In this episode of KisuHama Learning (キス濱ラーニング), Hamaguchi Masaru-san and the members of Kis-My-Ft2 continue the challenge from last week’s episode – to play seven grade-leveled songs on a recorder. This time, they’ll be dealing the more difficult middle school level pieces, and the larger black-and-white recorders.

Doesn’t sound very interesting to you? Well, it turns out that recorders can, under the right circumstances, be instruments of torture. For instance, in the circumstance where your senpai is Hamaguchi-san, who is on pace to make more mistakes than the rest of Kis-My-Ft2 combined, and every time he makes a mistake, they have to start all over again.

Even worse, Hamaguchi-san laughs when he messes up. With him being so unreliable, the KMF2 each feel even worse when they’re the ones that fail.

Well, except Tamamori-kun, who hasn’t made a mistake yet, and doesn’t look like he’s going to. He just gets to look contemptuously at anyone who does (though not with the dagger eyes that Kitayama-kun manages).

The first song at the middle school level is “Edelweiss” – another song from the movie “The Sound of Music.” Again, it’s nice to see that this movie can be relied on as part of our common culture.

Takeshita-sensei demonstrates the difference between the elementary school recorders and the middle school ones:

“Edelweiss” is a pretty simple song. How long will it take them to clear it?


Hamaguchi-san irritates them all again by grinning broadly after botching a note (even though he has an easy part):


The next song was “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (翼をください), another classic.

Can Tamamori-kun maintain his perfect record in the face of this more difficult tune?

Well, Senga-kun just added another miss to his number. Nasty B-flats.

But the real roadblock is still Hamaguchi-san. Get a load of the look Tamamori-kun gives him.

Time for more practice. On average, each song took them about an hour on average to get down, even though each challenger was only responsible for a bar or two.

After Tamamori-kun finishes with a flourish, the clock reads 6 hours and 25 minutes elapsed. This is no trivial challenge, folks – it’s yet another HamaKisu/KisuHama endurance test.

Senga-kun feels the pressure as they prepare for the last song – the Simon & Garfunkel song “El Condor Pasa” (yet another favorite of mine in an episode full of familiar melodies). In Japanese, the song is known as “コンドルは飛んでいく” (Condor wa Tonde Iku).

They have two minutes before three members – recorder talent Tamamori-kun, Miyata-kun, and Senga-kun – have to leave.

Unfortunately, they can’t get it down perfectly on the first try, so the KisuHama team is down to 5. In this pinch, Hamaguchi-san decides to recruit a new member.

Hey! That’s cheating! Seriously, I think they should have tried it with just the five of them, but I guess it was getting late, and they needed to wrap things up.

Will they be able to succeed before time runs out?

While they were amusing to watch, these first two episodes of KisuHama Learning were visually static – there wasn’t much going on, just a lot of frustration and occasional celebration. I like the challenge, and it made for interesting audio, but perhaps it was more suitable as a third and fourth episode. They should have done something a bit more mobile and active to kick the series off.

We might get that sort of challenge next, when the Kis-My-Ft2 members tackle the bane of so many Japanese pop stars – English.