After a long stretch of specials, Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is finally back with a normal episode. By normal, I mean the format and not the content, since there’s nothing normal about having the Japanese Olympic Fencing team and Milla Jovovich as guests, but more about that later.

Milla Jovovich

First, the show begins with the usual opening, but there’s something else up:

Start of the Show 2Start of the Show 3Start of the Show 4Start of the Show 5

What’s 大西ライオン? Well, apparently it’s one of these:

Lion? 1

I have no idea what this is all about, but anything that breaks to monotony is fair, as long as it doesn’t take too long.

Lion? 2Lion? 3Lion? 4

The lion fellow is only on stage for a minute, then he leaves, so no harm done, and the crowd seemed to love it.

Lion? 5Lion? 6

With Nino-kun noting that the lion guy wasn’t the guest, Sakurai-san does the normal call, and out they come, armed:

But he's not the guestThe Fencing Team 1Reaction 1The Fencing Team 2

I really think that the surprise and delight on the faces of the Arashi members was genuine. They had to be thinking that this episode would be fun.

Reaction 2Reaction 3Reaction 4

The fencing team won the silver medal in the recent Olympics, and their names are Awaji Suguru-san (淡路卓), Chida Kenta-san (千田健太), Miyake Ryo-san (三宅 諒), and Ota Yuki-san (太田 雄貴).

The Fencing Team

Sakurai-san asks them right away about their experience, and then we get video of the semifinal round where they beat Germany:

VTR 1VTR 2

The foils they’re carrying are from the Olympics, and Aiba-kun immediately asks to try one out:

Aiba Makes the First MoveAiba and the Foil 1Aiba and the Foil 2

They show him that there’s a “switch” at the end of the foil:

Suicchi 1Suicchi 2

Then Ohno-san goes even further as they’re trying to show him how to hold the foil, asking if he can try on their medal:

How About the Medal?

Nino-kun objects that it’s impossible, but the fencers are willing.

Dame da yoIt's All RightReally?

The medals are distributed . . .

Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 1Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 2

. . . but there are only four medalists, and five Arashis, so guess who gets left out:

Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 3Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 4Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 5Arashi Get to Try on the Medals 6

You guessed it – the guy who’ll make the funniest faces in response – Ohno-san. He scolds the medalists after this neglect, and they bow their apologies to him.

Just One More 1Just One More 2

Then it’s time for the talk segment, where they go through a number of rumors that the guests either confirm or deny. The first rumor was about the cost of the fencing gear, which is quite expensive, and the athletes explain the types of fencing gear.

Rumor One 1Rumor One 2Rumor One 3

The second rumor was about the use of French throughout fencing, and they get a little chart of the key terminology:

Rumor Two 1Rumor Two 2Rumor Two 3

The third one dealt with the uncertainty about whether you’ve won a bout.

Rumor Three 1

They get the talk over with quickly and move on to better things, introduced by the token comedians for the week:

The Comedians 1

Yoshimura-san (the one who’s not in armor) tells the Arashi members that they’ll engage in a real fencing match . . .

The Plan

. . . and they have real fencing gear – uniforms contributed by their guests.

Fencing Gear 1

Here they are, making their entrance after getting dressed up:

Arashi Ready for Fencing 1Arashi Ready for Fencing 2Arashi Ready for Fencing 3Arashi Ready for Fencing 4

Then they get basic instruction about stance . . .

Basic Instruction 1Basic Instruction 3Basic Instruction 4

. . . and the standard positions.

Basic Instruction 5Basic Instruction 6

Then their instructor drills them:

Basic Instruction 8

Sakurai-san accuses Aiba-kun of being slow, and Aiba-kun dutifully botches the next move in the drill.

Aiba Fail 1Aiba Fail 2Aiba Fail 3Aiba Fail 4

With that, their instructor decides that their ready for a contest, though they don’t seem too confident.

Are They Ready?

First, we get a sample of what they’re supposed to do from two of the medalists:

The Olympians Demonstrate 1The Olympians Demonstrate 2

Can the Arashi members at least mimic what they saw? Well, it’s time to find out, and the match-up board is pulled out.

The Arashi Match 1

I don’t know how janken can be used to decide an arrangement like this, but Arashi always finds a way to decide things with it.

Janken

The first battle was Ohno versus Matsumoto:

First Battle 1First Battle 2First Battle 3First Battle 4

Then it was Ninomiya versus Sakurai:

Second Battle 1Second Battle 2

After that, I can’t say who faced who, since that would give away who won the earlier matches.

The Ninomiya-Sakurai match looked a lot more like the real thing than Ohno-Matsumoto. On the whole, the Arashi members did very well on their first try, and I only wish they had spent more time on it, since it was plenty of fun to watch. Maybe each match should have been a best of 3 instead of just one bout.

The winner of the Arashi tournament got to face off against Chida-san.

After that special match, it was time for the “Encounter the Unknown” segment, this time subtitled “in The World.”

Encountering the Jovovich 1

Is it just me, or does MatsuJun always get the Hollywood stars?

Encountering the Jovovich 2Encountering the Jovovich 3

What’s great is that Milla Jovovich is laughing her head off when he walks in, totally appreciating his reaction. I liked that – it was a warm, welcoming laugh.

Encountering the Jovovich 4Encountering the Jovovich 5MatsuJun Greeting

Her main mission is to promote Resident Evil 5 (or Biohazard 5, as it’s known in Japan), but she also intends to teach MatsuJun some martial arts:

Mira Jovovicchi DesuMatsuJun Knows Who She IsMartial Arts 1

Jovovich speaks in English, of course, and we hear what she really says. She also tries to say some lines in Japanese (and I think it’s nice that she tries), but the people who type out all that stuff at the bottom of the screen decided that she didn’t quite make it, so they kept everything she said in katakana:

Tonari no Seto e

MatsuJun says that it’s better if she doesn’t use Japanese:

Skip the Japanese

And then there was sword training:

Sword Practice 1

She aimed a bit low in terms of skill level, but MatsuJun was in a good mood.

Sword Practice 2Sword Practice 3

Then, she introduced a martial arts performer named Kanbe Yutaka-san (神戸豊). I found out he has a dual language website – canbe-yutaka.com.

Kanbe 1Kanbe 2

Jovovich teaches MatsuJun how to do a head-high roundhouse kick (as if he didn’t know already):

Roundhouse Kick 1

Naturally, that’s no problem for MatsuJun, though Kanbe-san follows up with a much more impressive kick as a finale to the segment.

MatsuJun Stunned

The episode ended with food:

Food 1

The medalists were trying this luxurious meat for the first time, too.

A Treat 1A Treat 2A Treat 3

I think this was an excellent episode. There were no slow parts, I always like it when the Arashi guys are up and active, and having a Hollywood star drop by adds a surreal touch. I think the way the Olympic athletes get feted on these variety shows is a great way to welcome them back and honor them for their success.

It probably should have been longer. Not only could the fencing tournament have done with more time, but I think Milla Jovovich should have challenged MatsuJun to learn a difficult martial arts kick, and he could have gone on location to a dojo, or something like that. Just a thought. As it was, MatsuJun basically spent the time gawking.

Who was the Most Omoshiroi Arashi? I think that has to go to the winner of the tournament. Watch to find out who it was!