We’ve had some great Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) recently – last week was the magician/mentalist DaiGo-kun, the week before was Kabuki actor Nomura Mansai-san, and the week before that was the Takarazuka Revue. Oh, and before that was Takahashi Hideki-san, who has killed 70,000 people (while acting) and made the Arashi members do a samurai/ninja scene, complete with sword fighting. So . . . reversion to the mean suggests that we’re due for a less exciting episode.

Why am I so pessimistic? Well, maybe it’s because the Arashi members were in suits. Not spiffy suits – stuffy, plain grey suits:

 

Maybe it’s because the suits are the main point of interest in the opening, and that they instantly come up with who the guest is likely to be because of them. Sakurai-san has a job as a newscaster on News Zero, and apparently it’s the perfect week for Murao Nobutaka-san (村尾 信尚), the elder statesman of that show, to appear.

They’re so certain that Murao-san is going to be the guest that they take pains to get the tonal balance of his name right. And sure enough, there he is:

And as far as guests go, a newscaster has very little to offer in terms of excitement. So, yeah, pretty sure that this is going to be a slow one with lots of talking. That what newscasters do, after all – talk. Unlike most guests, he doesn’t come bearing gifts at this point, and instead they go straight to the set change. Once again, Aiba-kun is called to do the honors (and again, I approve of this change in pattern) and he didn’t do a bad job of it.

The comic relief is Heisei Nobushi Kobushi. No surprises there – they’ve practically become regulars. There’s a worrying sign behind them, though – one of those comparison boards they used with Takarazuka Revue that threatened to slow that show to a halt. This time, it might very well do it. The Arashi members take their seats, getting comfortable for the long haul.

 

By the way, it seemed like the quick move to change the set so early in the show caught the stage hands by surprise, as they were still trying to fix chairs and remove fake walls as the main personalities got settled. The topic is the hidden face of the news, which is . . . well, at least the Arashi members look interested:

 

The first topic is what each side – Arashi and Murao-san – absolutely has to do after recording the show, or after the broadcast. There’s no way I could follow everything that was said, and this is going to be a conversation-heavy episode altogether, so I once again hope someone sees fit to subtitle this one.

Murao-san’s answer had something to do with onsen, but that’s about all I got out of it.

 

As for the Arashi members . . .

 

. . . they all have their own ideas:

The next topic was surprising weak points.

Arashi tries to guess Murao-san’s weaknesses, and it turns out he has a number of them, but the one actually wanted to talk about was about being weak to flattery.

Then they bring out an array of fashion items. Apparently, Murao-san wanted to change out of his boring grey jacket and into something a bit more colorful.

You’ll have to watch to find out what he looks like in a long-haired wig and weird sunglasses – it was the most interesting thing in this entire show. I still don’t get why he did it, though.

Moving right along, they all took their seats again, and went back to answering the questions on the board, starting with the weaknesses of the Arashi members.

After Sakurai-san switches sides, the next question was about what they have to do before they sleep. Really? These are the most interesting topics Murao-san has to talk about in his career as a caster? It doesn’t really have anything to do with his expertise at all. His answer is that he reads the Houjouki (方丈記 – Account of My Hut) – a classic from the 13th century.

Okay, enough of that. On episodes like this, I’m real happy when we get an “Encounter the Unknown” segment. This time, Ohno-san meets someone who should be right up his alley.

Ueyama Tochi-san is the artist for “Cooking Papa”, a famous manga focused on food and the preparation thereof. It played a role in early episodes of School Kakumei, were the panel was challenged to cook meals straight out of the manga.

Unfortunately, the main topic for this meeting isn’t art – it’s curry udon. That . . . sucks. Oh well, at least the talk comes with illustrations.

Having had curry noodles for dinner today, I can’t really get excited by it. Now, if Ohno-san was expected to make some, I’d at least be paying attention to the way he prepares it, and how it differs from what I do, but all he had to do was go to a soba house and eat some. Is eating curry udon really worth airtime? And is it really necessary to splash it around the way Ueyama-san showed in that picture?

Well, there’s no doubt Ohno-san’s found the right place – Ueyama-san drew him a picture.

And he eats. Will he succeed in splashing a sufficient amount of sauce?

After that, we went back to Murao-san, who decided that he would interview Matsumoto-kun.

Being interviewed can’t be a novel experience for MatsuJun by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is he a novice when it comes to interviewing others. So . . . what was he supposed to learn from it? I thought the point of this show was that the aniki was supposed to teach the Arashi members something, but I can’t point my finger at a single thing they could have gotten out of this meeting with Murao-san.

I do have to say that MatsuJun spent too much time looking into midair during this little talk instead of looking at Murao-san – a fault I’m often guilty of, as well.

Anyway, I think I got what I expected from this one. While it was difficult to follow the talk without subtitles, from what I did understand of the questions and answers, the topics didn’t seem very interesting. Hopefully, we’ll get some more action next week.

It’s really tough to pick out a Most Omoshiroi Arashi when they spent the entire time sitting and talking – and I can’t really give it to Ohno-san just for eating curry udon. So, I guess it’ll have to go to Matsumoto-kun because of his more prominent role at the end.