san was expecting something like this was around the corner. He sure seems confident, though:

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I don’t think it’s much of a secret who will win, but how much slower will Sakurai-san be? Will it be close, or embarrassing?

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Next up were Aiba-kun and Tateishi-san:

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Now, this could be interesting. Will we get the brilliant Aiba-kun who can pull off miracles, or the comic-fail Aiba-kun?

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Then they moved on to a new challenge – sit-up free throws . . .

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. . . and it’ll be between Nino-kun and Iwashimizu-san:

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The reaction is immediate (and you can hear some laughter in the background). To put it mildly, Nino-kun is definitely not Arashi’s sit-up leader.

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I think Iwashimizu-san can be pretty confident here:

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This is the real set-up, and boy does it look tough:

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I don’t think I could make a single shot like that. Ganbatte, Nino-kun!

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Afterward, Nino-kun lifts up his shirt to reveal a belly that . . . well, there was laughter all around:

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They make MatsuJun do it next, trying for Iwashimizu-san’s record:

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Time for another scroll to be pulled, and it’s Nino-kun’s turn to find out their fate:

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It says, roughly, “take a blow from dokkiri clips.” Dokkiri is a prank or surprise, and in this case, the members of Arashi are the targets.

The first is the collapse-of-the-expensive-vases prank:

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How will Ninomiya-kun and Sakurai-san react when disaster strikes?

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The next type of prank was a ghostly image appearing in a mirror in a dressing room:

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Delightful. Even better, it’s Aiba-kun and Matsumoto-kun who’ll face this apparition. Will their reactions be as different as I think they’ll be?

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You know, up to this point, hasn’t Ohno-san gotten off lightly? I mean, he didn’t face a challenge against a medalist, and he didn’t face a dokkiri. Wait . . . what’s that? Ah, he got an extra-special dokkiri!

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It’s a prank version of the “Encounter the Unknown” segment:

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The prankster in this case is Jinbo Satoshi-san, a familiar face from dramas, and Ohno-san’s senpai (senior) in the entertainment biz.

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Let me put it this way, he starts off the conversation by talking about massages, and it gets sketchier from there:

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This was way too hilarious for words, and probably the funniest thing in the entire telethon.

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Matsumoto-kun heads for another scroll, but what could follow the stuff we’ve already seen?

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Oh . . . hell. It says “bask in Horiken (Horiuchi Ken-san)’s gags.” We so don’t need that. Oh, well. Horiken-san proceeds to teach Sakurai-san a gag.

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Okay, it was sorta funny, but not as funny as when Horiken tackled Ungirls’ Tanaka-san . . .

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. . . and then tried to do something to wrestler Yoshida-san:

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Luckily, they moved on within a minute. That’s about as much of Horiken’s antics as we can take at one go. Sakurai-san rushes to pull down the final scroll:

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Crap. It says to “shabekuri with those seven guys.” Technically, this ends the strictly Arashi portion of the proceedings, and Shabekuri 007 starts to take over from here on. Arashi is introduced as guests on the Shabekuri set:

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I’m going to continue to call this Arashi ni Shiyagare because it’s still in part three of the telethon, and Shabekuri dominates part four as well, but I won’t be as detailed about what goes on. We’re still in the transition phase between the two shows, though, and they begin with a list of five questions about Arashi:

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1. Who’s the loneliest person in Arashi?

2. Who’s the coolest member of Arashi?

3. Who’s the biggest crybaby in Arashi?

4. Who in Arashi most hates to lose?

5. Who in Arashi has the fewest weaknesses?

They talked about the each of the answers for about twenty minutes, and I won’t give away what they came up with. I don’t think there were any surprises, though.

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In the middle of the talk, between question four and five, we got a clip from Ninomiya-kun’s Dart Trip. I’m not sure why they threw this in here, but just watching the Shabekuri seven and the Arashi members sitting around talking about Arashi not the most engaging programming imaginable – we needed a break.

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We got back to question five quickly enough, and once that was over, a flood of comedians, including Arashi ni Shiyagare semi-regulars Oriental Radio as well as 24-hr TV assistants Savanna.

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Let the silliness begin! Their entrance marks the “Giri Giri (ギリギリ) 007” part of the Shabekuri 007 proceedings. Apparently, they want a national referendum on the seven members of Shabekuri, and they asked viewers to dial-in with their vote for their preferred member:

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Out of nowhere, we get a live musical performance from TRF:

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If you’ve read my Shounen Club articles, you probably already know that I’m extremely picky about vocals. I tend to give tolerance to the kids, but there’s no excuse for Yu-ki’s singing unless she’s recently contracted a condition that affected her vocal cords. It was painful to listen to.

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After that, we went into Going! Sports News with the studio personalities relegated to a tiny box in the upper left corner:

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The lead story was about a Manchester United game where Usain Bolt was honored and Kagawa Shinji-san (who appeared on the July 14th episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, which you can read about here) scored a goal.

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The Shabekuri studio is briefly turned into the Going! studio with Ohno-san, Matsumoto-kun, and Taka and Toshi joining in the panel. The program theme, as noted in the upper left corner, is KAT-TUN’s “Spirit”:

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It’s about ten minutes of sports talk and clips, with some token involvement from Ohno-san and Matsumoto-kun, then we catch up with marathon runner Kensuke-san (featured in the previous episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare), who’s chugging alone in the dark of night.

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There’s about four minutes more of sports news, and that concludes part three of the 24-hr TV telethon.

I think it’s fair to consider the first hour Arashi ni Shiyagare proper, and the second hour to be a mish-mash of Shabekuri stuff and the sports news. That first hour was golden stuff – great fun to watch. Anytime you can get nostalgic VTRs, tough challenges, and dokkiri packed into the same hour, it’s a good show. After that, it was all sitting around and talking except the brief interlude with the giri-giri troupe and TRF, which was probably the weakest part of the two-hour block. Even the sports news was more interesting to watch than the giri-giri/TRF bit.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was definitely Sakurai-san. He was totally hyper, and conspicuous when he was on-screen, and the bewildered look he had on his face at the start was the first laugh of the show.

Next up is part four, which is the Shabekuri section proper. With most potential viewers asleep for it, part four is the weakest portion of the entire telethon. The real fun starts again with part five.