The Arashi TV schedule’s been choppy of late because of Arashi’s other activities as well as the normal end-of-season cycle with a whole bunch of specials at this time of the quarter. As far as I can tell, this is the first Arashi ni Shiyagare episode in three weeks, and we’re also waiting for the return of VS Arashi with its own season-starting special.

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This episode was a one and a half hour special featuring aniki guests Tachi Hiroshi-san (舘 ひろし) and Irie Ryosuke (入江陵介), who are billed as the strongest “dandy aniki” and the athlete most popular with women, respectively.

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Then we get the most crowded title I’ve seen on Japanese TV yet (though I’m sure attempts to surpass it are already in the works):

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Bedecked in white suits and bow-ties, the Arashi members greet Tachi-san with the respect he deserves.

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Ninomiya-kun, though, tries to give a different impression of Tachi-san than his on-stage persona. Apparently, they bumped into each other backstage, and Tachi-san’s greeting was a bit brusk.

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And there’s talk about a manager’s reaction to their meeting.

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Then, out of nowhere, we get an Ishihara Yujiro (石原 裕次郎) impression:

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Just a bit of background, the real Ishihara Yujiro-san died in 1987 and was Tachi-san’s co-star in the famous police drama “Seibu Keisatsu.”

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Tachi-san then surprises the audience – he not only brought a treat for the Arashi members (which is the show’s normal pattern), but one for the whole audience (hence the huge pyramids of boxes):

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And even the cameraman:

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The boxes are finely decorated and wrapped, and have the occasion described on them. Opening the box turns into an event:

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There’s even a special winner who gets an extra present, on stage:

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Tachi-san doesn’t even know what the special present is, when the guy with the cue cards says it’s a hug:

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Tachi-san tosses in a kiss as a bonus (for himself or for her, I’m not sure).

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The talk segment follows, but after all the excitement of the show’s start, I really wish they could skip it and keep up the fun. The first rumor is that everybody in the Tachi family are doctors:

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We get a partial family tree, showing that his father and younger brother are doctors, and his younger brother’s three children are all involved with medicine. Hiroshi-san is the only one who was no good at it.

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How about some (really) old pictures?

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The second rumor is that he had a huge fight with Ishihara-san, and the third is that Tachi-san has a location bus for his personal use.

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I didn’t find those two rumors particularly surprising, though some of the follow-up discussions went in unexpected directions.

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The fourth rumor was that he hasn’t bought stuff from convenience stores. This topic seems to be full of shocks for the audience (judging from the frequency of え~!s). Maybe also some surprises for Tachi-san, as they do a little simulation.

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Matsumoto-kun tasks Aiba-kun to be the shopkeeper, and Nino-kun joins him.

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We have no idea what Ohno-kun is doing:

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Aiba-kun and Nino-kun are, of course, the perfect pair to make what should be a boring simulation (ordering bento at a combi – I mean . . .) into a remarkably hilarious skit. The other members chip in, as well.

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Then we finally get to the educational portion of the show, and the comedic assistants, Heisei Nobushi Kobushi, enter.

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It’s time for a costume change so that the Arashi members look more like dangerous detectives. They appear one at a time and each deliver a funny phrase after taking center stage.

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The set for the day’s lesson will be an interrogation room (取調室 – torishirabe shitsu). Oh, this should be fun.

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We watch a VTR of “Abunai Deka” (危ない刑事 – dangerous detectives) and an interrogation scene from that series.

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There’s a script for the skit the Arashi members will play out, including a spot that they have to fill-in, though I don’t think it’ll go according to script, do you?

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And, of course, a bad guy:

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Nino and MatsuJun go first. How will they do?

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Next up was Ohno and Sakurai, and Sakurai looked surprised to be picked. He was the only one without his sunglasses on, and he looked ready to get a pass on this round.

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Ohno-san is brilliant – so much so that Sakurai-san couldn’t keep from laughing. But Ohno was also messing around too much, so Tachi-san stepped in to wrap it up quickly.

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Next, the Arashi members had to do another staple of “Abunai Deka” – seducing women to get information.

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The script looks so difficult this time that even Tachi-san shakes his head at the sight of it.

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He has Aiba-kun give it the first try, and just the thought put a grin on my face. Aiba-kun kept looking at the script, clearly a bit nervous.

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And the result had Sakurai-san like this:

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Oh, and Nino-kun:

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Then it was Matsumoto-kun’s turn, and you know he’s built for this sort of scene, though he still doesn’t find it easy.

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Ninomiya-kun has to follow MatsuJun’s performance, but if there’s anyone who can do that, it’s him.

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Doesn’t he look a little smug afterward?

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Well, he should. Here’s Tachi-san’s response:

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But then Nino-kun requests to see the real thing.

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And even the old pro feels the same way after the close of the scene:

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At the end, Tachi-san has to pick which Arashi member deserves the title of “No.1 Dandy.” I’ll let his choice stand as this episode’s Most Omoshiroi Arashi. The choice was obvious – Ninomiya-kun.

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With a set change, Tachi-san and Heisei Nobushi Kobushi departed, and Irie Ryosuke-san entered, with only half an hour left in the show for his part.

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Of course, Irie-san is younger than Arashi . . .

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. . . but why Sakurai-san makes such a big “eh!”, I have no idea, since Irie-san is a swimmer at the top of his form, naturally putting him in his early twenties.

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At this point in the show, having a talk segment was . . . not what I wanted to see. Frankly, at his age, I don’t think Irie-san has any interesting rumors to his name. Once he gets to be Tachi-san’s age, I imagine he’ll have more intriguing stories to tell (though Tachi-san’s rumors were a yawn, too).

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Eventually, the talk led to Irie-san wanting style tips from MatsuJun, and MatsuJun obliging:

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He might look good, but the prices on these things are shocking (hat – $656, stole – $406, sunglasses – $590, having MatsuJun coordinate your outfit for you – priceless).

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Irie-san then demonstrates some flexibility . . .

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. . . and then after an outfit change . . .

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. . . gets Arashi to do so as well (sort of).

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We discover that the only member who can come close is Nino-kun, though the others didn’t really seem to try the more difficult stuff. Maybe they were just tired – it’s been a long episode.

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They all have trouble with Irie-san’s particular brand of sit-ups (which I will try as soon as I can get my hands on an appropriate bar). Ohno-san is the one who finally manages to do it.

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In the end, Irie-san presents his gifts to Arashi:

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And that’s that. There were plenty of great moments in this episode, making it great viewing, though most of those moments came right in the middle of the show.

Next week, there are katanas involved:

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Should be fun!

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