KisuHama Learning (キス濱ラーニング) features the members of Kis-My-Ft2 taking on different challenges, trying to learn things in a practical setting to see if this aid the learning process. So far, they’ve taken on the recorder and dollar-store English.  In these tasks, they are prompted, encouraged, and berated by variety show veteran Hamaguchi Masaru-san. Actually, in this episode, they are actually joined by him.

This time, they have to learn sushi kanji. I think you can guess the practical setting for this one.

Boy, did the guys whine when Hamaguchi-san told them that they would be learning kanji, but their enthusiasm recovered when he said that they would get to eat.

As usual with kanji, it isn’t a matter of guessing what it means – that would be easy. No, it’s all about figuring out how to pronounce the kanji. They have to get ten pronunciations in a row right to clear the challenge.

Now, what you might expect is that they don’t get to eat until they clear – the kind of torture HamaKisu was known for. But no, in KisuHama they suffer in abundance, so it’s endless eating until they succeed! They get to taste the sushi before making their guess because the kanji is the name of the seafood the sushi is made from, and getting a taste will help them figure out the answer. I wonder if the Kis-My-Ft2 members themselves suggested this challenge . . .

They begin by cramming, as well they should, since there’s prize money involved. If you’re sufficiently advanced in kanji, or are really good at recognizing sushi, you could make plausible guesses about the readings, but otherwise this episode doesn’t afford much opportunity to play along.

When you get right down to it, though, it’s just eating and guessing, so there really isn’t much to say. You’re probably going to feel hungry after watching this episode.

If there’s anything a Johnny’s member can put a name to, it’s food, so in each round they cleared the early stages without trouble.

When they couldn’t tell just by looking at the sushi, they often figured it out after a taste.

Some of the highlights were when Hamaguchi-san talked about having caught some of the seafood on his other show, but properly speaking, those were highlights from that other show and not this one. One of the more amusing aspects of the challenge was watching Tamamori-kun enthusiastically grab dishes from the conveyor belt.

Unlike the previous episode, we didn’t get a tally of who got how many right or a success percentage for each member. It also wasn’t possible to do it manually because, for many of the rounds, they only showed the kanji that let to the failure, and didn’t even show who made the incorrect guess.

I wasn’t happy with the lack of info, since I’m a numbers guy, and it made it feel like their progress didn’t matter as long as they ended up clearing the challenge. I don’t think that’s how learning is supposed to work.

I think it was clear that Nikaido-kun and Tamamori-kun were the stars of this one, making the lion’s share of the guesses that we actually got to see between them.

At the end of the day, it was just an excuse to show them eating food, which is evidently what Japanese viewers love to see, considering how many shows just feature food and people eating it. As far as excuses go, though, it wasn’t too bad. I don’t know how much of the kanji I’ll retain, since it’s not used very often, but guess I’ll probably remember one or two of them.