It has taken me a lot longer to get through this than I could have imagined. Who came up with this silly idea of reviewing a twenty-four hour telethon? Oh, right . . . .

Well, things will get steadily more dramatic as we get closer to part 10. If you have no idea what this is all about, take a peek at the post on Part 1 here. Part 7 started around 11:20 a.m on Aug 26th. Here are the links to Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

As those making donations are greeted and thanked by various stars . . .

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. . . we get a brief glimpse of the story of sixteen year old Rinka-chan, who has high blood pressure in her pulmonary artery, and is visited by Aiba-kun in his capacity as Shimura Doubutsu-en co-host.

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Thus, we have Aiba’s Traveling Zoo.

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Then there’s the story of Uechi Yuka-chan, age 6, who has faced her own difficulties since birth:

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She’s visited by Imoto Ayako-san, discussing Yuka-chan’s summer vacation challenge . . .

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. . . which will take place in France . . .

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. . . and involve flying with the birds:

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Those are just teasers for stories that will appear later in the telethon.

With Oriental Radio on stage, we check on the growing stream of kites, now reaching 3000 on the way to a record-breaking attempt to get 16,000 kites strung together and up in the air.

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Remember, each of these little kites carries aloft someone’s hopes:

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We check in with Miyagawa-san and Fujii Miho-chan as they continue to hike up Yakushima.

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Unfortunately, Miho-chan’s hands are in serious pain (since she has to use them so extensively to support her weight).

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The weather is really serious, too, with rain pounding down and serious waves crashing on the shore:

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The way up looks really slippery and dangerous, but they seem unfazed by it:

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After that check, we turn to Aragaki Yui-san’s dart trip to Iyo-shi (伊予市) in Ehime Prefecture.

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Aragaki-san is so low-key it’s actually amusing. Though some of the people she meets are more than twice as old as she is, they seem more energetic:

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She does have a funny expression to offer:

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This area is distinctly rural, with the residents living in shacks and mostly elderly . . .

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. . . but then she hits upon a pack of younger people:

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And here again, the gap between her energy level and that of the people she meets is hilarious.

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She tries to shush them and interrupt their excited flailing:

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The guys try to run away, but she rounds them up again:

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Aragaki-san is unexpectedly interesting to watch because she’s flawlessly affable, and she seems to be able to make men blush and get all wobbly around her.

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Her popularity with younger people, though, makes it hard for her to interview them – she can’t raise her voice above their screaming, and boy do they scream.

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Back on stage, the legendary Tanimura Shinji-san (谷村 新司) and Suzuki Fuku-kun are introduced. Tanimura-san wrote the theme song for this marathon – “Sarai.”

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Next, we got a story out of Yamaguchi-ken about a synchronized swimming team performing to “MatsuKen Samba.”

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Back on stage, we get the real thing – Matsuken Samba II (マツケンサンバII) performed by Matsudaira Ken-san (松平 健).

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I don’t really like the song, since the vocals are extremely basic and the music unimaginative, but even correcting for that, this was the weakest performance we’ve seen in the marathon so far. Matsudaira-san was occasionally out of synch with the backing track while he sang, and his vocals were . . . harsh.

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We catch up on marathon runner Hokuto Akira-san, who is enjoying a respite and drink:

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And then she’s off again:

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Then we get the story of Anpanman, and its theme song.

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Kobayashi Seira-chan, Tani Kanon-chan, Morisanchuu, Harisenbon, Oriental Radio, and Taka and Toshi then perform the Anpanman theme song.

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Kobayashi-chan looked confident, but Tani-chan was a bit stiff. This was a breeze for the comedians, of course.

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Up past 4000 kites now . . .

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. . . and then we continue with the famous songs, again accompanied by a touching backstory to give the song extra significance. This time, the story involved a box that played “Ii Hi Tabidachi” (いい日旅立ち) – a song written by Tanimura Shinji-san and most famously performed by Yamaguchi Momoe-san.

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Tanimura-san performs the song alongside Kuroki Hitomi-san, who should be familiar to anyone who watched GTO (she played Director Sakurai).

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I love the song, and Tanimura-san still has one of the most moving voices to ever sing a ballad – especially one of his own.

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With Tendo Yoshimi-san (天童よしみ) joining the hosts, we check on Hokuto-san, with Kensuke-san answering questions about the experience.

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Matsumoto-kun reads another letter to the Kensuke-Hokuto family.

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Then we check in on the blimp builders, and get a video about Sennosuke-kun (the younger son of the Kensuke-Hokuto family) and his classmates.

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More on Hokuto-san’s steady progress . . .

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. . . and that wraps it up for this short part of the telethon, bringing us past noon.